Daily Red Sox Links: Bobby Valentine, Ryan Lavarnway, David Ortiz

BALTIMORE, MD: If this picture doesn't sum up Bobby Valentine and the Red Sox right now, I don't know what does. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

After last night's loss in Baltimore, the Red Sox find themselves four games under .500 for the first time since back in May. There's not too much more to add as the losses just continue to pile up for this team, so let's go right into today's Daily Links.

  • As the blame game continues to become everyone in Boston's favorite recreational activity, Jonah Keri takes a look at all of the nuances that have contributed to this season. It's a refreshing step from the many articles that try to place blame on just one reason for this team's struggles. (Jonah Keri; Grantland)
  • Now, let's take a step back into the world of finding one person or group to blame. This time, Eric Wilbur does the honors, as he now places the blame on the media of all things. Of course, remember that he also placed the blame on the ownership no more than a week ago. (Eric Wilbur; Boston.com)
  • Moving away from the blame game, Tuesday's trade of Kelly Shoppach has ensured much more consistent playing time for prospect Ryan Lavarnway. Although he's doing his best to stay modest and humble, he's clearly excited for the opportunity. And who could blame him? (Tim Britton; Providence Journal)
  • With August already halfway in the books (seriously, where has this summer gone?), the playoffs will be here before we know it. Over at Baseball Prospectus, their staff put together a list of prospects they'd like to see participate in the pennant race. Our own Matt Kory even has a spot in the lineup! (Baseball Prospectus Staff)
  • When David Ortiz first went down with an achilles injury almost a month ago, most assumed that he would return after a couple of weeks when he was eligible to return from the disabled list. It seems the wait for him will have to last even longer, as it appears he won't be back for this weekend's series against the Yankees. (Scott Lauber; Boston Herald)
  • It is very well-known that drafting well and having a pipeline of cost-controlled players is essential for a team to compete long-term. In this fantastic article from Glen DuPaul, he takes a look at just how much of an advantage it is to get production from pre-arbitration players. (Glenn DuPaul; Hardball Times)
  • Yesterday afternoon it was announced that Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera had been suspended for 50 games after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone. Here, Bryan Grosnick takes a look at how this suspension affects both Cabrera and the Giants as a team. (Bryan Grosnick; Beyond the Boxscore)
  • Wednesday was a big day in baseball news. On top of the suspension of Cabrera, Felix Hernandez threw the league's third perfect game of this season. (C. Trent Rosecrans; CBS' Eye on Baseball)
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