I came back to Maryland today because I have a dentist and optometrist appointment tomorrow. On the way home, I came in to Maryland just in time for the start of the Orioles / Blue Jays game on WBAL 1090. I remember listening to the game on the radio almost every night when I was in middle school and high school, because we didn't have a TV. It was really odd to hear Jim Hunter and Fred Manfra again, the same two guys who did the broadcast when I used to listen all the time. I always liked Jim Hunter, as well, because he lives about 4 miles from my moms house in Maryland.
I really like listening to games on the radio, much like Pat. It really gives the whole game more of a sense of urgency, because you can't see for yourself what's happening. There seem to be a lot more stats thrown around on the Radio, too, since there are no replays or anything to throw up there, which really appeals to me as well. Though tonight Joe Angel was on instead of Manfra, who was doing the television broadcast, it was still a nostalgic drive. Oh yeah, and the Orioles blew another lead to lose the game, despite scoring 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th. Oh well.
This afternoon, the Red Sox finally got their collective heads together and decided that, you know, it probably was a bad idea to trade Mirabelli in the first place. They ended up pretty well off, getting Dougie back from the Padres for the talented but struggling Josh Bard, Minor League pitcher Cla Merdith and either a player to be named later or cash.
It wasn't so much that Mirabelli is back that's great, it's how he got there. He took a private jet from San Diego, getting in to Logan at 6:48. That's 6:48pm, only a few minutes before the game was supposed to start. He hopped in an SUV courtesy of the police department, and made it to Fenway in time to start the game. The only two passed balls he had all night were in the SUV, as he changed in to his uniform during the 12-minute drive from Logan to Fenway.
I'm pretty happy that Mirabelli is back with the Sox. He's a terrible hitter, but Bard's 10 passed balls this year were such a momentum crusher for the Sox. Games like this one shouldn't happen anymore with Mirabelli back catching Wakefield. Bard just couldn't handle the knuckle ball, and they can't expect Varitek to do it either. Come on, John Flaherty retired instead of putting up with Wakefield and finishing his career in Boston.
Francona said "I think he was frustrated at the fact that he understood the passed balls were leading to runs. He's a very conscientious kid. But he worked hard, he did everything we asked him to do. That's why, as a staff, we were willing to be patient with him, we thought he deserved it."
On another Red Sox roster moves note, I'm really glad Bronson Arroyo is doing well with the Reds. I know people in Boston liked him, but I don't think he really got the respect that he deserved. He's 5-0 in six starts this year, against some decent, but not great, hitting teams. He did really well against Pujols tonight, keeping him 0-3 with a walk. Arroyo has gone 7 innings once, 8 innings twice and had a complete game thus far, giving up only 17 hits and 7 runs in those 31 innings. He's struck out 23 and walked only 6 during that same stretch. That's a .225 ERA; not bad for a starter. Good thing Willy Mo is at least making contact with the ball now, instead of striking out 97% of the time, as he used to do. Maybe Manny and Ortiz are having an effect on him.
I'm still kind of pissed that the sox got rid of Arroyo in the first place, since they had somewhat of a good-faith deal during the off season anyhow. Oh well, hopefully Arroyo goes 24-0 this year. It would sure help my fantasy team, I know that.