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07/23/2011 - 2:26pm
Lineup: Varitek catching Beckett vs. M's

Captain Jason Varitek will step behind the plate to catch Red Sox ace Josh Beckett and will bat eighth in the lineup Saturday night in the second game of a three-game set against the Mariners. Varitek and the rest of the Boston starting nine will face Seattle rookie hurler Blake Beavan for the first time collectively as the righty makes just the third start of his MLB career. 

Beckett is 8-3 this season with a 2.12 ERA, a stat that is good enough to be second-best in the American League this season. He is coming off an outing in which he surrendered just one hit and no runs over eight innings while striking out six against the Rays last Sunday. To see how the Mariners have fared against Beckett, check out the matchups at the Full Count blog

Here's the entire Red Sox lineup:

Jacoby...

07/23/2011 - 8:37am
Henry: 'Don't anticipate many changes at all'

WOBURN -- Speaking at Jason Varitek's Celebrity Putt Putt fundraiser event at Athletic Evolution, Red Sox principal owner John Henry told WEEI.com that he does not expect his team to undergo significant alterations before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31.

"We like this team, so I don't anticipate many changes at all," Henry said. "I think more so than in years past. Obviously, we could use a strong right-handed bat, but this year that's a difficult commodity to get.

"We gave up a few prospects in spring training, so we would prefer not to do that. It will be driven by what opportunities exist, if any. There have been years where we haven't really done anything, and there have been years we saw an opportunity. It's hard to say."

Henry also addressed the notion that the organization's budget was such that it would be difficult to add payroll for the regular season's final 2 1/2 months. The owner suggested that...

07/23/2011 - 7:06am
Bard: Sox 'don't need anyone' in bullpen

A year ago, the Red Sox bullpen was in dire straits and scrambling to find reinforcements before the trade deadlin. This year, the team's relievers have offered a dramatically different outlook.

The Sox have a 3.53 bullpen ERA that ranks in the middle of the pack, but the group has been dominant since early June, with an 8-1 record and 2.31 ERA in that time. As such, there appears to be little urgency on the part of the Sox to add an arm.

“It’s not really often that you can say leading up to the trade deadline that you don’t need anyone in the bullpen, but we really don’t,” said Sox reliever Daniel Bard. “We have all the pieces covered. If you hand us a lead for four innings, we’re going to find a way to get it done. There aren’t many teams that can say that. Whether or not we add someone is still up in the air, I’m sure, but I think we can be pretty effective all the way through October...

07/22/2011 - 9:06pm
Scorching: Sox blow away Mariners

Jacoby Ellsbury drilled one of the longest home runs of his career for the go-ahead run and added a single while Dustin Pedroia had three hits and extended his career-best hitting streak to 19 games to help the Red Sox beat the punchless Mariners, 7-4, Friday night at Fenway Park. The Red Sox - who broke the game open with a five-run seventh - are 58-27 since winning just two of the their first 12 while the Mariners lost their 13th straight. 

John Lackey (8-8) limited the punchless Mariners to eight hits, striking out four and walking none in seven strong innings. He threw 101 pitches in drawing back to the .500 mark. After allowing a one run on three hits in the first inning, Lackey recovered to limit the Mariners to just five hits over his final six innings. 

With the game tied, 1-1, Ellsbury opened the third by drilling a fastball from Seattle ace Felix Hernandez (8-9) an estimated 450 feet to the bleachers in right, giving the Red Sox...

07/22/2011 - 8:09pm
Report: NFLPA vote could come Monday

According to several reports, the NFLPA's executive committee and all 32 player reps are set to meet early next week in Washington — perhaps as early as Monday — and if both the players and owners continue to make progress toward an agreement, the players could vote on a proposal that could bring the four-month lockout to an end.

The owners ratified the deal on Thursday afternoon, but the players did not vote Thursday night, with several of them indicating they needed more time to examine the proposal. However, after some rough going late last week, there's a growing sense of optimism that a deal could be in place by Monday or Tuesday of next week — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith were reportedly in touch via phone on Saturday while lawyers continued to work through the particulars of the 10-year deal.

If a new deal is signed early in the week, the NFLPA would reportedly recertify...

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CSNNE's Tom E Curran discusses his Deflategate question for Roger Goodell

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