Before we start in, a good exchange from last night's Jays-Red Sox broadcast:
Rod Black: The Monster is 37 feet high, 231 feet long. They say it's 310 to that corner--
Black: Did you get your tape measure out?
Tabler: Yep. It's 285 to the line from home plate. I stepped it off one day.
I like Tabler. He's not flashy, but he carries the mail and he has the good sense to keep his mouth shut when he has nothing to say. He also noted how Gabe Gross was playing deeper than Manny Ramirez underneath the Green Monster, and how the wall affects play. But this demanded more -- does Tabler (or did he, during his playing days) do this all the time? How accurate are the dimensions of big league parks overall? What parks fudge the specs the most?
The Jays are almost done, with just three so-what games left against K.C. this weekend. It was fun while it lasted, last night's 5-4 thriller at the Fens (sound familiar? Jays lose a one-run game, and David Ortiz delivers another MVP campaigning swing) completing an absorbing week -- three one-run games against the Yankees, and a split in Boston.
Also from the broadcast, this summing up from general manager J.P. Ricciardi:
"It would be hard for us to walk away from this season disappointed in a lot of things. Probably the most disappointing thing is the fact that we played the whole second half without Doc (Roy Halladay). I think it's a season of what-if. If he was here, I think it's conceivable we could have won 85-90 games -- and also losing Ted (Lilly) for six weeks. I think that's the only disappointing thing from our end. The great thing is to watch the young kids play in front of us, and grow up in front of us. I think Russ (Adams) and Aaron (Hill), even Orlando (Hudson) and Vernon (Wells) still made strides and they're getting better. I'm really excited about the next few years here."
Regardless of whether Ricciardi will be around in a few years, is this accurate, or alibi? What do they need, and need to do better, as winter calls them?
Meantime, this AL playoff shaping-up just goes on. For the permutations, check here. The White Sox have righted their ship. The Indians go for a wild card. And the Sox-Yankees open tonight, another chapter in their long saga.
A light (and late, after a glitch-filled morning) links set for you this morning:
And hey, Steven King is a Fenway regular, so this qualifies: a really heartwarming movie trailer (Quicktime required).