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Off the Canvas

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The Red Sox, I suppose did the job they needed to do for themselves; they’re still pretty much in command of the division. But although mitigated by Saturday’s enjoyable victory–with Pasta Diving turning in such a wretched defensive performance that (after some hilarious straining: “Lowell got in his eyes! And then the moons of Saturn!”) even McCarver had to stop making excuses–with respect to the more important question of knocking the Yankees out of the playoffs they failed once again. The Yankees are only 7 out of the wildcard, and they’re certainly capable of making that up. You can’t say they’re favored–the Tigers and Indians are both pretty good–but they have a very serious chance. I still think they’ll score the most runs in the league, their rotation will be OK, and Rivera’s clearly back. (A lot of the undue optimism about the Yankees seems to revolve around Slappy’s alleged lack of clutchiosity and Jetertude, which as we saw once again last night are regrettably unfounded.) Although I like the Red Sox more as a team, it must be said that the Angels did their job while the Red Sox have now let them hang around by losing 4 out of 6 when they were down.

Having said that, I was probably wrong about the Red Sox not winning the division and certainly wrong about them not signing Damon. I still don’t like Crisp at all as an offensive player–he’s a singles hitter with no plate discipline–but he’s not only been better than Damon in the field but actually good period, and if the Red Sox sign Jones or Ichiro! they’ll obviously win the gamble easily. But the Yankees will be in the playoff hunt in September.

You may have also heard that Clemens was scratched today with a “fatigued groin.” Rumors that he was following the Slappy Tour of Manhattan are unconfirmed at press time.

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