The Red Sox fall to the Orioles, the Patriots make a couple minor transactions, Jackie MacMullan weighs in on the Celtics and a few media comings and goings make up the links this morning.

The Orioles continued to show why they’ve been the class of the AL East thus far this season,. defeating the Red Sox 9-3 last night at Fenway. David Heuschkel and Nick Cafardo lead their game stories with Terry Francona’s decision to pull Jason Varitek in the sixth, a move that came back to haunt him when Varitek’s replacement, rookie Kelly Shoppach came up with the bases loaded and being the tying run. Jeff Horrigan and Sean McAdam look at Tim Wakefield getting pounded, as do Lenny Megliola, David Borges and Jon Couture.

Steven Krasner takes a look at the fragile commodity of confidence, something that Wakefield and Kevin Millar are lacking at the moment. Alex Speier looks at Johnny Damon, who was right back in the lineup last night after running into the wall the night before. Fluto Shinzawa has a look at Shoppach and the tough situation he found himself in last night, in the game for Jason Varitek, and suddenly up at the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in a crucial situation. Michael Silverman looks at whether Theo Epstein is going to be looking for more pitching as the trade deadline comes up. Howard Bryant (subscription only) has a look at Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli, and his thoughts on being in first place, the Red Sox managing job and the challenges the Orioles face.

Kevin Gray says Hanley Ramirez is indeed the real deal. Shinzawa has a look at Miguel Tejada, who had two doubles and a home run off of Wakefield last night. Silverman has a piece on Sidney Ponson’s strong outing last night and Shalin talks to Sammy Sosa about his first home run, back in 1989, off of Roger Clemens at Fenway. Howard Bryant looks at Wakefield’s rough night. Mike Shalin writes about Jay Payton continuing to learn all aspects of the Fenway Park outfield. Horrigan has a short note on the next stop in Schilling’s rehab.

Borges’ notebook looks at Curt Schilling heading to Arizona to do some rehab on his ankle in preparation for his next return to the mound. McAdam’s notebook has more on Schilling. Cafardo’s notebook also deals with this topic. Heuschkel’s notebook says that the only positive from last night is that the bullpen wasn’t taxed out, even in a blowout. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Johnny Damon’s quick return to the lineup.

Chris Snow has a feature on Pete Damon, who will throw out the first pitch this afternoon at Fenway. Damon lost both his hands and a good portion of his arms in an accident while serving over in Iraq.

Bill Reynolds weighs in on three topics, fan voting for the All Star game, (He says it should be taken away from them) Larry Brown, and URI baseball.

Jerome Solomon and Mike Reiss look at the Patriots releasing quarterback Chris Redman and offensive tackle Lance Nimmo. Reiss had a note yesterday looking at the silence on the topic of new contracts for Jarvis Green and Richard Seymour. It appears Matt Doucet stalked Seymour to an appearance for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and pressed him “repeatedly” about his contract. Doucet notes that Seymour’s smile vanished when the topic came up. Hard to tell if it’s really because he’s upset with his contract, or upset that a reporter would dog him about it while he’s making a charity appearance for kids.

Jackie MacMullan takes a look at what the Celtics need to do this summer to improve and take the next step in their development.

Two separate sources have told me that Marvin Pave and Paul Harber are being moved over to the news side of the Globe full time. They’ve been sort of splitting their time between news and sports. Their sports slots are being combined into one position, which will be posted. However, I’m also told that Amalie Benjamin pretty much has the spot sewed up, as she is viewed by the higher ups there as a rising star.

A couple other media related notes. ESPN is hiring it’s first ombudsman, former Washington Post sports editor George Solomon. Also at the Globe, media critic Mark Jurkowitz is leaving the paper for a similar position at the Boston Phoenix, which is losing Dan Kennedy at the end of the month. Kennedy also had a bit in his blog about the movements at the Herald, which include the appointment of Hank Hryniewicz as sports editor, replacing Mark Torpey.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 1:00. TNT has Pistons/Heat at 8:00. ESPN has Cubs/Padres at 10:00.

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