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Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: A sweep of Milwaukee »
May 19, 2008
Journal photo / Bob Breidenbach
STANDING TALL ONCE AGAIN: When last we spoke, the Red Sox had lost four in a row and fallen behind Tampa Bay into second place in the A.L. East. But then along came the Brewers . . . or, perhaps more to the point, along came interleague play. Sean McAdam tells us that's been a boon to Boston in recent years and this weekend was no different, as the poor Brew Crew soon discovered. The Sox beat them Saturday afternoon, they pretty much beat themselves Saturday night, and the Sox overpowered them yesterday. (All stories projo.com.) So now it's Monday morning, the four-game losing streak has turned into a three-game winning streak, and the Red Sox once again lead the division. Hate interleague play (which, I'm ashamed to admit, was our stance last Friday)? Forget that. We're counting the days until June 13, when it resumes.
PAPI KNOWS BEST: Yesterday's double-and-two-homers afternoon would seem to indicate that David Ortiz (above) is finally, definitively, back on the beam (as they might have said in the 1940s). Steven Krasner goes Inside The Game to examine Ortiz' at-bats yesterday, and Joe Haggerty talks with Red Sox hitting instructor Dave Magadan, who tells how Ortiz has worked his way out of his early season slump. (hackswithhaggs.com)
WELL, THAT EXPLAINS IT: We all know the Red Sox have won two World Series in the last four seasons and we all know the roles Ortiz and Manny Ramirez have played in hanging those two flags. Makes sense, then, that SI.com's Jon Heyman would rank the signings of Ortiz and Ramirez as two of the five greatest free-agent acquisitions of all time -- Ortiz at No. 1 and Ramirez No. 5. And how I wish I could somehow travel back in time and show the piece to all the folks back in December 2000 who thought the free agent the Sox should should have signed back then was not Ramirez, but Mike Mussina.
THE WAITING GAME: The Boston Globe's Gordon Edes points out that Ramirez has stalled -- at least in terms of hitting home runs -- as he approaches No. 500.
STRAIGHTENING IT OUT: Friday's rainout threw a monkey wrench in the Red Sox' pitching plans, and McAdam, Krasner and Paul Kenyon report the fallout: Justin Masterson starts Tuesday and Bartolo Colon starts Wednesday.
THE BAD NEWS: The weekend wasn't all peaches and cream. Jacoby Ellsbury was caught stealing for the first time in his major-league career. (Boston Globe)
WELCOME ALWAYS: Kenyon chronicles the return of old friend Gabe Kapler.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: The Bleacher Bar inside Fenway Park, a year-round operation that you can enter on Ted Williams Way, opened Friday. Just don't drive your car there. (Both stories Boston Herald)
HERE THEY COME: MLB.com's Dick Kaegel takes a close-up look at the Royals, who'll be in town for the next four days.
UP IS DOWN, BLACK IS WHITE . . . and a journalist -- in this case, the St. Petersburg Times' Gary Shelton -- is actually writing that the Rays are better than the Yankees . . . a reasonable assertion, actually, if you look at the standings. (Projo Stats) Or is it? Bugs and Cranks says "it is way too soon for chest-thumping [and] gloating" and goes over Shelton's position-by-position comparison, agreeing with all the ones that favor the Yankees and disagreeing with several that favor the Rays. The Bronx Block puts it out there for its readers to discuss. But the Red Sox-oriented blog Wicked Clevah is, in its own words, terrified of Tampa.
PROOF POSITIVE: Shelton's argument -- while not necessarily advanced by the Rays' 5-4 loss in St. Louis (Tampa Tribune) -- was certainly bolstered in the Bronx, where the Mets completed a rain-shortened weekend sweep with an 11-2 pounding of the Yanks last night. (New York Daily News) And in the change-a-minute world of New York baseball, that means Willie Randolph is off the hot seat and Joe Girardi's on. (New York Daily News)
JOE COOL: That's Girardi, even though the Yanks are floundering. (New York Post) Still, he's blaming the Yanks' struggles on himself. (New York Daily News)
LATE TO THE PARTY: The Jason Giambi/thong story, which has gotten play far beyond its importance, is explained by Peter Abraham. (LoHud Yankees Blog) As is true of most hot items of this type, it's much ado about nothing.
'HEY': That Phil Hughes' greeting on his blog after three weeks of silence. He doesn't say much beyond that, either.
REFRESHING CANDOR: Umpire Bob Davidson admits -- in colorful terms -- he messed up in calling Carlos Delgado's shot off the left-field pole, which should have been a three-run homer, a foul ball. (New York Daily News)
THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: Alex Rodriguez should return to the Yankee lineup tomorrow. (New York Daily News)
'FATALLY FLAWED': NBCsports.com's Mike Celizic takes a look at the Yankees and Mets and concludes there's much to dislike in both Queens or the Bronx.
RICH IN OTHER WAYS: They may seem weak on the field at the moment, but the New York Daily News' Juan Gonzalez examines just how strong the Yankees are financially.
FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE: The New York Post reports former Yankee pitcher Dock Ellis -- who kicked drugs and alcohol nearly 30 years ago and became a drug counselor -- has cirrhosis of the liver and is deteriorating rapidly.
MEET THE MUSINGS MAN: I link to an item or two in Baseball Musings almost daily, so you know I'd in interested in Statistically Speaking's interview with David Pinto. His choices for the players he'd build his team around: Hanley Ramirez and Cole Hamels.
UNIT OF STRENGTH: Randy Johnson may no longer resemble the Big Unit of old, but -- as he demonstrated yesterday against the Tigers -- he's still got something left in the tank. (Arizona Republic)
'WE HAVE A LOT OF ISSUES': Of course, beating the Tigers isn't the world's biggest trick these days, and manager Jim Leyland -- who admits he's "totally out of answers" -- plans to meet with general manager Dave Dombrowski today to discuss what can be done to fix things. (Detroit Free Press)
SUGGESTION NUMBER ONE: The Free Press' Michael Rosenberg thinks the repairs should start with a reduction in playing time for the rotting corpse that is Gary Sheffield.
THE TIMES, THEY ARE A-CHANGIN': Writing on his always readable Sporting News blog, Todd Jones describes the differences in clubhouse life from the time he broke into the major leagues to today.
PITCH COUNTS, MY EYE: The blog Seamheads.com says it's a lack of quality pitchers, not modern strategies by health-conscious managers, that's led to the decline in the number of 20-game winners.
YOU GOT ME: The season's now one-quarter completed, and the San Francisco Chronicle's Ray Ratto admits he still doesn't know what to make of the A's.
WHAT'S THE BIGGER ACHIEVEMENT? The fact that the Reds' Edinson Volquez has an Adjusted ERA as good as Bob Gibson's record 1.12 ERA in 1968, or the fact that a mainstream media outlet actually built a feature around Adjusted ERA? (Cincinnati Enquirer)
COLLATERAL DAMAGE: The Orioles' woes have hurt attendance not only at Camden Yards but also at the nearby Sports Legends Museum. (Maryland Daily Record)
GROWING CONCERN: More and more attention is being paid to the constant shattering of maple bats and the dangers they post. The Washington Times' Mark Zuckerman reports commissioner Bud Selig is considering banning them.
THEY HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN: He may be 87 years old, but Stan Musial is still The Man in St. Louis. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
MEDICAL REPORT: The Astros may lose Roy Oswalt to a groin injury (Houston Chronicle) . . . The Padres' Jake Peavy has a sore elbow (mlb.com) . . . John Smoltz is still feeling shoulder pain and thinks he could be out a lot longer than he originally thought (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) . . . Fernando Rodney and Joel Zumaya will begin throwing this week for the Tigers. (Detroit Free Press)
HERE AND THERE: Hank Blalock is moving to first base (Dallas Morning News) . . . It took a while, but the Rockies' Jeff Francis finally won a game in 2008 (Denver Post) . . . The imminent return of Doug Davis means the Diamondbacks have a decision to make regarding rookie phenom Max Scherzer (Arizona Republic) . . . Jacque Jones is about to join the Marlins (Miami Herald) . . . The White Sox have fired scouting director David Wilder and two scouts amid reports they were skimming bonus payments to Latin American signees. (Chicago Tribune)
OLD FRIENDS: David Eckstein is close to returning to the Blue Jays (National Post) . . . The Marlins have signed Hanley Ramirez to a long-term deal. (espn.com)
-- ART MARTONE
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