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By Murray Chass

August 4, 2019

Did someone say Boston Massacre? How about a Bronx Burial?

Although eight weeks remain in the season, as alive as the Red Sox seemed in trouncing the Yankees in the first three games of their series in Boston two weekends ago, they have since suffered a catastrophic collapse. They lost four games to the Yankees, the latest three at Yankee Stadium, and three to the Rays, emerging from the seven-game losing streak weak and wobbly.

After beating the Yankees three times at Fenway Park and slashing the Yankees’ lead over them to 8 games, the Red Sox plummeted 13 ½ games behind and looked feeble doing it.

The Red Sox have time to recover, but they don’t have the necessary ingredients to do it. Chris Sale, their ace starting pitcher, has epitomized the Red Sox problems. Pitching against the Yankees last Friday night, he lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up 8 runs and 9 hits, including 2 home runs. He was finished after throwing 76 pitches and lowered his record to 5-11.

In his previous start, he also lost to the Yankees, allowing 6 runs in 5 1/3 innings. The Red Sox, the defending World Series champions, can’t expect to repeat if their No. 1 pitchers can’t beat their No. 1 rival.

Boston’s starting pitching has been poor generally. Eduardo Rodriguez (13-5) has been the team’s only consistently good starter. That is not to say that the Yankees’ starters have been terrific. Domingo German (14-2) is the only starter in the Yankees’ rotation worth talking about.

The Yankees, however, have done things that usually have been achieved by other teams. They have …

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By Murray Chass

July 28, 2019

The outcome is different – it is, in fact, the exact opposite – but the site and the teams are the same and the circumstances are similar enough for the weekend’s series between the Red Sox and the Yankees to warrant the label of Boston Massacre II. Boston Massacre I occurred so long ago I don’t know how many of its witnesses are still around or remember it. It is so unforgettable to me – not necessarily all of the details but enough of them and certainly the results – that it has brought me back to the website sooner than I would have expected.

When the Red Sox slaughtered the Yankees, 19-3, last Thursday night, I immediately thought of Boston Massacre I. When the Red Sox took an early 7-0 lead the next night, then won 10-5, I began thinking of writing Boston Massacre II. Now that the Red Sox have won the third game of the series, 9-5, I am writing it.

Boston Massacre I occurred Sept. 7-10 in 1978. The Yankees had a four-games series at Fenway Park and began it four games behind the Red Sox. Not long before, in mid-July, they had trailed the Red Sox by …

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By Murray Chass

July 7, 2019

It may be premature to call it one of the worst trades in major league history, but it was one of the worst trades in major league history.

On June 4, 2016, the Chicago White Sox were apparently so desperate to get an established starting pitcher that they traded two minor league prospects for James Shields.

In the next two and two-thirds seasons Shields started 76 games for the White Sox, emerging with a 16-35 won-lost record and a 5.31 earned run average. That performance was not what the White Sox had in mind. Nor did they expect what one of the two minor leaguers they gave up for Shields to do what he has done for the Padres.

Fernando Tatis Jr. has been a sensation as San Diego’s rookie …

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