Thursday, June 15, 2006

Game 63: Dead Spaces

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 1, Minnesota Twins 8

I admit, originally this post was going to be about how Matt Clement is starting to remind me of Old Yeller and how it would be best for all for him to be taken out back and shot, or at the very least put on the DL so his “back spasms” or “bad shoulder” or whatever it is that’s made his “fastball with movement” into a “fastball that doesn’t come anywhere near the plate” can heal up. Some minor rehab starts might be good too – something to get his confidence back so we have a shot at getting back the pitcher who debuted in Boston last spring. I was going to write about all these issues, but then the rest of the game happened and I changed my tune. Now I’m starting to wonder if the Red Sox have serious issues when playing in domes.

Some statistics from this year: after playing 9 games in domes, the Red Sox have an OPS of .761, a WHIP of 1.45 and a record of 3 wins and 6 losses. In open stadiums, the OPS climbs to .815, the WHIP drops to 1.38 and the record goes to 33 wins and 21 losses. Now, besides the problem with the huge sample size difference and ignoring home field advantage, something does seem to happen to the Red Sox when they go under the faceless roof of a covered stadium, like they’re flowers who wilt without the benefit of the sun. Our two closest competitors, by the way, both hit better in domes than Boston does.

In light of these problems, I’d like to take this time to announce the official kick-off of the No Baseball in Domes campaign, devoted to the cause of end the terrible disadvantage suffered by certain teams when playing in domed stadiums. Tens of ball players and thousands of fans suffer every year as the windless, sunless environments kill rallies, propel unwanted home runs and otherwise wreck the win/loss records of their favorite teams. As official spokesman for the campaign, I’d like to bestow the It’s Clear You Truly Love Baseball award, in the form of this cheap shiny gold paint trophy, to the Minnesota Twins for building a lovely new open ballpark. Welcome to the fold, brothers and sisters, we’re glad you truly love baseball. The rest of you are on notice; the Revolution will come and we’ll consign these dead spaces to the garbage dump of history!

Wake versus the so-far ineffective Carlos Silva tonight and then we get the hell out of Dodge and head down to Atlanta. Let’s see if we can score some runs tonight for Timmy Knuckles and avoid the sweep. GO SOX!!!

PS. Totally unrelated, but I promised Robin I'd include a note about his glee over Francona putting Kevin Youkilis back in the leadoff spot and moving Coco down to batting eighth. "A game too late, but at least it's done."