It?s been a long time coming, but the Yankees are finally looking up at the American League East Boston Red Sox. A lot has happened in the past twelve years, a lot has changed in the past twelve years. A lot of great players have come and gone in that twelve-year span, some of which are still with this team and experiencing the glory of a division title for the first time in Boston.
Let me take you back to ?95 for a second. The last time the Red Sox won the division, Mo Vaughn was blasting home runs all over the place at an MVP pace, no one ever dreamed of seeing our beloved ?Rocket? Roger Clemens in a Yankee uniform, Jose Canseco was admired by Boston fans and Troy O?Leary was Mr. Clutch. Oh how things have changed.
The Red Sox have a lot of new faces on the ?07 squad, however they do have players that have been with this team through recent years. This team not only possesses players that never experienced a division title with Boston, this team has players that have never experienced a Wild Card with Boston. Also worth mentioning is that this team has players that have never experienced the postseason at all.
Although nowhere to be found during the celebration, Manny Ramirez has been with this team for the past seven seasons and has not experienced a Red Sox division championship. Our Captain Jason Varitek has been part of the squad since 1997 and doesn?t know what it feels like to be a division champion with the Olde Town Team. The only Red Sox player to ever taste division championship glory is Mr. Reliable himself, Tim Wakefield.
A lot of talent has put the Red Sox in a position to capture the division crown but have all come up short. The likes of Hall of Famer to be, Pedro Martinez has graced the Red Sox franchise with his services and although making the summer classic team four times in his seven-year stint with Boston, he was never able to get Boston over the hump.
A young phenom by the name of Nomar Garciaparra (remember him?) came up through the Red Sox system and quickly became the face of the Red Sox franchise. He was on a first name basis with Red Sox Nation since his very first at bat with the club. He reminded the great Ted Williams of Joe DiMaggio. Coming from the greatest hitter of all time to compare you to one of the greatest baseball players of all time, I?d say you?re quite the ball player and how about that, he plays for the Red Sox. With the hitting talent that nearly drove him to become the first player since Ted Williams himself to hit .400 in a season, Nomar never celebrated a Red Sox division title in his career.
As we are all well aware, you don?t have to win your respective division to be a World Series contender (cough 2004 cough) it means a lot to the fans and to the franchise that the Red Sox were finally able to bring the AL East division championship back home. The fans have been behind this team all season long and they all had the mindset of Division title or bust. Well, the Red sox did not let us down. Let?s just hope that they make not letting us down a trend all through the playoffs en route to their second World Championship in the past four years.
I would just like to say that no matter what happens, or who wins, I had the time of my life with this. I have learned so much and have gained so much experience because of this election. I will never understand why the media has nothing better to do than to trash the election and some of its candidates.
The election was meant to be fun, we know that we aren’t going to be above everyone else if we win. We were just in it to have a great time and that is exactly what we all did. It was hands down the most memorable experience of my entire life and I met a lot of amazing people because of it. All of the regular fans in this election got the chance to live out a dream, not much can top this experience.
You can’t say a bad thing about the candidates for Red Sox Nation President. Although some have found ways to talk negatively about some of the candidates, this group of people has done nothing but have a great time regardless of what others have to say. Everyone did a fantastic job at the debate, everyone had the mentality of "just be yourself" and because of that, all the candidates did an excellent job.
I hope to stay in touch with all the candidates because we all became friends during this process. We all supported each other, we all complimented each other, it didn’t feel like a competition at all. Regardless of who wins, I guarantee that the 9 that were left out will be more than happy to see whoever elected President. The voting begins Friday night through online vote, texting and mail.
I want to say thank you to all the Sox fans out there that have been supporting me and pushing me along the way. I’d also like to say thank you to everyone who worked hard to put this presidential race together, I had a blast and I hope you all enjoy the debate Friday night!
Red Sox fans can thank the boys from Toronto for a slight addition of breathing room as the Blue Jays defeated the Yankees 4-1 today in the Bronx. The Yankee loss increased the Red Sox lead in the AL East by a half game and lowered the Magic Number to clinch the division to 5. Boston now sits on top of the American League East by two games with six games remaining in the season.
The last week of the season should be some of the hardest played baseball you are going to see from the local nine. The Red Sox have clinched a playoff spot, but they still have a lot to fight for. Boston hopes to clinch their first division title since 1995.
The Red Sox are also battling the Cleveland Indians and the LA Angels of Anaheim for the best record in the American League. The Sox are in good shape for the remainder of the season as they cap things off with their last six games being played at home. Boston will host Oakland for two and then welcome the Minnesota Twins for a four game set.
Most of you are rushing to MLB.com to check to see when Johan Santana’s start is scheduled to be, I will do you the favor of saving you the time by informing you that Johan will not be pitching in this series against Boston. Johan is due to start Wednesday night for the series finale against Detroit.
Still no word on an official return for Manny Ramirez, but as far as Kevin Youkilis’ return manager Terry Francona said, "I’d love for him to play, but I would say, probably not.? The Boston Globe has reported that it is possible that Kevin Youkilis could remain out of action for the remainder of the regular season.
Curt Schilling will be on the hill Tuesday night against Oakland for the first time since his no-hit bid was broken up in the ninth inning with two outs. We don’t need a no-hitter from Schill, we just need a win. Win any way that you can, we don’t need a blow out, we don’t need a walk-off, we just need a win. The Red Sox are well aware that they are on the threshold of capturing their first division crown in over a decade, just win.
If today were opposite day, Al Reyes would be the most dominant closer the Red Sox have ever seen. However, it is not opposite day and the Red sox are going to the playoffs.
Red Sox fans far and wide were scoreboard watching all night due to the fact that if the Detroit Tigers fell to the Royals, a Red Sox win would secure a playoff spot for Boston. Although most of us Sox fans have been scoreboard watching since Opening Day, it is rare to find a professional baseball player glancing at the scoreboard in the late innings. Tonight was one of those nights where you could catch one of them taking a peak at the Tiger/Royals game.
Tonight’s contest started off promising as the Sox jumped out to an early 3-0 lead by the fourth inning. Many have noticed that Daisuke always has "that inning" in all of his outings. "That inning" is known to Sox fans as the inning that Matsuzaka hits a wall and falls out of sync with his pitches and his composure. The bottom of the fourth had Sox fans shaking their heads and believing that Daisuke’s inning had come sooner than they had hoped.
Matsuzaka managed to pitch his way out of the bottom of the fourth only giving up two runs yet putting the Devil Rays within one run. One of the hottest hitters on the team right now came up with one of the biggest (later proved to not be the biggest) hit of the night. The hot hitting JD Drew kept the Sox rolling in the top of the sixth inning by launching a no-doubter into the seats way out in right field scoring two.
In the bottom of the seventh with the score of 5-3 in Boston’s favor, lefty reliever Javier Lopez was called upon to get one out. It just so happens that this one out is by far the toughest out to get in the Devil Ray’s lineup. Heading into this at bat with 41 home runs on the season and having already homered earlier in the game, Haverhill’s own Carlos Pena stepped into the batters box with two men on. Lopez had seemed to have this at bat under his belt by getting ahead of Pena 0-2 but Pena battled back
Pena worked the count full with his selective eye and fouling off anything that was close until he got the pitch he wanted. Well, he got that pitch that he wanted and drove it deep to right-center field to put the Devil Rays on top 6-5. Carlos Pena’s 4 RBI on the night would make up much of Tampa Bay’s offense but it was not all that they needed to bury the surging Sox.
Boston was confident to be heading into the top of the ninth with the bottom of the order to start things off against the Devil Ray closer who had already blown multiple saves against Boston this season. The captain of a team doesn’t always have to be the best player on the team, but the captain always comes up in big situations such as the ninth inning, a home run ties it, and if you come back to win you are heading to the playoffs.
Jason Varitek began the inning by belting an opposite field home run that sent Tropicana field into a frenzy. If you closed your eyes, there’s no way you would believe the Red Sox were on the road. Keeping the momentum rolling, Eric Hinske, who has never played baseball in October, doubled to right field to keep the rally going.
Following a pop up to third base by Coco, former Tampa Bay Devil Ray Julio Lugo stepped in the box with a chance to put his team on top and into the playoffs. Home runs of the "no-doubter" genre must have been the thing to do tonight because Julio Lugo hit an absolute bomb to left field to put the Red Sox on top 8-6. Al Reyes watched the ball sail over the fence with disbelief that he has once again handed yet another game to the Boston Red Sox.
With the Magic Number to clinch the AL East down to 6, don’t think the Red Sox are going to start to take it easy just because they’re in. The players, the manager, the owners, the GM, they all want the division and they want it bad. Don’t expect to see the Paw Sox out there for the remainder of the regular season, expect to see the Boston Red Sox grinding out the remainder of the season with hopes of clinching the division for the first time since 1995. Congratulations to the 2007 Boston Red Sox but just know that your work is far from over, we want another one.
The Red Sox have just taken their annual September dive and many if not all of you are either reaching for that panic button or have smashed the panic button in half out of frustration. You may be under the impression that this team has packed it in and they are basically handing the Yankees the division crown. I for one do not see it that way. Every team has their slumps, it just so happens that our team has fallen victim to one of the most lethal slumps in recent history at the worst time possible. I just want to assure you that this team is certainly not ?giving up?. They are not ?settling for the Wild Card? either.
The Red Sox have been the front runners in the American League East for almost the entire 2007 campaign. The worst thing that could happen to this team is not the Yankees overtaking them to claim first place, it would be to lose the support of their fans. I have heard hundreds of fans throwing in the towel on this team, that to me is just not right. What is the point in supporting a team the whole way only to give up on them when they need you the most?
The season is 162 games for a reason, although Boston fans would love for the season to be 152 games at this point, what it means to be a true fan is to support your team through the good times and the bad. By supporting the Red Sox during times like this, it makes it even better to celebrate the good times knowing that you stuck it out with the Sox during the miserable slumps where it seemed that the Red Sox were down and out.
The goal for this team when they came charging through the gates entering the first game of the season was to win a World Series, regardless of how they got to that point, a championship is the ultimate goal for any ball club. The division crown is the point of entry to the playoffs that the Red Sox have desired since Opening Day. It would be bitter-sweet to win the Wild Card because yes the Red Sox would be postseason bound, but Boston feels that the Sox have earned the division championship. If the Red Sox want to enter the postseason as American League East Division champions, they have to start playing like champions.
Seeing a halfhearted jog to first base on a groundball from Manny Ramirez would not surprise me, but Julio Lugo? Come on. This guy is supposed to be one of the fire starters on this team. We know he isn?t going to belt 50 home runs a season like A-Rod so he has to cause havoc the best way he can, and that is on the base paths. You can?t steal bases and get into scoring position if you don?t hustle to first. I don?t know if he knows this, but he plays baseball and baseball is certainly one of those sports where anything can happen.
Let?s just all be thankful that the Sox are done with Toronto and on to Tampa. We need to forget about that sweep, it?s done, it?s over, there?s nothing we can do to change it. We are going to have nightmare series much like this one, but you have to have the Bill Belichick mentality of accepting what happened and moving on. Don?t get too high on wins and don?t get too low on losses, unless that win earns you a ring. Keep in mind that the Red Sox are still in first place and this race is all but over, the Red Sox are not ?out of it? in the least bit. This is the time of the year that they need us the most, so let?s tough it out as the Sox battle to take the East and clinch a postseason birth.
The marquee match-up of Curt Schilling and Roger Clemens, a combined 85 years of age, was just as advertised. The two heavyweight fighters both dug down deep to out-duel each other and when the smoke cleared their efforts had earned them a stalemate. That is until Derek Jeter stepped into the batter?s box in the top of the eighth inning. Prior to Jeter?s eighth inning at bat we were looking at a one to one ballgame, but what more could you expect with these two guys going at it in the middle of the Red Sox vs. Yankees rivalry?
Now I know exactly what you?re thinking right now, ?Why did Francona leave Schilling in that long??. Well, big Schill at the time had a pitch count in the high seventies to low eighties, this was not the fault of Francona in the least bit. With runners on second and third and first base open, the Red Sox elected to pitch to the dangerous contact hitting Derek Jeter. While Derek Jeter isn?t exactly a home run threat, he does have a flare for the dramatic and has a thing for clutch hitting against Boston. Schilling?s best option would have been to put Jeter on and take his chances with Bobby Abreu. The worst that could have happened would have been a base hit scoring two runs at most, thus making the third run scored off of Rivera in the bottom of the ninth a tie game.
The rubber match of the three game set against the New York Yankees got off to a great start as what seemed to be a night that Roger was going to take a licking from his former team. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the first with a fly ball to left that Johnny Damon found far too difficult to catch. The error put the speedy Ellsbury at first base with a chance to score on anything with his speed. Mike Lowell began his night of taking on the Yankees single-handedly by driving in Ellsbury to what seemingly began the process that was intended to shake up Clemens. But being the big game pitcher that he has been his entire career, the Rocket kept his composure and mowed down the Red Sox the rest of the way.
Mike Lowell had two hits off of Clemens tonight, which at the time were the only two hits that the Red Sox had in the entire game. When Schilling went out for the eighth inning something just didn?t feel right to me. The crowd was not as energetic as they had been in previous innings, almost as if to say ?alright we got 7 strong out of him, why are we risking an eighth inning here with the best bullpen in baseball??. As I mentioned previously, it would have made more sense to put Jeter on in that situation. It would have put the double play ball back into effect and taken the bat right out of the clutch hitting Yankee captain?s hands. Schilling?s final pitch of the night was a ringing shot that Jeter launched into the Monster seats. The ball seemed to still be rising as it crashed into the back wall on top of the Green Monster seating area.
The Fenway Faithful went silent, you could have heard a pin drop in Fenway Park. Derek Jeter seems to have that effect on us Red Sox fans sometimes unfortunately, but not when you are smart about how you approach him. Derek Jeter, in my opinion, was not approached with enough caution in this at bat and it certainly proved costly to Curt Schilling and the Boston Red Sox. Refusing to roll over and die to their most hated rival, Mike Lowell blasted a home run off of Joba Chamberlain to put the Red Sox back within two runs. The solo homer hit by Lowell was the first run Chamberlain has relinquished so far in his miniscule Major League career.
The bottom of the ninth brought more of that Red Sox/Yankee drama that we have all become addicted to once again over the past few seasons. It wouldn?t be an entertaining ninth inning without our good ol? pal Mariano. There was no ?Enter Sandman? played at Fenway, but you can guarantee that every fan in Fenway Park knew who was coming on in the ninth. About four years ago many would head for the exits in an attempt to beat the traffic as Mr. Automatic was coming out of the bullpen to shut down shop, not so much anymore. The ?new Mariano? if you will, was the Mariano that showed up once again tonight to try to shut the door on the Sox.
Jason Varitek started the inning by working Mo to a full count and then to the crowds approval, taking ball four. Eric Hinske then followed up by grounding out to first base while advancing Jason Varitek to second. Coco Crisp then grounded out weakly to Yankee second baseman Robinson Cano advancing Jason Varitek to third base. If the game were to continue the Red Sox were going to need something from shortstop Julio Lugo. Lugo came through by coudlbing on a line drive to center scoring captain Tek from third. Jacoby Ellsbury then came to the plate with the chance to become a hero, those chances quickly diminished (just for tonight) after being hit by a pitch. During a long and hard fought at bat, Rookie of the Year to be, Dustin Pedroia worked a walk that loaded up the bases for the most clutch hitter in Red Sox history.
The excitement, the nervousness, the anticipation, the bottom of the ninth inning at Fenway Park is unlike any other when the Yankees have a one run lead and the one man that stands in the way of a Red Sox victory is Mariano Rivera. If the Red Sox were able to hand select not only any player on their team, but any played in Major League Baseball to be at the plate in this situation to win the game, David Ortiz would have been standing right where he was standing. Unfortunately, due to the laws of probability, David Ortiz was unsuccessful in his attempt to turn Fenway into a madhouse by hand delivering a Red Sox win against the Yankees. What looked as if though it could have been a motivational win for the Sox, turned into a crushing defeat. They may have won this battle, but they will not win the war of the division.
Let me just start off by saying that I hate watching Red Sox games on FOX. I mute my television and turn on WEEI almost every time the Sox are on FOX. Although I may hear what happens before I see it due to the delay, it?s worth it to me if I don?t have to hear Tim McCarver?s voice. Luckily the rest of you that were unfamiliar of my anti-FOX method were spared of Joe Buck?s voice today. On to more important things, such as the game that was played at Fenway. What looked like football practice was actually classified as a baseball game today. What started out as a pitchers duel for all of the early innings, quickly evolved into a Yankee spanking as the floodgates opened in the sixth and seventh inning.
Thanks to one of Beckett?s strongest outings of the season, the Red Sox picked up a game on the Yankees and Beckett himself picked up a win on Chein-Ming Wang in the AL Cy Young Award standings. Beckett?s line was fantastic, and what made it even more impressive was that he was this dominant over the explosive offense of the New York Yankees. Josh Beckett went seven innings strong allowing only three hits and the one blemish was a solo home run hit by Derek Jeter in the top of the first inning. Beckett racked up seven strike outs en route to his Major League leading 19th win of the season. His win today may have silenced a lot of critics that believed that there would not be a 20 game winner in the bigs this season.
What would a Red Sox versus Yankees game be without a little drama? For the second time in their past three meetings, a warning was issued to both the Red Sox and Yankee dugouts. Kevin Youkilis was once again the center of the issues being issued, but once again having not provoked the Yankees in any way. The Yankee right-hander Chien-Ming Wang came too close inside and hit Kevin Youkilis on the forearm as the Fenway Faithful booed in disapproval. Was the hit by pitch intentional? I don?t believe so. However, that didn?t stop Josh Beckett from plunking Yankee first baseman Jason Giambi in the seventh inning before the home plate umpire warned both sides.
The Boston offensive muscle was flexed late in the game by multiple contributors. Jacoby Ellsbury had a big hand in the offensive attack unleashed on the Bronx Bombers today. The incredibly talented young ball player continues to contribute to this ball club and is proving that he will not fold up in a playoff atmosphere, as this series clearly has the scent of October looming in the air. Ellsbury went 2 for 2 with 3 RBI after being subbed in as a pinch runner for the injured Kevin Youkilis. JD Drew finally welcomed himself to the season by delivering in the clutch by singling to leftfield in the bottom of the fifth to give the Red Sox their first run of the day.
While it may be Eric Hinske?s second season in a Boston uniform, he got his first real taste of the rivalry today when in an attempt to give his team another run, the 230 pounder plowed over Yankee catcher Jorge Posada. While he was out, the hit brought the Fenway Faithful back to life and it was entertaining for all to see. Hinske would not go out on that note being called out, so in the bottom of the eighth inning he belted a home run into the stands in right field.
The Red Sox needed this win, they could not afford to have the Yankees come within 3.5 games of the division lead. Also, they were giving the Yankees the idea that they were simply unbeatable against Boston as they had defeated the Sox in their past five meetings. This 10-1 beating was a real wake up call to the Yankees that they are not invincible and that the Red Sox are not going to lay down for them this season. Tomorrow will host one of the most anticipated Red Sox/Yankee games in the rivalry?s history. Clemens will be making his first start at Fenway Park since the 2003 ALCS and opposing the most hated Yankee villain will be the most hated Red Sox villain to New York, Curt Schilling. The two will square off in what looks to be the match up of the century. Both are big game pitchers and are icons in this rivalry, there?s no telling what could happen when these two come face to face while wearing Boston red and Yankee pinstripes.
Hey Sox fans! My name is Jared Carrabis and I live in the heart of Red Sox Nation, about ten minutes outside of Boston to be exact, Saugus Massachusetts. Some would say that I am at a big disadvantage going up against big names such as Peter Gammons, Jerry Remy and Sam Horn to name a few. I don’t see it as a disadvantage in the least bit. I see this as a big advantage because when I picture the President of Red Sox Nation, the largest and most passionate fan base in the world, who better to be lead this nation of dedicated fans than one of the most dedicated of them all?
I have been a Red Sox fan my entire life, I was born into it. I always say that if you are born in the Boston area chances are you will be a Red Sox fan, it’s just a matter of how big of a Red Sox fan you will become. Well, I was fortunate enough to become a big, big Red Sox fan. I’ve worn a Red Sox shirt every single day for the past four years. The shirt streak began back on September 20, 2003 and is still active to this very day. It has been a common misconception that I have worn the same shirt every single day, that would be false. I own over 150 different Red Sox shirts and jerseys so I can change it up every day. No matter what the occasion you won’t catch me not wearing a Red Sox shirt even if I have to wear it underneath. Proms, graduation, wakes, funerals, weddings, you name it, I’ve been there all while wearing a Red Sox shirt.
I created and run the largest community of Red Sox fans on MySpace called "SoxSpace". On the website I write my own articles and keep fans from all over the world updated with all the latest Red Sox news and updates. The website is also a place where fans from all over can connect with each other. Tens of thousands of fans come to talk Sox and voice their opinions (no matter what their opinions may be). I titled my blog "Son of SoxSpace" because I am 100% sure that I would not have even come close to the Top 10 of this presidential race without the support of all the fans that have pushed me to get this far that know me through SoxSpace. Over the years running SoxSpace, I have had the privilege of communicating with tens of thousands of Red Sox fans. Over the past month or so, I have said "thank you" thousands of times because I did everything I could to thank every single person individually that took the time out of their daily schedules to vote for me.
I have a share of season tickets so I have the privilege of visiting Fenway around twenty times per season. After my eighteenth birthday I wasted no time in getting a Red Sox tattoo on my leg to display that I will be dedicated to this team for the rest of my life. I fear that some voters will see my age and make the wrong assumption that I am too young to be able to handle this position. I fully understand that I have not been around for the heartaches of the past, but what I lack in experience I make up for with knowledge of this franchise’s history.
I’ve turned my room into my own personal "Red Sox Hall of Fame" by collecting autographs from many Red Sox legends all throughout the franchise’s history. My work will never be done, mostly because I will go broke, but it will never be done due to the fact that there were and still are so many talented ballplayers that have worn the Red Sox uniform. I wish to someday proudly display them all on my wall.
I know that I am forgetting a lot more that I would like to say ( of course) but feel free to ask me anything that you would like to know about me to get to know me better as a candidate for Red Sox Nation President. I want everyone to know that I take this very seriously and I would also like to ask for the continued support from all the fans that have been behind me since day one. Hopefully this blog will convince more Red Sox fans that a true fan is the right man for the job.