How It Was Meant To Be
Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2001
From: Kevin Hench
Subject: How It Was Meant To Be
Frank Castillo painting corners. Nomar Garciaparra
making two smooth plays
from deep in the hole. Clutch hitting.
This was how it was meant to be. All season.
There was a good turnout by Red Sox Nation at The Ed tonight in Anaheim. We
made more noise than their fans, which is no big achievement. But it wasn't
the wild frenzy that we could have expected had the Nation still truly
believed we had a shot. The bittersweetness of tonight's win was palpable.
Nobody screaming coming out of the stadium. No stinging high-fives, just
mild, congratulatory, job-well-done high-fives. This was pretty much the way
we had all envisioned the Townies dispatching sorry lineups like the Orioles
and Angels, but we had gone 5-9 against those two teams this season. Had we
gone 10-4, of course, we'd be tied for first.
Four players who insist that they are everyday players -
Dante Bichette, Jose
Offerman, Mike Lansing and Troy O'Leary - all cleared waivers without a sniff
of interest from another team.
Tonight's infield - Nomar, Lansing, Stynes, Hillenbrand (1B) - should be the
infield every night until Dauby is back.
During BP, both Stynes and O'Leary had what looked like jocular conversations
with Kerrigan. The exchanges didn't seem aberrant for a big league team, but
they looked like the kind of batting cage give-and-take that was lacking
between the team and Jimy before the axe fell. Lamont hit grounders to Shea
at first, who looked pretty shaky, but was solid during the game, while Tommy
Harper hit grounders to Stynes at third. While Lamont hit grounders to Shea,
Kerrigan acted as the pitcher, jogging over to first taking throws from Shea.
Joe just carries himself around the team like an incredibly positive guy.
He can't get the hitters out, but if we get some pitching, I think Joe will
do wonders for the chemistry. Especially after we clean house in the
Stynes looked awful in the cage and his long slump continued with a 1-for-5
that included a rally-killing 4-6-3, a pop-up and a strikeout. But I still
think he should play his way out of it. Bichette was the only guy who went
deep with any regularity in BP, though both Troy and Carl found the seats a
couple of times.
Shea is our seventh player to reach double figures in home runs (Manny,
Dauby, Trot, Bichette, Everett, O'Leary), but the problem is that most of the
seven are barely in double figures. I'm coming around on Shea. He looks
tremendously improved at third and Kerrigan has him continuing to take
pitches. He hit a 3-1 pitch for his dinger.
I hope Chan Ho Park keeps burning bridges in Los Angeles and lowering his
Todd Erdos scares me, but not as much as the guy who pitched the ninth.