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The Red Sox finished off a three game sweep of the Blue Jays, finishing the 10 game homestand at 7-3. Bob Hohler looks at a good performance from Tim Wakefield. Michael Silverman says that the sweep leaves Sox fans with hope for October. Joe McDonald looks at the eight strong innings from Wakefield leading the Sox. David Heuschkel says even though things got interesting late, this was an easy win for the Red Sox. David Borges says the front offices of these two clubs may share similar ideas, but on the field, it’s no contest. Lenny Megliola says it was smooth sailing for the knuckleball of Tim Wakefield last night. Michael Vega says the knuckleballer left the Jays in his Wake. Steve Buckley says last night was a morale booster for Wakefield and the Sox. Joe Haggerty has a final look at the night for Wakefield.
Howard Bryant has a “Boston Uncommon” column today. (subscription only) In it, he explores the fact that the Red Sox are trying to “tone down” the expectation levels around this club. Not that they don’t think they can win the World Series, but because they set them so high to begin with, this club has been under a microscope with every game and morale has suffered. He says:
In a sense, the Red Sox asked for this situation with their "World Series or bust'' attitude, a viewpoint that is tiredly accepted in the Bronx and fatal everywhere else. Boston fans, it appears, were not prepared for the rigors of a full season, more comfortable instead to pick up where the Sox and Yanks left off last fall. Exploiting this sentiment, Red Sox management marketed the team through the prism of the Yankee rivalry. While it's been great for revenues, the strategy has been bad for morale, hence the joy over beating up the Devil Rays.
He concludes the column with a note about Larry Lucchino denying that the Red Sox leaked any information about Nomar’s injury as Bryant had claimed in a column last week. Michael Gee looks at Earl Snyder making his Red Sox debut. David Heuschkel and David Borges also look at Snyder. Adam Kilgore looks at Kevin Millar stepping up and filling the fifth spot in the batting order. There is a brief sidebar by Steve Buckley about a 104 year old Sox fan, who remembers the glory days of the franchise. Gee’s subscription column says the Sox are in the “must win” section of their schedule. Good thing they got those losses out of the way before the playoffs, huh Mike? Hohler’s notebook looks at the close return of Mark Bellhorn. Silverman’s notebook says Keith Foulke is ok with his increased workload as of late. McDonald’s notebook looks at Sox fans getting behind Earl Snyder. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at another radio outlet for Sox fans in Connecticut.
Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots tackles, Matt Light and Tom Ashworth, getting back into the swing of practice and having a little fun at the same time. Michael Felger has a look at new Patriots linebackers coach Dean Pees, who is making the transition from successful college head coach to NFL positional coach. Adam Kilgore looks at Assante Samuel, who is aiming to take over a starting cornerback position. Michael Parente says that Bill Belichick was unhappy with the performance of the passing game last Friday night.
Hector Longo has a look at Daniel Graham, hoping to make 2004 his breakout season. Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots young receivers, trying to carve out a spot for themselves in the NFL. Glen Farley and Rob Bradford each have a look at David Patten as he tries to come back from injury and ward off the aforementioned young receivers from taking his spot on the roster. Felger’s notebook looks at Belichick’s dissatisfaction with the passing game. Tom Curran’s notebook also looks at the attempts to fix the issues with the passing. Kilgore’s notebook has still more on the passing. Parente’s notebook looks at the Pats having some fun at the end of practice, and McHugh’s notebook looks at a healthy camp for Adam Vinatieri.
Michael O’Connor says that Mike O’Connell is ok with the arbitrator’s award to Joe Thornton.
NESN will carry the Portland Sea Dogs vs Trenton tonight at 7:00. You can check out SS prospect Hanley Ramirez.