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About Rob Bradford

Rob Bradford joined WEEI.com after serving as a Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald and the Eagle-Tribune (Lawrence, Mass.). Prior to manning the Red Sox beat, he spent several years at the Lowell Sun. He has written two books: “Chasing Steinbrenner,” following the front offices of the Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays through the 2003 season, and “Deep Drive: A Long Journey to Discovering the Champion Within,” which he co-authored with Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell.

 
COLUMNS
Rob Bradford
06/10/2009 - 7:31am
There are few pitchers in Major League Baseball who are identified by hot streaks more than Josh Beckett.   You had the post-season run of 2003, and then another bout of domination in the '07 playoffs. And throughout his nine regular seasons as a big-leaguer, Beckett has had his fair share of stretches drenched in excellence.   But this one is starting to distinguish itself.  
Rob Bradford
06/08/2009 - 8:09am
So, when next week rolls around, what will the Red Sox' rotation look like? Sunday allowed for more questions than answers. After the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Rangers at Fenway Park, the starter-in-waiting, John Smoltz, said he: A: Wouldn't prefer to make his first outing against his old team, the Braves, when they come to town in two weeks; B: Wouldn't be averse to pitching out of the bullpen, although it hasn't been broached by the Red Sox; and C: Has been approached by the Sox regarding potentially skipping starts on occasion.
Rob Bradford
06/05/2009 - 9:11pm
The questions regarding David Ortiz' eyes came fast and furious, with many of the answers emerging as Friday progressed. Ortiz' problem, which he first referred to Thursday in Detroit, stemmed from dry eyes experienced during certain at-bats. While waiting for pitchers to begin their delivery, the Red Sox' DH would often find himself blinking more than usual, throwing off his focus.
Rob Bradford
06/04/2009 - 7:38am
It was the sixth inning and Josh Beckett had just thrown one of his no-hit pitches.   It couldn't get much better, this pitch, 94 mph, tailing toward the outside corner of the plate. Up until this point Beckett had gotten to a three-ball count just once, mixing in curveballs and changeups to go with a fastball that seemed to be in perfect concert with Red Sox' catcher Jason Varitek's mitt.  
Rob Bradford
06/03/2009 - 7:28am
It was prior to one of the weekend games in Toronto and Terry Francona still hadn't tasted his 500th career win as the manager of the Boston Red Sox.   His team wasn't scoring runs. His designated hitter wasn't hitting. And his shortstop was somebody different than the organization's master plan had originally suggested. In short, Francona was in the midst of what he does best -- managing.  
Rob Bradford
06/02/2009 - 7:54am
Until Daisuke Matsuzaka wins a game, or at least levels out the rest of his numbers, his critics will constantly be looking back.   They will continue to ask, "Was the World Baseball Classic really worth it?"   Matsuzaka, on the other hand, is preferring to stare straight ahead. The rear-view mirror serves him no purpose these days.  
Rob Bradford
06/01/2009 - 2:45pm
The ball is long gone, but the memories haven't gone anywhere.    Sunday marked the year anniversary of the moment Damon Woo's life changed (at least a little bit). Sitting in Section 94 at Baltimore's Camden Yards, the 41-year-old Nahant native hauled in the ball labeled "M 92", otherwise known as Manny Ramirez' 500th home run.   "I was kidding with my brother [Jason] Friday about it saying, 'Yeah, it's going to be a year,'" said Woo, who know lives and works in Manhattan. "What an amazing year."
Rob Bradford
05/31/2009 - 7:05pm
TORONTO -- This year's roadblock wasn't nearly as recognizable as a season ago.   When Jon Lester struggled at the outset of 2008 before going on a five-month roll that lasted up through Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, it wasn't hard to figure out. The continuing road back from cancer, along with some lingering inexperience, were difficult at the time for the lefty to maneuver around.  
Rob Bradford
05/30/2009 - 6:08pm
TORONTO -- Following the Red Sox' 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays, Saturday afternoon. Brad Penny had most of his mind on what transpired at the Rogers Centre Saturday afternoon. Why not? For the fourth time in his last six starts Penny turned in a quality start, giving  up three runs (two earned) over six innings, completing a months-worth of appearances that encompassed a 4.17 ERA.    All of it was close to what Penny had planned on delivering when signing with Red Sox.  
Rob Bradford
05/30/2009 - 9:49am
TORONTO -- You see something new virtually every day in the course of a 162-game baseball season. And within the hours that encompassed the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, there wasn't any shortage of uniqueness.   
Rob Bradford
05/30/2009 - 9:49am
TORONTO -- You see something new virtually every day in the course of a 162-game baseball season. And within the hours that encompassed the Red Sox' 6-3 loss to the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, there wasn't any shortage of uniqueness.   
Rob Bradford
05/29/2009 - 6:47am
When Josh Beckett is firing off "baseball terms" to umpires in the seventh inning and the Red Sox are actually worried that those "baseball terms" are going to end the starter's day, then that is a good thing for the Sox.   There had been more than a few seventh innings this year -- prior to this month -- that had Beckett in such a state that having catcher Jason Varitek and Sox manager Terry Francona take the bullet for him by getting an ejection wasn't really necessary.  
Rob Bradford
05/27/2009 - 7:48am
Truth be told, Tuesday night was a tough one to figure out.   After watching the Red Sox' 5-2 loss to the Twins, at the Metrodome in Minnesota, deciphering what to make of it wasn't cut and dried.   David Ortiz? He had a hit and good batting practice. He also had a couple of moments that trended the other way.  
Rob Bradford
05/26/2009 - 7:39am
Sometimes it's hard to see through the 24-hour seasons that the Red Sox seem to live through, but Monday was one of those days that offered a pretty good reminder regarding just how good life is these days for this team.   There will be the constant David Ortiz talk (at least until that next home run, or the day he puts Mario Mendoza's line in the rear-view mirror).  
Rob Bradford
05/25/2009 - 7:49am
David Ortiz walked into the Red Sox dugout after one of four outs during Sunday afternoon's 12-5 Sox win over the Mets, threw up his hands and vented toward hitting coach Dave Magadan.   "Why is this happening to me?" the slugger bellowed.   Without flinching Magadan explained how he saw it.   "It's happening to you," the coach said, "because you can handle it. I truly believe that."  
Rob Bradford
05/22/2009 - 4:26am
In these parts, it will always be difficult to separate Jon Lester and Johan Santana.    For most, the relationship will always be defined by the trade that never happened following the 2007 season. Santana's team, the Twins, were interested in striking a deal with the Red Sox, but only if both Jacoby Ellsbury and Lester were involved. That, however, wasn't going to happen.  
Rob Bradford
05/20/2009 - 7:21am
In this moment of bad, we are reminded of some very, very good.   When reporters burst through the door of the Red Sox clubhouse Tuesday, their first move was a hard right to where the lineup card was posted. Seeing whose name was in the third spot on the Sox side of the docket had become the priority.   But there was no news. Business was as usual, with the name 'Ortiz' in its familiar spot between Pedroia and Bay. There would be no news flash regarding Red Sox' manager Terry Francona's next move with his struggling slugger, only a reminder.
Rob Bradford
05/19/2009 - 6:15am
"You know," I told a member of the Blue Jays' decision-making team, "by writing this I'm virtually guaranteeing that you plummet in the standings."   Laughter.   "I guess we'll take our chances," he said.   The way they're going, I don't blame them one bit.  
Rob Bradford
05/18/2009 - 6:15am
So where do the Red Sox stand?   This team, the one that left Fenway Park so secure a week ago, is still carrying a healthy dose of optimism as it heads home from its 2-4 road trip, the Sox' final trip across the country of the season.  
Rob Bradford
05/15/2009 - 7:06am
ANAHEIM -- This has gone well beyond slight adjustments, pitching trends or worries about well-placed fielders.   David Ortiz has reached one of -- if not the -- low point of his career as a Red Sox. And it is going to take more than simple video analysis to prevent things from going even deeper.   "Sorry guys, I don't feel like talking right now," Ortiz said calmly after the Red Sox' 5-4, 12-inning loss to the Angels on Thursday at Angel Stadium. "Just put down 'Papi stinks.'"
Rob Bradford
05/14/2009 - 4:49am
ANAHEIM -- Let's get right to it. The first (and second, and third) thing we learned, and really already knew, was that the Red Sox need Tim Wakefield to be good.   
Rob Bradford
05/13/2009 - 5:28am
ANAHEIM -- The day started with a sense of the surreal, and its ending didn't disappoint.   The first bit of action leading into what would turn into a Red Sox' 4-3 win over the Angels, Tuesday night at Angel Stadium, came in the form of David Ortiz' proclamation that he hadn't turned a blind-eye to a homer-less streak that had stretched to 130 at-bats.  
Rob Bradford
05/11/2009 - 7:24am
Jason McLeod said it Sunday night, although he's neither the first or last person to make such a remark.   "I've never seen someone throw a ball as easy as Daniel Bard," the Red Sox scouting director commented. "It's fun to watch him just play catch. There are certain guys who, the way they throw a ball or swing a bat, you say, 'Wow, that's not normal. That looks exceptionally easy for this guy.' That's how Daniel is."  
Rob Bradford
05/07/2009 - 10:54pm
Just think what could have happened.   What if the news came down that Manny Ramirez had been suspended 50 games for using Performance Enhancing Drugs while he was still wearing a Red Sox uniform? While we witness the media buzzards circling Ramirez' legacy from across the country, how would life have unfolded in these parts if it was the Sox who had to put up a wall of press releases?   Fifty games without your cleanup hitter. No Jason Bay. A round of distractions that would have made last July's Manny-palooza seem tame.  
Rob Bradford
05/07/2009 - 4:19am
If you were in the "which game is going to be the most interesting?" pool when looking at a night in Boston sports that included the Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins, it wouldn't have been wise to pick the one over at Fenway Park.   On the surface, it wasn't that intriguing. The Red Sox, dragging home after their 10-day road trip, play dead-@#!, dropped a 9-2 decision to the Cleveland Indians to snap the Sox' nine-game home winning streak.  


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