Monday, September 18, 2006

Sea Dogs clinch EL Title; Sox take two from NY

Sea Dogs Win! Sea Dogs Win!

Yesterday the Sea Dogs beat Akron in Game 5 of the Eastern League championships to win their first title, behind an eight-inning, 3 ER start from Devern Hansack. It marked the first time Hansack had gone deeper than seven innings in his career. Immediately after the game Hansack was called up to Boston and has been added to the 40. A big day for the Nicaraguan. Game story is here.

Keoni De Renne's bases-loaded triple in the third turned out to be the back-breaker. It was De Renne's first triple of the season, and in fact just his eighth extra-base hit. After the game Keoni was notified that he would not be called up to Boston. Probably ever. Still, a clutch performance by the diminutive Hawaiian.

Personally, I think this is a huge victory for the Sea Dogs and the Sox organization. This sort of playoff experience is great for the prospects on that team, and there are a few who we are hoping will make an impression with the BoSox, notably Jacoby Ellsbury, Brandon Moss, and new guy George Kotteras. Edgar Martinez and Chad Spann are also MLB hopefuls but missed the series. It's even more impressive that Portland pulled off the win without these key cogs. I wish to god NESN would televise these games, but apparently they can't, because they are retarded. Or maybe there's a more technical reason.

Sox Sweep Doubleheader

Yesterday was kind of fun, although meaningless, wasn't it? Always nice to take two at the Toilet, even though the Yanks will shortly buy another division win. The reason it's nice is because the real losers are Yankee fans, and whenever they lose, I'm happy. I know there are good Yanks fans out there, because I've met some of them, but often even those guys are apologists for Yankee spending - the sense of entitlement is in their DNA, like expansive body hair. It makes me crazy. It annoys and embarrasses me that the Sox spend $70 Million more than Oakland and KC, and all the rest. I feel that each time we lose - especially to them - it adds insult to injury to everyone involved, to all of baseball. Not Yankee fans - they believe that not only is the fiscal lopsidedness their right, they believe it is a moral imperative. They're baseball's version of the Duke brothers in Trading Places.

Anyway, off the soapbox and back to baseball, or what passes for baseball in the Bronx. We probably won't get a salary cap imposed in this space. Torre didn't play his full contingent in either game yesterday, resting his players for the upcoming playoffs. So, we didn't really take down the $200 Million machine in all it's fullness. Still, there were a few high points for the Sox to take away from the wins.

Number one, Kyle Snyder put together another good start, going five innings, striking out seven, and only giving up a couple runs. Moreover, he bailed himself out of a couple jams, including a bases-loaded nightmare that would have caused him to implode just a few weeks back. I am starting to believe this kid can be a decent #5 starter. Certainly, for the money, we have to keep him next year. There doesn't seem to be a predictive "Kyle Snyder Face"; that's good.

Number two, Pedroia had a clutch pinch-hit double for an RBI, and looks much more comfortable at the plate. He also jacked a Mussina pitch about 400 feet down the line, just missing an HR, in the second game. Let the DPed are begin.

Number three, Crisp hit the ball well and made a spectacular catch to rob Mr. Potato Head Jorge Posada ("You say potato, I say Posada") of a tater. Everyone in this organization needs him to perform well, and I think he's finally settling in. I for one will be disappointed if we pull the plug on him in the offseason. He may (will) never be a superstar but we have not yet seen what he can bring to this ballclub.

Lastly, the Sox dingers. David Murphy hit his first ML homerun in the first game, and Big Papi hit his 49th of the season. With Manny out his quest for Fifty hit a bit of a snag, but he'll pull it off somehow. He's Big Papi, and if you won't give him strikes to hit, he'll golf your weak-ass junk pitches out of the yard. He is tired of walking. I can say this because he and I talk a lot, usually with me asking him questions and taking his non-responses for affirmatives.

The Twinkies are next, and this series is going to be the tough one. We are extremely fortunate they shut Liriano down. Let's hope Wake gets some of that old magic back tonight.

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