The Red Sox love a good mantra or idea to rally around when the playoffs approach. In 2003, the BoSox implored each other to “Cowboy Up.” In 2004, the Red Sox termed themselves as the “Idiots." This year, the Red Sox want everyone to fear the beard as much of the roster is now sporting some sweet facial hair, writes John Tomase of the Boston Herald. Here's more out of the AL East..
- The Rays have strong leaders like David Price and Evan Longoria, but some feel that the team could also use an outspoken clubhouse general like they've had in years past, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Jonny Gomes, Johnny Damon, Cliff Floyd, and Eric Hinske filled that role during their time with the Rays and most recently, it was James Shields who led the charge.
- Red Sox closer Koji Uehara briefly flirted with the idea of trying to play professionally in the United States out of college in Japan, which would have been unprecedented at the time, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “I wanted to play against the best. I just wasn’t ready then,” the 38-year-old said. Uehara is more than capable of pitching in the big leagues today - he currently owns a 1.06 ERA with 12.5 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9 in 67 relief appearances this season. The Red Sox will have the veteran under contract next year for $5MM after he locked in his vesting option and upped the value by finishing 35 games.
- Red Sox skipper John Farrell says that Jarrod Saltalamacchia is no longer in the shadow of Jason Varitek and has established his own identity, writes MLB.com's Jason Mastrodonato. Yesterday, John Tomase of the Boston Herald wrote that Salty could be a candidate to receive a qualifying offer from the BoSox.