Sunday, May 22, 2005

Fens, Groton, Minutemen, Lend Me Your Ears

Games 41 through 43 - Red Sox

Red Sox 4, Atlanta Braves 3
Braves 7, Red Sox 5
Red Sox 5, Braves 2
Record: 25-18

I come here not to praise Edgar Renteria, but to wax splenetic about the Sox' most expensive offseason acquistion's lack of redeeming qualities. Renteria's lost weekend against the Braves was highlighted by 3 2-out trips to the plate with the sacks juiced, and 3 empty frames for the Sox left in his wake. His effort today was as meager as any I've ever seen from a purported major league hitter. Pedro Martinez looked better at the plate against Carl Pavano this afternoon. Even Eeyore swings hard when he inevitably misses strike three and ambles back to the dugout.

In the interest of balance, Renteria set off his 1-for-13 weekend with 2 errors, bringing his league-leading total to 8 and lowering his fielding percentage to .949. Combined with his .630 OPS, Renteria's no-hit, no-field performance would be brutal if it came from Marco Scutaro. That those numbers have been the recorded output of a guy carrying a 4-year, $40m price tag is enough to justify the derision that E-Rent ("rent" apparently means "6" in Spanish) has heard from the Fenway faithful.

As I type this, I see that everyone's favorite spokesman, Kevin Millar, has come to his teammate's aid. Thanks, Kev. Maybe you should worry a little more about your own .680 OPS (.331 SLG! Mr. Koo has a better slugging mark than that) and a little less about the black hole at shortstop. At least Terry Francona's noticed Renteria's struggles, and adjusted the lineup accordingly, installing Renteria in the no. 9 spot where he belongs. What's that? He's made Renteria the permanent no. 2 hitter? Well, that's just splendid. Sure wouldn't want Trot Nixon's .430 OPS in the 2-hole in front of Ortiz and Manny. Mumbleuttercursephbbbb.

Apologies for the recent spate of 3-game nuggets, but an upcoming trip to beautiful (in January, not May) Boca Raton promises to continue the trend at least for this week. The Sox played against type this weekend against the Braves, reversing their abysmal interleague history against their former cross-town foes. Wade Miller looked nicenice yet again - he could be the Sox' no. 1 starter by the all-star game. Unless Matt Clement keeps throwing zeroes at the opposition. Manny Ramirez shook off a 16-game .115 slump (which borders on me-with-the-ladies-in-college sort of ineffectiveness) in today's contest, driving a rocket over the wall in right center and collecting 2 other hits. Only Timmy Wake's continued slide and Keith Foulke's keep-it-interesting personal style kept the Sox from a really glorious weekend. That, and the abysmal Boston weather.

Nothing from here until Wednesday at the earliest, which is good, because you'd probably want to get the kids out of the room if I got time to spout off about tomorrow's Hall of Fame exhibition against the Tigers. What legitimate professional league lets - nay, forces - its franchises to play phony games with real players during the regular season? Yankees/Rays in Japan is one thing - at least those games count. Sox/Tigers in Cooperstown in May strikes me as bizarre, and will strike me as much more than that if anyone gets hurt.

No comments: