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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Lavarnway”

Brave New World

The division-leading Atlanta Braves succumbed to the Red Sox on their home turf. Turner Field won’t house the Braves for very much longer. The team will leave the venue when their lease expires in 2016. The club is following the money trail outside of Atlanta and Fulton County into the tony outlying neighborhoods in Cobb County. Atlanta was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthplace and thanks to him the area is no longer segregated by law. But in fact the disparity between mostly white Cobb and predominantly black Fulton counties are still demarcated by race and class. Ray Henry’s article sums up the situation succinctly: To support its argument for leaving, the Braves released a map based on ticket sales data that showed its fans were clustered in an arc north of downtown Atlanta that ran through the suburbs. That information also shows fans tended to purchase single-game tickets at the highest rates in places that were several times as rich as neighborhoods closest to the stadium and much whiter. Of the communities with the ten highest sales rates, all but one were north of the current stadium and had median household incomes ranging from roughly $61,000 to $100,000. Those communities...

Wright Knuckles

R.A. Dickey and Tim Wakefield have had their rough spots. But above all they were given the chance to ride out their troubles on the mound. With rookie Steven Wright’s performance last night I wonder how many more opportunities he’ll be given. A team with championship aspirations may not have the patience to live through Wright’s growing pains nor a roster spot to a catcher that specializes in catching knuckleballs. The sheer number of runs scored was too excessive to be enjoyed, like gorging on one bite too many of fettuccine alfredo. Other things we saw too much of last night? Passed balls by Ryan Lavarnway. Strikeouts by Mike Napoli. Kitchens (human and mascot). Game 115: August 6, 2013 Boston Red Sox69-46 15 W: Brandon Workman (2-1)H: Drake Britton (1) 2B: Shane Victorino (17), Dustin Pedroia (27), Ryan Lavarnway (6)HR: Jacoby Ellsbury – 2 (7), Jonny Gomes (9) Houston Astros37-75 10 L: Jordan Lyles (4-6) 3B: L.J. Hoes (1)HR: Robbie Grossman (2), Brett Wallace (9), Jake Elmore (2)...

Scorer’s Discretion

Twins official scorer Stew Thornley granted Craig Breslow the win in this blowout. Usually the pitcher who assumes the mound after the starter gets the win, but Clayton Mortensen’s two-thirds of an inning with two hits and a walk wasn’t as effective as Breslow’s 1⅔ innings with one hit and a base on balls. Thus Thornley was able to use his discretion and did so wisely. This judgment seems fairer than Alex Wilson’s two-pitch win from Friday’s game. Andrew Miller had preceded Wilson with 1⅔ innings of perfect pitching with three strikeouts. But that ruling had to do with when the Red Sox scored and the pitcher of record definition and cannot be attributed to the scorer’s decision. Thornley shares the official scorer responsibility with Gregg Wong. Wong taught Twins blogger Tracy Perlman how to keep score. It’s a hobby for some, like me, but as the guardian of the statistics that the MLB compiles it is essential to the history of the sport. Last year Thornley, Wong, and the official scorer for the Nationals, David Vincent, were in a SABR panel moderated by Kevin Hennessy. This game lasted almost four hours, as long as the typical Red Sox-Yankees tilt....

Checked Out

Cody Ross launched the ball into the Red Sox bullpen in the sixth inning. Ross followed Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury across home plate, tying the game 3-3. Ryan Lavarnway helped his battery mate with his first home run of the season, a solo shot with two outs that nearly hit Junichi Tazawa. It had been a long time since this has happened. I guess not everyone has checked out, Glenn Ordway. Not even Bobby Valentine, who was waiting for his son at the airport when the flight was delayed due to fog. Game 137: September 4, 2012 Boston Red Sox63-74 4 W: Jon Lester (9-11)H: Craig Breslow (7), Junichi Tazawa (1), Vicente Padilla (23)S: Andrew Bailey (2) 2B: James Loney (19), Jose Iglesias (1)HR: Cody Ross (20), Ryan Lavarnway (1) Seattle Mariners66-71 3 L: Blake Beavan (9-9)No extra base hits...

Boola Boola

In the bottom of the eighth Bobby Valentine summoned Craig Breslow to face Robinson Cano with one out and Nick Swisher leering at first base. Ryan Lavarnway, a Yale graduate like Breslow, was behind home throwing down signs for the southpaw, making them the first Bulldog battery since 1883. On September 15, 1883, Jack Jones pitched to Al Hubbard for the Philadelphia Athletics. Cano grounded into a 3-6-3 double play to end the inning. For a while it seemed that long since Jon Lester tallied a win as he was without a victory in July. But August has been kind to Lester: his two starts thus far have been quality starts and wins. Perhaps he took inspiration from Pedro Ciriaco, who seems made to play against the Yankees. The infielder went 4-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base, not to mention the part he played in the double play that erased Swisher and Cano. Not only was this an unusual game in that the Red Sox beat the Yankees but I found myself agreeing with Tim McCarver twice. He stated that he thought Stephen Strasburg shouldn’t be shut down and that Melky Cabrera shouldn’t be eligible for the...

Lavarnway and Shirley

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8Schlemiel! Schlimazel!Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!We’re gonna do itGive us any chance we’ll take itGive us any rule we’ll break itWe’re gonna make our dreams come trueDoin’ it our way—“Making Our Dreams Come True,” Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox For once Robert Andino was the schlemiel, the awkward and unlucky person for whom things never turn out right. The second baseman bungled Darnell McDonald’s fourth-inning fly ball by over-pursuing it into right, allowing it to drop between him, Nick Markakis, and Mark Reynolds. His bat as cooled as well; he went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. The schlimazels were all the hitters victimized by Wally Bell’s lopsided strike zone. The man with the chutzpah was Ryan Lavarnway, the rookie catcher pressed into service because of Jason Varitek’s and Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s maladies. He added to the Red Sox’s lead in the fourth with a three-run shot to right. A greenhorn’s first four-bagger would be memorable regardless of the circumstances, but Lavarnway’s came with his team’s playoff hopes in the balance. Lavarnway’s heroics didn’t stop once behind the plate. The backstop halted Adam Jones’s attempted theft of third in the second inning. After a tense moment of hesitation he...

Muddy Chicken Hats

There are no words necessary. Get your own Chicken Lady hat for the low, low price of $4.95 (that’s right, less than five dollars!) at Century Novelty. Jarrod Saltalamacchia flew the coop with a three-run home run in the fifth to give the visiting squad a 5-1 lead in the same inning that Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy doffed the hen headgear. The NESN broadcast team may have to add the fowl fedoras to their repertoire of lucky charms. The biddy bonnets also don’t clash with Orsillo’s wide array of ties. In his second major league game Ryan Lavarnway knocked in his first hit. The ground ball single slipped between first and second to the right field to advance Jed Lowrie to second in the fifth frame. Adrian Gonzalez, facial hair shorn, went 3-for-4 with two doubles, breaking an 0-for-14 slump over the past five games. Jacoby Ellsbury made a circus catch in the right-center gap of Alex Gordon’s fly ball. Although the third inning web gem resulted in Mike Moustakas tagging up for the first run of the game Ellbury’s ballhawking prevented Gordon from notching an extra base hit. Ellsbury left the game in the bottom of the eighth...

Succession

The Royals received an ill-gotten victory on Wednesday evening against the Yankees when the umpire crew failed to apply Kauffman Stadium’s ground rules to Billy Butler’s third inning fly ball to left. Even after Dana DeMuth, Kerwin Danley, Doug Eddings, and Chad Fairchild huddled in the review booth the home run call stood despite the first rule in Kansas City, “Foul poles -- above surrounding fenceline is a home run. Below surrounding fenceline is in play.” Goodness knows the Yankees never get calls in their favor. The Red Sox batters didn’t get any balls close enough to the fences for any controversial calls. When they knocked the balls to the outfield they tested the arms of the fielders and found that Alex Gordon and Melky Cabrera had cannons. Jason Varitek was hosed at second in the second by Gordon. Cabrera nicked Carl Crawford at home plate in the fourth inning for the final out, a particularly frustrating out as the score was knotted 3-3. Pedroia was another of Cabrera’s victims in the fifth inning but in the same play the infielder had successfully driven in the go-ahead run. Never doubt the Muddy Chicken. Ryan Lavarnway made his major league debut,...


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