I think we should label this week something along the lines of, "A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned" or "Penny Lane" or "A Penny for your thoughts." There are just too many good options out there, and I can't be bothered deciding on one or making a rational argument as to its significance. I just know Brad Penny is the topic.
So, just a quick update on his value: it's going up.
Penny had his best outing of the season on Thursday night, throwing a gutsy 6 innings (117 pitches) without giving up an earned run to the Yankees. Then there was the Girardi brouhaha, where Penny reminded everyone he was a hard-nosed veteran with a competitive / mean streak (not always the best clubhouse guy, but possibly one you might want in a division dogfight down the stretch).
Then all that got followed up by a slew of injuries and changes of fortune that suddenly have Penny looking like one of the best veteran arms on the market. As John Heyman reported in today's SI, that market severely dried over the weekend, no doubt to the Sox' delight.
First there's Jake Peavey, who the Padres were shopping hard (a deal was a last-minute veto from getting done with CWS, remember), and who is now down for 8-12 weeks with an ankle injury. There's also Erik Bedard, reportedly the Phillies favorite addition, who was scratched from his weekend start due to "stiffness." The caution flags are suddenly raised around him. Heyman reports that Roy Oswalt, who looked like bigtime potential trade bait two weeks ago, is now "all but certain to stay in Houston." Even the last place Indians are finding their division so weak and their ace's stuff so nasty (see no-hit bid this weekend) and reasonably priced, that it would take something huge to pry away Cliff Lee at this point.
All that means that at the end of the week, it might very well be that the Sox are gonna look around the table to see that they're the only ones holding chips and cards. Is it possible that Theo, Clay, Smoltz, Penny, and the fans all somehow come out of this next two week stretch winners?
Check back into ITM.