Friday, December 15, 2017

The Last Days of Jackie Bradley in Boston?

Has Jackie Bradley played his last game in a Red Sox uniform? I made this prediction a month ago on AVID Boston's podcast and now it looks even more likely.

I am a little biased when it comes to JBJ. I remember watching him as an 18 year old in college playing for my beloved alma mater. I don't want him to go but at this point it looks to be the the best move to make and the most likely move to make.

 Let's get one thing straight, Hanley Ramirez is not going to play first base on a regular basis in 2018. If that is the Red Sox plan then trouble awaits. I do think Hanley could have a big year as the everyday DH. The Sox will need him to have one if they have any plans to win the AL East. Counting on him to stay healthy and to be productive while playing first base is just not going to work.

Carlos Santana signed with the Phillies for 3 years and $60 million. The Sox were rumored to be in the mix but did not want to go that high. The Sox need a first baseman that can provide some power. Eric Hosmer is out there but is he really worth the money? He will get more than Santana and for more years and he really isn't that much of an upgrade over Mitch Moreland

 The Sox need to move fast and sign J.D. Martinez. They will have to overpay him and I am sure at the end of his contract he will be a shell of himself but at this point the Sox don't have a lot of options. Look for the Sox to make him the everyday left fielder and move Andrew Benintendi to CF. So where does JBJ go?

Look for the Sox to package him in a deal to the White Sox for Jose Abreu. The Yankees may have added Giancarlo Stanton but the Red Sox can still hold their own this offseason with these moves. I think this has to be the plan at this point. Here is what the lineup might look like on Opening Day:

 RF Mookie Betts
 CF Andrew Benintendi
 LF J.D Martinez
 1B Jose Abreu
 SS Xander Bogaerts
 3B Rafael Devers
 DH Hanley Ramirez
 2B Brock Holt
 C Christian Vazquez

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Love and the Hate for Eduardo Nunez

Eduardo Nunez played just 38 games for the Red Sox but he made a great impression. Nunez hit .321 with 8 homers 27 RBI and 6 stolen bases.

Many Red Sox fans want Nunez back to fill the void left by the Dustin Pedroia injury and to serve as the super utility guy once Pedroia comes back. This was a role held for the last few seasons by Brock Holt.

 At least one person thinks that Nunez is a bit overrated. Keith Law listed his Top 50 Free Agents and he had Nunez ranked at #34. If that wasn't bad enough here was Law's evaluation of Nunez:

Nunez hits like an infielder but can't play even average defense at second or third, and let's not even talk about his defense at short. He has one skill -- he puts the ball in play a lot -- and that has to carry him. So when he hits .300-plus, like he did in 2017, he's a useful player, a good bench guy who won't kill you if he ends up with 500 plate appearances filling in around the diamond. He walks once per solstice, he has no power, and his instincts are generally poor, so when he doesn't hit .300, you're not getting much value. The fact that he has been traded to contenders twice at the July deadline befuddles me.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

David Ortiz in a Yankee Jacket?

If you haven't been watching FS1's postseason baseball coverage you have been missing out. Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz have highlighted their pregame and post-game coverage and it has been great to watch. AROD has been displaying his ring from 2009 while Big Papi has grinned when talking about his THREE rings. Last night though AROD played a prank on his former nemesis by slipping a Yankee jacket on Ortiz without him knowing. Have a look:

This makes me think of my all time favorite ESPN commercial when Wally catches Ortiz in a Yankee hat:

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Did the Red Sox Unofficially Hire Alex Cora Last Night?

Not long after the Astros imploded to the Yankees in Yankee Stadum in Game 4 of the ALCS, Alex Cora tweeted this out:
The Red Sox interviewed Cora for their open managerial job on Monday and has been rumored to be the Red Sox #1 target. Did Dave Dombrowski offer him the job last night? Obviously there are many things that could make Alex Cora feel blessed but getting the opportunity to be the next Red Sox manager has to be right up there.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Does Chris Sale Deserve The Cy Young Award?

While Red Sox fans would much rather have Chris Sale lead the Sox to a World Series title, Cy Young Award ballots will be due soon and it appears to be a two man race between Sale and Indians' ace Corey Kluber.

Sale has looked human lately as critics have pointed out he has a history of fading a bit down the stretch. What this says about how he will react in the postseason is still unknown and that unknown has Red Sox fans nervous.

Red Sox pitchers have won the Cy Young Award seven times. The last one coming last year thanks to Rick Porcello. If Sale were to win it this year he will be just the fifth Red Sox pitcher to do it joining Porcello, Martinez, Roger Clemens and Jim Lonborg, who won the first ever Cy Young Award 50 years ago.

Will Sale take home the award? Keith Law thinks so. Here is what Keith Law wrote about the American League Cy Young race:

Sale has the better FIP because of his higher strikeout rate and very, very slightly lower home run rate, while Kluber has the lower ERA, so Sale leads in Fangraphs' WAR by 0.6 and Kluber leads in Baseball-Reference's WAR by over a win and a half.
Baseball Prospectus, which tracks the quality of batters a pitcher faces, has the two in a near dead-heat by any measure of strength of competition. As with the MVP races, there are multiple good answers here, but I'd choose Sale for the higher K% and for making four extra starts. Either is a worthy choice, however.
It's immaterial to the race, but I was amused to see that Sale has had just four outings all year where he allowed more than four runs and two came against Cleveland.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Bidding The Kid Adieu 57 Years Later

57 years ago today Ted Williams took his last at bat and homered off of Jack Fisher of the Baltimore Orioles in Fenway Park. Here is great clip from the Smithsonian Channel that details that final game of the career of a legend.

Author John Updike wrote a famous essay in the New Yorker titled Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu that chronicled that day in incredible detail. It was published on October 22, 1960. Here it is in its entirety. Enjoy!

Fenway Park, in Boston, is a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark. Everything is painted green and seems in curiously sharp focus, like the inside of an old-fashioned peeping-type Easter egg. It was built in 1912 and rebuilt in 1934, and offers, as do most Boston artifacts, a compromise between Man's Euclidean determinations and Nature's beguiling irregularities. Its right field is one of the deepest in the American League, while its left field is the shortest; the high left-field wall, three hundred and fifteen feet from home plate along the foul line, virtually thrusts its surface at right-handed hitters. On the afternoon of Wednesday, September 28th, as I took a seat behind third base, a uniformed groundkeeper was treading the top of this wall, picking batting-practice home runs out of the screen, like a mushroom gatherer seen in Wordsworthian perspective on the verge of a cliff. The day was overcast, chill, and uninspirational. The Boston team was the worst in twenty-seven seasons. A jangling medley of incompetent youth and aging competence, the Red Sox were finishing in seventh place only because the Kansas City Athletics had locked them out of the cellar. They were scheduled to play the Baltimore Orioles, a much nimbler blend of May and December, who had been dumped from pennant contention a week before by the insatiable Yankees. I, and 10,453 others, had shown up primarily because this was the Red Sox's last home game of the season, and therefore the last time in all eternity that their regular left fielder, known to the headlines as TED, KID, SPLINTER, THUMPER, TW, and, most cloyingly, MISTER WONDERFUL, would play in Boston. "WHAT WILL WE DO WITHOUT TED? HUB FANS ASK" ran the headline on a newspaper being read by a bulb-nosed cigar smoker a few rows away. Williams' retirement had been announced, doubted (he had been threatening retirement for years), confirmed by Tom Yawkey, the Red Sox owner, and at last widely accepted as the sad but probable truth. He was forty-two and had redeemed his abysmal season of 1959 with a—considering his advanced age—fine one. He had been giving away his gloves and bats and had grudgingly consented to a sentimental ceremony today. This was not necessarily his last game; the Red Sox were scheduled to travel to New York and wind up the season with three games there.

I arrived early. The Orioles were hitting fungos on the field. The day before, they had spitefully smothered the Red Sox, 17-4, and neither their faces nor their drab gray visiting-team uniforms seemed very gracious. I wondered who had invited them to the party. Between our heads and the lowering clouds a frenzied organ was thundering through, with an appositeness perhaps accidental, "You maaaade me love you, I didn't wanna do it, I didn't wanna do it . . ."

The affair between Boston and Ted Williams has been no mere summer romance; it has been a marriage, composed of spats, mutual disappointments, and, toward the end, a mellowing hoard of shared memories. It falls into three stages, which may be termed Youth, Maturity, and Age; or Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis; or Jason, Achilles, and Nestor.

First, there was the by now legendary epoch when the young bridegroom came out of the West, announced "All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street folks will say 'There goes the greatest hitter who ever lived.' " The dowagers of local journalism attempted to give elementary deportment lessons to this child who spake as a god, and to their horror were themselves rebuked. Thus began the long exchange of backbiting, bat-flipping, booing, and spitting that has distinguished Williams' public relations. The spitting incidents of 1957 and 1958 and the similar dockside courtesies that Williams has now and then extended to the grandstand should be judged against this background: the left-field stands at Fenway for twenty years have held a large number of customers who have bought their way in primarily for the privilege of showering abuse on Williams. Greatness necessarily attracts debunkers, but in Williams' case the hostility has been systematic and unappeasable. His basic offense against the fans has been to wish that they weren't there. Seeking a perfectionist's vacuum, he has quixotically desired to sever the game from the ground of paid spectatorship and publicity that supports it. Hence his refusal to tip his cap to the crowd or turn the other cheek to newsmen. It has been a costly theory—it has probably cost him, among other evidences of good will, two Most Valuable Player awards, which are voted by reporters—but he has held to it from his rookie year on. While his critics, oral and literary, remained beyond the reach of his discipline, the opposing pitchers were accessible, and he spanked them to the tune of .406 in 1941. He slumped to .356 in 1942 and went off to war.

In 1946, Williams returned from three years as a Marine pilot to the second of his baseball avatars, that of Achilles, the hero of incomparable prowess and beauty who nevertheless was to be found sulking in his tent while the Trojans (mostly Yankees) fought through to the ships. Yawkey, a timber and mining maharajah, had surrounded his central jewel with many gems of slightly lesser water, such as Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, Rudy York, Birdie Tebbetts, and Johnny Pesky. Throughout the late forties, the Red Sox were the best paper team in baseball, yet they had little three-dimensional to show for it, and if this was a tragedy, Williams was Hamlet. A succinct review of the indictment—and a fair sample of appreciative sports-page prose—appeared the very day of Williams' valedictory, in a column by Huck Finnegan in the Boston American (no sentimentalist, Huck):

Williams' career, in contrast [to Babe Ruth's], has been a series of failures except for his averages. He flopped in the only World Series he ever played in (1946) when he batted only .200. He flopped in the playoff game with Cleveland in 1948. He flopped in the final game of the 1949 season with the pennant hinging on the outcome (Yanks 5, Sox 3). He flopped in 1950 when he returned to the lineup after a two-month absence and ruined the morale of a club that seemed pennant-bound under Steve O'Neill. It has always been Williams' records first, the team second, and the Sox non-winning record is proof enough of that.

There are answers to all this, of course. The fatal weakness of the great Sox slugging teams was not-quite-good-enough pitching rather than Williams' failure to hit a home run every time he came to bat. Again, Williams' depressing effect on his teammates has never been proved. Despite ample coaching to the contrary, most insisted that they liked him. He has been generous with advice to any player who asked for it. In an increasingly combative baseball atmosphere, he continued to duck beanballs docilely. With umpires he was gracious to a fault. This courtesy itself annoyed his critics, whom there was no pleasing. And against the ten crucial games (the seven World Series games with the St. Louis Cardinals, the 1948 playoff with the Cleveland Indians, and the two-game series with the Yankees at the end of the 1949 season, winning either one of which would have given the Red Sox the pennant) that make up the Achilles' heel of Williams' record, a mass of statistics can be set showing that day in and day out he was no slouch in the clutch. The correspondence columns of the Boston papers now and then suffer a sharp flurry of arithmetic on this score; indeed, for Williams to have distributed all his hits so they did nobody else any good would constitute a feat of placement unparalleled in the annals of selfishness.

Whatever residue of truth remains of the Finnegan charge those of us who love Williams must transmute as best we can, in our own personal crucibles. My personal memories of Williams begin when I was a boy in Pennsylvania, with two last-place teams in Philadelphia to keep me company. For me, "W'ms, lf" was a figment of the box scores who always seemed to be going 3-for-5. He radiated, from afar, the hard blue glow of high purpose. I remember listening over the radio to the All-Star Game of 1946, in which Williams hit two singles and two home runs, the second one off a Rip Sewell "blooper" pitch; it was like hitting a balloon out of the park. I remember watching one of his home runs from the bleachers of Shibe Park; it went over the first baseman's head and rose meticulously along a straight line and was still rising when it cleared the fence. The trajectory seemed qualitatively different from anything anyone else might hit. For me, Williams is the classic ballplayer of the game on a hot August weekday, before a small crowd, when the only thing at stake is the tissue-thin difference between a thing done well and a thing done ill. Baseball is a game of the long season, of relentless and gradual averaging-out. Irrelevance—since the reference point of most individual games is remote and statistical—always threatens its interest, which can be maintained not by the occasional heroics that sportswriters feed upon but by players who always care; who care, that is to say, about themselves and their art. Insofar as the clutch hitter is not a sportswriter's myth, he is a vulgarity, like a writer who writes only for money. It may be that, compared to managers' dreams such as Joe DiMaggio and the always helpful Stan Musial, Williams is an icy star. But of all team sports, baseball, with its graceful intermittences of action, its immense and tranquil field sparsely settled with poised men in white, its dispassionate mathematics, seems to me best suited to accommodate, and be ornamented by, a loner. It is an essentially lonely game. No other player visible to my generation has concentrated within himself so much of the sport's poignance, has so assiduously refined his natural skills, has so constantly brought to the plate that intensity of competence that crowds the throat with joy.

By the time I went to college, near Boston, the lesser stars Yawkey had assembled around Williams had faded, and his craftsmanship, his rigorous pride, had become itself a kind of heroism. This brittle and temperamental player developed an unexpected quality of persistence. He was always coming back—back from Korea, back from a broken collarbone, a shattered elbow, a bruised heel, back from drastic bouts of flu and ptomaine poisoning. Hardly a season went by without some enfeebling mishap, yet he always came back, and always looked like himself. The delicate mechanism of timing and power seemed locked, shockproof, in some case outside his body. In addition to injuries, there were a heavily publicized divorce, and the usual storms with the press, and the Williams Shift—the maneuver, custom-built by Lou Boudreau, of the Cleveland Indians, whereby three infielders were concentrated on the right side of the infield, where a left-handed pull hitter like Williams generally hits the ball. Williams could easily have learned to punch singles through the vacancy on his left and fattened his average hugely. This was what Ty Cobb, the Einstein of average, told him to do. But the game had changed since Cobb; Williams believed that his value to the club and to the game was as a slugger, so he went on pulling the ball, trying to blast it through three men, and paid the price of perhaps fifteen points of lifetime average. Like Ruth before him, he bought the occasional home run at the cost of many directed singles—a calculated sacrifice certainly not, in the case of a hitter as average-minded as Williams, entirely selfish.

After a prime so harassed and hobbled, Williams was granted by the relenting fates a golden twilight. He became at the end of his career perhaps the best old hitter of the century. The dividing line came between the 1956 and the 1957 seasons. In September of the first year, he and Mickey Mantle were contending for the batting championship. Both were hitting around .350, and there was no one else near them. The season ended with a three-game series between the Yankees and the Sox, and, living in New York then, I went up to the Stadium. Williams was slightly shy of the four hundred at-bats needed to qualify; the fear was expressed that the Yankee pitchers would walk him to protect Mantle. Instead, they pitched to him—a wise decision. He looked terrible at the plate, tired and discouraged and unconvincing. He never looked very good to me in the Stadium. (Last week, in Life, Williams, a sportswriter himself now, wrote gloomily of the Stadium, "There's the bigness of it. There are those high stands and all those people smoking—and, of course, the shadows. . . . It takes at least one series to get accustomed to the Stadium and even then you're not sure.") The final outcome in 1956 was Mantle .353, Williams .345.

The next year, I moved from New York to New England, and it made all the difference. For in September of 1957, in the same situation, the story was reversed. Mantle finally hit .365; it was the best season of his career. But Williams, though sick and old, had run away from him. A bout of flu had laid him low in September. He emerged from his cave in the Hotel Somerset haggard but irresistible; he hit four successive pinch-hit home runs. "I feel terrible," he confessed, "but every time I take a swing at the ball it goes out of the park." He ended the season with thirty-eight home runs and an average of .388, the highest in either league since his own .406, and, coming from a decrepit man of thirty-nine, an even more supernal figure. With eight or so of the "leg hits" that a younger man would have beaten out, it would have been .400. And the next year, Williams, who in 1949 and 1953 had lost batting championships by decimal whiskers to George Kell and Mickey Vernon, sneaked in behind his teammate Pete Runnels and filched his sixth title, a bargain at .328.

In 1959, it seemed all over. The dinosaur thrashed around in the .200 swamp for the first half of the season, and was even benched ("rested," Manager Mike Higgins tactfully said.) Old foes like the late Bill Cunningham began to offer batting tips. Cunningham thought Williams was jiggling his elbows; in truth, Williams' neck was so stiff he could hardly turn his head to look at the pitcher. When he swung, it looked like a Calder mobile with one thread cut; it reminded you that since 1953 Williams' shoulders had been wired together. A solicitous pall settled over the sports pages. In the two decades since Williams had come to Boston, his status had imperceptibly shifted from that of a naughty prodigy to that of a municipal monument. As his shadow in the record books lengthened, the Red Sox teams around him declined, and the entire American League seemed to be losing life and color to the National. The inconsistency of the new superstars—Mantle, Colavito, and Kaline—served to make Williams appear all the more singular. And off the field, his private philanthropy—in particular, his zealous chairmanship of the Jimmy Fund, a charity for children with cancer—gave him a civic presence somewhat like that of Richard Cardinal Cushing. In religion, Williams appears to be a humanist, and a selective one at that, but he and the Cardinal, when their good works intersect and they appear in the public eye together, make a handsome and heartening pair.

Humiliated by his '59 season, Williams determined, once more, to come back. I, as a specimen Williams partisan, was both glad and fearful. All baseball fans believe in miracles; the question is, how many do you believe in? He looked like a ghost in spring training. Manager Jurges warned us ahead of time that if Williams didn't come through he would be benched, just like anybody else. As it turned out, it was Jurges who was benched. Williams entered the 1960 season needing eight home runs to have a lifetime total of 500; after one time at bat in Washington, he needed seven. For a stretch, he was hitting a home run every second game that he played. He passed Lou Gehrig's lifetime total, then the number 500, then Mel Ott's total, and finished with 521, thirteen behind Jimmy Foxx, who alone stands between Williams and Babe Ruth's unapproachable 714. The summer was a statistician's picnic. His two-thousandth walk came and went, his eighteen-hundredth run batted in, his sixteenth All-Star Game. At one point, he hit a home run off a pitcher, Don Lee, off whose father, Thornton Lee, he had hit a home run a generation before. The only comparable season for a forty-two-year-old man was Ty Cobb's in 1928. Cobb batted .323 and hit one homer. Williams batted .316 but hit twenty-nine homers.

In sum, though generally conceded to be the greatest hitter of his era, he did not establish himself as "the greatest hitter who ever lived." Cobb, for average, and Ruth, for power, remain supreme. Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Joe Jackson, and Lefty O'Doul, among players since 1900, have higher lifetime averages than Williams' .344. Unlike Foxx, Gehrig, Hack Wilson, Hank Greenberg, and Ralph Kiner, Williams never came close to matching Babe Ruth's season home-run total of sixty. In the list of major-league batting records, not one is held by Williams. He is second in walks drawn, third in home runs, fifth in lifetime averages, sixth in runs batted in, eighth in runs scored and in total bases, fourteenth in doubles, and thirtieth in hits. But if we allow him merely average seasons for the four-plus seasons he lost to two wars, and add another season for the months he lost to injuries, we get a man who in all the power totals would be second, and not a very distant second, to Ruth. And if we further allow that these years would have been not merely average but prime years, if we allow for all the months when Williams was playing in sub-par condition, if we permit his early and later years in baseball to be some sort of index of what the middle years could have been, if we give him a right-field fence that is not, like Fenway's, one of the most distant in the league, and if—the least excusable "if"—we imagine him condescending to outsmart the Williams Shift, we can defensibly assemble, like a colossus induced from the sizable fragments that do remain, a statistical figure not incommensurate with his grandiose ambition. From the statistics that are on the books, a good case can be made that in the combination of power and average Williams is first; nobody else ranks so high in both categories. Finally, there is the witness of the eyes; men whose memories go back to Shoeless Joe Jackson—another unlucky natural—rank him and Williams together as the best-looking hitters they have seen. It was for our last look that ten thousand of us had come.

Two girls, one of them with pert buckteeth and eyes as black as vest buttons, the other with white skin and flesh-colored hair, like an underdeveloped photograph of a redhead, came and sat on my right. On my other side was one of those frowning, chestless young-old men who can frequently be seen, often wearing sailor hats, attending ball games alone. He did not once open his program but instead tapped it, rolled up, on his knee as he gave the game his disconsolate attention. A young lady, with freckles and a depressed, dainty nose that by an optical illusion seemed to thrust her lips forward for a kiss, sauntered down into the box seats and with striking aplomb took a seat right behind the roof of the Oriole dugout. She wore a blue coat with a Northeastern University emblem sewed to it. The girls beside me took it into their heads that this was Williams' daughter. She looked too old to me, and why would she be sitting behind the visitors' dugout? On the other hand, from the way she sat there, staring at the sky and French-inhaling, she clearly was somebody. Other fans came and eclipsed her from view. The crowd looked less like a weekday ballpark crowd than like the folks you might find in Yellowstone National Park, or emerging from automobiles at the top of scenic Mount Mansfield. There were a lot of competitively well-dressed couples of tourist age, and not a few babes in arms. A row of five seats in front of me was abruptly filled with a woman and four children, the youngest of them two years old, if that. Some day, presumably, he could tell his grandchildren that he saw Williams play. Along with these tots and second-honeymooners, there were Harvard freshmen, giving off that peculiar nervous glow created when a quantity of insouciance is saturated with insecurity; thick-necked Army officers with brass on their shoulders and lead in their voices; pepperings of priests; perfumed bouquets of Roxbury Fabian fans; shiny salesmen from Albany and Fall River; and those gray, hoarse men—taxidrivers, slaughterers, and bartenders—who will continue to click through the turnstiles long after everyone else has deserted to television and tramporamas. Behind me, two young male voices blossomed, cracking a joke about God's five proofs that Thomas Aquinas exists—typical Boston College levity.

The batting cage was trundled away. The Orioles fluttered to the sidelines. Diagonally across the field, by the Red Sox dugout, a cluster of men in overcoats were festering like maggots. I could see a splinter of white uniform, and Williams' head, held at a self-deprecating and evasive tilt. Williams' conversational stance is that of a six-foot-three-inch man under a six-foot ceiling. He moved away to the patter of flash bulbs, and began playing catch with a young Negro outfielder named Willie Tasby. His arm, never very powerful, had grown lax with the years, and his throwing motion was a kind of muscular drawl. To catch the ball, he flicked his glove hand onto his left shoulder (he batted left but threw right, as every schoolboy ought to know) and let the ball plop into it comically. This catch session with Tasby was the only time all afternoon I saw him grin.

A tight little flock of human sparrows who, from the lambent and pampered pink of their faces, could only have been Boston politicians moved toward the plate. The loudspeakers mammothly coughed as someone huffed on the microphone. The ceremonies began. Curt Gowdy, the Red Sox radio and television announcer, who sounds like everybody's brother-in-law, delivered a brief sermon, taking the two words "pride" and "champion" as his text. It began, "Twenty-one years ago, a skinny kid from San Diego, California . . ." and ended, "I don't think we'll ever see another like him." Robert Tibolt, chairman of the board of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, presented Williams with a big Paul Revere silver bowl. Harry Carlson, a member of the sports committee of the Boston Chamber, gave him a plaque, whose inscription he did not read in its entirety, out of deference to Williams' distaste for this sort of fuss. Mayor Collins presented the Jimmy Fund with a thousand-dollar check.

Then the occasion himself stooped to the microphone, and his voice sounded, after the others, very Californian; it seemed to be coming, excellently amplified, from a great distance, adolescently young and as smooth as a butternut. His thanks for the gifts had not died from our ears before he glided, as if helplessly, into "In spite of all the terrible things that have been said about me by the maestros of the keyboard up there . . ." He glanced up at the press rows suspended above home plate. (All the Boston reporters, incidentally, reported the phrase as "knights of the keyboard," but I heard it as "maestros" and prefer it that way.) The crowd tittered, appalled. A frightful vision flashed upon me, of the press gallery pelting Williams with erasers, of Williams clambering up the foul screen to slug journalists, of a riot, of Mayor Collins being crushed. ". . . And they were terrible things," Williams insisted, with level melancholy, into the mike. "I'd like to forget them, but I can't." He paused, swallowed his memories, and went on, "I want to say that my years in Boston have been the greatest thing in my life." The crowd, like an immense sail going limp in a change of wind, sighed with relief. Taking all the parts himself, Williams then acted out a vivacious little morality drama in which an imaginary tempter came to him at the beginning of his career and said, "Ted, you can play anywhere you like." Leaping nimbly into the role of his younger self (who in biographical actuality had yearned to be a Yankee), Williams gallantly chose Boston over all the other cities, and told us that Tom Yawkey was the greatest owner in baseball and we were the greatest fans. We applauded ourselves heartily. The umpire came out and dusted the plate. The voice of doom announced over the loudspeakers that after Williams' retirement his uniform number, 9, would be permanently retired—the first time the Red Sox had so honored a player. We cheered. The national anthem was played. We cheered. The game began.

Williams was third in the batting order, so he came up in the bottom of the first inning, and Steve Barber, a young pitcher who was not yet born when Williams began playing for the Red Sox, offered him four pitches, at all of which he disdained to swing, since none of them were within the strike zone. This demonstrated simultaneously that Williams' eyes were razor-sharp and that Barber's control wasn't. Shortly, the bases were full, with Williams on second. "Oh, I hope he gets held up at third! That would be wonderful,'' the girl beside me moaned, and, sure enough, the man at bat walked and Williams was delivered into our foreground. He struck the pose of Donatello's David, the third-base bag being Goliath's head. Fiddling with his cap, swapping small talk with the Oriole third baseman (who seemed delighted to have him drop in), swinging his arms with a sort of prancing nervousness, he looked fine—flexible, hard, and not unbecomingly substantial through the middle. The long neck, the small head, the knickers whose cuffs were worn down near his ankles—all these points, often observed by caricaturists, were visible in the flesh.

One of the collegiate voices behind me said, "He looks old, doesn't he, old; big deep wrinkles in his face . . ."

"Yeah," the other voice said, "but he looks like an old hawk, doesn't he?"

With each pitch, Williams danced down the baseline, waving his arms and stirring dust, ponderous but menacing, like an attacking goose. It occurred to about a dozen humorists at once to shout "Steal home! Go, go!" Williams' speed afoot was never legendary. Lou Clinton, a young Sox outfielder, hit a fairly deep fly to center field. Williams tagged up and ran home. As he slid across the plate, the ball, thrown with unusual heft by Jackie Brandt, the Oriole center fielder, hit him on the back.

"Boy, he was really loafing, wasn't he?" one of the boys behind me said.

"It's cold," the other explained. "He doesn't play well when it's cold. He likes heat. He's a hedonist."

The run that Williams scored was the second and last of the inning. Gus Triandos, of the Orioles, quickly evened the score by plunking a home run over the handy left-field wall. Williams, who had had this wall at his back for twenty years, played the ball flawlessly. He didn't budge. He just stood there, in the center of the little patch of grass that his patient footsteps had worn brown, and, limp with lack of interest, watched the ball pass overhead. It was not a very interesting game. Mike Higgins, the Red Sox manager, with nothing to lose, had restricted his major-league players to the left-field line—along with Williams, Frank Malzone, a first-rate third baseman, played the game—and had peopled the rest of the terrain with unpredictable youngsters fresh, or not so fresh, off the farms. Other than Williams' recurrent appearances at the plate, the maladresse of the Sox infield was the sole focus of suspense; the second baseman turned every grounder into a juggling act, while the shortstop did a breathtaking impersonation of an open window. With this sort of assistance, the Orioles wheedled their way into a 4-2 lead. They had early replaced Barber with another young pitcher, Jack Fisher. Fortunately (as it turned out), Fisher is no cutie; he is willing to burn the ball through the strike zone, and inning after inning this tactic punctured Higgins' string of test balloons.

Whenever Williams appeared at the plate—pounding the dirt from his cleats, gouging a pit in the batter's box with his left foot, wringing resin out of the bat handle with his vehement grip, switching the stick at the pitcher with an electric ferocity—it was like having a familiar Leonardo appear in a shuffle of Saturday Evening Post covers. This man, you realized—and here, perhaps, was the difference, greater than the difference in gifts—really intended to hit the ball. In the third inning, he hoisted a high fly to deep center. In the fifth, we thought he had it; he smacked the ball hard and high into the heart of his power zone, but the deep right field in Fenway and the heavy air and a casual east wind defeated him. The ball died. Al Pilarcik leaned his back against the big "380" painted on the right-field wall and caught it. On another day, in another park, it would have been gone. (After the game, Williams said, "I didn't think I could hit one any harder than that. The conditions weren't good.")

The afternoon grew so glowering that in the sixth inning the arc lights were turned on—always a wan sight in the daytime, like the burning headlights of a funeral procession. Aided by the gloom, Fisher was slicing through the Sox rookies, and Williams did not come to bat in the seventh. He was second up in the eighth. This was almost certainly his last time to come to the plate in Fenway Park, and instead of merely cheering, as we had at his three previous appearances, we stood, all of us—stood and applauded. Have you ever heard applause in a ballpark? Just applause—no calling, no whistling, just an ocean of handclaps, minute after minute, burst after burst, crowding and running together in continuous succession like the pushes of surf at the edge of the sand. It was a sombre and considered tumult. There was not a boo in it. It seemed to renew itself out of a shifting set of memories as the kid, the Marine, the veteran of feuds and failures and injuries, the friend of children, and the enduring old pro evolved down the bright tunnel of twenty-one summers toward this moment. At last, the umpire signalled for Fisher to pitch; with the other players, he had been frozen in position. Only Williams had moved during the ovation, switching his bat impatiently, ignoring everything except his cherished task. Fisher wound up, and the applause sank into a hush.

Understand that we were a crowd of rational people. We knew that a home run cannot be produced at will; the right pitch must be perfectly met and luck must ride with the ball. Three innings before, we had seen a brave effort fail. The air was soggy; the season was exhausted. Nevertheless, there will always lurk, around a corner in a pocket of our knowledge of the odds, an indefensible hope, and this was one of the times, which you now and then find in sports, when a density of expectation hangs in the air and plucks an event out of the future.

Fisher, after his unsettling wait, was wide with the first pitch. He put the second one over, and Williams swung mightily and missed. The crowd grunted, seeing that classic swing, so long and smooth and quick, exposed, naked in its failure. Fisher threw the third time, Williams swung again, and there it was. The ball climbed on a diagonal line into the vast volume of air over center field. From my angle, behind third base, the ball seemed less an object in flight than the tip of a towering, motionless construct, like the Eiffel Tower or the Tappan Zee Bridge. It was in the books while it was still in the sky. Brandt ran back to the deepest corner of the outfield grass; the ball descended beyond his reach and struck in the crotch where the bullpen met the wall, bounced chunkily, and, as far as I could see, vanished.

Like a feather caught in a vortex, Williams ran around the square of bases at the center of our beseeching screaming. He ran as he always ran out home runs—hurriedly, unsmiling, head down, as if our praise were a storm of rain to get out of. He didn't tip his cap. Though we thumped, wept, and chanted "We want Ted" for minutes after he hid in the dugout, he did not come back. Our noise for some seconds passed beyond excitement into a kind of immense open anguish, a wailing, a cry to be saved. But immortality is nontransferable. The papers said that the other players, and even the umpires on the field, begged him to come out and acknowledge us in some way, but he never had and did not now. Gods do not answer letters.

Every true story has an anticlimax. The men on the field refused to disappear, as would have seemed decent, in the smoke of Williams' miracle. Fisher continued to pitch, and escaped further harm. At the end of the inning, Higgins sent Williams out to his left-field position, then instantly replaced him with Carrol Hardy, so we had a long last look at Williams as he ran out there and then back, his uniform jogging, his eyes steadfast on the ground. It was nice, and we were grateful, but it left a funny taste.

One of the scholasticists behind me said, "Let's go. We've seen everything. I don't want to spoil it." This seemed a sound aesthetic decision. Williams' last word had been so exquisitely chosen, such a perfect fusion of expectation, intention, and execution, that already it felt a little unreal in my head, and I wanted to get out before the castle collapsed. But the game, though played by clumsy midgets under the feeble glow of the arc lights, began to tug at my attention, and I loitered in the runway until it was over. Williams' homer had, quite incidentally, made the score 4-3. In the bottom of the ninth inning, with one out, Marlin Coughtry, the second-base juggler, singled. Vic Wertz, pinch-hitting, doubled off the left-field wall, Coughtry advancing to third. Pumpsie Green walked, to load the bases. Willie Tasby hit a double-play ball to the third baseman, but in making the pivot throw Billy Klaus, an ex-Red Sox infielder, reverted to form and threw the ball past the first baseman and into the Red Sox dugout. The Sox won, 5-4. On the car radio as I drove home I heard that Williams had decided not to accompany the team to New York. So he knew how to do even that, the hardest thing. Quit.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Baseball is Life for Terry Francona

I miss Terry Francona and this isn't me trying to take a shot at John Farrell. He is just one of those great baseball guys and he just so happened to lead the Red Sox to two World Series titles. The book he wrote with Dan Shaughnessy is one of the most underrated baseball books ever written. The book's release was overshadowed by the chicken and beer season and Francona's departure from the Red Sox. The book addressed those issues but the greatness of the book is about Francona's life. It is a must read for every baseball fan.

Wright Thompson, one of my favorite writers, just wrote a great piece on the Indians and their remarkable winning streak. The best part of his piece was about Francona. Francona talks about meeting Ted Williams as a kid, how baseball dominates his life and addresses a quote about his life from Theo Epstein. It is incredible. Below is that excerpt. You can find the full article here.

DOWN THE HALL, Francona sits in his office behind a huge framed picture of himself as a child, in the Indians dugout with his dad. He is, perhaps more than anyone else in the game, a creation of this weird, subterranean clubhouse world. "I'm probably more comfortable here than I am anywhere," he says, gesturing around at the concrete walls. "I think I have an advantage because I grew up here."

Some of his earliest memories are from clubhouses.

His father, the original Tito Francona, played for nine teams, including six seasons with Cleveland. Young Terry once walked across a field before a game to shake Ted Williams' hand. "Mr. Williams," he said, "I'm Mr. Francona's son, and he wanted me to come over and say hello."

Williams grinned at the boy.

"Well, you are a great-looking kid!" he replied. "Now I want to know one thing, young man. Can you hit?"

Francona saw how his father's friends treated each other and the game, and every lesson he got about how a man behaved was taught by ballplayers. His humor, his ethics, his personal code -- all shaped inside a stadium. As an 11-year-old, Francona got to go with his dad on a three-city road trip, through Minnesota, Chicago and Kansas City, riding the planes and buses, hearing the dirty jokes and lining his pockets with free clubhouse candy. His mom sent him off with combed hair and a sport coat and got back a road-busted mess of a kid, who loved every minute.

"It was probably the 10 funnest days of my life," Francona says during the streak.

So he's been happy these past weeks, not because he's managing a team into the history books but because he's been at a baseball stadium. Sitting in his office, which was exactly 68 degrees, he brings up something his old boss Theo Epstein once said about him. "He loves the game," Epstein told Boston Globe baseball writer Dan Shaughnessy. "He physically loves the clubhouse. Emotionally, I think he loves to let go of the outside world. Some people compartmentalize the job. Tito compartmentalizes the real world and throws himself into the clubhouse. He loves every aspect of the clubhouse."

Francona smiles at the insight.

"I remember when I read that," Francona says. "I was like, damn. I obviously know Theo was smart, but if I was going to be candid, that's pretty damned close. To me, this is probably my real world. I admit that."

The clubhouse cost him a marriage and his health, and he can't count the nights he's spent on a couch in a stadium, curled up beneath a blanket, alone. In his office in Cleveland, there's a red and blue Indians-colored afghan that clearly looks as if it's for more than decoration. Most days, he gets to his office early, not because he's a hard worker, he says, but because he feels at home. Watching a stadium wake up makes him happy. Sitting in an empty cathedral like Fenway or Wrigley calms him; the present and past combine, the things he sees and the things he remembers washing over him together. He liked the way the boards creaked at the old Yankee Stadium because Babe Ruth probably heard that same noise. Even now, he enjoys hotel lobbies, because he'd hang out there when visiting his dad on the road, giving his old man space to sleep in and get ready for the game.

He will, when asked, cop to at least one superstition.

There's a friend, whom he has nicknamed Gray Cloud, who's always brought bad luck.

"I will not talk to him," Francona says. "He is text only. He's cost me one job, he's not getting in the way again."

Simplicity is the primary goal when he's constructing his existence. In Boston, he even spent most seasons living in a hotel. For Francona, every day is the same, down to the number of water bottles he lines up in the dugout, and the hourlong swim he takes and the cribbage game he organizes. "I have a car here that I use about three times a year," he says. "I got a little moped. I take it everywhere downtown. I know all the police. It's Cleveland. After games, I'll go down the one-way and they're like, 'Hey, good game.'"

He points out his office door.

"It's parked right here in the hallway."

He played 10 seasons in the big leagues and jokes to his players about what a lousy career he had. But he played through severe injury and pain, a grinder who understands the hopes all players bring with them into the clubhouse. He understands doubt and fear and ego and swagger, and what internal problem each of those things is an attempt to solve. During the streak, as more reporters arrive every day in the small interview room to talk about the streak, he's more interested in finding out why the Browns released Pro Bowler Joe Haden, refusing to engage in record-chasing narratives, talking about how a season is fluid and how only today exists. He smiles and sighs when people keep asking questions, as if they think he's spinning them and not living by the codes he internalized as a boy.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Red Sox NESN Reporter in Car Accident

Guerin Austin is a fan favorite among Red Sox fans but she has had a season of bad luck. It all started at the All Star Break when she fell on a plane and suffered a concussion. Her concussion symptoms persisted and kept her out of work until the end of August. 

Just when we were enjoying her back on NESN, where she belongs, she was in a car accident today. While it appears she is going to be ok it doesn't seem to be a minor fender bender either. Given her concussion issues, any additional injury to the head is not good news. We are all hoping for a speedy and complete recovery for Guerin and hope her string of bad luck is in the past.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Former Yankee Defends the Red Sox

The New York media has had field day with the news that the Red Sox used an Apple Watch to steal signs from the Yankees. Jon Heyman has gone on the record saying the Red Sox should have to forfeit every game they won this season against the Yankees. It is being called "Applegate" now and many are trying to put it at the same level as the Patriots "Spygate" scandal.

Enter a voice of reason in the form of Mark Teixeira. Red Sox fans have not had much to like about Teixeira in the past. He spurned the Red Sox for college after the Sox drafted him and he spurned them again in free agency when the Red Sox and Yankees entered into a bidding war for his services.

Teixeira went on the Michael Kay Show yesterday and quickly put this cheating angle to rest. He said the Yankees were being petty and so were the Red Sox. He said this type of sign stealing happens all the time, the only difference in this case was the Red Sox were lazy by using the Apple Watch to text the information to the dugout. He went on to say that every other team does the same thing but they have someone walk down to the dugout after watching the video to tell everyone the signs.

Listen to the full interview here.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Don Baylor and the Forgotten Homerun

Don Baylor would play for the Boston Red Sox for less than two seasons. He would be acquired via trade with the New York Yankees, of all teams, following the 1985 season. Baylor would have an immediate impact on the Red Sox lineup and the clubhouse but he also hit one of the biggest homeruns in Red Sox history, a homerun that many don't seem to remember.

 The Red Sox entered Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS trailing the series 3-1. Their backs were against the wall as they entered the 9th inning of that game trailing 5-2. Baylor came to the plate with a man on and one out and delivered a two run homer off Mike Witt. The Red Sox were still alive and three batters later Dave Henderson homered off of Donnie Moore to tie it.

The Red Sox would go on to win that game in 11 innings and then win Game 6 and Game 7 of the ALCS giving the Red Sox their first pennant in 11 years.

 There is no Dave Henderson heroics without Baylor. There is no 1986 AL pennant without him either.

By all accounts, Baylor was a much better person than he was a baseball player and he was one hell of a baseball player. He was also a huge piece to the 1986 Red Sox and hit the most important homerun that nobody seems to remember. We remember it today. RIP to our DH.

Here is the boxscore from Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS

Here is the video of Baylor's homerun

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Curt Schilling Weighs in on David Price and Dennis Eckersley

I love Curt Schilling. I know many of you do not. I also love Keith Olbermann. I know many of you do not. I love them both because I am a baseball nerd and these guys are great when talking about baseball.

Politically speaking? I think both of them are way too extreme and say a lot of things that don't make much sense to me.

Schilling also did this thing where he helped end the curse of my boyhood baseball team. That was kinda important to me. He is also an Out of the Park Baseball simulation addict like I am, that is also real cool.

Schilling's twitter timeline consists mostly of political rants. I still follow him but try to look for the good stuff and when I say good stuff I mean his baseball thoughts. He is a great when he is talking baseball. His periscope live sessions he used to do when he would answer baseball questions from fans were incredible. His baseball podcast he used to do was even better. He was one of the best baseball color analysts until ESPN let him go.

 When new details came out about the David Price and Dennis Eckersley situation I immediately thought of Schilling. Who better to weigh in on pitching in Boston, dealing with the Boston media and the complexities of the clubhouse? Nobody!

 This was Schilling's initial response to Dan Shaughnessy's story. Remember, Schilling and Shaughnessy had a tough relationship when Schilling was pitching for the Red Sox

 I can assure you that 94.6% of this article is speculated bullshit. No one ANYWHERE on this team would 'confide' in this clown, ever. 

 This is Schilling putting his hatred for Shaughnessy aside for a second and realizing there was more truth to this story than fiction.

 It's not something I'd have been ok with that's for sure. FAR better ways to handle every aspect of this story. 

 Here is Schilling sharing a common opinion that most people have about this situation.

Eck is a HOFer, no one else in this matter is. How is him doing his job, exceptionally well IMO, an issue for ANYONE? Grow the F up and win. 

 Here is Schilling coming to terms with the idea that most of the team seems to support what Price did to Eckersley

 Really?? I didn't know it was that bad? 

 His response on what this situation tells him about this Red Sox team

One devoid of a clubhouse presence to fix this bullshit. Do your job between 7-10pm every night and you have no complaints. Liking and/or agreeing with Eck has NOTHING to do with anything. You're paid to win games, period. Nothing else. Win games and there is no BS

 Schilling responded to the idea that all this won't matter if the Red Sox and Price start winning again.

Problem is champions don't play this sort of bullshit games. Only 'problems' they have is losing a game, nothing else matters. 

 This was his response when someone asked how much of the blame falls on John Farrell and guys like Dustin Pedroia

 Stop. They're grown men, they are accountable for their own actions and inactions. 

 This was Schilling's response when a fan said it's Eckersley's job to call players out when not performing well

Why is criticism "calling a player out"? No one knows better THAN players when to call someone out and FEW actually do it right, like Eck 

This is classic Schilling and showing there is a definite distinction when it comes to a reporter who never played baseball and someone like Eckersley. Here is his response when he was asked if he felt the same way when Price got into a shouting match with Evan Drellich who is a Red Sox beat reporter,

Boo f'ing hoo. A member of the media got yelled at. Call in the National Guard. Happens EVERY SINGLE DAY, grow up and move on. 

 There started to be some who wanted to blame the Boston media for this and went on to quote multiple ex Red Sox players who hated their time in Boston because of the media. I quoted one of these tweets and asked Schilling how he felt about this sentiment given his own issues with guys like Dan Shaughnessy. Here was his response.

Here's the thing. Love them, hate them, don't care about them, none of that matters at 7:05. You weren't brought here to comply, rebuff or acquiesce to the media. You were brought here, and paid, to win games. If you do that the media can only say so much. If you don't? well that's part of the job. You're supposed to be critiqued and criticized when you aren't doing well, that's how this thing works. It was Price trying to act like a leader by "standing up" for Eduardo Rodriguez. It failed, miserably. Trust me when I tell you that ANYONE refusing to come here due to the media is a player you don't wan't to come here anyway. 

 I then asked Schilling what would have happened if Price did this on the 2004 Red Sox

 It would not have happened, period. No chance

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Report: More Childish Clubhouse Behavior from David Price

How old is David Price? His Baseball-Reference page says he is 31 years old but he continues to act like he is around 5. If his stunt he pulled with Dennis Eckersley wasn't bad enough for you, more reports are surfacing about he acts like a spineless punk  in the clubhouse.

Lou Merloni ripped Price for the majority of his radio show yesterday and shared a story about Price from the last Red Sox homestand.

Before games there is a window of time where the clubhouse is open to the press. Beat writers use this time to get quotes from players. They are often recording their answers on their smartphones or recording devices. Basically, they are trying to do their job. Music is always being played on the clubhouse sound system.

According to Merloni, Price walked over to the sound system and turned it up to an unbearable noise level in a clear attempt to make it tough for the media to do their job. Price then grabbed his headphones and put them on and sat by his locker the rest of the time. Revenge of the Jellyfish!

 How tired is Price's act? Look at this tweet from Keith Olbermann:

 When Olbermann calls you "soft as church music" isn't it time to look yourself in the mirror?

Simulating The Pine Tar Game

34 years ago yesterday George Brett took Goose Gossage deep in Yankee Stadium only to be called out a couple minutes later for having too much pine tar on his bat. The Royals protested the game and won and came back to Yankee Stadium in August and finished off the Yanks for the victory. I decided to use Out of the Park Baseball to simulate the 1983 season right up to July 24th and manage the Royals against those Yankees.

 Below is a video of the simulated game. Below the video is the write up and box score of the game.

 Yankees Bridle Royals, 4-2 

The New York Yankees picked up a win at Yankee Stadium, knocking off the Kansas City Royals, 4-2. On the mound for New York was left-hander Shane Rawley, who played a pivotal role in the win. Rawley picked up the win for New York, going 8 innings. He gave up 2 runs on 7 hits. He now sports a record of 5-11. Rich Gossage got the save, his 22nd in 26 chances.

 The outcome was still in doubt with two out in the top of the eighth inning, but Rawley was able to pitch out of a jam. With a runner on 1st and Kansas City trailing 3-2, Rawley retired Amos Otis, who flied out. Today's win puts New York at 46-47, while Kansas City falls to 29-61.

Kansas City Royals (29-61)000001010271
New York Yankees (46-47)30000001X490

W. Wilson CF4220000.248015
U. Washington SS4000002.195432
G. Brett 3B4010002.3201558
H. McRae DH4022011.305855
A. Otis RF4010002.269431
J. Wathan 1B4000011.252432
L. Roberts LF3010120.376112
F. White 2B4000003.242330
D. Slaught C3000013.29509
Doubles: L. Roberts (4, 7th Inning off S. Rawley, 0 on, 1 out)
Total Bases: G. Brett , H. McRae 2 , W. Wilson 2 , L. Roberts 2 , A. Otis
2-out RBI: H. McRae 2
Runners left in scoring position, 2 outs: D. Slaught 2
Team LOB: 5

Errors: D. Slaught (3)
Double Plays: 1 (Black-White-Wathan)
B. Campaneris 2B1100300.17413
   c-W. Randolph 2B0000000.289114
G. Nettles 3B3111001.3131250
   a-B. Wynegar PH1000002.294117
   b-B. Meacham 3B0000000.50000
L. Piniella RF4000002.192413
D. Baylor DH4221000.3001439
D. Winfield CF, LF3000101.2832475
S. Kemp LF3021000.235632
   d-J. Mumphrey PH, CF1000002.288425
S. Balboni 1B4021002.16315
   e-K. Griffey Sr 1B0000000.293224
R. Smalley III SS4010003.263944
R. Cerone C3010002.24019
a - B. Wynegar pinch hit for G. Nettles in the 7th
b - B. Meacham substituted for B. Wynegar in the 8th
c - W. Randolph substituted for B. Campaneris in the 8th
d - J. Mumphrey pinch hit for S. Kemp in the 8th
e - K. Griffey Sr substituted for S. Balboni in the 9th

Doubles: D. Baylor 2 (16, 1st Inning off B. Black, 1 on, 1 out; 8th Inning off B. Black, 0 on, 1 out) G. Nettles (10, 1st Inning off B. Black, 1 on, 0 outs) S. Kemp(11, 4th Inning off B. Black, 0 on, 1 out)
Total Bases: R. Cerone , D. Baylor 4 , S. Balboni 2 , R. Smalley III , G. Nettles 2 ,S. Kemp 3
2-out RBI: S. Balboni , S. Kemp
Runners left in scoring position, 2 outs: R. Smalley III 2 , B. Wynegar
GIDP: R. Cerone
Team LOB: 7

CS: B. Campaneris (5)
B. Black L (5-5)8.0944400117784.08
Game Score: B. Black 44
Batters Faced: B. Black 35
Ground Outs - Fly Outs: B. Black 7-15
Pitches - Strikes: B. Black 117-78 
S. Rawley W (5-11)8.0722130107724.90
R. Gossage SV (22)1.00000201481.83
Game Score: S. Rawley 62
Batters Faced: S. Rawley 32, R. Gossage 3
Ground Outs - Fly Outs: S. Rawley 14-7, R. Gossage 1-0
Pitches - Strikes: S. Rawley 107-72, R. Gossage 14-8
WP: S. Rawley 
Player of the Game: Shane Rawley
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Weather: Clear skies (79 degrees), wind blowing out to left at 14 mph
Start Time: 2:05 pm EST
Time: 2:28
Attendance: 32160