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Daily Red Sox Links: Jon Lester, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez

Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Cody Ross (7) hits a walk-off home run against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park.  Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Cody Ross (7) hits a walk-off home run against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE

Wow. Cody Ross? Cody Ross! Wow! Cody Ross!!

First things first: CODY ROSS! (There are some nice screen grabs of the bat flip and the home plate scrum at Joy of Sox right here.)

Did the Red Sox make a mistake in trading Kevin Youkilis? Should they have held on to him and dealt him later when his value was higher or just not traded him at all? Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus takes a look at the situation. (Ben Lindbergh; Baseball Prospectus)

Jon Lester isn't having the year he'd like, or the year we'd like, or really the year anyone outside of a Yankee fan would like. He knows that and spoke to ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes about his season to date, his confidence level, playing in Boston, and the expectations that come along with all that. (Gordon Edes; ESPN Boston)

Adrian Gonzalez had two more hits last night bringing his slash line for July to an impressive looking .442/.442/.615. The more astute of you will notice the similarity between the batting average and the on-base percentage which is due to the fact that Gonzalez has yet to take a walk this month. But still, you have to take that line, right? Right. So what is the difference between now and Gonzalez's profoundly mediocre June (.286/.325/.400)? Brian MacPherson investigates! (Brian MacPherson; The Providence Journal)

Dustin Parkes is tired - TIRED! - of lazy baseball broadcasts. (Dustin Parkes; The Score)

Who will be the buyers and who will be the sellers this trading season? Well, it's complicated. For one, so many teams are at or near .500 that it's not hard to justify staying in the race (i.e. buying). But not every team can make the playoffs and some teams will have some realistic expectations, right? Joe Sheehan takes a look. (Joe Sheehan;

Carl Crawford gives an honest and forthright interview about his first season, dealing with expectations, and whether or not he thinks he made a mistake by signing in Boston (SPOILER: He doesn't think it was a mistake). (Scott Lauber; The Boston Herald)

Checking in on former Red Sox farmhand Stephen Fife who made his major league debut with the Dodgers a few days ago. (Jason Wojciechowski; Baseball Prospectus)

For people who can't get enough of the stratification of baseball greatness... OK, kidding. Ha ha? Anyway. While Marc Normandin and Sky Kalkman have their Hall of Nearly Great (it's excellent! buy it here!), Graham Womack has gone the other way. Who are the inner circle Hall of Famers? Mr. Womack isn't publishing a book, but he did get a bunch of good writers to vote and write about who and why their choices should be in the inner circle. (Graham Womack; Baseball: Past and Present)

Are the Red Sox unclutch? Leaving aside the argument about whether or not such a thing is a sustainable skill, the answer is, at least for this season, yes. Yes, they are. Though not as badly unclutch as some other teams. (Ari Berkowitz; Beyond the Boxscore)

This one is a few days old but it's pertinent enough that I feel I should pass it on. Did you know the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) includes a provision that removes the second draft pick as compensation when a free agent leaves? It's true. For example, if Cole Hamels leaves the Phillies this off season, under the previous CBA Philadelphia would get two first round draft picks, one actually in the first round and one in between the first and second rounds. Now, under the new CBA that was ratified last off season, if Hamels leaves, the Phillies will only get that compensation pick. (Ben Nicholson-Smith; MLB Trade Rumors)