1. Big Sox v. Yankees series tonight. Yanks lost to the lowly Orioles last night. They beat good teams, take nights off against dreadful ones. The Sox destroy all bad teams, play .500 ball against good ones. All chatter is Mookie Betts for MVP. He is not the MVP right now. He has missed too many games, doesn't drive in enough runs, and J.D. Martinez has a legit shot of not just winning the Triple Crown, but winning the Triple Crown for all of MLB. Both leagues.
2. Rick Middleton's number is being retired by the Bruins. They make weird choices with that. Fine with Middleton going up, but he's no Hall of Famer. Meanwhile, Gerry Cheevers' number is not retired. If you're a Hall of Famer, shouldn't your team retire your number? Now, you can argue that he shouldn't be. Money goalie, though--like a poorer man's Billy Smith. Meanwhile, Frank Brimsek, who was sufficiently impenetrable that he earned the nickname Mr. Zero, who is an obvious Hall of Famer for the Bruins in net, also does not have his number retired.
3. Today is the anniversary of Thurman Munson's in-season death. Always liked Munson. Have his rookie card. Even if Carlton Fisk is my all-time favorite player. People start saying every year at this time that Munson should be in the Hall of Fame. No way. He was trending down, big time, during his age 32 season, which was when he died, struggling to get his OPS over .700. His 162 game average--and again, this would have gone down as he aged--was 13 homes, 80 RBI, .292 average. That's just too little pop. One of my oldest friend's mom dated Munson. His 1971 Topps card is also awesome.
4. Speaking of the Hall of Fame: the Cooperstown ceremony just occurred, which included Alan Trammell and Jack Morris--fine with both being in--and subsequent conversation that Lou Whitaker, their Tigers teammate, has been screwed. He has not been screwed a little bit. In exactly one season in his lengthy career did Whitaker receive a single MVP vote. You should be in the running for an MVP at some point or other if you're a positional player bound for the HOF. You should have top ten finishes. And All-Star selections don't mean much, but I find it telling that this guy only made five All-Star teams at a position that's pretty easy to make All-Star teams. Maybe the easiest position? It's that or catcher.