July 18, 2004

Treading Water. The Tigers beat the Yankees this afternoon, so a win against the Angels would be most appreciated. Going 1-3 in Anaheim is not acceptable. ... When is this team going to realize that a winning streak will not just magically happen -- they have to bear down, stop mailing in their at-bats when they are behind by more than a couple of runs and battle for a full 9 innings every day. ... The fact that they are tied for the wild card does not lessen my annoyance.

Curt Schilling says his right ankle feels better than it has in two months and he plans to pitch this afternoon (on 9 days rest) without an injection of Marcaine. ... Schilling and Pedro Martinez will fly back to Boston tonight rather than accompany the team to Seattle for a two-game series. ... Schilling discusses his first half-season in Boston, the fans and the media. He also calls Newsday's Jon Heyman "an idiot and a liar."

Terry Francona said he's not using Manny Ramirez as the DH against the Angels because it would force David Ortiz to play first base and weaken the infield defense. I think Manny's bat makes up for any possible lost fielding prowess -- c'mon, is Millar really than much better than Ortiz? Manny refers to himself now as "a pinch-hitting specialist." ... Ortiz and the Red Sox wait to hear "Yankee Bob" Watson's ruling. ... Did you know that Johnny Damon and Mark Bellhorn played together on a high school all-star team in Florida?

According to Gordon Edes, Alan Schwartz's new book, The Numbers Game: Baseball's Lifelong Fascination with Statistics, "present[s] the evolution of baseball statistics and the vital role they played practically from the time the game was invented." ... Schwartz says Boston is the model of how a team can integrate both the traditionalists and the number crunchers: "I'm very impressed by the Red Sox. Everybody keeps an open mind, which is immensely powerful."

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