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ALDS: This One's For You, Josh
Talk about gamesmanship.
Seemingly unable to rattle Josh Beckett with their bats, the Indians are resorting to a different tactic: an ex-girlfriend.
Cleveland has tabbed country singer Danielle Peck to sing “God Bless America” at tonight’s game, and she just so happens to be Beckett’s ex. Indians spokesman Bob DiBiasio claims, “It's an incredible coincidence. Honestly.” Suuuure.
As one Deadspin commenter speculates, maybe the Sox will retaliate by “stacking boxes of Dunkin' Donuts in the on-deck circle, in plain view of C.C. Sabathia.”
While I can’t fault the selection of Carlos Pena as AL Comeback Player of the Year, Pena’s production, as massive as it was, came in the obscurity of Tampa Bay. The more impressive comeback player, as far as meaningful contributions to postseason teams, was Cleveland’s Jhonny Peralta.
While everyone likes to poke fun at his name – Bill Simmons asks if Peralta and Dwyane Wade ever considered a “Birth Certificate Bloopers” support group – there’s no mistaking his play this series, leading to yet another name comment: one article claims the misplaced ‘h’ stands for ‘hitter’.
Peralta, who enjoyed a breakout 2005 with a .292 average, 24 HR, 78 RBIs, slipped considerably in 2006, hitting .257 with only 13 HR to go with his 68 RBIs. But, as Ben Reiter wrote in SI’s baseball preview issue, Peralta went under the laser to have corrective eye surgery. His numbers improved a little – up to .270/21/72 – and they’ve taken off this postseason. Peralta is hitting .406 with a .750 slugging percentage, and two three-run homers against Boston. He’s a more-than-capable No. 5 hitter, providing strong protection in that lineup for Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez.
Let’s say this: He’s no Maicer Izturis. (Sorry, Angels fans.)
It’s no wonder Manny Ramirez almost never talks to the press. This postseason he’s opened up a little bit – and the media, as always, was quick to pounce. Newspapers across the country today ran headlines like Ramirez: It’s Not The End Of The World or articles basically telling Manny to get a clue.
While the Sox have visibly tensed up since Game 2, Manny was playful, showing a calm that the team needs. Boston didn’t come back in 2004 by saying the 3-0 ALCS deficit to the Yankees was the end of the world. Instead, it was clubhouse jokers like Kevin Millar who kept the team loose.
Manny obviously cares about this team. He’s batting .429 with four HRs and 11 RBIs this postseason and, along with David Ortiz and Josh Beckett, has carried the Sox this far. Yet as soon as Manny talks, the world jumps on him. Few papers cared to print a longer version of his remarks to show context:
“We're just going to go have fun and play the game,” Manny said. “That's it. If we go play hard and the thing doesn't come like it's supposed to come, we'll move on. We'll come next year. Why should we panic? We've got a great team. If it doesn't happen, good. We'll come next year and try to do it again.
“We're confident every day. It doesn't matter how things go for you. We're not going to give up. We're just going to go and play the game, like I've said, and move on. If it doesn't happen, so who cares? There's always next year. It's not like the end of the world or something.”
Labels: Indians-Red Sox
posted by SI.com | View comments |
Beckett's ex is tabbed to sing "God Bless America", but she's not going to faze him one bit. God Bless America is sung during the 7th inning stretch...and one of two scenarios will unfold... either Beckett will be in the showers by then with the bullpen either protecting a lead or stopping the bleeding, OR he will be dominating the Indians lineup resulting in his return for the 7th inning...which means not even and ex girlfriend could faze him at that point.
Real cheap shot, bringing in his ex in an effort to seal the ALCS.¶ Hope he walks over and gives her a big hug after she gets through her number, just to rub it in.
Please...is this what Boston fans are gonna talk about if Beckett gets lit up like a XMas tree? Saying it's unsportsmanlike to have his ex-girlfriend sing the national anthem and be in attendance? Let's see, the excuse for the last loss was not starting Beckett, now, it could be Beckett's ex being at a game...pathetic...truth is, Cleveland is a better team, and the better team is leading the series...if he gets lit up, it has nothing to do with his ex being there...
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