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Boston Dirt Dogs chat wrap - 10/12/04

Steve_Silva:Thank you all for coming... send in your questions. We should be good to go...
kenno:Q: does anyone know which hotel the sox are staying in?
Steve_Silva:Don't know that one. I know the Sox like the keep that on the QT for the most part. I think they're in midtown, they're already mobbed everywhere, I think it's best if they get some place to have a little privacy, especially in NYC
nc_sox_fan:Q: I keep reading how fans are nervous about Francona. He does not bother me. I mean, he is not Grady. He tries to dictate the matchups he wants, and Little never could do that. Also, he manages exactly the way management wants him to. What are your thoughts
Steve_Silva:I'm real confident in Tito right now. He's been through some playoff downs (Oakland coach) and ups (Angels sweep), made his Pedro-in-too-long mulligan mistake, sounds confident, knows his bullpen now, knows how to use his players, outmanaged Mike Scioscia if you look at granular moves made in the last series. Players love him. He let's them be idiots. He's a younger, faster, better (?) Joe Torre. I hope he breaks the streak of 1-3 year Sox managers
Woodpeckersly_2:Q: Unlikeliest of hero prediction? I say Mendoza.
Steve_Silva:Nice, love the longshot call. I like Nixon, as people forget about how well he hits in the Stadium as he's been off the radar screen for the most part of the 2004 team, but I look for him to come up big. Love the OC of course... Leskanic pitching wise, would be my long odds long shot guy
this_is_petey:Q: What about Nelson? I think the little one is gonna have a big night. Did Pedro bring him?
Steve_Silva:We Mahow Boy Up (WEEI's John Meterparel beat me to the punch on that one -) tomorrow night TiP
nc_sox_fan:Q: Saw a horrendous stat about Tek's BA in yankee stadium. What is he doing to try and turn that around?
Steve_Silva:Miss Cleo says no way Jason Varitek can keep up his 0-34 streak. He's better than that... and MUCH better rested this time. You'll see a quicker bat tonight.
Soulman:Q: What do you think? If Schilling wins tonight, Sox have a huge advantage - it takes so much pressure off of Pedro!
Steve_Silva:Hate to say the cliché, but "One Game at a Time" applies here. Momentum is inning-to-inning in baseball IMHO. I like both matchups individually, but don't think one night is related to the next. Even if Sox take two, Im not going bonkers, Yanks are that good and I've sat through too many NY thrashings in Fenway Park. As well as we can play in the Bronx, they find ways to step it up at Fenway
BIG_REM:Q: are we going to see D. Lowe pitch?
Steve_Silva:I'd rather see D-Lowe than Timlin, that's just me. Nomar's last game at Fenway, I called Matsui's slam off Timlin. Gammons called his gofer to Guerrero the other night. Timlin finds too many bats for me at times. He's had some great outings, but he always scares me like a Wakefield non-knuckler. D-Lowe will pitch in the Stadium
Sunshine_Sox:Q: What about Curts Ankle? Is this something that is new?
Steve_Silva:He says no. And he was fine for a while re: the original issue, but he was seen lunging for it during a session last Friday, he's got to be in some pain. And he was limping on the field during the on field celebration after the sweep, not jumping around as I've read. I'm not worried about the Marcaine shots, he's pitched well with it before, even mid-game injections, it's this ankle brace that worries me. But if you look at BDD, I'm on the line for saying he comes up big tonight.
kenno:Q: any reviews on rivera's return?
Steve_Silva:No idea, anything can happen with planes and Panama... here's the latest AP: NEW YORK -- Yankees closer Mariano Rivera said he plans to return from a family funeral in Panama on Tuesday in time for Game 1 of the AL championship series against Boston.
okie:Q: Do you expect El Duque to pitch at all in this series??
Steve_Silva:Gammons said he's good to go as I recall. And he had a good side session. He should be out there.
texassoxfan:Q: We really missed Scott williamson in game 3 to pitch to Guerrero since normally embree would have been brought in to pitch to Erdstad What are the chances he will be put on the ALCS roster
Steve_Silva:Slim and none Tex, and slim just left town as Williamson opted for elbow surgery on Monday.
Calvin:Q: Is MLB really considering making an anti-Yankee shirt?
Steve_Silva:MLB SVP of Merchandising and Licensing Howard Smith, after much hemming and hawing, told a source of ours yesterday morning that he would make an official Sox anti-NYY t-shirt if our contact could come up with something "catchy" as he justified the Who's Your Daddy? shirts as fair game because Pedro said it and fans want an "attitudinal product." But shortly after noon the shirts came down. Bob Neumeier reported moments ago that the Sox had submitted "Evil Empire" shirts to MLB but were shut down (see Shirtgate Update on BDD) for reasons that make no sense if you are going to allow "Daddy" shirts. The issue isn't the message/shirts, it's the fact that MLB and the Red Sox and Yankees should not be trying to glom onto the fan themes that are out there. Let the little guy/entrepreneur/websites produce the alternate-theme fan shirts. The teams already have the rights to all the official garb worn by 98% of the fanbase. I was expecting the third-parties to come up with the Who's Your Daddy shirts, not MLB Properties, and then changing it from Pedro to the Red Sox being the New York Yankees Daddy. Just awful.
rob:Q: what do you think about the argument that Pedro should pitch tonight, giving Curt some added rest for the ankle? Curt vs. Lieber seems like a safe win, so we'd be coming home with at least a split...
Steve_Silva:From a physical/health standpoint, I'm all for it if docs would confirm that extra day would help Schill. But the media brouhaha, psychological aspect, i.e. pressure on Pedro starting Game 1 after the last playoff game there last year, and the dumb Daddy comment he foolishly made, he may be better off riding in Schill's effort...
NYSoxFan:Q: The only t-shirt I care about is Boston Red Sox 2004 World Series Champions!!! Go Sox!!
Steve_Silva:My buddy Rathbone in LA (just did that to be a Hollywood Sports Guy -) kidding Bill Simmons, love your stuff... is buying some Red Sox Wild Card Championship gear that MLB and the Sox sell online as as goof. He has the entire Wild Card collection and loves the looks and comments he gets from NYY fans. But I'm with you, I'll sink more $ into MLB's pocket if they can cough up an official 2004 Red Sox World Series Champions t-shirt
MannyGoesYard:Q: Do you have Mystique or Aura's phone number???
Steve_Silva:(Related to photo of Sox fans on Bos. Dirt Dogs) -- Foolishly no. Although they were a lot of fun at Fenway on Friday. The Marines were big fans as well if you saw the photo galleries (shamless plug for the mothership)
okie:Q: So beat Cardinals for World Series Title. Whats the headline on BDD??
bosockboy:Q: what do you think of the decision to leave Youk off of the roster? I have no problem with Doza, it seems Youk could have pushed a walk in a key spot as a PH. Also, who is the high leverage guy between Doza and Leskanic? Who gets a big out between the t
Steve_Silva:Leskanic over BullDoza the hopefully not embedded Yankee. Love Youk's energy and good eye, but it always seems to come down to bullpen management and needing a big out from the Red Sox end. So I approve this message for extra pitching.
Soulman:Q: Will we see a brawl? Or can we at least expect the benches to empty at some point for a near-melee?
Steve_Silva:Definitely will see some A-rodesque four-letter bombs exchanged, either from bench, or batter-to-pitcher, somebody's coming inside, or someone collides on the bases. Punches thrown? Sox slaughter them in a WWE style melee, Ortiz, Kapler, Nixon, Manny, Tek... fuggedabout it. If the Sox are the verge of sweep at Fenway, let it fly!
Timbo:Q: We are watching from Dublin, Ireland on NASN. Will the sox hold it together to prevent a late Yanks rally?
Steve_Silva:Don't know Timbo, but does "NASN" spare you from having to listen to the Yankee fanatic Tim McCarver, curse related garbage, tired Evil Empire, Nomar junk that's coming at us from FOX television?
ctsoxfan:Q: will pokey reese be in the linup anytime soon?
Steve_Silva:I don't see it. That bat is too much to overcome with the range coverage he gains over Bellhorn when you have Cabrera and Millar. Maybe late inning defense with Mientkiewicz. I'm hoping for a Todd Walkeresque (rooting for NYY by the way) performance out of the poor-man's Todd Walker Mr. Bellhorn. Although we'll see him K a few too many times for sure.
Woodpeckersly_2:Q: Is the only platoon, Kapler/Nixon at this point or do you think Minky might get a start?
Steve_Silva:Millar too important to the team (rally cowboy needs to play as he might say), he's playing well on both sides of the ball, he hit a ton in the playoffs last year (power-wise), has had some BIG hits/HRs against yanks and in stadium. Keep the crispy chicken pitcher in there every game
NYSoxFan:Q: I think Pedro is going to exceed everyone's expectations in this series. The whole who's your daddy thing is just Pedro being Pedro. 7 strong innings!!
Steve_Silva:I'm not worried about the Daddy chats, but it seems that whenever Pedro has a big bounce-back start, as he did against the Angels last week, he's not so sharp the next time out. We'll see. But he's got all the incentive in the world to come up big Wednesday.
ctsoxfan:Q: I hope it's not necessary, but what do you think it will take for Tito to go to the bullpen quickly?
Steve_Silva:Schilling 's foot dangling in a Joe Theismanesque fashion. Not much else. Outside chance Curt gets hit hard. Don't see it.
Worcester_Boy:Q: Down here in Evil Empire Country the fans on talk radio, as well as the hosts (Mike , Maddog, Kay) continue to be very dismissive of Sox based on the "psyche thing," e that there is a mental block for any player who wears the Sox uniform when it comes to beating the Yankees
Steve_Silva:Baloney. The Sox have manhandled the Yankees for the most part the past two years and this team is better than ever. The incidents where they failed to execute, and/or made the wrong move, e.g. Game 7 last year, are mutually exclusive. Nothing to do with any other team, year, situation. So there's nothing to reverse or end or even talk about, that garbage will just be filling up airspace unfortunately over the next week
Bunk:Q: Do you think Cabrera's ready for the big time? He's looked good lately, been making better contact, etc. But he's never played under this kind of pressure. Does he have it in him?
Steve_Silva:Unlike many self-proclaimed world's smartest Red Sox fans and stat nazis (thanks Peter Gammons) who viciously trashed Theo Epstein and John Henry when they traded for Cabrera, I liked the trade and the player from the get-go. After his initial settling-in period, he's looked very comfortable. And I'm not talking about the too-cool handshakes. Smooth as silk fielding. Love his aggressive plate approach. He loves the spotlight. Loves to hit with the game on the line, two out, etc. If you have no real shot at Renteria, you have to make the OC re-signing as important as the Pedro negotiations. This kid was born to be big time.
willyo:Q: Tim Wakefield pitched well against the Yankees, in the last ALCS. How do you think that the long layoff, he's had, will affect him ?
Steve_Silva:Just as long as he doesn't get put in a bad situation again as he was last year by Grady. The knuckle ball is not made for late-inning relief. Wake scares the heck out of me, when the knuckle don't knuckle, it just sits there begging to hit out of the park. Three run homer waiting to happen, even with none on base. I'd like to see him in the middle innings and wanted D-Lowe to get start. With side sessions, layoff shouldn't be problem.
SultanOfSwat:Q: Which would rather see the sox play, if they get by the Yanks: the Cardinals or the Astros. Wouldn't it be great to see Shilling-Clemens?
Steve_Silva:Having Roger back would be fun. But the Cards are a powerhouse, with great players, and we have some history there. While there would be an automatic letdown after beating the yankees (anyone who says otherwise is fooling themselves) it would be less of a letdown with St. Louis coming to town. And the home field is going to be nice for a change. I'm still upset at the silly, lazy blown games earlier this year which is preventing tonight's affair being in Kenmore Square.
bellhorn_babe:Q: Let's talk about "the Shirt" How do you think impartial baseball fans feel about it? It was on the National News that Red Sox nation complained and had it removed from mlb website! Amazing!
Steve_Silva:See early rant on this. But I did get a lot of emails (MLB claims 600 complained but you know them) many from non-partials who were simply offended that MLB one-wayed this thing (again, don't care about the theme), but the fact that they ban (sometimes) the garbage shirts (you know them) from Fenway and the Stadium, but want to put this questionable material out there because they want their piece of the alternative pie. And they keep selling the shirts today, awful.
FrozenTeddy:Q: Just wondering, how many games you think the series will go?
Steve_Silva:Sox in Six
okie:Q: Biggest worry I have is can anyone honestly picture Terry Francona as "the manager" who finally gets the Sox a title?
Steve_Silva:Easily. I don't think the manager will be the story this time. The players will determine the outcome of these games. Execution. Good pitching and defense. Timely hitting. Cliches for a reason...
Harry_O_:Q: I think the reason the Sox will win this series is that they are the better TEAM. They all play as one unit...not like a bunch of overpaid individuals.
Steve_Silva:Bingo HarryO. Not unlike the Patriots (except for the whole wildman idiot say silly things... OK not like Patriots), like the old Oakland A's, '93 (?) Phillies with Kruk, Dalton, Dykstra, Schilling, feels like Anaheim a few years back. These guys are locked in as a team. But the Yankees are more of a team that people think they are. They've come together as the year went on. So the team chemistry thing is closer than is perceived.
LeeHarris:Q: Grady Little said that "The Curse" (TINC) was definitely on the minds of some of his players in Game 7 last year. A lot is always made of the curse, or the fact that there isn't one, but deep down, do you expect the Sox to be able to avoid tightening up?
Steve_Silva:Grady is full of baloney. That was a delusional comment . He had stars in his eyes when he want out to visit Pedro. And stars in his eyes when he was shaking hands with Rudy Giuliani, congratulating him, after the game. Wrong man for the job from the get-go. Period.
desi:Q: Please answer this QUESTION!.....How come Jerry remy can't be the third announcer for FOC durign the ALCS and WS? MCCarver and BUCK are the worst! Jerry actually teaches vieweres about the game and provides so much insight into the game that is very much
Steve_Silva:Umm, cause RemDawg is not a household name yet outside of Red Sox nation and is the sitting Red Sox color man... even though Tim McCarver roots for the Yankees between the lines, he's become a national figure. It's too late, he can't be stopped.
lok:Q: i dont see boston signing pedro.. im sad with this... i see pedro signing with the dodgers or gasp! the yanks.. i hope deep down that boston sign pedro and sign tek.. those two are pillars of this team
Steve_Silva:Pedro would have no problem going if the money speaks the right language. This will not be a Trot Nixon home town discount. I think we already got the best of Pedro with the last contract, like surviving without Nomar, the Sox would be more than fine without Mr. Martinez after this season (Schill would differ on that for sure). In Theo we Trust! :-) Maybe even someday the Sox develop the Red Sox farm system develops the next Pedro Martinez (gasp!) instead of signing old arms (not directed at you Curt). Offer Pedro $22M/2 years, tops. 'Tek should sign, it's a shame he works with that snake Scott Boras, but he's committed. And poor Nomar (can't resist), what's he up for, an incentive-laden one-year $2M deal with the Chunichi Dragons... I gotta eat. From the Cask to the Riv to Sonny McLeans to Dublin to your living room, enjoy the game tonight. Schould be a lock.
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