Tag Archives: Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz’s Love Doctor Mailbag: Seizing the Reigns Edition

Buchholz at Baseball Academy

Veteran right-handed starter Clay Buchholz enters his ninth season with Boston as one of several potential front-end rotation candidates. He is the longest tenured pitcher on the Red Sox and has logged nearly as many innings (915) in a Boston uniform as all of the other pitchers on the team’s 40-man roster combined (970).

As such, the former ladies’ man is now a mentor of sorts for younger players. Even though his swinging bachelor days are behind him, the wealth of knowledge he gathered along the way has made him a Yoda-level sage when it comes to matters of love and relationships.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Clay sat down to answer a few readers’ questions earlier this week.


With Valentine’s Day coming up, are you going to take some extra precautions to make sure sexually explicit photos of your wife Lindsay that are meant for your eyes only don’t fall into the hands of cyber-hackers again?

– George from Wellfleet

Boy was my face red after that whole thing, George. This is the first time I’ve really talked about this, but I’m sure incidents of sexting will spike what with V-Day coming up and all. So a little social and technological awareness may be beneficial to some. I’m sure everyone knows by now that my wife, bless her soul, occasionally sends me some photos of herself that I can look at while I’m alone eating room service in my hotel room during those long road trips in the middle of the summer. Unfortunately, they wound up in some wrong hands last year. The real embarrassing part of what happened for me was the hour-long lecture Lindsay and I got from Mr. Lucchino regarding the risky nature of habitual digital erotica. He said he was just looking out for our safety, but I thought it was a little over the line when he asked me if there were any reciprocating photos floating around that the team would need to scrub from the Internet. Damn! Thanks for making it weird, Larry.


The Boston sports scene is swimming with rising stars who may make the leap to local sex symbol, following the trails you blazed back in the mid-and-late-aughts. Who’s winning the race right now?

– Greg from Kingston

Julian Edelman seems to be carrying the torch pretty well right now, Greg. I tip my cap to him. But he’s still making some dire mistakes, surprisingly. For example, there are some compromising photos that recently surfaced of Edelman in some “morning after” type situations. Falling asleep in a broad’s bed is a written invitation to winding up on some strange’s Twitter feed, Tinder or Pinterest page. Maybe the dude just hit the drinks with a bit too much verve and passed out. But back in my day, I was always careful to cover my tracks. I wiped fingerprints, paid off limo drivers, ripped up receipts, deleted files on phones, etc. I’ve “confiscated” rolls upon rolls upon rolls of film taken on dames’ cameras that otherwise would have been destined for the Internet. Instead, they’re all disintegrating at the bottom of the Charles River. That’s how I rolled, Greg.

Edelman at Harvard

Anyway, Edelman is a bit too preppy to pull off the party animal thing. Meeting broads at a Harvard party pre-stocked with BU sorority chicks is basically cheating the system. Gronkowski’s seems more spontaneous and is probably a bit more akin to my style, which leads me to the next question this week.


How is it that there is Rob Gronkowski fan fiction erotica out there but nothing like that for you?

– Shelley from Plympton

Shelley, there is a lot of absurd, fantasy-based lit out there. I guess this whole Fifty Shades of Grey thing has something to do with it. I’m not at liberty to say who the publisher is, but I was approached about a Fifty Shades of Clay sort of spinoff not too long ago. I read some samples from the book and it sounded pretty unexciting and underwhelming. Most of the letters I receive from female Red Sox fans are far racier than that drivel. I’m not ready to compromise my personal brand with an inferior product.

Gronk gross pose


Don’t you think the team ought to be trying to get that No. 1 guy for the starting rotation?

– Myra from Millis

I’m insulted Myra. The depth chart on RedSox.com has MY name and headshot listed next to that No. 1 slot. Check it out – the front and center of it all. Sorta nerve-wracking but I think I’m ready.

2015 Red Sox depth chart
Why would that pic of my face be there if I weren’t the head honcho? Fine print says not subject to approval by the Red Sox, but it’s good enough for me. I’m already long-tossing at 150 feet, so these other guys they brought in are going to see what’s up down here in FLA.

Thanks for the questions, guys. See you all at Spring Training.

Clay Buchholz’s Love Doctor Mailbag: ‘A Lonely October’ Edition

clay-buchholz lindsay clubine

The 2014 season didn’t exactly go as scripted for the Red Sox or for right-handed starter and former ladies man Clay Buchholz, who now leads a quiet domestic life with his wife (model Lindsay Clubine) and their two daughters. Injuries forced ol’ Buck from the saddle for a time in the middle of the year, but Clay is trying to re-insert himself into the conversation as a front-end starter as the team closes out 2014 and looks ahead to bigger and better things in 2015. Buchholz was kind enough to lend his legendary insight to Fenway Pastoral by answering some questions from readers during a recent off day.


Can you please have a sit down with Will Middlebrooks and figure out what’s going on? He’s gripping that bat awfully tight these days and it’s hard not to conclude his personal life with Jenny Dell is having some sort of impact. What is he out of his league with her? Are his struggles the universe’s sick way of re-establishing a balance? I’m worried this chick is like the ultimate Reverse Slumpbuster.

-Greg from Whitman

Greg, these strikeouts have to be pretty frustrating for him. I think the poor kid’s just trying too hard. You may be on to something I suppose. But remember, Will did have some injury issues earlier this year, so I’ll give him a mulligan for that. Then again, I am pretty worried that this NFL sideline reporter gig Jenny’s got now is going to create some tension. At least when she was with NESN, she and Will were in the same city and got to go home together at the end of the day even on road trips. I don’t think I’d want my wife anywhere near these handsy NFL dudes for four months – or Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts for that matter.


What do you make of this whole Jonathan Papelbon controversy? He grabbed his crotch while staring down the crowd in Philly, which was booing him as he walked into the dugout. Classless, disgusting act if you ask me…

-Marianne from New Bedford

Marianne, you sound like a proper lady and I understand where you’re coming from. But I remember years ago, I used to meet plenty of nice dames by making eye contact from across a crowded club or dance floor and doing that exact same move. I’ve got to assume Pap spied somebody in the stands who he thought was pretty cute and he probably just forgot where he was for a brief, ill-fated moment.

Either way though, Pap’s got to recognize the life and times he lives in. This ain’t the old days anymore – the camera is always trained on you. Just look at this shot of me walking back to the Fenway dugout recently – smartphones just zeroing in on me like a rockstar. Guys in our shoes are afforded a lot of things, but fixing yourself in public is one of those luxuries that you lose in the process. Sigh.

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Did you see that A-Rod joined LinkedIn? Would you ever consider joining a career networking site to supplement your off-the-field earnings? I’m sure you’ve got some good years left in the tank, but everybody needs a fall-back plan right?

– Rick from Springfield

Rick, I don’t have any fancy “ARod Corp.”-like side ventures going on right now. I like to fly a bit lower on the radar. I don’t need some broad who saw me six years ago at some Penthouse party back when I was dating Erica Ellyson triangulating my whereabouts using some weirdo stalker algorithm. I leave my past in the past, my friend. (Which, incidentally, is a pretty good motto to live by if you’ve ever been into that whole dating porn stars thing – they just don’t age very well…).

Buchholz networking

Clay back in his heyday, doing some true “social networking.”


On average, you take 25.6 seconds to fulfill your off-the-back-of-the-mound baseball massaging, sniffing, snorting, deep-breath pre-pitch routine. This pace is by far the slowest of any pitcher on the Red Sox staff and third in all of major league baseball behind David Price and Jorge De La Rosa. You better start speeding it up a bit – Tom Werner just joined a committee that’s looking at creative ways to speed up the ball game and I’ve got to assume your name’s gonna come up as a culprit to be reckoned and dealt with.

– Mary from Lynnfield

Mary, pitching is an art and the baseball field is, as a practitioner of said art, my milieu – my stage, if you will. A good performance, top-notch entertainment cannot be rushed. A guy like Tom Werner who made his hay using a canned, 22-minute sitcom format cannot possibly understand this principle.


You’re slated to start the last game of the season at Fenway against the Yankees. You could in theory be the last pitcher to pitch to Derek Jeter before he hangs it up for good. It’s a pretty hot ticket right now – people could be paying $300 a pop for tickets if the Yanks are OK with his last game being in Boston. Will you give him something to hit as part of some unwritten baseball player “bro code”? You know, one ladies’ man to another?

– Rod from Plympton

Everybody wants to force this sex symbol vs. sex symbol narrative on us, Rod. I’ve had it. Sure, the ladies love me and Derek and all that but I think we’re both pretty bashful about it. As for deliberately grooving one into his wheelhouse, I think that would probably be pretty insulting. Having said that, I think it’d be pretty rude of him to take me deep if I accidentally hang one in the strike zone. We’ll see what kind of gentleman this guy really is come Sunday…

This Week in Boston Baseballing, June 20 – 26

More of the same frustrating story for the Sox. The offense showed up just in time during the finale of a four-game set in Oakland to prevent a sweep at the hands of the AL-best Athletics. Boston moved on to Seattle on Monday night and, once again, the team mustered only one win – a 5-4 win on Wednesday night in Clay Buchholz’s return to the rotation. The team was outscored 20-4 in the first two games of the series against a largely underwhelming Mariners offense. Boston would need a sweep in the Bronx this weekend to salvage a .500 record on the 10-game road trip.

Boston is unfortunately learning the hard way that two-run home runs from super-utility guys like Brock Holt are fantastic, but they don’t win many games all by their lonesome…

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Postseason Hopes Fading
According to FanGraph’s Playoff Odds tool, the team had a 13.4% chance of reaching the postseason as of Friday morning (7.7% as the AL East champ; 5.8% as a Wild Card).

Trade Anxiety Mounting
Fill in the first blank with any veteran starting pitcher and the second with whomever you so desire to be the team’s power-hitting outfielder and you’ve got much of the talking head “FIX IT” narrative over the past few weeks covered. Events transpiring over the past week may shift the focus overwhelmingly toward punting the season.

On ESPN Insider, Dan Syzmborski cites the 2012 mega-deal with the LA Dodgers as a precedent for recovering value on a lost season. He covers all of the trade possibilities, which can basically be broken down into a few categories:

– Veteran position players who have limited, short-term value in the coming months: Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes

– Veteran starting pitchers with theoretically high upside: Jon Lester, Jake Peavy, John Lackey

– Elite bullpen arm: Koji Uehara

– Proven™ bullpen lefty: Andrew Miller

– Idiot free-swinging catchers who roll over outside pitches to second base to ground into double plays and kill rallies during high-leverage situations: A.J. Pierzynski

Many have pointed to July 1 as a good cutoff for a clear decision on either riding out the roster in hopes of making the playoffs or cashing out on older players and acquiring prospects. Boston will have to play incredibly well against the Yankees this weekend to change any minds by next Tuesday.

Club executives have already begun circling the wagons around the idea that, yes, Boston fans smart and understanding enough to support a “Sell” mentality next month.

For the record, this space is officially on board with the sell veterans for prospects route no matter what happens over the next week.

Clay Buchholz Looking Much Improved
On a positive note, Clay Buchholz looked good in his first start in nearly a month on Wednesday night in Seattle. Sure, he gave up three home runs and some other loud noises, but he also managed to touch 92-93 mph with his fastball and pitch into the 8th inning while throwing only 76 pitches.

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Clay Buchholz’s Love Doctor Mailbag: Kicking off the 2014 Baseball Season

Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz is several years removed from his days as an eligible bachelor. The Boston starter and former ladies’ man has left his womanizing days behind and now leads a quiet life of domestic bliss with his two daughters and his wife, professional model Lindsay Clubbine. With the games that count now tantalizingly close, the ever-insightful pitcher sat down to answer some of Fenway Pastoral readers’ pressing questions.

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I read something recently about how the Red Sox have implemented a somewhat revolutionary program to keep the team healthy that includes “soft tissue management” from a team of top specialists in the field of physical therapy. Have you faked any injuries just to get a free massage or anything like that?

Misty from Dover

Misty, I’ve actually got my own stable of masseuses who take care of my needs because I think that, like, “hard tissue” is equally as important as this whole “soft tissue” craze. Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure the team’s extensive stable of medical professionals is probably top notch. But if I’m being honest, I like to be able to have more say in the people who are rubbing my body. Since I first came to Boston, I’ve spent years vetting and refining the perfect mix of sure-handed specialists (as coincidence would have it, all ladies…) to suit my varying moods and daily needs. The one time I had one of the team’s professionals work on me, I was lying on my back and Ben Cherington popped his head in the door to ask me how I was feeling. He glanced at me briefly and got this horrified look on his face. So I just said, Dude, I’m getting a frigging massage in here…WTF? We actually haven’t really talked since that day.

What are your thoughts on the ladies that NESN has used as on-field “talent” during spring training telecasts. Looks like the network may break camp with a platoon of Elle Duncan and Sarah Davis. Can they combine to be suitable replacements for Jenny Dell?

Tim from Nashua

sarah davis and elle duncan

Sarah Davis and Elle Duncan enter the 2014 season in a rookie platoon situation.

Spring training performance is of limited value, Tim. Miniscule sample sizes; diluted competition; limited pressure. I don’t think we’ll really know anything for sure about either of these dames until the games are for real come April. Just because Sarah turned Mike Carp’s head a couple weeks ago doesn’t mean anything is set in stone. Mikey was probably ogling Elle Duncan’s, um, backside with equal vigor a few minutes later. Also consider that @sarahnicoledavis only has about 7,500 Twitter followers while @elleduncan has got 19,000 followers.

There’s no question that it’s beneficial to create some competition at this juncture of the season. It helps avoid complacency. And every reporter develops at her own rate. Let’s not forget that a couple years ago at this time, Jenny Dell could barely read off a cue card. She grew into the role and made a life for herself.

I’m all for capitalism and whatnot, but this whole dynamic pricing concept for Green Monster seats has me reeling. It just doesn’t seem right. I know the team will make some extra money, but the whole thing strikes me as a bit too opportunistic and manipulative of the marketplace.

Joe from Providence

I don’t see what the problem is, Joe. Let’s say you take a ride over to the Foxy Lady on a Tuesday night and the doormen are asking you to pay the same cover charge to get in for Amateur Night as the place gets for “Perfect 10 Fridays” or whatever they have down there. Games – and broads – are not created equal. Don’t listen to what some people say, you CAN put lipstick on a pig and, unfortunately, some lower-end establishments know it. Some dancers are uggos with a lot of makeup. Others are gymnastic freaks of nature who just kind of, uh, lost their way and made their lives into something awesome. Yeah, there’s a chance you feel a special “connection” with one of the more mature ladies on stage on a Tuesday night. But there are more people looking to tie one on and wink at a few chicks as they do their thing on stage on a Friday night.

In fact, I bet all the tenets put forth by Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations were really just an elaborate allegorical manifesto designed to convince owners of local brothels to extend him a Tuesday night price break.

Some enterprising photographer caught Tom Brady cupping his wife Gisele Bundchen’s bum on the beach. You’re really the only other pro athlete in town who is married to a model. But you and Lindsay have kept it pretty classy and under-the-radar since you got married. Where are all the photos of you guys frolicking? When will you two be turning up on E! News?

Rob from Plympton

It’s not easy being a successful athlete and a ruggedly handsome sex symbol at the same time, Rob. There’s always someone camping out just waiting for you to do anything the least bit scandalous. Now that I have two World Series championships under my belt, I’m probably going to be in the same boat as Brady. Tom’s got that third Super Bowl ring so I’m only one behind him now. People always say that the paparazzi love a winner. Another World Series or two and I’ll probably be a mainstay in GQ for the next decade. Starting next week the quest starts anew.

Thanks for the questions, guys!

Clay Buchholz’s Love Doctor Mailbag: How to monetize sex appeal in a modern economic world

Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz is several years removed from his roaring days as an eligible bachelor. The Boston starter now lives a quiet domestic life at home with his two daughters and his wife, professional model Lindsay Clubbine. After an injury-plagued but ultimately successful season, Clay took some time to reflect on his future and answer some readers’ questions.

You’ve been on the Red Sox since 2007 but you don’t appear in TV commercials, on billboards or within other ads nearly as much as other team veterans such as Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Jon Lester. What gives? You dated models galore back before you got married so you obviously have sex appeal. And your on-field results when you’re healthy speak for themselves. (A sub-2.00 ERA in 2013! WTF!) Don’t you want to earn some easy cash, bro?

– Brian from Sudbury

Well, Brian, I’m actually a big believer in professional athletes capitalizing on their prowess and popularity. But, personally, I’ve never really much cared for appearing in those mainstream advertisements hawking diarrhea-inducing, coffee-based sludge or what-have-you. And I’m not going to slap on a generic athletic jersey and unceremoniously tell you where to do your banking. I’d rather aim for something a bit mightier and charismatic.

That’s why this offseason I plan to contact some local sperm banks about getting paid to knuckle off a bunch of samples and officially put myself out to stud. Like you said, back in the day a lot of model types and beautiful babes were into me, but regrettably I was only able to handle so much with my busy schedule as a professional athlete. Now that I’ve fathered a couple of children the old-fashioned way, I think it’s time to avail my superior genetics on a broader basis. With my beautiful wife Lindsay’s blessing, I think it makes sense to get the ball rolling on a future generation of all-star caliber major league starting pitchers. My seed probably won’t be available to just anybody – the price point will be set really high and interested ladies will need to be screened to make sure they fit some specific criteria. And I’d like to keep the records sealed so that the offspring aren’t all over me for money and support from my retirement fund benefits down the road. But my dream is to be able to watch MLB games 25 years from now and see a bunch of right-handers with fantastic curveballs and unknown lineages who could just be traced back to me.

Please tell me you’ve already shaved off that upper lip hair that you passed off as a mustache during the 2013 playoffs. You were really creeping me out!

– Sarah from New Haven, Conn.

Sarah, I guess you’re one of those dames who is weirded out by a cool ‘stache? It’s your loss. I have to admit I’m surprised that my decision to grow a thick, Tom Selleck-esque mustache would have elicited any negative reactions from the fairer sex.

Tell us the truth, why do you put so much “product” in your hair on days you’re the starting pitcher? Is there some kind of competitive edge to it?

– Cyrus from N.H.

Cyrus, just because I’m married doesn’t mean I want to just tell the whole world that I’ve given up on making women yearn for my bod. A lot of chicks are into a greasier, kind of slippery look that my hair has on start days. I used to read about guys like Jerry Rice being really anal about the uniform fitting perfect and always having the jersey tucked in neat and socks pulled up even and all that. Well, I thrive on the same kind of superstition. I pitch better knowing there are a bunch of birds sitting at home, with their form-fitting pink-bedazzled Buchholz shirts on, just pining for me through the television. I can sense their pheromones pulsing through basic cable and willing me to victory. Any competitive benefits I may get from running my hand through my hair and then gripping the baseball are purely incidental. But if you’re a dame routing for the Red Sox, what you’re feeling, animalistically, when you watch me pitch? That ain’t an accident.

I’ve noticed your wife Lindsay likes sitting in those box seats right behind home plate. It looked like she even brought your infant daughter along a couple of times in October to cheer on the team and bring it luck. She obviously isn’t afraid to be out there in front of the camera and in the spotlight. You also dated a number of models and porn stars back in the day. How can I meet a chick who isn’t afraid of a lot of attention?

– Terry from Sandwich

Thanks for the question Terry. There are a lot of telltale signs when you’re out in public or at a bar that will point you in the direction of those uninhibited types. And believe me, those are the broads you wanna bunk with. Whether you’re out at a bar or sitting in the bleachers at a Sox game, you want to zero in on the babes who are being hounded and ogled by a bunch of dudes. Because the marketplace doesn’t lie: they’re probably the most attractive and also probably the ones with the experience you’re looking for. For example, when you’re at the strip club – who are paying to see? The talent up on the stage or the skirt that takes your drink order? Aim for fame, my friend.

You’ve mentioned in the past that you’re unimpressed by Boston’s non-existent “strip club” scene. What are your thoughts about the recent news that the Glass Slipper was sanctioned for allowing physical contact inside its club?

– Mel from Marblehead

Well, Mel…this is an issue I was surprised by. So basically there’s a club where a bunch of ladies parade around nude out on a big fancy stage and then afterward they’re not supposed to go and mingle with all the dudes spectating? That’s like the Red Sox charging fans a ball park entry fee to watch batting practice and then making everyone exit Fenway Park before the start of the first inning.

Thanks for all the questions, guys. Enjoy the Hot Stove season.

Terse Predictions: 2013 World Series Game 4, Boston @ St. Louis

In the wake of The Obstruction Call that ended Game 3, some existentially meaningless thoughts about what will happen during tonight’s baseball game.

1. Clay Buchholz will pitch less than five innings.

2. Lance Lynn will pitch exactly five innings.

3. The margin of victory for the winning team will be three runs or more.

4. Dustin Pedroia will have two extra-base hits.

5. Carlos Beltran will hit a home run off Buchholz.

6. Koji Uehara will record more than three outs.

7. Craig Breslow will record two outs.

8. There will be a total of two errors in the game.

Terse Predictions: ALCS Game 6, Detroit @ Boston

1. Boston will record three hits in the first two innings in which the batter swings at the first pitch dealt from Max Scherzer.

2. Another Xander Bogaerts start – another game in which the rookie reaches base safely multiple times.

3. Ryan Dempster will pitch two innings in the ballgame.

4. Clay Buchholz will run up two full counts in the first inning.

5. Dustin Pedroia will hit a home run.

6. So will Prince Fielder.

7. Joquin Benoit will not record another out this season.

8. One of the teams will top the series-high seven runs scored by Detroit in Game 3.

This Week in Boston Baseballing, September 6 – 12

The Red Sox followed up a stirring comeback victory in New York last Thursday by slugging their way to wins in the next two games, ensuring a series victory against the Yankees. Boston forced Mariano Rivera into a second blown save of the series on Sunday afternoon, but the Yankees fought back in the bottom of the 9th to salvage the finale.

The Sox won their three-game series in Tampa Bay and have a 8.5-game lead over the Rays in the American League East. The Magic Number now stands at eight games. Boston is three games ahead of Oakland for best record in the AL and home field advantage in the playoffs.

Koji Extends His Perfect Streak to 34 Batters
Koji Uehara picked up a win in Boston’s 10-inning victory Wednesday night. The reliever has now recorded the equivalent of a perfect game plus an additional seven hitters. Eight out of every 10 pitches thrown during the stretch have been strikes.

The World According to Carp
Mike Carp’s grand slam over the center-field wall gave the Red Sox the 7-3 win on Wednesday in extras. After sitting on the bench as a spectator for four hours, Carp swung at the first pitch he saw from Fausto Carmona and ran hard out of the box, thinking triple…

Mike Carp thinking triple

…right up until the ball cleared the fence.

 Carp grand slam

Clay Buchholz Returns
Boston’s three-game set in Tampa Bay began Tuesday night with Clay Buchholz taking the mound for the first time in three months. Buchholz struck out six batters and walked only one in five innings, throwing an efficient total of 74 pitches. David Price pitched eight innings and struck out nine for Tampa, but the Sox were able to scratch out a couple of runs thanks to a Mike Napoli double and a Johnny Gomes single in the fifth.

Buchholz k's Molina

With the Sox maintaining a comfortable lead in the AL East over Tampa, it was likely one of the last impactful wins the team will have this season. Buchholz made a strong case in his first start back that he can go head to head with the league’s best pitchers.

Jacoby Ellsbury Has a Fractured Navicular Bone
Ellsbury will shed his walking boot and take the next week or two to let the bone finish healing on its own. Jacoby is expected to return before the end of the regular season to “regain his timing” at the plate leading into the playoffs. Or, if you’re Ellsbury’s agent Scott Boras, he is expected to return in time to *cross fingers* pad counting stats in lieu of his pending free agency.

Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe Bump Fists
With NESN color commentator Jerry Remy out for the season, various former Red Sox are being brought into the booth to fill the void. During the first game of Derek Lowe’s three-game tryout in Tampa, Pedro joined Lowe to reminisce about the 2004 World Series team.  

Pedro and Lowe fistbump

D-Lowe was very solid in providing insightful assessment of Buchholz’s return. But he still sounded a bit shell-shocked at times over the last three days by his abrupt retirement from the game. Earlier this year, Lowe pitched 13 innings out of the bullpen for the Rangers. He was able to maintain a self-deprecating good humor about how quickly things ended. On Thursday night, he jokingly pointed out that three of the AL Wild Card contenders – the Yankees, Indians and Rangers – were all recent former employers competing for a playoff spot minus his services.

The Red Sox Announce Dollar Beard Night
You know it’s been a rare season when the Red Sox need to resort to a minor league-esque marketing gimmick to get fans to show up at Fenway Park to watch a team that is flirting with 100 wins.

Sox Dollar Beard Night

This Week in Boston Baseballing, Aug. 30 – Sept. 5

Boston swept its three-game set against the Chicago White Sox last weekend and then took two of three from Detroit. The Sox capped off the week by handing the Yankees a demoralizing defeat in the first game of its four-game series in the Bronx. New York battled back from a 7-2 deficit to take a 8-7 lead before Mariano Rivera, who looks like he could pitch another 10 years, had a rare blown save.

Thanks to Tampa Bay’s struggles in Anaheim and Oakland, the Red Sox were able to increase their lead in the AL East to 6 ½ games. Boston’s lead over Detroit for the AL’s best record stands at three games. Despite the loss to Boston last night, the Yankees have seen their playoff odds increase 6.0 percentage points to 10% during the past week while Tampa’s West Coast slide has dropped its odds from about 86% to 74%, based on the Baseball Prospectus Playoff Odds page.

Boston Wins in 10 Innings In New York
The Red Sox appeared to be on their way to a fairly comfortable win Thursday night before the Yankees exploded for six runs in the 7th inning. If this game had been played a week ago, Boston may have lost. The Sox scratched out a run in the ninth off Rivera thanks to a two-out single from Mike Napoli, who was lifted for pinch-runner Quintin Berry, a speed-first guy who is a luxury that can only be afforded on a 40-man roster. Berry promptly stole second and moved to third after the throw short-hopped Captain Jetes and wound up in shallow left field.*

quintin berry takes 3rd

*Dennis Eckersley did his best John Madden in Super Bowl XXXVI impression by initially questioning why Berry would be stealing second base with two outs in the 9th inning. You can almost hear the instant NESN producers were in his ear and good old Eck quickly did the right thing by mentioning Dave Roberts.

The Yankees provided to final two blunders of the night: Alfonso Soriano insisted on stealing every base possible against Craig Breslow, leading to his pickoff trying to steal third with one out in the ninth. And with the game in the balance, Joe Girardi brought Joba Chamberlain in for the 10th inning. If Joe Girardi promises to continue using one of his worst relievers in high-leverage, late-innings spots, Boston fans ought to start routing for New York to sneak into the playoffs.

girardi is disappointed

Boston Peppers the Fenway Stands During Eight-HR Night
The Sox hit dingers all over the park on Wednesday night. Daniel Nava’s two-run home run in the 6th inning, one of eight home runs hit by the team, chose a hefty fan’s face as its landing pad. Sure, this poor woman getting a face-full of beer thanks to the jackass sitting next to her got all the attention. But the fallout for this guy over the past couple of days has probably been a lot worse…

David Ortiz Collects His 2,000th Hit
Big Papi doubled off Al Alburquerque on Wednesday night during a 6th inning in which the Red Sox batted around and scored eight runs to turn the rubber game against Detroit into a blowout. Ortiz would later hit a homer in the 8th inning to pace the Red Sox’s 20-4 victory.

Boston Makes Some Roster Moves
During a season in which the Red Sox have remained relatively healthy as a team throughout, the September roster moves were exactly what a fan hopes for – marginal acquisitions and call-ups that add depth rather than address serious holes. The Red Sox acquired utility infielder John McDonald from Philadelphia in one of those “ depth” moves that probably spells doom if the player actually sees any at-bats in October. As part of September roster expansion, the Sox also recalled youngsters Rubby de la Rosa and Ryan Lavarnway. Matt Thornton and Brandon Snyder were also activated off the disabled list.

Lester Outduels Scherzer
Jon Lester faced off against Cy Young candidate Max Scherzer on Tuesday night and came away victorious, 2-1. Lester allowed one run, struck out nine batters and walked none while Scherzer walked three Red Sox and gave up two runs. The game will undoubtedly be pointed to later this month by advocates of Lester as Boston’s Game 1 playoff starter (if the Sox have the luxury to align the rotation). The whole decision could hinge on who has the best Angry Face on the team:

lester angry

Boston Herald Photo

lackey angry espn


Buchholz Sets A Return Date?
Clay Buchholz made his last rehab start on Thursday night, throwing 71 pitches and striking out five batters in 3 2/3 innings. Clay could be back on the mound for Boston as soon as Tuesday night, assuming the Red Sox are keeping him on a relatively normal throwing schedule.

Theo Decides to Give Daniel Bard Another Whirl
Former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein claimed Daniel Bard off waivers Wednesday after Boston designated the embattled right-handed reliever for assignment.

USA Today Names A ‘Minor League Player of the Year’?
They do. And this year’s winner was Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts joins some fairly lofty company – Andruw Jones (twice!), Jose Reyes, Prince Fielder and Josh Hamilton as well as former Red Sox Gabe Kapler (1998) and Josh Beckett (2001).

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
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.

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.