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Home » June 2005 Game CommentsJune 2005 » Sire


Game 68: June 19, 2005
Pirates (31-36), 0
Red Sox (38-30), 8
L: Kip Wells (5-6)
W: Matt Clement (8-1)

My first reaction upon hearing the lineup was one of mild disappointment, but not complete surprise. It was better to have Manny Ramirez take a break after getting drilled and Johnny Damon has had enough encounters with the ground, walls, and scoreboards to warrant a day off. He’ll probably want more, if the recent rumors about Gabe Kapler returning to the Red Sox pan out. My memories of him consist of pectoral muscles and near collisions with other outfielders.

Trot Nixon led off for only the second time in his major league career and had 2 hits, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout; perfectly respectable. We were treated to 2 triples as well, with David Ortiz legging one out in the 3rd and Bill Mueller hitting one to center in the 5th. Jay Payton continued to make his case that he should get more playing time by hitting a home run into the Green Monster seats in the 5th inning.

Clement was dazzling with 7 shutout innings, allowing only 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 9. Even Alan Embree was able to whittle down his ERA to something below 7 (6.75 to be exact) when he completed the last 2 innings with only 1 hit and 3 strikeouts. He wasn’t completely cheese today. Does that make him Velveeta®?

I’ve been seeing more All-Star Game commercials (link requires Windows Media Player), and I am actually enjoying Fox’s baseball merged with pinball motif. Back in the 1930s, pinball and pitch and bat games simulating baseball evolved in parallel. Pinball is one of those pastimes that has fallen by the wayside with the advent of home-based video game systems. When I was young, we didn’t have a washer and dryer, so I would have to go to the laundromat with my mom about 20 miles away, as our town didn’t have a laundromat. There was a small arcade near the back, past the vending machine that sold cigarettes. Even then pinball was falling out of favor; there were only 2 cabinets. I would play those on occasion, but they were old (analog score displays that only counted to the hundreds of thousands) and in disrepair. How could those begin to compare with Tempest, Galaga, Centipede, and Q*Bert? By the time I was in high school, pinball technology had progressed, and a Fun Factory (Hawaii’s version of Chuck E. Cheese’s, sans pizza) had sprung up in town. The Kahului Fun Factory had a Black Knight 2000, one of the best pinball games ever. I can’t begin to calculate how much money I spent on that machine. Hours spent playing that and arguing about football with my dad. I liked football more back then; I, too, have evolved.

Just as the All-Star Game has evolved, now that it “counts.” The selection of the American League pitchers isn’t in the clutches of the evil empire, so we’ll see some of our familiar faces, like Clement and Mike Timlin. For the hell of it, Terry Francona should invite Randy Johnson and make him pitch 9 innings.


I seem to remember when Kerrigan took over in 2001 (*shudder*), he promised Nixon, leading the team in OBP, would be the new leadoff man. It didn't last long (injuries messed up the lineup, and Nixon was subpar in that spot), but he did start in the leadoff spot a number of times...according to retrosheet, from 8/23/01 to 9/2/01.

You're correct, Earl, thanks for the catch. I won't listen to the pre-game without checking next time. (Blast you, Eric Frede!)

Trot Nixon's 2001 Fielding Log from retrosheet.org

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