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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.

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09/29/14 01:02 EST
"J6" That's probably what was written on the only baseball that truly mattered Sunday afternoon. That's what was written on the last baseball ever struck by Derek Jeter. Jeter finished off his major league career in the only manner deemed acceptable: with a hit. The shortstop's 3,464th regular-season hit was a simple infield single, but it was good enough. The script had been properly punctuated. But, as nondescript as the third-inning, high-hopper to third might appear, it was far from run of the mill. It was awkward. It was fitting. It was the last image we will remember of Jeter in a Yankees uniform. As catcher David Ross succinctly summarized the shortstop's final at-bat, "Trying to give him respect and get him out at the same time is tough."Particularly when you're Clay Buchholz, a pitcher who had a poster of Jeter on his wall growing up, who also was desperately trying to finish off a miserable season on somewhat of a high note. Buchholz had said he wanted to be
09/26/14 11:30 EST
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Another regular season down. But for Jon Lester, this wasn't any other regular season. "At times it feels like it has gone by in a blink of any eye. Other times you sit back and think, 'That happened this year?' My bearings are all off as far as what happened this year, what didn't happen this year," said Lester Friday afternoon by phone from Texas. "It's just been a whirlwind. It's been a crazy year." The lefty -- currently of the Oakland A's, and soon-to-be free agent -- has officially completed the non-postseason portion of his 2014 season. By almost every measure, it has been a success. Lester finished his combined stints with the Red Sox and A's pitching a career-high 219 2/3 innings, going 16-11 with a 2.46 ERA, also the best of his nine-year career. The statistical kudos have continued to pile up: Lester is tied with Felix Hernandez for most quality starts (27), and is one of just four starters this season with a sub-2.50 ERA and 15 wins. The southpaw also
09/26/14 02:52 EST
There was a lot going on for Dustin Pedroia at Yankee Stadium during the 2008 All-Star Game. This was the Red Sox' second baseman's first foray into baseball's midseason celebration of excellence, and finding his way in and around New York City with the other American League All-Stars was a blinding experience. Pedroia had his priorities, however. The top of the list? Pick Derek Jeter's brain. So while most were using batting practice to linger and lounge, Pedroia went out to formally introduce himself to the player he had been butting heads with for more than a year of American League East competition. "I hadn't met him. I would just say, 'Hey, how you doing,'" remembered Pedroia of his previous interactions with the Yankeesshortstop prior to the '08 All-Star Game. "I was starting the game with him. I was nervous. It was my first All-Star Game. You want to meet him. The way he acts. His presence. The way he comes off as a guy. You appreciate the way he does things. You just
09/22/14 10:15 EST
On Monday Dustin Pedroia got his stitches out. On Tuesday he most likely will talk about his hand surgery for the first time while returning to Fenway Park. And on Wednesday you might read some more suggestions regarding the future of the Red Soxsecond baseman. He has been, and will be, a conversation starter. It's time to take a step back, however, and understand this: Pedroia is part of the solution, not a portion of the pile of problems for these Red Sox. The stories suggesting the Sox should start exploring a trade involving Pedroia surfaced almost immediately after it was learned he would be missing the rest of the season due to his lingering hand issue. It was, and is, an easy narrative to throw out: dwindling numbers, continuing injury concerns, a long-term contract ... Yet there were some important aspects of the equation that conveniently were left out. Perhaps the most notable piece of that trade puzzle consistently was ignored: Pedroia has a full no-trade clause in his



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