Had a great three days off. Took my daughters Eva and Carly to Cooperstown to see the Hall of Fame and to Syracuse for chicken wings at the famed Change of Pace. They are truly chips off the old block.
Catching up on some random thoughts from the last few days. Is it just me, or did President Obama look very UN-presidential in his jeans and White Sox jacket throwing out the first pitch at the All Star Game on Tuesday? I’m not sure what disappointed me more- the pants or the jacket. I’m not a big fan of the tie and jacket- I avoid it whenever I can. Then again, I’m not the leader of the free world. Other countries have to be laughing at us. This has nothing to do with his politics, believe me. Look the part. Act as if you’ve been there before.
Carl Crawford’s catch of Brad Hawpe’s fly ball at the game in St. Louis saved Jonathan Papelbons’ bacon. More importantly, it helped earn the American League the home field advantage in the World Series. Hopefully, the Red Sox will be able to take advantage of it.
Just as we adjourned for the All Star break, we learned that Clay Buchholz (7-2, 2.36) would get his first Major League start of 2009 on Friday in Toronto. The Red Sox would have you believe it’s just a coincidence, but the conspiracy theorist in me says it might be an audition for the Jays as the Red Sox try to get involved in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes. Imagine a vintage Buchholz outing to get Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi drooling over the 24 year old Texan. Manager Ron Johnson quickly nixed my idea. “Buch’s just getting a start. I’m real happy he’s getting it. As far as trade talk goes, I don’t get involved with that.” RJ added that Clay knows it may be just a one-shot deal for now. “He knows, because I told him. It may be just one start.” Johnson admitted that he would take several peeks at the TV in his office between innings on Friday to see how Buchholz fares in Canada. “No doubt, I always check. Those guys are our guys.”
Rumors before Thursdays’ game had Indy starter Ian Snell being dealt to the Dodgers. There was some question as to whether he’d pitch against Pawtucket. As he wandered into the visitors’ clubhouse to get ready, he was pounced on by inquiring media members. Snell had no idea about how the rumors started and insisted he hadn’t heard from his agent or anyone else regarding a trade.
When asked if he had seen his pitchers Jose Vaquedano and Fernando Cabrera play in the Triple A All Star game in Portland, Oregon, RJ admitted that the only sports he had seen over the break were the softball games his daughters played in. “Cheyenne went 3-4 and Bridget had 2 hits. It was awesome. All of Morrison, Tennesee turns out at the field to watch these games.” Johnson added that it really is a slice of Americana. “We live in a very small town. Very homey. It’s great.”
When asked about his teams’ struggling offense (.230 as a team- last in the I.L.) and if the break would help, RJ was brutally honest. “We’ll see. I don’t want to be negative, but our offense is what it is.”