Payback can be a bitch. Following the Angels’ 3-0 sweep over Boston last October, the Red Sox have responded with a vengeance. Although most fans would prefer the ALDS win, the Sox have taken nine straight when it counts the most – i.e., lately. On Tuesday, Ryan Kalish and Clay Buchholz did the damage in this most recent series opener. Red Sox Monster has Terry Francona’s move of Kalish to center raising lots of questions about Jacoby Ellsbury’s future. Kirk Minihane thinks that Buchholz’s 2010 has been the very definition of a break-out season. With the Sox bullpen in shambles, The Bottom Line hopes the rest of the rotation took notice of Buchholz’s 7-inning outing Tuesday.
Perhaps they did. Throw in another seven from Lackey last night, then Bard in the 8th and Jonathan Papelbon in the 9th, and Surviving Grady has all the ingedients for a textbook ‘W’ . . . almost. Sean McAdam thinks Paps’ milestone 30th save last night may have been more important as a boost to his confidence. Full Count applauds Francona’s pinch-hitting elections in the 7th, although bats were optional for those plate appearances.
The bad news is that Better Red Than Dead says .700 baseball will be needed just to tie for the Wild Card, and National League teams aren’t walking in that door to help the Sox anymore. Bosox Injection cites injuries as a great and convenient excuse for missing this postseason, although Two Cents From Beantown suspects the Sox use injuries as an excuse to unfairly stock the roster. If the Sox do go on a tear from here on out, Fire Brand Of The American League would not be surprised in the least.
Over The Monster has the highest paid starters also doubling as the most disappointing performers. I’m Just Sayin’ is just saying that Lackey and Josh Beckett need to pitch like aces before Theo throws more good money after bad. Extra Bases would throw a pile of Theo’s money at Adrian Beltre this winter. Boston Dirt Dogs has money tight among scalpers as well.
Coming off a win in their preseason opener against the Saints last Thursday night, the Pats scrimmaged the Falcons down in Atlanta this week leading to tonight’s game. Pats Pulpit theorizes that trips like these are designed to cram in as much experience for first- and second-year players as possible.
You can’t blame a guy for asking, but Masshole Sports is blaming Falcon Matt Ryan for asking Tom Brady for QB tips. Why should Ryan even bother if Michael Felger is right? PatsFans takes Felgie to the woodshed for asserting that Tom Terrific is no longer a playoff-caliber QB. Luckily, Extra Points has the Pats brass feeling good about the development of Brian Hoyer. Michael Hurley has Brady gunning for perfection in everything so far this summer.
NE Patriots Draft updates their roster predictions after a promising performance against the Saints. After his Brady attack, Felger pines for a Welker/Edelman tandem of slot receivers rather than butting heads against the wall with non-performing TEs. Pats Chowder would find Ty Warren’s IR a little easier to swallow if Bill Belichick hadn’t let Jarvis Green walk. It Is What It Is considers the mystery of punter Zoltan Mesko, the Most Interesting Man in the NFL. Stay thirsty, my friend.
If Chucky Gruden’s fawning on Monday night didn’t clue you in yet, there ‘s going to be a lot of Jets obsession this season, but Boston Blood Sox thinks they still suck. Patriots Gab says to go ahead and push the Pats to the back of the pack because that’s where they like it.
The fight for Jerry Thornton is over, as he officially endorses Brett Favre’s candidacy as the most beloved athlete in all of sports. Speaking of pseudo-retirement, Evans Clinchy speculates on Rasheed Wallace’s worth in a mid-season return next year. Marc Savard may not be returning, as Joe Haggerty has the center hurt by the B’s shopping him around this summer.
Toeing The Rubber rails against Rob Dibble and misogynists everywhere as she recounts some of her own bad experiences. And Another Thing . . . remembers the greatest baseball ballplayer and most significant musician of all time, who both died on this week 29 years apart. Boston Homer hopes that what goes around comes around for Dustin Johnson, who handled his two-stroke penalty on the 72nd hole in last weekend’s PGA Championship with class.
Let’s close on an important note, as NESN tells you how you can contribute to the Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon going on today and tomorrow.
The Boston blogging landscape changes fast. It has to. New bloggers with a little spare time step into the jetstream daily, as existing ones struggle to retain reader share and their day jobs while manning shields against attack from the mainstream media. This is what I like to call the off-Broadway of the Boston sports world. These bloggers give us color – and sometimes, off-color – but they speak with an unfiltered voice that is missing in traditional outlets.
For 20 months now, Bruce has given the blogging community and me the chance to have that voice heard. It is an opportunity I can no longer reap. For me, the mainstream media has been most hospitable, and readers keep coming to our site. However, Week Log is falling victim to the most virulent of blogging obstacles: the day job.
In some ways I envy the full-time press who make a living at what is a true passion of mine, and have access to perqs I must stand in line and pay for. Then again, I can’t be fired for the vagaries of my headwear, so when The Man continually asks me to do more with less – as he is everywhere and to everyone in this economy – I can either comply or put on a Gators cap, grab a beer, and slide down the chute. The problem is, I’ve never looked good in a cap. The choice is one of necessity.
I’ll still be around, backing up Bruce on Morning Links and keeping slots open for the occasional special edition Week Logs, such as when the Sox make the 2010 playoffs. Look for advance notice on Twitter and Facebook. And, as always, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for all your support. Until the next gig . . .