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Home » July 2008 Game CommentsJuly 2008 » Backup


Game 96: July 12, 2008
Orioles 1 L: Radhames Liz (3-2) 45-47, 1 game losing streak
WinRed Sox 12 W: Tim Wakefield (6-6) 56-40, 1 game winning streak
Highlights: A few sketchy sites on name origins tell me that the unusual name “Radhames” is derived from the Latin word for red. The Red Sox wore their red uniforms and improved their record in these particular togs to 3-1.

I have been reserving my opinion on Heidi Watney until I had enough of her work to evaluate. She certainly meets the eye candy quotient required of such a role with her perfectly sculptured features, glistening blond hair, and sparkling blue eyes. Her presentation and interview skills are better than those of her predecessor Tina Cervasio.

In yesterday’s pre-game show she had the MLB notebook segment with Gordon Edes, who talked about how the Cubs came back to win after Carlos Marmol blew the lead and the opportunity for Rich Harden’s first win as a Northsider. In an homage to Harry Caray he intoned “Cubs win!” thrice. Watney obliviously and somewhat condescendingly thanked Edes for his enthusiasm.

Of course the more appropriate response would have been something alluding to Caray. For bonus points she could have said, “Not quite as good as Will Ferrell’s, but we’ll take it.” So I adjudge her to be a competent spokesperson, but she could just as easily be selling Mercurys on commercials. She doesn’t have a soul for sports.

J.D. Drew and Manny Ramirez displayed that elusive skill of power to all fields back-to-back in the first inning. Drew neatly dropped his shot off the top of wall while Mike Timlin made a rare miss with his towel of Ramirez’s blast.

Kevin Youkilis had a career-high six RBIs made possible by his career-first grand slam in the third. Youkilis took off his helmet to avoid getting his head spanked at home, but Ramirez tried to whack his head anyway. The first baseman playfully swatted Manny’s hand away. I’m sure Dan Shaughnessy will find some way to spin the incident negatively.

Tim Wakefield has been the linchpin of the shifting Red Sox rotation. Although his record sits at .500, no other stater has as many quality starts as the knuckleballer. He seems to have been rejuvenated by Kevin Cash’s presence. It was often said that Doug Mirabelli was Wakefield’s pitching coach, and Cash has assumed and perhaps even improved upon his predecessor’s performance. Not only has Wakefield’s personal backstop has applied himself to this role, he has done so while maintaining a .242 batting average, .307 on-base percentage, and .374 slugging, which is quite a decent line for a backup.

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