Here he comes to save the day! At long last, the rumor that has been circulating around the web is corroborated in print: Michael Silverman of the Herald In his Red Sox Notebook announced that the Red Sox have signed Rich Garces, aka El Guapo, and he is working out in Fort Myers. Somehow I doubt El Guapo would truly be working himself into shape, so maybe getting his arm into shape is the best description of the rotund hurler.

Almost two weeks ago I heard a bunch of unsubstantiated reports about El Guapo being back in the fold. Finally, we have proof! Here is my note on Garces from my July 13 blog:

Hey, El Guapo was pitching in the Venezuelan Winter League as a closer this past winter at least until he left early to hit the Girls Gone Wild Portuguese edition in Venezuela on some beach and his family filed a missing person report. Whoops, sorry Hon, forgot to mention that road trip! Track Garces down! Have Theo get one of his uber-front office boys to track him down. We need bullpen help, and it beats what the Yankees are doing: getting Ramiro Mendoza ready to join the bullpen.

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Manny Delcarmen, possibly auditioning for the Florida Marlins or San Francisco Giants, is the newest member of the Red Sox bullpen. Likely up with the big club only to showcase his wares to whatever team is stupid enough, I mean willing, to trade a potential number one starting pitcher to the Red Sox, be it A.J. Burnett or Jason Schmidt. If either of these trades happen, it would have to involve a young flamethrower, and I am sure Theo has no intention of including either Jon Lester or Jon Papelbon. Another note about Delcarmen, who hails happens from Hyde Park, MA, and since you could be armless and count the number of local pitchers made good with the Sox in my lifetime, that will certainly keep the spotlight on him.

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Nice play by Trot Nixon in the bottom of the tenth against the Devil Rays in the Sox first extra inning game. Nixon had a choice to go all out and try to catch the ball which was clearly uncatchable, or play the carom off the wall and hold the runner at third with two outs. Nixon proceeded to go with the former and that was the ballgame. Though I have said this on numerous other occasions and do not want to belabor the point or beat a dead horse here, but if that was Manny instead of Trot it would be sports talk radio news all through the weekend.

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It was another rough outing for Curt Schilling as he picks up another loss out of the bullpen. Of course, the bullpen had already blown the lead as Mike Timlin, he of the 1.44 ERA and whining about not making the all-star team, came into a game with runners on base and proceeded to let the tying run waltz home. Timlin has had an uncanny knack of letting inherited runners score. As much as Embree was a problem, Timlin is not too far behind in the blame game. The bullpen next year will likely be a veritable home of young guns which could feature Lester, Papelbon, and Delcarmen if he is still around, maybe Cla Meredith, and possibly Craig Hansen. Papelbon and Lester will eventually start (and possibly Hansen as well), but since the organizational philosophy is apparently similar to the 1970s Baltimore Orioles who broke starters in by having them learn to get out of tough spots by pitching in relief, they could be two anchors in the rebuilt bullpen next year.

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I just remembered the other day that I hate the Buffalo Sabres and the Montreal Canadians. Also, I still detest all the former Quebec Nordiques, have no love for any franchise that shared a name with a Burger King fish sandwich, and just cannot stand the thought of jerk-boy Eric Lindros.

That is the true appeal of hockey: these players on opposing teams that you do not like, they will get hit eventually if you watch long enough. It may take all game, but someone will smack the guy into the boards or send him sprawling with a sweet hip-check near center ice.

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