Dice-K, Red Sox beat Royals

Daisuke Matsuzaka, returning from the DL and pitching his first game in well over a month, led the Red Sox to a 5-1 win over the Royals in the finale of their four-game series. Matsuzaka was outstanding in his seven innings of work where he allowed one run over five inning. It was his first major league win in over 16 months. Jacoby Ellsbury and Cody Ross led the offensive with Ellsbury homering in the first inning while Ross finished with 3 RBIs.

Fresh start- Michael Vega looks at Matsuzaka’s outing yesterday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka eyes a strong future, but isn’t contemplating free agency- Alex Speier looks at yesterday’s start as well as the future for Matuszaka.

Careful on signing Papi- Steve Buckley says the Red Sox need to be careful this off season when deciding on whether or not to sign David Ortiz.

School of hard Sox- Michael Silverman looks back at the blockbuster trade and says he cannot grade it until he sees what the team does with the freed up cash.

[UPDATED at 5:30 p.m. with a few notable stories I missed this morning.]

Twenty-four hours that turned the Red Sox inside out- Rob Bradford has an in-depth look at what took place Friday and Saturday for Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto including quotes from Gonzalez and Punto.

After losing to Rockies, Josh Beckett takes on L.A. Times columnist T.J. Simers- Bradford also has the exchange between Beckett and an L.A. columnist following last night’s game.

Where do the Red Sox go from here?- Gary Dzen has a number of questions/and answers about the future of the Red Sox in a photo slideshow format.

The Patriots cut their roster down to 75 players yesterday. Among the cuts were wide receivers Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth, both of which were surprising to many.  The roster will once again be shrunk down Friday, when it will go down to 53 players, the mandated number for the regular season. Aaron Hernandez was also reportedly signed to a five-year contract extension worth $40 million.

Hernandez $41.1 million extension shows Patriots evolving- Greg A. Bedard says the future is bright with Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski locked up long-term.

Branch backs pro’s attitude- Ron Borges looks at Deion Branch and gets his thoughts on Gaffney and Stallworth being released.

Hernandez and Welker are world’s apart- Tom E. Curran looks at Hernandez’s extension and he and Welker are two different situations, with Hernandez being a much younger guy where the Patriots are looking to the long-term future.

For more on this Patriots visit Patriotslinks.com.

Did anyone else catch this picture over the weekend on Joe Haggerty’s Facebook page? I thought beer wasn’t allowed in the clubhouse, yet alone the dugout. Maybe LeLacheur Park is considered a road game. I guess he knew the rule on that one, unlike a few weeks ago in Cleveland with the Red Sox.

  • alex

    you should tweet this to every single beat writer in new england…oh wait, i’m sure you already did.

  • GlenninNorwell

    STRETCH THE FIELD, that’s one of my go-to cliche’s George. How have they managed to have a .700 winning pct. the last 11 years while being so inept personnel wise? Safety wise, who had a better game against the Giants in the postseason last year? The Patriots inept safeties or Sanders? Seymour Butts has won more than Richard Seymour the last 5 years.

    • latetodinner

      George…I made this argument yesterday but clearly it fell on deaf ears so let me try again. The Patriots do just fine when they spread the field and Brady finds the open receiver. They get into trouble when Brady holds the ball waiting for down field plays to materialize. With Gronk, Welker and Hernandez they can control the middle of the field against any team. The addition of Llyod should allow the Pats to go downfield once or twice to keep defenses honest. But his real contribution is being a fourth receiver in the spread where the Pats are spreading the field horizontally…he might get 15 yards out while the other three are only 5-10 and he might be outside the hash marks forcing a CB and safety outside the hash marks giving more room to the other three inside the marks…time will tell how McDaniels uses him. In no scenario do I see Gafney taking snaps/time from Hernandez…which is the calculation. Branch is insurance for Welker…they run a lot of the same routes, the problem was last year Branch was forced to run Lloydds routes because they did not have anyone in that spot. Gafney and Stallworth were luxuries. I hope they stay in town and one or the other signs because a roster spot opens due to injury, but to be worried the Pats made a bad personnel move because they cut the at best 5th receiver is silly.

      As for missing Seymour on defense…the Pats drafted Jones because he was the best player available…not to replace Seymour…who BB would readily admit may have helped the team, but at the dollars he wanted would have hurt them because of the inability of the team to sign other players that they had a more pressing need to sign. Letting Seymour go was not a mistake. The only mistake I think the Pats have made in the last few years regarding releasing players is Sanders. I would love to get an honest answer as to why they did not carry him last year.

  • Bob

    George

    Do you have enough towels handy for all the shoe peeing you do?

  • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

    George, isn’t it clear that Gaffney will be back when he’s healthy? They needed guys to play at receiver tomorrow night, and none of the front line guys is likely to see much time. Gaffney can’t play so they tell him they’re going to cut him, and then bring him back either after final cuts or after week one. He wants to be here, he made that clear when he signed. I’d be very surprised if he went and signed somewhere else in the next few days.

    • http://bostonsportsmedia.com/ Bruce Allen

      I never heard a peep about the possibility of bringing back Sanders last year. When he was cut, it was clear he was done here. He also wasn’t hurt.

  • Winning_Again

    Good lord, I’ve never seen anyone rant about the team cutting a 5 or 6th offensive option this much since Bam Childress’ dad’s blog (didn’t actually happen).

    George, once again you are all over the place. You say “They go and get LLoyd. What if Lloyd is hurt?” That statement can be made about every player in the NFL. What are the Green Bay Packers going to do if Aaron Rodgers gets hurt?

    Having Gaffney was depth luxury and he will likely be back on this roster. I don’t think the release justifies the “End of Days” type rant.

    As for Seymour, clearly was a mistake. No-one will argue that. If you’re going to use that as your crutch for slamming BB his remaining years in this league, good luck to you! We all look forward to hearing it.

    • Winning_Again

      Depth doesn’t matter in that case, that is play calling. So you want a Pro Bowl Player occupying every spot on the 53 man roster? Not logical!

  • john

    George should be the GM for the four major sports teams. He clearly knows everything.

  • http://twitter.com/DryHeave1 DryHeave

    do the extensions to Gronk and Hernandez put end to “Patriots are Cheap” talk??…or is it just matter of “Cap is crap”??

  • bsmfan

    Wow, Ron Borges smacking Felger down on the 6:30 Sports Tonight about the tough questions in regards to Beckett/Red Sox. They started the show with a LA reporter who asked Beckett some questions after the loss last night in Colorado.

    Borges: “Michael, you could go and ask those questions you want to at any point. They’d be welcome to have you. It’s real easy to sit in a studio and tell the writers what to ask when you don’t have to do it yourself”

    Felger, “Well, they open the clubhouse around 2pm. I kinda have a radio show them.”

    Borges: “Then go down on a weekend, they would be happy to have you down there.”

    At this point, I think he considered it but didn’t want to follow through.. kinda surprised. I thought he would want to do this.

    Amazing.

    • Frank

      Two quick points about that video.
      1. I loved how Alex kept turning toward the t.v screen when defending himself to Felger. Hey Alex you know he’s not really in the magic box.
      2. NO EFFIN WAY Felger has the balls to go into the Sox locker room and ask either Dustin or Bobby about the photo.
      That should tell you how much of a jerkoff Felger has become, when I can actually agree with Borges twice in a month. Of course both times he was going after Felger but whatever.

  • TonyC66

    George.
    First of all, you’re overreacting, big time, to the Pats releasing a guy who might have caught 30 balls this year, tops. There’s no reason why Branch can’t give them what Gaffney might have been able to give them. Remember, many speculated after Gaffney was brought in that Branch may be the odd man out. I’d say it’s a wash at this point. Also, my guess is that they plan on lining up Hernandez at WR more often this year, and going with a “third” tight end–either Shiancoe or Fells, depending on who’s healthy enough.
    But your Seymour comments are really off the wall. They traded him for one reason: After the 2009 season they were looking at Wilfork, Brady and Seymour hitting free agency, and they could only re-sign two of the three due to the salary cap, especially considering that Brady had to be paid “Manning Money” to be signed. They chose, correctly in my view, to sign Wilfork and Brady and see what they could get for Seymour. When Al Davis offered a first rounder, when no one else would, they simply had to take it.
    When you say “Seymour would have helped,” I’m not sure what you mean.
    Nothing could have helped the 2009 team get to the Super Bowl. They were in full rebuilding mode and the offense was still stuck in the “2007″ mentality (Welker underneath, Moss long, and then what?).
    In 2010 the team went 14-2. They had a bad day against the Jets in the playoffs, sure, but they also had three (3) healthy defensive linemen heading into that game (a fact no one ever seems to mention when talking about that bad day–maybe they’ve simply chosen to forget). The injury situation pretty much put a defense that had been playing well down the home stretch of the 2010 regular season behind the 8-ball right away. Still, they probably win that game if Crumpler doesn’t drop the early TD pass and Chung doesn’t call for the ill-advised fake punt late in the 2nd quarter.
    That brings us to 2011. I’m not sure if you noticed, but the Pats went to the Super Bowl in 2011, and they came within 1 dropped Welker pass; or 1 healthy Gronkowski ankle; or 1 missed fumble recovery opportunity at the Giants’ 20-yard line (take your pick) of winning the whole thing. And that AFC title happened just two years after their “mistake” of trading Seymour.
    Also, your claim that they drafted Jones to replace Seymour is just pure nonsense. Last year their two free agent signings, Anderson and Carter, combined for more than 20 sacks (oh, and chock up another “what if” about last year’s Super Bowl–what if Carter had been healthy that day?). Jones, if he was drafted to replace anyone, was drafted to replace one of those two guys. I doubt very much that Belichick sat there last April and said, “Tonight I need to draft someone to replace a guy I traded almost three years ago.”
    I really don’t understand your constant bashing of the Patriots’ personnel decisions. The only conclusion I can draw is that you’re part of the “Win the Super Bowl or the season is a complete failure” crowd. If that’s your one and only standard of football success, then BB and Co. will hardly ever be able to satisfy you

  • bsmfan

    @GlobeChadFinn: Ryen Russillo staying at ESPN. Name will be on SVP show, more CFB/NBA tv. Major interest from NBCSN & mutually with WEEI.

    Wait, did Jason Wolfe forget about that little dustup between Ryen and JD?

    And, I think Bruce or someone else R/T’d this yesterday:

    @carolynmanno: Just accepted a new position, working on @NBC and @NBCSN …starting this Friday with our Colorado @ Portland MLS coverage