First things first: That’s gotta be Geddy Lee up there in that picture under the “BOS”, right? I’ve been watching this dude sitting in that seat at the Rogers Centre for the past couple years, and I gotta believe it is Geddy Lee, lead singer for Rush, that Canadian band that wrote songs about atomic bombs and dragons. The hair, the nose, the ears… man, that’s Geddy. Not sure if Alex Lifeson or Neil Peart are in the house, but I’ll keep an eye out for them — and that Bryan Adams bastard — tonight.
Now for the game itself. I like to tell myself that it’s early in the season. That things will work themselves out once the weather gets warmer and the girls start wearing less. I do firmly believe that the Sox’ pitching will prevail, driving us through October and beyond.
But right now, I gotta say, it crushes me that Matsuzaka isn’t 3-0. Granted, last night’s loss really turned on his brief unravelling in the fourth after not getting a call on what looked like a third strike to Vernon Wells. For the next couple batters, it looked as if Daisuke was being controlled remotely by the Great Mazinga-Wasdin Robot, balls flying every which way but loose and the next four batters reaching base, three on walks. By the time he came correct, and struck out the side in the fifth, the damage was done. But his bounce back was impressive.
Matsuzaka’s mini-meltdown notwithstanding, this loss gets pinned on the offense. Chacin was good, but, man, he didn’t seem as untouchable as he turned out to be, at least not from the comfort of my beer- and DNA-stained couch. Shutting down an offense that had put up a staggering 25 runs over the past three games? I never expected that.
I thought we might have had a chance to milk something in the ninth off of replacement closer Jason Frasor, but after seeing Youk swatting at the first pitch with one out, I simply shut off the TV in disgust, and climbed back into the Guinness Sensory Deprivation Tank. And there you have it.
So, in closing, my deepest, darkest concerns:
1) This 2007 edition could be feast-or-famine offensively, knocking in 13 one day, and 1 the next.
2) The Toronto series I thought we’d take 2-1 could turn into a Blue Jays sweep. If Shakey Wakey can’t keep that monster offense off-base with the flutterball, it could be a long, torturous night. As for Halladay vs. Tavarez… unless Julian’s packing heat — which is certainly within the realm of possibility — I think you can put us down for the L.
3) Matsuzaka could be this year’s victim of Tim Wakefield’s Disease. For the second straight start, he pitched good enough to win, but was left holding his nuts in the wind by the offense. In the back of my mind, I still fear that come the All-Star break, if Daisuke’s 2-7 and disenchanted, he’s gonna hop a flight back home to open a Fresh City franchise.
4) If I don’t get served a beer by one of the Rogers Centre beer girls (one of which is pictured below, standing there in all her blonde bombacity) at least once in my life, I’m not so sure I can say I’ve truly lived. For added viewing fun: watch, during the next two games at Rogers, how the mens’ heads swivel to check the derriere each time a Beer Girl walks by them. Dudes! You’re on TV! Poker face!
Lastly, dig on some Tito goodness from today’s Globe:
Red Sox manager Terry Francona was astounded yesterday to learn of a common practice in Japanese baseball known as “kantoku show,” in which a manager doles out cash to players he considers deserving of a little bonus after a victory. Something extra in the envelope, for example, for Daisuke Matsuzaka.
“You’re kidding me,” Francona said when told of the “manager prize,” as it is translated, according to an article in yesterday’s New York Times. “That’s not happening here, with what he gets.”
“It should be the other way around,” he said with a laugh. “If I manage a good game, he should give me something.”