Talkin’ Baseball: The Rays and Sox.

Talkin' Baseball: Rays go for history.

Talkin' Baseball: Rays go for history.

Good evening.

Well, do you think the Rays will close it out tonight? A lot of people are saying if the Red Sox stay alive, that with Beckett and Lester, they might have an advantage in Games 6 and 7. It’s not that unreasonable an assumption.

But, in a surprise move, tonight the Rays are starting Scott Kazmir, whom the Sox rocked in Game 2. Good or bad move?

We could have an interesting night.

163 thoughts on “Talkin’ Baseball: The Rays and Sox.

  1. I hope the Rays take it all.

    It would be good to see new blood.

    And the Phillies won’t be able to brag too much.

  2. First inning/Two walks, 21 pitches. Kazmir works out of it. Let’s tag this inning.-JD

  3. To digress away from the Rays/Sox for a minute, I assume you either saw or heard about Francesa’s discussions with Evan Roberts yesterday on WFAN.

    Scanning the internet today, Inoticed a blurb on Mike Silva’s site that indicated that Francesa revealed a rift between between him and David Wright … are you aware of anything going on between them?

  4. JD – we all started talking last night about last off-season and the deadline … it was very uncharacteristic on Omars part he basically re-signed everybody and got Johan and that was it despite the obvious holes….

    Was that really by Omars design or a product of upper mgt IYO

  5. There’s a whole list of people that Mike Francesa has a ‘rift’ with – some go back many years i.e. his ‘rift’ with Belichick. David must be a recent addition to this list.

  6. By the way, the firejoemorgan.com website posted the post season predictions of 16 ESPN baseball analysts back on October 1st. Not a single one picked the Phillies to reprsent the National League.

  7. When exactly would Francesa ever get a chance to “rift” with David Wright? He doesn’t hang out in the Mets clubhouse. Did Wright tell Francesa at some “Day with the Mets on WFAN” that Mickey Mantle was an overrated, drunk, chain smoking adulterer and he found Mike’s stories about him as dull as last week’s news?

  8. Annie, thanks … yes, I know Francesa’s history … we need look no further than Chris Russo …. I was just wondering if there was anything public that I may have missed or some additional comments made on Francesa’s show that would give any details.

  9. Ron (6): Not aware of anything between Francesa and Wright. Not surprised if there were. Francesa has issues with a lot of people. I know he’s popular, but that doesn’t make him right. When it comes to baseball, he’s off on a lot of things, not the least of which is trading the core players.-JD

  10. ed (7): I thought Minaya had a plan and it didn’t pan out. Minaya told Jeff Wilpon in December that he believed Santana would be available later. He said Santana “would come back to us.” Fair enough. But, I believe this caused him to hold onto his trade chips and some things went by him.-JD

  11. Dan (10): Francesa does not work the clubhouse. It is beneath him. He and Russo would do their show in the press box at Legends Field every spring training, but not once did he take the elevator to the clubhouse level. This, is your expert.-JD

  12. John, thanks … personally, I find it hard to listen to him.

    He is a self-absorbed know-it-all that seems to run his show by fear and intimidation … his constant insistence that the Mets trade either Wright or Reyes is ridiculous …. you don’t trade these guys you build around them.

    Yesterday, he was particularly annoying stating that David Wright is a “Dime a Dozen” player and then later saying that “every team had a David Wright” …

    In regards to his beloved Yankees he stated clearly that the Yankees will get Texeira and Sabathia because 98% of the time when they want a player they get him.

  13. I know it’s impossible to predict but do the Mets truly believe Church will be healthy to start the year.

  14. You would think they would have decided on the coaches by now… they have to find the new coaches and try to re-sign players they want in the first 15 days … then the craziness starts

  15. Dan, Ron – Mike’s been ‘interviewing’ replacements for Russo by having them spend an afternoon – or two – with him. Today he had Frank Isola, the Daily News beat writer for the Knicks. Interestingly enough the conversation was mainly about politics and last nights debate and Isola really put Mike away – even quoted an Op Ed from this morning’s Times.

  16. I know that Fox thinks Tampa – Philly is a bad matchup, but I believe the ratings will surprise. Everybody loves a real surprise team.

  17. I’ll be watching for sure, finally and intriguing matchup. The suprise team and the arch rivals, phillies. LETS GO RAYS>

  18. John – haven’t we seen this 5-0 score before? These kids are fearless – and, as Ron just said “in a 25 mph wind”.

  19. To the group – about Chris Russo. I don’t listen to Sirrius (?) or wherever Chris is working now. Do any of you?

  20. ed (20): He should be better after resting for over four months. It would be disturbing if there were still problems stemming from the concussion. However, at the end of the season there was no indication of that.-JD

  21. No, I refuse to pay to listen to radio. There is a free three-day trial to Sirius but I;ve never bothered to try it.

    Let’s go Rays. The Steinbrenners must be fuming over the Rays success funded by the Yankee money. Alright, once in a while it’s okay to take delight in the miseries of others

  22. John (14) Mike’s not an expert about anything, he just thinks he is. In fact I would say the average fan knows more than he does. He also owns some racehorses jointly with Bill Parcells and thinks he understands racing. He doesn’t – and I’m very sure about that.

  23. I don’t suppose there would be any surprises if I asked who you would root for: Rays or Phillies?-JD

  24. ed (34): Shame on you. The World Series should always go seven. If there was a baseball law, that should be it.-JD

  25. I think the Cinderella Rays is a great baseball story. The problem is Joe Buck really is not much of a baseball fan and McCarver, at least to me does not do his homework on the teams the way he did years ago.

  26. Martin Brodeur and the Devils just beat Atlanta 1-0. He’s something like 10 wins behind Patrick Roy in wins and 4 behind Terry Sawchuk in shutouts. This guy deserves to be mentioned with any athlete: Seaver, LT, Rivera, Frazier, etc that ever played in New York As Wellington Mara used to justify his move 35 years ago, the Meadowlands are closer to the Empire State Building than Yankee Stadium.

  27. Dan (37) Brian Leetch grew up in my hometown here in CT so we are hockey fans, but I agree with you, hockey is always the fourth sport mentioned, and it’s players never seem to get the recognition they deserve. Can’t even get Hockey Night in Canada anymore here in the states. I was at the old Montreal Forum one Saturday night years ago, and believe me, that was a happening.

  28. Dan
    Martin Brodeur great hockey player but he played in NJ. He never had to deal with the white hot lights of the NY media. The Devils are an afterthought to the NY papers.

  29. Scott (41): And, that’s a shame. Both the Devils and Nets deserve more ink. Believe me, if a baseball team moved to Jersey it would get attention.-JD

  30. Communication failure on my laptop so I have been offline for a bit.

    1. Annie (#25): I do not listen to Sirrius so I have no heard Russo, but some in my family have and they said he is doing agreat job …

    2. John (#33): Lets Go Rays — the Phillies have surpassed the Braves in terms of “hateability”

    3. Scott (#36): I don’t think Joe Buck is a very good baseball play-by-play announcer … as for McCarver, I like him more then most but he nothing special and it would probably serve FOX well to consider a change. But please, do not swap out Buck/McCarver for Chip Caray and Buck Martinez.

  31. The death of Alexi Cherepanov has me a feeling a bit down on hockey. No words explain it.

  32. Fourth inning/Kazmir is dealing tonight. He and Pelfrey. That would be some sweet duo.-JD

  33. ron
    I still remember when McCarver did Mets games. Back then he was great, he has lost a lot off his fastball.

  34. Is it too late for me to say that I think starting Scott Kazmir today was a good move? Honest I did. But the way they are going and the way the Red Sox are folding, Kris Benson or Victor Zambrano would shut them down.

  35. Ron – I grew up listening to Tim McCarver and think he is terrific, but I’d rather have Ron Darling do every game – he’s that good.

  36. The inevitable happens..

    The Union is suing baseball for collusion over Barry Bonds.

    So after his trial he will come back and save baseball

  37. I think with McCarver and a lot of analysts is the game and players change a few years after they retire. So what they know becomes irrelevant. But a play by play guy last because a ground ball to short is always a ground ball to short (unless you are Michael Kay where it’s a deep drive to left. But I digress). But McCarver seems to force his points way more than he did 20 years ago (although he did it occasionally back then).

  38. dave (53): Well, it’s the union’s job, but really let’s have some shame. The union should be thinking about protecting the jobs of the players who were beaten out by the cheaters.-JD

  39. Scott: actually around 1975 McCarver asked the Phillies for a broadcast job. They said no, but we need a back up catcher and left handed bat. He ended up as Steve Carlton’s personal catcher and played 5 more years before going into the Phillie booth.

  40. OK McCarver fans, I’ve got a book written by Tim in 1987. The title is provocative – anyone know it?

  41. Annie, I go back to the beginning — Lindsay Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner … had to endure Steve Albert back in 1978 when Lindsay left the Mets (that was not pretty) …. having to also endure people like Lorne Brown, Jiggs McDonald and Bob Carpenter doing Mets games — I agree, McCarver was great on Mets telecasts.

    I’ll take Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez now any day doing any game … with DirecTV and the baseball package, you get to hear them all and our guys are the very best.

    (on edit: I will remove Von Scully from that comparison because his broadcast is completely unique and should not be compared to any others).

  42. Scott (57): They would never let me on it.

    Judge: “Sir, have you ever heard of Barry Bonds?”
    Me: “You mean that cheating, lying piece of garbage?”-JD

  43. The thing that is most interesting about the Rays is that last year they had the worst bullpen in baseball and now look at their pen. Truly amazing how important the bullpen is in this new era of baseball.

  44. Fifth inning/The thing about Bonds, is like him or hate him, he was a great player before the steroids. He would have gotten into the Hall of Fame without the juice.-JD

  45. Annie (#60): First, I am not a McCarver fan …. just not as down on him as many are … I believe the book title was Oh baby, I love it ….

  46. JD

    Yes it is the Union’s job. kinda sorta.

    perhaps it is politics that they are compelled to take the players side no matter how thin their ground is.

    I remember reading an article quoting some front office guy around why no one would take him.

    It had nothing to do with his ability, it all involved the circus that would surround any team that would have him and the potential for pulling him in the middle of the season because of a trial.

    I thought it made a lot of sense. In the end any well run organization seeks stability. Few managers like surprises.

    Why would you want someone on the team who is probably marginal, will create a circus starting in spring so you cannot implement your program and then may be taken away from you at any time forcing you to fill a hole?

  47. Ron – I agree with you about Vin Scully – he really is one of a kind.

    I’m glad you didn’t mention Fran Healy, too……….he was awful, simply awful.

  48. Scott, Steve Lamar — good one. My doctors told me that I didn’t forget … I simply suppressed the memory of him.

  49. dave (67): There was no way any team would have wanted any part of a Bonds circus. It had nothing to do with collusion, but universal common sense. … Of course, this is the union’s job. I just wonder how Fehr could argue on behalf of Bonds with a straight face.-JD

  50. Annie (#68): funny thing about Fran Healy … he was one of — if not the absolute worst — play-by-play guys to ever speak into a microphone, but he is one of the nicest guys in the world …. I met him once and he was terrific.

    Your “awful, simply awful” characterization of his work is being too kind.

  51. I’ve already suppressed Wayne Hagin from my mind. But unfortunately Fran Healy is too deeply ingrained to forget.

  52. Speakly of McCarver, wasn’t there a time in the 1980s when John and Bo Derek (“10″ fame) approached him about appearing in a film. They had seen him on some TV show and thought he would be good in movies. They were surprised to learn he was actually a long time baseball player and announcer.

  53. Dan (78): Didn’t McCarver have a cameo in the movie with Leslie Nielson (Police Squad, I think). Wasn’t he one of the eight or nine announcers in one scene?-JD

  54. Tim always mentions that he played in four decades – and also caught some of the most difficult pitchers ever. Gibson, Carlton etc.

  55. Here’s a depressing idea. Maybe the MLBPA will sue mlb for turning a blind eye to PED abuse which forced honest players like Ben Grieve to lose their jobs. There was a time a few years ago when Suffolk County was getting sued by prisoners for allowing guard abuse and by the union for suspending abusive guards.

  56. As the Rays get closer and closer to wrapping this up, I am now very happy that the AL won the All-Star game in July so that TB has the home-field advantage against the Phillies.

    I didn’t feel the same back in the summer, but I sure do now.

  57. Sixth inning/For those scoring at home, this was the 200th post since this blog was created and tonight we hit our 7,000th comment. Thanks so much.-JD

  58. John: Yes, McCarver was in “Naked Gun”. Along with Curt Gowdy, Mel allen, Dick Enberg, Jim Palmer, Dick Vitale (!) and Dr Joyce Brothers (!!). I wonder who talked the most on the set when they filmed that scene.

  59. Dan (85): That’s right … Naked Gun. That was a funny scene. Gotta be Vitale who talked the most.-JD

  60. The funny thing is – yankee fans are so happy boston is losing. They dont think that the Rays will be a threat to them for years to come.

  61. Ray (88): Good call. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Rays reached the ALCS again before the Yankees.-JD

  62. John (89) I’d say the Manager but that’s probably not an answer you’ll accept. It has really been a team effort, though hasn’t it?

  63. Chuck Lamar bragging about his Kazmir theft. Thanks, Chuck for sending us those damaged goods.

  64. Looking at Tampa’s year they started off playing slightly below .500. But in late April they swept 6 games at home against the Blue Jays (with crowds in the 8,000s) and Red Sox. They drew 1.8 million for the year which is the second best in their history (2.5 million their first year). I suppose I should rip them for drawing 1.2 million for years but 30 years ago the Mets were drawing 800,000 to 1.2 million to see Mettle the mule. By the way, special boo to Lorinda de Roulet for copying Charlie Finley’s worst idea.

  65. Ray (97): It takes two to make a deal. You could understand the Mets’ need to get a veteran pitcher because they believed they were close. Truth is, they overestimated Zambrano (it didn’t quite take 10 minutes to fix him) and underestimated what they had in Kazmir. Just a bad deal.-JD

  66. As for MVP, I’d say it will be Longoria but could be Carl Crawford … maybe a co-MVP like Schilling/Johnson in 2001 World Series.

  67. John (95) I missed the tie – can you describe it? (I will never forget the lilac sports jacket)

  68. JD. I disagree. Zambrano was hurt when he got here. Or so I read. Some say he was covering it up. Who Knows? this will be this generations Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi.

  69. Ray (104): Maybe he was covering it up. But, at the time, the Mets believed they were getting something. They were wrong.-JD

  70. Nice to see the Red Sox get beaten badly. I never swallowed this nonsense about how wonderful they and their fans are. More preferable to Yankees in the sense that “Afternoon Delight” is a better song tha “Honey” but still wretched. Whining about the Yankees signing Contreras for $32 million and then pay $100 million for Matsusaka? Complaining about Harry Freeze selling Babe Ruth but forgetting Tom Yawkey buying Lefty Grove, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Cronin and Vern Stephens? A plague on both your houses!
    Hopefully the Blue Jays can rise and shut both these teams out of October!

    Boy, I really am snarky today.

  71. If Francesa just saw Longoria hit into that DP he’ll be on his show tomorrow suggesting the Rays break up their core.

  72. Dan – It’s not the team I like, it’s the ballpark. Once talked my way into the place just to see it. It was about 4PM before a night game. My first reaction was how small the park was and how big the green wall was.

  73. Mike and the Mad Dog were saying back in May they saw nothing special in Langoria. The trained eye of these two. And they make $5 million a piece for these observations, that’s the kicker.

  74. Dan, interesting. Yesterday, Francesa wanted to trade David Wright for Longoria. I noted Francesa’s comments above and repeat here — he was particularly annoying stating that David Wright is a “Dime a Dozen” player and then later saying that “every team had a David Wright” …

  75. John, Francesa was particularly down on Wright yesterday … that’s why I asked earlier in the thread if you had any lnowledge of a rift between them. I did not listen to him today, but he was as anti-Wright with Evan Roberts yesterday as I have ever seen him.

    The radio talk show host was angry yesterday my fiend … like an old man trying to send soup back at a deli.

    (Note: anyone get the reference?)

  76. Maybe his wife will take him to task – she’s from a large family of Mets Fans – her mother is known as Mrs. Met – and Mike’s three little children are being raised as Mets fans.

  77. The thought of Mike Francesa lying on his back in bed with three little kids running around him evokes memories of Gulliver’s Travels.

    Maybe they could wrap a bunch of wire around him and cart him off to Shea Stadium and place him on the pitcher’s mound so that when they cart away the diassembled pieces, they can take him away too.

  78. These last seven outs will be hard to get. You knew the Red Sox would have one last gasp.-JD

  79. Scott, his kids are like 4 and 2 … they really don’t understand yet … eventually, Mike will threaten to eat them if they do not become Yankee fans and they’ll switch their allegiance.

  80. Annie, not the Soup Nazi … actually it’s the Marine Biologist.

    As George tells the story at Monks Diner … after he trudges into the ocean to help the beached whale — whose blowhole is obstructed by an errant Kramer gold ball — he says: “The sea was angry that day my firends … like an old man trying to send soup back at a deli.”

    The soup reference always confuses people.

  81. omigod, J.D. Drew, the player Francesa dismissed as a soft player, just made it 7-6. These Red Sox are going down fighting, or maybe even prevailing.

  82. Sometimes, the tension in baseball can be unbearable. … This is a beat writer’s nightmare. … Your story most of the night has been the Red Sox season ending, then you have to change gears.-JD

  83. When did Grant Balfour become Aaron Heilman? And Dan Wheeler … well, he’s still Dan Wheeler.

  84. Did I hear that correctly? This would be the “comeback of all comebacks.” Kind of think coming back from 3-0 in 2004 against the Yankees was a little bigger.-JD

  85. Amazing game. This is why baseball is such a great game. Gut feeling tells me the Sox can’t lose tonight. … Then again, watch the Rays score four in the ninth.-JD

  86. John, I did not hear it — earlier, they said that in their history, the Red Sox have not come back to win a post-season game from a deficit of more than 3 runs … soemthing they have done 3 times … coming back from a 7-0 deficit would be the comeback of all comebacks.

    … and with that, they have at least come back to tie it.

  87. sox are winning this game and the series.

    this game reminds me the way the mets played this phils

  88. Amazing. I detest the Red Sox but you have to admire for what they did. And why did Wheeler stay in the inning?

  89. pvhornet05 (140): Now that you mention it, I remember the Mets blowing a 7-0 lead to the Phils. Pedro started that night. That game told me the Mets wouldn’t do it.-JD

  90. the play-by-play on baseball-reference doesn’t mention it but I could swear Gil Hodges pulled Gary Gentry out of game 3 of the 1969 NLCS when he had a 2-0 count. The Mets were up 2-0 in the secoond and the Braves had runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Anyone remember that, Gentry relieved while pitching to a batter? Made me wonder if Maddon should have done that with Crisp up

  91. Everytime the camera pans the crowd and focuses on a beautiful girl, I think of what Keith Hernandez said that night.-JD

  92. I can just hear Francesa now … Longoria should be moved to 1B becasue he is a liabilty at third.

  93. This is exactly a game the 2008 Mets would have played … get up big early, get a strong effort from your starting pitcher and then watch the bullpen blow it in a big way.

    Simply unbelievable.

  94. What a great, great game. What’s better than playoff baseball? Good night all. Talk with you later.-JD

  95. hey what about that rays fan who held up the sign that said something like i bought these tickets in exchange for my ex wife. Man does that guy look like an ass.

  96. The Red Sox…..somehow…..seem to battle back no matter how pathetic they look……unlike our favorite team. I think there is some merit to the gritty player theory….it’s not just about talent……it’s mental attitude also. They might very well still lose, but they aren’t going down without a fight…….unlike our favorite team.

  97. Wow. Just Wow. I still think the Rays will take it on Saturday, but Wow…what a comeback. And what was that guy Gross thinking about? An awful throw and a wave as the ball by Drew went over his head.

  98. Dan: I only fuzzily remember hearing stories about that game, but if I recall didn’t Nolan Ryan relieve him and strike out the side?