6. From outward appearances, Sean Casey seems to be in the doghouse with Terry Francona. Which is weird considering he's become exactly what Tito was after knee problems robbed him of his early promise: A dirt-slow, defensively-challenged ping hitter with a knack for winning friends and influencing people.
7. So maybe I was a little too harsh on Buck Martinez the other day. As a couple of readers pointed out, TBS's coverage is a significant upgrade on the convoluted, overhyped dreck we had to put up with on Fox for so many years, and Martinez has Tim McCarver beat if only because he doesn't offer an unsolicited ode to the depth and beauty of Derek Jeter's eyes every three innings. (If I didn't know better, I'd wonder if Fox ceded coverage of the playoffs to TBS only after their favorite team was eliminated from contention?) But I still have my complaints about Chip Caray, who is giving me Jerry Trupiano flashbacks with his ridiculously premature home run calls. I'm starting to suspect he got his broadcasting skills from his mom's side of the family.
8. All right, J.D. Drew. You win. I give up. I'll never figure you out. You carry us through June . . . and spend September in the trainer's room. You silence the Rally Monkey and his ThunderStix-wielding worshipers with a majestic home run in Game 2 . . . and then are out of the starting lineup for Game 3. We'll just have to accept you as you are -- one of the biggest enigmas in Red Sox history, a player who delivers just when you're sure you can't count on him.
9. As for today's Completely Random Baseball Card:
First thought upon hearing that longtime TATB favorite "Yummy" is throwing out the first ball tonight: it's long overdue. He's responsible for perhaps our favorite pre-'04 Red Sox memory, as well as one of the best postgame quotes ever in the aftermath of his stunning two-homer, seven-RBI performance in Game 5 of the '99 ALDS: "Guess it was just luck of the Irish." Second thought: The Orioles must have refused permission to Millar.
About Touching All The Bases
Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.