But strength rained down

He just doesn't care, the bastard!  (Is this where I should write "kidding"?)  Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

He just doesn't care, the bastard! (Is this where I should write "kidding"?) Photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor/sittingstill.net and used with permission.

I have to give a shout-out to my friend Beth, who not only trekked 140 miles (each way) this weekend to see Tim Wakefield pitch with the PawSox but who also clued me in to this article in today’s Pawtucket Times.  Terry Nau the “Sports Editor” over there entitled the piece “Red Sox should shut up and play baseball”.  Now you may ask yourself, “Are the Red Sox doing a lot of jawing and not much playing lately?”  And I hope you will tell yourself, “No, that’s pretty ridiculous.” if you’ve been paying attention.

Here’s how the piece begins:

When Kevin Youkilis returns from suspension and rejoins Boston’s lineup in Toronto on Tuesday night, his teammates ought to follow his example and play the game like they really care.

On Friday night, the Red Sox were down to their last out in the ninth inning and the Nation was ready to chalk up an L for the night. The team had other ideas and mounted a comeback that resulted in their winning the game. Granted, it was the only game they won in Texas this weekend but there wasn’t a player in the bunch who was playing like he didn’t care. The above quote is the writing of someone lazy who wants to jump on the media panic-bandwagon just to rile up the fans. “Your players don’t care! Why should you?”

Then there’s this gem:

The first incident came in the eighth inning of Friday night’s game as Boston trailed 4-2. J.D. Drew sidled over to manager Terry Francona and told him he wouldn’t be able to play the field in the bottom of the inning because his groin pull was hurting him. “Tito” went ballistic, asking Drew in colorful language who he expected him to put in right field. So the laconic Drew strapped it up, went back in the field, and finished off Boston’s amazing comeback with a ninth-inning homer that provided insurance in an 8-4 victory.

Now, according to the Boston Globe’s Adam Kilgore:

“I said, ‘Look at the the scorecard. You have to,’ ” Francona said. “We already put a pitcher into run. That’s all we got to do, put somebody out in [expletive] right. It would have been like a circus.”

I don’t doubt for a moment that Tito wasn’t happy. But Nau makes the exchange seem like he dressed Drew down where Kilgore’s account makes it seem like Francona acted like a manager and basically said “Do what I say”. It might be nitpicking, but Nau’s version is written specifically to get the “Nancy Drew” crowd all up in arms about how Drew doesn’t care, has no passion, blah blah blah. In the line following the above quote, Nau goes on to write that Drew’s injury is “obviously real”. Yeah, imagine that. Someone who was hurt thought maybe he wouldn’t be able to play. The nerve of some people.

Nau also calls out Brian Anderson for not having an excuse for what happened on the play where he and Jacoby were going for a ball and Anderson just pulled up.  This was another example of “passionless” play.  Isn’t it possible Anderson, just called up, had a brain fart and did something stupid?  Does there have to be a “reason” and if there isn’t one that means he has no passion?  This entire piece is just full of ridiculousness.

But the cream in the coffee that is this article is this:

With all the roster moves Boston has made due to injuries and trades over the past few weeks, a certain lack of cohesion has developed among the players. Mike Lowell doesn’t know when he’s going to be in the lineup. David Ortiz blames the media for his problems. Brad Penny allows six stolen bases for the second time this season and talks after the game about paying closer attention to runners.
It’s time for the Red Sox to stop complaining about umpires, beanballs and the media and just play some baseball.

To put it plainly, that paragraph is bullshit. Ortiz isn’t blaming the media for his troubles. He just called the Boston sports media out for so quickly jumping in the fray to crucify him after they have known him all these years (his words) – and I agree with him. Mike Lowell is a professional and knows that with his physical issues there are going to be times he won’t be playing and Brad Penny fessed up to not being on his game as far as runners are concerned – personally, that he’s copping to it is, to me, a positive.

As far as this:

It’s time for the Red Sox to stop complaining about umpires, beanballs and the media and just play some baseball.

Can this CHB wannabe tell me that the Red Sox have “complained” more about any of these things than any other team? And the “…just play some baseball” always makes me want to punch someone. What are they doing out there if not playing baseball? Again, the tool of a lazy person who can’t be bothered to write something original.

Listen, I get that the Sox have played more bad ball than good since the All Star break.  I get that people are frustrated.  Hell, I spent many a moment, this weekend, yelling at the television.  But the Sox aren’t in the cellar, they’re 7.5 out of the division race and a half game…one half game…out of the wild card race.  I’m sorry, random members of the New England sports media, that I’m not ripping out chunks of my hair or spitting nails right now, but writing crap like what was printed in the Pawtucket Times isn’t going to make me start freaking out.

And I have no issue with people who want to criticize the team.  Let me get that out there.  Write about Jason Varitek’s inability to throw anyone out.  Write about how the team has had more shortstops than Murphy Brown had secretaries (that was for CHB!  A reference that still might be too new for him!).  Write about Tito’s inability to sit his veteran guys because of his loyalty to them.  Criticize the team for legitimate reasons – not this crap you make up just to get people mad at the players.

Ever since I started blogging in 2005, I pay much more attention to the Boston sports writers than I probably should.  Most of the time it’s because I like to write about something others aren’t writing about so I make the rounds through the sports writers and blogs before I write my own blog.  Invariably, that gets me to reading something that gets my hackles up (although today I missed this – luckily Beth didn’t!).  It isn’t that I go looking for pieces to rip apart but I’m just amazed at how horribly negative the media seems to consistently be on purpose.  They aren’t negative because the situations call for it – it’s almost as if they’re negative because they can’t stand that the fans no longer are.

Yesterday, after the game, Amalie Benjamin tweeted this:

Bay (kidding): “We should probably just pack up the season and call it a year, huh? Half game back, might as well fold the tent.”

See, Jason Bay is the anti-Josh Beckett.   No curse words, no eye rolling…but his point is made just the same as if Beckett had barked it at the reporters.  While a part of me would have reveled in Bay yelling “Are you fucking shitting me with these questions about it being the end of the season?”  I’m even more pleased that he handled it the way he did.  Of course, his tone was lost on the reporters.  Did Amalie really think she had to note that he was kidding?  Only the reporters would have interpreted that as being a serious statement.  I can see the headlines now “Bay gives up on season – focuses on free agency!”.  Must have been a bummer for the Globe that they couldn’t write that.

Since I spent the entire piece ripping on the media, let’s finish up with something positive.  A comment was made in my entry from yesterday about Penny giving Heidi Watney the Josh Beckett “Already answered that” snark.  Someone left a comment and used the name “someone who knows”.  Based on a little research, I’m inclined to believe that this person DOES know, so in case you missed it I’ll share the comment here:

Take it from someone who knows, as most viewers know, Heidi Watney does a one-on-one interview with Terry Francona after Terry meets with the writers post-game.

While Heidi is in the manager’s office, the writers go to the game’s starting pitcher and begin asking questions. So by the time Heidi has completed her three question interview with Terry, often times the starting pitcher has already answered some questions that Heidi may ask…thus explains the Beckett and Penny situations.

As I wrote in response to the comment, this makes perfect sense.  And since I’m trying to turn over a new leaf in regard to Heidi, I’m willing to say that the situations are less about her incompetency at her job and more about the crankiness of Messrs Beckett and Penny.  Thanks for the insight “SWK”.

Day off today will probably do everyone good.  Tuesday in Toronto brings us Josh Beckett v Ricky Romero.  Be on the lookout for the post-game interviews where Heidi will invariably show up late and Beckett might bite her face off.

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