Sunday Gravy: Red Sox show no signs of slowing
You know it’s been a tough day fishing when you resort to Fredo Corleone’s old trick of reciting a Hail Mary before every cast and still come up empty. Frustration eventually took over and I reprimanded everything in the lake for not taking my delicious bait. Stupid, ungrateful fish. On the bright side at least our morning ended a little better than Fredo’s final fishing excursion in “Godfather Part II.”
⏩ If we didn’t know better, we’d swear the Red Sox were purposely giving false hope to their opponents to simultaneously challenge themselves while crushing the other team’s spirit.
As if a summer filled with walk-off slams and dominating pitching performances wasn’t enough, the Sox bookended last weekend’s sweep by allowing the Yankees to take an early lead before an offensive explosion and then coming back from a late deficit against Aroldis Chapman.
Then they spotted the Blue Jays and Orioles sizeable leads before dropping the hammer.
The last time we saw a team that appeared as unstoppable as the Red Sox was in 1998, when the Yankees outclassed every team in baseball to win 125 games and the World Series.
The only real question left is how many games can Boston win this season? It needs to go 31-13 over the final 44 games to equal the ’98 Yanks total of 114 regular-season wins; 33-11 to tie the all-time record of 116 wins.
At this this point, both seem very attainable.
⏩ The only thing that passes for weakness in Boston is the bullpen and that’s only because it’s the one area that hasn’t been completely dominant this season. It might not be ideal for the postseason. But an impeccable rotation and lineup that bludgeons opponents to death should more than cover for any inadequacies.
⏩ Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ took a New York City subway back to his hotel, perhaps not the smartest move for a guy who’d just spent 10 days on the disabled list with hand, foot and mouth disease. Let’s hope he dove into a tub filled with Purell afterward.
⏩ The NFL has taken a hit thanks to head injuries and constant scandal. You’d never know it watching ESPN, where preseason highlights and depth chart chatter has already pushed baseball and everything else to the back burner. Football is great. But nothing is duller than daily reports from 32 different training camps.
⏩ Despite losing seven first-team All-Ivy League picks to graduation, Yale should be the favorites to repeat when the Ivy League releases its preseason football poll a week from Monday. Quarterback Kurt Rawlings and All-American running back Zane Dudek lead a lethal offense. Whether the Bulldogs can fill the holes on defense will be the key to their success.
⏩ The Yankees are a completely different team without Aaron Judge in the lineup. He changes the entire approach of opposing pitchers. Sure, he strikes out a lot. But his plate discipline is far superior to that of Giancarlo Stanton, who seems to wave at every slider that finishes six inches off the plate.
⏩ Aaron Boone is beginning to overthink things. On Friday night he sat red-hot Neil Walker a day after belting two homers in favor of minor league-caliber bats Luke Voit and Shane Robinson. And slumping Gleyber Torres continues to move higher and higher in the lineup.
The Yankees AL East title chances went out the window with last weekend’s sweep at Boston. But the wild card isn’t exactly a gimme at this point. Come August, every game is important.
⏩ Major League Baseball will soon hold its second annual “Players Weekend,” which allows players to pick a nickname to replace the last name on the back of their uniform. It’s mostly standard stuff from the locals. Andrew Benintendi is going with “Benny”; Luis Severino chose “Sevy”. A few got a bit more creative, but there’s no truth to the rumor that Jacob deGrom’s Met jersey will read “Trade Me.”
⏩ As the lone state school in the Northeast-10 Conference, the Southern Connecticut State football team operates on a fraction of the scholarship budget of its conference brethren. The school’s football alumni have taken it upon themselves to raise money for the program.
Dan Lauria, a former all-conference linebacker at Southern in the 1960s, agreed to stage a performance of “The Guys” at Southern’s Lyman Theater on Sept. 8. Lauria, best known for his role as the father on the acclaimed 1990s television series “The Wonder Years,” is bringing the production here at no expense. Wendie Malick, who’s starred in several television, movie and theater roles, will co-star with Lauria.
Proceeds from the show will benefit the school’s scholarship fund. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased through the Lyman Theater at (203) 392-6154.
⏩ How competitive has it become to recruit in college hockey? Charlie Leddy, who lives in Fairfield, recently committed to attend Boston College. He just completed the eighth grade. But he isn’t the first kid born in 2004 to commit to a Division I school. Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota have already secured 14-year olds of their own.
⏩ The most underrated scene in the Godfather trilogy is Luca Brasi practicing his thank you speech over and over only to nervously fumble the words when it mattered. “Don Corleone…I am honored and grateful you have invited me to your daughter’s wedding…on the day of your daughter’s wedding.”
It’s also provided me with a fun wedding tradition I implore you to try, too. When congratulating the bride and groom after the ceremony, be sure to look them deep in the eyes and tell them you hope their first child is a masculine child.
Good old Luca. Too bad his reward was unwittingly being sent on a mission that ended with him sleeping with those stupid, ungrateful fishes.
The Red Sox have won in a number of different ways this season and have a chance to challenge the all-time record of 116 regular-season wins.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone seems to be overthinking things lately says Register columnist Chip Malafronte.