With the above swing against Minnesota’s Johan Santana, David Ortiz just passed Jimmy Foxx to claim the Red Sox single season home run record with his 51st of the season.

Boston’s ahead, 1-0, in the first.  A Twins victory would give them sole possession of first place in the AL Central ; earlier today, Baltimore beat the Tigers, 4-3, as Fernando Rodney squandered a great starting effort by Nate Robertson, while allowing a 2 run double to Melvia Mora in the 8th inning. The previously noted “FREE THE BIRDS” walkout did indeed take place during the 4th inning, but not before O’s owner Peter Angelos dropped the following bit of science on protest organizer Nelson Aparicio, the nephew of SS legend Luis Aparicio.

“He is a very unimportant person who has delusions of grandeur,” Angelos said. “To begin with, to leave in the middle of the game is an abuse of the players who have worked hard and played their hearts out.”

Well put.  It’s very hard for unimportant persons to understand just how challenging it must be to run a franchise into the ground.

Rich Harden’s first start in over 3 months was a qualified success (3 IP, 1 run, 2 hits) as Oakland lowered their magic number to 4 with this afternoon’s 7-4 win over Cleveland. Jason Kendall had 3 singles and 4 RBI’s.

Chris Berman, obstensibly calling tonight’s Twins/Red Sox game, helpfully shared that he attended last night’s Rolling Stones concert at Gillette Stadium.  “My back hurts just watching Mick run around,” enthused Boomer.  “Go see the Stones, you won’t be disappointed.”

(above : Mick and Keith, listening to Berman’s version of “Salt Of The Eath”)

“You didn’t sing with them?” asked Dave Campbell, no doubt shocked that Berman’s status as a global celebrity failed to secure such an appropriate cameo.