Last week Brian Cashman said that the Red Sox were probably the better team on paper. Yesterday, Red Sox President Larry Lucchino downplayed that. For those of you who don’t think the Yankees-Red Sox thing isn’t icky enough, I give you “hormonal satisfaction”:
Although Larry Lucchino admitted to taking “hormonal satisfaction” from the Red Sox outdueling the rival Yankees this winter, neither the team president nor chairman Tom Werner put much stock in New York GM Brian Cashman’s remarks last week that the Sox are the better team. Werner even labeled it “reverse psychology.”
Said Lucchino: “They’re always the favorites. C’mon, they’re the New York Yankees. They’re in the biggest market in the world. We’re happy to be the guys that they worry about looking over their shoulder.
The only thing less appetizing than thinking of a baseball rivalry in terms of “hormonal satisfaction” is listening to Yankees and Red sox brass argue over who the bigger underdog is.
Oh, and in case you’re interested, Lucchino’s comments come in the course of an article about Josh Beckett being in much better shape. It wasn’t quite strong enough for a BSOML headline, but if some of you guys get hormonal satisfaction over that meme I’ve tried to beat into the ground, it may scratch the itch anyway.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.