Bouncing around the room for the day...
Just when you go and think it can’t possibly get any worse for the Yankees’ beleaguered rotation, they go and desperately sign Sidney Ponson in the hope he can solidify the back end of the starting five. Actually, scratch that. After all, how could Ponson be any worse for the Yankees than Jason Johnson was for the Red Sox? Ponson was released by the Cardinals yesterday, and the Yankees will pay him just $160,000, the kind of low risk move Theo Epstein was hoping to work out with Johnson. You’d have to assume, minus the legal baggage, he’d like to have bid on Ponson, too.
Johnson, by the way, gave up 10 hits over seven innings for single-A Wilmington Wednesday. In the immortal words of manager Terry Francona though, “He’s a guy we can throw out there.” True. And not much more. But let it be known, if you can throw ground balls, you too are a candidate to be Boston's No. 5 starter.
Drove home during the latter stages of last night’s game and heard that annoying Taylor Hicks Ford ad not once, not twice, but three times within the span of the same number of commercial breaks, followed by Coco and his dad each time pushing the idiotic $10 opportunity to purchase tickets. Hicks is the rare ad that you simply can’t escape whether you’re watching or listening it seems. (As I’m writing this, Hicks voice just came over the radio, forcing my fingers into a seizing rage of anger, so we’ll just refrain from comment for now…thank you.)
The whole Barbaro ordeal is pretty sad, but can someone please make Bill Plaschke get a grip on reality?
On NESN's pregame show last night, Jack Welch called the Red Sox infield defense "Sizzling Hot" and the fifth starter performances "Ice Cold." Top that, Bill James.
Why do I get the inevitable feeling someone over at Yawkey Way is reading this story today and is immediately getting on the phone with someone to discuss similar possibilities?
The Los Angeles Times’ Mike Penner sums up Fox’s new deal to carry Major League Baseball for the next seven seasons (seven?) perfectly:
Signing off from Pittsburgh after the American League's 3-2 victory in Tuesday's All-Star game, Fox's Joe Buck wrapped an arm around Tim McCarver and uttered the words that sent shudders throughout America.
"You're stuck!" a grinning Buck told millions of television viewers still reeling from the big-news signing of the day. "You're stuck with us for the next seven years!"
Ugh. But let’s look on the bright side and balance this out, shall we? Which would be worse: Seven years of McCarver, or seven years of Joe Morgan and Chris Berman? Endless ads for “House” or endless ads for “The Junction Boys: The Next Generation?” Scooter or his ESPN equivalent John Kruk?
Right, see. Sometimes in this unfair life there just are no answers.
Still don’t think the Tigers are for real? The Detroit Free Press’ Michael Rosenberg points out: “In the first half of the season, the Tigers outscored their opponents by 127 runs. That was easily the best margin in the major leagues. Only one other team, the rival White Sox, outscored its opponents by at least 100 runs. The White Sox are also the only team that was within four games of the Tigers' record in the first half.”
I must admit, the SportsCenter “My Wish” segments have been spectacular, none better than the Tedy Bruschi story that aired on Wednesday.
Highly touted Red Sox prospect Jacoby Ellsbury made his debut with the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs last night. Ellsbury batted leadoff and went 1 for 4 with a bases-loaded walk. I’m not sure quite why this is noteworthy other than it’s trading season and the Red Sox have a surplus of outfielders for the coming years.
Seriously? You voted for THIS guy?
Despite a vastly improved team, fans still aren’t showing up in the droves that they once did in Toronto. “Toronto drew 50,449 to an Opening Day game against Minnesota. The team's only other announced gate of more than 40,000 this season came on April 18 when 48,776 bought tickets to see the always popular Yankees,” reports the National Post’s Jeremy Sandler. “The next day, 16,000 fewer people attended the second game of that series with New York and three home matches with the division-rival Boston Red Sox produced only average crowds. On other nights, announced crowds of 17,000 to 21,000 appear to have been inflated by half.”
Yeah, but how many kids sneak in? Fenway's got that one in the bag.
Bay Area pal Tim Neagle, a die-hard Sox fan, is hiking the Grand Canyon later this summer to raise donations for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, an organization which is working to cure blood cancer. To learn more about his quest and to donate, log onto his website.
And finally, it's the hit that is bound to top the charts all summer long, as Sam Horn and his Kapow! jam out on the sure to be classic, "Come To Papi." I'm particularly enamored by the writing skills in Horn's mid-song rap when he really breaks it down:
This is no rap and I need no reason
to talk about Papi during baseball season
He’s the man when you hear the call
Made by a Nation let’s play ball
So if you have a ticket, don’t be late
You might miss a meeting at home plate
Wow. This is a talent to be cherished, folks. I think we all know who out next Idol is destined to be.