Shipping Up to Boston

The song that signals Jonathan Papelbon’s entrance into a game at Fenway Park can also be applied to what I did the other day. I did not fly up to Boston like I normally do. Nor did I literally “ship” up to Boston (though I thinkthat we all wish that we were ‘on a boat’). In fact, I drove up to Boston.

Anyone who is remotely familiar with a map of the continental United States can tell you that it is not a short drive. We trekked through some serious torrential downpours. I’m pretty sure that the storms came down form DC and Atlanta. I only say that because I know that those games were delayed Thursday night because of rain. We basically spent 28 straight hours in the car making stops for food, and rest stops to take a quick nap.

As far as the agenda goes for the week, I’m pretty excited. On Monday and Tuesday, I will be going down to Pawtuket to see some PawSox games. The thing is, I won’t just be getting there two hours early for autographs this time. I’ll be getting two hours early because Dan Hoard and Steve Hyder, a radio broadcaster and a beat writer for the PawSox, have agreed to let me interview them. I look forward to interviewing them about their careers as well as what they see as far as the future goes.

I think a lot of people disregard minor league baseball because it is seemingly insignificant and it is full of raw, not-yet-perfected talent.. Admittedly, I used to be that way too. But once you go to a few Spring Training games, and you see the kind of work these guys do, and the mentality that they approach the game with, you really being to appreciate that aspect of the game.

Plus, as you watch it, you have to realize that you might be looking at the next Josh Beckett, the next Jonathan Papelbon or the next Dustin Pedroia. Maybe it’s just because I’m the “future blog of the Red Sox” that I’m interested in the “future of the Red Sox” because I want to know who I’ll be writing about (hopefully), but I think that these guys are the real deal.

So even though the Sox cooled down a bit during the middle of May and towards the end, they are begining to turn it around thanks to Terry Francona’s brilliance when it comes to the everyday lineup. Plus the fact that the starting rotation is starting to come together.

Slowly but surely, Big Papi is starting to come out of his funk. I think that the most impressive part of this entire situation is the perpetual support that he is receiving from Red Sox fans. I know that there is a lot of “underground” criticism, which there should be, but every time he comes up to the plate, I hear cheers. Only in Boston. When Mark Teixeira got off to his terrible start in April, he was getting booed in New York.

It’s not like Boston is the paragon of mercy though. I hear vicious complaints about Julio Lugo everyday. So why aren’t fans becoming hostile towards Papi? Personally, I think it’s because we can never forget what he did for us in 2004. If it wasn’t for him, I honestly believe that we would not have broken the curse. His formidable bat, and his clutch hitting was such an essential part. We cannot just abandon our love for him after what he did for urs.

Anyway, I’m starting to like this lineup. It’s weird not seeing Ellsbury at the top because he seems like the prototypical leadoff guy: consistent bat, speed, run scorer. The problem was the lack of that at the bottom of the order, which was why we weren’t scoring runs. And while I’m generally a supporter of the Youkilis-Drew punch, I enjoy Bay hitting in the four hole.

I’ve talked about Bay being Mr. Dependable and the new Mr. Clutch-Hitter, but it’s not like he just came out of no where. His numbers were quite comparable during his Pittsburgh years, it’s just that Pittsburgh doesn’t get the kind of media attention that it deserves. I know that they just aren’t that good, and that they just traded away Nate McLouth, but they deserve attention. They’ve got that young, raw talent that I like. Maybe I’ll start calling it future talent.

I am also thrilled that Josh Beckett and Jon Lester are starting to have consistently solid outings. They both flirted with no-hitters quite recently (in fact, Lester was flirting with a perfect game). I’m done with flirting though, it’s time to court that perfect game! Lester’s ERA and record is not truly indicative of how his year has been, though. Like I’ve said, it’s just been that one annoying inning that has ruined the first part of his season.

Recently, Lester has been having the kind of outings that everyone said that he was going to have. I think our little talk really paid off: he is concentrating on making each and every pitch. And have you seen the number of strikeouts that he has been racking up? 12 K’s in 6 innings and then 11 in 7 I believe was the last one. And Josh Beckett has just been dominant his past few starts. It is all coming together now. All we have to do is get Dice-K away from these mediocre outings. I have no complaints about Wakefield– only praise for his durability. As for Brad Penny, what can I say? The guy has a winning record. I don’t like him very much because I think he only has decent outings, if that, and he just gets very lucky with the run support.

I think that covers what I haven’t been covering as often, and I am sorry for my lack of presence. I think you’ll like the next few entries though. My friend will be guest blogging and writing a “Top Ten Reasons Never to Watch or Go To a Baseball Game with Elizabeth’. I will also be blogging about the PawSox game and the Yankee vs Red Sox game I will be attending on Thursday night.

11 Comments

Welcome to Boston Elizabeth! I hope you enjoy your stay in my town and I look forward to meeting you on Wednesday! Enjoy the PawSox games! And sadly – the rain is on it’s way to Boston.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

just gotta give it time before pittsburgh explodes onto the national map and contends for world series appearances….at least thats BS that our GM is feeding us.

http://pittpeas.mlblogs.com

I hope you’ll have the best time in Boston! Have fun with Julia on Wednesday :) Can’t wait for the guest blogger as well.
http://hyunyoung.mlblogs.com

hey! interesting/random: i saw you at the pawsox game last night (monday night). i go to a lot of sox and paw sox games, and i know that starting pitchers are always hanging out in the stands so i generally give a glance in that direction- glad that you got a chance to speak with Michael Bowden. he’s great. personable and driven, among other things. it’s just funny that i stumbled across your twitter account this morning (i tend to search a few prospect names on a regular basis especially in light of trade-rumor season), which lead to your blog. have a blast in boston… i’m going to follow you on twitter- i’m wiffleballhero.

Wow, that is so cool! I know you’ll have a great time in Boston, that’s great that you get to interview those guys. Looking forward to the guest blogger!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

Hope you had fun! And I am looking forward to your friend’s post :O) People who are casual fans hate going with me…I never get out of my seat and don’t want to do anything but watch & take photos…maybe I am just boring by nature ;O) Ha!!

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Well, I am just like Jenn at games, and my husband doesn’t talk during the game either. People probably think we’re mad at each other! Looking forward to reading all about your trip – have a great time!
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Have fun in Boston with Julia! At least things seem to be going very well for your Red Sox right now. I’m looking forward to reading your friend’s post :)
-Erin
http://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

I hope you’re having a great time out there!! Too bad you didn’t take a boat, then you could climb buoys. Glad to hear that Big Papi is starting to come back!
Emily
http://deconstructingthoughts.mlblogs.com/

Hey, Elizabeth …

Have a great time in Boston, and say hello to Julia and your other fellow Red Sox fans for me !!!
.
Well, “congratulations” for the two Red Sox victories in the first two games of this series … You arrived in town at the right time [for a Red Sox fan], just as Red Sox Nation is celebrating Boston’s move back into first place in the AL East … Yes, 7-0 is a very impressive record [so far] for the Red Sox vs. the Yankees this season; but, I expect CC Sabathia to deliver an outstanding pitching performance in the final game of the series, which will lead the Yankees back into a tie in the East !!! … Josh Beckett was brilliant in Game #1; the Sox held on for a solid victory in Game #2, so a “tip of the cap” for those wins !!! … But, there still are many games yet to be played this year, and the “race for first place” will go down to the wire with both the Yankees and Red Sox battling it out for number one in the East !!! … It will be a fun pennant race !!!
.
Take care, Elizabeth … and, enjoy the game tonight !!!
I look forward to your interviews, and “posts” about your New England trip !!!
.
— Jimmy 27NYY Curran, “BY&L”
http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

Have fun at the Pawsox game. I think we will see Papi hitting third again some times soon and Lester will put himself in the Cy Young talks in about three weeks.

Bob, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

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