The Red Sox current road trip brings them to Texas and New York - home to the two best teams in the American League - and serves as a "make or break" week for the team. The general consensus is that if they play well against the Rangers and Yankees than there is hope, hope they can make the playoffs and hope they can replicate what the Cardinals did a year ago in winning the World Series after being a .500 team for most of the summer. On the other hand, if the trip goes poorly, it's probably time to give up on the 2012 Red Sox chances.
The first game in Texas on Monday was a disaster for the Red Sox as they got hammered in a 9-1 loss. The loss put the Red Sox under .500 at 48-49.
Last night, the Red Sox scraped out a gritty 2-1 win behind an excellent outing from Clay Buchholz (7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run) and a game winning single from Mike Aviles in the top of the 9th inning.
As important as the win was, the Red Sox are still just 49-49 and have a lot of work to do the rest of this week, and the rest of the season, if they hope to play any baseball after October 3. The team needs to find a way to take three of their next four games, which might make management decide they can win this year and therefore go out and add some missing pieces, especially a pitcher.
Josh Beckett, he of the $17-million salary and 5-8 record, takes the mound tonight in his native Texas with a chance to not only lead his team to winning the series against the Rangers but to also build some needed momentum going into New York, where the fate of the 2012 Red Sox may be decided.
Following Ichiro Suzuki's trade to the Yankees on Monday, there was a flurry of activity yesterday and early this morning.
The Phillies have re-signed their 28-year-old lefty Cole Hamels to a 6-year/$140-million contract. That move might make Cliff Lee available on the trade market with the Rangers being a possible suitor.
On the other side of Pennsylvania, the Pirates traded for Astros pitcher Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez bolsters the Pirates rotation and offers a left-handed complement to James McDonald and AJ Burnett as Pittsburgh fights to make the playoffs for the first time since losing to the Braves in the 1992 NLCS.
The Dodgers are also adding to their club, trading for Marlins third baseman Hanley Ramirez and lefty reliever Randy Choate. Los Angeles is just 2.5-games behind the Giants in the N.L. West and adding Ramirez to their lineup could help them win the division.
The non-waiver trade deadline in July 31.
Danny Ainge continues to build depth on the Celtics bench as the team agreed to a one-year contract for the veteran's minimum with Keyon Dooling.
Dooling played well off the bench last season for the Celtics but his biggest value was in the lockerroom, especially as a friend and mentor for Rajon Rondo.
This signing will fly under the radar but it should help the team on the floor. Dooling will provide the team with a veteran backup at guard behind Rondo, Courtney Lee, Avery Bradley, and Jason Terry and with Bradley likely out until December due to double shoulder surgery, Dooling will be needed to by Doc Rivers early on so the team does not have to rely on rookie Kris Joseph or journeymen Dionte Christmas or Jamar Smith to play too much early in the year.
Enjoy Josh Beckett tonight.