Pap speaks out; Another Game 4 classic?

While most of the Red Sox have been tight-lipped regarding their feelings about the Tampa Bay Rays since the bench-clearing brawl a week ago, Jonathan Papelbon did not hold back while doing his weekly interview with Comcast SportsNet’s Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight.

The station was kind enough to send along a transcript of Pap’s comments that appeared on their airwaves.

On the Sox-Rays fight...

"In my opinion it is a bunch of bull what they did. All I got to say is
what comes around goes around. Payback is a [naughty word]. In my opinion, and
the way I feel right now, this thing isn't all settled and done. We
still got to play them a few more times and I know when we go into
Tropicana things will be a little different than when went in there last
On the Rays staying in the race...

"Those guys have a lot of talent over there. As you can see, it's a war
when we go play those guys. It's the big leagues and you got guys that
can pitch over there and you got some guy that can hit so we've got to
do everything we can to stay atop of those guys and keep fending them
off because they can play."

Sounds good to me. I’ll at at the Trop for that series in early July. What an interesting journey that will be. Three games in Houston, three at Tampa and four in the Bronx against, what is the name of that team again, oh yeah, the Yankees.

I must say, I’m a little revved up about Celtics-Lakers Game 4 tonight. Watching and living through those three Celtics-Lakers tilts in the 1980s, Game 4 was easily the best game in each series. You can make a case for Game 2 in ’84, but there’s no discussion in ’85 or ’87. It’s non-negotiable, as Bob Ryan might say.

Let’s re-live it for a second here:

Game 4, 1984: The Celtics got their doors blown off in Game 3, losing 137-104. After the game, Larry Bird labeled himself and his teammates as sissies. “Magic and them guys were dunking and high fiving each other and you’d think somebody would put a stop to it. Until we get our hearts where we belong, we’re in trouble.”

McHale put the team’s heart in the right place, dropping Kurt Rambis to the floor in an epic Game 4 clothesline. The Celts were down by 10 at halftime and made a tremendous second-half comeback. In fact, they were down by five points with about a minute left. The Chief had a huge three-point play to get them within two and Bird went to the line on Jabbar’s sixth and final foul and tied it. Magic dribbled out the clock with a terrible pass, and Bird won it in overtime by sticking a fallaway jumper in Magic’s mug with 16 seconds left. And with the Lakers down by three and holding one last possession, M.L. Carr stole the inbounds pass and dunked it, putting an exclamation point on the win. He ran off the court screaming into the camera, “We’re coming back, that’s right, we’re coming back.” Bird’s assessment of the win? Were they sissies again? “No, we just played like a bunch of women tonight. We can still play a lot harder.” And so they did, winning that series in Seven.

Game 4, 1985: Just like in ’84, the Celtics were absolutely obliterated at the Forum in Game 3. Trailing 2-1 in the series, the Celtics again came back with a gutsy effort. Bird, nursing a sore elbow and a dislocated finger, had a terrible shooting series. But this was the one game he came through big-time. He had a couple of big steals in crunch time, keeping the Celtics close. Ainge hit two long range-jumpers in the last two minutes, the latter of which gave Boston a two-point lead. The Lakers went to Kareem with about 24 seconds left and he went for the sky hook. He missed, but Magic got the rebound and the putback. Tie ballgame. Celtics ball. They called time-out and then went to Bird from about 16 feet.

A double team swarmed at Bird with the clock ticking toward the finish. Bird swiftly kicked it back out to the late, great Dennis Johnson who nailed a 20-foot jumper at the buzzer. The Celtics mobbed each other as if they had won a championship. Somehow Johnny Most didn’t lose his voice screaming, “D.J. hits the jumper from the left side, it’s all over, Boston wins the all-important, portant game.” That’s right, Johnny skipped a syllable on his second “important”. Those were the days. Anyway, it was the last win of 1985 for the Celtics. And speaking of Dennis Johnson, here is a positively outstanding article written about the interesting legacy of one of my all-time favorite basketball players.

Game 4, 1987: One of the best pure basketball games I have ever seen. Just two Hall of Fame-caliber teams sticking big shot after big shot for 48 minutes. The Celtics, playing with a limping McHale and a limping Parish, were blown out in the first two games at the Forum.But they came up with a big win in Game 3, thanks to Greg Kite of all people shutting the Lakers down with great defense. Game 4 would determine whether or not an upset could be in the making. The Celtics seemed primed for a win, running the break, getting easy baskets and leading by 14 or 15 points at one point. But the Lakers kept chipping away. Still, it looked like the Celtics were going to pull it out. They went up by roughly eight points with three minutes left. But the Lakers went on another run.

The Lakers went up by one on an alley-oop play between Magic and Kareem. The Celtics had the ball and James Worthy decided to guard Bird by holding him by the jersey. Bird somehow snuck free and went to the left corner and drilled a three-pointer with 16 seconds left, putting Boston up by two points. The Garden was rocking. The Lakers had another crack at it. They got it into Kareem and he drove to the right and got fouled on a sky hook with five seconds left. Kareem knocked down the first, putting LA within one. Man, if he had just hit this free throw, history might have been reversed. The Celtics would have had the ball back with a chance to break the tie, or at the very worst, go to overtime. But no. Jabbar had to miss, and the rebound had to go out of bound off McHale’s slippery hands. The Lakers inbounded and Magic broke free for the most famous junior, junior skyhook in NBA Finals history. All net. He drove right through Bird, McHale and Parish. The Celtics had the ball back with two seconds left. DJ made the inbounds pass and I have no clue how, but Bird broke free along the left sideline. He fired it up with his momentum taking him right into the Lakers bench. The shot was down, and then up. Just missed. Ballgame. Unoficially, series over. What a basketball game.

Anyway, if those memories don’t get you primed for tonight, I don’t know what will.



Those were the days Ian. Has there ever been a better play by play guy than Johnny Most? OK, so he was a homer. When you listened to him, you knew what was going on as well as if you were watching the game. I remember further back to the days of Cousy and the Jones boys when “they diddled and they daddled and they fiddled and they faddled.” ……. and the Celtics never got fouled, they got mugged, or hammered, or some other Mostism that maybe exaggerated the seriousness of the foul just a little.

I think tonight is a test for John Lester. If he wants to be a big time pitcher, he has to put more consistency into his efforts. After a pretty good outing last time, tonight is a good time to begin that trend.

The Celts are suffering a little pain going into tonight’s game. I heard Doc Rivers say today that losing Rondo would hurt because he’s the only true point guard they have that can make plays from up top. Personally, I don’t agree with him. In fact, I think he has hurt the Celtics’ offense. It’s almost like the Lakers don’t have to pay attention to him because he won’t shoot. He really, really, really needs to work on his shooting. His penetration does no good if he doesn’t draw any coverage. Despite the media’s continuing ridicule of Pierce’s knee, I think it’s a factor. Maybe it will be better tonight because he can’t play much worse than he did in the last game. Despite poor effort from almost everyone except Ray Allen, the Celtics still had a chance to win the last game. I like their chances tonight.

I wish Papelbon would have kept his mouth quiet. Why mention that this isn’t at all settled? I’m sure Francona talked to Papelbon about his DUMB comments. Not smart, doesn’t say much for his Miss. State education does it? I like Papelbon’s honesty at times but not this time. Papelbon stick to closing games, you do that as good as anyone.

How is Rondo’s ankle? It will not effect his shooting, lol. Will it effect him while penatrating and that quick burst he has? I hope not.
I would like too see Garnett and Pierce showup for tonight’s game. If they play the way they are capable of, the Celtics will win. Lakers have 2 legit scoring options in this series. Kobe and Sasha. Gasol has shown me nothing in this series. Garnett should eat anyone in a Laker uniform alive in the paint. No reason for him too struggle against them. I expect Garnett to come out aggressive tonight.

Some great memories of years past. Some good and some bad. McHale’s W.W.F. move on Rambis was the reason they won it all in 1984. 1985 had some memorable wins but the Lakers won it all on the parquet though. I can still see Kareem to this day with arms raised and that big smile of his running up the court. He knew they did it in Boston and won the title.



Question: It seems to me a lot of these tension filled battles between teams can be easily prevented if umpires took more diligence at preventing such events. I mean a brawl can really get someone hurt. Why would you want that considering what these players are worth to a team?
I realize an umpire’s job is enforcing the rules but why not call everyone on it before it escalates? Am I being naive here?


There will always be fights/melee’s/brawls, that has been going on forever and a day. One way to stop them is when the Sox visit Tropicana Field, a warning will be issued to both teams for the entire series. M.L.B. will do that in my opinion. I don’t think Boston will do anything this time around if the warnings are issued. What will happen the next time they meet? They have 2 more series to be played after that. If there is no incident’s at the Trop in early July, will there be more warnings issued everytime they meet? Unlikely I guess. Boys being boys I guess, lol. Baseball should come down hard on the suspensions, if they do that players might think twice about getting involved.

Hey Brian, what is the status on Drew? he doesn’t seem like himself lately…


Let’s hope he continues to be someone else, lol. I’ll give props to Drew. He has really elevated his play ever since Oritz got hurt. I still don’t like the contract.

Great job by Youkilis during the run down. Little things like that don’t show up in the box score.

I agree Brian. Well you know, we need Drew to hit this way right now, lets face it. Yeah Youki is a small ball player.

Youk is one of my favorites on the Sox. He is so valuable. He can hit anywhere in the order and he hustles all the time. Some players on the team don’t like it when he has his tantrums in the dugout but I say it is who he is. Paul O’Neil did it all the time with the Yankees, you gotta love there fire/passion that is what drives them.

Yes Youkilis is a proven winner too. Two time world champ.

Oh yeah and Youk makes pitchers work hard for outs.

Youk definetly makes those pitchers work hard out there. Then again so many Sox hitters make the pitchers work.

Remy and Orsillo crack me up with this Sox appeal ordeal. Remy is a funny guy!!!! Very entertaining.

Ofcourse. So yeah BoSoxBrian, even with injuries we stand tall.

Lugo with yet another error messing up a perfect inning. Does the man look forward to these moments?

Maybe Lugo does.

Maybe Lugo doesnt care about gold glove. maybe hes going for the oil glove award or the LEad Glove award, who knows.

Nice effort from Lester today, he has had alot of those lately.
Drew is on a streak. He is on a torrid pace. Keep it up!

19 more minutes. Celtics need to step it up after a game 3 loss

I was impressed, great game guys!

I missed the game tonight but it looks like a solid effort from the box score. Looks like some dingers did the trick and Drew remains hot. You’re right Brian, he has really stepped up since Papi has been out. Looks like Lester had a nice outing. Only one walk and 93 pitches in seven innings.

Pap didn’t need to open his yap. I think Brian is right in that there will be warnings before the next series, especially with what Pap had to say. The one thing the Sox don’t need to be is stupid. Suspensions are a high and useless price to pay for the purpose of “payback” for something that happened a month ago. They need to put it behind them, and play ball. They can bury the Rays once and for all if they go in there and sweep them.

I wish Spike Lee would go back to M.S.G. and root for his PATHETIC Knicks, lol.

Lester with a solid start. He is really coming into his own. J.D. Drew with another longball. Lowell with the biggest hit of the night, way to go Lowell. Sox go 7-2 on the homestand. They are dominating at home.

I’m really glad the Sox are going to Cinn. I am a fan of interleague play. I like when they play teams like the Reds, Phillies, Cards and Astros. Different teams than the norm. These next 2 series are in some tiny parks. Sox should end up hitting some longballs in the next 6 games.

Why does the crowd sit in the dark at Staples Center? I have always wondered that. No other arena does that. Only in L.A. LOL.

Brian, I had to turn off that fiasco in LA. It was horrible. I’m sitting here by myself and I’m embarrassed. I’ll check on them later.

I am not a fan of interleague play the way it is currently structured. I don’t think it’s fair. It should be structured closer to the way the NFL does things. All AL East teams should play the same NL teams. If you want to add one rival series to that, I could live with that. They could play a different division each year plus the rival series if there has to be one of those.

gsm, You are missing a great game! 21-3 run to end the first quarter! WOW

Third quarter


Hey, BosoxBrian:

Saw your comments about Tavarez’ salary. I agree, although I have always been a bit of a Julian fan…did everything that was asked of him…didn’t throw the tantrums he seemed to throw elsewhere…seemed to have his teamates’ respect….

However, I think you have to look at a major league payroll as one investment opportunity. While that investment may not be paying dividends, look at the investment the Sox made in Colon!!! How many of us wouldn’t like to have that sort of investment in our financial portfolios….Yeeeooowww!?!?!?!?

To me, the scariest thing about the Yanks is how many of these not sufficiently-productive investments they are about to shed….Pavano….Giambi….They could have a bundle of money available for the Sabathia sweepstakes for next year. Hopefully, they will spend a boatload there, and for some reason, it will not pan out.

Speaking of Sabathia, I was watching a local, Cleveland-area sports comment program hosted by longtime, on-air loud mouth Bruce Drennan (he of recent gambling-imprisonment who the network is taking a real risk with — the show is called “All Bets are Off”).

He was surprisingly negative about Sabathia, saying the team should make one more, enhanced offer to Sabathia, and, if he doesn’t take it, start this real bidding war between the Dodgers, the Sox and the Yanks…”the Indians can pry lots of prospects loose from one of them when we get them bidding against each other.” In saying that, he appears (to me) to not recognize the resistance the Sox and Yanks showed last winter in the Santana sweepstakes. The Mets, who won the sweepstakes, are 2 games under .500, showing no signs of life, 6.5 GB, even with Petey back on the mound.

Or look at the Tigers, who were going to fill out the most fearsome hitting line-up and the best competitive line-up in baseball, by giving up a boatload of prospects for Miguel Cabrera and the D-Train. Well, as we know, the D-Train is now taking the “A Bus”, Miguel Cabrera is hitting .280 with 8 homers and 38 RBI’s (a decent year, but enough to give your future away for?), the D-troit Tigers are 9 games under .500 and 9 GB in what looks to be challenging the NL West as the worst division in baseball this year.

In any event, if Sabathia came on the market within the next 6 weeks (with the Indians showing few signs of life — 6 games under .500 and 7.5 GB in that same, mediocre division — we know the Indians have been like the little girl with the curl — when good, very good, when bad, very bad — seems to be a year on, year off, thing — 2004 — bad (80-82), 2005 — good (93-69 — lost the Wild Card to the Sox on the last day of the season — causing Schill to have to pitch that last game, and making him unavailable to pitch in the play-offs vs. the White Sox until Game 4, which, as we all know, never occurred), 2006 — bad (78-84 — 4th in division — 18 GB) , 2007 good (we know what happened there), 2008 — bad (so far — worst batting average of any team in the bigs thus far, except for the Nats…Victor Martinez, whose lowest production in four, full, prior big league seasons is 16 HR’s and 80 RBI’s, with forty per cent of this season in the books has 0 HR’s and 21 RBI’s). Of course, this could mean that 09 projects to be a good year for the Tribe, and with Carmona continuing to pitch well, when not injured, and Cliff Lee looking like a slamdunk for Comebacker of the Year, maybe they should hold onto CC for 2009.

But let’s play what if…What if CC becomes available prior to the July 31 trading deadline…As pitching thin as the Yanks are, and with all of that payroll money coming available for 2009, and with “Ole Man Mussina” not getting any younger (40 in Dec….although pitching up a storm right now) and their kids not looking as though they are quite ready, you have to believe they might get carried away and throw some young, highly touted players at the Yanks.

If he comes available, and particularly if the Yanks are interested, what would be the Sox response do you suppose — is Lester now off the market…Is Ellsbury as well, and what about Justin M?. Since they had him once before, and traded him for Kelly Shoppach (who I still like as an heir apparent to Tek, despite his curernt .225 BA — he did hit .260 last year), I doubt the Tribe would bite on CoCo. Is Buchholz now available, Brandon Moss, Chris Carter, Charlie Zink — the Sox’ minor league Wake? In Double A, how about Mike Bowden, who as I indicated to you earlier, the Indians organization will be seeing Saturday in Akron against the Aeros (and who just pitched against them last weekend in Maine, when he gave up 3 ER’s in 6 1/3, while striking out 8 and walking 1) (I took your advice [I can’t believe I said that! (lol)] and am going down to Cincy on Saturday to see Wake and the Sox, rather than to Akron to see Bowden and the Sea Dogs).

The Sox have done an incredible job the last several years with finding and promoting good, raw talent. However, I know you have to watch for the legitimate opportunities, and this seems to be one — I think Sabathia is on a par with Santana as the best pitcher in basball, with perhaps Brandon Webb and Roy Halladay, a quarter to a half step ahead of Josh B. Although he won’t be 28 until next month, he has already won over 100 games (with some pretty spotty Cleveland teams in his early years) throws a bazillion innings each year, has a great K/BB ratio, and is a lefthanded power pitcher. I recognize there may be some concern about whether he has thrown too much in recent years (is this why he came out of the gate slowly this year?) or about his woeful performance vs. the Sox in the ALCS (or is this why?), but, absent an as-yet unknown injury, this guy looks to be a pretty good investment.

So, after all of that lawyer-type wind, if he comes available and you are Theo and his pals, what would you do? I’m still resisting the temptation to talk about football — Buckeyes 30 — Trojans 27.


I hope you turned your t.v back on. A great comeback. The L.A. crowd was SILENCED. Doc might not be the best X and O coach but he sure can motivate. Celtics in the drivers seat. I can smell #17. I LOVE L.A. LOL……….

Brian……. the Celtics served old GSM a huge slice of humble pie. I sort of followed the score of the game on my computer and when they got back within 11 in the 3rd quarter I went back to watching. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. To watch the first quarter and see everything go wrong for the Celtics and right for the Lakers who would ever have thought they could come back. That was the best display of team resolve and character I’ve seen since the 2004 ALCS. Unbelievable.

What a difference having a guard who can score makes. Rondo has a good future, but he’s got to learn to shoot when he has the chance. How about Posey’s bombs? Clutch or what?!!!! I couldn’t fall asleep for about five hours after the game I was so worked up.


More importantly Phil Jackson was served a HUGE slice of humble pie. I love watching him sit in his high chair when things go wrong. His look is priceless.

When the Celtics fell behind, I didn’t think they were going to win but I did know they were going to make a game of it. Have some momentum for game 5 and take the series there. Posey’s shot in the corner was HUGE. Not only did the Celtics come from way back they even built themselves a lead.

Odom and Fisher were on the bench during critical times of the game. Jackson fell asleep at the switch. Jackson has gotten a free pass from the media but I think he deserves big-time criticizm. Gasol is another player that I think is way over-rated. I have not been impressed with him in this series at all.

Allen played the entire game. Why didn’t the Lakers have Bryant on him during Allen’s drive to the basket? Again Jackson asleep at the wheel.

Hey everyone,

Thanks for the info on Taravez. Based on the numbers I think the Sox should have kept him and dumped Timlin.

Anyhow, I was thinking the other day how much Youk reminds me of Pete Rose on the field in his intensity. The only thing is I saw Rose smile in his day. Youk always looks like he’s miserable — or at least intense on the field. Dustin Pedroia also reminds me of Pete. Yes he doesn’t have the build but he sure has the intensity.
My wife thinks Manny is the nicest player on the team. He probably is but who knows…I’m not in the clubhouse everynight. What are your favorite players?

Incidentally, my favorite pitcher has always been Wakefield. He comes across as intense but not pretentious and a team player and every club needs that attitude floating around the egos.

Here comes the road woes again…

On a train, following on MLB Gameday — are we also repeating our tendency to make really struggling pitchers (2-9 record in this case) — look like a Cy Young pitcher? I can’t believe we are not hammering this guy, plus too many strikeouts. Are getting good swings at least, or just wiffing?

Harang is a very good pitcher, much better than his record. That being said they should at least get some hits and runs going.

Ellsbury with a leadoff double, I hope the Sox get at least a run across here.


How do the Sox at home pound out pitchers but on the road that same arm can suddenly seem like a 500 mph fast ball is sailing past them. They seem crippled in their ability to hit anything and their hottest hitter at home will suddenly go blind. In addition it pressures the pitching staff to pitch a no-hitter every night.
I’m convinced its confidence. I think they just don’t believe that they can hit anymore and it works in their minds. Their swings are more aggressive and patience and fouling off pitches ends and instead they swing like they are all Lou Ferrigno.

Incidentally, I saw the Hulk last night. A great fun film but Bruce Banner’s character was completely cut out of the film. A fine actor relegated to waiting for the next Hulk moment. It does move fast but I wanted more pathos on the film.

Hello to everone!! Woke up this morning thinking about last nights game… Not great, but we’re gonna have those games. I just wish we could turn it around with the road games. Like a big black cloud follows whenever we leave Fenway. Well today better be different. We’re going to a Boston sports bar here (I know, A Boston bar in South Florida??) “Boston Johnny’s”, to watch the game and celebrate my birthday. I asked for a Redsox win for my present!! No pretty wrapping or ribbons needed, just a road win!! My husband asked me over breakfast what Trot was doing these days so I told him he’s @ AAA Tuscon. He wanted to know how he was hitting, so I looked it up.. He’s not on the roster there anymore. I looked a little further and found out that he’d been acquired by NY…
THE METS that is. It made me feel good that he’s back in the bigs again, and it happened at 2a.m. so you might say that it was a birthday present for me!!!!


For some strange reason the Red Sox aren’t the only one’s that have a hard time on the road this season. Angels is the only team in the A.L. that has a winning record on the road. Cards and Phillies in the N.L. have winning records on the road. Jason Stark wrote an article on during the week and talked about road struggles for teams this year. Alot of reasons for sure.

You could be right about the confidence issue. I have never seen a team dominate at home but struggle on the road. The Red Sox have a shot to win 55 to 60 games at home. They certainly have the talent to win on the road but to this point in the season they haven’t gotten the job done away from Fenway.

Good news for the Red Sox, Dice-K is supposed to join the rotation next Sat. at home vs St. Louis. He will have a rehab start in Allentown, Pa. with Pawtucket against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, gotta love that name.

Monday is Dice-K’s rehab start. As the Herald headline says, first the pigs and then the bigs, lol.

Does Okajima need to work on his stuff? He’s struggling lately


Okajima I think has lost his confidence either that or Cash just doesn’t know how to catch him (e.g. manage his pitches to fool hitters). I don’t know. I do know that he’s becoming the next Taravez — good for a while then a disaster. Either way he’s a liability.

One thing I can say is that Manny Delcarmen is starting to feel like Papelbon. He’s really been great out there lately and I think I see him as another closer in time.

The sox cannot lose this game.


Had it not been for the Reds errors the Sox would be in a losing game right now.

Why would Griffey swing at 3-0? Poor at bat.

Okajima can no longer be trusted as the 8th inning guy. He looks awful out there. Doesn’t have command of his pitches and right now his confidence is at ZERO. Some have thought his struggles are happening because hitters are seeing him more. Obviously I don’t think that is the case. The Reds saw him for the first time and well we all know what happened there.

The Red Sox are finding more ways to lose on the road than I thought possible. Even when the Red hand them two runs, thanks to Oki and Papelbon, we now have tie game.
I’m tuning this off. Will find out about their loss tomorrow.

Okajima AND Papelbon give up runs? How many times does that happen?!

I’m sure Youkilis will remember this H.R. for a long time. Hitting it in front of the home folks.

Wakefield had a great start. Delcarmen could be the 8th inning guy for the Red Sox. He did get Griffey to ground into a d.p. My confidence in Okajima is ZERO.

Sox go for the series win with Beckett against one of the young arms for the Reds. Beckett has been touched by the longball. Pitching in Cinn. might not help Beckett. I think I could hit one out there.

Some rules about baseball I really HATE. How in the world should Papelbon get a win? He doesn’t deserve a win. Only reason Hansen got a save is because Papelbon gave up a H.R. Sometimes it makes no sense.

Back to horse racing for a few of us — ESPN sports ticker ran a statement that the Associated Press reports there have been 5000 Thoroughbread deaths since 2003 reported by U.S. race tracks, most horses being euphanized shortly after injuries sustained on the track.

By my math, that is over 900 deaths per year, and the last time I check there were only 365 days in a year, I shutter to think how many racing days these 900 deaths occur in.

Is this a typo? I can’t even imagine this — I may have to join those PETA fanatics.

How can you say that this is anything less than out right cruelty to animals fueled by the lowest greed — might as well be shooting elephants in Africa and Asia. Why isn’t this all over the news?

It wasn’t pretty, but atleast we won the game.

Hey guys,


I agree with you. The slaughter of animals like that on a large scale is disgusting. I’ve never liked horse racing for that reason.

First time all season nobody posted a comment and we’re talking a game they won 9 – 0 without Manny, without David Ortiz and with Cash managing half the game and with Lugo with his usual error/game sequence.

dgneubert, I’m a big jai-alai fan and watch a lot of simulcasting here in Jacksonville, FL. Consequently, I see a lot of horse racing as well. There are few nights that pass that I don’t see some kind injury. Here in Florida it is partcularly bad because the policing of drugs is really poor. Unfortunately, all the animal activists in the world aren’t going to change anything because of the number of dollars horse racing puts in the state coffers.

Back to baseball: Nice effort by Josh Beckett today. He really knows how to pitch with a lead. No messing around, throw strikes, get ahead in the count and be done with it. The more I see him play, the more I like Ellsbury. He can create runs all by himself. Even without Manny and Papi, the Sox sport a pretty good lineup. Drew has relieved a lot of the pain of losing those two big bats. He has really stepped up since Papi went on the DL. Papelbon should never throw a slider or a splitter for a strike. Compared to his heat, they are both lame duck pitches. If he gets them up even a little, they just sit there and say “hit me”.

Celtics should be motivated to win tonight. I like their chances.

Has anyone noticed that Jacoby is heating up lately?
I expect that he is going to hit .300 or close to .300 by the end of the month.
About 16 more minutes until the end of the game, even though they are losing right now. They need a rally now.

I’m excited about the game tommorow that I get to see tommorow. Need a win tommorow to extend the lead over Tampa.
Free-throws from Allen. That’s a start

Red Sox go to another bandbox for 3 games.

Beckett was solid yesterday. He looked like the Beckett of 2007 yesterday. All 3 starters were excellent for the Red Sox. The last 2 games were really good wins, no Ramirez and Ortiz but they still win.

Rondo turning down that open layup, a guranteed 2 points. What was he thinking? Was he thinking? Garnett for some reason has struggled against the Lakers in the last 3 games or so. He should be putting 25 on them, game in and game out. Nobody should be able to stop him. He really frustrates me. While he was with the Timberwolves, did McHale ever teach him low post moves? I would assume he must have. If he did, how come Garnett doesn’t use them? McHale was the best player I have ever seen down in the blocks. He was UNSTOPPABLE. Garnett is way more athletic than McHale. He should be doing the same in the paint. When McHale had his back to the basket, count the 2 points. Not Garnett.

Dice-K takes on the IronPigs tonight.

Yankees in rear view mirror now — plus their entire NL schedule is against teams with losing records (and bad records) — while ours from here on out is all against 1st place teams, 1 second place team, and Houston, then its Tampa, and Yanks away.

The scheduling gods have sure done the Yanks a favor this month.

This could be a pivotal stretch, whether we go into the All-Star game with a nice lead like last year, or neck and neck with the Yanks. I sure don’t want them back in the race — I am tired of all the egos on that team, they need a solid year of humble pie.

Concerning Oki — as I recall, he had a lights out year, last year the entire first half of the season, but began to show cracks in the armor, early in the 2nd half, needing rest in Sept, making a come back just before the playoffs, holding up pretty well through the playoffs until the WS, then breaking down again in the last two games of the WS. Maybe this year, he can reverse that trend, work his way out his weaker pitches, and finish the season on hot and strong streak, and carry into the playoffs stronger than last year. If it is due to his performance, then that is conceivable. If it is due to opposing batters having figured him out and no longer afraid/confused of his pitching style — he may be done. I hope its the former, not the latter, I really like the guy — he seems like a gracious player.

Hey, BosoxBrian:

Having taken your advice, I was in the Great American Ballpark on Saturday. My in-laws got us GREAT seats, about 20 rows up from the right field foul line, just a ways down past 3rd base.

It was amazing…of the 40,000+ in attendance, at least 10,000 were Sox fans. The Yoouuukkkk! cheers were so loud, at times I thought I was in Fenway….and then, to have him hit a single, a double and that game-winning HR…unbelievable….and what’s up with CoCo?.?.?…You are right about Wake…other than the inning in which he got touched for some runs, he was unhittable!!!

I’d barely had time to get my seat and blow the froth off my first beverage when Ellsbury got on, stole second, went to 3rd on the errant throw, and scored on the WP. He unsettled one of the best pitchers in the NL (Volquez) enough to have the Sox score sufficient runs to keep the lead/tied the entire game.

I still don’t understand the lolli-pop Pap threw that Encarnacion hit out to tie it up in the 9th. It was all Encarnacion could do to get a piece of Pap’s heat. I know second-guessing is easy from someone in the seats, but that was a strange pitch from Pap.

Thank goodness for Youk, CoCo and Hansen, who had a baptism of fire in the bottom of the 10th inning. Maybe he’s up to stay this year?

16 games over .500, with one three game series in Phila, 6 home games and then road games — 3 in Houston and 1 in Tampa Bay to finish the month. Looks like they will be at least 15 games over .500 at the end of the month, and they may well be approaching 20+. All the while with Schill, Dice-K, Big Papi, and Manny on the shelf, and with injuries along the way to Mikey L., Beckett, JD Drew (boy, its nice that no one’s calling him Nancy anymore) and Clay Buchholz. I don’t know what October will bring, but this team is fun to watch. Right now they are 3rd in the majors in team batting average and 8th in team ERA. What a combination!!!

Glad I didn’t hang around Saturday to watch Michael Bowden and the Seadogs take on the Akron Aeros. While he gave up no runs, Bowden only pitched 1 inning (I think because of a rain delay, but I haven’t seen any news on it).

Go Celts — I am confident it will be over in 6!


Sounds like you had a great time. Seeing the Sox away from Fenway is great. A human mass of Red Sox fans. Like this series in Philly. Alot of Red Sox fans will be in attendance. This series in Philly is the only won I think the Red Sox could lose in the month of June. Philly could take 2 of 3. Hamels is an excellent lefty. A very good fastball with a nice changeup. Colon at the plate should be fun to watch. Watching him run will be very funny. I remember when Rich Garces had to bat in Montreal, that was HILLARIOUS. I think the earth moved that night in Montreal, lol.

I agree with you dbenjamin on Papelbon’s pitch. Guys like Encarncion, challenge them with the heat. He would have stood no chance against Papelbon. Crisp with 2 H.R.’s in the last 2 games, nice too see. Boston is defintely the deepest team in baseball. I don’t think any team has there type of depth, nobody even close.

Ellsbury at the top gets things rolling. He can turn a single into a triple in a matter of about 3 pitches. He creates so much havoc out there.

gsm52: Only a few nights that pass without horse racing incident on the simulcast? What a travesty? The cruel side of human nature is just beyond mind my comprehension. This has to stop. From your comment, I guess the 5000 since 2003 (or 900+ a year) is probably an accurate number – how sad.

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