A few random thoughts from Fenway Park:
* There are a line of severe thunderstorms crossing Massachusetts at the moment but should be through Boston by the time the game starts. Of course had the game started at 1 p.m., it wouldn’t matter. They’re putting the tarp down now.
* Brian Cashman drove to Cooperstown to help represent the team at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Jennifer Steinbrenner Swindal was on hand as well. She is becoming more and more of a presence in the organization.
* Alex Rodriguez turns 33 today. I saw him with Pat Benatar walking on Newbury Street this morning. They looked very happy. “Love is a battlefield,” she told him.
* Did you notice that the Yankees gave No. 34 to Damaso Marte? So much for Phil Hughes. Hughes has a rehab start on Monday. Expect the Yankees to activate him off the disabled list shortly after and option him to the minors. They’re going to make him earn everything back. (Update, seems that Phil may have willingly gave the number up to try and make a fresh start once he does get back. Still, what a letdown this season has been).
* There were reports that either Phil Coke or George Kontos were injured, which is why the deal with Pittsburgh changed. But Coke struck out three in one inning before they took him out of the game on Friday and Kontos went six yesterday.
* Zach McAllister threw seven shutout innings yesterday. He’ll be at Trenton next season and knocking on the door in 2010. Meanwhile Chris Smith, the guy who hit .708 in high school, is at .152 in the GCL. Those wood bats take some getting used to.