The only highlight of this game for Boston was Jacoby Ellsbury tying Tommy Harper for the Sox single season record for steals (54, set in 1973). Off the field, the highlight was the return of Jerry Remy to the broadcast booth. One of the best baseball analysts in the game, Remy, a former smoker, came down with lung cancer and underwent surgery for it late last year, only to come down with an infection in January and battle bouts of depression that set him back and forced him to leave his job at NESN in April. After a parade of analysts filled his spot for months, itâ€™s great to see the Remdawg back -â€“ but NESN should find a way to have the highly entertaining Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley continue to analyze games too.
Penny is now slated to long relieve either Tim Wakefield -â€“ with V-Mart as Wakeâ€™s catcher -â€“ in his return from the DL tomorrow or Junichi Tazawa on Thursday. Or if neither happens, pitch a simulated game in Boston Friday.
Speaking of Jeter, over the weekend, newly elected Hall of Famer Jim Rice addressed Little Leaguers in Williamsport and made some comments about todayâ€™s players, how they donâ€™t compare with those of his era and other statements that made him sound like a grumpy old man. And then he allegedly lumped in Jeter with A-Rod and Manny as players kids shouldnâ€™t look up to.
First of all, I donâ€™t understand Riceâ€™s criticism of players who wear baggy pants and have dreadlocks. Does he not realize players wore baggy pants for decades going back at least 60 years and many probably had funky or long hair styles in the â€˜70s, during his heyday? I donâ€™t see the big deal there. Also, I can understand frowning on Manny and A-Rod given recent revelations about PED use, but Jeter? Even the most ardent Yankee hater would have to admit that Jeter is as classy a major leaguer as they come and plays the game right -â€“ though his penchant for diving over the plate to hit does annoy me from time to time.
Rice is now saying he was misquoted, but Iâ€™m not sure many are going to buy it. He thinks his generation of players is better than ours. Thatâ€™s fine but at least next time, he ought to use better examples of why that is.