One time, a friend of mine was at a party with some movers and shakers.  Bill Murray was there and she walks up to him and says, “So I hear you’re kind of an @$$hole…” (I don’t know why she chose to begin this way; it’s typical of her, though.)  He says, “I *am* an @$$hole” and walks away from her.  Some time later, my friend reintroduces herself by saying “I’m sorry about that whole ‘@$$hole’ thing earlier”, and he replies “Oh, it’s you” and walks away once more, never to speak to my friend again.

Which is all to say I’m about as pleased to see the Blue Jays again as Bill Murray was to see my friend again.  The Jays went 3-1 against the Red Sox last week, and I’m not excited about the beatings continuing, nor do I think morale is likely to improve.  On the plus side, all sorts of inappropriate puns can be made out of Dickey vs. Buchholz.  But don’t expect to see those uncensored here in the post!  This is a family blog, where we censor all our body-part-referencing invective with special characters, thank you!  Tune in to watch D*ckey give it to us in our Buchh*lz.

Rock the end of the weekend with Happ vs Greene at Yankee Stadium (where the Jays won for the first time since 2012 last night) and Webster vs Archer in St. Pete.  Yanks have played very well since the break, Sox have sucked and sealed their place as sellers.  Let’s see if the Sox can salvage a game and if the Yanks can win another series.

Sorry I missed the Yankee gamer, didn’t realize it was on early.

Hellickson vs. Lackey at the Trop.  The Sox lost again last night, but that’s hardly news, is it?

Peavy traded to the Giants for a couple of minor leaguers.  What else will we see?  Lester has indicated he’d be willing to be traded and still up for coming to the Sox via free agency (LOL, yeah, sure, that’ll happen): will he move?  Will they try to trade the 35-year-old, pitching well, and with a VERY low pay rate next year Lackey?  Trading either would require tremendous payback from the receiving team, but moving either of them seems reasonable at this stage.  If they think they can field a competitive team next year, maybe hold onto Lackey?  Curious to see how this all shakes out before (and after!–remembering The Punto Trade in August of 2012) the 7/31 deadline.

The Yankees beat up the Rangers.  The Jays beat up the Red Sox.  Something’s gotta give in this three-game series where the two teams start tied for 2nd, 3 back of the O’s.

Buehrle is 35 and Kuroda 39, so there’ll probably be more savvy than power generated from the hill.  They have both had successful seasons, and look to continue leading their teams toward a possible postseason berth.  Who triumphs tonight?  Comment away.

Having dropped 3 to the Jays in a 4-game set (they trailed only by a run for the series total, 22-21, but only won the first game, 14-1), the Red Sox are behind the 8-ball and behind everyone else in the division.  We can only conclude that it’s really over and they should move any part that has no place in 2015 around as necessary…and possibly some parts that do have a place in 2015.

Take Jon Lester (and I’m sure the Yankees will): he could theoretically be moved to a contender for a few months and be brought back on board via free agency…but that seems risky if they have plans to extend/keep him (I doubt it, I think he’s a goner).  Same goes for Uehara and a couple of other good pieces that aren’t contracted past this year.  So theoretically, this could be Lester’s last start for the Red Sox.  He’s facing Price, so hey, at least it’ll be a good one!  Good old-fashioned, drain-circling fun!

Brandon McCarthy has given up only 4 earned runs in his last four starts spanning the last ~25 innings including his transit from Arizona. That said, it seems he’s having a rough go this year. The Rangers send Colby Lewis in the getaway gamer.

Comment away.

Sox took the first game in this series big-time, then got fairly soundly beaten in game two, then had Buchholz immediately squander a 3-0 lead in the 1st and a 4-3 lead in the 6th.  Rubby de la Rosa tries to turn it around and leave Toronto with the tie, while Stroman tries to take the series for the Blue Jays.  12:35 ET start.  Comment if you’re checking out the Thursday matinee.

R.A. Dickey and Clay Buccholz aren’t having stellar seasons, but either pitcher is a short-odds bet to give a stellar outing on any given start. Buccholz was brilliant two starts ago against Houston, and Dickey’s four-hit win in Anaheim was impressive. This could be fun for fans of the bump. Comment away.

Darvish vs. David in the third game of the series against the boys from Arlington. The Yankees needed 14 innings to score two runs yesterday. Fortunately, that’s more than the Rangers could muster. The Yankees are averaging 3.6 r/g since the break. Comment away.

Okay, the spelling isn’t perfect and it’s kind of a tortured title, but the Yanks acquired a real 3B today (at least as defense goes), and hope he will be the real deal.  Today, his fellow “Chase” attempts to reduce the number of Yankee starting pitcher errors from the baseline of 3 established yesterday.

The Red Sox rolled hard last night, climbing back to within 5 of .500.  Sadly, Jake Peavy is pitching for them today (he has been below average and has 1 win to his credit this year) against JA Happ, so I’d put odds on them to bust tonight.  Still, the offense clicked for 14 across the plate yesterday, maybe they’ll have a bit left today.  Ortiz still needs 1 to tie and 2 to go ahead of A-Rod for all-time visitor’s home run record at Rogers.  Let’s get one tonight, Papi.

Texas is 1-9 in their last 10, 6-24 in their last 30, and have the worst record in the majors. The Yankees will face Darvish in the third game of the set, but today they face Mike Mikolas, who along with Yankees starter Shane Greene have a combined 28 innings pitched this year. Comment away.

As the Sox continue to play rather well (winning 7 of the last 8 and sweeping the Royals to start the second half)…despite my logical belief that the season is over, my heart keeps insisting on prolonging the pain.  As John Updike once wrote about baseball (and perhaps simply about being human):

“Nevertheless, there will always lurk, around the corner in a pocket of our knowledge of the odds, an indefensible hope…”

No, I don’t think the Sox will be playing past the series where they say goodbye at last to Derek Jeter (unless things get really strange and our teams see each other past that point…), but my heart wills it to be so.

To keep my futile hope alive, the Sox need to win a lot of games.  They’d do well to start with this one where John Lackey toes the rubber against Hutchison.  Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.  At least get to within a couple of games so that it really, really hurts when they don’t make it!

Cueto faces Kuroda in the finale as the Yankees eye a sweep of the Reds, who are just 2.5 back of a crowded NL Central (St. Louis and Milwaukee are tied at the top, while the Pirates are tied with the Reds…poor Cubbies).  Meanwhile the Yankees and Blue Jays are only 4 back of the O’s.

With another win, the Sox will drag the Royals down to their level…well, under .500 anyway (the Red Sox are still 7 under).  They have won two 1-run contests in the series so far.  Will today’s Ventura/Lester showdown be as close?  Don’t worry, none of it’s likely to matter very much.  But winning with the kids is still nice.