Weather Forcast
South Boston Online
Contact Us
  Print Edition  
  Sign Up For Email Updates  
South Boston Online
South Boston Online
  Saturday, August 23, 2014
South Boston Online
 
South Boston Online
South Boston Online
Home Page
News
Event Calendar
Sports
Real Estate
Directory
Classifieds
Contact Us
Commonwealth Cooperative Bank
xtra xtra!
Rooney Real Estate
Posted June 30, 2005
Red (Hot) Sox
By Paul Noonan

     The first two months had its peaks and valleys. The Sox had their good games and their bad games, but all the while staying within reasonable striking distance of the AL East lead. The defending champs were keeping their fans happy and putting a good product on the field despite some injuries and poor play from some key players. Entering June, the AL East race was tight with just about everyone except Tampa Bay battling hard for first place. At this time last year, the Sox were in the midst of what would be their worst stretch of baseball on the season, a stretch that almost eliminated them from playoff contention. Now entering the heart of the season, the Sox are just heating up, and things look like they might only get better.


      You have to believe that the Sox still haven’t played their best baseball yet. Schilling still hasn’t made an impact, Foulke hasn’t quite found that playoff touch, Manny’s bat appears to be just warming up (after all the normal .300+ hitter is still below that mark), Renteria looks like he’s finally getting adjusted and hopefully Kevin Millar can have a July like he did last year. If all of those players start performing more to the level expected, the pitching staff will only get better and more runs are on the way. Millar hasn’t seen as much playing time with the recent inter- league play, but maybe the rest will prove beneficial and his bat will come around as he gets more playing time from here on out. While the first eight weeks seemed almost Manny- less, the last eight games have been all about the all- star. Capping off inter- league play with a grand slam against the Phillies, Manny appears to have regained his form at the plate. Edgar Renteria has also been hot as of late. Once batting in the low .200s, Renteria had boosted his average to .272 as of Sunday, much more worthy of the ten million dollars he’s making. Keith Foulke is well of pace of the 40 saves mark he posted two years ago, but he still has shown signs he is effective. With a July 10th date set for his return, the Sox seem to be in a win- win situation with Schilling on the horizon. Granted it will mess up the rotation a bit, but even a seventy percent Schilling would be a boost, and if he’s even healthier than that the Sox could have a rotation to be truly feared once again. Better yet, with a bulk of their road games in the first half, the Sox will find themselves in the much Friendlier confines of Fenway a lot more down the stretch, a type of schedule that may prove vital if the Sox are in a race for the division title.

     The only thing that the Sox may need to worry about is either a few bats cooling off or, knock on wood, injuries. The first half performances of Nixon, Varitek and Damon have been very impressive, each putting up very good offensive (and defensive) stats all around. Their performances have been key in offsetting the slow starts of Ramirez, Millar and Renteria. With any luck, their bats will stay hot well into the summer months, and hopefully they’ll be coupled with hot bats from Ramirez, Renteria and Millar. On the mound, most of our starters have over- achieved. Matt Clement is making an earl case for the Cy Young award and has a shot at winning twenty games. Minus about a half a dozen games, Tim Wakefield has been very strong this year. Always unpredictable, Wakefield almost looks like he’s finally mastered control of the knuckler and has been key in giving the bullpen some rest. Despite a rough start, David Wells has been pitching better, and even had some decent at bats in the Phillies series. Arroyo continues to be the consistent performer he has been for the last few years, and Wade Miller has been good enough to give the Sox chances to win the games he pitches in.

     With a two and a half game lead as of Sunday on a 12 for 13 tear, the Red Sox risen with the temperature. Meanwhile the Orioles, who stormed out of the gate, look like their wings have been clipped. The Blue Jays are just hovering on the outskirts, although they have beaten up the Sox in their head- to- head battles. Best of all though, is that the Yankees (again, as of Sunday) sit just above the stairs to the basement, trying to stop their descent in enough time to have a shot at a late season playoff attempt. With the Sox’s recent fortunes one has to wonder if their days of blowing 14 games division leads and fading in the summer haze may be a ghost of Bambino’s past. Maybe this year the Sox will shine throughout, and perhaps the Yankees will be the ones who wilt as the summer dies out.



Top Of Page




Red Sox Logo