By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Media Nation road trip

I will be traveling for the rest of the week and may not have a chance to post.

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  1. Neil Sagan

    So what!? We may not have a chance to comment ;-P

  2. Mike Benedict

    Dan, are you feeling a bit better about the Red Sox yet? After 57 games, they have exactly the same record this year as last (33-24), and are now just 3.5 games out of first (they’ve gained four games in 30 days). They lead the AL in runs scored. In terms of defense efficiency, they now are 8th in the majors (vs. 28th last year), with a batted ball turning into an out 70.5% of the time (last year it was 67.9%). Given that this year’s staff strikes out nearly 2 full points fewer hitters per plate appearance (17.7% vs 19.6%), that improved defense is vital.

    (And you’ll love this one: Adjusted for strength of schedule, they are a half-game back of NY for first in the AL East, which suggests that as the season goes on, Boston’s record relative to the rest of the division will improve.)

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Mike: Oh, sure I feel better about the Red Sox. I know you’re always telling us not to rely on a small sample, but I really didn’t see how Ortiz could come back from three crappy years in a row (not impressed by his June-September 2009 stretch), Martinez’s longstanding reputation as a mediocre catcher, Buchholz’s seemingly terminal case of the yips, etc.

      Who would have thought they’d be playing as well as they have with nothing from Beckett or Ellsbury? Pretty amazing. I’d still be surprised if they caught either the Yankees or the Rays, but we’ve got competitive baseball, and that’s all we can ask for.

  3. Mike Benedict

    One take on Ortiz is that he has chronic arthritis that is particularly difficult to deal with when the weather is cool. Asked about this by a reporter this year, the Red Sox clammed up, which makes me think there’s some truth to the conjecture.

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