Boston Red Sox

A fan's response to Lucchino's letter Larry's letter

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A fan's response to Lucchino's letter Larry's letter

A direct response to the letter that Larry Lucchino sent to season ticket holders earlier today:

Dear Fenway Sports Group,

As your team crosses the midpoint of the 2012 season, it still flounders unacceptably at .500. If only your efforts to improve the team on the field matched your efforts off the field to shill and profit from it. You talk of history and nostalgia, but all fans are left with is tasteless promotion on top of tasteless promotion, resulting in a nine-inning infomercial. If this was being done as a means to financially improve the team, we the fans could live with it. But thats clearly not the case as the front office apparently fears the luxury tax threshold far more than mediocrity.

To say that the teams play has tested the mettle of the faithful is like saying the Mayor tests the durability of the Kings English. Its maddening more often than not in spite of the bullpen jelling and young players emerging to play pivotal roles. Thats because some of the veterans are content to lead Ross, Aviles, Nava, Middlebrooks and Salty to the exact same place they lead the team last year: nowhere. With leadership from entitled, truculent malcontents like Josh Beckett and Kevin Youkilis, you risked entrenching a culture of complacency that left this team on the outside looking in last season. The departure of Youkilis was a step in the right direction, but its only a first step and it's come months too late.

Your one on-field constant, Big Papis performance, suggests that maybe long-term job security isnt the best option for your players. We fans could care less that he blasts the front office at every turn, because frankly, you frauds deserve it. And, as long as an angry Ortiz remains a productive Ortiz, please keep the option to be a Red Sox forever renewable only through arbitration.

And constantly off the field is a great way to describe Jacoby Ellsbury. Its clear to real fans that he is more concerned with playing for his next team than he is for this team. So, instead of waiting for his contract to expire, please feel free to expedite that process for him through trade. As a result, the teams medical and rehab expenses should drop like the ratings of Sox Appeal and with the money saved; you can then hire some new medical personnel that, unlike the current disciples of Dr. Nick, can actually diagnose fractures.

But forget players returning from the DL. What would really make Red Sox fans green with envy is a general manager who didnt have Larrys hand infused into his backside. John already told us all that Larry runs the Red Sox but does he have to run them into the ground? Many of us are willing to give Ben Cherington a chance to build this team into a winner, even if that means one, two or even three steps back this season. But if the front office is going to override his decisions for the good of the TV Show then just let an actual Muppet run the team. My choice would be Animal.

While you suggest that fans come to the park early, many of us diehards dont see a reason to come to the park at all. Do you play Sweet Caroline on a loop during BP now? I have news for you gentlemen, the only thing that will make the ballpark experience any better is with a contending team. And, much like having sections of tickets available at
game time isnt a sellout, being within striking distance of the second wild-card spot isnt contending, especially with the large expectations and payroll this team carries. Instead of pimping A Living Museum, youd be better served overhauling a team destined to be the Walking Dead come late September.

In honor of Acts of Kindness Month, my suggestion for you and your entire ownership group would be to promptly sell the team. Preferably the sale would be to an entity that wouldnt allow early success to transform it into complacent soulless accountants. Red Sox fans demand and deserve a team run by fearless sportsmen obsessed with victory and championships, not ratings and profits. So, on behalf of all Red Sox fans who still value on field success over off the field schlock, the only truck day we will truly look forward to is the one that removes you, Liverpool, Carmine, LeBron and the rest of your belongings from Fenway for good.

Go (Bleep) Yourselves,

Mike from Attleboro

Drellich: In appreciation of a peculiar, throwback Red Sox offense

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Drellich: In appreciation of a peculiar, throwback Red Sox offense

BALTIMORE — On the night Major League Baseball saw its record for home runs in a season broken, the team with the fewest homers in the American League took a scoreless tie into extra innings.

In the 11th, the Red Sox won in a fashion they hadn’t in 100 years.

Just how peculiar was their 1-0 win over the Orioles, the AL leaders in homers? The lone run came when Jackie Bradley Jr. bolted home on a wild pitch from Brad Brach. So? So, the Red Sox won, but did not officially record a run batted in on the day MLB’s greatest league-wide power show to date was celebrated.

MORE:

The last time the Sox won an extra-inning game without recording an RBI was a century ago, in 1918. Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth played in that game. 

It’s a weird time for the Sox offense. A weird year, really. Because the Sox are in first place, and have been, but they don’t drive the ball. Their .408 slugging percentage was the fifth lowest in the majors entering Tuesday.

They’re also in the bottom third for strikeouts, the top five in steals and the top 10 in batting average (.260). That's the description of an effective National League offense. An old-school, move-the-line group that makes more contact than all but four teams in the majors. 

The rest of baseball is switching to golf swings to pound low-ball pitching. The Sox look like they could be on a black-and-white newsreel shuffling around the bags.

Should you have faith in that method come the playoffs? There's reason to be dubious.

But the construction should be appreciated for the sake of disparity, both in the context of recent Red Sox history and the sport’s home-run renaissance.

Alex Gordon of the Royals hit the season’s 5,964th home run Tuesday, besting the record mark set in 2000 — dead in the middle of the steroid era.

At present, the Sox lineup is particularly out of sorts because of injuries. Dustin Pedroia should be back Wednesday, but was out of the starting lineup Tuesday. Hanley Ramirez isn’t starting either. Eduardo Nunez’s rehab from a knee injury is coming along, but may not move quite as quickly as expected.

Even if all are healthy, this group remains strange. Because the Sox offense looks so different than what people expect of the Sox, the opposite of what people expect of an American League East-winning team. The opposite of what people expect of any American League team, period.

The arms are the driving force for the Sox, and must remain so if they’re to be successful in October. The sturdiness of the bullpen, tired but resolute, cannot be understated when the workload is extended in September. No team can go 15-3 in extra-inning games without stellar and timely pitching.

But the entirety of pitching coach Carl Willis’ staff has been wonderful. Drew Pomeranz didn’t have his best fastball velocity on Tuesday and was still effective in 6 1/3 innings.

The outfield play can’t be overlooked either. Bradley’s a brilliant patrolman in center field and his leaping catches to rob home runs — he took one away from Chris Davis Tuesday — have been their own attractions.

The Sox, meanwhile, just don't hit many balls far enough to be robbed.

If you’re cut from an old-school cloth, and didn’t really love those station-to-station, home-run powered offenses of yore, this Sox team is for you. There's something to be said for the experience of simply watching something different.

CSNNE SCHEDULE

Red Sox score on wild pitch in 11th for 1-0 win over Orioles

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Red Sox score on wild pitch in 11th for 1-0 win over Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Though they rank last in the American League in home runs, the Boston Red Sox have found plenty of other ways to win - especially in extra innings.

Jackie Bradley Jr. scored the game's lone run on a wild pitch by Brad Brach in the 11th inning, and Boston used six pitchers to silence the Baltimore Orioles' bats in a 1-0 victory Tuesday night.

Boston has won 10 of 13 to move a season-high 23 games over .500 (87-64) and draw closer to clinching a postseason berth. The Red Sox started the day with a three-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees in the AL East.

It was the second straight tight, lengthy game between these AL East rivals. Boston won in 11 innings on Monday night and is 15-3 in extra-inning games - tying a franchise record for extra-inning wins set in 1943.

In this one, pitching and defense proved to be the winning formula. After Drew Pomeranz allowed five hits over 6 1/3 innings, five relievers held the Orioles hitless the rest of the way.

"They've been able, to a man, hand it off to the next guy and continue to build a bridge until we can scratch out a run - tonight not even with an RBI," manager John Farrell said. "We find a way to push a run across."

With a runner on second and two outs in the 11th, Brach (4-5) walked Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts to load the bases for Mitch Moreland, who sidestepped a bouncing pitch from Brach that enabled Bradley to score without a throw.

Joe Kelly (4-1) worked the 10th and Matt Barnes got three outs for his first save.

"They've been unbelievable," Boston's Brock Holt said of the bullpen. "That's why our record is what is in extra-inning games, because of those guys."

The game stretched into extra innings in part because Bradley made a sensational catch to rob Baltimore slugger Chris Davis of a home run in the fifth inning. Bradley quickly judged the trajectory of the ball while running to his left, then left his feet and stretched his arm over the 7-foot wall in center field.

The finish came after Pomeranz and Kevin Gausman locked up in a scoreless duel that was essentially the exact opposite of Monday night's 10-8 slugfest.

Although he didn't get his 17th win, Pomeranz lowered his ERA to 3.15 and set a career high by pitching at least six innings for the 17th time (in 30 starts).

Gausman was even sharper, giving up just three hits over eight innings with one walk and seven strikeouts.

The right-hander retired the first 14 batters he faced before Rafael Devers singled off the right-field wall.

Baltimore threatened in the third inning when Manny Machado hit a two-out double, but he was thrown out by Benintendi trying to score on Jonathan Schoop's single to left field.

No one else got to third base until the sixth, when Baltimore had runners at the corners with two outs before Pomeranz struck out Mark Trumbo with a high, outside fastball.

The Orioles have lost 11 of 13 to fall out of contention.

"They're very frustrated right now," manager Buck Showalter said. "You can imagine grinding as our guys have since February and not being able to push a run like that across in some of these games when we pitch well. That's been a challenge for us. I feel for them because I know how much it means to them."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia, who left Monday's game in the fourth inning after fouling a ball off his nose, did not start but was used as a pinch hitter in the 10th inning and grounded into a double play. Farrell said Pedroia will likely return to the starting lineup Wednesday. . DH Hanley Ramirez (left arm soreness) was out of the starting lineup for the sixth consecutive game. Farrell said Ramirez was available to pinch hit and is likely to start Wednesday.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: Chris Sale (16-7, 2.86 ERA) will seek to match his career high in wins Wednesday night in the series finale. He needs 13 strikeouts to become the first AL pitcher with 300 in a season since Pedro Martinez in 1999.

Orioles: Wade Miley (8-13, 5.32 ERA) has lost his last three starts. The left-hander gave up six runs and got only one out against the Yankees on Friday night.