Week Log: A Heavy Dose of Reality

Not that it ever crept too close to shore anyway, but the 2009 A.L. East ship has sailed for good in a week when the Sox continue to struggle against an MLB weakling and the Yankees get some answers to their questions.

Better Red Than Dead counts Kansas City among the cities in which Boston can never win, but after last night’s victory at Kauffman Stadium A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Territory still has aspirations for the division. And how about that Josh Beckett 12-hit gem? The Mighty Quinn Media Machine had Beckett in dutch all night but holding back the runs anyway. Red Sox Monster would like both Josh and the Sox to work a bit more like his car brakes. YFSF admits to being unconsciously stupid in calling Beckett overrated.

So the Yankees may be cruising to the division, but The Faster Times dispels the myth that a hot September bodes well in October. Nevertheless, Confessions of a She-Fan thinks it would be sweet for the Empire to clinch the East this weekend against the Sox. Thanks For Playing shows equal irreverence to both the Nation and the Empire.

Boston Dirt Dogs takes the opportunity to do a little autumn cleaning while we whittle down the magic number to the postseason. SportsCenter 5 Overtime petitions for no over-the-top Wild Card celebrations.

Eric Ortiz thinks Daisuke Matsuzaka can get the job done in October. Boston Sports Blog has Jon Lester figuring prominently in any Cy Young Award discussion. And 38 Pitches explains why he’s out of the running for Teddy’s vacant Senate seat. That’s too bad says Cameron Martin, because Schilling could have sent Yankees fans into an apoplectic fit.

Patriots

In a week that we’ve ceded the A.L. East, the Pats give us cause for sober introspection over the A.F.C. East. The Patriot Act wants to remind us that the season is only two games old, which puts them squarely in Boston Homer‘s Fan Group Number 3. Repeat after them: It’s only September! It’s only September!

Pats Pulpit says Wes Welker’s absence contributed to Sunday’s disappointing loss to the hated Jets. Pats Chowder awards their Game 2 game ball to Welker’s replacement.

Celtics 17 (yeah, it looks like Joe Haggerty isn’t the only bi-sportsual in Boston) says there’s nothing more annoying than J-E-T-S fans’ chants. Michael Hurley has more Jets yapping after their victory over the Pats. Kathryn Tappen says it’s rare for one team to get away with trash-talking on both sides of a game. Tom Curran prefers to think of LB Bart Scott’s comments as a downpayment toward the next Jets game in November.

It Is What It Is welcomes Matty Heisman back to New England this Sunday. Patriots Daily warns us that the Falcons are even better than the Jets.

The Rap Sheet observes that recently acquired LB Prescott Burgess becomes the third under-achieving Wolverine on the roster. Blauhg says the newest Burgess will add depth and versatility. Blogging Fearlessly theorizes that Baltimore’s willingness to part with the trade secrets Burgess brings to New England shows that no one is afraid of the Pats anymore.

Touching All The Bases sets Peter King straight for ranking Tom Brady below some questoinable selections among his dozen all-time best QBs.

Bruins

The season’s almost here! Something’s Bruin offers fans ten ideas on how to kill the next eight seven days until the puck drops for real. New England Hockey Journal updates us on more roster trimmings as we approach next week’s opener. Stanley Cup of Chowder is not bored without real hockey: they simulated the upcoming season in NHL 10. The B’s finish with 108 points and a Stanley Cup Finals loss, so enjoy next summer and we’ll see you back here for the simulated 2010-11 season sometime next week.

Somewhere between Rink Rap‘s ambivalence and Toronto GM Brian Burke’s optimism lies a simple truth that the B’s are better without Phil Kessel. The Kessel trade is the elephant in Bobby Orr’s Bastard‘s room. Using some post-Kessel math, Here Come The Bruins! concludes the iron is red-hot for a major trade.

Big Bad Blog updates us on David Krejci, a.k.a. The One That Didn’t Get Away. Bruins Blog has defenseman Andrew Ference continuing to ruffle feathers over the whole Paul Kelly termination mess.

Celtics

We’ve got a little more time before the NBA season, and that’s good for healing. Celtics Hub suspects some front office cover-up of Kevin Garnett’s knee injuries. Boston Sports Nation doesn’t think we need a healthy KG . . . right now. Fernsten’s Follies would start Rasheed Wallace to avoid big KG minutes early on. Green Street reveals Brian Scalabrine’s secret to avoiding concussions this summer.

Ball Don’t Lie shows some special lovin’ for Danny Ainge. Celtics Blog has Sheed wanting to get to know us a little better. And Red’s Army resolves the mystery of why Dan Dickau chose to camp with the Phoenix Suns rather than in Boston.

Sure, the week sure started out lousy with a loss to the Jets, but here’s hoping it finishes with a bang down at the Bronx Bandbox and with an inhospitable homecoming for Matty Heisman in Foxborough. See you next Thursday!

Sox Straighten Up

After losing the first two games of their four game set with the Kansas City Royals, the Red Sox got on back last night, with a 9-3 win.

Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox shaving another game off their magic number for clinching a postseason spot. The number now sits at five. Michael Silverman has Josh Beckett battling through a season high 12 hits to get the win. Daniel Barbarisi says that Beckett and the Sox weren’t about to lose three straight to the bottom-feeding Royals. Alex Speier says that last night we saw once again that Beckett is a workhorse.

Adam Kilgore has David Ortiz hitting the 25 home run mark for the season, a number few though was possible after his horrible start to the season. McAdam has more on Ortiz’s return to power this season. Barbarisi has Ortiz finding satisfaction in reaching 25 homers.

Sean McAdam says that having Victor Martinez catch Josh Beckett last night was a postseason preview. Rob Bradford says that last night’s lineup means that October is right around the corner. Barbarisi says that the second Beckett-Martinez partnership certainly went better than the first.

Kilgore says that the decision to start Tim Wakefield next Tuesday is all about postseason flexibility. Joe Haggerty says that the Red Sox pitchers are coming up aces in September. Barbarisi says that a few Red Sox are nearing performance bonuses.

The Globe notebook has more on Victor Martinez getting the call to catch Josh Beckett last night. Silverman’s notebook has a look at the decision to start Wakefield on Tuesday. The ProJo Red Sox journal has Hunter Jones getting brought back to serve as a long man out of the bullpen.

Patriots

Greg Doyle gives us some First Impressions of the Atlanta Falcons. We’re also Chatting With The Falcoholic on Patriots Daily today.

Christopher L. Gasper has Tom Brady struggling with his mechanics and working to find answers. Mike Reiss has Brady expecting more blitzing this Sunday.  Karen Guregian looks at how the blitz has suddenly become a mystery to Brady. She also says Brady is still firing away despite the issues. Shalise Manza Young has Brady saying that his problems are all mechanical. Rich Garven has more on Brady’s mechanics and problems handling pressure. Christopher Price has Brady knowing full well that teams are going to continue to rush him until he proves he can handle it.  

Ian R. Rapoport has former Boston College QB Matt Ryan viewing this return to New England as nothing more than a business trip. Mark Farinella has “Matty Ice” breezing back into town.  Jim Donaldson says that Ryan has come a long way in a short time. Andy Vogt says that Ryan will present a big challenge for the Patriots. Farley says that it has been a smooth transition for Ryan from BC to the NFL.

Julian Benbow has Prescott Burgess trying to get his bearings after a whirlwind coast-to-coast three day stretch. Glen Farley has Burgess just rolling with the moves.Rapoport has a Matthew Slater update. Price talks to special teams captain Sam Aiken about his unit’s lackluster play on Sunday.

The Globe notebook has ex-teammates Matt Ryan and Ron Brace reuniting this Sunday. Rapoport’s notebook has Burgess set to add depth at linebacker for the Patriots. Young’s Patriots journal has more on Burgess. Vogt’s notebook also looks at Burgess’ first day as a Patriot. Garven’s notebook looks at whether the Patriots will look to get Chris Baker more involved.

Misc

I’ve come to realize that there is No such thing as objectivity in sports.

Kevin Paul Dupont has Bruins legend Brad Park leveling some criticism at Andrew Ferrence for his role in the firing of NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly.

Fluto Shinzawa has coach Claude Julien doing some split squad work yesterday. Stephen Harris has 41-year-old Mark Recchi back for another run with the Bruins. Joe Haggerty says that the trade of Phil Kessel could open the door for the Bruins to pursue Ilya Kovalchuk. Mike Loftus has the “real” Bruins finally getting to work together. Harris’ notebook  has the regulars getting to work as a unit yesterday.

Eric Avidon has a look at BC linebacker Mike McLaughlin coming back after tearing his achilles tendon last spring. Mark Blaudschun says that McLaughlin’s return will be a boost to BC. Steve Conroy has McLaughlin eager to get on the field Sunday. Blaudschun’s notebook has 25-year-old first year QB Dave Shinskie looking to improve his game.

Zack Greinke Shuts Down Red Sox

All season we’ve been hearing about the Royals’ Zack Greinke. Last night, the Red Sox and their fans got an up close look at the young Kansas City ace, and he didn’t disappoint, pitching six shutout innings as the Royals beat the Red Sox 5-1. Boston managed just two hits the entire night.

Amalie Benjamin has the Royals’ five runs off Paul Byrd in the first inning plenty enough to get them the win. Michael Silverman notes that neither Byrd nor the Red Sox bats were any match for Greinke. Daniel Barbarisi says that this one was over early for the Sox.

Sean McAdam says that the Sox aren’t in a hurry to face Zach Greinke again. Adam Kilgore has Greinke impressing the Red Sox with his poise and stuff. Amy Nelson has the Red Sox tipping their caps to Greinke after the game. Rob Bradford says that the Red Sox getting their ace, Josh Beckett, a little rest down the stretch could be a key to the postseason.

Alex Speier says that Michael Bowden is emerging as a darkhorse candidate for a postseason roster spot. Barbarisi has a look at Paul Byrd’s struggles last night. He also has a look at Josh Reddick, who isn’t quite ready to be in the majors full-time, but isn’t far away.

Kilgore has Ramon Ramirez and the Red Sox happy with the trade that brought him to Boston for Coco Crisp. McAdam has the Sox a little worried about their infield depth at the moment. Joe Haggerty has J.D. Drew putting together the exact type of season the Red Sox hoped for when they signed him. Barbarisi looks at what the Red Sox are going to do with Tim Wakefield.

Benjamin’s notebook has the Sox not ready to give up on Manny Delcarmen. Silverman’s notebook says that Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman figures to be the hottest pitching commodity available this offseason. Barbarisi’s Red Sox journal has more on the Sox work with Delcarmen.

Patriots

Scott Benson says that based on Dean Pees’ comments yesterday, we shouldn’t be holding out any hope for an increased pass rush anytime soon.

Christopher L. Gasper notes that the Patriots are going to have their hands full with Tony Gonzalez this Sunday. Glen Farley says that Gonzalez has already proved to be a good pickup for the Falcons. Karen Guregian’s notebook has more on the huge problem that Gonzalez will present to the Patriots. Mike Reiss offers up ten thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons.

Shalise Manza Young examines the Patriots struggles on offense thus far. Farley says that the Patriots are simply passing on the running game right now. Kerry Byrne says that the Patriots need to get back to a balanced offense. Benson urges the Patriots to Take the air out and run for it.

Jim Donaldson says that there isn’t a lot to feel good about around these Patriots right now. Mark Farinella says that all is not lost for the Patriots…yet.

Karen Guregian has Matt Ryan’s coach at Boston College, Tom O’Brien gushing over his former QB. Guregian says that the Falcons are more likely to have Ryan let it fly this season. Mike McDermott says that the Patriots defensive stats are not impressive. Christopher Price tries his hand at the mailbag.

Benson answers the burning question: Who in the hell is Prescott Burgess?

Paul Doyle looks at how far the Patriots have come in 50 years.

Gasper’s notebook has the Patriots picking up linebacker Prescott Burgess from Baltimore. Young’s Patriots journal has Terrence Wheatley caught in a numbers game at cornerback.

Misc

Rich Thompson says that Zdeno Chara needs a new defense partner with Aaron Ward traded to Carolina. Matt Kalman says that Vladimir Sobotka needs to step up his game or he will find himself in Providence. Fluto Shinzawa has Andrew Ferrence talking about his role in the firing of NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly.

Thompson’s notebook has Blake Wheeler making his case to replace Phil Kessel’s spot in the offense.  Kalman’s notebook has David Krejci still hoping for an October 1 return.

Frank Dell’Apa has Rasheed Wallace already making an impact in the community.