Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ladies and gentelemn, every so often an event so improbable unfolds in a baseball game and we realize that the whole enterprise is rigged to benefit the Evil Empire. How else can you explain a team coming off a stretch where they had lost 5 of their last 6 games (including the most recent by the emasculating, humiliating margin of sixteen runs) defeating the team with the most wins in their sport, coming off a four game stretch in which they scored 46 runs and were not defeated? That just shouldn't happen.

Of course, there might be people who could focus on trivial details that might make the Red Sox eight game lead look a little less impressive than it would on the surface. For instance, those four games in which the Red Sox scored those 46 runs (which, by the way, might not have been the 46 most impressive runs of all time but had to be in the top 136) were played against the Chicago White Sox. In case you haven't noticed, the White Sox are in the midst of an epic collapse which would be front page news if the Astros sinking ship weren't sinking in more spectaular fashion.

The Yankees, meanwhile, received their humiliation this weekend at the hands of the Detroit Tigers. Since news from the great American Midwest seldom seems to reach the elite in New England, I have the honor of revealing that the Tigers are fighting for their playoff lives. And the Tigers have had a nasty habit of beating the Red Sox this season. All that keeps the Tigers from taking the lead in the AL Central is the fact that Grady Sizemore and Travis Haffner haven't been told that they are in a penant race, so they don't know yet that they are due to choke any day now.

So perhaps it's not all that surprising that the Red Sox could lose a game to the Yankees. Believe it or not, even with the three game sweep in April, the Red Sox have managed to win only seven of the thirteen games they have played against the Yankees to this point. Granted 7 of 13 is more than half, but the way some Red Sox fans have yammered on about it, you'd think that the Red Sox had won 14 or 15 of the 13 games.

Even though the lead is still 7 games, there are some encouraging signs for people like me. For instance, JD Drew was fantastic tonight. I imagine there were many nervous citizens in Red Sox Nation when their $14 million right fielder took the plate as the go-ahead run against rookie Joba Chamberlain with two out and two on in the eighth. If Red Sox fans were given to (or perhaps capable of) introspection, this sitaution would trouble them much more than it does now. A ten year veteran paid an eight figure salary was at a distinct disadvantage against a kid who has to think twice about getting extra cheese on his Whopper and is barely old enough to drink the beer which was banished from the clubhouse this season.

It's been a while since I've had a good time at JD Drew's expense in this space. Part of it has been due to the team's overall success to this point. But part of it has been due to a state of catatonia induced by my old friend who brings me his Red Sox information. You might remember him as the man who claimed that JD Drew's numbers were comprable to A Rod's. Recently, he told me in confidence that next year, Red Sox fans will consider JD Drew to be a bargin at that price.

For several days, I was stunned into silence, but then I got to thinking. How could JD Drew be considered a bargin? I have a few alternatives to put before you. First, and probably least likely, JD Drew could stop sucking at his chosen profession. Second, the Red Sox could harvest his internal organs and sell them on the black market. He is, after all, a healthy donor specimen, but there are moral and legal qualms.

But, the most likely scenario I can envision to make JD Drew look like a good value is that the Sox are going to sign an even bigger fraud for even more money. I'm sure Red Sox fans will get their heads in a tizzy envisioning A Rod replacing Mike Lowell at third base. It all falls into place when you think that the same agent represents A Rod, Drew and Daisuke Matsuzaka. Then again, maybe Matsuzaka beaning A Rod once a game might not be the best sales pitch.

No comments: