Sunday, April 4, 2010

"Lackey Money"

Ever since the middle of December when John Lackey (whose wife is from Maine, more on that later) signed with the Red Sox, every single media outlet has talked about how the money Josh Beckett will be looking for this offseason is going to use "Lackey Money" as a "starting point." While I did investigate last month that the pitchers are similar in more ways than just aggregate stats, it's still puzzling to me that a guy who has really only had one better-than-good year and quite a few underwhelming, injury-plagued, or flat-out bad years would "start" at being the highest-paid player on the team. (Insert Drew joke here.) The 36 home runs in 2006 is something that sticks out especially.

Beckett proved tonight that he's definitely worth that extra year, reminding me of how much I loved him back in 2003 when he fooled nobody, got hit hard every time he got hit, and got taken deep out of the park but did not go deep into the baseball game. When Scott Schoenweis takes the ball from the GRATE ROTAITION in the fifth inning, things aren't going too well. I'm going to try my best to listen to music only tomorrow because I don't want to hear about how Varitek should be his personal catcher.

Pedro's first pitch was a pleasant surprise. The Franchise asked me if Pedro's retired, and I said kind of but not really. I think it was Castiglione who said he came out from under the mango tree, which was probably the best line I've heard tonight, well, except for when my boy from Seattle told me he missed Beltre's 8 home runs and .208 average already.

Baseball season doesn't start until JD Drew takes a called third strike right down the middle and hits a weak ground ball to the right side in the same game. Baseball season started tonight.

NESN is giving me a few gems here tonight. Now, I have heard already that Michael Kay said that it was a great night in Baltimore tonight (and this was not being ironic about baseball seasons starting in the north), and I am happy that I am not getting instant fantasy stats from ESPN. But NESN's cracking me up in the following ways.

-They wasted no time talking about how Adrian Beltre was going to be a great pickup this year because of his 2004 stats. The first graphic they had on the screen during a Beltre at-bat this year detailed his 2004 stats. This is not made up, and this is more ridiculous than me judging Beckett solely on his 2006 performance in the first paragraph tonight.

-The commercial with John Lackey is stupid. As I said earlier, his wife is from Maine. Therefore, he has driven in rotaries before. He has probably driven on 128 before. It's pretty irresponsible.

-Also irresponsible is the fact that they are encouraging people to drink Bigelow Green Tea with the line "Francona's Favorite."

I had many conversations online and offline since Thursday night about whether the 37.5 blown saves figure is unreasonable for the 2010 Red Sox' bullpen. Tonight proved that it is not. I was typing a text message when it was 5-5 in the seventh. By the time I was done typing it, two Yankees were aboard with no outs. If the Red Sox had been up 6-5 and given up the two runs they gave up, that would be one blown save. The Pedroia home run would have put the Sox up 8-7. And Delcarmen hasn't even pitched yet. Delcarmen's inevitable four-pitch walk and subsequent double would be the second blown save of the night. They'd be on pace for 324 blown saves this year.

As I am running out of battery tonight, this post will be my first post of the season placed into the West Coast category. This is in honor of when night games on the West Coast were only covered until the 7th inning by newspapers back in the pre-Internet days. If the Yankees lose this game, expect something this afternoon from Pat. Between the Ho Train and Swisher, he should have something to write about.

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