The Red Sox have designated Darnell McDonald for assignment, in order to free up space on the roster for Josh Beckett. Beckett is starting tonight’s game.

Darnell McDonald joined the Red Sox in 2010 and was added to the major league roster after Jacoby Ellsbury was injured by Adrian Beltre. In his first game as a Red Sox, he hit a game tying home run in the bottom of the 8th inning against the Texas Rangers, then hit a walk off single in the bottom of the 9th to give the Red Sox a 7-6 victory. It was a moment Red Sox fans won’t soon forget.

McDonald hit .270/.336/.429 in his first year as a Red Sox, while collecting 9 home runs, 18 doubles, and 3 triples in 117 games. In 2011, he hit .236/.303/.401 with 6 home runs, 6 doubles, and a triple in 79 games. And so far this year, he’s hit .214/.309/.369 with 2 home runs and 7 doubles in 38 games.

And while his numbers are far from eye popping, in 2010 and 2011 he hammered lefties, and served as a solid 4/5th outfielder for the Red Sox. He’s a true professional, and he’ll be missed by Red Sox Nation.

Time: 10:10 PM ET

TV/Radio: NESN, MLB Network / WEEI

Red Sox (41-36)
Nava LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Saltalamacchia C
Gonzalez 1B
Middlebrooks 3B
Ross RF
Kalish CF
Aviles SS
Pitching: RHP Josh Beckett (4-7, 4.14)

Mariners  (33-46)
Ichiro RF
Wells CF
Seager 3B
Jaso. DH
Smoak 1B
Ackley 2B
Olivo C
Figgins LF
Kawasaki SS
Pitching: RHP Erasmo Ramirez (0-2, 4.18)

Time: 10:10 PM ET

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI

Red Sox (40-36)
Nava LF
Pedroia 2B
Ortiz DH
Saltalamacchia C
Gonzalez 1B
Middlebrooks 3B
Ross RF
Kalish CF
Aviles SS
Pitching: RHP Aaron Cook (1-1, 9.39)

Mariners (33-45)
Ichiro RF
Wells CF
Seager 3B
Montero DH
Jaso C
Smoak 1B
Ackley 2B
Figgins LF
Ryan SS
Pitching: RHP Hector Noesi (2-9, 5.50)

For at least the time being, Bobby V intends to use a 6 man starting rotation. Even with the Neckett returning from the DL this Saturday, Franklin Morales and Aaron Cook will both gets starts over the next 6 games.

On the subject, Valentine said “Well, I always think you need 10 starters. I felt you leave Spring Training with 10 starters, because when you have a day when someone has to be skipped and you don’t want to put him on the DL and you pluck someone from the Minor Leagues, you want to pluck the guy who’s ready to pitch on that day. We didn’t really build that full 10, but we were close. You know, if ever a guy is out of gas, it might be now. It’s not necessarily even a physical thing. You start looking at the finish line and you lose a stride. I think when a guy has that extra day, you can kind of put aside the idea that he’s tired.”

Franklin Morales, who pitched last night against the Mariners, has been surprisingly good in the new role. He has a 2.00 ERA over 18 innings pitched with 24 K’s in the 3 starts he has made. The other former Colorado Rockie Aaron Cook has made just 1 start since returning from the DL. He allowed 2 runs over 5 innings in a win over the Atlanta Braves this past week.

By SBRForum.com

The Boston Red Sox have won five series in a row, which has been good for both their chances of getting back to baseball’s playoffs this season and for those backing them financially on the MLB odds. Boston will try to extend that dual good fortune as it heads West to Seattle for four games with the Mariners beginning Thursday night.

The Red Sox just took a series from Toronto, winning Wednesday’s rubber match 10-4. So after that very slow start to this season Boston has climbed to five games above .500 at 40-35, although it still trails the Yankees by six and a half games in the AL East.

However, the Sox are only a game and a half out of the second AL Wild-Card spot.

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Time: 10:10 ET

TV/Radio: NESN/WEEI

Red Sox (40-35)

Nava, LF
Pedroia, 2B
Ortiz, DH
Saltalamacchia, C
Gonzalez, 1B
Middlebrooks, 3B
Ross, RF
Kalish, CF
Aviles, SS

Pitching: Franklin Morales

Mariners (32-45)

Suzuki, RF
Gutierrez, CF
Seager, 3B
Montero, DH
Wells, LF
Smoak, 1B
Olivo, C
Ackley, 2B
Ryan, SS

Pitching: Felix Hernandez

Time: 1:35 PM ET

TV/Radio: NESN / WEEI

Red Sox (39-35)
Daniel Nava, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Cody Ross, RF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Mike Aviles, SS
Darnell McDonald, CF
Kelly Shoppach, C

Pitching: LHP Jon Lester (4-5, 4.48 ERA)

Blue Jays (38-36)

Brett Lawrie, 3B
Colby Rasmus, CF
Jose Bautista, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
Ben Francisco, DH
Yunil Escobar, SS
Rajai Davis, LF
J.P. Arencibia, C
Omar Vizquel, 2B

Pitching: LHP Ricky Romero (8-1, 4.34 ERA)

What if I told you former Red Sox pitcher Gene Conley won 3 championships for the city of Boston? Because that’s exactly what he did in 1959, 1960 and 1961.

You would probably say: “But the Red Sox didn’t win the World Series in any of those years!”

And you would be right. However, Gene Conley, who pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 1961-1963, also served as Bill Russell’s backup for the Boston Celtics during those 3 championship seasons.

Conley played for the Boston Braves in 1952. He remained with the franchise as it relocated to become the Milwaukee Braves. This all leads to a few special distinctions regarding the multi-talented athlete.

1. He is the only professional athlete to play for three pro teams from the same city; the Boston Braves, the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Celtics.

2. He is also the only professional athlete to win a championship in two different professional sports. Conley won the World Series with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957 before going on to win 3 rings with the Celtics.

3. No other athlete can say they were teammates with Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Bill Russell and Bob Cousy; 4 Hall of Famers spanning two professional sports.

Don’t laugh! This ain’t reality TV!

When Jack Nicholson yelled this in The Departed, he was talking about the Red Sox. I didn’t know it when I first watched the movie six years ago. I didn’t realize it the countless other times I’ve seen it. But, after they ended 2011 so embarrassingly, crushing dreams in almost comical fashion, with stories emerging of one of the most dysfunctional clubhouses in memory, there’s no question. The Red Sox plot has more ups and downs, breakups, and scapegoats than even the worst reality TV shows.

The Red Sox have made it clear they’re not going to let us forget their tumultuous season. I expected the lowlights from game 162 to play at least 497 times during the year, eclipsing Boone and Buckner as ESPN’s favorite “Let’s Torment Boston Fans” video, but I have been pleasantly surprised. Since the Red Sox have continued to play so putridly, going into the All-Star Break at .500 while being 9.5 games behind the Yankees, they have provided fresh, new footage every few days to demonstrate their ineptitude. So, I decided to embrace Nicholson’s words and take a closer look at the Red Sox from September of last year through now. This might not be reality TV, and I’m certainly not laughing, but this is how the Red Sox became The Departed.

The Red Sox went from The Best Team Ever to The Departed

From “The Best Team Ever” to The Departed

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Pete Ruiz was the Red Sox 10th round draft pick in 2008. He was drafted as a starter out of Santa Barbara City Junior College, but now is a right handed reliever for the Salem Red Sox. He had been a starter up to last year, but the Red Sox thought he’d be better off as a reliever.

That move has paid off so far, as Ruiz has dominated for the Salem Sox. He’s 4-1 this year, with a 1.14 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. He’s striking out 9.1 batters every 9 innings, and has yet to allow a home run in 23.2 innings of work.

He is best known for his priceless impersonation of Tim Kurkjian of EPSN’s baseball tonight. It’s a must watch, so check it out. It’s one of the funniest video’s I’ve seen in a while.

 

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