Is Pedro going to get shelled tonight?

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FOX’s Ken Rosenthal is generally pro-Phillies in this column and likes them to win it all, but he’s got a good point here:

Hey, I love Pedro. It is foolish to bet against him. But no one has any idea how he will pitch in cool weather against an American League club using a DH, one that happened to be the highest-scoring team in the majors during the regular season

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, working the Series for FOX, says Martinez will be tough if he throws his breaking ball for strikes. The Yankees, if they start to press, might even prove easy prey, given Martinez’s ability to change speeds and read hitters.

Of course, the other, perhaps more realistic, possibility is that the Yankees will simply crush Martinez and his diminished, 87-90 mph fastball.

I’m a huge Pedro Martinez fan myself, and my own World Series prediction notwithstanding (I need the Phillies to lose four of five to be proven correct) nothing would make me happier to see him catch some 1999 lightning in a bottle tonight.

Like Rosenthal, however, I just don’t like his chances of doing it.  Cliff Lee has proven over the past two years that when he’s on the top of his game, he is basically untouchable.  The 2009 version of Pedro Martinez, however, is merely good at his best, eminently hittable if he’s off. And that’s when he’s not facing the Yankees, who have basically had his number over the course of his career.

The Yankees are due, and I think Martinez will be hit hard tonight.

Tom Ricketts says the Cubs don’t have any more money

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Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.

First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.

More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:

The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.