Will The A.L. East Soon Be Out Of Reach?

The Rays are in Wait ‘Til Last Year mode, the Jays have come back to earth, and the O’s as usual are six feet under the earth. Looks like another Red Sox vs. Yanks dogfight for the East, as both are in a virtual tie going into action this afternoon. Not so bad for a Sox team with so many issues says Boston Sports Blog, which grades the first third of the season. But with the Yankees playing up to their payroll and the Boston lineup riddled with holes, this may be fictional Bill’s last chance to enjoy the rarified air of first on The Soxaholix, so let’s not begrudge him the moment. BTW, catch Soxaholix creator Hart Brachen during the Web Sox Nation segment of Comcast Sportsnet’s The Baseball Show this Saturday (airs 9:55 AM, re-airs 12:55 PM).

From questionable starters to yeoman relievers, from walk-off homers to LOBs that are approaching the population of Arkansas during the American Idol finale, it’s been a half-glass effort by the Sox this season and Cursed To First is taking inventory. Red Sox Reality Check says a change of stripes may be in order.

Jon Lester has been more like four-fifths full, but that last fifth has been a doozie. Boston Red Thoughts can’t figure out “Bad Inning” Lester. The House That Dewey Built is pleading the 5th on behalf of Lester. Over The Monster says Lester’s numbers aren’t all that bad . . . if you remove his worst inning each outing. Then again, the Lincolns’ outing wasn’t all that bad if you remove that Wilkes Booth interruption. El Guapo’s Ghost says it’s not the big inning that’s killing Lester.

Red Sox Monster says it’s Three Stooges times two lately, with six wild pitches thrown by Dice-K & Co. last night. Like all of The Nation, Boston Dirt Dogs is being driven wild by Matsuzaka. Justin Masterson considers himself lucky to be part of a record-tying night of wildness.

Clearing The Bases has John Smoltz victorious even before he took the mound in Manchester on Tuesday night. One If By Land reminds us that Smoltz’s return comes a day after Brad Penny becomes eligible trade bait. Keep Your Sox On says Penny packaged with a young prospect would be appealing to San Diego. Really? Hell, I’d make a nice package for the Padres if Daniel Bard was thrown in. So, what would said package return? Touching All The Bases thinks Adrian Gonzalez would look good hitting third – or sixth or anywhere else that Ortiz presently is – in the lineup. The Bottom Line looks at catchers that could be had for Penny or Clay Buchholtz. With the Del Carmen-for-Nick Johnson rumors still swirling, Hacks With Haggs has Manny intent on finishing his career in Boston. On the other hand, Sox Therapy would gladly send MDC to DC. Eric Ortiz wants to put the pitching bottleneck to use in strengthening the team’s weak link at shortstop, while Lou Merloni considers keeping everyone by employing a six-man rotation.

Sox & Dawgs is leading this year’s All-Star Get Out And Vote campaign, and they have a surprising request for your NL ballot at LF. Nor are they the only ones, as Fenway West reports on the movement to embarrass Bud Selig. Surviving Grady revels in Youkbacca’s lead over the Bronx Bazillionaire at first base.

The Sox managed to unite both Yankee and Met halves of Subway Squawkers, who delighted in Jonathan Papelbon’s weekend meltdown on the mound and in the dugout. Not as delighted is Sox and the City, who’s peeved that good looks alone couldn’t score her some free tix to Yankee Stadium.

Better Red Than Dead has Jacoby Ellsbury climbing the learning curve but still needing more plate discipline. And only months after Curt Schilling shut down his baseball career, it feels like he’s doing the same on 38 Pitches as well with another bracket post. Can someone tell Curt it’s not March anymore?

Patriots

It’s all about the QB as Patriots Gab has Tom Brady’s return to the field at the first of four scheduled OTAs. WGS Patriots Blog has today the first day of the next ten years of Tom Brady’s life. Kathryn Tappen‘s main goal is to avoid be trampled with today’s media frenzy surrounding Brady’s return. Good luck says Mark Farinella, who’d rather take in a high school baseball game. Try as they might, Pats Pulpit cannot resist reporting on the most watched knee in the history of sports. The Patriot Act is not so much worried about the returning Brady’s ability between the lines as his temperament between the ears.

PatriotsBlog has newly-signed LB Paris Lenon as some Bruschi insurance, while Reiss’s Pieces thinks Lenon may become a core member of special teams. It Is What It Is speculates on recently-released Cowboys OLB Greg Ellis as the Jason Taylor consolation prize. And NESN’s New England Patriots blog has Terrence Wheatley the senior guy in a whole new crop of CBs.

The P-Bruins’ loss to Hershey on Monday night marked the official end of winter in New England, so we’ll put the B’s and C’s on the back shelf for now. Bloggers, please drop in on me at [email protected] if I’m missing anything over the summah. In the meantime, get out and get some sun. You’ve earned it.

  • Rick Mc

    If anyone wants to hear a story about Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce reading to kids, listen to the latest “The Best Show.”

    • Rick Mc

      around the 2:10 mark

  • Bob Ekstrom

    To update my post, Kevin Thomas from Clearing The Bases and Steve Silva from Dirt Dogs wil round out Felger’s lineup on Web Sox Nation this Saturday. Although The Baseball Show is simulcasted with WEEI, Web Sox Nation is not carried on the radio. It’s punctual as hell so viewers, don’t be late!

  • mallerforpresident

    big ben maller filling in for mikey next week on weei!!

    listen people!