Boston Red Sox deep in dissension

So far, there haven't been many happy days for Bobby Valentine's Red Sox. Peter G. Aiken/US Presswire

CHICAGO -- Anybody who has had a 30th birthday has witnessed troubled marriages. The frustration and exasperation of those involved is deeply felt, and because of the requirements of the union, there is little respite. They have to deal with each other every day.

And because everything that is said and done is viewed through the prism of that frustration and exasperation, the whole situation is refueled constantly. Stuff that really shouldn't be a big deal becomes a big deal, because of what happened before.

Which brings us to the 2012 Boston Red Sox.

The unhappiness that exists among the Boston players and staff is multilayered and deep. Calls and texts and complaints about daily events and exchanges are being sprayed all over the baseball landscape as some involved share their frustration with friends and family and agents. Some already are talking about looking for work elsewhere down the road.

There is frustration about how individual situations have been handled, about communication. For those aware of the problems, there is bad body language on display during games, as the anger manifests.

"Did you see that?" an official texted during the weekend here after some particularly egregious posturing.

Nobody has really gone on the record -- yet -- but it's clear that if the Red Sox are to win this year, it'll have to be in spite of the bad feelings. This team won't turn into Happy Town any time soon. There are too many irreconcilable differences in place.

But undoubtedly, the Red Sox can win; if you're looking for a parallel, think about the 1977-78 Yankees. Reggie hated Billy and Thurman hated Reggie and George sided with Reggie until he sided with Billy, until George fired Billy after what Billy said about George and Reggie.

Boston is four games out of the wild card. As manager Bobby Valentine noted before Sunday's game, a board in the Fenway clubhouse lists all the injured players, and in each case, there have been no setbacks. Cody Ross could be activated Tuesday, Carl Crawford might be back in early July, and Jacoby Ellsbury isn't far behind. Andrew Bailey's rehabilitation is going well, and he'll pitch this season, and Daniel Bard might go back to being one of the most dominant setup men in the game. The Red Sox are looking for a starting pitcher, and if they land someone like Ryan Dempster by the trade deadline, that could stabilize the situation.

But if the Red Sox don't make the playoffs, there will be a time when all the exasperation and frustration spills out spectacularly. Most divorces get ugly.

The Red Sox won ugly on Sunday, Scott Lauber writes. Ryan Kalish had a great return to the big leagues.

Franklin Morales had a strong outing in his return.

Valentine is no longer in the comfort of the booth.

Twins desperately searching for arms

Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan said over the phone the other day that his organization really isn't that picky -- it will draft any pitcher who gets hitters out, whether he relies on a fastball or slider or changeup or something else. There was talk in the industry after the Twins took so many hard throwers in the draft that they are focusing on collecting power pitchers, and Ryan didn't agree with that perception.

But Ryan did freely acknowledge that as the Twins made their choices, they were cognizant of pitchers falling to them. "We don't have enough pitching," Ryan said. "We need pitching, and we need it bad."

Adding pitching is a priority for Minnesota, and executives with other teams have quietly wondered whether Ryan will look to flip some major league assets for young pitching -- most notably center fielder Denard Span, who is under contract through 2014 with an option for 2015, and Josh Willingham, who is in the first year of a three-year, $21 million deal.

Keeping with the way he has handled such things, Ryan declined to address questions about his plans to buy or sell.

The Twins' pitching was excellent in extra innings Sunday. Joe Mauer is nicked up.


• This is baseball: When the Colorado Rockies traded for Jeremy Guthrie, acquiring him in return for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, the industry consensus was the Rockies had gotten the better part of the deal, easily. Now Hammel is having a strong season while Guthrie has a 6.91 ERA, and Colorado has made it known to other teams that the right-hander is available immediately. He could have some value, because his ERA in Colorado is 9.53 while his road ERA is 4.23.

The Toronto Blue Jays lost three starters in four days, and given Guthrie's solid history in the AL East, it'd make sense for Toronto to take a run at him. Toronto swept the Philadelphia Phillies over the weekend, hanging in the AL East race. Meanwhile, all of Toronto's injured pitchers are going to see specialists.

Guthrie lost Sunday and Carlos Gonzalez got hurt, writes Patrick Saunders.

• The Yankees' winning streak has reached nine, and again they shut down a good team in the Nationals. A month ago, there were a lot of questions about the New York rotation. Now, with injuries and poor performance plaguing rotations elsewhere, the Yankees' starting five looks rock-solid.

This was Nova's 12th straight road win, tying Jack Chesbro for fourth-most in Yankees history. Monte Pearson (15), Allie Reynolds (15) and Russ Ford (13) have more.

From the Elias Sports Bureau: This is the first time in Yankees history that they have won nine consecutive games against teams with a winning record.

Stephen Drew could be back sooner rather than later, writes Nick Piecoro.

• The Chicago Cubs continue to lose.

In three years, more members of the coaching staff might be with the Cubs than players on the current 25-man roster.

Dempster could be dealt in the next 10 to 14 days; Matt Garza could move in the last couple of weeks of July. Trading Alfonso Soriano will be problematic not only because of the money owed to him -- about $45 million in the next 2.5 years -- but also because he can veto any trade. He indicated Sunday that he will pick and choose his options and won't go where he doesn't want to go. To this point, Soriano said the Cubs have not brought him any trade scenarios to consider.

Dings and dents

1. Jon Jay is making progress in his injury rehabilitation.

2. Chris Getz got hurt.

3. Josh Hamilton is ready to rejoin the Rangers' lineup, Drew Davison writes.

4. With Brandon Beachy headed for an MRI tube, Jair Jurrjens will be recalled to pitch on Friday, writes Carroll Rogers.

5. Nick Swisher is aching.

Moves, deals and decisions

1. The Washington Nationals cut pitcher Brad Lidge. Meanwhile, Drew Storen is making progress.

2. The Tigers' Jacob Turner is getting the call to start Thursday.

3. The Pittsburgh Pirates are finding the trade market nonexistent, writes Bill Brink.

4. The Tampa Bay Rays are going to call up a hitter.

5. Bud Norris has a sprained knee.

6. The addition of Cliff Lee to the trade market would really spice up things, writes Joel Sherman.

7. Tim Lincecum is staying in the San Francisco rotation.

8. Scott Rolen is expected back in the big leagues Monday.

9. The Milwaukee Brewers need to trade pitcher Zack Greinke, writes Michael Hunt. The Brewers could become sellers.

By the numbers

From ESPN Stats & Info

0: Wins for the NL East on Sunday, as the division combined to go 0-5.

5: Walks for Alex Gordon, as he is the only player in franchise history to walk five times in a game, and he's done it twice.

9: Winning streak for the Yankees, longest since 2009.

15: Innings played in two games Sunday (Brewers-Twins and Royals-Cardinals).

Sunday's games

1. The Detroit Tigers rolled with a lot of help from their starter.

From ESPN Stats & Info, how Max Scherzer dominated the Rockies:

A) Scherzer dialed up his fastball to put hitters away. His fastball averaged 93.1 mph before two strikes and 95.9 with two strikes, his largest differential (2.8 mph) in any start since 2009.

B) Rockies hitters were 2-for-6 in at-bats ending with a Scherzer fastball before two strikes and 1-for-11 with two strikes, including eight strikeouts. Scherzer's eight fastball strikeouts are tied for the second-most in his career.

C) Scherzer threw 54 of his 72 fastballs (75 percent) for strikes, his highest percentage in a start since June 2011. Twenty-one of those strikes were looking, his most in a start since July.

D) In addition to his eight fastball strikeouts, Scherzer recorded three strikeouts on his slider, matching as many as he had in his previous four starts combined.

E) Scherzer went to a season-low two three-ball counts. He would retire both hitters, making it just the third time this season he didn't issue a walk. His 12 strikeouts are the most he's ever had in a start with no walks.

2. The Nationals were swept, and Ryan Zimmerman's slump has deepened.

3. Justin Smoak and the Seattle Mariners got to frolic. Seattle's acting closer acted like a closer, Larry Stone writes.

4. The St. Louis Cardinals played some bad baseball for a long time, writes Bernie Miklasz.

5. Yuniesky Betancourt was The Man for the Kansas City Royals.

6. The Phillies may love Charlie Manuel, but Sam Donnellon notes that they're not responding to his speeches: Philadelphia was swept by the Jays.

7. Pedro Alvarez clubbed two homers again, and the Pirates won again.

8. Wei-Yin Chen shut down the Atlanta Braves, picking up his seventh victory. Dan Duquette -- who made the trade for Hammel -- also deserves credit for this signing.

9. Alex Cobb was brilliant, Joe Smith writes.

10. The Houston Astros got a taste of what divisional play will be next year, and it wasn't pretty, writes Zachary Levine.

11. The Texas Rangers broke out with a big inning.

12. The Braves wasted their homestand and are in trouble, writes Mark Bradley.

13. The Miami Marlins were shut out again. Eduardo Perez remains positive as always.

14. The New York Mets were swept, writes Andrew Keh.

15. Dee Gordon couldn't be stopped.

16. Garrett Richards was outstanding.

17. Johnny Cueto pitched well, and the Cincinnati Reds just keep on winning.

18. Asdrubal Cabrera made three errors.

Other stuff

• Jim Thome's latest home run was a milestone.

From ESPN Stats & Info: With his home run, Thome becomes the fourth player in MLB history to have 100 homers with three different teams, joining Alex Rodriguez, Reggie Jackson and Darrell Evans.

Thome also tied Juan Samuel for 23rd on the Phillies' all-time home run list.

• Stetson Allie will begin his career as an infielder in rookie ball.

Coco Crisp Chia Pet Day was a lot of fun, Susan Slusser writes.

• Colby Rasmus' career was saved by his trade to the Jays, his father says within this Brendan Kennedy story.

• Pete Rose is still hustling, writes Norman Chad.

• Vanderbilt got three football commitments.

And today will be better than yesterday.