*Monday's loss to the New York Yankees derailed the Red Sox season and I would not be surprised if they do not win another game this season. Or, after they win the next three...I overreacted to the loss, but in my defense, I still believe that this team is showing plenty signs of inner-turmoil. The Sox need to part ways with Mike Lowell, and that is not Lowell's fault.
First, the Red Sox already traded him, but he showed up in Florida with a giant "Return To Sender" stamp on the middle of his forehead. Then, with David Ortiz struggling against a pitcher throwing with either arm, Lowell was at least platooning. Then, he wasn't even pinch-hitting. I don't care what anybody, including Terry Francona says, the Sox decided that they could only keep one of the two happy, and they clearly chose Ortiz.
Big Papi has become petulant and wants to cash in on all of the good will he put in the bank when he was the deadliest clutch athlete in the world (luckily, I am never prone to overstating my points). What he and other elite athletes tend to ignore is that they also put a few truckloads of money into the bank at the same time. He got money, adulation and two World Series rings for his trouble. He is owed nothing, and he should be in the lineup only when he is the DH who gives the Red Sox the best chance to win.
*I will now get on my soapbox and discuss why it is that fans are supposed to be held hostage by athletes and coaches who, through doing their jobs at a high level, feel entitled to "go out on their own terms?" Joe Paterno is an excellent example of this. He is synonymous with Penn State Football, but does that mean he stay on the job long after his best days are behind him. His teams rarely win big games anymore. They feast on the weak out of conference.
Athletes are paid to do their jobs. A guy like Ortiz does it better than most of his peers. His reward? He gets paid better than most of his peers. He does not have the right to be mediocre for as long he desires because he was great at one time.
I am always disappointed to find players I believed were great teammates were only that way when things were going well for themselves individually.
*My favorite excuse for Daisuke Matsuzaka's recent outbursts with the media that have left him looking like a bit of a Diva is that his thoughts simply are beyond translation. Business ventures have thrived between Japanese and American corporations, and great works of literature from the East and the West have held up in each other's backyard. Baseball, however, gets completely lost in translation.
The other night, Dice-K asked for a bowl of Frosted Flakes with two percent milk. However, much to his chagrin, the translator mentioned something about Dice-K being upset with his catcher, Victor Martinez. Based on the 30 seconds between pitches Matsuzaka used staring in at signs from Martinez, I am sure that was just a gaffe on the translator's part.
*Removing my cranky pants for a moment, Boston fans have to be excited about the recent pitching performances of Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester. Each has been fully in control of his emotions and the opposing batting orders.
*Much to his credit, Jeremy Hermida has made at least one fan in yours truly. He is not a huge talent, but you will get whatever his best is no matter what situation he finds himself. He will put on good at bats at important times, and that has some real value.
*Finally, I am going to go way out on a limb and predict that Adrian Beltre will end up hitting at least 15 home runs this year.