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Monster Blog Wednesday – Home Run Derby Pitchers

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It’s MLB All Star week, so we decided to cater our monster blog to one of the more exciting competitions: Home Run Derby. A sometimes forgotten but key element in the Home Run Derby is the man assigned to pitch to each participant. Sometimes they’re the player’s dad, sometimes they’re the player’s coach; what the Average Nobodies might lack in baseball skill and overall strength we make up for in creativity. That’s why we pulled out the big guns for our Home Run Derby pitchers:

 

Mo Vaughn

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This one was kind of a no brainer for me. I see the ball better off of righties, and Mo Vaughn was the greatest hitter with a dirty man’s beard of all time. Chances are Mo won’t throw too many strikes, but I’m a bad ball hitter so it ain’t no thing. My overall fear of not knowing where Mo is going to throw the ball will help me hit the most home runs possible. Not because it will motivate me, but because I’ll be defending my body and face against insane wildness. Also, “The Hit Dog” is one of my favorite baseball nicknames of all time, and any time you can bring an old school Sox player with you to the All Star game you have to do it. If I had 10 choices for who my pitcher would be, I’d pick Mo Vaughn ten times.

-Ryan

Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson

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The guy feeding me the ball would have to be my favorite pitcher of all-time, Randy Johnson. Being a big guy with a strong left arm, Randy and I can relate. Even though he’s “big” in the fact that he’s tall and I’m “big” because I eat way too much Taco Bell; and the fact that he has a strong left arm because he’s was a MLB pitcher and I have a strong left arm because…well…other things. Even with those differences i’ve always had a connection with Randy. Even my nickname on my high school swim team was “The Big Unit”! Don’t ask me how I got it, because I actually still don’t get it.  Tell me for one second that staring down the barrel of that mustache and mullet wouldn’t give me the strength to blast 100 balls into the cheap seats.

-Matt

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Let’s Talk About That Diving Catch By Jackie Bradley Jr. For A Second

If I could propose to and marry that catch I would. Fully extended, in the gap. I don’t care if Kirstie Alley hit that ball, that’s an easy two run triple if he doesn’t make that catch. The youth movement is in full force right now, and may be just what the doctor ordered. I’m not going loco and predicting the Sox make the playoffs, but it’s sure going to be fun watching these 21-26 year olds find their way and put their personal stamp on the game. By the way:

– Ryan

Goodbye A.J. Pierzynski Hello Christian Vasquez

Bon voyage Red Sox manager John Farrell confirmed on WEEI’s Dale & Holley Show this afternoon that catcher A.J. Pierzynski has been designated for assignment.

Pierzynski batted .254 for the Red Sox in 72 games this season, swatting just four home runs to go with 30 RBIs, and he’s been slumping lately at the plate. A free agent entering the offseason, Pierzynski was inked to a one-year, $8.25 million deal in December.

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I’ll be honest – at the beginning of the season I thought A.J. was going to work out. Veteran catcher with a veteran staff with a veteran backup. Well we’re almost at the All Star break and the Red Sox are a hell of a lot closer to getting the #1 draft pick next year than they are to first place. Obviously this isn’t all on Pierzynski, but he sucks right now and he’s sucked all year and that didn’t help things. On the plus side, Christian Vasquez is a great defensive catcher who’s thrown out 40% of base stealers and is batting .280. And he’s 23. Youth movement in full force.

– Ryan

Watching the 2004 Red Sox Reunion Last Night Made Me Realize How Much I Loved That Team

The Red Sox brought back the 2004 team before last night’s game to celebrate the ten year anniversary of that world champion squad. 2014 Red Sox fans are spoiled after watching three world series wins in 10 years, but it’s easy to forget just how special that 2004 team was. They were nicknamed “The Idiots”, but they had the most character I’ve ever seen on a baseball team. From Manny to Damon to Millar to Pedro to Lowe to Ortiz to Timlin’s army fatigue undershirt: every guy on that team mattered, and every guy on that team contributed. They might not have been the best team that year, but they were the most fun to watch, and the 2004 ALCS is still the greatest series in the history of sports. Let’s hope some of that magic from the ’04 squad being at Fenway rubbed off on the 2014 team and we start making a serious run. Cowboy up!

– Ryan

I’m Not Saying The Red Sox Won Because of Ryan Lavarnway’s Mustache But I’m Absolutely Saying That

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Big league stache.

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Red Sox lose 10 straight without the stache, then start a winning streak once the stache arrives. Coincidence? I don’t know, I’m not a doctor. All I know is if Ryan Lavarnway shaves that mustache he should be exiled to the Chicago Cubs, where baseball players go to die.

– Ryan

If There is Such a Thing As a Perfect Sports Night, I Had It Last Night

The 8 seed Dallas Mavericks beat the 1 seed San Antonio Spurs to even the series 1-1 and break their own personal 10 game losing against the Spurs. The Red Sox beat the New York Yankees behind 8 innings and 11 strikeouts from John Lackey. Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda gets thrown out of the game for using pine tar. The only thing that could have made this night better was if the 49ers beat the Seahawks and then Pete Carroll got mugged after the game and lost one of his eyes. Since that’s not possible, last night will have to do.

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I don’t want to make a big deal about winning game 2 of a first round series but all I’ve read about this series is how the Mavericks were going to get swept because they were too slow, too old, too bad defensively. We may win in 5, 6, 7 or lose in 5, 6 or 7, but beating the Spurs at home by 21 is HUGE for this team. Plus Casual Dirk showed up in the post game press conference.

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Casual Dirk doesn’t need multi colored sweaters or a bow tie and suspenders. He’ll answer your questions to be polite, then he’s got some jumpers to swoosh.

Also, this:

Oh really? Losing game two at home by 21 is better than winning game two at home and taking a 2-0 series lead? Go to hell asshole.

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When the Red Sox get their shit together, and it will happen, we’ll look back at this game as one of the turning points. The Sox needed Lackey to come up big tonight and that’s exactly what he did. The bullpen was spent. They even optioned Nava to Pawtucket so they could add Alex Wilson as an extra arm. What does Lackey do? 8 innings, 11 K’s, zero walks. It’s especially important after Lester sucked last night, because if Lester and Lackey can consistently pitch like top dogs we’ll be fine. Always a plus when you find out your arch rivals have the dumbest athlete of all time on their pitching staff. Perfect sports night complete.

– Ryan

Michael Pineda Might Be the Dumbest Athlete of All Time

Source – New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda was ejected from Wednesday night’s game with the Boston Red Sox in the second inning for having a foreign substance on his neck that he was applying to the baseball.

In a bizarre sequel to an April 10 game between the Yankees and Red Sox, in which Pineda was suspected of having pine tar on the palm of his pitching hand, Red Sox manager John Farrell asked home plate umpire Gerry Davis to check Pineda.

After a mound conference in which Davis checked Pineda’s hand, the ball, and finally, the right side of his neck, Pineda was ejected from the game. At the time, Pineda had a 1-2 count onGrady Sizemore. He was replaced by David Phelps, who completed the strike out.

I don’t want to kick a guy when he’s down but how dumb can one person be? I thought the  guy with “murder” tattooed on his neck was dumb, but Michael Pineda might take the cake here. The Red Sox were obviously skeptical of him using pine tar to get a better grip on the ball the last time they played two weeks ago, so what does he do?

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He puts a shit ton of pine tar on his neck. That’s as obvious as it gets. If people really think John Farrell did something wrong here then they need to get their head examined. He let it go in Yankee Stadium. He even let it go during the first inning tonight. But if Pineda is going to be an asshole about it then he’s going to get thrown out of the game. And for any Yankee fans chirping, we were SHELLING Pineda over the first inning and two thirds. You should count yourself lucky we took him out of the game for you. With the most recent incident now behind him, I fully expect Pineda to go to the mound with a jar labeled “pine tar” for his next start.

– Ryan

 

The Red Sox Are 6-9 and It’s April 17th – Shut Down the Season!

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In all seriousness this isn’t the ideal start to the season for the defending World Series Champions, and they do have some serious holes to fill, but lets pump the brakes please. Of all the major sports, baseball plays the most games. The season streches for 6-7 months. They’ve played 15 out of 162 games.

The good: they have a great manager/coaching staff and the core group from last season returning; their pitching has been solid. The Sox are 9th in ERA and 2nd in quality starts. Uehara, Tazawa and Breslow have a combined ERA of 0.0. Peavy and Lester have both looked great, and the Red Sox started a new trend and decided to score some runs for John Lackey this year. Napoli was off to his usual hot start before the thumb injury, leading the team in batting average, home runs and RBI’s. They have Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. Not the best start for these two, but after watching them for seven and eleven years respecitvely, they’re two guys I’d want going to war with me.

The bad: Felix Doubront, Edward Mujica, pretty much every offensive player besides Sizemore and Napoli. They cannot hit with RISP. During last nights White Sox game they were walked fifteen times and scored 6 runs…in 14 innings. Clutch hitting and hitting with RISP is what seperated them from the pack last year and ultimately made them the best team in baseball. They have 6 stolen bases as a team. SIX. I love Farrell, but he tends to fall in love with certain strategies. If the bats arent producing, you have to switch things up. Hit and runs, take chances on stolen bases, emphasize to the team that taking the extra base is important. They’re 24th in runs scored, 23rd in batting average and 27th in slugging percentage. I know they’ve only played six games at home, but for a team who’s going to play 81 games at Fenway, plus another 18 or so at Camden Yards and Yankee Stadium, that’s not going to cut it.

6-9 isn’t ideal, but I’m far from drunkenly going to Fenway* and defending my team to anyone who will listen. All I know for certain is the nice weather is approaching, and I trust the boys of summer will soon be giving us something to cheer about.

– Ryan

*This was in 2012. Coincidence we won the next year? I think not.

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