There is one thing I don't understand: why do the so-called experts keep saying that Boston, currently at the bottom of the division, is still the favorite to win the division because, "...they have the fewest flaws." Really? They are the worst hitting team overall in the division. Their pitching staff is the worst, but their fielding is okay. Perennially a slow team, only the White Sox have stolen fewer bases. What are all these evaluators seeing that I'm missing? These are the same people that say the Yankees lead the division but only because everybody is so bad. We'll visit this situation again at the All-Star break.
NY has now won two in a row and is starting to look like the Yanks of the early part of the season. Along time ago, I read this little gem in the Sporting News: "You're never as good as you look when you're winning and you're never as bad as you look when you're losing."
At the beginning of the season, writers were questioning the ability of the old Yankees to perform close to their career records. They have done that with the exception of Carlos Beltran, and even he's starting to hit now. There were concerns about the health of their pitching staff, but the replacements are performing okay. The back of the bullpen is outstanding, of course, especially Dellin Bettances. What is confusing is the fact that the Yank's gold-glove third baseman, Chase Headly, has already made 10 errors this year when he only had 9 all last year. Maybe he's using the glove on the wrong hand.
David Cone has found a new stat that he obsesses over: the game scores for pitchers. It's a very detailed score based on a number of achievements such as number of innings, number hits allowed, etc. It's an interesting number but I wouldn't start basing the quality of a pitcher's game based solely on that number. Like all these cyber-metrics, they start with certain assumptions, which if changed even a little, can skew the numbers in a whole different direction. But it makes David happy.
It the Yankee's pitching staff falls apart this year, I have to blame Girardi. He over uses Bettances and Miller, bringing them into games where the Yanks are only a run or two behind. I understand using them last night because they needed the work, but other times, its like Girardi panics and tries to keep the game close. If he can't trust the other relievers, he should get rid of them and bring in others.
He doesn't trust all his starters either. Why did he take Adam Warren out last night with one out in the 7th? I never heard a good explanation for that. When Sparky Anderson managed the Detroit Tigers, he had the nickname "Captain Hook," because he was so quick to pull his starters. I think Girardi is trying for the nickname "Major Hook."
Okay, riddle me this.
We've had two pitchers suspended this week for using stick-um on their hands, supposedly to get a better grip on the baseball. This is illegal (according to those pesky rules), but instead of being outraged at this gross ignorance of the rules. everybody is being sympathetic. Pitchers claim that without this help, the ball is too slick to control and somebody might get hurt. So everybody is pushing for a rule change to have MLB come up with some agreed upon substance that would be legal. Why is this? Did the balls suddenly become slicker? Along with better control, apparently it gives pitchers a better grip and make their breaking pitches better. Isn't that why they had the rule in the first place? It's doctoring the ball, pure and simple. Just like Joe Torre...at least the simple part.
You have to wonder if this guy is paying attention.
This morning, one of the two ESPN anchors was narrating the recap of a game and came up with this doozy: "He came with the score the same...whatever that is...and promptly singled to left." If you're recapping the game for your audience, you should probably try to remember the score. But I'm just a crotchety old man.
***THEY SAID IT***
"Good news and bad for BC Lions owner David Brayley. The good news is a Toronto consortium bought his Argonauts. The bad news is he had to take Justin Bieber." -- RJ Currie
" Under terms of his contract, Jameis Winston is not allowed to play baseball. I’m trying to confirm the Cleveland Browns are trying to redo Johnny Manziel’s contract so he’s not allowed to play football." -- Brad Dickson
" With the most recent arrest of Ray MacDonald, former Gators’ coach Urban Meyer is really solidifying his position as leader of the all-time trouble team." -- Janice Hough
"Ex-rassler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got his handprints and footprints in cement outside Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre. And this is the amazing part: The cement wasn’t even wet." -- Seth Meyers
"Tiger Woods is leaving Lindsey Vonn on friendly terms, only because he didn’t want to find out how much damage ski poles could do compared to a 9-iron." -- TC Chong
"At the Geneva Open tennis tournament, a player named Joao Sousa defeated another player named Joao Souza. Everything went well, except for the play-by-play guy tearing out his own hair during the second set." -- Brad Dickson
"So there was a two hour rain delay in Denver today for the Rockies- Giants game. During which time IT DID NOT RAIN." -- Janice Hough