« July 1, 2007
July 3, 2007 »
July 2, 2007
FINAL: Red Sox 7, Rangers 3
The Boston Red Sox snapped a two-game losing streak, beating the Texas Rangers, 7-3, in the finale of their four-game series.
Starter Kason Gabbard, making his third start in relief of the injured Curt Schilling, didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning, but gave up a single and three-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
Mike Timlin, Javier Lopez, Kyle Snyder and Hideki Okajima combined for the final four-plus innings.
Dustin Pedroia's ground-rule double in the third plated two runners, and Eric Hinske had a three-run triple in the fifth for the final runs of the game.
While Boston had 10 hits, it left 10 runners on base.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 10:25 PM | Permalink
They really, really want to like you
Many a player has groused about the pressure of playing for the Red Sox. Some respond to it, and some don't.
But it doesn't seem as though Julio Lugo has reason to complain about his treatment.
The shortstop -- who came into tonight mired in an 0-for-31 slump and with a terrible base-running error on Saturday -- heard chants of "Let's go Lugo!" when he was at the plate just now with the bases loaded and two out. The Fenway faithful were dying for him to get a hit.
But Lugo grounded out to second and is now 0-for-2 on the night (he did draw a first-inning walk and had a sac bunt in the third), 0-for-33 in his slump and hitting just .189 for the season. His playing weight is listed at 175....
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 9:53 PM | Permalink
Gabbard's night over
After allowing a two-out double to Marlon Byrd, Kason Gabbard's night is over after 5 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs on three hits but once again struggled with his pitch placement, walking four batters. Of his 100 pitches, just 53 were strikes.
In his last start, against Seattle, Gabbard walked six men in 3 1/3, including four walks (and a hit batsman) in the first inning alone.
He is being replaced by Mike Timlin, who has struggled since returning to the bullpen after coming off the disabled list.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 9:10 PM | Permalink
PawSox drop 4-1 decision to Charlotte
The Pawtucket Red Sox took the field tonight looking to rebound from their worst loss in nearly three years, but failed to get the redemption they were looking for, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Charlotte Knights at McCoy.
Facing 6-foot-10 lefty Andrew Sisco with two outs and a 1-and-2 count, catcher Kevin Cash hooked a ball around the right-field foul pole to put the PawSox on the board.
But Casey Rogowski cleared the right-field wall with an Abe Alvarez offering in the fifth to tie the game.
And that’s the way it would stay until the eighth inning, when Danny Richar smacked a two-run triple to right off of Pawtucket reliever Bryan Corey and then scored on Ryan Sweeney’s sacrifice fly to left to give Charlotte a lead it would not relinquish.
Posted by Carolyn Thornton at 8:58 PM to PawSox
No more no-no
Well Kason Gabbard got rid of that no-hitter in a hurry. Shutout too.
After going 4 1/3 without allowing a hit to the Rangers, Gerald Laird got Texas' first hit of the night, a single to left field.
On the very next pitch, Brad Wilkerson sent the ball into the Rangers' bullpen for a three-run homer (Gabbard had walked leadoff man Marlon Byrd), and Boston's lead is now 4-3.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 8:35 PM | Permalink
Matsuzaka is Boston's player of the month
Daisuke Matsuzaka was named Boston's player of the month for June.
Matsuzaka had a 1.59 ERA with 42 strikeouts in five June starts, though he was just 2-2 because his teammates gave him very little in the way of run support: the Sox scored just five runs in the five starts.
Josh Beckett was player of the month in April, and Kevin Youkilis won the honor in May.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 7:48 PM | Permalink
Find thee a detour
We have been asked to pass along this information by the Red Sox.
Storrow and Memorial Drives will be closed for the Fourth of July festivities along the Charles River, and that will impact fans headed to Fenway for Tuesday and Wednesday's games.
** The westbound lanes of Storrow Drive will close at noon tomorrow and will not re-open until 5 a.m. on Thursday.
** The Eastbound lanes of Storrow will close at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday and remain closed until 5 a.m. on Thursday.
** Various parts of Memorial Drive will close at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Obviously, alternate routes should be found if you normally travel to Fenway on these roads. The Red Sox encourage fans to use public transportation whenever possible.
Tomorrow's series opener with Tampa Bay starts at 7:05 p.m., while Wednesday's game is slated for 1:30 p.m. The finale with the Devil Rays on Thursday begins at 7:05 p.m.; early versions of the team's schedule listed the game as an afternoon start.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 7:37 PM | Permalink
We're told that Curt Schilling made approximately 35 throws while playing catch today during range-of-motion exercises, and according to Sox' PR maven John Blake, Schilling is expected to repeat the exercise "several more times before graduating to a more advanced throwing program."
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 7:26 PM | Permalink
Sox extend contract with Portland
The Red Sox announced today that they have extended their Player Development Contract with the Portland Sea Dogs for an additional four years; the deal now goes through 2012.
Boston vice president-player personnel Ben Cherington and Sea Dogs' president and general manager Charlie Eshbach made the announcement this afternoon at Portland's Hadlock Field.
The Sea Dogs, who play in the double-A Eastern League, began their relationship with Boston in September 2002, after nine years with the Marlins. The original two-year deal has now had two four-year extensions added on.
Portland won its first-ever Eastern League championship last year, averaging a franchise-record 6,358 fans per game. In the four-plus seasons since the Boston-Portland relationship began, 29 Sea Dogs have played with the Red Sox, including Manny Delcarmen, Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia and tonight's starter, Kason Gabbard.
Josh Beckett also played for Portland, though it was when the Sea Dogs were the Marlins' affiliate.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 7:22 PM | Permalink
Rangers make late lineup change
Texas has made a change to its lineup -- second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. has been scratched with a left knee injury and Desi Relaford will take his place, both in the field and in the batting order. Relaford will bat second.
Here's the Texas lineup:
Kenny Lofton cf
Desi Relaford 2b
Michael Young ss
Sammy Sosa dh
Marlon Byrd rf
Victor Diaz lf
Gerald Laird c
Brad Wilkerson 1b
Travis Metcalf 3b
starter: Brandon McCarthy
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 7:03 PM | Permalink
Ray Allen throws out first pitch
The Celtics' newest player, Ray Allen, threw out one of tonight's ceremonial first pitches here at Fenway Park.
Allen, in a Red Sox jersey with his name and the number 20 on it, threw a decent pitch to Coco Crisp.
He was well-received by the fans on hand.
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 7:01 PM | Permalink
PawSox add utility infielder Zach Borowiak to the roster
Utility infielder Zach Borowiak was transferred from Portland to Pawtucket today.
This marks the Triple-A debut for the 26-year-old, who hit .229 with two home runs and 21 RBI in 51 games for the Sea Dogs. He played 23 of those games at second, 21 games at third, 5 at first and 2 at short, committing just five errors.
Borowiak spent all of last season with Portland, batting .216 in 107 games.
Posted by Carolyn Thornton at 6:05 PM to PawSox
Changing times: Help is now available
BY PAUL KENYON
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON -- While the Sox have been relatively injury-free this season, the recent problems with Curt Schilling, Brendan Donnelly and Coco Crisp have pointed out how the team’s farm system is better prepared to offer reinforcements.
''I think we’re better equipped to handle things now, that’s for sure,'' manager Terry Francona said today.
Francona singled out Manny Delcarmen for his recent work, but spoke about how more help is available, too.
''There are other pitchers down there (in Pawtucket) that could certainly help us. There are outfielders down there that could help us,'' he said. ''They’re not veteran guys, but that’s kind of exciting, too. We’re showing it now.''
In the recent past, he said, replacing injured players was not exactly easy.
''We actually had a Plan B. We would never not have a Plan B,'' he said. ''We didn’t like it. I think I admitted it. If we missed starts, we weren’t feeling too good about things.''
Delcarmen did not have impressive numbers at Pawtucket, but he got himself in position to help if needed.
''He did work really hard. His body looks good. He’s strong. His off-speed, at least to this point, gives him a different look,'' Francona said. ''He’s a got a little extra something on that fastball that we all see. We’re trying to integrate him into kind of a role of importance and also develop, which is not always the easiest thing.''
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 6:04 PM | Permalink
Francona to Ortiz: 'Don’t take every at-bat with the weight of the world on your shoulders'
BOSTON -- Terry Francona related that he had a conversation with David Ortiz today about his current struggles at the plate.
''We actually talked about it a little today in a relaxed atmosphere. I think he does feel responsibility,'' Francona said. ''He’s raised the bar so far off the charts that sometimes he can’t match himself. Because we’re not scoring runs in bunches it’s more glaring when we leave runners on. We all know that. Sometimes, I think even the best players need to be reassured that, 'Hey, you are real good. Don’t take every at-bat with the weight of the world on your shoulders.'
''David’s a very good listener. For one of the better players in the game of baseball, he’s one of the more coachable guys I’ve ever seen. You guys probably can see that part of his attitude, his demeanor that shouldn’t be a surprise.''
-- PAUL KENYON
Posted by Art Martone at 5:56 PM | Permalink
BY PAUL KENYON
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON -- The All-Star game came up for much discussion with Sox manager Terry Francona today. Most of it was positive, but Francona also offered news on how the club is working on one of the few negative aspects -- the traveling.
''This is going to be a tough thing for these guys,'' he said of his five all-stars. ''There are a lot of people trying to make this trip the least taxing on their bodies as possible. They’re going to go Detroit, San Francisco, maybe home, Boston. That’s tough. That’s not easy to do.
''In my limited experience with the All-Star game, it’s not relaxing. It’s an honor and all that, but it’s not anywhere close to relaxing. These guys get hit with a lot of stuff and it can wear on them a little bit.''
Francona made it clear he is happy David Ortiz will not take part in the home run-hitting conrest.
''I was amazed with what it took out of the guys,'' he said of the year (2005) he managed the American League team.
Francona said he would be thrilled if Josh Beckett started the game.
''I would be honored. I think Beckett would be honored,'' Francona said. ''That’s a call I have no business making. I can be a cheerleader and I will be. But that’s all that there is. I certainly understand who else is out there and what they’ve done, but because Beckett is our guy, we’d love it.''
Also, all indications are that Manny Ramirez will go to the all-star game this year. Three times in the past he has opted out after being named.
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 5:45 PM | Permalink
A new lineup: Youkilis is out, Lugo moved to top of the order
BOSTON -- The Red Sox have announced a late lineup change.
Kevin Youkilis has been scratched because of tightness in his left quad. His absence will bring on several changes, the biggest moving Julio Lugo, who was going to bat ninth, back to the leadoff spot.
J.D. Drew, who was going to lead off, is back to the fifth position, where Youkilis has been listed. At the bottom of the order, Eric Hinske will replace Youkilis at first base and hit eighth and Jacoby Ellsbury will move from the eight to the nine hole.
The new lineup:
Julio Lugo ss
Dustin Pedroia 2b
David Ortiz dh
Manny Ramirez lf
J.D. Drew rf
Mike Lowell 3b
Jason Varitek c
Eric Hinske 1b
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Kason Gabbard p
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 5:35 PM | Permalink
Lugo's back in the lineup because Francona 'can't manage like a fan'
BY PAUL KENYON
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON -- Julio Lugo is back in the lineup tonight, batting ninth and playing shortstop. Manager Terry Francona did his best to downplay the focus on Lugo and his 0-for-31 slump. He used himself, and his love of University of Arizona Wildcat basketball, to make his point.
''There’s got to be a balance, even when a guy is struggling,'' Francona said. ''You can't manage like a fan.
''The only way I can equate it is there are times when Lute Olson will play guys at the University of Arizona and I’m convinced he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He probably does. That’s my point. I'm a big fan. I see things passionately.
''As a manager or a coach, you can’t. You have to look at the big picture also. You try to balance everything the best you can. It’s not always easy. It’s not always perfect. I admit that. But sometimes you take a step back and then you go forward.
''The thing that happened the other night'' -- Lugo's attempted steal of third base with two outs and Kevin Youkilis at bat in the eighth inning, with the Sox trailing by a run --''was tough to take, for him and for us,'' Francona went on. ''But then you end getting to do some communicating that hopefully really helps. . . Maybe barriers come down a little bit where you can make some points that are important and maybe the kid feels like he’s getting another little burst of energy and a fresher start. We do need him to play well, we know that.''
Francona is one manager who does not seem to have a doghouse. He used Lugo as a pinch-runner Sunday, less than 24 hours after Lugo made his baserunning gaffe.
''For me, that would have been a horrible mistake on my part,'' Francona said of not putting Lugo in again when his team needed him. ''Here’s a guy that has stolen 20 out of 20 bases . . . [He] made a mistake and I’m going to put him in the penalty box in an obvious situation where you need a runner? That would be a horrendous mistake on my part.
''I told him, that was our conversation, 'I want you to go out and have a good day of work then I’m going to put you back in there.' ''
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 5:12 PM | Permalink
The injury report: Crisp is better, Schilling is being tested
BY PAUL KENYON
Journal Sports Writer
BOSTON -- Sometimes, when you least expect it, you end up with more than you thought you would get.
So it is with Terry Francona today. As everyone was filing in to his daily meeting with the media, the discussion was whether we could come up with anything interesting to talk about. It turns out, there is plenty of news.
The fact that his team has lost five of its last six certainly has not gotten the manager down. He was upbeat and went into great detail on a variety of subjects, ranging from Curt Schilling and Manny Delcarmen, to the All-Star game and the depth of the Red Sox organization these days.
We will take them one or two at a time. Let’s start with . . .
THE INJURY REPORT
This is a key day for testing to see where Curt Schilling stands with his shoulder tendonitis. But the tests are a bit behind because Schilling was late reporting for the tests, with permission.
''He had an ALS thing he had to do,'' Francona said, ''with our blessing . . . We’re not trying to hide anything. It’s something he probably needed to take care of. It means some pretty significant money to a nice cause.''
Schilling, of course, is heavily involved with raising money for the ALS Foundation which is fighting for a cure for what is often called Lou Gehrig’s disease. Schilling is undergoing the tests as we speak. A report on what is found likely will be made available before the end of the night.
There is good news on Coco Crisp’s injured thumb.
The center fielder is not playing again tonight. Jacoby Ellsbury will hit eighth and play center. But Crisp could be back soon.
''[Sunday] was probably significantly better, which is good news,’’ Francona said. ''The day before I think it was slightly (better). He made some big gains yesterday which is always the hope . . . The hope is this guy turns the corner quickly. It didn’t look like that two days ago. Yesterday it did.''
Posted by Paul Kenyon at 4:52 PM | Permalink
Sox Streakers for June 2
-Red Sox relievers have pitched 9.2 consecutive scoreless innings. The Boston bullpen has the second-lowest E.R.A. in the majors (2.91, behind San Diego's 2.50), and the best save-conversion percentage (89.3 percent)
-Hideki Okajima has worked 10.2 consecutive scoreless innings.
-Jonathan Papelbon has worked 8.2 consecutive scoreless innings.
-J.D. Drew has a nine-game hitting streak, during which he is 12 for 27 (.444)
-Mike Lowell has a seven-game hitting streak, during which he is 8 for 29 (.276)
-Dustin Pedroia has a six-game hitting streak, during which he is 9 for 25 (.360)
-Kevin Youkilis has not committed an error at first base in 124 consecutive games, a club record.
-For Texas, Kenny Lofton has a nine-game hitting streak, during which he is 14 for 32 (.438)
-The Red Sox are 5 for 42 (.119) with runners in scoring position over their last four games.
-Julio Lugo is 0 for his last 31; his last hit was June 14.
-Manny Ramirez is 3 for 27 (.111) over his last eight games.
-David Ortiz is 9 for 43 (.209) over his last 12 games.
-Jason Varitek is 10 for 44 (.227) over his last 13 games.
-For Texas, Gerald Laird is 0 for his last 10.
Rangers vs. Kason Gabbard
-Frank Catalanotto, 0 for 1
-No other Rangers hitter has faced Gabbard, and Gabbard has never faced Texas.
Red Sox vs. Brandon McCarthy
-Mike Lowell, 1 for 1, 1 HR
-Dustin Pedroia, 1 for 1
-Coco Crisp, 2 for 5 (.400), 1 HR
-Julio Lugo, 1 for 5 (.200)
-Manny Ramirez, 1 for 6 (.167)
-Alex Cora, 0 for 1
-David Ortiz, 0 for 5
-Jason Varitek, 0 for 5
-Kevin Youkilis, 0 for 8
-No other Red Sox hitter has faced McCarthy.
-McCarthy is 1-1 with a 4.11 E.R.A. in five career appearances (two as a starter, three as a reliever) against Boston.
-All-time series: Boston 197, Texas 185. The Rangers are 74-115 at Fenway Park.
-Boston has not lost a home series to Texas since August 1997, when the Sox suffered a three-game sweep.
-This is the ninth time since 1918 that the Red Sox (49-31) have won 49 of their first 80 games. The team's best start over those same 89 years: 57-23 in 1946.
-The team's 10 1/2-game first-place lead is its largest ever after 80 games. In 1978, the Sox led by 9 1/2 after 80 games.
-Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-2, 1.59 E.R.A.) has been named Red Sox player of the month for June.
-Texas starter Brandon McCarthy is making his first appearance since spending 21 days on the disabled list with a blister on his right middle finger.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 3:52 PM to Projo Sox Streakers
Red Sox lineup
The Rangers have not posted their lineup yet, but here's the Sox' for tonight:
J.D. Drew rf
Dustin Pedroia 2b
David Ortiz dh
Manny Ramirez lf
Kevin Youkilis 1b
Mike Lowell 3b
Jason Varitek c
Jacoby Ellsbury cf
Julio Lugo ss
Starter: Kason Gabbard
Posted by Shalise Manza Young at 3:37 PM | Permalink
Today's Manny file: Will he play?
The word in today's Boston Herald is that Manny Ramirez will actually travel to San Francisco to play in this year's All-Star Game. While reporter John Tomase had no quotes from Ramirez himself (who does?), he reports that multiple teammates say Manny will play. Ramirez skipped the midsummer classic in 2000, 2003 and 2006. That's why Scott Miller, on CBS Sportsline, lists the possible reasons Ramirez might beg out of the game this year ("Sore knee? Ill relative? Hair-extensions appointment?").
On projo SoxTalk today, Sean McAdam discussed some of the factors behind Ramirez making the All-Star team while Kevin Youkilis did not. Nick Cafardo writes about the same subject in today's Boston Globe. But Rob Duca of the Cape Cod Times is just plain disgusted by the outcome.
On another note, Tony Massarotti wrote over the weekend in the Herald that while Manny's stats are down this year, he has given it a good, professional effort. One more thing about the All-Star Game: This is the first time since Ramirez has joined Boston that he did not get voted into the game by the fans.
On the other hand, it's hard to overlook the fact that Ramirez is 3 for his last 27. Still, there is chatter out there among the fandom about moving him to third in the batting order, and dropping partner-in-crime David Ortiz (2 for his last 17) to fourth. The Red Sox heavy hitters, by the way, do not exactly have glorious histories against tonight's Rangers starter, Brandon McCarthy. Where's Tim Hudson when you need him?
We saw a glimpse of the good Ramirez in the field yesterday, when he made a back-handed stop of a base hit by Ramon Vazquez, helping hold Vazquez to a single.
Posted by Mike McDermott at 1:37 PM to Projo Mannybeingmanny
Projo SoxTalk with McAdam: Hitting woes don't get them down
Sean McAdam joins us once again for today's edition of projo SoxTalk. Click here to listen to the full audio file. Sean says that despite the team's horrendous hitting struggles, there's no despondency in the lockerroom (maybe that's because no one else in the American League East is applying any pressure to the first-place Sox). He also discusses the promotion of Jacoby Ellsbury, the All-Star snub of Kevin Youkilis and Coco Crisp's injured finger.
Here are some excerpts from Sean's comments:
On the club's reaction after yesterday's game: "I didn't sense any dejection. I think, first of all, people were a little preoccupied with the All-Star announcements, and the five Red Sox players who made it and the one who still might. In terms of the offense not producing, you know, you heard a lot of the same, 'We know we're better than this; we know were capable of scoring runs, we're just in a bad spell and inevitably we're going to break out of it.' And so it was kind of brave talk and not a lot of worry. But this has gone on more than this series, longer than this homestand, and longer than they would have liked."
On Ellsbury's promotion: "I was a little surprised, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. It gives Ellsbury a little exposure to the big leagues. He's played a couple of games, already got his first hit out the way. You bring him in to sort of a friendly environment while they're at home here, leading up to the All-Star break, and then he can go back in the second half and return to Pawtucket. I'm sure he'll be back in September when the rosters expand."
On the severity of Crisp's injury: "It's the kind of thing that seems to have gotten more serious in the last couple of days ... initially they didn't think it was going to be any more than waiting to see how it looked on Friday, after the day off. Now he's missed three games. They do have the ability, of course, to go back and put him on the disabled list retroactively, and I guess with each passing day that becomes more of a possibility."
Posted by Mike McDermott at 12:05 PM to McAdam
Baseball Today: Monday, July 2
'SEVENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF BASEBALL, GIVE OR TAKE 65 PERCENT': That's what Bill James once wrote about the hoary old saying that baseball 'is 75 percent pitching'. He has always asserted baseball is, in fact, a nearly 50/50 combination of offense/defense . . . and if one of those elements breaks down, you've got a problem.
|The Red Sox have a problem.
After yesterday's 2-1 loss to the Rangers, Sean McAdam notes the Sox have scored two runs or less 13 times this season, but 8 of those 13 instances have come in their last 24 games. (projo.com) Amazingly, they're 5-3 in those eight games thanks to their pitching, and yesterday it was good enough to steal another one; Julian Tavarez (who once again pitched well enough to win), Javy Lopez, Manny Delcarmen and Hideki Okajima limited the Rangers to one earned run. (projo.com) But the struggling offense did next-to-nothing against five Texas pitchers and when that happens, games can turn on single plays. The one that turned yesterday's was a miscommunication between center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and right fielder J.D. Drew that allowed a well-hit but catchable ball to drop and a Rangers run to score. (Right, Journal photo by Mary Murphy). Steven Krasner breaks it down in his Inside The Game feature.
SMALL PAPI: It was the second time in the three games against Texas that they'd scored two runs -- they'd managed to win 2-1 Friday night thanks to a head's-up play by Kevin Youkilis (projo.com) -- and yesterday's ''goat,'' if there is such a thing, was David Ortiz (Above, Journal photo by Mary Murphy). He struck out with the go-ahead runs on base to end the seventh and popped up with the tying run on base to end the game. (He'd also flied to left with two men on and a run in during Boston's lone run-scoring rally in the fifth.) His frustration was evident after the game, as the normally affable slugger declined to speak to the media. (projo.com) On his Touching All The Bases blog, Chad Finn wonders where Papi's mojo has gone. FoxSports.com's Kevin Hench says Papi's ''power mojo'' is blowin' in the wind . . . and once the Fenway winds turn, it'll be back.
THANKS FOR TAKING THE PRESSURE OFF ME: Ortiz' struggles remove the spotlight from the drowning Julio Lugo, who compounded his two-month offensive slide with an abysmal baserunning decision Saturday night. He, too, isn't talking to the press, but Terry Francona's talking to him. (Both stories projo.com) One of the things he said: Lugo probably will return to the lineup tonight. ''We need to get him going. I told him that. That’s why we got him here,'' Francona told the media. Writing this time for FoxSports.com, Chad Finn says Lugo has been historically bad this season. Another disconcerting note: Since last July 31, when he was traded from the Devil Rays to the Dodgers, Lugo is batting .201 with a .265 OBP and a .545 OPS in 424 at-bats.
QUIET DEBUT: The Sox' struggles have overshadowed the surprising arrival of Jacoby Ellsbury. (projo.com)
A STARRY FIRST HALF: The good news from yesterday is that five members of the Red Sox (David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon) were named to the A.L. All-Star team (projo.com), with a sixth -- Hideki Okajima -- a finalist in the fan balloting for the final spot. (That will be determined later this week.) A surprising, and disappointing, omission: Kevin Youkilis. (Boston Globe) Youkilis made SI.com's Jacob Luft's All-Snub Team.
FIVE FOR US, TOO: The Tigers also had five All-Stars. (Detroit Free Press)
AWARD TIME: And writing this time for Boston Metro, the busy Chad Finn hands out some midseason Red Sox hardware.
KEEP ON PUSHING: In his third blog entry, Youkilis says the Sox ''need to keep building on our lead . . . There’s no such thing as enough cushion in the AL East with the quality of our opponents.''
THAT'S OVERSTATING IT A BIT, DON'T YOU THINK? Their lead in the A.L. East remains in double figures, but the Boston Herald's Tony Massarotti says that's ''as much a part of opposing ineptitude as it has been of any Red Sox radiance. And truth be told, the Sox haven’t exactly shone in quite some time.'' True enough: They're 13-16 since May 30. But they had a 10 1/2-game lead after games of May 30, and they still have a 10 1/2-game lead today, which indicates the division race is . . . well, if not over, certainly not much of a race. The Sox handed their pursuers a month-long opportunity to whittle down the deficit, and they did nothing with it. Unless Boston continues to stumble long at the same sub-.500 pace for another month or so, it would appear the Yankees and Blue Jays missed their opportunity to insert themselves back into the chase.
YOU GOT THAT RIGHT: The always insightful Peter Abraham agrees, pointing out that if the Yankees had gone 5-4 on their recent road trip and won two of three from Oakland over the weekend, they'd be six games out. ''The Red Sox have been asking to get caught and the Yankees went the other way.'' (yankees.lohudblogs.com)
THE BRONX IS BURNING: At least it was Saturday, when Scott Proctor set fire to his equipment after yet another dismal performance and Jorge Posada accused his teammates of going through the motions in a 7-0 loss to the A's. (New York Daily News) The Yanks were still dealing with the aftermath of Posada's comments yesterday. (New York Post)
O-V-A OVA: The New York Daily News' John Harper thinks the Yankees are toast. The New York Post's Joel Sherman agrees and says they should start their rebuilding process by shopping A-Rod before the trade deadline.
YOU HAVE YOUR WORK CUT OUT FOR YOU, CASH: In another LoHud Yankees Blog post, Abraham writes ''This is a big mess. The bill has been coming due for years and now it has arrived. It’s going to take some slick moves by Brian Cashman to fix this for 2008, never mind 2007.''
IF ALL ELSE FAILS . . . Maybe the Yankees can turn to The Hexman. (yankeetradition.com)
AND IF EVEN THAT DOESN'T WORK . . . The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog gives 10 reasons to keep watching the Yankees this season.
GATHER UP WHAT'S LEFT OF YOUR DIGNITY AND GET OUT: That's MSNBC.com's Bill Chuck's advice to Roger Clemens.
BAD DAY TO BE A MANAGER: Mike Hargrove resigned in Seattle (Seattle Post-Intelligencer), and Jerry Narron was fired in Cincinnati (Cincinnati Enquirer).
QUICK HITS: Brian Fuentes has lost his job as the Rockies' closer (mlb.com) . . . The Pirates' fan protest, not surprisingly, turned out to be much ado about nothing (yahoo.com).
TRADE TALK: Mark Buehrle trade speculation may resume soon; contract extension talks with the White Sox apparently have broken down over Chicago's refusal to grant a no-trade clause, so the left-hander could be making his final appearance in a White Sox uniform tonight. (Chicago Sun-Times) . . . Eric Gagne's performance at Fenway this weekend may have raised his trade value (Dallas Morning News).
OLD FRIENDS: Mike Myers can't get left-handers out this season, which makes him more or less useless in the Yankee bullpen (New York Post).
QUOTE OF THE DAY: When told that Baseball Prospectus had calculated the White Sox' postseason chances at 0.013 percent, Paul Konerko responded: ''So you're telling me there's a chance.'' (Chicago Sun-Times)
-- ART MARTONE
Posted by Art Martone at 6:55 AM | Permalink