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Brian Houk
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Gardner, in the few times I've seen him, looks to be a perfect spark plug type player, and energy guy, tough and scrappy. But then, I know very little about him, to be fair he really was not hyped very much as I recall, not when compared to the expectations Ellsbury garnered with his performance in 07. While Ellsbury may never regain the 2007 form that made RSN salivate at the potential, he is in my mind, a huge step up from Damon. Damon may still be a productive hitter, in fact he appears to have found a power surge, and that may be so, still his defense has devolved to the point of being a huge liability, even in left. Jacoby has yet to mature but I'm still willing to bet he'll end up a lot closer to being the guy we saw in 07 than to the bust some predicted. Besides, Ellsbury is just excitement, other than his arm, which is a cannon... Well...in comparison to Damon... I feel relatively certain Ellsbury is the best defensive outfielder the Red Sox have ever had, and I know Crisp was good, and so was Lynn, and hell Dewey was a god, still, with Ellsbury's speed he can routinely get to balls the others may make spectacular plays on, he makes spectacular plays on balls most of those guys would still be running after. Lets face it Ellsbury makes all the routine outs and he has made most of the spectacular plays look easy. Regardless of whether or not Ellsbury improves beyond the level he is at (I feel certain he will) he is still a good bat, a great fielder and overall a plus player. And in 40 plus years of watching Red Sox baseball he has shown me things I had never seen done before. Like taking two bases and scoring on a passed ball, for just one example.
Toggle Commented Jun 27, 2009 on Gardner on the Rise at YFSF
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It wasn't a double play, it was the lead off bounding ball up the middle in the 9th that Green snared, then spun and fired to first to just nip Jeter with his cannon arm. That was in the comeback game when they finally outlasted Sabathia in the eighth inning when that Nick Green fellow started a 3 run rally with a lead off single in the bottom of the eighth.
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2009 on Going Green at YFSF
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"...the architects and designers of Fenway should be arrested for allowing it to happen!" Geez, you want to dig up and arrest a corpse? Now, that's what I call harsh. But seriously, Fenway is a baseball shrine. And regardless of it's dimensions, it's a great place for the game of baseball, period. Yankee Stadium was like that too... But the new Luxury Box in the Bronx, just isn't. And really, just because you are sore that a pop fly is a home run in right field, and the new place will eclipse Coors field as a launching pad, that's no reason to exhume the architects and designers of Fenway just for the perverse idea of having them arrested!
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2009 on Longest Day's Journey Into Night at YFSF
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SF, I get what you are saying. Still, EVERYONE'S road record lags behind their home record in the AL.
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To be fair, Greenie isn't the second coming of Alex Gonzales at short, but while he has made a few errors (okay more than a few), he has been steadier lately AND he has made a few SPECTACULAR plays, that double play against the Yanks on Jeter's ball up the middle in the ninth comes to mind. And, lets face it, the guy has a cannon for an arm. Oh... and by the way, let's not forget he is NOT Julio Lugo! But That BAT! That kid has been so freaking clutch. Yeah, the Pesky Pole homer was an aberation, the fact is he put the ball in play. Christ, If you want to talk about cheap game winning home runs, Green's ball was positively crushed compared to the pop-up Bucky f**king Dent hit! But I digress... Green has helped the Sox win Games, and for the limited amount of MLB ABs he's had, Nick's RBI numbers have been phenomenal. Seriously, his numbers right now compare pretty favorably with Pedroia's considering he has over a hundred less AB's than Pedro. Okay, I'd like him to be more patient, and discerning. Walk more, strike out less, but overall the Red Sox could have done far worse and HAVE done far worse (LUGO, RENTA-REA) and paid massive amounts MORE!
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2009 on Going Green at YFSF
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"Because they are a great team at home does not make them charlatans if their road record somehow lags." Somehow lags?? Last year only the Angels of all the teams in the AL had a winning road record! So far this year only the Angels (at 18-17)have a winning road record, the Sox are just a half game behind, the same road record as the Yankees. But since the Red Sox started the year 2-6 and 1-4 on the road they have gone 40-21... (16-12) on the road. And... the Red Sox have played 32 games against teams with above .500 records and have gone 21-11 against those teams(.656),including one stretch of playing 10 games in a row against teams in 1st place in their division (*at the time). The Sox came within 1 Papelbon blown save against the Mets from winning every one of those series, (including sweeps of the Yanks and Tigers). So excuse me if Fenway is a huge plus for us and the new Yankee Luxury Box is a bummer for the Yanks, but the Red Sox right now are a damn good team no matter where they play.
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"I didn't see much wrong with what he did." Paul, I didn't see much I liked with what he did, yeah he got out of it, but for the second straight game he had to get out of a jam in the ninth, this is in comparison to the JONATHAN PAPELBON we have all come to expect to see striding to the mound in the 9th Paps hasn't looked like the DOMINANT Paps we all know and love for at least the last month now. Papelbon has had to throw WAY too many pitches in virtually every appearance in that time. Giving up hits walks and even runs at times, badly blowing that one save and giving up two runs in back to back appearances. Listen, the results haven't been all that bad but while his hits per inning haven't changed much from last year he's already given up 12 walks so far this year when he only walked 8 all last season! Paps' pitches per inning this year are WAY up versus his career. His strikeouts are down a bit, opponent Avg. is up 46 percentage points vs his career and 22 point vs last year. AND, he's given up 3 dingers already this year a third of the way into the season, when he's averaged 4 a year for his career (4 last year) and had a career high of 5 in 2007. Now, I'm not saying that he's washed up, or that I'd rather have anyone else closing out the 9th for me, but what I am saying is this: Something isn't quite right with him. What it is I don't know, but I do know this, his control just isn't what it has been. Again, I love Paps, but it just isn't the same guy right now. It's obvious, it concerns me and I hope Paps can regain the form that has sewn up so many Sox victories for us and made a Sox lead in the 9th a relaxing experience.
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