Here's a classic case of "Do as I say, not as I do." Unfortunately, it seems like the Shelton Little League team didn't apply that helpful dictum to their celebrity phone call...
Wicked Good Sports' Rich Levine posted an article yesterday wondering whether or not Red Sox Nation is preparing itself to worrying about losing the AL East to the Rays. Beyond the tough phrasing (who gets ready to worry about something? My mother is a chronic worrier and even she doesn't get ready to worry about something: if she finds something that concerns her, she worries about it. End of story.), there's the fundamental question: when do we start worrying about the Rays?
Let me answer Rich's question with a question of mine own: when were we not worrying about the Rays? Robin may have laughed at me at the time, but I called Rays in third before the season started, with the caveat that they could take second with a strong bullpen showing and some weak competition. Well, guess what happened:
- Three key members of the bullpen (Wheeler, Howell, and Balfour) have been pitching out of their minds this year. Balfour in particular has been absolutely ridiculous: 6 runs in 39 innings with 57 strikeouts, for a gaudy ERA+ of 309. As a team, their bullpen has held opposing batters to an OPS+ of 87, which in relative terms is like having a team full of Julio Lugos.
- The Yankees are flops so desperate they're bringing back Carl Pavano. The Sox are - as ProjoJo.com charitably puts it - so full of question marks that it's tough to tell how they'll hold up in the post-season, carrying around a .453 road winning percentage like a lodestone around the neck.