The Red Sox had a 4-0 lead last night, and gave it up, ultimately wasting the 300th home run of David Ortiz’s career in an 8-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals last night at Fenway Park. The loss dropped the Red Sox into a first place tie with the New York Yankees atop the AL East.
Nick Cafardo says last night’s loss isn’t the end the of world. Michael Silverman has the usually easy Royals changing their look last night. Joe McDonald has the Red Sox limping into the All Star break. Dom Amore suggests that perhaps the Red Sox have been leaning too heavily on their bullpen this season. Harry Plumer thinks that things might be catching up to the Red Sox bullpen. Bill Ballou says that the Red Sox staycation isn’t working out so well. Jim Fenton has the Sox losing a 5-game lead in the AL east since June 24th.
Steve Buckley has Big Papi hitting his 300th home run last night, just the latest in a recent surge for the Sox slugger. McDonald has more on entrance to the 300-homer club coming last night for Ortiz. Jim Fenton has more on the mark for Big Papi. Ben Collins examines a rough night for the bullpen. Sean McAdam has Jonathan Papelbon not concerned about his performance this season. Brian MacPherson has a look at Papelbon’s Houdini act this season.
Joe Haggerty says that the Red Sox have let the Yankees right back into the race. Buckley has John Smoltz still confident that he is going to get better. McAdam has Brad Penny not willing to blame the bullpen for the loss last night. David Willis says that Mike Lowell could be the Red Sox trade deadline acquisition this year. Adam Smartschan notes that Josh Beckett has been rolling the last two months.
Jim Donaldson says that Roy Halladay is not worth the price.
Amalie Benjamin has a minor league notebook and focuses this week on Lars Anderson, who is still learning his craft at AA Portland.
Cafardo’s notebook has Mike Lowell feeling good and taking steps towards his recovery. Silverman’s notebook has Dustin Pedroia pondering staying home from the All Star game to be with his wife. McDonald’s Red Sox journal has more on Pedroia. Amore’s notebook has more on Lowell giving his hip a workout. Plumer’s notebook suggests that Lowell might be ready to return by the 17th. Ballou’s notebook has Ortiz continuing to pound away. The E-T notebook has the positive signs continuing for Ortiz.
Marc J. Spears has Rasheed Wallace and the Celtics excited to be joining forces. Steve Bulpett has the Celtics keeping up in the NBA offseason arms race with this signing. Robert Lee has Wallace surprised that the Big 3 went out to Detroit to recruit him. Mike Fine says that perception is not reality when it comes to Wallace.
Bob Ryan notes that the Celtics pitch to Wallace was unique. Bill Doyle notes that the Big 3 was key in the pursuit of Wallace. Scott Souza says that Wallace is a perfect fit for the Celtics. Paul Flannery has the Big 3 lauding Wallace and how he’ll fit in with the Celtics.
Julian Benbow has Kevin Garnett excited about adding a player with similar size and skills to himself. Dan Duggan has Wallace liking the Celtics chances this season. Duggan explores Wallace’s at-times difficult relationship with referees over the years. Fenton says that Garnett is ahead of schedule in his rehab.
Bill Burt says that if the Celtics can land Hill, they’ll have the “Big 6.” In the Metro, I’m making the case that the Celtics need more than just ‘Sheed this offseason. Mark Murphy has Gabe Pruitt trying to be aggressive in the summer league and carve out a spot for himself on the roster.
As of this morning, Grant Hill seems to be leaning towards returning to Phoenix, but Spears’ notebook says that the veteran is weighing the offers from the Suns, Knicks and Celtics. Duggan’s notebook says KG can’t wait to start playing again. Murphy’s notebook has Lester Hudson facing finger surgery.
Stephen Harris says that Bruins ’07 draftee Zach Hamill is well-suited for the “new NHL.” Fluto Shinzawa has forward Jeff LoVecchio recovered from an ’08 concussion. Harris has Russian defenseman Yuri Alexandrov showing his stuff.
Chad Finn has a look at Comcast SportsNet’s “Sports Sunday” hosted by Michael Felger.
Bill Doyle is impressed by HBO’s Ted Williams documentary.
I’m sad to report that Jerry Gutlon, author of It Was Never About The Babe has passed away following a battle with heart and lung disease. Gutlon was also active on the Dan Shaughnessy Watch blog, and leaves behind a wife, a son and a daughter. Our thoughts go out to his family.