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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Sweeney (Ryan)”

Flying Ryan

John Mayberry was on second and Shane Victorino on first. Vicente Padilla had notched two outs and tried to fool Carlos Ruiz with a 59-mile an hour Eephus pitch. Ruiz was not beguiled by the gentle toss and powered the ball to the right-center gap. The only thing that kept the ball in the park was that this particular species of pitch is not thrown with high velocity. Padilla, if he deigned to drop his surliness with a teammate from time to time, owed Ryan Sweeney a hug or a hand pound. Sweeney laid out to snatch Ruiz’s batted ball before it touched turf, ending the inning and the scoring threat. Adrian Gonzalez was an eyewitness to the defensive gem because Bobby Valentine started him in right field. Knowing that an inexperienced player was to his left probably made Sweeney run farther and harder than he usually would. Gonzalez fielded two outs in the game, one of which forced him to go into a slide near the foul line and the outfield wall. It had all the makings of one of those freak injuries that occur when a player is forced to play outside of his typical spot. But Gonzalez...

Things Not Thought Possible One Week Ago

Being on the brink of a winning record. A six-game winning streak. Daniel Bard having two wins, one in relief and another as a starter. Winning. Winning blowouts. Winning one-run games. Jon Lester winning a game. Ryan Sweeney the second-best hitter after David Ortiz (batting average .391, on-base percentage .412, slugging pecentage .594, and the hitter who scored the only run of the game). The bullpen only allowing one earned run in the past seven days (Scott Atchison on April 25 against the Twins). Alfredo Aceves pitching lights out. Mark Twain memorably stated “one of the brightest gems in the New England weather is the dazzling uncertainty of it.” The same can be said for this year’s edition of the Red Sox. Game 20: April 28, 2012 Boston Red Sox10-10 1 W: Jon Lester (1-2)H: Franklin Morales (5)H: Vicente Padilla (2)S: Alfredo Aceves (5) 2B: Ryan Sweeney (11) Chicago White Sox10-11 0 L: Jake Peavy (3-1) 2B: Paul Konerko – 2 (9)...

Action Jackson

After this team’s calamitous crash in September I found I couldn’t, or didn’t want to, bear witness to the organization’s offseason paroxysms. Like sending a loved one to rehab, I said goodbye and good luck to the Red Sox in October. Better to leave the team’s recovery from complacency and entitlement in the hands of professionals and keep my hand-wringing at a minimum. Here and there I’d hear about this injury or that trade. One season-erasing injury that heartened me was John Lackey’s Tommy John surgery. Unfortunately it didn’t undo his past two seasons nor clear his massive contract from the ledger. When the Blue Jays changed their employment policies to bar John Farrell from joining the Red Sox in the role of field manager, the inevitability of Bobby Valentine’s hiring surged. Unlike Terry Francona, Valentine was not laden with loyalty towards players whose contributions were mostly in highlight reels rather than on the field. Two such players, luminaries of the 2004 and 2007 squads, retired. As hard as it is to see a team without Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek, it was even more difficult to observe their decline. Baseball has returned, but this year it is not a...


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