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Series Preview: Texas Rangers @ Boston Red Sox - Fenway Foray

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They probably are saying 'Booo'
They probably are saying 'Booo'

As Adam alluded to yesterday, the Boston Red Sox lineup is practically built as one big inflammatory joke being played on Lone Star Ball. Are the Red Sox trolling us? I'll let you decide. Here's a list of baseball players the Red Sox regularly use in the same lineup these days:

Kevin Youkilis - Okay, this guy isn't really provocative to us specifically. But no one actually likes him. Even Bobby Valentine is already weary at the sight of Kevin Youkilis. The home town fans boo him when he steps up to the plate for crying out loud. Either "BOO" or "YOUK" can be considered derogatory heckling if you ask me.

Dustin Pedroia - I guess this guy isn't really too high up on the LSB Hate list, either. I mean, we do hate him. He's short, beloved by the media, actually good, and plays for Boston. What's to like? The real problem is that he's spent his whole life regulating Ian Kinsler to a second class second baseman. Dustin Pedroia isn't trolling us, he's trolling Ian Kinsler. After transferring to Arizona State his sophomore year of college, with the promise of playing time at shortstop, Kinsler wound up on the bench in favor of a gritty little gamer known as Dustin Pedroia. Kinsler transferred to Missouri and probably got weekly text message photos from Pedroia of the tail he was pulling at Tempe. Pedroia was drafted in the second round. Kinsler was drafted in the 17th round. When Kinsler had his best season offensively, Pedroia won the American League MVP. When Kinsler had arguably his best defensive season last season, Pedroia won his second gold glove. I would not be surprised if Pedroia found Kinsler's high school sweetheart, slept with her, and then slept with her mom.

Adrian Gonzalez - Made Lone Star Ball unbearable in the aftermath of the Adam Eaton trade for years. Adrian Gonzalez is a legit MVP caliber player at a position the Rangers started Brandon Snyder at a couple of days ago. This guy's problem is he's really good and he's not a Ranger.

David Ortiz - I don't really have beef with Big Papi other than everyone calls this big old guy "Big Papi." That's always seemed weird but we've never stopped doing it.

Cody Ross - You know why. But also because afterward his giant chipmunk face inexplicably ended up in a couple of frames of a Josh Hamilton commercial during the winter of our discontent.

Ryan Sweeney - Just search "Fuck Ryan Sweeney"

Nick Punto - You know why. But also, he's Nick Punto. I still remember Nick Punto getting walked in favor of facing the pitcher SEVERAL TIMES in the World Series. Nick Punto. Nick Punto walked five times during the World Series. The Rangers tactically avoided facing Nick Punto in the World Series. ALL OF MY WHY

Jarrod Saltalamacchia - Remember when Jarrod Saltalamacchia was the headliner of the Mark Teixeira trade? Believe it or not, it wasn't Elvis Andrus, or Neftali Feliz, or even Matt Harrison. At the time of the trade, Saltalamacchia was the real big catch. The problem was, he couldn't actually catch. Saltalamacchia was fun at first. We had a nickname contest (Johnny Douchebag!). We dreamed up scenarios where Salty would play first base and Taylor Teagarden would play catcher while Max Ramirez would have to DH because his bat was going to force him into the lineup. We loved making hot for teacher jokes. Salty's dad would stop by and that was fun if you like cringe-worthy humor. In the end though, all we have to show for the headliner of one of the best baseball trades in the last couple of decades is the hit that secured the first win in the first season the Rangers ever went to the World Series. Oh, and Roman Mendez. Thanks for Roman Mendez, Johnny.

Darnell McDonald - In Darnell McDonald's first game as a Boston Red Sox player--after years of being terrible for several other teams--he went 2-2 against the Rangers. The first hit was a game-tying two-run home run in the 8th inning of a game you might remember as the game the Rangers stole a bunch of bases off of Tim Wakefield and then stopped trying to actually win the game. McDonald's second hit, a single, won the game in the 9th. The next night McDonald hit another home run in a game the Red Sox won 8-7 in the 12th inning. That's basically all it took for Darnell McDonald to enter the Angrydome Provocateur Hall of Fame. Also, Darnell has a brother named Donzell and Donzell is an awesome name. Darnell is not.

Tuesday, April 17 6:10: RHP Colby Lewis vs. LHP Jon Lester

Wednesday, April 18 6:10: LHP Derek Holland vs. RHP Josh Beckett

Here's a breakdown of the pitching match-ups against the down but not out Boston Red Sox:

  • Colby Lewis: 1-0, 10.66 K/9, 0.71 BB/9, .333 BABIP, 95.2% LOB, 2.04 FIP, 2.76 xFIP, 0.5 WAR
  • Jon Lester: 0-1, 6.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, .220 BABIP, 71.4% LOB, 2.57 FIP, 4.04 xFIP, 0.5 WAR

Advantage: I just remember Lester having games like this against the Rangers at Fenway over Colby having games like this at Fenway against the Red Sox.

  • Derek Holland: 1-0, 8.78 K/9, 2.03 BB/9, .200 BABIP, 62.5% LOB, 2.61 FIP, 3.19 xFIP, 0.5 WAR
  • Josh Beckett: 1-1 2.84 K/9, 1.42 BB/9, .167 BABIP, 85.7% LOB, 7.88 FIP, 4.93 xFIP, -0.2 WAR

Advantage: In an alternate reality Josh Beckett's a Ranger and Hank Blalock is coming off his third MVP season in Miami. In this reality, Beckett is having a bad start to his season.


Boston Red Sox (4-6, 5th Place AL East)

Rangers 2011 Record vs. Boston: 6-4

Boston's Recent Results: 3-1 series win against the Tampa Bay Rays

Boston's Home Record: 3-1 (45-36 in 2011)

Fenway Park Park Factors (last season) (LHB/RHB): HR: 79/94 - wOBA: 104/107

SB Nation Red Sox Blog: Over the Monster

Match-up: (as of 04/16) Rangers Red Sox Advantage
Batting (RAR) 4.3 (9th) 9.8 (2nd) Red Sox (?)
Base Running (RAR) 1.1 (3rd) 0.8 (8th) Rangers (?)
Starters (RAR) 8.5 1.6 Rangers (?)
Bullpen (RAR) 10.5 (1st) 2.5 (10th) Rangers (?)
Defense (UZR) 3.6 (5th) -0.8 (18th) Rangers (?)
Overall (UZR + RAR) 28.0 13.9 Rangers (?)

Questions to Answer:

  • Would you have strong opinions if the Red Sox decided to build a new Fenway?
  • Who is your pick to lead the Rangers in doubles off the Monster in this series? (Adrian Beltre, of course.)
  • Over/Under: 2.5 times the booth tries to determine if the crowd is saying 'YOUUUUK' or 'BOOOOOO'?
  • Guess the Number: Number of HBPs administered by Vicente Padilla in this series?
  • Remember when the April 2011 bullpen was terrible and the Rangers spent the majority of last season with statistically the worst bullpen in baseball?