A ‘Roger’ Redux on the Radar

A ‘Roger’ Redux on the Radar

By now you’ve probably seen the old Roger Clemens. No, not the one who looked ancient in losing to the Orioles Wednesday night. We’re talking Roger 2057, the short video created by Natick’s Michael Barber that was launched two weeks ago and has taken the Internet by storm.

Roger 2057 lasted nearly two weeks on top of Boston.com’s most e-mailed list, got a mention in Sports Illustrated, and was recently blasted all over ESPN. Even Roger Clemens himself laughed when he saw the video prior to a start recently. “The Internet is blowing my mind,” said Barber, regarding how quickly the buzz about the film has spread.

“I thought it would be something that Red Sox fans would get a kick out of,” the 34-year-old said of his original aspirations for the short film. “It’s just amazing.”

Johnny Holiday and Mike Barber behind the scenes of Roger 2057

The Stonehill College grad has been acting in Los Angeles for about 10 years, primarily working in theater and doing the Southern California comedy circuit. “This is the first thing I’ve made as a film,” says Barber, who paid for the production of the video himself but got a lot of help from his camera guys, special-effects friends, and post-production crew.

Now Barber is ready to get back to the drawing board for another Roger video before expanding his efforts into other sporting areas. “We’re going to do more of it. It’s been an idea I’ve kind of played with,” said Barber on his desire to do more sports related videos. “I want to make topical sports films of a good quality, speaking about something that’s going on right now. Sports fans are also fans of film, television, and music. People’s tastes are pretty good.”

Barber is a real deal Sox fan, sans Red Sox Nation card. His favorite player growing up was Yaz. He used to take the train in from Natick to get standing room seats during the non-eventful playoff games of 1988 and 1990, when the A’s Dave Stewart used to eat Roger Clemens's lunch on a regular basis.

“His poster was on my wall growing up,” Barber said of the Rocket. “It was a big deal if I had tickets and Roger was pitching. There’s something about his bravado that I love. It’s the thing with Texans. They’ve got this bravado you can key into.”

Matt Oates, a Sacramento native, co-directed the 2057 film with Barber. “He’s the reason it looks so good,” Barber said. “I already got him on board for the next one.”

When the pair was looking for someone to play Brian Cashman, Jr. in the short film, Oates suggested that Barber knew the subject matter better than any other actor in the Los Angeles area, Michael Chiklis, Ben Affleck, and Mike O’Malley notwithstanding. So Barber took on the role himself.
Johnny Holiday and Mike Barber behind the scenes of Roger 2057

But the true star of 2057 is the 95-year-old Johnny Holiday, who didn’t start acting until the age of 87 after a photographer told him he’d be a natural for film. The energetic Holiday had just worked on a short film in which he played the Pope when friends of Barber told him about the elder actor. “I just called him up on the phone, told him about the idea and he said ‘Oh that’s great. Fantastic.’ And he was on board.”

Not all of the feedback around the Internet has been positive.

“I actually enjoy some of the negative feedback,” said Barber, who works at a Los Angeles advertising agency as a media buyer by day. “We were laughing at one of the comments from someone who said ‘It must be great to have so much time on your hands,’ like we were trust-fund babies. Truth is, when we finished the video, we went out and got some cheap beer and crunch wrap supremes from Taco Bell to celebrate.”

Sweepless in Seattle?

Sweepless in Seattle?

Red Sox baserunner Coco Crisp (R) reacts after getting caught stealing second base by Seattle Mariner second baseman Jose Lopez (4) during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Safeco Field.

(Reuters Photo)

Nope. Sox Swept.
Boston Drops Eighth Straight in Seattle, 2-1

Matsuzaka Deserved Better
Decisions, Decisions: Tito Lets Lugo Hit in 8th, Yanks Him in 11th
Pineiroh-no! Sox Run Out of Pitching
Even Cinco Ocho Can't Save Sox
Manny Shoulda Had It, Right?

Eric Wilbur: Pretty in Pink?

Walk on the Wild Side

Gabbard Takes a Walk
On the Wild Side

Red Sox starting pitcher Kason Gabbard steps off the mound after walking in a run during the first inning of their American League MLB baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Seattle

(Reuters Photo)

Triple-A Pitching Is What It Is
Sox Come Back, But Come Up Short, 8-7

Should Gabbard Be Given His Walking Papers?
The Old Theo-Built Bullpen Rears Its Ugly Head
Big Sexson Tall Jack Was a Back Breaker
A Three-RBI Night for the Red Sox All-Star First Baseman
Manny vs. J.J. Putz: Former All-Star Was Overmatched in a Pinch

"It's never a pleasant sight looking on deck and seeing Manny waiting for you. I was able to get ahead of him and get him to chase pitches." -- 6.26.07, Mariners closer J.J. Putz on punching out Manny Ramirez to end it

Cinco Ocho Papelbon

He's Now 'Cinco Ocho'

 Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon pumps his fist as he observes the final out in the Red Sox' 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres in their baseball game in San Diego Sunday, June 24, 2007.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Stealing a Page from Chad Johnson's Book
Paps Now Wants to be Known as 'Cinco Ocho'
(At Least He's Not Picking Songs for a CD... Yet)

"Well Cinco Ocho is the name I've taken on right now, that's just the way I feel. I feel like I need to change my name to Cinco Ocho. My teammates kind of gave it to me." -- 6.26.07, Jon Papelbon to WBZ radio's Jon Miller on his new nickname. WBZ-TV4 Video.

Wilbur: Station This Wagon
Your Turn: Some Thoughts on Dice-K's CD
Vote Magglio: Is Manny's All-Star Reign Ending?
McAdam: Did Schill Take a Swipe at Theo?
Extra Bases: Schilling Speaks from Seattle Today

Pacific Northworst

Pacific Northworst

Red Sox pitcher Julian Tavarez reacts to over-throwing first base, allowing Seattle Mariners' Yuniesky Betancourt to reach first in the sixth inning of their Major League Baseball game Monday, June 25, 2007 in Seattle.

(AP Photo)

Tavarez Goes South at Safeco
Seattle Coasts, 9-4

Just 4 1/3. Can Tavarez Be Trusted Not to Bust in the Second Half?
Another Reminder That the Trade Deadline Is 36 Days Away
It's a Broken Record, But Youk Can Handle First Base
Maybe Mike Timlin Could Run for President of Larry Lucchino's Nation?
Something Different: Stand and Cheer Until Lugo Gets a Hit
(... His Average Dropped Again While You Read That)

"It hurt a little bit, you know, my hamstring. But ... it didn't affect me at all. Things just went wrong." -- 6.25.07, Julian Tavarez sending up a red flag?

Big on Buehrle?

Are You Big on Buehrle?

White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle could be on Boston's radar

(AP Photo)

Eck's Not.

"I'm not a big Buerhle guy at all. Talk about pitching to contact. Everybody hits him. The only thing good about him is that it doesn't take very long to pitch a game, one way or another. He throws a lot of strikes. I mean not to get on him, lefthanders have always amazed me how they get by. He knows how to pitch obviously, he threw a no-hitter, he's one of the best lefthanders around. I just... I'm afraid of him. I'm afraid of him because he throws too many strikes. I just, Fenway Park, I really don't know. You're only renting him for a couple of months, but beyond that, I'm just not a big fan of his because I think he's very hittable ... to me Gabbard's like Buerhle, but younger and throws harder." -- 6.25.07, Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan show

Extra Bases: Are the Sox the Frontrunner to Pick Up ChiSox Lefty?
Survey: Are You Big on Getting Buehrle?
Eric Wilbur: Big Burhle Guy

"According to the source, the Red Sox not only want to keep Buehrle away from the New York Yankees and are willing to offer him a contract extension in the five-year range he is seeking, but they have a farm system loaded with players in whom the White Sox are interested.

Starting pitchers Clay Buchholz and Michael Bowden are on the White Sox' radar, as well as speedy outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and shortstop Jed Lowrie." -- 6.24.07, Chicago Sun Times

Rest in Peace, Rod Beck

Rod Beck (1968 - 2007)

6/17/2000--BOSTON--Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Rod Beck acknowledges the applause of the home crowd after he left the game during the ninth inning of Saturday's game at Fenway Park in Boston. The Red Sox lost, 11 to 10, to the Toronto Blue Jays in nine innings of play.

(6.17.2000, Boston Globe File Photo / John Bohn)

Rest in Peace Rod Beck

An Ode to Rod Beck (2001)

He never quite looked
Like the other Red Sox
More like one of the Phillies
With his long, scraggly locks

But though not as clean-cut
As most cute Boston boys
With his pitching he brought us
Innumerable joys

When they called him to finish
What Pedro or Tim had begun
You could always have faith
Rod would get the job done

And I have to admit it—my eyes grew quite teary
At the thought of a Fenway with no Troy O'Leary!
How sad—no mo Nomo, Chris Stynes or Bichette!
John Valentin and Mike Lansing--we'll never forget!

We thank you and we'll miss you,
Dear Rod and all the rest
Whatever uniform you're wearing,
Boston fans still love you best!

-- Sincerely, Jessica Lynn Curtis, Sunnyside, N.Y. (written in 2001)
My prayers are with his family and former teammates right now

San Diegoes Our Way

San Diegoes Our Way

Two out of three ain't bad

(Wire Photos)

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

It's the Best of Beckett: AL All-Starter Outduels Pads Ace
Sox Take Series with 4-2 Win
Captain of High Tek Industry: Jason's Homer Seals Deal
Curse of Orlando Cabrera Hits Lugo Hard
Pap Snaps Up Another Save

The Bad Wake Fouls Up the Trip, 6-1
Chris Cy Young in Award Winning Performance, Apparently
Good News: It's Getting Harder for Lugo to Drive Average Down
Chump: Bad Night for Knight
Bard or Mirabelli? Hmmmmm

Sox Hold Tight for a 2-1 Win
Matsuzaka-San Diego Escapes Big Trouble from the Start
Deep Six for Dice-K: 126th Pitch Blew Giles Away
The Magnificent 'Pen Was Sharp Again
'Tek Drives In Winner
Coco Rolls to .258, Lugoh no!

Like a Rock

Red Sox This Week:
El Guapo Thanks Fans for Being Named Most Beloved Reliever
Sunday Night 10 p.m. on TV-38 and Midnight on WBZ-4
Watch the Video Online

Life is Good at Fenway: Are You the Sox Super Fan?


Like a Rock

BDD: Frank Galasso illustration

(BDD / Frank Galasso Illustration)

Sox Lead is Solid in the East,
While Yankees Crumble in Colorado

Rocky Roger Watches 2057 Video Before Start,
Throws 90 Pitches, Pitches Like 95-Year-Old

Looks Like Yankees Will Fall Out of Top 10 in SI Power Rankings
The Video: Roger Clemens 2057 | Cast and Crew

Power Trip

Power Trip

Coco Crisp, right, celebrates his three run home run. J.D. Drew, left, celebrates his solo home run against the Atlanta Braves with Red Sox third base coach DeMarlo Hale Wednesday, June 20, 2007, at Turner Field in Atlanta.

(AP Photos)

Boston Has a Blast in Atlanta
Road Sox Hammer Five Out in 11-0 Rout
Globe: It Was Kids' Stuff for Tavarez

J.D., Coco, Manny, David, Hinske Go Deep
Two Doubles from Dustin, Just Like a Homer, Too
Buddy Carlyle is a Good Friend of the Red Sox
Crisp back to .250, Manny Hitting .300, Lugo... Oh No...
Sorry Rem, but If the Sox are Taking the Title from the Fans,
Then It's Julian Tavarez for President of Red Sox Nation

"This was my best game. Everything went right for me." -- 6.20.07, Julian Tavarez, after blanking the Braves

Meanwhile, in Colorado ...

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration / Richard Goldrich)

... It's Been a Rocky Road for the Yankees

Bombers Drop Second Straight, 10 Games Back in East

WFAN Contest: Vote for Top NY Sports Moment
(Hint, Third Column, 10 From Bottom)

One Lost, 10 Found

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett looks up as the rain falls just before a rain delay in play against the Atlanta Braves during their MLB interleague baseball game in Atlanta, Georgia June 19, 2007

(Reuters Photo)

The Schill is Gone, But Beckett Steps Up for Win No. 10

Road Sox 4, Braves Zip: Bravo for Beckett and Sox
We Did See That Catch Coco Made, Well Played
Self-Help: Beckett Doubles Home Cora to Seal Deal
Papi Pushes One Out the Other Way
Under 3.00 ERA Club: Snyder, Oki, Paps Finish Up
J.D. Shutout, Too

"Oh man. I've told him this before, that that was the greatest catch I've ever had behind me. I told him that tonight. I think that's about three or four times I've told him that. I guess I've got to go back and look at all of 'em and figure out which one is the greatest catch." -- 6.19.07, Josh Beckett on the greatest catch in the history of earth

SCHILLING ON 15-DAY DL, BECKETT TO PITCH ON SUNDAY

Alive and Talkin'?

Alive and Talkin'?

Coco Crisp connects on a solo home run off Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Chuck James in the second inning.

(AP Photo)

Coco Comes Alive in Atlanta
But He's Still Not Talkin' to You

It's Another 'No Comment' from Former Red Sox Nation Card Pitchman
Ever Hear of Johnny Damon Not Stepping Up for the Fans After a Game?

"Crisp, who hit twice as many home runs in his first three at-bats last night as he had in his first 227 at-bats this season, informed Sox PR chief John Blake he would not be commenting on what manager Terry Francona hopes was a breakout game." -- 6.18/07, Boston Globe game story

McCann of Worms

McCann of Worms

Atlanta Braves' Brian McCann, center, celebrates with Edgar Renteria, left, and Chipper Jones after McCann hit a three-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of a Major League Baseball game Monday, June 18, 2007, at Turner Field in Atlanta.

(AP Photo)

Sox Open with Road Trip Down in Hotlanta
Must Have Been the Travel Schedule, Again
Or the Heat, Or Maybe the Humidity

Braves Steamroll Sox, 9-4
Schilling Gets Seriously Schelled, Schellacked, Schlammed Around
Curt's Schortest Stint of the Season, Most Runs Allowed
Not OK: Schill Strikes Out on K's for First Time Since '93
Coco Came Out to Play Today, He'll Love It in Atlanta
Sincerely, Edgar Renteria, The Orlando Cabrera of the National League
Crisp Won't Comment for Sox Fans After Game Yet Again
Is He No Longer a Member of Red Sox Nation?

"This is the worst I've seen him throw since he's been here, velocity wise... he had a hump in his fastball." -- 6.18.07, Dennis Eckersley, postgame on NESN

NY Times: Things Going Right for Red Sox, but for All the Wrong Reasons
Bradford: Happy Bird Day for Big Papi | Grossfeld: Mo Vaughn in Rebuilding Mode
Sox vs. Braves: Willie Harris Plans to Lay One Down on Papi

Sweeping Giants

Sweeping Giants

Red Sox Manny Ramirez holding Wally The Green Monster's glove during pregame against the San Francisco Giants at Fenway Park on Sunday June 17, 2007.

(Globe Staff Photo / Matthew J. Lee)

Sleeping Giant Awakens: Manny Being Money, Again
The San Francisco Treat, Sox Can't Be Beat
Working 9-to-5

Wake Wasn't Great, Wasn't Awful
The Big Daddies in the Lineup Take Care of Business
Props to the 'Pen for Holding It
Piniero Was Sharp
J.D. Looks Good Leading Off

"I was fortunate enough to pitch to him where a home run didn't bother us too much. It's great to walk away from this homestand 4-2. To sweep San Francisco was special." -- 6.17.07, Tim Wakefield, who allowed five runs and eight hits with a walk, striking out three in 5 2-3 innings

D-Matinee Idol

D-Matinee Idol

Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka uses a litte extra body english looking for the strike call as he pitches in the 7th inning.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Dice Was a Giant Among Men
1-0

Manny Was the Difference Maker
Oki Was OK, Too
Paps Snaps Up a Save

"Today it meant everything. He seemed to know he got it. He may have been the only one in the ballpark who knew it. That was a lot of hands and wrists in that swing. Like maybe only he can do." -- 6.16.07, Terry Francona on of Ramírez's Game Winning home run

Dustin-credible!

Dustin-credible!

Dustin Pedroia gets a low 5 from 1st base coach Luis Alicea as he rounds 1st base after his 1st inning 2 run HR.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

It's a Giant Step Up Night for Pedroia
Dustin Goes Deep, 5-for-5 in 10-2 Sox Romp

Roberts Returns to Rousing Ovation
The Cheater Gets the Usual Treatment
Most Valuable Tavarez Sharp for 7
J.D. 3 RBI's, 3 Runs, 3 Hits

"The first month of the season, we spent so much time trying to defend him. He wasn't hitting. But he plays the ball all over the ballpark. And, man, he makes contact. There's a lot of things in his favor." -- 6.15.07 Terry Francona

Extra Bases: Amalie Has All the Highlights
Gallery: * at Fenway

He'll Steal the Show Tonight

He'll Steal the Show Tonight

Dave Roberts scores the tying run in the 9th on a single by teammate Orlando Cabrera.

(9.17.04, Boston Globe File Photo / Barry Chin)

Mr. Roberts Comes Back to the Neighborhood
Make Some Noise for Someone Worthy of the Attention

Ryan Archives: A Stolen Moment of Fame
Gallery: Welcome Back Dave Roberts

Survey Gallery: Heeeeere's Barry

Don't Look Now...

Don't Look Now...

Boston Dirt Dogs rear view mirror

(BDD Photo Illustration)

But the Yankees are Just 7 1/2 Back
(But It Feels Like It's Just a 1/2)

Colorado 7, Boston 1: Sox Rocked Again


That Was Easy

Panic Sets In

Are You Worried About the Yankees?

The Dating Game ...

The Dating Game ...

Boston Dirt Dogs: Cast members from Sox Appeal 3

(BDD Photo / NESN Screenshot)

... Was Better Than the Real One

And Even That Guy Had More on His Fastball Than Beckett
Remy Should Get an Emmy for His Colorful Commentary

Don Orsillo: This is episode three [of NESN’s Sox Appeal] that you’re looking in on… how do you think this is going Jerry?

Remy: … Umm… he’s talking like crazy and she seems to be listening. He’s a leaner… I don’t know… he looks like Dan Roche.

Orsillo: I don’t think Dan wears an earring. I don’t know, I haven’t seen him wear one before, but I guess it’s possible.

Remy: I think he’s nervous, he looks very fidgety.

Orsillo: He’s a leaner..

Remy: He’s a leaner, and his head shakes a lot. I think he’s nervous because he’s on television… I thought that was a phony smile, did you?

Orsillo: Yeah, I think it’s very fake… I don’t think he cares at all what she’s saying…

Remy: I think he cares too much, I think he’s just very nervous… … What’s all this stuff he’s got in front of him? There’s gifts…

Orsillo: He’s got a lot of stuff… look he’s still leaning, you’re right about the leaning… it’s incredible how you picked that out right away

Remy: Look at his head, he’s up, he’s down, he’s all over the place. If you were one of those people, you read faces and all that, I think you’d read that this guy’s very nervous

Orsillo: Too much…

Remy: You gotta sit and you just gotta look deep into their eyes…

Orsillo: Ooooow! [big laughter breaks out]… that was quite a move [see photo above]. Can we get that back in replay, that was…

Remy: Did you see that head move?

Orsillo: Yeah, very nervous. And more drinking!

Remy: And drinking quickly, too …

Orsillo: This isn’t going very well

Remy: Well he thinks it is … … What do they call those people that they read body language all the time, you see them on O’Reilly all the time, he has somebody on there that reads body language, boy they’d be going nuts with that guy, there’s all kinds of stuff going on…

Orsillo: Lots of stuff going on…

Remy: I swear to God Don, I think the best approach is you sit there calmly, look deep into her eyes and say ‘How you doin’?’ and then let it go…

Orsillo: Well, wait a minute, you’re going to have two long innings and then you throw that out there in the beginning of the next inning too, I mean, you gotta have something more than that? [laughing]

Remy: You can always fall back on ‘How you doin’?’, because she’s might be doing different like, three minutes from now than she was doing two minutes ago, you know I mean? …But you gotta look straight into here eyes, you can’t be bobbing and weaving because she can’t focus on you if you’re doing that.

Orsillo: How you doin’? …

Remy: It’s hard to follow this guy…

Orsillo: You just sit back, and become mysterious

Remy: You drop that famous line, ‘I noticed you were sitting here alone, you shouldn’t of been…’ [laughter]

Orsillo: ‘Are your legs tired? Because you’ve been running around in my mind all day…’ [bust out laughter]… [snort] …

-- 6.14.07, NESN's Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy doing play-by-play of Sox Appeal during the fifth inning

Roger Clemens 2057 Yankees video

Jolly Old Roger

Boston Dirt Dogs courtesy of Michael Barber

(BDD Photo / Michael Barber)

A Most Excellent Short Film by Natick Native Michael Barber
And Directed by Matt Oates:
Roger Clemens 2057

Roger Clemens 2057

Cast and Crew:

Boston Dirt Dogs: Roger 2057 cast and crew

(BDD Photo / Michael Barber)

The Song Remains the Same

The Song Remains the Same...

Boston Dirt Dogs

(BDD Photo Illustration / BriBall)

... And So Does Schilling's Price

Extra Bases: Schill Will Still Stay for $13M
Survey: Should Sox Make an Offer?

No, No... Oh, No!

No, No... Oh, No!

Red Sox starting pitcher Curt Schilling saw his first mound appearence since his near no-hitter in Oakland to be not quite as much fun. Here he reacts after walking Todd Helton (not pictured) on a 3 and 2 pitch in the first inning.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

It's a Near 10-Hitter for Schilling
Curt Gets Caught Between Rockies and a Hard Place
Can He Shake This One Off?

Sox in a Mountain of Trouble, Rockies Roll 12-2
Theo's Trio, a.k.a. Lugo-Coco-Drew, Goes 0-for-11
Sox Offense in a Fogg at Fenway
'Pen Mops Up a Mess

Cure for Lugo's Batting Woes?

Professional volleyball player Logan Tom gets a couple of autographs on a pair of volleyballs from Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo during batting practice at Fenway Park.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Julio Lugo Could Raise His Average to .220 If These
Slightly Larger Baseballs Are Approved by MLB

38Pitches: Schill Breaks Down the Rockies Loss
Yanks Win 8 in a Row, Get Right Back in the Race
Extra Bases: Youk Movement
Sox Ask to Get Youk on Players' All-Star Ballot

Manny Being Manny

FARM REPORT by Gary Jacobs

Manny Being Manny

Boston Globe Staff Photo / Robert E. Klein

PAWTUCKET, RI | June 12, 2007 -- You could forgive Manny Delcarmen for being disappointed with the letter on his hat.

After a half-season spent with the Boston Red Sox last year, during which he pitched capably for a rookie, if not spectacularly (53 1/3 IP, 30 ER, 5.06 ERA), he found himself starting 2007 in Triple-A, with a P on his cap instead of the B he expected.

To make matters worse, just when he needed to be at his crispest, he started out the 2007 season with a horrible April, surrendering 9 ER’s in only 11 1/3 innings pitched for a 6.94 ERA. His low point was a game against the Buffalo Bisons May 5th, during which he gave up two earned runs in the bottom of the 9th to hand the Bisons a 15-14 victory in a game in which they’d been trailing 14-6 going into the 9th.

Since then the hometown boy has made good – very good indeed. In his last 9 outings, Delcarmen is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (14.2 ip, 8 H, 0 ER, 8K) and has brought his ERA down from 6.94 to its current 3.52, a number that seemingly falls every time he toes the rubber.

The 25-year-old righty insists that there was no great epiphany, no magic button to press, that improved his game.

“I’ve just been doing the same stuff we did in the Spring,” he said after his most recent outing, during which he went a clean 1.2 innings, only giving up one solid hit and a couple of seeing-eye dribblers. “Just doing shadow work in the bullpen [where a pitcher will pantomime pitching without a baseball, to sharpen technique]. Everything just seems to be clicking now.”

His manager, Ron Johnson, was impressed with his recent performance, which maintained a 7.1 inning gem by Devern Hansack.

“Manny was strong – a little too strong, actually,” he said. “He had three days off coming in to this outing, and his stuff was explosive – some fastballs were left up [because of it]. But that’s a good problem to have…he pitched to the game, and did a nice job.”

So how does a 6.94 April turn into a 1.46 May? Is it weather?

“No,” laughs Delcarmen. “I was born and raised in Boston – I pitched in the cold all through high school. I just had some bumps, and you have to get over them and keep going.”

Whatever the future holds for the personable Delcarmen, the only certainty is that he’ll be ready, come whatever may.

“I’m just trying to pitch well – and waiting for that phone call,” he says. “You gotta be ready.”

* * *

Hansack excelling

Don’t let Hansack’s 2-6 record at Pawtucket fool you. Look a little deeper behind the numbers and you’ll see a 3.49 ERA over 59.1 innings pitched and a slew of no-decisions and hard-luck losses that skew his record towards miserable. Witness: an ND on April 11th after 5 scoreless innings; a loss April 19th after going 5.1 and giving up only two; another ND June 1st after going 7 scoreless innings, giving up only three hits; a loss on June 7th after 6.1 innings and two earned runs.

Last night’s 7.1 inning gem during which he gave up only two ER’s resulted in his first win since his Pawtucket debut on April 6th.

* * *

Wow Factor

Jacoby Ellsbury is quickly establishing himself as a player that people stop what they’re doing to watch. In last night’s tilt, for example, the Sox’ first-round pick from the 2005 draft came to bat leading off the third inning. He rapped a sharp single into right, then stole second with a jump so large that he’d already popped up from his slide by the time the throw came. Joe McEwing’s single easily plated Ellsbury for the PawSox’ third run of the game. The run was almost completely manufactured by Ellsbury’s combination of hitting skills and blazing speed.

He seems to be the archetype leadoff hitter – his .296 average skyrockets to .320 with the bases empty and his OPS jumps from .752 to .797. He has stolen 17 bases while at Pawtucket, getting caught but twice. When he is ready for The Show, any issues Boston still has at leadoff will be resolved. -- By Gary Jacobs, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor. E-mail Gary

Tim Cruise

Tim Cruise

Boston Red Sox's Tim Wakefield delivers a pitch in the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Boston, Tuesday, June 12, 2007.

(AP Photo)

Wake Was in Control All Night
Sox Beat Rox, 2-1

The Good Wakefield Reared His Pretty Head Last Night
Big Night for Big Papi: Double Was Trouble
Cook Kept Sox Batters on Back Burner
Leading Man: Dustin Gets It Started in 8th
Ninth Life: Lugo Looked Good from Top to Bottom
J.D. Comes Through

"The good thing for us is, we've only got to face him once this year. The thing that's so tough is, he's throwing strikes. And it moves three different directions on its way there." -- 6.12.07, Brad Hawpe on facing the good Wakefield

Icing on the Wake

Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbonhowls as he strikes out Todd Helton swinging to end the game and preserve Tim Wakefield's 2-1 victory over the Rockies.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Jon Pop-elbon is Back After Wake Was Great for Eight


Frank Galasso Illustration

(BDD / Frank Galasso Illustration)

Your Turn: Yanks Getting Closer ... You Worried?

Dustin Time

Dustin Time

Dustin Pedroia will now bat leadoff for the Boston Red Sox

(Getty Images Photo / Elsa)

Sox Make the Big Move with Pedro
Edes: Pedroia to Bat Leadoff, Lugo Dropped to 9

Ask Edes: Road Show | Wilbur: Into Thin Air
Hench: What's the Rocket Fueled By?
Callahan: Stand Up and Rip Bonds

The Boys are Back in Town

The Boys are Back in Town

A Couple of Holes in the Lineup

(BDD Photo Illustration / PS)

The Sox Return to Fenway with a
Couple of Glaring Holes in the Lineup

WEEI Audio: Hench Breaks Down Lugo, Coco

Alternate Ending Revealed!

Alternate Ending Revealed!

This photo shows actors from The Sopranos James Gandolfini, Edie Falco and Robert Iler waiting to order food in a restaurant in the final scenes from the series finale of the HBO drama television series 'The Sopranos'. The series finale left audiences wondering about the fate of character Tony Soprano.

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Manny Could Have Saved the Sopranos

In the alternate ending to The Sopranos, ultimately cut by writer David Chase, Manny Ramirez emerges from under the table to warn A.J. that
a gunman is about to open fire on the family.


Extra Bases: Lester Back to Pawtucket
NESN with Manny: 'When You Look Good, You Play Good'
Eric Wilbur: How Low for Lugo?

Snakebitten

Snakebitten

Red Sox Daisuke Matsuzaka strikes out against Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson in the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 10, 2007, in Phoenix.

(AP Photo)

It's the Third Loss in a Row for Hype-K
But It's Timlin That Really Throws It Away

Sox Stumble at Chase, 5-1
Same Old R.J., Unfortunately
Dice-K Walks Costly Again
Daisuke Mediocre: Is He Quickly Becoming a .500 pitcher?
Julio Lugo is Killing Us
Yankees Just 9 1/2 Back

"I just threw it away. Bad error. There's really no excuse." -- 6.10.07, Mike 'Not Ready for Prime Time' Timlin

Sox 'Tek It Up a Notch

Sox 'Tek It Up a Notch

Red Sox Jason Varitek rounds third base after hitting a sixth inning two run homerun against the Arizona Diamondbacks during their MLB interleague baseball game in Phoenix June 9, 2007.

(Reuters Photo)

Road Sox Catch Up, Win in 10
Sox Rally to 4-3 Extra-Inning Win

Lowell Comes Through in a Pinch
Julian Still Going Strong in June
Pen Locks in the Win
J.D. Stays Hot

J.D'back!

J.D'back!

Big night for J.D. Drew at Chase Field

(AP Photo)

He's Alive! Pair of 3-Run Homers, 7 RBIs for No. 7
That's the Fascination with J.D. Drew

Diamondbacks Are a Drew's Best Friend, Sox Win Big 10-3
True Story: Lugo, Drew Lead Sox to Win... No, Seriously
Sneak Attack at Short: Lugo Fools Callaspo with Hidden-Ball Trick
No. 9, No. 9, No. 9: Beckett Pitches Better Than He Needed To

"I'm on a great team. I can't take all the credit for being 9-0. These guys have done an unbelievable job behind me." -- 6.8.07, Josh Beckett, tied the fifth-best start in franchise history at 9-0

38Pitches.com: Schill Finally Chimes In on One-Hitter
Sox Minority Owner Surprise Witness in CIA Trial
Extra Bases: Bronx Cheer from Yankees
AZ Columnist Unhappy with Curt

Can Sox Go with Lugo?

Can Sox Go with Lugo?

Red Sox SS Julio Lugo boots a third inning Derek Jeter ground ball for an error

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Hench: Numbers Don't Lie: Lugo Stinks

"Boston has had a spinning wheel approach at short since 2004 and the roulette ball has landed on No. 30, as in the 30th-best shortstop in the big leagues.

After the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years in '04, many Sox fans thought they should re-sign Orlando Cabrera whose defensive wizardry was a big part of the team's championship run. The Boston brass thought his asking price was too high and refused to meet it.

Cabrera signed with the Angels for $32M over four years. For a million fewer dollars a year than the Red Sox are paying Lugo, the Angels have a shortstop who is considerably superior defensively and hitting .333 with an .834 OPS. Lugo is hitting .217 with a .591 OPS. In 664 career at bats, Braves pitcher Mike Hampton has a .292 OBP and a .354 slugging percentage for a .646 OPS. In other words, the Red Sox would have scored more runs with Mike Hampton leading off for them than Julio Lugo.

After Cabrera was deemed too pricey, the Red Sox brought in Edgar Renteria for four years at $10M per. After one season of fan discontent, Renteria was dealt to the Braves with the Red Sox eating part of his salary. Bear in mind that on June 7, 2005, Renteria was hitting .272 and had an OPS of .698, over a hundred points higher than Lugo's is now. And this year? Well, with Boston swallowing $8M of Renteria's salary over the three remaining years, Atlanta is paying less for Renteria — who is hitting .319 with an .878 OPS — than Boston is paying Lugo.

Before the 2006 season the Red Sox dealt minor league shortstop Hanley Ramirez to the Marlins in the deal that brought Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell to Boston. While Beckett and Lowell are two of the reasons the Red Sox are contenders, since we're talking about shortstops, it's worth noting that Ramirez, last year's NL Rookie of the Year, has an .863 OPS.

As a stopgap, the Red Sox brought in Alex Gonzalez to play shortstop in 2006. Even for those of us who grew up idolizing Rick Burleson, Gonzo was clearly the best defensive shortstop in Red Sox history. The guy was a magician. So naturally he had to go. Gonzalez is making $3.5M in the first year of a three-year deal with the Reds and has 11 home runs and an .830 OPS.

Which brings us back to Lugo, the weakest of the five shortstops the Sox have had to choose from in the last four years and the least valuable shortstop in the Majors through the season's first 10 weeks. As troubling as a .217 batting average and .277 OBP are for a leadoff hitter, consider this: the guy is super fast. He's 17-for-17 in stolen base attempts. So, yes, some of those precious few hits he's amassed in a Red Sox uniform have come courtesy of his legs. His bat? It must be made of Cottenelle. At bat after at bat, he swings mightily, makes contact and the ball either rolls pathetically to an infielder or arcs in a harmless parabola to a shallow outfielder.

It seems as if he never gets on base. Thanks to Lugo, the Red Sox are 14th in the American League in leadoff OBP, almost 50 points behind the 13th-place Devil Rays.

If you're Red Sox batting coach Dave Magadan, what do you do? What do you say to a guy whose at bats invariably end as if he's swinging a heavy, squishy banana stalk. "Uh, Julio, c'mon, buddy, stop grounding the ball weakly to the right side?" -- 6.8.07, Kevin Hench, FoxSports.com

ONE-HIT WONDER

ONE-HIT WONDER

Boston Red Sox Curt Schilling is congratulated by Manny Ramirez after beating the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, California, June 7, 2007.

(Reuters Photo)

Curt Comes Oh-So-Close to a No-No
Schilling Stops Skid, A's with 1-0 Shutout

Extra Bases: It's One and Done in Oakland
All Shook Off: Curt Makes the Wrong Call When It Counted
Win Was Nice, But Disappointment Was Rampant Across the Nation
Give and Take: Stewart Was Swinging All the Way
Coco and Lowell Did Their Part to Make History
Julio Lugo? Not So Much Help on D from Mr. .217
Big Mistake: Crisp Still Won't Answer Postgame Questions for Fans
Some Props for Papi: Home Run Was Everything for Sox
J.D. 1-for-4

"It was 1-0 the whole game, so that kind of alleviated thinking about anything else. In a 1-0 game, you're a mistake away from a tie. So I stayed focused. And he [Stewart] came up with two outs, and I had a plan for him, and I was thinking, and 'Tek called slider, and I shook him off and threw fastball away, and now you gotta go 'What if?'" -- 6.7.07, Schill after the big win

Credit Where Credit Is Due Department:

Let's Hear It for the Working Manny: Ramirez' Planned Day Off Canceled
Papi Protected, Hits Homer, Sox Win

"We're going to probably, in a nutshell, not play certain guys on days like Manny's probably not going to play Thursday against Blanton. Just because it's a quick turnaround to a 12:30 game, and he really swings the bat well against Blanton, he's one of the few that we have, so it's disappointing. You know, Coco was throwing up. I can't imagine being a catcher..."

How did you come to the decision to rest Manny on Thursday? How did you pick Thursday over tonight?

"Coming in Monday was the obvious day to give guys rest, even though the second day is the harder day, but Manny had such good numbers against Danny Haren, and he was fine to play, I spoke to him, I said 'Manny, for me, if you're gonna miss a day, I said Thursday...' Sometimes you go more physically and then throwing the numbers out, because Manny plays so much, you could come up with an argument every day not to sit him. But we've got a 12:30 quick turnaround game, which to me is the best day to rest a guy because he's going to rest. ... This will be a good day for him to sit, 'cause he'll come into the Arizona series and be a little bit fresher, because we're going to have to sit people there too, because we don't have the DH." -- 6.6.07, Terry Francona on his plan to rest Manny vs. Oakland

Welcome to Choakland

And the Beat Goes On ...

They're the Choakland A's

(BDD Photo Illustration)

The Wheels Come Off the Red Sox Express Out West
Kennedy Just Your Average Joe But
Sox Tripped Up on Road Again, 3-2

Sox Make Kennedy Look Like Koufax This Time
Are They Still Getting Mileage Out of Travel Tales?
Double Play Trouble Again: Three More Last Night
Weak Battery: A's Steal Four Bags Off Wake-'Belli
Numbers Game: Lugo .221, Coco .229
Tito Gets Tossed
J.D. Walks

"We're playing well but it's just not here. We don't have the intensity we had. That's my view. We have a lot of guys trying, trying, trying, but can't come through." -- 6.6.07, David Ortiz on the Sox skid

A's Call Joe for Spoil

A's Call Joe for Spoil

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Kennedy Leaves Sox Bats Cold

DiNardough

DiNardough

Oakland Athletics' Lenny DiNardo works against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 5, 2007, in Oakland, Calif.

(AP Photo)

Lenny Was Money, While Sox Cash Cow Can't Stop Skid
The June Swoon Has Officially Begun

DiNardon't Mess Around, A's Blank Sox, 2-0
Walking DiSaster: Castaway Lefty Had the Right Stuff Last Night
Sliding Sox Drop Five of the Last Six
Lugo, Ortiz, Lowell, That's It for Hits
Double Play Trouble: Five is Too High on the Road
Oakland's Okajima? Embree Has Five Saves
Travel Schmavel: Talk to the Mariners
J.D. Sits

"It was a freak game because if you could look at the box score and not see the line score, you'd think we crushed them. He [DiNardo] walked six guys. He threw 42 strikes and 47 balls. That's one of those games... and I'm happy for Lenny... but the fact of the matter is, you make 30 starts with those numbers, you go 1-29. We hit into some double plays, lined out at some people..." -- 6.6.07, Schilling chimes in during wake up call on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan

Eric Wilbur: Out of Luck | Rotten Apples

Here's the Scoop ...

Here's the Scoop ...

25th annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl at Boston's City Hall Plaza all-you-can-eat festival, which runs through June 7

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / John Tlumacki)

Tomoyo Matsuzaka, wife of Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, walked with other Red Sox players' wives today after they helped scoop ice cream at the 25th annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl at Boston's City Hall Plaza, which runs through June 7

Firefighters Attacked by Men Wearing Yankees Caps
NY Daily News: A-Rod Apologists Talk in Morse Code

Coast-to-Toast

Coast-to-Toast

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 04: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox waits to be tagged out at home by Jason Kendall #18 of the Oakland Athletics on a ball hit by David Ortiz in the ninth inning during a Major League Baseball game on June 4, 2007 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California.
BDD_DP_oak_6.4.07_ap.jpg

(Top: Getty Images Photo / Jed Jacobsohn | Bottom: AP Photo)

Time is a Drag for Road Sox
A's Take Advantage of Schedule, 5-4 in 11th Hour

Give Sox A's for the Effort
Travel Takes Its Toll on Tito's Time Travelers
Snyder Runs Out of Gas, And Is What He Is
David Ortiz Makes a Cameo Appearance
CoCo's Tummyache Means Time for Wily Mo to Hit
In a Cloud of Dustin: Pedroia Was Late to the Plate
Embree Oh! That's the Lefty We Knew Back East
Tavarez Hangs Tough Again
J.C. Romero Could Have Been a Hero
But He's Not Piniero
J.D. Clutch
Photos

"We know they got in late last night, but they're got a lot of pride over there. It's a great win for us." -- 6.4.07, Mark Cycle-rama Ellis on the Sox Late Arrival


iTune Out

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 04: Manny Ramirez #24 of the Boston Red Sox looks on against the Oakland Athletics on June 4, 2007 at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California.

(Getty Images Photo / Jed Jacobsohn)

Sounds of the Game Not Enough for Manny

Media Melee!

Media Melee!

CarlBeane.com photo: Benches clear in Boston-New York media game

(CarlBeane.com Photo)

Benches Clear During Boston-New York Media Game

Red Sox Media 14, Yankees Media 7: Take That, New York!

Beane Ball!

CarlBeane.com Photo: Sox Announcer Restrained

(CarlBeane.com Photo)

Sox Announcer Held Back After Benches Clear

'Now Being Restrained for the Red Sox Media Team, Carl Beane'

"New York pitcher Bob Klapisch of the Bergen Record and ESPN.com drilled Red Sox broadcaster Uri Berenguer (Spanish Beisbol Network) with a fastball in the helmet. Berenguer collected himself off the dirt before saying a few words to Klapisch, who approached home plate with more adult words. Both players were restrained. Benches emptied. Red Sox [media team] manager Carl Beane got into the action, which featured plenty of pushing and shoving." -- 6.4.07, Kevin Gray, Union Leader Blog

Laugher Curve

Laugher Curve

Signs of the times at Fenway

(BDD Photo)

After Further Review of the Replay, It's Sox Fans Who Get
the Last, Last Laugh on Alex After All

Papelgone

Papelgone

Boston, MA 06/03/2007: Jonathan Pabelbon watches the ball leave the yard as Alex Rodriguez rounds first on his ninth inninghome run.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Final Lap Dance for A-Rod, Sox Victory Stripped Away

Rodriguez Solo Shot in Ninth Lifts Yanks, 6-5
2 Out of 3 Is Bad: Sox Let Yanks Right Back in the Race, Again
Dust Up! Pedro Pounds Wall for 3 RBI's, 2B Now Batting .336
Manny Hustle: Props to the Dirt Dog LF for that Dive into 2nd in 7th
LowEll: Iron MikE Becoming Rentawreck in the Field
Beckett Pitches Just Well Enough to Lose, But Doesn't
Lugo Stopped: Julio Comes Up Short with Pop-Up Slide at Home
Blown Away: Okajima is Only Human

"Next time I've got to get him to chase a pitch outside the (strike) zone." -- 6.2.07, Jon Papelbon, whose 0-2 pitch was smashed out by A-Rod in the ninth inning


Joke's On Us

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez heads back to the dugout after his winning home run during the ninth inning in a 6-5 win over the Boston Red Sox in a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston Sunday, June 3, 2007.

(AP Photo)

A-Rod Gets the Last Laugh at Fenway on Sunday

"I heard some [jeers from fans], but it's always in good fun. I think the Boston fan always has a lot of fun and I appreciate that. It's not a big deal." -- 6.2.07, Alex Rodriguez, trying to leave the door open for joining the Sox next season


Mint Milano

BOSTON - JUNE 3: Actress Alyssa Milano hugs a fan during her autograph session at the Red Sox Team Store before the Boston Red Sox took on the New York Yankees on June 3, 2007 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

(Getty Images Photo / Elsa)

Alyssa Milano Hugs It Out at The Souvenir Store
We Could All Use One This Morning

Youk Kidding Me?

Youk Kidding Me?

New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, left, holds back Boston Red Sox's Kevin Youkilis after Yankees pitcher Scott Proctor (not shown) hit Youkilis with a pitch in the ninth during their baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday, June 1, 2007.

(AP Photo)

Youkilis Gets Hit High with a Pitch in the Ninth
Someone's Got to Teach Scott Proctor a Lesson

Cafardo: Hot Heads Prevail

“You’re never happy when a ball’s coming at your head. You guys ever have a ball coming at your head? Every guy’s going to have a reaction." -- 6.1.07, Kevin Youkilis, DieHard Magazine.com


Wake and Rake, Again

Tim Wakefield #49 of the Boston Red Sox wipes his face as he heads to the dugout after he was pulled out in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park June 1, 2007

(Getty Images Photo / Elsa)

3 2/3, 8 Earned Runs, 6 Walks, Awful
Sincerely, Julian Tavarez

Yanks Close to Within 12 1/2
Gallery: Friday Game Photos


MasquerA-Rod Party

The Blondies behind A-Rod

(Boston.com Photo)

Gallery: The Scene at Fenway

Dumb Blond

Dumb Blond

A-Rod's Back in Town

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Stray-Rod's Back in Town
What Will He Do Next?

Here’s My Wife
Sung to Mack the Knife

Oh the press babe has sharp teeth, dear
But they show my pearly whites
Just a dancer, just had dinner, dear
And I keep her … ah … out of sight

Ya know when Fenway, shows its teeth, dear
Blondie wigs will start to spread
I throw elbows, I yell ‘mine,’ dear
So tonight they’ll... they'll have my head

On the sidewalk … uuh, huh … whoo … this sunny morning
This photo op will show no strife … eeek!
Paparazzi sneaking 'round the corner
'Is he with someone that's not his wife?'

A-there’s a duck boat … huh, huh, huh … … down by Charles River don’tcha know
Fans holdin' dollar bills, just a'wavin' on down
Oh, the jokes are just, to add some weight, dear
Five'll get ya ten old Stray-Rod’s back in town

Now, d'ja hear ‘bout the Post page? Wish they’d disappear, babe
All of them drawin' out cameras for cash
And at the strip clubs, I spend like a sailor
Just some dances, your boy's done nothin’ rash

Now … Destiny Diver, Tammy Tawdry
Ooh … Mystique and Aura and old Ginger Brown
O the crowd will yell tonight, dear
Now that Stray-Rod’s back in town

Aah … I said Destiny Diver, … whoa … Tammy Tawdry
Shout out to Mystique and Aura and old Ginger Brown
Yes that crowd will scream tonight, dear
Now that Stray-Rod’s back in town

Look out … old Stray-Rod’s back!!

Your Turn: Get Creative, Fenway Hecklers

Extra Bases: Bronx Cheer at Fenway
Eric Wilbur: Quick Change

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Globe:

Red Sox end losing streak > Shaughnessy: Debunking myths about the 2014 Red Sox > Cherington: Everyone needs to get better

Boston Herald:

Ortiz, Red Sox bats break out to end losing streak > Buchholz still bewildered > Memory loss haunting Red Sox

ProJo:

Lester was once a good hitter, now heading toward dubious record > Travis Shaw brings hot bat to Pawtucket > Ranaudo shines > Betts not a candidate for Boston, yet

NY Post:

St. Louis lets Ozzie Smith bid Jeter goodbye > Yanks prevail in extras again > Nonsense leads off in MLB broadcasts > Beltran elbow on mend

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