As the AL Wild Card race comes more into focus, the Red Sox continue to make some noise on an off the field. First, there is the good news related to the 7-4 road win at Detroit. Pedro Martinez held the anemic pussycats to 2 runs in seven innings while reaching double figures in strikeouts. Pedro now holds the all-time Sox record for most double digit strikeout games. Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan, and Steven Krasner have game stories. In Horrigan’s game story, he wonders if there is any coincidence that Manny Ramirez suddenly caught the mystery flu upon learning that he was being moved in the batting order. Krasner is not buying into the “mystery flu” either. The other major off-the-field news related to Kevin Millar’s public tirade against Tito Francona for leaving the 40 odd RBI man out of the lineup. Bob Hohler, in his notebook, has Kevin Millar spinning his pregame tirade against the manager as something he did on behalf of the team. Ian Browne also provides details about the Millar blowup. Nick Cafardo braces Red Sox nation for the possible departure of Pedro Martinez and remarks that it all could come down to money.

Gordon Edes baseball notes examines the powerful Cardinals who added Larry Walker for the stretch drive, links between the Red Sox and Cubs, some good news on the farm, and some statistical analysis that shows the effects of the limited defensive ability of Nomar Garciaparra. Hohler’s minor league notebook focuses on shortstop Kenny Perez who is the unfortunate odd man out at shortstop in the Sox organization as Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia continue to sparkle. Horrigan explains that the newly acquired Mike Myers has legend Al Kaline to thank for his success in the major leagues after encouraging Myers to come up with a funky delivery. Steve Buckley informs us that Orlando Cabrera is psyched for his Fenway debut in a Sox uniform. Michael Silverman tells us that Doug Mientkiewicz has all the tools needed to help the Sox but that it is his intensity that is really needed in Boston.

Dan Pires gets the leadoff spot today with the Pats as he tries to explain that Rodney Harrison really is a nice guy. His notebook also contains a positive update on the Colvin front and more on the Ben Watson holdout. Dan Shaughnessy captures the atmosphere and trappings of Patriots preseason camp. Michael Smith in his NFL notes explains that there might be other reasons besides a positive marijuana test that got Quincy Carter cut by the Cowboys. He also looks at the comeback of Bridgewater