That's the magic number. Any combination of Red Sox wins and Yankees losses totalling 24 will give the Red Sox the AL East title for the first time in over 10 years. Amazing. It can be done!
Magic numbers are the curse of the devil - because it takes so long to count down. I mean, I know the season is one day at a time, but the number seems to only get bumped down every other day or so.
Well, last night it got bumped from 25 to 24 in a BIG way. The Yankees got embarrassed in Detroit 16-0. Mike Mussina got absolutely shelled and the Yankees are down and out! I have never seen a team roll over like this and play dead quite as easy as the Yankees did last night. They got hammered from all sides. No named hitters were putting it to their shredded bullpen. Guys named Ramirez, Henn, Bruney...they wouldn't even make it on the Devil Rays, but they are taking up valuable innings in the Yanks bullpen. Embarrassing.
It's embarrassing when they are paying guys like Abreau $18M a year and the guy doesn't hustle after fly balls, then throws to the wrong base, then whiffs repeatedly. The guy has no heart.
It's embarrassing to see they put an aging former CF in LF in Johnny Damon. But of course they have to, since they are paying him $14M a year. His throwing has actually gotten WORSE since he left Boston. He has minimal to no speed on the bases any more, and his OBP is dwindling from the leadoff spot. Sad.
It's embarrassing when the Yankees are going to have to try to convince ARod to stick around next season - even though they are the only team that can outspend every other team by double. There is no guarantee that ARod will come back. And for anyone in the Yankees organization to even doubt that they need him back is just a joke. ARod has carried that team all season - he has accounted for almost 250 runs (and we have 4 weeks left) which is about 1/3 of an entire teams numbers. The Yankee organization is an embarrassment.
It's embarrassing to see an aging SP with a history of Mike Mussina get bad mouthed by the Yankee brass. Saying he might not be good enough to pitch out of the bullpen and could be released is just a slap in the face. But seriously - the guy is done. He was getting pummeled and with ease. His knuckle curve is non-existent, his fastball barely hits 87 mph, and he is mentally not a good pitcher any more. Very sad.
It's embarrassing to see your manager, Joe Torre, looking around the dugout for help, and there is none. Mattingly and Guidry look like rats fleeing a ship - trying to get out of Torre's glare. Guidry made so many trips to the mound last night they were going to put a lawn chair out there next to the pitcher to make it easier. Torre actually went out to take the ball from Henn and I thought Henn was going to punch him in the head for leaving him out there too long. Poor Henn was getting killed and when he looked into the dugout for some help, everyone diverted their eyes away like they didn't notice. That kid will be a mess now for a long long time. Torre is done, stick a fork in him. When he doesn't make the playoffs he will be fired immediately. Look for Joe Girardi to be the next Yankee manager.
The best thing that happened last night was the Yankees using their bullpen a lot - that means they will be tired for the 3 game series starting tonight in NY. The toilet will be abuzz.
I can not wait for the Yankees to throw Joba Chamberlain at the Sox. The kid has started his career with 9 innings of scoreless ball, he can throw a 100 mph, and he will get his ego deflated by the Sox this week. I hope they throw him in the first game - Pettitte starts and will probably get shelled early. Let's get it over with - let's crush this kids confidence early so he's useless the rest of the series (he can't pitch on consecutive days).
The Yankee bullpen is horrible - Farnsworth, Henn, Ramirez, Bruney, Vizcaino, Chamberlain and even Mo don't scare anyone. Three of those guys were misused already on Monday so they should be ready to go against the Sox!
So, my prediction? Sox win 2 out of 3. Tuesday and Wednesday nights will be blow outs, and Thursday will be a close loss. Should be a good series with the Sox offense peaking. GO SOX!