Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Daisuke Matsuzaka was tagged for five runs in 1 1-3 innings and the Toronto Blue Jays jumped over the Red Sox in the AL East with a 9-2 win on Saturday night in a game twice delayed by rain for a total of 2 hours, 3 minutes.
Like his teammates, this season has been disappointing for Matsuzaka, who began the year late after ulnar collateral surgery last season.
"Honestly I don't know if I'll wear this Red Sox uniform next year," he said. "It's been an honor to wear this Red Sox uniform. I don't know what next year will bring, but it hasn't been (hard)."
It was his second straight rough start. He gave six runs in 3 2-3 innings in a loss at Oakland on Sept. 2.
"I'm real disappointed that I haven't been able to be there for the team the past two games," he said. "I'm real frustrated that I haven't been consistent."
Matsuzaka (1-5) took the loss, lasting just four outs and giving up five runs and five hits. He is in the final year of a six-year, $52 million contract.
"Even with the expanded rosters, to keep asking what you're asking out of the bullpen it seems like it's every night, it's tiring," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said. "Guys are tired of playing from behind, I'll guarantee that. The bullpen is tired of just eating up innings. It's tough. It's tough."
The 2012 Red Sox are becoming the girlfriend that is just awful, and you are waiting to figure out the right time to break up with her. It's not you, it's me. Actually, it's them.
I know it may seem lazy to say, "There is not much more to say about this team", but it is the truth. No one cares or wants to talk about them. Most of us are itching for football.
As far as Dice-K's status, his time in Boston is nearing it's end. He cannot contribute anything other than a random good start that happens once every 3 months. The Red Sox would be foolish to bring him back.
On Page 2, Doubront may be shutdown for the rest of the season.
Felix Doubront, who absorbed his eighth loss of the season on Friday night, said before Saturday's game that he would resist any urge to prematurely shutdown his season, saying he felt fine and that he was in no way fatigued from having thrown a career-high 134.2 innings in 25 starts this season.
"I feel good, man,'' Doubront said. "I just want to keep going and finish the season strong and healthy. That’s more important.''
Although he was not available to speak to reporters after he gave up five runs on six hits, including a pair of home runs, after four innings of work, Doubront addressed speculation about a possible shutdown of his season, saying he had not had any discussions on the matter with Sox manager Bobby Valentine or with anyone in the front office.
"No, not at all,'' he said. "I think what affects me now is confidence. It’s not because I’m tired. The arm feels good.''
Doubront said his issues revolved around his inability of late to "finish hitters,'' he said.
He is 0-4 in his last seven starts with an ERA of 8.27 over that stretch, in which the Sox have gone 2-5. He has allowed 30 runs on 45 hits, including seven homers, while walking 20 and striking out 37 in 32.2 innings pitched. It is a stretch in which opposing batters have hit .326 against him.
"It’s a couple of things, but control is one,'' Doubront said. "The mechanics are good. But finishing the hitter is more important. I have no confidence about that.''
If Doubront is going to be a part of this team in the future and fatigue is an issue, shut him down. Why would he resist? To help this team claim 4th place? I mean, he is no Stephen Strasburg, but he does have potential and why risk injury on a wasted season.
If the Red Sox are contemplating any other decisions like this, they should just go for it. I don't think you can disappoint the fans any more.
The rest of the links:
Globe: Could these be Matsuzaka's last days in Sox uniform? | Final: Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 2 | Herald: Season gone south-paw | Dice-K can't halt skid | Lackey passes fist BP exam | CSNNE: Daisuke douses Red Sox chances | Dice-K, Sox washed away, 9-2 | Who should be the Sox next manager? | Merloni: Valentine created chaos | Lackey throws 15 pitches to hitters, feels 'great' | ESPN Boston: Salty gets day off after back spasms | Mother Nature can't halt Sox skid; Jays roll | WEEI: John Lackey faces hitters for first time since surgery