The Red Sox dropped out of their first place tie with the Red Sox as they were again shut down by a nemesis of theirs, lefthander Ted Lilly of the Blue Jays. If the Red Sox could make it their offseason priority to acquire Lilly and Rodrigo Lopez from the Orioles, then they would win the division in a romp. Just get those two guys and stash them in the minors somewhere, because the only team they can beat is the Red Sox. Nick Cafardo reports that that David Ortiz and the clubhouse remained loose after the game, despite the loss and the questions towards Ortiz for his bunt attempt in the seventh inning. Jeff Horrigan has Terry Francona commenting that it isn’t “fluky” that the Blue Jays keep beating the Red Sox. Kevin McNamara notes that this time it wasn’t the bullpen that imploded on the Red Sox, as Toronto teed off on starter Bronson Arroyo. Jeff Goldberg notes that this was certainly a bad loss at a bad time. David Borges says that Arroyo picked a poor time to have one of his worst outings of the season. Joe Haggerty asserts that if the Fenway crowd seemed lifeless and moribund, they were perhaps taking their cue from the uninspired play of the Fenway Nine on the field. Lenny Megliola looks at the Red Sox moving in the wrong direction.
Bob Ryan looks at how the Blue Jays, despite being long ago eliminated, continue to fight as if they are the ones with a playoff berth on the line. Sean McAdam says that the playoffs have already started, and the Red Sox are trailing. Kevin Gray breaks down and examines the strengths and weaknesses of the four competitors for three playoff spots remaining in the American league. Gordon Edes assigns a couple of brainiacs the task of determining the statistical probability that the Red Sox will return to the postseason. In an anti-climatic ending, they are unable to come up with the answer. Michael Silverman visits with the guys running the out of town scoreboard at Fenway, who have certainly been busy the last few days. Bill Reynolds says that things are as they should be…an old fashioned fight down to the finish.
Christopher L Gaspar looks at Bronson Arroyo’s September magic finally running out on him. Borges has a look at cousins Scott Schoeneweis and Jeremy Kapstein, who may be on opposing sides at the moment, but who share a close bond which continues to grow. Howard Bryant (subscription only) looks at Arroyo, who struggled last night while his famous nemesis, Alex Rodriguez was one of the heroes for the Yankees in their win last night. Silverman looks at one of the few bright spots for the Red Sox last night, as the bullpen was stellar after Arroyo was knocked from the game. Horrigan has an update on Keith Foulke, who is going to have season ending surgery. Tony Chamberlain reports on Alex Cora, who remains very happy to be here and playing in a playoff race.
Buddy Thomas makes his postseason award selections. Listening to The Drive on ESPN radio, it’s been interesting to note that they’ve talked to both Boston writers who have the MVP vote this year, Steven Krasner of the Providence Journal and Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and both appear to be leaning strongly towards picking A-Rod for MVP for the reason that David Ortiz is only a DH. Cristina Silva has a piece in the Globe looking at how stressful this race has been for Red Sox fans. Chamberlain has a look at a guy who has always been a thorn in the side of the Red Sox, Frank Catalanotto, who stung the Sox again last night. Bruce Mohl has a piece in the Globe looking at a suit filed against 16 ticket resellers, including Ace Ticket, for scalping. Finally, Michael Silverman reveals that Manny was not relieving himself during that night in July where he went into the wall and was tardy coming out. He was merely talking, and came out late.
Cafardo’s notebook has more on Foulke’s season coming to an end. This is also the topic of McNamara’s notebook, which also notes that Francona is going to be “extra flexible” with his roster the rest of the way. Horrigan’s notebook looks at David Ortiz’s controversial bunt attempt in the seventh inning, a topic also pursued in Goldberg’s notebook. Foulke’s impending surgery is also the topic of Borges’ notebook.
John Powers in the Globe reports on the Yankees 2-1 win over Baltimore last night to move into sole possession of first place. Get all the coverage on the Yankees, as well as a number of Red Sox articles on the New York Sports News page.
Jerome Solomon looks at the void left by Matt Light, Kevin Faulk and Rodney Harrison and how the Patriots plan on filling the gaps. A fairly solid look from Solomon, when he’s not complaining about the lack of media availability to the players. Michael Felger looks at Eugene Wilson, whom the Patriots need to take the next jump in his career and become a star. While Solomon was telling us that “None of the players expected to fill the void left by Harrison were available yesterday.” Felger talked to Don Davis, and also Bill Belichick about the safety position and Wilson. Michael Parente says that facing adversity is nothing new to the Patriots, who have had to cope with this the last few years. Parente also has plenty from Don Davis about the safety spot vacated by Harrison, and what the Patriots might do to try an fill that hole. Alan Greenberg looks at a number of topics, including the injuries and the Tom Brady “Sports Century”.
Tom E Curran looks at how the Patriots will try to stop San Diego tight end Antonio Gates without the help of Rodney Harrison this Sunday. If Guss Scott is going to be involved, he’ll be giving up six inches and 55 pounds to the giant Gates. Karen Guregian looks at the threat posed by Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson, who is a triple threat on offense, with speed, power and good hands. Christopher Price has a look at SD quarterback Drew Brees. Albert Breer looks at Doug Flutie as he prepares to see his old San Diego teammates. Guregian notes that the absence of Harrison will take some of the edge off of the Patriots on the field. Felger talks to punter Josh Miller, who apparently isn’t a big fan of the Steelers trainer, who taunted him after a kick in the AFC title game last year. Check out the Patriots Game Day page for a preview of Patriots/Chargers.
One thing about the Patriots stance on injury information. They’ll never have a situation like the Jets are going through with Chad Pennington. In today’s NY Daily News, Rich Cimini chronicles the fiasco that has developed because of contradicting opinions regarding the extent of the injury to the Jets quarterback. With the Patriots, they’re never going to find themselves in a mess like that, having to scramble and get people on the same page, and having their head coach act like a doctor one day and then the next say he’s tired of playing doctor. They don’t give out the information, and thus do not put themselves in this situation.
Parente’s notebook looks at Kevin Faulk being sidelined. Curran’s notebook has Tomlinson disappointed that he won’t be able to go against old friend Rodney Harrison on Sunday. Solomon’s notebook looks at Michael Stone joining the team for his first practice. Guregian’s notebook looks at Faulk’s absence and the addition of Amos Zereoue.
Stephen Harris talks to Andrew Raycroft about how the new more open style of play in the NHL will impact goaltenders. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports no movement on the Nick Boynton front, while Harris reports that some other teams might try to get in on the action for the defenseman.
NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00.