No, Bronson did not cut his luscious locks, so calm down Kathy. The Sox starter acted on his own advice to mix up his pitches more and worked in a change-up effectively in his last start. After having been so effective with basically just a fastball and curveball, the hitters started to sit on his curve and whack the ball around. With the change-up being thrown for strikes, Arroyo is able to get the hitter off-balance and get ahead in the count to set-up his wicked curve. With two more solid starts after his brief stumble, Arroyo is making it difficult for the Sox to move him back to the bullpen when Curt Schilling gets healthy.

The Red Sox have the best starting pitching, when healthy, in baseball this season, even without Pedro Martinez or Derek Lowe. If their starting pitching stays consistent and strong this season, I do not think Baltimore, New York, or Toronto will be able to keep pace.

Baltimore has a mix of youngsters and reclamation veterans who are finally hitting the wall. Toronto just needs time for their staff to mature behind Roy Halladay. The Yankees rotation is an eyesore, with over $90 million allocated to the starting staff alone, their most consistent starter has been AAA call-up and MLB minimum salary pitcher Chien-Ming Wang.

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The Patriots signed a kick/punt returner, Chad Morton, the other day adding to their already impressive depth. What I found most impressive was the quote from his agent, Leigh Steinberg:

My advice to him was that 10 years ago if you could play for the 49ers or Cowboys, you ought to take it - and now that same adage is true for the Patriots. If a player has an opportunity to play for the Patriots and they want him and a role is there, why not enjoy that experience? In the contemporary National Football League, they are the state-of-the-art franchise. from: MetroWest Daily News, by Mike Reiss.

Morton, only two years removed from a fight over his services as a free agent between the Jets and Redskins, is likely insurance on punt returns should Troy Brown be cut, Kevin Faulk get injured, or Tim Dwight not be healthy. Morton also could team with kick returner Bethel Johnson to give the Patriots two kick returners (wait, Tim Dwight would make it three) who are a threat to take it the distance every time they touch the ball.

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Rumor has it that hockey is close to an agreement with a salary cap between $35-40 million. Bad news for most teams (like the powerhouses Detroit & Chicago with more than that already allocated next year in salary), but great news for the Bruins who have less than $5 million in salary on the books. Expect, if there is an agreement, an overhauled Bruins roster with a lot of stars on a one-year contract for cheap money. It would be a buyers market and the Bruins in the drivers seat. An article the other day in the Herald highlights Harry Sinden and his long-range planning:

This has been the Bruins' plan all along. It seems to be working out just as they hoped. For B's fans, it could be a very interesting month of July. - Boston Herald, Stephen Harris

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If I were a Yankees fan, I would be more concerned with the Big Unit being tagged for seven runs in three innings than excited that they put up thirteen runs in the eighth inning against a AAA bullpen.

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Double-yawn. Is anyone watching these games? Tip-off after 9:15pm? Give me a break. Of course, watching Chauncey Billups and knowing that Rick Pitino traded him away from the Celtics midway through HIS ROOKIE SEASON for next to nothing still burns me up. Both teams are boring. Neither one is halfway interesting (just imagine what a series it would have been if it had been Miami versus Phoenix).

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I trade Baez and Looper this week in my fantasy league for some slugging outfielders, and the minute they are off my roster they both turn in star closing performances on the same day. Just my freaking luck.

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Anonymous said…

I was trying to post a message on another article, but I guess you will get this anyway.

As for Foulke, that's not his change-up coming in at 84 MPH, that's his fastball!

In his outing against the Indians when he gave up five runs in the ninth, including a grand slam to Travis Hafner, his fast ball was topping out at 86 MPH. A closer can't be too effective if he can't get his fast ball into the low 90's.

We all know of the bullpen woes for the Red Sox, and if they entertain any possibility of repeating as champs, they will have to get a closer before the trade deadline.

I don't know how often he does this, but Francona put Foulke into the game in the eighth inning. Fairly rare to bring in your closer that early, but then again, this is what happens when you have a weak bullpen.

Maybe it's arm fatigue, maybe he's hurt and not letting anyone know, but the Red Sox would seem to be better off finding someone new to pitch in the ninth.