The Red Sox are 0-6, but things could be worse: the 1988 Braves started 0-10, the 2002 Tigers started 0-11, the 1997 Cubs started 0-14 and the 1988 Orioles lost an amazing 21 in a row to begin the season. The Cubs finished 68-94, the best record of the four teams. Thomas Neumann at Page 2 digs into the archives to see what was being said about those teams. Take his quiz to see where the Red Sox fit in.
Nick Swisher's hard slide breaking up a double play took out Tsuyoshi Nishioka, the Twins' rookie second baseman from Japan. Swisher sought out Nishioka after the game to apologize and nobody on the Twins complained that Swisher was out of bounds with the slide. I thought it was a little rougher than you usually see, as Swisher kind of kicked his legs out and up to get Nishioka.
Nick Nelson over at Nick's Twins blog makes a good point that in Japan takeout slides aren't really part of the game and the Twins worked with Nishioka on this during spring training. Matt Tolbert presumably steps in at second base. Considering his career .246/.305/.345 line, the Twins won't be getting much offense up the middle. The Twins have hit just two homers in their first six games and anxiously await Justin Morneau launching his first long ball.
Yankees-Red Sox: Friday's big game
You may have heard about the afternoon tilt at Fenway. It's not just the Red Sox with the spotlight on them, however. Phil Hughes struggled in his first start for the Yankees, topping at about 88 mph with his fastball. Dave Cameron writes that his velocity drop isn't a cause for concern right now.
Buster Olney reports from Fenway Park that the Sox remain confident.
Jayson Stark tells Mike & Mike that the Red Sox are now a long shot to win 90 games.
ESPN New York debates the biggest moments in the series history.
Over at It's About the Money, they wonder if this is the biggest Red Sox-Yankees series in recent memory. I'd say it's a little bigger for the Red Sox. Boston has the matchup edge on Saturday (Clay Buchholz versus Ivan Nova), the Yankees on Sunday night (CC Sabathia versus Josh Beckett), making Friday's Hughes-John Lackey game the coin-tosser.
Other links of the day
Jim Caple asks the Giants whether they'll wear their World Series rings (see Jim's video with Mark DeRosa above).
There's another big series this weekend, and Crashburn Alley previews the Braves-Phillies showdown.
Eric Karabell check outs Thursday's action, including Edwin Jackson, Trevor Cahill and Esmil Rogers, in Box Score Bits.
Jason Grey checks out top Royals pitching prospect Mike Montgomery.
Nate Ravitz and Tristan Cockroft discuss Nishioka's possible replacement and other issues on the Fantasy Focus podcast.
Oh, as far as that other 0-6 team: Johnny Damon called for that dreaded players-only meeting in Tampa. What exactly goes on in those things? "OK, guys ... hit the ball better! Play better! Pitch better!" Meeting adjourned.
The L.A. Times ran a bunch of horror stories from fans who attended Dodger games.