This Week in Boston Baseballing, May 23 – 29

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The Red Sox snapped a brutal, offense-starved 10-game losing streak in Atlanta on Memorial Day. Boston won the next night as well for only its second series sweep of the 2014 season – both of which have been of two-game variety. Back home in Boston, the Sox won their 10th game of the month Wednesday behind a very strong start from John Lackey and reaped the benefit of a variety of gifts courtesy of the sloppy Atlanta Braves defense. The team’s four-game win streak is its longest of the season.

Boston needed somebody in the lineup to get hot and it appears Xander Bogaerts will do just fine in that role for now.

 

The 10-Year Anniversary of the 2004 World Series Champs
On Wednesday night, the Red Sox held a ceremony celebrating the (almost) 10-year anniversary of the 2004 World Series victory. The highlight of the evening was Manny Ramirez’s return to Fenway. His tenure as a Red Sox was complicated. Fans loved him. Reporters mostly appreciated his talent but were incapable of discussing said talent without bringing up the baggage he’d acquired along the way to becoming one of the best right-handed hitters of his generation.

The severity of Manny’s transgressions depends on who you ask. The Boston media liked to portray him as a clubhouse cancer. There is more than anecdotal evidence that Manny was a malcontent at the end of his time in Boston. However, it’s worth noting that the former general manager of the team, Theo Epstein, recently brought Ramirez on as a hitting instructor for a young, “impressionable” Chicago Cubs team. Perhaps time heals most wounds. Or the wounds weren’t nearly as grave as the talking heads wish to believe. Either way, there’s nothing media members love more than an apology.

Manny came out of the left-field wall…

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And Manny threw out the ceremonial first pitch…

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And everybody just had a grand time reuniting.

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Clay Buchholz Heads to the DL
Fans can only hope that the embattled right-hander’s ineffectiveness over the first two months of the season truly is due to some physical ailment. The player and the team had not identified any tangible injury that was contributing to the struggles. That is, until this week. Clay apparently hyperextended his right knee on Monday during his start against the Braves. Tweaking his knee could be a blessing in disguise since it seemingly gives the righty a credible opportunity to actually skip a couple of starts. From the ESPN Boston story:

Buchholz said he’ll spend the next few days watching video and trying to refine his delivery. He thinks he’ll be back on the mound throwing bullpen sessions in the next four or five days. … Buchholz appeared confident that he’ll be able to fix what’s wrong. “I know it’s not an injury to my arm like it was last year, so first and foremost is health of that area of my body and the ball’s coming out of my hand fine; it’s just a matter of getting that little fire that I had last year, as far as throwing pitches in the zone, pitching to contact instead of pitching to swings and misses,” he said.

The bellyaching last year that Buchholz took his time coming back from a shoulder injury is likely to return at some point in June if Clay misses more than a few starts. The difference is the Buchholz many wanted to rush back on the mound last year was a Cy Young candidate during the first two months of the season.

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Rubby De La Rosa Gets the Call
With the Sox in need of another starter for at least a couple of weeks, De La Rosa heads north from Pawtucket. Rubby has been impressive in AAA this season. His strong peripheral statistics (sorry, Bob Ryan) suggest it’s fine time to see if the results in the minors may translate to success in the majors.

 

NESN’s Jenny Dell Is Moving on to Bigger, Better Things Maybe
With the high school homecoming dance season a mere four months away, Jenny hath been freed to spread her wings and fly away.

 

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