Wakeup call: Time to end the charade with the replacement refs

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Wakeup call: Time to end the charade with the replacement refs

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, September 18:

BASEBALL
Now that they've escaped Oakland, the Orioles are resuming their winning ways. (AP)

The lead is back to three for the White Sox in the A.L. Central (CSN Chicago)

And it's up to eight for the Giants in the N.L. West (CSN Bay Area)

I guess no one told Yunel Escobar that cameras have telephoto lenses and can pick up the smallest things . . . like homophobic slurs written on eye black. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Clayton Kershaw may miss more than just this week's start. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
He's under investigation by his athletic director, so "avoiding any stress for 30 days" is going to be a tall order for Billy Gillispie. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
The rumored Orange Bowl deal demonstrates that, come 2014, the sport's upper crust is going to consist of five conferences and Notre Dame. (NBC's College Football Talk) And, no, the Big East isn't one of those conferences.

Bo Pelini says he's "as healthy as can be". (AP)

The bomb threat at LSU forced the Tigers to cancel practice. (AP)

Three University of Wisconsin students have been charged in the Aug. 1 attack on Badgers running back Montee Ball. (AP)

HOCKEY
Those crickets you hear are from the labor negotiations. (AP)

Joe Thornton's going back to his special lockout place. (CSN Bay Area)

And some front-office staff may be going to a not-so-special lockout place: The unemployment line. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

One man's floor is another man's ceiling: These could be boom times for the AHL. (AP)

PRO BASKETBALL
Ron Artest -- excuse me, Metta World Peace -- is playing the role of Rasheed Wallace 2010 and talking 73 wins. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Apparently, this woman in Orlando didn't read the back of her ticket. (Pro Basketball Ticket)

PRO FOOTBALL
That sure didn't look like Peyton Manning, did it? (AP)

Can we -- for the love of God -- stop with the talk that the replacement refs are, you know, doing all right? No? Well, then, allow me to show you the tape from the first quarter of last night's game. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Or from any number of games over the weekend. (AP)

That's a wrap for the Redskins' Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker. At least for 2012. (CSN Washington)

Darrelle Revis' status for Sunday's game at Miami is still up in the air. (AP)

Bountygate update: Looks like Gregg Williams threw Jonathan Vilma under the bus. (Pro Football Talk)

The timing of said throwing, though, raises a few questions. (Pro Football Talk)

If it worked at Rutgers, why not Tampa Bay? (Pro Football Talk)

First impressions: Bradley Jr.'s hit streak comes to an end

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First impressions: Bradley Jr.'s hit streak comes to an end

BOSTON - First impressions from the Red Sox' 8-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies:

 

Just when you think Clay Buchholz may be close to figuring some things out, you realize he hasn't.

The night began well for Buchholz, who retired the first nine hitters he faced, marking the first time since April 18 that he had the opposition scoreless through the first three innings.

But then Buchholz allowed a single and a two-run homers in the fourth. And then did it again in the fifth. And then again in that same inning. That's been the big tease all season -- a few innings of dominance, more than wiped out by big hits with men on base.

He's got a 6.35 ERA. It's hard to find a reason why he should make his next start.

 

You can't say that Jackie Bradley Jr. didn't go down swinging.

He swung at the second pitch of the first inning and hit to the warning track in right, where it was caught.

After a weak comebacker in the third, Bradley crushed a pitch to the center field wall, close to 400 feet. That, too, was caught.

In his final at-bat, with the crowd on its feet in anticipation, Bradley swung at the first pitch and rolled out to second base.

It was nice -- and plenty of fun -- while it lasted.

Now, the attention focuses on Xander Bogaerts, who has his own streak going at 19 games.

 

David Ortiz has had a nice month this week.

Ortiz was at it again Thursday, slamming a two-run homer into the home bullpen in the first, then doubling off The Wall in the fourth.

He finished the night 2-for-5, but for the homestand was 10-for-23. Of those 10 hits, eight were for extra bases -- six doubles and two homers -- and he knocked in 11 runs in six games.

Also, for the first time in his career, Ortiz has knocked in multiple runs in four straight games.

 

Heath Hembree continues to be an important part of the bullpen.

The Red Sox don't necessarily have a designated long man, but Hembree is the closest thing they have to one.

He came in in the sixth and turned in three innings in which he allowed just one run -- and that one was unearned.

This marked the ninth time in 12 appearances this season that Hembree has pitched more than an inning.

 

Tanguay: Boggs deserved to have his number retired by Red Sox

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Tanguay: Boggs deserved to have his number retired by Red Sox

Wade Boggs gets a bad rap around here.

Yes, he rode the horse at Yankee Stadium. Yes, he wore his Yankee World Series ring as he and his 1986 Red Sox teammates were honored at Fenway Park last night. And there is the whole Margo Adams affair that landed said mistress in Penthouse and Wade on 20/20 with Barbara Walters. My God, he even cried for Barbara. Plus, he was labelled selfish for wanting to hit for a higher average as opposed to hitting home runs.

He was a walking controversy.

But he was also a hell of a player who deserves to have his number 26 (sorry, Lou Merloni) on the right-field facade.

Over his eleven seasons with the Sox he hit .338 with an .890 OPS and averaged 190 hits each season. He was the East Coast Tony Gwynn. Unlike Wade, Gwynn was a media favorite playing in laid-back San Diego who always had a smile on his face. Boggs sported a perpetual scowl, unless he was on the road with Ms. Adams.

While we can reminisce about strange and crazy time Boggs had in Boston off the field, it should be noted that he was a great player. He is, after all, a Hall of Famer – you know, the Cooperstown kind and not just the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

He was stuck in the Sox farm system until he was 24 years old. The book on him said great hitter but so-so fielder. Boggs worked his butt off at becoming a very good third baseman. Eventually, he won back-to-back Gold Gloves with the Yankees in 1994 and' 95.

At the plate his number were staggering. In 1987 he had a OPS of 1.049 and had over 200 hits in each season for seven straight years. In 1985, he had 240 hits! He won five batting titles for Boston. 

It's too bad that Margo Adams and riding the horse at Yankee Stadium has overshadowed his Red Sox career. On the field it was awesome, and to this day is greatly unappreciated by Red Sox fans.

Great guy? Nah. Great player? Yeah.