Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Terry Francona: Maverick

The current mid-week series in Philly is being billed by many of the talking heads in the sports business as a Fall Classic preview.  The Sox and the Phils are the toast of the bigs, despite the fact that Boston is a game and a half behind New York in the standings right now.

Tonight pitted Josh Beckett against Cliff Lee.  Though Cliff claimed the "W," I won't hold a grudge because I still worship the ground mound he walks on for spurning the advances of the Evil Empire during the offseason.  He's an honorary favorite for life, though that might change if we actually end up meeting him in October.

Despite the fact that I generally approve of Cliff Lee (and Philadelphia generally) I was very happy when Lee gacve up his first hit to the Red Sox, a single to Marco Scutaro in the sixth inning.  The only other Sox hit of the night was clubbed by Darnell McDonald, who doubled to lead off the top of the eighth inning.

We have John Lackey going for us tomorrow, and the big righty has been a bit of a mystery this season.  Personally, I'm inclined to cut him rather more slack than I normally would, because his wife Krista has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and I know how draining, distressing, and rattling it can be to watch a family member fight that battle.

Tito (a better maverick than John McCain ever was), has been hinting that he will combat the uncertainty of Lackey on the bump by putting David Ortiz in the lineup.  As all of you know, playing in Philly means Papi will have to play first base... thus sliding Adrian Gonzalez to right field. Yes, right field.

I could give you my perspective on this plan, but, as always, Dustin Pedroia's take is much more entertaining, so I'll leave it with this sentiment from my favorite second-baseman: "It'll be good offensively, but damn, I've gotta play second, first and right. That's a lot of ground to cover, man. I've got small legs."

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