Consider me properly chastised. A number of you brought it to my attention that information on Charlie Weis appeared in the “Inside Track” of today. I was also informed that perhaps the media was aware of the situation, and yet at the request of Weis’ family, chose not to run the story. I thank those of you who wrote in to correct me. When I’m wrong, I want to know about it, and I want you all to know about it.
Tom Curran has a brief blurb confirming a story I’ve only seen mentioned in the Patriots Usenet NG. Charlie Weis had complications after surgery last week. Curran scooped the Boston writers. (again)
Kevin Paul Dupont and Michael Silverman continue to follow JHW as he prepares in Florida. No links needed. All you need to know is he’s doing this because of Sept 11th. It was a message to him that he needed to do something with his life. That something wasn’t using all the money he’s made off his dad to do something meaningful, but rather to use his dad’s name to get a fantasy camp week with the Sox farm team. The only good thing to come of this is that it ticks off the Boston media so much.
None of the Celtics writers can even venture a guess at what players might be available at #50. If they can put together their own mock drafts, why can’t they put in the effort to tell us who might fall to the Celtics?
NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 7:00.(ESPN2 nationally) TNT has NBA draft coverage starting at 7:00. Don’t look for the Celtics to come up until after 11:00 sometime. ESPN has Braves/Mets at 7:00.
OK…So Manny strides to the plate in the bottom of the first inning tonight, to a (at least partially) standing ovation. I listened very closely for any boos or dissenting comments and heard none. None. Now if you read the newspapers the last two weeks, or watched TV or listened to sports radio, you’d think the guy would’ve been pelted with rotten tomatoes by the fans as he came out of the dugout. So what does it mean? Was it the fans (unconsciously even) sending a message to the hateful Boston sports media? Or were they just overjoyed to see Manny? A little of both, perhaps?
Sox GM Mike Port made his seemingly daily appearance on WEEI, coming on with Dale and Neumy. The major topic was roster moves needing to be made today, with the return of Manny and Garces and the arrival of Embree. Asked about the moves, Port skipped over a query on whether the team might consider releasing Jose Offerman or Tony Clark. When asked if ownership would allow them to obtain a contract or “rent a player” deal, Port was equally elusive, saying it would depend on the price, both what would be needed to give up and what money would have to be paid. He said ownership isn’t consulted until after a player is targeted and deal ready to be made. On Garces, he threw the ball well enough in Florida, and got himself past his hamstring issues to the point that he should be able to get himself back on track. He’s been in a downward spiral this year, yet was still first in the league in first batter efficiency. Just had problems with the batters that followed. They had targeted Embree weeks ago, since the last Yankee series in New York, but the reluctance to part with their young players was what held up the deal. Other clubs were competing, so they had to give up what they did. John Henry Williams contract should be approved by MLB in the next day or two. Said he would leave the issue of playing time to John Sanders the manager to figure out.
Neumeier thought it significant that Port didn’t answer the question about the possibility of releasing Clark or Offerman. Both talked about how refreshing it was to have such an open guy like Port in the GM chair. I’m curious…just what did Port say that Duquette wouldn’t?
Bill Simmons gives us the top 50(!) moments in NBA Draft history.
Martin Kilcoyne of the Rams Flagship station in St. Louis was on with Eddie and Jageler this afternoon. After talking about Jack Buck, talked turned the Super Bowl, he said the fans were more mad at the Rams rather than saying that the Patriots were a fluke. He thinks the players might think it was a fluke, but the fans are more reasonable about it. Martin said the Rams were outcoached, which is the biggest thing in the game. He thinks the Rams respected the Patriots, but they just didn’t handle the strategy of the Belichick. One of the assistants told Martz he needed to run more and use Faulk more during the game, but Martz didn’t change. They spent a few more minutes talking about Tony Larussa, he really isn’t all that popular in St. Louis. Whitey Herzog is still god out there. But more this year, LaRussa’s human side has come through with the tragedies. He’s always been good to deal with in the media though.
They then had Dana Barros in studio. He talked some about his life in the NBA, but the focus was on his Camp he holds each year here in New England. Classic gaffe by Eddie today…talking about Allen Iverson, he referred to him as Alan Eagleson…
Some NBA draft articles in the papers this morning, Steve Bulpett focuses on the Celtics being unwilling to spend money. This years Celtics ride could be the best for some time unless the Celtics get very lucky. Other articles in both papers mainly focus on breaking down the prospects, none of which is really interesting to Boston fans unless the Celtics somehow swing a trade.
Speaking of Bulpett, reader Dave writes in:
You wrote this on Friday…
“OK…I realize that the Celtics do not have a first round pick. But is anyone trying to find if they’ve been working out any players? Perhaps a foreigner to take a flyer on, or some player with an injury (Sam Clancy) or troubled past (Lee Benson) who might slip down to them at #50?”
Almost as if in response to your questions, this blurb appears in Steve Bulpett’s article in today’s(yesterdays now) Herald (ya think he’s reading? naahh…)
First, he quotes Chris Wallace: “We’re not even bringing anybody in to work out.” Then Bulpett writes:
“Even if things were to turn out fortuitously for the Celtics in the draft, there is absolutely no expectation of assistance this year. Thus, the club is more than willing to take a flier on a player with question marks.”
Hmm…that wording sounds *awfully* familiar. Coincidence?
I dunno, Dave.
Meanwhile, Manny returns tonight. “Duquette’s Folly”, as Bob Lobel dubbed him on Sports Final Sunday night, The Globe has articles by Bob Hohler and Joe Burris, while the Herald counters with Jeff Horrigan. Hohler’s is the best of the three, thus he gets the link. Michael Silverman drew the short straw and had to go cover John Henry William’s workout. At least the Herald has a picture of JHW carrying his own bag…something we know Roger Clemens wouldn’t do. Steve Buckley suggests a clown suit for JHW. Sean McAdam suggests things are looking up for the Sox. Bill Reynolds talks the Shaughnessy-induced doubters off of the bridge. Note to Sean and Bill…don’t you know all good members of the New England media are supposed to be writing about the “June Swoon” and that the curse has reared it’s ugly head again?
On a similar note… for those who love to insist about how often the Red Sox start fast and have had late season collapses, “Rough Carrigan” of the “Sons of Sam Horn” board gives a quick look at each of the last 20 Red Sox seasons.
John Molori broke the story yesterday of Dave Jageler being named Co-host with Eddie Andelman of the WWZN 12-3 show. Looks like it took 1510 less than 3 months to realize what Glen Ordway at WEEI figured out a long time ago. Eddie needs a straight man to keep him on-track. After discussions about Mexican food, wrestling and Senegal dominated recent shows, the need was apparent. Will Jageler be the new Dale Arnold?
I should have a page of Shaughnessy feedback up in the next week or so. Keep it coming in.
FOX25 has Red Sox/Indians at 7:00 (ATT3 in Western Mass) If I’m reading the Schedule right, it looks like the game will be on DirecTV and MLB Extra Innings as well. (FOX Ohio) TBS has Mets/Braves at 7:00.
Didn’t get to recap the Sunday night shows, though I did tape a couple. Maybe later I’ll be able to put that up. No promises though.
Has the Boston Sports Guy, Bill Simmons gone Hollywood? If you look at Entertainment Weekly on page 106, (The issue with Bill’s hero, Keanu Reeves on the cover) you’ll see him profiled as the “IT Digital Online Sports Guy“. (thanks to superalbob for the scan)
Yes…the long awaited Shaughnessy Piece is up and ready for reading. The results of the latest poll here showed a Shaughnessy expose as the runaway winner for what readers wanted to see. While I wouldn’t exactly classify this piece as an “expose” it is rather revealing about him. The piece is also accessable in the right hand link column under “Features”
Some pretty good stuff in the Sunday papers today. The Globe provides more coverage on the Darryl Kile tragedy, while the Herald only devotes one article to it. Michael Holley gives us a thoughtful article on it. Well done considering he likely didn’t have much time to put it together. Gordon Edes gives the interesting inside perspective about word of the tragedy spreading among the players during the game. Shawn Green came to plate and told Jason Varitek who turned and told the umpire.
Charlie Pierce has an article in the Boston Globe Magazine entitled “The Decline (and fall) of Baseball.” Lenny Megliola opines on John Henry Williams. Tom Curran skewers Drew Bledsoe. Sounds like Drew is reborn and it all of a sudden trying to be a verbal leader. If Bledsoe has a monster year this year, look for the comparision to Roger Clemens to be made in the media, mailing it in for the last years here, leaving and then recapturing past glory…
Tough day with the Darryl Kile tragedy. Fox handled it quite well, keeping viewers updated while still showing all the action of the game. Tony Larussa appeared live with Joe Buck, who is still mourning his father, and was tearful and reflective. ESPNNews had live coverage of the press conferences of ones close to the situation. Cubs GM Andy McPhail, Cubs Manager Don Baylor and Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty were among those who spoke. Larry Walker was one of the most visibly distraught and went out and hit a homer and started tonight’s game 3-3. Ann Werner of ESPN did some really nice on location reporting in a tough situation. A totally professional, tasteful and somber effort.
Common, predictable themes through both sports radio stations today. Manny and John Henry Williams. The JHW thing was so embarassing to the WWZN crew of Burton, Borges and Smith that they asked the callers to contribute to a collection of the most shameful, embarrassing events in sports. Among the suggestions: Eddie Gaedel–the midget batting, the US Olympic Hockey team trashing their facilities in ’98, Free beer night, Victor Kiam and the “Patriot Missles” comment, Zeke Mowatt, and many others.
FSNE’s show tonight gave the “Sons of Sam Horn” something to cheer about. Sam was on the panel along with his WSKO 790 broadcast partner Andy Gresh. Horn made the point that Manny isn’t making these decisions himself simply because he isn’t the type to speak up on something. Someone tells him to do something, he does it. As was mentioned here before, Sam was a teammate of Manny’s in AAA baseball…their team won the AAA World Series. On the JHW thing, Dickerson thinks the Red Sox didn’t do their homework and just don’t know what they’re in for here. He called JHW an “absolute fraud”.
On the WEEI Midday show today, Dale Arnold talked about more renovations planned for Fenway. Apparently the new “dugout seats” on each side are going to be extended around and connect behind home plate. Even less foul ground in the ballpark. Another idea that is being kicked around is possibly dropping the playing field down by 18 inches. The idea behind this is to improve the sightlines for everyone in the park.
They had Sox centerfielder Johnny Damon on. He likes that there are Red Sox fans everywhere, all around the country in all the ballparks they’ve played in there have been tons of Red Sox fans, and it’s really cool When he was in Kansas City he was jealous of the Red Sox, that their fans were always showing up in the Royals ballpark. Asked about playing a big market team, if the added expectations and pressures and having many more reporters is something he or others like to avoid, Damon said he prefers winning. He said his biggest goal is winning a World Series. If you play for a big market team, you likely have more resources and are more likely to be a winner. The other stuff is something, dealing with the media more and so forth, is something that you have to accept if you want to be on a winner. Dale asked about his role in the clubhouse, he said the Red Sox were very nice to him, giving him a four year contract, and he’s been around 7 years now and knows alot about the game, and in Oakland, he learned to win, and a big factor was having a loose clubhouse, you can’t ever panic, and it’s been working here and he’s tried to contribute to that. Asked about Manny, it hasn’t bothered him. They need to have Manny ready to play at the big league level. He is looking forward to having him back in the four-hole and it’s important to make sure Manny is happy. He said sometimes they joke about it, that Manny is MIA, but they know he’s doing what he has to get back. As for as Pedro, last night he was so sharp and crisp, it was his best outing of the year. Asked about where he likes to hit in the lineup, he said he actually likes hitting second better. He said they have the best leadoff hitter in the history of the game in Rickey who can still get the job done and hitting after him and before Nomar is very comfortable. He is also very comfortable in the leadoff spot. Asked about whether he knew he’s hitting .429 against Hideo Nomo, Damon didn’t even know they were facing him tonight. He said he’s just been lucky against him, Nomo has been very tough. He just hopes to have continued success for himself and the team. He really hopes a strike does not happen, but he said Bud Selig does not want to talk. They’re open to talking, but Selig won’t, it’s almost like he wants to force them into action. They know it can be really damaging to the game. He really hopes that it doesn’t put a damper on the Red Sox season because they think this could be the year. He’s got the green light to steal at all times, but with all the good hitters behind him, he hasn’t taken as many chances this year yet.
They also had Dodgers GM Dan Evans on. Talked some about Vin Scully. Doesn’t use a color man is in the booth my himself in his mid 70′s, He’s a great guy, no one can say anything bad about him. In a poll last month he was voted the most popular Dodger of all time. Uses index cards, scours the newspapers for material to use in the broadcasts. Hideo Nomo has been consistent, just two or three shaky starts. Eric Gagne has been a great story as a closer. Didn’t have this velocity as a starter, but for 15-20 pitches a night, he can bring it Talked about Shawn Green, something like 20 homeruns in the last 30 games. Hottest player in the game. Evans wishes he could take credit for the Green/Mondesi trade, but it was a Kevin Malone deal. Laughed at the gaffe he made last night, forgetting how many outs there were. That led to a short discussion of Larry Walker and Casey Fossum mistakes too. Evans cracked sometimes you have to do that to keep the fans entertained.
Eddie Andelman has been broadcasting from the Barking Crab with Nick Cafardo. No one works a sponsor like Andelman. Not a whole lot of sports talk here today. The nation of Senegal is his theme of the day, along with some pretty lame comedians.
The Patriots have re-signed Roman Phifer. The media had this one right all along. Once the mandatory offseason conditioning program was over, he was back. This was so he could remain in California with his family and work out there and not be in violation by missing the mandatory workouts back here.
Bill Simmons answers reader e-mail on Page2.