With Eddie taking the day

With Eddie taking the day off after working the end of last week and the weekend from Vegas, Dave Jagler had Cedric Maxwell as his co-host and the two of them ran a pretty clean show. Angels color analyst Rex Hudler joined the show via phone, and as Maxwell correctly pointed out, Hundler sounds exactly like Bill Walton on the air. John Holt hosted the McDonough Group and was joined by Ron Borges. With the Big O, Glen Ordway on vacation (an annual rite, just before the football season gets into full swing) Pete Sheppard filled in and was joined by Michael Felger and Steve DeOssie. Football guys talking Red Sox trades. Sheppard endorsed a Trot Nixon for Livan Hernandez trade. They had a discussion about conditioning drills. DeOssie said that in minicamp in March, the players run their drills. Then in July, if they cannot equal or better March’s performance, they fail – this is what happened to Antowain. So Antowain could be the most well-conditioned athlete, but if he loses one tenth in his 40 since March, then he fails. (Maybe this is how it went on teams DeOssie was on, but I don’t think this is the case with the Patriots. Everything I’ve read has the players having to run a certain distance within a certain time according to their position.)

DeOssie also gave an amusing anecdote that when he was a young player, he was all proud of himself when he outperformed the veterans in March’s drills. He later realized they were just giving a half-hearted effort so as to “lower the bar” for themselves in July.

Michael Smith and Nick Cafardo were on NE Sports Tonight on FSNE, and Cafardo spent some time criticizing Bill Belichick. Cafardo said Belichick embarrassed Antowain Smith and the others who failed the conditioning test by making them run in front of the fans and their teammates. He said Smith did so much for this team last year that he shouldn’t be subjected to such humiliation. He made it clear he disapproves of such action from the coach and indicated that he shouldn’t be getting such a free ride around here.

John Molori’s latest Media Blitz column has some pretty strong words by Sean McDonough about WEEI and the testy relationship between the two stations. Allegations that have flown back and forth between the stations are addressed by parties on both sides. From Saturday, Len Pasquarelli has a glowing article about the Patriots front office and way they do business.

Bob Duffy has hands down

Bob Duffy has hands down the best story of the day. His account of the brawl yesterday is at times, hilarious. ”I didn’t hear what he said,” claimed Matthews. ”So I stepped toward him and asked what he said.” This purely informational mission – in Matthews’s version, anyway – was misinterpreted as malevolence in the making.” …as well as whatchutalkinbout Willis Roberts account of his actions: “Roberts maintained that he was merely trying to keep teammate Melvin Mora from being hurt and was shadowboxing as an act of self-preservation, losing his shirt, if not his dignity, as he frantically retreated when he saw menacing Boston closer Ugueth Urbina, a former amateur boxer, barreling onto the field from the clubhouse with his shirt untucked.” Tony Cloninger’s part in the melee was also chronicled: “In the midst of all this, at least one gallant knight didn’t lose his sense of priorities. Sox pitching coach Tony Cloninger lumbered to the mound to make sure nothing happened to his prize commodity, Lowe. While standing guard, he wrapped his left arm around onrushing Baltimore catcher Brook Fordyce ”just to keep him away from Lowe.” Then Baltimore bench coach Sam Perlozzo intruded. Cloninger recalled Perlozzo screaming, ”Let him loose! Let him loose!” in defense of Fordyce. So Cloninger wrapped up his coaching counterpart with his other arm. ”Just like this,” he said, pantomiming bookend gentle embraces.” Then Fordyce, who had been shown up by a 60-something overweight guy was a little grumpy after the game: “The normally obliging Fordyce stormed away and called behind him, ”Baseball [expletive] questions only.” Fordyce’s own manager said that the catcher’s nose had been bloodied by Cloninger. The other accounts of the brawl in the papers are decidedly a level below Duffy’s.

Art Martone looks at the Sox’ other recent brawls. Bob Hohler can’t get Carl Everett out of his mind. With all that happened yesterday, and the implications, and game action, and possible suspensions, he has to bring up Carl Everett. Talk about taking the easy way out. Likely the Globe is just warming up for when the Sox play Everett and the Rangers. Hohler, Edes and Shaughnessy will likely all have Everett articles in the next week. Hohler also got a little carried away with the M’s in his vocabulary: “a seething brawl that made the mercurial Everett seem no more malicious than milquetoast.”. It also appears the media may be being used by the Red Sox front office. How many articles are we going read with Mike Port, or Larry Lucchino saying that the Sox are trying to make a deal. Port even said the other day that they thought they had one done, and it fell apart at the last moment. Jeff Horrigan’s notebook has Lucchino’s laments. The Globe has similar stuff from Bob Hohler. Anyone get the feeling that they might just be laying the groundwork to let everyone down easy, and not make any major deals?

Nick Cafardo and Michael Felger say that Antowain Smith failing the conditioning run is a bad sign for Bill Belichick and the team. Hey, gotta find some bad omens, don’t we? Kevin Mannix doesn’t understand the negativity about this team from national and local fans, media and oddsmakers. In Felger’s notebook, he makes a brief comment about how CMGI Field would only need “minor tinkering” to be fitting for baseball, if the Sox need a temporary home. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Walter Williams.

Fox25 has Red Sox/Angels at 10:00. (ATT3 in Western Mass) If you’re outside New England and have got the Dish, I believe it will be on channel 652 feed from Fox Sports West. ABC has Golf’s Battle at Bighorn at 8:00. ESPN has Yankees/Rangers at 8:00. ESPN Classic has SportsCentury profile of Mark Fidrych at 8:00 and 11:00.

FOX25 led off Sports Sunday

FOX25 led off Sports Sunday with a recap of the last three “Family Days” at Fenway. (two Carl Everett explosions and the brawl today) The first segment of highlights was of course from the Red Sox/Orioles game today and Butch Stearns thinks that this Red Sox team has the same feeling of togetherness that the Patriots had last season. Derek Lowe saying he initiated the whole thing and said something he shouldn’t have to provoke it wasn’t a smart move. Highlights from the Angels game as well as the Yankees followed, as well as Ozzie Smith’s Hall of Fame induction speech today invoking the Wizard of Oz. Stearns didn’t understand the reference. During the Patriots training camp highlights and soundbites from the weekend, Tom Brady said they’re gunning for the rest of the league, and Otis Smith was incorrectly identified as Roman Phifer.

Tour de France highlights led off the second segment, Stearns said if Tiger Woods was a cyclist Lance Armstrong would crush him. A recap of the Vin Baker/Shammond WIlliams introductory press conference followed. Chris Wallace said that being able to make this deal without disturbing the nucleus of the team and without giving up draft picks was very appealing to them. A brief look at the B.C. Football team focused on whether they can beat Miami.

FleetBoston Classic highlights were the intro in the third segment. Rob Nickoleski had a segment from earlier in the week, when he caddied a round for Andy North. Things like having the right number of clubs in the bag, the importance of giving the golfer a good estimate of yardage, cleaning the club after each shot, and wiping the ball once on the green, are essential aspects of the caddie’s job.

A tribute to Ned Martin was up next, Sean McDonough feels he should be in the Hall of Fame. Jerry Remy recalled breaking into the business with Martin. Clips from Martin’s radio days followed. Fred Lynn’s 10 RBI night, Yaz being ejected covering home plate with dirt, Bill Lee shutting out the Yankees, Sox beating the A’s in the ’75 ALCS, and Fisk’s HR in the ’75 series were among them. The Last Blast was a thought, Stearns didn’t really know Martin, but felt that he did. He’s one of the nicest men he’s ever met.

Mike Adams hosted NECN’s Sports Late Night. Only Adams can introduce Robin Ventura’s grand slam against the Rays today by noting that Ventura once got his “head beat in by Nolan Ryan”. He also pulled out his Joe Castiglione voice to give some information on Lance Armstrong.

Adam’s former WEEI partner Dick Radatz joined him in studio to talk how players were much tougher in the old days. Radatz, as he did on WEEI this afternoon, made fun of Manny, mocking — Did he even know there was a fight? Did he know he got hit? After saying that players were tougher in the old days, he mentioned how they never threw at the head like they do today, unless they meant it. Radatz then recalled a story from his playing days when he hit Bert Campaneris in the head throwing at him while he was diving backing into first base. Campaneris had bunted with a huge lead and taunted Radatz while running down the line.

WBZ’s Sports Final was hosted by Steve Burton. First roundtable talked brawl with Steve Buckley, Michael Felger, and Nick Cafardo. Burton says that’s just how Erickson is, he’s gonna hit him. He then yelled during the footage of the brawl “Where’s Manny??” Someone thought he spotted Manny, and a voice said sarcastically, “I doubt it”. Another chance to pick on Manny, I guess. Felger likes this, he asked Buckley if this team would’ve fought for each other last year, Buckley says no. Cafardo recalled Greenwell getting hit and no one coming out of the dugout in ’89. (Except for one pitcher, Joe Price) Talked about the upcoming trip. Big trip, says Buckley, the panel doesn’t expect any suspensions from the brawl. Except maybe Cloninger.

Antowain Smith talked about failing the conditioning test, he hopes to pass it the second time, and said he didn’t come into camp as in good shape as he wanted to. He feels a little guilty about it, not getting the reps in practice. It’s a lot easier to practice then to do the test. Everyone watches the test, and don’t exactly cheer on. The segment was amusing, but Felger isn’t amused by his failing the test. Cafardo tried to cover for Smith by saying he’s got a fullback body. Felger doesn’t feel anyone should fail the test at all and it isn’t a good sign for the team that 3 guys failed it, they should’ve all worked hard during the offseason.

A taped panel discussion with Bob Lobel, Dan Roche, Harry Manion and Memorabilia collector Phil Castinetti focused on the Ted Williams saga. They examined the note that surfaced this week. The signature was compared to one sent to the Jimmy Fund six months earlier and it looked different. William’s caregiver George Carter talked to Dan Roche, and gave examples of John Henry Williams asking his father to sign things, and not explaining it, and Ted getting upset and throwing the pen across the room. Manion raised the point for at least the fourth time that I have seen in the last couple weeks that if Ted wanted this, why didn’t he get his lawyer involved. He calls this a “fraud on the court”. He talked about handwriting analysis, and that it is more of an art than a science. Likely a Judge will appoint an independent expert, likely a former FBI agent to analyze the samples. He said if it is a fake, there will be “dire consequences”, including criminal action. Roche revealed that Bobby-Jo is having legal defense fund issues, and will likely be asking for assistance. Castinetti says there is no doubt that this is all about money for John Henry Williams. He’s all about money money money. Roche said he’s still trying to give John Henry Williams the benefit of the doubt, but didn’t elaborate. Nothing too new from Manion in this segment. All stuff that has been repeated elsewhere ad nauseam.

Next segment was what they believe is the last interview that Ned Martin did, after the ceremonies on Monday night. Martin didn’t really expect to be there, he was there basically there because Yaz was there, he again mentioned they were joined at the hip. Martin said Boston is the best baseball town in the country. He saw Williams play when he was a kid in Philadelphia in the 40’s, and later in Washington while he was working there. Ted was beautiful to watch. Asked about what memories being back in Boston brought for him, Ned included seeing guys like Frank Malzone, Jerry Remy, Ken Coleman.

WHDH’s Sports Extra hosted by Joe Amorosino, and had a segment with Troy Brown by Gary Gillis. Brown got his contract redone this weekend. Brown talked about being a champion, the fact that the Steelers are still talking and being on the team now without Drew Bledsoe and Terry Glenn. They had Antoine Walker saying he loves the Baker trade. Gives them in inside presence, he had a great playoff against Tim Duncan and the Spurs and he thinks he’ll do well close to home. He mentioned the C’s not having a true point guard, he looks for his own role to change.

Michael Holley joined Amorosino to talk about the brawl, Sox, possible trades (not gonna get Colon) and Patriots. Holley likes the improvements at the tight end position. He also really likes Donald Hayes. They replayed a bit of the Walker clip talking about losing Kenny, and that the Luxury tax is “killing us”. Holley says the reason they made the trade bothers him more than the trade itself. Gaston has gotten some breaks recently, saving money on Pitino, added revenue from playoff games, and yet he wouldn’t pony up for Rogers, and went the cheaper short term route. Holley does think Baker can do well in Boston, but it was a huge gamble. A segment on Carlos Baerga was the last segment.