Thursday, October 14, 2004

I blame Bellhorn

It's official, Kevin Millar and Derek Lowe have been replaced by Mark Bellhorn as the most frustrating Red Sock to watch. I mentioned my astonishment last week when Bellhorn got picked off second base with the bases loaded, and now, in addition to being totally useless at the plate (I know, he got things started Wednesday night in game 1, but that weakens my argument), he's now decided he can't catch balls either.

In the first inning, Jeter tried to steal second and Varitek promptly threw him out -- except for the little matter of Bellhorn dropping the throw. Ugh. Honestly, how hard is it to catch a ball that's thrown right to you? You don't have to move, you don't have to pick a short-hop -- all you have to do is let your glove get in the way of the ball. And here's the really big surprise -- Jeter ended up scoring.

Maybe Theo can hire someone to exorcise the immediate area around second base because that seems to be where Bellhorn has most of his problems. Or how about this: play Pokey Reese. I know he can't hit (can Bellhorn?), but he can catch and throw, and apparently that's a big part of the game. And really, how valuable is a guy like Bellhorn who either strikes out or walks every at-bat and if he gets on base he does dopey stuff like getting picked off second?

Just a thought.

Oddly, I'm not worried about the fact that the Red Sox are down 2-0 heading back to Fenway. I have a couple of theories as to why. It may be due to my confidence in this team; or maybe it's because this seems too familiar; or maybe it's because I'm in denial and don't want to deal with the possibility of the Yankees actually going to the World Series again (I'm about 95% sure it's the last one).

Whatever the case, I know this much: if the Red Sox are going to pull this off, it's going to be without Curt Schilling. I was thinking last night that I could very easily imagine Schilling trotting out to the mound for game 5 (if when there's a game 5), against the advice of his doctors, to pitch on a bum ankle. I when I say "bum," I don't mean the tweak you get when you get crossed up playing pickup basketball, I mean "bum" as in "out for the season until you have surgery." And of course he'll say his competitive spirit won't let him stand idly by while the Red Sox struggle. Of course, it was this same spirit that got rocked in game 1 and there's no reason to believe that an injury that probably requires surgery will mysteriously heal during the week (which gives me an idea: maybe when Theo hires the exorcist for Bellhorn, he can also get Mr. Miyagi to work on Schilling's ankle. Seriously, what was bigger, Daniel winning the Valley Karate Championship or the World Series? Mr. Miyagi could do this one in his sleep).

But Schilling being Schilling, I would be less surprised if he actually calls it a season. But hey, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. In the meantime, here are some more dopey quotes from last nights game:

Stupid McCarver quotes, round 2:
(Talking about all the trips to the mound Varitek is making) "This is unacceptable. why are you changing the signs? no one's been on second base."

Hmmm, let's see. As I write this, A-rod's standing on second base. And before Sheffield's hit, it was Jeter. But to be fair, before the game -- and in between innings -- McCarver was right, there wasn't anyone out there.

(Apparently not able to get over the fact that Varitek and Pedro keep changing signs) "Aircraft carriers don't have this many signs."

What's odd is that McCarver was a catcher. You'd think he'd have some idea about the position. Of course, he also was a catcher when Bob Gibson was the pitcher and I get the impression that Gibson (wisely) didn't listen to one word McCarver offered.

(Talking about the phases pitchers go through during a game) "After wildness, comes fastballs in the fat part of the plate."

I think McCarver ripped off Confucius and didn't even give him credit for it. What a hack.

Joe Buck (this was actually pretty funny)
"Last year it was "cowboy up" to the point where you heard that phrase you wanted to get the end of the post season...on and on and on."