Cora! Cora! Cora! Who doesn't love to watch David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez bat? But I enjoy following Alex Cora's total game, his constant contributions...the ability to do the small things with every appearance. Tonight he had a sacrifice and then a triple. Sometimes it's a perfectly executed hit and run or a deke before throwing to an unexpected base. "A baseball player."
Jacoby Ellsbury has already had a hit and scored two runs for the PawSox. Ellsbury's had two walks and a hit. I'm not saying he's going to Cooperstown or will ever play in a major league All-Star Game. But he is fun to watch and productive at the minor league level. Let's just hope that he comes with a better nickname than 'Chief' or some similar drivel.
Another Sox pitching farmhand off to a strong start is Michael Bowden of the Lancaster JetHawks. Aside from having a great name, the team is off to a 16-12 start.
Perusing Red Sox records reveals some unexpected facts. Roger Clemens and Cy Young tie for career wins, followed by Tim Wakefield. Wakefield also ranks third in innings pitched, strikeouts, and second in starts on the Sox All-Time list. On the downside, he ranks first in losses, home runs allowed, wild pitches, earned runs allowed, and third in hits allowed and second in walks allowed. Wakefield has won over 20 more games for the Sox than Pedro Martinez. Surprising.
Only the Mets have a better run differential than the Sox this season. Only the (gulp) Brewers have as many wins as the Sox, and the team with the second worst record in the NL is the World Champion Cardinals.
Speaking of the Cardinals, while we mourn the loss of former Sox hurler Josh Hancock, can we learn something from this? Hancock's toxicology report showed a robust alcohol level of .157 which surely contributed to his untimely death. Here are a few sobering statistics. After 10 P.M. one in thirteen drivers is impaired (intoxicated). After 1 A.M. the rate rises to one in seven. In other words, late night driving exposes many innocent drivers and their families to impaired drivers.