Three weeks ago, the Red Sox and I both dropped off the grid, although mine was planned. Well, I’m back today and, after a three-game winning streak, the Sox could be too. However, there’s been too much damage to mend in one brief homestand and Texas looms.

Fire Brand of the American League sees a subtle beauty in this slump and a lot to like in the days ahead although a megalith offense is not one. Toeing The Rubber chuckles at the media’s angst now that this three-game streak has waylaid their funeral plans. Keep Your Sox On says that, with the division a goner, it’s time to take a Manny pill, relax, and close out the wild card. Sox Tea Party reminds us we have too much invested to give in to the Fat Lady this early. Eric Ortiz says one awful week in August doesn’t spell an end to the season, even as Wicked Good Sports is already looking ahead to 2010, and their list of next year’s contributors looks a lot like the list Theo offered to Seattle for Felix Hernandez.

So, will Tuesday night mark the defining moment for the 2009 Sox, much like Varitek’s actions set the tone for the 2004 club? Big League Stew can’t blame Youk for charging the mound and says no-punch fights like Tuesday’s don’t get any better than this. Surviving Grady caught the season’s first real donnybrook from a bird’s-eye view in his Uecker perch on the Budweiser deck. Red Sox Monster remembers the five best Sox fights ever, but Youkilis doesn’t make the short list. The Crowe’s Nest calls Youk’s helmet-toss a chump move and Sharapova’s Thigh goes so far as to call him a sissy.

Nevertheless, Youk’s ejection opened the door for Mike Lowell, and Small White Ball says he’s been flat-out getting it done since returning from the DL. Kathryn Tappen calls Lowell the definition of professionalism. Mazz says he has a big stick. Hacks With Haggs sees a parallel with the 1967 club in Lowell’s performance on Tuesday. Boston Blood Sox is all for resting Lowell’s hip, but too much of a good thing . . . well, it’s not too good.

Extra Bases partially dispels the semi-tuth that Jason Bay is strictly a fastball hitter. Sox Therapy has been tinkering with lineups and concludes Casey Kotchman is an everyday player. With John Smoltz’s DFA, Fighting Words reflects on how rare it is for pro athletes to go out on their own terms.

Closing on two positive notes, Full Count has the return of Jerry Remy to the NESN booth last night, and the beloved RSN president says the Sox are going to the postseason. And from one dog to another, Boston Dirt Dogs calls Remdawg a sight for sore eyes.


Tonight marks the start of the Patriots’ preseaon and the much-anticipated return of Tom Brady. The Rap Sheet reports Brady will get the start. National Football Post would pencil Brady in as a starter throughout August, but Rich Levine wants him to wait a week so he won’t get wet tonight in Philly. Patriots Daily wants him to wait a week so he won’t get victimized by the Eagles’ blitzing. SportsCenter 5 Overtime catches up with Brady before his debut, as he discusses television appearances and fashion shoots.

Shutdown Corner has Tom Brady cussing up Coach Belichick . . . on the inside. NESN’s New England Patriots has Laurence Maroney happy to have “Fragile Fred” Taylor around.

Pats Chowder is looking for Greg Lewis to put up better numbers than Joey Galloway. Pats Pulpit concedes Lewis only a roster spot as they run down who will make the cut at receiver.

Pro Football Talk tells us why there’s been a lack of contract extensions out of Foxborough Place this year.

And now for something different, but be careful lest the boss is passing by your workstation. Blogging Fearlessly talks blogging with Mike Reiss on this (7:39) audio blog.

Winter Sports

In Celtics matters, Tanguay’s Take says a few mil wasn’t worth it for Big Baby to leave Boston. And Another Thing . . . mourns the fact that it wasn’t worth a few mil to keep Leon Powe in Boston.

The Dagger thinks Rick Pitino picked the wrong-colored state to start going all immoral. Fanhouse says Pitino is in too deep to survive this scandal and should get out of Louisville. Deadspin is disgusted that Pitino would invoke a 9/11-like appeal for the community of Louisville to help him get over this.

And Sports of Boston has Jeremy Jacobs leading the charge to keep Canada’s pasttime right where it belongs . . . here, in the good old U.S.A.

It’s good to be back, and even greater to have football back. Enjoy the Sox today and the Pats tonight, and we’ll see you right back here next Thursday afternoon.


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