Up to Their Old Tricks

(BDD Photo Illustration / Mike Briggs www.mikebriggz.com)

And Stop the Presses: 'Tek Files for Free Agency

Phils Lead Rays Early

Jason Bartlett of the Tampa Bay Rays is tagged out at home plate by catcher Carlos Ruiz of the Philadelphia Phillies to end the top of the seventh inning during the continuation of game five of the 2008 MLB World Series on October 29, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Brad Mangin / Getty Images)

Philadelphia Jumps Out on Tampa Bay 4-3 After 3 Innings ...
We're Still Waiting for Bud Selig to Decide What Comes Next ...

We Interrupt This Series ...

BDD -- Steve Harvey says...
(BDD Photo Illustration)

This Just In ...

Tommy Lyons celebrates the Philadelphia Phillies victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Broad Street in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008. The Phillies beat the Rays 4-3 in Game 5 of the series.

The Red Sox Are No Longer the Defending World Champions
Weatherman Bud Selig Says: It's Sunny in Philadelphia
Sox Outcast J.C. Romero Is a World Series Hero

"I'd like to thank my summer house butler, Bob Barker for everything he's done for me, and one of the original kings of comedy, Steve Harvey, whose lost episodes kept me going during the hard times... my first Boston cab driver, Patrick Johnson from Cambridge, who drove me from the airport the first time I landed at Logan, a special thanks to Chevy Richards, the doorman at the Four Seasons for being there when I needed to get inside for lunch, and thank you to Nancy Cambra, my flight attendant on KG's private plane last year..." -- 10.30.08, Celtics captain Paul Pierce, acknowledging the Phillies World Series win over the Rays

World Series All Wet

Fans watch the sixth inning in the pouring rain during Game 5 of the baseball World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays in Philadelphia, Monday, Oct. 27, 2008.

Fans, Philly Get Soaked as Selig Starts Game 5 Before Monsoon
Phils Out-Foxed: Bud Takes the Ball Out of Hamel's Hands

'I Don't Mind All the Rain Talk,' Sincerely, Home Plate Umpire Jeff Kellogg
Bill Conlin: On a Rainy Night in Philly, MLB Drops the Ball

"Phillies fan and climatologist extraordinary Joe Bastardi had fired off an angry 6:30 p.m. update to his blog on AccuWeather's professional site under the headline: 'Cancel the Game Tonight.'

Bastardi wrote there was no way in hell or Sea World the rain would let up. Indeed, a rapidly developing coastal storm off the Mid-Atlantic States had slowed the progress of a massive upper low funneling cold air across the Great Lakes. Result: The worst weather fiasco in World Series history and another stain on the boobs who run the cash-obsessed national pastime." -- 10.28.08, Bill Conlin, Philadelphia Inquirer

BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg
(BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg)

Four Years Ago Tonight ...

BDD -- 2004 World Series
(BDD Photo Illustration / Staz)

... Everything Changed Forever

"Red Sox fans have longed to hear it: The Boston Red Sox are world champions!" --10.27.04, 11:40 p.m., Joe Buck, Fox Sports

Hammerin' Youk-on

BDD Photo Illustration / Michelle Schacht
(BDD Photo Illustration / Michelle Schacht)

Youkilis Humbled by Hank Aaron Award

"I don't think I could ever compare myself to Hank Aaron in any way. I'll never see myself at that level. So to win this award, I'm a little humbled by it." -- Youk on winning the Hank Aaron Award

Scenes from the '08 Rolling Rally

BDD Photo Illustration -- Fans line the streets of Boston during the 2008 rolling rally honoring the Wild Card Champion Boston Red Sox
(BDD Photo Illustration)

Boston Celebrates the 2008 Wild Card Champion Red Sox
What a Difference a Year Makes, Eh Mike?

Mazz: "According to a club source, the Sox already have had internal discussions about Teixeira and would likely make room for him by trying to trade Lowell, who has two years and $25 million remaining on a three-year, $37.5 million contract he signed before last season." -- 10.23.08, Tony Massarotti, Boston.com

A Different World

5/21/96 -- Red Sox vs. Mariners Sox pitching coach Sammy Ellis takes trip to mound to have a word w/ Sox No. 50 Jamie Moyer + Sox No. 11 Tim Naehring looks on
(Jonathan Wiggs / Globe 1996 File Photo)

Still Not Over the Hill Lefty Goes in Philly Tonight
Just How Old Is the Ageless Jamie Moyer?
He Was a 10-Year Vet When the Sox Had Him in '96

The 7-1 Moyer Was a Difference-Maker for the Third Place Champion 1996 Red Sox
And In One of the Worst Trades in the History of Baseball (Thanks Dan Duquette)...
Moyer Was Moved to Seattle for the Immortal Darren Bragg

Dead Ringers

BDD... Ced said...
(BDD Photo Illustration)

The Cowbell Clan Didn't Have Much to Make Noise About

Globe: Phillies Get Jump on Rays, 3-2
Schilling Breaks Silence, Rips Manny to Shreds for Greed, Dumping on Team
Here We Go... John Heyman-Boras Throws Out the $27.5m Number for Manny
The Disingenuous Boras Spin on Tek Begins
We All Want D-Lowe Back, Especially the Inside Track
The New York Post's Kevin Kernan Wants Your Hate Mail

Jimy and Zimmy

Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Jimy Williams, left, talks to Tampa Bay Rays senior baseball advisor Don Zimmer before Game 1 of the baseball World Series in St. Petersburg, Fla., Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008.

You Can't Swing a Bat Without
Hitting a Former Red Sox Manager in Tampa

Fresh from the Oven

Boston Dirt Dogs -- Fresh from the Oven ...
(BDD Photo Illustration)

The 2008 Blame Cake Is Done ... Bon Appetite!

BDD - 2008 Red Sox Blame Cake
(BDD Photo Illustration)

Beckett Was a Bust from the Gut-Go to Game 2
Mike Timlin's 11th Inning Farewell Stop Brought to You By Terry Francona
Henry, Werner, Lucchino Mishandled Manny in the Spring, and Lost Badly in the Fall
The Captain Was What They Said He'd Be by the 4th Year of That Contract
Bad Contracts Galore: The Shape of Things Today Is Papi Inc. Has Become Too Big
Stolen Summer: Manny Ramirez Quit and Spit on His Town and Team
Your Turn: Who Do You Blame?

Mazz Has the 5 Biggest Offseason Questions for the Sox
Touching All the Bases: Listening in on Tito's Exit Rants
Boston Sports Blog: Designated Option

Eric Wilbur: "... Do you dare try to trade David Ortiz? Allow yourself to forget about the past, an inherent must in looking to the future. Put aside the memories, the plaque honoring him as the Greatest Clutch Hitter in Red Sox History. Forget about 2004, the 54-home run season, and the constant reflections of "He did it again," and rewind to your most recent memories of Ortiz, a 2008 season that was subpar by his lofty standards, indeed, and a postseason that gave a quick glimpse of his past in Game 5 of the ALCS, but little else." -- 10.22.08, Eric Wilbur, Boston Sports Blog

Bust See TV
BDD - Steve Harvey says ...
(BDD Photo Illustration)

The 2008 World Series Slogan...
No Manny. No Sox. Tonight On Fox.

Meanwhile Back in Boston, Tito Needs Back Surgery
Mazz Takes a Look at a Roster of Issues for the Red Sox
Phillies Pitching Coach Says John Farrell's Crew 'Made a Lot of Mistakes'
Time for Beckett to Rest | Did Ramirez Have to Go?
Mike Lowell Is Officially Coming Off Surgery

Mazz: "Prepare now for the spin control as this could get nasty. The Sox want him back, but on their terms. Meanwhile, despite the slip in production and Varitek's age -- he'll be 37 in April -- agent Scott Boras is likely to enter negotiations with unrealistic demands. If the Red Sox turn him loose, they need to find a replacement. But where?" -- 10.21.08, Tony Massarotti breaks down the Red Sox roster status and prognosis

Everybody Hurts

BDD - SoxNation.net illustration

The Bottom Line:
The $43,820,598 Team Is Playing Tonight.
Theo's $133,440,037 Team Is Not.
All Because of Game 2.

The Short Goodbye

(Video in partnership with Red Socks Diaries | Illustrations by Mike Briggs)

As October Goes by Without Them, Papi and Manny
Lament the End of a Beautiful Friendship

An Even Shorter Goodbye: Sox Returned to Boston with No Fans to Greet Them

So Good, So Good?

BDD - Manny on TMZ.com

Manny's a Bad Man...
Ramirez Said It Was 'Good, Good' That the Sox Lost Game 7
But He Didn't Watch... That's What Old Friends are For

Forget About Manny Re-signing with the Dodgers ...
Mr. I-Need-My-Space-for-Sushi Just Had His First Run-In with TMZ in LA

TMZ: Did you watch the AL Championship game today, Game 7?.... Manny: No I didn't... TMZ: Tampa Bay took it... Manny: Good, good

Boston Red Sox Jed Lowrie, who pinch hit for Alex Cora in the 9th but grounded out starting the Rays celebration.
(Barry Chin / Globe Staff Photo)

Just Three Measly Hits for the Sox as Garza, Price Get World Serious

That's All She Wrote, Thanks for the Memories
Recap from Tampa: Rays Win 3-1, Felt Like 10-1

J.D. Drew of the Boston Red Sox reacts after striking out to end the eighth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game seven of the American League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs on October 19, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida
(Doug Pensinger / Getty Images Photo)

ALCS Game 7 Box: Tampa Rays 3, Boston 1
Lester Was Good, Garza Was Beyond Great
Aybar, Longoria Blast Rays into the Series
Price Is Right: This Time, Drew Can't Come Through...
Bats Go Silent at The Worst Possible Time
Oh No, Coco Could Have Made It to Second Base in the Eighth
Thousands of Sox Fans Went to Bed Early, Missed Potential Comeback
This Just In: Eliot Tatelman Is Not Buying You a Bedroom Set, Suckahs
Lasting Memory: The Nation Turned It's Lonely Eyes to Jed Lowrie
Nothing Worked as Even Rick Melanson Had His Shirt Off for the Top of the Ninth
The Sox Really Could Have Used the Big Bat of Man... err Nevermind
Jason Varitek Gets Right Back to Looking Lost at the Plate
Mr. Big: Pedro Ripped Into One in the First, Silenced St. Pete
Why the Division Matters, Dummy: You at Home, You Win This One
Are You Ready for Some Patriots Foot... err Nevermind
We'd Rather Watch More Steve Harvey Re-runs Than Rays-Phillies

Do You Hear What I Hear?

BDD -- Frank Galasso Illustration
(BDD / Frank Galasso Illustration)

SpecTekular Bid

Boston Red Sox Jason Varitek celebrates solo home run in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 of Major League Baseball's ALCS playoff series in St. Petersburg

'Harvey' Wallbanger for the Catcher

Captain Crunches One Out of the Trop, Sox Finish 6 on Top, 4-2

ALCS Game 6 Box Score: The World Champion
Boston Red Sox 4, These Are Greg Vaughn's Devil Rays 2
Globe: Sox Set up a Winner-Take-All Game 7
V-Tek Just Kicked in Yo... Momentum Shift in High Gear
Say Hi to the Hideki Okajima of 2007
As Always, You Can Climb on the Big Back of Kevin Youkilis When It Counts
Tito Knows Best Once Again: Beckett Was Not a Bust
Outlook Not So Oblique With Lester Letting It All Hang Out Tonight
I'm Still Watching Their Faces, Sincerely David RBI-Guy Ortiz
Big Lame James: Enough About This So-So Starter
This Just In: Tom Dumps Jacoby, Signs Crisp to Launch Coco-water
Masterson's Inning Makes Mike Timlin Nervous
Papelbon Takes Forever to Throw, But It's Worth It

"There's nowhere to run." -- David Ortiz, 10.18.08

Onward and 7-Upward

ALCS game 6 Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays - 10/18/08 - St. Petersburg, FL - The Red Sox bench celebrates after catcher Jason Varitek hits a solo home run to make the score 3-2 Sox int the sixth Saturday night at Tropicana Field.
(Jim Davis / Globe Staff)

"I said, 'We're so spoiled.' It's amazing. It's really amazing the games we play, and how much fun it's been. When we're all old and our children are all grown up, we'll sit around and meet up and talk about games like the game the other day. It's a wild ride, and we're very spoiled." -- 10.18.08, Kevin Youkilis

Are the Defending World Champs Gonna
Raise the Roof at the Trop Tonight?

Saturday Night Live - Sarah Palin
(BDD Photo - Saturday Night Live Screen Image)

You Betcha!

Total BS
Boston Dirt Dogs -- The Steve Harvey Show
(BDD Photo Illustration)

Fans Across the Nation Furious as TBS Cuts Out on Coverage of Steve's High School Hijinx for Some Baseball Game

Bud Selig Says 'Enough is Enough' with the Amateur Hour Coverage and
Moves All MLB Playoff Games to Versus, Effective Immediately

If B.J. Upton Homers and No One on Planet Earth Sees It, Does It Count?
Mass Confusion Across the Country as Viewers Were Expecting to See
'Hanging' with Mr. Cooper' Not 'The Steve Harvey Show'
Wasn't There Another TV Show They Could Have Shown? Sincerely, Frank Caliendo
I Thought Putting on Steve Harvey Was the Right Call. Sincerely, Ken Rosenthal
Even Craig Sager's Sportcoat Was Blushing
Francona Says Harvey Is Available to Work Out of the Bullpen for Game 7

Loose Cannons

Red Sox infielder Dusitn Pedroia laughs during a workout at Tropicana Field Friday, Oct. 17, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Boston plays the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday in Game Six of the ALCS. The Rays did not work out Friday.

Things Are Gettin' Tight... For Tampa

Get All the Latest from Game 6

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

BDD Photo Illustration / Richard Goldrich
(BDD Photo Illustration / Richard Goldrich)

Beckett Gets in Attack Mode for Title Defense
Here We Go Red Sox, Here We Go

One More Time?

(Video in partnership with Red Socks Diaries | Illustrations by Mike Briggs)

With No. 24 Now Home in Florida, and On the Sox Payroll,
The Manny of All Comebacks Is Still Possible

Night of the Living Dead
J.D. Drew (7) celebrates with team mates after driving in the winning run in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game 5 of Major League Baseball's ALCS playoff series in Boston, October 16, 2008.

The Boston Red Sox Are Still Alive After
the Mother of All Comebacks in Game 5

Champs Rise from Six Feet Under in Seventh
Take Rays and Series Back to Tampa

ALCS Game 5 Box: Defending World Champions 8, Stunned Maddonites 7
Globe: Sox Are Alive After Improbable Comeback
Tonight Was the Night that Coco Crisp and J.D. Drew Became Red Soxes
You Can Never Say Enough About Coco Crisp's 10-Pitch At-Bat
I Can't Believe Coco Is Still with the Team. Sincerely, Ken Rosenthal
Masterson... The Daisuke Matsuzaka of Relief Pitchers
And They Helped: Lowrie, Pedroia, Youk Pulled the Comeback Train
That's Just Tito Being Tito, the Most Underrated Manager in Baseball
Welcome Back Se�or October... Not a Second to Soon
Comeback Kids Kickin' It with Kotsay
How You Drewin Tampa Bay?

(BDD Photo Illustration / Meir Weinberg)

"They had their way with us every way possible. And then this place came unglued, and we've seen that before. But because of the situation we're in, it just - that was pretty magical." -- 10.17.08, Terry Francona does it again

Joe the Dumber

BDD Photo Illustration / Richard Goldrich
(BDD Photo Illustration / Richard Goldrich)

When The Going Got Tough,
He Got Fenway Going

Boston Dirt Dogs
(Steve Silva / Boston.com Photos)

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Cowbell
And Who Needs Joe the Plumber to Save Our Campaign
When We've Got Our Very Own Rick from Gardner

When The Sox Were Beaten Down
Rick Melanson Stepped It Up Big Time

Nasty Knobbs Gets Shown the Door

Boston Dirt Dogs Photo
(Steve Silva / Boston.com Photo)

Hulk Hogan BFF and Rays 10th Man
Can't Stay to See the Great Rays Collapse

MLB Video: Watch Knobbs at the Rays' Playoff Rally
YouTube: Knobbs 'Leading the Charge' Outside Fenway
The Scene at Fenway | Game 5 Photos

BDD / SoxNation.net Photo Illustration

Just a Flesh Wound

Boston Dirt Dogs
(Monty Python and the Holy Grail Photo)

The Boston Red Sox Will Fight On Another Day!

The Sox Have The Rays (Say It Together Now) ...
'Right Where They Want Them'

King Arthur Rays: [after Arthur's cut off both of the Black Knight's arms] Look, you stupid Bastard. You've got no arms left.
Black Knight Sox: Yes I have.
King Arthur Rays: *Look*!
Black Knight Sox: It's just a flesh wound. -- from Monty Python and the Holy Grail

This Just In ...

Sign of the Times in Boston
(Boston Globe Photo / BDD Illustration)

The Citgo Sign Is Back With An Ace Lift

Tonight It's All Systems Go, Real Fans Even Threaten to Show

Tito Goes with Joe!

Plumber Joe Wurzelbacher watches the presidential candidate debate in his home in Ohio Wednesday Oct. 15, 2008. Sen. McCain referred repeatedly to Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Toledo, Ohio. Wurzelbacher watched Wednesday night's debate and said he still thinks Senator Obama's plan would keep him from buying the small business that employs him.
(BDD Photo Illustration)

Can Joe the Plumber Be the Sox Stopper?

Leaking News: With Season Quickly Going Down the Drain,
Tito Counters Kazmir Move by Naming Joe the Plumber
as Tonight's Surprise Game 5 Starter

BDD / Frank Galasso Illustration
(BDD / Frank Galasso Illustration)

This Just In: Francona Won't Be Outfoxed By Maddon Again
Tito Plays Chess, While Maddon Plays Checkers

"With Joe throwing tonight, you won't be taxing the bullpen after just five innings like that one [Matsuzaka] over there." -- John

"It's not that I want to punish Joe's success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind him in that overtaxed bullpen that they've got a chance at success, too."
-- Senator Government

A Bad Sign

A small fire charred part of the huge Citgo sign near the top of red triangle  in Kenmore Square in the early afternoon.
(John Tlumacki/Boston Globe Photo)

Omen? Citgo Sign Burns in Small Fire
Maybe It Was Caused By the Fire Tito Saw in Beckett's Eyes After the Fourth Inning Last Saturday?
Or Those Rough-and-Tumble Tampa Bay Fans
with Too Much Time on Their Hands?

Chin Up, Champs!

(Video in partnership with Red Socks Diaries | Illustrations by Mike Briggs)

For the Last ALCS Game at Fenway,
the Sox are Joined by a Few Old Friends

That Empty Feeling

Kevin Youkilis #20 of the Boston Red Sox looks on as the stands are seen nearly empty during game four of the American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays during the 2008 MLB playoffs at Fenway Park on October 14, 2008 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Welcome to Mortuary Park
America's Most Beloved Funeral Home

ALCS Game 4 Box: The Tampa Bay Rays 13, Some Shell of the Red Sox 4
Globe: Waking Nightmare | Shaughnessy: Hard to Find Ray of Hope
First Things First: Wake Start Turns to Quick Funeral at Fenway
Murder's Row Rays Rake Wake for 3 Left-Field Bombs
I'm Still Watching Everybody�s Faces, Sincerely David Ortiz
Keep Cashing In: Should the Slumping 'Tek Take Another Seat?
Big Deal: Ortiz Breaks Out of His Horrific Slump with Garbage-Time Triple
It's the Presence, Stupid: Jason Bay Just Can't ManRam Up
Reports of Sean Casey's Demise... Are Still Spot On
Delcarmen, Timlin The Least of Sox Worries
Brilliant! J.D. Leadoff Backfires on Terry, Too
The Game 4 Scene at Fenway

"I'm in the hospital, had seven hours of back surgery yesterday... the only difference between me and the Red Sox is that I had anesthesia." -- 10.15.08, Bob Lobel phones in from the hospital

Wake Up Red Sox Nation, It's Groundhog Day

BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg
(BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg)

"Sitting through that wasn't a whole lot of fun." -- 10.14.08, Terry Francona, one more time

Until Mr. Positive Steps In

BDD - Frank Galasso Illustration

History Lesson: Sox Are No Amateurs at Comeback Game

99 Problems
Red Sox DH David Ortiz walks back to the dugout after popping out to the SS in the third inning.The Boston Red Sox play the Tampa Bay Rays in ALCS Game 3 at Fenway Park.
(Jim Davis / Boston Globe Staff )

And Ortiz Is the Big One

ALCS Game 4 Box: Tampa Rays 9, Guys Wearing Sox Uniforms 1
Globe: Deep Trouble
Lesterrible, But Sox Offense Was Worse
Pound for Pound, Sox Were No Match for Young and Hungry Rays
Thanks for the Memories Jason Varitek, But It's Time
It's Tim Wakefield and Kevin Cash to the Rescue!
Jacoby Says Buy More 0-Water: AVG. .000, OBP .000, SLG .000
Byrd Wasn't the Answer, Or the Question
Tito's Got 99 Problems But Just 72 Pieces of Gum
No. 99 Problems: Papi Isn't Papi without Manny

"I think some people come to expect you to go out there every single day and be a robot and do it. Unfortunately, that's not the case." -- The fiery Jason Bay, rallying the troops and the fans yet again

Jason Bay stands in front of the scoreboard during the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3 of Major League Baseball's ALCS playoff series in Boston,

This Just In ...

Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a double in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game Four of the National League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs on October 13, 2008 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
(Harry How/Getty Images)

Having Manny Ramirez in the Middle of Your Lineup
Makes All the Difference in the World

Why Dodge the Questions?
Is Not Having Manny Making Papi Look Old, Slow, and Heavy?
Is the Sox Offense Just Average, Even with Jason Bay Leading the Way?
Could the Sox Have Squeezed One More World Series Out of Ramirez?
Why Can't We Get Guys Like That... and Matt Stairs!

If Dr. Charles Made Manny Wigs For Us,
Everything Would Have Been All Right

A fan runs out to get an autograph from Los Angeles Dodgers' Manny Ramirez during pre-game activities before Game 4 of Major League Baseball's NLCS playoff series in Los Angeles October 13, 2008.

The Way They Were ...

(L-R) Actor James Brolin, singer Barbra Streisand, Jamie McCourt and owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Frank McCourt watch Game 4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series during the 2008 MLB playoffs on October 13, 2008 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles
(Harry How/Getty Images)

Doesn't Look Like Babs, Brolin, Frank, and Jamie
Are Going to the World Series Either

The Empty Seats Made More Noise ...

Empty seats with some fans in the stands in the ninth inning. The Tampa Bay Rays plays the Boston Red Sox in game three of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) Monday, Oct. 13, 2008 at Fenway.
(Stan Grossfeld / Boston Globe Staff)

Than the Fat Cats at Fenway Last Night
The Early-to-Leave Pink-Hatted Crowd
Was Quieter Than the Sox Banjo Bats

Fenway Could Use a Few More Men and Women Like Matt Hagan Tonight

Matt Hagan, of Madison, Conn., is known as The 10th man down in the right field corner. Here, Hagan tries to fire up the Fenway troops in the seventh inning when the Red Sox mounted a brief rally.
(Boston.com Photos)

Gotta Bring the Noise If You Want to Beat the Rays
Photos: The Scene at Fenway for Game 3

Shaughnessy: Rays Bring Sox and Fans Down to Earth

"The Rays completely took the crowd out of the game. The Fenway unfaithful booed captain Varitek when he popped up to end the fourth, but for most of the night the ancient yard sounded like the quiet car on the Acela. In the ninth, Fenway looked like Gillette Stadium three weeks ago when the Dolphins went ahead, 38-13. Talk about your alternative universes." -- 10.13.08, Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe

The Swagger Is Gone

BDD - Dead Team Walking
(BDD Photo Illustration)

And the Wheels Have Come Off
the '08 Pennant Express ...

Graphic Design by Carl
(BDD Photo Illustration / Graphic Design by Carl)

There's No Shortage of Players to Throw Under the Bus

The Grady Hunch

BDD: Bad Sports College: Meir Weinberg
(BDD Photo Illustration / Meir Weinberg)

Tito's Beckett and Timlin Moves in Game 2 Remain on the Red Sox Nation Radar as Sox Can't Start Up Again After Letting the Rays Off the Mat in St. Pete

He Misses Manny

(Video in partnership with Red Socks Diaries | Illustrations by Mike Briggs)

Big Pop-Up Misses Manny This Time of Year

More Playoff-Tawk: Papi�s Charity Golf Tournament Needs Celebrities

The Flop at the Trop

The Rays Fernando Perez slides in ahead of the throw with the game winning run. Red Sox pitcher Mike Timlin is in the backround.The Boston Red Sox play the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Two of the ALCS at Tropicana Field
(Jim Davis / Boston Globe Staff )

Things Get Ugly Late Night in One of the Worst Postseason Losses in Red Sox History

It's a Game Two Nightmare as Mike 'No I Haven't Retired Yet'
Timlin Takes the Tough Loss
Gil Velasquez May Have Given the Sox a Cleaner Inning
Is It Easier to Blame the Umps?

Sox Can't Close the Deal in an Extra Frames Fiasco
Mike Timlin, the Mother of All Gas Cans, Got the Ball
J.D. Drew Makes the Best Underhand Throw to Home Ever
Why is Byrd Getting the Sean Casey Treatment?

BDD Photo Illustration / Richard Goldrich
(BDD Photo Illustration / Richard Goldrich)

Grady Francona

Josh Beckett of the Boston Red Sox watches home run by Cliff Floyd of the Tampa Bay Rays during game two of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg -- BDD Photo Illustration; Jim Davis / Globe Staff
(BDD Photo Illustration; Jim Davis / Globe Staff)

"And you're wondering why Beckett is still in this game. And it ties it up at six. The two starters stayed in too long." -- 10.12.08, Dennis Eckersley on TBS

Beckett: 3-HR's, 3 Lost Leads, Banged Around Early and Often
Tito Simply Didn't Stop the Bleeding Soon Enough
It's Timlin Time Again. Mike In the Game... Over

Game 2 Box: Tampa Rays 9, Boston 8 | Extra Bases Recap
Josh Beckett and His 16.62 ERA Just Didn't Execute a Few Pitches...
El Caballitoh! Pedro Breaks Out for a Big Night on the Bases
It Was the Okajima of the Good Old Days
Wild Pitch Wheeler: Dan Is the Embedded Red Sox
Dome Run Derby: Sox Crack Four
Big Popup, Ellsbury Getting Nothing Done in St. Pete
R-Bay-I Machine: Jason Got the Sox Off and Running
Coco, 3 Hits, Nothing to Show for the Effort
The Youk Remains on Fire, 3 Hits Again

"What was Francona thinking bring Beckett back in the 5th, he set up damn near every batter with hitters counts thru 4 innings, Tampa could have had 4 more runs before the 5th. Beckett has been mediocre all year, the move was stupid!" -- 10.11.08, 10:51 p.m., reader Robert Stilwell on behalf of Red Sox Nation

"The Sox fired Grady little for leaving Martinez in to long. Francona should be fired for leaving Beckett in too long. what made him think that Beckett could get Longoria out Beckett should have been taken out in the third inning, bonehead decision by Francona." -- 10.11.08, 10:42 p.m., reader J Donovan on behalf of Red Sox Nation

BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg
(BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg)

1. Thank Tito Again for Bringing Me Back for the 5th
2. Get Ready for the #%&@! Postgame Press Conference
3. Give Up Another Home Run Ball, and Another Lead
4. Throw Another Straight Fastball Right Down the Middle
5. RSVP for 'Greatest Postseason Pitcher Award' Ceremony
6. Go Straight to Arizona and Join API On Nov. 1

But Trouble
Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka heads to the dugout after pitching the seventh inning of game one of the American League Championship series  against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida October 10, 2008.
(Jim Davis / Globe Staff; Reuters)

Sox Rise and Shine, Rays Shut Out in Game 1

Dice-K's Gem Bottom-Line Brilliant, Masterson Just-in Time

ALCS Game 1: Big Bad Boston 2, Cinderella 0
Globe: Sweet Nothings | Photos, Video, and More
The Dice Is Right: Tito Makes the Correct Call for Game 1, May Soon Get Respect
Of Dice and Men: Matsuzaka Walked the Walk, Defending Champs Played Like It
The Escape Artist: Again, Matsuzaka Wiggles His Way Out of Jams
Hide the Women and Children, It's Jonny Gomes
0-for-5 Water: Jacoby's Got Nothing Going On Base
Kevin Youkilis Carries a Big Stick into the ALCS
Hold On: Okajima Didn't Implode, Pena Eager To Get Big Out
Someday David Ortiz Will Return
Feel the Heat... of a Thousand Suns on the Rays Tonight
That's Carl Crawford Doing His Best Manny Ramirez Impersonation in Left
A Jed Lowrie RBI That Would Make Squeeze Scioscia Proud
Bay, Kotsay Get the Party Started for Lowrie
Pap Props: Record 20 2/3 Scoreless Innings Streak
J.D.'s Revenge Coming

"I'm the kind of guy that I watch everybody's faces. I've got the opportunity because I don't have to go out there and play defense. I'm telling you, I saw faces tonight different than what I see in the regular season. I don't blame nobody. It's a lot of pressure out there right now in this game because you have to win; otherwise, you go home."
-- 10.10.08, Big Papi sees the young Rays starting to fade

(BDD / SoxNation.net Photo Illustration)

BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg
(BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg)

Dice-K Looks to Lay the Smackdown Tonight
Updates from Game 1 at The Trop

Crossing Their T's

Tampa Bay Rays Conquer T-Shirt by Majestic Athletic
(Shop.MLB.com image)

The Edsel of T-Shirts, Get Yours Here

We've Got A Better Theme
For Tampa's Little Expansion Team ...

BDD Photo Illustration / Michael Coy and Matt Nackson
(BDD Photo Illustration / Michael Coy and Matt Nackson)

Doing God's Work

ESPN video: McCarver stands by his despicable words

Big Mac Attacks Continue

The Straight Talk Express Rolls on ESPN
McCarver Tells the Nation the Truth About Manny

That's Why He's the Maverick of the Broadcast Booth
McCarver Stands By Comments on the Despicable Dodger
Manny Won't Talk About Laying Down in Boston, But Admits 'Sometimes I Jog It Out'

"When you're not hurt, you play.... I don't see any word that better describes the situation (as despicable), that Manny had in Boston that last week. No, I'm fine with it (using despicable). I was fine with it when I said it." -- 10.8.08, Tim McCarver, who needs to hammer his Manny message home tonight on Fox

This Just In From the Rumor Mill:
McCarver Mulling Red Sox Nation Presidential Run in '09

They're Thick as Thieves:
Ramirez When Cornered, Steals a Page from Mark McGwire's Book:

"I don't want to talk about the past."-- 10.8.08, Manny Ramirez won't address McCarver's charges

"I'm not here to talk about the past."-- 3.17.05, Mark McGwire didn't address direct questions either... how'd that work out for him?

Eric Karros: McCarver's Right About Despicable Manny
So Why Did It Take 8 Months to Get Manny's Donated Lincoln on eBay?
Ramirez Makes a Rare Charity Donation in Boston Last February,
And the Car Is Going Up for Auction in October??
SunSentinel: Women Getting Mohawk-style Bikini Wax to Support The Rays
The Best on TBS: Eck Talks About the Hair

They Live for This

(Video in partnership with Red Socks Diaries | Illustrations by Frank Galasso)

Manny and Big Papi Talk About Bud Selig�s
Ubiquitous MLB Marketing Campaign

Sittin' on the Dock of J-Bay

With Plenty of Time on His Hands, 'RemDawg' Chimes In
with a Song Dedicated to the Red Sox Left Fielder

No Cover Jinx, Please ...

Manny's on the cover of SI's Oct. 13 issue

We've Got Some Unfinished Business
with That One Back in Boston

Verducci: Manny in La La Land
The Price is Wrong: Boras Sets Manny's Price at 5 Years/$85M
MLB.com: Manny: I'm Pulling for the Red Sox
Our New Best Friend: Tim McCarver Rips Manny

"I mean, talk about wearing out your welcome in a town, and it was a long welcome with the Red Sox. But some of the things he did were simply despicable, despicable - like not playing, refusing to play. Forgetting what knee to limp on. And now it's washed, it's gone." -- 10.9.08, Tim McCarver drills the 'despicable' Manny Ramirez

"I've got my boy David Ortiz and [Mike] Lowell and all those guys. I'm pulling for them... That was a good trade. I think it was the right move. [Jason Bay] can run, play the outfield. He's got six tools. I've got five." -- Manny Ramirez, MLB.com

A Man Named Jed


94 HJY Audio: The Ballad of Jed Lowrie

And a BDD Reader Chimes In with Lowrie Lyrics, Hillbillies-Style, Too...

"Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed A poor minor leaguer, barely kept his family fed, Then one day he was swingin at a pitch, And laced a single to right, that clutch son of a bitch!

RBI that is, playoff gold, Red Sox Nation glee.

Well the first thing you know ol Jed's a millionaire, Kinfolk said
"Jed move away from there"
Said "Fenway Park is the place you ought to be"
So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.

Massachusetts, that is. Yuppies, dinks.

Well now its time to say goodbye to Jed and all his friends.
And they would like to thank you folks fer comin to the Fens.
You're all invited back a gain to this locality To watch the Sox crush Tampa Bay in totality

AL pennant that is. Set a spell, Take your shoes off.

Y'all come back now, y'hear? -- To the theme of The Beverly Hillbillies, By Mark Foley

Fenway Fashionista

Craig Sager after the Red Sox Game 4 win
(Boston.com Photo )

TBS' Craig TV Is the Most Colorful Show in Town
DCSportsBlog: 5 Very Interesting Minutes with Craig Sager

"So there's a Hooters here, I went to Hooters the other day in Beijing. I've been to probably 250 Hooters across the country and world. It's the only Hooters I've ever been to that didn't have any Bud Light or blonds. I was very disappointed." -- 8.11.08, Craig Sager, in the DCSportsBlog

Jason Bay scores the winning run during the 9th inning.The Boston Red Sox host the Los Angeles Angels in game 4 of the ALDS series played at Fenway Park in Boston, MA Monday, Oct. 6, 2008
(John Bohn / Boston Globe Staff | Jim Rogash / Getty Images )

Can You Bay-lieve It?
Sox Are Movin' On, Will Play Rays for Pennant

Monday Night ALDS Clinch Box: Boston 3, California 2
Globe: Halo, Goodbye... Sox Walk Off with the Series
Sox Advance to ALCS for the 4th Time in 6 Years
Jason Lives! What a Difference a Bay Makes
A Man of the Hour Named Jed Drove in the Walkoff Winner
Heaven for 7: Blame This Win on the Left Arm of Jon Lester
Tito May Have Run Out of Town for Not Running Out Lester in the 8th
Lost and Found in the Rundown: 'Tek Makes Up for Masterson's Passed Ball
Breaking News: Justin Masterson Needs a Bailout Plan from Congress, Too
Tito Definitely Should Have Left Lester In. Sincerely, Grady Little
Rally Donkey: Suicide Squeeze Sinks Scioscia
El Caballito Is Back in the Saddle Again
That's What You Get When Troy O'Leary Throws Out the First Pitch
For the Last Time, Jon Lester Asked Out of the Game. Sincerely, John McNamara

"The only thing I'm thinking is, 'Get a good jump and don't fall down around third'. I can't imagine that it'll get more intense than this, but it will." -- 10.6.08, Jason Bay came through in the clutch

Familiar Scene in Soxtober

Kevin Youkillis leaps onto Jason Bay and the celebrating Red Sox after they clinched the Division series
(Barry Chin / Globe Staff)

Galleries: Celebration Photos | The Scene at Fenway

"You can't keep a good man down." -- 10.6.08, Dustin Pedroia Pony's Up

A Heavenly Win

BDD / SoxNation.net Photo Illustration
(BDD / SoxNation.net Photo Illustration)

A Juicy Thought

(Video in partnership with Red Socks Diaries | Illustrations by Frank Galasso)

If Manny Comes Back to Fenway for the World Series,
Will He Get the O.J. Treatment?

Ace of Clubbed

Everyone knows that Jeff Napoli's third inning home run is gone, including Josh Beckett, who doesn't even turnaround to watch it, while the Angels dugout celebrate. Jim Davis/Globe Staff) section:sports slug:sox06 Red Sox vs Los Angeles Angels in game 3 of the ALDS series at Fenway.g
(Jim Davis / Boston Globe Staff )

It's Napoli Time for Beckett and Nap Time for Red Sox Nation
Sox Are Sweepless But There's More Baseball in Boston Tonight

The 5-Hour, 19-Minute Box Score: Monkeys 5, Boston 4
Shaughnessy: Loss Spoils the Party | Ryan: Game a Real Drag
Put This One Squarely on the Right Arm of Josh Beckett
Manny Who? Surely Would Have Made a Difference in This One
Tito Must Really Hate That Goofy Sean Casey Video Blog
October Surprise: David Really Does Seem to Struggle Without No. 24's Big Bat
Mike Lowell Looks Like the Best Player in an Old Timer's Game
0 Bay Bay... Jason Doesn't Bring His West Coast Game Back East
A Man Named Jed Would Not Be a Monday Morning Hero
About Last Night: 'The Air Was Crisp, The Baseball Was Not'
Congrats to Jacoby: The First 3-Run Pop-Up in Postseason History
There's No K in Kotsay... Hey, Wait a Minute
This Just In... Mike Scioscia predicts: 'We're Getting Eliminated Tonight'
'I'm Not Going Back to Anaheim,' Sincerely, Amy Winehouse
'That's Just Beckett Being Dice-K,' Sincerely Manny Ramirez
The Scene at Fenway: Pink Hat Champagne on Ice

"You've got to win three. You've got five games to win three. The series wasn't over in Anaheim. We had just won two." -- 10.6.08, Alex Cora does the math... now we understand

Reverse the Curse!

BDD Photo Illustration / Trish
(BDD Photo Illustration / Trish Rojcewicz)

Pony Up! Pedr0-for-Series So Far

""It's a tough loss, obviously. It's my fault, man. I've got to get on [expletive] base. That's it. I've got to help our team win. I didn't do that, haven't done that all series. So I blame this one on me. Everyone else is battling, I am too, but no results." -- 10.6.08, Dustin Pedroia, killing us softly with his bat

BDD - Pedroia MVP, The Scene at Fenway
(Boston.com / The Scene at Fenway)

... Not So Much

BDD Photo Illustration / David Nickerson
(BDD Photo Illustration / David Nickerson)

Halos Goodbye!

Sweep the Monkey tonight
(BDD Photo Illustration)

Sox Are Home Sweep Home and There's No Place Like It

Extra Bases: Closing Time Has Been a Lock for Sox

Beckett Set to Walk the #@%! Talk

Josh Beckett speaks during a news conference at Fenway Park in Boston, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2008. Beckett will start against the Los Angeles Angels in Game 3 of the American League division baseball series on Sunday night. The Red Sox defeated the Angels 7-5 on Friday to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

Globe: Script is Near Perfect

Like a Manny Possessed

Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers slides into home past the tag of catcher Geovany Soto of the Chicago Cubs after scoring the Dodgers second run on a double by James Loney  in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the NLDS during the 2008 MLB playoffs on October 4, 2008 at Dodger Stadium
(Getty Images and Wire Photos )

He's One Step Closer to Coming Back to Boston

NLDS Game 3: Los Angeles Dodgers of Los Angeles 3, Poor Chicago 1
Once in a Blue Moon: Manny, Nomar, D-Lowe and the Dodgers Are in the NLCS
Bill Plaschke : They Party Like It's 1988
MLB.com: Manny, Bay Boppin' in October

"Right now this is the place to be! We're going to the second round... I did it before, I'll do it again. When you're relaxed and you're in a place you really like, this is what happens." -- 10.4.08, Manny reminding us he's more relaxed in LA again

Playoff Caballito

(Video courtesy of Red Socks Diaries | Illustrations by Mike Briggs)

Manny and Big Papi Talk Playoffs and Ponies

The Debate Rages On

(Video courtesy of Red Socks Diaries | Illustrations by Mike Briggs)

American Citizens Manny and Big Papi Talk Politics
And Tell Us Whom They Plan to Vote for in November

So Manny's a Maverick, Too

BDD Photo Illustration / Mike Salamone
(BDD Photo Illustration / Mike Salamone)

Because No One Took on Ownership in Boston More Than 24

Sox Shock the Monkey in Anaheim

J. D.Drew HR breaks the tie in the 9th
(Jim Davis / Globe Staff)

J.D. Thunder Sticks LA Fakers
Champs Up 2-0 on Late-Night,
Late-Inning Tie-Buster Off K-Fraud

J.D. Drew of the Boston Red Sox celebrates with teammate David Ortiz No. 34 after hitting a two run home run in the ninth inning of game two of the American League Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on October 3, 2008 in Anaheim, California
(Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

Friday Night ALDS Box: Boston 7, Orange County Angels of Anaheim 5
Globe: Drew's Back in the Swing, 2-Run Shot Really Hurts Angels
You Hendu It: Sox Turn It Up to 11 Straight Over the Hapless Halos in October
New Record for Most Consecutive Postseason Wins by One Team Over Another
Tito Escapes the Second Guess of the Century: Sending Out Masterson in the 8th
More of the Same: Names Change, But They're Still the Collapsible California Angels
Million Dollar Smirk: Scott Boras Looked Mighty Impressed with Matsuzaka's Usual 5
This Just In the Picture: Boras Wants to Renegotiate Drew's Contract Immediately
Aybar None: It Was a Walk in Park for Masterson in the Shaky 7th
Face It Figgins, It's Over: J.D. HR = ALCS Here We Come
Rest the Weary: Kotsay, Cora Fill-In Just Fine
Big Papi Showed Warning Track Power in 9th Life
At the End of Day, Paps Vultures West Coast Roadkill
We're With You Leather: Youk Is a Fielder of Dreams
The West Is No Test: F-Rod Kisses His $75M Contract Goodbye
Bay-sball Been Berry, Berry Good to Us in October
Thanks Buck MAR-tin-ez: The Curse of El Caballito Is Killing Pedroia
Game 2 Photos Here

BDD Photo Illustration / David Nickerson
(BDD Photo Illustration / David Nickerson)

"The big bombs killed us today. Bay man, that's the new Manny I guess. He's out there swinging the bat like crazy. And J.D. Drew came through with a big home run at the end and it's kind of deflating." -- 10.3.08, Torri 'get the dog in you' Hunter on the Sox biting back

LA Stories: Angels Peck, Red Sox Hammer
Bay Is Giving the Red Sox Poise
Everything Has Gone Dark for Angels
If Only Angels Could Go Back to 2002

Choke's on California Again

BDD Photo Illustration / Rob Curtin
(BDD Photo Illustration / Rob Curtin)

Get the Rally Monkey
Out Early

Jason Bay 3-run homer
(TBS screen image )

J Bay Bay ... Sox Jump On Angels Right Out of the Gate
3-Run Homer Silences A-Stadium

Even Craig Sager Is Green
with Envy Over the Red Sox

Craig Sagar needs to go to Miltons
(TBS screen image)

Hey Craig, Chess King Called.
They Want Their Jacket Back for the Window.

Beat LA, J Bay Bay

Hurricane Chris - A Bay Bay
(Hurricane Chris - A Bay Bay on YouTube)

Manny Homered, Too, But He Doesn't Have
a Catchy Song... Beat LA, J Bay Bay ...

"Im In Da Club Hollerin' J Bay Bay
J Bay Bay
Im In Da Club Holerin'
J Bay Bay
J Bay Bay
Im In Da Club Hollerin' " -- to the lyrics of A Bay Bay, by Hurricane Chris

It's a Bay at the Beach for Last Night's Most Valuable Bat

BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg
(BDD Photo Illustration / Steve Garberg )

Fans Watch Bay Become a Factor After
Seeing Manny Being Manny in Chicago

Shaughnessy: Ramirez Replacement Turns Tide
ProJo: Bay Embraces Demand for Playing in Boston
Simmons Uses 9,500 Words to Tell His Story, but Only Needed 3:
Manny. Loves. Money.

Manny the comedian in Chicago: "First, I want to thank Joe for cutting my hair... I just wanted to say that I changed my name to Dave Roberts." -- 10.2.08, That's our Manny being funny

Speaking of 'A Bay Bay', Don't Forget to Fill Out Your Game 1 Report Card

The Red Pill

BDD / Illustration courtesy of SoxNation.net
(BDD / Illustration courtesy of SoxNation.net)

An Ace Is Born

Ryan: Make Room for the New Ace
Bradford: Jon Lester's the Next Beckett

Oh Bay-by!
Jason Bay is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run home run during the sixth inning of Game 1 of baseball's American League division series against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008.

That's Just J-Bay Being Manny
Bay Bomb Gives Boston the Lead
Josh Who? Lesterrific in Game 1

Game 1 Box: Boston 4, Anaheim 1, 10 Straight Over LAA in Oct.
There's a New Sheriff in Town: Jon Lester Was Locked and Loaded
High Five: Ellsbury Picks Up Where He Left Off Last October
Youk Saves the Day with a Great Big Play in the 8th
Baddy Guerrero on the Bases: Mr. June Has His Typical Postseason Swoon
Big Pop-up Is Struggling Big Time Without LA Ram, Until the 9th
Jason Bay Looked Completely Lost Against Lackey... Then Bang!
Jacoby How's the Grass Taste? Nice Catch in the 8th
The World Is Against Us, But L'il Wayne Loves the Sox
Justin Masterson Is the Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth
Dustin, The Little Pony, El Caballito... You Hear It All The Time, Got Nothing Done
Downside: TBS' Buck 'David OR-tiz' Martinez, Ernie Johnson, Frank TV,
and Boras Being Boorish Behind the Plate

"It's huge (the win). I'm just glad a lot of people got to see Jon Lester and what he's about." -- 10.1.08, Jason Bay made his own mark in Boston tonight

Gaffe-anino! Part Deux

Ball goes in and out of Lowrie's glove
(BDD / TBS Screen Image)

Owww! Jed Lowri-E Opens the Door for Anaheim
Reminds Us Of The Night They Died in Chicago

Les Get It Started

Big night for Jon Lester
(Jim Davis / Boston Globe Staff )

The Road to a Repeat Passes Through
the Strong Left Arm of Jon Lester Tonight

Sox Think Lester Will Come Up Aces
Mazz: 5 Keys to Beating the Angels
Prediction Roundup: No Love for Sox

"When you find kids with that kind of talent, that kind of drive and focus - and there are only a few, I was involved with Josh Beckett with the Marlins - those kids are focused and do everything they can to get better. And that's Jon Lester." -- 10.1.08, Former Red Sox scouting director

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

Boston Globe:

Rodriguez looks like the steal deal > Despite effort by Rodriguez, Red So fall > Tazawa has come a long way, on and off field

Boston Herald:

Lauber: Eduardo Rodriguez showing Red Sox he's special > PawSox start looms large for Masterson


Rodriguez gem wasted > Chili Davis doesn't want to turn Red Sox into free-swingers > Red Sox draft catcher in third round

NY Post:

How Mariano Rivera has influenced Yankees' top pick > Why starting rotation could be a big Yankees' strength

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