Terry Francona should have just come out and said "I blew it."
Though if Francona had said he should have pinch-hit John Olerud for Alex Cora -- an admission that he hadn't given his team the best shot at beating Mariano Rivera and the Yankees -- he would have also implied that he has little or no faith in Cora. And Francona would rather look like a dope and get roasted all day on WEEI than do that. ... Dan Shaughnessy has a very good recap of what went on yesterday.
The Red Sox considered calling up Dustin Pedroia from Pawtucket to replace Mark Bellhorn, but didn't because Pedroia isn't back to full strength after being hit on the right wrist by a pitch three weeks ago. In Portland, Hanley Ramirez has also been playing games at second base.
The Red Sox are looking at Royals second baseman Tony Graffanino and White Sox reliever Shingo Takatsu. Owner John Henry says that the club will likely increase payroll to add pitching at the trade deadline.
Are the Red Sox worried about this latest slide? Damon: "If this were later in the season, I'd be concerned. We didn't catch fire until this time last season. We just have to be better in all phases of the game. Kazmir just had good stuff tonight. It seems like everyone makes fun of the Devil Rays, but they show up to play every time with everything they've got."
It's questionable if the Red Sox do that on a nightly basis. They have been playing like shit for a couple of weeks. They should be concerned, very concerned, now. Or they'll wake up one morning in August and find themselves in third place, six games out of first.
I'm off to Shea Stadium tonight to see Mr. Dave Roberts. And then up to Fenway for tomorrow's afternoon game.