This: You want one reason for why the Orioles ar 1 game above .500 at this point of the season. How bout Jim Johnson? After not starting the season on the major league roster, he's pitched in 14 of 39 games and has mainly been very effective. He's allowed just 11 hits and 3 runs in 22 2/3 innings. His houdini act last night was the stuff of special seasons. Entering with a two run lead and the bases loaded and nobody out. He got the league's most feared hitter?, Manny Ramirez, to bounce into a double play on a ten-pitch at-bat, then he got Mike Lowell to fly out to left to end the threat. Big time stuff for a guy who was all but cast off in the offseason. Could he be headed to the rotation any time soon? I'd keep him where he is.
That: Why is today's game starting at 3:05? Neither the Orioles nor the Sox have a game tomorrow. Maybe it's just for a head start on the day off. But I wouldn't think the O's would sacrifice a night game against the rival for that. Attendance is bad enough as it is. But a nice job by the Oriole fans last night. Recently, it's been tough to tell who the home team is when the Sox are in town. But the fans were looking good last night. The Orange Nick Markakis tees didn't hurt.
The Other: A week has gone by since I decided on my first all-star votes. This week, I'm makings some changes. I'm changing my American League double play combo. Out are Jose Lopez and Michael Young. In are Ian Kinsler and Derek Jeter. It's a shame that all the AL has to offer is Jeter, but that is the case at the moment. I'm also going with a new outfield. Let's bump Josh Hamilton (8 HR, 43 RBI), BJ Upton, and Grady Sizemore into the grouping. Sizemore started a bit slowly but he's getting it going and he deserves this. So the AL team is Mauer, Youkilis, Kinsler, Jeter, Figgins, Hamilton, Upton, Sizemore and Morneau.
Over in the NL, the only change I'm making on the infield is Miguel Tejeda in for Rafael Furcal at shortstop. Furcal is slowed by his injury and Tejeda, as we suspected, is just doing a better job in a new circumstance. A batting average of .338, but he still hasn't shown the great power, although five homers at this point isn't bad and indicates a little improvement. Not sure how much longer I can not vote for Hanley Ramirez. I stay with Pujols at DH this week, but Ramirez is even close to replacing him there. Around the diamond its Soto,Berkman, Utley, Tejeda, Jones, McLouth, Nady, Burrell and Pujols.