Boston Red Sox defeat Philadelphia Phillies, 7-1

PHILADELPHIA -- It started with Sliding Tim Wakefield on a Sunday night two weeks ago in Wrigley Field.

And if it seems a stretch to single out one implausible first-to-home dash by a soon-to-be 39-year-old knuckleballer as the trigger to this terrific run the Red Sox are on -- one that shows no sign of abating after yesterday afternoon's 7-1 romp over the Phillies -- there is the story of the New Brown Shoes, which, as you will soon discover, really doesn't warrant simila...

The long ball is dead. Long live the long ball.

You may want to rethink all that stuff you heard about the incredibly shrinking slugger and the reemergence of ''small ball" in the wake of steroid testing in baseball. The home run has not exactly retreated from the game; on the contrary, it appears that Major League Baseball officials, from Bud Selig on down, were correct in attributing the dropoff earlier in the season to lousy weather, and not some major market correct...