Scarlet Fever

A teenage girl's perspective on the Red Sox and everything else.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Roger, Part III

Forgive me for my amplitude of Roger posts, but he just keeps feeding me lines to enforce my negativity towards him. He's basically pleading with me to bash him. In an attempt to rationalize his narcisism, Clemens explained that "From what I understand, all three teams want to see where they are as far as their rotation ... and how their pitching lines up." Because, you know, it's easier to do that when you're not sure whether or not Roger will be part of your rotation. That simplifies the process a ton, right, Roger? But, as he reiterates, "Not a one of them wanted an April or May [deal] anyways." How ludacris. That would actually allow them to get a grasp on their ENTIRE pitching rotation rather than four starters and a question mark. Newsflash, Rog. Despite what goes on in that vain little head of yours, not everyone's just going to wait around for you. There ARE other pitchers out there, pitchers who start the season on time, pitchers who have to battle for a spot in the rotation, pitchers who work their butts off during the winter to be in great shape when the season starts. But maybe I'm forgetting how hard Roger's life really is. How hard he works. How much he has to endure. Suddenly on a woe-is-me tangent, he explains that "the thing that's been misconstrued quite a bit is that I have a deal in Houston where I pitch and then don't show up." Where would anyone get that crazy idea? Huh? Maybe from, um, evidence that it's true? Honestly, you play a game for a living and you make millions for a fraction of a season. You only play every five days, and you aren't even with the team when you're not pitching. I couldn't think of a more ideal lifestyle. And you're just SO beloved that you "ended up with some 50 odd-some people outside my gate begging me to play." Isn't that lovely. He really does think that the whole world is ready to bow down to him.
Roger Clemens makes me sick. He gets pleasure out of it. I could practically prove that everything he says is designed to disgust me personally.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hot Coco

You may or may not be aware that I love Coco Crisp. Despite his having a disappointing season last year, I'm still finding myself optimistic about this season. I feel like this year is somewhat his first year here, because last year really wasn't a fair chance. He explains that, "It's hard enough to play this game being 100 percent with 10 fingers, let alone minus one. So hopefully, I'll be able to stay healthy for once, a whole season. That would be a good feat for me this year." Spring Training numbers don't really faze me, either. His current average is only .190, but preseason stats mean nothing. I always start off my softball season a little slow, and I think that helps me empathize with struggling players. With a season in Boston under his belt and a different group of newcomers getting all the attention, "This year [I feel like] I've been there before and I know that role, so I just go in there and let [Lugo] do his thing, and maybe move him over so the big guys can get him in," Crisp said, referring to his new, lower place in the lineup. "It's the exact opposite of last year, where I was trying to get to second base. But I'm going to try and be the same way and try to get to second base, too."
I think that he's getting more used to the the pressure that comes with a Red Sox uniform. Asked if he feels the need to prove his ability to the fans, he responded, "Nah, I'll just go out there and play my game," Crisp said. "I was injured last year. This year, [I want to] stay healthy and hopefully put up better numbers." And that's good. He's more relaxed. Feeling the need to prove yourself every at-bat is a recipe for failure. Rehabbing for the majority of last year was "frustrating, and it was frustrating the year before that trying to bounce back from an injury."
This year, promise me you'll give him a clean slate. He had a rough year, and it wasn't his fault. The least he deserves is a second chance, and I know that he can prove himself.

Also, I just wanted to point out, Jacoby Ellsbury and I would have the fastest kids ever. 'Cause he's a rocket, and I led my team in stolen bases last year. Our kids would be amazing.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Yo Ped Lu Lo Va?

On Saturday the thermometer in my kitchen read 55 degrees, and the sun was shining. It seemed that spring was in the air as my mom and I headed outdoors to work on my fielding for softball on the muddy ground, still covered with patches of snow. After a few minutes of warm-up tosses, my mom started rolling me hard grounders. On one of them, I charged the ball well and quickly got rid of it. Hearing the smack of my well-placed throw in her glove, my mom said happily, "Yay, Mike Lowell." The next grounder I scooped up and, in a failing effort to make an even quicker throw, I airmailed it over my mom's head. "Yay, Julio Lugo," I cracked.
I love Lugo's energy, speed, hitting, and attitude towards the game. I'm happy we got him and I think his hitting is certainly an upgrade to Gonzo's. Terry Francona shares my excitement that "He has a lot of energy, a lot of good energy. When he is sitting on the bench, it can get a little bit infectious, which is good.” But I'm still feeling a bit of postpartum depression after letting the Reds claim our human vaccuum. I loved having the Major League's best defense last year and I loved the confidence it gave our pitchers. The spectacular Mike Lowell will still patrol third base, the athletic Youk will remain the ball-picker at first, and Pedroia in his short stint in the bigs has shown some solid defense as well. It's no understatement to call Lugo the weak link, and when shortstop is the position that gets the most balls, that's kind of a problem. Not that I don't think Lugo's offense can make up for it, but I just miss watching the phenominal athletics of Gonzalez on a daily basis.
The good news is that Lugo's working hard at improvement. The bad news is that it's going to take a loooong time for the changes to become instinct. His inconsistencies can be partially attributed to his lack of balance while throwing. Lugo acknowledges that "It’s got to be where I’m automatic, where I just react, but it’s going to take me a little while . . . It takes a little time because I’ve been throwing a different way my whole career."
Well, however long it takes, I guess.

On another note, aren't these just the cutest pictures of Ortiz' son D'Angelo playing with his dad and Youk?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Bend it Like Beckett

So I'm sitting here in my Red Sox PJ pants, wearing my Papelbon tee shirt, and hugging my Sox pillow. Basically I'm the happiest little thing alive. Baseball is back. Even if it's only in annoying one-hour blocks, it's back on my TV and Scarlet Fever has taken me over once again. A new season, a clean slate -- anything could happen.
I figured I'd write something about someone other than Dice-K. Because seriously, love the guy to death, but there are other players on our team. And I love them to death too. So today's topic is Josh Beckett.
Now, I'm naturally an optimistic person anyways, but I'm predicting a spectacular season from Beckett. The season we all expected last year. I mean, he has a World Series MVP under his belt; we all know the story. Someone that good doesn't just implode. Last year was a struggle for him, and he's the first to admit it, but it was a learning experience too. He notes that "there's things that you want to work on every spring. For me, it starts with throwing offspeed pitches for strikes, which I did pretty well today. I've been throwing curveballs for probably a little over a month now, even though it was all [on] flat ground. It was something I really wanted to work on this spring, and so far, mission accomplished."
We cannot forget that he's only 26; he has several years to go until he even reaches his prime. In his first start of Spring Training, he dominated. Of his 18 pitches, 21 were strikes, and of the six outs he enduced, five were by way of the K. Pitching BP went well too; according to Francona, Beckett looked "phenomenal"; the skipper noted that "his fastball was down, exploding through the zone. He threw the ball very wall." And though Beckett's main goal this spring is to vary his pitches, don't worry about him forgetting his fastball: "He's a fastball pitcher," assures Francona. "If he commands his fastball down and up when he wants to, it will be amazing how that breaking ball will be more effective also."
After last year's mediocrity (I think I made that word up), Beckett has been all but forgotten. With all the buzz surrounding Matsuzaka it has been easy for the rest of the team to avoid the limelight. I'll be very surprised if Beckett doesn't bounce back. Without the added pressure he faced last year, he'll excel. He's a competitor, and competition runs in the veins of Red Sox Nation.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Introducing My New Crush

Jacoby Ellsbury! I've heard his name tossed around for a while now, but I have to admit, I decided to do my research on him because I saw him in last night's game and I thought he was cute.
Nonetheless, what I found out really impressed me. My girl instincts have really worked out for me. Last time it was Grady (who, by the way, is amazing) that I researched because of his cuteness. I'm thinking maybe there's some kind of connection. (Just kidding, of course, I know looks have nothing to do with it and plenty of my baseball loves are not quite so genetically gifted).

So anyways, Ellsbury was born in Oregon in 1983, which makes him 23 (hey, only 8 years older than me... it could work.) In high school he lettered and excelled in five sports (How is that even possible? There's only three seasons. He's amazing.) He went to Oregon State University and was drafted 23rd overall by Boston in 2005. He has frequently been compared to Johnny Damon, baseball-wise (As a player that's great. As a traitor, not so much.) He's an extremely fast runner with great baserunning ability, and is projected to be a leadoff hitter because he's very good at getting himself on base. Though he has the arm and ability to play any outfield position, the Sox are planning to use him in center, as early as 2008. And according to, he lives to play baseball.
He's still learning. I don't expect to see him this season. But when he does break into the big leagues, expect him to make an impact. And expect me to be very, very happy.
Isn't baseball great?