J.D. Drew is batting .429 and David Ortiz is batting .070. The Orioles are in first place in the East and the Tigers are in last place in the Central. Gabe Kapler has four home runs and Prince Fielder has zero. Kyle Lohse is 2-0 and Justin Verlander is 0-2. Down is up and up is down. And yet, was there ever any doubt that Papbelbon would enter yesterday's game after a two-hour rain delay and K A-Rod on three pitches?
I had little interest in the curse of the buried shirt nonsense until this:
Steinbrener: "I hope his coworkers kick the shit out of him."
Castignoli: "Tell Hank he can come meet me if he wants to try - and tell him to bring Posada, because he's the one Yankee I can't stand."
Castignoli and Paps vs. Steinbrener and Posada. Pay-per-view! Let's make it happen. For charity, of course.
Meanwhile, back on the field, Phil Hughes and Dice-K face off in the rubber game this evening. In four starts against the Yanks last season, Dice-K was 2-1 with a 6.12 ERA. He walked 13 batters, hit two, surrendered 23 hits, and struck out 13 in 25 innings of work. Not too pretty, but we've seen hints that perhaps '08 Dice-K ain't the same guy he was in '07. Hughes has had two starts in '08, the second far better than the first. In all, 9 innings, 5 runs, 10 hits, 5 walks, 6 K's. Fun matchup. Can't wait for Joe Morgan!
Zach Hayes of Fire Brand of the American League is on board with championing Javier Lopez's extraction from the roster:
The Red Sox made two bullpen moves in the past week: designating both Kyle Snyder and Bryan Corey for assignment. I was high on Corey after an impressive call-up last season for Boston before he hit a major wall early this year, surrendering seven runs in just over four innings. While I would have departed with Javier Lopez, who does absolutely nothing well (do you trust him to ever retire a right-handed or left-handed hitter? Of course not. He’ll give up a hit or walk the guy), I can understand the Corey dump. Snyder’s departure was long overdue. The back end of the Red Sox bullpen is pretty weak, overall. Lopez and Tavarez are well below average, Timlin will remain effective but you never know when he’ll reach the end, and Aardsma has control issues.
Did you know Don Baylor, who blasted 31 home runs for the '86 Sox, had 52 stolen bases for the A's in 1976? I had no idea. Even more remarkable, the A's had three players with more than 50 stolen bases that year (Bill North with 74 and Bert Campaneris with 54 ). To put that in perspective, in the history of the franchise the Red Sox have had two players steal 50 bases in a season. In 1973, Tommy Harper swiped 54 and then we've got to go all the way back to 1912 when Tris Speaker stole 52 bags. Otis Nixon (42) is the only other Sox player to steal more than 40 in a season.