The Sox turned on the offense tonight (at least late in the game) and the Yankees mounted an amazing comeback with 4 runs in the ninth, but came up short in the 14th. This was a huge win for the Red Sox and a huge momentum swinger for the Yankees. Sure, beating the Sox in Fenway 2 out of 3 was a big ego boost, but they have to come off the high sometime - and tonight was that night.
Papi blasted a HR, Lowell and Varitek had one also - which is huge since the power outage has lasted way too long. Beckett won game #20 - which is a huge accomplishment in a much better American League than National League (where there seem to be more 20 game winners).
Ellsbury got himself on ESPN with the #1 webgem - falling into the LF bullpen and managing to make a crazy catch. Of course the "bullpen" in the Trop is ON the field and the little mole hill for a pitchers mound is fully exposed (which is just begging for an injury). He also had a couple of hits and both he and Pedroia raised hell on the bases again - both scoring on an error or a wild pitch.
The bottom of the order continues to be useless - Tek (although he hit a HR tonight), Coco, Lugo, Hinske, Kielty - throw Drew in there and you have the potential for a no hitter any night. Brandon Moss actually pinch hit for Coco and had a hit. Sad. No production from that part of the order will kill us in the playoffs. Man, we need Manny back in a huge way - but we need Manny to come back and hit. He's had a LONG time off to recoop from a strained oblique. I know what a strained oblique feels like - I used to laugh at them, I just assumed it was an excuse for something else. But, they are humbling injuries - doing weird things like tying shoes is impossible - and turning side to side sends sharp pains up your whole side. But my injury was over in about 3 or 4 weeks. Hell, I was back playing hockey in 2 weeks. Manny better come back at his best or wait until the playoffs - although a couple games to shake the cobwebs off would be nice. Luckily we can beat the DRays without him.
News out today is that the SF Giants will not bring back Barry Bonds. Well, of course they won't! They raped him for the publicity and ticket sales of the HR record and now they tell him to F off. Couldn't happen to a better guy either. Whatever. Some stupid organization with no humility will pick him up next year. Hell - the Rangers picked up Sammy Sosa off the scrap heap and he leads that team in RBIs this season. (Which is sad considering the power hitters on that club.)
So who will sign him next season? Let's work backwards on this - who won't sign him? Well, no National League team is paying $12-15M for an 85 game a year defensive liability who is better suited for the AL. An American League team will likely sign him to play DH, but young teams and teams that are too concerned with chemistry won't sign him either - so let's subtract the Sox (DH is Ortiz), Toronto (Big Hurt), Cleveland (too good - too young), Detroit (Sheffield), Minnesota (too good and too young), Chicago (Thome), Angels (too smart), Texas (Sosa), Seattle (they are old enough). That leaves NYY, Baltimore, TB, KC, and the A's. TB won't spend $12M on a player, Bonds won't go to KC, and Baltimore doesn't need anymore bad press. That leaves NYY and the A's.
The NYY are about to lose ARod and could use the DH and PH power potential off their bench. Of course Giambi takes that roll - but something tells me they could find room for both. Not to mention that the Yankees can outbid anyone and Bonds jerseys could actually sell in NY City (but not in San Fran - weird). Plus, having the HR king* play on the Yankees might make Georgie boy cream his pants.
The A's are interesting, Billy Beane favors the OBP, and Piazza is on the way out. Oakland is very close to San Fran, and Barry could continue to live in his current home in CA, not to mention I think SF and Oakland play each other in Interleague play every season, so he has a chance to get back at SF. The A's also have a lot of young guys to fill the OF (instead of DH), and team chemistry really has interested Beane that much. He's been known to keep cancers too long (Terrance Long and Jay Payton) and cut good clubhouse guys (Keilty). So basically if he could get Bonds for like $8-10M, he'd do it in a second.
There are a couple of places he could land in the NL, places like Washington, San Diego or maybe LA, but the likelihood of them outbidding the Yankees and Barry passing on the next best thing of lots of time off and not being away from the family with the A's will be too much to pass up. So, no chance he stays in the NL.
My prediction, although the Yankees offer Bonds $12M - which is $4M more than the A's offer, Bonds chooses the A's, but then Georgie comes back and offers $15M and Bonds signs with the Yankees. Everyone has a price - and if you can buy a HR title, you can buy your happiness in NYC.
Oh, but right after Bonds signs with NYY, even before he gets to play a game for them, he gets indicted in this whole steroids scandal and we realize there is a God and Barry Bonds - the HR leader* - goes to jail. Don't feel bad for him, he has earned it. After he is convicted, MLB will wipe his records from the books to cleanse themselves of an ugly lie that they knew all along. Yes, the fan will be cheated, and MLB will be tainted - until another Red Sox/Yankee show down in September brings the fans back in 2008.