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Home » July 2005 Game CommentsJuly 2005 » Stagger


Game 86: July 9, 2005
Red Sox (49-37), 1
Orioles (46-40), 9
L: Wade Miller (2-3)
W: Bruce Chen (7-5)

For the Red Sox, you could have called the game on account of a miracle play. The 3rd inning followed the usual script: the part we all love, where the team steps on its opponent’s neck and builds an insurmountable lead, a lead that even Halama could maintain. Nixon began by hitting a double to left, showing that opposite field flexibility. Damon’s infield single stretched his hit streak to 24 game and advanced Nixon to third base. A follow-up single to left by Renteria drove in Nixon and set the stage for Ortiz. On the 5th pitch with the count 2-2, Ortiz hit a towering fly ball to center, a certain 3-run bomb, right? Chen became the luckiest pitcher in the league at that moment, because Matos committed larceny. We’re not talking misdeanor here; it was a felony. Even Ortiz applauded Matos’s feat as he broke from his home run trotting path and made his way back to the dugout.

Enough about that game; it was putrid. Since Rafael Palmeiro played a large role in Baltimore’s victory, it’s appropriate to talk about the first baseman’s Hall of Fame credentials. He’s quite close to achieving 3,000 hits, which is considered one of the milestones for automatic entry. He has also hit over 500 home runs, another key number for consideration. And yet, his candidacy is the subject of speculation, and this link to the Jayson Stark/Rob Neyer debate well summarizes the arguments for and against his admittance.

Neyer’s points against Palmeiro are carefully considered and he diligently shows how Palmeiro was rarely the best in the league for any notable offensive categories. But his position regarding the over-representation of first basemen in the hall being a mark against Palmeiro is akin barring MIT graduates from winning a Nobel Prize because too many of them have won it before. By its very nature and positioning in the defensive spectrum the first baseman is expected to the spot where offensive powerhouses play. Why should Palmeiro be penalized for being productive enough to be a first baseman when he played 17 of his 20 years in a league that permits the designated hitter?

When he gets 2 more hits, he will join Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Eddie Murray in the elite group of those who have both 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. And 5 years after he retires (I grant the possibility it might be more, but not much), he will join them in the Hall of Fame.


Ugh!!! I was at that game. I drove down and back in one day for it from NY. It sucked. At least I got to meet Mascho and the Schoette.

It was my first time at Camden Yards (none of that Oriole's Park at Camden Yards crap for me). It's a beautiful stadium. If you haven't made it down there yet, it's definitely worth the trip even if the Sox get there asses handed to them.

It was so hot that the sweat that was pooling on top of my glasses evaporated, and it formed salt crystals on the top of the lenses. Cool stuff.

What's your impression of Mascho? Do you still think we should trade 'im?

That was a terrible game. Matos's catch was a blow to the solar plexus from which we never recovered.

Your story reminded me of something.... Did you hear about the pretzels that they sell over at Rem Dawg's on Yawkey Way?

They were assaulted. (Don't blame me; it was Dan Roche.)

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