This Week in Boston Baseballing, August 2 – 8

The Red Sox took two of three from Arizona at Fenway Park before heading to Houston and somehow stealing two of three at Minute Maid Park thanks to two more comeback wins. Stephen Drew’s three-run ninth-inning home run in the finale on Wednesday clinched the series victory. Finally, last night the Sox ran into the buzzsaw that is Bruce Chen in Kansas City, dropping the opener of a four-game weekend series against the Royals, 5-1.



Boston Matches Its 2012 Win Total
Tuesday night’s game in Houston went awry quickly. A horrific first inning for Ryan Lavarnway and Steven Wright might have done some serious harm to the psyches of a couple of younger players: Wright’s knuckler was landing everywhere but Lavarnway’s glove. After Wright threw only 18 of 38 pitches for strikes in the first inning, John Farrell lifted Wright for Brandon Workman, who wasn’t much better. Still, Workman managed to eat some innings out of the bullpen and Boston’s offense came through with one of its best performances of the season. Is there much doubt Bobby Valentine would have run poor Wright back out for the second inning to let him “fight through” his struggles? Or, failing that scenario, that he would have given a few unflattering quotes to the media of his assessment of Lavarnway’s defense?

The Bottom Line: Boston won 69 games in six months under Valentine. The Red Sox won their 69th game of the 2013 season on August 6. The team is currently projected to win 95 games.

Larry Lucchino Dresses Up Like Darth Vader, sneaks into Ben Cherington’s Bedroom in the Middle of the Night, and Tells Him If He Doesn’t Call Up Xander Bogaerts Soon, He’s Going to Melt His Brain
Just kidding. But seriously, it’s getting to be about that time right?

Jake Peavy’s Debut Goes Well
The right-hander made his Red Sox debut against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night. Peavy struck out seven in seven innings, allowing two earned runs in the 5-2 win. Peavy will make his second start in a Boston uniform on Friday night.



John Henry “Wins” Bidding For The Boston Globe
Despite reports that other groups submitted higher bids, the New York Times Corporation will reportedly sell The Boston Globe and web affiliate to the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox, John Henry, for $70 million. Sure, maybe Henry is just looking to revamp his local image by taking on the challenge of reviving a dying business.

As Ken Doctor points out, though, other rich dudes like Warren Buffett and Aaron Kushner have also recently bought under-performing newspapers. Their first move was to implement digital subscribership and pay walls to defibrillate revenues. But the Globe has already done that over the past year and yet the business continues to hemorrhage profit and lose readership.From the end of Doctor’s “newsonomics” analysis of the deal:

Should Red Sox players become embroiled in A-Rod-type controversies, though, the question of who breaks relevant stores when will rise to the fore. That’s been an issue for decades, in Chicago, Atlanta, and L.A., as Tribune, Turner, and Murdoch cross-ownerships have raised related questions. …

For the Globe news staff, that’s not the big question, though. That one is: Will John Henry do right by the Globe legacy of quality and public service? He has the deep pockets to do that — and that may be one of the best early indicators here.

Anyone who has paid attention to the coverage from Peter Abraham, Amalie Benjamin et al in recent years knows this probably isn’t all that big of an issue. When was the last time a Globe reporter actually broke a significant news story surrounding the Boston Red Sox? Answering that question becomes a lot more difficult unless you feel comfortable categorizing Bob Hohler’s hatchet job of Terry Francona after the 2011 disaster as a legitimate news story.

Best of luck to Mr. Henry in his new endeavor. Malcolm Gladwell said on Bill Simmons’ podcast Wednesday, “billionaires seem to think that running a newspaper is a lot more fun that it really is.” Then again, John Henry may just be in a win-win situation. Even if the whole thing fails miserably, Henry’s wife Linda can surely make a couple of bucks building a Fenway Trilogy Triangle-style condominium complex. Luxurious, high-rise views of Ho Chi Minh’s profile painted onto the Boston Gas tank at a reasonable price!

We’ll leave you with this Hot Sportz Take from Globe 10.0 recorded by Abraham and Dan Shaughnessy way back during 2012 spring training.

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