A night after an uplifting win over a team that has given them fits all season long, the Red Sox reverted to old habits and lost to the Blue Jays last night 9-3. Couple that with a 17-3 Yankees win in Tampa, and you’ve got a margin of 2.5 games in the AL East. Michael Silverman says that the Blue Jays made this one look easy. Chris Snow says that the Blue Jays are enjoying their role as spoiler. Sean McAdam notes that this was a costly loss for the Red Sox and Matt Clement, and most of the damage was done in the second inning, as Clement was racked for five runs in that frame. David Heuschkel says that Terry Francona and the Red Sox bristle at the suggestion that they’ll be glad when they’re done playing Toronto. David Borges calls last night one of the Red Sox “more lethargic efforts of the season”.
Tony Massarotti says that despite being “only” a DH, David Ortiz deserves to win or at the very least be taken seriously as a candidate for Most Valuable Player. Massarotti labels it “discrimination” that a Ortiz might lose some consideration because he doesn’t play the field. Gordon Edes reports that there was some dissent down in the bullpen about how Terry Francona used his pitchers on Monday night. They felt they didn’t know what was going on, and that Mike Timlin getting the call in the seventh inning was a surprise, and not a welcome one among the bullpen. He also looks at the ongoing struggles of Keith Foulke. Silverman has more on Keith Foulke, who continues feisty during his struggles. Massarotti looks at last night’s starter, Matt Clement, who had a five run inning sneak up on him in the second. Thomas C. Palmer Jr reports in the Globe on the Red Sox involvement in the redevelopment of the Kenmore Square area. In Howard Bryant’s Boston Uncommon column in the Herald this morning (subscription only) he tells the story of the Black Aces club. Only 13 pitchers are in the club, with the newest being Dontrelle Willis, who gained admission after winning his 20th game last week. It’s actually a very neat story as those 13 black pitchers who have won 20 games have established sort of a special fraternity, keeping in touch with one another. Bryant points out that because of the Latin explosion, less than 10% of baseball players are African American currently and gives some reasons for this.
Snow’s notebook reports that there was no structural damage revealed in Johnny Damon’s MRI of his ailing shoulder. Silverman’s notebook has more on Damon, and towards the end, has Mike Timlin somewhat refuting the point made in Edes’ article above by saying it is his job to be ready whenever he is called into the game. McAdam’s notebook says that Damon should be back in action by the weekend. Heuschkel’s notebook has Francona hoping that Damon will be able to go tomorrow night. Borges’ notebook has still more on Damon, but also talks to Jonathan Papelbon about getting his first major league win.
Michael Felger has his Wednesday edition of Patriots Insider, where he tackles a number of topics, first of which is the cornerback position, where it appears that we’ll be seeing Asante Samuel and Randall Gay most of the time. He notes that Samuel is becoming one of the better cover corners in the league. He also looks ahead to the Panthers, has Rodney Harrison complaining about Randy Moss, and a look at Mike Vrabel’s myriad of roles. Jim Donaldson looks at one of the keys to the Patriots success, their great talent and depth on the defensive line. Eric McHugh looks at some of the things that Carolina will bring to the field against the Patriots this Sunday. Michael Parente says that the Panthers’ secondary might pose a challenge for the Patriots. Once again, no Patriots articles in the Globe. There are a pair of football columns, but neither is dedicated to the Patriots. Michael Felger’s column above was filled with idbits…the Globe can’t do that? Nick Cafardo says that many of the Panthers still have the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots fresh in their mind and plan to use it for motivation. Bob Ryan looks at a pair of new coaches in the NFL, Miami head coach Nick Saban and 49ers coach Mike Nolan. Ryan is intrigued by both of them, and feels that have “it” and might being a little something more to the table than your average head coach. McHugh also looks at the winners and losers from the weekend.
Stephen Harris looks at new Bruins center Dave Scatchard, who chose Boston because he liked their plan and how they were going about building a contender. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins other free agent center signee, Alexei Zhamnov who also likes what the club has done. The article also looks at Shawn McEachern. Joe McDonald looks at young forward Patrice Bergeron, who looks bigger and stronger coming into his second NHL camp. Mike Loftus says the opening of camp is business as usual…holdouts and all. Harris also has a look at top pick Matt Lashoff, who has impressed early on. Harris’ notebook reports that with Andrew Raycroft holding out, that the Bruins have extended a tryout invitation to former goalie Byron Defoe. McDonald’s notebook looks at a couple of Rhode Island natives enjoying their time in camp.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck was a guest of FSN’s New England Sports Tonight on the 6:30 edition last night and had a few items of interest for Celtics fans. He praised the work put in by Ricky Davis, who he says his kids and family say is their favorite player to be around. He says Davis has worked hard all summer, is in great shape and is developing into a leader on the club. He mentioned Davis purchasing season tickets and giving them to fans as part of his charity work in the community. Grousbeck emphasized defense as a key to the team’s success this season, that if they can get defense from Davis, Justin Reed, Ryan Gomes and Paul Pierce, then they can repeat as division champs. He praised the play of Gomes, who he says has amazed the coaching staff. They can’t believe he slipped to the end of the second round. He called Gomes a potentially great draft pick. He said that Tony Allen has learned from his experience, and is doing a lot of hard thinking. It will be used as a lesson in camp. He also said that he was told that the situation was a potential “money grab” effort by the accuser. He mentioned the club’s efforts at hurricane relief, citing that the team wants to raise a minimum of $250,000 to send down. He said that Al Jefferson and Justin Reed were both in the storm when it hit their area, but that they and their families are safe.
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NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. ESPN has baseball TBA at 8:00 and ESPN2 has Dodgers/Rockies at 10:00.