Red Sox relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon gives up the lead against the Baltimore Orioles

Sox Blow the Biggest Lead in the History of Earth

Baltimore Bullpen Collapse: Baltimore 11, Boston 10
When Push Comes to Save, Papelbon Is No Mariano
But It Was Nice That He Got That Ceremonial Save on Monday
Markakis Cracks Two-Run Double Off Pap to Give Orioles the Improbable Win
It's True: The Red Sox Had a Nine Run Lead With Nine Outs to Go
It's Been 20 Years Since the Sox Have Blown a Nine Run Lead
Masterson Comes Completely Undone in the 7th Inning
Kottaras Gets Thrown Out at Plate, And Can't Pull the Trigger on Dribbler
More Bullpen Implosions: Okajima Was Killing Us Softly in the Eighth
Upside: With Lowell on the DL, Bailey Goes 3-for-4 and Scores Three Runs
And It All Fell Apart After Five Guys Forgot There Were Only Two Outs ...

"We pretty much imploded. I can�t think of any better word to use. It�s just what happened.�" -- Papelbon has a way with words

5 Guys, Just Two Outs
(NESN Screen Image)

... But Just Two Outs When They Came Off the Field
Do You Want Fries With That Gaffe?

Five Confused Sox Come Off The Field With Only Two Outs in the Sixth
And Trot Nixon Wasn't One of Them
Pedroia, Youkilis, Lugo, Bailey, and Masterson Space Out in the Field
Box: Baltimore Comes All the Way Back | Updates from Fenway South
Smoltz Sharp Before the Rains Came

Pedroia Led the Charge: "I think it was my fault. I got ahead of myself and everyone followed me." -- 7.1.09, Boston Herald

Will His Second Start Bring
The Second Coming?

Tonight in Baltimore, John Smoltz Gets Another Chance to Show
That He's Ready to Pitch In

BDD / James MacLeod Cartoons

He Owns the O's

Red Sox starter Jon Lester delivers a pitch against the Baltimore Orioles during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, June 29, 2009, in Baltimore.

... And Everybody Else Lately ... Lester Overpowers O's
Sox Feeling Right at Home Away From Home

Orioles the Latest Road Kill for Sox | Boston 4, Baltimore 0
Jon Lester Has Was Brilliant: 8K's No Walks, 7 Nasty Innings
He's Not Just Winging It: Jon Is Now 8-0 Lifetime Over the Orioles
This Just In ... The Red Sox Have Too Much Pitching
J.D. Drew, 3-for-5, Cycle Shy, and a Long Fly That Even Adam Jones Couldn't Catch
Nice to See Dustin Pedroia Drive In a Run
And Drew Made Some Great Catches, Too
Bay Makes the Save, But It's Pap Who Ties Stanley
Some Thanks to Road Sox Nation: Boston 11-3 in Last 14 Road Games
TC Says Sox Are 60-27 at Camden Yards Since '99

"Maybe their lineup just fits me for some reason, I don't know. I don't pitch any different against them than I do any other team in the league... I've been feeling good for a while." -- 6.29.09, Jon Lights-Out Lester

The Fallen Star

BDD Photo Illustration / Anthony D.
(BDD Photo Illustration / Anthony D.)

Ramirez Drops Like a Rock, Now Isodope Is NL's No. 7,
And Even Mike Cameron Has Moved Ahead of Him

Manny the Cheat Drops to 7th in NL All-Star Voting
And He Returns to the Big Leagues to Get the Bonds* Treatment on Friday

Mariano to Pap:
Wait Your Turn

(ESPN Sunday Conversation - 6.28.09)

Yankee Closer Tells Papelbon Not to Be
Shipping Down to New York So Fast

ESPN Sunday Conversation: Rivera Talks About a Pinstriped Pap

ESPN's Bob Holzman: "Jonathan Papelbon said recently that he would be open to someday pitching and closing for the Yankees. What would you think of that?

Mariano Rivera: (Laughing)... Think he's an interesting guy... he has his own mind, his own decisions, so what I will say is that if he wants to do it, he has to wait for me to retire and then, I think he has a shot at that. Besides that, he don't have a shot at that."
-- 6.28.09, ESPN's Sunday conversation

No Offense, Interleague Play Is Just Awful

 Chipper Jones, right, celebrates with teammate Garret Anderson after Anderson's home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 28, 2009, at Turner Field in Atlanta. Both players had solo home runs during the afternoon and led the Braves to a 2-1 win.

For the First Time in History...
Soccer Was More Exciting Than Baseball Yesterday

Hanson Handles Sox | Atlanta 2, Boston 1
Thumbs Up for Penny, But Braves Put Their Two Cents In
Bright Side: The Red Sox Don't Have the Ugliest Red Jerseys in Baseball
And the Mighty Jacoby Weakly Grounded Out, Then Struck Out
Ortiz Plays Some Football Around First Base

"We lost the game, so there's no satisfaction in whether I'm pitching good. But it's nice to be healthy." -- Brad Penny's thoughts

Wake's On a Tear

Starting pitcher Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox pitches against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 27, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sox Stay Red Hot on the Road

Wakefield on Top of It All | Boston 1, Atlanta 0
It's a Good Old Fashioned Pitcher's Duel Down South
The Single Most Important Play: Tip of the Cap to Mark Kotsay
Holding Pattern: Delcarmen in the Seventh, Masterson in the Eighth
J.D. Drew Is Pulling a June Disappearing Act
Papelbon Shaky Save No. 18
Red Flag: Mike Lowell

"Just being mentioned with the names I'm being mentioned with is pretty cool. I'm thankful I've been here as long as I have. -- Tim Wakefield, who made his 382nd start for the Sox, tying him with Roger Clemens*

Blue Blazer
Josh Beckett pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 26, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Beckett Was Sick As a Dawg, But Hotter Than Georgia Asphalt

A Bravo Performance | Boston 4, Atlanta 1
Beckett 6-0, 0.38 ERA vs Braves in Last 7 Starts Against Atlanta
Big Papi Continues to Rebuild His Numbers. That's HR No. 8
Paplebon Thought He'd Get Save If He Made It a 3-Run Game
While You Were Sleeping: Youk and Bay Have Cooled Off
Another Big Road Sox Crowd in Hotlanta This Weekend

"I was certainly ready to let him hit and go out in the eighth. But his stomach - let�s call it intestinal turmoil. He just wasn�t feeling real good. When he says it�s time to get out of there, there�s no reason to push.�� -- Tito on Beckett's June bug

A Big Whiff
Boston Red Sox pitcher John Smoltz strikes out during the third inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Thursday, June 25, 2009, in Washington

Smoltz Was Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

So John Smoltz Is Just German for Daisuke Matsuzaka
Capitol Punishment: Nats Crush Sox | Washington 9, Boston 3
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' But Smoltz Got Off to a Rough Start
Rocco Goes Deep When It's Over

"Most of the time when the linescore is the way it is, I'm going to be very disappointed, but I really can't at this point," Smoltz said. "I lost a little rhythm there in the first inning ... but very encouraged with how good I can be and the way I felt and the stamina and everything going forward." -- John Smoltz on start No. 1

He Had Complete Game

Michael Jackson | 1958-2009

Report: Pedro Gave Manny the hCG!

BDD Photo Illustration / David Visnick
(BDD Photo Illustration / David Visnick)

... Pedro Publio Bosch, 71, a Florida Physician ...

ESPN: Miami Doctors Probed in Ramirez Case
More from Manny Apologist T.J. Simers

"Investigators believe the prescription for human chorionic gonadotropin, known as hCG, was written by Pedro Publio Bosch, 71, a physician who has practiced family medicine in Florida since 1976. His son, Anthony Bosch, 45, is believed to have worked as a contact between his father and Ramirez. ... Anthony Bosch is well known in Latin American baseball circles, sources say. His relationships with players date at least from the earlier part of the decade, when he was seen attending parties with players and known to procure tickets to big league ballparks, especially in Boston and New York." -- 6.25.09, report

And Rest in Peace Beautiful Angel

BDD - The Poster

LA Times: Farrah Fawcett Dies at 62
A Legacy Bigger Than Her Hair

"If you were to list 10 images that are evocative of American pop culture, Farrah Fawcett would be one of them. That poster became one of the defining images of the 1970s." -- Robert Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, told The Los Angeles Times

Nat Dead Yet
Boston Red Sox's Jason Varitek, right, is greeted at the home plate by David Ortiz (34) after Ortiz scored on Varitek's home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, June 24, 2009, in Washington. The Red Sox won 6-4.

For Two Guys Who Were Written Off, It Was On
Old Timers Ortiz, 'Tek Go Deep in D.C.

Boston 6, Washington 4 | Welcome to BatsTown
Green Gets Nicked in Forearm By Bat Out of Hell While Ball Gets By
Workmanlike Night for Lester Good Enough for W in Washington
Papi Gets No. 1 on the Road, 'Tek Pops One Out for 2
June Boon Continues: Sox Have Won 16 of Last 21
Rough Night for Mr. USA, Jason Bay
Papelbon 1-2-3? You're Kidding Me
Did Nats Fans Send Sox Fans to Gay Bars?
... Not That There's Anything Wrong with That

"It's scary to see a bat go flying that far. I thought they did some research this offseason to try to figure that stuff out, but obviously we've still got a long ways to go. You've got to take cover. It's a tough play to make when you've got a bat head flying at you looking to take your head off." -- Jon Lester on Batgate

That's the Ticket!

Boston Red Sox's Jason Bay, center, is congratulated by teammates after he hit a rome run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Tuesday, June 23, 2009, in Washington.

With 100 Percent of the Innings Reporting ...
Bay-Ellsbury Win in a Landslide, Sox Party's in Power in D.C.

Bay, Ellsbury Sparkle in Rout | Boston 11, Washington 3
No June Swoon: Sox Have Been Victorious in 14 of 19 Games
Night and Bay: Jason Hits Bomb No. 19, Leads League with 69 RBIs
All-Star Ells Goes 4-for-4 and Is Triple Threat With Wheels, Bat, and Glove
This Just In: Red Sox Nation Begins Three Day Convention in NatsTown
Was That Camera Mounted on the Top of the Washington Monument?
A Well-Deserved 12-Pitch Win for Manny Delcarmen
John Lannon Didn't Just Imagine All the People on the Bases
Colome, Jesus, What the Hell Was He Doing Out There?
Pedroia Gets It Cranking at Leadoff, Nice DP By SS Green
Welcome to the Big Leagues Dusty Brown
Bard Has a Papelbonesque Ninth
Sox Lead Yanks by 5 Games, Magic No. 88

"These guys are supposed to just go out there and keep us in the game. And they can't do it." -- 6.24.09, Nats Manager Manny Acta on his bullpen, very un-Tito like

A Travesty of a Mockery of a Sham

Jeff Turcotte, of Albuquerque, N.M., holds up a greeting for Los Angeles Dodgers' Manny Ramirez while Ramirez was playing for the Dodgers' Triple-A baseball team, the Albuquerque Isotopes, against the Nashville Sounds in Albuquerque

Manny* Gives Baseball a Kick in the Teeth
By Playing During His So-Called Suspension
Way to Go Bud! More Props to Donald Fehr!

LA Times: It's a Pretty Shaky Suspension Bridge for Manny Ramirez*
Manny* Talks... But Not About Steroids

"I'm not talking about it anymore. I already said what I'm going to say. I'm here to do my rehab, you know, and [go] to the game and get a couple at-bats and get back to the big-league team." -- The gutless Manny Ramirez*, making fellow cheat A-Rod look better every day

Loathing Fehr*

Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Donald M. Fehr is stepping down
(Mario Tama / Getty Images)

The Man Who Priced the American Family Out of Ballparks
And Helped Make a Mockery Out Of MLB Home Run Records
And Got a World Series Canceled... Is Finally Moving On
But the Damage to America's Pastime Is Done

Fehr Is Ready to Step Down
Fehr's Legacy: More Money, Less Ethics
While Steroids Were in Since 1988, Fehr Did Not Agree to Drug Testing Until 2002
When Fehr Took Over Full Time, a Box Seat at Fenway Cost a Fan Just $9.00,
Today Fans Can Buy a Box Seat in Boston for $325.00 a Game

"Thanks to Fehr's domination over three commissioners and the owners they represented, [Alex] Rodriguez was able to command two contracts worth $525 million from the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees. This is Fehr's triumph, the highest paid player in baseball history. ...

On Fehr's watch, the majority of which coincided with the reign of commissioner Bud Selig, baseball grew its revenues while bankrupting itself ethically and morally. Ultimately, that was the calculation that will define Fehr's career: Salaries rose with the home run totals and radar-gun readings, so let the players do whatever it took to jack up those numbers." -- 6.23.09, Phil Sheridan, Philadelphia Inquirer

Before Fehr Were Days of the $9.00 Box Seat

(MLB Photo)

BDD Chats with the Nats Blog
The Sox Paid $51.11M Posting Fee for Dice-K, And All Seibu Got Was a New Toilet
What Kind of Suspension Allows Drug-Cheat Manny Ramirez Back on the Field?
Help Justin Morneau Become an All-Star Over Mr. Leigh Teixeira

Green Party
Boston Red Sox's Nick Green, right, celebrates his walk-off home run in the ninth inning of a baseball game with David Ortiz, left, Sunday, June 21, 2009, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-5.

The Father of All Walkoffs, Just in the Nick of Time

Green Homer Pushes Sox to the Finish | Boston 6, Atlanta 5
Bob Ryan: Green Storyline Was Sealed with a Mist
This Just In: Julio Lugo is Green with Envy
Wake May Have Knocked Himself Out of the All-Star Arms Race
Daddy Dearest: A Big Popup and a Two-Run Papi for Ortiz
The Ramon Ramirez Magic Is Fading, And Okaji Isn't Fooling Anyone
Papelbon Always Makes It Interesting
Sox Get the Hohn Court Advantage

"I didn't even comprehend the fact that I swung at the first pitch and it was a walkoff. I hit second base and everybody is standing at home plate and then I realized what was going on." -- 6.21.09, Nick Green on the win

Beckett Steals the D-Lowe Show

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett was pumped after his inning ending play in the 8th.
(Barry Chin / Boston Globe Staff)

He's the Complete Package

Plenty of Zip by Ace | Boston 3, Atlanta 0
A Perfect Game for Beckett: 2 Hours, 11 Minutes
'Teknically Speaking, Derek Lowe is the Embedded Red Sock
You Can't Stop Nick Green, You Can Only Hope to Contain Him

"A nice gesture by the fans. They clearly didn't have to do it. They didn't come to watch me. They're great fans. They're very loyal. But you tip your hat to Beckett. It was a great game, but it was a loss." -- Derek Lowe, goodnight and good luck

Let Japan Shoulder the Blame

Team Japan's manager Tatsunori Hara takes the ball from Daisuke Matsuzaka (R), as catcher Kenji Johjima watches, in the fifth inning during the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic against Team USA in Los Angeles, California March 22, 2009

Matsuzaka Makes His Way to the DL with the Old Shoulder Strain
Remember, Tatsunori Didn't Want to Hear from Tito in March

Back on March 2, Team Japan manager Tatsunori Hara was in charge of our $103 million import: The Red Sox keep tabs on Matsuzaka in Japan through team massage therapist Takanori Maeda, whose access to Matsuzaka "has been limited," Francona said. Maeda gives updates to interpreter Masa Hoshino, who relays them to pitching coach John Farrell, who relays them to Francona.

"So there's a few channels," Francona said. "There's no other way to do it. We can't go over there and watch. And it's their team. I'll be glad when he's back and throwing the ball well. There's no other way to get around it."

Francona has spoken with managers of other WBC teams about the workload of Red Sox players, and he offered a line of communication with Japan's manager, Tatsunori Hara.

"There didn't seem to be a lot of interest," Francona said. "So we didn't push it. You hope you're talking to somebody, it's almost like a partner. And if it doesn't come across as that, it doesn't do any good just to offend somebody. -- 3.2.09, Boston Globe Red Sox notebook

Papi Now Pitching

In This Episode of Baseball-tawk, Big Papi Introduces His New �Lifestyle Hot Sauce�
DICE-KO! Matsuzaka to Get MRI, Will Miss Next Start, Maybe More
Papelbon Backtracks on Considering Being a Bronx Bomber Comments

All Systems Lowe

BDD - Derek Lowe Returns
(Globe File and Wire Photos)

It Will Be an Extended Standing O for Old Friend, the Real Deal, Boston's World Series Hero, Derek Lowe Tonight

Flaws and All, He'll Always Be a Special One of the 25
D-Lowe Comes Home and Is Pitching in Our House Tonight
Eric Wilbur: Lowe and Behold | D-Lowe Wedding Photos

"Coming in here, you kind of get these old vibes that are fresh in your mind. We had a lot of good memories here, and I have a lot of fond memories of the players. It's a great place to play, too." -- 6.19.09, Derek Lowe makes a Brave return

Tito's Got a Sixth Sense

BDD / Mike Briggs Illustration

And He's Armed to the Teeth

... But Matsuzaka Just Made the Decision Easy After Tonight
The Usual 6 Runs in the Usual 4-Plus Innings, and Dice Gets Rolled Again
Lost from the Start | Atlanta 8, Red Shirts and Hanging Sox Hats 2
This Just In... "Matsuzaka is a Fat Toad. Sincerely George Steinbrenner"
So the Braves Didn't Spend $103 Million on Kenshin Kawakami? Hmmm
It's Jason Bay and Pray for Rain for the Offense
Mazz: The Dice-K Dilemma

"If I keep going like this, I have no right to be a part of this rotation." -- Matsuzaka, a little late to reality show, said through an interpreter

Good Fortune 500

Red Sox vs. Florida Marlins: Jacoby Ellsbury high 5's with Kevin Youkilis after his home run in 7th inning.
(Bill Greene / Boston Globe Staff)

More Full House Fun at Fenway, But These Fish Really Stink

Penny, 'Pen, and Another Sox Win | Boston 6, Florida 1
Jacoby Goes Yard Again, Steals Another Base... and Commits His First Error Ever
Awfully Nice of Dustin Pedroia to Show Up for the Game Tonight
Little by Little Big Papi Is Getting Back to Normal
Another Milestone: Brad Penny Pounds His Way to Win No. 100
500 Sellout Madness: Free Hot Dogs, Stamped Baseballs, Tape Measures,
and No. 4 Meets No. 44
J-Bay Honors Hockey Hero Bobby Orr By Putting Up an Ice Cold 0-for-4 Himself
And John_W_Henry Knows 49 Years Ago Today Teddy Ballgame Hit No. 500
That Actually Is a Clean Inning for Papelbon
Hey Rocco, Nice Work

Damon jogged back to the dugout past a sign.

(Jim Davis / Boston Globe File Photo)

Fan at Fenway Gets Into Sellout Mania... Or He Just Hates JohnNY Damon...
Marlins 2, Sox 1: Mike Lowell Is Upset? At Least He Got Paid Big for Sitting Around
It's the Fans Who Got #%&@! Soaked by the Sox as Usual, Mike
Eric Wilbur Shines More Light on the Phony Fenway Sellout Streak
Red Sox Getting Crushed By Season Ticket Holders Over Scalping by Partner Ace
Lester Really Couldn't Afford a Bad Start
Soooo Ortiz Is Just Never Gonna Run Out Fly Balls and Pop Ups?
Dustin Wants to Know: Will Raingate Cost the Sox the Division in the End?
Short Story: Uggla, Paulino 2, Youk 1

500th Consecutive Sellout?

A scalper holds up Red Sox tickets as he walks down Brookline Ave. towards Kenmore Square 30 minutes before a Red Sox-Yankees game
(John Tlumacki / Boston Globe File Photo)

Sort Of... But Not Really

It's a Sellout Only If You Don't Count the Nightly Luxury Box No-Shows,
Empty Seats and Standing Room Areas, and the Dozens of Scalpers
Holding Fistfuls of Tickets Long After the Fifth Inning

"This record is the fans� record, and we want to salute the members of Red Sox Nation for reaching this extraordinary milestone. It�s a testament to the passion and dedication they have for the game, for the team, and for the ballpark. Every day, we work hard to ensure that we are worthy of their loyal support." -- John W. Henry, Red Sox owner

So It Was All Fake?

Sports Illustrated covers
(Sports Illustrated covers)

Say It Ain't Sosa ... Sammy Corked His Bat and His Body

NY Times: Sosa Is Said to Have Tested Positive in 2003
Sports Illustrated Didn't Exactly Cover Themselves in Glory
And Since the HR Race Was a Hoax, He Can Forget the Hall of Fame

Ahhh, 2003, those were the days: "Never before, though, had Sammy made a run like last Saturday's. Never before had Sosa done so with the Cubs in first place this deep into a season�121 games. The last time a Cubs team was in first place this late, back in 1989, Sosa was a skinny 20-year-old kid playing on the South Side with the White Sox. As if that alone wasn't enough to put a little extra spring in his step, Sosa also knows the satisfaction of recovering from the worst three months of his career. Other than getting hit with a helmet-cracking beanball, suffering through a toe injury that kept him up at night in pain, missing as many games as he did in the previous six years combined and being shamed and suspended for using a corked bat, April, May and June were a real hoot. Since returning from that suspension on June 18, Sosa, as of Monday, had knocked in 51 runs in 54 games, batted .301, whacked 22 home runs (the most of any player over that period) and, as far as the fallout of his public disgrace goes, generally put a cork in it." -- Aug. 25, 2003, Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated... the year Sosa reportedly tested positive

All Together Now

Red Sox vs. Florida Marlins: Red Sox J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Bay and Dustin Pedroia high five after beating the Marlins 8-2.
(Bill Greene / Boston Globe Staff)

Everybody Chips in for Fenway Win
(OK, Lowell Took the Night Off)

Wakefield Looks Right at Home | Boston 8, Florida 2
4th Scores: Green, George. Jacoby, Youk, and Even Pedroia Get in the Game
Walking the Walk: Jason Bay RBI Monster Has No. 63
All-Star? If Wake Wins No. 10, You Gotta Send Him to St. Louis
Ortiz Gets Home Run No. 5 and a 2-RBI Seeing-Eye Single
But the Window of Opportunity Has Closed on Papi's Curtain Calls
Hanley Renteria Ramirez Makes Error No. 6
Bard Gets Back to Business

"I've been (considered) a number of times in my career, and hopefully I'm mentioned again this year. That will mean a lot more when I'm retired. Right now, I'm just one of 25 guys in that clubhouse trying to get to the World Series." -- Wake... who really wants that All-Star nod

Smoltz Set to Start

John Smoltz is coming back to Boston next week

Vet Expects to Get Back to the Major Leagues with
a Start Against Nationals Next Week

Dan Patrick: "Your first start is going to be when next week?" John Smoltz: "Well, looks like sometime next week, either Tuesday or Wednesday, if everything goes the way it continues to go... there's no pinpoint hard date, but that's what it looks like. ... I think it's going to be Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, yeah. It hinges on a lot of variables that we are constantly looking at. I gotta pitch either tomorrow or Thursday in one more rehab start." --6.16.09, The Dan Patrick radio show

Swing, and a Miss

Red Sox starting pitcher Josh Beckett steps on home plate as umpire Brian Runge  looks on after he hit a solo home run off Philadelphia Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ  in the seventh inning

Beckett Went Deep When It Mattered,
But Came Up Short Where It Counts

Can't Sweep 'Em All | Philadelphia 11, Boston 6
Up, Up, and Away Goes the Lead for Beckett, Then He Stepped Up to the Plate
So Should Beckett and His 394-Foot-Bombs Be DH'ing Against Lefties?
'Pen Adds to the Problem: Bad Outing for Bard, Saito Stunk, Too
Forgotten in the Loss: Baldelli and Green Go Back-to-Back

"We feel pretty good about it. Obviously, today wasn't very good. But 9-3, I think we'll take it." -- 6.14.09, Jacoby Ellsbury

"What a dump of a performance yesterday. Beckett looked like absolute crap, Francona decided to give players 2 days off. Were we out partying last night? For the kind of money we pay these players, the only thing on their minds should have been PUMMELING the Phillies at all costs Sunday and finish them off with a demoralizing sweep. Champions FIND a PATH and DEMORALIZE their opponents with sweeps." -- E-mailer Josh D.

James MacLeod cartoons

And They Were Led By Lugo

Philadelphia Phillies third baseman Pedro Feliz puts the tag on Boston Red Sox' Julio Lugo who advanced from second on a base hit by Daisuke Matsuzaka in the third inning of an interleague baseball game Saturday, June 13, 2009, in Philadelphia.

Sox Keep Hammering Away

Sox Bail Out Dicey-K | Boston 11, Philadelphia 6
Jury Still Out on How Bad Dice-K Is, But Mr. Smoltz Is Coming
Another Big Bomb for J-Bay, No. 17, Have to Question Ibanez Hitting 22, Right?
'Tek's Down to .229, But Belted a Big Double in the Fifth
High 5 Times on Base for Jacoby Ellsbury
3 Hits for Lowell Puts Mike Over .300
Stop the Presses, Pedroia Gets a Hit

"It would be a lie to say I'm completely stress-free. But I also know that I have to be patient. At the same time, patience alone isn't going to get me out of this situation. I'm going to make a concerted effort to make some changes and get out of it." -- The Disappointing Daisuke Matsuzaka through translator Masa Hoshino

Feeling Lucky?

BDD / Jonathan DeRight
(BDD / Jonathan DeRight)

Maybe Dice-K Will Think the Phillies are a
WBC Team from the Philippines

Place Your Bets ...
We're Going to Find Out What We've Got with Dice-K Tonight
Waiting for Matsuzaka to Pitch In
Lineups and Updates from Philadelphia

Philadelphia High Flyers

Boston Red Sox' Nick Green, left, hi-fives Jason Bay, right, who scored the winning run on a single by Jacoby Ellsbury in the 13th inning of an interleague baseball game Friday, June 12, 2009, in Philadelphia.

It's Been a Bard Day's Night
Ells Buries Phillies, Sox Stay Red Hot

Extra, Extra: Ellsbury Delivers Sox in OT | Boston 5, Philadelphia 2
First Things First: Papi's Got a Brand New Bag
Lester Should Have Another Win, But Buy Him a Cheesesteak for the Effort
It Was an Average Crushing 0-for-7 for Dustin Pedroia
Raul Ibanez Goes 2-for-4... and a 42-Year-Old Mother's Basement Dweller
Somewhere in the Midwest Has a Theory to Post
Way Back When... J.D. Drew and Youk Went Way Back
Ryan's Poke Means Ramon Ramirez Is No Longer a Lights Out Lock
Another Solid Night for Saito and Masterson Means Business
Tip of the Cap to the Beleaguered Julio Lugo for Getting it Going
Papelbon Is Going to Get Caught Napping by Future Closer Daniel Bard

"Comfortable, confident." -- The new and improved Jonny Lester, sitting them down like the 2004 Pedro Martinez

Youk's on First?

Who�s on First?
And a Few Other Surprises Await the Red Sox
During Interleague Play (With Apologies to Abbott & Costello)

8th Wonders!
Yankees reliever Alfredo Aceves (backround left), gets a god view as Red Sox DH David Ortiz (center) gives a hand to teammate J.D. Drew (right) as he scores the winning run of the game on a bottom of the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Mike Lowell
(Jim Davis / Boston Globe Staff)

Theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Yankees Lose!
Sweep Caroline, It's a Rally Good Time

Comeback in 8th Means 8 Straight vs. Yanks | Boston 4, Bumblers 3
That's Just J-Bay Being J-Bay and Yes It's True, J.D. Drew Came Through
Brad Is Worth Every Penny, and Gets a Virtual Win for a Virtuoso Performance
Yes, Papi Will Be Taking a Curtain Call for Every Home Home Run This Season
Leaving CC in to Pitch to J.D. Was Definitely the Right Call. Sincerely, Grady Little
Good Thing Yanks Had An Aceves Up Their Sleeves... Things Went Better With Coke
Jed Lowrie Can Take All the Time in the World. The Green Machine Is Here to Stay
Playing the Award Winning Role of Hideki Okajima Tonight Was Takashi Saito
Pack Up the 1912 Signs for Yankee Stadium on August 6... The Streak Is On
Pitchers Perfect: Penny Fired Like a BB Gun, And CC's No Bum
Ker-Punk: Penny Strikes Back for J-Bay By Plunking A-Fraud
Manny Delcarmen Blew That Game in a New York Minute
Eckersley Hit It Out of the Park on NESN Tonight,
But Ramiro Was Hitting Under the Mendoza Line
Jonathan Napelbon Nails Down Another Save
Did You See That Catch Rocco Made?
Did You See Those Seagulls Coco Saw?

"the MT curse?" -- 6.11.09, Tweet all about it, Sox owner John_W_Henry didn't forget that ill-fated flight to visit Teixeira in Texas

James MacLeod cartoons

Fenway to A-Rod: 'You Do Ster-oids!'

(ESPN / YouTube Video)

Fenway Park: America's Most Beloved Ballpark
... to Call Out Steroid Cheats Since 1988

Paying Homage to the "Ster-oids! Ster-oids" Chants That Bud Selig Heard
Sung to Jose Canseco During the 1988 ALCS at Fenway Park,
Boston Fans Get on A-Roid Again. And They'll Be More Of the Same Tonight.

"These fans are special." -- 6.10.09, ESPN's Rick Sutcliffe after A-Rod chants

You Stay Classy, Manny Ramirez*

(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

Speaking of Steroid Cheats,
Manny Is Killing Us with His Commentary

Manny Doesn't Want to Talk About the Past,
Won't Answer Questions About His High Testosterone Levels,
Thinks He Gets to Come Back to Baseball with a Clean Slate,
And Offers Up the Mother of All Inappropriate Comments ...

"I didn't kill nobody, I didn't rape nobody, so that's it. I'm just going to come and play the game." -- 6.10.09, Manny Ramirez ... a proud graduate of the Johnny Damon school of public relations

Why Does Raul Ibanez Care About a Lame Midwest Blog with About 27 Readers?
Take the Ultimate Red Sox Quiz (And No Googling Answers A-Rod)

Theeeeeeeee Yankees Lose!

Johnny Damon strikes out swinging against the Boston Red Sox in the eighth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston on Wednesday, June 10, 2009.

Sorry Johnny, But the Yankees Are Rotten
Seven Straight and Counting for Sox

The Sox are Alone at the Top | Boston 6, New York 5
Wakefield Is 8-3, But a 4.50 ERA Just Isn't All-Star Material
You're Not in Kansas City Anymore Ram-Ram, Welcome to the Big Stage
This Just In: Hideki Okajima is Japanese for Rodney Dangerfield...
There's Not Even a Picture of the Relief Pitcher On the Wire
As Usual, Papelbon Gets All the Glory Because He Pitched in the 9th
Why Are Save Stats Fake? Because Okajima Really Saved the Game Last Night
And Chien Ming Wang Must Be Taiwanese for Daisuke Matsuzaka
Hey Alex 0-for-Fenway Rodriguez, I Heard 'You Do Ster-oids' and We'll Hear It Again
A Long Shot for Youk, But He's Not Gonna Win That Vote Over Teixeira
Mike Lowell Quietly Has 10 Home Runs
Nice Glove, Nick Green

"It's a tough bullpen, one of the toughest I've ever seen." -- You got that right Mr. Leigh Teixeira

The Latest Pitch from Papi

BDD Photo Illustration / Rich Hinds
(BDD Photo Illustration / Rich Hinds)

To Really Enhance Your Performance on the Field,
Try New and Improved Papi Eyes

Not Exactly a Rare Sighting: Marketing Guru David Ortiz Keeps His Finances
in Focus with Another New Product to Push on the Nation
There Wasn't a Dry Eye in the House When Ortiz Took a Curtain Call for HR No. 3
No Longer Known for Hot Hitting, Papi Thinks It's Cool to Throw His Name Around
Another Gravy Train for David: Ortiz's Hot Sauces Cover All the Bases
And Just a Week Ago, He Could Have Put His Name on Ice Packs
See Papi Push Vitaminwater, XM Radio, Reebok, Nakona, D'Angelo, and More

Not Your Average Josh

Red Sox manager Terry Francona (left) has a smile and a pat on the head for winning pitcher  Josh  Beckett during the post game congratulations on the field. The Boston Red Sox play the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.
(Jim Davis / Boston Globe Staff)

Beckett Outstanding for Six, Sox Improve to 6-0 Over Yankees

Sweet Nothings for Beckett | Boston 7, New York 0
Big Game Josh Beckett Stones A.J. Burnout and the Bombers
Best Bullpen in Baseball Picks Up Where Beckett Leaves Off
6 Straight to Start Over NY.. Time for Sox Fans to Break Out the 1912 Signs Tonight?
When It Rains, It Pours: Pedroia Throws Groundskeepers Under the Bus on Infield Hit
The Real Crushing Blow? The Break It Open Double by J.D. Drew
Red Sox Starting Shortstop Du Jour Nick Green Had a Monster Night
Did You Cano? The Yankees Only Had 2 Hits Last Night
Vote-for-Youk Had 2 Hits, Too
Throwing at J-Bay, Eh?

"They've taken it to us so far this year, but we have 13 more, and hopefully we'll beat them sometime soon." -- There's Johnny Damon

Did You See What David Did?

Gerard Monroe, from Harwinton, Conn., wanted to make sure David Ortiz's eyes checked out last night
( Photo / Steve Silva)

It's a Blast from the Past for Papi

Yankees Get Ortiz Right Back in the Swing of Things
Take a Look at the Scene at Fenway | Video

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez on the practice field of the of the George M. Steinbrenner field during spring training, Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 in Tampa, Fla.
(A-Rod, AP Angel Presinal, Los Angeles Times/Carlos Chavez Yuri Sucart Daily News/Schwartz)

He's Been Lying and Cheating for God Knows How Long
And He'll See and Hear All About It at Fenway Tonight

The Man in the Mirror

Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez poses for a photo spread in DETAILS magazine.
(Details magazine photo by Steven Klein)

I'm Talkin' About the Man in the Mirror,
He's Coming Back to Fenway

And No Message Can Be Any Clearer
If You Want to Make the Game a Better Game,
Take a Look at A-Fraud and Make Some Noise

Let's Have Some Bronx Cheers and
Stinging Signs for Alex Tonight

Yankees Alex Rodriguez addresses the media at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009.
(BDD Photo Illustration)

"My cousin would administer it to me. But neither of us knew what we were doing."
-- 2.17.09, Alex Rodriguez

Jayson Stark ESPN: A-Rod's Hard to Believe
Boli, Boli... Boli, Boli, Boli... Was Injected Twice a Month
The Really Curious Case of Alex Rodriguez:
Mature 18-Year-Old MLB Veteran Grew Younger and Stupider by 28

A Man Is Known by the Company He Keeps

These are 2008 file photos showing Marion Jones, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens.

A Cheater Is a Cheater Is a Cheater Is a Cheater
And Cheaters Should Not Be Going to the All-Star Game.

So, Send in the Clown ...

Send in the Clown
(BDD Photo Illustration / Rich Hinds)

... And Send In the Blondes, Too

The Blondies behind A-Rod
( Photo / Steve Silva)

In Other News: The Red Sox Could Use a Shortstop Like Alex Cora
Help Youk Become an All-Star Over Mr. Leigh Teixeira
Voting Update: Leigh's Husband Takes the Lead Over Youk

It's Time to Bury the National Treasure

Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka of Japan hangs his head as he is taken out of the game against the Texas Rangers during the sixth inning of their American League MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts June 7, 2009.

With Smoltz on the Way,
Matsuzaka Should Be Assigned Mop-Up Duty

Texas 6, Boston 3 | Losing Two Out of Three Ain't Good
Nelson Cruz Was in Control
And It's 4 Hits for the Former Vaunted Red Sox Offense
Good News: Look Theo, No Walks for The $100 Million Man
Papelbon Checks with Official Scorer to See If That Was Save Opportunity
Rock, Paper Shoulder: Jacoby Joins J.D. Drew on Banged-Up List
At Least the Runners Looked Sharp on the Bases...

"I thought he missed over the middle and up on a team that can really make you pay when you throw the ball in the middle."-- Red Sox manager Terry Francona like a needle on a broken record

Don't Mess with Lester!

Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek (33) congratulates Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) after his 2 hit 1 run complete game against the Texas Rangers.
(Barry Chin / Globe Staff Photo)

Jon Strikes Deep in the Heart of Texas' Lineup

Lester Flirts with No-Hitter | Boston 8, Texas 1
Lesterrific! The Most Impressive Outing Of Jon's Career
Ortiz's Seeing-Eye Home Run Wraps Around Johnny's Pole
Curtain Call for Cheap Shot Was Funny... And Embarrassing
Michael Young Got an Old-Fashioned Hit to Break it Up

"It's hard not to think about it when you've got the Green Monster out there. It's in your face the whole time. I was real happy it was a well-struck ball. It wasn't an infield hit or anything like that." -- Jon Lester on his Texas-sized night

It Takes Two to Make a Thing Go Wrong

Sox starter Brad Penny, left, high-fives shortstop Julio Lugo after a line out by Texas Rangers Hank Blalock in the fourth inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Friday June 5, 2009.

Pin the Fail on Penny and Lugo

Sox Out of Range | Texas 5, Boston 1
Maybe the Sox Should Head Back Out on the Road Again?
A Penny Flip, and Two Lugo Slips, Millwood Had Zip, Plus Kinsler's Roundtrip
Lugo's Lost a Step or Two, and You'll Find Green in the Lineup Tonight
No Double Vision: Ortiz Looked Focused, Dropped in a Seeing-Eye Single
Ian Kinsler, 14 HR, 41 RBIs, and Why Pedroia Is Grabbing Pine at the All-Star Game
Millwood Is Just the Latest Has-Been-Turned-Cy-Candidate By Sox Lineup
Good to Know: David Murphy Is What We Thought He Was
More Days in First Place for Nolan Ryan's Rangers Out West

"His first four innings were as good as we've seen. He was throwing the ball really, really well. Then the next two I think he threw 50 pitches." -- Tito's thoughts on Penny

The Doctor Is In

Boston Dirt Dogs
(BDD Photo Illustration)

Big Papi Pays a Visit to His Eye Doctor

If David Really Thinks He Can't See Straight,
He Must Be Hearing Voices In His Head

Big Papi Jumps the Shark

Will David Help the Sox Snatch Defeat from the Jaws of Victory?
Or Will We See a Return to Papi's Prime Time at Fenway?

In This Episode of "Baseball-tawk,' Big Papi Returns Home
to Fenway Park to Face an Uncertain Future

D-Train Breakdown

Tigers starter Dentrelle Willis stands with his head down after seeing manager Jim Leyland head for the mound in the third inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Thursday, June 4, 2009, in Detroit. Willis had issued a bases-loaded walk to Boston's Kevin Youkilis just before he was pulled from the game.
(BDD Photo Illustration)

Motor City Sweepdown

Boston 6, Detroit 3 | Heading Home on a Winning Note
So Tim Wakefield Is Worth Every Penny When Smoltz Comes Back
He's Right on the Money with No. 14, Bay Banks Another One
Okajima Completely Flying Under the Radar This Season
Walk and a HIt is a Clean Inning for Papelbon

"I threw a couple good pitches and I didn't get the calls, and I let myself get flustered. That's the first time that's happened in my career, but you can't do that against the Red Sox. It was just mental." -- Dontrelle went to hell in a handbasket in a hurry

7th Wonder
Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett throws against the Detroit Tigers in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Wednesday, June 3, 2009.

Josh Beckett Was On His Way to a No-Hitter,
Until He Handed One to Granderson

Beckett Flirts with No-Hit Bid in Win | Boston 10, Detroit 5
Josh Beckett Is Back: Last 3 Starts -- 1 ER in 22 2/3 Innings
We Interrupt This Sentence to Report That David Ortiz Hit a Double Last Night
Looks Like Takashi Saito Has Been Hanging Around with Papelbon
And the Defense Rests... and the Sox Make Three Errors in Eighth
Congratulations J.D. Drew on Hitting Honest Home Run No. 200
Laird Tries for a Cheap Hit, Then Beckett Hits Him
What the Eck Was That? Talking 'No Hitter' While One Was in Progress?

"He was throwing strike one when he was throwing offspeed. Just hitting corners. It seemed like he really never missed over the middle. With his stuff, he's got enough velocity where he can miss over the middle a couple times and still get away with it. I don't think he gave too many guys any easy looks." -- Mike Lowell, really impressed with Josh's outing

Dice and Easy?

Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, of Japan, throws against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, June 2, 2009.

Not Exactly. But a Win Is a Win.

Matsuzaka Makes It Look Difficult | Boston 5, Detroit 1
Let's Have a Slow Clap for Terry Francona and His 500th Win with the Red Sox
When Dice-K Takes the Mound, the 'Pen Gets Plenty of Work In
Jon Papelbon Thought He Could Create a Save for Himself... Not Quite
Ryan Perry Can't Get Anybody Out... But He Blows It By Ortiz
J-Bay Bangs Out No. 16, with Men on Base, Naturally
Jacoby Acted Like a Leading Man Last Night... Even Drew a Walk
Flash in the Pan Rick Porcello Is the Susan Boyle of the Tigers
If Papi Can Keep Looking Pathetic at the Plate, Then Lugo Should Get His SS Job Back

"J-Bay gets one pitch. He's so dangerous. They made some pitches, and all of a sudden there's a ball that's up in the zone hanging, and he just crushes it. He's been that type of hitter, but it's nice to see him do it for us." -- Tito500 on the Sox MVP candidate

Even the Squirrel Couldn't Bear
To Watch Dice-K Work

Squirrel in Detroit

Make Some Room for
Watermelon Hat Nation

Scratch the watermelons embroidered on the visor to release scent. Team logo in cool green on light pink cap
(MLB Shop Photo)

The Red Sox Offense Has Been Misfiring Lately But
The Marketing Department Is Firing On All Cylinders

The Butchering of the Once Proud Boston Red Sox Brand Continues
'Get Your Pink Red Sox Scratch-and-Sniff Watermelon Caps Heeeeeerrrrree!'
Is The Hat at Least Available in 'Sausage Guy' Scent?
Good News: Manny the Cheat Drops to 5th in NL All-Star Vote

Shake-Up Wakes Up Sox
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is congratulated by team mate David Ortiz after hitting a three-run home run against Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning

Breaking News:
Sox Score More Than Three Runs in Nine Innings

Sox Righted by Lefty | Boston 8, Toronto 2
Dirty Dozen K's: Welcome Back Jon Lester, Your Spot is Safe
Pedroia Moves Ahead of Papi in the Last Place Home Run Race
Youkilis Bring Some Production to the No. 3 Slot with 2 Homers
Everybody Hits... Except Jason Varitek on Sunday, Even Ortiz
Once in a Blue Moon: Ellsbury Lays Down a Sac Bunt

"We scored early and then we added on. That's always a good way to play. We haven't done that very much lately but it was a very good day today." -- Terry Francona on the offensive explosion

Et Tu, Ram-Ram?

Red Sox pitcher Ramon Ramirez waits to be pulled after giving up the go ahead runs to the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto, May 30, 2009.

Even Ramon Ramirez Is a Lost Cause

Sox Know the Score in Loss | Toronto 5, Boston 3
Blame It on Rios: Jays Outfielder Had as Manny Hits as All Nine Sox
Penny's Luck Runs Out: Just Two Earned Runs, But Penny Can't Get a Win
Baldelli Hits One Out... Then Gets Knocked Out
Happy 37th Birthday to Manny The Cheater Ramirez
Enjoy Watching the All-Star Game from Your Couch, Too

"The players we have, not everybody but a lot of them, are suited for Fenway. There's guys on our club who know they can reach out and hook something and hit it off that wall. Some of these road games, you can go out and hook it and fly out. There's a difference. It's been something we've been trying to figure out for a while. Our home and road, there's a lot of disparity. I would like, hopefully, to figure it out by tomorrow." -- Tito knows the Sox aren't built for life on the road

BDD is a feature of 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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