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Making up for lost time

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  August 23, 2010 08:18 AM

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Learned a new term during a family trip out to see the in-laws: the obli-cation. This cannot help but make one wonder: whatever happened to the island getaway?

Catching up on the news and trying to make up for lost time …

  • Departed on Aug. 12, when the Red Sox were five games back in the division and 3 1/2 games back in the wild-card race. Returned on August 20 to find the Red Sox 6 1/2 games back in the division and five games behind in the wild card. This is hardly what one would call progress.
  • Josh Beckett may be unmovable in the wake of a four-year, $68 million contract extension that begins next season, but now is the time if the Red Sox ever have any intention of exploring a trade for him. Beckett will become a dreaded 10-5 man late next season – at least 10 years of major league service, at least the last five with the same team - which means he will have the right to veto any and all deals from that point forward.
  • The more you think about it, the more you cannot help but feel that the Red Sox season ended on that June weekend in San Francisco when Dustin Pedroia fouled a ball off his foot.
  • By the way, Bill Hall now has more home runs than J.D. Drew.
  • Amid all of the unending discussion about Jacoby Ellsbury now that he has returned to the disabled list, just how are the Red Sox going to get equal value for him following a season in which Ellsbury has played in 18 games and had his attitude openly questioned?
  • As for Jed Lowrie, on the other hand, now seems like a golden opportunity to strike while the iron is hot and sell high.
  • With regard to Roger Clemens, here’s the part that just won’t go away: does Clemens really think he’s pulling the wool over anybody’s eyes? As one longtime baseball executive noted, the Texas courts don’t believe him; the media doesn’t believe him; the government doesn’t believe him; and the public doesn’t believe him.
  • In the baseball world, this is known as an 0-fer.

  • Since we’re on the topic of chronic liars and general disingenuousness, now might be a good time to wonder whether Brett Favre and Roger Clemens have ever actually met, or, for that matter, exchanged recipes. You know, from one southern boy to another.
  • Which reminds me: Favre emphasizing commitment to the team in any meetings is like Tiger Woods preaching fidelity.
  • So would you take Tiger on the Ryder Cup team?
  • Let’s not get too excited about the Patriots just yet. In any professional sport, the preseason is utterly worthless when it comes to handicapping the field. The good news is that the Patriots appear to be emphasizing a return to basics and that the very early signs are good with regard to some of their most recent draft picks. At this stage, we’re just looking for progress.
  • Is anyone else completely unsurprised by the fact that Stephen Strasburg is ailing? Take a good look at those rookie pitchers with whom Strasburg compares with regard to strikeouts per nine innings. The majority of them flamed out.
  • Just for kicks, let’s review some of the players the Red Sox have picked up during this season: Jonathan Van Every, Niuman Romero, Kevin Cash, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Ryan Shealy, Eric Patterson, Rich Hill, Argenis Reyes, Jack Hannahan, Daniel Turpen and Carlos Delgado.
  • Does that sound like a management group that is serious about contending, particularly given a history that has included some absolute blockbuster, midseason deals?

  • By the way, Kerry Wood, who cost the Yankees nothing but a little cash, now has a 0.84 ERA with New York and has racked up seven straight scoreless appearances.
  • Don’t look now, but the start of Bruins training camp is rapidly approaching. Salary cap issues aside, the Bruins should keep Marc Savard and Tim Thomas, then roll out the pucks.
  • If the Celtics hadn’t made that run to the NBA Finals, does anyone else think we’d be talking about Doc Rivers right now the way we’re talking about Lou Piniella?
  • On the flipside: do you think Piniella would have skipped out if the Cubs were in contention?

    We think not.

Tony's Top 5

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5
The final chapter on Teixeira and How Red Sox pitchers work the strike zone Jan. 7, 2009 and July 17, 2009. Some actual reporting – an obsession with Mark Teixeira and the art of pitching.
4
For 2011 Red Sox, there was plenty of blame to go around Oct. 1, 2011. The disgraceful collapse of the Red Sox stoked the fire in all of us.
3
Behind Garnett and James, Celtics and Heat are digging in June 4, 2012. Improbably, the Celtics pushed the Heat to the limit.
2
Thrill is back for Patriots Jan. 30, 2012. Another Super Bowl has even Bill Belichick musing.
1
You’ve got to believe June 15, 2011. On the morning of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, we all had reason to believe.
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Updated: Mar 1, 07:24 AM

About Mazz

Tony Massarotti is a Globe sportswriter and has been writing about sports in Boston for the last 19 years. A lifelong Bostonian, Massarotti graduated from Waltham High School and Tufts University. He was voted the Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year by his peers in 2000 and 2008 and has been a finalist for the award on several other occasions. This blog won a 2008 EPpy award for "Best Sports Blog".

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