Monday, July 03, 2006


Games 77 through 79 – Red Sox

Marlins 5, Red Sox 2
Red Sox 11, Marlins 5
Red Sox 4, Marlins 3
Record: 50-29

I’m gonna get my stuff out of the way early today to clear the decks for what promises to be a lollapalooza of teeth-gnashing from my compadre. While I only caught a few innings of last night’s Mets/Yanks contest, it was enough to make me turn away in disgust. I can only imagine the impact to the Orange and Blue faithful.

Despite the inevitable end of the Sox’ once-in-a-decade winning streak, the weekend was a positive one for the Olde Towne Team. Newly acquired Jason Johnson wasn’t given much hope against Dontrelle Willis on Friday night, and he certainly didn’t do much to give any hope back to the fans, giving up 3 in the first and setting the tone for a flat performance from the whole team. After 13 straight wins, they get a pass.

Fox Sports and MLB, however, do not get a pass for the inexplicable Fox Saturday Baseball blackout rules. Fox carried the Mets/Yanks Saturday tilt – a 1:00 start in the Bronx. As a rule, on Saturdays, Fox has broadcast rights to all afternoon games, which means that out-of-market games (which means Boston when you leave in Greater Washington D.C) that conflict with the national broadcast are generally blacked out. Okay, makes sense. Fox paid a bunch of money to those rights and wants to protect their franchise. I get it.

What I don’t get is the fact that the blackout extended to the Sox/Marlins game, which started at 6:05, almost 2 hours after the Mets/Yanks game had ended. In the highly unlikely event that the national broadcast extended into the 6:00 hour, I’d grumpily understand a blackout that continued until the original game ended. But my pea-brain can’t wrap itself around a blackout of a game that presents no conflict whatsoever. As a result, a whole evening of Sox/Marlins on the CBS Sportsline GameCenter. Pisser, as both Manny and Ortiz went deep twice, driving in 9 runs in long overdue support of Tim Wakefield.

Back to normal yesterday, sort of. The game was on, so I sandwiched the first 2 innings and the last 3 around a bout of self-punishing exercise (y’know, because of the excessive lifestyle). Though the Sox led, 2-1, as I headed out for a ride, I was fairly confident the lead wouldn’t last, as Jon Lester was in the midst of what appears to be a patented struggle with his command. Came back just in time to see Mike Timlin wriggle free of a bases loaded, 1-out jam with the score tied at 3 in the bottom of the 7th, then settled in as the Sox plated 1 in the 8th on a Loretta sac fly. Papelbon shut the door in the 9th, despite a 1-out walk to Wes Helms (which was actually a strikeout, though Joe West’s myopia missed it) and the Sox have embarked on another winning streak.

Another series win closes the books on interleague play with the Sox posting a record-tying 16-2 mark against the Pacific Coast League. Um, National League. I expect a sterner test beginning today when the Sox head to Tampa.

No comments: