Carl Crawford, Red Sox disagree on whether he needs Tommy John surgery

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Bobby Valentine announced yesterday that the Red Sox are going to put Carl Crawford on “a four-day program” to help his bum elbow. Meaning that Crawford can’t play more than four games in a row.

Crawford, however, is not happy with it and insisted again that at some point he’s going to need surgery:

“That’s what the doctor told me,” Crawford said of needing surgery. “I’ll try not to even think about it. I go out and play, try not to think about it. I figure one day it’ll blow out, and when that happens, time to go. “The later I wait to get it done, the more time I’m going to miss. I guess you guys can do the calculation on that and see how that works. I definitely know that at some point of my career I can’t keep playing with this ligament in my elbow like that.”

Then, after that Valentine chimed in:

“I heard what Carl said,” Valentine said. “I’ve never been told that he needs an operation. I don’t think that’s a definitive situation.”

It’s never easy in Boston.

In other news, I love that we have a left fielder and a manager discussing medical prognosis as if there weren’t some doctors around with greater insight on the manner.

Red Sox beat Yankees 11-6 to clinch AL East for third consecutive season

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The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.

AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.

With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.