Sox Split With M’s, But Really Needed Sweep

On a day in which they really needed a doubleheader sweep, the Red Sox took the first game 5-3, but dropped the nightcap, 4-2 in a game in which Adrian Beltre was ejected by a rookie umpire before the third inning for some friendly trash-talking with his friend and former Mariners teammate Felix Hernandez. Get all the links at RedSoxLinks.com.

A golden opportunity wasted – Daniel Barbarisi has the Red Sox blowing a chance to inch closer in the standings.

A little knuckleheaded – Nick Cafardo says that this game was lost the moment the Red Sox decided to start Tim Wakefield instead of Jon Lester.

‘Smack talk’ gives Adrian Beltre boot – Gordon Edes looks at the misunderstanding that led to Beltre’s ejection.

Grooming a replacement? Bard/Papelbon recalls a Yankees relief duo – Alex Speier talks to the Mariners bullpen coach, who says that the Red Sox closing situation reminds him of the mid-90’s Yankees.

Playing the angles in left field – Peter Abraham looks at the revolving door in left field for the Red Sox.

Unforgettable – Lenny Megliola remembers Greg Montalbano.

The Patriots play their third preseason game tonight at Gillette Stadium against the St. Louis Rams. What are you going to watch for tonight? Let the guys covering the team tell you:

Ian R. Rapoport – Christopher Price – Mike Reiss – Albert R. Breer – Tom E. Curran – Robert Lee

Homecoming for Grafton’s Spagnuolo – Rich Garven looks at a homecoming for the Rams coach, who has defensive coordinator of the Giants, put an end to New England’s perfect 2007 season.

No worries when it comes to safety – Karen Guregian says that the safety position seems to be one area in the defense with no concerns.

Bodden’s presence means Patriots have one less question answered – Glen Farley says that Leigh Bodden offers stability on the right side.

Patriots still lacking finishing touch – Jonathan Comey says that the Patriots perhaps one defensive lineman away from making a Super Bowl run.

Numbers are in place for Patriots-Brady deal – Steve DeOssie hears that there are just a “couple t’s to be crossed, i’s to be dotted” in a new contract for Tom Brady.

Extension speaks well of Stephen Gostkowski – Rapoport’s notebook has the kicker getting a four year extension (first reported by Mike Reiss).

‘Hard Knocks’ diary: Torture, f-bombs and one noodle arm – Kirk Minihane reviews the latest episode.

Jets lead NFL in talking, little else – Mark Farinella is taking a wait-and-see approach on the Jets.

With a spot to fill, Ainge is looking – Julian Benbow has the Celtics boss looking to fill one more roster spot.

Red Sox fan? Patriots fan? Both?

I’ve got some things to take care of this morning, so I’m going to leave you with this poll.

In his infamous “we should be more forgiving of the Red Sox and more critical of the Patriots” column last week, Chris Gasper noted that colleague Tony Massarotti feels that there isn’t much of an overlap between fan bases of the two franchises.

What do you think? Are you a Red Sox fan and a NY Giants fan? Are you a Patriots fan and a Yankees fan? (I know people who are both of those things.) I even know someone who is a Red Sox fan and Jets fan. In general, though, I think most Red Sox fans are Patriots fans and vice versa.

{democracy:92}

If you are of mixed fandom tell us your rooting preferences in the comments below, perhaps with how you came to root for those two teams.

(By the way, check out RedSoxLinks.com and PatriotsLinks.com for all your sports news of the day. Also check out Worry Wart – Preseason Game Three vs. Rams by Chris Warner on PD. )

Sox Down M’s, Damon Leaning Against Return To Boston

John Lackey struck out a season high 10 batters, and Marco Scutaro drove in fourruns as the Red Sox beat the Mariners 6-3at Fenway Park last night. Get all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

The Red Sox claimed Johnny Damon off of waivers from the Detroit Tigers yesterday, but it remains unclear whether the 2004 World Series hero will return to the Red Sox. Damon has told Detroit reporters that he is leaning towards remaining with the Tigers, who are 10 games out in the AL Central and 15 games out of the Wild Card. Of course, that could just be  posturing to get something further from the Red Sox. The other possibility is that the Red Sox would like Damon, but were more interested in making sure that Tampa or the Yankees couldn’t get him.

A primer for the Johnny Damon saga – Rob Bradford tells us all we need to know about the situation.

Don’t be an idiot, Johnny Damon – Michael Silverman wants Damon back with the Red Sox.

Damon’s return makes all kinds of sense – Joe Haggerty says that this needs to happen.

Give Do-it-all Bill Hall the 10th player award – Christopher Smith says that the utilityman should be honored by the club.

Gerry Callahan and Dan Shaughnessy composed very different columns about Roger Clemens. The former blasts the rocket, while the latter chooses to remember the good times with Clemens, including the time he sent a 6-foot teddy bear to Shaughnessy’s sick daughter.

Catcher improved, mystified – Peter Abraham’s notebook has Jarrod Saltalamacchia still without answers about the infection that landing him on the DL and in the hospital.

Friends: Don’t count on Logan Mankins.

Fans: We’re not.

Ian Rapoport has friends of the holdout guard insisting that he’s prepared financially to sit out the season, with the hope that with a new CBA he’ll be declared a free agent. He lives on a self-sustaining farm and doesn’t spend money! He’s principled! It’s not about the money – he doesn’t spend money! But he’s not going to take less money!  That Frank Bauer (Mankins’ agent) really knows how to get public opinion on his side!

Light: Us ‘trained pigs’ will be just fine – Christopher Price has Matt Light confident in the abilities of his new linemates.

Patriots getting healthy – Mark Farinella has several injured Patriots returning to practice yesterday.

Guyton seeks his role after knee injury – Jennifer Toland has the Patriots linebacker looking to get back into action with his return to practice.

Tom Brady alone in knocking ‘Knocks’ – Mike Reiss has the QB’s teammates not following his example in expressing hate for the Jets and ‘Hard Knocks.’ And here’s Reiss being too soft on the Patriots again.

The Running Back Issue – Chris Warner tries to figure out if there is rhyme or reason to how Bill Belichick uses his running backs in the preseason.

I’d avoid Karen Guregian and her high horse this morning as she demands to know why Quinn Ojinnaka was not made available to the media to “provide some explanation for his past problems at home.” She then launches into how the Jets are signing all their malcontent players, why can’t the Patriots do the same?