Well, I finally came through with some pictures and video of the last Red Sox game. Go ahead and check them out. It was a pretty good game overall. I can’t really offer any take on the game because I’ve already moved on from 2005, so I’ll let the pictures and video tell the story. Lenny DiNardo was gracious enough to sign autographs for us prior to the game. Ever since Nomar left, I have not really seen anyone sign any autographs. The Red Sox brass should try to promote autograph signing prior to games more. I was able to get DiNardo’s signature on my ticket, and I look forward to him being an integral part of the bullpen next year. And as we all know, we nearly brought Graffanino to tears with the ovation we gave him. Hope he comes back next year, him and Cora platooning would be nice options and give us good backup at all infield positions.
Below the pictures and video, I’ll talk a bit about both LCS’, and some quick Sox musings.
If you have not been watching both LCS’, you are missing out. There is some great, tense baseball being played in both series. Just because the Red Sox and/or the Yankees are not part of the LCS doesn’t mean that they’re automatically lousy. The White Sox and Angels series has had offense, pitching (mostly pitching, defense, running, and of course, controversy. The Cardinals and Astros have not had as many close games as the White Sox and Angels, but they’re enjoyable to watch because you can really see both teams battling out. No lead in the playoffs is safe.
The White Sox are up three games to one, while the Astros are up two to one. Shortly, the Astros will attempt to go up 3-1 behind Brandon Backe as they oppose Jeff Suppan. The White Sox tonight will throw Jose Conteras against Paul Byrd, a rematch of Game One. I’d tune in to both games if I were you – the Cardinals have a lot riding on this game. If they lose, you can pretty much anoint them dead, because of everything working against them while the White Sox would love to finish off the Angels on a punctuation note. If they can beat the Angels four games to one, then that one game where the umpire controversy occured becomes moot, because the White Sox still took three games that wasn’t marred by controversy. They would also love to keep the Angels down, because the Angels are a very dangerous team.
The White Sox so far have dominated the postseason, and should the Cardinals make the World Series, I feel will dominate the World Series, too. If it’s the Astros, it should be a taut battle through seven games, and the victor will have earned the win. If you haven’t tuned in before, tune in now. It’s two good series.
Peter Gammons spoke about how both the Sox and Yankees should engage in a bidding war for BJ Ryan – the Yankees offering more money and the Red Sox an opportunity to close. As I’ve said, I doubt the Red Sox will get BJ Ryan or even make competitive offers. I don’t think sinking money into Ryan while we have Foulke is the way to go. That’s not to say I won’t complain if we do. If we do, then our bullpen should be very good. It would also be a step in the “Jamesian” theory of bullpen building. Foulke and Ryan could split saves and come in when the situation dictates. You see, Foulke and Ryan are not “just” closers – they are ace relievers. Having them when the situation dictates would be very powerful. Say there’s one out, with men on first and second in the seventh inning with Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield due up next. David Wells is yanked from the game, and you bring Foulke in. Foulke gets A-Rod to ground out to Kevin Youkilis, who is only able to get the force at second. Then he induces Sheffield into a fly out to Nixon in right field. We used our ace reliever to get outs.
Mike Timlin takes care of the eighth and BJ Ryan finishes the ninth off. That’s how powerful our bullpen could be, and it could go the other way: Ryan in the seventh, Timlin in the eighth, Foulke in the ninth. Timlin could even see time in the seventh or the ninth, and that’s without getting into DiNardo, Myers, Bradford, all these matchups. Getting BJ Ryan may mean paying money which I’m a little wary of, but it would help create a shutdown bullpen. Of course, everyone wants a shutdown bullpen, but you have to wonder if it’s as pressing as a locked-and-loaded offense or effective starting rotation. If we get Ryan, we make sacrifices elsewhere.
Gammons also muses on Dustin Pedroia splitting time with Alex Cora at second and Manny being traded. I still think trading Manny is highly unlikey, so we shall see. I’ll muse on Manny being traded once the rumors become more concrete and not just wild fantasies. There’s also many other things to talk about, but I’ll leave it at that for now. Don’t forget to check out the LCS’ on TV tonight.