The following was written before Thursday's game against New York:
Beating/losing to the Yankees last night was awesome/terrible. The Red Sox had many hits/no hits at all and that really made the difference/screwed us. On defense, they sure picked it/made lots of errors. Fortunately/Unfortunately, Jon Lester was dominant/hit by a meteor. Dustin Pedroia's homer/foot fetish provided the margin of victory/most disgusting moment of my life. And still, because of this, none of it mattered at all.
This part was written after the Sox disappointing (though likely meaningless) loss to the Yankees. I was preparing for the 19th OTM Podcast (up later today) so I missed the ninth inning, but Allan at Joy of Sox did not. He's got the goods, as he puts it, from Brooks Baseball's pitch f/x system on that final pitch. Home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez didn't have what I would call the best night, but according to pItch f/x he was on the
take money in the ninth inning. Sad but true, The Providence Journal's Tim Britton has similar data on those ninth inning pitches. Sucks, but it 1) standings, people, standings, and 2) the Sox are going to the playoffs either way, so honestly, what is the big deal? Besides (crazy theory coming), if Burnett pitches well the rest of the year, he could convince Joe Girardi to start him in a playoff game and that's where the fun is at, peeps.
The time it takes to play a Yankees/Red Sox game is, shall we say, enough time to get a major disease and recover fully. It has become a popular pastime to bash the teams for playing slowly. From Westy Joe West to journalists aplenty to Mark frick'n Teixeira, everyone seems to want them to hurry the hell up. The aforementioned Tim Britton of ProJo is here to help with a breakdown of the numbers. There are many different culprits. Some pitchers take a long time between pitches, and some hitters don't help out much, and some umpires don't know a pitched strike from a Wisconsin teacher's strike.
Joe Sheehan of SI.com has the solution to all your worldly ills, provided all your worldly ills are brought about by baseball's Wild Card system. Mr. Sheehan suggests removing the Wild Card in its entirety, though he doesn't say what he would do with it. Maybe trade it with his friends, put it in the spokes of a bike, or take it out back and shoot it. In any case, with the Wild Card gone the division races become real meaningful real food real quick. Of course adding another Wild Card might at least partially solve that problem but the more Wild Card's you play with the more likely everyone is just going to end up with four aces anyway and after a while the game becomes less fun for everyone.
Should the Red Sox change their ticking policy? I have no idea, but according to EJ Fagan at Yankee Analysts the Yankees should.
Finally, Theo Epstein ain't going to no Cubs! Unless he, you know, does.