Thursday, July 06, 2006

I really don't like posting twice on the same day. It provides yet one more conformation that I have no life. When I saw that LeBron had yet to agree on the extension with Cleveland I just had to get something up on that topic. I'm also sorry that I didn't provide many links for my wild speculations. It was just something that occurred to me, and I thought I should run with it. I think I might just be the first guy to get anything on the possibility (albeit a very slim one at best) that LeBron could one day wear a Celtics uniform.

This post has been in the works since last night, and now that we've put basketball aside for the moment, I can return to attacking the Red Sox for an evening (which is, after all, the stated purpose of this site). This has been quite a series down in Tampa. The local nine have dropped three straight to the lowly Devil Rays. Bob Ryan says it's too early to panic, and he's right. But it still has to hurt a bit, especially when someone like me throws a little salt in the wound.

The Devil Rays may be better than you think. Weird things can happen in the course of a long season like the catch Crawford made against Youkilis last night. But the Red Sox were red hot, winning 15 of 16 before they came to Tampa. They had, prior to this series, lost 4 of their last 6 in Tampa. But the Devil Rays are a last place team. Unless of course they win tonight and the Orioles lose to the White Sox (or as they'll be called on this site henceforth, the Real Sox).

The Sox seemed like they had good reason to feel optimistic entering this series, with Josh Beckett starting the first game and Schilling starting game 2. I bet no one would have thought that the last line of defense against a Tampa Bay sweep would be Tim Wakefield. Of course, no one expected that the mighty Red Sox lineup would be 2 hit by Scott Kazmir. Or that Big Schill would allow 3 home runs. But these things happen.

As for Big Schill himself, I'm still waiting for his response to Mitch Williams. I hate to link to the androidsdungeon so soon after the whole Dr. Who episode, but it was the first place where I found the reference to Mitch Williams calling Schilling out. Quite literally. After the blown save that blew the 1993 World Series, Wild Thing took issue with comments Big Schill made. According to him, Big Schill had best borrow some guts and meet the Wild Thing outside. I am not commenting on the truth of this story, necessarily. I like to take things like this with a grain of salt. I just bring it up to be a thorn in the side of Red Sox fans. And, lest we forget, they say a charge not answered is a charge believed. For what that's worth...

Carl Crawford quite literally stole the show last night. It's not every day that you see a guy steal home. In fact, it hasn't happened to the Sox since 2000. It was such big news, it even made it into a nice little featurette in the KC Star, where Crawford revealed that no one had pitched from the windup with him on 3rd base until Schilling did it 2 nights ago. Then Jason Johnson, he of the notorious ability to lose games, did it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Then there was the wacky play where Crawford caught a ball that Kevin Youkilis hit off a catwalk in the outfield (see the bottom of this piece for "keen" analysis). The Greek God of Walks screamed bloody murder that he should not have been called out. Unfortunately, according to the ground rules, he was out. Francona called it "putt-putt golf stuff" and said it had no place in baseball. I disagree. Crawford made one hell of a play on that ball. To break back and catch a ball fading away from you after it hit a catwalk is worthy of an out.

And for all you Red Sox fans, before you agree with Francona and lobby for rules changes in Tampa, ask yourself whether or not you'd agree with Carl Crawford being called out had it been him at the plate and Manny Ramirez made a catch like that in left field. From time to time, a little intellectual honesty is good for the soul (for those few Red Sox fans that have one). I doubt you'd rally for justice had the shoe been on the other foot.

Meanwhile, I address my parting shot at Kevin Youkilis. In a somewhat ironic gesture, he threw a tantrum at the call. Without the field being miked, it seems that he may have done a bit more to get himself ejected than Jorge Cantu did, but that's neither here nor there. Of late at Fenway, Youke has been coming to bat to the dulcet and underplayed tones of "Jump Around" by House of Pain. And, work with me here Red Sox fans (I'll try to use simple words and write slowly, lest you think too hard and sprain something), here's where we reach the ironic part.

In the intricately composed opus with which Youkilis gets himself in the hitting zone, there is this line: "I ain't goin' out like no punk b----." In my way of thinking that is ironic, since that is exactly how he went out after that call.

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