Papelbon Gives It Up To The Yankees

On the cusp of their best win of the season – coming back from a 5-0 deficit in Yankee Stadium against Phil Hughes, and coming back again from 7-6 down - the Red Sox entered the bottom of the ninth inning up 9-7 with Jonathan Papelbon on to close things out.

Two two-run home runs later (by Alex Rodriguez and Marcus Thames) the Red Sox were saddled with an 11-9 loss, perhaps their worst of a horrid season thus far. Papelbon threw 19 pitches in the inning, and they were all fastballs.

If you want all the coverage you can head to RedSoxLinks.com. If you’re a masochist (or a Yankees fan) you can go to NYYankeesLinks.com and see what they’re saying down there.

Sox hit low point of a disappointing season - Sean McAdam says that this one stung.

His fight with Father Time leaves scars - Howard Bryant with a must-read feature on David Ortiz’s ongoing struggle with baseball mortality, and how the Red Sox and MLB Players Association supported him last season.

Problem starts with Josh Beckett - Michael Silverman claims that the Red Sox woes this season can be traced to Beckett and his 7.46 ERA.

Red Sox failure to pitch in getting tired - Jon Couture says that the entire starting rotation is to blame.

Lowell’s ‘frustration’ continues to mount - Rob Bradford gets Mike Lowell to talk about his frustrations with his part-time role. (Is it wrong to point out here that Bradford wrote a book with Lowell?)

Celtics

The Celtics will look to go up 2-0 in their series with the Magic with a game tonight in Orlando. (ESPN, 8:30 PM) CelticsLinks.com has all the coverage heading into tonight.

 Celtics’ Defense In Good Hands With New Britain’s Thibodeau - via the Orlando Sentinel, the Hartford Courant has a piece on the Celtics “defensive coordinator.”

What to watch for in Tuesday’s Game 2 - Paul Flannery looks at what we can expect tonight.

Defensive rotation comes full circle - Julien Benbow has the Celtics finally coming together as a unit in the playoffs, despite still having individual disagreements.

Slight improvement - Frank Dell’Apa’s notebook has Kevin Garnett talking about the improvement in his team.

Bruins

These Bruins have that old familiar feel - Michael Felger goes after Jeremy Jacobs as the reason for the Bruins never getting over the hump.

Sifting through the rubble - Fluto Shinzawa ends his analysis of the Bruins with the following statement: “When you’re lacking in character, you give up 3-0 series leads and 3-0 Game 7 advantages.”  I wonder if he’ll be able to expand on that in the following days. Sounds an awful lot like the media reports coming out of Gillette following the Patriots loss to the Ravens in the playoffs.

Bruins’ Playoff Report Card - Stephen Harris hands out the postseason grades.

Bruins should keep Julien - Mike Loftus says that firing the coach isn’t the answer.

Patriots

Biggest questions still facing the Patriots - Christopher Price has some things that still need to be settled with this Patriots team.

Familiarity With College Coaches Helps Bill Belichick Mine Proper Talent for Patriots - Jeff Howe looks at how many players that the Patriots have drafted over the years that come from programs where the coach has ties to Bill Belichick.

McKenzie and top Pats competitions - Mike Reiss looks at areas of competition on the Patriots roster.

On the downside this morning…well, you could pretty much predict Shaughnessy today. Right in his wheelhouse. A BSMW messageboard poster described the column thusly: “Towering laziness. Self-pitying (pre-2002/2004) New England sports fan-centric. Bruin collapse cross-references. Not a scintilla of any original reportage. My God, people, Ray Fitz’s space in The Globe is being taken by this utter fraud? The horror.”

  • Denise

    I really enjoyed the Howard Bryant article on Ortiz. It raises an interesting question- at what point does the team's obligation to stick with a struggling player come to an end? Is that obligation extended by the player's previous successes? It strikes me that Ortiz is being a tad bit unreasonable by expecting the Sox to continue to give him at bats, no matter how badly he's struggling. Ortiz is certainly being treated better than other struggling veterans in Sox history.

    • Bruce

      I know you also really enjoyed the ending of that game last night.

      Ugh.

      • Denise

        I did! More than I enjoyed Tuesday night's ending. :D At this point NY can going .500 against the Sox the rest of the season and I'll be fine with it.

  • Norwood Zip

    Thanks for the link to the Bryant piece Bruce. I don't understand what Dan Shaugnessy claiming that John Henry hasn't spoken to him in nearly a year has to do with anything else in the column?

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/tomboynoodle tomboynoodle

    Wasn't it a mere three weeks ago that Shaughnessy was crowing about Boston being America's 'Best Sports City?' Yes. Yes, I'm sure I'm right. He didn't just do it for the **cough** benefit **cough** of the Boston market. No, he had to use his embezzled national 'bully pulpit' to do so.

  • Classless

    Lots of stuff today. Felger burying Jacobs despite his blatant pom pom waving up until the end of that choke.

    The Howard Bryant piece was fantastic. He simply put on a clinic to the rest of the Boston sports hacks. He painted a vivid picture of a man (Ortiz) in denial. Someone needs to get Robin Williams to tell Papi, "It's not your fault."

  • bosox3054

    You sound like an uninformed nincompoop when you criticize Fluto Shinzawa, one of the cleanest straight shooter reporters this town has left. The core (captain, coach, big time players) of the Patriots won 3 Super Bowl and went 18-0 another time. The core of the Bruins is now 0-3 in game 7s. So yeah that's a fair comparison character wise?

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/bruceallen Bruce Allen

      Well, it really wasn't a criticism of Shinzawa. I honestly hope that he will be able to tell us more about the lack of character on the Bruins team. It seemed like he was holding something back with that statement.

      After the Patriots lost to the Ravens, all of a sudden there was a flood of stories about how this Patriots team lacked leadership and character – something that hadn't really been talked about during the season. I was making the comparison to that, not criticizing Fluto, who I agree is one of the best reporters in town, and who does play it straight.

      He's not one for taking cheap shots, so I didn't take his statement about the Bruins as a cheap shot, but something real that I hoped he would be able to tell us more about in the coming days.

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