Sixth Man, We Hardly Knew Ya

The way I see things, if John Smoltz’s first pitch tonight sails three feet wide, that will mean it stays in the park. We’re playing with house money after that. And if that leadoff batter should walk on four pitches, Smoltz will still be a run and three hits better than Daisuke’s first-four-pitch split last Friday night.

Yes, the six-man rotation is dead. Smoltz is in, Matsuzaka out for the foreseeable future. Turns out Tito Francona was right. Things have a way of working out. Tom Caron has Smoltz in the best place at the best time. Fighting Words has Matsuzaka serving well as a $103 million placeholder until the young arms could develop. The House That Dewey Built says Dice-K is a victim of his own hype, but he’s not a bust . . . yet. Fire Brand Of The American League opines that, other than his stuff . . . and command . . . and control, Matsuzaka has been well worth the $103 million pricetag. Peter’s Red Sox Forever says Smoltz and his four buddies will make a nearly unbeatable combination through October. Hmmmm . . . there was no mention of Daisuke.

Red Sox Monster loves the new and antiseptic Nationals Park, where Red Sox Nation is holding a filibuster-proof majority over D.C. fans. A veteran of many beer league triples himself, The Bottom Line‘s Rob has a special appreciation for Ellsbury’s performance in the opener at Nationals Park. Surviving Grady was a bit less appreciative of John Kerry’s performance in the booth on Tuesday night. Basegirl says Dave Roberts treated Kerry better than Eck would.

Hacks With Haggs doesn’t like Pedroia’s performance at leadoff, but who should take that spot? Ellsbury? Forget it, says Lou Merloni, who pencils in Jacoby as an ideal No. 7. Boston Dirt Dogs loves the performances of Ortiz and Varitek at the plate. Sox & Dawgs is happy to see Big Papi in the fifth and sixth slots getting pitches to hit. Sully Baseball has the Sox making a great trade to improve at DH.

Well, it’s finally happened. The Mighty Quinn Media Machine observes that Big Papi has passed up Big Slappi down in the bowels of the AL batting pack. The Mets half of Subway Squawkers delights that his cleanup hitter is matching A-Rod swing for swing, but for pennies on the dollar. A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory equates Girardi’s ejection last night to whacking the remote, and he’s annoyed that it once again turned the Yankee TV on.

38 Pitches says it’s not retiring MLBPA ED Donald Fehr’s fault that A-Rod stuck a needle in his butt. El Guapo’s Ghost says Fehr is guilty only of reticence from his soap box.

Celtics / Bruins

A few quick entries on our winter teams, as they each have upcoming drafts.

Ball Don’t Lie and SB Nation combine great minds to bring you their latest NBA mock draft. Awful Announcing says they’ll be no tweeting allowed to announce tonight’s selections. Cole Wright may not know what will go down tonight, but he’s sure of two things: the 58th pick will be left intact and the C’s will tear through next season. CelticsHub doesn’t believe Danny Ainge when he says he’s not dealing before the draft. Rich Levine looks back at the C’s last 20 draft picks. Celtics Stuff Live advises against pulling a Ricky Pitino when it comes to Ray Allen.

Big Bad Blog gets us current on the Phil Kessel front as we enter the NHL Entry Draft this weekend. Cycle Like The Sedins features Cornelius Hardenbergh’s take on the B’s plan of attack going into this weekend. Boston Blood Sox crosses sports to trace Tim Thomas’ global path to the Vezina. Hey, it’s not the Urpo Ylonen Trophy, but it will still look good on his mantel.

Some scheduling problems created the late delivery today, so my apologies. They also forced me to put the Patriots on hold for another week. Thanks for dropping in and spending a Thursday afternoon with us here on BSMW.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    How about if Smoltz allows 4 first inning runs?….OK, OK, he settled down a bit after that but I need to see much more before I start gettind all giddy about Mr. Smoltz.

    • http://BobEkstrom Bob Ekstrom

      Got me there, A.O.B. I’m taking a small victory by Smoltz retiring the leadoff batter. You want to see crappy pitching? Check out what Derek Lowe did to the Nation tonight.

      • Angry Old Bastard

        …yeah, good thing I benched Lowe on my fantasy team this week …D’OH!…I let the cat out of the bag!…now everybody knows I’m a loser fantasy geek….oh the shame!