If you stayed up for all 11 last night, you’re likely getting an extra cup of java this morning. The Sox blew a late inning lead and lost on a grand slam by Brett Boone in the 11th inning last night in Seattle. Nothing pretty about this one. Jeff Horrigan tells us that the roof falling in out in Seattle is nothing new, but it’s a new experience for the Red Sox. Gordon Edes notes the late inning implosion ruined a sparkling game by Bronson Arroyo, who gave up only three hits and one run while striking out 12 – including 11 in a row at one point – over seven innings. David Heuschkel wonders if Arroyo can’t help but feel a little unlucky these days. Dan Shaughnessy has a look at Gabe Kapler, who had more of a chance to play recently with Manny being out. Edes has a piece on Derek Lowe taking some time to talk about the contributions of a minor league pitching coach to his career. Jeff Sullivan has a number of mostly baseball related thoughts running through his head. The title of Gerry Callahan’s (subscription only) column today is “Tito takes a stand” and it’s a look at how Terry Francona just may have executed a little show of power in the recent events involving Manny Ramirez. He pinpoints the moment when things might’ve changed for Francona here in Boston.
Before McCarty stepped to the plate in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and two outs, everyone from Orange County to Yawkey Way was wondering if we would see Ramirez make a dramatic pinch-hitting appearance. Jerry Remy called it the perfect time to use Ramirez. Instead, Francona paraphrased the famous line from Hoosiers when coach Gene Hackman leaves the ball-hogging kid on the bench. MY TEAM IS ON THE FIELD.
Ramirez sat at the end of the dugout as McCarty grounded hard to third base. The Sox went on to a routine 6-2 win, but there was nothing routine about Francona's day. Tito had to know that his career in Boston could have changed forever with that one monumental non-move. You can ask Joe Kerrigan all about it. Just don't tell him you're from Boston. He's kind of bitter.
Michael Gee (subscription only) seems to disagree with that whole theory and says this event, like most things in Boston has been way overblown. He says that in “saner baseball towns” Manny’s hamstring injury would just be a footnote to the season.
Missing three out of five games in mid-July with a minor injury shouldn't be a cause to celebrate, even if the player in question is a star like Manny. Sore hamstrings have no cure but rest.
But the Boston baseball community contains many Oral Roberts wannabes. If a player doesn't get back in the lineup right away after getting hurt, it's because said player lacks the willpower to get better.
The notebooks all focus on Manny as well Edes’ notebook says that last night there was once again sweetness and light in Manny land. Horrigan’s notebook also looks at Manny returning to the field. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Manny looking to secure the bronze glove award.
Red Sox principal owner John W. Henry made another late night visit to SoSH last night, this time to defend his name against allegations in newspaper articles about possible insurance fraud involving the Marlins. The thread on the message board also contains links to the stories that started this discussion. Curiously, none of the local papers have really pursued the story. I agree with the sentiment that if a certain Will McDonough were still around, this would be a weekend column feature.
The Patriots locked up first round draft pick Vince Wilfork to a six year deal yesterday. Mike Reiss was the first with the story, and he looks at some of the details of the deal and how the Patriots are putting their building blocks in place for the future. Michael Felger, Nick Cafardo and Alan Greenberg also have a look at the signing. Jim Donaldson looks at his top 10 moments in sports from the last 25 years, and coming in at number one is the Patriots victory in Super Bowl 36.
Shira Springer looks at the challenge that Doc Rivers faces in trying to develop Marcus Banks.
Bill Griffith looks at coverage of the US track and field Olympic trials.
NESN will have Red Sox/Mariners at 4:30. FSN will have Sean McAdam and Rico Petrocelli in at 6:30 and Andy Gresh at 10:00. CN8’s Sports Pulse will have Alex Speier in at 10:00.