This Week in Boston Baseballing, August 9 – 15

Boston capped off a tough weekend, dropping three of four in Kansas City to the surging Royals. However, their place in the standings actually improved thanks to Tampa Bay’s six-game losing streak, which finally ended Wednesday night. Last night, the Sox stranded 12 runners to lose the rubber game of the three-game series in Toronto, 2-1, capping off the 10-game road trip.

The Yankees are in town for a three-game series at Fenway beginning tonight. Boston fans will have their first opportunity to boo A-Rod since the announcement that he will be suspended – at some point – for his involvement with Biogenesis.

Boston’s Playoff Odds Now Stand At 93.7%
Based on the Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds report, the odds that the Red Sox make the playoffs now stand at 93.7%, with the team making the tournament 63.4% of the time as the AL East champs and 30.2% of the time as a Wild Card participant. Simulated wins projection has the Red Sox at right at 93 victories. While the Red Sox averaged 93.2 wins during the 10 years leading up to the 2012 debacle, it is hard not to have a special appreciation for the team’s success this season.

MLB Will Begin Using Instant Replay in 2014
Major League Baseball’s announcement that it will institute instant replay next season came with the claim that 89% of past incorrect calls would be reviewable under the new rules. Boston already had one game end in a loss this season – when Jerry Meals called a sliding Daniel Nava out at home – that may have gone the other way had replay been available.

Koji Uehara Vests His 2014 Contract In Style
During Tuesday night’s 4-2 victory in 11 innings against Toronto, Uehara earned a win as Boston recorded its 19th victory in its final at-bat. It was his 55th appearance, meaning that a $4.25 million option for 2014 has officially vested and Koji is likely to be a Red Sox for a second season. The vesting option increases to $5 million if Uehara finishes 35 games. As of Friday, he had finished 24.

Payroll Obligations for 2014 Now Stand At Roughly $110 Million
Boston already has most of its core officially on the books for next year with two notable exceptions – Jacoby Ellsbury and Jon Lester, who can either be bought out for $250,000 or be extended for one more year at $13 million. In other words, Boston has a significant decision to make regarding Lester. The idea of yet another guy on the team making $13 mil may be too enticing to pass up, but if the Sox are bullish on Lester’s ability to maintain ~3.0-WAR value into his mid-30s, they might be able to get better value extending his contract a few years at a lesser annual average.

Stan Grossfeld Wrote A Pretty Strange ‘Where Are They Now?’ Profile of Curt Schilling
Curt provided only one surprising bit of news in the article – that he suffered a heart attack in November 2011. Although his reluctance to share the information with the general public is transparently phony, it was probably trumped by Grossfeld’s implication that he only caught wind of the information because a “visitor” mentioned it in passing to Schilling during the interview (conducted at Curt’s daughter’s softball game).

Curt’s wife Shonda (could she be considered a ‘visitor’??) believes her husband is lucky to be alive, but not because the heart attack was particularly serious: “I don’t know how somebody would not kill himself, honestly, over what he has had to endure,” she says.

Shonda Schilling probably gives fantastic wedding toasts.

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