Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The error cost them the game, and other observations

A [satellite] dish best served up cold...

This morning I woke up and turned on the television with the expectation that I would be getting the Red Sox season opener live from the Tokyo Dome on ESPN2. For those without DirecTV, that's channel 209 on my dial, direct from what my receiver calls satellite 2.

Rather than the game, I was receiving a message that I was not receiving signal from that particular satellite.

At first I thought the issue might have been my recent attempt to upgrade to HD and the replacement of my dish...that is until I began receiving a placard with the following message on all the affected channels...

"No need to call us. We are aware this TV station is temporarily unavailable. We'll have this channel back as soon as possible. Sorry for the interruption."
Based on that message I could only conclude that there has been some sort of technical glitch at DirecTV's end of things. With the satellite that carried Major League Baseball's inaugural game of the 2008 season. Someone somewhere screwed the pooch on this one.

The future is now

The opening day line-up for the Red Sox included four starters (not including the pitching) that were under the age of 30, three of which had a year or less service time at the major league level. Including the starter and relievers, the Sox had eight players that were either under the age of 30, or with a year or less service time appear in the game - Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Brandon Moss, Jacoby Ellsbury, Coco Crisp, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima, and Jonathan Papelbon.

While the speculation is that Crisp isn't long for the Red Sox, the tandem of Moss and Ellsbury could be a glimpse of the future of the Boston outfield.

For all the fanfare that has followed Ellsbury into the season after bursting on the scene with a memorable post-season, Moss was the hero in the opener. On a day when David Ortiz and Jason Varitek combined to go 0 for 8, and after the bullpen blew a one run lead, Moss led the way. Down to their final two outs, Moss launched a solo home-run to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

With JD Drew signed for the next couple of years, and Manny Ramirez's contract coming due, is it possible that the future of the outfield is Moss, Ellsbury, and Drew?

Guts and glory...

Okajima, the old-timer of the players entering only their second season (he's 32), struggled in the opener. The set-up man got the win while throwing 19 pitches, giving up no runs on no hits. However, he walked one and nine of his pitches were balls. Those 19 pitches garnered three outs and the win.

To put that into perspective, in last season's ALCS, Okajima had a 1 2/3 inning appearance, getting five outs on 18 pitches.

Bad pitchers give up the ghost when they don't have their A-game. Good pitchers find a way to win when they don't have their best stuff. Oki didn't have his best stuff, but still did his job.

That's the early season for you...still working out the kinks.


Dave said...

I still hate this whole thing, but it was good to see the Sox win and great to see Moss come through after Drew pulling himself out right before game time.

Here's a name to watch for in the next year or two: Josh Reddick. I'd rather see him with Ellsbury and Moss than Drew. Hell, keep Crisp and trade Drew for 50 cents on the dollar. He's soft and completely unreliable. And I guarantee you he wouldn't have homered in that situation.

Kevin Smith said...

While there isn't enough information to sufficiently back this, I have a hunch that over the years that it will be found that these overseas trips tend to cost teams a two to three games in the standings. As for Drew, I'm with you, I think he's too soft

He's always been talented, but what does that matter if he can't stay on the field.