Saturday, June 21, 2008

What Now For Sox Rotation?

With Colon out, Dice-K looking like he needs more rehab time, Schilling done for the season, and Buchholz struggling, what do the Red Sox do in the rotation? One thing is for sure, Justin Masterson is not going anywhere until some of the injuries get sorted out. But if Dice-K and Colon miss a few starts the Sox may need to call up another starter and that will most likely be David Pauley. He won his 9th game for the PawSox tonight and now has an ERA of 3.78.

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More Bad News

Sox fans might find it expensive to catch a buzz even if they don't catch one of the gopher balls sereved up by Dice-K today; CNBC compared the price of beer at different parks and suds at Fenway cost .60 per ounce.

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No Dice

Dice-K does not look like he is all back, he walked the first batter, gave up a two run homer followed by a single. His first out of the inning was from a fly ball to the warning track. The Redbirds batted around and scored 4 runs in the first, it took Dice-K 34 pitches to get out of the inning. On top of the bad start we have to listen to Tim McCarver explain the difference between a good and bad walk, he also added that catchers need baggy pants because they have to bend their knees....shoot me now.

Update: Dice-K was pulled after loading the bases with no outs in the second. Chris Smith replaced him to make his major league debut, the good news: he struck out the first batter he faced on three pitches. The bad news: the next batter hit a grand slam. Sox are now losing 8-0.

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Mike Timlin To DL


Mike Timlin is now on the DL to make room for Dice-K. Timlin has struggled most of this season with a 7.06 ERA and now we may have a reason; tendinitis of the left knee. This is similar to what happened to Keith Foulke when he struggled with the Sox. He will rehab with the PawSox after his knee is rested. If Mike can't do well with Pawtucket he may have reached the end of the line for his baseball career.

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Today's Lineup 6/21 vs. the Cardinals

You won't have Julio to kick around today; Cora in at short.

Ellsbury CF
Pedroia 2B
Drew RF
Ramirez DH
Lowell 3B
Youkilis 1B
Moss LF
Varitek C
Cora SS

Dice-K SP

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Papelbon Finds A New Way to Embarrass Himself

Jonathan Papelbon seems to have too much time on his hands; this season we have seen him embarrass himself at Mike Lowell's Dancing With The Stars fund raiser and we saw him get national headlines for his comments about the Rays. During last night's rain delay a video was aired of Papelbon dancing and lip syncing "Blame it on the Rain" with Manny Delcarmen and Wally and some mystery guy on drums. Watch it below:

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Dice-K Back on the Hill

Matsuzaka is off the DL and will make the start today against St. Louis. He does not have a pitch limit going into the game:

"Lot of it's going to depend on how tough innings are for him," Francona said. "Hopefully, he'll stay out there for a while. He wasn't down a whole long time. I don't think that's going to be a big issue."
Today's game will be nationally broadcast on Fox.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Trip Around the Majors

Well, the Sox and Wake lost tonight, but they’re playing over .600 and have won 6 of their last 10 games and now are tied for the most wins by any team today with the Cubs. Okay, the Cubs have lost fewer games, but these are the only 2 teams playing over .600 ball right now. Tampa Bay is hot on the Sox’s heels only 1.5 out. But what’s this? The Yankees are in 3rd place? Appears they have finally awaken in 2008 and are 6 games over .500.

Both Chicago teams lead they’re divisions. The Royals had been playing almost .500, but a 12 game losing streak last month sent them back to familiar territory~ the basement. Seattle very unexpectedly stumbled out of the gate this season, landed in the basement of their division, saw their skipper melt down in a press conference that had more bleeps than an urban gangsta rap show and then get canned, only to reward the new interim manager with a 10-2 shelacking of Atlanta. Chipper Jones has finally fallen below .400. He’s currently at .390, pretty respectable for late June.

With Seattle taking up residence down south of their division, it gives hope to seeing Oakland going farther than anyone expected this year. They are currently 4 games behind the Angels.

The Phillies lead the NL East, while the struggling Mets, who were expected to go far with the Santana acquisition are sitting exactly at .500. The Marlins give the state of Florida two teams both in 2nd place in their respective divisions. Last time I checked in with Pittsburgh, they were just a hair under .500, (as was KC), but they’ve held their own since. They are only 4 games under .500 and are in 4th place in the NL Central.

Last year’s NL Pennant winners, the Rockies, are sitting tied for last place in the NL West. What a difference a year can make. What is more amazing is that it’s not the Giants they’re tied with in the basement, it’s the Padres. While the local Giants are no likely threat to win this division, they are in 3rd place, only 3 games behind the 2nd place Dodgers.

The season is almost ½ way through folks. Only 1 team below .400 right now, this could make for some interesting races come September.

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Bring Me Lugo's Head On A Platter

Lugo needs to go. Somewhere, anywhere. Are those Milwaukee Sausages still available for trade? Even if they were, the Brewer’s would probably be very unlikely to trade for another Sox cast-off after the Gagne debacle and the decline of Julian Tavarez, especially for a man with a shoe box for a glove.


The man just committed two throwing errors in one inning. He now is up to 16 errors this season and this is only game number 76. At this rate, he’s on track to reach 35 errors in one season.
Previous fielding stats (shortstop) for Lugo:
Year Team Games Innings Errors Pct.
2004 TBY 143 1238 25 .963
2005 TBY 156 1338 24 .968
2006 TBY 73 620 14 .957
2006* LAD 8 27 2 .857
2007 SOX 145 1228 19 .968
2008** SOX 63 526 14 .939

* Lugo played in 48 games with LAD at other positions.
** Does not include tonight’s game.

While Lugo does not appear to have a shot at setting a new record for most errors in one season by a shortstop in the modern era of baseball (1903, John Gochnaur of Cleveland, 98 biffs), he does have a realistic shot of breaking the record for most errors in one season by a shortstop in this century, currently held by Jose Valentin in 2000 with 36 biffs.
Now that he’s got his batting average out of the toilet, currently at .278, he’s gone and replaced his bat in the commode with his glove.

Getting back to the game, I see he (partially) atoned for his errors by hitting a solo shot to tie the game. But committing 2 errors in one inning can change the tempo and flow of the game in a heartbeat. The Sox have now fallen behind by 2 runs, not of Lugo’s (immediate) undoing, but I wonder how much the Sox were rattled by that inning. This won’t be the first game Lugo’s botched, nor will it be the last. I hope Theo is doing his homework and searching for a way out of this mess at shortstop. I say unload him, eat his contract and put Lowrie (2008: BA .310, Fld. Pct. 1.000 in 17 games) in at shortstop ASAP. If not, Lugo will cost the team more than he is being paid (which is more than he is worth.)

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Roush-Fenway

Sorry for the limited posts today, I spent the day at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Ca. My Brother works for NASCAR and gets me garage passes every year, this year I brought my son for qualifying. While I was there one of my brother's coworker brought my son around to see the cars and meet some of the drivers. Here he is with Roush-Fenway driver Carl Edwards.

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Today's Lineup 6/20 vas the Cardinals

Ellsbury, lf
Pedroia, 2b
Drew, rf
Ramirez, dh
Lowell, 3b
Youkilis, 1b
Crisp, cf
Lugo, ss
Cash, c

Wakefield, sp

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Schilling To Have Season Ending Surgery

Curt Schilling will not be on the mound for the Sox this year. After returning to Boston from Philly the Sox and Curt Schillinge decided that he could not pitch effectively again without surgery. He also said his chances of pitching again were 3-10 and the surgery is to make his shoulder pain free. The Sox will discuss the issue with a press conference later today. Schilling announced his plan on WEEI this morning, you can listen to the interview here. Nothing yet on 38pitches.com. This is not a real surprising development and to be honest it is not as bad as when we first learned about the injury before the season because the Sox now have Masterson and Colon to pitch. The news may cause the Sox to trade Coco for a starter if not a guy for this season, one that could join the rotation next year.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tavarez Designated For Assignment By Brewers

Julian Tavarez's stay with the Brewers did not last long. After choosing free agency over signing with the PawSox he was 0-1 with an ERA of 8.59 in seven appearances in Milwaukee before being DFA'd. Tavarez has 10 days to accept the assignment in AAA or become a free agent again. I wonder if his World Series Ring got there in time.

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Lee County Determined to Keep Sox Spring Training

Despite recent talk of the Sox looking to move their Spring Training to Sarasota, Lee County Florida officials are confident that the Sox are staying put.


Lee County Deputy Manager Bill Hammond told WBBH TV the Red Sox will remain in Southwest Florida. "There is no push and go thing right now. We're not in that mode, we're not going to lose the Sox," said Hammond. "We're keeping them here and that's the message the county has given to (Red Sox COO) Mike Dee."

The TV station has launched a petition drive to keep the Sox Spring Training in Lee County.

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SI Poll of MLB Players Names Jeter As Most Overrated


Derek Jeter won the honors of being the most overrated player in the majors by a poll of 495 MLB players. Jeter was the leading vote getter of the Sports Illustrated poll, A-Rod got third, tied with J.D. Drew. (the vote took place before his recent hot streak) Earlier this year Jeter also won the honor of being the worst defensive shortstop. Jeter responded to the news by saying:

"I don’t want to hear about it. I don’t want to talk about it. All negative stuff I don’t want to talk about.”

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Yankees Try to Out Fat the Sox


The Yankees have signed Sidney Ponson to a minor league contract. It seems the Yankees are always trying to outdo the Sox and the signing of the portly pitcher may make 'el Gordo' fall a spot in the fattest A.L. East pitcher category.

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Cubs Want Coco Again

The Coco to Chicago trade rumors are heating up again. From today's Chicago Tribune:

General manager Jim Hendry sent special assistant Ken Kravec to scout Boston this week in Cincinnati and Philadelphia. The Cubs still are interested in Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp,and now may be willing to include Rich Hill in a multiplayer package.

Rich Hill was born in Boston, he started 5 games this season and has a 4.12 ERA. Here is what the Daily Herald had to say about Hill last week:

Hill was plagued by control problems all through spring training. He broke camp with the Cubs but was sent to Iowa on May 3 after lasting only two-thirds of an inning the previous night at St. Louis. An 11-game winner last year, Hill figured prominently in the Cubs' plans for this year. Now, however, he looks to be a long way from returning.

With Moss able to be a backup and Coco becoming more attractive to the Cubs, the Sox may pull the trigger on this soon. I know the Sox can find value in players and you can never have too much pitching especially since Schilling now looks done for the season.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Now It's St. Louis' Turn To Jump on the Whiny Bandwagon

The whiny articles keep coming and this one is from a city that will be the visitors, they don't even get to complain about the annoying Sox fans taking over their city. This is from today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch entitled "Why I'm Sick of Boston"

"Im a big guy, so it pains me to say this, but I'm tired of seeing those chunky, pink-faced white guys wearing Celtics throwbacks, straight out of that stupid House of Pain video ("Jump Around") shouting "We're No. 1" at TV cameras with distorted faces....Hey, Sully — I didn't see you kick the field goal. That was Vinatieri. So quit rolling around in the end zone. Yo, Murph yeah, you in the Bird jersey, bum-rushing the floor at the Garden on Tuesday night when the Celtics destroyed the Lakers to win the NBA championship. Yeah, you. That's right. You aren't even Eddie Bird (Larry's brother), so get off the basketball court and let the Celtics players celebrate....They should rename Boston's "Big Dig" and call it "Dig Me."
I guess Bernie Miklasz doesn't think teams should have fans since they don't actually make plays on the field, and if teams do have fans they must act like Cardinals fans and simply exit the stadium in a orderly fashion if they win a World Series or they risk offending Joe Buck. What a tool. Here's Bernie's picture, he looks like a guy who got beat up by jocks in high school. Bernie says one of the things he likes about Boston is Dunkin' Donuts, maybe its time he lay off the Bavarian Cremes and mix in a salad.

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Shirtless Men Are Not Welcome in DC


A fan at the Nationals game was told by a stadium employee that he had to put his shirt back on to avoid being ejected for indecent exposure. He wrote a letter to the editor of the Washington Post complaining about the incident, especially since he spent $50 for tickets, and $7.50 for a beer and the heat index was over 100. All that to watch some bad baseball. I have to say I am not really in favor of some fat sweaty shirtless guy in front of me but you would think a team like the Nats would be excited to have anyone watch.

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That's not just nasty, that's filthy

Portfolio.com reports today on food service violations at MLB ball parks.

Angel Stadium led the list with 732 violations, including a major vermin violation that closed down one of it's food stands last year, and a cockroach infestation as well. McAfee Coliseum in Oakland checked in with 493 violations, while ATnT Park in San Francisco reported 88 violations. Our friends in the Bronx? 45 violations at Yankee Stadium including evidence of mice and rats in at least 2 of the stadium's food areas. Fenway Park was not included in the survey.

Let's hope they get rid of ALL the rats at the new Yankee Stadium.

And if any Sox fans are headed to Anaheim~ pack a lunch.

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Masterson and J.D. Keep Impressing

Justin Masterson picked up his 4th win of the season in Philadelphia as the Sox won their second straight series on the road. J.D. Drew seemed to be cooling off after going 0-4 yesterday but he was back to powering the Sox offense today going 4-5 with a home run and 4 RBI's. Pedroia stayed hot going 3-5. Hansen had big trouble in the 7th giving up 2 hits a walk and 2 earned runs without getting an out before he was pulled. Delcarmen and Papelbon stopped the bleeding and shut down the Phillies. Time to go back to the Fens to take on the '04 World Series opponent.

Sox Win 7-4 BOX SCORE

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Arroyo & Lowe: Where are they today?

No, this is not 2004 all over again, nor deja vu, but when was the last time two former Red Sox teammates squared off against each other for other teams?

The LA Dodgers visit Cincinnati today (4:10 PDT) and the probables are Derek Lowe (4-6, 4.03) for LA and Bronson Arroyo (4-5, 5.31) for the Reds.

I wasn't particularly happy to see either of them leave when they did, especially Arroyo who took a home town discount to stay. But if he had stayed, he wouldn't have ever hit those 2 home runs. Although Arroyo's line for this season doesn't look too good at first glance, check out the scouting report for today's match-up.


Scouting Report:

Dodgers: Lowe, moved up a day in the rotation after Brad Penny's assignment to the disabled list, pitched well enough to win in his Michigan homecoming, but lost instead. In his six defeats, the Dodgers have scored a total of seven runs. He allowed the Tigers two earned runs in seven innings, struck out five without a walk and made 121 pitches. His sinker has been sharp in five consecutive quality starts, but he has only two victories to show for it.

Reds: Arroyo had expressed disappointment over some of his recent outings, but he had no reason to complain about his latest. If Reds fans were looking for vintage Arroyo, they saw him in full color against the Cardinals. He pitched a smart game, limiting the Cardinals to two hits and no runs over the first six innings. He turned a 2-0 lead over the bullpen, which couldn't hold it. Still, Arroyo gave the Reds the kind of performance that befits a pitcher whom they've expected to be one of the anchors of their rotation.




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Today's Lineup 6/18 at Philadelphia

No Manny, no Youk for today's game.

Ellsbury lf
Pedroia 2b
Drew rf
Lowell 3b
Casey 1b
Varitek c
Crisp cf
Lugo ss
Masterson p

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lester Shuts Down Phillies

Jon Lester pitched a gem tonight in the city of brotherly love going seven shutout innings before turning it over to the pen. Okajima '08 looked like Okajima '07 and Papelbon shut the door to preserve the shutout. The speedy Sox stole 6 bases including one by Sean Casey! J.D. Drew came back to earth and went 0-4 but Coco is suddenly the new Big Papi. The Celtics crushed the Lakers for their 17th Championship, too bad Red couldn't be there to see it. All in all a good night...except for my softball team getting our first loss in a game where the other teams batter and our pitcher had words and both teams met in the middle for some pushing and shoving. Nothing like a near fight in slow pitch softball. For some fun check out Rob Bradford of the Herald running the Rocky steps in Philly below.

Sox Win 3-0 BOX SCORE

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17

Time for another banner in the Garden.

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Colon To DL, Chris Smith Called Up

Bartolo Colon is headed to the 15 day disabled list with a bad back. He hurt his back on a swing in last night's game, the big gut can put a strain on the back when it gets in motion. Relief pitcher Chris Smith was called up from Pawtucket to take Colon's spot on the roster but no word about the rotation yet. Dice-K could take Colon's next starting spot, Buchholz could also be called up at a later date to take the start.

Here's the video of Colon's disaster at the plate:

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Tonight's Lineup 6/17 at Philadelphia

Youk is out another game after experiencing back spasms yesterday. Ellsbury sits with Coco in center and Lugo gets a rare chance to lead-off.

SS-Lugo
2B-Pedroia
RF-Drew
LF-Ramirez
3B-Lowell
C-Varitek
1B-Casey
CF-Crisp
SP-Lester

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Dumbass Hank Blames The NL for the Loss of Wang

Chien-Ming Wang gets hurt running the bases last night and whose fault is it? According to Hank Steinbrenner it is the NL's fault because they have the pitchers bat and run the bases. Here's another Hankism:

"Truthfully, the NL owners should be concerned with it, even with the practice their pitchers get doing it. You don't need to lose your best pitcher. The pitcher has enough work to do. It's something Bud (Selig) needs to address and he needs to address it soon. Don't give me that traditionalist crap. We go to these NL cities, draw great crowds and we end up losing one of our best pitchers. I'm not happy."

Mike Musinna must have been drinking some of the dumbass cool-aid because he jumped on the Hank bandwagon with this:
"AL pitchers are at the most risk because we don't run the bases," Mussina said Sunday. "When you get four or five at-bats, at most, and get on base a couple times, you never know. We run in a straight line most of the time."

Maybe we should change all tracks around the country to take out the turns so runners don't get hurt. I can be really hard to run bases, I don't think they even get to that part of the game until players reach T-ball.

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A-Rod and Pete Rose Love Each Other

Check out this bizarre story of Pete Rose and A-Rod's text message relationship. They even sent texts on why A-Rod should have gone to the Sox last year.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good: Big Papi's cast came off today and he can begin the rehab of his wrist. Dice-K had a good rehab start tonight going 5 innings giving up 3 hits and 2 runs. Dustin Pedroia is deffinetly out of the slump after going 3-4 tonight with a home run.

The Bad: Bartolo Colon had a stiff back forcing him to leave tonight' game early, this could be a nagging injury for the remainder of the season and limit any trade value he might have. Curt Schilling has been given some time off after a few bad bullpen sessions. It is unclear if this is a temporary setback or a sign that he will not return this season.

The Ugly: Mike Timlin gave up 4 hits, 2 walks and 4 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning to the Phillies tonight.

Sox Lose 8-2 BOX SCORE

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Colon Injured, Setback for Schilling

Bartolo Colon left tonight's game in the 4th with a back injury. He was not pitching well in the game and gave up 3 runs in the first including a lead-off homer. In case you thought that Schill would be ready to step in think again. Look at this tidbit from GoldBlog:

Curt Schilling is in a holding pattern at the moment. He had a couple of poor bullpen outings last week and the team wants to slow things down a bit. Schilling met with Terry Francona this afternoon, but no word yet on when he will start throwing again.

Time for Masterson or Buchholz to step up.

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Remy and Orsillo Preview Series With the Phils

video

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New City, Same Story

A few weeks ago I wrote about how journalists in each city the Sox are travelling to write virtually the same negative article about Red Sox Nation. It happened in Kansas City, it happened in Oakland, and now it is happening in Philly. Bob Ford or the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about the horrors of the invading Red Sox fans in a tired rehash of how annoying we all are. Here's a quick glimpse at some of the article:

"Catch 'em, tag 'em, put 'em on the Northeast Limited to Back Bay Station if they like it there so much. The rest of us are tired of having them around....There's nothing cuddly or cute about a team with a $133 million payroll. You can't be an underdog if you spend like the Kennedys. If the Red Sox...Oh, I know. The fans sing songs together and have other adorable rituals, and tend to overlook small things like the fact that Manny Ramirez is one of the most selfish, self-indulgent players in the game. Ah, c'mahn. He's a Sawk."
To whine about the Sox payroll is a bit much when your own team has a payroll of $108 million. I am sorry that Bob lives in a city that cares more about a football team that can't win a big game than they do about their baseball team. But it is not all bad press, occasionally Red Sox Nation gets some good press.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Raising Red Sox Fans

This is the story of how I met Zachary, a 4 year old Red Sox fan.


When the Sox come to Oakland, I usually drive to a rapid transit station about 10 miles from the Oakland Coliseum, oops, excuse me, McAfee Coliseum and take the train the rest of the way. There are usually just as many, if not more, Sox fans on the train than A’s fans judging from the colors worn. Everyone is civil, no trash talking. A couple of stops after I get on, a young family gets on and takes a seat opposite me. We all have our Sox gear on. The little boy’s name is Zachary and for some strange reason, his favorite player is Johnny Demon. The parents have not been able to figure that one out yet, after all, he’s only 4 years old and who knows what’s going on in those little minds. I was about to find out. The parents said, “Hey Zach! The Red Sox….”
“Rule!”
And then I chimed in, “and the yankees….”
Without skipping a beat, Zach yells, “SUCK!”
Aahh, out of the mouths of babes….

Well, not only did I not have the camera with me (I have a TEEnage daughter), I neglected to bring my cards with me. I told them to do a search for ‘Fenway West’, and you’ll find me there. Send me a photo of yourselves at the game, and maybe I’ll use it. Well, I haven’t heard from them, so I’m using a photo of another young Red Sox fan, most likely taken at a yankee game.

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Red Sox Nation 'Governors'

Red Sox Nation is now soliciting for applications for ‘governors’ from each state of New England.

“RSN Governors will help promote the growth of Red Sox Nation within their home state while also providing Regular Rob and the Boston Red Sox with feedback on fan related issues throughout the entire season.”

Red Sox Nation spreads from coast to coast and overseas, as well. Why limit ‘governorship’ to the 6 states of New England when there are faithful fans 3000 miles away who could promote the growth of RSN and fulfill the mission of RSN in every locale where there are substantial numbers of Sox fans?

C’mon Jerry & Rob! Open this up to all 50 states! I’m in the 40 year club when it comes to fandom. I just happen to live that aforementioned 3k miles away. If RSN does open governorship to the rest of the nation, I for one may have a hat available for that ring.

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Sox Win a Series on the Road!

The Sox delivered a win to father's across the Nation today with a big road victory over the Reds. There was nothing but good news from the ballgame with Beckett looking like he did last year and the Sox offense dominating. Josh Beckett went 7 innings giving up 6 hits but no runs and had an effective curve. J.D. Drew is now able to fill in for both Manny and Big Papi with yet another home run. Ellsbury gets better each game and today he had a hit in the first, stole second, stole third and scored a run on a sac fly by Pedroia and hit a homer later in the game. Pedroia is coming out of his slump and he too had a home run today. Coco joined the long-ball club with his second home run in two days. I hope all of you fathers are having a great day in front of the tube and now get to watch the U.S. Open followed by the Celtics winning #17. My wife, son, and daughter got me a Red Sox jersey with "dad" and #1 on the back; a good day all around.

Sox Win 9-0 BOX SCORE

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Today's Lineup 6/15 at Cincinnati

Manny is out again to rest the hamstring but should pinch hit late. Lugo and Tek are back in there.

Ellsbury-LF
Pedroia-2B
Drew-RF
Lowell-3B
Youkilis-1B
Varitek-C
Crisp-CF
Lugo-SS
Beckett-SP

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Jerry Remy Thinks Ortiz Might Be Done for the Season

During yesterday's Fox broadcast Jerry Remy talked about Ortiz's wrist injury and said he was very worried about it. He also remarked that he had talked to Big Papi and was told there was still some "clicking" in his wrist which did not sound good. Remy seemed to think that Ortiz could be due for season ending surgery once the cast comes off.

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