Welcome to July. This weekend marks the midpoint of the MLB season, so it’s time do something we haven’t done all year. That’s right: we’re leading with the Red Sox.
July 1 is marked on my calendar as the sixth anniversary of the night Jeter dove into the stands in the Bronx while Nomar, enjoying a night of rest, watched him from the safety of the Sox dugout. It’s also one day after Dustin Pedroia took grounders on his knees because he can’t stand on a fractured foot, while J.D. Drew watched call-ups do his job because he coudn’t play with a stiff neck. Surviving Grady wants the kind of guy like Pedroia on his team and wonders if that work ethic will ever rub off on Drew.
Boston Dirt Dogs has the Sox weathering this storm of injuries. And Another Thing . . . sees an exquisite fan experience in cheering for an injury-plagued team like these Sox. Jerry Thornton says to hell with the injuries because he’s going to ride some pure, undiluted optimism all the way to an October rolling rally. Fire Brand Of The American League looks back at some of the biggest surprise replacement players in Sox history.
On the field, the Sox had to settle for a split against the reeling Rays this week. Hit And Run has Tuesday’s starter John Lackey sticking to the script for victory in the face of all the recent injury woes. Fenway West has Tuesday’s game getting squirmy with some bad relief appearances. Over The Monster loved Dice-K’s Houdini act last night, but put the blame for this loss squarely on the arm of Manny Delcarmen. The Bottom Line says that if MDC hits the DL, Theo will be called upon for some desperate measures. Fenway Fruitgirl finds a magical place where even Delcarmen can throw strikes.
BoSox Injection adds their two cents to the All-Star voting discussion by adding in two Sox as starting positional players. Soxspace News calls All-Star voting a joke system and lobbies for a remedy to the injustice of Adrian Beltre sitting at fourth on voting among A.L. third basemen.
Lots of personnel activity these days, starting at the top. Doc Rivers’ decision to return for the final year of his contract is one less unanswered question for Beantown Sports Observer this offseason. It’s also one less worry for Gino’s Jungle, who would not like any other coach at the forefront of the C’s. I’m Just Sayin’ thinks Doc’s return makes it likely the C’s will be keeping Paul Pierce around.
Pierce, of course, became un unrestricted free agent at the stroke of midnight this morning. Green Street says his opt-out makes Danny Ainge’s life a little more difficult this offseason, while Red’s Army thinks it gives Danny cause for pause . . . and maybe even an opportunity. LOSCY is all for bringing the Big Three back for not one, but two more reunion tours. North Station Sports says C’s fans should be worried about losing Ray Allen.
4Sportboston thinks Ainge did as well as could be expected by drafting Avery Bradley, who was ranked ahead of John Wall only a year ago. Mass Hysteria has second-round pick Luke Harangody filling the need for a tall, goofy white guy now that Brian Scalabrine’s contract is up.
Bruins 2010 Draft Watch says Tyler Seguin is more mature and better ready to make the transition to the NHL than his No. 19 namesake Joe Thornton was back in 1997. Two Cents From Beantown thinks we should contain our speculation over what line Seguin will be on until he actually makes the team. Masshole Sports says Beantown hasn’t had a player this hot – errrr, marketable – in a long time.
Stanley Cup of Chowder runs down the B’s selections after Seguin, while The Hockey Blog Adventure is going nuts for the B’s second selection, Jared Knight, a kid who goes to the net. Boston Sports Then And Now calls the Mark Recchi re-signing an impactful choice that will have positive effects on the development of Seguin and the other rookies.
View From 311 berates the Red Sox for not bringing out the real catchers to handle first pitch duties with Seguin and recently-acquired Nathan Horton. John Beattie has GM Peter Chiarelli still open to making a few more trades. Rink Rap thinks trading Marc Savard will help the B’s get faster and stronger up front next season.
July means summer taining camps and trips to Gillette with the boys, where security teams with large badges tell us all the places that we can’t access as non-family, non-VIP, non-season-ticket-carrying visitors. Despite 7 of 12 picks still unsigned, It Is What It Is has the Pats right in line with the rest of the NFL when it comes to signing the 2010 draft class. Pats Pulpit says the pieces we’ve been told on the Logan Mankins front aren’t fitting.
Notwithstanding the loss of an All-Pro left guard, PatsFans thinks red zone offense is the one area the Pats improved on the most during this past offseason. Mike Reiss says the Pats have one of the deepest groups in the NFL at safety, but don’t put them in the upper tier just yet.
. . . an unstructured wandering through the world of . . . .soccer?
On Corner Kicks, Revs midfielder Chris Tierney opines that the U.S. played the most exciting brand of soccer in this World Cup. World Cup Central says that, despite the lack of a deep run by the U.S., soccer is coming up stateside in the short-term.
In the wake of being banned from an upcoming UFC event, Wicked Good Sports finds three other homes for that pestilence of the World Cup, the vuvuzela.
Six States, One Blog has GM Brian Bilello giving Revs fans continued hope for a new urban stadium by naming places.
Have a great and very long Fourth of July weekend and wee’ll see you back here next Thursday afternoon.