Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sox Offense takes the day off against the A's

Thanks to some misinformation and an incorrect listing in my cable guide instead of watching the Red Sox play an exciting opening game against the A's to kick off the season on Tuesday morning, I had a good 4 hours of Mike and Mike in the morning recorded on my DVR and missed the slim Red Sox victory in extra innings. I managed to successfully avoid making the same mistake twice and woke up around 11 AM a few hours prior to class ready for some commercial free hours of baseball action. Unfortunately, all the action the Red Sox could provide this time was a Manny Ramirez solo homerun in the disappointing 5-1 loss to the A's.

John Lester had an unimpressive outing. He managed to avoid any serious mistakes prior to a bad 4 batter stretch in which he would give up a hit, a walk and then a 3 run homerun to Emil Brown that blew open the close game. Outside of that particular stretch I did not think that Lester's performance was poor, but nothing to write home about either. He looked stronger in the later innings, but was pulled after 4 for new reliever David Aardsma. Aardsma, Delcarmen, Corey and Lopez would all give solid performances with Corey giving up a late insurance run in the 8th inning.

The primary problem with the Red Sox was their complete lack of offense. Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Brandon Moss (Playing his second game in place of the injured JD Drew), and Jason Varitek would go without a hit in the game, as well as Sean Casey in his one Pinch Hit at bat for Moss.

There are some good signs and bad signs for the Red Sox from this season opening series.

Manny Ramirez is playing like it's a contract year (which it is) and provided 5 of the 7 RBI's the sox scored in this series.

Mike Lowell managed to have a good night going 2/4, not bad coupled with the 1/4 night he had in the previous game.

Julio Lugo seems to be starting the season off right going 3/6 in the series, drawing a walk and stealing a base.

JD Drew seems to be working through some minor back problems and did not start either game of this series.

David Ortiz did not look good in the Tokyo Dome despite impressive numbers against A's starter Rich Harden in the past. Ortiz was 0-7 in the series with two walks.

Jason Varitek also had a rough series going 0-8 with 6 strikeouts and no walks, the definition of an offensive black hole. It's a good thing 'Tek brings more to the table than his batting average.

Hopefully this will give the Red Sox some information to work with and begin to work out the kinks and be ready for the A's next Tuesday to resume their season.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Randy Moss signs 3-year $27 Million deal.

One of the most highly touted free agents this off season was Patriots WR Randy Moss. Moss had made numerous statements that he wished to return to the New England Patriots and indicated that he would likely take the hometown discount to make that happen, but with the tremendous disappointment at the Super Bowl and with no deal signed by the beginning of the free agency period rumors began to circulate that Moss was shopping around for a new deal and interested in reuniting with his former QB from his days on the Vikings Dante Culpepper. Fortunately, these rumors did not come to fruition and Moss will likely be finishing out his career in a Patriots uniform.

The $27 Million deal is nowhere near the bargain of the century the Patriots got for Randy's services for the 2007 season, where he signed a shorter deal for less money to become a patriot, but the deal is still a bargain given the eye-popping numbers Randy set last year. There are reports that other teams made better offers to Randy, but that the intangible factors of the Patriots organization is what brought him to accept less than his market value. The Patriots again showed their excellent ability to work under the salary cap by inking a quality veteran player for less than what other teams were offering. I guess winning is a great bargaining chip when you're speaking to potential players.

With Wes Welker and Moss anchoring the receiving corps it is likely that the Patriots will still have a potent offense for the 2008 season.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Time to let it go...

I took the Patriots losing the Super Bowl to Giants pretty hard. The most explosive offense in the NFL scored a whole six points less than their season low in the most important game of the season and Tom Brady couldn't work his magic in the remaining time left. The O-Line looked overwhelmed the whole game, Tom Brady seemed to be moving poorly and Eli's performance was the definition of adequate and thanks to some late heroics and the eye popping "helmet catch" we can all conveniently forget how ineffective Eli was for the vast majority of that game. Eli was given the MVP, but this was one of those MVP's where they couldn't single out one defensive player to give the award to because so many of the Giants D managed to step up and make big plays. But the Celtics have the best record in basketball and Sam Cassell joining the Celtics sometime today will give them some additional depth and experience that will be huge come playoff time. The Red Sox are back in Ft. Meyers and despite Curt Schilling's extended DL stint that will keep him out for at least a large chunk of the season there's alot of reason for optimism this season. The Patriots have had some folks pack up for greener contracts, such as Asante Samuel, but managed to ink Randy Moss for the next 3 years at a reasonable price and should be able to get great value for the 7th overall draft pick they'll receive from the 49ers.

There's still alot of optimism for Boston teams, can't let one big let down ruin everything.