Monday, July 14, 2008


American League:
1. RF Ichiro Suzuki - SEA
2. SS Derek Jeter - NYY
3. CF Josh Hamilton - TEX
4. 3B Alex Rodriguez - NYY
5. LF Manny Ramirez - BOS
6. DH Milton Bradley - TEX
7. 1B Kevin Youkilis - BOS
8. C Joe Mauer - MIN
9. 2B Dustin Pedroia - BOS

And on the mound, Cliff Lee of the Indians. Thank you Terry Francona for being sane and not starting Mariano Rivera, like some fools in New York wanted you to.

National League:
1. SS Hanley Ramirez - FLA
2. 2B Chase Utley - PHI
3. 1B Lance Berkman - HOU
4. DH Albert Pujols - STL
5. 3B Chipper Jones - ATL
6. RF Matt Holliday - COL
7. LF Ryan Braun - MIL
8. RF Kosuke Fukodome - CHC
9. C Geovany Soto - CHC

SP: Ben Sheets, Milwaukee.



I've never liked Big Ben. But I've never hated him, at least not directly. I've hated the buzz that surrounds him. I've hated people calling him a quarterback when he threw the ball 12 times a game. I've hated how he has a Super Bowl ring thanks to the Colts beating the Patriots earlier in the playoffs. And it doesn't help him much that I despise the Steelers.

But then I heard what he said about Brett Favre:

“Brett Favre is one of the best to play, he can do whatever he wants. It’s something that when you have the best quarterback, he makes a decision to do what he feels he needs to do, and I’m sure (the Green Bay Packers) need to stick by whatever (the decision is).”

No, Ben, he can't do whatever he wants. No player, no matter how good, is bigger than a team. Especially in football. The team makes decisions, and the players have to abide by them. I have nothing but respect for how the Green Bay Packers are handling the mess Brett Favre has put them in. They're in charge, not Brett.

This type of "I can do what I want" mentality is probably what convinced Ben that riding a motorcycle without a license or a helmet is a good idea.

It's official, Mr. Roethlisberger. I now hate you.



19 year old outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin has been part of the Red Sox organization for little over a year, but he's already hitting homeruns out of Yankee Stadium. The Taiwanese prospect belted a 2 run homer that helped give the World team a 3-0 win in the All-Star Future's Game yesterday. Lin finished his day 2 for 2 and was named MVP of the game. He was booed by the Yankee Stadium crowd when he was at the plate.

Lin was the only representative of the Red Sox (and Taiwan) on either team. He was signed as an international free agent last June and is currently playing in A Greenville.


Photo Credit:
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images


Daisuke Matsuzaka's 10th win propelled the Red Sox back into first place yesterday afternoon.

It seems as though Daisuke may have figured out how to be a successful pitcher in America. He just walks everybody. Last year he only walked 80 batters. In half as many starts so far in '08, he's already issued 57 free passes. It's counter-intuitive, but the walks seem to be helping. He's given up far fewer hits (opponents hitting .220 this season compared to .246 last season), and more importantly: fewer extra base hits. Last year, he allowed a .405 slugging percentage, this year it's .339. He yielded 25 homers in 2007, he's on pace to allow 10 in '08.

How can walks help a pitcher do better? Well, that old expression about walks being as good as hits isn't exactly true. A walk is not as good as a double. And two walks in a row aren't the same as two singles in a row.

But there's been a problem, and the walks are a direct cause of it. He doesn't go deep into games. He's only made three starts of 7+ innings this year. And only 7 of his 17 starts have seen him pitch 6+ innings. He's averaging 5.5 innings per start. And with this team's bullpen, that can cause massive problems.

Daisuke leaving early nearly caused some problems yesterday. Hideki Okajima relieved Daisuke in the 7th and struggled mightily. He faced 4 batters. Two of them walked. He threw 17 pitches, only 5 for strikes. Thankfully Delcarmen bailed him out of the jam.

Youkilis left the game in the 6th with a "left tricep contusion." He was hit by a pitch. He's not expected to miss any time with the Sox.

The Spoorting News

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer