With less than a quarter of the regular season remaining, all of us have our observations. Not all will be right, but we should remember Richard Pryor's best, "who are you going to believe, your beloved husband or your lying eyes?"
The Red Sox have survived a terrible start, a series of important injuries, and the dog days to remain in solid contention for either the AL East title or the wild card. But everything isn't great, especially with the injury front. We have to presume that Jacoby Ellsbury will return effective, while it's hardly as clear with Kevin Youkilis (back), and David Ortiz (foot).
I have no insight into their medical situations, but Ortiz struggled after inter-league play, and there's no reason to think he will return to effectiveness straightaway. As for back problems (Youkilis), you never can tell. Just ask Clay Buchholz.
You don't have to be Einstein to know that Carl Crawford has disappointed his employers and himself. Relax, CC. I'm more concerned by an Abreu-like tendency for Carl to lose concentration near walls. I'm not saying that I'd be running into walls, either, but for a "Gold Glove" leftfielder, he hasn't been great defensively.
The Sox no longer lead the AL in runs scored. That shouldn't be too surprising with a trio of all-stars on the bench.
As for the "playoff starting rotation", I'm inclined to a Belichickian, "we aren't in the playoffs," with the "win today" mentality. Eric Bedard had the reputation as being 'soft', but from all reports, he's been pleasant and enjoying the pennant race atmosphere.
Major League umpiring leaves a lot to be desired. I don't believe that tradition is immutable in the face of technological advances. Probably nothing will replace mediocrity at calling balls and strikes, but homers/fair and foul/catch and no catch? Should I be using leeches for my patients because of medical tradition?
Albert Pujols got off to a horrendous start in his contract year. Check lately?
Through April and May he had nine homers. Now he's at 31.
Is there an advantage to being a game behind the Yankees? Absolutely, regarding blocking and claiming players on the waiver wire. We can only guess who the Bombers might want (relievers?).
A Tweeter asked how many Sox players have college degrees. Last time I checked, I don't think that's holding them back too much concerning their earning power. By the way, the respondent said Jed Lowrie (Stanford) and Ryan Lavarnway (Yale). Well, if you have to graduate from somewhere, those would be good choices.