It's a Formidable Scent...

This Just In ...

Ron Burgundy, Anchorman

(Anchorman Photo)

'It's a Formidable Scent... It Stings the Nostrils.'

Avon Products, Inc. and New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter strike a partnership with the launch of the new fragrance Driven, Monday, July 31, 2006. The fragrance, which becomes available in November, will be offered throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada

(AP Photo)

Jeter's New Fragrance: It Takes a Special Person to Wear It

Kip, Kip ... Hooray? No Way

NO DEAL

Wilbur: Futures Game | Extra Bases: No Moves for Sox | Nixon on DL
Survey: Should the Sox Have Made a Deal? | Discuss

"We came close on a lot of things … countless opportunities we were pursuing …We have a long term plan and as much as we desperately wanted to do something to help our big league team, it would have been short-sighted to sacrifice that long-term plan. It just wasn’t worth it.

"Very disappointing [not being able to make a deal]. We have a lot of people in the front office and scouts that worked very hard to get things done.

"In the end, we gathered around everybody, thanked them for their hard work. We’re proud of the process, and proud of the results… There’s always an opportunity for waiver deals." -- 7.31.06, Theo Epstein on the trade deadline

Kip, Kip Hooray? ...

Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Kip Wells throws against the Colorado Rockies in baseball action Monday July 17, 2006 in Pittsburgh.

(AP Photo)

No Way.

Edes: Sox Pass on Kip Wells
Edes: Sox Inquire About Kip Wells
Edes: Andruw Jones Is Not On the Table
The Buzz: Will Coco, Hansen, Lieber, Clemens, Lowell, Lugo,
Linebrink, or Shealy Be On the Move Before 4?

What Should the Sox Do? | Discuss Potential Deals
Extra Bases: Clemens Watch | Wilbur: A Deadline Delusion?
Mnookin: What's the Deal with Abreau, and CoCo

Empty Schill

Empty Schill

Curt Schilling howled in disgust after he gave up three runs in the top of the third inning, putting his team in a 6-1 hole.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

ErraticSchillingPounded,Nailed
For Three Third-Inning Bombs, Gone After Five

Bad-News Bearers: Nothing Good Going On at Fenway, Angels 10, Sox 4
Time to Trade Up for Offense: David Ortiz Can't Do It All at the Plate
Permanent Stop in Pawtucket: Pack the Van Buren and His 10.80 ERA
He Won't Get No Relief: Tavarez Must Really Enjoy All That Booing
Taking One for the Other Team: Affleck Fails at Foul Play
Imagine That: Gonzo's Hitting 20 Points Higher Than Coco
In Other Bad News: Back Scratches Foulke

"It was mistake after mistake. It's disappointing. One thing I have always expected of myself is to give this team innings. ... Five innings is just not good." -- 7.30.06, Curt Schilling on his horrific outing Sunday night

Dog Days of Bummer

Bad news continued for the Red Sox in the bottom of the third inning. Trot Nixon grimaced in pain as he injured himself on a swinging. Nixon left the game in the middle of the at bat. Wily Mo Pena came in with a 1-2 count and struck out swinging.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Is This The Beginning of the End for Trot?

Anyone Going to the Beautiful South?

Anyone Going to the Beautiful South?

Monday 4 P.M. Trade Deadline

(BDD Photo Illustration)

Get the Latest on Wily Mo, Coco, Who Stays, and Who Goes ...

Extra Bases: Check EB for Any Late Breaking Deadline Deals

Stick Shift

Stick Shift

David Ortiz was mobbed by his teammates after his game winning RBI single.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Papi Changes Gears, Sox Pass Angels at the Finish Line

Small Papi! That's Just David Being David
Saturday in the Park, Sox Win in 11, 7-6

Throwing It Out There: Manny's Got a Gun
Real Captain Intangible: You Won't Find 'Tek's Big Stick in the Box Score
Between the Lines: Mike Double-Trouble Lowell Plays the Field
Papi Plays Big Too: MLB Leader Cranks HR No. 35, RBI No. 99
Not Feeling 14: Beckett Gives It the Old Six Inning Try
The Hansen-Timlin Show Should Have Been Blacked Out on Direct TV
Papelbon's ERA Could Crawl Under a Snake's Belly with a Top Hat On
All Kidding Aside: Tavarez Pitched a Scoreless Inning for the Win

"I don't like to play extra innings... The guy was throwing a hard sinker. If I try to pull it, it's a ground ball to first. I go the other way. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. In a situation like that you want to try it." -- 7.29.06, David Ortiz on making the right call

Whaddaya Say We Get Off Julian's Back for a Bit?

"The only thing I did was go to the mound and get my boos. Boo. It kind of [stinks], huh? We're in first place and your fans are still booing. 'You [stink]. Boo.' It's unbelievable. I got used to it. Every time I go on the field to pitch and for BP. It's OK. They pay for the tickets. They can say whatever they want to say." -- 7.29.06, Tavarez Takes Notice of the Fenway Faithful

Pain Delay

Pain Delay

The six runs the Angels put on the board in the seventh inning were enough to doom the home team.

(AP Photo)

Seven Is Heaven for Angels
LAA Pours It On Sox Late, 8-3

A Loss for Les: Jon Gets Into One Jam Too Many
Who's Howie Kendrick and How Did He Browbeat the Red Sox?
Manny Being Lousy: Delcarmen Can't Deliver the Goods in the Bad Inning
Lowell Foulke Festival: Keith Pitches Perfect Inning Elsewhere

"Tough to ask Jon Lester to hold that offense to one run. They made adjustments the third time around, but they weren't crushing the ball off him." -- 7.28.06, Mike Lowell trying to make less of Lester's performance

``Once Manny [Delcarmen] gives up the two runs there, it got away from us." -- 7.28.06, Straight talk from Tito Francona

Extra Bases: Sox Ask for Buehrle, Get Turned Down

Boomer is Back on Monday

July 19: Red Sox pitcher David Wells doesn't have much of an audience in the stands as he throws a simulated game this morning at Fenway Park as he tries to get back onto the roster from the disabled list.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis | BDD Illustration)

Extra Bases: Wells Returns to Face Indians at Fenway

Wilbur: A Foul Coincidence

Sox Staying Idle? Or Going After Lidle?

Sox Staying Idle?

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cory Lidle throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of their baseball game Thursday, July 27, 2006, in Philadelphia. Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 27 games and Lidle boosted his trade value with four-hit ball over eight innings to lead the Phillies over the Diamondbacks 5-2

(AP Photo)

Or Going After Lidle?

Cafardo: Red Sox Eyeing Cory Lidle

More Cafardo: Sox Looking at Willis? | Wilbur: Pitching Price Gouge
Real Estate: Former Sox Homes on the Market

Buster Olney's ESPN Insider Blog: "Anybody who has struck rock while using a shovel could relate to the next trade tidbit. Heard from two talent evaluators yesterday that Boston is very active in trying to come up with a large and creative deal, involving more than two teams. Smart thinking, one of them said, if it all works. Crazy stuff you wouldn't normally think of, said another. An executive with an AL team reports that he's heard that a scout was rushed off his area coverage to go scout Boston minor leaguers.

"But here's where the rock-striking part comes into play. I don't know if this is just a pebble of thought on the part of the Red Sox, or if this is a larger trade boulder, like the huge Nomar Garciaparra trade Boston hit on a couple of years ago, with all those moving parts. The Red Sox are looking for pitching, and they've talked about Julio Lugo in the past.

"Red Sox executives are mum; execs from other teams say they are very active.

"Take it for what it's worth." -- 7.27.06, Buster Olney, ESPN Insider Blog (subscription only)

Ha-Ha-Haren

Ha-Ha-Haren

Oakland Athletics starter Dan Haren throws to the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 26, 2006, in Oakland, Calif.

(AP Photo)

Oakland Gets Last Laugh, 5-1

Nolan Haren Dominates Get-Away Gang for Seven Innings
Sox Had Their Bags Packed, But Couldn't Get On the Bags All Day
Five Inning Shadow: Snyder Comes Undone Again and Could Be Finished
Not Toast Yet: Thomas Can Still Bring the Hurt and the Pain
The Game Was Over But Van Buren and Hansen Finished Fine
Who Else Dad? Coco Drives in Boston's Only Run

"If we keep it in the park, it's a different ballgame. Two big blasts. When [Frank Thomas] gets his arms extended, he's a strong guy." -- 7.26.06, Terry Francona, Captain Obvious

Extra Bases: Gabbard Gone; Lowell Foulke Festival
The Buzz: Linebrink, Burrell, Lugo Rumors
Eric Wilbur: Rocket Relaunch on Tap... Again?

Big Apple Circus

Big Apple Circus

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Kings of the Road

Kings of the Road

Red Sox David Ortiz, center, and Manny Ramirez, right, watch Trot Nixon slide safely past Oakland Athletic's catcher Jason Kendall, left, to score on a three-run hit by Jason Varitek in the eighth inning during a baseball game Tuesday, July 25, 2006 in Oakland, Calif. The Red Sox won 13-5.

(AP Photo)

Sox Flex More East Coast Muscle Out West
Oakland Blown Away, 13-5

The Hit Parade: Sox Turn 18 and Kick Some A's
Big Manny on Campus: Ramirez Remains on a Tear
Home Run Trot: It's Been a While Old Friend
Feelin' Groovy: Schilling Catches Beckett with Win No. 13
Sacrificial Lambs: Sox Drive in Four with Fly Out Runs
He's a Grown Manny: Delcarmen Steps It Up with Two Big K's
Breaking It Open: 'Tek Cracks a Bases Clearing Double in the Great 8th
Even a Tavarez-Seanez Combo Can't Blow This One

"I'm going to be more aggressive at the plate. I'm trying to find a good stroke. It's important to get out there and get my timing back down." -- 7.25.06, Trot Nixon, present, and future, right fielder of the Boston Red Sox

Extra Bases: Wells on His Way | Eric Wilbur: Hitting the Wall

Reynolds Rapped

Reynolds Rapped

ESPN analyst Harold Reynolds was a popular figure on Yawkey Way before Game 1 of the 2004 World Series

(Boston.com Photo / Steve Silva)

Popular Analyst Harold Reynolds Is Out at ESPN
Deadspin: Why Harold May Have Gotten the Axe

West Coast Rappers

West Coast Rappers

Red Sox's Manny Ramirez, right, is greeted at the plate by teammates Mark Loretta (3) and Kevin Youkilis after Ramirez's three- run home run off the Oakland Athletics' Barry Zito in the third inning of a baseball game on Monday, July 24, 2006, in Oakland, Calif.; Red Sox's Manny Ortiz points skyward as he reaches home plate after hitting a solo home run off Oakland Athletics' Barry Zito in the fifth inning of a baseball game Monday, July 24, 2006, in Oakland, Calif.

(AP Photos)

'Manny Ortez' Mashes A's, Zito, 7-3

MLB Chart Toppers: Papi Hits No. 34, Beckett Wins No. 13
Manny on Fire: HR No. 27, RBI No. 76 for the Aloof Slugger
A-Gon Goes Deep Again (While Poor A-Rod Struggles in the Bronx)
Nowhere to Go But Up: Crisp Hits 12th Double, Gets RBI No. 18
Hansen Comes In, a Nation Gets Nervous
Two K's But No Save for Pap

"They turn the page and they play. They don't have the hangover effect." -- 7.25.06, Terry Francona, the greatest manager in baseball today

Extra Bases: Wells Is Doing Well

Are the Sox Ready to Dive In?

Are the Sox Ready to Dive In?

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Gallery: Eight Potential Trading Partners for Sox
Survey: What is Boston's Biggest Need as Deadline Approaches?
Wilbur: Rookie Dilemma for Papelbon Candidacy
Mnookin: Rookie Pitchers and Minor League Talent
Brian Fox Video: 2006 First Half Review
Hot Stove, Cool Photos

Cereal Killer

Cereal Killer

Red Sox center fielder Coco Crisp misses a ball hit Seattle Mariners' Adrian Beltre during the eighth inning of their baseball game in Seattle Sunday, July 23, 2006. Beltre legged out an inside-the-park home run on the play. The Mariners went on to win 9-8.

(AP Photo)

Did You See That Catch Coco Didn't Make?

That's Just Coco Being Manny, and Manny Being Coco
Sox Give One Away in Seattle, 9-8

Edgar Crisp: Is It Deja Vu All Over Again for a Newcomer?
Just Throwing It Out There: Does Coco Have a Tool Beyond Speed?
More Manny Mulligans: One Kick, One Swat, No Errors
Need More from Les: Five Innings Is Not the Right Number for Lefty
On the Offensive: Top of the Order Provides Thunder, Sox Still Go Under
Manny Being Manny? Delcarmen Gets Hit Hard in Relief
Captain's Crunch Goes Soggy: 'Tek's Best Effort Lost in Loss
Opposite Sexson: Timlin In, Ball Goes Out, Game Over

"I went where I thought it would be, I took my eyes off it for a few seconds. I was going to rob him, but it landed right behind me... I saw him [Manny] pointing. I didn't know what happened. I guess he was in the right position, it just caromed off him. I was just picking it up and throwing it in the direction I thought it should go. It happened so quick, I threw it as hard as I could, but the guys were lined up a little more to the left of where I'm facing... We almost had him, but I've got to hit the guy who was closer [Gonzalez]." -- 7.23.06, Coco Crisp, proud card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation, on the mess with Manny in the outfield

Not Scared, Stifler

Not Scared, Stifler

Separated at Birth: Kason Gabbard and Seann William Scott

(Gabbard: Getty Images Photo / Otto Greule Jr. | Scott: Reuters Photo)

Separated at Birth? Kason Gabbard and Seann William Scott

Sox Get Gift of Gab

Sox Get Gift of Gab

Terry Francona pulled starting pitcher Kason Gabbard from the game in the sixth inning.

(Getty Images Photo / Otto Greule Jr.)

But Seattle Wins the Prize, 5-2
Mariners Take Advantage of Fielding Mistakes

Major League Delivery: Gabbard Did It the Hard Way
Say It Ain't So: Perez Gets the Best of Gonzo
Bag Job: Ump Holds Papi's Feet to the Fire
Dropping In: Did You See That Catch Coco Didn't Make?
No Ill Will: Lowell Belts 13th Homer; Three K's for Manny
Surprise, Surprise: Just-Go-Away-Julian Walks Three
Seattle's Best: Gotta Hand It to Hernandez

"The only play for me was to third base -- but the runner didn't slide. I made a perfect throw." -- 7.22.06, If you say so Gonzo

West Coasting

West Coasting

Manny Ramirez hugged teammate David Ortiz after Ramirez hit a home run that also scored Ortiz in the fifth inning.

(AP Photo)

High Five
Five Strong for Snyder, Five Long Balls, Five Straight
Homer-Happy Sox Slaughter Seattle, 9-4

Ortiz Hits No. 33, 26 for Manny
Not to Bragg But Jamie Moyer is Finally in the Twilight of His Career
Hansen Gets Hit Hard But Delcarmen, Timlin Lock It Down
Gravy Train: Gonzo Hits His Seventh Homer
Sloppy D Results in Two More Errors
'Tek, Youk Join Way Back Brigade
Even Crisp Breaks 0-for-15 Skid

"I'm the greatest, that's all I have to say." -- 7.21.06, David Ortiz joking Muhammad Ali style

Wilbur: Wild Pitch: Pads, Peavy, and Mike Lowell
Trip Breakdown: West of the Story | Gallery: Sox This Week
Yanksfan vs. Soxfan: Is Schill Rethinking Retirement?

"Even if I didn’t retire after next year I just can’t imagine jumping to the other side of this rivalry. Financially this game has taken care of me, so the next contract would be the same as this one in that we’d end up where we wanted to live and in a scenario we were familiar with. When all is said and done if I didn’t retire after next year I couldn’t imagine playing anywhere but Boston anyway to finish my career." -- 7.21.06, Curt Schilling, YF vs. SF Q&A

Makeup Sox

Makeup Sox

Wily Mo Pena and Mike Timlin celebrate another home win.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Tito's Team Fights Through Tough Homestand,
But It's All Good in the End, 6-4

Mark Goes Sour on the Bases, But Sweet Loretta Leaves Fans Satisfied
Face the Music: What If... Schilling Doesn't Stop that Line Drive to the Head?
Bronson Who?: The Big Wily Mo Goes 2-for-3, Hitting .330
Youk Stops the Bleeding at the Plate While Coco Goes 0-for-5 at Leadoff
Right on the Manny: RBI No. 69 for Ramirez
Schill Is Good Enough to Be 12-5, 8-0 at Fenway
Delcarmen Among Boys in the Bullpen, Mike Saves the Day
Do We Need to See More'a Alex Cora?

"It was a win. A good win. A 5-3 homestand after losing three out of four to Oakland, regardless of who it's against, is a good homestand for us." -- 7.20.06, Curt Schilling on the bottom line

Can't Catch This

Rangers center fielder Gary Matthews can’t face the fact that he is unable to prevent Jason Varitek from reaching on an RBI double in the seventh inning.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Hammer Time: 'Tek Drives Home Insurance Run

'Feeding' Outtake: Wake on Ownership, Chemistry, and His Deal
Extra Bases: Sox Rangers Roundup
Wilbur: He Should Be the Mark

Shea Goodbye

Shea Goodbye

Shea and his monkey

(BDD Photo)

Jays Are Done Monkeying Around with Hillenbrand
Shea Hey Kid Gets Tossed Out in Toronto

"Sources have said that Hillenbrand and other players had taken turns attempting to write humorous messages on a clubhouse chalkboard. At one point, Hillenbrand is said to have written: 'This is a sinking ship' on the board...

"Hillenbrand added that the manager told him he was a 'cancer' in the clubhouse whose teammates thought of him as a joke. He said he verbally abused him once again in front of the entire team on Wednesday night in a pre-game players' meeting, calling him 'a cancer' and 'a coward' and challenging him to hit him and start a fight." -- 7.20.06, Geoff Baker, Toronto Star

The Horse and the Horse's Behind Are On the Road Again

The horse and the horse's behind

(BDD Photo)

He'll Have to Just Grin and Bear It

Shea and his bear

(BDD Photo)

Where's Noah's Ark When You Need It?

shea_tiger3.jpg

(BDD Photo)

So Long Shea!
And Yes, We've Heard of Jeff Bagwell.

Beckett Gets the Upper Hand

It's a Win-Win

Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett gets a hand in the dugout after he finished the eighth inning, his last on the afternoon, as he got the win in Boston's 1-0 victory over Kansas City at Fenway Park.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Beckett Gets the Upper Hand

Josh Flushes Royals from Fenway, Then Seals the Deal
Sox Win Another 1-0 Pitchfest

Josh Beckett Got His Groove Back
And Papelbon Does His Thing Too

He's Da Manny

Top - The only swing that mattered today. Red Sox leftfielder Manny Ramirez lets go off his bat (Sox-Royals 1A) as he watches the flight of his bottom of the fourth inning solo home run that sailed over the Green Monster. The blast was the only run of the game, as Boston defeated the Kansas City Royals 1-0 for the second consecutive game at Fenway Park.Bottom - Manny Ramirez bends low to snag a line drive by Kansas City Royals Paul Phillips during the fifth inning

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis | AP Photo)

Manny Giveth to Sox and Taketh Away from KC

Good News, Bad News

Good News, Bad News

Josh Beckett No. 19 and Tim Wakefield No. 49 of the Red Sox have a laugh before playing the New York Mets on June 27, 2006 at Fenway Park in Boston.

(Getty Images Photo / Jim McIsaac)

Good News: Beckett Gets 3-Year Contract Extension
Bad News: Wakefield Has a Fractured Rib
But It's All Systems Go for Boomer

Red Sox pitcher David Wells didn't have much of an audience in the stands as he threw a simulated game this morning at Fenway Park as he tries to get back onto the roster from the disabled list. But he did have some interested observers on the field, as GM Theo Epstein (left from behind, manager Terry Francona (next to Epstein) and interim pitching coach Al Nipper (far right) watched.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Eric Wilbur on Josh Beckett: Hyde and Seek
More Wilbur: King's Ransom | Dating Game | Ode to Hazel

Lesterrific!

Lesterrific!

Red Sox starter Jon Lester pumps his fist after getting Mark Teahen to hit into a seventh inning ending double play.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Jon is One-Hit Wonderful

Lester Was Great for Eight in 1-0 Win
Feet on the Ground: Lester Gets 15 Ground Ball Outs
Give It to Me One Time: Gonzo, 'Tek Combine for a Big Run
Keep On Papelbon: Jonathan Racks Up Save No. 28

Congratulations Captain

Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek acknowledges the fans after it was announced that he is catching his team record 991th baseball game during the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park in Boston Tuesday, July 18, 2006.

(AP Photo)

'Tek Passes Carlton By Catching Team-Leading 991st Game

"I'm honored to be able to play my whole career in one place... I couldn't ask for a better place to be. It [the ovation at Fenway when the game was official] gave me a lot of chills. I'm very thankful for the response. I'm just very thankful for the opportunity I've had here" -- 7.18.06, Red Sox captain Jason Varitek on passing Carlton Fisk as the all-time Sox leader in games caught

Tito's Take on Wake

"We don’t really have anything to announce... we're going to give him some time... how he feels will determine how we’ll proceed.” -- 7.18.06, Terry Francona on Tim Wakefield

Red Hot Rookies

Papelbon and Lester are Red Hot

(BDD Photo Illustration / Meir Weinberg)


Christmas in July

Mientkiewicz - Grinch.jpg

(Boston Dirt Dogs Photo Illustration / Meir Weinberg)

Cafardo: Ball Debate Goes Round and Round

Gravy Baby

Gravy Baby

Singer Meatloaf threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the red Sox game. After the pitch he joked with Red Sox pitcher David Wells who caught his pitch.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

But Which One is Meatloaf?

Extra Bases: Wake Has Bone Scan; Not Going on DL Yet
Pena, Van Buren Up; Harris, Lopez Down

Alex Speier: Could Papi Reach 60?

Fire in the Belli

Fire in the Belli

Red Sox catcher Doug Mirabelli makes his Kansas City counterpart John Buck a sad lookig backstop as he crosses the plate to high fives from Coco Crisp and Alex Gonzalez after his game tying seventh inning three run homer

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

Sox Stop Slip and Slide with Rally Big Comeback, 5-4

Doug Digs In: A Walk Is Not As Good As a Hit ... Or a Homer
Sacrificial Man: Ramirez Gets the Winning Run Home on the Fly
Back Against a Wall: Wake May Be Latest Old Body on the DL
No Bull: Delcarmen, Hansen, Timlin, and Papelbon Pitch In for Win
Royal Tease: Was That Luke Hudson or Tim Hudson on the Hill?
Big Wheels Churning: Harris and (Gulp) Papi Show Off Their Speed
Outstanding Defense Makes a Cameo Appearance
Hot Coco: Crisp Heats Up at the Plate
Sox Still the One in AL East
Nice Game for Tito

"I had no idea what he was going to throw there. It's nice any time I can add to the offense. It takes a little pressure off the big guys." -- 7.17.06, Doug Mirabelli on his 3-run bomb

Ballgate Swings Open

Ballgate Swings Open

Doug Mientkiewicz returned to Fenway Park for the first time since the World Series ball controversy. He was a popular interview subject in the visitor's dugout before batting practice, where he said he was

(Boston Globe Stafr Photo / Jim Davis)

Extra Bases: Ball Games Irk Mientkiewicz
Will the World Series Ball Hog Get Booed Tonight?

Eric Wilbur: Greed with Envy
BDD Archives: Foulke Wants Ball | Sox Play Hardball | A Look Back on Ballgate
Ballgate Open Again | The Verdict is In: Mink Stole
'I Think the Whole Thing is Disgusting' | Mientkiewicz Agreed to Give Ball Back
Million Dollar Baby Returns | Caught Red-Handed

10/27/04--ST. LOUIS--Red Sox reliever Foulke tosses a fielded ball to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to make the final out of the game as the Boston Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in game 4 to win the 2004 World Series played at Busch Stadium in St. Louis

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / John Bohn)

Go Gammo Go

Go Gammo Go

Fenway Fans Wish Gammons Well Wishes

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Gammons Moving from Hospital to Rehab Facility


Extra Bases: Hazel Stay | Bradford: Inside Dope on Greenies
Mnookin: Beckett Learning How to Pitch

You Don't Know Jack

You Don't Know Jack ...

Welch-O-Meter, fifth starter

But Jack Knows the Sox ...
Former GE Head Forcasted, Broke Down, and Analyzed
the Fifth Starter Fiasco on the Welch-O-Meter Last Week

Say It Ain't So!

Say It Ain't So!

Oakland Athletics Joe Blanton pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of their MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts July 16

(Reuters Photo)

Average Joe Blanton Blows Away Boston's Not-So-Big Bats
Not-So-Light-Hitting A's Hammer Sox Again, 8-1
New York Is Knocking at the Door

Wardrobe Malfunction: Sox Play Dead in Red Softball Shirts
The Third Degree: Manny's Feet Fail Him on the Bases
Pouring Gas on Fire: Tavarez Is a Perfect Match for A's Offense
Something Positive: 'Tek Heats Up in Hot Weather
Short Story: Gonzo Locks Up Gold Glove

"It's one of those games where we couldn't put the ball in the right spots. They made some nice plays, but we hit some balls hard." -- 7.16.06, Coco's view of things

False Starter

Red Sox pitcher Kyle Snyder stretches while walking towards first after walking Oakland Athletics' Marco Scutaro with the bases loaded to force in Bobby Crosby, rear, for the first run of a five run fifth inning in major league baseball at Fenway Park in Boston Sunday, July 16, 2006.

(AP Photo)

Snyder Fails in Another Fifth Man Tryout

"I ran into some trouble, left a couple balls up, gave up a couple of base hits. The hit batsman cost me that inning. Under the circumstances, they were looking to give me an out with the sacrifice bunt. I hit him and wind up with the bases loaded with nobody out. Just not the best inning." -- 7.16.06, Kyle Snyder's remark

Stick a Fork in New York?
Not So Fast As Yanks-Sox Tied in Loss Column

'Feeding the Monster': Bill James on Sox and Steroids

Big Schutout

Big Schutout

Boston Red Sox vs Oakland A's at Fenway Park - Curt Schilling went 7 strong innings of shutout baseball.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

The Stopper Puts an End to Losing Streak, 7-0
Curt Puts Up Winning Numbers to Improve to 11-3

Sleeping Papi Wakes Up with Homer, 3 RBIs
Double Trouble: Lowell Goes for Two More Than Once
Call of the Game: 'Tek Gets Popped and Gets Props from Schilling
Accidents Will Happen: Swisher Gets Nicked, Ticked
That's Just Milton Being Milton
In the Near Future? Delcarmen in the Eighth, Hansen in the Ninth

"I'm aware of what's going on and how things are going. We got clobbered last night and our bullpen's taxed a little bit and I know that's what they pay me to do. They pay me to go out there and, on nights like this, give our offense a chance to put pressure on." -- 7.15.06, Curt Schilling earned his paycheck

DiNardo’s Days of Uncertainty

20/20 Commentary

FARM REPORT by Gary Jacobs

DiNardo’s Days of Uncertainty

Boston Red Sox's Lenny DiNardo delivers a pitch to Baltimore Orioles' Melvin Mora during the first inning of MLB baseball at Fenway Park in Boston, Sunday, May 7, 2006. DiNardo gave up two hits and two runs over five innings.

(AP Photo)

JULY 14, 2006 | PAWTUCKET -- - Just when the Sox need him most, Lenny DiNardo’s future is as murky as it ever was.

DiNardo, 26, was a Rule 5 pickup, plucked from the Mets organization. His first big-league year was 2004, when he made 22 appearances for the Big Club, giving up 13 earned runs in 27 2/3 innings pitched for a 4.23 ERA. His contributions to that team earned him a certain gaudy piece of jewelry with his name on it.

2005 saw him doing split time between Pawtucket and Boston, his Rule 5 obligation having ended in December of 2004. In limited appearances that season he excelled, giving up only three earned runs in 14 2/3 innings pitched, good for a 1.87 ERA. Everything was in place for DiNardo to enjoy a breakout year. But it just hasn’t worked out that way.

DiNardo’s numbers were brutal for 2006, though in fairness he pitched better than those numbers would indicate: though he’s saddled with a 1-2 record and a lofty 7.11 ERA, most of the damage was done in two poor outings - April 22 in Toronto, where he gave up seven earned runs in three innings, and May 21 in Philadelphia, where he gave up four earned runs in two innings (and after which he was placed on the DL because of neck pain). Excluding those games from his record reveals that in his other five appearances he was good for a respectable 3.98 ERA.

Of course, every pitcher’s numbers look better when you throw away his worst two outings but the exercise is still valuable as it proves that when he’s healthy, he’s everything the Red Sox need: a capable, young, inexpensive left-handed No. 5 starter or long-relief man.

But the neck pain that sidelined DiNardo on May 24 hasn’t gone away. In fact, it appears to have gotten worse rather than better. His first live pitching assignment since he went on the DL, a rehab start in Pawtucket July 14, couldn’t possibly have gone worse: not only did he give up four runs, facing only four batters (walk, single, single, grand slam), but he attributed his poor performance directly to his injury.

“I don’t think I was near ready,” said a downcast DiNardo immediately after his performance. “I couldn’t extend enough – every time I do extend out here [points to his left shoulder and pantomimes a pitching motion] that’s when I could feel the nerve just getting pinched down to my scapula into my fingertips. And that’s in the back of my mind every time I throw. Once I feel that once, I’m like, there it is. And from then on it’s like throwing darts instead of extending and throwing.”

Indeed, after 16 pitches, his night was over and once again DiNardo faces more questions than answers regarding his ability to pitch.

One of the most frustrating elements of his rehabilitation is the fact that he thought he was making progress. “Everything had been going well – but you know, you’re going to have setbacks, and not everything’s going to go by smooth, and that’s what happened today.”

He’s even turned to acupuncture –- and is encouraged by the results.

“[I started it] six days before the All-Star break,” he said. “I felt like that was really working, so I’ll keep doing that.”

DiNardo’s next move is to consult with the medical staff at Fenway. He left immediately after the game and was expected to meet with team doctors on Saturday. In the meantime, DiNardo has nothing to do but think healthy thoughts and do whatever the doctors tell him to do.

“Keep on keepin’ on,” said DiNardo, shaking his head. “That’s my attitude.”

Gary can be reached at farmreport@cox.net.

Way Back Machine

Way Back Machine

Josh Beckett Gives It Up Again

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

A Good Old Fashioned A's Kickin', 15-3

Oh My Josh! Way Beckett Gives Up Major League Worst 27th Homer
From A's to Zito: Sox Drop Third Straight in Grand Fashion
Milton Bradley Doesn't Think Coco Has a Monopoly on Great Catches
Alex GonzalEz: Defensive Miscues Continue for Infield
That's Just Julian Being Julian

"No excuses. It was brutal. The score ended up looking like that. It was just brutal." -- 7.14.06, Josh Beckett on the bottom line

Big Sloppy, LorEtta

Edes mailbag: A Call for Arms | Extra Bases: Wake's Back Better
Eric Wilbur: Thoughts Adrift on Taylor Hicks, Coco Crisp, Sam Horn, and More


Big Sloppy

Mark Loretta shortly after The Error

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

LorEtta

All-Star 2B Commits Killer Error as Red Sox Turn into Choakland
Defense, Baserunning Blunders Rear Ugly Heads in 5-4 Loss in 11

Speed Kills Too: Willie Embarrass Gets Caught in No Man's Land
Lester is the Wild Child Again, But Avoids First Loss
Nixon, Lowell, Papi Pick Up Where They Left Off in First Half
In the 11th Hour: 'Tek Shot is Not Enough to Win It
Not Ready to Close: Hansen Is Good for an Inning
He Can't Repeat Last Performance: Julian Just Can't Win
Time to Get Him Gone? Boo Birds Turn Attention to Tavarez

"I took my eye off it and it was gone. It was more a mental lapse than anything." -- 7.13.06, Mark Loretta on The Error

High Time for Breslow

Extra Bases: A's Top Sox in 11, 5-4
Today's Gordon Edes Chat Transcript
Eric Wilbur: A Star is Scorned
Photos: From the Maniacal One ...


High Time for Breslow

Red Sox Spring Training at the Red Sox Player Development Complex. Craig Breslow  is hoping to stand out among the many young pitching arms in training camp.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Extra Bases: Cameo for Breslow

Edes Archive: Breslow -- From Yale to the Red Sox

Come to Papi

Come to Papi

Click Here to Listen to 'Come to Papi'

Running the Risk at RemDawg's

Running the Risk
at RemDawg's

Josh Earle, 16, of Roslindale snuck into the June 28 Red Sox-Mets game at Fenway Park --Pedro Martinez's return to the Fenway mound-- by going under the fence on Van Ness Street and into Fenway through RemDawgs on Yawkey Way. Behind him is Sean Driscoll, 16, of Hyde Park.

(Boston Globe Staff Photos / Stan Grossfeld)

Globe: Young Fans Sneak Into Fenway Old School Style
Photo Gallery: Fenway for Free

Fenway Borders Need Better Patrolling
Who Will Head the Department of RemDawg's Security?
Time to Call in the Red Sox National Guard?

"Kids sneak in all the time. Night games are the easiest. You'd be surprised to see what people would do to see a Red Sox game." -- 7.13.06, Edward Polanco, who works at RemDawg's

Young American

Young American

American League All-Star Michael Young of the Texas Rangers hits a two-run triple to take the lead against the National League All-Star team.

(Getty Images Photo / Jim McIsaac)

Same Old Story for NL as AL Comes Back to Win Again, 3-2
Manny's Off the Hook as Michael Young Gets to Old Man Hoffman
to Give Sox Home Field Advantage in Series

Ex-Sox Shortstops Renteria, Sanchez, Eckstein, and Garciaparra Non-Factors for NL
Big Papi Showed No Pop But Flashes the Leather at First
PaplebonStar Gets a Night Off, Loretta 0-for-2

"I'm not going to lie. This is a pretty big highlight in my baseball career. We're all aware of how important this game is." [Except Manny of course] -- 7.11.06, AL MVP Michael Young


Hot Stove, Cool Music Update:
Tonight's Concert Will Take Place Rain or Shine at Fenway
as the Stage and Most of the Seats are in Covered and Under the Right Field Roof
Doors Open at 5:00 p.m. and the Furvis Goes Onstage at 5:30 p.m. (not 6:00 p.m.)
Get the Hot Stove, Cool Music Official T-Shirt Here

Tentative Band Order: 5:30 - Furvis, 6:00 - The Gentlemen, 6:40 - Click 5, 7:10 - Kay Hanley, 7:50 - Cowboy Mouth, 8:25 - Ayla Brown, 8:55 - Howie Day, 9:20 - James Taylor,
10:00 - Buffalo Tom followed by the All-Star Jam

Chat Transcript from 'Feeding the Monster' Author Seth Mnookin
Midseason Report: Grade the Red Sox First-Half Performance

A Star is Born

A Star is Born

American League All-Star Jonathan Papelbon Boston of the Red Sox and guest take part in the 2006 MLB All-Star red carpet arrivals outside of PNC Park on July 11, 2006 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

(Getty Images Photo / Christian Petersen)

Papelbon Arrives on the Red Carpet

SI On Campus: Q&A with Craig Hansen
Bradford: For Cooper, This Was Meaningful

More Budslinging

More Budslinging

Bud Selig and Manny Ramirez

(AP Photos)

Extra Bases: Selig Still Upset About Missing Manny
Will Carroll: 'Manny Has Small Tear in the Medial Meniscus'

Warning Track Papi

Warning Track Papi

American League All-Star David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox bats during the Home Run Derby at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

(Reuters Photo)

Globe: Papi is Always a Big Attraction

For the Third Straight Year, Ortiz Can't Get Out of Second Round in HR Derby
But He Put on a Big Show the First Time Around


More Days in First Place

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Johnson Waxed

Johnson Waxed

Red Sox bullpen coach Al Nipper talks to pitcher Jason Johnson (18) in the first inning of a interleague baseball game against the Florida Marlins on Friday, June 30, 2006, at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

(AP Photo)

Another One Bites the Dust
Johnson Demoted to the Minors

Papelbon Doesn't Expect to Pitch in All-Star Game
Ortiz Not Worried About Taking Extra Swings

 THEO EPSTEIN CHAT TRANSCRIPT:
Theo Epstein checked in with Boston.com on the Red Sox and his upcoming Hot Stove, Cool Music concert.

'Feeding' Frenzy
Mnookin: Joe O'Donnell and WEEI | Listen: Joe O Slams 'Feeding'
Outtakes: Tito on Theo, Damon, Foulke, and the Attention in Boston
Edes: Epstein's Issues, Manny's Mouth, and Scaring John Henry
Globe Magazine: The Breakup: All About Theo and Lucchino
Sneak Peek: Boras Orchestrates Damon’s Move
Globe Review: John Henry Would Love It
Seth Mnookin Chat Wed. at Noon

19th Hole

19th Hole

Chicago White Sox Tadahito Iguchi is cheered by teammate Brian Anderson after Iguchi hit the game winning RBI single against the Boston Red Sox in the 19th inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 9, 2006, in Chicago. The White Sox defeated the Red Sox 6-5.

(AP Photo)

Sox Lose Sweep Over It As Seanez Succumbs in 19th

Long Story, Bad Ending: White Sox 6, Red Sox 5
Win Blown City: Papelbon, Timlin Can't Close in Chicago
Rumor Has It Tiant Was Warming Up in the Pen
Way Back When: Schilling Pitched a Nice Game, Delcarmen Delivered
5th Starter Material? Tavarez Goes the Extra Mile Perfectly
Star Shines: Loretta Did What It Takes to Win
Nice Catch Nixon with the Ugly 0-for-9 Line
Let It Be Noted: Jason Varitek is Hitting .232 at the Break
Time to Move Hot Coco Back to Leadoff?

"It was mentally and physically exhausting trying to concentrate for that many pitches. It's grueling. It's emotionally draining. It becomes really an endurance match after a while. ...It's deflating when you have a lead and they come back a couple of different times." -- 7.9.06, All-Star 2B Mark Loretta on the Longest Game

The Big Red Sox Machine

The Big Red Sox Machine
Is Firing on All Cylinders

Red Sox' Alex Cora, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, from left, joke around while warming up before a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox in Chicago, Saturday, July 8, 2006.

(AP Photo)

Everybody Hits As Boston Batters Chicago Again

Sox Escape Big Trouble and Show Chicago Who's Boss in the AL, 9-6
In the Big Inning: Lopez Strikes Out Thome, Hansen Gets Konerko, Dye
Four More Years: Nixon Takes His Gold Glove Show on the Road
Cora Leads the Two-Out Rally Brigade
Ortiz is Hot, Hot, Hot: Big Papi Pounds No. 31
Coming Up Clutch: Mirabelli Gets Into the Act Too
All-Star Effort: Man-knee Has a Better Than Average Afternoon
Summer of 62? Will Beckett Give Up More Homers Than Maris Hit?
Another Four-Out Close: Papelbon's On His Game

"I can't say enough of those guys [relievers Javier Lopez and Craig Hansen] coming in and getting out of that situation without giving up any runs. That's phenomenal to come in with no outs and Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye coming up. That's unbelievable." -- 7.8.06, Beckett on his Big Bad Bullpen

Kid Rocks

Kid Rocks

Red Sox Jon Lester pitches in the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Friday, July 7, 2006, in Chicago. The Red Sox won 7-2.

(AP Photo)

The Les You Know the Better
Jon Works His Way Out of Jams Again to Get a Win

Red Sox Roll Over World Champs, 7-2
Rookie Move: Lester Socks It to Ozzie's Bunch, Goes to 4-0
Summer of 62? Papi Belts 30th Homer; Is Maris's Record in Jeopardy?
Three Cheers for the 'Pen: Delcarmen, Timlin, Tavarez Chip In for the Win
Crisp Breaks 0-for-23 Skid with Bloop Single, Homer
Manny Goes 0-for-5, Should Gonzo (4-for-4, .284) Bat Cleanup?
Steady as They Come: Mike Lowell

"I was just fortunate enough to get out of there with one run each time. With the lineup they have, it feels good to get a win and do halfway decent against them." -- 7.8.06, Rookie sensation Jon Lester

So Manny Questions

So Manny Questions

Manny Ramirez and Terry Francona

(2004 Boston Globe File Photo / Jim Davis)

Extra Bases: Manny Is Officially Out of All-Star Game

Should Manny Be Playing in Pittsburgh for the American League?
Will the Hot-Hitting All-Star Sit Out Sunday with His 'Bad Knee'?
What If the Sox Lose Home Field Advantage in the Series?
Should Manny Be on the Ballot Next Year?
Do All-Star Voters Deserve Better?
Did Selig Go Along with This?
Does Anyone Care?

Late Show with David Numberman

Late Show with
David Numberman

BDD_DO_7.6_gett.jpg

(Getty Images Photo / Doug Benc)

AVG .277 | HR 29 | RBI 82 | OBP .384 | SLG .605

He Done Done It Again, Sox Win 12-5
We Kneeded It: Manny, Belli Hit Big Dome Runs
Back in the Win Column: Sore Wake Grinds Out a Victory
Gonzo Now Hitting .272 with All the Defense Too
'Pen Sans Seanez, Tavarez Hangs In

"I just figured that hitting the ball up there, no way they can catch it. They've really been playing some extreme defense, so I've got to stay where the ball is and try to hit it as hard as I can." -- 7.6.06, David Ortiz, King of Pain

Nomar Starciaparra: Fan Favorite Returns to Star Status
Hip Check: Pedro Goes on 15-Day DL, First Time With Mets

Big Carry

Frank Galasso Illustration


Big Papi = AL MVP

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist -- Big Papi = AL MVP Image / Brian G.)

Extra Bases: Peter Gammons is Improving
Feeding the Monster: Nomar on His Achilles, Soccer, and the Sox
Eric Wilbur: Deja Review

Vote Yes for Nomar

Vote Yes for Nomar

Nomar Garciaparra of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a double in the 5th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 5, 2006 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

(Getty Images Photo / Lisa Blumenfeld)

Let's Give Our Boy the Loretta Treatment
And Give Him a Late Push to Pittsburgh
Voting Ends at 6:00 p.m.

Home Invasion

Home Invasion

Tampa Bay Devil Rays' Carl Crawford (13) beats the tag from Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek as he steals home during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, July 5, 2006, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

(AP Photo)

Crawford, Rays Pull a Fast One
Is the Sky Falling in the Dome?

Flop in the Trop: Sox Drop Third Straight, 5-2
Also-Ran? The Immortal Tim Corcoran Runs Through Sox Lineup
Pleading the 5th Starter: Johnson Makes Clement Look Like Pedro
When the Heat Is Off, Julian Tavarez Becomes a Flamethrower
Youkidding Me? The First Baseman is in a Batting Slump
And the Center Fielder is Hitting .261 with 3 HR, 13 RBI
'Tek Goes Deep But His Average (.244) Has Taken a Dive Too

"I said it's going to be do or die. I'm going to take this chance right here. If I'm out, I'm out. If I'm safe, everybody will be happy about it." -- 7.5.06, Carl Crawford on his home run

Omen 2006: The Annual Conflict

The Nation Speaks

Omen 2006: The Annual Conflict

Gregory Peck and David Warner in The Omen

(The Omen, 1976)

You cannot just stick a fork in them and think that will do. No, they must be lured to sacred ground, and there be pierced by the seven Daggers of Megiddo. Not haphazardly mind you, but in specific regions of the corpus and in an exact order as prescribed to Gregory Peck's character in bringing an end to Damien.

Killing the Evil Empire was never supposed to be easy, but enough is enough.

After ripping off 14 wins in their last 15 interleague games, the Red Sox took occasion on what figured to be a little rest-and-relaxation break in St. Petersburg to lift their goggles, glance back, and gauge the separation they've created between themselves and the persistent Yankees: Four games, a five-game improvement from the deficit they found themselves in before interleague play began. Nowhere near enough, given that the supply of National Leaguers is exhausted and Orioles dates are running low.

The Yankees were cast from the American League East cockpit on June 18 and it was the Red Sox' thumb that depressed the ejection button. Yet the Bombers still remain tethered to our chassis by the thinnest of whipcords in vintage Indiana Jones fashion and it will again take a summer's labor to sever that lifeline.

After a fortnight of revelry around The Hub, a look to October was tempting despite the painful lesson we learned last year. On Aug. 10, the Red Sox held a season-high 5½-game lead over the Yankees with 49 to play. Fans officially pronounced the American League East closed for the season. It was as if 1978 never happened. Though Boston closed with a respectable 29-20, New York kicked it into another level altogether with a 35-14 run that carried them to their clincher on the final Saturday of the season.

Last year's Yankee comeback was brought about by the confluence of New York sorcery and Boston mediocrity, both of which conspired to grant the Empire its eighth consecutive division title. To avert a repeat, the Sox may do well to employ those seven daggers.

The first should be used to sever Randy Johnson's second half. It's hard to believe the Old Unit is having a more productive season this year. Through Independence Day, he is 9-7, albeit with a 5.25 ERA, compared to 7-6 and a 4.24 ERA one year ago. But last July 5, RJ's season turned around with a 12-3 win over Baltimore that began a 10-2, 3.32 ERA run and gave the Yankees their ace for the second half.

Johnson is but one head of the Yankees' big salary Hydra, and no dagger is sharp enough to cut George's purse strings. With so much capital invested in a 25-man roster, one superstar is always stepping up when another falters. Even with three everyday starters out, six current or former All-Stars still fill the lineup card.

This year, the Yankees are 24-14 with at least two of their three stud $13 million outfielders in the lineup, but 22-21 with only one. However, neither Gary Sheffield nor Hideki Matsui is due back until September, vesting the onus for production in the bats of Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez. To date, the former is delivering consistently, the latter only in blowouts. But if last week's walkoff homer should awaken the sleeping dog within A-Rod, no dagger may do.

Another is needed to cut through the smoke and mirrors, which are particularly thick and illusory in the Bronx. They can make Tony Clark appear an MVP first baseman or Tanyon Sturtze a shutdown middle reliever. Last year's illusions were Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon, one a 34-year old minor leaguer, the other a lifetime 24-45 pitcher. They combined for a 17-3 record that lifted a Yankees rotation reeling from the absences of their big-name acquisitions.

But this year, there is no veteran pop off the bench. Sturtze is out for the season, Small has been designated for assignment, and Chacon has been ineffective. However, with the trade deadline about four weeks away, there is plenty of time for more of GM Brian Cashman's wizardry.

Next, how about cutting off the supply lines from Trenton and Columbus? Turns out the Cashman farm system is not as bad as Baseball America and media pundits have led us to believe. We've heard for three years how the Yankees have no trading inventory or reinforcements in the minors. Yet last year, Robinson Cano came up to hit .297 with 14 homers in 132 games, while pitcher Chien-Ming Wang went 8-5 in 17 starts.

This year, Cano has been joined by Melky Cabrera and Andy Phillips, and the threesome has combined for a .289 average and .335 OBP through Tuesday. Wang is 8-4 and newcomer Scott Proctor makes nightly appearances out of the pen.

Into a second month of injury relief, the gold dust has yet to settle. Cano hit .398 in June before going on the DL, although his power and production (4 HRs, 27 RBIs) are on a fractional pace with 2005. Cabrera has cooled to .227 over his last 31 games, but Phillips is an even .300 over his last 35. Wang has only four quality starts in his last nine outings, but not a day passes without mention of the name Phillip Hughes. Not bad for MLB's 17th-best farm system.

No one owns the Yankees the way the Yankees own others. Among their portfolio is Minnesota, from whom they garnered 23 wins in 27 games and two ALDS victories between 2002 and 2004, and Oakland, who provided 14 wins in 18 tries over 2004 and 2005. A dagger must be dedicated to shredding these deeds.

So far, so good. Minnesota has won five of its last nine against the Bombers, while Oakland capped a 6-3 season with a three-game sweep in Yankee Stadium earlier this month. If hands could only be laid on that Orioles title, the division would be secure.

The next dagger is for killing those pesky Yankee rallies in which everything seems to fall just right. Last year, there was Cleveland, the Mets, back-to-back games against the Angels, and a five-run ninth against Kansas City in late August. They've collected a few this year, 14-13 over Texas in mid-May after trailing by nine runs, and the improbable 5-4 comeback engineered off Mets closer Billy Wagner four days later after striking for four runs in the ninth. But karma may finally be retaliating against them, as in their recent loss of a seven-run lead in Washington. There will have to be less of the former and more of the latter to avert another Yankees divisional title this year.

The last dagger is for their intestinal fortitude. It is the toughest of the evils to kill and can only be approached once all others have been extinguished. In fact, this prerequisite is part of the final killing. For, without the $16 million pitchers and $13 million outfielders, without the parade of over-performing youngsters and journeymen, without subservient American League clubs, it's hard to maintain that drive to take three straight from a Tigers team that had won 15 of its last 17, or back-to-back wins against the Marlins, winners of 10 of their last 11.

In the end, the real dagger may once again be the Red Sox themselves. They were an integral part of last year's 5½-game squander. It's too early to speculate on whether and for how long the Sox will keep this year's East open.

Despite a recent run against National Leaguers, June 11 remains the last date Boston beat an American League team. After its top two starters surrendered six home runs in last-place Tampa, the Sox have now lost six straight to AL teams and are only 34-29 overall. Take Baltimore out of the equation and it's a sobering 26-28.

So, the longing in Red Sox Nation for the companionship of our brethren from the Bronx continues. Bidding them adieu seems akin to saying goodbye to summer itself. The Yankees linger. The Sox enable.

It will be an uphill battle for New York to run another 35-14 table, but with Boston holding all the daggers, the Yankees won't be finished until October. And no incidental slice from the blade will fall this demon. After all, this is baseball, not the movies.

-- Bob Ekstrom, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and writer at Sports Central

Crunch Tyme

Crunch Tyme

Tampa Bay Devil Rays' Dioner Navarro congratulates Ty Wiggington after Wiggington's solo home run off Boston Red Sox starter Curt Schilling during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 4, 2006, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

(AP Photo)

Schill Comes Up Short as Wiggington Goes Long Again

Losing Streak at Two After 9-6 Drubbing by D-Rays
Stuck in the Middle: Another Three-Homer Day for Big Curt
Kap Pops on the 4th: Gabe Hits Homer, Goes 3-for-4
Too Little, Too Late: 'Manny Ortez' Homers Again
Timlin Ensures Comeback Falls Short

"You can say what you want about being the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but that's not the expansion Devil Rays any more. That's a very, very good offense top to bottom, an American League offense. I would put that lineup against a lot of lineups in this league. When they get pitching, they're going to win games." -- 7.4.06, Curt Schilling on the Tenacious Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Feeding the Monster: Schill on Signing with the Sox

Casey Possum

Devil Rays starter Casey Fossum pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the third inning, Tuesday, July 4, 2006, at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

(AP Photo)

Sox Bats Play Dead for Casey

Extra Bases: No Word from MLB on Manny
Edes Mailbag: Tough Time for 'Tek
Eric Wilbur: Left Hook

Kazmanian Devil Dogs Sox Again

Kazmanian Devil
Dogs Sox Again

Tampa Bay Devil Rays starter Scott Kazmir pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the ninth inning Monday, July 3, 2006 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Kazmir pitched a complete game two-hit shutout, striking out 10 batters. The Devil Rays won 3-0.

(AP Photo)

Hey Now, He's an All-Star ... And He's 5-2 Against the Sox

And All That Kaz: Devil Rays 3 Runs, Sox 2 Hits
Fit to Be Tyed: Wigginton Takes Beckett Deep Twice
Yikes! Josh Has Given Up 23 HRs in 104 Innings

"They always say solo home runs are not going to kill you. In a game like this, they will. He's pitching great. That was just the bottom line. He pitched better than me. That's why they won and that's why we lost." -- 7.3.06, Josh Beckett breaks down the reasons why

Oh, What a Relief It Is

Oh, What a Relief It Is

Red Sox relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon pumps his fist after defeating the Florida Marlins 4-3 in a baseball game, Sunday, July 2, 2006, at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

(AP Photo)

Pap, Pap Is, Is

Sox Win a Squeaker, 4-3
Timlin the Win, Delcarmen Holds, Papelbon Appetite No. 25
1-2-3 Punch: Youk, 'Tek, 'Tiz Get Sox Out of the Gate
All-Star Production: Loretta's Fly is the Biggest RBI
Thank You Tavarez, Sincerely, Jon Lester's Win

"You've got to make your own breaks. We put ourselves in a bind a couple times, but we battled out of it. If it was easy every day, there'd be a team that wins 140 games a year." -- 7.2.06, Kevin Youkilis on winning baseball games

Papelbon, Manny, Ortiz, Loretta named All-Stars; Schilling snubbed
('Net Vote Puts Sox 2B On the Team)

2 + 2 = 9

2 + 2 = 9

Manny Ramirez watches the 2,000th hit of his career, a three-run home run off Florida Marlins pitcher Brian Moehler. David Ortiz gestures at home plate after hitting a solo home run off Florida Marlins pitcher Anibal Sanchez in the third inning.

(AP Photos)

'Manny Ortez' Does the Math (4 HRs, 9 RBIs Combined)

Saturday Night Fish Fry: Sox 11, Marlins 5
Dominican Dynamite Explodes at Dolphin Stadium
The Error of Their Ways: Belli, Gonzo Gaffes End Streaks
More Runs for Wake: Tim Improves to 6-8

"I just got the ball on the end of my fingers. It's going to happen." -- 7.1.06, Alex Gonzalez on committing second error this season

Frank Galasso Illustration

(Boston Dirt Dogs / Frank Galasso, cartoonist)

Friday, 13th? Jason Lives, Streak Dies.

Friday, 13th?

Red Sox bullpen coach Al Nipper talks to pitcher Jason Johnson (18) in the first inning of a interleague baseball game against the Florida Marlins on Friday, June 30, 2006, at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

(AP Photo)

Jason Lives, Streak Dies.

Whatchoo Talkin' 'Bout? Willis. Marlins 5, Sox 2
Johnson Wasn’t Randy as Eight of First 11 Batters Reach
Boo Who? Road Sox Nation Lets Johnson Have It Right Off the Bat
Make No Mistake, Sox Play Error-Free for 17th Great Game
Gonzo and Lowell Overcome Ovations, Get Hits
And Win What Pedro Calls the ‘Most Important Game’
Manny Keeps Pounding Away

"I had a lot of adrenaline in the first couple innings. I was throwing too hard and trying to impress. The last couple of innings I settled down and threw the ball where I wanted to." –- 7.30, Jason Johnson on his horrific streak-stopping start

Audio Slideshow: Dominicans Root for the Home Team
Extra Bases: By the Numbers | Gallery: Streaking Sox
Eric Wilbur: Lowell Homes In | Gallery: Sox-Marlins Connection
Feeding the Monster: Look Back at the Schilling Signing

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Globe:

Red Sox end losing streak > Shaughnessy: Debunking myths about the 2014 Red Sox > Cherington: Everyone needs to get better

Boston Herald:

Ortiz, Red Sox bats break out to end losing streak > Buchholz still bewildered > Memory loss haunting Red Sox

ProJo:

Lester was once a good hitter, now heading toward dubious record > Travis Shaw brings hot bat to Pawtucket > Ranaudo shines > Betts not a candidate for Boston, yet

NY Post:

St. Louis lets Ozzie Smith bid Jeter goodbye > Yanks prevail in extras again > Nonsense leads off in MLB broadcasts > Beltran elbow on mend

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