illustration by Samara Pearlstein
For reference in these notes, Jerry Remy is the Red Sox color commentator, Don Orsillo is the Sox play-by-play man, and Heidi Watney is the on-field reporter.
–Apparently weather held up the Red Sox flight from Cleveland last night, so the Cleveland-to-Detroit bus ride option came into play. Dustin Pedroia was the bus organizer. He doesn’t like flying in general, even more so when there’s bad weather. Heidi said about half the team went. The flight delay was not as bad as originally expected, though: even with the weather, the plane arrived half an hour earlier than the bus.
–“It takes some getting used to. You look out there and think, man, that center fielder is playing shallow!” Jerry Remy on the cavernousness of 420 feet to center at Comerica.
–Scherzer was just not sharp at all. He threw a ton of pitches early and seemingly could not get a handle on the strikezone (he only walked two, but somehow it felt like more). The three-run homer that he gave up to Jacoby Ellsbury was just… ouch. His ‘pickoff move’ to first appeared, impossibly, even more vague and terrifying than usual. Not the Good Max today. This must have been Evil Twin Max, the one with the blue eye on the left and the brown eye on the right. And a goatee, of course.
–Evil Twin Max went to the University of Kansas, but is barely literate. He throws a curveball. He has an on-point pickoff like Justin Verlander but he never knows when to use it. He wears number 73. Oh, and he’s evil.
–Adam Wilk made his big league debut. He gave a very good account of himself: 3.2 innings, two hits (both singles), one walk, and a single run that wasn’t even earned because Scott Sizemore had had his glove eaten up by an awkwardly bouncing ball. Now, the Red Sox DO have a history of struggling against pitchers they’re seeing for the first time, especially lefties. But let’s be cautiously optimistic for now, because it’s nice to find something good to say about this game.
He had good movement on his slider and changeup. He had a longish at-bat with Dustin Pedroia at one point, and got him to strike out swinging with a fairly wicked change. Hey! Optimism!
–The Red Sox announcers became Deeply Concerned when the cover came off the tarp in the middle of the fourth inning.
–They had photos of Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Gonzalez back in 1999/2000, when they were both in the Marlins minor league system. OH MY HOLY PAWS. THESE BABIES. THEY LOOK LIKE PLUCKED CHICKENS. NESN showed these photos while Heidi was interviewing Cabrera. He roomed with Gonzalez in the minors for at least a little bit, and they are still friendly. He was around Josh Beckett at the same time, but they didn’t get to know each other because Beckett was being fast-tracked to the Majors.
They also had a photo of circa-2000-Beckett, with no chin scruff, and aaauuuuggggghhhhh he looked about twelve years old. BABYFACE BECKETT.
–Ryan Perry seems to have cut off all his mullet-y hair, and he’s trimmed his beard way back. He seems to have more beard left than scalp hair, though NESN didn’t have any shots of him with his hat off so it’s hard to tell for sure.
–They saw a guy in the crowd wearing a Lawrence Tech sweatshirt with a football design on it. Underneath that it said Undefeated since 1932. Remy was very impressed for a minute, then realized that Lawrence Tech might not even have football. (It doesn’t.)
–Carl Crawford had two triples, one off of Evil Twin Max and one off of Perry. I mean… it is what it is. Crawford’s speed + the Comerica outfield = triples.
–The infield was badly puddled by the 8th inning. I understand that they wanted to get the entire game in because it’s only fair to give everyone a full shot at it, and they want to give the fans their money’s worth and all that, but come on. It had been raining for a while, and it was supposed to continue raining. The state of the infield was getting bad for the infielders and downright dangerous for baserunners. The score was 14-1– it’s not like this was a tied or even remotely close game. It was already an official game. They should have just ended it. Playing the 8th was stupid, and keeping the game hanging in a delay instead of declaring it over shortly after they brought the tarp out was WICKED stupid.
–NESN had Jim Rice in the studio today (in addition to the anchor, Tom Caron, they rotate Rice, Dennis Eckersley, and Peter Gammons). Obviously they cut to studio when the game went into a delay. Caron was talking about how they couldn’t continue to play with standing water on the infield because it was bad for the infielders. Rice went off on this rant about the fact that nobody thinks of the outfielders! Always the infielders! And back in his day, they only got one pair of shoes, so playing in puddles was the worst! Nowadays these guys get 15+ pairs of shoes and it’s no big deal!
ALSO WE WALKED TO THE STADIUM UPHILL BOTH WAYS, AND UNDER ARMOUR HADN’T BEEN INVENTED YET, AND WE DIDN’T HAVE ALL THESE SCI FI BULL-NUTS HORMONES TO SHOOT INTO OUR BUTTCHEEKS, OK.
–They played more of the Heidi/Cabrera interview, since they had to fill airtime with the delay. Heidi said something like, “You know it’s a close clubhouse when the other guys are all right here watching you.” The camera, which had been focused on Heidi and Miggy, panned out to show Joaquin Benoit and some other guys standing there, hovering around the interview. Miggy said he didn’t think they were there for him, they don’t even say hi to him, they were probably there to look at Heidi.
Papa Grande suddenly appeared on the bench next to Cabrera, all staring pop-eyed at him right over his shoulder. Miggy started laughing, saying, “Papa Grande, Potato Grande, Big Papa!” like he was trying to introduce him to Heidi but could only get out variations on his nickname. Heidi just looked confused. Valverde laughed and shot off the bench as quickly as he had appeared on it, sprinting away onto the field.
Then they panned out again and everyone had fled except for Leyland, who was silently observing the interview with his ominous sunglasses on. Miggy, unprompted, said something about Leyland being one of the greatest men he’s ever worked with. Heidi said, “You had to say that, he’s standing right there.”
Miggy started laughing again and said, “I have to say that! He writes the lineup!” Everyone else cracked up. Fin.
–This has nothing to do with the Tigers, but here’s a photo of Ndamukong Suh in Paris without a shirt on. You’re welcome (or something).