The day after the All-Star Game is the worst. So in an attempt to fuel your baseball addiction, here are the hot Yanks- and Sox-related topics:
- David Ortiz’ knee will "probably" require surgery after the season, but the Herald cites a "close source" saying it is not related to the slugger’s dearth of home runs. Me, I remain concerned that high-rise development near the park continues to turn home runs into doubles.
- Rob Bradford is going through an interesting recap of the first half tidbits he picked up from various Sox players — great reading — and makes a saliant point that should make any fan of pitching excited: "I think an underappreciated aspect of Matsuzaka’s transition was the difference in the baseballs. The Japanese version is much more pitcher-friendly, as it is smaller and has seams which are raised slightly more." Think of how good Josh Beckett is doing one year after struggling through an adjustment that didn’t involve a change in the composition of the baseballs and the mound, never mind the culture shock.
- Who’s the sexiest Red Sox pitcher? Kevin Youkilis and Jonathan Papelbon thought you’d never ask.(HT: Beth.)
- This is one of those stories we may look back at in six years with a smile: Two of baseball’s hottest Dominican prospects squared off for the first time today — Michael Almanzar with the Red Sox and Kelvin de Leon with the Yankees. They’re both 16, and they both just signed for major moulah.
- Talk about your rough adjustments. A-Rod says it took him three years to get used to playing in New York. What? You mean, it’s not as intense in Arlington, Texas?
- Speaking of, your AL first-half MVP this year, according to Win Shares (which had Jeter on top last season)? One Vlad Guerrero. A-Rod comes in fourth. Ortiz and Youkilis lead the Sox, tie for 27th.
- Will the Yanks be buyers or sellers? Bronx Banter picks up on a strange quote from Cashman on the subject: "year’s team earned the right to get reinforcements. This year’s team’s got to still earn that right. Last year’s team showed it was a championship-type situation, fighting through a lot.” Wait, so who put together this team? What has he earned?
- In case you haven’t grasped how bad Wil Nieves has been, Replacement Level Yankees drives it home. They also note that without A-Rod, the lineup is just five runs above league average — just half a win.