The Baseball Desert

Monday, July 04, 2005


There was a lot that wasn't good about last night's loss to the Toronto Blue Jays (who are now officially this year's Orioles - the team the Red Sox just can't seem to beat), but I'm going to go all 'unreasonable fan' on you and vent my frustration on one player in particular: Mark Bellhorn.

I can see the bigger picture here, and I know and understand the value of Bellhorn to the Red Sox (steady defense, high OBP with occasional power surges), but in last night's much smaller picture it was just so damn frustrating to sit in front of my screen and watch him take pitch after pitch after pitch. I know that going deep into counts is what he does, and that the result is very often a strikeout or a walk, but in a game in which the Red Sox just weren't getting it done offensively, his dopey-eyed stare
into the strike zone recently vacated by those called third strikes really pissed me off.

As the Red Sox started to mount a comeback in the ninth against Toronto's Miguel Batista I was trying to look two or three hitters ahead and could see Bellhorn looming large in the no. 9 spot. Desperately wanting the Sox to pull this one out of the hat, I figured that if Bellhorn applied the same tactics that he'd applied to his other at-bats, then there was at least a chance that he might draw a crucial walk. With runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out, Bill Mueller battled Batista for 9 pitches before singling up the middle. I allowed myself to be optimistic for a second or two, figuring that the Sox had a hitter coming up who tends to go deep into counts and who had just seen a perfect demonstration by a team mate on how to grind out a crucial hit.

So what happened? As if to prove to me that you don't never know nothin' in this game, Bellhorn swung at the first pitch and popped out to the second baseman. AAAAAARGHHHH!!!! Mark - it's OK to be crap now and again, but please, please can you at least try to be a little consistent in your crappiness?

I know that it's not good form to 'leave' before the end of the game, but that was the straw that broke this particular camel's back. I switched games and caught the end of the Nats / Cubs game, which turned out to be another Washington classic. It couldn't bring back a win for the Sox, but at least I went to bed smiling.