Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happy Hump Day!

The Sox finally got over the hump! For the first time this season, the Sox have a winning record. The monkey is gone. Now we can all just focus on the fact that the Sox sit a mere 3.5 games out of first place.

As I alluded to yesterday, they certainly didn’t make it easy on themselves trying to get over .500 by facing Justin Verlander. But, even that couldn’t stop them. It’s interesting that Verlander hinted at this possibility himself. I’m sure he was just being modest and PC. But, before the game he said he didn’t think he’d be able to dominate the Sox like he did on Opening Day. Then he goes out and gets lit up. Coincidence? Does he know something we don’t? Or did he just know that the Sox are a damn fine team, and he should expect to take his lumps every now and then? I know if Pedro had made the same comments, and then had the same performance, I’d be wondering what was wrong with his shoulder.

I should also mention a fine job by Daniel Bard. Sure there were more home runs than I like. But, he shut down a pretty good offense and gave the Sox a chance. When you’re facing Verlander, that’s all you need your pitcher to do. Keep the other team low enough to allow the offense to do its work. A great game to build on from here.

Two more games against Detroit. Their ace is out of the way, and ours is coming up. You have to like the Sox chances of winning the homestand at this point. From there, who knows?

It’s a lot of fun.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Frustration with the Internet

I wasn’t watching the Sox game yesterday. I wasn’t listening to it on the radio either. I did, however, have the box score going from Yahoo! Sports. That’s a decent way to follow the game play-by-play, inning by inning. Unless something drastic happens. For instance the words “Nick Punto replaces Dustin Pedroia at second” popping up on the screen. What? Huh? It’s the sixth inning! That’s NOT good. What happened? Why did it happen? What does it mean? Information? Anywhere? Nope. Just Punto replacing Pedroia. ARGHH!

Other than that annoyance the game went well for the Sox. (I know, other than that iceberg, the Titanic had a nice cruise.)The got hits when they needed them. The pitching got them through. I’m interested to know why Aceves was in there on a consecutive day with a big lead. But, I’m sure there was a halfway decent reason for it. Would have been nice if he didn’t give up another two run homer, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

So, the Sox go back to the .500 mark. They seem to be visiting that level with some regularity lately. The good news from that is that they apparently haven’t had long losing streaks. The flipside, of course, is that they haven’t had any long winning streaks. It would be nice if they could get over that hump finally. Not for any specific reason related to the season. Even at the break-even point, they are only 4.5 games back with four month to go. I think they can make that up. But, I’m tired of reading that they haven’t had a winning record yet this season. Just let them slide over so those stories can stop.

Of course, they could have found an easier person to do that against than Justin Verlander. On paper, this does not look good for the Sox. They’re a good offense, though. Maybe they can put up a couple runs. The Tigers didn’t exactly beat up on Doubront yesterday. So, maybe Bard will have the chance to hold them within reason. A 4-3 win wouldn’t be a crazy result.

Or, the Sox will have to wait until Thursday to have a winning record.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Red Sox Walk off With a Win!

Just kidding, Jere, I know it's the Rays who actually walked off. But, the Sox pulled it out!

It's weird. Halfway through the game, this post was going to be about Josh Beckett. After five innings, he had thrown something like 14 balls. Less than three an inning. then the Sox gave him the lead, and he was going to be cruising to a victory. Then he had that rough inning.

How great is it, by the way, that in his rough inning he gave up 2 runs. That's now a rough inning for Josh Beckett. Fantastic.

But, of course, I'm not talking about Beckett cruising to a victory. Rather, I'm talking about an amazing comeback. Once again, the Sox prove that no closer is invincible. They show the ability to come back in a game. They show that they apparently own the Rays.

The choice to play Adrian Gonzalez in right field made for an interesting decision in this game. I can't say I disapprove of any of the decisions. I was a little surprised that they had Adrian in right instead of left. But, I guess I understand not flipping him around all over the place. Play him where he's "used' to being. Then, when the Sox got the lead, there was a choice to make. Obviously, Gonzalez isn't the sharpest outfielder. So, you have a couple options. Replace him with a defensive star. That's what they did. They could have put the defensive outfielder in for Middlebrooks and shifted Youk over to third to make room for Gonzalez at first. The way Middlebrooks has been playing, and as rough as Gonzalez looked tonight I can't say that Will wasn't a better choice. It ended up being annoying when the Sox fell behind and ended up pinch hitting for their defensive replacement. Like I said, it didn't work out perfectly, but I can't say it was a bad call.

So, good for the Sox. A big win against a great opposing pitcher. They didn't waste a fantastic start from Beckett. Everything could have crumbled around them. Instead, everything ended up just the way you'd like it.

Back to .500!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Day Off!

Phew. I had forgotten what one of these was like. For the first time in three weeks, there is no Red Sox game today. It’s a nice time for a little break, so I hope everyone enjoys it.

The Sox just came off a winning road trip. They went 5-3 in Tampa, Philly, and Baltimore. I guess it’s up to you to decide if that’s better than a trip to Kansas City and Seattle. Baltimore is leading the division, although nobody actually considers them a first place team. Tampa is second in the East. While many people think they’re actually a second place team, I think they’re the most overrated team in the league. Philly is last place at the moment, but there’s a lot of talent over there. Beating up on Cliff Lee was a nice aspect of the trip. No matter what you think of the quality of the opponent, a 5-3 road trip is always welcomed.

The Sox have a nice weeklong homestand in front of them. They get to play Tampa again. They have done very well against the Rays this season. So, I see no reason for that not to continue. They follow that up with four against the Tigers. The Sox actually have a better record than the Tigers this season. But, they’re still a scary team. Going 4-3 during this stretch should be doable. It would also put the Sox above the .500 level entering June.

I can’t wait.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Filling Up the Bench

Voting is now open at FenwayPark100 to fill out the rest of the All Fenway Team. This time, you get to select the 12 bench players. The rules don’t say you need to split them up any specific way. So, let’s see who should be on the team. The players left to choose from are: Roger Clemens, Dom DiMaggio, Bobby Doerr, Dennis Eckersley, Bruce Hurst, Bill Lee, Jon Lester, Jim Lonborg, Mike Lowell, Frank Malzone, Trot Nixon, Johnny Pesky, Rico Petrocelli, Jerry Remy, Jim Rice, Reggie Smith, Bob Stanley, Luis Tiant, Mike Timlin, John Valentin, Jason Varitek, Mo Vaughn, Tim Wakefield, Carl Yastrzemski, and Kevin Youkilis.

That’s quite a list. How on earth am I going to whittle that down? Let’s make it easy, and start with the members of Baseball’s Hall of Fame. The fact that Bobby Doerr isn’t the starting second baseman is a crime. So, he needs to be on the bench. Jim Rice had the misfortune of playing the same position as Ted Williams. But, he’ll find a nice spot as a power hitter off the bench. The same goes for Carl Yastrzemski. He’d be the starting left fielder for almost any other team. On this team, he’s a super sub at left, first, and DH. So, that’s three votes. (I’ll get to Eck later.) Now, there are a couple players (other than Doerr) I would have put in the starting line-up. So, it’s an easy vote for Dom DiMaggio, Bob Stanley, and Jason Varitek. Now I have six votes. As for the other six?

I don’t have any starting pitchers on my bench. So, how about one of those. Unfortunately, the one that stands out is Clemens. I have to give it to him. I know Eck is in the Hall of Fame. But, he built that resume as a closer, and none of that was with the Red Sox. I don’t think I can put him on a Fenway team.

That puts my seven bench players at 1 SP, 1 RP, 1 IF, 1 OF, 2 OF-1B-DH, and 1 C. That’s actually pretty good variety. Let’s spread it out a bit more.

Another starting pitcher I’d give a slot to is Tim Wakefield. When you’re second in wins for the Sox, you need to be on the team, right? Another reliever? How about Mike Timlin? He was a key member of the pen for a long time. I think I want him back there. Another infielder. Let’s go with Rick Petrocelli. I could use some power on the bench from an infielder.

Two more. Another outfielder this time. Reggie Smith looks to be the best of the available outfielders. Let’s go with him. And whom am I missing? I’ll go with Kevin Youkilis simply because he can play first or third. Really, the only reason I’d replace a guy in this starting line-up is for defense. So, having Youk there is a nice option.

So, there you have it. Doerr, Rice, Yastrzemski, DiMaggio, Stanley, Varitek, Clemens, Wakefield, Timlin, Petrocelli, Smith, Youkilis. Wow. That would actually be one hell of a starting line-up for an all-time team. I bet that team would beat a lot of teams from other organizations. Seriously, look at that bench:

P – Clemens
C – Varitek
1B – Rice
2B – Doerr
3B – Youkilis
SS – Petrocelli
LF – Yaz
CF – DiMaggio
RF – Smith

Not bad at all.

Who is on your bench?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Oh My!

It happened again.

I was listening to the game last night against the Orioles. Clay Buchholz was cruising right along. Then, he ran into some trouble. Ok. I guess he walked into some trouble. A lot of trouble. The Sox gave him a two run lead. He not only coughed the lead up, but he provided a two run deficit.

I wasn’t crushed. It wasn’t mood altering. I didn’t one think “here we go.” Or, “we’re done now. They blew their chance.” I saw that there was still most of the game left, and the Sox still had time. It was a refreshing feeling. One that I’ve been felling more and more lately as I watch the games.

Sure, they’re only at .500 today. Bigger news? So are the Yankees. What more? In any of the other AL divisions, they’d be in second place. They’ve played even for a month and a half. But, they’re not hopeless. They’re not dysfunctional. They’ve won as many games as they’ve lost. They’ve beaten the top two teams in the division in the last week.

Things are looking up.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I guess I’m confused.

It might just be because I’m an AL fan. Like Pap says…I’m not so good with the smarts. But what is the appeal of having the pitcher bat? It’s not that I’m against it. If the pitcher wants to hit, that’s just fine. I just don’t see the need to protect it like it’s a quality of life thing. Watching a guy strike out or bunt isn’t exactly a key to my happiness.

Even with the weirdness of watching Josh Beckett run, the Sox had a fantastic weekend. They managed to win and tie a series on the road. Can’t ask for much more than that. Everything has been clicking lately. A bad pitching performance, like Bard’s last outing, feels like the exception. When I saw him walking all those hitters, I don’t think, “here we go again.” I was just disappointed. That’s huge.

Now the Sox travel to Baltimore. A series win would be huge here too. And, there’s no reason to think they can’t. After all, the Orioles won’t be in first all season. Might as well start the drop now.

The Sox have done what they hoped to do. They’ve had their struggles. They hung tight through them. Youkilis will be back any day now. No, he’s not the savior that Ellsbury would be. But, he’s better than the bench guys they have at the moment. That’s an improvement to a team that’s playing pretty well. I’ll take it. Assuming, of course, that his attitude doesn’t spiral things down again.

The Sox need a nice finish to the road trip, because the upcoming homestand isn’t a cakewalk.

Let’s bring back Fenway South.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What’s with the balks?

Why is every Red Sox pitcher balking like it’s going out of style? I can’t remember the last time I saw two balks called in a month. The Sox have already had two balks in a game…twice. What exactly is going on?

I’d be tempted to blame the pitching coach. But, really that’s a pretty basic thing for the pitchers to know. It would be like blaming the hitting coach if a player thinks he gets four strikes. So, what is it? Is it just a weird thing? Is it jitters? Is it confusion? Is it alien intervention?

Last night, of course, one of those balks sent a run home. In a 2-1 game, that run made a difference. I have no idea what would have happened without the balk. Maybe he would have scored anyway. But, it’s a pretty depressing way for an important run to score. Again, it’s not like it’s the first time it’s happened this year.

So the Sox drop to 3-2 against everyone’s darling. It’s certainly a game they could have won. Buchholz pitched fairly well. Again, the bullpen let in some inherited runners that make it look worse than it was. I know that he’s the guy who put the runners on. But, he’s still not the guy who let them score. It’s still a very strong run through the rotation for the Sox.

Hopefully they just start a new winning streak tonight!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hell Yeah, I Like Beer

And I'll do whatever I want on my off day.

And I'll throw seven shutout innungs.

And you can all stuff it.

Seems like as good a response as any, right? The thing is, Beckett doesn't care. Oh, he cares about the game. He wants to win. No, he doesn't care what anyone thinks. He doesn't care if you think he should golf or not. He doesn't care if you think he works out enough. He only cares about the seven shutout innings.

Which, by the way, is exactly what he should care about.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Are Things Looking Up?

Hard to say. I know I liked this weekend better than I did last weekend. That’s a good sign. But, anything specific?

Adrian Gonzalez looks like he’s feeling better at the plate. I see his name pop up a lot more with a crisp double, or RBI. If he can start his season this May like he did last May, that will be a great thing for the team. A fully functional Pedroia-Gonzalez-Ortiz makes for a pretty potent heart of the line-up.

The fact that people are wondering what to do with Youkilis when he comes back, is another great thing. That means that Will Middlebrooks is hitting well. It’s a nice problem to have. Obviously, when Youk comes back the job needs to be his, even if it’s just to see if he can play. I like to think that a healthy Youk will not be a drop in production. That adds a fourth solid bat to the line-up. The offense is really looking pretty decent, considering it’s missing the top two guys in the order. When they get back, look out.

Now, the pitching. It could be better. I know, the understatement of the season. But, it was still promising this weekend. Beckett got blown up. I get it. He hadn’t pitched in ten days, or whatever it was. I’m not shocked that he came out a little flat. Buchholz was promising. I know it’s a bit like saying that he had a good game, except for all the runs he gave up. But, he pitched six really good innings. If the bullpen strands the runners he left, we’re all talking about a dominating performance by him. The bullpen didn’t, so we’re talking about Clay losing steam. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next time out. I thought the Bard performance was great. He was in a lot of trouble, but got out of it. I think that’s a big deal. He lets some innings get out of control, but not out of hand. When he needed to, he got the outs. Every pitcher is going to let some runners get on base. It’s what you do with them when they get there that counts the most.

The Sox have an interesting schedule. They have two more they should win against Seattle. Two in Tampa against a team they are 3-1 against this year. A trip to visit the equally disappointing Phillies. A trip to Baltimore. Then home against the Rays and somewhat confusing Tigers. Could be a big month. Could be crap.

It’ll be fun to find out!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

He Scored!

April 9, 2012

Here’s another scorecard that was submitted as an entry to my April contest. This one comes to us from Jim, over at The Phillies Room. I’ve looked one of his scorecards before, so let’s just dive right into this one.

A few things stand out right away. The penmanship is amazing. Second, he put the first and last names of the players in the game. Clearly, he has never scored a game involving Jarrod Saltalamacchia. (Maybe next weekend he’ll get a chance.) The other thing I notice is that he has himself an older version of the Section 36 scorecard. It’s nice to see the classics come back into style. Now, for the game itself.

The game notes section tells us something very important. This was the 2012 Phillies Home Opener. An exciting time, as the season begins anew. Which is why we can forgive Jim’s error at the top. The Phillies were hosting the Marlins in this game. I can understand why Jim’s first impulse was to start writing “Florida.” But, he recovered nicely with “Miami.”

I’m impressed that Jim managed to get the umpires listed on the card. I always miss those myself.

I mentioned this last time, but I like how he leaves the pitchers spot in one row. Even though there were six players in that spot, he leaves the scoring as if there were only one. He is clearly an NL fan used to having so many players in one spot. I’m alarmed that he maxed out the available spots for the ninth batter. Is six a common number of players in that slot? Is it a low number? I may have to think of a way to add more rows.

I’ve been talking a lot about the aspects of the card, and not so much about the game itself. The reason is twofold. First, I think how other people keep score is the most interesting part of getting someone else’s card. Second, I was sparing Jim from reliving the game too much. The Phillies didn’t do so well in this game. They managed only six hits, and their two runs were too little too late. Cole Hamels didn’t pitch terribly, especially for an early start. It was almost a quality start, and he was piling on the strikeouts. So, that was probably promising. I’m sure the fans enjoyed seeing new acquisition Jonathan Papelbon trot in from the bullpen. But, it wasn’t even close to a save situation. And, he promptly gave up a run. Oops.

So, thank you Jim for sharing this scorecard with all of us. It was great to relive the Phillies opener, even if they ended up losing the game 6-2.

And the scorecard shows us how it happened.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It Finally Happened

Well, it took a month and a half. But, I think last night was the first time Bobby Valentine made a move that I disagreed with. I don’t mean it’s the first time he made a move that didn’t work. But, this was the first time he made a move that not only wouldn’t I have made, but one that I don’t at least see why he did it. For instance, I might not have left some of the starters in quite as long as he has, but I can see where he had a reason. Last night, that wasn’t the case.

Why was Marlon Byrd bunting in the ninth inning?

Now, before you start going all “smallball vs. sabermetrics” on me, let me point out that I don’t generally work in absolutes. I know that most of the country likes the comfort of absolutes. That’s good for them. Eye test vs. computer program. Liberal vs. conservative. Pro choice vs. pro life. It’s one or the other. But, that’s really not the best way to look at things. Everything has situations that are good or bad fits.

I had high hopes for Bobby V when the EEIdiots asked him if he was a smallball guy. He answered that he was a baseball guy. I was quite pleased. But, then last night happened.

In the top of the ninth, the Sox were down a run. Lead-off guy gets a single. Next guy walks. Clearly Broxton is off a bit. He walked the tying run into scoring position with nobody out. It’s really those last two points that are important. The tying run is already in scoring position. Nobody is out. So, the Sox had three chances for somebody to get a hit off a pitcher who has already given up one in the inning. Then, Byrd squares around. But, Broxton is having a bit of trouble finding the plate. A foul bunt. A ball. Basically, Bobby is sitting in the dugout thinking, “I wish this guy would stop throwing balls so we can make an out.” Why? Why not give Byrd a chance? Maybe he’ll draw a walk and load the bases with nobody out. What the worst that can happen? A double play? That leaves the tying run at third with two out. (Which, by the way, is the exact situation the Sox ended up in later that inning) What if Byrd gets a hit? Tying run scores. What if he strikes out? Tying run is still in scoring position with one out.

But, the Sox bunted. That way the tying run could score on an out. Except, of course, that it didn’t. So, the Sox gave away an out for nothing.

Does the sac bunt have its place in the game? Sure. In fact, if the Sox had been one batter further in the line-up, it would have made more sense. Bunting a runner over for the top of the order makes more sense than setting up the ninth hitter. If the pitcher was throwing bullets to the point that a hit is out of the question, and even a flyball is a risky chance, that might be a good reason to bunt. There are certainly several factors that could have made that situation a place to lay down a bunt. Last night didn’t have them, though.

I’ve come to expect more from Bobby Valentine.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Managing Centerfield

Two more slots are open for voting for the All Fenway team. The current positions open at FenwayPark100 are centerfield and manager. Let’s get right into the discussion.

The candidates for All Fenway centerfielder are: Johnny Damon, Dom DiMaggio, Fred Lynn, Jimmy Piersall, Reggie Smith, and Tris Speaker. Once again, the fact that it is a “Fenway” team comes into play. I think it’s a fairly easy call to say that Tris Speaker is the best centerfielder in Red Sox history. All of the candidates are in the Red Sox Hall-of-Fame, other than Johnny Damon who is still active. Speaker, however, is the only one in Cooperstown. Even without that distinction, the numbers really speak for themselves. But…he only played four years in Fenway Park. That’s a really small period of time. Especially when you compare it to Dom DiMaggio’s eleven years patrolling the triangle. None of the other candidates measure up to Dom either. Damon also only played four year in Fenway. Fred Lynn, Reggie Smith, and Jimmy Piersall seven. DiMaggio was a great player too. Many think he’s the best player not in Cooperstown. So, for an All Fenway centerfielder, it has to be the Little Professor.

For the managers, we get to choose from Bill Carrigan, Joe Cronin, Terry Francona, Joe Morgan, Dick Williams, and Don Zimmer. I know who my heart wants…let’s see if the head agrees. Only three of the managers listed managed 1000 games with the Sox. That seems as good a place as any to make the first cut. Carrigan, Cronin, and Francona all topped that milestone. In those games, Bill Carrigan managed to a 0.494 winning percentage. Wow. How did he manage 1000 games sub-.500? Joe Cronin won 1071 games for the Sox, the all-time leader, and managed to a 0.539 clip. Pretty good. Terry Francona won 744 games, the second most all-time, and managed at a .574 clip. So, Francona was better for a shorter time. (Assuming that a better winning percentage means “better manager.” An assumption I admit I’m not totally comfortable with.) Francona also has those two championships. Let’s go for it and give the nod to Tito.

Who are you voting for?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It’s Funny Sometimes

Photo by Bryanne
It’s really what makes baseball so great. Adrian Gonzalez can’t get out of his own way at the plate on Sunday. He didn’t just go hitless over 17 innings. He struck out against the Orioles designated hitter representing the tying run in the bottom of the seventeenth. How did that affect him Monday night? In his first at bat he hit a single to drive in a run. Of course he did. Ain’t it grand?

Once again the Sox end a terrible homestand by starting off a road trip on the right foot. Playing in Kansas City certainly helped. But, it’s nice to get things rolling again. Just need to keep it moving from here.

I really don’t want to mention the homestand. A 1-5 hosting of the Athletics and Orioles wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. But, it’s over now. We’re even closer to getting the injured players back in the line-up. We’re realizing that maybe Kevin Youkilis really is expendable…if anyone will take him. The bullpen pulled things together by having a great stretch of games. It’ll be nice if that continues for quite some time. So, the games in Fenway did bring good points.

The other good thing about the homestand? It allowed lots of people to take and send in pictures from section 36. I’ll add them to the Pix from 36 page as we go along. So, go and check it out. There are some good ones going up, including several from frequent contributor Bryanne. Her pictures are always welcome here. If you have any pictures from section 36, don’t forget to share them. And, if you’re going to any games this season, head over to centerfield and take some Pix from 36.

We all love to see them.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

TTM Response

My TTM request to Red Sox ace Jon Lester came back recently. I’m on the fence at the moment as to whether it was a success. Here’s what I got back.

I mentioned when I first got one of these responses back from a Sox player that I hoped it wasn’t becoming the standard response. This now makes Tim Wakefield, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon and Jon Lester that have responded in this matter. It’s nice to get anything back, but it’s still a little cold.

I assume the signature is not real. I was fairly certain the others weren’t, so I have assumed this one isn’t as well. Frankly, the sig on the picture and the letter are a bit too identical. It’s a nice card, though, featuring a picture from the end of Lester’s no-hitter. That’s a great touch. Jere should be happy, too, since they used the new logo on the picture.

The letter is fun too. I noticed when I got the Papelbon letter that it definitely seemed to come from him, as opposed to the Wakefield version. Whether they actually helped write it or not, the Pap version used “awesome” more than the others…just like you’d expect. Again, Lester’s letter seems a bit specific to Jon. Especially the part about making us proud.

So, whether it’s a “success” or not, it’s a great and welcome addition to the collection.

Thanks Jon Lester!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Red Sox 1-36: 8 is for…

Retired number 8

Carl Yastrzemski. Yaz. There’s probably not a lot I can say about this Hall of Famer that hasn’t already been said. He’s clearly one of the best players in Red Sox history, as well as the game itself.

I’m too young to really remember Yaz. My only recollection of him, as I’ve probably said before, is of that guy on the team who looked really old. I’m guessing I saw him play once live. I have a scorebook from the 1983 season, but can’t be sure he actually played in the game I attended. I should probably try and figure out the exact date. I may need to add him to my “seen live” list. But, that’s my only connection to him as a player.

Since he’s retired, I’ve seen him at Fenway a few times. At the All-Century presentation at the 1999 ASG. He got to help raise the World Championship banner on Opening Day 2005. He threw out the first pitch last year. That’s about it. My second trip to Cooperstown was during the year he was inducted. (Oddly, I’ve been to Cooperstown three times, and coincidentally a Red Sox player has been inducted during each year)

That’s apparently just the way he likes it. For such a great player, who could be so much more beloved, he likes to stay out of the spotlight. That’s certainly his prerogative. If he doesn’t want to be paraded all over the place every three months, I can’t blame him. But it’s also the reason I’m having trouble coming up with much of a spark for this entry. That’s too bad. I should have stories flowing all over the place about such a wonderful player. Alas, that’s not the case.

8 is for Number 8, Carl Yastrzemski.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April’s Winner Is…

First, a big thank you to everyone who submitted a scorecard to April’s contest. I appreciate all the effort. Let’s start by giving everyone a big round of applause. Done? OK. Now, onto the good stuff. After a random drawing, the winner is loyal reader Don. Congratulations! I’ll get your prize off to you as soon as I can.

Let’s take this opportunity to have a look at Don’s completed scorecard. He was nice enough to supply both sides of the card. I’m going to focus on the Red Sox side because, frankly, it’s more fun. Here it is.

First, I probably should have docked Don a few points for submitting a Red Sox loss. But, that’s the way it goes sometimes. As you can see, this card scores the 2012 Opening Day game at Comerica Park. This was the start of the little opening skid for the Sox. But, how was the scoring? It looks like a great job. The first thing I notice is that Don tracked balls and strikes. I admire the dedication there. That’s something I just can’t get myself to follow through with. I’m also pretty depressed right from the top when I see Ellsbury in the lead-off spot where he belongs. I can’t wait until he’s back in there. I see that Don used the boxes in the lower left corner of the squares to make the H/E scoring decision. That’s a nice idea.

I notice that in the first inning that Ellsbury’s out is denoted by a small “7” about in the position where the left fielder would play. The “4” in Pedroia’s box is also precisely placed. I wonder if that is intentional, or not. I notice that doesn’t hold true for Ross in the seventh. So, it might be a weird coincidence. Don also managed to get all the umpires listed. Another great job by him! Overall, a fantastic card. I’m glad to be able to share it.

Thanks again to everyone who entered. I’ll share some of the other entries at some point so we can all enjoy them. And, if you didn’t win this time, keep your eyes open for other contests as we celebrate Fenway’s 100th Birthday and the wonderful 1912 season!

Congratulations Don!

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