NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 07: Jon Lester #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the New York Yankees during their game on June 7, 2011 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The Red Sox 100 year hex over the Yankees continued unabated. Someone needs to get a book out on the topic. The title is obvious ("The 100 Year Hex") but here are some suggested sub-titles and authors:
"The 100 Year Hex: Eat My Relevancy, Carl Everett" by Dan Shaughnessy
"The 100 Year Hex: Horseradish, Crazy Monkeys Eat Yum!" by Woody Paige
"The 100 Year Hex: I Allegedly Need Bail Money" by Jay Mariotti
"The 100 Year Hex: 250 pages of Poop Jokes" by Matt Kory
It seems when ever every Red Sox/Yankees get together has its share of drama and last night's game was no exception. Drama started when Jon Lester hit Mark Teixeira in the kneecap, prompting his removal from the game. Lester later hit Yankee catcher Russell Martin in a similar area though Martin seemed uninjured. A few innings later Yankee pitcher Hector Noesi threw a pitch uncomfortably close to David Ortiz who then homered off the rookie, flipped his bat and ever so slowly began his trot around the bases. This display displeased Yankee manager Joe Girardi, who complained to the media about Ortiz after the game. Peter Abraham says Girardi should be more concerned about his team's record versus the Red Sox. Ortiz said Ortiz does stuff like that. Yes, he referred to himself in the third person. Matt Kory thinks that's awesome.
The Sox pitching staff suffered another injury, though this one didn't seem as serious as the ones suffered by Rich Hill and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Reliever Bobby Jenks, fresh off the DL, made it through four pitches before leaving the game with a back injury. The Sox don't think it's serious, according to Mr. Abraham, but they'll give Jenks an MRI tomorrow just the same. Of course that's what they said about Hill too, so don't count your chickens yet, folks.
And on the third day they did rest. The Red Sox completed their selections in the First Year Player draft on Wednesday. Sox Prospects has the names of the Sox second and third day draftees here (rounds 11-20) and here (rounds 21-30). The likelihood is that most of the guys won't get signed by Boston for various reasons, but some will and maybe one or two will make some noise in the minors, though good luck guessing which ones. About the only take-away point from the above picks is that of the twenty guys selected, fourteen of them are pitchers. This should tell you the value of pitchers generally, but also how hard it is to develop major league quality pitching. The level of attrition involved in making the majors from the mound is shockingly high.
In other draft news, Alex Speier of WEEI.com looks at the Red Sox earlier selections in rounds five through ten, only two of whom are pitchers. Coincidence? Yeah, probably. Elsewhere, Scout.com's Frankie Piliere really likes the Red Sox first round selections of pitcher Matt Barnes and catcher Blake Swihart, calling them both steals.
Back to last night's game, as the Yankees sported a lineup headlined by Derek Jeter, though Jeter was the DH and not at his customary shortstop in favor of Eduardo Nunez. Nunez hit ninth which led to a Nunez-Jeter 9-1 in the lineup. In case you were wondering, Jeter's .654 OPS beats Nunez's .587. But just barely. I understand giving Jeter a day off or two (or 162) from playing the field, but putting him at DH can't possibly be either the best solution from a rest-giving or run scoring standpoint. I'm leaving out the criticism of Jeter hitting lead off, something Hardball Talk's Matthew Pouliot addresses here. Steven Goldman of the Pinstriped Bible wrote about the folly of using Nunez at all a while back.
Finally, in non-Red Sox news, the interwebs are abuzz over Nationals super-prospect Bryce Harper's air smooch. The 18 year old future of the Washington franchise (for six years or until they move back to Montreal, which ever comes first!) hit a homer and then, after watching the ball or a short movie, started his trot. Somewhere after passing third roughly an hour later he made an obvious kissing motion in the direction of the mound. Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus has video of the homer and accompanying incident. Craig Calcaterra has a long form opinion on the matter, and I won't be spoiling anything to tell you the title of the piece is Bryce Harper Needs To Grow Up. I assume in a figurative sense as Harper's height seems irrelevant here. I'm sure the 18 year old Harper has lots of growing up to do, but even though I'm a big Calcaterra fan, this hardly seems like a huge deal. Maybe next time he'll actually kiss the pitcher. That will be a story.