Last night's game gave off that stink of dread, that I've-seen-this-play-before-and-it-kinda-sucks-and-I-want-my-money-back feeling. Which made sense. The Red Sox arrived in Minnesota at some ungodly hour of the morning and likely hadn't seen their pillows before the sun was rising over another assuredly gorgeous Minnesota morning. That the team came back from down 5-1 to tie, let alone take the lead, blow it, then win is a testament to the team's fortitude and talent level. And likely lots of coffee and Red Bull.
A hullabaloo was created recently when David Ortiz barged into Terry Francona's post-game press conference to protest a decision by the official scorer taking an RBI away from him. Hardball Talk and The Boston Globe were among the media outlets to report the story which made Ortiz appear petty. It also fed into the notion that Ortiz was not happy either in Boston or with his contract situation or both, something which was reported specifically a few days after. Well, good news. It seems there was more to the story than previously reported. Allan at Joy of Sox has the scoop from CSNNE. In short, it was a prank pulled on Ortiz by Dustin Pedroia, who somehow convinced the slugger that Theo Epstein and John Henry had gone to the official scorer and coerced him into altering his original ruling to cost Ortiz the RBI. The talk about Ortiz's contract has also been essentially discredited. So we're back to Ortiz is just having a crazy good year. Which is nice.
SB Nation's own Grant Brisbee gives his take on the over-saturation of Red Sox/Yankees coverage. For the most part I agree, but what I don't get is why anyone cares so much as to waste breath on complaining? Did people complain when McEnroe and Conners played each other all the time? Or when the Lakers and Celtics matched up seemingly every season? Or when the 49ers and Cowboys were the only two teams that mattered in the NFL? The Red Sox and Yankees get coverage because people care, and people care because they're good teams. If you don't like watching good baseball played by two of the best teams in the game there are other outlets available (as Mr. Brisbee points out). Just last night in fact, the White Sox and Orioles hooked up. Certainly nothing to complain about there.
Jonah Keri advances Grantland's cause with this piece on the sort of history of Fielding-independent pitching stats, why they are important, and which General Managers might have saved millions upon millions of dollars had they known and understood the theory.
More sabermetric stat pushing, this time from SBN's own Rob Neyer in the pages of the New York Times. Mr. Neyer, who supposedly lives in Portland but whom I've never seen at the local Freddies, does an excellent job of encapsulating the sometimes random nature of baseball in a couple modern day players. In doing so he illustrates the capriciousness of more mainstream stats, like batting average.
WEEI.com's Alex Speier reminds us, with less than a week to go, the Red Sox have some work to do to sign most of their selections from the most recent draft. Mr. Speier goes through the Sox draft and provides updates on the status of the Sox draftees.
Finally, Carson Cistulli (my newest follower on Twitter! Aren't I the special one?) gifs it up over one of Daniel Bard's recent offerings to an invisible candle blowing Mark Teixeira. It's a brutal and thus wonderful pitch. I've been watching for about two minutes now and by my count Bard has struck Teixeria out eighty seven times.