Category Listing
Monthly Archive
Baseball Reference
Red Sox Links

Recent Posts
Recent Comments
Essential Empy

Home » Category Listing » Spring Training 2005

March 7, 2005

Utter Desolation

It was the biggest game of the season, and the Red Sox couldn’t meet the challenge. Defeated 9-2, embarrassed on their own home practice field, unworthy of the title of World Champions. The Yankees had yet to win a game until they faced the Red Sox, a team that folded like origami paper. How can they make the 1,500 mile trip back to Fenway Park with any shred of dignity intact after that performance?

(Sorry, folks. Just thought I’d practice my Dan Shaughnessy for a bit.)

What’s not to like about Abe Alvarez? He had 2 earned runs over 2 innings, but exhibited tremendous poise and aplomb. Being a left-handed pitcher with excellent control should serve him well in the future. He has already been compared to Tom Glavine and Jamie Moyer. My only reservation is that the doesn’t have a huge drop to his curveball. The blindness in one eye is incidental and doesn’t seem to impact his approach. He’s already accruing accolades; just last year he was an Eastern League All Star, voted Most Valuable Pitcher by the fans, and was the Sea Dogs’ Pitcher of the Year. With any luck I’ll get to see him in Pawtucket this season.

The battle of Game 8 is over. The war for the season has just begun.

Game 8

This is it. This is the one for all the marbles. The Spring Showdown. The Cavort at the Fort. The Pyres at Ft. Myers. The Florida Fracas. In the one-hundred thirty-six days since Game 7, the New York Yankees have been famished for victory, gnawing on the bitter bones of last season’s failure.

Only a few select members of Gotham’s ballclub will be on hand to redeem themselves of their ignominious defeat. It seems that Joe Torre wishes to mete out sweet vengeance in small portions, so that he does not too quickly satiate their appetite. Jason Giambi, Bernie Williams, and Hideki Matsui are in the privileged minority to be on hand for this monumental struggle.

Just ask Deborah Kellogg-Van Orden and her sister Rebecca, who camped out two nights to acquire tickets to this crucial match-up. How silly do I look for lining up outside of Fenway in December at 2:30 AM for tickets to actual games when I could have been in Florida to witness this far more critical game in person? I can only tune into NESN this evening and experience it secondhand. At least I’ll be able to say I saw Game 8.

March 5, 2005

Back in the Saddle

My comments on the first spring training game are two days late. I’ll never hack it as a beat blogger. Others bloggers can churn out game analyses as easily as breathing, while after two days I come up with:

  • During the in-game interview, Theo Epstein was abusing Don Orsillo relentlessly. Orsillo states that he’s excited about David Wells joining the club, and Epstein fires back, “Because he reminds you of yourself?” The conversation takes some strange tangents and Epstein calls Orsillo “an odd man.” Which he is. I recall him saying that, as a child, he would make scoreboards while following games. Jerry Remy was merciless that evening. There’s also that lunar eclipse discussion, where Orsillo thought the sun came between the moon and earth. Remy broke out the telestrator for that one.
  • There were no radar gun results during the NESN telecast, but earlier in the week Terry Francona claimed that Byung-Hyun Kim was now back up to 88-90 MPH. Kim pitched a 1-2-3 inning. I’m still pulling for him. His reclamation would be the ultimate redemption story. Ideally, it will come in a Yankees game.
  • Millarst A caption for this photo from that game: “Kevin Millar points to left field foul territory, noting where the majority of his balls go.” Millar will have his typical extremely hot two months or so where he hits .400 with .602 slugging, and the rest of the season he will be hovering around the Mendoza line. As annoying as I sometimes find him, I have to admit I enjoy the buffoonery.
  • “Woooooo-ten!” Now we know why Bill Mueller doesn’t get his name chanted. It’s because it doesn’t rhyme with “boo.” Change the pronunciation, and you have an eminently chantable name.
  • There will always be some ne’er-do-well waving to the camera behind home plate. Even during a spring training game. I guess everyone needs to practice.

Welcome back, baseball. Good to see you, champs.

They know, who keep a broken tryst,
Till something from the Spring be missed
We have not truly known the Spring.
~Robert Underwood Johnson, “The Wistful Days”

« Top « Home » Category ListingMonthly Archive


RSS Feed



  • Visitors to EE since November 2004
  • Boston Phoenix Best of ’06
    Phoenix Best
  • Blog contents, images, and design
    © 2004-2015 by Joanna J.M. Hicks.
    All Rights Reserved.
    Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law.