Sun­day Gravy: Red Sox show no signs of slow­ing

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - SPORTS - Cmalafronte@nhreg­is­ter.com

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.

Tom Szczer­bowski / Getty Im­ages

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.

Ron Sch­wane / As­so­ci­ated Press

Yan­kees man­ager Aaron Boone seems to be over­think­ing things lately says Reg­is­ter colum­nist Chip Malafronte.

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