Ducks boats or swan songs?

For the Recorder
Friday, March 30, 2018

What’s amazing about baseball is how a team can go from a 4-zip lead to utter disaster. Cruising one inning and crushed the next, welcome to the Hub, Alex Cora.

Somewhere in Cincinnati, John Farrell was smiling.  

Cora did get points for not appealing an out call at first base after Mookie Betts was picked off in the seventh inning. Farrell would’ve had his arm out like a traffic cop ready to stop the game for a fruitless challenge.

Dennis Eckersley wasn’t in the studio for the postgame show, leaving Steve Lyons to ask why Cora hadn’t used southpaw rookie Bobby Poyner to face left-handed pinch-hitter Brad Miller in the fateful eighth inning. “That’s why he’s on the team,” said Lyons. 

The loss put even more pressure on David Price to come through against his old team, and David Price doesn’t like pressure.

In Toronto, Giancarlo Stanton became the first Yankee to hit two home runs on Opening Day since Roger Maris in 1963. Radio voice John Sterling christened the first “A Stantonian blast!” and indeed, opposing pitchers are going to wear themselves out facing New York’s first five hitters in the lineup. Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge, Stanton, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks were a combined 8-for-19 with two home runs, five runs scored and five RBIs.

Other opening day observations: The dugout camera at Tropicana Field showed pink-hat, heart-throb Andrew Benintendi with shorn locks and sporting the John Calipari look. … Former Red Sox prospect Yoan Moncada batted leadoff and was 1-for-6 with an RBI in Chicago’s blowout win of the Royals. His teammate, 27-year-old late-bloomer Matt Davidson, hit three home runs. Davidson was a D-back’s first round pick in 2009. … Mike Trout was 0-for-6 and Shohei Otani was 1-for-5 (hit in his first MLB at-bat) in the Angels’ one-run loss to Oakland. … In case you’re wondering, Oakland’s Boog Powell is no relation to Baltimore’s Boog Powell. …  Bartolo Colon pitches for his job on Monday against Oakland. The Rangers have him signed to a minor league deal and are using him as a fifth starter. After that, they said, no promises. … A caller to SXM’s Leadoff Spot asked co-host Eduardo Perez how to pronounce his name. “Are you bilingual?” asked Perez. “No, I’m redneck,” answered the caller. … Yankee leadoff hitter Brett Gardner to Suzyn Waldman on Thursday’s pre-game show: “Once the merry-go-round starts, you can’t get off.” … Next time Alex, leave Sale in the game. Go for it, ya know?

GUESSING GAME: The NFL Draft is four weeks from today and Jim Miller predicts that Heisman winner Baker Mayfield will go to the Dolphins at No. 12. “The guy who’s the most accurate passer in the draft, the guy who’s thrown for 121 touchdowns, if I was a Dolphins fan, I would love to have this guy come to town,” the former NFLer said on Movin’ the Chains. 

This is the 25th anniversary of the year Dan Marino fell to Miami at 27th, three picks after the Jets-Jets-Jets took Ken O’Brien, and New York Post beatwriter Brian Costello thinks Gang Green will scoop up Mayfield with the third overall pick.

The Patriots have four Top 100 picks (31-43-63-95) and are scouring for a quarterback to replace Tom Brady. We’ll never know if Bill Belichick would’ve benched or traded Brady for Jimmy Garappolo, but if he benched Bledsoe, why not Brady?

Three years ago, Brady’s father told the New York Times it would end badly. “It always ends badly,” he said.