Box Score Bank: Opening Goose Eggs


Box Score Bank: Opening Goose Eggs

The Red Sox came within three outs and one bonehead Jim Leyland decision of being shutout yesterday in Detroit. And it got me thinking: When was the last time the Sox were shutout on Opening Day?

Initially, I didn't think it would be that long ago, what with early spring weather usually in the pitcher's favor, and the fact that the Sox annually go up against the other team's No. 1 arm.

I don't know, maybe it was sometime in the last 10 years? 20 years at most? Back in the days of Bob Zupcic, Jack Clark and Butch Hobson, I figured.

I figured wrong.

Today's Box Score Bank takes us back to April 9, 1976.

Disco Lady by Johnny Taylor was the No. 1 song in the U.S. The original Rocky had just brought home Best Picture at the Oscars. Gerald Ford was president. David Ortiz was barely five months old (or was it five years old?).

And down at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Jim Palmer was having his way with the Sox.

April 9, 1976: Orioles 1, Red Sox 0

Like Justin Verlander, Palmer went eight strong innings for the Birds. But unlike Verlander, Palmer's closer the legendary Dyar Miller got the job done in the ninth.

Two note on this game:

1. There was some serious star power, as both starting pitchers Palmer and Fergie Jenkins (who pitched a complete game in defeat) were future Hall of Famers. The Sox also had three Hall of Famers their line-up with Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk and Carl Yastresmki. The Orioles had only one other future HOFer on the field that day 39-year-old Brooks Robinson but hey, six Hall of Famers aren't bad.

Out of curiosity: How many do you think were on the field yesterday?

I guess its hard to call anyone automatic at this stage in their career, but I think we had at least nine possibilities on display in Detroit:

1. Ellsbury 2. Pedroia 3. Gonzales 4. Ortiz 5. Fielder 6. Cabrera 7. Verlander 8. Lester 9. Vincente Padilla.

Look about right?

2. After the game, Jim Rice said that while he loved playing at Fenway, it was nothing quite like singing at Fenway!

Just kidding. He didn't say that because the game was actually on the road. And because he probably didn't speak to the media at all.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Patriots list nine as questionable, including Bennett, Edelman and Collins


Patriots list nine as questionable, including Bennett, Edelman and Collins

FOXBORO -- The Patriots listed nine players on their injury report after Friday's practice, deeming them all "questionable" for Sunday's game against the Steelers. 

The most notable names on the list are those of tight end Martellus Bennett, linebacker Jamie Collins and receiver Julian Edelman.

Bennett and Collins have been listed on the injury report since before last weekend's win over the Bengals. Bennett was able to play through his ankle issue, whereas Collins dealt with a hip injury that kept him out. Edelman, meanwhile, has been on the injury report since prior to New England's Week 5 win over Cleveland, but he has played in 81 percent of his team's offensive snaps over the last two weeks.

Patriots rookie linebacker Elandon Roberts, who has opened some eyes with his play over the course of the last two weeks, is also listed as questionable due to an ankle issue. Bill Belichick's club could be left thin at the linebacker level should both Roberts and Collins be at all limited, potentially leaving Barkevious Mingo, Rob Ninkovich and Shea McClellin to see more time next to Dont'a Hightower as off-the-line 'backers. 


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


T Marcus Gilbert (ankle)
DE Cameron Heyward (hamstring)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (left knee)
S Shamarko Thomas (groin)
C Cody Wallace (knee)
WR Markus Wheaton (shoulder)
RB DeAngelo Williams (knee)

Smart yet to be ruled out of Celtics’ opener


Smart yet to be ruled out of Celtics’ opener

WALTHAM, Mass. – Marcus Smart remains out with a left ankle sprain injury sustained earlier this week, but has yet to be ruled out for the season opener against Brooklyn next week.

An MRI came back negative on Smart’s ankle, which was good news.

But there’s still a high level of uncertainty as to whether Smart will heal in time for the team’s opener at home against Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

He sprained the left ankle in the second quarter of a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday when he stepped on the foot of Knicks guard Justin Holiday.

Smart fell to the floor and was helped to his feet by teammates Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas in addition to the team’s head trainer Ed Lacerte.

The Celtics are indeed hopeful he will heal in time to play next week, but league sources indicate it’s doubtful due to the nature of the injury and Smart’s history with left ankle sprains.

He sustained one in his rookie season and it kept him out for several weeks and he has had a few minor ankle sprains since then.

Even if he shows signs of being healthy enough to play prior to the opener, the Celtics are likely to be overly cautious to best insure that when he does return he does not re-aggravate the ankle.

Smart appeared in all seven preseason games for the Celtics this season, averaging 8.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Smart shot 42 percent from the field, but struggled mightily from 3-point range while connecting on just 13.6 percent of his 3-point shot attempts.

If Smart is unable to play in the opener or potentially longer, look for the Celtics to lean heavily on Terry Rozier who has been the breakout performer for Boston in the summer and in camp.

“I’m just trying to do whatever they need me to do, to help us win games,” Rozier told “I’m feeling good, real good about where my game’s at now. Obviously we’re a better team in every way, with Marcus out there. But if he’s not ready to go, the next man up has to get the job done. If that’s me, it’s me. I’ll be ready.”