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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
05/04/2009 - 7:21am
Carl Crawford has a knack for leaving an impression on the Red Sox.   Back in the first game of 2003, the Tampa Bay outfielder spoiled Theo Epstein's first game as a general manager with a walk-off home run. Dustin Pedroia still talks about the marvel of watching Crawford work out in his group at Athletes' Performance over the past two offseasons. And then there is Jason Varitek's perspective on the man who could have played football at Nebraska or basketball at UCLA.  
Rob Bradford
05/02/2009 - 6:37am
The Red Sox get the Rays jacked up.   If you don't think so -- even after Tampa Bay's latest win over the Sox, a 6-2 victory at Tropicana Field, Friday night -- consider these numbers:   Rays vs. American League: 10 wins, 14 losses, .269 batting average, 30 HRs, .450 slugging, 4.38 ERA, .251 batting average against, 23 HRs against.   Rays vs. Red Sox: Five wins, one loss, .300 batting average, 9 HRs, .547 slugging, 2.45 ERA, .211 batting average against, 3 HRs against.  
Rob Bradford
04/30/2009 - 7:10am
There are these kind of moments in every season. Those "remember when ..." kind of moments.   A couple of seasons ago it might have been Willie Harris throwing out Tampa Bay's Joey Gathright at home to end the game. Or Devern Hansack's five-inning no-hitter on the final game of the regular season.   Or perhaps you recall one of last year's instances, such as when Brandon Moss helped the Red Sox win their season-opener in Japan by sending the game into extra innings with a ninth-inning solo home run.  
Rob Bradford
04/28/2009 - 7:38am
There was something different about the Red Sox Monday night.   They wore red undershirts.   This has been in line with this team's approach thus far throughout the 2009 season, seeing a problem and fixing it. In this case the Sox hadn't done well on the road -- and the new all-blue attire away from Fenway had some players grumbling -- so a little color was added. Problem solved.  
Rob Bradford
04/26/2009 - 11:08am
Where do you start?   Perhaps the best way to roll through what transpired Saturday at Fenway Park is to simply pilfer the outstanding work of the Red Sox media relations department and relay the wave of tidbits that came from the Sox' 16-11 win over the Yankees.   - The 6-0, fourth-inning deficit is the largest hole the Red Sox have escaped against the Yankees since May 16, 1968, at Fenway Park. In that game the Sox were down 9-3 but came on to win, 11-10.  
Rob Bradford
04/25/2009 - 8:59am
Mark Teixeira struck out with the go-ahead run on third base in the 10th inning Friday night.   As much as Red Sox fans would like, they shouldn't hold that against him. A lot of hitters -- even really, really good ones -- swing and miss at 96 mph, Jonathan Papelbon fastballs. That shouldn't be the ultimate moment to determine Teixeira's ability to play in the furnace that is a New York-Boston get-together.   Jason Bay's moment, on the other hand, should be noted.  
Rob Bradford
04/24/2009 - 8:20am
Scott Boras stood atop a platform in one of the back rooms at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and described THAT player -- a "get-on-my-back", carry-the-team-more-times-than-not, middle-of-the-order hitter.  
Rob Bradford
04/23/2009 - 3:32am
Jeff Bailey was late to the Terry Francona 50th birthday party, but once he arrived the reserved first baseman certainly made his presence felt.   "I didn't find out until the fifth inning of the first game. I was taking some swings in the cage and Don mentioned it on TV so I quietly shook his hand and said happy birthday," Bailey said. "It's a good birthday, two wins in one day."  
Rob Bradford
04/20/2009 - 5:10pm
Remember this time last season, on April 20, when David Ortiz finished the day with two hits but still leaving the park with a .177 batting average?   Or how about a year before that, when Ortiz went 19 straight games -- from May 10 through June 3 -- without a home run, a feat he would duplicate in '08 from August 16 until Sept. 16?  
Rob Bradford
04/20/2009 - 12:18am
Kevin Youkilis has reached base safely in all 12 of the Red Sox' games this season, going 1 for 2 with a double and a walk in the team's 2-1 win over the Orioles, Sunday at Fenway Park. Jacoby Elllsbury got two hits for the second time in the last three games, stretching his modest hit streak to five contests.
Rob Bradford
04/16/2009 - 5:20am
OAKLAND -- After delivering the usual dismissals of regret, and team-first mantras, Tim Wakefield stood in front of his locker at Oakland Coliseum and took a second to soak it all in. "So close," he said. And it was. Wakefield took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, and wasn't finally derailed until Kurt Suzuki lined an 0-1, waist-high knuckler into left field. "But that was fun," the 42-year-old added.
Rob Bradford
04/16/2009 - 5:20am
OAKLAND -- After delivering the usual dismissals of regret, and team-first mantras, Tim Wakefield stood in front of his locker at Oakland Coliseum and took a second to soak it all in.   "So close," he said.   And it was. Wakefield took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, and wasn't finally derailed until Kurt Suzuki lined an 0-1, waist-high knuckler into left field.  
Rob Bradford
04/15/2009 - 6:23am
OAKLAND -- In case you missed it ...   At approximately 2:30 a.m. (EST) Red Sox reliever Javy Lopez faced off with Oakland's Travis Buck with the bases loaded in the 12th inning of a 5-5 game at the Oakland Coliseum.   
Rob Bradford
04/15/2009 - 4:26am
OAKLAND -- Nobody wanted to say it, but this was virtually inevitable.   One inning. Forty-three pitches. Five runs. A "fatigued" shoulder.   Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you your World Baseball Classic Most Valuable Player -- Daisuke Matsuzaka.   Matsuzaka is a pitcher who is among the most difficult in baseball to decipher. The unorthodox way of pitching. The in-between starts throwing regimen. The on again, off again dominance. The cryptic post-game comments.
Rob Bradford
04/14/2009 - 4:45am
OAKLAND -- The wheels can be put back on -- and most likely will be at some point in the coming weeks -- but as the Red Sox filtered out of the Oakland Coliseum's visitors' clubhouse Monday night the need for repairs wasn't hard to find. The Red Sox lost, 8-2, to the Athletics, in the series opener, handing the team its worst start since going 2-5 in 1996 (a year in which they went on to start the season 3-15).
Rob Bradford
04/14/2009 - 12:24am
OAKLAND -- Dustin Pedroia assumed his usual position in the Red Sox' dugout. It seemed like any other day in the life of the second baseman's routine: head out well before the rest of the team emerges and fill the park's stillness with a stream of baseball banter.   Monday, however, was different.   Pedroia stood on the dugout's top step relatively subdued. What awaited was on his mind.   "I've never been through anything like this,"  he said.  
Rob Bradford
04/12/2009 - 11:57pm
Panic has arrived.   Maybe not, but there is something about falling flat in early April that is significantly different than duplicating the failure in June. Even running into trouble later in the first month becomes much more palatable.   Does anybody remember the five-game losing streak the Red Sox endured last year thanks to games against the Angels and Rays, starting on April 22 and ending on April 27? Probably not. They were, after all, still 15-12 after the hiccup.  
Rob Bradford
04/11/2009 - 1:31am
One thing that people underestimated when looking at the Red Sox schedule was not so much the teams they were kicking their 2009 season off, but the type of teams Terry Francona's bunch were starting with.   
Rob Bradford
04/09/2009 - 12:15am
The results were eerily similar, but the images differed dramatically.   A year ago Jon Lester was hoping, now he is knowing.   On April 9, 2008 Lester pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up four runs -- all in the fourth inning -- on five hits on the way to being handed his second loss of the season, a 7-2 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Tigers.  
Rob Bradford
04/08/2009 - 1:05am
So the Red Sox are 1-0 on their way to 161 more regular season wins. Maybe not, but they have gotten off to the start they had hoped for with a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday at Fenway Park. Other than the two runs surrendered by relievers Hideki Okajima and Justin Masterson, there wasn't much to nitpick when it came to the Sox' first home season-opener since 2002. Yet there were more than a few items that should be noted. So, here are five things we learned during the Sox' first win of '09:
Rob Bradford
04/07/2009 - 9:05pm
Dustin Pedroia has become perhaps the most interesting athlete in town. Perhaps not the best, and perhaps not the most accomplished (although he’s not far off in both regards), but just flat-out interesting. Tuesday, Pedroia got even more interesting. “He’s a different cat,” said Red Sox outfielder Rocco Baldelli after his new team’s 5-3 win over his old team, the Tampa Bay Rays, at Fenway Park.
Rob Bradford
04/06/2009 - 12:19am
Josh Beckett had few regrets. Giving up two runs over five innings while pitching with the most excruciating pain of his 28-year-old life, as was the case in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, was satisfaction enough for both the starter and his teammates.   "It was pretty impressive to see him go out there," said Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. "He competed his (expletive) off. He basically out-competed the Rays that game by himself. It's definitely one of the most impressive games I've seen."  
Rob Bradford
04/03/2009 - 2:07am
 FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Theo Epstein knew the possibility of life doing a 180-degree turn following the first day of the Red Sox' 2009 spring training, but he was making sure to relish the moment just the same.   "It's great to have some peace and tranquility on Day 1," he said back on Feb. 12.   Sure, it was nice, but Epstein understood the likelihood that chaos and unpredictability waited around some corner during the Sox' stay in Lee County. With this team -- in this market -- it never goes away for too long.  
Rob Bradford
03/31/2009 - 12:32am
KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- He made it. The Red Sox waved goodbye to Daisuke Matsuzaka last October, crossing their collective fingers and toes that the pitcher would some day return to their mound intact. It did, after all, take the better part of two seasons to discover the hurler who finished fourth in the 2008 Cy Young voting while kicking off the American League Championship Series with seven shutout innings. Gone was the endless collection of pitches, replaced by a tidy, three-pitch arsenal. And there was more.
Rob Bradford
03/30/2009 - 2:25am
(The following is a debate between Rob Bradford and Michael Felger regarding Felger's assertion that, if offered, the Red Sox shouldn't trade Clay Buchholz for Albert Pujols.)  


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