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Open Thread 07/08/05

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It almost seems as if the Red Sox went out of their way to lose yesterday. My only guess is that Francona assumed that the rain would roll in before the game started and they wouldn't play. So he told all the guys to take the night off. How else can you explain that kind of line up? Resting Renteria, Damon, Ramirez, and Varitek all in the same game? That's not the brightest decision in the world now, is it? I'm not sure what to worry about more. The fact that the Sox actually put out a line up line that or the fact that even when all the back ups were playing, Youkilis still couldn't find his way into the line up!

The Red Sox have made some moves in the last few days. We've all heard about Ramon Vazquez being designated for assignment and the fact that Alex Cora was the shortstop last night should've tipped off the fact that a trade has been made. The Sox sent Vazquez to the Indians for Cora. This isn't a huge upgrade, but it's still an upgrade. Cora is known more for his defense, but his bat should also be better than Vazquez's. The only drawback to the trade is that Cora makes a little bit more money, taking home about $3 mil between this year and next, but to the Sox that's chump change. It won't make a major impact on the standings, but that's a trade that should help out a little bit. The other move that the Sox made was designating Jay Payton for assignment. Payton was slated to start in center last night, but after a run in with Francona the Red Sox decided they were tired of him, and he was DFAed. The rumor out there is that a Jay Payton to Oakland for Chad Bradford deal is already done and will be announced over the All-Star break. If Bradford can come back healthy after spending the year on the DL this could be a great move. Bradford has been a pretty reliable set-up man for Oakland and hopefully he can do the same for the Red Sox. Adam Stern has been called up to take Payton's place and he made his first big league start last night going 0-2 with a HBP.

Tonight the two struggling teams will put Bronson Arroyo (6-5, 4.15) and Sidney Ponson (7-6, 5.80) up against eachother and battle it out to see which club sucks a little bit less. The top two teams in the AL East have been struggling pretty bad lately to the point where if it were possible for both teams to lose tonight, they probably would. The good news is that even though the Yankees have been playing decent lately, they're still stuck in third place, half a game behind the O's and 3.5 behind the Sox. According to weather.com the rain has already passed by Baltimore and we should expect a cloudy, but rain free night.