Time Has Come For 'Deal Or No Deal' Clay Buchholz To Solidify His Spot

Chuck HanfContributor IAugust 18, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 08:  USA Team All-Star Clay Buchholz of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game at AT&T Park on July 8, 2007 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Good and bad things usually happen in threes…Someone dies and it’s “oh no, who’s next?” Then that next person does in fact die and it’s “oh no, who’s the third? Deaths always happen in threes!” Then there’s the good things that come in threes… Like bacon, lettuce, tomato…. Or…. ‘Charlie’s Angels’…. Or….Splitting a six-pack with someone and having three beers….Or…. Three women in your bed at the same time if you like to ‘get down’ the way Magic Johnson or Wilt Chamberlain liked to ‘get down.’ Today, I’m not asking for three deaths, nor a BLT sandwich, nor am I asking for three women in my bed at the same time while drinking three beers as we watch ‘Charlie’s Angels’ on DVD(wait.....oh... forget it, that's right, I'm married now). I’m simply asking for Clay ‘Deal Or No Deal’ Buchholz to deliver his third quality start in a row and solidify his spot at the number three starter on this Red Sox team---that’s all. Can he deliver the goods?

This is a huge start Wednesday for Buchholz to prove that he wants to put a death grip on the number three spot in this Red Sox rotation and make it his own. If you make one good start, you barely have my attention. If you make two good starts in a row, you’ve gotten my attention. If you make two good starts in a row against two first place teams like NY and Detroit like Clay has, you’ve gotten my heightened attention. It’s that elusive third quality start in a row that shows me you might be on the cusp of becoming someone we might be able to lay our hats on and trust moving forward. ‘Deal Or No Deal’ will be going up against the guy that many thought he could potentially be traded for as he faces off with Roy Halladay . I want to see him battle. I want to see him fight. I want to see how he pitches in a game where he knows the Sox bats have a good chance of being relatively silent. It’s a much different type of pressure when a pitcher such as Buccholz is going up against an ace like Halladay, because you know you have to be on your game and nearly perfect to win. I want to see how he reacts to that pressure.

In reading an article by Michael Silverman in the Boston Herald yesterday, he was talking to Buchholz about his off the field life and how it’s changed. Buchholz said that since he’s been in his relationship with his fiancé his life has become much more calm and constructive off the field. Last year he was struggling and going out to drown his sorrows-- more or less-- to find refuge from all the criticism and his bad outings. It probably doesn’t hurt that his fiancé is Deal Or No Deal model, Lindsay Clubine. An aside on that, Curt Schilling was cracking me up on WEEI when he said, “that’s one of life’s greatest mysteries”, when referring to Buchholz ability to land Clubine. All joking aside, I think we all know that when you meet someone-- especially someone special who you become engaged to and plan on marrying--it changes you for the better. When you have something to look forward to after you leave work or in this case, the park, it naturally settles you down and you see things in a different light. Maybe that has helped him mature and has allowed him to redirect his focus to where it needs to be---on preparation and execution. I really am pulling for this kid to be the pitcher we were all expecting him to be after he came onto the scene two years ago. They need him now more than ever. Go get ‘em kid. (If you liked this article, please vote for it at the end of my post on www.sportramble.com )

Chuck Hanf

Two Cents From Beantown