Red Sox Split With Rays, Fall To Second In AL East

The Red Sox sit a half-game behind the Yankees in the AL East this morning, after splitting a day-night doubleheader with the Tampa Rays yesterday 3-1 and 6-2.

The Red Sox turned a triple play in the nightcap, but their offense was stymied by Rays starter  Jeff Niemann. There are concerns about David Ortiz, as the slugger is in a walking boot with bursitis in his heel, though the club says there is no need to place him on the disable list at this time.

Sox settle for split with Rays – Brian MacPherson has the Red Sox getting the split despite managing only six hits combined in the two games. Eric Avidon also looks at the split decision from the Sox.

A reflection on the randomness and rarity of Red Sox triple play – Alex Speier with some interesting stuff on the triple play turned by the Sox and its place in team history. Nick Cafardo relates Dustin Pedroia’s role in the play.

Jon Lester gets into groove – Michael Silverman has Jon Lester getting better as the day went on in the first game.  

Red Sox offense showing some wear -Gordon Edes looks at the suddenly scuffling Red Sox bats.

Johnny not-so-rotten any more – Christopher Smith talks with Johnny Damon, who picks the Red Sox to beat out the Yankees for the division.

The ‘next Johnny Damon’ is making quite a name for himself – Rob Bradford has Jacoby Ellsbury continuing his amazing season.

Hobbled David Ortiz gets boot – John Tomase’s notebook looks at what’s ailing Ortiz. The Globe notebook from Michael Vega has more on the DH. The Red Sox Journal has more on Ellsbury, while the CSNNE.com notes from Danny Picard look at the outing from Erik Bedard in the second game.

The whole country seems to be talking about the Yahoo! Sports report involving the University Of Miami football program, and benefits that were given to players. Vince Wilfork was named on the list, which bring a local angle to the story. I guess I’m a little confused here…are people actually surprised that this was happening at Miami of all places? It’s not like this was Ohio State or something. It’s Miami.

Offensive Line Coach Dante Scarnecchia Draws Laughs, Results From Linemen and 19 Other Patriots Thoughts – Jeff Howe has his weekly list of Patriots items.

Safety measures by Bill – Karen Guregian looks at the continued tinkering at safety by Bill Belichick, and what it could mean for Brandon Meriweather. Shalise Manza Young says that jobs are not a given for Meriweather and others, while Guregian also looks at second-year safety Sergio Brown who has been getting some reps ahead of Meriweather.

Gronkowski a rising sophomore – Dan Cagan  looks at whether we can expect improvements from the second year tight end.

Family business for Andre Carter – Ian Rapoport looks at the new defensive lineman, who I see playing a Willie McGinest-type role on this team.

Vollmer provides steadying influence at right tackle for Patriots – Christopher Price looks at the third-year tackle. Rapoport has Steve Maneri as a guy looking to follow the Vollmer model.

Corner is still rounding into form – Mark Farinella looks at whether Devin McCourty can improve on a spectacular rookie season.

Sign Welker now, or Pats will pay dearly – Hector Longo has been listening to too much Michael Felger.

Belichick, NFL at odds over new kickoff rule – The Globe notebook has the head coach expressing his displeasure over the rule changes involving kickoffs. The Herald notebook from Ian R. Rapoport has more on the kickoff rules.

I think I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. For day-to-day coverage of the Patriots and the content that you get, the Boston Herald team of Rapoport and Guregian is the best 1-2 on the beat. Every day they’re putting out multiple worthwhile stories and reports, whereas other papers/outlets might do one or two stories and a notebook, the Herald will almost always have 4-5 stories and a notebook. They generally don’t talk/complain about media access, or the unwillingness of certain people to help them with the jobs, they just go down there and cover the team, and do it well. It should be recognized.

There are plenty of good writers on the Patriots beat, and this isn’t meant to slight any of them. I’m just saying that if you are a Patriots fan, and happen to go and pick up a paper (people still do this?) your best choice for getting the most for your money is going to come from the Herald.

  • CBK

    Big fan of Rapoport. Very active in social media, never tries to create headlines, seems to get along well with the players, seems to enjoy his job. Good hire by the Herald.

    • NutCracker

      I respect you and Bruce's high opinion of Rapaport but my opinion is just the opposite. Very active in social media is putting it mildly for Rapaport. He tweets the most insignificant, useless junk ("now I'm walking into the synagogue for Myra Krafts memorial" – awesome – thanks for telling us) and then retweets other peoples tweets. I had to stop following him on twitter. I like Karen Guregian but IMHO Mike Reiss and Tom E. Curran run circles around Rappaport with Patriot news. Useful, interesting Patriot news.

      • http://www.bostonsportsmedia.com Bruce Allen

        I was referring to the newspaper side of things, and the combo of he and Guregian together. Yes, Reiss and Curran may be superior individually, but in terms of being able to go and pick up a newspaper, I think you're going to get the most by picking up a Herald.

        His Twitter account can be a bit nuts at times.