Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-8-11

8/11/2008
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

Billy-Ball – From the diamond to your desktop…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Monday, August 11, 2008

Top of the 1st
THE DOG DAYS OF AUGUST…
I love my dog Mookie, but he will be the first to attest that these are the dog days of summer. These are the dog days of the baseball season. He knows as well as anyone that the term “dog days” is not a compliment. With just about a quarter of the season left, teams must really concentrate on what the remainder of their year will look like. Every team, every player, every manager and coach, every member of the front office and scouting staff has been stretched. And they are tired and sore and…

Nerves are frayed; joints are too. Everybody has aches and pains. Muscles cramp early and often. Every team has significant injuries and has lost players. Every team has players who are playing their age for the first time. These are the days when pitchers learn the word “labrum.” These are the days when players wish they never agreed to have the “greenies” ban enforced. These are the nights when you really have to suck it up and find a little extra as…

These are the days when thunderstorms are frequently messing with your workouts and at night causing rain delays. Games are running long or seem to be. Traveling is no longer any fun, even on the charters. Hotel rooms are not where you want to be and yet going out is a pain. Restaurant food and room service has become tiresome. Video games have lost their appeal. Card games have been played and played out. Listening to your teammate’s taste in music was never appealing and now it’s simply annoying. It was okay when he was pitching great or hitting a ton, but now…

Teams know their strengths and more importantly they know their weaknesses. The front office wants more from the manager. The manager wants some help from the front office. Organizations are aware of players in their system who can help or they now know how thin their minor league teams truly are. GM’s are constantly scouring the waiver wires hoping to add a guy with a contract that someone doesn’t want who might give them an extra boost to finish strong and continuing playing in October. Owners know to make some extra playoff revenue, they may have to overpay now. They know if they don’t make a move, they will be second-guessed and if they do make a move, they will be second-guessed as…

Writers are looking for another angle, another perspective, just another way to say the same thing only differently. Broadcasters are working harder to keep viewers and listeners watching and listening. Every one of them covering a losing team is trying hard to put a positive spin on things. Every one of them covering a winning team is trying hard to keep everyone engaged because…

Even the most ardent fans are tired. And distracted: There’s the election, the economy, the family, the vacation, the weather, and the health of those who matter. Then there’s the start of the football season and the Olympics. There’s also the realization that their team could fall short this year. Then there’s the anger or indifference as they know that their team definitely isn’t going to make it. Then amidst the fatigue, the pain, the rain, the heat, the humidity, there’s the reality…

That this could be the year. This is what we’ve all been working toward and waiting for. This is when you know that every game counts. This is the time when you watch the scoreboard, when you rush to the see the results from the night before, the time when you don’t just take a glance, but you truly study the standings because…

This could be the moment. This could be the season of on-field celebrations, of banners, of parades, of records, of greatness, of jubilation beyond any imagined, of the ring. This is what it is all about. This is what everybody hopes for and roots for and lives for. This is when you look at the calendar and you realize that there are only six weeks left and you need to push a little harder, throw a little better, hit a little more, run a little faster, think a little differently, root a little louder. This is August, this is The Show…

This is August baseball.

Top of the 2nd
MY KIND OF TOWN, CHICAGO IS
The Red Sox and Cardinals came to Chicago this weekend and so far so good for the North and the South Siders.

The Chicago White Sox hung on to beat the Boston Red Sox 6-5 yesterday thanks to great relief pitching from the ChiSox Octavio Dotel and continually poor starting pitching from the BoSox Clay Buchholtz. Carlos Quentin hit his American League-leading 32nd homer, Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye also went deep for the winners who have taken the first two of three of the series that ends tonight.

Dotel entered the game with one down in 7th with the bases filled and Mike Lowell who had a three-run 1st inning homer at the plate. Lowell grounded to third for the `round-the-horn double play and Dotel maintained the 6-5 lead with a scoreless 8th and Bobby Jenks pitched a perfect 9th for his 24th save in 27 chances.

Clay Buchholz (2-8) is now 0-6 in his last eight starts and allowed seven hits, five runs and three homers while throwing 74 pitches in just three-plus innings.

The Cubbies also made it two of three as Ryan Dempster (13-5) pitched the Cubs over the Cardinals, 6-2. The Cubs starter is now 11-2 at Wrigley Field this season allowing six hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings. Kerry Wood threw a perfect 8th in his first game back after suffering from back spasms, and Carlos Marmol finished it.

Kosuke Fukudome continues to struggle. After he hit .236 in July and was hitting .125 in August going into last night’s game. He’s now hitting .269 overall. He had 19 walks in March and April. Since July 1, he has walked 12 times and struck out 30 times.

Top of the 3rd
WALKOFFS
The LA Angels of leaders completed their first three-game sweep of the Bronx Bombers at home since May 1995 thanks to a Chone Figgins RBI single with one out in the 9th against closer Mariano Rivera giving the Halos a 4-3 victory. It was New York’s 10th loss in 15 games put them 8