The Red Sox were not able to clinch their fifth playoff berth in six seasons last night, but will get another chance tonight…and tomorrow night…and the next night…and…all the way through the weekend. Let’s hope it doesn’t drag out like that, of course.
Michael Silverman has Josh Beckett with some control issues last night. Adam Kilgore has the basepaths proving dangerous for the Sox in their attempts to clinch a playoff berth. Joe Haggerty has the postseason bubbly remaining on ice for another night. Garry Brown has the Sox losing out on a chance to clinch, and now having to face 22-2 Cliff Lee tonight. Matt Eagan has Josh Beckett not sharp last night in the Boston loss. Paul Jarvey has the Red Sox not needing the plastic sheeting they bought at Home Depot yesterday. Paul Kenyon has the Red Sox forced to wait another day to try again. Maureen Mullen has the Sox celebration on ice for now.
Bob Ryan notes that a playoff berth never comes easy, and that these Red Sox realize that making the playoffs is a big deal. Joe McDonald says that it took a season of banding together for this team to get to this point. Jon Couture wonders if the magic of ’07 can return for these Red Sox. Rich Thompson has Jason Bay getting thrown out on a “debacle” of a play involving a ball that bounced off the third base umpire. Alex Speier has more from Bay on the weird play at third. Mike Fine has sloppiness stalling the Sox clincher last night.
Kevin McNamara looks at a less-than playoff caliber performance from Beckett. Barbara Matson looks at an outing that was sometimes out of control for Josh Beckett. Thompson has Paul Byrd looking forward to facing his old teammates. Haggerty has David Ortiz rounding into form just in time for the postseason. Speier looks at how the Sox focus on getting Healthy Pitching for October.
Keith O’Brien has a story in the Globe about the departure of so many Latino stars from the Red Sox in recent years and months, and what this has meant to the Latino community in Boston. Dan Kennedy correctly points out that when O’Brien refers to the Red Sox as a ”team whose stars typically looked like Ted Williams or Carl Yastrzemski,” he shows his ignorance of the fact that Ted Williams himself was a Latino, as his mother was Mexican.
Kilgore’s notebook has the health of J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell still up in the air. Silverman’s notebook has Drew receiving a second epidural for his ailing back. The ProJo notebook has Jed Lowrie striking out in two big spots last night. Eagan’s notebook has Terry Francona not concerned about what form the celebration will take when it comes. Jarvey’s notebook has Jacoby Ellsbury heating up toward the end of the season. Couture’s notebook has Drew and Lowell still healing.
The Turning Point column on Patriots Daily will be posted around noontime today.
Michael Felger has some tough grades for the Patriots in this week’s report card for WEEI.com. John Tomase isn’t quite as harsh in the Herald, but has a number of failing grades in his class as well. Ian Clark has just one “F” and that would be for the quarterbacks. Eric McHugh has three “F’s” including one for Bill Belichick and his coaching staff.
David Brown urges us not to be so quick to condemn Matt Cassel. Hector Longo says that it is time for Jerod Mayo to step up and be a man on defense. Rich Garven says that there are multiple problems that need addressing. Douglas Flynn has Bill Belichick on the defensive at Foxboro yesterday. Bill Reynolds has the Patriots getting a dose of reality on Sunday. Karen Guregian has the Patriots defense going soft in the middle.
Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots feeling that the fans turned too quickly on them during the Miami game. Shalise Manza Young has Ellis Hobbs irritated by the fan reaction on Sunday. Guregian has Hobbs and Benjamin Watson unhappy with the boo birds they heard on Sunday. Robert Lee has Randy Moss saying that the Dolphins wanted it more than the Patriots.
Lee’s notebook has Belichick saying that the Patriots had done some preparation for the Dolphins unusual formations. Guregian’s notebook also has Belichick saying that the formations weren’t entirely a surprise. Gasper’s notebook says that the Patriots need to improve their Red Zone offense.
Stephen Harris has Patrice Bergeron making a healthy return in the Bruins first exhibition game. Fluto Shinzawa has Bergeron tallying four points in his return. Harris’ notebook has Manny Fernandez also returning to the ice for the Bruins.
Frank Dell’Apa has a look at the West Side gym in Chicago, where many NBA players get their work in during the offseason.