Thursday, September 16, 2004

I Don't Know

I mean, what are you supposed to say about a team that doesn't do things wrong? The Sox aren't winning as much as they were, but they aren't screwing up. It's not realistic to continue an unbelievable winning streak, but they have continued to play good ball. Schilling will most likely defeat Mark Tall But Not Good Hendrickson this Thursday evening, and Boston will head to the Bronx with a chance to leave with a share of first place (they're four back overall, but it's three in the all-important loss column). Is a sweep likely? Logically, you wouldn't think so, as the Yankees have pulled together a bit, but what else has been logical about the Red Sox season? Having a .500 team seemingly forever even though you're near the top in most offensive and pitching categories? No logic there. Becoming a much better club by trading a possible Hall of Famer for three decent-to-good guys? No, no sense. Having a manager go from firing squad to skipper of the year in less than two months? How does that happen? Right now I could easily see Boston putting on their hitting shoes and going all July 4th, '03 on New York, or they could play pretty well and win and lose some close ones. The one thing I don't expect is a Yankee blow out. But judging by the path this season has taken, does that make it the likeliest thing? God I hope not. In any case, The Ninth will be watching and cheering in Brooklyn - hope I don't get stabbed.

Some thoughts from the last few:

-- Nixon is back, Williamson is not. Trot's results speak for themselves (5h, 3 2B, 3R since Sunday), and his legs look just fine. Francona is doing the right thing by bringing him along slowly (when did Boston become the organization that gets everything right?), as his value is in the playoffs, not now. SWilly however hasn't been so good. In his last appearance he was throwing 89-91, and the splits and slides didn't have much split or slide. Hard to believe he can beat Leskanic or Mendoza out for a potential playoff spot, but we'll see how it develops. Obviously a healthy Williamson would be nice.

-- Kenny Anderson, after signing with the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday afternoon, said about returning to the Georgia Tech area, "Atlanta's my home away from home and I am excited about it. I think the fans will embrace my return." Can you technically be embraced by an empty seat?

-- Gonna be a tough decision on Wakefield when playoff time rolls around. He is easily Boston's least consistent starter right now, and a prime candidate for bullpen demotion. But his was so valuable last year, and it's not like Arroyo and Lowe are locks. With all the hoopla Tim created when Jimy Williams left him in off in '99, this is worth watching.

-- No Bill Mueller this weekend is really going to hurt.