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Playing catchup . . .

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  April 15, 2011 10:10 PM

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A couple of late-night scattered Sox thoughts and housekeeping items while wondering if Jed Lowrie can catch . . .


Coco Crisp's '70s swingin' A's flashback was cool. But to be honest, I'm just looking forward to the point when Carl Crawford stops reminding me of him.

He handled it well, but Crawford doesn't deserve to be booed. His brutal start is not from a lack of effort, he never bolted Boston for the Yankees, and it's pretty apparent he knows he's lousy. It's been 12 games. Give him a real chance.

How many of you Sox fans follow an NL team too, not necessarily passionately but just for the heck of it? I've pretty much got both feet aboard that Colorado Rockies bandwagon right now. Troy Tulowitzki is still swinging the bat like it's last September.

The Sox are -- and, yes, this is mind-numbingly stunning -- off to their worst start since 1996, when they opened 3-15 and then 6-19. Tim Wakefield was a 14-game winner for that team. And Kevin Kennedy probably took credit for all 14 of his wins.

The Disney ending would have been for Adrian Gonzalez to wallop a crucial ninth-inning homer on the day he signed his (anticlimactic) seven-year, $154 million deal. Instead, he grounded out feebly to second base for the final out in a one-run loss. Who's writing these lousy scripts?

I like Jarrod Saltalamacchia and I understand why the Sox want to give him an extended chance. He's just 25, and there have been occasional glimpses of the talent that made him a Baseball America darling not so long ago. But man, if his hitting wasn't so bad, we might notice that his throws to second seem to be getting more and more scattershot.

I'm not going to second-guess their lukewarm interest in Russell Martin, though, because I'm skeptical he makes in through the season in New York.

One legitimate concern as I see it: They might be a little too lefthanded. Papi has been surprisingly good, but I doubt Crawford, Ellsbury, and J.D. Drew could get a hit off Dennys Reyes at this point.

Momentum is only as good as . . . well, let's see, Josh Beckett goes tomorrow. A performance as dazzling as his effort against the Yankees Sunday would go a long way toward reassuring the crowd gathering on the Zakim (Tobin references are so pre-2004). It would probably also make John Farrell wonder where that curveball and changeup have been the past two years.

* * *
Anyway, to slightly less disappointing matters, here's some stuff I put together recently that appeared in various other neighborhoods on Boston.com. You know, in case you missed them by accident rather than choice:

Bruins-Canadiens historical playoff quiz: The answer is Ken Dryden. I'm not telling you the question.

Celtics-Knicks historical playoff quiz: Celtics in five, but 'Melo has one Bernard King tribute in him where he'll drop about 44 on the C's.

This week's media column looking at Toucher and Rich's fulfilled effort to get Charlie Sheen on their airwaves. I've long been all winning-ed out -- the most lucid thing he has said is that "2 1/2 Men" is garbage -- but I thought the creativity and hustle Rich Shertenlieb put in to get Sheen on the show was pretty telling. These guys work for their success.

Last week's media column chatting with Dr. Jack Ramsay about the Celtics and Heat. It's always fun talking NBA with him not only because of his unmatched depth of knowledge or because he coached those wonderful Walton/Lucas Blazers, but because he's almost casual in his candor. Among other things, he said he thinks Derrick Rose has been trying to do too much lately, revealed that he gets on Rajon Rondo about his free-throw shooting when he sees him, and that the Celtics will get out of the first round easily even if Shaq doesn't play.

One last argument . . . Taped this Globe 10.0 clip about the state of the Sox with my Joe boss Monday. Still believe every word of my it's-all-gonna-be-OK sermon, too, even after tonight's crusher. I mean, this is all a tremendous letdown given the expectations, sure, but it's still so early, and you have to believe the Sox are going to be an outstanding team when players start performing to their established norms. You'll exhale soon, I'm sure of it.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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