Wednesday, October 13, 2004


There's no crying in baseball....there's no crying in baseball. F that, I'm crying in baseball. The Red Sox finally build the right team, they have the dominant starting pitcher, they're ready to rip through the playoffs -- and the guy gets hurt. He gets bleepin' hurt, pitching in a blowout in the ALDS. Not fighting to advance in a fifth game, not making a valiant play to save a run, not even in the course of the long and trying season. On a fluke ground ball in a game that was already over. I tell you what, it's not fair. This was the guy. Schilling was going to be the right man at the right time in the right place, and the Sox knew it. He knew it. Hell the Official Ninth Cats knew it, and they're always asleep. Curt was the one thing that finally gave Boston an advantage, the perennial underdog at last makes an unseeable raise to take all the Yankee chips....and the guy gets hurt. You tell me how that happens to any other team than the Red Sox and I'll...well, I'll probably tell you to stick it, but I'm in a pretty bad mood. It's just unfathomable. The Yankees have a starting pitcher be mediocre to lousy all year, and he almost throws a no-no in the playoffs - Boston has one put up Cy Young numbers for 162 and he twists his ankle. Of course he does, because God forbid we get one moment of actual pleasure from this ridiculous nonsense. "Would you like a glimpse of happiness, sir?"..."No no, I'll stick with the constant pain thank you. It's treated me quite well." It's no fair I tell you, and if Tom Hanks doesn't like it, he can blow it out his melodramatic rear.

Well that was unpleasant. Not the carefully thought out analysis you (ahem) loyal readers have come to expect from The Ninth. I apologize. But man was that frustrating. Losing a game in New York is not a big problem, in fact, it's expected. Getting blown out, no major. Coming back but not coming back enough, could be worse. But maybe losing Schilling in the process, that's a doozy. There's no way of knowing what state his ankle is actually in. Clearly, as we suggested yesterday, the Sox were not being entirely honest with their injury updates. They won't be now either, so we won't know if Curt is pitching again until he actually steps on the mound. He only threw 58 pitches on Tuesday, so rest will not be a factor. If he's done though, they'll lose. Sorry folks, but it's the realistic truth. I hate it as much as you do, but if Curt can't pitch again, the Sox are in serious trouble. Derek Lowe is a nice substitute, but I think we all know how that song ends.

That being said, it's only been one game. Tonight's matchup is ridiculously lop-sided in Boston's favor. The Red Sox have four regulars with career OPS's of over 1.000 against Jon Lieber. Pedro Martinez might have paternity issues, but if there was one man grinning last night in Boston's dugout, it was Pedey. Yeah, he loves and respects Curt, but this is his team. His stuff doesn't back it up, but you know he believes he's still the #1 here. In his mind he's the go to guy, and I promise you he is delighted by the chance to prove it. Whether he'll be able to or not remains to be seen. But I would not bet against Pedro tonight. In fact, I expect his A game. And if you leave New York 1-1, that's a success. So there's that. It sounds real good in the head, but it's not helping so much in the heart.

Please hold me.