Red Sox

Christian Vazquez claims the Red Sox are 'back' after sweep of Orioles

Christian Vazquez claims the Red Sox are 'back' after sweep of Orioles

After losing five of six to the Rays and Rangers, two teams the Red Sox will continue to compete with in the American League playoff race, it was gut-check time for the defending World Series champs. 

They were 35-34 and at risk of falling too far behind in the AL Wild Card standings, but the Red Sox were able to save a split against Texas by winning the last two games of that series, and then followed it up with a sweep of the lowly Orioles. 

After their 8-6 victory in the final game at Camden Yards, Christian Vazquez said, "We're back." 

It's hard to tell if he's right after three games they should have won, but the Sox have shown signs of life during their five-game winning streak. They've averaged 7.8 runs and 12.2 hits over the last five games and have belted 14 home runs over that span. 

The Red Sox now sit 5.5 games behind the AL East-leading Yankees and are tied with the Rangers for the second Wild Card spot, holding a half-a-game lead over Cleveland. 

Last season, everything went right for this team, and this year they've had to fight through major adversity to stay alive in the playoff hunt. Perhaps this is the time we can look back on as the turning point for another deep run in October or just another example of what could have been. 

Either way, we'll probably get a better idea of where the Red Sox stand when they travel to Minnesota on Monday for a three-game set against one of the best teams in the American League. 

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Pedro Martinez tweets his thanks for the trade that brought him to the Red Sox - 22 years ago today

Pedro Martinez tweets his thanks for the trade that brought him to the Red Sox - 22 years ago today

Twenty-two years ago, the Red Sox were coming off a disappointing season where they were an AL East also-ran and big offseason moves were being contemplated for the franchise.

Sound familiar?

Only general manager Dan Duquette, whose team had finished 78-84 and in fourth place in the division, wasn't looking to shed payroll, but add to either the bullpen or starting rotation.

They chose to target the rotation and specifically, to go after the Montreal Expos' Cy Young Award-winning, 26-year-old ace in a trade - rather than Marlins closer Robb Nen, who had just helped that franchise win its first World Series. 

The result was a franchise-altering trade for Pedro Martinez, who tweeted his thanks for the move Monday, the 22nd anniversary of the deal - some would say "steal" - that brought him to Boston.

The Sox traded pitching prospect Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. to the Expos for Martinez, then signed him to a six-year, $75 million contract. Duquette had traded for Martinez once before, four years earlier, when, as GM of the Expos, he acquired Martinez from the Dodgers.

Martinez, of course, would go on to go 117-37 with a 2.52 ERA in seven seasons in Boston, some of which were the most dominant ever for a pitcher. His final season culminated with the first Red Sox World Series title since 1918.

So, all new Red Sox baseball boss Chaim Bloom has to do is pull off a deal like that. Simple, right?

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David Ortiz's son writes heartfelt birthday message to father on Instagram

David Ortiz's son writes heartfelt birthday message to father on Instagram

David Ortiz turned 44 on Tuesday, but you wouldn't know it by his youthful exuberance and undeniable style.

Even Ortiz's son, D'Angelo, considers Big Papi to be young at heart. He took to Instagram with a heartfelt message for his dad, and the former Red Sox slugger had the perfect response.

“Happy birthday pops. seeing u do what u do everyday drives me to wanna be better and better ur the best role model ever and also my best friend,” D'Angelo wrote. “Its crazy to think ur getting older because everytime u dress up for salsa Sunday u dress like ur 20 and everytime I see u it reminds me what real swag is love u pops have a great day.”

Check out Ortiz's response below:

Never question Papi's "swag."

It's been a difficult year for the Ortiz family, to say the least, so this birthday is an extra special one. Fortunately, Ortiz has fully recovered after being shot in the Dominican Republic in June, so both he and his swagger should be with us for many years to come.

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