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AL Tarp Tale: The Red Sox are officially homesick

Big League Stew

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This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's A.L. roll call starts in Toronto, where fans nakedly went stark-raving cuckoo over their Blue Jays, and where the Big Hurt stamped the Red Sox's passport for what Bostonians hope will be the last time in a long time.

Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 4

Circumferencestances: Toronto capped Boston's 16,000-mile, season-opening road trip — the world is only 25,000 miles around, for crying out loud — with a three-game sweep of the nomahds. The BoSox also went 1-1 against the Athletics in Japan, swept a pair in Oakland and might have jammed with ABBA in Sweden, for all we know.

He don't take visa: Frank Thomas, well-traveled himself at 39, launched a grand slam to show he still has some lead in his pencil.

Beckett prices: Josh Beckett's first start of the season went OK in that the right-hander did not suffer a recurrence of lower-back pain, and reported no new blisters or goatee deficiencies. Beckett allowed five runs and four walks, burning up 92 pitches over 4 2/3 innings.

Beam me back to Beantown: Ye Olde Towne Teame rests today before retuning to the 'hood for opening day at Fenway Park on Tuesday.


Rundown feelin' (Sunday's other games)

Yankees 2, Rays 0 — The Yanks are complaining about a lack of offense — and why not when you pay Fendi prices and get Keds quality? — but nothing is wrong with a fundamentally sound shutout of the seemingly improved Rays, who were going for three straight in the Bronx. Joe Girardi is back on the bench after screaming at his upper-respiratory infection to go away.

White Sox 13, Tigers 2Mark Buehrle bounces back and Justin Verlander pitches more like Zoolander. Leyland up to three packs — an inning, that is — after Detroit gets smoked and falls to 0-6. The Tigers would have to go 35 and minus-1 to match their 1984 start. Unlikely.

Orioles 3, Mariners 2 — Instead of turning to J.J. Putz, who is hurt, the M's just putz around in the ninth and spoil a wonderful 8-inning sundae by right-hander Felix Hernandez by topping it with a gross, slimy, stinky ol' cherry.

Royals 3, Twins 1 — Seems like it's the Royals best start since George Brett was starting to get old, but really they previously opened 4-2 in in 2004.

Rangers 10, Angels 4 — Let's get Laird tonight! — Texas catcher Gerald Laird, who had four hits, including a pair of homers, and drove in six. Take that, Geno Petralli!

Cleveland 2, A's 1 — Let's Go Tribe reports that lefty Cliff Lee is taking steps to resurrect his once-promising career.


Photo of the Day: Naked as a (Blue) Jaybird

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You crazy Canucks! Yes, things got a little nutty at the Skydome during Friday's home opener, which allowed us to post our second (sort of) streaker photo of the year. Here's betting she wouldn't have been caught if she weren't hauling around half of her belongings in that giant — and rather ugly — purplish bag. (Monday bonus: Video of this damsel's dash can be found here.)


Fantasy Freaks

Felix Hernandez (Mariners): 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K

Gerald Laird (Rangers): 4-for-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI

Carlos Quentin (White Sox): 1-3, 3 R, 4 RBI

Joe Crede (White Sox): 4-5, R, 3 RBI


Fantasy Flakes

Jon Garland (Angels): 5 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 HR

Ivan Rodriguez (Tigers): 0-3, .174 BA

Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) 0-4, .111 BA


Big Talker: "A lot of us are tired. We’re ready to go home. All these different countries, different currencies, I’m kind of sick of it." — Boston's Kevin Youkilis.

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