On potatoes, Fox, and Kevin Millar
It's Soxtober vs. Rocktober... unless we get to Game 7 on November 1.
With one more off-day to kill, let's open up the World Series edition of the e-mailbag...
Tom, I am from Northern Maine, where they farm a lot of potatoes. In our local newspaper, they featured a kid that has a potato that has grown to look exactly like a catcher's mitt. Many people feel it is good luck for the Red Sox. I have the picture and would like to send it to you, and you could possibly use it on the air.
Doug Cyr, Presque Isle, Maine
A: I know how important potatoes are in "the county," especially this time of year. Maybe we can feature it in a new NESN show -- "Sox A-Peel."
Why do all the critics speak of Gagne when they talk about the unraveling of game 2 pitching? When he was taken out was when things began to fall apart. He should be given more of a chance instead of being pulled early.
A: I'd have to believe you are in the vast minority of Red Sox fans holding that opinion. Gagne has been a great major-league closer, but he has not pitched well for the Sox. Francona had no choice but to pull him early in the 11th inning of that game, even though Javier Lopez and Jon Lester couldn't get out of the jam.
I don't think we'll be having this discussion again. I can't imagine any situation in which we'll see him in the World Series.
after watching Beckett's sizzling performance last night, I go back to early in the season right after spring training when Eck clearly said on more than one occasion that the person to watch this season was Beckett ... that he was coming in under the radar (Dice-K was in the limelight) and how that prediction has become spot on !!!! Eck was spot on wasn't he?! Thanks for another wonderful season .... I'll be sorry when Soxtober ends.
A: Eck nailed it... again. He was calling for a Beckett Cy Young Award just weeks into the season.
Remember, if this series goes a full seven games, we'll be turning the calendar to a new month before it ends. Soxvember, anyone?
How can FOX continue to keep audiences when they are so poor at directing, editing and broadcasting baseball games? Tim McCarver's idiotic rantings and continual mistakes have me diving for the remote to hit the MUTE button every time he talks. This would be a much more enjoyable series if we had the NESN staff on HD 851!
Joe Berry, Marion
A: I've suggested we make an audio channel of our "war room" available during the game, so fans could mute the national broadcast and listen to the running commentary we have during the game. Needless to say Eck, Jerry Remy, Jim Rice, our producers and I have plenty of interesting things to say as the game goes along... and, quite often, those comments are directed at the same broadcasters annoying you!
That idea was shot down. You'll just have to wait 'til after the game to get your NESN baseball fix.
With Lowell's impending free-agency, I have heard fan and media speculation about acquiring A-Rod for third base. Wouldn't it be really fun to keep Lowell and acquire A-Rod as shortstop?
David, San Mateo, Calif.
A: It would be fun... and expensive. I know it's easy to say "it's not my money," but there is a limit at which the Red Sox will stop spending money. Signing Lowell for $30-$40 million while adding $300 million or more for Alex Rodriguez (while, I assume, they'd have to eat a sizeable amount of Julio Lugo's contract in order to move him to another team) is way over the top. The Red Sox might add payroll this off-season, but they will not field a team with a $200 million payroll next season.
This is more of a commentary than question. I was very impressed to see Kevin Millar throw out the first pitch at Game 7. His fun, friendly (and dare I say classy?) approach to the game brings all of MLB up a notch.
David, San Mateo, Calif.
A: You wouldn't be saying that if you were a Baltimore Orioles fan. I'm still trying to think how Red Sox Nation would react if the Sox were knocked out of the playoffs and Manny Ramirez threw out the first pitch of a World Series game in Cleveland? My guess is we wouldn't say it was classy.
I like the Sox bringing back players from the 2004 team, but I can't help but wonder what the reaction will be from his Baltimore teammates. Or what the Indians will think of it next time he has to face Cleveland in a series.
Why not put Youkilis in Right Field at Coors and sit Drew?
Mark B, Shelburne, VT
A: Putting an infielder with very little outfield experience in right field for the World Series could lead to trouble. Just this week, Jerry Remy and Jim Rice were telling me about the time the Rem Dawg played outfield since no one else was available. He would up injuring his knee on the first ball hit out there.
I'm not suggesting Youk would get injured, but there's no point in experimenting with that move now. Besides, in case you haven't noticed, J.D. Drew has been hitting very well of late.
Just my thoughts on why Mike Lowell should be given every opportunity to be back in the hot corner for the 2008 season.
We don't need AROD and what he'll bring to the RED SOX organization - NOTHING that Lowell had done this season - a great clubhouse presence, a family man, he's a veteran who has played with spunk and fire, and a hometown favorite with no "ego" - yes, he's older and he would require lots of money and wants a long-term deal, so what, look what they gave J.D. Drew (although, he's coming around and next year should be better) - I say give Lowell the money and the years (3) - maybe he'll take a hometown discount if the years are offered.
Thanks for listening...
Paulette Russell, West Kingston, RI
A: You're not alone in your belief. It'll be very interesting to see what the Red Sox decide to do... especially if they win the World Series. After 2004, they showed the world they were willing to break up one of the most popular teams in franchise history. Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe were gone after the season, with players like Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, and Bill Mueller soon to follow. Now they'll have to make a decision on Lowell... and, if Alex Rodriguez opts out of his contract, what to do about the potential of adding A-Rod to the lineup.