Box Score Bank: Lowe's first save

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Box Score Bank: Lowe's first save

I'll admit that it's a little weird seeing Derek Lowe pitch for the Yankees, but the vision of him in pinstripes doesn't stir up any special emotions.

Maybe that's because Lowe hasn't played in Boston since 2005. Or maybe it's that he played for three different teams in between the Sox and Yankees. Or maybe the SoxYankees divide just isn't quite as hostile as it was back in the days of Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon.

Either way, Lowe's a Yankee now, and last night he picked up a four-inning save in New York's 8-2 win. It was his first save in nearly 11 years, and comes more than 14 years after the first save of his career.

Sounds like a Box Score Bank to me.

So let's set our sights on . . . July 16, 1998

Deep Impact slightly edged Godzilla as the No. 1 movie in America (not to be outdone, Spice World ranked 23rd). "The Boy is Mine" by Monica and Brandy was in the midst of its 13-week run atop the Billboard charts. A week before, France beat Brazil in the World Cup Final; six weeks later, Stanford University PhD candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded a company called Google, Inc.

And over at Fenway Park, 25-year-old Derek Lowe was picking up the first save of his Major League career.
Final Score: Red Sox 15, Indians 5
Funny how both Lowe's first and most recent save came in blowout wins, right?

No, not really. But here's how this first one went down.

Jimy Williams called for Lowe in the top of the eighth inning with the Sox up 8-5, and he promptly retired Manny Ramirez on a line drive to short. The next inning, the Sox offense promptly exploded, scoring seven runs on eight hits in the bottom of the eighth.

Lowe came back out for the ninth, gave up a single to Brian Giles but then induced three straight ground outs to pick up the first of now 86 career saves. And the rest is history.

Two years later, Lowe took over as Boston's closer and led the league with 42 saves.

Two years after that, he became a starter and finished second in the league with 21 wins.

Two years after that, he won all three deciding games as the Red Sox made their ridiculous run to the 2004 title.

And now he plays for the Yankees.

Oh well. It's definitely a little weird, but also impossible to get upset.

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

Rosenthal: 'Some' Sox players question Farrell's leadership, game management

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Rosenthal: 'Some' Sox players question Farrell's leadership, game management

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal ignited a local firestorm when he made a seemingly off-hand comment a few days ago that he "wouldn't be surprised" if the Red Sox fired John Farrell this year. (He quickly added he also "wouldn't be surprised" if Farrell stayed on and led the team to the A.L. East title this year, but that got scant mention.)

Today, however, Rosenthal expounded on Farrell and the Sox in a lengthy column on foxsports.com. While acknowledging the team's injuries and beyond-the-manager's-control inconsistencies (in the starting rotation and with the offense), he also ominously added, "The excuses for the Sox, though, go only so far — all teams deal with injuries, and not all of them boast $200 million payrolls. Other issues also have emerged under Farrell . . . "

Farrell, even when he won the 2013 World Series as a rookie manager, was not popular in all corners of the clubhouse. Some players, but not all, believe that he does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media when the team is struggling, sources say. Some also question Farrell’s game management, talk that exists in virtually every clubhouse, some more than others.

And then he mentioned two leadership problems:

The first occurred during the Red Sox’s prolonged dispute with the Orioles’ Manny Machado. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia, after Matt Barnes threw at Machado’s head, shouted across the field to Machado, 'it wasn’t me,' then told reporters that it was 'definitely a mishandled situation,' without mentioning Barnes or Farrell by name . . . 

The second incident occurred last Saturday, when Farrell engaged in a heated exchange with left-hander Drew Pomeranz in the dugout . . . [Pomeranz's] willingness to publicly challenge Farrell, in an exchange captured by television cameras, offered another indication that the manager and some of his players are not always on the same page.

Hmm.

Rosenthal's piece comes at a time when some of Farrell's harshest local critics are more or less giving him a pass, instead blaming Dave Dombrowski's flawed roster construction for the Sox' early season struggles , , , 

But there has been speculation hereabouts on whether or not Farrell has control of the clubhouse . . . 

Now that Rosenthal has weighed in, that sort of talk should increase.

In the end, Rosenthal makes no prediction on Farrell's future other than to conclude "If Dombrowski senses a change is necessary, he’ll make a change." 

But one prediction that can be made: The should-Farrell-be-fired? debate, which raged at unrealistic levels last year when the Red Sox won the division, isn't going to end anytime soon.