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The Closer: Crime Pays

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Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Grand Theft Crawford. Ah, stealing home. It brings to mind Jackie Robinson, and that unwatchable movie starring Mark Harmon and Jodie Foster. Oh, and Carl Crawford. How great is it that the Devil Rays' Crawford began plotting his theft of home on Wednesday the night before the game? He noticed that Curt Schilling pitched from the stretch when Crawford was on third, and in the fourth on Wednesday, Jason Johnson also tried it, and Crawford struck. He made it home easily. Tampa Bay has won three straight over Boston, including Wednesday's 5-2 win, as Crawford stole three bases overall. He leads the A.L. with 32 and is the eighth player in major league history with 200 steals before age 25. Crawford also had two singles.


2. Big Stein Smells A Pennant! (Or Could It Be A Calzone?). After using up all of their offense in Tuesday's 19-1 win, the Indians watched the Yankees get revenge, 11-3, on Wednesday. Call it Melky Cabrera day in Cleveland, as the Yankees' rookie got his first career grand slam in New York's eight-run fourth.

3. Mmmmm, Walk-Off Single ... On the day following the big Coney Island Nathan's International Hot Dog Eating Contest, how could we not report on the Milwaukee Brewers? We mean, what other team gives you this? Plus, the Brewers' ninth walk-off victory of the season, and 16th win in their last at-bat, 6-5 in 13 innings over the Reds. It was Rickie Weeks' single that did it.

4. Why Your AP Baseball Writer Sucks. OK, you be the judge. Good newspaper writing, or horrific reach? Josh Fogg walked out of the clubhouse wearing a camouflage T-shirt. It was appropriate attire given the way he disguised his pitches during the Colorado Rockies' 5-3 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. Please cast your ballots now. But do not include any write-in comments on how, after nearly half the season is over, absolutely nothing has been decided in the NL West, where four teams are within a game of each other, all hovering near .500. We are aware that this division leaves something to be desired.

5. He Hates Meeces To Pieces. Bobby Jenks, who sounds like he sould be chasing Pixie and Dixie rather than pitching in the American League, nonetheless struck out the final three batters in the ninth — after giving up three straight singles — to earn the save as the White Sox beat the Orioles 4-2. If our math is correct, that leaves Chicago one-half game behind first-place Detroit in the Central.

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