It was two dramatic victories in a row for the Red Sox. Did someone turn the clock back to 2004 and not mention it to anyone? Although both games had a dramatic ending, both games highlighted the ongoing struggle to drive in runners in scoring position. This aspect of the game must improve for the Red Sox offense. How to improve this problem is the burning question. The Sox need to keep working the pitchers to get deep in the count and have the pitcher make a mistake. If they do that, stay back, do not get overanxious, and get their pitches to hit, they will eventually get the job done.

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Bronson Arroyo and Matt Clement: These guys would make a good one and two starter right now for about twenty other clubs. Here they are four and five. Both undefeated, both with low earned run averages, both looking dominant on the mound. The future looks bright as both are just entering their prime.


Memo to Keith Foulke: Call the mechanic, because the fastball is up over the plate and he is throwing the change-up too hard. Without the major difference in speed (example: fastball 89 MPH and change-up 70 MPH, a 19 MPH difference for the hitter to try to adapt to), the batters have time to wait on the change-up and adjust to the fastball. Some change-ups were at 80 MPH: way too fast! The good thing with Foulke, is that once he adjusts and locks down, he will return to his unhittable self of 2004. Every year he has these uneasy stretches, it just so happens that this season it happened early. Have faith in Foulke, he will round into form.

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Let us not forget to give credit to David Ortiz for his role in these walk-off wins. Without his drawing a walk in the ninth inning of both games and getting on base, we would be talking about extra inning games instead of walk-off victories. It still boggles my mind that Minnesota could give up on such a talented hitter. I know that no one in the organization expected the 40 HR and 120 RBI seasons from Ortiz, but it goes to show why to take flier on a hitter with power potential any time you can (see Robert Petegine, getting ready to rehab in Pawtucket for another example of the Sox trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice).

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I have never heard of them. Did they play basketball here in the eighties once upon a time? From all their goodwill and being the lead sports story to a smoldering pot of resentment. They are now that weird deranged Uncle that gets locked in the attic in bad movies; or, as my Dad told Joe Mills when we were kids, our Uncle Marald sits in his rocking chair in the attic and never leaves there. (What can I say, Joe Mills ate a goat turd when we told him it was a black jelly bean and believed that herring came from our gutters. I feel like I should be paying the poor kid a monthly per diem just for therapy).

Anyway, the Celtics are suddenly persona non grata as I have not yet talked to anyone who was not disgusted, humiliated, or ashamed to have viewed their performance Saturday night in the stinkfest against the undermanned, less talented, but obviously motivated Indiana Pacers.

The Celtics are quickly disappearing from the sports pages and public eye. The team blew a tremendous opportunity to pick up some fans with an extended playoff run by choking two games and not showing up for the other two. Fans are in no rush to forgive these veterans who packed it in and played one-on-one the whole game.

Has Danny Ainge won everyone over to his side now? Fans are ready to embrace the vision. Any move he makes involving getting rid of Paul Pierce, Antoine Walker, or Gary Payton will be roundly applauded by the remaining fans.

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Johnny Ruiz, the Quiet Man from Chelsea, was finally shipped off to the sunset of retirement, finally beaten and humiliated enough to quit by former middleweight James Fat Toney. But wait, the drama has just begun. Fat Toney had a suspicious fight, in that, unlike New England Patriot LB Ted Johnson, Toney recovered remarkably fast from a torn biceps. In addition, he lost a ton of weight and had nothing but solid muscle on display and amazing stamina throughout the fight.

Poor Ruiz; even when he wins, he loses. When he loses, he wins, but still loses. No one wants to watch him fight: he has no knockout power and merely wears them down until he outpoints them. His strategy and style is very effective, but boring for the boxing audience. Also, Ruiz got knocked silly by mega-chump David Tua early on in his career and has never regained that credibility.

What hurts Ruiz now is that no one wants to fight him because there is no money to be made fighting him. A loss to him is disastrous, and every promoter in the sport wants him out of the way so that they can have some heavyweights fight for his title that someone may pay to watch (though I am hard-pressed to find any). The whole heavyweight division is desperate for a polarizing young champion to storm through the ranks and grab the public fancy. Unfortunately, until then, we are stuck with Klitschko, Ruiz, Rahman, and the rest of the chumps in the post-Lennox Lewis Era.

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