Sunday, April 24, 2011


Been away for a few days, so a few things:

--Don't look now, but the Sox are 7-1 in their past 8 games and are finally out of the cellar.

--Baltimore is now there, being one of the faster teams to go from first to last that I've seen.

--The top 3 are the Yanks, Rays and Sox, which you can bet will be the three playing the shell game for the rest of the season.

--A source tells me that you can bet that the Sox will not be paying Papelbon for his services next year.  As they have 3 closers on the roster now, they'll probably try to trade him if they don't think they'll go deep in the playoffs.  If they do, he'll stay, but then go bye-bye via free agency.

--I also hear that all indicators are that Papelbon will have a lights-out year, as he's mentioned he'll test the free agent market next year.  Nice enough guy, I'm told, and not as nutty as you'd think--but not the brightest bulb, either.

--The Angels will have trouble scoring runs consistently this year.  Their pitching and defense will have to be stellar.  This series they haven't been.

--Pitchers need to have better poker faces on the mound.  I'm getting tired of them showing lots of emotion when a call that's not even close doesn't go their way.

--The word is that some players in MLB are taking substances not being tested for yet, sort of a Stealth HGH.  I'm not surprised.

--I also hear that I may be surprised by the support that Manny may get from HOF voters after all.  If he gets in within a few years of eligibility, I will be very surprised.

--You have to wonder why Dice-K can't be like this all the time, if he can be unhittable in two straight starts.  What's going on in there?

--Varitek can go 0 for the season and still catch Game 7 of the World Series for me.

--Then again, so can Heidi Watney, if you know what I'm sayin'.

--The Yanks have 5 out of the top-10 batters in the league in terms of batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage.  They'll have to be that way all year in order for them to contend.

--Mike Cameron must have pictures.

--Salty might be too tall to be a catcher.

--Ervin Santana, who could be Pedro, struck out 9 in 7 innings yesterday, but also gave up 9 hits and 5 runs, and some long homeruns.  That, in a nutshell, is why he drives his management crazy.  I remember when he came up, and he was lights out.  Now he's still lights out, but in a different way.

--I just saw Ellsbury thrown out on the second of two consecutive pitchouts.  Before the pitch, Scioscia was going through his signs in the dugout, and I thought: He's calling for another pitchout.  I swear.

--I called a Jim Rice homerun just like that, when I was 14.  A short story due to be in print soon (Space and Time Magazine; look for it in the summer) starts with a reference to the narrator calling a Manny homer, but it's based on me calling Rice's.

--Speaking of which, I was talking to a local former sports reporter yesterday, and when I asked him if he could guess the most perfect homerun swing I ever saw, he said, "Manny's game-winning homer off the Angels in the 2007 ALDS?"  Now, how the hell did he know that?  That was a little bit creepy!

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