I don't know about the rest of you, but it's hard for me to listen to Buck and McCarver. Admittedly, most baseball fans couldn't fill three hours of 'action' with intelligent commentary. And the commentators haven't avoided the Stray Rod controversy, although they haven't tackled the broader issue - how many major league ballplayers have the same tendencies but have remained cloaked in obscurity?
But what about the ridiculous observations, that Scott Proctor wasn't throwing at Kevin Youkilis? Proctor has already served time for one suspension this year, and one can only guess that a baseball version of the Invisible Hand saved Proctor from a second trip to the penalty box. In fact, these skirmishes present the best argument against the DH. Accountability rears its head, literally, in the batter's box. How 'tough' would baseball's principal offenders be if they feared for their careers?
As for Melky Cabrera being a defensive talent, didn't he turn a line drive by Trot Nixon into an inside the park homer?
As for the game itself, so far both pitchers have kept loose enough grip on the handlebars. Somehow Melky Cabrera kept an inside pitch fair for a homer inside Pesky's Pole, and the potential Weapon of Mass Production (Wily Mo Pena) came around after a leadoff double.
Dustin Pedroia kept his hitting streak alive, despite promotion to the number 2 hole. Pedroia (and Francona) gets credit for showing that he is a major league second baseman, offensively and defensively.
J.D. Drew came down with a pulled muscle, maybe just in time for now. Drew continues to struggle offensively.
Francona manages to contain most of the damage within the clubhouse. With Timlin and Lester on the horizon, who lives on the bubble? Does the Red Sox version of the Hellenic Flu beckon?
Presume that the Sox will go with 13 postion players and twelve pitchers.
Wakefield (talk about Wake reeling off 15 victories in a row disappeared pretty fast)
Split: Pinheiro (big dollars and pitching better)
LOOGY: Lopez (has excelled at getting the situational lefty)
Setup/alternate closer: Okajima
On the bubble: Romero, Timlin, Snyder (no options as far as I know)
Of the latter three, Timlin has the longest organizational ties and most likely impact on 'chemistry'. Conversely, Snyder would get snapped up in five seconds and could start for some teams (e.g. Kansas City and others) and easily be a bullpen regular on MOST teams.
GM Theo Epstein could try to trade (everyone needs pitching), but realistically, he would be dealing to clubs knowing the Sox will be dumping...and soon. You would hope that Theo would sound out Francona, Farrell, and sotto voce key team leaders to assess the impact of personnel moves. It goes without saying that baseball is a business, and one where careers have finite life spans.