Boston Red Sox: Boston Bruins

Entertainment during rain delay

June, 22, 2011
BOSTON -- During a Red Sox rain delay at Fenway Park, I just thought about what happened a week ago tonight. I totally forgot I shot this from the press box. Enjoy!

Lowell: Thomas is in good hands

May, 22, 2010

PHILADELPHIA –- Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell has never played hockey, but he knows exactly what Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is going through.

Thomas underwent successful surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip, the Bruins announced Saturday. Lowell had a similar procedure done on his right hip in the offseason prior to the 2009 season. Dr. Bryan Kelly from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City worked on both Lowell and Thomas.

Lowell’s procedure was a little more invasive than the normal hip surgery because of cartilage damage. His rehab was a long and arduous process. Thomas’ expected time of recovery is three to four months. Lowell believes given the nature of Thomas’ position, his rehab will be different from what Lowell went through.

“I think it could be very difficult because a goalie is going down on their hips all the time, so I've got to believe it’s a little more stressful situation,” said Lowell. “I’ve never played hockey and I can barely ice skate, so I don’t know how hard it’s going to be.

“I think you can recover from the surgery pretty well, but what Dr. Kelly told me the most important thing was, after he goes in and cleans out the area, how much cartilage damage there is,” added Lowell. “There are guys, like [the Phillies’] Chase Utley was a very good example, his cartilage was in tact and it was just a labrum issue, so he would recover really fast.

“Other people who are older and have their cartilage beaten down, the labrum issue is taken care of, but you still might have a grind because the shock absorbers of your cartilage might have worn out, so there might still be discomfort.”

Lowell knows each case is different, but he is certain Thomas will be under the best care possible.

“I’ve been very pleased with Dr. Kelly and the way he prepared me for what was going to happen post-surgery,” said Lowell. “I felt like I was very well informed before I went through the whole process.”

Lowell stays in touch with Kelly through texts and emails, and the doctor still gives the veteran third baseman tips to stay healthy.

“He’s on top of things and that’s what makes him so good,” Lowell said.

A new beginning

February, 24, 2010
Editor’s note: Longtime baseball and hockey reporter Joe McDonald today begins covering the Red Sox and Bruins for Follow Joe on Twitter at @ESPNJoeyMac

The Boston Red Sox pride themselves on drafting the very best talent, developing those players and preparing them to be successful in the majors.

Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jonathan Papelbon, Clay Buchholz, Jed Lowrie, Daniel Bard and Manny Delcarmen all have risen through the organization to help Boston become perennial winners.

I’ve been fortunate enough to watch and report on their minor-league development, and I’ve also been fortunate enough to witness all of them do some pretty amazing things on the big-league stage.

I was there when Kevin Youkilis won a World Series in his first year in the majors, in 2004. Because Clay Buchholz threw a no-hitter in only his second major-league start on Sept. 1, 2007 against the Orioles at Fenway Park, my scorecard from the game will forever be housed at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

While most doubted he would ever be a full-time major-leaguer, I would like to think I was among the very few who thought Pedroia would become a terrific everyday player for the Red Sox because of his determination and little-man swagger that he showed in the minors. Did I believe he would win the Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Award?

Hell, no!

I took a bit of a tongue lashing from a young Lester in the early part of 2007, when he was battling his way back from cancer. I had asked him if he ever had a conversation with then-Bruins forward Phil Kessel, who dealt with a bout of testicular cancer the same year.

Because of that brief discussion with Lester in the clubhouse at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I., I quickly learned no one wants to deal with cancer, let alone someone else’s, too. So I promised him I would never to mention the “C” word again.

I lied.

I had to apologize to him the day before Game 4 of the World Series that year in Colorado when I asked him what it would be like, as a cancer survivor, to celebrate a clinching victory as the possible winning pitcher for the Red Sox in the Fall Classic.

He understood the situation and gracefully answered my question. Then he went on to accomplish the feat and became one of the biggest inspirational stories in sports that year.

I’ve also learned to keep anything valuable away from Papelbon and his dog because you never know what the pet will eat, including a World Series ball.

As I think of their careers, it’s easy also to reflect on my own as a sports writer for the last nine years. During that span I’ve covered the Sox, Bruins, Patriots, PawSox and P-Bruins for the Providence Journal. I spent nearly 18 years at the paper, beginning my career in circulation before eventually becoming the No. 1 Red Sox beat writer.

I am forever grateful for that beginning.

Like many of the players I’ve covered, my career path has changed, too.

Beginning Wednesday morning I will join Gordon Edes in Fort Myers, Fla., covering Red Sox spring training for When I return from Southwest Florida in mid-March (no doubt with a nasty, blistery and flaking sunburn on my fair Irish skin), I’ll turn my attention to the Bruins for the remainder of their season.

I recently had dinner with the ESPNBoston staff and it didn’t take me long to realize that the World Wide Leader in Sports had drafted some of the best talent for its site. I’m hoping my contributions will help my new team be even more successful.

Thanks for reading,