Sometimes the fit just seems right. And this spring, one longtime baseball guy remarked that Jason Bay and the Boston Red Sox "just made sense" and that they'd miss the hell out of each other in 2010.
Bay, who signed a free-agent contract with the New York Mets that was much criticized within the industry, went into last night's game against the Atlanta Braves homerless, with hopes of a turnaround pinned on the fact he had extra-base hits and runs batted in in consecutive games for the first time this season.
The Trail, B.C., native and Mets cleanup hitter had 23 strikeouts and, until a triple on Friday, had one extra-base hit in 52 at bats. "I strike out a lot," he told New York reporters. "I had 162 last year so, yeah. I strike out a lot."
As for the Red Sox?
They come into the Rogers Centre tonight looking very much like a team tailor-made to finish a distant third in the American League East, relying in part on an unexpected offensive contribution from a 38-year-old catcher they'd tried to put out to pasture (Jason Varitek had four home runs through his first seven games for the first time in his career) and without the security blanket Bay was able to provide, David Ortiz's downward spiral into irrelevance has seemed even more pronounced.
Neither the Red Sox nor Bay knew how good they had it. They should have made a new deal happen.
A gracious Hossa
Good on the NHL for giving Marian Hossa the benefit of the doubt and not suspending him for hitting Dan Hamhuis from behind in Game 5 of the Chicago Blackhawks series against the Nashville Predators. Hossa was penalized appropriately in the course of the game.
Beyond that, in acknowledging that Hossa is "not a repeat offender," NHL sheriff-in-chief Colin Campbell has reinforced in the minds of the league's repeat offenders that they are on watch more than the average player.
And that's to the good. It isn't the Marian Hossas of the NHL who are a concern.
Turkoglu on the ropes
That was indeed the word "if" that I heard in connection with Hedo Turkoglu's return when replaying the tape of Toronto Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo's postmortem.
Good luck foisting that contract on somebody, but there are people around the team who believe Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment will force him to take on whatever contract he needs to in order to get rid of Turkoglu, especially after a column this week in the Toronto Star suggested the Raptors play off the court with more zest than they do on the court - which would explain some things.
Just a hunch here, but my guess is their only European starter next season is Andrea Bargnani.
Garbage Time: I hear Vancouver Canucks fans think the NHL is conspiring against them by scheduling road games during the playoffs. When did they become the NHL's version of Chicago Cubs fans? … The Buffalo Bills did right by drafting C.J. Spiller because it's about time they had a front-line running back who from all accounts has at least a 50-50 chance of staying out of trouble with the law. The sooner they tie the can to miscreant Marshawn Lynch, the better … Not so bright were the Denver Broncos. The second of two first-round picks, Tim Tebow is too large a personality to be anything but a distraction as a non-starting quarterback and not good enough to start in the NFL … Seattle Sounders play-by-play man Arlo White, formerly of The Beeb and who sounds splendid working alone in the booth, called Toronto FC "dysfunctional," and pointed out 73 players have played at least one game for TFC … The Baltimore Orioles are a mess: Manager Dave Trembley is due to be fired and owner Peter Angelos is denying he's blocking Cal Ripken, Jr., from getting involved in some capacity with the team. The best thing that could happen for the Orioles is for Ripken to lead a buyout of Angelos and his sons.