Monday, August 13, 2007

Monday morning riffin'

Stupid is as stupid does. And people paid $30.00 to watch that.

The current numbers on Eric Gagne in a Red Sox uniform - seven runs in four innings over five games. Incredibly, that means that Gagne managed to lower his ERA for his time in Boston from 16.20 to 15.75 yesterday.

The Yankees certainly got hot at the right time - getting healthy against the bottom feeders over the last month, and then having games against struggling Indians and Tigers clubs. Of course it helps that the Bommahs are currently facing off against the only division in the American League against whom they have a winning record.

Approximately eight weeks ago the Yanks trailed by 14.5 games. Today that lead is four games. Sox fans can thank the Central for that as against the East (21-23), and the West (12-13) combined the Yankees are three games below .500 - the Central (23-7) on the other hand is having trouble buying wins against the Yanks who have a gaudy .767 winning percentage against the home division of the reigning AL champs.

Note to Vince Young - you're supposed to be the team leader. Team leaders don't get suspended from exhibition games.

Props to former Cardinals pitcher and current Cards outfielder Rick Ankiel - four games played since rejoining the club. During that time - 16 AB, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 K's and an on base percentage of .417. While it's pretty much impossible that he could keep this pace up over an entire season, right now this is how that translates over 500 at bats - 94 HR, 188 HR, 188 K's. The man's on fire right now, but will cool off. I just thought it was appropriate to recognize the tear he's on since his call-up.

A few bright things from Friday's exhibition match between the Patriots and Buccaneers after noting that the defense - starting and back-up alike - struggled against the run. Hopefully that works itself out. As a whole, really, it's a chance to get a look at the young talent and begin guessing who has a shot at making the team and who doesn't.

In extended time the following looked good -

Mike Wright appears to be continuing his progression as a reliable back-up, finishing the night with four solo tackles and a sack for a seven yard loss.

Linebackers Justin Rogers and Oscar Lua were active and combined for 11 total tackles (four and five solo tackles respectively) and one sack (Rogers).

Willie Andrews continues to progress, and late round draft pick Mike Richardson went step for step with one of Tampa's wide outs, almost making a highlight reel interception on a jump ball put up along the left sideline by Bucs back-up QB Bruce Gradkowski.

Just a guess at this point - but I would say keep an eye on Rogers, Lua, and Richardson.


Dave said...

I agree on Rodgers and Lua. I really think that Oscar Lua could be the steal of the draft. Before his injuries at USC, he was a dominant linebacker. Pierre Woods also looked good early in camp. All of a sudden we have some good young talent at linebacker to back up our starters. Just another example of how drafting builds champions.

Also, how about Kelley Washington? I think the Bengals are going to regret letting him go. I could see the Pats carrying Troy as a CB to allow an extra space for another receiver. The way I see it now, it's Moss, Stallworth, Welker, Gaffney (who also looked good) and Washington.

Kevin Smith said...

Washington looked good in the game - but I had wanted to stay primarily with the rooks. I'm curious to see how receiver pans out for the team. I wouldn't be surprised to see them carry six. I think the bubble competition is between Washington and Caldwell.

However, I'm curious to see what happens to Bam Childress. I think he has shown improvement in each preseason.

Dave said...

Bam is in that unfortunate "tweener" position. He's good, but is he good enough to warrant dropping Caldwell or Washington? I think he's a lock for the practice squad if he wants to stay with the team.

Kevin Smith said...

I agree - but as you know from past posts - I've got a soft spot for the players like Bam.