This way at the end of the year when I take a look at the Red Sox and wherever they ended up, we can have an accurate memory of the games.
And I need to create a uniform definition for the games and also pick a category name that doesn't include on of George Carlin's 7 words. So I've changed "I'm Pissed Off Game" to "Teeth Grinder Game."
A DODGED A BULLET GAME is a game where the Red Sox looked lifeless and were trailing by either a large margin early or were 3 outs from losing and then won.
A TEETH GRINDER GAME (a.k.a. "I'm Pissed Off Game") is either a game where the Red Sox had in control early, had a late lead or many chances to score in extra innings and still lose. Also any game where Javier Lopez pitches.
So here is the Tally Board... which will be updated throughout the year.
April 30th Tally
DODGED A BULLET GAMES - 4
April 17 - 10-8 win against Orioles. (Overcame 7-0 deficit.)
April 24 - 5-4 win against Yankees. (Bay homers off of Rivera in 9th to tie it.)
April 25 - 16-11 win against Yankees. (Overcame 6-0 deficit.)
April 29 - 6-5 win at Cleveland. (Overcame 5-0 deficit.)
TEETH GRINDER GAMES - 2
April 14 - 6-5 loss at Oakland. (Sox blow early 3-0 lead. Lose in 12)
April 28 - 9-8 loss at Cleveland. (Sox blow early 5-1 lead. Lopez drops 3rd out.)
So far the Red Sox are +2... which ain't bad.
I am going to update the list... and hopefully the top list will remain longer!
Bengie Molina tripled last night. That was more stunning than the Arlen Specter defection.
Glaciers can outrun Bengie Molina.
I would expect Spider-Man 2 star ALFRED Molina to get a triple before Bengie Molina.
He's not a lock to score if he is on third with two outs and the hitter gets a double.
And he got three bags? I don't care how badly Juan Pierre played it... I can't imagine LUPUS playing a flyball poorly enough for Molina to hit a triple.
Here's what's even more stunning:
It's not his first career triple.
He hit two in 2000 with the Angels.
One on May 30th, 2000 in Cleveland. He tripled to left center off of Dave Burba. Richie Sexson was in left and Kenny Lofton in center.
Then on September 7th, 2000 in Detroit, he tripled to left center in the 9th off of Doug Brocail. Bobby Higginson was in left and Rich Becker was in center.
He hit one in 2006 while with the Blue Jays.
On August 17, 2006 at Tampa, Molina tripled to right in the second inning off of Scott Kazmir. Russell Branyan was the right fielder.
Then on May 23, 2007 as a member of the Giants, he tripled to right center field off of Houston's Rick White at AT&T Park. Hunter Pence was the centerfielder and Orlando Palmeiro was in right.
And then last night.
So let Sully Baseball salute Bengie Molina. You are only 304 triples behind Hall of Famer Sam Crawford's all time career mark.
As for Juan Pierre, Hunter Pence, Orlando Palmeiro, Russell Branyan, Rich Becker, Bobby Higginson, Richie Sexson and Kenny Lofton, the outfielders who let Bengie leg out three... I hope you are all proud!
Well the Marlins got their groove back because of the Mets lousy bullpen.
Johan Santana lost another decision and yet another one slipped away.
The Mets bullpen have already lost 5 games.
Didn't the Mets improve their bullpen?
Now I am expecting a few angry Mets responses, including my anonymous reader who called me "A fat no talent fool from the lucky sperm club."
Well as a card carrying member of the Lucky Sperm Club, I will tell you that I can fake talent and lose weight... but that won't change the fact that the Mets bullpen sucks and this is going to haunt the team down the stretch.
(Lucky sperm club? Is he implying that my dad got me this blog?)
Well it's not even May yet and the Yankees are in overhaul due to Wang's fake injury and a bullpen that has more holes in it than the script of Highlander 2: The Quickening.
And yet with a payroll $65 million more than any other team (and yet they forgot to sign a back up infielder), a new unfilled stadium and sky high expectations, they are turning to two people to change their fate.
Mark Melancon, who before Sunday had appeared in exactly zero major league games...
And Phil Hughes, who Betty White tied his win total for 2008.
And my Yankee fan friends are talking as if they are saviors.
But I'll reiterate the fact that the Giants were good as gone after the 1992 season. They were going to be the Tampa Bay Giants.
And now they have the single greatest ballpark in all of baseball tucked into China Basin.
The Giants went on their most competitive streak since the days of Willie Mays and played to packed houses.
And for those of you wringing your hands about his 'roid use, just relax with the knowledge that they never won a World Series with him. Just teams like the Yankees (with Clemens, Knoblauch and Pettitte), the Angels (with Glaus, the 2002 World Series MVP) and the Marlins (with Pudge Rodriguez) won titles.
Stand and cheer... and while you are at it, sign him up!
You know the Giants have a weak offense when their most feared hitter is sitting in the front row!
Wakefield threw 7 innings of 1 hit ball yesterday... that's what aces do. This is after he nearly threw a no hitter and pitched a rain shortened complete game.
His awesome win in Oakland jump started this winning streak.
He has 2 wins (which is 2 wins more than anyone thought he'd have.)
Is it time to declare Tim Wakefield (who is third behind Roger Clemens and Cy Young for Red Sox wins) an all time Awesome Red Sox?
I'm not talking "Hall of Famer" or "Superstar" but like a Johnny Pesky. Maybe he's someone so identified with the team that maybe #49 gets retired some day.
This is his 15th season with the Sox. Along the way he has had ups and downs... but it goes a long way to show you how respected he is in Boston that he never wore the goat horns for a second after letting up Aaron Boone's homer.
It shows you the respect that he has in baseball that Joe Torre mentioned him during his post game interview for the 2004 ALCS and implied that while he was crushed, he was happy for Wakefield.
He has given the Red Sox 17 win seasons AND 15 save seasons.
He came up big for the 1995 Division Champs and the 2005 Wild Card team.
And amazingly he has pitched in 17 seasons and has never pitched in an All Star Game. Maybe if he keeps it up this year, he can add that to his resume.
But the most incredible part of his career for me is how he is the link to so many different names, faces and eras of Red Sox baseball.
He was teammates with Mike Greenwell and Roger Clemens... two guys who played for the 1986 AL Champs.
And now he has outlasted most of the members of the 2004 World Champs.
He actually was teammates with Dennis Eckersley, who returned to the Red Sox in 1998. So technically has was teammates with players from 1978, 1986, 2004 and 2007.
The Yawkey family trust was still in control of the team and Dan Duquette was calling the shots when he arrived. Theo Epstein was still in Yale.
Dustin Pedroia was 12.
When he arrived Mo Vaughn and John Valentin were the big bats in the lineup.
Now he has David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell behind him.
Just to give you an idea of how long reaching the Wakefield era has been, here is a partial list of players who arrived in Boston after Wakefield and left before him.
RICH "EL GUAPO" GARCES
That's a lot of Red Sox coming and going... and yet the knuckler goes on!
Usually when I hear fans, especially Yankee fans, calling for the heads of the GM or manager in April, I give a little snicker.
"Crazy reactionary fans" I usually think.
But there are more and more Yankee fans calling for Brian Cashman's head. And do you know what? They could have a point.
I am not a fan of dumping a GM in mid season. It's a panic move and other GMs know that the replacement is either scared to make a big move or vulnerable.
But this Yankees team at least at this point has been horribly assembled.
Yes, he landed the big fish in Teixera, Sabathia and Burnett.
And no he can't be blamed for their slow starts. (Yes, today's shelling in Fenway puts Burnett in the bad start column. A 5.47 ERA is a 5.47 ERA.)
But what is mindboggling about this team is their complete lack of depth.
A-Rod goes down. Obviously there is no replacing A-Rod's prescience in the line up. But when a team is spending $65 million dollars more than the second highest payroll, they should have a utility infielder with some big league experience.
I'm not saying have another All Star. But with $200 million to throw around, shouldn't there be an infielder off the bench that people say "He'd start on any other team"?
Shouldn't that player be better than Cody Ransom?
And if the series in Boston has told us anything so far, it's that you can't blame ALL the pitching woes on the wind in the new Stadium.
There was no wind tunnel in Tampa Bay when Nick Swisher was the only guy who could throw a shutout inning. There was no wind tunnel today when the Yankees scored 11 runs and yet it wasn't a save situation for Papelbon.
17 games into the season... the pitching staff has let up 9 or more runs 5 times.
The bullpen is horrific. Veras can throw a good outing now and then, but his 6.30 ERA suggests what else he can do now and then.
Coke, Ramirez, Marte... all have ERAs that read like Social Security numbers.
And now there is talk of searching the waiver wire for other teams scraps to throw into the bullpen.
A bunch of relievers not good enough to make their team's 25 man roster are now going to be thrown into the Yankee pressure cooker? That should work out great.
Cashman has had control of the team since after the 2005 ALCS. Since then the pennants have run dry, the Division Title streak ended, the post season streak ended... and now... after spending $200 million on payroll when no other team topped $136 million... are looking for any live arm who can throw the ball 60 feet 6 inches.
Cashman rolled the dice to trust Hughes and Kennedy. So far that's been a disaster of Isringhausen/Wilson/Pulsipher proportions.
The Joba situation has been screwed up to the point where he doesn't go deep into starts and there is no depth in the bullpen when he comes out.
He took a team that was old and bloated and transformed them into a team that is disconnected.
All this while playing to empty seats in their new Coors Field in the Bronx.
I know I am a Red Sox fan and I am going to get a lot of hate e mails from Yankee fans for this post. But a lot of bad things have happened on Cashman's watch... and the biggest moves have come from the opening of the Steinbrenner wallet.
Honestly, can any Yankee fan look me in the eye and say they are better now than they were in 2005?
I'm not saying he should be fired.
I'm not saying that Joe Girardi is without blame.
All I am saying is for the first time in a long long time, I am not dismissive of people who think he should be gone.
When my wife realized today that her loving and caring and faithful husband was going to be spending the bulk of his Saturday afternoon watching the Red Sox and the Yankees... she decided to put the time to good use.
She gave me a box. Inside the box was a metal space saver she bought for the bathroom. Basically a shelf to put around the toilet.
Now anyone who knows me (and I would like to put my wife in this category) knows that my shelves get cluttered pretty quickly.
So naturally I want to have a shelf that if it gets cluttered and something falls off of it, it goes directly into the toilet.
The evening couldn't have been nicer. The wine was flowing. The house was lovely. There were lovely works of art being raffled off. Wonderful caring teachers there wanting to really get to know us parents.
The dinner was lovely and the mood was a sense of joy that our children can all take part in a warm environment.
All the while I was wandering around like Gollum searching for the ring.
My 2005 Samsung cell phone uploads internet info about 1 page every 15 minutes and I had poor reception as it was.
I found out that it was 4-2 in the 8th. Somewhere in my mind I conceded the game.
I then sat down and had a lovely conversation with the parents of my two boys' best friend.
Then I saw a guy walk in with a Red Sox uniform on. I reacted as if I were a castaway spotting a ship.
"Do you know what's happening in the game?" I asked him.
"Which game?" He replied.
I was now mistrusting him. "You a Sox fan?" I asked the man wearing a Red Sox uniform and cap.
"Oh no." He said. "I'm an Angels fan. I was coaching a little league team called the Red Sox."
DAMN YOU, REALISTIC BASEBALL UNIFORMS!
Unlike me, he had a cell phone that was made after Hurricane Katrina. He checked the score for me. It was 4-4 in the 9th. Now I had no idea that Jason Bay cracked a two out, two run bottom of the 9th homer off of Mariano Rivera. All I knew is they somehow tied it...
And I also knew that a classic Red Sox - Yankees game was going on while I was scarfing down brie.
I sat back down with my amazingly patient wife and continued talking.
Suddenly there was official business. New officers for the school board needed to be voted upon and awards needed to be handed out.
I got the game on my miserable little phone. The Yankees had second and third with two outs in the 10th. Papelbon had a full count on Teixeira.
And it stayed full for the next 15 minutes.
The page wouldn't refresh. A new President and Treasurer for my kids school was being voted upon. For all I know an embezzler could have been elected in the role of overseeing the money.
And... the count... remained... FULL!
My wife saw I was basically turning into Crispin Glover when she asked the father we were sitting next to if HE had a device that was more up to date than my phone.
I am going to a dinner thrown by the pre school my kids attend.
It's a great preschool. My kids love it. They've met a lot of terrific kids that they have become friendly with. The parents I've met have been great and under normal circumstances, I would be looking forward to this and getting to know lots of interesting people.
But let me apologize in advance to everyone.
I am going to be distracted. I am going to be checking my phone a lot.
I am going to be antsy.
There is a Red Sox/Yankees game going on during the dinner.
I can't help it. I HAVE to know each pitch. So if in the middle of a discussion about your career and where the best school districts are I suddenly blurt out "FRANCONA! TAKE HIM OUT!" or scream "YOOOOUK!!!!" when you tell me something painful and personal, let me just say I am so sorry.
You've invited a werewolf to your dinner and its a full moon.
1975 - CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Joe Morgan) defeats BOSTON RED SOX (MVP: Fred Lynn)
1976 - CINCINNATI REDS (MVP: Joe Morgan) defeats NEW YORK YANKEES (MVP: Thurman Munson)
1980 - PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (MVP: Mike Schmidt) defeats KANSAS CITY ROYALS (MVP: George Brett)
1988 - LOS ANGELES DODGERS (MVP: Kirk Gibson) defeats OAKLAND A'S (MVP: Jose Canseco)
I didn't get bored and stop. That's it!
It used to happen all of the time. I guess the voters for the award has always leaned towards the pennant winner and without divisions and rounds of post season play, each League champion would be well represented.
And these days you see the MVP awarded to players who didn't make the post season more and more. Last year Albert Pujols won it while his Cardinals played golf in October.
Since 1976, 7 AL MVPs and 12 NL MVPs were for teams that didn't even win their division. (I am not counting 1994 where there was no post season.)
But since 1977 it's happened two times? Not once in the 1990s or the 2000s?
Wouldn't it have happened by a fluke once or twice?
I wonder how many times Cy Young winners faced off?