Those of you who spend a great deal of time staring at a GPS likely recognize the route numbers that I would take to go from my part of New England to the southeast part of it where my oldest daughter lives. I could have just as easily called this the “Grandfathered” Edition, as I spent most of July driving those roads so that I could help take care of my grandson, as well as welcome a new baby girl into the family. Now that I have a few moments between trips, allow me to do a little catching up.
As I was writing this, the MLB trade deadline came and went, with the Sox picking up relief help in the form of Fernando Abad from the Minnesota Twins. Although they were in dire need of bullpen help, especially since Koji Uehara is done until at least September, it was hardly the big blockbuster deal many fans thought the Sox needed to make. Currently in third place in the AL East (1.5 games back), they have struggled over the past several weeks to put pitching, hitting, and at times, defense together in an effective and consistent manner. It does not feel that any of the moves that president Dave Dombrowski has made so far have had the anticipated impact.
David Price, he of the $30 million per year contract, is only 9-7, with a 4.26 ERA. Drew Pomeranz, who Boston got from San Diego for power prospect Anderson Espinoza, has yet to win in a Red Sox uniform, blowing an eight run lead in his debut. Reliever Brad Ziegler was relatively competent as the closer when Craig Kimbrel was injured, but then he had two blown saves during the team’s current 3-7 stretch. Although I am not prepared to back off my prediction that they’ll win the East, the fact that 37 of their last 59 games are on the road will make it very difficult challenge indeed.
That’s not to say there is no reason for hope. Rick Porcello has quietly put himself in the running for the Cy Young Award, having gone 14-2, with 3.47 ERA, in 135.0 innings and one complete game. Steven Wright remains the surprise of the season, having gone 12-5 so far with an ERA 3.20 in 137.2 innings. The good time mix of young and old, namely Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley and Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz, has made them fun to watch, and incredibly easy to root for. Throw in the fact that both Clay Buchholz and Eduardo Rodriguez seem to have figured things out and that Kimbrel has been activated, and you can at least begin to understand why I haven’t given up hope that Big Papi will have one last opportunity for a dramatic walk off.
THREE ACTS OF EXTREME RANDOMNESS:
Act 1: I wish I could remember the name of the Italian movie director who, a decade or so ago, jumped into one of canals in Venice to prove that they weren’t as polluted as rumored. He died after he swallowed some water from a disease carried in rat urine. I think of him every time I hear about the Olympic athletes whose events are in the polluted bay in Rio.
Act 2: I can’t help but believe that the biggest loser in the whole Tom Brady controversy is going to be Roger Goodell. His inept handling of it and other issues has been rumored to have cost him over $12 million in salary this year. I would expect the Players Association will also remember it when it comes time for the next agreement as well.
Act 3: I have to imagine that it’s strange for fans of the Yankees to be watching their team involved in such wholesale selling of players. I’m sure all will be forgiven, however, if they, in addition to the four prospects, resign Aroldis Chapman as a free agent next winter.
- The “Roger That” Edition - February 28, 2017
- The “Nice Ring To It” Edition - February 3, 2017
- The “Shaken, Not Stirred” Edition - January 17, 2017
- The “Malcolms in the Middle” Edition - January 11, 2017
- A “Catching Up, Following Up, and Weighing In” Edition - December 31, 2016
- The “Cannon and Flowers” Edition - December 21, 2016
- The “Farm, for Sale” Edition - December 10, 2016
- The “Tebucky Jones Tribute” Edition - November 13, 2016
- The “World, Serious” Edition - November 1, 2016
- The “Easy Come, Easy Go” Edition - October 18, 2016