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Varitek drops out of Type B status?

09.29.09 at 8:46 pm ET
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According to Eddie Bajek of Detroit Tigers Thoughts and MLB Trade Rumors, who has thought to have reverse-engineered the Elias Rankings which determine classification for arbitration compensation, Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has dropped out of ‘Type B’ status for catchers.

The demotion means that if the Red Sox did not pick up the catcher’s $5 million option, or if Varitek chose not to exercise his player option of $3 million, the Sox would receive no draft picks in return if another team signed the team’s captain. Varitek had been classified as a ‘Type A’ free agent after last season.

The formula to rank each player is a combination of two years of production, with each position being ranked separately.

Perhaps Beckett Should Travel With His Own Bed

09.29.09 at 8:18 pm ET
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Noted German literary great, philosopher and Renaissance man Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has inspired young thinkers for centuries. And so it is not surprising that Red Sox starter Josh Beckett may have benefited from having studied the sage.

Goethe insisted on bringing his own bed on his travels, feeling that doing so contributed meaningfully to one’s health while on the road, and helped weary travelers to avoid attacks from vermin in the middle of the night. (Of course, the noted voluptuary may have also had ulterior motives for bringing his own “sleeping” apparatus with him.) Perhaps this offseason Beckett would do well to enjoy a journey to Weimar, where Goethe’s travel bed remains on display at his summer house in Ilm Park.

That is because Beckett missed his start, by his own account, in no small part due to his having encountered “three crappy beds on the road and getting in (after traveling) at 5 in the morning. I don’t think that all of that really sat well with my back.”

Beckett was not alone. During the recently concluded 10-game roadtrip, Josh Reddick also ended up seeking treatment in Kansas City for his back due to what was likewise deemed a craptastic hotel bed.

On the bright side for Beckett and the Red Sox, the fact that the pitcher’s back spasms resulted from travel-related circumstances gave all parties cause for optimism. Though Beckett missed his start on Monday, getting scratched late in favor of Michael Bowden, the pitcher insisted that he was already feeling significantly better, and that he was fine to make his next scheduled start on Saturday.

“Absolutely, I think I’€™ll make my next start. I don’€™t think we’€™re going to need this, but I could go sooner if I needed to than Saturday. But I think right now, we’€™re kind of looking at Saturday to set things up [for the playoffs],” said Beckett. “It was just something that you wake up with. It wasn’€™t like I felt anything when I was throwing. You wake up and you’€™re locked up.”

Beckett had been grateful to receive an extra (fifth) day of rest prior to his last start in Kansas City. There is, of course, value to the idea that a pitcher will not be overtaxed at the time of his entry into the postseason, part of the reason why pitchers will often log abbreviated outings in their final start of the regular season prior to the playoffs.

That said, Beckett — who told WBZ-TV that he received three cortisone shots in his back — suggested that it was unclear whether this particular form of rest would offer the same salutary benefits.

“Obviously, you’€™d want it to be under different circumstances if you were taking a break, not sitting in a trainer’€™s room for three and a half hours yesterday trying to loosen your back up,” Beckett shrugged. “We did the things we needed to, and I feel a lot better than I did yesterday.”

That being the case, Beckett may perhaps be able to hold off on digging too deeply into the Sturm-und-Drang genre of literature for which Goethe is considered a key contributor — as long as his back feels better, the 16-game winner has little need to read the Sorrows of a Young Werther while contemplating the strictures of a society that cannot contemplate his Romanticist ilk.

Beckett may not need to look to the German poet — who died in 1832 — for inspiration. In 2007, after all, teammate Daisuke Matsuzaka also traveled with his own futon mattress as he tried to acclimate to American hotels. That said, Matsuzaka may not be the best spokesperson for the traveling bed strategy, since the Boston Herald reported in May 2007 that Matsuzaka felt that, by using a futon mattress in American hotels, in which guests do not leave their shoes at the door, he may have contracted a bug that left him throwing up during a game in Texas.

For now, with the Sox at home for the rest of the week as they finish up the regular season, all of this is academic. Beckett will make his start on Saturday, leaving him positioned to take the ball for the playoffs against the Angels…unless the beds in Anaheim undermine that goal.

Read More: bed, Daisuke Matsuzaka, johann wolfgang von goethe, Josh Beckett

Red Sox announce minor-league award winners

09.29.09 at 3:28 pm ET
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The Boston Red Sox today announced the winners of the organization’€™s 2009 Minor League Awards. The recipients will be honored during a pre-game, on-field ceremony tonight as the Red Sox continue their series with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 2009 Minor League Award recipients as selected by the Red Sox baseball operations department and minor league roving instructors:

Pitcher of the Year: RHP Casey Kelly, Single-A Greenville/Single-A Salem: Combined to go 7-5 with a 2.08 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 95.0 innings over 17 starts at Greenville and Salem in his first professional pitching experience at 19 years old’€¦Went 6-1, 1.12 ERA in 48.1 innings over nine starts at Greenville, where he was named a starter in the South Atlantic League All-Star game’€¦Went 1-4, 3.09 mark in 46.2 innings over eight starts with Salem’€¦Named Boston’€™s April Minor League Pitcher of the Month, going 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in four starts that month’€¦Was twice named Carolina League Player of the Week with Salem, June 1-7 and June 22-28’€¦Also combined to hit .222 with 3 home runs and 16 RBI in 40 games as a shortstop between the Rookie-Level Gulf Coast League Red Sox and Greenville and will participate in the Arizona Fall League at that position’€¦Was the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Offensive Player of the Year: OF Ryan Kalish, Single-A Salem/Double-A Portland: Batted .279 with 84 runs, 24 doubles, 18 homers, and 77 RBI in 135 games between Salem and Portland’€¦As a 21 year old, had a .304 average with five homers and 21 RBI in 32 games with the Salem Red Sox and a .271 mark with 13 homers and 56 RBI in 103 games with the Sea Dogs’€¦Led Red Sox minor leaguers with 68 walks and finished second in homers and fourth in RBI among that group’€¦Successful in seven of eight stolen base attempts in April, earning Red Sox Base Runner of the Month honors, and finished with 21 stolen bases in 27 attempts’€¦Will participate in the Arizona Fall League’€¦Was Boston’€™s ninth-round selection in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

Defensive Player of the Year: INF Ryan Dent, Single-A Greenville/Single-A Salem: Posted a .971 fielding percentage in 512 total chances over 112 games split between second base (65 games) and shortstop (47 games) for Greenville and Salem at 20 years old’€¦Combined to bat .254 with six homers and 51 RBI’€¦Did not make an error in 12 April games and earned the organization’€™s Defensive Player of the Month award’€¦Named the club’€™s Base Runner of the Month for June after legging out four doubles and two triples while stealing four bags with the Drive’€¦Selected by Boston in the supplemental round (62nd overall) in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

Base Runner of the Year: INF Derrik Gibson, Short-A Lowell: Ranked second in the Red Sox organization with 28 stolen bases and led the New York-Penn League with a Lowell franchise-record 54 runs scored in his first full minor league season’€¦As a 19 year old, was caught stealing just five times for an 84.8 percent success rate’€¦Hit .290 with 15 doubles, four triples and 25 RBI’€¦Reached safely in each of his first 12 games of the year and ranked second in the league with a .471 average in June to earn the organization’€™s Player of the Month award’€¦Led the Spinners with 39 walks, sixth in the league’€¦Selected by the Red Sox in the second round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Minor League Latin Program Pitcher of the Year: RHP Juan Rodriguez, Rookie-Level DSL Red Sox: Was 3-1 with one save, a 1.55 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 63.2 innings over 15 games (12 starts)’€¦The 20 year old led the team in strikeouts and led club qualifiers in ERA’€¦Limited opponents to two runs or less in all but one of his outings and did not allow more than three runs all season.

Minor League Latin Program Player of the Year: OF Keury De La Cruz, Rookie-Level DSL Red Sox: Hit .259 with 16 doubles, four triples, three homers, 50 RBI, 31 runs and 42 walks in 67 games for the DSL Red Sox at 17 years old’€¦Led the team in doubles and extra-base hits.

Read More: casey kelly, derrik gibson, ryan dent, ryan kalish

Red Sox vs. Blue Jays Preview 9/29

09.29.09 at 1:46 pm ET
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When the Boston Red Sox (91-65) unloaded their luggage upon arriving home from New York, they entered the Fenway locker room with the chance to clinch the AL Wild Card. After losing to the Los Angeles Angels last night, the Texas Rangers made it possible for the Sox to shower in victory champagne if Josh Beckett was able to pitch the Sox to a win over the Toronto Blue Jays (73-84).

Neither happened.

After suffering back spasms on the flight back from New York, Beckett was a late scratch yesterday afternoon. In his place, the Sox called upon rookie Michael Bowden to make his second career major league start. Bowden was pounded from the get-go, lasting only three innings and surrendering seven runs on seven hits, two of which were home runs.

Torrential downpours ultimately ended the contest in the bottom of the seventh as the Blue Jays pulled out the 11-5 defeat, spoiling Boston’s opportunity to walk away with a playoff berth in hand.

Looking to mathematically eliminate Texas tonight, the Sox place their trust in the arm of Clay Buchholz (7-3, 3.21) as he attempts to continue his recent dominance and put a stop to Boston’s four-game losing streak. Against the Blue Jays this season, Buchholz has pitched particularly well, winning all three of his starts and posting a 1.35 ERA. In September, the righty has overpowered his opponents, going 4-0 with a 1.38 ERA in five outings.

With questions surrounding the health of both Beckett and Jon Lester, who left Friday night’s game after being drilled in the right knee on a Melky Cabrera line drive, tonight’s start becomes pivotal for Buchholz to show that he can handle high pressure situations. Beginning the season in the minors, Buchholz has emerged as the definite number three starter after his recent outstanding performances. However, if Beckett and Lester’s status remains uncertain, the hard-throwing power arm could find himself potentially making an earlier postseason start than expected.

Though the Blue Jays do not have a playoff berth to play for, their young starter, Ricky Romero, still aims to strengthen his case to be named AL Rookie of the Year. Starting the season with a 7-3 record and a 3.00 ERA before the All-Star break, the left-handed hurler has struggled in 14 starts since going 5-6 with an alarming 5.70 ERA.

Having the misfortune of facing the Red Sox three times in his rookie campaign, Romero has been a punching bag to Boston. In four starts, Romero has yet to win a decision against the divisional foes, getting hammered for three losses with an ERA that stands at an enormous 8.83.

Here is how the two pitcher have fared in their respected careers against their opponents:

Clay Buchholz vs. Blue Jays’ batters

Aaron Hill (14 career plate appearances) .143 AVG, .143 OBP, .143 SLG, 3 strikeouts

Lyle Overbay (13) .500, .538, .583, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Vernon Wells (12) .222, .417, .222, 3 walks, 1 strikeout

Adam Lind (11) .273, .273, .364, 1 strikeouts

Kevin Millar (10) .125, .300, .125, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts

Marco Scutaro (8) 0-for-5, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Jose Bautista (6) 1-for-5, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Rod Barajas (5) 1-for-4, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Travis Snyder (5) 0-for-5, 4 strikeouts

John McDonald (4) 1-for-4, 1 strikeout

Raul Chavez (3) 0-for-3, 1 strikeout

Edwin Encarnacion (3) 0-for-3

Randy Ruiz (3) 1-for-3, 1 strikeout

Joe Inglett (1) 0-for-1

Ricky Romero vs. Red Sox batters

J.D. Drew (12 career plate appearances) .375 AVG, .545 OBP, .375 SLG, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts

Kevin Youkilis (11) .571, .727, 1.571, 2 home runs, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts

Jason Bay (10) .250, .700, .500, 5 walks, 2 strikeouts

David Ortiz (10) .500, .500, 1.100, 1 home run, 3 strikeouts

Mike Lowell (9) 3-for-9, 2 strikeouts

Victor Martinez (9) 3-for-8, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Dustin Pedroia (9) 4-for-8, 1 home run, 1 walk

Jacoby Ellsbury (8) 3-for-6, 1 strikeout

Nick Green (6) 0-for-5, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Alex Gonzalez (4) 1-for-4, 1 strikeout

Jason Varitek (4) 0-for-1, 3 walks

Chris Woodward (3) 0-for-3

Rocco Baldelli (2) 0-for-2, 1 strikeout

Read More: Blue Jays, Clay Buchholz, Ricky Romero,

Francona on D&H: ‘I thought [Lester] broke his kneecap’

09.29.09 at 1:13 pm ET
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Red Sox manager Terry Francona, in his weekly visit on the Dale & Holley Show, touched on several topics related to his club’s likely imminent entry into the postseason. Included among them was the state of the starting rotation — foremost his relief when starter Jon Lester’s kneecap wasn’t shattered by a line drive on Friday — the state of a decision about a Game 1 starter, the need to control the Angels’ running game and the nature of scouting in the postseason.

Highlights are transcribed below. To listen to the complete interview, click here:

Long night last night?

The only good that that happened, really, was Texas got killed. It’€™s kind of that time of year.

Is this time of year like the end of the school year, when you still have classes but it’s tough to focus on them with summer just around the corner?

I don’€™t know about that analogy. You know me, I was always focused in school.

It’€™s actually a pretty good analogy.

Regardless of who we play, we try to play the game right. We’€™re trying to accomplish several things. One is not to lose sight of where we are. I mean that in the negative and positive. We take our team and try to best position us to win.

We’€™ve got some things we need to take care of. Last night with Beckett, for us to pitch [Beckett] last night wasn’€™t in our best interest. It’€™s hard to do that but it made sense to us. Giving Mikey Lowell a couple days off in hopes of being productive for hopefully what we think is a long run, we’€™re just trying to do things like that. Guys like Ellsbury, we’€™ve played him a lot. Hopefully there’€™s going to be a day here where we can give him a couple days. Same thing with Pedroia.

What did you think we you saw Jon Lester down on the mound on Friday?

It was a bad feeling.

By the time I got out there, I saw it first hand, I heard it, I heard his reaction when he was laying on the ground, and he’€™s a tough kid. I thought, ‘€˜You know what? This kid broke his kneecap.’€™ I thought that was a possibility.

I was yapping at him not to put any weight on it because I thought there was a pretty good chance something was wrong.

They took him over right away, got him an X-ray. A lot of times, you’€™ll get an X-ray and you’€™ll say, ‘€˜Good, but we need to wait until tomorrow.’€™ But it came back so clean and so conclusive. That was our first sigh of relief. Then we said, ‘€˜Okay, we’€™ve got to wait until tomorrow, because there’€™s going to be a ton of swelling and a horrible bruise.’€™ But I think it caught enough of the meat or the muscle, and he’€™s a tough kid.

Our medical people got on it. They iced it, they stimmed it, they moved it around. Yesterday, he actually threw a pretty long side day. We weren’€™t going to let him do that unless he was okay. We really, really caught a break.

There was a report in last week’s Boston Herald that Lester is the Game 1 starter against the Angels. Can you confirm that?

I didn’€™t know that.

Boy, there’€™s a lot of stuff out there. We actually haven’€™t announced anything. We’€™re not ready to announce anything. I think it’€™s a little premature because Lester hasn’€™t even pitched. Beckett’€™s back acted up. We need to get our house in order, talk to our guys ‘€“ and we’€™ve certainly talked to our guys about possibilities ‘€“ but we haven’€™t announced anything. When we do, we’€™ll let you know.

Are you concerned about the Angels’ running game?

Always. That’€™s the way they play. During the regular season, they’€™ve been very successful at times against us. During the playoffs, we’€™ve kept an eye on that. I think part of that is that during the season you can’€™t control ‘€“ you may go into a series and your 3, 4, 5 going, or you may have a spot starter. They may get into your bullpen and take advantage of things.

You get into the playoffs and more often than not you’€™ve got your 1, 2 and 3 going. They’€™re lower scoring games, we’€™ve played with a lead, and when you make outs, it’€™s a little more glaring so they’€™re a little more hesitant [to run].

For whatever reason, we’€™ve done a better job in the playoffs than the regular season.

We know we’€™re going to be tested. And I don’€™t mean to speak ahead of myself, because we’€™re not there yet. But that’€™s part of their game. If we don’€™t handle it, it will be hard to win.

Is the perception that you don’t care about steals false?

Yeah, I think it’€™s really false. We do feel differently about certain situations. There are times, with two outs and a right-hand hitter up, we don’€™t care about stealing third. He’€™s going to score on a base hit 98 out of 100 times anyway. We don’€™t want to have our middle infielders cheating to hold the runner. We don’€™t want Mikey Lowell, who’€™s already had a hip surgery, having to vacate third.

We try to play to our strengths. We don’€™t pitch out a lot. We think we have good pitching. If you’€™re wrong, you play hunches and you put your pitchers in a worse spot.

We don’€™t just want people just running on us, but at the same time, we don’€™t want guys hitting a three-run homer. A stolen base hurts less than a three-run homer.

Is the best way to shut down a running game to keep guys off base?

Texas and Tampa kind of had field days with us. I was asked, ‘€˜What are you going to do?’€™ I said, ‘€˜Don’€™t let them on base.’€™ If you get a team that’€™s winning, they get 15, 16 hits and they like to run, you know what? They’€™re going to steal some bases. If you get in first-and-third situations, where sometimes you have to concede a stolen base because you can’€™t make the turnaround and get the guy at home, there’€™s a lot of things that come into play with stolen bases. Once they get started, sometimes it’€™s hard to stop them.

Was it tough to watch the Yankees win the division after sweeping you?

I don’€™t think we like getting swept by anyone. We show up to win everyday. I didn’€™t take any particular resentment or anything like that. The game was over, I left the dugout.

I thought the Yankees had a spectacular regular season. That’€™s what it’€™s been.

If we can do things correctly, maybe we’€™ll get a chance to play them again. It would be an honor. They’€™re a great team. To play them would be fun, exciting and quite a challenge. We’€™ve got to get there.

How elaborate or extensive is the scouting for the postseason?

It’€™s fantastic, actually.

My first year in ‘€™04, a lot of people mentioned to me, ‘€˜Hey, you look relaxed.’€™ I really was. The reason I was ‘€“ because I had never been through a playoff series as a manger ‘€“ our scouts and front office had done such a good job preparing us for that series that I felt like I could just go manage the game. There wasn’€™t a lot of anxiety. I felt like that ever since.

Our guys do a great job. It’€™s been a coordinated effort for a long time on what’€™s going to happen, why, where, who’€™s going to do it, the information, how we’€™re going to get it. The meetings ‘€“ we’€™ve had six years now to change a little bit ‘€“ they’€™re extensive.

The staff goes in knowing you’€™ve got to be a little bit patient, but our guys do a great job.

Is there a fine line with avoiding information overload of the players?

[The coaches take care of] that. The players don’€™t. We don’€™t expect the players to do that. We don’€™t even want them to do that. We try to spend more time getting ready so they can actually spend less time.

We don’€™t want to give them a 95-page book. We want to prepare them for what will happen, and then let good players play. They’€™re not expected to be in these meetings.

What are the differences in a five- versus seven-game postseason series?

The amount of position players is the biggest decision.

The one way you can get derailed in the series is if your pitching gets beat up.

You try to have a diverse roster, and not too much of something and not enough of another.

Read More: Angels, Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, playoffs

Reality star makes his debut

09.29.09 at 6:05 am ET
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Dustin Richardson had only performed in front of a larger television audience once before ‘€” and that was as a basketball player.

Richardson, a fifth-round pick in the 2006 draft, made his major league debut Monday night, pitching 1-1/3 scoreless innings out of the Red Sox bullpen after previously spending the ’09 season between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket. And while it was undoubtedly the largest crowd the 6-foot-5 lefty has ever performed in front of, he had showcased his skills before a larger TV viewership three years prior.

Richardson was one of the two finalists on the ESPN reality show “Knight School,” in which students from Texas Tech University competed for a chance to make Bobby Knight’s men’s basketball team as a walk-on.

“That whole ‘Knight School’ thing was so long ago, it seems,” Richardson said.

But with two outs in the fifth inning, those reality show memories got pushed back even further as Richardson was called upon to face Toronto’s Aaron Hill. One pitch and one fly ball to center field, and the 25-year-old officially was a big league pitcher.

“[Monday night] I was numb. It happened so fast. It was a blur,” said Richardson. “It took until about the third inning, while sitting in the bullpen, that I started feeling like a baseball player again. I had been here before with the Futures at Fenway earlier this year, but obviously it’s not quite the same. The fans, at night … I don’t want to say it was scary, but I kind of just wanted to hit the fast-forward button to get through it all.”

Richardson, who wore No. 54, went a combined 2-2 with four saves and a 2.55 ERA over 45 relief appearances between Portland and Pawtucket. He compiled a 2.70 ERA in 38 games with Portland, earning Eastern League All-Star honors and holding opponents to a Double-A-best .186 average. Richardson had been promoted to Pawtucekt on Aug. 21, giving up two earned runs over 10-2/3 innings with 16 strikeouts in his final seven appearances.

All of the cachet that came with his success was put on the back-burner, however, as the sudden “oohs” and “aahs” emanating from the stands reminded Richardson.

“The roar of the crowd was incredible,” he said. “I’m sitting in the bullpen and a lot of offense was going on and I’m just hoping that didn’t happen to me.”

Richardson had been working out for the past 1-1/2 weeks in Fort Myers with a collection of other Red Sox minor leaguers who provide the kind of insurance the pitcher supplied Monday.

“I didn’t find out until 1 o’clock,” he said. “I almost threw this morning. I was getting ready to warm up, but they shut me down because something was going on and they told me to sit tight.”

Ortiz the healthy one

09.29.09 at 5:44 am ET
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Through all the talk of bruises, bumps, shots and spasms, David Ortiz sits in the Red Sox clubhouse living an entirely different life than he was a year ago.

The playoffs are upon us and Ortiz is healthy. Times have certainly changed.

“After I came back last year my hand still felt weird. I don’t remember a day when I felt good,” Ortiz said. “And the cold weather didn’t help. But I’m fine now. My knee. My wrist. Everything is fine. I feel good.”

The latest example of how good Ortiz feels came when he hit his 28th homer of the season in the Red Sox’ loss Monday night, a solo shot in the sixth inning. It was his sixth homer of September, matching his output in the season’s final month a year ago. But, as he explained, there is no comparison when looking at the pair of stretch drives.

“I feel good,” he said. “Last year I had to deal with my wrist. It was a [expletive], especially when it got cold and it got tight. It was not fun. But now I feel good.”

Even before the Red Sox’ loss to Toronto there was no secret to how good Ortiz felt. Not only has he hit .284 with a .568 slugging percentage in September (numbers that almost add up to his combined totals for April and May), but since his low point on June 1 (.185 batting average), Ortiz has produced as well as almost anybody in baseball.

Using the first day of June as a jumping-off point, Ortiz has more RBI (77) than Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, and the fourth-most homers of any player in baseball (27). And it’s a streak that, thanks in part to the designated hitter’s health, doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

“I was fine [during the slump]. My problems were more mental and mechanical than anything else. But body-wise, I was fine,” explained Ortiz, whose 41 walks and 12 homers in the postseason since 2003 is second only to Manny Ramirez. “I try to get it done. In the playoffs you have a small amount of chances to get it done, but it can happen. I think I’€™ve done OK in the playoffs.’€

Papelbon ready to party

09.28.09 at 11:45 pm ET
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With the Red Sox having a chance to clinch a playoff berth Tuesday, the poster boy for postseason-clinching celebrations, Jonathan Papelbon, was gearing up.

Papelbon, whose signature move in the playoff-induced celebrations has been the on-field dancing (along with an occasional beer case on the head), has been involved in eight postgame parties to commemorate either advancing into, or through, the postseason.

Now another one of those instances was on the horizon, a notion that didn’€™t escape the closer’€™s radar.

‘€œI just like to have fun,’€ Papelbon said. ‘€That’€™s the whole thing, you let loose because you go through so much throughout the season, so many ups and downs, the stress, and travel, to accomplish something, so when you do, it’€™s no holds barred.’€

While the Red Sox would have to wait one more game to clinch thanks to the rain-shortened loss to Toronto, it might have worked out better for the Sox anyway. If they had won, the belief was that most of the team would be watching the conclusion of the Angels-Rangers game ‘€” which didn’€™t start until after 10 p.m. ‘€” in the team’€™s clubhouse.

‘€œWe’€™re in a pretty good spot,’€ catcher Victor Martinez said. ‘€œWe’€™ll see what happens and we’€™ll go from there. We’€™ll have to wait, come back tomorrow and play a game. We’€™ll see what happens. ‘€¦ I’€™m pretty excited when that moment comes, I’€™m really excited about it.’€

Saturday start likely for Beckett

09.28.09 at 11:29 pm ET
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Following the Red Sox‘ rain-shortened, 11-5 loss to Toronto Monday night at Fenway Park, Sox manager Terry Francona insinuated that Josh Beckett is still probably going to make his next scheduled start, Saturday, against Cleveland.

Beckett was scratched from his start Monday after struggling with mild spasms in his upper left back.

“During the game isn’t the easiest time to discuss that stuff, but we talked a little bit,” Francona said. “We’ll see how he does. I think our thought right now is that we’ll probably keep him on his turn, which means he’ll pitch Saturday. We just want to make sure we do what is in his best interest, and that’s probably realistic. That doesn’t mean it’s a done deal, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how it works out.”

Richardson called up; Carter DFA’d

09.28.09 at 7:13 pm ET
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The Red Sox have called up left-handed pitcher Dustin Richardson from Triple A Pawtucket. To make room for Richardson, a 2006 fifth-round draft pick of the Sox, Boston designated outfielder Chris Carter for assignment.

Richardson, who will wear No. 54, went a combined 2-2 with four saves and a 2.55 ERA over 45 relief appearances between Double A Portland and Pawtucket. He compiled a 2.70 ERA in 38 games with Portland, earning Eastern League All-Star honors and holding opponents to a Double-A-best .186 average. Richardson had been promoted to Pawtucekt on Aug. 21, giving up two earned rusn over 10 2/3 innings with 16 strikeouts in his final seven appearances.

Carter, who made the Red Sox’ Opening Day roster, hit .294 with 16 homers and 61 RBI in 116 games with Pawtucket this season.

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