Thursday, August 09, 2007

Nine innings 8.8.07

Playing nine innings while wondering how giddy Suzyn Waldman will be if David Wells shows up in Georgie Porgie's private box . . .

1. Watching this Angels series has reminded me how much I enjoyed watching Orlando Cabrera play shortstop for the Red Sox. I realize there are a lot of rumors about why the Sox didn't bring him back, and I have to admit that I thought Edgar Renteria would be an upgrade, at least offensively. But it's downright insulting to think that Sox management dared to descibe Julio Lugo in the same terms that we'd use for Cabrera - dynamic, aggressive, popular in the clubhouse - when there is clearly no similarity between the two players beyond the defensive position they play.

2. Kevin Youkilis was a lot more likable before he decided he should be able to call his own balls and strikes.

3. I realize my hindsight here is sharper than a great hitter's vision, but given that Manny Delcarmen seems to be regressing to his previous inconsistent form while Jermaine Dye is leading the majors in home runs since the All-Star break (11), is it possible that Theo Epstein should have taken White Sox GM Kenny Williams up on what looked like a lopsided trade request at the time? The object, after all, is to win the World Series, and given the ominousness of Papi's shoulder problems, I'm thinking a trade of Delcarmen, Wily Mo Pena, and Craig Hansen for Dye would greatly enhance this team's chances in October without mortgaging too much of the future.

4. He's worthy of endless admiration for what he's overcome, and Fenway will rock with emotion he makes his first home start of the season next week . . . but man, am I wrong to say it's just excruciating to watch Jon Lester pitch? Every time I look up at the TV, it seems like there are two runners on base and he's got a 3-1 count on some bottom-of-the-order schlub. I understand he's probably not at full strength yet, but right now he's the same maddening nibbler who seemed to turn every start into a 4-hour marathon as a rookie. I wonder if the Sox think Clay Buchholz is close to ready.

5. Brief NBA interlude: Reggie Miller, shooting guard, Boston Celtics? Sure, why not? He's one of those blessed shooters who will be able to knock down an open 20-footer on his death bed, he's still in shape and had decent game when he retired two years ago (14.8 ppg), and it will drive Boston-hating Spike Lee over the edge. Given that he'd only be asked to play a dozen minutes or so a game, it seems like a brilliant outside-the-box idea on Danny Ainge's part. I hope it happens.

6. This nightly hissing contest between the Blue Jays and the Yankees has the potential to be the best intra-AL East feud since the Devil Rays were using Brian Daubach for target practice and Ice Williams tried to forcibly remove Pedro's jheri curl a half-decade ago.

7. The Red Sox would be much better served - and their offense would probably be much more productive at the moment - if Tito Francona fined Papi every time he even attempts to slide. You just knew he was going to get hurt on the basepaths at some point.

8. I'm convinced Brandon Moss is going to put up Trot Nixon-like numbers as an everyday big-league player. (And by that I mean Healthy Trot, not Stuffed Full of Crullers and Limping Trot we came to know the past few seasons.) But that day looks very far away right now, doesn't it? I have seen someone in a Sox uniform wear such an obvious deer-in-the-headlights look since Grady Little was patting Pedro on the back and securing his place in infamy one October night at Yankee Stadium.

9. As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:

"When the Iranians were holding our embassy people captive, instead of the Marines we should have sent Burleson and [Rico] Petrocelli over there. They would have come back in 48 hours with the hostages, the Ayatollah, and a couple million barrels of oil." - Bill Lee

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