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May 15, 2007
Around the baseball world . . .
ALL ACES SO FAR: ''If this week is going to be the biggest test yet for the Red Sox, the team passed its first exam with flying colors last night.'' That was Paul Kenyon's lead on his story about the Sox' 7-1 win over Detroit in the first of seven straight games against one of the best teams in the American League, the Tigers, and one of the best in the National League, the Braves. Also getting all A's last night was Daisuke Matsuzaka, who pitched his first major league complete game. Steven Krasner breaks down Dice-K's performance in Inside The Game.
HE WAS OKAY, BUT . . . Tigers manager Jim Leyland was ''very impressed'' with Matsuzaka (Detroit Free Press), but Brandon Inge wasn't (Detroit News). "[Matsuzaka's] stuff isn't what everyone makes it out to be,'' he said. ''Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's bad, but it's his motion more than the movement on his pitches."
'A LITTLE LETHARGIC': They wouldn't use it as a excuse, but, after playing the Twins Sunday night and having to fly all night into Boston, the Tigers didn't get to bed until 5:30 yesterday morning. (Detroit Free Press)
MEDICAL UPDATE: The Sox really didn't have one on Josh Beckett, and it's unknown whether he'll be able to make his scheduled start Friday. (projo.com) On yesterday's edition of Projo Sox Talk, however, Joe McDonald relates a conversation he had with someone in sports medicine who thinks Beckett definitely will be sidelined, at least for a little while.
MAYBE JOHN HARRINGTON WAS RIGHT AFTER ALL: Joe Posnanski does some research based on the most recent Nielsen rankings for television, Arbitron rankings for radio, and metro populations, and concludes that the Red Sox are only in the 14th-biggest market in baseball, stuck between Washington and Atlanta. (thesoulofbaseball.blogspot.com) Makes their revenue numbers all the more staggering, don't you think?
NOT ONE OF THE BEST, BUT CLOSE: J.D. Drew earns an honorable mention in Jerry Crasnick's list of baseball's biggest lies. (espn.com)
THE MELTDOWN CONTINUES: Things look like they're going from bad to worse in Baltimore, where Jay Payton and Melvin Mora nearly came to blows after last night's 5-3 loss in Toronto. (Baltimore Sun). (Seth Mnookin, for one, probably isn't surprised that Payton is involved.) It comes in the wake of Sunday's impossible-to-believe, ninth-inning implosion at Fenway Park, which still has manager Sam Perlozzo on the defensive and, according to columnist Peter Schmuck, may have put his job on the line. (All stories Baltimore Sun)
WE'RE WITH YOU, CHIPPER: Finally, a player comes out with the complaint we've had from Day One with interleague play: Because of the disparity in strength of schedules, it can have a huge affect on the divisional races. (msn.foxsports.com) Funny though; it used to be Red Sox fans complaining about having to play six games against the Braves. Now it's Jones complaining that the Braves have to play six games against the Red Sox.
GOOD BREAK: For a while last night, it looked like John Smoltz would miss Saturday's scheduled start against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. But, as it turns out, the dislocated finger joint probably won't be bad enough to sideline him. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
DON'T JUST STAND THERE, DO SOMETHING! Lou Piniella's Cubs have the same record as the Yankees (17-19), but the New York Daily News' Filip Bondy says Piniella has a ''sense of urgency, of outspoken, manic concern, that has been missing in the Bronx this season''.
OUR KINDA GUY: Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times hopes that Alex Rodriguez, a visitor in Chicago over the next three days as the Yankees play the White Sox, will make his home there next year. The Chicago Tribune's Phil Rogers thinks it could happen. But ESPN's Buster Olney says the Yankees need A-Rod now more than ever. (ESPN The Magazine)
LOVE, SIDNEY: Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune will miss Sidney Ponson. I'm not sure Twins fans will, though.
HAUNTED: Cliff Floyd is in Chicago now, but he'll never forget his last inning as a Met. (New York Daily News)
PLANTING THE SEED: Roger Clemens' comeback has Nolan Ryan thinking . . . (The Rocky Mountain News)
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: The official postseason schedule from mlb.com, which includes -- as you all know by now -- the possibility of November baseball.
LOCAL BOYS: The blog U.S.S. Mariner is proposing a series of trades, one of which would send Rocco Baldelli to Atlanta (ussmariner.com). The Devil Rays will be selling low if that happens, because Baldelli is in a terrible slump at the moment. (St. Petersburg Times)
OLD FRIENDS: Tony Armas Jr. looks like he's about to lose his spot in the Pirates' rotation (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) . . . Byung-Hyun Kim finally got traded. Destination: Florida (The Palm Beach Post) . . . At the end of Peter Gammons' most recent blog entry, which mostly focuses on the Blue Jays, Dave Roberts says ''I have not had one day since [stealing the base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS] when someone hasn't come up and thanked me. Not one day.'' (espn.com)
-- ART MARTONE
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Mike Harrington | May 15, 2007 9:12 AM link