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It's harrrrrrrd being a sox fan

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
but everyone knows that.

this angle, though, is different, as the sox are in anaheim to open the playoffs against the anaheim angels, who were the california angels when as a kid i'd hop on my bike, hit the bike path that parallels the santa ana "river," and arrive at the "Big A" in time to watch pre-game batting practice (still one of my favorite parts of attending a game, though it's difficult to do these days as stadiums seem to open their gates later).

i wasn't particularly an angel fan; i happened to bleed dodger blue back then, though i can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times i actually got up the 5 freeway to dodger stadium. (that was a big trip in those days.) i was happy as heck, though, when they finally won their division in 1979. until then, they'd been a pretty hapless team, led by nolan ryan, frank tanana and a bunch of guys that, most years, couldn't even play .500 ball. but they were orange county's team, dangit, and even if my loyalties were with the dodgers, it was nice to see the angels finally put together a playoff year for their cowboy owner, gene autry. (of course the best team they had prior to their world champions of 2002 was in 1986, the year the sox beat them, due in large part to a homerun by dave henderson off donnie moore that ended up leading that pitcher to commit suicide.)

one batting practice memory that stands out is one series the yankees came to town in 1978 (reg-GIE, reg-GIE, reg-GIE) and greg nettles hitting a ball into the right-field stands that i caught while leaning out around the foul pole. when i pulled the glove back in to retrieve the prize that rested on the webbing like ice cream hanging over the cone, some greedy bigger kid knocked it out of my glove and back onto the field. i'd lost my prize, or thought i had; but when i looked back to the field at the one that got away, who had picked up the ball and brought it back toward the stands but jim "catfish" hunter. i was pretty close to heaven when he reached the railing, caught my eye, and motioned me down to the field, where he pushed the ball through reaching hands and back into my glove, finishing it with a "nice catch." i remember how the huge tobacco chaw he had in his mouth pushed his cheek out to a degree i thought must've hurt. then he casually, ultra-coolly turned and went back to his foul line-to-foul line windsprints.

later, when i was in my own tobacco-chewing phase (lasting all of one week during my junior year in high school) i discovered that such a wad of chaw didn't hurt the stretched cheek but it wasn't fun at all if you swallowed any of that goop, which i did, the last time i chewed.

it's time for the sox/angels game to start. (my brother just called to let me know the dodgers are being spanked pretty hard by the cardinals in game one of their series.) it's going to be bittersweet watching angels pitching getting pounded by sox bats but that's how it has to be. they're just a little reddish bump in the way of a rematch with the @#$%%@#ing yankees.
post #2 of 9
Quit whining. It wasn't too bad today.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
the above assumes the yankees can get past the twinkees
post #4 of 9
Unless the Twins can start that pitcher from last night in the next four games, they're toast.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

(thanks for that soundbite, btw)

ny times

SPORTS OF THE TIMES Right Place for the Red Sox to Forge a New Identity

naheim, Calif.

I BELIEVE in omens and good-luck amulets, and also in the lure of California as a place of rejuvenation and reinvention.

The Boston Red Sox need to be rejuvenated and reinvented.

California could be good for Boston. This is where lives are remade and images recast, where even Pedro Martínez may be able to get his groove back.

California is where the Angels' Vladimir Guerrero emerged from the shadows of Montreal and let the baseball world see what he could do. Guerrero, a contender for most valuable player, propelled Anaheim to its first division title in 18 years.

So it's fitting that Boston has come west to confront once and for all the elusive goal of a World Series title.

Yesterday, the Red Sox pounded out 11 hits in a 9-3 victory over the Angels for a 1-0 lead in their five-game American League division series. A core of Red Sox fans celebrated in the aisles and directed derisive chants at the Yankees, who were set to play Minnesota on the opposite coast.

(Boston fans, you must stop behaving like this or the Red Sox will never escape their fate.)

Let's not reduce an excellent Anaheim team to background music for the Red Sox' World Series odyssey. The Angels are a resilient offensive team that climbed a pretty steep mountain to win the A.L. West. But they are the back story to Boston's agonizing chase through time. The Red Sox begin each season with three errands: catch the Yankees, reach the World Series and win the championship.

Laid-back California is the place to begin a more leisurely chase.

Before the Red Sox' last trip to the World Series, in 1986, they played the Angels in the American League Championship Series. Boston's starting pitcher in Game 1 at Fenway Park was Roger Clemens, a 24-year-old fire-breathing star.

An intriguing parallel was that Boston drafted a 19-year-old pitcher named Curt Schilling that year. Schilling spent the 1986 season with Elmira of the New York-Penn League, beginning a long, circuitous road that led him to Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia, Arizona and finally to Boston, where he has taken control of the Red Sox pitching staff.

Clemens, now 42, takes the mound for Houston today against Atlanta in a National League division series. Schilling pitched well yesterday when he had to, and the Red Sox made plays when they had to.

"We made the right pitch or we made the right play," Schilling said after the victory. "At this point in the season, you narrow your focus pitch to pitch."

We talk so much about Boston's frustrated pursuit of a World Series championship and how the franchise is haunted. But Boston isn't the only haunted franchise in this series.

When they met in 1986, the Angels had a 3-1 lead in the seven-game series and a 5-2 lead in the ninth inning of Game 5. But Bill Buckner singled, and Don Baylor homered with one out. With two outs, Angels reliever Gary Lucas hit Rich Gedman with a pitch, and Donnie Moore was brought in to face Dave Henderson. Moore came within a strike of clinching the pennant for Anaheim. But Henderson homered to give Boston 6-5 lead. The Red Sox eventually won by 7-6 in 11 innings, then took the next two games and reached the World Series.

There was a tragic postscript to that season. In June 1989, Moore was released by the Class AAA Omaha Royals. His agent filed a grievance saying Moore owed him $75,000 in commissions. In July 1989, Moore shot his wife, then killed himself in their suburban Anaheim home.

That's ancient history, but history factors so heavily in the Red Sox' pursuit of their first World Series title since 1918 that even the most minuscule nugget seems important. But history doesn't weigh so heavily here in California. That's good for Boston, whose history is like an anvil.

California has been cruel and kind to Boston. In 1988 and 1990, the Red Sox were swept by Oakland in the A.L. Championship Series. But in their division series last year, the Red Sox beat the Athletics by three games to two.

This may be the last chance for these Red Sox. Schilling is 37; Kevin Millar and Bill Mueller are 33; Martínez, Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek are 32.

They can't change the past, but the stars may be aligning right for the Red Sox. This time, history may finally be on Boston's side.
post #6 of 9
I'd say that about a team that hits into 5DPs and has 12LOB
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

some numbers

brad radke pitches next for the twins.

alex rodriguez is hitting .200 (8 for 40) career against radke
derek jeter, .182 (6 for 43)

posada, b. williams, olerud and lofton (hitting lefty vs. radke, a right-hander) have all done well against him, particularly olerud, .405 (15 for 37 with 3 HR).

radke may have a short day.
post #8 of 9
It's too late to post (after one week, you have to pay for online access to articles, and i'm too cheap), but did anyone see the NYT piece ten days ago that strongly suggested the Yankees would go after Pedro once his contract is up at the season end... particularly after his "the Yankees are my daddy" comment?
post #9 of 9
Santana didn't actually throw all that well last night. I think the Sox take the W. Series if the Yanks drop against the Twins. If they falter again tonight it's all over for yanks.

The year we break the curse??
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