That's a tough way to lose a game. Dumping a huge lead down the crapper is a tough way to lose a game. And now that I've written that, in actuality, it's not a tough way to lose a game. It's a very easy way to lose a game, but fortunately for the better teams it doesn't happen frequently. Which is good because I don't imagine I'd last long as a fan of a team that did that on a regular basis. I should mention that Allan at Joy of Sox has the grisly details, including the inexplicable caught steeling to end the game. It's well written and everything but still I'd rather stick a spork in my eye.
Are we being denied one of the great pennant races of all time? Maybe that's too strong but the fact that the Red Sox are 2.5 games behind New York could make for great theater as the season winds down, but because of the Wild Card, there is no theater. In fact, sometimes it doesn't look like the Red Sox are trying to win very hard (Really? Albers instead of Papelbon? I mean, really?). Still, Cliff Corcoran of SI.com looks at all the divisional races to determine what is worth paying attention to and what isn't. Unfortunately I didn't see the article until after last night's game so I wasn't spared the agony.
In a similar vein, Baseball Prospectus' Jay Jaffe looks at the starting staffs for the contenders in the American League. Where do the Sox stack up? Well, uh, it could be worse, but that would involve several banana peels and a well waxed floor.
Have you ever thought the home plate umpire was missing pitches because he was sitting too far inside (or outside, or upside down)? Of course you have. Therefore Baseball Prospectus' Mike Fast has some research you should take a look at.
Since I touched on Jason Wojciechowski's work in yesterday's Daily Links, I think it's appropriate to follow up today. He's been asked and apparently obliged the request to write a piece at The Platoon Advantage. These, you understand, are guys who hang out with Cason Cistulli, so this here is some serious stuff. Jason takes, of all people, Joe Posnanski to task for arguing in favor of pitcher wins. The funny thing is, I'm not even sure Mr. Posnanski believes it, but he did write it and Jason lets him have it (in a really nice way, I should mention) for it. Yes, that last sentence contained the word "it" four times. You're welcome.
Jonah Keri at Grantland.com enjoys the obscure holiday of Strasmas, one traditionally celebrated in the Washington DC area, though if things continue as they are it's quite possible it could become more widespread. Like Festivus.
Finally, the whole thing surrounding this article and the accompanying criticism was maybe a bit overblown, but when smart people start debating intelligent concepts, it behooves us all to pay some attention.