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May 04, 2007

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maxwell horse

Yeah, the other teams (and other team's fans) probably hate Manny for the way he does that. But in my gut, I know that Manny isn't trying to be spiteful or whatever. He just can't help himself, watching the balls go out before fully running. It's not calculated or self-aware grandstanding like A-Rods ridiculously flamboyant posing for the photographer's well. (Seriously, that one photo of Arod raising both hands in the air, still holding the bat, grinning right into the camera, posing on one leg as he rounded the bases--that photo that made a bunch of covers...... that reminded me *so* much of the Kids in the Hall skit where Scott Thompson's Buddy Cole character hits a home run, and prances around the bases holding sparklers. If I'd been a Yankee fan I would've been *cringing* at that photo.)

(What's kind of funny about last night's game: After his 4th inning two-run shot into the monster seats, Manny more-or-less left the batter's box and trotted around the bases like a regular baseball player. So he doesn't do it *all* the time.)

Glad you mentioned the Papi hug when he was caught between bases. That was absolutely hilarious.

Daisuke now officially scares the hell out of me. His outings seem to be getting progressively worse. I know when people talk sports, they always resort to ridiculous hyperbole, like so-and-so is "worthless," or the worst whatever; so what I'm about to say may just sound like a version of that. However.....

I really am feeling like Daisuke is now our least dependable starter. I feel like we have a better chance of winning with Tavarez on the mound. Yeah, Tavarez might be a little "batty," but I've yet to see him lose his mind in the way that Daisuke now seems to do with every outting.

It really does not instill any confidence in me to see Daisuke on the mound out there anymore. And I don't think that's a reflection of how I view the game, but of how he's been pitching. He's taken every ounce of good-will his grand entrance into the season afforded him, and he's frittered it away. Now he's at square one, where every other schlub pitcher is. If he wants people to feel confident in him, he's going to have to earn it. He's got to actually start pitching decently, and soon.

(I realize how arrogant and pushy the above two paragraphs sound. Don't feel like rewording them. Uh-uh.)

From reading earlier articles about Daisuke and his relationship with John Farrell, etc.... they sort of gave the impression that they're just "leaving him alone." Just letting Daisuke keep doing whatever routine he's already established for himself. That was a couple weeks ago, that I read that. It kind of bothered me a the time--it seemed almost dangerous--but it's REALLY bothering me now. They've obviously *got* to start working with him closely to improve his game. Make some big changes, because whatever he's doing now isn't working.

beth

i think you're overlooking the fact that the transition from japan to the US is a huge one for a pitcher like him, who relies on control and finesse. the ball itself is a different size in his hand. what's john farrell being in his face going to do about that? the fact that he's shown even flashes of dominance is amazing to me. i believe he'll come around. it's jonathan i'm more worried about.

Ernie

What ever happened to Sarah. Her site has ceased to exist. Just wondering.

maxwell horse

If the ball-difference really is a factor in Daisuke's inconsistency, then I don't see why it would be any different than any other problem a pitcher has to deal with. I think working with a pitching coach could still help him to get more comfortable with the ball, and if necessary, slightly alter his mechanics to make full use of the new ball. And if Daisuke's problems are partly due to him being a fish-out-of-water, then even that might be helped by working closely with the team. It's possible that by leaving him alone so much, they're making him feel more alienated than is necessary. (Francona even sort of addressed this in the post-game conference, saying that maybe they haven't done a good enough job conveying to him that he doesn't have to take the entire weight of his shaky performances on his own two shoulders.)

Of course, this is all just guessing on my part.

I'm concerned about Papelbon too, but on the plus side, Francona did say post-game that his shoulder felt great, and that he personally over-rode Paps' wishes (to close the game) to err on the side of caution. I guess we'll all feel a lot better if Paps closes another game soon and looks like his dominant self again.

Iain

Yeah, the other teams (and other team's fans) probably hate Manny for the way he does that. But in my gut, I know that Manny isn't trying to be spiteful or whatever.

I think the other teams probably do too. I mean, how many times have you seen Manny get plunked after pulling his patented 'stand and watch it go' routine? Not many, would be my guess...

David Welch

I'm not too worried about Lil' Pap. They made a commitment to use him differently than they did last year, and I think that is what we are seeing.

I'm not sure Dice is suffering from Derek Lowe Syndrom, in that he is not on the mound wearing his emotions on his sleeve. I HATED that about Derek. And, my son and I were HUGE fans, even took a sign to a game in 2003 that said "Derek, we love your Lowe ERA." Was that his first year starting, when his midseason ERA was under 3?

beth

david, just to clarify, what i meant by derek lowe syndrome is a rate of one inexplicable meltdown inning per start, not the "Mental Gidget" stuff.

Boston Fan in Michigan

You know how they make those bird call things, they're like little kazoos, and when you blow into it it makes a noise like whatever species of bird it is you're trying to get the attention of?

Yeah. They need to make those with the Call of the Big Papi. So you blow into this little kazoo thing and you hear "Wha-heeyyyyyyyyyyy!"

Devine

Oh, you were down after this win, Beth?

Me, I thought it was a "character/grit/workmanlike" (God, I hate those terms) extravaganza. I love when they win games they have no right to win.

Plus, not really worried about Matsuzaka or Papelbon right now. I'm just seeing a team with an effective offense, good starting pitching, and a great bullpen (so far).

Mike

I was going to post on being worried about Paps and Daisuke.
But now all I can think about is how badly I want one of those Call of the Papi kazoos.

soundsofscience

As far as the home run stare goes, I may be way off base, but has anyone ever noticed how every single pitcher cavorts after he really gets a guy? What's the difference? Reserve and composure are not exactly what American athletes have become known for.

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