|Who would have thought?||08.25.08 at 6:26 am ET|
As my colleague Mike Felger points out, points out, and then points out again, Clay Buchholz has disappointed this season. Expectations were high. Higher than high. Higher than Yao Ming, Sandy Allen, and Tommy Chong combined. But few would have expected that on Aug. 25 we would be staring at this perfect storm — Buchholz pitching for the Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field on the same night he is being honored with his own bobblehead doll.
When the game notes announce the distribution of your bobblehead and then follows it up with a run-down of history against that game’s opposing hitters … not ideal.
First thing is first, here are your Late Night Links before we get to the most recent batch. Any time you can reference “The Big Lebowski” it is gold.
I think it’s only fair we look at Jed Lowrie this morning, which gives me yet another opportunity to point out Alex Speier’s excellent story on the young shortstop. It might make the fact that he hit the game-winning home run from the left side Sunday a bit more appreciated.
Lowrie’s father Dan recalled that his son hit roughly .350 as a right-hander, and about .200 from his unnatural side of the plate. His coaches were concerned not just about those disparate results but also about the possibility that the freshman’s confidence would sag.
“Since maybe 75, 80 percent of his at bats were left-handed, that was a little discouraging,” recalled Dan Lowrie. “But Jed’s makeup was that he was just more determined to make left-handed hitting work for him.”
Lowrie’s father and coaches advocated that he take more right-handed at-bats. Lowrie resisted, determined to develop his skill.
As for Lowrie, since the non-waiver trade deadline he is first among American League shortstops in on-base percentage (.402), third in batting average (.329), second in go-ahead RBIs (4), second in total bases (44), and second in pitches per plate appearance (4.13). Good times for the Red Sox. Here is another nobody-thought-he-could-play-shortstop shortstop, David Eckstein, waxing poetic on the young Lowrie.
Our blogging friend, Sean Casey, has a stiff neck. This reminded me of the trip to Japan, as when we got off the plane the first person I saw was Casey who literally looked liked his neck was in a brace, without the brace. If you remember, he missed playing time in the Tokyo Dome with the ailment after admitting to using one of those horse collar pillows in an inefficient manner. (Sleeping with your neck wrapped around a tube while jetting across the Pacific is never advised).
Dennis and Callahan just threw this out, which I think is a valid (albeit familiar) argument — which team has a better chance to win a championship, the Red Sox or Patriots? Let’s include the Celtics in there.
Looking forward to today’s Dale and Holley (insert Felger this time around), Jimmy Stewart from ‘The Producers’ gives you a head’s up what to expect.