This Week in Boston Baseballing, July 19-25

The Red Sox took two out of three from the scuffling Yankees and lost two of three against the Rays, thanks mainly to a couple of gems by Tampa lefties Matt Moore and David Price. Boston is now just half a game up on Tampa Bay. However, as Dan Duquette would no doubt point out, Thursday night’s rainout (to be made up on Monday) ensured the Red Sox at least one more full day in first place of the AL East.

Meanwhile, a bunch of other stuff happened this week:

Jenny Dell’s Almost Sharon-Stone-in-Basic-Instinct Moment
SS Basic InstJenny Dell returned Friday night after a prolonged vacation (she did not make the trip to the West Coast with the team prior to the All-Star break). During last weekend’s series opener against the Yankees, Dell took to the Fenway Park stands for her “Fenway Fan Stories” sitdown segment with a couple of Sox fans . One of NESN’s cameras was angled upward so that it nearly caught an upskirt shot as Dell began to uncross her legs a la Sharon Stone while she turned from one interviewee to the other. Dell caught herself just in time – and/or a NESN producer was likely screaming in her earpiece. Seemingly aware of the close call, she finished the segment with a sheepish expression and her free hand placed on the outside of her leg as though to guard it from involuntarily falling into a more revealing open position. Welcome back, Jenny!

Dustin! Got A New Deal
Sources confirmed Tuesday that the Red Sox extended Dustin Pedroia’s contract through the 2021 season. The move was applauded by just about every writer and baseball analyst. All told, Dustin’s contract is likely to be an afterthought when compared to other nine-figure deals in the organization’s history (Manny Ramirez 8/$160m; Adrian Gonzalez, 7/$154m; Carl Crawford 7/$142m). The signing is rooted with a perfect balance of business sense and emotional backdrop. Pedroia needs the Red Sox (check out his home/road splits) and the Red Sox need Pedroia (he’ll be The Face of the Franchise after David Ortiz retires).

Clay Buchholz Got Peace of Mind from Dr. James Andrews
Alas, it was a complete waste of time in the eyes of fans and media that moonlight as amateur physicians who could have told Buchholz he has been healthy enough to pitch for weeks.

We can only imagine what these Budweiser-slugging ladies have been saying about Clay’s prolonged recovery…

Former Red Sox Gabe Kapler implored front offices to better educate players about advanced stats not found in USA Today
“At some point, Ben (Cherington) opened my eyes wide when he sent me a study on the sacrifice bunt and the value of the out in major league baseball at the time. I considered myself to be a student of the game, but this was the first time I had a baseball man illuminate such a study. It was at that point that I realized that baseball players are not the most educated people in our game — far from it.”

One would presume Cherington’s has reached out to bunt-loving Shane Victorino on this matter?

Trade Activity Watch
MAG
Guys supposedly on the Red Sox radar like Matt Garza and Francisco Rodriguez were pawned to other teams. John Henry and Larry Lucchino told reporters they wouldn’t necessarily be making any major trades before July 31. Meanwhile, the Sox did have scouts in attendance yesterday as Peavy got a win over Justin Verlander. Several reports went out of the way to say the Red Sox have not discussed trading Will Middlebrooks to the Chicago White Sox for Jake Peavy.

It also seems possible that the Sox could sign Cuban defector Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez to a long-term deal that pays him a pro-rated salary for 2013 that still keeps the team under the luxury tax. He may or may not be of much use this year, but he would provide depth and also a much higher upside for the future than almost anyone else rumored to be available. If Philadelphia decides to be smart about moving Cliff Lee, the equation may change.

Upcoming
The Sox have three games against the Orioles this weekend in Camden Yards and then the team is back at Fenway for three against the Mariners.

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