Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cryin' in My Sports Chowdah Update- Sox Youk-Less Rest of 2010; Texas Ownership Re-A-Ranger-ed; On the Catwalk- On the Catwalk; Shaqqing Up to Boston

Good news for a day, bad news for the rest of the Red Sox 2010 season.

RED SOX: Despite some 'crushing blow' caliber bad news (see below) the Red Sox, Boston managed to salvage a series split with the Cleveland Indians on Thursday thank to an Adrian Beltre grand slam and 8 strong innings by Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Dice-K got off to a rough start, giving up a solo homer to Shin-Soo Choo in the top of the first inning with two away, but he settled down after that and got plenty of run support courtesy of Beltre's grand slam in the bottom of the 4th off Tribe starter Josh Tomlin.
The Sox would get even more insurance in the bottom of the 8th when JD Drew had a 2-RBI single off of Cleveland releif pitcher Frank Herrmann.

Papelbon came on in the bottom of the 9th to replace Okajima, who had given up a leadoff walk followed by a groundout, a single and then an RBI single. Paps got two strikeouts and walked one in his brief appearance, which was good for his 26th save on the season and a 6-2 Boston win.
Talk about efficiency- Bostons 6 runs come on only two of their six hits for the night while Dice-K gave up one run, struck out six and walked two in eight innings of work. JD Drew went 1 for 3- his only hit being the RBI single and Adrian Beltre went 1 for 4- his hit being the grand slam.

The Red Sox start a 4-game series against the Yankees on Friday night with Clay Buchholz (11-5; 2.59 ERA) slated to start against Javier Vazquez (9-7; 4.61 ERA).

OTHER SOX NEWS: No more Youkilis for 2010, which means time for me to cry like a little girl with a skinned knee. Dammit to matter how bad the injuries were for the Sox earlier this year, one would be justified in reassuring the more nervous among Red Sox nation 'Don't worry! We still got Youk batting cleanup....".

Well, not anymore. After leaving Monday night's 6-5 loss to the Indians with a thumb injury, it was announced that the first baseman would have season-ending surgery to repair his right thumb on Friday afternoon.

Victor Martinez has been batting 4th over the last couple of nights and could be slotted into first with Cash or even a called-up Saltalamacchia filling in at catcher. That could be an effective stopgap if we were to realistically expect Youk back in a few weeks, but that's not the case.

And with the trade deadline having come and gone, the Sox are mostly limited to the waiver wire to find a replacement bat. That isn't to say the season is over, but even with the Yankees or Rays tanking big-time to leave an opening for the AL East pennant or a Wild Card slot, the Sox would have to stay awfully hot to gain ground when in reality they've managed to split series against last-place teams like Seattle, Cleveland or Baltimore while relatively healthy.

ELSEWHERE IN MLB: A-Rod hit his 600th career home run on Wednesday in a day game against the Blue Jays at Yankee stadium. If you're like 99% of America, you probably couldn't give a damn and feel all the accolades and kudos being heaped on A-Rod are about as well deserved as Richie Rich getting they keys to a platinum-plated Bentley with Waterford Crystal headlights for his birthday.

The Texas Rangers emerged from bankruptcy protection after a group headed by ex Ranger and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and sports attorney Chuck Greenberg outbid outspoken and generally obnoxious Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in a bankruptcy auction. The previous Rangers ownership under Tom Hicks and Hicks Sports Group, Inc. had defaulted in $525 million in loans last year.

The winning bid for the Rangers was $590 million, with Cuban's ceiling reportedly at just over $580 million. MLB is expected to vote on approval for the Ryan-Greenberg ownership on Aug. 12th.

Two teams- each only less than 2 games out first place- met at Tropicana Field on Thursday night. The Twins versus the Rays- Dome team versus former dome team (altho' I suspect an open field is still pretty novel for alot of Minnesota fans). With the game tied 6-6 in the top of the 9th, Twins OF Jason Kubel's pop-fly clanged off a catwalk high above the field in St Petersburg and fell behind homeplate for what was ruled an RBI single, putting the Twins up 7-6. Minnesota would go on to win by the final with Kubel's structurally assisted single being followed by a Micheal Cuddyer single to make it 8-6.

New acquisiton Matt Capps closed out the game on the hill for the Twins allowing a walk, two strikeouts and getting Carl Crawford to ground out to end the game. As of Thursday night, Tampa is a half game behind the Yankees for the AL East lead and the Twins are a game and a half behind the White Sox for the AL Central lead.

NBA: Shaquille O'Neal signed a 2-year $3 million contract with the Boston Celtics on Wednesday afternoon. Actually, I was getting ready to pull my hair out in anguish when I heard that announcement, but those are pretty reasonable numbers that Shaq and the C's agreed to.

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