The boys get a mulligan for last night’s fisting in Anaheim. Mostly because I passed out halfway through, and if I can’t get it up for the first game back after the All-Star break, how can I expect the lads to? We’ve got Beckett today and that’s usually all it takes to re-right the ship.

In other, cheerier news, one of our favorite blogs is Jere Smith’s A Red Sox Fan in Pinstripe Territory, where Yankee-hating is flung to bold new heights almost every day (and his recent All-Star game rants were things of beauty). Jere and his mom, author Mary-Ann Tirone Smith, have collaborated on a new mystery novel, Dirty Water, that skillfully combines everything we love about the Red Sox–the players, the Park, the fans — into a gritty, suspenseful tale that begins with an abandoned baby found in the Olde Towne Team’s clubhouse. In a cool technique, much of the plot advances through the posts of a mysterious blogger, and Jere is nice enough to name-drop a number of Sox bloggers–including our worthless asses–among the comments. Best of all are the guest appearances by the players we know and love: David Ortiz (basically a supporting character in the book, who will no doubt be played by Yaphet Kotto in the film version), Daisuke, Teets, Theo. Hell, even Amalie Benjmain shows up, looking positively fabulous if only in my mind’s eye. Folks, if you’re gonna read a book, shouldn’t it be a mystery novel with Papi and Amalie? My point exactly. Reading Dirty Water is like sitting in your favorite Fenway-area pub, watching the game while seated between Dennis Lehane and Peter Gammons. And that’s my kinda place. You can pre-order your copy here.

Lastly, speaking of bloggers, happy one year anniversary to Melissa at Out in Centerfield, another of our favorite Sox blogs. Here’s to many more!