Chasing history: Worst Red Sox team in 47 years?

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Chasing history: Worst Red Sox team in 47 years?

While it was another disappointing weekend for the Patriots, it was just another lost weekend for the Sox, as Bobby V's boys dropped two of three to the Orioles at America's Most Beloved and Plaque-laden Ballpark.

Boston's now 18 games back in the wildcard and 20 games back in the division with only eight games left to play. So chances are, they're probably going to miss the playoffs for a third straight season. But as you know, there's much more than a playoff berth on the line over this next week and a half. These Sox are chasing history! So let's give a quick update on their mission to avoid becoming the worst Red Sox team in 47 years.

Heading into tonight's game with the Rays, Boston is 69-85 on the season. The number they have to beat is the 1992 Red Sox loss total of 73. So as you can see, the Sox have a real chance to pull this off.

They'll have to go 4-4 over their last eight games (TB, TB, @BAL x3 and @NYY x3) to avoid becoming the worst Sox team since 1966. They'll have to go 5-3 to avoid being one of the two worst. In other words, they'll pretty much half to play their best baseball of the second half.

To be honest, I'm not sure if they care. I'm not sure if they even realize that the Race to Inferiority has kicked into high gear. But I've said it once and I'll say it a million times (or maybe this will be the last time): I hope they fall short. It's only fitting that these guys finish with a record as historically horrendous as their reputation.
Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

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Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players' union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK - There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."