The Devil Rays visit the Hub and they, like Cleveland and the Orioles, have played Boston tough all season. The Red Sox are 17-13 against those three teams with a .280 batting average and 4.51 ERA (against everyone else, they hit .294 with a 4.60 ERA). ... Pedro, Manny, Nomar -- why are only the stars getting the flu? Can Walker or Sauerbeck get sick, please? ... Ramirez's dumb baserunning cannot continue. ... What's wrong with Millar? ... Seattle heads to Texas. ... Lowe/Sosa at 7:05 pm.
Mike Bauman writes that the Red Sox are "still in the maybe category for the postseason" and notes "good pitching trumps everything." Bull. Tell that to the 1999 and 2000 Red Sox, who led the American League in ERA (see here if you think the Pedro factor was at work (it wasn't)). ... In an ESPN pay column, Jerry Crasnick rates the top five starting rotations of the playoff contenders: Cubs, White Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, A's. ... The Giants without Bonds?
BlogWatch: PSF says the Sox must TCB; Musings notes the wild card odds (Boston 78.4%, Seattle 15.5%; so why am I so nervous?) and breaks down the final 2 weeks; Curse of the J-Lo?; the Sheriff notes (as I did) the short-sightedness of sending Arroyo out for a 3rd inning; and some thoughts from the Other Side of the Tracks.
Finally, the National Book Foundation is awarding its annual medal for distinguished contribution to American letters to Red Sox fan Stephen King. Harold Bloom is not pleased: "He is a man who writes what used to be called penny dreadfuls. That they could believe that there is any literary value there or any aesthetic accomplishment or signs of an inventive human intelligence is simply a testimony to their own idiocy." Now that's a blurb! ... Oh, and it's official. Dick Cheney says that September 11 is "over with now, it's done, it's history and we can put it behind us." Really? After you've hindered any and all investigations? I don't think so. Fuck you, Crashcart.