Matthews: Red Sox V Dodgers, A Classic Matchup


It was an impressive Thursday night for two awesome Major League Baseball teams:

Boston Red Sox 15-7 over the New York Yankees

Los Angeles Dodgers 21-5 over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Red Sox versus Dodgers would be an epic World Series matchup. Picture Chris Sale versus Clayton Kershaw in Game 7.

The two-tiered league playoffs mean the best team in each league doesn’t always make it to the World Series, but the Red Sox and Dodgers appear to be the class of their respective leagues.

The Red Sox, 76-31 (.691 winning percentage), have never won 100 games in a 162-game season (they were 104-50 in 1946 but lost to St. Louis in a seven-game World Series). They’ll win 100 games this year if they manage to go 24-28 in their remaining 52 regular-season games. I like their chances.

The Dodgers added Manny Machado, Brian Dozier and John Axford for the stretch run. They’re the deepest team in the National League and a rarity -- an NL team with enough potent bats to hang in there against AL opponents in games with designated hitters.

The Red Sox improved recently by adding Steve Pearce (a very dangerous right-handed bat against tough left-handers) and second baseman Ian Kinsler. (Dustin Pedrioa is done for the season with a knee injury and it must be killing him inside).

The Red Sox and Dodgers are not without flaws – they just have fewer than the other teams.

Boston’s catchers don’t hit much and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. has had a tough season at the plate (he’s superb defensively). The bottom of the rotation and middle relief are suspect.

The Dodgers also could be short one quality starting pitcher and in middle relief.


Derek Jeter never won an American League Most Valuable Award during his brilliant career with the New York Yankees, but if there were an award for 2018 Least Valuable National League Executive, he’d be the runaway selection.

Jeter is a part owner and front man for the Miami Marlins. Last season, the Marlins were 75-85 (.475), had arguably baseball’s best all-around outfield (Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Christian Yellich), averaged 20,395 fans per home game (third-worst in MLB) and lost lots of money.

New ownership came in and decided to slash the player payroll, including the three terrific outfielders (due to make a combined $41 million in 2018) and sparkplug infielder Dee Gordon.

Stanton – 2017 with the Marlins: .281, 59 HRs, 132 RBI...2018 with Yankees: .277, 24 HRs, 64 RBI

Ozuna --  2017 with the Marlins: .312, 37 HRs, 124 RBI...2018 with St. Louis: .270, 13 HRs, 59 RBI

Yellich – 2017 with the Marlins: .282, 36 doubles, 18 HRs, 81 RBI...2018 with Milwaukee: .316, 15 HRs, 57 RBI

Gordon – 2017 with Marlins: .308, 114 runs, 60 stolen bases...2018 with Seattle: .287, 45 runs, 25 stolen bases.

Not surprisingly, the 2018 Marlins are 46-64 (.418; much worse than last season) and – even less surprisingly, Miami is last in MLB in average home attendance (9,809) and also is the worst road draw in MLB (19,339).

For the record, the list of players (probably many more suspects then genuine prospects) obtained in the trades for Stanton, Ozuna, Yellich and Gordon: Sandy Alcantara, Lewis Brinson, Daniel Castano, Jose Devers, Isan Diaz, Zac Gallen, Jorge Guzman, Monte Harrison, Magneuris Sierra, Jordan Yamamoto and – yikes, Starlin Castro, an established player we’ve heard of.

I’m pretty sure Jeter’s next autobiography and Hall of Fame speech will not prominently mention his work as a rookie executive in the winter of 2017-18.


When Jim Furyk considers his four captain’s picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team (September 28-30 in France), Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson could be two players he’ll strongly consider.

Which player would you pick if you had to choose one?

Here’s how they compare on the PGA Tour this season:

Official money – Mickelson $4,039,082 (10th)...Woods $2,144,712 (44th)

Events – Mickelson 18; 1 win; 2 missed cuts...Woods 12; 0 wins; 2 missed cuts

Top 10 finishes – Mickelson 10...Woods 4

Scoring average – Mickelson 69.878 (17th)...Woods 69.641 (10th)

Yards per drive – Mickelson 298.9 (48th)...Woods 304.7 (31st)

Driving accuracy – Mickelson 201st...Woods 166th

Greens in regulation – Mickelson 64.6 (143rd)...Woods 66.5 (96th)

Putting average – Mickelson 1.676 (1st)...Woods 1.757 (61st)

Career Ryder Cup record – Mickelson 18-20-7 in 11 years...Woods 13-17-3 in 7 years.


Glenn Jacobs, a pro wrestler known as Kane in the WWE, won an election Thursday to become the new mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. He’s 6-foot-8 and 51 years old.

Urban Meyer’s college coaching record: Bowling Green 17-6...Utah 22-2...Florida 65-15...Ohio State 73-8: 208 games, 177-31...11-3 in bowl games.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., baseball’s No. 1 prospect, in his first three games since being promoted to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, is 2-for-7 (both singles with 4 walks and 2 strikeouts.

The New England Patriots worked out veteran wide receiver Eric Decker Wednesday and signed him Thursday. Last season, he had 54 catches for 563 yards and 1 TD for the Tennessee Titans. He’s 31 and I believe he could’ve helped the Buffalo Bills.

The Minnesota Twins and Triple-A affiliate Rochester entered Thursday with identical 49-58 records. The Red Wings lost 6-2 at home to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Thursday and the Twins had the day off.

The Red Wings lead the 14-team International League in pitching with a 3.41 ERA...Rochester continues to rank last in batting average (.225; next-worst Pawtucket is .243) and runs (360; next-worst Charlotte has 400)...The Red Wings must go 22-10 in their remaining 32 games to finish 71-69 for their sixth consecutive winning season.


Friday, August 3

Todd Gurley (24)...Tyrod Taylor (29)...Ronald Johnson (30)...Ryan Lochte (34)...Mark Reynolds (35)...Kris Jenkins (39)...Tom Brady (41)...Troy Glaus (42)...Trevor Pryce (43)...Rod Beck (50)...Kevin Sumlin (54)...Marcel Dionne (67)...Lance Alworth (78)...Marv Levy (93). Martha Stewart (77), Martin Sheen (78) and Tony Bennett (92) are invited to the birthday party.

Saturday, August 4

Nicholas Baptiste (23)...Domingo German (26)...Marreese Speights (31)...Josh McCown (37)...Kurt Busch (40)...La’Roi Glover (44)...Jeff Gordon (47)...Todd Marinovich (49)...Clyde Simmons (54)...B J Surhoff (54)...Roger Clemens (56)...Mary Decker Tabb Slaney (60)...Greg Foster (60)...Bob Baumhower (63)...Bob Breunig (65)...Caldwell Jones (68)...John Riggins (69)...Frank Lewis (71)...Ken Dryden (71)...Emerson Boozer (75)...Floyd Little (76). Meghan Markle (37), Barack Obama (57) and Billy Bob Thornton (63) are invited to the birthday party.

Sunday, August 5

Domingo Santana (26)...Patrick Reed (28)...Paula Creamer (32)...Dexter Jackson (32)...LoLo Jones (36)...Carl Crawford (37)...Will Allen (40)...John Olerud (50)...Patrick Ewing (56)...Otis Thorpe (56)...Greg Kite (57)...Anton Stastny (59)...Bernie Carbo (71)...Gary Beban (72)...Alan Page (73)...Roman Gabriel (78).


August 3

97 years ago (1921), Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis handed lifetime bans to eight Chicago White Sox players for conspiring to fix the 1918 World Series...69 years ago (1949), the NBA was formed via a merger of the National Basketball League and the Basketball Association of America (including the Rochester Royals)...56 years ago (1962), the Green Bay Packers crushed the College All-Stars 42-0 before 65,000 fans at Soldier Field...29 years ago (1989), the Cincinnati Reds had a MLB-record for the first inning of a game – 16 for 14 runs – in an 1801 win over the Houston Astros.

August 4

72 years ago (1945), Byron Nelson won the Canadian Open, the 11th of his record 18 PGA Tour victories in one season...65 years ago (1953), Yankees pitcher Vic Raschi had 7 RBI in a 15-0 victory over Detroit...36 years ago (1982), Joel Youngblood became the first MLB player to get hits for two different teams—the Mets and Expos --in two different cities in the same day...34 years ago (1984), Carl Lewis won his first of nine Olympic gold medals...22 years ago (1996), Earl Weaver, Jim Bunning, Bill Foster and Ned Hanlon were inducted into the Hall of Fame...6 years ago (2012), South African Oscar Pistorius became the first double-leg amputee to compete in the Summer Olympics.

August 5

82 years ago (1936), Jesse Owens won the 200 meters in record time for his third gold medal at the Berlin Olympics...39 years ago (1979), Willie Mays, Warren Giles and Hack Wilson were inducted into the Hall of Fame...34 years ago (1984), American Joan Benoit won the first Olympic marathon for women, beating Greta Waitz of Norway at the Los Angeles Games...5 years ago (2013), MLB banned Alex Rodriguez for 211 games as a result of the Biogenisus Laboratories scandal.


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