Billy-Ball Daily: 2006-8-25

Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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The only spin here is on a curveball

Friday, August 25, 2006

Top of the 1st
Picture the slowest runner in baseball (Benjie Molina?) and then picture him running circles around me. Does that answer your question as to how my recovery is going?

Fortunately, thanks to my terrific physical terrorist, Chris Morin, I am improving. I may not see it every day, but I do see it by weeks, meaning I’m a lot better than I was a week ago and dramatically improved from two weeks ago.

You may wonder what life is like on the sidelines for your favorite ballplayer who is on the DL. If his life is anything like mine, it’s a combination of very painful exercises that you both look forward to and dread, then resting and recovering from said exercises. I have watched innumerable movies (thank you, Netflix) and saved my reading for the middle of the night when I’m either waiting for the time to take my pain meds or waiting for them to kick in. Days are truly 24/7. I’m lucky to have Mrs. Ball, who is no Nurse Ratchett, and remains unbelievably patient with this patient and keeps me from losing my mind.

So I remain on the D.L., but definitely now day to day and I expect that after my birthday (August 30) and when the rosters expand, I will be back. I hope so. I miss writing and miss all of you.

Be well and thanks for all your continued best wishes.

Here are some brief thoughts until next time.

Top of the 2nd
Eddie Guardado, Bill Bray, Gary Majewski, Rheal Cormier, Kyle Lohse and Ryan Franklin versus Jermaine Van Buren, Jason Johnson, Kyle Snyder, Kason Gabbard and three bags of chaff. The first group of major leaguer relievers were acquired by the Cincinnati Reds in the last two weeks of July. The second group of players were swept onto Nantasket Beach, along with other waste products, and put into Red Sox uniforms in their attempt to compete in the AL East.

The Sox have proven to be a bunch of overrated veterans and overrated youngsters this season. I was convinced at the start of the season that Sox baseball operations folks (read: Theo) saw this year as a transition year in which they would remain respectively competitive. Their worst nightmare occurred when the Yankee injuries made the New Yorkers a struggling ballclub and the Sox had extended flights of fancy in first place. The Sox were not prepared or interested in making the financial investments in this year’s team to keep it competitive enough to go all…the…way.

The best proof of my theory was exhibited this past Tuesday night as the Sox scrambled to find a starter and the Phillies started newly acquired Jaime Moyer. Teams that want to win this year, pick up players this year – yes, Shawn Green went 1-3 in his Mets debut last night. By the way Shawn is thrilled to be heading to the post-season again. In checking the calendar, Yom Kippur begins the night of Monday, October 2. October 1 is the last day of the regular, so there should be no conflicts for Shawn.

When the Yankees picked up Bobby Abreau and Cory Lidle, in a trade I consider better than the off-season pick-up of Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, Joe Torre said it best when he said that the Yankees play for “now.” The Yanks however still have put themselves in position to have success this season and next as homegrown stars Melky Cabrera, Robinson Cano, and Chien Ming Wang are the real deal.

While the Sox took 2 of 3 from the Angels and the Yanks lost 2 of 3 from the Mariners, I am going to say by the season’s end, the Yanks have the widest margin between first and second of any American League race.

Top of the 3rd
Did Billy-Ball just write that the Yanks will win the AL East by a wider margin than the Tigers in the AL Central? Way too many narcotics for the Barbaro-like baseball scribe?

You know I love the Tigers this season. You know I’m thrilled they are having they are on their way to their first winning season since Ty Cobb. I just fear, worry, fret, and agonize that the youngsters that have powered this team so successfully, for so long this season, may be hitting the wall.

Baseball is a long season and while wins and losses count as much in April as they do in September, the necklines of uniforms seem a lot tighter starting in mid-August. This division is baseball’s jewel. Three teams competing (for what I believe will be two spots) and all three teams are very good and very exciting.

Chicago trails Detroit by 5