BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 31: Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates after he struck out Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees to end the game on August 31, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees 9-5. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
It's been ten years and countless man-hours of man-work, but I'm ready to announce the results of my study. I can say without a doubt that the Red Sox beating the Yankees causes my cat's fur to become between six and seven percent softer. When the Red Sox lose to the Yankees however, her fur becomes four percent more coarse.
The New York Times' Tyler Kepner thinks the games played between the Red Sox and Yankees are too long. But lest you think this flight of fancy is just inhabited by a single journalist, munching peanuts from tiny bags and watching the lousy inflight movie while wishing his seat could actually recline, he has backup. Mark Teixiera thinks the games go too long as well.* I'm sorry, but I'm far more tired by this old meme than I am by the time it takes to play a Yankees/Red Sox game. The Red Sox and Yankees consistently draw some of the best ratings in baseball when they get together so it can't be that much of a problem. I won't even bother to look up the ratings because whomever is doing the national broadcasts repeatedly insists on NY/Boston games, something they wouldn't do if the games were getting beat by, say, reruns of The Chevy Chase Show. The reality is playing very good baseball sometimes takes longer. It takes longer to wait for your pitch, it takes longer to strike batters out, it takes longer to wait out a walk, and it takes longer to score lots of runs. So I don't understand the problem. Would I like the games to go by more quickly? Sure, but not at the expense of baseball. If ESPN and/or FOX wants to shorten the commercial time in between half innings, I'm all for it. In fact, why don't you give them a call. I'm sure it'll work out. I'll be over here holding my breath.
*What's more, Teixeira says he likes the National League better. Um, WHAT?!?
In what was a busy day for the Red Sox, they beat the Yankees and made two more acquisitions. The first, Joey Gathright, is a weak hitting speedy outfielder on his second tour with the Sox, He could help as a pinch runner in the post season if need be. The second is former top prospect Connor Jackson, who at at 29 has turned into a utility player, as in, sure, Jackson may not be able to hit, but he can play a number of positions and by "play" I mean he knows where they are on the field. So, I guess that's something in his favor. For what ever it's worth, Jackson thinks the trade is "Hella-cool!" [OK, he only said "cool" so not as funny. Sorry.] I'll have to keep waiting for someone to use that hella in a sentence to a baseball writer.
Friend of the site Dustin Parkes finds happiness in the fact that Giants General Manager Brian Sabean is giving out advice to other GMs. I presume Sabean is only doing it because he is trying to make the other GMs fail.
In two pieces that ran yesterday and today respectively on Baseball Nation, Grant Brisbee and Jeff Sullivan discuss first the Yankees and their incredible run of good luck, then the Red Sox and their run of lousy luck. There is no doubting the Yankees have received production from unlikely sources, specifically from everyone in the starting rotation other than C.C. Sabathia, who has been very good, and A.J. Burnett, who has not been anything close to that. It takes some genius scouting and/or a nose for the winning lotto numbers to pick up trash like Freddy Gracia and Bartolo Colon off the street and get the contributions that they've given the Yankees. Conversely, the Red Sox have dealt with injuries and under performance all year, as Mr. Sullivan points out, but have the second best record in baseball anyway. How do they do it? Magic! Also Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youlkilis, Salty. etc etc etc. Also, magic!
Finally, Theo Epstein thinks he can hit Clay Buchholz. "'I'll put on a helmet" said Epstein. I presume that means Epstein expects Buchholz to punch back.