Last evening's exhibition showed the fickleness of the baseball gods, as they turned the proverbial 'laugher' into a white-knuckler by the names of Embree and Foulke. Embree appeared to be throwing the ball better (although arrow-straight) and Foulke, who had pitched far better recently, had nothing, no velocity, no location, and no duende. He did preserve the victory, however.
On the scale of good wins to bad losses, somehow this felt a lot closer to the bad loss spectrum. That makes no sense in any normal reality, because 'a win is a win'. There was no palpable injury or loss, but only unnerving psychic energy dispensed.
As we are almost at the halfway point in the season, perhaps we should call out the Professor, and ask him for a progress report if not a full report card. The stipulation about the grading is that it occurs on an absolute scale, not relative to the players' historical norm.
Varitek--- A the most important player on the team
Mirabelli--- B has a tough act to catch
Millar--- C+ the corner position should be a power spot
Olerud--- B- the professor considered incomplete
Bellhorn--- C+ swing batter, batter
Renteria--- B- remember it's relative, not absolute scale
Mueller--- B- definitely an uptrend
Youkilis--- I incomplete, through no fault of his own
Vasquez--- D+ not an asset
Ortiz--- A Senor Octubre has been Senor Season
Damon--- A Everything you want in a leadoff hitter
Ramirez--- B Stats suffer by comparison, but still productive
Nixon--- B You can't get an A as a platoon player
Payton--- B- Points off for whining, but productive nonetheless
Schilling I Incomplete
Clement A A is for All-Star berth deserved
Miller B- Not bad, not great
Arroyo B- Inconsistent as off late
Wells B- When he was good, he was very good
Wakefield C+ Trying to find his groove
Gonzalez C Limited action
Halama C- Not a factor
Myers B+ Getting the lefties out
Mantei C Waiting.......
Embree D Has he lost it?
Timlin A The Energizer Bunny
Foulke C+ Better than you think, mediocre but not average
Francona B+ You try winning with a 'C' bullpen.