The Metsblogger, for one, is deeply embarrassed by these developments:
In my view, this is sad, because the sing-along is clearly a Fenway special, so to speak. I'm trying to get my readers to rally and lobby the team to stop ripping off Red Sox Nation.
We all know this is not the first time the Mets have been accused of ripping off musical selections from a better and more interesting another team. There was the "Enter Sandman" controversy, which seemed to die down about the same time it was discovered Billy Wagner had as much -- if not more -- of a claim to be the original chooser of the song for his entry music as Mariano Rivera (or it was around the time he started sucking. One or the other).
Now, "Sweet Caroline" is not a uniquely Boston song, nor is it about sports at all. Most people don't really know the words except "Woah-oh-oh" and "So good! So good!" and that last bit isn't even part of the song. According to this Globe article, the Sox chose it after hearing it at other stadiums, and one Metsblog commenter said he's heard it for more than 10 years at Jets games (which might be reason enough to forever ban it from Fenway's PA system).
Nevertheless, the Sox have been playing it off-and-on since 1998 (apparently more off than on because I never heard it, and I was going to games at Fenway until 2000) -- and full-time since 2002, making this the fifth season Neil Diamond's whiny voice has crooned from the Fenway speakers. That's not a terribly long time (it's no "Enter Sandman," after all), but it's not exactly like the Sox started playing it because Julian Tavarez just had to have it before signing a contract.
Also, "Sweet Caroline" is featured prominently in a hit movie as being tied to the Red Sox. As we all know, if Hollywood says it, it must be true. So, take down the song, Mets. You're not fooling anyone. It's not like you don't have your own movie -- why not use some of the songs from that instead?
Well, our YF authors have neglected their duties. Perhaps it's the demoralization that comes after 2/3 of the starting staff goes down with injuries. Perhaps it's the fact that the Sox look to be somewhat for real, and they're just plain scared. Perhaps it's the fact that it's Saturday night, the game started at 9pm EST, and everyone has better things to do than sit at home and chat about baseball. We're not placing bets.
Regardless, here's your (late) game thread for the remainder of the West Coast affair between the A's and the Bombers.
While a spinning mass of cold and wet weather begins to form, threatening Monday's Boston Marathon and early Sox game, for today we get a touch of sun. And, Curt Schilling. Schilling looks to follow his fine second start with a similar effort, building continued momentum for a starting rotation that is beginning to look like the real deal. Enjoy this game and this thread: it might be the last one for a little while. For those Sox fans based in NYC, it's a Fox game, so tune in.
... but the Red Sox seem to be sneaking Jamesian bullpen philosophies back into their gameplan. For the second straight appearance, Jonathan Papelbon was used in the eighth, in a situation where he might not have been used in the ninth, which is exactly what happened after the Sox exploed for six runs. If ever there were a pitcher with the stuff and the mindset to test the "most important outs" theory, it's Papelbon.
... but those bullpen numbers are a bit more even now. Sox: 24 IP, 18 H, 7 BB, 9 ER, 1.04/3.38. Yanks: 39.1 IP, 24 H, 18 BB, 11 ER, 1.07/2.52. Also of note, the Sox' pen has yet to blow a starter's lead. There's a long way to go, but the feared/hoped for (depending on your perspective) multiple-choke meltdown in the opening weeks has yet to occur.
... but this format got old pretty fast.
As was mentioned in the game comments, when are Bob Ryan and Gerry Callahan going to write their apologies to J.D. Drew for criticizing and demeaning him without ever seeing him play? Not only has he hit the ball literally every single game, but there seems to be some passion and *gasp* grit there, too. Gritty Drew. Drewty. Drew Grit. I'll stop now.
Also mentioned in the Sox gamer, Julio Lugo has looked just fine to me. Who would be upset to see a .324/.395/.442 line from your leadoff man at the end of the season? His two steals in nine games project to 36 over the course of the season. Just sayin'.
With 14-run and 10-run explosions sandwiching the King Felix start, can we officially consider the Sox offense healed? Well, maybe not until Manny is slugging higher than .226.
Even if the Sox are still struggling on offense, they aren't doing as badly as this: .212/.282/.315 for a dismal .597 OPS and 28 runs scored in nine games (3.11 per game). "What team is that?" you might ask. Well, it's not any one team. It's the offensive line of the Red Sox' opponents, who have scored more than three runs exactly twice.
Bad puns aside, now is the time to look for the good stuff as the Yankees count four pitchers on the DL in Wang, Karstens, Sanchez and Veras, and two teetering on the edge in Moose and Pavano. Kei Igawa gets the ball for the Yanks tonight, hoping to bounce back from a dismal major-league debut. Oakland sends one of the AL's best in Dan Haren. Don't be surprised if you see Gator loosening in the pen. The good stuff? Álex. Jetes. Johnny. Jorge. Robi. Did I mention Álex? It's the Bizarro version of Paul's Sox/Angels Gamer. Lineup in the extended, comment away.
The initial title of this game thread was going to be: "Why Does Terry Hate Timmy?"
Thankfully, yesterday's rainout means J.D. Drew, the Sox' hottest hitter thus far (and by "hottest," we mean "only") will not be removed from a lineup already devoid of Jason Varitek. Last year, it seemed Francona similarly picked the starts in which Doug Mirandoza was batting to rest Mark Loretta, Trot Nixon and others.
No such misfortune for Wakefield tonight -- well, kinda. He gets a full lineup to support him. Unfortunately, they'll be taking swings against John Lackey, who's from my neck of the woods and pretty darn good to boot (11 hits, 4 walks, 1 earned run in 12 innings and a 2-0 record). We might be in for another wasted start.
Joe Torre just casually mentioned to Mike and the Mad Dog that Carl Pavano is a scratch for his next start which was scheduled for Saturday. He has some kind of arm tenderness, some deal with a muscle pull in his right arm. But not to worry! Joe believes he'll be ready to make the start on Tuesday against the Indians.
Curt Schilling in his latest Q&A with fans, discusses the near-meltdown of the bullpen after he left the game.
Q-Way to skip over the ugly pitching last night. I understand why you might not want to talk about other pitchers but Pineiro looked like crap again. This is the stuff we want you to talk about- What’s going through his head? What does he say or teammates say to him? I feel bad for the guy but he needs to execute.
A-It’s one game. One game of 162. If it bothers you that much then there’s not much anyone can say to help you. I don’t know what’s going through his head, not sure I know anyone with that power other than some guys in Marvel Comics maybe. Thanks for the tip, I’ll make sure to remind him he ‘needs to execute’ next time I see him.
So fans want to hear Curt talk about what's going through other people's heads? I thought most fans wanted to hear less about what was going on in Curt's head. I'm so confused. And apparently by "looked like crap again," the fan meant, "looked like crap for the second time in five appearances."