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09/02/2010 - 8:19am
Papelbon: 'I don't trust radar guns'

When asked about the 105 mph fastball reportedly thrown by Reds rookie Aroldis Chapman last Friday, Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon said during his team's recent series against the Rays, "I've seen it," citing the time he clocked then-Detroit minor-leaguer Joel Zumaya throwing 104 mph during a Florida State League game in 2004. "I used to always calibrate our gun just to make sure," Papelbon explained. "I started and Lester started so I always had Lester's velocity as well. Zumaya was consistently 101 to 104." Chapman was clocked at close to 104 mph Wednesday night.

 

Papelbon then went on to explain that radar gun readings shouldn't be the be-all and end-all when analyzing fastballs, saying that he has a more accurate idea of how hard he is throwing than any radar run reading taken in a stadium.

 

 

"I can tell you exactly, within an a mile an hour what that fastball is...

09/02/2010 - 8:02am
Mashup: Reds' Chapman up to 103.9 mph

Flamethrowing Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman, called up from the minors on Tuesday, picked up his first win after pitching a perfect inning in relief during the Reds' victory over the Brewers on Wednesday night. In the process, he threw a pitch registered at 103.9 mph, the fastest pitch in the majors in the last three seasons. Read more about Chapman's electrifying performance, plus check out other news, videos, trivia and more, at Thursday's Morning Mashup.


09/02/2010 - 8:01am
Billick: No downside doing 'Hard Knocks'

Former Baltimore Ravens head coach, and current Fox Sports analyst, Brian Billick weighed in on the latest edition of HBO's 'Hard Knocks' featuring the New York Jets, saying, "I don't think there is a big downside for them." Billick's Ravens team was the first to participate in the network's show, which follows one NFL team each season through the preseason. (For a running diary of the latest episode of 'Hard Knocks' click here.)

 

Billick also touched on how what the Patriots' mind-set might be heading into their final preseason game, Thursday night against the Giants. The former coach noted that he isn't surprised by the insinuation by Pats' head coach Bill Belichick that he might play his starters, including Tom Brady, more than usual for a fourth preseason game. "He's sending a message,...

09/02/2010 - 12:15am
Varitek: 'I'm ready to go'

BALTIMORE — Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, following an examination of his left foot by Dr. George Theodore on Wednesday, said that he expects that he will be cleared to play following a CT scan on Friday. Barring an unexpected development, Varitek — who has been out since a foul ball broke the appendage on June 30 — believes he will be green-lighted for rehab games this weekend, following a return to the Red Sox.

 

“Honestly, I don’t really have much of a doubt right now. I’m ready to go,” said Varitek. “I wouldn’t feel the way I feel and be able to do what I’ve been able to do if I wasn’t. … I’ve just got to pass the CT scan, and then they give me the go-ahead and let me go. I’m ready.”

 

Varitek had been enjoying a strong first half at the time of his injury. He was hitting .263 with a .324 OBP, .547 slugging mark and .871...

09/01/2010 - 10:45pm
Sox lineup erupts in win over O's

BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox appeared well on their way to a fourth straight loss before a seventh-inning eruption continued Jon Lester's incredible winning streak against the Orioles.

 

The Sox, who had average 2.4 runs per game over their previous five contests, exploded for six runs in the seventh inning, resulting in a come-from-behind 9-6 win over Baltimore. The chief damage was done by the left side of the infield, as Marco Scutaro clubbed a two-run homer -- his first longball in over a month -- while Adrian Beltre smashed a three-run shot just over the left-field fence for his 24th round-tripper of the year.

 

The big inning improved Lester to 13-0 in his career against the Orioles, on a night when his winning streak seemed all but certain to end. He allowed five runs on six hits in the first two innings, prompting the Sox to warm up relievers in each of the first two frames. But he managed to regroup and stop any...

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