Butch Stearns led off Sports Sunday by wondering if Antoine Walker taking up golf was a good thing. He then went into the Red Sox, saying that while your head looks at the schedule and says they still have a chance, we know they don’t. After the Sox video from the day, Stearns again talked about the Yankees being vulnerable. Update on the strike talks, footage from Tony Clark saying the issues aren’t affecting performance on the field. Levan Reid filed a report from Williamsport, one tidbit was that both Trot Nixon and Manny Ramirez had promised to hit home runs for the team the other night and they both did.
News of the BC Eagles naming their starting running back led into a bit on the Patriots running game and offensive woes. Charlie Weis chewing out the team at halftime was discussed, Belichick and David Patten spoke on the topic. Stearns then looked at the Cy Young race, which is a three way between Lowe, Martinez and Barry Zito. Pedro’s overall stat package give him the edge. Pedro shown talking about trying to push Lowe and make him better. Another factor Stearns says is upcoming schedule, Zito has to face the Angels and Mariners, Pedro has two upcoming against the Yankees, while Lowe (Pedro called him D-Lowe) gets to face more patsies down the stretch.
Mark the Bird Fidrych was interviewed by Rob Nikoleski at a Fenway charity event. Yaz invited him to come and speak to the kids, Fidrych remembered Yaz beating him with a late inning home run and extracting revenge on Yaz later at a golf tournament. He talked about the Little League world series, and how it made him feel. People always come up to him, ask him how he’s doing, he can they help him. He’s remembered.
Stearns’ Last Blast was on the topic of Jamal Anderson. Stearns says the Pats should go for it, the running game has been awful. But he commended the Patriots for sticking to their guns regarding price. The show concluded with a highlight package from the Little League World Series.
Another abbreviated version of NECN’s Sports Late night, hosted by Chris Collins. Charlie Pierce was the in-studio guest. The first topic was the possible baseball strike. Collins doesn’t think there will be, and Pierce thinks that there will be one, but it will be a short one. The owners wants a strike so that the players will get bad PR and then lock out the players and rebuild the whole system. Pierce also talked about the awful throw by Cliff Floyd to third today in the ninth allowing the go-ahead run to get to third. Pierce said how he was wrong about the Angels, he didn’t think this team had the legs. Onto the Pats, Pierce is very impressed with the Patriots defense, which alone he think will win them nine games. The secondary is tremendous. Jamal Anderson would be a great addition.
WBZ’s Sports Final was hosted by Steve Burton. Can hardly wait to hear Borges hatin’ on the Patriots for this week. The first segment was the Little League World Series. They had a live interview at 11:30 PM with the team. wonder if anyone will take them to task for keeping a group of 12 year olds up this late…Shaughnessy, Ryan and Edes were the first panel. Shaughnessy says the air is going out of this team, but this was a great game up til that eighth inning. Ryan talked about talking to A-Rod last week, and that A-Rod noted that Lowe might be showing the effects of the increased work load this year. Edes talked about Little going against his mold by keeping Lowe in the game into the ninth inning. It didn’t work. Everything the opposite dugout did work perfectly. Edes doesn’t think this is “El Foldo” though. Burton asked if we forget about the Yankees, Shaughnessy giggled, Ryan said emphatically yes. A look at the upcoming schedules for the competitors followed. Ryan talked about the team playing uner .500 for three months. Edes mentioned the lack of a winning streak, but there is a lot of time left. He thinks they can still win the wild card. Ryan and Shaughnessy have thrown in the towel. Ryan says the team can not count on Derek Lowe. Pedro is the only guy you can count on that this team has.
Strike talk, Burton says things do not look encouraging. Damon says once there is a stoppage, hopefully the sides can come together quickly and that this looks a lot like ’94 right now. Ryan left, and was replaced by Sean McAdam. Clarification on the time…no games Friday. Strike starts midnight Thursday. McAdam says it’s one chance in a “gazillion” that this thing gets done before midnight Thursday. A look at the proposed threshold for the luxury tax followed, owners want to set it at 107 Million for the next three years, players want 125, 135 and 145 next three years. Shaughnessy talked about the players never losing and that they will walk the plank for their cause. Edes says these negotiations are different, players have made concessions, McAdam says it’s the bottom of the seventh and that the owners are winning, but the owners want to go for the six run homer. He doesn’t think there are enough of these “burn the village” owners to end the season.
Daubach’s name was brought up. He and ones like him hope to be admitted to the union. (No mention of Merloni.) Edes thinks they get the deal done before Friday. McAdam contradicted his “chance in a gazlillion” statement from earlier to say the he thinks a last-minute compromise will be reached Thursday night.
Tony C’s daughter Jessica Wheaton was in studio next. She said if anyone was going to write the story, she was glad it was Buckley, he did a great job. Burton asked: “Tell us about your relationship with your father.” (Does he think we didn’t read the article?) She said she didn’t have one…first time she saw him he was in a casket. Found out about him when he had his stroke. Thinks his number should be retired. He could’ve made the Hall of fame had his career continued, and it would honor the family. Her mother didn’t her want to approach the family, but she did, and it was the best thing she ever did. His tragedy is another reason that his number should be retired. Her father did know about her, but was afraid of the papers. She hears more and more now from people who say Tony C. talked about her. Now, people on the street are coming up to her. Nothing but positive reaction. “If your dad was alive today, what would you say to him?” She says it’s too bad they couldn’t be together, on the spot question…couldn’t really answer that. Burton asked if she ever saw him play, she said she did, and sort of followed his career. Burton ended the interview with “What an amazing family.”
The football panel was up next and the usual suspects were trotted out. Borges, Carfardo and Felger. Cafardo led off talking about Tony C. being his boyhood hero, and that he’s disappointed that he wasn’t a father to her. Borges said she handled herself very well, but there’s no way to get around it, he didn’t do the right thing by her. Burton says we don’t know, he might’ve supported her. Onto the Patriots. Cafardo is concerned with the play of the O-line, but says the strength of this team is the defense first, then special teams and then whatever the offense can give them. Felger says you should be in the press box when Brady struggles, Borges and Cafardo are giving each other high-fives and whooping it up, and then he comes out in the second half, does well, and there’s silence. Borges says that is a flat-out lie, he didn’t think Felger would be the type to make stuff up like that. Running game struggles are a result of the O-line. Woody hasn’t played at center all pre-season, Felger thinks he’ll open at center. Borges says he won’t, that unless the smartest coach in football is an idiot, which he doesn’t think he is, that Woody won’t be at center. Secondary talk…Knight looks to be out, Leanord Myers is impressive, Otis Smith survives again, Borges says that is a testament to Smith. Borges talked to Spurrier today, after they scored 41 on Tampa Bay, asked about running up the score, Spurrier says they don’t run it up, they’re just playing ball. They’re going to just play ball against the Pats too. This might affect how much the starters play Thursday, as Belichick isn’t going to want to have the score run up on him as well. The group was surprisingly well-behaved tonight. Borges was especially sanguine.
WHDH’s Sports Xtra with Gene Lavanchy also talked Little League to start off, and also had an interview with a coach and two players. This did not appear to be a live shot. Lavenchy threw some tough questions at the youngsters. (Name the defining moment when you knew you could go far) Tony Massrotti and Jackie Macmullan were in to talk Sox, and question Grady’s decisions today, and to lament the loss of David Eckstein. I’ll have to review this show when it is put on the WHDH website.