The Red Sox begin the post-All Star break portion of their schedule tonight in Anaheim. Pawtucket Red Sox play-by-play voice Josh Maurer will call the games for NESN in this series and the following one in Houston, as Don Orsillo is on his scheduled (mandated) in-season break.

Red Sox Beat: A look at 5 guesses for Sox’ second half – Michael Silverman has some interesting predictions for the rest of the season.

Why Red Sox won’t be able to treat Eduardo Rodriguez like an ace – Rob Bradford looks at how an innings count is going to factor into the rest of the year for the 22-year-old lefty.

Baseball’s strike zone has expanded, and hitters aren’t happy – Alex Speier with a look at how –  to the player’s chagrin – the strike zone has indeed shifted this season.

David Ortiz explains why he was unavailable Sunday – Bradford has the Red Sox DH talking about what led to his being out of the lineup in the last game prior to the All Star break.

Yeah, just a cold.

Danny Ainge quietly upgrading Celtics roster – Adam Himmelsbach examines the offseason thus far for the Celtics, and how much progress has actually been made.

Confident Cam Neely: Bruins ‘can be a playoff team’ – Stephen Harris has the Bruins boss looking forward to see his revamped squad.

Steve Letarte gets high marks for NBC’s NASCAR coverage – Chad Finn looks at the Maine native who will be part of NBC’s broadcast crew this weekend from New Hampshire.

Finn also notes the news from 98.5 yesterday that Chris Gasper of the Globe has been named co-host of the Patriots radio pregame show, alongside his old Saturday partner Marc Bertrand. This marks a complete revamp of the program with both former hosts Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh no longer with the station or the Patriots radio network. As I’ve said before, I’m generally OK with Gasper, he at least tries to be thoughtful, and while he won’t be able to pull out his thesaurus on the air, that’s probably for the best. Bertrand, on the other hand, I just don’t get the appeal. What does he bring?

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33 thoughts on “Sox Ready For Second Half Surge?

  1. The Forehead: “Ortiz is missing the biggest game of the year due to a cold on the hottest day of the summer.”

    The FUNNIEST part about this tweet and anyone that thought the Forehead was making a good point by mentioning it, is that if you think ‘common colds’ are not caused by viruses, but are instead a reaction to cold weather than you are without a doubt, one of the biggest morons on the planet.

    Do the Forehead, his mediot comrades and listener fanboys also think that to much masturbation causes hair to grow on one’s palms?

    1. Fair point, however, how many times have had a cold in early July? Ortiz wanted the day off, perhaps to extend his break. Plus, he was really sore from all that time at first base. I mean, what do you expect for all the money??

      1. I had a cold too. Lasted three days, plus aftermath of feeling like crap. You gonna call me a liar too?

          1. No…my argument is he has shown a propensity to lie for PR purposes. I am cynical that on this particular issue he is telling the truth as his track record points to him doing whatever he has to do to protect his image.

          2. My opinion on this is well known. His answers during the PED list fiasco were evasive, contrived and unforthcoming. He stated that he was going to look into what he took and come back with an explanation. He never did. His comments about who knows what we took coming up in the Dominican is also incredulous. He smiles pretty for the media. He is a good interview, usually accessible…so he is one of the protected class. I still question how he has performed at the level he has performed for so long. I question how the achilles tore and then how he got back and got back to the level he is at being the age he is. Suffice to say I am not as enamored with him as you seem to be.

          3. That is not close to a propensity. In fact, you haven’t yet cited one lie.

            Suffice to say, I’m not as biased towards Ortiz (he’s just a baseball player after all) as you seem to be.

          4. We have a difference of opinion…it is not a big deal. am sure there will be things we will agree on.I

          5. Everything you point out about Ortiz’s career is troubling, I agree. It stinks when it’s “one of our own”, especially when the guy is one of the main reasons why the Sox finally were able to put their tragic post-season past behind them during the last decade-plus. The “everybody was doing it at the time” argument works, probably, for the first W.S. win in ’04, because the game was chock full of PED-heads back then. In ’07, not as much but still probably a lot of guys were using. In 2013, the “everybody” excuse falls flat, and the fact that he’s remained productive into his late 30s, especially after injuries like the Achilles, does leave a lot of questions. I’m loathe to agree with ANYTHING Shaughnessy says, but on The Baseball Show last night the panel was discussing Rose, Clemens, Bonds, et al, and their HOF candidacies, and when Neumy asked if Ortiz belongs in the Hall, Shaughnessy pointed out that the Twins (“one of the best organizations at talent evaluation back in those days”) released him after the 2002 season; his name then appeared on the PED testing list in 2003; and his career just so happened to take off in 2003. Throw in the fact that you can probably get HGH at the local 7-11 in Santo Domingo, and there’s way too much smoke there. Doesn’t cheapen what the Sox have accomplished since 2004 as far as I’m concerned, because, in the end, they finally had enough pitching (both starters AND relievers) to take it all the way during those championship years (something they never really had during all of those near-miss seasons; in ’75, ’86 and ’03 they had the starters, but their bullpens were mediocre or worse in all of those seasons and ultimately cost them, big time, in October.).

          6. Great points Tony. As we have this conversation there appear to be two sides. One side seems to think everyone is doing it so therefore it is ok…not great…wish it did not have to be done…but because everyone is doing it is ok our team does it. They rationalize it away because they don’t directly see how this disrespects the game and its past. Also they believe that winning is everything.

            Other side believes there should be some sort of honor code when you play the game. A golfer who sees his ball move as he is addressing a putt takes the 2 stroke penalty. Why can’t baseball players understand that taking a PED gives a player an unfair advantage. Further it keeps a potential player from getting a shot and it causes the value of other players to decrease because they are measured against the PED user. There is a sense of what is right and wrong and the nuance of rationalizing away questionable behavior disappears because the person has an absolute definition of what is right and what is wrong.

            I clearly fall on side two. I have a hard time with people who fall on side one because I think they lack a clear understanding ow what really matters in sporting competitions…the competition not the result. But I accept the other side. I understand why people believe as they do. Its just difficult for me to go along with the other side.

            I think Bonds, McGuire, Sosa, Clemens, Palmiero, and every other cheat ever should not be able to buy a ticket to Cooperstown never mind be invited in. Pete Rose needs to be hung in Cincinnati as clear sign of what should never happen again. As much as I sympathize with Shoeless Joe Jackson…keep his game fixing ass out of the hall also.

          7. The Twins released Ortiz – instead of trading him as they weren’t able to find a taker – because of injuries and certainly not for lack of production: in his final year with Minnesota he hit 20 HRs and 70 RBIs even with that giant “Hefty Bag” in the Metrodome’s RF power alley. Although this spray chart only covers 2012-2015, it’s easy to see how such an obstruction affected Ortiz’s production:

            http://tinyurl.com/p56b954

            Moving to lefty-friendly Fenway more than explains the slight jump in power numbers in 2003, and his mid-2000s prime coincided with a peak in playing time (average of 152 games/684 PAs).

            So Ortiz’s name showed up on the dreaded 2003 doping list: cry me the Charles. The test he failed happened during Spring Training following an injury-plagued year. As far as I’m concerned, if he (or any other player) ever took something to help them get through a grueling season that was later classified as a “banned substance” I have no problem with it. As I pointed out there was never an unusual spike in production for either him or Manny (the latter signed an autograph for me and legitimately has a three-foot wide back – some guys are just powerfully built, like Jim Rice and Reggie Jackson).

          8. Trust me, I’m on the fence about Ortiz as well. It certainly WAS odd that Minnesota would let him go after putting up decent numbers the year before. It’s not like he stunk when he played there. Also, when he joined the Sox, Theo was in the process of putting together the best top-to-bottom lineup the team had had since the late 1970s….except the 2003-2004 lineup was actually better because those guys knew how to work counts and wear down the opposing starter, rather than just trying to bash away all the time. Being surrounded by excellent hitters makes it easier for a guy to blossom, because he sees better pitches to hit (in 2003, would you have chosen to pitch around Ortiz with Nomar and Manny coming up in the same inning?). And I know that Shaughnessy has always been an Ortiz doubter, which is why he always….ALWAYS says: “Terry Ryan (the Twins’ GM at the time) is one of the best talent evaluators in the game and he let this guy go; then came the positive test; then came the numbers explosion in Boston.” Not sure what to believe. I think he could have, in his prime, put up similar numbers in Boston during those years when they had those really deep, really good lineups (about 2003-2008). What he’s done since 2009 when he first began struggling in April/May, which seems to be an annual occurrence as he’s aged, does create some larger questions about him IMO.

      2. I rarely get sick and haven’t a cold or caught the flu in many years. On the other hand, one of my housemates had a 3 day cold in the second week of July. Oh and he’s 23 years old and in great shape, very physically active. It happens.

    2. I lived in Miami for about 5 years in the early/mid 1990s…..never had worse, or more longer-lasting colds in my life than the ones I caught down there. Those suckers would knock me flat, and then at least some symptoms would linger for a good three weeks after I was well enough to return to normal activities. That’s when I learned that viruses truly like (and thrive in) warm, humid conditions. Being physically cold in the winter time can have a negative effect on the immune system, but in the end, you get sick from catching a virus, and they typically don’t discriminate based on what season of the calendar year it happens to be.

    1. I generally like the sports coverage in Grantland (although it’s too basketball heavy for me) but the pop culture material often has that hipper-than-thou tone that’s so common among the younger generation of writers. It’s also somewhat dispiriting to see talented writers like Molly Lambert wasting their time parsing every scene of Mad Men or GOT as if it were a fragment of the Dead Sea scrolls, but that problem is not unique to Grantland.

      1. I’ve yet to study it but I think Grantland is an online experiment with brand and portal for “everything”. You go there because you like a writer, the style or general content. While there, they talk about more than just sports or a specific topic, similar to what some newspapers and outlets do. You mentioned ‘hipper-than-thou tone’, but that’s the style and tone people who love the content want.

        I’m not a fan of Simmons but think this is the future in content. The gamble is, as many articles point out with others who have done the same, is then lack of syndication and exposure. You get noticed while on ESPN but what happens when you leave? It’s the same strategy they’ve run with everyone who “gets too big for the Mouse”. The people who have moved on and been successful are few and far between (Dan Patrick).

        Bruce recently linked to an article of a writer in Pittsburgh, of all places, who went solo after being a paper person for years:

        http://www.shermanreport.com/how-pittsburgh-sports-columnist-became-success-by-launching-own-site/

        I’m just going to guess, based off my own entrepreneurial endeavors, that while there are success stories out there, its more of a rare exception. (I don’t have figures nor can guess, but one stat I can give you is that less than 3% of startups in the tech industry either get bought or self-sustain.)

  2. So the strike zone has expanded and the Sox still have one of the worst pitching staff’s in the majors? Cherrington has to go after this season.

    1. I think Baseball Reference isn’t working for me today. How many games has Cherington started this year?

  3. David Ortiz misses “most important game of the year” due to cold on warmest day of the year.

    As opposed to John Dennis missing weeks during the most important sweeps period of the quarter due to being a lush.

    I know which one of the two I’m going to be spitting on….

    1. My take: I have no clue what to believe. Nor do I really care. The team was done long before this.

      Problem on the Ortiz “news” was that it came from the expected cadre of folks who either work for or are trying-their-hardest to get a NESN job. When news is disseminated via these channels, any person with a clue on how this media market works questions (us here). They try their hardest to parlay themselves as “journalists” with “sources”, but they’re usually just a PR firm for the team.

      So, when it comes out, and they prefix this with their Peter King-style finger wagging for people who doubt it, we’ll wind up talking about it here. Neat.

      If this was legit or not? Again, I have no clue. It’s been a REALLY slow news week, as this time of the year is, so 12 hours a day, for the past week, have been spent debating this.

      Inconsequential in the end, right?

  4. Jared Carrabis (Barstool), who you might remember gained some fame with the Sandoval Instgram fiasco, has a podcast. He recently had Minihane on and it’s loaded with media gossip. He delves a bit into the EA stuff last year, among other things. If you’re into that stuff, it’s about 90 minutes and loaded. Usual disclaimer: If you don’t like this stuff, potty mouths or any of the folks on the podcast, I would not suggest listening to it.

    https://twitter.com/Section10Pod/status/622468707432955904

  5. IT WAS 92 DEGREES YESTERDAY, HOW DID CALLAHAN GET SICK? Obviously he’s tougher than that fat, useless POS, Ortiz. Forehead’s don’t use sick days!

  6. Heard the following on XM Satellite Radio this morning (Ozzy’s Boneyard channel…classic and current heavy metal/hard rock — mostly classic, YEAH!!!). DJ plays an AC/DC song. When the song finishes, he says, “their summer stadium tour kicks off in August, with the first date in Foxboro, Mass., Gillette Stadium; and Tom Brady will be outside in the parking lot deflating footballs.” THIS, boys and girls, is why Brady MUST go ballz to the wall against Goodell and his minions on Park Avenue. He’s become a punch line in just about every media universe, and it’s all because the NFL went out of its way to paint him as guilty of doing something against the rules, without any real evidence (sorry, the “deflator” text simply doesn’t cut it as real evidence). Also, the league went ahead and did this knowing full well that false information was circulating throughout the media for months and months, and they took not a single step to try and correct the public record. Brady has to go all out: full exoneration, and then a defamation suit. This has hurt his public image, big time, and the malice in the league office is pretty clear if one wants to look deep enough to find it.

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