Some thoughts while doing jury duty

I am currently sitting in the jury waiting room of the Clara Shortridge Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.

My civic duty has called and I have to sit bored out of my skull waiting for my number to be called in a potential criminal case.

They’ve called for 2 different pools of jurors and so far your pal Sully has been left out of the fun. They have WiFi, but certain sites are banned. Like Facebook and YouTube. But NOT Blogger. So while I wait my chance to try and get out of a trial, I will keep you, my dear readers, up to date.


There is some serious denial in the people calling into the Dodger talk shows in Los Angeles. People are talking about making a deal or two to put them back into contention. REALLY? The pick up of Juan Rivera isn’t helping matters.

Even without the extremely odd circumstances regarding this team, they are one of the truly crappy teams in baseball. They are a modest losing streak from the basement of the NL West. Only the Padres, Cubs, Astros, Royals and Orioles are worse than the Dodgers. And what kind of run can they go on against the Giants, Braves and Phillies. Remember those are the teams they are chasing. If they can’t catch them, then why build for now?

They are 14 games behind the Giants.
That is TWO WEEKS of games behind the Giants. They only have 11 weeks left and they have to hope the Giants drop the equivalent of 2 weeks of games MORE than the Dodgers.

And they are closer to the Giants than they are to the Braves.

Even without the extreme circumstances of the current Dodger situation, this is a lost season. Add in the misery of payroll and the stench of the entire season, and the Dodgers should break this team up out of mercy. I’m serious. Deal Kemp. Deal Kuroda. Deal Ethier.

Keep Billingsley and Kershaw because they are the foundations of the pitching staff of the future. But trade everything else save for Vin Scully’s microphone.

The only people showing up to Dodger games are the die hard fans. Out of MERCY kill this season and let them see the future of the team. Out of DECENCY have the next generation of Dodgers have their growing pains NOW.

The Dodgers will get new management and new hope soon. Give a glimpse of 2012 and beyond and bury 2011 as deeply as possible.


Personally I would love to see the Pirates make a run at Carlos Beltran. Seriously, have him pull a “2004 Astros” and play amazingly well for a few months, help the Pirates into the playoffs and pick up a few draft picks when he skedaddles.

It is more likely someone like Conor Jackson will be heading to the Pirates. But even THAT is a change in culture. Usually the end of July is the time for Pirate fans to say good bye to old friends. The fact that a reliever like Koji Uehara could be going TO Pittsburgh is enough to have Clint Hurdle the front runner for Manager of the Year.


We will hear the familiar refrains about big market teams swallowing up all the players from small market teams this year… and I bet NOBODY will see the irony that the Pirates are shoppers and the Mets, Cubs and Dodgers are sellers.


I feel badly for Brad Mills and Ed Wade of the Astros. They truly suck. And the Astros farm system truly sucks. And they have to trade Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. And they will also probably have to deal Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn.

But with new ownership coming in, they have about as much chance of keeping their jobs as I have replacing Heath Ledger in the next Batman movie.

Even if they make a trade getting all the best prospects in baseball including Bryce Harper, they will be shown the door. And if those trades pan out, whoever the next GM and manager are will reap the benefits and praise. “Man, the team is so much better since Mills and Wade left

All these thoughts are going through my head… as I wait… and wait… and wait for my number to be called.

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How odd is baseball?

Sunday the Red Sox took 16 innings to score 1 run and left 17 runners on base.
Last night the Red Sox scored 15 runs.

In one game they were held scoreless for 15 innings and won.
In another game they let up 10 runs and won.

5 run fifth inning to blow a lead?
No worries… the Red Sox will just score 8 in the 8th!

No Ortiz? Don’t worry. Pedroia will remain on fire.
And who needs to acquire Carlos Beltran?
Carl Crawford is back and Josh Reddick is hitting .347 with an OPS of 1.056.

I might not be the most versed guy in new stats, but I know 1.056 is good!

And do you want to know what else?
If the Red Sox win and the Phillies lose today, the Red Sox will be the best team in baseball.

Isn’t that cool?

Let’s update the tally.


April 8 – 9-6 win against the Yankees. (The Sox end their 6 game losing streak with a slugfest. John Lackey stinks but Phil Hughes stinks even more.)
April 10 – 4-0 win against the Yankees. (Beckett and Sabathia duel in a game that was 1-0 until the late innings.)
April 20 – 5-3 win in Oakland. (Red Sox survive a lead off homer and two bases loaded situations and facing the tying run at the plate to win their first road game.)
April 21 – 4-2 win in Anaheim. (The Red Sox stranded 15 men on base and Josh Beckett’s went 8 strong with no decision. But the Sox rallied in the 11th to win.)
April 22 – 4-3 win in Anaheim. (Peter Bourjos makes a 2 run errors and the Red Sox survive a bizarre passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia that let a run scored from second.)
May 1 – 3-2 win against the Mariners. (Ichiro loses a ball in the sun that turns into a 9th inning triple for Lowrie. Crawford singles him home for the win.)
May 8 – 9-5 win against the Twins. (Dice-K lets up 3 runs in the first but settles down as the Red Sox clobber Carl Pavano.)

May 9 – 2-1 win against the Twins. (A bullpen breakdown cost Beckett the decision but Cark Crawford ended the game with an 11th inning walk off hit.)
May 13 – 5-4 win in the Bronx. (Youkilis homers off of Joba and Bard and Papelbon make it more interesting than it needed to be.)
May 15 – 7-5 win in the Bronx. (Sox fall behind 4-1 but come back as Youk, Papi and Salty all homer.)
May 16 – 8-7 win against the Orioles. (Down 6-0 after 6 innings, the Sox rally and win it with a 2 run walk off double by Adrian Gonzalez)
May 18 – 1-0 win against Detroit. (With 2 outs in the 8th, Salty doubles home Crawford from first for the only run. Papelbon gets himself in and out of 9th inning trouble.)
May 19 – 4-3 win against Detroit. (Bard blows Beckett’s lead but Carl Crawford wins it with a walk off hit.)
May 24 – 4-2 win in Cleveland. (Varitek throws two runners out and homers as the Red Sox win their first game against the Indians.)
May 29 – 4-3 win in Detroit. (The Red Sox blow an early 3-0 lead but David Ortiz wins the game with a pinch 9th inning homer.)
June 3 – 8-6 win against Oakland. (Buchholz lets up 4 runs in the first but the Sox come back thanks to Carl Crawford’s 2 run single.)
June 4 – 9-8 win against Oakland. (Red Sox blow a 4 run 9th inning lead and trail in the 11th before Ellsbury ties it and Drew wins it in 14.)
June 7 – 6-4 win in the Bronx. (Papelbon strikes out A-Rod to end the game with a runner on base.)
June 9 – 8-3 win in the Bronx. (Down 2-0 to Sabathia in the 7th, the Sox score 7 runs as Papi exacts revenge after getting plunked. A 3+ hour rain delay pushed the game past 1:30 AM)
June 15 – 3-0 win in Tampa Bay. (Youkilis homers in the 7th for the only runs in Beckett’s 1 hit masterpiece.)
June 16 – 4-2 win in Tampa Bay. (Papelbon wiggles out of a 2 on, nobody out jam in the 9th thanks to Youk’s diving catch.)
June 26 – 4-2 win in Pittsburgh. (The Pirates make 4 errors and the Red Sox score 2 in the 7th to avoid a sweep by the Bucs.
June 30 – 5-2 win in Philadelphia.(An injury to Cole Hamels leads to the Red Sox bats waking up.)
July 1 – 7-5 win in Houston. (The Sox score 6 in the 7th inning to come back and win.)
July 3 – 2-1 win in Houston. (The Red Sox score a run in the top of the 9th on a walk to break a tie.)
July 5 – 3-2 win against Toronto. (Lester gets hurt but Darnel McDonald throws out the tying run at the plate to end the game.)
July 6 – 6-4 win against Toronto. (The Sox score 4 in the 4th to take the lead and Wakefield and company hang on for dear life.)
July 10 – 8-6 win against Baltimore. (The Orioles score 6 runs off of rookie Kyle Weiland in the second, but the Red Sox hit three homers in the bottom of the second to tie the game and hold for dear life.)
July 16 – 9-5 win in Tampa. (Lackey puts the Sox in a 3-0 first inning hole, but 3 Sox homers bring them back for the win.)
July 17 – 1-0 win in Tampa. (Beckett throws a masterpiece and the bullpen throws 8 amazing innings. But the Sox bats go dead, leaving 17 men on base before Pedroia drove in a run with 2 outs in the 16th inning.)
July 18 – 15-10 win in Baltimore. (The Sox blow a 6-2 lead but score 8 runs in the 8th to take the game.)


April 1 – 9-5 loss in Texas. (The Sox tie Opening Day in the 8th with an Ortiz homer only to have Bard implode and the Sox let up 4 in the bottom of the 8th.)

April 5 – 3-1 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox drop their 4th straight as the bats are dead in Cleveland.)
April 7 – 1-0 loss in Cleveland. (Sox blow a great Lester performance on a squeeze bunt and Darnell McDonald overrunning the bag to end the game.)
April 12 – 3-2 loss to Tampa Bay. (A solid Lester performance is wasted as Kyle Farnsworth of all people shuts down the Sox.)
April 15 – 7-6 loss to Toronto. (Bobby Jenks implodes with a 4 run seventh inning as the Red Sox waste Pedroia and Youkilis homers and a clutch RBI double by Scuatro.
April 19 – 5-0 loss in Oakland. (Pedroia gets picked off, the Sox bats go dead and waste a solid Lackey start.)
April 26 – 4-1 loss in Baltimore. (Buchholz pitches tentatively and the Sox let Kevin Gregg of all people to close out the 9th.)
April 27 – 5-4 loss in Baltimore. (The Sox tie the game with a 3 run 8th only to have Bard lose it in the bottom of the 8th.)
April 29 – 5-4 loss to Mariners. (Bobby Jenks blows a 7th inning lead, wasting 2 Mike Cameron homers.)
April 30 – 2-0 loss to Mariners. (The Sox strand 11 runners and let Milton Bradley double home the go ahead run.)
May 4 – 5-3 loss to Angels. (7 hours with rain delays and stranded runners. Marco Scutaro was thrown out at the plate in the 12th)
May 10 – 7-6 loss in Toronto. (8th and 9th inning heroics, including a homer by Adrian Gonzalez, are undone by a walk off sacrifice fly by David Cooper.)
May 21 – 9-3 loss to Cubs. (Up 3-1 in the 8th inning, the bullpen and defense implode. The Cubs score 8 runs while both teams wear their 1918 uniforms.)
May 23– 3-2 loss in Cleveland. (The Sox blow a 2-1 8th inning lead when the Indians rally with 2 outs. Crawford ends the game on a double play.)
May 29 – 3-0 loss in Detroit. (Verlander keeps the Sox off base and prevents the sweep.)
June 1 – 7-4 loss to White Sox. (Konerko drives in three, spoiling a game tying Ortiz homer.)
June 14 – 4-0 loss in Tampa Bay. (Wakefield’s solid outing is spoiled. Longoria scores on a passed ball.)
June 18 – 4-2 loss to Milwaukee. (The Brewers hit three homers early off of Lester and hang on.)
June 21 – 5-4 loss to San Diego. (Ortiz hits a double play in the 9th to stifle a potential winning rally.)
June 24 – 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox strand 7 runners in scoring position.)
June 25 – 6-4 loss to Pittsburgh. (The Red Sox fall out of first as Pedroia’s error leads to a Pirates run.)
June 29 – 2-1 loss in Philadelphia. (Vance Worley duels John Lackey and slumping Raul Ibanez drives in both runs.)
July 4 – 9-7 loss to Toronto. (John Lackey’s miserable start puts the Sox in too big a hole to climb out of.)


It’s really hard to top that.
It’s hard to imagine dipping below break even with more than a week to play with.

And oh yeah.
The Magic Number is 68.

They have won 12 of 14 in July.
They have won 28 of the last 39 games.
And 56-28 since that horrific start.

Feel good Sox fans.
Let’s hope this rubs off into a good August.

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The Pirates are in first place by themselves… read that sentence again

No ties.
No percentage points.
No “tied in the loss column.”

The Pittsburgh Pirates are alone on top of the standings. And guess what? Day after tomorrow it is LATE JULY.

You know, the time when teams make deals to make themselves better for the stretch run?
Usually it is the time when other teams pick apart the dead carcass of the Pirates looking for spare parts.

This year?
They are in first place.

There must be a spare part or two they can acquire.
I’m not talking about Jose Reyes or Ubaldo Jimenez.

But a bat… a reliever…
Just to show their fans ONE YEAR they actually bring a big leaguer into Pittsburgh instead of shipping them out.

Come and savor it, Pirates fans.
Look at the standings.

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