Mayor Menino jumps the shark

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Mayor Menino jumps the shark

In this age of doped up, cancer-fighting, cycling pseudo-heroes and Samoan Mormon linebackers with fake dead girlfriends, it's getting harder and harder to take anything at face value. It's damn near impossible to believe that anything is real. And here in Boston, our faith is currently being tested by a 70-year-old man and his very loose grasp of the English language.

In case you missed it, Mayor Menino is back in the news after the latest in a long line of sports-related screw ups. This time, while participating in a public trash-talking session with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Menino referred to Vince Wilfork as "Vince Wilcock" (while wearing a Wilfork jersey) and Gronk as "Gonk," and as usual, these mistakes have resulted in an onslaught of media coverage.

"That silly Mayor's up to it again!"

LOLZ

Now before we go on, I should admit that perhaps no one in the entire world has obsessed over Mayor Menino's inability to speak more than I have. Over the years, I've gone to ridiculous lengths to mock him on this blog with numerous "State of Boston Sports" addresses, a tribute to the 10-year anniversary of Mo Lewis injuring Drew Bledsoe and most recently, a break down of the 2012 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

But right around the time of that last one, I sensed that something was up, and preluded my post with this:

Before we get to his inspirational words, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that The Mayor's latest sports take has come with a little bit of controversy. Or more, one very interesting and important question: Is there any chance hes faking it?Is it possible that he's doing this on purpose? That he and his team subscribe to the theory that there's no such thing as bad press, and have determined that there's no better way to get Menino in the headlines than by having him repeatedly screw up the names of local athletes? Personally, I think that's giving the Mayor too much credit, but crazier things have obviously happened. Who knows? Maybe it's all a hoax. Maybe he's been playing us like puppets all these years. Maybe Mayor Menino is actually a British actor named Allen. But despite all the conspiracies, I can tell you this: I want to believe it's real. So until further notice, I will.

And with that, this special announcement:

FURTHER NOTICE!!!

I'm sorry, but there's no way this is real. Not anymore, at least. There's no way that he continues to genuinely screw this stuff up. I mean, damn, in this latest video he's even reading from a script! So what are we supposed to believe now, that he's not only a malaprop but also illiterate?

Nah, if anything he's just a miserable actor.

Check him out right before he screws up Wilfork's name. He literally stares down at his paper, then looks directly at the camera, like he's delivering a line in an infomercial for prostate medicine:

"Wilcock?"

No, Mr. Mayor. Not Wilcock. Just lies.

All lies!

Time to do some soul searching and make a call to Oprah.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

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Quotes, notes and stars: Buchholz in 'attack mode'

CHICAGO -- Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox:

 

QUOTES

"I think the most encouraging thing was after a couple of hard-hit balls early on, he was still in attack mode.'' - John Farrell on Clay Buchholz.

"The biggest thing centers around his fastball. First inning, he might have been up a little bit. But after that, he was down in the zone and the curveball was a good compliment to that.'' - Farrell.

"Man, I tell you what -- he does it in such big moments.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz.

"If you could paint a picture, I think tonight would be just about what everybody would want to do.'' - Buchholz on his outing.

"I think everybody would be lying if they said they didn't see your numbers; you see them every day. (Being) 0-3 with a six-something (ERA) is obviously not where you want to be.'' - Buchholz.

"Hopefully, this is the start of something good coming out of him.'' - Ortiz on Buchholz.

"You feel like the luckiest man on planet earth - finally hitting the ball where no one's at!'' - Ortiz on beating the shift with a single through the shortstop hole in the seventh

 

NOTES

* When the Red Sox homer, they're 11-6.

* Clay Buchholz's win was his first since last July 10.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

* Mookie Betts has scored at least one run in 10 of his last 14 games.

* David Ortiz is now one homer from tying Carl Yastrzemski for second-most homers in franchise history at 452.

* Ortiz tied Gary Sheffield for 25th place all-time in homers with 509.

 

STARS

1) Clay Buchholz

After five straight poor outings, Buchholz turned in a gem, giving up two runs in the first, then nothing else for the next six innings.

2) David Ortiz

As he so often does, Ortiz delivered when the Red Sox needed him most, clocking a two-run homer in the fifth to turn a one-run deficit into a two-run lead.

3) Jose Abreu

The White Sox slugger belted a two-run homer in the first to give him five RBI in the two games in this series.

 

First impressions: Buchholz finishes strong vs. White Sox

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First impressions: Buchholz finishes strong vs. White Sox

CHICAGO - First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-2 win over the White Sox.

 

If this was some sort of must-win proposition for Clay Buchholz, he passed his test.

Buchholz found himself behind 2-0 just three batters in when he allowed a two-run homer to Jose Abreu, but he righted himself nicely after that.

Buchholz pitched seven innings and didn't allow another run. In fact, Buchholz only yielded two more hits after the first - both singles.

John Farrell said he wanted to see Buchholz attack the strike zone with his fastball, pitch with a quicker tempo and not rely so much on his secondary stuff. To varying degrees, Buchholz accomplished all three and finished strong - retiring the last 10 hitters in a row and 16 of the last 17.

 

Josh Rutledge had a nice night off the bench.

Rutledge was a last-minute addition to the lineup when Hanley Ramirez was scratched with the flu and Travis Shaw was shifted from third base to first base.

Rutledge reached base three times with two singles and a walk. One of the singles drove in the fourth run, scoring Chris Young with an important insurance run.

 

David Ortiz broke out of his U.S. Cellular slump in a big way.

Coming into the game, Ortiz was hitless here in his last 19 at-bats and when he hit into a double play in the first and flied to center in the third, that stretched to 0-for-21. Since the start of 2014, those first two at-bats made Ortiz 1-for-26.

But in the fifth, Ortiz hammered a pitch from Carlos Rodon into the seats in right for a two-run homer, giving the Red Sox their first lead of the series.

For all the talk about Ortiz's difficulty hitting lefties, he's now third among lefty batters in homers off lefthanded pitchers since last July 2.

 

The home run power continues to be in short supply beyond Ortiz.

Last season, the Red Sox didn't have anyone hit 20 homers other than the (then) 39-year-old Ortiz.

Might the same thing happen again this year?

Ortiz hit his sixth homer last night, again leading the club. Mookie Betts is the only other hitter on the Sox with more than three homers -- and he hasn't hit one in his last 58 at-bats, dating back a week and a half.