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Thank You, Mr. Penny; Welcome Back Tim-May!

     First off, I know i haven't posted in a long time, or consistently all year, but I should be around for the entire stretch run, and into October.

     The day's big roster news consists of three big moves:

     1. Brad Penny requests release, and is released. As soon as he was signed, Sox fans began complaining about how Theo was strangely going after aging pitchers. However, Penny's job was clear: pitch out of the #5 spot until Smoltz is ready, or Buchholz or Bowden force the Sox' hand. I said during Spring Training that if Penny gave us 100 innings, he'd be worth every penny of his $5 M deal. He wasn't dominant, he wasn't a winner, wasn't even average, but he went out armed with nothing but a 96 mph fastball every fifth day, and when Daisuke failed, when Smoltz went up in flames, and Timmy got hurt, and Penny's relief never came, he left it on the field, was a great teammate, gave us 131 innings and did more than he was asked last winter. Thank you, good sir.

      2. Red Sox steal Billy Wagner. I look at this move the same way I did the Smoltz siging (good sign, eh?). Wagner won't be a key cog like Gagne was supposed to be in '07, so if he bombs, no biggie. It'll be interesting to see if he can still throw (against AL hitters, no less - oh, the Smoltz nightmare...), but he was apparently impressive in his first game back in New York. It'll also be interesting to see wo is the #1 lefty out there if he does pan out.

     3. Tim Wakefield returns after a month long break. Oh, how we missed you.

     Heck of a game tonight, as well. Wakefield pounded the zone like never before, and gave up one run over 7 impressive innings. Ramon Ramirez hiccupped (WHY ISN'T DELCARMEN THE GO-TO 8TH INNING RIGHTY?) in setup, but Daniel Bard came in and showed us a 101 mph heater to ring up Jim Thome and end the threat with the go-ahead run on third. He'd end up striking out three over a flawless 1 1/3 appearance. I can't even describe my love for this man. He's just so filthy...

     Oh, and at some point some big fellow hit a walk-off homer to send us all home, because they don't get paid for extra innings, and he just doesn't like to play them. As the boys at survivinggrady said, doesn't it just feel better when it's a David Ortiz walkoff?

     Anyways, at this point, as stressed by that error-laden debacle from the other day, a win is a win. We now find ourselves 6 games out, but leading 2.5 in the wildcard. With Timmy back, and the potential for Daisuke to contribute ever again, I'm liking these Red Sox more and more by the day. Especially Alex Gonzalez. Oh, how I'd missed him.

     Well, enough of this love fest. Thanks for coming out,



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