ESPN baseball writer Buster Olney was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday morning to talk about possible trade deadline moves around the league.

 

What has to be frustrating for Theo Epstein is that the plan was on its way to working.



Former Red Sox manager Ralph Houk has passed away at the age of 90.

 

Red Sox spokesman Dick Bresciani said that Houk died in Winter Haven, Fla., on Wednesday afternoon. 

 

Houk managed the Red Sox from 1981-84, posting a record of 312-282. He won the World Series in 1961 and '62 with the Yankees in his first two years as a manager, and won another AL pennant the next season. He also managed the Tigers from 1974-78.

 

Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava told reporters in Oakland that he had been optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket following his club's loss to the Athletics on Wednesday. The outfielder, who became the second player in baseball history to hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in his big league career, was sent back to the PawSox in order to clear a roster spot for Jeremy Hermida.

 

Jack Cust and Matt Watson each homered in spoling Clay Buchholz' return from the disabled list on Wednesday as the Athletics' bats once again proved stronger than those of the visiting team in a 6-4 Red Sox loss.

 

Jed Lowrie filled in admirably for Marco Scutaro in his first game of the season, while Adrian Beltre supplied the Sox with the team's only homer. Though the Sox mustered four runs off of A's starter Gio Gonzalez, the offense was silenced for much of the lefty's start and failed to tack on a run after the 24-year-old's departure. 

 

NESN announced that Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy has signed a multi-year contract extension. Remy started with the station in 1988, sitting alongside Ned Martin. He's spent the last 10 seasons with Don Orsillo as his broadcast partner.

 

Remy is a four-time New England Emmy Award winner for sports play-by-play.

 

After missing the entire season with a bout of mononucleosis, Jed Lowrie returns to the Red Sox lineup, playing shortstop and hitting second. With Marco Scutaro getting the day off against left-handed pitcher Gio Gonzalez, Darnell McDonald takes over in the Sox' leadoff spot. Here is the Red Sox' lineup for their series finale against Oakland: McDonald LF, Lowrie SS, Ortiz DH, Youkilis 1B, Beltre 3B, Drew RF, Cameron CF, Hall B, Brown C, Buchholz P.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show and announced that infielder Jed Lowrie will be inserted into the starting lineup for Wednesday's afternoon game vs. the A's in Oakland. "He's going to play shortstop today," Francona stated. He added that he expects to otherwise keep the lineup the same, with the exception of Dusty Brown catching.

 

ESPN baseball insider Jayson Stark talked to the Dale & Holley show Wednesday on what he's heard from around the baseball world as July 31 looms. It seems like every team in contention, including the Red Sox, could look for some bullpen help via a trade, but according to Stark, they're not finding much.

 

Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino talked to the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning, and with the trade deadline fast approaching, one of the biggest topics of conversation was the Red Sox off-the-field plans as they gear up for the final stretch. Lucchino was quick to dismiss any notion that the team will not pursue top trade targets despite recent reports that it has gone above the luxury-tax threshold.