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2013

Waking from a World Series dream
Two days later, and after filing a column for the Standard-Times, I thought I should really talk about how it felt to see the Red Sox win the World Series. Nov. 1

Xander, Victorino, the couch and the pennant
Watching Xander Boegarts work the count and Shane Victorino battle through injuries to push the Red Sox into the World Series was pretty damn amazing, okay? Oct. 20

Uehara's journey mirrors rest of team
The "team" in this case is the 2013 Red Sox, and Koji Uehara's dominance out of the closer role offers a nice timeline to their success. Oct. 19

Dodgers-Red Sox 2012 trade a rare win-win
The headline is a little misleading, because my point was that they're both better now, but the Dodgers are going to like this trade less and less as the years go on. Alas. Oct. 13

David Price aces game 163
Watching Price battle through less-than-stellar physical health to pitch Tampa Bay past Texas in the 163rd game to get into a Wild Card position reminded me of watching some of the aces from years past. Oct. 1

One-game playoff anything but ideal
The short version: Baseball's idea of having two wild cards play a one-game playoff in each league is stupid and needs to end. I'm sure it won't, though. Sept. 22

Coming home to the Red Sox
I watched the Red Sox clinch the American League East alone in my apartment with a six-pack. It's strange, but I've come a long way. Sept. 21

Dennis Eckersley puts the 'color' in color commentary
With Jerry Remy stepping aside for the rest of the 2013 season for personal reasons, Dennis Eckersley has been filling in alongside Don Orsillo, and he's been a riot. Sept. 8

Daniel Bard's downward spiral
The news of the Red Sox designating Daniel Bard for assignment seemed unthinkable two years ago. But when it happened, it was just the next, inevitable step. Sept. 1

From 1993 to the future
No matter how much distance comes between my 11-year-old self and the present, I always remember the 1993 Sox fondly. More fondly than most, anyway. Sept. 1

Racking up more hits than can be believed
While sick, I rewatched part of Ken Burns' Baseball and realized that Ty Cobb had 1,157 more hits than games played. That seemed insane, so I dug around for more. Aug. 31

'Sandlot' screening was special
For the movie's 20th anniversary and in an effort to make me feel old, Fenway Park hosted a screening of The Sandlot, and it was just about a perfect night. Aug. 25

Turning two and tuning out
In the middle of watching a game and trying to fall asleep, Stephen Drew, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz spun a gem against San Francisco. Aug. 20

Yankees didn't need saving, but Rivera still generated excitement
I like breaking down small moments that really don't have much to do with a specific game and more to do with watching the game in general. And Mariano Rivera is awesome. Aug. 18

Steven Wright, vicim of chaos
The Red Sox' rookie knuckleballer was scheduled to make a spot start after going 2-0 out of the bullpen. As it goes sometimes with a knuckleball, it went poorly. Aug. 7

Pirates aim to sink stigma
I can't think of too many scenarios better for baseball than having the Pirates back in the playoffs. A Pirates-Orioles World Series (and a rematch of '79) would be even better. Aug. 3

Daniel Nava, a curious near-All Star
The transformation of Daniel Nava from fringe Major Leaguer to defensive wiz and power hitter was one of the more unexpected turnarounds I've ever seen. July 4

Reconnecting with this baseball thing, again
With the Bruins' season over, it's time once again to remember the simple little joys of sitting down with the Red Sox after a long day at work. July 2

Buchholz makes Red Sox-Yankees exciting
There is nothing as boring as an early-season Red Sox-Yankees game, especially when ESPN has the rights. But with Clay Buchholz on the mound, it approaches being watchable, at least. June 2

David Ortiz and the city of Boston
Since coming back from injury, David Ortiz has been hitting everything in sight. He's also done his small part to help bring a little joy and pride into the city. April 30

Enjoying the feel-good Red Sox
For a team who has conjured up few good momeories (for most people) since Sept. 2011, the current Red Sox are doing their best to put all that in the distant past. April 28

Toasting the Oakland A's
Oakland is in Boston to take on the Red Sox, and that was a good excuse to talk up old times of catching the A's in Spring Training in Phoenix. April 23

Boston
Some thoughts on my city. April 16

Just how dominating is Mariano Rivera?
A random stat that flew my way — relating to Rivera and the moon — led to a quick look at some impressive numbers as the closer prepares for his last season in the majors. March 9

Turning enemies into allies with Mike Napoli
After terrorizing the Red Sox for five seasons, Mike Napoli has come to Boston to man first base and not give Jon Lester nightmares. Feb. 11

Brandon Webb's quiet brilliance
Webb announced his retirement after three years away from the game due to injury, and I looked back on one of my favorite Arizona Diamondbacks. Feb. 5

Alex Gonzalez and the art of fielding
Early on in Chad Harbach's incredible book The Art of Fielding, my mind flashed back to Alex Gonzalez and the 2006 Red Sox. Jan. 18

2012

With Dickey trade, the Mets remain amazin'
Only the Mets could take all the goodwill that R.A. Dickey received in his Cy Young Award-winning season and flush it down the toilet like the chances of another pennant. Dec. 17

Red Sox on the right path
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. With that in mind, it's nice to see Boston trying a new path to success. Dec. 16

The Giants cap a run to remember
Quite simply, I cannot remember liking a team outside of Boston as much as I did the 2012 San Francisco Giants. They were everything a great baseball team should be. Oct. 29

Marco Scutaro, an MVP to be named later
It didn't take long for Scutaro to become an all-time favorite while he was Boston's shortstop, so seeing him push the San Francisco Giants into the World Series was special. Oct. 24

In defense of honest debate and the Triple Crown
I'll be honest; when I saw that Keith Law called Mike Trout "the only rational choice" for MVP, I had kind of had enough. Let's cool it with the end-all, be-all of baseball debates. Oct. 2

The Red Sox have gone LA
Tired of the middling performances and looking to start over, the Red Sox and Dodgers pulled off the biggest baseball trade in ages. One of the few instances where "shocking" is an apt description. Aug. 25

Pesky
Johnny Pesky loved baseball, and in turn he was loved by players, fans and the baseball world. Aug. 13

Making a difference, one Wiffle Ball loss at a time
I took part in a Wiffle Ball tournament to help fight Type 1 diabetes. We lost, and it wasn't close, but it was still a great time. July 31

Like Fisk, Youkilis made his South Side mark quickly
Kevin Youkilis wasted no time in turning his season around after being unceremoniously traded to the White Sox. It's reminiscent of the fast start Carlton Fisk jumped out to in 1981. July 19

For David Ortiz, home runs can't buy respect
Despite being the most consistent hitter in the Red Sox lineup, Ortiz can't seem to get much momentum towards a two-year contract. It's not hard to sympathize with him. July 5

When home runs are actually exciting
Watching a bunch of brutes mash baseballs and plod around the bases isn't much fun. Watching Giancarlo Stanton dazzle on a diamond, however, is. May 8

Rajon Rondo, basketball's answer to Pedro Martinez
Quite simply, Rondo is the most cerebral athlete I've seen in years, and the only comparable player I can think of is a pitcher who also seemed to impose his will on his opponents. May 6

Anatomy of a day in the Major Leagues
Will Middlebrooks made his big league debut agains the Oakland A's, and there is little as exciting as watching a player come to bat for the first time. I imagine it was exciting for him, too. May 3

A toast to Fenway Park's first 100 years
Fenway is a marvel of resilience and organic architecture. As a note, I've only been alive for 30 of Fenway's 100 seasons, so this leans a little heavily on that. April 20

Terry Francona the latest to battle Boston's institutional paranoia
Though he wound up going, Francona's initial resistance to attending Fenway Park's 100th anniversary celebration was understandable. What isn't understandable is why everyone seems to be bad-mouthed when leaving the Red Sox. April 12

After three games, it could be worse for Boston
I don't know if there's anything quite as bad as blind panic after a bad start to a 162-game season. But in Boston, that seems to be a tradition. An annoying tradition. April 9

Uncovering the history of the hidden leagues
I just about flipped when Baseball Reference unveiled their Negro Leagues statistical database. While it's not as complete as I would've hoped, it's still pretty amazing. March 23

Dustin Pedroia, swinging through history
I wrapped up my Favorites Week with a graphic and thoughts on the current heart and soul of the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia. Also, there's no way he's actually 5'9", but that's neither here nor there. Feb. 25

Jason Varitek, a favorite through thick and thin
Rooting for the Red Sox' captain in 2005 was a fairly easy task. Rooting for him after his game started to slip became much tougher, but far more rewarding. Feb. 24

The furious reign of Pedro Martinez
One aspect of Pedro Martinez's game that pushed him past many of his peers was his ability to take anger and channel it into pure, inspired performance. He was Hulk-like. Feb. 23

Tim Naehring and embracing the underdog
I'm not kidding when I say it still bothers me that Naehring was left off the 1995 and '96 All-Star games. It was an injustice that laid the seeds of my not caring about the All-Star game anymore. Anyway, yeah, he was great. Feb. 22

Mike Greenwell, an original
I can't think of many players like Mike Greenwell. No agent, shaved head, beard, power ability but the preference was on hitting .300 year in and year out. And instead of taking a seat on the bench, he left the game early. Feb. 21

Dwight Evans, and the timeline of favorite players
To mark the true beginning of Spring Training, I started a week-long series looking at my favorite players, one by one, starting with Dewey. Feb. 20

Tim Wakefield, a picture of defiance
After 19 years throwing a ridiculous pitch in the major leagues, Tim Wakefield announced that he was calling it a career. Feb. 17

David Ortiz: a vital cog and an institution
Now here's something we can all get behind, the Red Sox signing David Ortiz for another year. He can still hit, and he gets to keep playing in the right uniform. Feb. 13

Requiem for a shortstop: Marco Scutaro
Finances led the Red Sox to trade Scutaro away to the Colorado Rockies before the 2012 season, so I spent 500 words mourning the departure of a true ballplayer. Jan. 23

2011

Let the A's move to San Jose
Why haven't the A's been allowed to move 45 minutes down the Bay? Because of a territory claim by the Giants that has them stuck in a near-impossible situation. It's un-American. Dec. 29

For many, call to the Hall long overdue
I think it's mandatory for every passionate baseball fan to have their Hall of Fame snub cases, and I'm no different. I lay off Dwight Evans in this one, but Luis Tiant and a few others are highlighted as Hall-worthy players. Dec. 8

Tebow, Horn and standing up to reality
I noticed a little parallel in Tim Tebow winning games despite having none of the tools of a typical NFL quarterback with Sam Horn, who for one summer in 1987 carried the Boston Red Sox. Nov. 19

No, really, pitchers are valuable
The idea that pitchers shouldn't win the MVP, ever, is ridiculous. Sometimes, a pitcher has a season that's too good to ignore, and 2011, Justin Verlander had such a season. Nov. 17

Freese, October legends and late nights
This entire story was borne out of me wanting to document how it felt to watch the greatest World Series game I've ever seen. My World Series watching goes back to about 1988, but not seriously until 1992 or so (in case you're trying to pin down my age). Oct. 28

Baseball, rock and the order of things
After the Red Sox were wiped from the baseball season in sudden, horrifying fashion, I stepped away from the game for a bit into my other passion, music. And then they intertwined. Life is funny, right? Oct. 25

Francona the first to fall?
Not only did the Red Sox miss out on the playoffs, it looked like they'd lose their manager in the aftermath. Shortly after writing this, the option years on Terry Francona's contract were declined by Boston. Sept. 30

With a bang and a whimper
The drama and calamity present in the Red Sox finishing a historic September slide, coupled with the Rays' rise through the standings, was amazing, pathetic and all too much for a diehard to take. Sept. 29

Ryan Lavarnway and 162
Keeping the Red Sox in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays was, in game no. 161, a rookie catcher making his first start behind a major league plate. And hopes were high for this writer entering the final game of the season. Sept. 28

Carl Yastrzemski: Powered by infinity
I have a lot of nice things to say about a player who retired when I was a year-and-a-half old. And another graphic! Aug. 23

Remembering Tony C.
I got hung up on an anecdote from a Fred Lynn radio interview, and wound up finding a random pinch-hitting performance by Tony Conigliaro. Aug. 18

Reddick, Drew and aging gracefully
Whether or not Josh Reddick is the Red Sox' right fielder of the future, J.D. Drew's time is running out. Both have handled that pretty nicely. Aug. 8

Rooting for Dontrelle Willis
Coming home from a trip on a Sunday night, I was pleasantly surprised to see Willis pitching for a contender in prime time. July 25

Red Sox, Rays play a marathon, keep me up late
There's little as memorable in baseball's regular season as games that seem like they'll never end. Also, Dustin Pedroia is amazing. July 18

The brutal art of blocking the plate
The catcher blocking the path of the runner to home plate can be cruel, cringe-worthy and exciting, and it's a part of the game of baseball. July 7

Summer, baseball and your Bay State options
Coming off the excitement of the Bruins' Stanley Cup run, getting back into baseball was a little difficult. This also includes my Bay State Dreams graphic. July 3

Pedro works and works through the Angels
I can vividly recall sitting in my cubicle and watching this game on the sports desk. I still get giddy and nervous, too. May 26

The Year of the Pitcher
When Pedro Martinez tore through the American League in 1999 ... I'm sorry, I just got flustered. I've never seen anything like it. May 24

An unknown Dodger
The first full post of Pedro Week, which was a project that popped in my head when I remembered that Pedro Martinez was awesome. No, really. May 23

The chronicles of Ichiro
The best part about going to Fenway Park is usually the Red Sox, unless Ichiro is in town with the Mariners. May 2

Dodger blues dragging down baseball
There have been many, many embarrassing folks associated with Major League Baseball through the years, and the McCourts have taken their place among them. April 21

Beckett blows through the Yankees
Early in the 2011 season, Josh Beckett found his mojo. April 11

Another Opening Day for the Captain and Wake
I'm nothing if not sentimental, so it makes me feel good that Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield are still on the Red Sox in 2011. April 1

The Red Sox' radio cure
Who needs cable when I have a radio and my imagination? Also, radio is free. March 25

Everything you'll need for Opening Day
I don't know if I'm ever a bigger baseball fan than in March, so assembling a story listing everything that gets me excited for the next season seemed natural. March 16

2010

Thanks, Mike
Mike Lowell played his last game in the major leagues at Fenway Park for the Red Sox. He was a classy guy, and he'll be missed. Oct. 2

Tim Wakefield' standing ovation
Random acts of kindness by a fanbase really makes me happy, as when Sox fans gave Tim Wakefield a standing ovation as he entered a blowout loss to the Blue Jays. Sept. 17

The downward spiral of Roger Clemens
Clemens has lived a lifetime as a bully, and that will only get you so far. I think (obviously) that you get what you've earned in this life. Aug. 20

Upon further review, Scutaro's cool
I couldn't have been more against the signing of Marco Scutaro in the offseason. Happily, he has proven me wrong. Not that that's new, of course. Aug. 8

Mike Lowell answers the call
Lowell has had a terrible season, and it could be his last as a Major Leaguer. So it's been great to see him make the most of another chance to play. Aug. 3

Sticky and mashed: A collaged love letter to baseball
Here, I got to interview my friend Cee, who created a fantastic collage of baseball cards on a canvas. Very impressive (her work, not mine. Mine is OK, I suppose). Aug 3

Whatever happens, what a season!
It might have been the most exciting Red Sox game of the year at that point, and I got to spend it on I-495 in my car. Still, I have a feeling I'll keep the memory of listening to that game for a long, long time. July 31

The Hawk and the Hall of Fame
Congratulations to Andre Dawson. His career intersected with my fandom when he was forced to limp around the diamond, but I admired him anyway. July 26

The most un-Daisuke Daisuke start ever?
Daisuke Matsuzaka has to be the most frustrating pitcher the Red Sox have had since Matt Young. But at least he's effective, and lately, he's been very effective. July 20

Remembering the Mickey Mantle of the '90s
I was caught a little off-guard by how much Ken Griffey Jr.'s retirement meant to me. Mostly because I didn't like him much during his Seattle heyday. June 3

In which I wax poetic on the greatest pitcher alive, Roy Halladay
Halladay throwing a perfect game seems fitting, since it seems like he should every time he takes the mound. Thanks for taking that to the National League, buddy! May 30

Being for the benefit of Big Papi
In terms of individual performance, little has made me as happy as the resurgence of David Ortiz. And oh, how the Red Sox needed it. May 27

Clay, Cardboard Gods and a ridiculous night at Fenway Park
This was, far and away, the greatest baseball game I've ever been to. I met Josh Wilker, watched Clay Buchholz toss another gem, got to sit in the second row next to the Minnesota Twins dugout, saw Daniel Bard throw 100 mph about five feet from my face, and it had great company. This wil not be topped. May 20

Clay Buchholz in a vacuum
Buchholz grew up a tremendous amount in 2010, and vaulted into my good graces. He's probably my favorite pitcher the Red Sox have had since Pedro Martinez left. Not that he's the best, mind you. I just love watching him. April 29