Big Dan's Ramblings

Ramblings from a Boston Boy stuck in New York

Monthly Archives: July 2010

Josh Beckett, Red Sox Shoot for Sweep of Angels in Afternoon Baseball

Boston Red SoxFrom Tony Lee, NESN.com:

When the Red Sox left Seattle on the heels of two straight damaging losses, things looked a tad grim. Consecutive wins over the reeling Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have brightened the skies.

With Josh Beckett on the mound Wednesday afternoon the Sox can finish their second sweep of the Angels this year and return home on a winning note.

Josh BeckettBeckett, who returned from a two-month layoff Friday in Seattle, will have some tough acts to follow. Clay Buchholz threw seven superb innings in Boston’s 6-3 win in the series opener, and John Lackey worked into the eighth to get the victory in his return to Anaheim on Tuesday night.

The Sox are now 5-4 on their 10-game West Coast road trip.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, has lost six of seven and is fading fast, now 8 1/2 games behind Texas in the American League West and 13 behind wild card-leading Tampa Bay in the loss column.

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New England Patriots Place WR Wes Welker On PUP List To Start Camp

New England PatriotsFrom Sean Leahy, USAToday.com:

The New England Patriots placed WR Wes Welker on the physically unable to perform list ahead of the start of the team’s training camp on Wednesday.

But the team put Welker on the active/PUP list, which could still allow him to return soon from the ACL/MCL tear he suffered in Week 17.

Word broke last week that Welker was performing well in his rehab and could even be ready to work out with the team at the start of training camp. That’s still possible. But placing him on the active/PUP list allows the Patriots to place Welker on the reserve/PUP (for up to the first six weeks of the regular season) if his condition doesn’t continue to improve.

Original estimates suggested Welker could miss part of the regular season.

Pedroia is Jolted by News

Boston Red SoxFrom Peter Abraham, Boston Globe:

Dustin Pedroia, much to his dismay, is human.

Dr. Lewis Yocum examined the injured Red Sox second baseman yesterday and informed him that the broken medial navicular bone in his left foot will need at least six weeks to heal, not the five weeks Pedroia was hoping for.

“He kind of scared me a little bit,’’ Pedroia said last night before the Sox played the Angels. “There’s nothing really that I can do. Just time’s got to heal me. He kind of told me I can’t play unless I feel no pain, which isn’t good.

“I didn’t realize how serious it was and how long it’s going to take.’’

Today marks 33 days since Pedroia was injured, well short of six weeks. He is scheduled for a CT scan in Boston Friday, which should give doctors a better idea of how well the bone has healed. Until then, Pedroia will be shut down from throwing, taking grounders or batting practice to give his foot some rest.

“I think the message has been pretty consistent,’’ manager Terry Francona said. “I think today maybe Pedey heard it a little bit better.’’

Pedroia is hopeful the CT scan will bring good news. But the idea that he could return on the next homestand is not realistic.

“Mentally I’m thinking I’m going to,’’ he said. “But who the hell knows?’’

Pedroia said his foot “felt weird’’ Monday when he tried jogging for the first time.

“Any time my foot pounds on that ground, it didn’t really feel good,’’ Pedroia said. “[Yocum] said you have to be smart, man. It can definitely hurt you in the long run.’’

Pedroia had been under the impression he could play through some pain. But Yocum said that wasn’t an option. If Pedroia fractures that bone again, he would be looking at surgery that could keep him out for parts of next season.

“You really can’t do that with this injury,’’ he said. “That’s hard to deal with. That bone can break off and they’d have to put pins in it. That would be a disaster.’’

Pedroia was distraught at first but eventually came around to the idea that it wasn’t bad news.

“Everything looks great. I’m ahead of schedule,’’ he said. “It’s just my schedule and their schedule were a little different. That was the only thing. I’m good.’’

Ellsbury moving ahead
Jacoby Ellsbury took another step forward in his return when he played six innings in center field for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox against the Rays at Fort Myers, Fla.

Ellsbury walked in the first inning, stole second, and went to third on a throwing error. He then scored on a sacrifice fly. He later grounded into a double play and had a single to right field.

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New England Patriots Reach Contract With 1st Round Pick Devin McCourty

New England PatriotsFrom Sean Leahy, USAToday.com:

New England Patriots CB Devin McCourty became just the second first-round draft pick to agree to a contract on Wednesday.

His agent, Andy Simms, announced on Twitter that McCourty had agreed to a deal and would report to the start of the Patriots’ training camp on Wednesday.

McCourty, the 27th overall pick, joins Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant as the only first-round picks to reach contract agreements.

A Rutgers product, McCourty is expected to contribute on special teams and in the Patriots’ secondary.

He was the last of the Patriots’ 12 draft picks to reach a contract agreement.

Pats Wiping Away Remnants of Glory Days

New England PatriotsFrom Tom E. Curran, NECN.com:

The artifacts of the New England Patriots dominant decade are everywhere around Gillette Stadium. From the Super Bowl banners to the Patriots Hall of Fame sitting out front, they’re building the brand on the glory days.

But they’re not building this year’s team on it.

According to Troy Brown, Bill Belichick has been busy this offseason taking down reminders of who the Patriots recently were.

“From what I understand, they’re gutting out the whole place,” Brown said this afternoon at Mohegan Sun Casino where he was speaking to a group at the Comcast Sportsnet football roundtable. “There’s no pictures of Troy Brown, there’s no pictures of Tedy Bruschi, no pictures of Rodney Harrison in the building. It’s all wiped off. It’s (saying), ‘Get your own identity. Get a name for yourseflves and don’t worry about what Troy Brown did or Rodney Harrison did for this football team.’ …That’s gonna be the key to this year is, ‘Can these guys get their own identity?’ Forget about the past and how successful they were let’s be successful in our own way.”

I asked if the exorcism bothered him at all.

“It doesn’t sting to me at all, I mean I hate to walk in the building and my picture’s not up there, that sucks, but it’s something they need to do because they’ve been living in the shadow of the past Patriots. (The media) talks about it. “What difference did Tedy make? What difference did Rodney make?’ Let’s talk about what kind of difference Brandon Meriweather is going to make this year. That’s the signal (Belichick) is trying to send to these guys.”

There is further evidence of the very determined way in which Belichick is trying to remake the team’s personality. From releasing players who didn’t necessarily buy in, to making a true effort to draft or sign leader-types, it’s clear that the way things were last season were as troubling as they seemed.