Before it was consumed by fire, Boston’s South End Grounds was a magnificent stadium, brought to life in Victorian Era writing. Let’s revisit the Grounds and why such little information is available about the ballpark. Read More
Doc Rivers sounds annoyed with all the Rajon Rondo trade rumors:
Rivers said Thursday afternoon he is irked by reports the Celtics were aggressively shopping his mercurial point guard and frustrated that his relationship with Rondo is being cited as one of the reasons Boston is willing to part with him.
“My relationship with Rajon is as strong as it has ever been,” he said. “Our communication has never been better. I want him here. I can say with almost 100 percent certainty he will be here with us when the season ends. I’m tired of this stuff. It’s not fair.”
Full story on Red’s Army
Fanatic Sports Morning Update for February 11, 2012
Jeremy Lin scores career-high 38 as Knicks top Lakers 92-85.
Russell Westbrook had 28 points and Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Utah Jazz 101-87.
No. 25 Harvard holds off Penn 56-50.
Dwyane Wade scores 26 as Heat take down Wizards 106-89.
Dirk Nowitzki scores season-high 33 points in Mavs win over Wolves 104-97.
Chris Paul had 24 points and the Clippers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 78-77.
Smith scores 23 as Hawks slip past Magic in OT 89-87.
Bucks 113, Cavs 112
Grizzlies 98, Pacers 92
Toronto 86, Boston 74
Tiger Woods 6 behind leader Wi at Pebble Beach
Kevin Garnett’s actions following Sunday’s season-opening loss to the Knicks were a bit questionable. But the NBA has decided not to suspend the Celtics forward, according to CSNNE.com.
After missing the final shot during Sunday’s see-saw battle at Madison Square Garden, Garnett exchanged words with the Knicks’ Bill Walker, with whom KG played with in Boston during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. Garnett then grabbed Walker by the throat and shoved him as Walker backtracked. The two were then separated by players from both teams.
On the day he will be introduced as president of baseball operations with the Chicago Cubs, former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein explained in a first-person op-ed piece in the Boston Globe why he decided to leave Boston.
“The reason I am leaving has nothing to do with power, pressure, money, or relationships,” Epstein wrote in Tuesday’s edition. “It has nothing to do with September, either.”
Citing football legend Bill Walsh’s theory that coaches and executives in team sports benefit from a change of scenery after 10 years or so in the same place, Epstein — who has spent the past 10 years as general manager of the Red Sox — explained he was initially thinking of leaving his hometown team after the 2012 season, when his contract expired. Epstein also revealed he and assistant Ben Cherington had discussed a transition plan, wherein Cherington took over as GM when Epstein left.
“This summer, when ownership and I first discussed Ben as my successor, the Red Sox were stable, thriving, and talented enough in the big leagues and in the farm system to compete as one of the best clubs in baseball this year and for many years to come,” Epstein wrote.
Full story at ESPN
Terry Francona was distracted by marital issues and his use of pain medication last season, a team source told the Boston Globe, an allegation the former Red Sox manager denied.
“It makes me angry that people say these things because I’ve busted my (butt) to be the best manager I can be,” Francona said when the Globe presented him with its findings. “I wasn’t terribly successful this year, but I worked harder and spent more time at the ballpark this year than I ever did.”
Francona’s eight-year tenure with the Red Sox came to an end earlier this month in what was called a mutual decision.
The team declined to exercise an option on Francona’s contract following the Red Sox’s historic September collapse in which they went 7-20 and failed to make the playoffs.
Francona, married to his wife, Jacque, for almost 30 years, moved out of their house and lived in a hotel this past season, the newspaper reported.
According to the Globe, team sources also had concerns that Francona’s performance may have been affected by his use of pain medication.
Full story at ESPN
Looks like they are really gonna drag Francona threw the mud and make him the scapegoat.
BOSTON (AP) — The Terry Francona era in Boston began with the Red Sox first championship in 86 years. It ended after one of the worst months in club history.
Players who didn’t listen to him needed “a new voice,” he said, and his employers agreed.
The team announced Friday that it was not exercising its contract option for next season and wouldn’t hurry to name a replacement for the manager who rarely criticized his players publicly. That loyalty may not have been returned.
“I trusted them explicitly and things weren’t getting done the way I wanted it in the end,” Francona said, “and I was frustrated because of that. If that’s letting me down, maybe it is.”
But, he said he liked his players and “I actually feel I let a lot of people down.”
In a statement, the Red Sox said they wouldn’t pick up the option for a ninth year as manager following the team’s September collapse in which they blew a nine-game lead in the AL wild-card race. They went 7-20 in September, capped by a 4-3 loss to Baltimore, as Tampa Bay beat them for the playoff spot on the final night of the regular season.
Owners John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino acknowledged a change was needed and thanked Francona, who led the franchise to titles in 2004 and 2007. But the statement also mentioned that Francona was ready to head in a different direction.
“Tito said that after eight years here he was frustrated by his difficulty making an impact with the players, that a different voice was needed, and that it was time for him to move on,” the statement said.
The decision was part of a whirlwind day at Fenway Park that saw the principal parties shuttle in and out of the facility. Francona was in the building three different times.
As Francona drove away once in his Cadillac Escalade, a fan on the street clapped and gave him the thumbs-up sign. Later, after Francona had returned, the driver of a passing ambulance asked a reporter, “Did Francona get fired?”
A day on which talk shows in baseball-crazy Boston were filled with Tito talk took a strange turn later when Henry fell on his yacht moored in downtown Boston and was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital to be examined. WBZ radio reported that he walked off his boat wearing a neck brace.
“He’s fine,” Werner said at an evening news conference with Lucchino and general manager Theo Epstein. “He wished he could be here tonight so his absence, don’t read anything more than just he suffered a minor fall this afternoon.”
He said that at Friday morning’s meeting, management suggested Francona take the weekend to think things over. But he said Francona had made up his mind. He didn’t directly address a question of whether the team would have exercised the option had Francona wanted to stay.
“I was looking forward to hearing Terry’s point of view about how things could improve,” Werner said, “but I think it became clear to us that we couldn’t convince him to remain and I think that’s best for all of us.”
Boston missed the playoffs despite its nine-game lead with 24 left on Sept. 4. It went 6-18 after that amid reports of conditioning and clubhouse problems. The Red Sox did not win consecutive games all month.
“I didn’t feel like the players need to go to dinner together, but they need to be fiercely loyal on the field,” Francona said at a news conference after the announcement. “I didn’t always get that feeling and it bothered me.”
Epstein said Francona was frustrated with clubhouse issues before the September swoon. But that didn’t keep the Red Sox from going 82-44 between a dismal 2-10 start and the 6-18 finish.
“When you’re winning, a lot of that stuff gets covered up,” Epstein said, “and then in September when we started to lose, some of our warts were exposed.”
Francona said it was his decision to leave, although the owners seemed to want to make a change.
“I’m not sure how much support there was from ownership. I don’t know that I feel real comfortable,” said Francona, wearing a long-sleeved dress shirt instead of the red Boston pullover he wore during games and postgame news conferences. “It’s got be everybody together. I was questioning that a little bit.”
Lucchino said, “I was actually puzzled by that comment. We have done nothing differently this year than we have done in previous years.”
Werner gave a vote of confidence to Epstein, who has been criticized for giving long-term deals to underachieving John Lackey and Carl Crawford and is still under contract.
“He’s one of the best general managers in baseball and has been integral to the success of our club the last 10 years,” Werner said.
The official announcement praised Francona.
“We have enormous respect, admiration and appreciation for Tito and the job that he did for eight years, including two World Series championship seasons and five playoff appearances,” it read. “His poise during the 2004 postseason was a key factor in the greatest comeback in baseball history, and his place in Red Sox history will never be forgotten.
“We wish him only the best going forward.”
The statement also quotes Epstein as saying, “Nobody at the Red Sox blames Tito for what happened at the end of this season; we own that as an organization. This year was certainly a difficult and draining one for him and for us.”
Francona said he didn’t know what he would do next but wants to stay in the game. He could be interested in the managerial opening with the Chicago White Sox. He was a manager in their minor-league system, even handling a team on which Michael Jordan tried his hand at baseball, before becoming manager in Philadelphia in 1997.
He said he supports his bench coach, DeMarlo Hale, to replace him but there has been little speculation about who would take over. Hale has never managed in the majors and Epstein said experience in that job is preferable but not required.
Asked about reports of drinking in the clubhouse during games by starting pitchers not playing that day, Francona said, “I’d rather talk about generalities.”
In Francona’s four seasons with the Phillies, they had a 285-363 record with their best coming in 1999 at 77-85.
The Red Sox failed to make the postseason in Francona’s final two seasons but sold out every game since he replaced Grady Little after the 2003 season.
At Friday’s meeting, “I passed along my frustrations at my inability to effectively reach the players,” Francona said in the statement. “After many conversations and much consideration, I ultimately felt that, out of respect to this team, it was time for me to move on.
“I’ve always maintained that it is not only the right, but the obligation, of ownership to have the right person doing this job. I told them that out of my enormous respect for this organization and the people in it, they may need to find a different voice to lead the team.”
The decision came as both of the American League Division Series were set to begin. So, obviously, the Red Sox were a hot pregame topic in Texas and New York.
“I know how well liked he is by his players and that city and in baseball in general. He’s a great guy; he’s not just a good guy,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s not easy.”
Maddon’s Rays, and Joe Girardi’s Yankees both made the postseason out of the same division as Boston.
“These jobs are precious, there’s no doubt about it. There’s expectations. A lot of times they’re extremely high expectations when you’re in certain towns,” Girardi said. “We understand that when we take the job. High expectations are better than no expectations. You do enjoy it and you enjoy your time when you’re there.
“Tito has done a great job there.”
Francona was the second winningest manager in Red Sox history with a 744-552 record and an 8-0 mark in World Series games, sweeping the Cardinals and Rockies. He became the first manager to win his first six World Series games. They were 90-72 this season.
“I’m going to miss Tito,” Epstein said, “but I am excited that we’re going to get the right guy and that under his leadership these players are going to come together and form a winning team next year, a really good team.”
© 2011 The Associated Press.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon sat alone in his office, waiting for the reaction of his players gathered around a cluster of televisions in the middle of the clubhouse. The Rays beat the New York Yankees 5-2 on Monday night, then celebrated yet another loss that left the AL wild-card race tied with two games to go.
“I didn’t want to expend any more energy in front of a TV,” Maddon said. “It was fun to listen to guys from afar.”
James Shields came within one out of his 12th complete game, yielding six hits. Kyle Farnsworth finished for his 24th save, closing it out moments before the Red Sox lost 6-3 at Baltimore. The Rays and Red Sox each have two games left.
“It’s been a nice little run. All the stars have been aligned for us and here we are,” Shields said. “This is what baseball is all about.”
B.J. Upton drove in two runs with a third-inning double off Hector Noesi (2-2). Kelly Shoppach homered for the second straight day for the Rays, who’ve won three straight and are 14-7 since Sept. 4, when they trailed Boston by nine games. Johnny Damon’s third-inning RBI single moved him into a tie with Lou Gehrig for 57th on the career hits list with 2,721.
Robinson Cano homered in the first and hit an RBI single in the third, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead against Shields, who allowed just five baserunners over the last six innings. The All-Star right-hander walked three and struck out four to win for the first time in three starts.
“It’s great. We’re really into it. We feel good about this. We like our chances,” Maddon said.
“There’s a real strong believability about what we’re trying to accomplish right now,” the manager added. “It means something to be that far back at the beginning of this month and now we’re tied with a couple of games to go. That’s quite an accomplishment in and of itself. But when you get to this point, you really want to finish things off.”
Shields (16-12) left after walking Eric Chavez. Farnsworth got Jesus Montero to ground out with a crowd of 18,772 on its feet. As the Rays retreated to the clubhouse, fans remained standing while watching a large video screen airing the ninth inning of the Red Sox-Orioles game.
There was an erupted of cheers when the Orioles got the final out.
“Our fate is in our hands,” Shields said. “We don’t have to worry about the Red Sox losing now. That feels really good, especially how far we were back.”
“There’s not a lot of people out there who had faith in us, but here we are,” the pitcher added. “This is where we want to be. We’re down to the last two games of the year, and we control our own fate.”
The Yankees clinched the AL East title for the 12th time in 16 seasons last week during a 6-2 homestand in which they also helped the Rays by winning two of three against Boston. They flew to Florida following Sunday night’s 14-inning loss to the Red Sox, arriving at their Tampa hotel around 5 a.m.
Even though New York also has clinched home-field advantage throughout the AL playoffs, manager Joe Girardi said he would play each game of this series to win while also trying to set his team up for the start of the playoffs on Friday.
“We’re playing to win. I’ve got Bartolo (Colon) tomorrow and I’ve got a loaded bullpen. We’re playing to win games, but I also have to pick the time I use my relievers,” Girardi said. “If you get in some long games Friday and Saturday, I’ve got to make sure that they can go multiple innings. My responsibility is to this club.”
That’s exactly the way Maddon anticipated the Yankees approaching the week.
“I know they’ll have to do some things with their playoff situation, but they’re going to play it straight up I’m pretty sure. Even when they bring the reserves in, they’re pretty good also,” Maddon said before the game. “At the end of the day, the Rays have got to play. We have to win our own games and not worry about anybody else.”
The Yankees rested starters Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher, with Jorge Posada starting at first base and Eduardo Nunez in right field. Phil Hughes, who’s been bothered by a sore back, was one of six pitchers Girardi used, pitching for the first time in two weeks and allowing no runs and one hit in 1 2-3 innings.
Noesi, a reliever making his second start in five days against the Rays, allowed three runs and five hits in two-plus innings. Damon drove in the final run charged to the Yankees starter with his RBI single off Raul Valdes, then the Rays ran themselves out of what could have been an even bigger inning.
With runners at first and third and one out, Damon and Evan Longoria were both caught stealing after Damon took off for second and stopped. Posada tagged Damon out from behind in a rundown, then threw to the plate to catch Longoria trying to score from third.
Posada also threw Upton out at the plate in the first, fielding a sharp grounder from Ben Zobrist before stepping on first and throwing to catcher Russell Martin, who put the tag on Upton to finish an inning-ending double play that protected a 1-0 lead.
Undeterred, the Rays kept pushing, playing the aggressive style that’s helped them get back in the race.
“We don’t worry about the Red Sox. We don’t worry about anybody. We come out and play our game every night,” Maddon said. “We’ve got to worry about beating the Yankees (Wednesday). If we take care of our own business, then the seconds, the minutes, the hours and the days take care of themselves.”
NOTES: Martin was ejected in the fifth inning after exchanging words with plate umpire Paul Schrieber. … Shields gave up a one-out single to Nunez in the seventh inning, them picked him off first base. His 13 pickoffs lead the majors. … The Yankees plan to use Hughes twice out of the bullpen twice during this series. If he’s on the postseason roster, Hughes would be a reliever. … Girardi said backup C Francisco Cervelli, who has been on the DL since Sept. 13, experienced concussion-like symptoms while doing baseball activities before the game.
© 2011 The Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz reported no problems Tuesday after throwing a 32-pitch simulated game before the Red Sox played the Baltimore Orioles.
Buchholz is still hoping to pitch again this season, especially in the playoffs.
Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched since June 16 because of a stress fracture, isn’t sure what the plan is going forward.
Also, the Red Sox got Carl Crawford back in the lineup Tuesday night, after the left fielder missed Monday’s day-night doubleheader with a stiff neck.
BOSTON (AP) — Three games out. Eleven left to play. And the Tampa Bay Rays mean it when they say the next one is the most important of all.
“We are definitely playing playoff baseball right now and we’re not even in the playoffs yet,” manager Joe Maddon said Saturday after the Rays beat Boston 4-3 to trim the Red Sox lead in the AL wild-card race to three games.
“I love the fact that we do have a bunch of tough guys. … When you’re playing this time of year for all the marbles, you can’t be intimidated by the opponent or the venue,” he said.
Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homer off Jon Lester, and Jeff Niemann (11-7) pitched five solid innings to give Tampa Bay its seventh win in its last eight games against Boston, including two of three so far in this weekend’s four-game series. The Red Sox have lost 10 of their last 13 games since Sept. 3, when they led the wild-card race by nine games.
Tim Wakefield faces Tampa Bay’s David Price in the series finale on Sunday.
“Of course the sweep was a great thought, and we lost that possibility (Friday),” Maddon said. “But three out of four ain’t bad, either. I think that Mr. Meat Loaf intended the song to say that.”
With a victory over Boston on Sunday, the Rays would trail by two heading into the final 10 games. But they have seven of their last 11 against the first-place New York Yankees, and Boston has seven of its remaining games against the last-place Baltimore Orioles.
“This isn’t our first go-round at this,” Lester said. “We’ve got plenty of guys in that clubhouse that have been through it. It’s easier when you’re coming from behind than where we’re at. There’s no pressure. Obviously they’re doing a good job. We’ve just got to grind it out. That’s the attitude in that clubhouse. We’ve got to stay working and grind. We can’t worry about what’s being said about us or what’s going on.”
Matt Moore pitched three innings of relief, and Joel Peralta pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
“We’ve got to come back and try to get another one,” Peralta said. “I know we’ve got a tough road. I know we’re chasing, and we’re chasing a great team. But we’re playing great this month.”
Lester (15-8) went just four innings against Tampa Bay last Sunday, giving up four runs but throwing 111 pitches to lose for the first time in six starts. He was better this time, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks and striking out five in seven innings.
But the result was the same.
For the second straight night, the Rays got to Boston’s starter in the first. Desmond Jennings walked to lead off the game and scored on Zobrist’s homer off the top of the Green Monster. Tampa added another run in the third when Jennings doubled and, after moving up on a groundout, scored on a wild pitch.
The Red Sox made it 3-2 in the bottom half when Mike Aviles hit an RBI double and scored on a sacrifice fly, but Evan Longoria’s run-scoring single in the fifth made it 4-2.
Carl Crawford singled to lead off the seventh against Moore and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury’s groundout to cut the deficit to 4-3, but Moore fanned Dustin Pedroia with Ellsbury on third to end the inning.
David Ortiz hit a long fly ball off Moore in the eighth, but B.J. Upton caught it at the warning track in front of the Boston bullpen.
Aviles had three hits, including a single up the middle with two out in the ninth. But Peralta got Marco Scutaro on a grounder to third to end the game.
Boston is batting just .123 against Niemann, who gave up four hits in five innings, walking two and striking out six.
NOTES: Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz, who hasn’t pitched since June 16 because of a back injury, threw 30 pitches off a mound and said he would still like to return this year if Boston makes the playoffs. … RHP Bobby Jenks said his pulmonary embolism is being treated with medication and he expects to be ready for the start of spring training. … Boston INF Kevin Youkilis missed his second straight game with a sports hernia. … Longoria has 12 RBIs in five games. …. Zobrist has 10 RBIs in 10 games after getting 1 in his previous 12. … Wakefield (7-6) is coming off his 200th career victory. He has 186 wins with the Red Sox, second to Roger Clemens and Cy Young, who are tied with 192.
© 2011 The Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) — CC Sabathia finally beat the Red Sox funk, and it took an extra effort to do it.
The big Yankees left-hander struck out 10 on Tuesday night, throwing a season-high 128 pitches in six innings to beat Boston for the first time in five tries and lead New York to a 5-2 victory. The Yankees improved to 3-13 this season against the Red Sox, who still lead the AL East by one-half game.
“It’s always a big game when you’re playing the team you’re chasing,” Sabathia said, conceding to reporters that he had grown tired of the reminders of his struggles against Boston. “Of course, when you guys won’t stop talking about it.”
Sabathia (18-7) had been 0-4 with a 7.20 ERA against the Red Sox this year, and 17-3 with a 2.40 ERA against the rest of baseball. He allowed two runs on 10 hits and two walks; only once in his career has he thrown more than 128 pitches.
“He got big outs when he had to, and that’s CC,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who was ejected with one out to go after Mariano Rivera hit a swinging Jarrod Saltalamacchia with a pitch – the fourth hit batter of the game. “It’s not like me to blow my top, but it’s an important game. This is a huge game, a huge series.”
Mariano Rivera finished the ninth for his 35th save.
John Lackey (12-10) allowed five runs – four earned – on seven hits and four walks, striking out three. Nick Swisher had three hits, and Francisco Cervelli hit a solo homer in the fifth, clapping as he crossed the plate. That may have been why, when he came up again in the seventh, Lackey hit him in the back, sparking a bench-clearing staredown.
“I totally understand how it could look that way. Guy hit a home run. Next at-bat, first pitch, you hit him,” Saltalamacchia said. “We had no intent on hitting him. It just happened that way.”
After getting hit, Cervelli moved toward the mound as the dugouts slowly emptied and home plate umpire Ed Rapuano tried to maintain order. There was nothing more than jawing back and forth, and in the end Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild was ejected.
In the first inning, Curtis Granderson took one off the end of the bat – or the hand, depending on whom you believe – and then Sabathia plunked Jacoby Ellsbury to lead off the bottom half.
“It’s part of the game,” Cervelli said. “Yankees-Boston, everybody wants to win.”
New York took a 1-0 lead in the second and made it 3-0 in the fourth when Robinson Cano hit an RBI double and scored on Eric Chavez’s single. After Boston cut the lead to 3-2 on Carl Crawford’s homer and an RBI double by Marco Scutaro, New York added Cervelli’s solo homer in the fifth and Derek Jeter’s run-scoring double play in the seventh that made it 5-2.
The Red Sox had 13 hits in all, but Saltalamacchia stranded seven and Adrian Gonzalez stranded five; each struck out three times. It was also a rough day at the plate for Jorge Posada, who left five men on and grounded into a pair of double plays, and Jeter, who returned after missing two games with a bruised kneecap, grounded out five times.
Notes: Game 2 of the series will match Phil Hughes and Josh Beckett. Beckett is 3-0 vs. the Yankees this season in four starts. Hughes is coming off a rocky start against Oakland, when he allowed six earned runs in 2 2-3 innings of a 22-9 Yankees victory. … Keegan Bradley, a Vermont native who won the PGA Championship this month, threw out the ceremonial first pitch and gave a big fist pump afterward. … Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield won’t pitch in the upcoming series against Texas. Instead he’ll make his start against Toronto. Andrew Miller, Erik Bedard and Lackey will face the Rangers. … Manager Terry Francona said RHP Clay Buchholz, on the 60-day disabled list with a stress fracture on his back, threw 25 times from 60 feet and did well in the limited workout. Francona said Buchholz will continue to rehabilitate slowly. “Whether this turns into him pitching (this season) or not, we don’t know, but it’s still exciting in the fact that he’s done so well to this point.” … Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez was out of the lineup, one day after receiving a cortisone injection for his sprained left thumb. Rodriguez said he hoped to play in the three-game series at Boston, but felt this weekend at home against Toronto was more likely.
© 2011 The Associated Press
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Erik Bedard is still looking for his first victory since getting to Boston. The Red Sox are still trying to win a game in Texas.
While the Red Sox have been the best team in the majors since their 0-6 start that included the season-opening three-game set at Rangers Ballpark in April, they again lost to the AL West leaders.
C.J. Wilson limited the Red Sox to four singles over 6 2-3 scoreless innings before a trio of relievers finished without allowing a hit as Texas won 4-0 on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series that serves as a potential playoff preview.
“It’s hard to think about April 6 or whatever,” manager Terry Francona said. “What happened in April, they’re probably not the same team of four months ago.”
Then again, the Red Sox aren’t really themselves with their injury-depleted lineup.
Kevin Youkilis and J.D. Drew were already on the disabled list before Boston began this series without Jacoby Ellsbury and David Ortiz.
Ellsbury was out of the lineup for the third straight game since being hit in the back with a pitch at Kansas City, though the All-Star center fielder is expected to be back Tuesday night. Ortiz hasn’t played since last Tuesday because of bursitis in his right heel. The slugger took swings inside on Monday.
Bedard (4-9) is 0-2 in his four starts for the Red Sox since being acquired July 31 in a trade from Seattle. The left-hander struck out four and allowed seven hits over six innings.
“He did great. He made one bad pitch,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. “Other than that, he did a great job, especially against this team. They have a great hitting team.”
Mike Napoli’s 21st homer, in the sixth off Bedard, extended the Rangers’ 1-0 lead and his hitting streak to a season-best 11.
“I was trying to get him out. I was trying to get him to pop up or miss it,” Bedard said. “Some games, that’s how it ends up. One pitch and he won the battle.”
Texas had a season-high scoreless streak of 17 consecutive innings before Elvis Andrus’ RBI single in the third after a potential inning-ending double play instead became a blown call and hit for Ian Kinsler.
Kinsler’s sinking liner to right in the third appeared to be caught by Josh Reddick.
Baserunner Craig Gentry was stranded between first and second base unsure which way to go until umpire Doug Eddings finally waved safe, ruling that the ball was trapped. Gentry scooted to second while Reddick threw to first thinking he had completed a double play.
“I know he caught it,” Francona said. “But the umpire says he’s sure, and he’s not, I don’t know what to do.”
Francona argued to no avail and Reddick mouthed “There’s no way.”
Replays showed clearly that Reddick caught the ball a few inches off the ground.
Texas (74-55) extended its division lead over the idle Los Angeles Angels to 4 1/2 games while the Red Sox (77-50), who have the second-best record in the AL, dropped a full game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.
Wilson is 3-0 with a 1.37 ERA in his four August starts. The left-hander had finished July by allowing 14 hits and 13 runs (10 earned) in 7 2/3 innings over two starts, but struck out four and walked two against the Red Sox.
“His stuff is just filthy,” Francona said. “He’s got a lot of good pitches and he went right through us.”
The Red Sox had runners at first and third, the only time they had a runner 90 feet from home plate, when Wilson came out of the game. Koji Uehara immediately got Jarrod Saltalamacchia on a groundout.
Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz each pitched a scoreless inning without allowing a hit to wrap up the Rangers’ 15th shutout. Boston was held scoreless for the ninth time.
Notes: Boston is 3-10 at Rangers Ballpark since 2009. … Napoli struck out two pitches after it appeared he had been hit by a pitch in the second. Home plate umpire Paul Nauert ruled foul ball despite Napoli showing him a mark on his arm and manager Ron Washington sprinting out of the dugout to argue. … Texas native John Lackey (11-9) starts for the Red Sox on Tuesday night. The right-hander, coming off a loss to Tampa Bay that snapped his career-best six-game winning streak, is 6-6 with a 6.78 ERA in 17 career starts at Rangers Ballpark. He allowed nine runs in 3 2-3 innings there the second game this season. … Colby Lewis (11-8), who beat Lackey in April, starts for Texas. … Red Sox CF Darnell McDonald was retired on three comebackers to Wilson, two of them on hard choppers the pitcher reached back to snag before getting the outs.
© 2011 The Associated Press
With his team trailing 2-0, the bases loaded and the league’s best batter at the plate, New York Yankees reliever Boone Logan could not have picked a more testing time to take the mound against bitter rivals Boston at Fenway Park on Friday.
Full story at Reuters
Alex Morgan’s awesome finishing did not stop with the end of the Women’s World Cup. In fact, it seems to have only gotten more ridiculous. Coming off the bench to play the second half in the Western New York Flash’s match against Boston, Morgan came up with an amazing equalizer in the 87th minute to earn a 2-2 draw.
Read more at Yahoo Sports
All-Star David Price pitched six solid innings and Ben Zobrist hit his fifth career grand slam, enabling the Rays to snap first-place Boston’s six-game winning streak with a 9-6 victory that opened a critical seven-game homestand against the teams the third-place Rays are chasing in the division.
Read more at AP Sports
In the days leading up to last week’s NBA draft, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge tempered expectations by emphasizing the difficulty in finding impact players in the slots where the Celtics were slated to pick.
E’Twaun Moore knows this. While much has been made about the Celtics drafting two players from the same college (Purdue) and how having each other around should make the transition to the NBA easier for both, there’s no guarantee that Moore will even make the roster.
Read more at ESPN
Entering the season, we knew that Dustin Pedroia’s surgically repaired left foot was going to be an issue. He told us as much, way back in January. Pedroia then added a right knee injury to the medical chart in mid-May, and he’s headed back to Boston for an exam and possible surgery.
It’s obviously too early to speculate on the nature of the injury, which might not be anything too serious (in the office pool I’ve got “partial meniscus tear”), but this clearly isn’t great news.
Read more at Yahoo Sports
1733 – 1st international boxing match: Bob Whittaker beats Tito di Carni
1903 – Chicago White Sox commit 12 errors against Detroit Tigers
1915 – Red Sox Babe Ruth pitching debut & 1st HR, loses to Yanks 4-3 in 15
1921 – American Soccer League forms
1925 – Ty Cobb hits his 5th HR in 2 games tying Cap Ansons record of 1884
1934 – Red Sox score 12 runs in 4th inning including record 4 consecutive triples hit by Carl Reynolds, Moose Solters, Rick Ferrell, & B Walters
1982 – Seattle Mariner Gaylord Perry becomes 15th pitcher to win 300 games
1984 – Baltmore Orioles Cal Ripken Jr hits for cycle
1992 – NY Met Anthony Young begins losing streak of at least 26 games
1994 – Lennox Lewis TKOs Phil Jackson in 8 for Heavyweight boxing title
1995 – Classic Sports Network begins on cable TV
1997 – Rick Pitino becomes coach of Boston Celtics
1998 – Kerry Wood strikes out 20 Houston Astros to tie the major league record held by Roger Clemens. He threw a one-hitter and did not walk a batter in his 5th career start.
1863 – Joe Coburn KOs Mike McCoole for US boxing title in 63rd round
1904 – Cy Young of Boston pitches perfect game against Phila A’s (3-0)
1925 – Ty Cobb goes 6 for 6, (16 total bases)
1938 – Phillies Harold Kelleher faces 16 batters in 6th, as Cubs score 12 runs, both marks are NL records off one hurler in a single inning
1956 – World championships of Judo are 1st held, in Tokyo
1966 – Willie Mays hit his 512th HR
1978 – Cincinnati Red Pete Rose becomes 14th player to get 3,000 hits
1987 – Detroit Tigers are 11 games back in AL, but go on to win AL East
1995 – Last basketball game at Boston Garden (Magic beats Celtics)
1892 – Charlie Reilly is baseball’s 1st pinch hitter
1922 – 1st official Intl Weightlifting Federation Champ (Tallinn, Estonia)
1934 – Pittsburgh is last major league city to play a home game on a Sunday
1936 – 1st pro baseball game in Japan is played Nagoya defeats Daitokyo, 8-5
1961 – ABC’s “Wide World of Sports, debuts
1981 – Phillie Steve Carlton is 1st lefty to strike out 3,000 batters
1986 – Boston Red Sox Roger Clemens strikes out 20 Seattle Mariners
1988 – Orioles beat White Sox 9-0 for 1st 1988 win after 21 loses
1995 – KC Royal John Nonely is 70th to HR on his 1st at bat
1997 – KC Royal Chili Davis is 75th to hit 300 HRs