The stage is set for an important three-game series between the Yanks and Sox in Boston tonight. Will the two teams engage in bench-clearing hostilities (the tabloids can only wish)? Will both offenses bash the opposing pitching into submission? Who will be the first Red Sox to homer off Aramando? Will Mr. Kim give up another game to the Yanks? Who will have the best quotes, and who will not talk at all? It will be interesting to find out.
I heard a report that "Moneyball" author, Michael Lewis will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch tonight. Think the Yanks will have Max Frazee return the favor next month?
The Yankees and the Red Sox will play each other nine more times this season. The Bombers hold a 6-4 advantage thus far, and enter Fenway park tonight with a two-and-a-half game lead. The Sox need to sweep the Yanks in order to move into first place. Predictably, the papers in New York are hyping the series as a potential bean-brawl affair. The great Pedro Martinez will try to improve his career mark to over .500 against New York tonight; he faces Boomer Wells. (My spidey sense is telling me that Pedro will humble the Yanks proper tonight.) Mike Mussina goes against old man Burkett on Saturday, and Derek Lowe faces off against Jiffy Pop Weaver on the espn game of the week on Sunday night.
There isn't much left to say really. The stakes are high and the tension is palpable. There hasn't been much trash-talking yet, although Johnny Damon characteristically is making predictions again, though they are tame by his standards. The Sox have not swept the Yankees since 1999, and now would obviously be a good time to end that trend. If the Yankees can manage to win two of three, the weekend will be a success for New York.
Nick Johnson is due to join the big club over the weekend. I wonder if Sunday's performance will determine Jeff Weaver's future with the club? My feeling is that if he gets pounded, he'll be gone by the trading deadline.