The Red Sox purge the Panda

Even a slimmed-down Panda proved still injury prone and unable to pull his weight in Boston.

Even a slimmed-down Panda proved still injury prone and unable to pull his weight in Boston.

Has any fall from grace in the past two or three years been as profound and sad as Pablo Sandoval’s? Maybe this year’s collapse of his former Giants qualifies. Maybe.

The Red Sox have designated Kung Fu Panda for assignment—while he was already down on the farm at Pawtucket rehabbing after an inner ear infection sidelined him earlier this month. The team activated him, then designated him.

Ortiz, on surviving Valentine and repairing a marriage

Ortiz, exhorting Boston to stay strong in the wake of the Marathon bombing in 2013, saw a Red Sox club weakened by Valentine’s malmanagement.

Few are Red Sox fans who forget the Bobby Valentine nightmare of 2012. Hired as the Red Sox manager following the September 2011 debacle, Valentine’s divide-and-conquer style toxified an injury-wracked, confidence-impaired team.

For a change, the Red Sox and the Orioles didn’t play beanball Thursday

Machado Thursday, hitting the third of his monstrous Fenway bombs this week . . .

Machado Thursday, hitting the third of his monstrous Fenway bombs this week . . .

Just when you thought there could be nothing more shocking, stupid, or staggering coming out of Fenway Park, the Red Sox and the Orioles had do go and do something completely unexpected Thursday night. They went out and played a baseball game. Just baseball. Nobody tried yet again to re-enact The Wild Ones.

Enough is enough?

Holbrook (34) facing Gausman (center right, just ejected), Joseph (36), and oncoming manager Buck Showalter, after Bogaerts got a slightly surprising plunk in the second.

Holbrook (34) facing Gausman (center right, just ejected), Joseph (36), and oncoming manager Buck Showalter, after Bogaerts got a slightly surprising plunk in the second.

The good news from Boston Wednesday: Manny Machado got to play a game against the Red Sox without one pitch sailing anywhere near him other than around the plate. The bad news: Orioles starter Kevin Gausman couldn’t resist opening the second inning by throwing the first pitch at Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts’s hind quarters.

Now the Red Sox look like idiots, not Idiots

Plate umpire D.J. Rayburn gives the warnings emphatically, to the Red Sox and the Orioles, after the would-be kneecapping of Manny Machado by Chris Sale in the first inning. (Boston Globe photo.)

Plate umpire D.J. Reyburn gives the warnings emphatically, to the Red Sox and the Orioles, after the would-be kneecapping of Manny Machado by Chris Sale in the first inning. (Boston Globe photo.)

Someone needs to read these Red Sox the riot act. Or, at least, Tuesday night starting pitcher Chris Sale. First, Sale joined Fenway Park fans in showing Adam Jones of the Orioles some respect his first time up, in the top of the first, after Monday’s disgrace. Then, when Manny Machado batted right after Jones, same inning, Sale tried to kneecap Machado with a pitch.

Adam Jones vs. the fools in the Fens

Jones, making a running catch during Monday night's game, fumed over racial taunts and a bag of peanuts thrown at him during the game.

Jones, making a running catch during Monday night’s game, fumed over racial taunts and a bag of peanuts thrown at him during the game.

It’s safe to say people expected a little heat between the Red Sox and the Orioles at Fenway Park this week, considering the doings of two weekends ago. But I’m not sure what happened during Monday night’s skirmish—which the Orioles won, 5-2—was quite what they had in mind.

Machado, Pedroia, and respect won and lost

Matt Barnes attempting to decapitate Manny Machado Sunday . . .

Matt Barnes attempting to decapitate Manny Machado Sunday for a hard but not dirty slide Friday night . . .

I wonder if anyone noticed something during the Red Sox-Orioles series ender Sunday. Not Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes trying to decapitate Orioles third baseman Manny Machado in the eighth inning, but the way the Orioles handled the would-be brain scrambler.

They did nothing.

Machado, who isn’t exactly a shrinking violet when it comes to confronting pitchers he thinks get out of line with him, didn’t move a muscle toward Barnes.

“Let me wear this uniform one more day!”

Unable to get past this year's division series, Red Sox gigastar David Ortiz settles for one more bath of Fenway love as his distinguished career ends Monday night.

Unable to get past this year’s division series, Red Sox gigastar David Ortiz settles for one more bath of Fenway love as his distinguished career ends Monday night.

Both American League Championship Series combatants get there by way of division series sweeps. For the Indians it had to be a little extra special to get there by sweeping the Red Sox.

Twelve years ago Indians manager Terry Francona managed an entirely different club of Red Sox to the Promised Land the franchise hadn’t seen since a kid named Ruth was in the starting rotation.

The running of the Indians’ bulls

Andrew Miller, Terry Francona's star lecturer in what to do when you need a stopper like five minutes ago . . .

Andrew Miller, Terry Francona’s star lecturer in what to do when you need a stopper like five minutes ago . . .

Attention, Buck Showalter. Pull up a chair, Mike Matheny. Join up, any other manager who thinks there’s no such thing as using your best relief pitchers in any situation other than closing it out when you take a lead to the ninth.

Class was in session in Cleveland’s Progressive Field Thursday night. Schoolmaster, Indians manager Terry Francona. Lecturers, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. Special guest victims, the Red Sox.

Dealing the last wild cards, and hearing the last of a lyricist

What does it say that Vin Scully was shown the love even by the Giants' home audience?

What does it say that Vin Scully was shown the love even by the Giants’ home audience?

Vin Scully ended his broadcasting career in the home ballpark of the Dodgers’ age-old rivals, receiving an affectionate pre-game visit from Willie Mays, awash in a sea of placards (THANK YOU VIN) and maybe the only known standing ovation ever afforded a Dodger in San Francisco. His final words were as gracious as you might have expected from this excessively modest man who always seemed to believe his gift from God was merely something on loan.