It’s a gorgeous late-summer day (at least it is here in New England) and you, young sir (or miss) should be playing outside. But since you’re not, here’s a fresh roundup of links:
Shaun Marcum has been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse, swapping roster spots with lefty John Parrish. I figured it was a chance for Toronto’s future No. 2 to recover from his recent struggles and get ready for next year. But no: J.P. Ricciardi is positioning the move as a chance to get Marcum right so that the Jays can make their–excuse me–playoff run. Toronto is 12.5 back in the division and 8 back in the wild card.
Red Sox hurler Clay Buchholz was also recently optioned to the minors–but to Double-A. The Eck says we won’t be seeing The Buck any time soon.
In other AL East-playoff-hunt news, Rays fans are pissed that despite holding a 4.5 game lead over the Red Sox going into today’s action, and a dominating 10.5 game lead over the New York Yankees, they are commanding only a Rodney Dangerfield-esque amount of respect from the Worldwide Leader. Today’s game against the White Sox is also the first time in more than five years that a Tampa Bay game has been featured on Fox. (Some teams have all the luck.)
Yet another CC-to-NY post. I know money talks, but from everything I’ve seen and heard, Sabathia is not interested in playing in New York. He’s probably not interested in coming to Boston, either, but it’s worth noting that the Red Sox will also have plenty of money to spend this winter with Manny off the books. Since Curt Schilling didn’t throw a meaningful pitch all year, with Buchholz struggling all season, and with Josh Beckett looking like a mere mortal this year, Boston will be almost as motivated as New York to sign the ace. I say “almost” because the Sox still have a shot at making the playoffs.
UmpBump PSA: One young player at the NYBC is growing his hair long to donate it to Locks of Love. It’s commonly reported that Locks of Love is a charity that uses donated hair to make wigs for kids with cancer, but most of their patients actually suffer from alopecia areata, a genetic condition that results in hair loss. Either way, it sucks to be bald when you’re still only a kid. I’ve donated hair to the group, and their website has a very easy to read FAQ telling you how to do it if you’re interested. If you’re thinking of a post-summer chop and you’ve got 10 inches to spare, why not donate it to someone who can use it?
From the too-good-to-not-share file, Papi on Pedroia:
“He’s the best. He’s the best of the best. He’s the best thing that ever happened to this ballclub,” Ortiz said. “He’s a [expletive] great kid, dude. He’s the best. I love him. It’s great, man. I talk about Pedroia all the time to everybody because of how little he is and the way he plays the game.
“And I’ll be like, ‘Dude, seriously, he’s a bad little kid.’ Pedroia is always going to be like a 16- or 17-year-old because he’s little and he’s got a baby face, but he just rakes. Dude, he comes up with some lines, and you’ll be laughing. He hit a ball off the Green Monster once, and he came back to the dugout and said to me, ‘Hey, Big Punish, you know it’s going to rain, right?’ And I was like, ‘Why?’ He goes, ‘Didn’t you just see the lightning show?’”