More Thoughts on Crawford, ‘roids.

I received a number of outstanding entries in the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest yesterday. It’s amazing how well some of you have his style down pat. If you’re planning on entering (You don’t have a do a complete column, 3-4 paragraphs will do), please get your entry to me by the end of the weekend. As mentioned, we’ll have a nice prize or two for the winner.

John Tomase talks to a number of players who were on the Red Sox during the time Paxton Crawford was around, including Mike Stanley, John Valentin and Jeff Frye, all deny that steroids were being used by members of the team and claim that Crawford is making stuff up, that he wasn’t around the big league clubhouse long enough to know what the veterans were doing. Jim Fennell talks to a couple members of the Nashua Pride, whom Crawford pitched for in 2003, who aren’t really surprised at his admissions. Art Martone notes that baseball has a long history of cheating, and includes a quote from 1969’s Ball Four, which would seem to sum up the feeling of players even today. The subject of Paxton Crawford and steroids is also the topic of a Boston Globe Editorial this morning.

Gordon Edes and Michael Silverman each have stories on Bronson Arroyo, whose manager on the Reds says it’s an “automatic” that he’ll start the All Star game for the NL and is a potential Cy Young candidate. Arroyo says he has no bitterness against Boston and would like to pitch for the Red Sox again some day.

Jeff Horrigan reports on Kevin Youkilis, who is making the most of finally being an everyday major league player. David Heuschkel also focuses on Youkilis, who is often the subject of ribbing from his teammates, including Manny Ramirez. Phil O’Neill has more on Youkilis, who has been better than anticipated in almost every facet of the game. Tomase has a look at Trot Nixon putting up big numbers in his (surprise) contract year. Ron Chimelis examines the Red Sox success in interleague play this season. Mike Fine has a look at Jon Lester, and another at David Ortiz. Chimelis also has an interesting article on sidearm pitchers, of which Josh Papelbon is one.

Bob Ryan reports on Roger Clemens’ first game since coming off his three month sabbatical.

Chris Snow’s notebook looks at how and why the Red Sox are feasting on National League competition. (Reasons which could also explain Arroyo’s success.) Horrigan’s notebook reports on the Red Sox signing their top draft pick, high school outfielder Jason Place. The 18-year-old says he models his hitting style after Albert Pujols and his fielding after Andruw Jones and Jim Edmonds.

Snow’s minor league notebook has a look at AA pitcher Chris Smith, who seems to be overlooked when talking about the Red Sox pitching prospects. Rich Thompson’s minor league notebook has a look at the potent Pawtucket double play combination of Alejandro Machado and Dustin Pedroia.

Steve Conroy looks at Joe Thornton winning the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. That one hurts. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that all signs point to Mike Sullivan being out as Bruins head coach. Mike Loftus has more on Sullivan waiting to hear his fate. Joe McDonald also looks at Sullivan’s wait. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at one of the potential Bruins selections in Phil Kessel. Stephen Harris looks at Waltham’s Brian Strait, who should be the first New Englander picked in the NHL draft. Christopher Hurley looks at another local, Joey Ryan, who should also be selected. Conroy’s notebook reports on the Bruins likely losing their director of Pro scouting to the Los Angeles Kings.

Steve Bulpett tries to figure out which direction Danny Ainge is going to go with the #7 pick in next week’s NBA draft. Scott Souza also has a look at what Ainge might be trying to do with his top selection.

Albert Breer says that the Patriots were not present at workouts for Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who will be available in a July 13th supplemental draft. Yesterday, Breer had a good profile of Brooks, who had been thrown off the Virginia squad by head coach Al Groh. We’ll have more from Breer this afternoon…

Lester K’s 10 in Sox Win

The Boston Herald Website was down this morning as I was preparing the links, so thus the lack of stories from that paper… Update: I’ve since added the stories in now that the site is back up.

Also, if you want to participate in the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest, please submit your version of Dan’s upcoming column on Pedro Martinez’s return to Boston before the end of the weekend. The person who comes closest to Dan’s actual column in spirit, style and substance will win a nice prize package.

The Red Sox completed their second straight three game sweep of a National League opponent, downing the Nationals 9-3 behind the pitching of rookie Jon Lester.

Amalie Benjamin looks at the impressive outing from Lester, who struck out 10 in his six innings of work. Carolyn Thornton says Lester’s approach of one game at a time is working well for him. David Heuschkel says that the lefthander is a keeper. David Borges writes that while the Red Sox might still have concerns over the 5th slot in their rotation, it appears that the the 4th spot belongs to Lester. Bill Ballou suggests that Lester might render David Wells obsolete for the Red Sox. Jeff Horrigan looks at Lester making quick work of the Nationals.

Steve Krasner says that the fact the Lester already has two strikeout pitches is very impressive for the 22-year-old. Julian Benbow has a piece on Alex Gonzalez and his seven-year-old son Alexander, who aspires to be just like his dad. Gordon Edes has a mini-feature on Pedro Martinez, as the former Red Sox ace prepares to return to Fenway Park next week with the Mets. Michael Silverman also has a very good piece on Pedro. Fran Sypek talks to Pittsfield’s Russ Quetti about his role in the longest game in professional baseball history, the 33 inning game between the PawSox and Rochester Red Wings 25 years ago.

Chris Snow and Gordon Edes report on Paxton Crawford’s admission of steroid use while with the Red Sox, as reported by ESPN the Magazine. John Tomase has reaction from the Sox, specifically from Tim Wakefield, who has some harsh words for the former prospect. Art Martone also has a report on the story. Alex Speier reports on the steroid scandal hitting home at Fenway Park.

Tomase has a quick look at Curt Schilling expressing his approval on the performance of Lester. Mark Murphy covers David Ortiz’s second inning grand slam. I have no idea what Buddy Thomas’ column is about this week. Presumably it is something about White Sox fans calling themselves the Black Plague, sort of their version of Red Sox nation.

Benjamin’s notebook looks at the acquisition of Jason Johnson, as well as backup options at first base now that J.T. Snow is no longer with the team. The Projo notebook has more on the Red Sox picking up Johnson as a 5th starter. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Johnson, a groundball pitcher who should benefit from the strong infield defense that the Red Sox have. Ron Chimelis also has a piece on Johnson. Borges’ notebook has more on the pickup of Johnson, which sent Kyle Snyder to the minors. Ballou’s notebook has more on the Red Sox latest foray into discount shopping. Horrigan’s notebook has Mark Loretta volunteering to play first base if needed.

Michael Parente takes a look at the Patriots secondary, and notes that while the club still might try to bring back Ty Law, they might also pass on the former Patriot, as they’ve taken measure to shore up that position already.

Kevin Paul Dupont says that Bruins coach Mike Sullivan could learn his fate either today or tomorrow, and it doesn’t appear likely that he will keep his job. Mick Colageo reports on Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli adding former Bruin Don Sweeney to his front office staff. Stephen Harris has more on Sweeney’s appointment.

Steve Bulpett has Danny Ainge planning to sit down with Paul Pierce to begin talks on a contract extension very soon. John Habib reports on NH’s Matt Bonner getting traded from the Raptors to the Spurs. Bob Ryan says that the Mavericks have no one to blame but themselves for letting the NBA finals get away from them.

Bill Doyle says that Phil Mickelson’s collapse had NBC’s Johnny Miller at his best, while that night, Jon Miller of ESPN wasn’t at his best doing the Red Sox/Braves game.

ESPN has Twins/Astros at 8:00.

Paxton Crawford Admits to Steroid Use

Already got a couple entries for the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest…keep them coming!

In the latest ESPN the Magazine, former Red Sox pitcher Paxton Crawford admits to using steroids and HGH while with the team in 2001. He seems to indicate that he wasn’t along in using on the Red Sox. If you have an ESPN Insider Subscription, you can read the story online. Towards the end, Crawford says:

I'll never name names, but I know it wasn't just me. Steroids had a hold on the game. Guys were walking around like zombies. Baseball is mostly mental, and all these things you're putting into your body are going to affect how you think. In 2001, that started happening to me. I was taking way too much stuff, and I'd get rattled.

The Red Sox acquired pitcher Jason Johnson from the Cleveland Indians this afternoon for a player to be named later.

Bill Simmons weighs in on the incredible success of Jonathan Papelbon.

David Scott has an afternoon update weighing in on the Big Show crew complaining about the conditions in their studio this afternoon.

Chad Finn offers up nine innings worth of thoughts on the local sports scene.

Rob Bradford has Alex Gonzalez giving credit to his father for his incredible skills. Mike Fine and Alan Greenwood look at how the future is now for the Red Sox pitching staff.

Celtics beat writer Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald lost his mother recently. I’d like to pass along my condolences while also linking to this note from Bulpett that appeared on Celtics Blog this afternoon.