Morning skate: Monday, Dec. 24


Morning skate: Monday, Dec. 24

The Nashville Predators sit and wait during the NHL lockout, and ponder deep questions about their franchise.

Spector says that the NHL lockout is affecting bloggers and freelancers in a bad way just like everybody else.

A Puck Daddy original holiday story about Gary Bettman and the meaning of Christmas.

James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail explains why a short 48-game season wouldnt be a sham of a year. It actually could be pretty awesome.

My compatriot Chuck Gormley spoke with Jason Chimera, who thinks the NHL commissioner is ruining the game.

Good piece by Kirk Luedeke on local skaters Matt Grzelcyk and Jim Vesey as they get ready for their experience playing for Team USA at the World Junior Championships.

For something completely different: The story of a Tom Cruise Christmas Carol thanks to the folks at Grantland.

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

After leaving Thursday night's game in the fifth inning and missing Friday night's game, Dustin Pedroia is back in the Red Sox lineup Saturday as they look to extend their winning streak to six in a 4:05 game against the Seattle Mariners.

Pedroia felt pain his left knee Thursday night and was taken out of the game by manager John Farrell as a precaution. The rainy conditions and wet field were also factors in keeping the second baseman out Thursday and Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on the knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked various confrontations between the Orioles and Red Sox.

Left-hander Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his second start of the season for Boston and right-handed reliever Ben Taylor was optioned to the PawSox. Right-hander Rob Whalen, 23,  comes up from Triple-A Tacoma to make his first start of the season for the Mariners. 

The lineups:

Jean Segura SS
Danny Valencia 1B
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Taylor Motter LF
Guillermo Heredia RF
Mike Zunino C
Jarrod Dyson CF
Rob Whalen RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Andrew Benintendi LF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Deven Marrero 3B
Brian Johnson LHP