Big Papi hits Pawtucket

Big Papi hit Pawtucket last night, drawing a huge crowd to see the Red Sox AAA affiliate. Ortiz did not disappoint, hitting a home run in the fourth inning to reward those who had come to see the Red Sox slugger in his first rehab appearance.

Baxter Holmes has Ortiz happy to be able to swing the bat the way he used to. Peter Gobis impressed with the fans that showed up to see him. Jay Miller has Big Papi rewarding those fans with his laser beam home run. Jim Donaldson has Ortiz up to his old tricks with the PawSox. Steve Buckley also has Ortiz happy that he can swing the bat normally. Paul Jarvey reports on the fireworks in Pawtucket last night.

Rob Bradford has five things that must take place in the second half for the Red Sox to repeat as World Series champs. Nick Cafardo has Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell assessing his staff. Jon Couture looks at some keys to the second half of the season for the Red Sox. Jeff Goldberg says that despite the obstacles the Red Sox have faced this season, they’re still in a good spot right now. Garry Brown wonders if there are any trades on the Red Sox horizon. Alex Speier is curious as to whether the Red Sox will kick the tires on some relief pitching.

Bill Ballou says that the Red Sox need to pick up their play on the road. Lenny Megliola looks at another tough year in Boston for Julio Lugo. Buckley had Ortiz calling for an end to the Manny-Henry feud.

Gordon Edes reports on the Sox signing their first round draft pick, pitcher/shortstop Casey Kelly. Bradford’s notebook has more on the signing of Kelly.

In her minor league notebook, Amalie Benjamin creates an All Star team of Red Sox prospects. Jeff Horrigan looks at the top performers in each level of the Red Sox farm system. Brendan McGair has a look at Ortiz going to bat for friend Sandy Madera and convincing the Red Sox to take a flyer on his friend.

Odds and Ends

David Scott breaks down the winners and losers of the recent events involving the new WEEI.com.

Frank Dell’Apa and Scott Souza each have a look at the newest Celtic, 7 footer Patrick O’Bryant. Rich Thompson says that O’Bryant will provide needed depth at center. Desmond Conner says that the NBA should drop the age limit rule.

Bob Ryan weighs in on the messy Brett Favre saga in Green Bay. Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots signing fourth round pick Jonathan Wilhite.

Jim McCabe reports on The Open, while Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that even without Tiger Woods, there are plenty of reasons to watch the British Open.