Wednesday, 01 August 2012 14:09

Red Sox Report Card July

Even optimism has its limits. We are reaching those limits when it comes to the 2012 Red Sox. As we enter August, it is clear that this season's squad is underachieving.

That's not to say that they are a bad team. They're not. A bad team, we could deal with. We dealt with bad teams for a long time. No, what we have in 2012 is worse a mediocre team. Boston has hovered around the .500 mark for the entire season; there have been a couple of strong stretches, but even those were almost immediately offset by bad patches.

This season's addition of a second wild card playoff spot has kept postseason hope alive in Boston. However, it has also kept hope alive in several other cities across the country. It's going to take an extended stretch of quality play to give the Red Sox a chance to leapfrog into that wild card spot. Is it possible? Absolutely. Is it likely? I'm not so sure.

Published in Report Card
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:57

Dirty Little Secret

As the dog days of summer approach, Red Sox fans continue to be troubled by what has been a season-long series of false starts and dashed hopes. There have been flashes of brilliance from this team but also much longer stretches of mediocrity, all while the guys in pinstripes continue to play with a youthfulness that makes you wonder if there's a Dorian Gray-like team portrait hanging in Hank Steinbrenner's office. It would be enough to make me add several new gray hairs if it were not for my dirty little secret. No, it's not Just For Men. It's that I just don't care like I once did. 

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 13:38

Bringing the heat for real

The recent weather in Maine has been hotter than NESN reporter Jenny Dell, so there's a slight chance I might be suffering from heat-induced delusions. But when it comes to the Red Sox, I think I can see clearly now; the rain is gone. While these thoughts might make you a bit overheated, here's what I think about the rest of the Sox regular season.

There will be no playoffs again this year. Sox are at .500 as we speak. Sure, they're getting healthier every day, but unless they have three quality starting pitchers coming off the DL (they don't), they're going nowhere. Message to John Farrell: 'Please come back!' Sox pitchers have struggled since he has been gone. The bullpen has been serviceable, but without a few guys who can get you to the seventh inning consistently, there'll be no October baseball for Boston again this year.

Published in The Sports Edge

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine sat back in the visiting clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium earlier this season, his feet propped up on the desk, and spoke glowingly of his first visit to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. 

The former player, longtime manager and lifelong baseball fan had never before stepped through its doors in the historic 18th and Vine District of Kansas City. Never gazed upon the countless artifacts or read the exhaustive research recalling a bygone era.

It opened the eyes of someone steeped in baseball history.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:06

2012: The year of the no-hitter?

One of the great things about great sports moments is that you never know when you're going to get one. Or more than one.

In 1990 and 1991, major league baseball saw an unprecedented number of no-hitters. Each season saw seven; a number unmatched in the entirety of the game's modern era and surpassed only once in baseball's entire history (In 1884, the age of spitballs and a mound just 50 feet away, there were eight). That two-year period represented a spike of pitching dominance that was unlike anything baseball had ever seen.

2012 has a chance to be another one of those spikes. Maybe the biggest ever. So far this season (and bear in mind there are still roughly 100 games to go), there have been five no-hitters two of them perfect games.

Published in Sports

Babe Ruth equals big bucks.

A baseball jersey worn by The Bambino sold for more than $4.4 million Sunday, a record for any item of sports memorabilia, according to the buyer and seller.

SCP Auctions, based in California, said the circa 1920 New York Yankees uniform top is the earliest known jersey worn by Ruth and it fetched $4,415,658 at the company's April auction, which ended Sunday. That price broke the previous record of $4,338,500 set in 2010 for James Naismith's founding rules of basketball. said it submitted the winning bid for the jersey, which had been displayed for years at The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore. The road top has 'New York' written across the front and the Hall of Fame slugger wore it shortly after he was sold to the Yankees by the Boston Red Sox for $100,000 following the 1919 season.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:27

Four four-baggers

Hamilton becomes 16th with four homers in one game

Since Babe Ruth exploded onto the scene almost a century ago, major league baseball and its fans have been enamored of the home run. 'Chicks dig the long ball,' as the old advertising catchphrase has it. Even the sports performance-enhancing drug issues were born largely from that desire to hit the ball ever farther.

However, even with that hundred-year obsession with power, one of the rarest individual feats in baseball is the four-homer game. Only 15 men had ever reached that pinnacle that is, until this season.

Welcome to the club, Josh Hamilton.

Published in Sports
Thursday, 26 April 2012 07:04

White Sox's Humber throws perfect game

SEATTLE - Phil Humber had Tommy John surgery before his career even started. He bounced around a bit as he tried to make it in the major leagues.

Now, well, Humber is perfect.

Humber threw the first perfect game in the majors in almost two years, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 4-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

'What just took place was just awesome,' he said.

It was baseball's 21st perfect game and first since Philadelphia's Roy Halladay threw one against the Florida Marlins on May 29, 2010. It was the third in White Sox's history, joining Mark Buehrle against Tampa Bay on July 23, 2009, and Charles Robertson against Detroit on April 30, 1922.

Published in Sports
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 13:17

Baseball is back

Forget about those two Seattle and Oakland games that were played in Japan at 6 a.m. our time and replayed on tape delay three hours later this week. (Side note: Is there anything in the entire world of televised sport that's lamer than tape delay? I would say no.) Baseball season is back, and with it comes a lot of change. Change for the better.

First off it means the winter is over, spring is here and soon after comes summer. I'll talk about the Red Sox a little bit, but the fact that the games are back changes the way you live your life. I don't mean that as an extremely deep thought, because it isn't. For roughly 160 (accounting for the occasional rain out or double header) of the next 200 days, you have entertainment. Whether you watch the game from inning one to inning nine, check in on it for a few pitches to see the score, listen to it on the radio, or just have it on in the background while you do other things, the Sox are back. There is also the annual Fenway trip many like to make. Ask people and they'll say, 'I try to get down once a year.' Then of course you get there and the seats are uncomfortable and you spent 500 bucks on the day, but hey, it's Fenway. Had to make the annual visit.

Published in The Sports Edge
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:24

Red Sox owners ready to move on in 2012

FORT MYERS, Fla. - John Henry was walking off the stage after a television interview during his team's first full-squad workout of the spring when the Boston owner was confronted by a lifelong Red Sox fan holding a bright red sign with white letters.

'All we ask is that you make us proud again to be a Boston Red Sox fan,' the sign read.

'We're trying,' Henry told her.

Published in Sports
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