September 14, 2003

Chicago trumped Boston 7-2 this afternoon. It hardly mattered what the batting order was, because the Red Sox could not hit with men on base and wasted several scoring opportunities:
3rd - 1st/3rd, 0 outs, 1 run (sac fly)

5th - man on 3rd, 1 out, 0 runs
6th - 1st/2nd, 0 outs, 0 runs
7th - leadoff single, 0 runs
9th - leadoff single, 0 runs
I couldn't watch the game (I work weekends), but it seemed like Grady left Burkett in too long and was slow to get the pen warm. With one out in the 5th and the game tied 2-2, Sandy Alomar homered, Roberto Alomar walked (9 pitches) and Lee doubled (7 pitches). Chicago was up 4-2. At this point the bullpen (Jones and Sauerbeck, for some reason) came to life. After a fly out, Ordonez doubled and the White Sox led 5-2. Someone with a quick hook, like Jimy Williams, might have pulled Burkett after the walk. That might have been the thing to do today, with the team fighting for a playoff spot, Burkett close to 90 pitches and a few extra arms in the pen.

But then Gump sent Burkett back out for the 6th! Grady admits that many of the relievers aren't getting enough work, so why not use them? Arroyo had not pitched since August 30 when he relieved Burkett in the 7th; Fossum has been idle since September 6. Fortunately, squeezing an extra inning out of Burkett didn't hurt the Sox. Arroyo threw two crisp innings, but Gump stretched him into the 9th, and he faltered, allowing 3 hits and 2 runs. If Gump sticks to his schedule, I look forward to seeing Arroyo again for 3 innings on September 28. ... Scroll all the way down to the 6:47 pm post for an account of the game from one who was there. Sadly, it's an account that could apply to way too many games this season.

In Seattle, Troy Percival buckled down after a walk, a stolen base and throwing error put the tying run on third with 1 out. He struck out Cameron and got Winn to pop out to shortstop and Anaheim won 2-1. Boston remains ½-game up in the wild card with 4 games against Tampa Bay beginning Monday night. With Lowe, Pedro and Suppan starting the first 3 games, anything less than winning 3 of 4 is unacceptable.

Dear ESPN: Please hire an editor for Peter Gammons. Two sentences from his latest:

"It is the logic that, when the Dodgers were trying to find a closer, they traded for Paul Quantrill for that purpose, and in the deal told the Blue Jays they could have either Luke Prokopec or Eric Gagne, although they preferred to deal Gagne."

"Whether he be Foulke, Bob Wickman (who is re-claiming his Indians job at the risk of Danys Baez being non-tendered) or Worrell, the ninth inning does require someone who can take that inning's heat and accept its responsibilities."

Other Stuff: L. Jean Lewis, the investigator who filed the original criminal referral in Whitewater has been quietly hired as chief of staff of the Defense Department's Inspector General's Office, which will be responsible for auditing the Halliburton and Bechtel Iraq contracts. They have no shame, absolutely no shame at all, and must get a perverse joy out of rubbing our faces in it knowing the media won't say boo. ... Get out your grandchildren's wallet! It turns out that $87,000,000,000 ain't gonna cut it. From the 9/9 LA Times: "Administration officials said President Bush's emergency spending request -- which would push the US budget deficit above the half-trillion-dollar mark for the first time -- still left a reconstruction funding gap of as much as $55 billion." Remember, that $87 billion+ covers only the next fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2003-Sept. 30, 2004). ... In searching for something else, I found this quote and had to share: "It's very interesting when you think about it, the slaves who left here to go to America, because of their steadfast and their religion and their belief in freedom, helped change America." George W. Bush in Dakar, Senegal, July 8, 2003.

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