Here is this week's edition of 'Kudos & Wet Willies,' reviewing the best and worst of the last week in baseball.
Kudos to ...
- Mariano Rivera -- His fourth All-Star save locked down home-field advantage for our New York Yankees when they inevitably reach the World Series. Seriously, what Mo did to Brad Hawpe was almost comical. It's just amazing that there are still times, though maybe not as many as there used to be, that Mo can make major league hitters look like little leaguers.
- Phil Hughes -- You can't get much more overpowering than Hughes was Friday night in relief against the Detroit Tigers. Six strikeouts in two innings. He now has an ERA of 0.86 as a reliever. Who knew? Hughes as set-up guy was never the Yankees' plan, but it sure is working out brilliantly.
- Carl Crawford -- Also for saving home-field advantage for the Yankees. Thank you, kind sir! I have seen his home-run saving catch called 'Iconic.' I wouldn't go that far, but it was nice. And, since the game counts and all that malarkey, important.
- Jim Thome -- The White Sox DH had maybe the greatest night of his great career Friday, hitting a grand-slam and a three-run home run and driving in seven runs as Chicago defeated Baltimore. The guy has 557 home runs now, and it's getting harder and harder to make an argument for keeping him out of the Hall of Fame when the time comes.
- CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez -- Putting them together here because what they did Saturday, clutch pitching and hitting, respectively, is exactly what the Yankees will need from them to get to the Promised Land.
- Derek Jeter -- In case you hadn't noticed, the Captain's batting average is all the way up to .325. Not bad for a guy who is supposed to be getting old.
Wet Willies to ...
- Damian Arredondo -- Will these Dominican players ever stop lying about their age in hopes of getting big money from major league teams? Probably not.
- Major League Baseball -- Did the Commissioner's Office really dictate how long starting pitchers were to be used in the All-Star Game? This whole All-Star Game to determine home-field advantage in the World Series is stupid, and if that is true it sours me even more. Hey, Bud, why don't you just pick the teams yourself and write out the lineups?
- Tim Lincecum -- In the end. no harm done. But, c'mon, Tim, drilling Derek Jeter in the hand during an All-Star Game? I thought I was gonna be sick when that happened.