As corny and contrite as it sounds, until MLB comes up with a better title, the Chicago Cubs are the World Champions of Baseball. And the New York Yankees just swept them.

Nothing like the long ball to get you back into a game. I have not watched much baseball the last two years because I’ve been busy coaching baseball for my son and daughter. My son is getting old enough now to appreciate watching the game at a different level. I’m not saying I’m going to blog as prolifically as I did back in the heyday of this site, but it may be time to start spreading some thought across the page again.

You ain’t livin’. Cubbies and Tribe is a matchup for the ages.

Great read (and listen) about how to cope with Ted Williams.

Ortiz on the way out, a rotation of Price and a bunch of bailing wire, an uncertain offense with a couple of exciting variables. It’s enough to make a Sox fan tune in for one more year of…whatever it turns out to be. All the best to YF’s and SF’s everywhere as we strap in for the quite possibly mediocre marathon of 2016. Give ’em hell, Papi. Could we not do all the retirement gift stuff, though? No? Great.

144 or so down, 18 or so to go.

Toronto has a 1-run lead over the Yankees (3 GB).
Kansas City has a 12-run lead over the Twins (10 GB).
Texas has a 1-run lead over the Astros, but the Astros have a man on 3rd (0.5 GB).

The Mets have a 10-run lead over the Nats (8.5 GB).
St. Louis has a 1-run lead over the Pirates (3 GB).
The Dodgers have an 8-run lead over the Giants (7.5 GB).

And then there’s the wild card, where the Yankees (+2.5) are just ahead of Houston, who are just ahead of the Twins (1.5 GB), who are just ahead of the Angels (3.5 GB), who are just ahead of Cleveland (5 GB).

In the NL, the Pirates (+4) are ahead of the Cubs, who are really far in front of the Giants (7.5 GB). Holy heck, that NL Central.

Upsets? Drama? Crushing blows and revitalizing rallies?

Gol dern, but I sure do love September.

Dave Dombrowski is out of his Tigers job and in as President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox. Cherington was offered the opportunity to stay on as GM. He declined, but will assist Dombrowski during the transition.

This should be an interesting end of season/offseason.

I’ll go with the Blue Jays to win the division, the Royals to win it all, and Big Papi to hit 500 career homers by the end of the season (he sits at 491).

8 in a row lost. 9 of the last 10. All 7 on the post-ASB road trip. At least they didn’t drag it out with “hope” or “suspense”.

So now we get to see if there’s anything worth selling…and maybe enjoy winning a game here and there in the next couple months.

Porcello, an utter disaster, faces his old compatriot Verlander at Fenway. Whee…eeee?

At the ides of June, the Red Sox had lost 7 in a row, were 11 under .500 and 9 back in the division. In the 3.5 weeks and 21 games since, they have gone 14-7, winning series against the Royals, Rays, Blue Jays (3 W’s in a 4-gamer), Astros, and Marlins (they did lose a series against Baltimore–of course). They are 4 under .500 and 5 back (probably 5.5 at day’s end since the Yanks lead 4-2 over the A’s in the 7th), and currently the hottest they’ve been all year, having finally won 4 in a row for the first time this season. It would take continued excellent play to make this season more interesting, but at least the season’s not over before the All-Star Break. This weekend at Fenway Park, they can narrow the gap between them and the Yankees in this last “first half” series.

The Yankees are in first place and look to banish the Red Sox further into the cellar and widen their 2.5-game division lead while the other three AL East teams play first-place clubs (Nats @ O’s, BJ’s @ Royals, Astros @ Rays).

Upcoming pitching matchups:

Pineda vs Buchholz
Nova vs Rodriguez
Eovaldi vs Miley

Getting swept would put the Sox back where they were a month ago RE: division crown hopes. Sweeping would get them within reach. Should be an interesting series.

10 games under cellar dwellers will face 8 games over division leaders in this 3-gamer at the Trop. Rick “ouch, that contract extension” Porcello will face Alex “my last start was really good” Colome to kick us off. The Red Sox just lost a series against the O’s again, and have guaranteed themselves a sub-.500 first half. Go Blue Jays.

What’s the over/under on a baseball player’s specific contribution to baseball being subordinated by an attorney?

Screw Baltimore. Screw our pitching, defense, and offense too.

Today, Hutchison vs. Kelly. Come watch the Sox suck. It’s bound to last only a few more months.

The Sox earned their first sweep of the season (!) on Sunday in extra-fun fashion to go into the off-day. Having been held scoreless through 7, they exploded for 7 runs in 8th, the big go-ahead hit from Xander Bogaerts with 2 out–a double off the wall on a pitch inside and below his knees. Great swing, makes one optimistic about his future.

Now for these bastards from Baltimore who have been our nemeses the past few seasons. Our own Eduardo Rodriguez was once their own Eduardo Rodriguez till he was traded for now-Yankee-closer Andrew Miller, and his first two starts for the Sox at the MLB level have been superb (14 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 14K, 1 ER). He faces his old organization and Miguel Gonzalez as he attempts to stave off regression to the mean for one more start.

What a blergh of a first third of a season for the Sox, huh? There’s no doubt I’ve been following less intensely than in the past, and not just because they’ve kinda stunk (though not so bad in the very recent past). For the first time in a few years, I didn’t go to a ball game when the Sox were in Seattle. Because the money and time away from family seemed too much. Maybe the fire’s died a little bit, but I’m still peeking at box scores and feeling a little thrill when I check my phone after an hour of not looking at the score at work. I’m hopeful the Sox can right the ship a bit and get right back in this tepid division race. But my heart won’t break in half if they don’t, like it would have even 3 years ago…well, I guess if they lost it on the last day of the season again, that would hurt. But anyway, the volume’s just turned down a little bit. I’ve invested in just the Gameday app instead of MLB.TV for the season. Which just adds to the distance between me and this team. But I’m still around. And a big Sox surge could get me palms-sweating and heart-pounding again.

Pineda looking good.