A much better weekend. I approve.
Jon Lester, when he is on, is as good or better than anyone in the league, and that really is no exaggeration. Josh Beckett, however, is still considered the "ace" of the staff...but let's be honest here, folks. As good as Beckett has shown he is capable of being, he will never be Pedro-a dominating, intimidating presence, and that inconsistency leads to things like the four-run inning on Saturday. He's now 29 years old, in his tenth season in the bigs. I'm not sure we'll ever see another 2007 out of him.
We haven't missed much out of the cleanup spot-I expect to see dreadlocks and Spanish coming out of Youk any day now. What we have missed is production from the third spot. The top of the order is starting to warm up a little bit, but if Ortiz continues to whiff every time he goes up there, it won't matter much. Ellsbury can't steal home every time he gets on base. He needs someone to drive him in. Good karma to Papi, folks. He needs us.
Speaking of Manny-and we were, sort of-I have to say I was a bit surprised to see #24 on Takashi Saito yesterday. Yes, I know it's not new, I just hadn't noticed it before. Riddle me this, folks: Who accomplished more for the Red Sox during their tenure, Manny Ramirez or Roger Clemens? Who was the World Series MVP? They both left the team under ugly circumstances. So why is #21 still so jealously guarded like the tape of a Bush torture session, but #24 gets thrown out to the first schlub who gets a five-dollar contract? I'm not necessarily advocating holding on to #24, but I find the incongruity annoying. Number 21's luster faded many years ago, it's owner an exposed fraud and liar, not to mention a class A, #1, gold-plated asshole. It's time for the team-and the fans-to extend their arms, open their hands, and let it go. If we can wash our hands of Manny so quickly, we can surely do the same of Clemens.
Another thing that annoyed me this weekend? I was watching the Yankee/Cleveland game Saturday (if you can call it a game-it looks like the rest of the league is catching up to what the Red Sox have always known about Wang, that he sucks) and Joe and Tim were focusing on Nick Swisher, saying he couldn't be smiling out on the field while his team was getting absolutely murdered in their own park. For Christ's sake, why not? Did someone's dog die out there? Is he being forced to watch Doocy and Carlson on a loop? (Talk about torture...) This is baseball, guys. It isn't as serious as cancer. It's not the end of the world. Part of what makes guys like Swisher fun (and I like Swisher, although I liked him more with the White Sox and A's than I do the Yankees, for true) is their ability to hang loose and have a good time no matter what's going on around them. The fans were interacting with him, making their own fun in a horrible game they looked forward to seeing and paid too much for. Why rip on him for responding, even if just by smiling? Not everybody is Derek Jeter, Stepford Yankee. Lighten up, folks.
Patriots' Day, game starts in an hour. Lucky for me, I get the day off and can watch the game! Another great reason to be from Maine...
Let's go for the SWWWWEEEEEEEPPPPP!!!!!!