Dale and Neumy spent a

Dale and Neumy spent a good chunk of their show today defending Manny Ramirez. Neumeier says the only issue he has is his running to first base. He doesn’t mind his expressions, his hair or the length of his pants. Dale thought Shaughnessy’s article over the weekend on Manny’s hair was silly. The two of them defended Manny against nitwit callers who insisted that Manny isn’t pulling his weight, that he doesn’t care and doesn’t try. One caller insisted that Manny should be among the league leaders in homers and RBI even though he missed almost six weeks of the season. Neumeier pointed out that Manny has played 78 games this season, or just under half of a 162 game schedule. You take his numbers now and double them, and Manny would end up with 40 home runs and 128 RBI in 156 games. They tried to find AL outfielders you would choose over Manny, and couldn’t find many. Ichiro was about the only definite. Meanwhile, on the Eddie and Jag man show, the theme was meaningless stats. Eddie also refered to the Yankees catcher as “Jose” Posada.

Just as Dale and Neumy were going off the air, Glen Ordway reported that it was Tony Massarotti that had the incident with Jose Offerman. Then just before 3:00, Tony Massarotti called in to WWZN, apparently it was he that got into the tiff with Offerman out in Seattle, Tony claims not to know what he did that Offerman didn’t like, at one point Offerman said “if this happens again I’ll kick your (butt).” Eddie said he should’ve told him he was a worthless stiff. Steve Burton, who is hosting the 3:00 show, was in on this, tried to pump this up into Showdown at the OK Corral by saying “But you didn’t back down, did you Tony…” I got a phone call right in the middle of this bit, so I missed some of the details. Burton is to be joined by Kevin Paul Dupont and Rico Petrocelli on the show. Rico recalled an incident he had with a media personality in his playing days.

Larry Lucchino joined Greg Dickerson

Larry Lucchino joined Greg Dickerson and Michael Felger on the WEEI morning show.

Dickerson bragged about staying up for game and getting up at 4:15 for show. He asked Lucchino what he was thinking when they got down early. Lucchino admitted he was a little concerned at that point, but they finally showed some of that “old Red Sox power”. This kind of win helps, they needed it, haven’t had a lot of dramatic wins. They really need to go on a tear, win five or six in a row, not one here and one there. Lucchino mentioned that Port and Epstein are still scouring the waiver wire everyday, if a player clears that can help them they will claim one, but there isn’t anyone really hot at the moment. Most players out there aren’t what they are looking for or have ridiculous contracts. Felger asked if someone told you that you’d have a healthy Nomar and Pedro and that Lowe would be winning 17 games, would you think you’d be this far out…Lucchino answered by countering those positives with the negatives of Hermanson being out all season, Manny missing alot of games, the struggles in the bullpen. He said just the fact that they are in the hunt is what we should be recognizing. The coaches and managers feel good about this team. They have the manpower to do it. Talk of tickets still being available was followed by Felger asking what grade would Lucchino give Little at this point. He didn’t give a grade at all, just said that managers are always going to be second guess, in Boston more than anywhere else. The job of the manager is just that, to manage. It’s not so much about tactical issues. There have been no issues, no tumult and that is the best indication that the team is headed in the right direction, and that they are being managed well. An E-mailer asked about the team not have a sense of urgency that the team needs a kick in the pants to get them going. Lucchino answered that fire is more of an attribute suited for other sports. Baseball is more about consistency, regularity, because of the everyday nature of it. Fire is a football cliche. Lou Piniella used to be a screamer, now have more mellow and predictable and team has shown it the last few years. Talked some about the Luxury tax, Lucchino said he would call it a competitive balance tax. Just a payroll tax. Hes not at the table, so he doesn’t know what progress is being made with that. The core issues are unresolved. There was a payroll tax in the past, but the money was used for other things, now it needs to be used more as a central fund for baseball. The tax would discourage clubs for having an “out of whack” payroll in comparison to everyone else. The immediate impact would likely be detrimental to the Red Sox as it diverts revenue from them to other places. But in the long term it will be better. Dickerson said they’re getting phone calls from people saying they’ve called the ticket office and are being told that Tickets are sold out for the remainder of the season. Lucchino said the put out tickets that are freed up the day of the game or the day before, if you want to go on Tuesday, call Tuesday. But there may not be four tickets together, if that is what they’re calling about. Felger asked when he can get beer on Yawkey way. Lucchino said September 5 is the day. Dickerson then said that during a post game interview with Trot Nixon, music from the Backstreet boys was heard in the background. Just wanted to say that no team has won a World Series that listened to the Backstreet boys. The call ended with talk of the Jimmy Fund radio-thon, and Lucchino’s and the Red Sox association with it.

The best article in the

The best article in the papers this morning is by Jackie MacMullan and it doesn’t have to do with the Red Sox or Patriots. It’s about remembering Reggie Lewis. Charles Barkley and Dennis Johnson are among those quoted in the story, Barkley said Reggie “was on track to be a Hall of Famer.” DJ talks about how Reggie was one guy that Dennis Rodman simply could not guard. In other Celtic news, Shira Springer looks at Rodney Rogers signing with the team that eliminated the Celtics.

Tony Massarotti makes a convincing case that the bullpen is the main reason for the Sox troubles, more so than the lack of a key hit. Jeff Horrigan’s notebook from today contains another reference to Jose Offerman threatening to beat up a Boston writer on Tuesday. He mentioned it yesterday as well. Wonder who it was? As far as I can see, it was not mentioned in the Globe yesterday or today…could it be a Globie? Anyone with a scoop feel free to inform me. Inquiring minds want to know. For a non-Boston media perspective on Offerman, check out this Seattle article with quotes from Pedro and Tony Clark, and the writer also saying that “even the reporters who were the targets of his vitriol describe Offerman as “a great guy.” Interesting. Jeff Horrigan and Bob Hohler submit their game stories. I’ll admit, I went to sleep after Edgar Martinez’s homer. Steven Krasner looks at the rotation of “Martinez, Lowe and uh oh”.

Michael Gee says we should all be happy that the Patriots and Tom Brady are having snags in their contract talks. Really. Michael Felger reports that the real contract difficulties could come with Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli. He indicates that Pioli is likely to get a GM offer from some team. Dy-no-mite! Felger and Michael Smith report on the return of Jimmy “JJ Walker” Hitchcock. Kent Thaler, if you’re reading, please put down the sharp object…Michael Smith’s Notebook has pieces about backup running backs, Adam Vinatieri and how the offense looked in yesterday’s practice.

Onto a mea culpa…Monday I erroneously identified Big Show producer Brett as the one making the veiled shot at Sean McDonough with the comment about Priestley leaving his wallet in the car. It was actually the other producer, Andy who made the comment. Sorry, Brett.

Fox25 has Red Sox/Mariners at 10:00. ESPN has Padres/Mets at 1:00. TBS has Giants/Braves at 7:30. ESPN also has Raiders/Titans preseason football at 8:00.

Stan Grossfeld has an engrossing

Stan Grossfeld has an engrossing feature on the tragic story of Jason Varitek’s Cape Cod League roommate. Gordon Edes points a finger at the reason for the Sox slide. Jeff Horrigan has the better notebook for today. Tony Massarotti writes about Seattle’s worst trade. Hint..it involves a Red Sox starting pitcher. Jeff Horrigan’s update on the labor situation includes the recreational way that pitcher Willie Banks made money during the last work stoppage.

Nick Cafardo goes against his conscience and writes a glowing article about Tom Brady. Kevin Mannix writes more about about the trash talk in practice.Michael Felger says contract talks with Brady have hit a stalemate. Cafardo’s notebook is the more complete one. Jim Donaldson looks at the offensive line.

Jackie MacMullan has a brief article mentioning that Larry Bird will be Magic Johnson’s presenter at the Hall of Fame.

NESN has Red Sox/Mariners at 10:00. It’s also on ESPN2 nationally. ESPN has Astros/Cubs at 2:00 and Braves/Giants at 7:00

WEEI has Larry Johnson and

WEEI has Larry Johnson and Bill Burt on with Glen Ordway on a show that Pete Sheppard has figured in prominently. Sheppard is the Anti-Borges/Cafardo and thinks Brady could put up Marino-like numbers and will receive a contract in the 42-50 Million dollar range over 5 years. The others on the show of course take exception to this. Pete also said it was a lock that the MLBPA would set a strike date Friday and then be back playing games on Monday. He was asked to clarify it several times and stayed firm. Then Ordway asked…”You think that the players will say they are going to strike and then walk out the same day?” Pete then apparently realized what he was saying and tried to say that the players will announce a strike date Friday, but work on a deal over the weekend and have it settled by Monday. Poor Pete. On the Red Sox and their struggles, Bill Burt is hammering away at Manny and his mediocre production. LJ tries to keep pointing out that Manny has only played 76 games so his production numbers are below those of Nomar, but whenever the question of the Sox losing close games comes up, Bill says Manny has do more. Ordway pointed out the Red Sox batting average with runners in scoring position from the seventh inning on is first in the league, and that it is really the middle relief that is failing the team. He noted that guys like Burkett don’t have a lot of losses because they’re leaving the game with the team in good position, and then the bullpen gives up the lead. It isn’t so much about clutch hitting, as it is the bullpen doing the job. John Holt was joined by Bill Simmons on WWZN. ESPN radio in New York is reporting that Rodney Rogers will be signing a two year contract with the New Jersey Nets in the next day or two.

Apparently Steve Buckley was amused

Apparently Steve Buckley was amused by a Big Show caller yesterday who compared Manny’s look to Harpo Marx, as he used it uncredited in his column today, which otherwise is a recap of all he said on FSNE’s baseball show last night. The goal of the media whore page is to expose guys like Buckley who can say the exact same things on three or four outlets, collecting a paycheck at all of them. Ugly name, but it somehow fits. Michael Silverman’s notebook looks at Dustin Hermanson’s progress. Bob Hohler outlines the Sox plans to pick up a game a week on the Yankees. Hohler’s notebook looks at John Burkett and has notes on Rickey and Tim Wakefield. In a column from the weekend, Chad Finn asks if Grady Little is making the grade.

Nick Cafardo looks at Joe Andruzzi’s mystery ailment. Kevin Mannix with a good article on the Patriots super special teams. Michael Gee strings together 649 words and calls it a day. Cafardo has the more complete Notebook today. Cafardo and Felger were back at it on FSNE’s New England Sports Tonight. Cafardo thinks it’s ok Antowain Smith came in and failed the conditioning test, Smith gets into shape at his own pace. He thinks Bledsoe has all the weapons he needs in Buffalo to turn that team around. He laughed heartily when Felger said that the Bills are a 4-12 team and mocked Felger by saying “Michael thinks the Patriots are going to win 14-16 games.” He reiterated that his job is to look critically at the team, not to be a fan. He added that he is not a fan of the team. We can tell, Nick. Kevin McNamara looks at tight end Christina Fauria.

Bob Ryan pays homage to Chick Hearn, and by extension, other play by play guys…Jim Greenidge has a media notebook today with comings and goings at Channels 7 and 56. Jim Baker also has a look at the new WB56 weekend sports anchor, as well as details about the as yet unannounced Red Sox deal with Channels 4 and 38 for over the air broadcast games for next season.

Fox25 has Red Sox/Mariners at 10:00 tonight. The game is also on ESPN nationally. TBS has Braves/Giants at 7:30.

Afternoon notes….WEEI’s Big Show led

Afternoon notes….WEEI’s Big Show led off talking about Cafardo and Borges’ antics on “Sports Final” last night. Glen Ordway is back from vacation, joined by Felger and DeOssie. The three of them cannot believe the venom spouted by the Globe writers about the Patriots. You hear it on the air and it seeps into their columns as observed by Ordway. Basically it seems to boil down to the fact that Cafardo and Borges were wrong last year, and cannot bring themselves to admit it. What makes it more curious is Cafardo’s upcoming book on last years dream season. Dale and Neumy were also both in studio today, talk on their show focused much on baseball and a possible strike. At least twice on WEEI today, shots at Sean McDonough were made in reference to Jason Priestley’s car wreck yesterday. First Greg “I love Manny” Dickerson made a crack around 7:15 this morning, and then on the Big Show, Producer “Brett” also made a veiled McDonough reference by asking if Priestley left his wallet in the car. John Holt filled in for McDonough this afternoon on WWZN and was joined by Michael Smith, with Cafardo scheduled to join later.

In John Molori’s Media Blitz today, he unleashes some criticism towards the WBCN broadcast of Saturday’s Patriots game. Speaking of that game, in addition to Glanville’s ineptness, Don Criqui apparently lost track of the score, or forgot that the Giants made a two point conversion, as during the last few minutes he kept talking about the Patriots attempting to get into a position for a “game winning field goal by Adam Vinatieri.” Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback focuses on Mike Martz. A blurb at Gerry Callahan’s old stomping grounds, The Lowell Sun has a Red Sox official describing just promoted Spinners shortstop Hanley Ramirez “as a potential Alfonso Soriano .”

Firstly, from the weekend, Will

Firstly, from the weekend, Will McDonough makes his return, and decides he wants to get in on the massive Dan Duquette pile-on. McDonough may have been a bit rusty as he tries to relate a story that the Sox named “pitcher” Mark Fischer as their minor league player of the year over David Eckstein one year simply because Fischer was one of the draft choices they got as compensation for Roger Clemens. McDonough says in fact, that Fischer “did nothing in Lowell”. Only two problems with that allegation. Fischer was not a pitcher, he was an outfielder, and he in fact had a very good season at Lowell, He hit .330 in 48 games compared to Eckstein’s .301 in 68 games. It was only when he was promoted to AA that it was discovered that the Fischer couldn’t play. Why can’t the media get past Duke and Jimy? Yesterday, Tony Massarotti wrote glowingly about Jimy and the surging Astros. Gordon Edes used his Sunday Notes column as a platform to ridicule the contract given to Jose Offerman by Duquette, with a quote from the agent: ”I’ll find some fool who will give him $18 million.” he also went after Manny a little more criticizing him for a perceived lack of hustle on a double play ball the same game that Manny went first to third on the misplayed dribbler to second. Oh yeah, Dan Shaughnessy also devoted an entire column to Manny’s hair. As Dan correctly points out, perhaps he isn’t the one in the media to be making fun of someone else’s hair.

Onto today. Chris Snow says Urbina is heating up again. Bob Hohler’s notebook has Grady Little shuffling his rotation to make sure Pedro and Lowe are in line to face the Yankees in the remaining two series. Of course, the season may not last that long as Mike Shalin discusses strike possibilities. Johnny Damon is rooting for the Yankees. Yesterday, Edes reported on Rickey Henderson wanting to play one more year with the A’s next year. Today Michael Silverman has Rickey saying he’d like to play here next year.

Patriots…Michael Felger says the passing game was impressive Saturday night. Tom Curran also chooses to look at the positive. Nick Cafardo isn’t so impressed. If you saw Cafardo and Borges’ performance on Sports Final last night, (logged below) you’ll know why. Not sure what the agenda is with those two. They seem to act like the Patriots winning the Super Bowl was the worst thing to ever happen, and that this team is just poised to fall off the table. Cafardo said last week on WWZN that his job is to “look at the team with a critical eye”. Perhaps that’s the specific assignment given to him by his editor, but I thought a reporter was supposed to report the facts and tell us what is happening. It also seems “critical eye” means bring out all the negatives and pass off the positives. Kevin Mannix looks at Deion Branch’s performance. George Kimball has a totally sojourning article touching on all things Patriots. Bob Ryan looks at the transition into a new season and motivations facing the squad. An article from Sunday in the ProJo looks at the Personality types of successful quarterbacks and examines how Brady stacks up. Pretty interesting that many of the top QB’s in history have the same personality type. From yesterday in the Globe, Nick Cafardo is more than happy to allow Bryan Cox a forum to trash the Patriots front office.

Off day for the Sox as they head west. ESPN has Bucs/Dolphins preseason Football at 8:00.

Sports Sunday on Fox25 was

Sports Sunday on Fox25 was hosted by Butch Stearns (who said he was in a funky mood) led off with The Sporting News and Boston as sports city of the year. After the Red Sox highlights, the spotlight was focused on Tim Wakefield. Levan Reid discussed moving Wakefield back to the pen when Hermanson returns. Tim says he’ll do what the team needs and Grady treats him different from managers have in the past. Tiger Woods highlights followed. Butch asked if we could trade Manny for Tiger. (?)

Patriots rookie Deion Branch was looked at leading off the next segment, followed by a Boston College Football preview. Who will replace William Green, a look at the season past, a look at the early schedule were considered by Rob Nikoleski.

Much of the rest of the show was replayed clips from the afternoon’s special on The Sporting News honoring Boston. If you saw the original show after the Red Sox game today, perhaps you were as struck as I was by the fact that the very first thing that Stearns and Sean McDonough talked about was how this was *not* a scheme to promote 1510 The Zone. They said they had to answer critics who were making that accusation. Why mention it at all, let alone leading off the program which was supposed to be celebrating the year in Boston sports? Methinks thou dost protest too much….

The clips were interviews from Lawyer Milloy and Derek Lowe. Milloy talked about being a champion, and how much that means to be able to bring it home to the fans in Boston. It was interesting to note that Milloy talked about playing baseball in college and that he played against Nomar. Being at Fenway as a former baseball player might’ve meant more to him than to most of the other Patriot players. Milloy noted that this is a baseball town and if the Red Sox ever win it all…he might not leave his house. Lowe’s interview talked about the pressure of playing in Boston, he’s come to love it, he wouldn’t want to play anywhere else, every game is so meaningful. He talked about Boston having four great teams and going to the Celtics great comeback game against the Nets.

Last Blast…Butch said get ready for a strike. A date will likely be set tomorrow, and the date is likely August 16…next Friday. So next week at this time there could be no baseball.

NECN’s Sports Late night was hosted by Mike Adams, (or Bud Zipfel, the former Washington Senator) and the Red Sox highlights were followed by Red Sox personnel talking about how valuable Tim Wakefield is. Wakefield picked up his 100th career win today. The rest of the highlights from the Sports world made up most of the first half hour of the show.

WBZ’s Sports Final was hosted by Steve Burton. A Dan Roche interview with Pedro Martinez followed the highlights from the day. Pedro says the results show that he’s back to his old form. The results reflect his health. He is still curious to see how his health holds up, the season is not over, but he feels better than he did back in ’99. He is wiser, older now, can do more with less effort, saving “bullets” for the end. Seeing what Derek is doing is a lot of fun, he doesn’t have to do it all himself. He thinks this team is very capable, “right there”. The players are praying for no strike. He recalls being with Montreal in ’94 in first place, doesn’t want to go through that again, nor have the fans have to put up with that.

Dan Shaughnessy and Sean McAdam made up the first panel. Wakefield was the first topic. Asked if you forget about the Yankees, Dan says yes. You focus on the Angels and A’s and root for the Yankees when they play those teams. McAdam says the Sox need to be within three games when they play the Yankee to have any chance. A look at the upcoming schedule, McAdam says that if they can get through this stretch, September is much easier. Asked who you start in game one of the playoffs, Pedro or Lowe, Dan says Pedro. A little talk about maybe having Lowe go first then knowing you have Pedro in game two. McAdam says this talk is all likely moot because nothing will be clinched probably before the last weekend of the season. Wakefield won’t be left off any post season roster this year. Cy Young….both say Pedro.

Patriots up next, a look at last night’s game. Ron Borges, Michael Felger and Nick Cafardo. Felger started off saying that backstage Borges and Cafardo were already bashing Brady. Cafardo and Borges harped on all the negative stuff they could find. Patriots kicked four field goals, running game was non-existent. Felger said as much a these guys will be rooting against Brady, he’s going to be fine. Borges said sure, they should be taking down Joe Montana’s plaque to make room for Brady. Cafardo says it’s rediculous to say that he and Borges are against Brady. Borges says he hates to burst everyone’s bubble but, a Cowboys coach told him Brady wasn’t among the top QB’s. Whenever Felger would say someone did something good, Branch, etc, Borges said it’s just the first pre-season game, you can’t tell anything. Felger says Branch is a player. Cafardo then gushed over Bledsoe’s performance Friday night, said Tom Donahue was “beaming” over the game. Cafardo says they (the Bills) are going to have a successful season. Borges then attacked Belichick for Antowain Smith not coming into camp in shape. Felger asked who else WBZ can bring in to gang up on him.

Shaughnessy, Buckley and Ryan were the next group. Playoff pitching was the first topic. The first round is a five game series. You don’t have to worry about having a guy go games 1-4-7. But, as Ryan notes, this is a useless topic, you have to make it there first. Ryan says that Lowe is not a given for a playoff performance, he’s fallen out of the sky. He’s an unknown for the playoffs. Buckley seems to be angling to have Lowe as the game one starter. You can’t bring Pedro back on three days. Ryan is adamant that Lowe is not a given. Shaughnessy says move on…Asked if they’re going to make the playoffs, Ryan says “probably not”. Buckley isn’t confident that they’ll make the playoffs, but thinks if they get there, they could go to the series. Shaughnessy brought up the poor record in one-run games. Buckley says Offerman will have a game winning hit against the Sox this week when they play the Mariners. Ryan says no one on this team gets big hits, Nomar’s on base percentage is bad, he’s back to his worst rookie habits. Buckley likes the makeup of this team character wise. The players know their roles. They have a bench, and guys who don’t mind coming off the bench instead of whining about wanting to play everyday.

Mike Shalin was in next, (bumping Shaughnessy) talking about his book, about the top 100 players not in the Hall of Fame. Pete Rose’s name was raised immediately. Shalin clarified that only eligible players are discussed. Ryan called Rose a scumbag who prefers gambling over baseball. Some of the names Thurman Munson, Dick Allen, Don Mattingly, Luis Tiant. Shalin is a Hall of fame voter. He says that many of the players who aren’t in had troubles or incidents off the field. Ryan says he didn’t vote for Jim Rice for years, but changed his mind and now votes for him. Buckley talked about the myth of Boston writers not voting for Jim Rice. He said he did a poll of Boston writers and they all voted for Rice for the Hall. Buckley is amazed that Catfish Hunter is in the hall and Luis Tiant isn’t. Another comparison made was Ron Guidry versus Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Some writers will not vote for a guy for his first time in. Joe DiMaggio was not inducted in his first time. Jose Canseco was brought up, Buckley and Ryan both immediately said no…Shalin said he’s leaning towards yes. His reasons were that he was a good right fielder before his injuries and hit many home runs in parks not easy to hit a lot of homers in. This was the most entertaining and information segment of the program.

Catching snippets of WEEI’s morning

Catching snippets of WEEI’s morning show, Mike Adams and Bill Burt were on, Adams was his usual self. Burt was too…They had Don Criqui on to talk about tomorrow night’s Patriots Preseason opener, and Burt apparently didn’t realize that Criqui is one of CBS’s NFL broadcasters, and also put him on “Access Hollywood”, rather than “Inside Edition”. He also couldn’t hold up his end of a Nolan Ryan vs Roger Clemens debate. (He had Clemens) Burt stated that Ryan “chose” to play with the lowly Angels. (He was traded. In 1972– before free agency in baseball started)

Dale Arnold was joined by the “Touchdown Twins” Kevin Mannix and Ron Hobson. There was Red Sox talk, a listener called in to give Jose Offerman some love and that generated much response from other callers, who lined up to bash Offerman. Dale pointed out a gaffe by the Inside Track gals today. The segment in question: “Our Cape spies report that ex-Padre Billy Bean and ESPN baseball guru Peter Gammons were downing lobster rolls at The Chart Room in Cataumet the other day. Guess Gammons wants Bean’s take on the big “Arli$$” controversy. The former outfielder, who came out after he quit baseball in 1995, enraged gay fans with an appearance on the HBO sitcom advising a fictional player to stay in the closet to protect his career.” Dale pointed out that it was actually Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane that Gammons was lunching with, not the gay ex-ballplayer. Dale added that Beane brought his wife daughters with him on this trip east. There was also of course Patriots talk on the show, with the crew cautioning fans that the first couple games at the new stadium will likely see it’s share of messes and traffic snarls as people get used to the new layout.

Eddie Andelman was joined by Tony Massarotti on WWZN, Andelman’s son, David also spent a significant amount of time on the show, which was broadcast from The Place in Boston. As you might imagine, the show went long periods of time without sports talk as Eddie and David reminisced on all things Andelman. Rico Petrocelli spent some quality time on the program. As it is Friday, Eddie’s wiseguy buddies from Vegas also wasted time on the program.

Bill Simmons talks about life in a luxury box. Art Martone leaves a pre-vacation notebook. Our pal Bob Rossi, the Pittsburgh writer attempting to make a name for himself (and save his job) by bashing the Patriots and their fans, has some reader feedback from his Wednesday column.