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Red Sox lose to Orioles, 5-4: Blown chance to gain momentum
Source:  Boston Herald
Sunday, 23 August 2020 15:49

Orioles 5, Red Sox 4

So much for turning this season around.

The Red Sox (9-20) won three in a row heading into the weekend against an Orioles (14-14) team they really needed to stomp. Instead, they were walked-off against on Saturday and then often looked disinterested at the plate in a stagnant loss on Sunday.

A split of the four-game series left the Sox in last place in the American League East. They’re the first MLB team with 20 losses this season.

The takeaways:

1. Not a good offensive day from the Red Sox

Take away another solid day by Kevin Pillar and the Sox went 4-for-28 with seven strikeouts against an Orioles team that lost its starting pitcher, Wade LeBlanc, in the first inning to an elbow injury.

There were non-competitive at-bats throughout the day, including a handful from Rafael Devers and Michael Chavis.

Devers keeps chasing bad pitches and missing the good ones. He struck out twice in an 0-for-4 day while his average fell to .222 on the year. The Red Sox ought to be counting down the days until they can rehire Alex Cora following his year-long suspension from MLB.

Chavis is having the kind of season that has to draw red flags about his ability as a big league regular. He’s only playing against lefties, which should be a good matchup for him, but he’s struggling consistently no matter who is on the mound. Chavis was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and left four runners on base in crucial spots in this one. He’s struck out 27 times in 63 at-bats this year.

“I think when you press a little bit, you start chasing balls out of the zone,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “It’s not just fastballs. It’s the high one. And then coming back and chasing balls in the dirt. (Chavis) is not the only one. We have a lineup that I think is really good offensively. When it works, it works because we’re not chasing.”

Of the many blown chances on the day, one was a base-running decision executed by J.D. Martinez in the sixth inning. With one out and runners on second and third, Christian Vazquez hit a grounder to second base and Martinez took off from third on contact, a direct order from Roenicke. He was thrown out easily at the plate for the second out that put a dagger in a key rally at an important spot in the game.

Roenicke said there’s little downside to running on contact in that spot because there are two outs and a runner on third in either situation.

Martinez was 0-for-3 with a strikeout and is down to .228.

2. Kevin Pillar continued his outstanding season

With the trade deadline a week from Monday, Pillar continued his excellent year with a leadoff homer against LeBlanc, who left a cutter over the plate that Pillar hit solid over the wall in left-center for his third homer of the year.

In the field, Pillar is dynamite at every outfield position.

Playing left field on Sunday, he made a beautiful play on a hit to left in the sixth inning, when Renato Nunez singled down the line. Pillar chased it down, spun and fired a bullet to second to nail Nunez for the third out.

Pillar is hitting .278 with a .793 OPS and looks like a nice outfielder for any competitive team. It’d be a shock if he wasn’t traded by next Monday.

“Getting traded last year opened my eyes to the reality of what might happen, what could happen,” Pillar said. “Obviously last year when (I was traded from the Blue Jays to the Giants), it was kind of unexpected and my whole world flipped upside down…I think being traded, I think I took it as a slap in the face, especially given everything I felt like I gave to my previous organization. You soon realize getting traded is not necessarily because a team doesn’t want you. It might be because another team wants you more and they might be going in a different direction.

“So I don’t get caught up in if, when or where. It’s just going out and doing my job every single day. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I’m happy to be here and will continue to play the way I play.”

3. Phillips Valdez looks like a hidden gem

One of the many relievers that new chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom picked up ahead of this season, Valdez has stood out above the rest.

With a low arm slot and deceptive delivery, he’s been able to work his low-90s fastball around the plate and mix in his offspeed stuff with ease.

The 28-year-old recorded four outs and allowed just one hit to lower his ERA to 1.08. He’s got 15 strikeouts to four walks in 16 ⅔ innings.


Officials: Firefighter's wallet stolen, bank account drained while battling California wild fires
Source:  News South Of Boston
Sunday, 23 August 2020 15:48

"I can’t believe someone would have the nerve to break into a firefighter’s vehicle or enter their vehicle to steal something from them when they’re there to protect the community."


Ticker: Wind projects to stage at New Bedford facility; Cranberry growers estimate crop
Source:  Boston Herald
Sunday, 23 August 2020 15:40

Two offshore wind farm projects have signed leases to use the New Bedford Marine Commerce Terminal as the primary staging and deployment base for construction and installation, state officials said.

The lease agreements with Vineyard Wind and Mayflower Wind commit the facility to full-time offshore wind work from 2023 into 2027 and are worth more than $32.5 million, according to state officials.

“With this announcement, the Commonwealth continues its national leadership on clean energy and ensures Massachusetts workers will benefit from the jobs and economic opportunities provided by this new industry,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement.

Both projects will be located in federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard.

Combined, they have been selected to provide a total of 1,600 megawatts of renewable offshore wind power to Massachusetts. They are expected to generate hundreds of jobs and a total economic impact in Massachusetts of between $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion.

Cranberry growers say dry weather affecting crop

As a drought expands across Massachusetts, cranberry growers said recent dry conditions have compounded other weather issues, leading them to lean toward a more conservative estimate for cranberry production this year.

The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association, which represents more than 300 cranberry growers throughout the state, said its leadership thinks the best estimate for Bay State cranberry production in 2020 is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cranberry Marketing Committee forecast that anticipates a Massachusetts crop of 2.04 million 100-pound barrels, up just 1% from last year.

“This season has seen its share of challenges for Massachusetts growers. The mild winter brought the vines out of dormancy early, followed by a cold spring, hindering plant progression. Numerous frost events between April and early June caused a series of sleepless nights for growers. In late June, the weather excelled for pollination with dry conditions, allowing the bees to do their work. Just when growers noticed a lack of precipitation, periodic July rain events roused the growing fruit. August has brought concern with the continued lack of rain,” association Executive Director Brian Wick said.


Walker’s 32 lifts Celtics to 110-106 win, sweep of 76ers
Source:  WHDH-TV - Home
Sunday, 23 August 2020 15:33

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 32 points and the Boston Celtics pulled away in fourth quarter to complete a first-round series sweep of the Philadelphia 76ers 110-106 on Sunday.

Jayson Tatum added 28 points and had a playoff career-high 15 rebounds for Boston, which advances to Eastern Conference semifinals and a meeting with the winner of the first-round matchup between Toronto and Brooklyn.

Boston’s win marks the first sweep in 15 playoff series meetings between the teams. It also is the third straight season that Philadelphia has failed to advance past the second round.

Joel Embiid led the 76ers with 30 points and 10 rebounds. Tobias Harris added 20 points and five rebounds despite leaving briefly after a scary fall that bloodied his left eye.

Harris was trying to contest a shot by Tatum at the 2:40 mark of the third quarter and inadvertently had his legs taken out from under him by Tatum. Harris fell on the left side of his face and laid on the court for several minutes as medical staff attended to him.

The team said he suffered a left eye laceration and was cleared of a possible concussion. He returned to the game with 5:12 left in the fourth with a bandage over his right eye.

With Harris out, Boston scored the final nine points of the third quarter as part of a 12-0 run. The Celtics’ lead grew to 96-79 in the opening minutes of the fourth.

Intensity was high throughout the game, with Philadelphia’s Harris, Josh Richardson and coach Brett Brown all drawing technical fouls. Marcus Smart also received one for Boston.

The 76ers entered the playoffs without All-Star guard Ben Simmons, who underwent season-ending surgery on his left knee following an injury during the seeding portion of the bubble schedule.

Philadelphia did its best to adjust without him, hanging in defensively against a Boston team that ended the regular season boasting one of the league’s most efficient offenses. But the 76ers had issues scoring points down the stretch in close games.

That included Embiid, who despite posting back-to-back 30-point games in Games 2 and 3, at times struggled to keep up the scoring load in the second half of games. He also had two critical mistakes in Game 3.

The loss was the latest shortcoming for a 76ers team that entered the season with much higher aspirations after adding Al Horford in free agency to play in the frontcourt alongside Embiid and Harris.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Sixers’ 19 free throw attempts in the first quarter were the most Boston’s allowed in the opening period all season.

76ers: Led 32-27 at the end of the first quarter thanks in part to an 11-0 run late in the period.

HAYWARD REHAB

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that forward Gordon Hayward, who suffered a Grade 3 right ankle sprain in Game 1 against the 76ers on Aug. 17, has returned to Boston to begin his rehab. The team gave an initial estimate of four weeks for Hayward’s return to action.

“The plan of attack from everything that I’ve been told is when he’s closing in on being ready to play, he’ll be back,� Stevens said.


Ruiz has 4 RBIs to carry Orioles past last-place Red Sox 5-4
Source:  WHDH-TV - Home
Sunday, 23 August 2020 15:32

BALTIMORE (AP) — Rio Ruiz drove in four runs, Thomas Eshelman provided exceptional relief for injured starter Wade LeBlanc and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Sunday to earn a split of the four-game series.

Ruiz came in batting .161 in August and was dropped to the No. 8 slot in the lineup, from where he singled in two runs in the third inning and delivered a two-out, two-run double in the seventh.

Anthony Santander stretched his hitting streak to 18 games and highly touted prospect Ryan Mountcastle doubled twice in his third game with the Orioles, who climbed back to .500 (14-14) with their second straight win following a six-game skid.

After Boston’s Kevin Pillar homered on the game’s second pitch, LeBlanc faced three more batters before leaving with left elbow stiffness. The extent of the injury was unclear and a bit surprising, given that the crafty left-hander had pitched in a combined 108 games over the previous three seasons.

Eshelman (2-0) entered and walked Christian Vazquez, then retired the next 13 batters as Baltimore built a 3-1 lead against the last-place Red Sox.

Miguel Castro started the sixth and immediately gave up a single to Pillar, Boston’s first hit since the leadoff homer. Xander Bogaerts doubled in a run before Michael Chavis struck out with two on and two outs.

Ruiz gave the Orioles some breathing room in the seventh with a double to left following singles by Pedro Severino and Chance Sisco.

Tanner Scott gave up a two-run homer to Jackie Bradley Jr. in the ninth before getting the final out for his first career save.

Baltimore went ahead 3-1 in the third inning against Zack Godley (0-3) and Jeffrey Springs. Three walks loaded the bases before Springs came in and gave up a two-out single to Ruiz. Andrew Velazquez then dropped a two-out bunt single down the third-base line that brought in Mountcastle.

STREAK IS ON

Santander kept his career-best hitting streak alive with a fourth-inning double. It’s the longest run by an Oriole since Nick Markakis hit in 18 straight games in 2014.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Manager Ron Roenicke said OF Andrew Benintendi (rib cage strain) has a way to go before being ready to return, but he is counting on having Benintendi back. “I know these things take a long time to heal, but I’m expecting it, yes,” the manager said.

Orioles: Severino left in the seventh with right hip flexor tightness.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: The team will stay in Baltimore during a day off Monday before heading to Buffalo to face Toronto in a three-game series that starts Tuesday with Kyle Hart (0-1, 11.12 ERA) on the mound for Boston.

Orioles: A day off Monday is followed by a three-game series against the host Tampa Bay Rays, whom the Orioles swept at home July 31-Aug. 2.


Shipbuilders approve 3-year pact, ending monthslong strike
Source:  Boston Herald
Sunday, 23 August 2020 15:27

BATH, Maine — A 63-day strike at Bath Iron Works — against the backdrop of a pandemic in an election year — came to an end Sunday with shipbuilders voting to return to their jobs producing warships for the U.S. Navy.

With the approval of a three-year contract, the 4,300 production workers represented by Machinists Local S6 will begin returning to work on Monday.

After falling behind schedule, Bath Iron Works is eager to get caught up on production of destroyers as the U.S. Navy faces growing competition from China and Russia on the high seas.

“We are pleased to welcome back our valued manufacturing employees and get back to the important work of building ships on schedule for the U.S. Navy,” Bath Iron Works said Sunday in a statement.

Robert Martinez Jr., the Machinists’ international president, cast the outcome on Sunday in historic terms, saying “this fight for dignity, justice and good Maine jobs will go down in the history books of the Machinists Union.”

The shipyard on the Kennebec River is one of the Navy’s largest, and it’s also a major employer in the state with with 6,800 workers.

The stakes were high for both a company that feared being priced out of competition for Navy contracts and a highly skilled workforce that didn’t want to give up ground to subcontractors.

Shipbuilders represented by Machinists Local S6 got most of what they wanted when it came to work rules and maintaining the status quo for hiring of subcontractors, along with the previous proposal’s annual pay raises of 3% for three years. The company got streamlined rules for hiring subcontracting, and a commitment to work together to get back on track.

“Now that we successfully protected our contract language with respect to subcontracting and seniority, we need to get back to work,” said Local S6 President Chris Wiers.

The shipyard builds the workhorse of the Navy fleet, destroyers that have the ability to provide air defense while simultaneously waging war against submarines and surface warships.

The Navy wants to increase the fleet’s size — something President Trump supports — and the General Dynamics subsidiary has said it needs to get back on schedule and lower costs to remain competitive on those contracts.

The company hopes that mediated discussions between the union and the company will help get the relationship back on track.

But it’s going to take time. Levi Benner, a shipfitter, said there are hard feelings because management routinely rejects workers’ ideas for improvements.

“It’s going to be hard to restore trust. We know what we’re doing. We’ve been building ships for years and years. These guys are geeks. They know their graphs and pie charts, but they don’t know how to build ships,” he said Sunday.


Cape Cod parents parody ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah’ for son’s birthday in quarantine
Source:  Boston Herald
Sunday, 23 August 2020 15:12

A coronavirus quarantine kept parents Mona and Paul Marquis from celebrating their son’s 33rd birthday with him Boston, so they got creative and wrote him a song — a COVID-era parody of novelty camp classic “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.”

“Happy birthday, have a good one. Celebrate-ah, but stay in Boston,” Mona and Paul sang to their son, Josh.

They masked up, grabbed the family dog, and performed the song from their Cape Cod home in one take.

The full parody, available on YouTube, delivers clever lines like:

“It’s your birthday, but it’s COVID. Want to hug you, but it’s no good. Until vaccine, you keep distance, Dr. Fauci working on hard on drug resistance.”

Josh’s girlfriend, Sam Bosch, came up with the idea to collect singing messages from loved ones who couldn’t see Josh on his Aug. 15 birthday because of social distancing. She said she never imagined his parents would put on such an elaborate performance — which was an even bigger surprise to Josh when he first watched  it.

“I’m like, what? They over-delivered. This song is absolutely amazing,” she told the Herald.

“His parents really took it to the next level, writing a ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah’ parody,”  Bosch said.

Mona insists Josh’s dad, Paul, was the lyricist behind the parody.

“It was absolutely not me. It was my brilliant, creative husband,” she said.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has kept the family separated between Cape Cod and Dorchester, so they’ve tried to do everything they can to stay close virtually. Both parents are in their mid-sixties, and they don’t want to take any risks with their health, as evidenced in their lyrics:

“We’re just too old to try and push our luck-ah,” they sang.

“Now we know that you like Cape house. If you come here, you could kill us. You’re a big boy, must be smarter. Maybe go to Del Ray Beach and kill Grandmuddah.”

“We actually didn’t want her to see that line,” Mona said, laughing over video chat.

Mother-in-law jokes aside, it hasn’t been easy for them to stay apart over the last several months.

“It’s been a very lonely summer because of COVID. We aren’t youngsters, so we really haven’t encouraged visitors to come see us. That’s why the video made so much sense,” Mona said.

She said she hopes that in addition to delighting her son in Boston, she and Paul might be able to cheer up other folks who are feeling the quarantine blues this summer.

“We really hope that it makes people’s day,” she said. “There are so many people that are depressed and lonely,  and they’re sitting in their homes, so we really hope that this video will just put a smile to their faces.”


Candidates Set for Mount Greylock School Committee
Source:  iBerkshires News
Sunday, 23 August 2020 15:06

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock Regional School Committee will have at least three new faces on the seven-person panel after the Nov. 3 general election.   This week, the district released the names of the candidates who have been certified for the ballot.   One of the committee's three seats assigned to Lanesborough residents is up for election.   Incumbent Al Terranova chose not to run for re-election. Michelle Johnson, a runner-up two years ago, is the lone candidate for the four-year position.   In 2018, just after the full regionalization of the district (and the elimination of the Lanesborough Elementary and Williamstown Elementary School Committees), Mount Greylock's seven seats were split into either two-year or four-year terms in order to create staggered terms in subsequent biennial elections.   In addition to Terranova, Williamstown's Alison Carter and Joe Bergeron were elected to two-year terms in 2018.   Carter has chosen to not run for re-election. Bergeron resigned from the committee last year, and his appointed replacement, Jamie Art, is not running for the seat in his own right.   Meanwhile, Dan Caplinger, who was elected in '18 to a four-year term, also stepped down from the committee mid-term. His appointed replacement, Carolyn Greene, is running to serve out the remaining two years on the term.   All three of the Williamstown resident seats are contested.   Greene is being challenged by Elisabeth Beck.   There are three candidates on the ballot for the two four-year seats up for grabs (formerly Bergeron's and Caplinger's). Newcomvers Julia Bowen, Jose Constantine and Jude Higdon-Topaz have secured places on the ballot.   The top two vote-getters from that group each will win a seat.   Voters from Lanesborough and Williamstown vote in all the races on the ballot.

Senate race matches incumbent Timilty against newcomer Rose
Source:  News - Canton Journal
Sunday, 23 August 2020 15:05

A veteran lawmaker is facing a challenge from a first-time candidate for state office in the Sept. 1 Democratic Primary for the Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth seat in the State Senate.Walter Timilty, 51, of Milton is seeking his third term in the Senate after 18 years in the state House of Representatives. Jarred Rose, 30, is a two-year Stoughton Town Meeting member who is running for a Legislative seat for the first time.The district includes Canton Randolph and Stoughton. [...]

Celtics Sweep 76ers Out Of Playoffs With 110-106 Game 4 Win
Source:  CBS Boston
Sunday, 23 August 2020 14:49

By Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics broke out the brooms on Sunday and are moving on in the NBA playoffs. Boston swept the Philadelphia 76ers out of the NBA bubble, shaking off a sluggish first half and turning it on in the third quarter to take Game 4, 110-106.

It’s the first time the Celtics have ever swept a playoff series against the 76ers in their historic rivalry.

Kemba Walker led the charge for Boston with 32 points, while Jayson Tatum got hot late and scored 28. Walker is looking better by the game, shooting 8-for-15 on Sunday. He hit four of his nine threes, and also got to the free throw line 11 times.

This marks the first time that Walker will play in the second round of the NBA playoffs in his nine-year career.

Boston closed the third quarter on a 12-0 run and led 89-77 heading into the fourth quarter. Tatum accounted for seven of those points in the run, including a deep three with just 1.9 seconds left in the frame.

That’s just unfair. Tatum scored 10 points in the third quarter, and finished the game with 15 rebounds, a new playoff career-high for the 22-year-old. He shot 10-for-18 in Game 4, and hit 49 percent of his shots overall in the series.

Philadelphia made just four of its 21 shots from the floor in the third quarter. The wheels started to come off their season late in the quarter when Tobias Harris suffered a scary injury after he had his legs swept out from underneath him while in the air and slammed his face on the court. He was down for a few moments and was bloodied, but walked off under his own power. He was diagnosed with a left eye laceration, but was cleared for a concussion and returned to action with just over five minutes left in the fourth quarter. He finished the game with 20 points.

Philly big man Joel Embiid, who made it clear after Friday night’s loss that he didn’t want to be swept by Boston, finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds in the losing effort.

The Celtics were their own worst enemy in the first quarter, committing 10 fouls — real fouls too, not ones worth complaining about the refs over. Philadelphia got 19 free throws in the opening frame and connected on 14 of them. It was the most freebies the Celtics have awarded a team in the first quarter all year, and Philadelphia led 32-27.

Boston was much more disciplined in the second quarter with just four team fouls, but the Celtics defense was still way too lackadaisical. Philadelphia committed just one turnover in the first half to Boston’s eight. But Boston was able to close it to a one-point game at halftime, 58-57, thanks to 20 first half points from Walker and a pair of technical fouls on Philadelphia for voicing their displeasure to referees. Once the Celtics got going in the third, there wasn’t much Philadelphia could do to extend its season.

“I think it’s a great way to advance, with a sweep, but we’ve got to keep it going,” said Jaylen Brown, who scored 16 points in Game 4 and averaged 21.5 per game for the series. “Put this series behind us and look forward to the next one.”

“Even though we won this series and the series is done with, we haven’t won anything,” added guard Marcus Smart.

The Celtics will likely face the Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals, with Toronto going for a sweep of the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday evening. Boston took three of four matchups against the defending NBA champs during the regular season, including a 122-100 blowout victory in the NBA bubble earlier this month.


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