Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Five Swings: Drawing Board

It's still only into the third game of the season, and what's hot and what's not?

1. Run prevention. From the Red Sox perspective, the eighth inning collapse with a defensive lapse on both ends from short to first allowed the winning run to go to third base, ultimately scoring on a walk. Unless the Amica Pitch Zone has suddenly changed, it has morphed into the Amica "bitch zone" as home plate has become a pie plate, with no corners. The last thing the fans need is an ultra-tight strike zone with the Red Sox-Yankees staging their annual marathons. Last night's game went on forever about four hours.

Meanwhile Derek Jeter reinforced his reputation as great on popups and liners, and weak in other areas.

2. Expletives repeated. How much rope will the Sox give David Ortiz, he of the RBI single tonight? I'm not prepared to write off Big Papi based on two games...or two weeks. Maybe Papi had some bad words for the paparazzi media. Big @#$%ing deal.

3. Concerted effort. The Sox in conjunction with Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) and Peter Wolf (J. Geils Band) announced another Fenway concert extravaganza. The Sox have expanded and improved Fenwaysaurus, and you can have your preferred event at The Grand Old Ballpark. I still liked the idea of the Red Sox Commodity Trading Fund, with fans being allowed to invest with a portion of the (presumptive) profits going to fund free agents.

4. The Umpire strikes back. The home plate umpire shows an utter lack of sophistication, giving both benches a warning after John Lackey hits Jeter on a 2-2 pitch leading off in the sixth in a 1-0 game. The "run states" analysis goes from .51 runs expected with none out none on to 0.9 runs with a leadoff baserunner. Neither team wants to diminish their chance of winning by macho tradition. Maybe MLB ought to give the men in blue a ringy-dingy after the heat of battle.

5. Sign of the times. The Red Sox merchandising effort with signage isn't subtle, and it's not supposed to be. We haven't seen "Chico's Bail Bonds" on the back of the Red Sox jerseys, "Trojans" stamped on the pitching rubber, or UPS on the back of the Sox caps, but you have to wonder when it happens.

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