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Friday, June 04, 2004

Stop. Before you throw yourself from the Tobin Bridge, before you hurl yourself in front of a Green Line train, before you ring Jack Kevorkian, here are a few reasons why the season isn't over:

• Nomar Garciaparra returns next week and Trot Nixon soon after.
• Johnny Damon is setting the table nicely, improving his OBP, and hitting with authority.
• Manny Ramirez is playing like an MVP.
• Kevin Youkilis is the real deal.
• The bullpen is solid, resent struggles aside, and is quite possibly the best in the league.
• Pedro is Pedro, he'll be back.
• Derek Lowe's problems are mental, not physical. He is as likely to pitch gems for a month as he is to melt down several starts in a row.
• Pokey Reese is among the top three defensive infielders in the league.
• Last season wasn't an aberration for David Ortiz.
• It's only June 4.

There. Feel better now? Me too, but if tomorrow is anything like today and yesterday and the day before that I'll be publishing a list of reasons why the season is over. Even though it'll only be June 5.

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Thursday, June 03, 2004

What happened? Sox fans are waking up this morning to the reality that their team is in some trouble. Widely lauded two weeks ago as the best team in baseball, the Sox now sit two full games behind the Yankees with a pitching staff in disarray. Think the last week isn't exposing serious problems? Than how can anyone -- like, say, Terry Francona -- explain away the troubling struggles of Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez?
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Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Yikes. Ordinarily it would be hard for me to imagine that Derek Lowe has gotten this bad, this fast without something being physically wrong with him. Yet with Lowe there is always the suspicion that something is psychologically wrong with him. More than any other player in recent Sox history, Lowe wears his hart on his sleeve to a fault. We all know the "Derek Lowe face" – it's that look that tells us that what has just happened – say, a hanging sinker hit for a bases loaded double – will stick with him for a long, long time and hamper his pitching. I’m looking for some choice Derek Lowe quotes to go with the face. For example...

"It was a struggle of all struggles out there. There is something going on and I have to figure it out," April 24, 2003

"It's something that’s going to stick with you for a long time." September 20, 2003

Send me suggestions if you come across anything memorable. Meanwhile, I have a hard time getting down on Lowe. He just makes you feel bad for him.


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The west cost trip reminds me of the late nights from last fall's Oakland series. I predict low worker productivity in Red Sox Nation for this week. Company's quarterly earnings reports should be adjusted accordingly.

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