Following David Ortiz’s positive steroid test in 2003, the Boston Red Sox have enjoyed the luxury of playing at home for the past six games. With nobody bashing the Boston slugger, the Sox have performed well positioning themselves for a run at the Yankees for first place.
New York, is a team that has had the same situation already this season, with Alex Rodriguez’s positive test in May. When the Bronx Bombers went to play in Fenway Park, A-Rod took a psychological beating from the fans and most New York fans remember this very vividly. “A-Roid,” “A-Fraud,” “Cheater,” “At least our team is clean,” were chants that were heard from the Red Sox fans. Well now their whole team is linked to steroids and it will be exciting to see if the always more brutal New York fans will get on not only Ortiz but the whole team. With all the steroid allegations coming from all levels of the franchise, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Terry Francona was juicing so he could dip more.
The series starts on Thursday, and continues through Sunday. Winless against Boston, the Yankees hope to change their fortune and take a large lead in the division. With the surging Rays coming up from third place, it would be awesome to see Tampa take over the Wild Card lead and send Boston back home to the harbor. Starting on the mound for New York in the opening game of the series will be Joba Chamberlain, who has been hot as of late, going at least seven innings and winning his last three decisions. Opposing Chamberlain is longtime veteran John Smoltz, the tale of the tape for Smoltz is the exact opposite of Chamberlain as Smoltz who is 2-4 with a 7.12 ERA has been shelled and when he pitches, Boston struggles.
For Joe “Doesn’t Know What He’s Doing,” Girardi, it would be benefitial if the Yankees could jump out to an early series lead to send a message. If this is to happen, the top of the lineup needs to keep producing, and the bottom will have to get hits like they did the last game against the White Sox as Melky Cabrera hit for the cycle. The newly acquired Jerry Hairston Jr needs to be in the lineup and Nick Swisher should be in the clubhouse taking batting practice. With Girardi, anything is possible, so don’t expect Hairston to be in center, or Johnny Damon or Cabrera to be in right or left. The Yankees are too talented to have a manager like Girardi, when Swisher is batting second with his .230 average, something is wrong. Let’s hope the players can make up for Joe’s blunders and the Yankees sweep the “PED” Sox.