Originally written on Ted's Army  |  Last updated 7/14/12


(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

As the Red Sox [team stats] muddled their way to a .500 record through the first half of the season, their every-other-day encounter with winning was due to heroes both likely and unlikely.

Last night, as they kicked off the second half with a 3-1 victory against the Rays, they got help from both kinds of heroes.

Pedro Ciriaco, a substitute for sidelined Dustin Pedroia [stats], continued his hot-hitting ways — .625 in four games — by going 3-for-3 with two RBI and a sacrifice bunt. And David Ortiz [stats], no stranger to timely hitting, knocked in the first run with a monstrous homer.

“It’s a good feeling, we got the win. Everything’s about that,” said Ciriaco, who has six RBI and three stolen bases in his last three games. “I’m happy to do a little bit to help the team. It’s huge for me. Every time I have a chance to wear the uniform it’s another opportunity for me to be a part of the Red Sox team.’’

Herald - Newest Sox plays hero

It's only been four games, but the Pedro Ciriaco experience has possibly been the most fun aspect of the entire Red Sox season; except maybe Papi's continued dominance.

Ciricao represents everything that this team has been lacking.  Heart, hustle, energy, and just a general sense of fun.  Not only has he been exciting to watch, he's been wildly productive.  He has 10 hits in his 16 at-bats (2 for doubles) with 6 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.  And that doesn't account for the nice leather he's been flashing in the field. 

The downside is that, like all "flash in the pan" call-ups, the other shoe is going to drop eventually.  That's not to say that Ciriaco isn't good enough to compete at the major league level -- if you look at his previous two call-ups with the Pirates, he was solid (no clue why he couldn't stick around in their organization) -- but he's not the greatest baseball player in the history of baseball as his last 4 games would suggest.  He will come down to Earth, and it will probably happen sooner rather than later.  Teams will eventually zero in on, and exploit, some weaknesses in his game.  That happens to everybody.  The good players counter that.  We'll see if Ciriaco is able to soon enough.

But we can worry about his hypothetical struggles another day.  For now, I'm thrilled to have a player not named "Ortiz" that gets my blood pumping when he steps up to the plate.  I'll take as many of those moments as he's willing to give.

It's Ciriaco's world right now.  Sit back and enjoy.

On Page 2, Westmoreland has more surgery

According to a statement from the Red Sox, minor leaguer Ryan Westmoreland has been forced to undergo brain surgery recently. The team issued the following release:

Boston Red Sox minor league outfielder Ryan Westmoreland today underwent surgery for a complication of a cavernous malformation in his brain. According to the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ, the surgery was a success and Ryan is doing well in recovery. Dr. Robert Spetzler performed the procedure. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington.

The Red Sox organization asks that media please refrain from contacting the Westmoreland family regarding Ryan’s condition. 

WEEI - Westmoreland undergoes additional surgery

We couldn't be more thrilled to hear that the surgery was successful.  Westmoreland is in all of our thoughts and prayers as we wish him a speedy recovery.

Can't wait to see him step out onto the diamond once again.

Herald - Cody Ross bamboozled by Bobby Valentine’s benching | Happy Jacoby Ellsbury returns | Globe -Healthy start to 2d half | WEEI - Don't expect to see a different Dustin Pedroia | Gonzalez' absence due to stiff back | CSNNE - Tanguay: Lucchino views fans as 'dumb and naive' | Bullpen picks up where it left off

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