Sunday, July 08, 2012


Yanks won the opener, the Sox won the nightcap. Boston needed the win badly and found a way with a lineup that was unrecognizable to anyone who follows baseball. Names like Nava, Gomez and Ciriaco are more familiar to residents of Pawtucket than Boston. Geographically, it's only a short 45 mile trip up I-95 to Fenway, but talent-wise, it's a trip that's too long for most players to make. It looks like shortstop Pedro Ciriaco had no trouble with the journey and led the Red Sox to their first win over the Yanks this season. He went 4-5, drove in 4 runs and made several outstanding plays in the field. 
Boston's sloppy play rubbed off on New York as the Yanks made 4 errors and didn't look like a team with the best record in baseball. They still managed to hit three more home runs, to stay on a pace for 250+ for the season.  The last game of the series is tonight on ESPN. Luckily, my TV has a 'mute' button.

Buster Olney did an analysis of the strength of the remaining schedule for the AL teams, based mostly on the current records of the opponents and home vs. away games. The easiest schedules belong to Cleveland and Chicago. Understandable, since most of their games come against the relatively easy AL Central division. Boston has the 2nd toughest and the Yanks are right in the middle.  We'll see how that works out.

One baseball writer noted this week that Bobby Valentine is not very popular these days with the Boston players, coaches or the front office.  On the bright side, I hear the grounds crew loves him.

Why are so many guys getting hurt these days? Plus, they keep re-injuring themselves while doing their rehab. Carl Crawford, who was expected back right after the all-star break, has injured his groin. Brett Gardner has had two setbacks as he tries to return to the Yanks. Pedroia still has a bad thumb. I liked what Michael Kay had to say about Pedroia: "They had to put a guard on his thumb because he's so out-of-his-mind, that he keeps trying to take batting practice."
Now Giancarlo Stanton has a knee injury, Evan Longoria can't get a torn hamstring to heal, and Nationals SS Ian Desmond has an abdominal injury. Oh, for the old days, when the standard treatment of injured players was to rub dirt and chewing tobacco on it and send them back out on the field. They still make chewing tobacco, don't they?

All  we'll be hearing for the next three weeks, is what teams are selling, what teams are buying and who is going to be traded. Some of the more likely candidates appear to be:
Zack Greinke
Matt Garza
Shane Victorino
Ryan Dempster
Francisco Liriano
and Marco Scutaro (are you listening , Boston?)
It all depends, of course, on what teams still think they have a chance and which ones are giving up.

"The National Marbles Tournament just ended in Wildwood, N.J. This was the 89th consecutive National Marbles Tournament held there. Which may explain the Wildwood town motto: “Enough Already.”  -- Brad Dickson
"The New York Knicks announced the signing of 39-year-old Jason Kidd. Just like that, they went from "Linsanity" to "You're Kidding."  -- RJ Currie
"Female tennis players finally pass painful kidney stone."  --
"49-year-old pitcher Jamie Moyer  is so old he remembers when 'roids meant hemorrhoids."  -- Greg Cote
"Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Chris Paul are trying to woo free agents to their teams: "This isn't an offseason; it's the NBA version of 'The Bachelor.' "  -- Janice Hough
"Think headline writers aren't salivating at the thought of Pitt recruit Chris Blewitt missing a crucial kick?"  -- Dwight Perry
"The University of Pittsburgh signed a place-kicker named Chris Blewitt. He’s already been named Player of the Year by the National Headline Writers Association. Now Steve Pederson and Pitt coaches are focused on landing receiver Matt Oops and running back Ricky Butterfingers."  -- Brad Dickson


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