The AL East, The All-Stars and the Rays, Oh  My!

Sorry for the long hiatus…I was on vacay during the all-star break, but I’m back with notes and ready to go.

O’s game first. We lost. Moving on. O’s again, but this time, we weren’t planning on losing. Wake pitched great, and Youk, fresh from the last strikeout to lose the game Friday, was angry. When is Youk not angry? He is always fired up. Anyway, its the 3rd inning, bases loaded, here comes Youkilis. I was sitting on the couch with my neighbors dog (I live with people who think its okay to have a cookout when the Sox are on TV. eh) and I looked at the dog and I said “I think Youk’s gonna hit one hard.” Sure enough, Grand Slam for Kevin. Yay.

Picture 2.pngManny and J.D. hit solos….that was just a really bad inning for the O’s. I remember thinking towards the end there: wait a minute. Pedroia and Ellsbury have already hit this inning…like I said, bad inning for the O’s. And because it’s an AL East game, they keep updating us on the Rays scores.

Speaking of the Rays, they’ve lost seven in a row going into the break. Seven. Now, for older teams, that doesn’t worry me too much. But for the Rays…well, they’re pitching will keep them in it, maybe, but it all depends on whether or not they let this slump affect them, shatter their confidence. They were on top for three weeks or so, and they couldn’t hold it. Whether that’s over confidence on their part, bad luck, or just some nerves, I don’t know. I don’t see the Sox giving the East up any time soon, and I don’t think the Rays are going to go on a tear again, because as good as they are at home, they are that bad on the road. Unless the Jekyll and Hyde thing can be sorted out, they may fall out of the Wild Card race. Notice, I said “may”. Its baseball, anything can happen.

Okay, so the O’s fell to the Sox 12-1. I just think they had Liz’s number.

On to the next game. The nail biter. I mean, not really, but really. Dice-K threw an enormous number of pitches (scary) walked five (really scary) and four hits (really, really scary) yet somehow, it was scoreless. Paps looked a little sloppy on the save, but thanks to a diving catch by Pedroia and a few other good plays, he notched his 100th save. Nice. And with this win and the Rays loss, the Sox pull a half game ahead of the Rays just in time for the All-Star break.

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So, the All-Stars. Okay, in Paps defense, he really didn’t mean that he thought he should close instead of Mariano Rivera. That was not what he said. What he said is exactly what every back-up was thinking: “I don’t care if [name] is the best [position] in baseball, I want to start at [position].” Duh, people. And New York fans, you can hurl all the insults you want at the boys, they expect it, but leave the pregnant ladies alone, okay. That’s just wrong. I wouldn’t say a bad word to a pregnant woman that would seem threatening, even if she was covered in Yankees gear. So heckle the players, heckle the other fans, but leave the future mommies alone.

Now on to the All-Star game. There were a ton of Sox playing, which is wonderful, and I gotta say, listening to an interview by Tek, I understand so much more why he is so respected by EVERYBODY. (Except maybe A-Rod. They may still have some beef) That is the most humble, intelligent player ever. He was so honored to be there, and I don’t care how bad he hits, you can not ask for a better captain or catcher. The oh-so-classy NY fans booed Tito and the other Sox. Surprised? I think Yaz and Fisk should have been on that field for the opening ceremony, but its the Yanks, what do you expect. This is what made me happy to watch the final All-Star game in Yankee Stadium:

1216219067_5000.jpgCount ’em: 16. Yep. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

Now really, onto the game. I think Tito did a good job, they all played, they looked like they were having a good time, and hey, the AL won. Again. After 15 innings. And in almost every one, either side had a chance to put the game away for good. It was a weird game. I was in bed, watching it, thinking, I can drift off to sleep to the post-game, it’ll be here soon. (That was in the 11th inning)

You gotta love JD Drew in this game. He comes in, gets on base 4 out of 5 times, one of those was the game-tying 2-run homer. Combine that with good defense, he was an obvious choice for MVP. I mean, really, who else would you pick? Longoria? Its not even close. So congrats to JD.

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In other news, Che-Hsuan Lin, a previously-unknown defensive replacement in the All-Star Futures game from Class A Greenville, was the MVP of that game. The Sox signed him, and are hopeful that with some work, the slugger and stellar defensive player will work his way up onto the Fenway roster, which is all that Lin wants to do. He wants to play for the Sox. I love a guy like that. So, the Sox come in with the most All-Stars for the AL, they get the MVP, and then the farm system gets the Futures MVP. Yep. That’s exactly the way I wanted Yankee stadium to be sent off. Actually, had it been Drew instead of Young who hit the game-winner, that would have been great.

I should not go on hiatus, the blogs get really long. Well, here’s to a strong second half.

In final, closing, seriously, the last bit of news…

I’m trying to be Governor of VA for Red Sox Nation. Its truly my passion, and I would love to do it, so anyone interested, you can endorse me, Sara Hannon, at RedSox.com, my email is: hannonse@gmail.com.

Thanks. See you in the second half! 🙂

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