- Joba Chamberlain's start vs. the Blue Jays calls to mind what happens in theatre circles after a disastrous opening night. Everyone hangs around, supposed to offer sympathy and kind words, but really they're Christmas Eve -eager to see how savage the reviews are.
That's all well and good to pile on Joba, since it's a natural reaction to how much he's been hyped. (People get on Sidney Crosby for the same reason.) Please keep in mind that it's Hank Steinbrenner who should get condemnation for using a 22-year-old pitcher with only two major-league pitches (fastball and slider) as a wedge in his battle with Yankees GM Brian Cashman. It serves him right that it backfired so spectacularly.
- The Tao is back and throwing smoke. Awesome.
- Jim Ed Rice seems really eager to remove all doubt as to why a lot of Red Sox fans are indifferent about him getting into the Hall of Fame.
"I'm tired of people saying, 'Manny being Manny.' It's not like I'd take my 11-year old kid to go out and watch 'Manny being Manny,' that's not baseball. (Sunday) he hit home run 501, but, even though he hit 501 they still almost lost the game. Did you see those two plays he made out in left field? Now, do you want your kid to be 'Manny being Manny' missing those balls?"It's actually cool, in an age where everyone seems willing to go along to get along, that he's out there, doing the banquet circuit, slagging his former team and not expecting that comments in the Watertown, N.Y., paper will make it into wide circulation. That's old school. Rice also claimed that Jonathan Papelbon was the only member of the 2007 Red Sox who would have bumped a regular from the '75 team. It barely seems worth refuting that -- or pointing out that if Rice had run the bases right, he doesn't get thrown out at the plate in Game 6 of the '86 World Series and Bill Buckner never misses that grounder.
Peter Gammons wrote of that play that Rice "cut the bag at third like a 16-wheeler turning into a McDonald's."
- Phillippe Aumont, the Seattle Mariners bonus baby from Gatineau, was selected for the Midwest League all-star game yesterday. Aumont has a 1.47 ERA, a .186 opponents' average and a 41-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 43 innings with Wisconsin. That's pretty good even when taking into account that's a league where no one hits for power (quoth Rany Jazayerli). Aumont went seven strong (six hits, no walks, six K's) to earn his fourth win last night. He hit a batter who has the same last name as Jeffrey Loria's stepson, probably not on purpose (but it's nice to think it was)
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