Monday, September 30, 2013

Bob Lobel: Setting The Table for Playoff Baseball

By Bob Lobel  @boblobel

Alfredo Aceves.  Oh, those were the days…

Pitch him and send him back to Pawtucket.  Do it again and again. One thing’s for sure, Alfredo will not be throwing out the first pitch this month, or the last one for that matter. The Red Sox have a better chance of serving the fans fettuccine alfredo than another dose of Mr. Aceves.  

Where has he gone?  Will he be back for some sort of cameo? Would he be the perfect bridge from middle relief to closer?  Whatever situation arises in the next month, let’s not forget  A.A. and his impact on his old team. No, they won’t ask him to throw out ceremonial first pitches but you can be certain, with the national coverage of every game, the Boston Marathon of 2013 and everything that went with it, those pitches will be on display. 
“B Strong. 617 Boston Strong”.  Count on it. I was in Ohio last weekend and nobody asked me about Aaron Hernandez, the Red Sox, the Patriots or Whitey Bulger.  All questions centered around that Monday in April. Certainly, first responders, the wounded, law enforcement, even politicians will be on that mound at some point in the pre game festivities, as they should be.  My pick for most popular pre game first pitch participant (other than Alfredo Aceves) will be Neil Diamond.  

Do not underestimate the role he played in the success of this year's team. I’ll leave it at that.  

It’s all speculation. Like Sargent Shultz in Stalag 17, “I know nothings.”  

A word about the National Football League.  There are so many injuries that we have become immune to their severity.  They are such a part of the game that it is to the point of, “how many are too many?”  If elite teams can keep their elite quarterbacks upright, they all have a shot.  If they can’t, because of the new and improved legislated offense, they have no shot. 

The only answer to the offense is a pass rush for most of these teams, but so far it seems like Belichick is one step ahead of the pack as usual, with a running game that no one is prepared to stop since they are so intent on stopping the passing game. 


Here is my fantasy football question of the week.  Do you know anyone besides me that drafted tight end Matthew Mulligan for their team? Didn’t think so. Ok, this time next week we could be happy campers or in the Bruins’ world. There was some positive stuff that came out of not having the NHL start the regular season until the first of last year, if only because the regular season bears no resemblance to the playoffs. 

By the way, what was Alfredo Aceves’ uniform number?  Hint:  It was the number of times he shuttled between Boston and Pawtucket.

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