The Red Sox dropped another game off their magic number with a 11-6 win over the Oakland A’s at Fenway Park yesterday. The number for clinching the AL East now sits at two.
Gordon Edes says that champagne showers are in the short term forecast down at Fenway. Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox are in the perfect spot for clinching their first AL East title since 1995. Joe McDonald has the top of the Red Sox order having a field day against the A’s yesterday. Garry Brown has Mike Lowell leading the charge for the Sox. Paul Jarvey has Sox fans ready to celebrate.
Bob Ryan says that we should “savor the quiet professionalism of Mike Lowell,” who he calls the Red Sox Most Valuable Player this season. Steven Krasner has Lowell breaking the Red Sox RBI record for a third baseman. Rob Bradford has a look at Lowell and Dustin Pedroia, who have both spent the season proving the doubters wrong. Jeff Goldberg has Lowell doing his recent damage in the cleanup hole that was vacated by Manny Ramirez. Kevin Gray has Lowell raising his free-agent price tag even higher. Jon Couture says that Lowell’s price is getting higher by the hour.
Sean McAdam says that it looks like Red Sox/Angels next week. Bradford has a look at “Christmas Day Hitter” Manny Ramirez, who notched three more hits last night. Michael Vega has a look at last night’s starter, Jon Lester, who will likely find himself squeezed off the postseason roster. Lenny Megliola tries to figure out the postseason chances for the Red Sox. Bradford says that the A’s are open to a Japan trip to start next season. Joe Haggerty has J.D. Drew springing to life at the plate in the last week or so.
Silverman’s notebook has Terry Francona still mum on his postseason plans. Edes’ notebook checks in with Johnny Pesky, who turns 88 today. The Projo notebook has a look at the postseason rotation possibilities. Goldberg’s notebook looks at a strange night for Jon Lester in his final start of the season. Brown’s notebook has Mike Timlin saying that he’d prefer to play the Indians in the first round. Jarvey’s notebook has more on Lester being erratic in his outing last night.
Karen Guregian has the Patriots defense facing a big challenge in the Bengal offense. Michael Parente says that Monday Night’s Patriots/Bengals game could be an offensive shootout. Shalise Manza Young has a look at the offensive line, who have stepped up their game thus far this season.
Robert Lee has a piece on Sammy Morris, who has been a positive addition to the club. David Heuschkel has Morris finally getting the chance to play on a winner after stints with the Bills and Dolphins. Douglas Flynn says that Morris has been a perfect fit for the Patriots offense. Ian M. Clark says that Morris has been a real find for the offense. Rich Garven says that Morris has surprised even the Patriots with how effective he has been early on. Christopher Price adds that Morris is on pace for 150 carries, making him almost a co-starter next to Laurence Maroney in the backfield.
Mike Reiss has Laurence Maroney returning to the scene of his best game as a pro this Monday night. Jeff Horrigan has Brady still looking for ways that he and his team can improve. Chris Kennedy looks at Brady and the Patriots really airing it out this season. Mark Farinella cites Russ Hochstein as the perfect example of a team player. Dan Pires has Chad Jackson eager to get back and make a contribution.
Reiss’s notebook has a look at Tom Brady continuing to fine-tune his throwing mechanics. Guregian’s notebook has Kelley Washington reflecting on his time in Cincinnati. Farinella’s notebook has more on Brady and the offense. Lee’s notebook has Brady being named AFC offensive player of the week.
Bill Doyle has Ellis Hobbs getting into a commercial.
Mark Murphy looks at Danny Ainge’s master plan finally coming together this offseason. Scott Souza has Doc Rivers hoping he can finally put together a set rotation for this season. Marc J. Spears has Esteban Batista and Dahntay Jones signing with the Celtics, bringing the preseason roster size to 17.
Keith Reed has the Celtics looking for a season sponsor. Bill Doyle says that the Celtics are close to selling out of home games at the Garden this year. Murphy’s notebook has more on the signings of Batista and Jones.
Stephen Harris has a look at Bruins hopeful Matt Hunwick. Fluto Shinzawa has a look at defensive coach Craig Ramsay, brought in to shore up that unit for the Bruins. Harris’ notebook has a disappointed Matt Lashoff heading to the minors.