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Congratulations and the ace is back…

September 17, 2008

Anyone that knows Shonda and I knows what Lou Gehrig the name, and the legacy mean to us. So seeing any player mentioned in the same breath usually brings some anxiety now a days. But last night Derek Jeter passed Lou Gehrig for the all time career hits mark in Yankee stadium. I am not sure I can think of a player more befitting this honor. From day one the guy has competed hard and always played the game right, not an easy task in New York city.

I can think of no one I enjoyed competing in the biggest games against more than Derek. He never gave away an at bat and never played the game at anything less than his best. Stat heads and non-Yankee fans can rant and scream about ‘intangibles’ or range factor but I had the honor of seeing him live and watching his impact on his team, and mine, for close to 10 years, and it mattered. What a great way to see the closing of Yankee stadium go with this record making headlines.

Now on to the home team. People have continued to write off Tampa all the way through the beginning of September. “Experts” predicting the time and place they would ‘fall’ pretty much daily. Now some are caving with 8 or so game left and begrudgingly acknowledging the incredible job they did this year. That’s a very good team and one poised to be good for many years. You can only hope the fan base catches on before something happens and they cannot fund the club in a way to keep the young superstars they continually draft.

That being said I can think of no better situation (other than winning last night) for the Sox to be in than the one they are in right now. The ace, the best October pitcher alive today, is healthy, fresh and throwing the ever living piss out of the ball right now. Home field, especially for this team, is certainly something you’d like to end the season with, but having a Beckett makes that almost a moot point. True October aces eliminate home field advantage for the opponents. Back him up with Jon Lester and Daisuke and I like the chances. I don’t care who the first round opponent is, and that’s no disrespect what so ever for the other 3 teams qualifying, but if I had a game to win, a must win, and I need to hand the ball to one guy in the world, that guy wears #19 for the Sox.

33 Comments leave one →
  1. cgasparro permalink
    September 17, 2008 8:58 am

    I know this isn’t the primary or even secondary point of your post, but I too hope that the Rays can generate some interest in the fan base. I’m really split on the issue because on the one hand, I can’t understand how they can’t fill that (crappy) stadium when they are in a pennant race. On the other, when I was at a Sox-Rays game in July, I found myself wondering where all the Rays fans came from. All that said, I think Florida is in danger of losing it’s Major League Baseball teams and I think that would be a real shame. It’s for that reason that I’m thinking of buying Rays season tickets next year despite being a Red Sox fan. The idea is a little painful to me – I was pissed at how obnoxious the fans were at the Trop in July – but good baseball is good baseball and I don’t have to cheer for the home team in order to support their presence in the West Florida community. Anyway, I hope fans of other teams feel the same way I do and the support for the franchise comes even if it isn’t from true “Rays” fans.

    That said, I’m really hoping for a confidence crippling route by the Sox tonight :)

  2. athlon20 permalink
    September 17, 2008 9:15 am

    Tampa’s bullpen has done exceptionally well this season. Everyone knew that between Kazmir, Shields, and Garza TB had a pretty good rotation setup. Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine (illegitimate child of Paul Byrd, anyone?) have thrown the ball just as good as anyone. Cy-nnanstine has 13 scoreless innings vs. Boston.

    With that said, Tampa’s bullpen has been the surprise. If you told me Howell, Wheeler, and Balfour would have been this lights out at the beginning of the season, I would have laughed. That’s where the Rays biggest improvement was made.

    But hey, anything outside of a World Series this season is a disappointment in Boston. There’s no shame in not repeating.

  3. athlon20 permalink
    September 17, 2008 9:15 am

    Everyone knew that between Kazmir, Shields, and Garza TB had a pretty good rotation setup. Edwin Jackson and Andy Sonnanstine (illegitimate child of Paul Byrd, anyone?) have thrown the ball just as good as anyone. Cy-nnanstine has 13 scoreless innings vs. Boston.

    With that said, Tampa’s bullpen has been the surprise. If you told me Howell, Wheeler, and Balfour would have been this lights out at the beginning of the season, I would have laughed. That’s where the Rays biggest improvement was made.

    But hey, anything outside of a World Series this season is a disappointment in Boston. There’s no shame in not repeating.

  4. September 17, 2008 9:27 am

    well said. and thank you for your wonderful words about josh beckett. he truly is amazing and it’s nice to see him in top form when we need it the most. i’m proud to say i’m a beckett fan and i believe last night’s performance should solidify his status as one of Boston’s best. Even with the loss, last night’s game was great, it’s nice to see two amazing teams battling it out…And thank you for this great line, “The ace, the best October pitcher alive today, is healthy, fresh and throwing the ever living piss out of the ball right now”… Gotta love it.

    -Bethany

  5. September 17, 2008 9:40 am

    Curt…I couldn’t agree more. I am not a Yankee fan at all but I am a HUGE baseball fan and I have complete repect for Derek Jeter and for what he has accomplished. He is a true Yankee and will be honored to be in the same breath as Babe Ruth, Lou Gerhig and Joe Dimaggio.

  6. sportslifer permalink
    September 17, 2008 9:58 am

    Nice words on the Captain. If some of his teammates played the game like Derek Jeter — with grit, intensity and intelligence — perhaps the Yankees wouldn’t find themselves in this terrible position.

  7. gosocks permalink
    September 17, 2008 11:09 am

    Curt,

    As I watched last night’s game, I noticed two things for the first time. One was the plethora of Rays merchandise in the stands. Second, in top of the 8th, with 2 down and men on base, a cheer started. A RAYS cheer! I was waiting for Donny O to use his “they stand as one” phrase like he does in the Fens.

    In 1993/94, I went to a Tampa Bay Lighting came at was then called “Thunderdome”. The place was packed for hockey, and it was loud. It will be a fine day when the same happens for baseball in St. Pete.

    That said, do you think the decision to have the stadium in St. Pete rather than Tampa has anything to do with the low attendance?

  8. fortmyersglenn permalink
    September 17, 2008 1:50 pm

    Curt
    whats your take on the Red Sox leaving Fort Myers. People(mostly kids) are really upset about this talk. People here are trying to figure out the real reason–is it too “gritty” I dont know what that is double speak for–the area around Fenway is pretty “gritty”—its just very upsetting. Lee county is trying to build a new complex with private money and also trying get other teams to come here, but the decision seems to be made—what do you think?

  9. denisesoxfan permalink
    September 17, 2008 2:47 pm

    Hey Curt! Thanks for talking baseball (even though you included a Yankee)!!
    Denise

  10. September 17, 2008 3:17 pm

    It was an amazing game… The best part about it was Josh’s intensity. It fires me up when I see him pumped up like he was last night. And in the words of the guys from the stool; “I’ll gladly take tonight’s loss in exchange for confirmation that Beckett will be totally and utterly unhittable in the playoffs again”

  11. Tom Field permalink
    September 17, 2008 5:14 pm

    Curt:

    I’m totally in your corner. I’d love to see the Sox enjoy a great Sept. & emerge as division winners. But as-is I do think they’re set up for a *great* October, no matter where they end up in the playoff mix.

    There are some other fine teams out there — none of the playoff teams looks soft. But, man, I like our team’s chances as much as anybody’s.

    best,

    Tom

  12. rivaritekfan permalink
    September 17, 2008 5:26 pm

    Definately a nice way to close Yankee Stadium, Derek Jeter is an outstanding baseball player.

    Tampa Bay has frustrated me quite a bit this season. The games against them have been exciting and fun to watch. However, I did not enjoy last night’s game seeing Mike Lowell in what seems to be a lot of pain. Our house hopes not to lose him for the season, but whatever he needs to do, he should.

    Curt, hope you’re feeling better, come back soon…

  13. September 17, 2008 5:32 pm

    I hope Jeter stubs his toe and breaks it

  14. grecoroman permalink
    September 17, 2008 8:22 pm

    Curt:

    Beckett is looking good, however I still feel better when you are in the rotation with him. I always felt Beckett elevated his performance to legendary heights with the Sox with you by his side. I do believe he feels challenged/confident enough by Lester and Dice to elevate his game consistently as well in the playoffs, but know your presence on the mound only cemented his will to shine as bright as he did.

  15. pinballyankee permalink
    September 17, 2008 8:56 pm

    Curt :
    Thank you for the kind words about Derek Jeter, it seems like non-Yankee fans really don’t understand why we think he is so special. So even though you broke my heart in 2001 with the DBs and in 2004 and 2007 with the Sox – all the best.

    I hope you change your mind about retiring . . .

  16. FireDannyAinge permalink
    September 17, 2008 9:42 pm

    There is nothing classy about Derek Jeter but I guess you will say anything to get the obnoxious Yankee fans to shut up.

    You think it is classy that he pretend to tag people. That is cheating. Is it classy to make the entire team hate A-Rod all because ten years ago he said anyone could win a world series playing for NY? Is it classy to except year after year gold gloves you know you didn’t deserve?

    I’ll defend your right to free speech Schilling but your Yankee ass kissing is pathetic.

    Oh and defending Tampa after what they did to Coco and Dauber is pathetic. Maybe I’ll join the group that just wants you gone from Boston.

  17. amy4kids permalink
    September 17, 2008 10:54 pm

    Great post, Curt. I am a diehard Beckett fan, and I know I am not alone when I scream, “Beckett’s back, BABY!” We are all looking forward to an exciting postseason, but still looking at it one game at a time. It’s so easy to get ahead of ourselves, especially at this crucial time of the season. Tonight’s loss was certainly a tough one…so it was a good thing today’s my twin boy’s 15th B-day! Good food, yummy cake, and family togetherness helped to ease my weary (fired-up!) mind a bit! Hope your rehab is going well, too. Have a great week…God bless…

  18. empirelady permalink
    September 18, 2008 8:35 am

    Curt-
    If there was was a game to win,a must win situation,and the ball had to be handed to one person in the world,I would want the ball to be handed to YOU. I would want,my #1 choice would be and will always be,to have you. I hope that you are doing well and I totally agree with the others regarding your thoughts about retirement. Please reconsider and come back at least for one more season.
    Donna,New York City,empirelady87@hotmail.com

  19. boogielove permalink
    September 18, 2008 11:53 am

    Hey Curt: I gota say I disagree with you about a lot (read: politics) but I’m grateful for your taking Manny to task. I’ve been defending the guy for years to my buddies who were on him, because he seemed to be a good teammate. But jaking is the worst thing an athlete can do, period. It wouldn’t have been good for the Sox but they should have suspended him when he kept the bat on his shoulder.

    Hope you come back but if you don’t thanks for everything you’ve done in a Red Sox uniform. Please remain a beantown fixture (though not in politics- lol)

    Steve
    Kalispell, MT

  20. phillypain permalink
    September 18, 2008 12:44 pm

    Curt, I just heard your comments about Manny Ramirez. Maybe you should ask Mitch Williams what kind of teammate you were.

  21. leftistcommiesoxfan permalink
    September 18, 2008 1:01 pm

    With regard to your latest remarks about Manny Ramirez,
    can you just shut up and go away already ???
    You have been a non-entity as far as Red Sox Baseball
    has been concerned this season. You won’t be here next year.
    Isn’t there a Republican fundraiser you should be at right now ?
    I hope your stock portfolio is in complete disarray Herr Schilling.
    You are the CLASSIC loudmouth white athlete of the post-Reagan era.
    Jason Bay plays baseball the “right way” ???
    You mean the “white way” don’t you ???
    I hope President Obama’s new tax rates hit you HARD.
    JUST SHUT UP AND GO AWAY.
    Do you think that David Ortiz, who is actually PLAYING
    for The Red Sox currently, unlike you, wants to hear you bad mouthing
    Manny ? No, he does not is my guess. SHUT UP AND LEAVE
    AND TAKE YOUR NEO-CON TEXAS FRIEND MIKE TIMLIN WITH YOU !!!
    Hold a fundraiser for Sarah Palin or something. Just leave.
    Snowmobile off into the sunset Montague.

  22. shutupcurt38 permalink
    September 18, 2008 2:15 pm

    So Curt, I just saw you’ve once again commented on Manny Ramirez and have another article on ESPN with your name on it.

    Maybe the next article should be titled “I WANT MORE ATTENTION MANNY STOLE MINE BY BEING THE World Series MVP”

    Why don’t you keep your mouth shut and stop talking until you get your broken down fat body back on the field. Since that will never happen PLEASE disappear into retirement because you’ve blown your chance with a lot of Sox fans because we can’t stand hearing from a man who is stealing money from our team.

    I understand Manny messed up a lot while in Boston but I CHALLENGE you to make one more post describing why you feel it is necessary to continue saying the same things over and over again and ruining the already poor reputation of one of the GREATEST hitters any of us will ever see.

  23. bruin2007 permalink
    September 18, 2008 2:26 pm

    Okay you were very talented when you played let me give you that first. A great pitcher. Now, you really need to just get off your soap box. You should hang out with Jeff Kent and have a bitter old man sewing circle. Seriously. Youre a baseball player, get over yourself. Why are you campaigning also? I think its stupid for celebrities and athletes to be part of political campaigns unless they actually contribute something relevant. Too much attention is paid to what “celebrities” think about politics. That’s it. Im stepping off my soap box now. Thanks.

  24. redsoxlady permalink
    September 18, 2008 2:51 pm

    Hey Curt,

    Most everyone I talk with agrees it was time for Manny to go. Even my husband who always supported him. Thanks for the honesty.

    As for LEFTISTCOMMIESOXFAN, wow you frighten me! So much anger.

  25. frankiemoney permalink
    September 18, 2008 3:21 pm

    I am not a Manny Ramirez fan bc I am not a fan of hot dogs that play the game. I saw the comment you made about him, ironically, you are making the comment after he is long gone. Curt, be a man and tell the person to his or her face when u have an issue….don’t make comments when people are over 2,000 miles away and act like a tough guy. You talk a good game, and unfortunately thats probably all you’ll have as you won’t be back in baseball bc ur time is passing quickly in the game. Just lived with it.

  26. September 18, 2008 3:44 pm

    um, why do people who just want you to shut up bother to come on to YOUR website and spend time leaving a comment??

    I say way to go with the Manny bashing…

  27. jimmykc permalink
    September 18, 2008 4:44 pm

    Looking at the schedules it could be that the last series against the Yankees will be totally irrelevant. If so, we should rest all the starters except for token appearances, and applaud all of the Yankees including Jeter. What could be more gracious (and demeaning). And I agree, I wouldn’t care if we started in LA with the playoffs as a wild card-it worked pretty well in 2004. And as for the NL, I also wouldn’t mind facing Red Sox West in the World Series- it would be nice to see Manny, Nomar and DLowe again , albeit on the losing side. Enjoy the Autumn.

  28. chuck2323 permalink
    September 18, 2008 5:17 pm

    Curt,

    Thanks for 2004!!! But enough of the non-stop talk please.

    Chuck

  29. phillypain permalink
    September 18, 2008 5:29 pm

    Red Sox wouldn’t be in the playoff race with Manny, but I guess some people have short term memory.

  30. phillypain permalink
    September 18, 2008 5:29 pm

    without Manny* excuse me.

  31. mattingly23 permalink
    September 18, 2008 5:32 pm

    You say that Manny disrespected his team mates with the way he acted and played? Don’t you consider it disrespectful to your teammates coming into camp 30 pounds over weight?

    You need to go away, but you can’t your ego will not let you.

    BTW its called a salad!

  32. emmmer permalink
    September 18, 2008 5:36 pm

    I heard about your opinion about Manny and his newfound spirit and “iron man” attitude. I wonder if the Red Sox Nation could bring a class action law suit against Manny for sandbagging while in Boston? The comments from his agent immediately after the trade was signed should be proof enough that his wasn’t playing to his full potential. And his stats (he even stole a base; he never did that in a Sox uniforms) show that he has had a huge make over (the dry CA air must have made a miracle cure to his poor knees).

    I can’t wait to see you on the mound again. Have a great weekend.

    Em

  33. September 18, 2008 7:03 pm

    Tampa is a really good team this year; and if people like baseball, then they’ve gotta love the way Tampa has turned their team around.

    While I don’t really want to see the Sox go against the Angels in a 5 game series — at the same time, it is what it is – and let’s hope everyone stays healthy for the rest of the season and focus on the task that appears to be at hand in Anaheim….

    I didn’t hear your whole interview about Manny, though I saw some quotes in the paper.

    As a fan, I thoroughly enjoyed Manny. But I didn’t have to work with him…clearly, there were…issues.

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