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Old 10-24-2007, 07:10 PM   #5326
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Sorry you just simply talk too much like the rainman for me
classic.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:35 PM   #5327
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If you have about five minutes to kill, this is definitely a worthwhile read.

http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbc...04/1002/SPORTS

Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle feeling the Brevard County love

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

-- The Beatles, 1969

Clint Hurdle is feeling the love.

"Incredible," he said. "Just amazing. Absolutely amazing. I've heard from so many people from back home that I'm humbled by it. I really am. People have contacted me through my sisters, through my parents, they've e-mailed, called, penned personal letters and sent them to me. I can't tell you what it means to have that kind of support."

And Hurdle didn't even know about the scrolling marquee sign at his alma mater, Merritt Island High School, wishing him well going into tonight's World Series opening game.

"Great Job! Colorado Rockies and manager Clint Hurdle. Class of '75."

Hurdle paused, digesting the information, speechless for a second.

"Really?" he said. "They did that? Wow! That's so cool."

He paused again.

"When people you've known, people you grew up with, people who've made a difference in your life, people who just care and want to send their well-wishes, when people reach out to you like that, that's the greatest gift."

Joanna Blakeman knows the feeling.

A gift?

"Clint Hurdle is a gift from God," she said.

And then she thought she might cry again.

Blakeman doesn't know the Clint Hurdle we know. The Clint Hurdle who grew up on Merritt Island and later, for 10 years, ran a local baseball school with Brevard Community College coach Ernie Rosseau, who touched thousands of local lives, who this December will be back for his third annual charity softball tournament to raise money and awareness for Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare form of mental retardation which his 5-year-old daughter Madison suffers from.

She doesn't know the Clint Hurdle who called Ernie Rosseau twice a day when Rosseau's mother was dying, or who gives money, time and equipment to BCC's baseball program, every year coming home to speak to Rosseau's team, or to the Mustangs Dugout Club.

No, Joanna Blakeman doesn't know all those things about Clint Hurdle, but she isn't surprised.

Two years ago, the world crashed in on the Blakemans, Joanna and her husband Brad. Their son, Kyle Blakeman, only 13 at the time, was diagnosed with Renal Medullary Carcinoma, a rare cancer that, save from one known survivor of eight years, is always fatal.

Growing up in the Denver suburb known as Highlands Ranch, Kyle loved sports, but especially baseball. The Rockies were his favorite team.

With the family at the hospital one day, just after the diagnosis, the Blakemans' friend, Linda Techentien, went grocery shopping for them at the local Safeway, her mind consumed with the devastating news as she stood in the checkout line.

If only there was some way to get in touch with the Rockies, with Clint Hurdle, she thought. Maybe they could send Kyle an autograph, some piece of memorabilia, something to cheer up him and the family.

Just then, Techentien looked up and there, standing in line in front of her, was Clint Hurdle.

Hesitant at first, she tapped him on the shoulder, told him the story, and asked if there was something the Rockies could do. Hurdle thought of something better. He asked for the boy's name, his parents' names, Kyle's younger sister's name, and wrote it all down.

The next day, Joanna Blakeman answered a ringing phone and on the other end Clint Hurdle introduced himself.

"I was in shock," she said. "Clint Hurdle? The manager of the Colorado Rockies? Calling us? It was unbelievable."

It wasn't a one-time call, either.

Hurdle kept the Blakemans number in his car, on the sun visor. He often would look at the number, bow his head, say a prayer, and then call.

"I can't tell you how many times he called," Joanna Blakeman said Tuesday from the family's home. "He just always stayed in touch. Out of the blue, there'd be a call from Clint. We'd get Kyle on the phone, and they'd just talk. It was the neatest thing for Kyle."

Over the next year, after he was diagnosed in 2005, Kyle had a kidney removed, endured crippling chemotherapy and then aggressive stem cell treatment, which was particularly debilitating.

"Basically, they took Kyle to the brink of death, then brought him back," Joanna said. "In May of 2006, he was cancer free."

And ready to play baseball again, building up his body, working on his skills. Kyle played center in football, but baseball was his love, his passion.

"It was Kyle's lifelong goal to make his high school team," Joanna said. "Baseball is very competitive out here, and Kyle always wanted to play on the most competitive teams in the most competitive leagues."

Last March, he went through a weeklong tryout for his high school team. On the morning when the cuts were posted, the phone rang at the Blakemans' home.

"Once again, out of the blue, it was Clint," Joanna said, and this time she couldn't fend off the tears. "He called at 6 in the morning. Right after Kyle got off the phone with Clint, his friend, Brock Trujillo, called. Brock had gone to school extra early to see who made the baseball team. Kyle had made it. To get a phone call from Clint, and then to learn that he made the team, it was one of the best days of his life."

Kyle played baseball that season, this past spring, and then in a summer league. His doctor told the Blakemans that she thought maybe the stem cell treatment had beaten this form of unbeatable cancer.

"She told us that she was going to take a week off and write a paper, that maybe they were on to something," Joanna said. "The next day, Kyle's back started hurting him."

The cancer had returned, this time with a vengeance. This was early July. Soon Kyle was back in the hospital, never to leave.

"I don't know how, but Clint found out, and he got in touch with us right away," Joanna said.

On August 24, Hurdle visited Kyle at Children's Hospital in Denver. On morphine, it was one of the rare days he was lucid.

The Rockies were struggling, 71/2 games out of first place in the NL West.

"We need some luck," Hurdle told Kyle, sitting at his bedside. "Do you have a lucky number?"

Kyle thought. He wore number 21 in baseball, but for some reason he gave Hurdle his football number.

"Sixty-four," he said.

"I'm going to write it on the lineup card tonight," Hurdle said.

That night, Kyle and his parents stayed up and watched the Rockies against the Washington Nationals. Losing 5-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the Rockies rallied for five runs to win, 6-5, and many people call that game the team's turning point this season.

Since then, the Rockies have gone 33-10, and for every one of those games, Hurdle has written 64 at the top of his lineup card.

"I can guarantee you," said Rockies bench coach Jamie Quirk, Hurdle's longtime friend going back to their days together as players in the Kansas City Royals organization, "the World Series lineup card is going to have the number 64 on it."

Back at the hospital, the Blakemans didn't know if Kyle would survive to the next day. Both Brad and Joanna decided to spend the night in Kyle's room, and had just shut the light when a nurse came in.

"You have a visitor," she said.

In walked Clint Hurdle.

"Clint just lit up the room," Joanna said. "He told us he put Kyle's number 64 on the lineup card, and then he gave the lineup card to Kyle, along with all his notes from the game. It was such a special moment for Kyle, for him to think that he had something to do with the Rockies winning."

The next day, there was a mini-vigil outside Kyle's room, three of his friends and some of their moms. Kyle wouldn't let any of them in, not to see him like this, withering away.

"The whole time he was in the hospital, the only people he let see him were his family, and Clint," Joanna said.

Joanna was telling Kyle's friends how Hurdle had come twice the day before, eliciting exclamations like, "Wow!" "Really?" "You're kidding!"

Just then, she looked up, and walking down the hallway, carrying Rockies hats, was Hurdle.

"And there he is," she said, pointing.

Hurdle greeted everyone, and then headed into Kyle's room for a one-on-one talk. When he left, Joanna watched him, walking down the hallway.

"He kept poking his head in people's rooms, greeting them," she said. "I'll never forget that."

Three days later, on Aug. 28, Kyle Blakeman, only 15, died.

When Colorado clinched a World Series birth last week, in a game that saw Kyle's 10-year-old sister Macie throw out the opening pitch, the Blakemans couldn't help but notice that the Rockies did so by beating Arizona, 6-4, scoring all six of their runs in the fourth inning. That same game, Hurdle pulled starting pitcher Franklin Morales after 64 pitches.

"I kept wondering, why 64, and not 21? Why didn't Kyle tell Clint 21?" Joanna said. "That was his baseball number. I just felt we'd see that number 21 surface somewhere."

The game the Rockies won to go to tonight's World Series was their 21st victory in 22 games, an amazing and unprecedented run.

And the ride continues.

Kyle's football team now wears T-shirts under their jerseys with initials "KB" fashioned in a Superman logo on the front, and the number 64 on the back. The team, the ThunderRidge High Grizzlies, is undefeated this season.

"It's not a magic number," Hurdle said yesterday. "It's meaningful. That's what it is to me. It's meaningful to me, and it's meaningful to them."

He just doesn't know how much.

"Tell Clint, the next time you talk to him, that we send him a big hug," Joanna Blakeman said, fighting back tears. "We just love him."
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:41 PM   #5328
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If u observe, Rockies team is exactly like Detriot Tigers of last year ..

Redsox is hot right now and Rockies have no chance beating red sox..

Please don't get offended..this is how i feel..
U on money friend! Red Sox r greatest team. Rockies r lucky ducks. Sorry 2 say, this series is not good 1. Red Sox win fastly. They rock.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:44 PM   #5329
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• Game 1 starting lineups for tonight:

Colorado

Willy Taveras, center field
Kazuo Matsui, second base
Matt Holliday, left field
Todd Helton, first base
Garrett Atkins, third base
Brad Hawpe, right field
Troy Tulowitzki, shortstop
Yorvit Torrealba, catcher
Ryan Spilborghs, designated hitter

Boston

Dustin Pedroia, second base
Kevin Youklis, first base
David Ortiz, designated hitter
Manny Ramirez, left field
Mike Lowell, third base
Jason Varitek, catcher
J.D. Drew, right field
Julio Lugo, shortstop
Jacoby Ellsbury, center field
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:45 PM   #5330
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U on money friend! Red Sox r greatest team. Rockies r lucky ducks. Sorry 2 say, this series is not good 1. Red Sox win fastly. They rock.
How much did you pay for your WS tickets again?
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:47 PM   #5331
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How much did you pay for your WS tickets again?
They let me pay in brain cells! I got a great deal!
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:56 PM   #5332
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Ok for someone who does not follow the AL at all can someone give a quick snapshot of the redsox. Just enough so those of us going/watching the WS will understand the team.
Sure thing.

Starting lineup
Dustin Pedroia:
trash talking hard nosed SOB despite being a rookie. During one minor league game he had gotten hits in this first two ABs off Yusmerio Petit, in his third appearance he walked up to the mound and yelled out "bring that weak ass **** back in here so I can hit another" (paraphrasing), Petit obliged and got a hard liner back at him that went through for Pedroia's third hit of the day. Describes himself as 5'2", 115 pounds (he's more like 5'8", 155) but has an insanely good eye and great bat control so he takes one of the biggest hacking swings you'll see in baseball. Not an athlete by any stretch but with fundamentals that bely his age, making him a very good fielder.

Kevin Youkilis:
The Money Ball "Greek God of Walks", when he's on he knows the strike zone better than the ump. Plays a very good 1st base defensively and can also play a good 3rd (which we might see in Colorado, Francona might rotate him, Ortiz, and Lowell getting them each an off day when lacking the DH). Fiery guy who plays full tilt like Pedroia. Not much of an athlete either but he's a consummate pro. Has some good pop and contact skills but will mostly kill you with grinding ABs that he turns into walks, singles, or doubles. Gets on base at about a .400 clip for his career and excels when batting in front of 'Tiz.

David Ortiz:
One of the best left handed hitters in baseball, very clutch, and a media darling. Probably doesn't need a whole lot of illumination.

Manny Ramirez:
You could argue that he's the best right handed hitter of our time. A below average fielder who is rated even worse because of the wall in Fenway (it historically kills defensive metric ratings for Red Sox LFs). He's not as bad in the field as most make him out to be and in fact is a pretty dangerous guy to try and take an extra base on when in Fenway. Plays the wall great, but is prone to mental lapses in the field or on the bases.

Mike Lowell:
Consumate pro at 3B. Has shown a good mixture of homerun and doubles power this year and since joining the Red Sox has actually posted a better career BA than previously. Gold glove caliber 3B and the Red Sox leading RBI guy.

JD Drew:
Had a down year but really turned it on from August on. His fielding is very solid, especially in Fenway's tricky right field. Biggest gripe about him is that much of this season he's seemed very content with looking for the walk instead of getting the hit even when men are on base. Much maligned fellow in Philly, St. Louis, and L.A., but he's on a pretty good roll right now for the Sox.

Jason Varitek:
Red Sox captain. Excellent, if overrated, behind the plate. Won't throw many attempted base stealers out but he calls a very good game and doesn't give up many passed balls. Isn't the offensive threat of his youth but still has home run power and will work an AB pretty well. Switch hitter, and the slowest base runner on the Sox outside of Papi.

Julio Lugo:
solid shortstop prone to some throwing errors. Has really scuffled at the plate this year but has surprisingly managed to get it done with men on base (hence his high RBI total for such a poor OPS). Very fast on the base paths and is a real threat to steal.

Jacoby Ellsbury:
Young Sox prospect, has already flashed more power in his ~120 MLB at bats than he ever did in the minors and is a very good contact hitter. Also has a pretty good eye and isn't afraid to walk. Might be the most dangerous man in baseball when you get him on base. Was only one steal behind the AAA leader despite playing over 20 less games. Real threat to score any time he's on base, in fact he scored from second on a passed ball this season once already and is a real threat to score from 1st on an OF single.

Off the Bench
Coco Crisp:
Great defender and base runner who has been very hot and cold at the plate since coming to Boston. Has spurts of great at bats followed by a bunch of really bad ones. Probably won't see a ton of plate time in this series but will come in as a defensive replacement and pinch runner, assuming his leg is ok.

Eric Hinske:
traditional "money ball" stereotype in one man. Former ROY who doesn't have great contact skills but a decent eye and some good power. Mediocre but versatile fielder, plays corner IF or OF, 3B is his worst of the four positions.

Alex Cora:
backup MI, shouldn't see any game time this series without injury. Savvy vet but just doesn't have the talent.

Starting Rotation
Josh Beckett:
Going tonight, great post season pitcher despite his young age, on the top of his game. Will pound opponents with a high 90's fastball, follows it up with a change and one of the nastiest curves in all of baseball. When he's on he'll throw any of them to any part of the plate for strikes and can be unhittable. Was homer prone last season but hasn't been so far this year.

Curt Schilling:
Not nearly the power pitcher of his former days, now he rests in the high 80's to low 90's with his fastball, but still works it with a very effective splitter and secondary arsenal to get outs. He's something of a wild card has he's historically a big game pitcher and has stepped up in the playoffs recently, but he doesn't have his former stuff and has a bad track record in Coors (shouldn't pitch there this series though). If he's on in game 2 it might not bode well for the Rockies in general.

Daisuke Matsuzaka:
Japanese rookie, only 26 years old, throws 6-8 pitches of ML quality. 'Tek does not call him well some games and has a tendency to ride the fastball too hard. Matsuzaka has also had some control issues over the last month or so, possibly due to fatigue (thrown more innings here than he ever did in Japan). If he's on he works a very accurate mid-90's fastball and a host of off speed stuff like none other. If the Matsuzaka of June and July shows up he could also put a serious hurt on Colorado's chances, but thats at least as big a question as Schilling.

Jon Lester:
Highly touted left handed prospect fresh off an off-season of chemotherapy. He's rebounded well though and is flashing the same mid-90's fastball we all remember form before. Has a good curve to compliment as well and if I recall has a pretty good two seemer and slider. He's had control problems and has let his pitch counts get too high by going after batters too often, but has also stepped up in big games before. He's probably only going to see one start this series so I wouldn't be surprised if they let him go well over 100 pitches. Probably just enough to get him through the 6th inning if he doesn't get shelled.

Bullpen:
Kyle Snyder:
Former top prospect who blew out his arm and has reinvented himself as something of a soft tossing junk baller. Ok for two or three middle relief inning when his curve, which is still pretty good, shows up, but otherwise should only be used for blowouts.

Javy Lopez:
The non-LOOGY. side arm throwing lefty who had a .176/.295 righty v. lefty split this season. Francona had been using him as a LOOGY despite that up unit recently, but hopefully those days are behind us. He is good for initiating a ground out though, so he can be something of a double play inducing threat. Only good for an inning or maybe 2 if he works quick, but probably won't see action outside of blowouts.

Eric Gagne:
Big question mark. Still throws in the mid-90's, has still struck batters out at a good clip in Boston, but in clutch situations he's come apart at the seems since joining the club. I wouldn't be surprised if he's used in non-save situation games that are somewhat close but not tie ball games or one run affairs. If he comes out strong early he could find greater prominence by the end of the series.

Manny Delcarmen:
Mass. native and fireballer. Throws high 90's heat with some ok breaking stuff to compliment it. Strikeout pitcher but he's very young (first full season) so he is occasionally prone to making mistakes and getting shelled as a result. Probably the 3rd man out of Boston's bullpen.

Hideki Okajima:
Funky delivery lefty (actually has his eyes closed and head turned down when he releases the ball) who has gotten it done this year. high 80's fastball with a killer "change" if you want to call it that (its more like a screwball). In Japan he was renowned for his curve which plays fairly well at the MLB level. Will occasionally get erratic with his control but when he's on he's pretty filthy, especially if used after the hard throwing Beckett, Delcarmen, or Matsuzaka.

Jonathan Papelbon:
Arguably the best closer in baseball today. High 90's fastball that has some nasty late movement. Good split fastball and ok off-speed stuff to compliment, but doesn't even always need it. Not very home run prone but if he's off can give them up. He's very intense and lives off slamming the door whenever called upon.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:04 PM   #5333
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this is so much fun.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:07 PM   #5334
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Drek excellent breakdown. The only thing I would add if Dustin and Youkilis are getting on base on constant basis it will be a long game for the Rockies pitchers. Getting those two out will be very important for the Rockies if they want to be successful. Manny and Papi will get theirs so you need to limit the guys getting on in front of them.

Another little note DL Drew actually had his best hitting performances against the national league teams during interleague play. Was extremely hot take that for what it worth.

Last edited by elsid13; 10-24-2007 at 09:10 PM..
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:09 PM   #5335
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Hmm you can get a free taco from Taco Bell if somebody steals a base...
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:12 PM   #5336
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My first ever world series .................Come on Rox .....
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:13 PM   #5337
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Ok for someone who does not follow the AL at all can someone give a quick snapshot of the redsox. Just enough so those of us going/watching the WS will understand the team.
all of them are felons ..............if not they should be
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:22 PM   #5338
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all of them are felons ..............if not they should be
Don't hurt yourself jumping on the bandwagon. We don't want you to pull a groin or anything
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:25 PM   #5339
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Don't hurt yourself jumping on the bandwagon. We don't want you to pull a groin or anything
felon
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:26 PM   #5340
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felon
I have been called worse.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:28 PM   #5341
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I have been called worse.
....
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Old 10-25-2007, 10:58 AM   #5342
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Sure thing.

Starting lineup
Dustin Pedroia:
trash talking hard nosed SOB despite being a rookie. During one minor league game he had gotten hits in this first two ABs off Yusmerio Petit, in his third appearance he walked up to the mound and yelled out "bring that weak ass **** back in here so I can hit another" (paraphrasing), Petit obliged and got a hard liner back at him that went through for Pedroia's third hit of the day. Describes himself as 5'2", 115 pounds (he's more like 5'8", 155) but has an insanely good eye and great bat control so he takes one of the biggest hacking swings you'll see in baseball. Not an athlete by any stretch but with fundamentals that bely his age, making him a very good fielder.

Kevin Youkilis:
The Money Ball "Greek God of Walks", when he's on he knows the strike zone better than the ump. Plays a very good 1st base defensively and can also play a good 3rd (which we might see in Colorado, Francona might rotate him, Ortiz, and Lowell getting them each an off day when lacking the DH). Fiery guy who plays full tilt like Pedroia. Not much of an athlete either but he's a consummate pro. Has some good pop and contact skills but will mostly kill you with grinding ABs that he turns into walks, singles, or doubles. Gets on base at about a .400 clip for his career and excels when batting in front of 'Tiz.

David Ortiz:
One of the best left handed hitters in baseball, very clutch, and a media darling. Probably doesn't need a whole lot of illumination.

Manny Ramirez:
You could argue that he's the best right handed hitter of our time. A below average fielder who is rated even worse because of the wall in Fenway (it historically kills defensive metric ratings for Red Sox LFs). He's not as bad in the field as most make him out to be and in fact is a pretty dangerous guy to try and take an extra base on when in Fenway. Plays the wall great, but is prone to mental lapses in the field or on the bases.

Mike Lowell:
Consumate pro at 3B. Has shown a good mixture of homerun and doubles power this year and since joining the Red Sox has actually posted a better career BA than previously. Gold glove caliber 3B and the Red Sox leading RBI guy.

JD Drew:
Had a down year but really turned it on from August on. His fielding is very solid, especially in Fenway's tricky right field. Biggest gripe about him is that much of this season he's seemed very content with looking for the walk instead of getting the hit even when men are on base. Much maligned fellow in Philly, St. Louis, and L.A., but he's on a pretty good roll right now for the Sox.

Jason Varitek:
Red Sox captain. Excellent, if overrated, behind the plate. Won't throw many attempted base stealers out but he calls a very good game and doesn't give up many passed balls. Isn't the offensive threat of his youth but still has home run power and will work an AB pretty well. Switch hitter, and the slowest base runner on the Sox outside of Papi.

Julio Lugo:
solid shortstop prone to some throwing errors. Has really scuffled at the plate this year but has surprisingly managed to get it done with men on base (hence his high RBI total for such a poor OPS). Very fast on the base paths and is a real threat to steal.

Jacoby Ellsbury:
Young Sox prospect, has already flashed more power in his ~120 MLB at bats than he ever did in the minors and is a very good contact hitter. Also has a pretty good eye and isn't afraid to walk. Might be the most dangerous man in baseball when you get him on base. Was only one steal behind the AAA leader despite playing over 20 less games. Real threat to score any time he's on base, in fact he scored from second on a passed ball this season once already and is a real threat to score from 1st on an OF single.

Off the Bench
Coco Crisp:
Great defender and base runner who has been very hot and cold at the plate since coming to Boston. Has spurts of great at bats followed by a bunch of really bad ones. Probably won't see a ton of plate time in this series but will come in as a defensive replacement and pinch runner, assuming his leg is ok.

Eric Hinske:
traditional "money ball" stereotype in one man. Former ROY who doesn't have great contact skills but a decent eye and some good power. Mediocre but versatile fielder, plays corner IF or OF, 3B is his worst of the four positions.

Alex Cora:
backup MI, shouldn't see any game time this series without injury. Savvy vet but just doesn't have the talent.

Starting Rotation
Josh Beckett:
Going tonight, great post season pitcher despite his young age, on the top of his game. Will pound opponents with a high 90's fastball, follows it up with a change and one of the nastiest curves in all of baseball. When he's on he'll throw any of them to any part of the plate for strikes and can be unhittable. Was homer prone last season but hasn't been so far this year.

Curt Schilling:
Not nearly the power pitcher of his former days, now he rests in the high 80's to low 90's with his fastball, but still works it with a very effective splitter and secondary arsenal to get outs. He's something of a wild card has he's historically a big game pitcher and has stepped up in the playoffs recently, but he doesn't have his former stuff and has a bad track record in Coors (shouldn't pitch there this series though). If he's on in game 2 it might not bode well for the Rockies in general.

Daisuke Matsuzaka:
Japanese rookie, only 26 years old, throws 6-8 pitches of ML quality. 'Tek does not call him well some games and has a tendency to ride the fastball too hard. Matsuzaka has also had some control issues over the last month or so, possibly due to fatigue (thrown more innings here than he ever did in Japan). If he's on he works a very accurate mid-90's fastball and a host of off speed stuff like none other. If the Matsuzaka of June and July shows up he could also put a serious hurt on Colorado's chances, but thats at least as big a question as Schilling.

Jon Lester:
Highly touted left handed prospect fresh off an off-season of chemotherapy. He's rebounded well though and is flashing the same mid-90's fastball we all remember form before. Has a good curve to compliment as well and if I recall has a pretty good two seemer and slider. He's had control problems and has let his pitch counts get too high by going after batters too often, but has also stepped up in big games before. He's probably only going to see one start this series so I wouldn't be surprised if they let him go well over 100 pitches. Probably just enough to get him through the 6th inning if he doesn't get shelled.

Bullpen:
Kyle Snyder:
Former top prospect who blew out his arm and has reinvented himself as something of a soft tossing junk baller. Ok for two or three middle relief inning when his curve, which is still pretty good, shows up, but otherwise should only be used for blowouts.

Javy Lopez:
The non-LOOGY. side arm throwing lefty who had a .176/.295 righty v. lefty split this season. Francona had been using him as a LOOGY despite that up unit recently, but hopefully those days are behind us. He is good for initiating a ground out though, so he can be something of a double play inducing threat. Only good for an inning or maybe 2 if he works quick, but probably won't see action outside of blowouts.

Eric Gagne:
Big question mark. Still throws in the mid-90's, has still struck batters out at a good clip in Boston, but in clutch situations he's come apart at the seems since joining the club. I wouldn't be surprised if he's used in non-save situation games that are somewhat close but not tie ball games or one run affairs. If he comes out strong early he could find greater prominence by the end of the series.

Manny Delcarmen:
Mass. native and fireballer. Throws high 90's heat with some ok breaking stuff to compliment it. Strikeout pitcher but he's very young (first full season) so he is occasionally prone to making mistakes and getting shelled as a result. Probably the 3rd man out of Boston's bullpen.

Hideki Okajima:
Funky delivery lefty (actually has his eyes closed and head turned down when he releases the ball) who has gotten it done this year. high 80's fastball with a killer "change" if you want to call it that (its more like a screwball). In Japan he was renowned for his curve which plays fairly well at the MLB level. Will occasionally get erratic with his control but when he's on he's pretty filthy, especially if used after the hard throwing Beckett, Delcarmen, or Matsuzaka.

Jonathan Papelbon:
Arguably the best closer in baseball today. High 90's fastball that has some nasty late movement. Good split fastball and ok off-speed stuff to compliment, but doesn't even always need it. Not very home run prone but if he's off can give them up. He's very intense and lives off slamming the door whenever called upon.
Thanks for taking the time to type that up for me. After watching the game last night I'd have to say a pretty accurate write up.

Hang in there Rocks still a shot at a split in beantown.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:23 PM   #5343
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Thanks for taking the time to type that up for me. After watching the game last night I'd have to say a pretty accurate write up.

Hang in there Rocks still a shot at a split in beantown.
Yeah, just a player run down though. As far as what each team needs to do to win, my opinion:

Red Sox
They need at least one of Schilling or Matsuzaka to step up. If they both do it could be a short series, but they've both been inconsistent the second half of this year and in the playoffs. They also need to avoid going into a hitting funk. They've been prone to straying away from their patient plate approach at times this season, they can't afford to do that in this series.

Rockies
Need to throw strikes with their off-speed stuff and breaking balls. If they can get ahead of Youks and Pedroia they can try to take them out of the game. Once you do that Ortiz and Manny aren't nearly as deadly. They can still hurt you, sure, but one run shots don't end ball games, three run shots do. Offensively they need to adopt the Red Sox' mindset and be much more patient at the plate than they have been previously. The Sox can be ground down just like any other pitching staff, if they can get to Snyder/Gagne/Delcarmen in the 6th they can do some real damage at that point. They really need to work on their Fenway defense. They looked lost in the field last night. Very poor positioning by the corner OFs and Tavarez took some horrible jumps. At least half of the Red Sox 8 doubles are outs or singles if the Sox' are playing the field in Fenway.

When they go home to Colorado they need to take advantage of Manny in an expansive LF while they can. If the Sox get ahead in the late innings they'll lose the only significant defensive liability the Sox offer because Francona will swap Manny and Crisp, shifting Ellsbury to LF. At that point the Sox present arguably the best defensive outfield in all of baseball, not an easy group to get extra bases off of.

Most importantly the Rockies need to keep focused and remember who they're playing. Before this series a lot of people argued that the different rules sets would favor Colorado because playing with a DH simplifies the game while not having it makes for more complex managerial choices than the AL team normally deals with. The Rockies need to be aware that the Red Sox don't have that weakness, Francona has been an NL guy most of his career and they sport several NL starters and positional players. They understand NL ball. Furthermore the Rockies need to remember that in Fenway this is not going to be a team looking to manufacture runs. You don't play the infield in because they aren't going to sacrafice guys over and steal bases very often, they'll just slap you around the park.

I don't think the layoff got to the Rockies last night, I think the difference of AL v. NL ball got to them. They showed up expecting a different style of baseball, which is understandable because most of them are lifelong NL'ers who only see a little interleague play each year. The AL is all about power. Power pitching, power hitting. They don't implement traditional baseball strategies, they just look to out muscle you. The Rockies can adjust quickly to that, they have the power to do so themselves, they just need to shift mental gears and get themselves back on track.

Last edited by Drek; 10-25-2007 at 12:27 PM..
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:54 PM   #5344
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Buster Olney reported on Steven A Smith Show (ESPN, AM 710) that the Dodgers have offered Joe Girardi the managerial position of the team. I caught the last bit of it so I heard something along the lines of:
Joe's thinking about it, the offer has been extended and the Yankees are expected to make their decision in the next 24 hours.

I don't know if Joe's waiting for the Yanks or if the Yanks are waiting for Joe.

Either way, it doesn't look good for Grittle.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:24 PM   #5345
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Buster Olney reported on Steven A Smith Show (ESPN, AM 710) that the Dodgers have offered Joe Girardi the managerial position of the team. I caught the last bit of it so I heard something along the lines of:
Joe's thinking about it, the offer has been extended and the Yankees are expected to make their decision in the next 24 hours.

I don't know if Joe's waiting for the Yanks or if the Yanks are waiting for Joe.

Either way, it doesn't look good for Grittle.
Wow, sweet I like Girardi a lot, I think he would be a good fit...

If LA doesn't get Girardi, who else would they go after, maybe Torre??
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:49 PM   #5346
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Wow, sweet I like Girardi a lot, I think he would be a good fit...

If LA doesn't get Girardi, who else would they go after, maybe Torre??
I don't know, Ned Colletti isn't returning ANY calls to the media about this rumor about the Dodgers going after Girardi. Like I said I caught the end of the interview and apparently Ned and Girardi go back a ways. There is a lot of unknowns right now, partly because of the Commish sending out a memo that there is to be no announcements from all teams during the world series.

Hopefully the Red Sox sweep the Rox so I can find out soon!

I keed I keed.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:52 PM   #5347
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I don't know, Ned Colletti isn't returning ANY calls to the media about this rumor about the Dodgers going after Girardi. Like I said I caught the end of the interview and apparently Ned and Girardi go back a ways. There is a lot of unknowns right now, partly because of the Commish sending out a memo that there is to be no announcements from all teams during the world series.

Hopefully the Red Sox sweep the Rox so I can find out soon!

I keed I keed.
hasn't stopped the freaking yankees attempts to steal the spotlight.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:56 PM   #5348
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hasn't stopped the freaking yankees attempts to steal the spotlight.
True, but I think the Yankees already have come to a decision but can't announce it which is fueling a bunch of speculation etc etc.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:58 PM   #5349
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True, but I think the Yankees already have come to a decision but can't announce it which is fueling a bunch of speculation etc etc.
I have strange feeling if it wasn't the Sox in the WS, it would be a little less noise out of NY
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:12 PM   #5350
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GO ROCKIES!!!
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