Right decision for Buchholz, but wrong decision for fans

September 06, 2007|By PETER SCHMUCK

The Boston Red Sox probably are doing the right thing by moving young Clay Buchholz into the bullpen rather than giving him a chance to match Johnny Vander Meer's record for consecutive no-hitters, but I don't have to like it.

If Buchholz had been allowed to remain in the rotation, he would be scheduled to start tonight's game at Oriole Park, and - considering the competition - you've got to think that somewhere in the great beyond, Van- der Meer would be sweating through his gossamer robe.

Instead, the Sox quieted Buchholz down for his own protection. He threw 115 pitches when he no-hit the Orioles on Saturday night at Fenway Park, which was well beyond any previous pitch count, so the dispassionate decision was made to protect his valuable arm and make sure he's around to pitch when the Red Sox really need him.

Though you'd think the Orioles would be happy to miss him, the alternative isn't very attractive, either. Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will go for his 17th victory in the series opener.

Faulty comparison

Former Ravens running back Jamal Lewis had a great preseason for the Cleveland Browns, causing some fatalistic Ravens fans to worry he'll outgain new Ravens starter Willis McGahee during the regular season.

Well, he might, but that's not the equation that really matters.

The Ravens turned to McGahee because he is a multidimensional player, which should create opportunities for the offense and problems for the opposing defense even when he doesn't touch the ball.

Meanwhile, Ravens fans should root for Lewis to rush for 250 yards every time he faces one of the Ravens' division rivals.

Soft showdown

After Notre Dame gets crushed at Penn State this weekend and Michigan loses to Oregon, both struggling teams get a breather the following week.

They play each other.

Not Trembley's fault

There are a lot of Orioles fans jumping off the Dave Trembley bandwagon these days, but new club president Andy MacPhail did the right thing by removing the interim tag from his job title - even though the team went into a 1-12 free fall immediately after the announcement.

Trembley did a solid job during his two-month audition and the organization needed to get beyond the managerial uncertainty to concentrate on more pressing issues this winter.

It's not fair to pin this recent slump on Trembley, but it will be interesting to see whether he can keep his veteran players focused during what promises to be a long, hard September.

Cushy retirement

According to a report by Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, Tiger Woods has a chance to accumulate $1 billion by age 60 in the PGA's newly upgraded retirement plan.

The new plan is juiced up by a tax-deferred contribution of $10 million for the winner of each year's FedEx Cup, which would grow to be worth more than $100 million over a 30-year period based on a 9 percent annualized rate of return. Woods conceivably could win several of them to go with his original PGA pension benefits.

Don't know about you, but I'm certainly relieved that his future is secure.

For the record

In what will surely be viewed as a shameless burst of homerism, I'm picking the Ravens to go all the way this year and beat the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl.

Call it a pre-emptive strike. I think the Ravens will breeze through the early part of the schedule and score a couple of big victories over the Patriots and Colts at M&T Bank Stadium down the stretch. Now they won't be able to say that nobody believed in them.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.

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