Panic at the Disco

Or at City of Palms Park.

Last week the Red Sox media sufficiently launched us into panic mode about the upcoming season, which seems to be a talent of theirs. However, this week was full of relief and promise.

Josh Beckett was pretty down on Monday about his back; we have to understand, this guy is a competitive beast. But today he played catch with John Farrell and his back didn’t bother him at all. Farrell was "excited," and indicated Beckett was where the doctor’s expected him to be. Beckett won’t be flying to Tokyo, as if anyone really though the Sox were stupid enough to send their ace on an 18 hour plane ride half way around the world. This marathon called the major league baseball season is long, and being ready for Opening Day is no big deal. I want Beckett to pitch effectively in October, not April.

No word on Schilling, although I thought I heard someone say somewhere he might start tossing the ball in a few weeks. Does anyone really think he’s going to pitch again??

Lester had a solid outing, Colon threw with surprising strength (topped out at 93-94 mph), and Dice K didn’t implode, which is the summary of starts this week. Dice K will be going to Japan, thanks to his wife giving birth this past Saturday to their second child, first son. If that child is half as cute as Dice K, I want to pinch his cheeks.

Kyle Synder came out of frickin’ no where and threw three scoreless innings today. Well, I guess it’s not out of no where, but I am still always surprised when he turns in a good outing. That guy is either ON or imploding big time. He seems nice enough, and does lots with the Sox charities, but I don’t think he’s reliable. Maybe he just needs definition to pitch well, ie starter or bullpen?

The bats finally started to come alive. Good old ‘Tek had a three run shot, little Pedroia knocked in a solo homer, and even some of the minor leaguers took their turn with the long ball. Something else that eased my mind this week was looking at the 2007 Spring Training stats; the Sox are about the same as this time last year. See, Spring Training really doesn’t mean anything!

Another factor preventing me from having an accurate view of Spring Training 2008 is the lack of games I have been able to view. If I could actually watch the Sox play, things might be different. MLB.TV promises over 150 Spring Training games, which means you get to watch about 5 of your team. Go figure.

Baseball Karma

I believe in God, but I also somewhat believe in baseball karma. I didn’t like it when the media was walking around saying, "The Red Sox are the new Dynasty in baseball." I didn’t like it when the players said, "We’re the team to beat." Baseball karma has a funny way of taking away everything just when you get comfortable.

Confidence is one of many traits that spurred the 2007 Sox to their 2nd World Series championship in four years. Cockiness was not. George Steinbrenner is cocky; the Red Sox were getting cocky, and now look what’s going on in Spring Training. Maybe it’s like theatre: bad dress rehearsal, good show. Or maybe it is the Curse of Papelbon’s Jersey.

Papelbon forgot his jersey for one of the away Spring Training games. Apparently there’s always an extra Manny jersey around. So he donned #24 and pitched the game. Maybe that was just too much for the universe. Could you imagine combining the personalities of Paps and Manny? I think the universe would explode, or implode. I’m not quite sure which.

All joking (or is it?) aside, the 2008 Boston Red Sox are not doing so great. You can never have enough starting pitching. Someone should embroider that on a **** pillow. I hope Beckett’s injury is just a hiccup to his first Cy Young award. Where is Curt Schilling? We haven’t heard anything from the notorious talker in at least a week. Lester was stellar today; his pitching performance sure was a boost. Now where are those bats?

PS, I bought Wheaties just because it had Josh Beckett on the box. Talk about a marketing buy. I didn’t know they still put professional athletes on Wheaties. I’m kickin’ it old school. I took the cereal out of the box, put it in a container, and the box has been proudly displayed on my desk ever since.

Tito and Torre: Together at Last

Tito and Torre, long time friends, were able to show their true colors at last. Touching pictures, seriously. Somehow Joe Torre doesn’t look sinister and evil when he’s wearing Dodger blue. I got confused when I first logged on to watch the game. It said "Pitching: Lowe. At Bat: M. Ramirez." Wait a minute, don’t both those guys play for the same team? Oh yeah, Lowe plays for the Dodgers now. Can’t believe I had such a blond moment.

Today’s game: Wakefield was hot, relievers were NOT. How do you blow a three run lead in the top of the 9th? Oh, that’s right, allow a grand slam. That should do the trick. Good news is, this reliever is no one who will be even close to our major league roster. Gronkiewicz, you’d better be glad this game is spring training!

Dodgers vs. Red Sox 1.7

Boston Red Sox’s Tim Wakefield delivers a warmup pitch before the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, March 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Dodgers vs. Red Sox 1.8

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Derek Lowe delivers a warm-up pitch from the mound before the start of the bottom of the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at City of Palms Park, in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, March 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Dodgers vs. Red Sox 1.6

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, left, and Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, shake hands after chatting in the Dodgers dugout at City of Palms Park, in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, March 6, 2008, before the start of a spring training baseball game. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Dodgers vs. Red Sox 1.5

Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, front, and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, hug after chatting in the Dodgers dugout at City of Palms Park, in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, March 6, 2008 before the start of a spring training baseball game. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Dodgers vs. Red Sox 2.0

Boston Red Sox’s Mike Timlin delivers a warm-up pitch before the start of the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at City of Palms Park, in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, March 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Dodgers vs. Red Sox 1.9

Boston Red Sox’s Doug Mirabelli is hit by a pitch from Los Angeles Dodgers’ Derek Lowe in the second inning of a spring training baseball game at City of Palms Park in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, March 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Dodgers vs. Red Sox 1.4

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre, left, and Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona, chat in the Dodgers dugout at City of Palms Park, in Fort Myers, Fla., Thursday, March 6, 2008, before the start of a spring training baseball game. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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