The last pitcher to win a postseason game after a 15-day layoff was Red Ruffing of the 1939 New York Yankees. And Ruffing can rest easy (well, that’s not too difficult since he’s dead) because Tim Wakefield’s attempt to match that feat last night didn’t go particularly well. The Rays became the first team to ever score more than nine runs in three consecutive LCS games when they stomped the Sox 13-4 at Fenway last night to move within one victory of the World Series.
Some might say, though, that the Sox have the Rays just where they want them. In 2004 and 2007, the Sox trailed by at least a 3-1 margin in the ALCS before coming from way behind to win the series and then sweep the World Series. While it’s certainly not impossible for the Sox to pull this off again, Manny Ramirez is not walking out of that dugout anytime soon and Mike Lowell is officially not available for the rest of the playoffs. Dan Shaughnessy is being very reasonable about all of this, as usual.
But the real story here is the Rays, the former laughing stock franchise that looks like it might be the best team in baseball not only this year, but for years to come. The ST. PETE TIMES’ John Romano is reveling in the moment, and reminds us that the Rays would be the first team in the free agency era to reach the World Series with the lowest payroll in its league. One guy is trying to capitalize while things are going well. According to THE HEATER, the guy who owns EvanLongoria.com is trying to sell it for $25,000 (thanks to YOU BEEN BLINDED for the tip). It would probably be a great place for Longoria to further advance his views on Dominicans, but he’s reportedly not interested in purchasing the domain.
How bored were Sox fans on Tuesday night? Stephen King was curled up with his book by the third inning:
(not tonight, Steve, not tonight)
Tony Gonzalez is a little miffed that he didn’t get moved prior to yesterday’s NFL trade deadline. Jay Glazer is naturally very pleased with himself that he got this scoop. Gonzalez pretty much unloaded on Chiefs GM Carl Peterson for not dumping him for a third-round pick. Gonzalez then took the time to say that even though he was desperate to get away from Kansas City, he’s committed to the team now that he has no choice in the matter.
It was a slow day yesterday on the police blotter. All we got is Sebastian Telfair getting suspended for three games for his 2007 arrest for speeding, driving without a license, and handgun possession. It’s the first trifecta of Telfair’s career.
Finally, the Flyers got their first point of the season last night by taking the Penguins to overtime, but they lost their third consecutive game to begin the season. That’s no wins since the Sarah Palin ceremonial puck drop, for those of you scoring at home. Let’s go to the links:
• As if it isn’t hard enough to drive a race car at 150+ miles per hour through the streets of Surfers Paradise in Australia, I’ve learned that drivers have to turn a blind eye to hundreds of topless (and even fully nude) women who watch the annual Indy Car race from the balconies of the upscale community’s many high-rise apartment buildings. It’s become the Aussie equivalent to Girls Gone Wild and is so notorious that there are commercial DVDs of the debauchery available for purchase online.
But now it looks like the authorities are making a point of trying to limit the “action” at this year’s race, which happens on October 26th. According to GOLDCOAST.COM.AU:
INDY organisers have released a code of conduct for race fans staying in apartments within the track precinct.
The document was drawn up following raunchy scenes on balconies, including nudity, at last year’s race.
It says that guests ‘need to ensure the behaviour on the balconies does not offend the general public.’
It’s all very unfortunate, since now the spectators will be forced to just watch a bunch of cars drive in a circle for three hours. And let’s just all give thanks for a minute that this kind of thing hasn’t taken hold at NASCAR tracks around the country:
• When is dirt not just dirt? When it’s official game-used dirt from the San Diego Padres’ home stadium, Petco Park. In that case, it’s actually worth less than dirt. (Thank you, GASLAMP BALL)
• I just about passed out reading this TUCSON CITIZEN story about Arizona baseball player Brad Glenn, who severed nerves and ligaments in his hand when he accidentally put it through a glass coffee table (but I’m one of those people who nearly faints during a blood test). Glenn decided to return for his senior season after being drafted by the A’s this summer, and now he might not be able to play at all next year.
• Utah is the #1 football team in the country, according to one voter in the Harris Interactive Poll. Lya Wodraska of the SALT LAKE TRIBUNE says that the voter is anonymous because the Harris Poll doesn’t require public disclosure of ballots. And, as far as I can tell, the Harris Poll doesn’t publicly disclose its rankings either. It’s supposedly one-third of the BCS formula but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this poll anywhere. Tulsa might be #1 as far as I know.
• Everyone got so caught up thinking Northwestern was the sleeper team in the Big Ten this year that nobody but THE HLOG seems to have noticed that Minnesota is 6-1 and already bowl eligible, after this weekend’s 27-20 upset of Illinois. The Gophers were 1-11 last year.
• BEYOND THE BLUESHIRTS has the thoughts of a clearly devastated Jaromir Jagr concerning the death of his teammate Alexei Cherepanov.
• SQUAWKING BASEBALL notes that the Mets are having some remorse about the price of their luxury suites at the new Citifield. Not in the way you think, though. The Mets didn’t have any problem selling them, they just now think they didn’t charge enough for them. The suites went for $250,000-500,000. But the suites at the new Yankee Stadium started at $600,000 and also sold well.
• In this NY DAILY NEWS story about Derek Lowe’s impending free agency, John Harper says that Frank McCourt won’t be able to keep guys like Lowe and Rafael Furcal around if the Dodgers end up signing Manny Ramirez to a new contract.
• FOOD COURT LUNCH has the deep, dark confessions of the Indianapolis Colts.
• I’ve seen a lot of long blog posts, but this one just might be the longest. THE GRAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (which is a long blog title too, for that matter) has written a paragraph about every Division I basketball team. All three-hundred-and-whatever of them. Even teams that barely qualify, like St. John’s.