Last night's game had a little bit of an August 2009 feel to it. Remember how the Yankees lost eight games in a row to the Red Sox, then how good it felt when they actually won one? That was the relief I felt Friday. That, combined with the Yankees getting first place all to themselves, felt pretty good.
But I certainly didn't see that Joe Girardi removing Bartolo Colon for Boone Logan in the fifth inning with the bases loaded would end well. Yet it did. Hooray. The win was the high point of the year so far for the Yanks.
While I'm watching today's Yankees-Red Sox matchup, I wanted to squawk a bit about a few annoying, insufferable people in Red Sox Nation. Specifically, David Ortiz and Larry Lucchino. Big Papi ought to be called Big Baby, or maybe Big Phony. For all his reputation of being a jovial, loveable guy, he's constantly getting into dust-ups, cursing up a storm, and acting like a real jerk. Remember his immature act about finally getting plunked by a Yankee this year?
Not to mention that whole "looking for the real juicers" thing. This month marks the second anniversary of the news that Ortiz was on The List of those who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. And although he promised then to find out why he was on the list. He never did. Shocker!
Anyhow, after finding out that a scorer's decision cost him an RBI, Big Baby stormed into Terry Francona's pre-game press conference, curses flying, to complain about the decision. You can see the video here. Whatta jerk.
Then there's Larry Lucchino, who was able to get away with telling Yankee-hating columnist Mike Lupica this load of nonsense without getting a "really?" or a "seriously?" in return (emphasis added):
When asked about the money the Red Sox spent this winter, Larry Lucchino, the president and CEO of the Red Sox and the guy who sets the tone there, said this:
"Every once in a while, you've got to prime the pump."
Then Lucchino said, "We don't spend money on free agents with any sort of frequency or regularity the way some East teams do. We rely primarily on homegrown players and the players we trade for (Gonzalez came in a trade with San Diego). But you can never eliminate any source of acquisition, including free agency, and we dip into the pool from time to time when we feel we must."
Yeah, right. The Red Sox's payroll is $163 million, second only to the Yankees' $207 million. Oh, and those other teams in the AL East he referred too? Baltimore's payroll is $86 million, the Blue Jays' is $70 million, and the Rays is $42 million. What in the world is Larry talking about?
As much as Lucchino wants to pretend that his gutty, gritty Red Sox were all acquired via the farm system and savvy trades, not only have the Sox signed a ton of free agents, but their recent trades are money-oriented, too. Do you think, say, the Pirates could have gotten Adrian Gonzalez? Um, no. The Sox were able to trade him this winter because they had the money to sign him to a big deal. Incidentally, Boston's fake "not re-signing him until after Opening Day to avoid luxury taxes" deal would have caused an MLB investigation if the Yanks had ever tried it.
How many homegrown players were on the 2004 Red Sox? Kevin Youkilis? There's a few more on the 2007 Red Sox, but the vast majority of that team were people the Sox could sign or trade for because the team has money.
And who are the people who make the most money for the Sox? Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Carl Crawford, J.D. Drew, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Jonathan Papelbon all make over $10 million this year. Only Youkilis and Cinco Dopo are homegrown. Lucchino likes to pretend the Sox just "dip into the pool from time to time," but it sure looks like they're in the deep end!
Look, I am well aware that the Yankees also have an economic advantage, too -- it comes with having a rabid fan base and an ownership willing to spend. That's something to be proud of, not ashamed of. But please, don't insult my intelligence by pretending that the Sox don't do the very same thing the Yankees do.
What do you think? Tell us about it.