Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tonight was a big confidence booster for the Red Sox. So what if the Rockies aren't any good, and so what that they lucked out in not facing Brandon Webb when they played the Diamondbacks. That doesn't mean that even though the Yankees won again tonight the Red Sox shouldn't feel super confident that they're on the right track again. One of Terry Francona's questionable moves worked, apparently proving that there is some truth to the old saying that even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time.

Francona dropped Julio Lugo to ninth in the order and batted Dustin Pedroia in the leadoff spot. It was inspired strategery on the part of Tito. After all, it energized the hell out of the Red Sox lineup. When you face the Colorado Rockies in your park and you hold them to one run while scoring two runs of your own, you are onto something.

What might be lost in a mad dash to pat the skipper on the back for this piece of brilliant maneuvering is the fact that the Red Sox have invested more than $12 million of the $143,123,714 the team will pay its players this season on two guys who were each supposed to replace Johnny Damon at the top of the order. And what do they have to show for it but two broken toys?

Coco Crisp is currently batting eighth, and hasn't been asked to hit in the top spot since last season. He is batting .225 and is on pace to get 130 hits and score 84 runs this season. There was a time when the expression all glove, no bat was all the rage in professional baseball. It's just not supposed to be a part of the sport's vernacular in the 21st century, not in the AL, anyway.

Julio Lugo just hit a double, stole a base and scored a run tonight. Apparently being dropped in the order woke him up to his obligations to the team. Prior to the game, Lugo was hitting .215 and on pace to get 139 hits and score 80 runs. Of course since the Sox acquired Lugo prior to the NFL introducing its new personal conduct policy, the Sox could turn a blind eye to any disturbing allegations of character issues from Lugo's past.

Damon's numbers might not be so impressive right now, hitting .260 and on pace to score only 92 runs. But unlike Crisp or Lugo, Damon is trending up right now. Over his last seven games, he's hitting .320. It is true that he makes more than the two combined, but even with nagging injuries, Damon is still batting leadoff and has helped spark the Yankees offensive surge over the last 10 days. Crisp and Lugo are still in a downward spiral, and (coincidentally?) so are the Red Sox.

It's just too bad that the Sox are playing the Rockies and the Giants in Fenway. There is so much that should be giving me hope, but with two comparatively weak opponents, the Red Sox have far more time to iron out the wrinkles in their lineup before they give back enough games to make my ill-advised prediction of the not-too-distant past come true.

Every now and then, I like to do some investigating into weighty matters. And every now and then in the course of these investigations, I find myself confronting a situation that baffles me. For instance, one can purchase citizenship in Red Sox Nation for an annual investment of $9.95. However, if one would like the become a citizen of RemDawg Nation, that dubious honor will cost you $19.95. It's a full ten dollars more expensive per annum to belong to the legion of minions associated with the team's announcer than it is to join the team's official legion of fans? That just doesn't make sense.

Apropos of nothing else I have discussed to this point, here is a link you absolutely have to read. I laughed hysterically for about 15 minutes as I read it. It is a collection of results of bizarre attempts to mail outlandish objects via the US Postal Service.

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