A couple thoughts while waiting

A couple thoughts while waiting for the certain smug media figures rejoicing over a Patriots loss…

A couple months ago I had the gall to lump Greg Dickerson in with the Manny Ramirez bashers. He sent me an e-mail blasting me for saying that, and added that he in fact was one of Manny’s boosters. This morning Dickerson was filling in for Dale Arnold on the WEEI “NFL Sunday” program, and to lead into the segment with Peter King, Dickerson said “Let’s discuss the football version of Manny Ramirez . . . Randy Moss.” Nice comparison. How many times has Manny been arrested?

In case you didn’t hear also, Dickerson has resigned as the Celtics PA announcer. Bring Andy Jick out of mothballs…

Fox25’s “Sports Sunday” had Butch Stearns talking with Ron Hobson about the Patriots loss today. Hobson blames poor tackling for the loss. He says two games is a trend. Not having Troy Brown in there at the end was huge, they missed his presence. Brady was a mixed bag, very good, and very bad. Hobson is confident that Belichick will solve the problem of tackling and stopping the run. Ricky Williams will be looking to prove he’s good against the Pats next week.

Ryder cup highlights and Red Sox coverage from today as well as Manny’s batting title were up next. Manny wouldn’t talk to the media, Rob Nikoleski called it Manny being Manny. Pedro talked, and talked about not wanting to negotiate in-season and have it be a distraction. Alan Embree would like a three year contract. He likes the competitive arena here. Cliff Floyd would like to be back as well, if he gets two similar offers, he’s taking Boston. Rickey Henderson doesn’t sound like he’s coming back unless the Red Sox commit to playing him more. If that’s the case, he would “love” to come back here.

Revolution playoff highlights led off the next segment. (They lost tonight) Larry Moulter then came on to talk about the Celtics sale. The people involved with the sale wanted to keep it quiet, it’s a credit to their self-discipline that it was a secret. The deal wouldn’t have been done by the owners if it wasn’t solid for them. It’s good for tax purposes, and the new owners are smart guys. Again it’s emphasized that this is simply the team, no building, no TV network. Moulter doesn’t think Bird will be involved as he is in with Belkin and Carr for the Charlotte team. Moulter seemed to think that Bird would be wishing he could be with the Celtics. A clip of Bird and Magic together, with Magic first talking about a killer game Larry had against him and part of Larry’s presentation of Magic at the Hall of Fame induction Friday night followed.

A look back the the three year run of the Red Sox on Fox25 was the last segment. Many of Sean and Jerry’s outtakes and miscues as well as on-field highlights from the three years were packaged in the video tribute.

NECN’s Sports Late night had Chris Collins as host and Pete Sheppard as in-studio guest. Pete talked about it as an un-Patriot like game. He was surprised by some of the play calling today by Belichick and Weis. The 4th and short call was not a good call by the coaches even though it was a bad spot. They moved the ball well, 400 yards of offense, but couldn’t finish. Sheppard thinks we’ve been spoiled here and are bound to overreact to this loss. Collins talks about a trend and big problem with stopping the run. Pete thinks they can get Ricky Williams though. Calls were taken from viewers for the rest of the program.

WBZ’s “Sports Final” led off with Bob Lobel saying the Patriots losing wasn’t as troubling as how they lost. Highlights of the day from Steve Burton live in San Diego, included Lawyer Milloy talking about not worrying about 16-0 any more. Ron Borges and Michael Felger were there as well, Borges talked about the Patriots being stomped into the turf, and there’s no evidence that it can be fixed. Felger talked about the age of the defense, and they’re not getting any better, it’s got to concern you. Borges talked abotu asking “coach chuckles” about why Ted Johnson wasn’t in there today. Felger said Johnson didn’t get off the ball last week and wouldn’t have done anything today either. Borges called it ludicrous that Johnson wasn’t active today since he had 13 tackles last week, Felger mentioned Seymour, that people think he’s a superstar in the making, Borges says “Who says that?” As for Brady’s performance, he felt the pressure, today even though he wasn’t sacked. Borges lauded Bledsoe and that he’s Mr Clutch, and called out Felger for saying Bledsoe was washed up, and admitting to Borges that he was wrong about that. Felger tried to clarify and say that he meant Bledsoe is playing better now that he has a fire lit under him.

DeOssie and Zolak were up next, in studio with Lobel, and Zolak is twice as impressed with what Bledsoe has done with his team than what Brady has done with his team. Zolak is clearly pleased with his pal Bledsoe. The hint of a QB controversy was brought up by Lobel as the comparison between the two of them was discussed. Next week’s battle with Miami is now a huge game with one team going to be 3-2 afterward. Lobel wants to know what’s wrong with the defense, what has changed? DeOssie says it’s just one guy trying to make the tackles. (Bruschi) There’s no one on either side of him, and he can’t do it by himself. Zolak says the team is not hitting like they were previously. They’re not punishing teams. Lobel talked about Belichick “supposed to be a great motivator” and what is he going to do now? Dolphins and Bills highlights were shown. Lobel has now trotted out his patented “Why can’t we get players like that?” phrase three times during this show in regards to Bledsoe.

Red Sox were up next. 93 wins is deceiving as there are so many weak divisional opponents. Clips from John Henry, saying they need more pitching depth, Pedro saying he’s proud of what he was able to do. Damon talked about Manny as a character, and that the players respect that. Grady Little’s future was discussed by Derek Lowe. Payroll issues, Nomar said he tried to warn everyone before the labor agreement about how teams like the Sox might lose superstars, but everyone just thought the players were being greedy. Dan Shaughnessy and Dan Roche were in next. Pedro’s talk last weekend was the topic, Lobel talked about thing that make the fans mad like Pedro and Manny sitting out today. Sahughnessy said Ted must’ve been spinning in his cylinder about Manny not playing today. Lobel again said stuff like this really bugs fans. Shaughnessy said Pedro was backpedaling today from his statements last week. Roche discussed Nomar’s comments above. Lobel went through the individual stats ( 2 – 20 win pitchers, batting champion, 7 all stars) and how did this team not win? Shaughnessy says in his column tomorrow he’ll be talking about a black Lincoln Town Car that Joe Kerrigan never returned to the team. Rickey getting a car today was odd too they thought.

Celtics sale …Lobel said how nobody in the Boston sports media knew about this, even Will McDonough. Shaughnessy said it was better this way, rather than dragging it out like the Red Sox sale was. Gaston (and Harrington) cleaned out the town. They made money off the efforts of Red Auerbach, Larry Bird, Bob Cousy etc. Rick Pitino had it in his contract that if the team was sold while was coach he got 16 million dollars and wasn’t obligated to coach anymore. Harrington being inducted into the Red Sox hall of fame had them scratching their heads.

Billy Andrade was interviewed via phone about the US Ryder cup loss today. He thinks his game would be perfect for Ryder cup, he’s the ultimate team guy and thinks he would thrive in that format.

Larru Lucchino was in next and in looking back at the first season, Lucchino said it was a transition year, it’s the beginning. Next season they’ll have an entire year to work. First meeting about the 2003 season is tomorrow morning. Lobel wanted to go through his list that upset fans. Lucchino first thanked and saluted the fans. Lobel started by saying he’s happy with the new ownership, they deserved better than they got on the field. The little things: second game lineup in the doubleheader, Pedro’s comments and his “shutdown”. Manny not starting today. Lobel repeatedly used the word fans being driven “crazy”. Lucchino talked about minor things getting blown out of proportion, but some one the complaints are valid, he didn’t get a valid reason from Grady on the doubleheader, just that it was a long day and some guys needed their rest. There are plenty of issues that upset people, he’s gets many many e-mails. Lobel talked about how a new ballpark looks like it isn’t going to happen. But that isn’t such a bad thing, we just need to see what we can do with it. Lucchino said since the beginning their intention has been renovation, they wanted to take a season to observe the ecosystem of the park and see what can be improved. Couple things for next year. More seats behind home plate and up above the wall. He admits they’re at the high end of the ticket scale, and need to maintain some tickets at an affordable level. Retain seats for families, groups, etc. Payroll projections…it’s much too soon to say what it will be. They try in general to live within their means, but try to push the envelope whenever possible. About the General Manager position, they want someone in before the GM meetings in early November. They will be looking also at qualified minority candidates. Not going to just give it someone without a full search. Lobel talked about hearing Lucchino on Dennis and Callahan, how they ask tough questions and it adds to their and Lucchino’s credibility. Lobel went through the individual awards and the lack of success, Lucchino said the team was a few bricks short of a load, especially in pitching, they’re going to build the bullpen. They’re not going to lose all those 1-run ball games again. He’s very optimistic about next season. Lobel is sick of talking about Manny, but again mention him not playing today.

Harry Manion was in next to talk about the Paul Pierce trial. He characterized the trial thus far as a travesty. The police in this case based on strong, multiple eyewitness testimony arrested suspects. Now the eyewitnesses are recanting. Especially one young lady who completely changed her story. Even Pierce now says he can’t be 100% sure about the identification. The defendants will get off, and if they are convicted it will be overturned. Manion can’t understand why Pierce would change his story, he might be able to understand the other witnesses changing their stories, but doesn’t quite understand about Pierce, he must be afraid of something. It’s like the old mob trials of the 30’s and 40’s. People now say there’s nothing in it for me, and don’t feel compelled to tell the truth. The witnesses are obviously being intimidated. The judge has no power even it is later brought out that the witnesses were threatened. Where would this case had gone if Pierce had died? It would be a case of global proportions, right up there with OJ. Manion thinks Pierce made a calculation, he lived another day, and has decided to keep living and not making trouble. (Show ended 12:50 PM)

WHDH’s “Sports Xtra” with Gene Lavanchy had Gary Gillis reporting live from San Diego and narrating the highlights and player clips from the day. After Red Sox highlights, Kip Lewis talked with Tony Massarotti about the season and the future. Tony says the first order of business needs to be their own free agents. Floyd, Urbina and Embree, he doesn’t know if they can sign both of the first two. As for Mike Port, he doesn’t have the GM job locked up yet, they’re going to look at others out there. We should have the answer by the beginning of November. Grady’s future depends on the GM situation, but he didn’t do anything to lose this job.

Patriots talk with Fred Smerlas and Tim Fox was up next, failure to stop the run was again the major topic. Smerlas talked about the Patriots getting out-physicalled at the line, which hasn’t happened much. They’re creating lanes for the backs to run through, and they’re not tackling. There wasn’t room for a guy like Seymour to disengage from his guy to go make the tackle, they were right up close. Lavanchy brought up Phifer and Bruschi being back in today and it not making a difference. Fox noted they seemed to change their scheme today and it wasn’t successful. Fox said on offense, the Patriots need to balance more, they’re letting the defense dictate what they’re going to do. Smerlas noted that Weis often outguesses the defense but didn’t today. Fox said at the end, they almost seemed to run out of ideas and things to try. Smerlas talked about the passive approach today, cited not going for a 52 yard field goal and punting instead. Fox said you take two plays out of the game they can win. (long pass and long run) As far as Ricky Williams, they’re going to have to tighten up, play more team defense. Fox is more worried about next weeks game than he was about todays. Long flight back, another tough running back.

Jackie Macullan and Gerry Callahan were in next, MacMullan tried to be positive saying if she told you they’d be 3-1 after four games….Lavanchy cut her off with a groan and roll of his eyes, saying they should be 4-0. Callahan said they could easily be 3-2 after next week. He was disappointed by the lack of in-game adjustments by Belichick, Weis and Crennell. Sale of the Celtics…Jackie says Sherman Douglas was right years ago when Gaston said the team stinks and Sherm said he thought the owner stunk. Being local guys is a plus, Callahan thinks they could be in it more for the love of the game than just the money. He also thinks the public sale of stock those years ago was a huge scam taking advantage of the loyal Celtics fans. The money just went to Gaston’s pocket. His claim of being the guardian of that money for the shareholders was a ruse, a shell game. MacMullan talked about the disgraceful way Gaston left the team, not resigning Rodney Rogers, he should have kept him, signed Travis Best and paid the luxury tax for one year. Instead he’s stuck them. Callahan says good riddance to bad rubbage. Larry Bird’s name was brought up, sense is that he is more focused on the Charlotte team. MacMullan said she wouldn’t call it a pipe dream that he could come back here, but that the Charlotte team could be more financially attractive to him. To the Red Sox…Callahan says the 93 wins needs a big asterisk because of the weak teams in the division. A John Henry quote from the paper today where he said if they had 9 Manny Ramirez’s they’d go undefeated drew a chuckle from the three…”undefeated in what?” asked MacMullan, said Lavanchy: “Did he mean they’d have gone winless…” MacMullan said maybe undefeated in a bad music contest…

Did anyone in the Boston

Did anyone in the Boston Media see this coming? Check out the following exerpt from a newsletter Bill Simmons sent out on August 2nd:

“As for what happened this summer, it took me a few weeks to figure out the Baker trade (I wrote a column about it 2 weeks ago), but it finally makes sense: I think Paul Gaston is positioning himself to sell the team. Here’s the evidence:

They wouldn’t re-sign Rodney Rogers because of “luxury tax” concerns. But here’s the thing. Let’s say they re-signed Rogers for 4 years, $11 million. Seems fair. That would give them about a $16 million luxury tax hit this season (I’m guessing). Throw in Kenny Anderson’s contract (one year left at $9.3 million) and Vitaly Potapenko’s deal (3 years left at $17 million) and the total committment for the next four years with those four things – Rogers, the one-year tax hit, Kenny and Vitaly – comes to around $52 million.

Well guess what? Vin Baker makes $56.3 million over the next four seasons. So even if you’re taking a one-year hit, it’s still not as bad over four years as Baker’s contract.

Now consider these things:

–1. They weakened themselves at point guard next year (an understatement).

–2. They have no cap flexibility whatsoever for the next four years because of Baker, Pierce, Walker and Battie. Basically, this is their team, for better or worse, barring some bargain basement shopping (like Erick Strickland last year).

–3. If Baker bombs here the way he did in Seattle, he’s completely untradeable and the four crucial years of “Antoine and Pierce in their primes” will have been wasted. if this was a poker game, they pushed all their chips in the middle. Do you ever do that unless you have a can’t-miss hand? Of course not. And yet they did.

–4. After this season, the contracts of Pierce, Walker and Baker all jump by 12.5%. You think this team had trouble getting under the tax this season? What about next year? Why would Gaston care so much about
this year’s tax and seem totally oblivious to D-Day next season?

Plus…

–1. They just hiked ticket prices.
–2. They just signed a new deal with Fox Sports Net.
–3. They have what amounts to being a “fixed salary structure” for the next few years.

Is it starting to add up for you? Gaston is a smart guy… I don’t think he ever enjoyed owning the team all that much (he lives in Greenwich and attends 3-4 games a year), and he saw what happened when the Red Sox
went up for sale. If he ever wanted to sell the team, now’s the perfect time, especially now that the team is good again.

So here’s my prediction: Some time over the next few months, Gaston will put the team up for sale. Mark my words.”

Caught the press conference as

Caught the press conference as it was being broadcast on NECN from Healthpoint. Paul Gaston opened by saying his mood today was like the weather outside, and his feelings were very ambivalent. He said the Celtics are like one of the children, very dear to him, but it was time to move on. Wycliffe Grousbeck was the first of the new owners to speak, he talked about it being a tremendous honor to be there, and as he talked about the history of the Celtics, the players and coaches that won so many championships, he gazed upward at the many banners hanging overhead. He said their goal is to raise more of them. Grousbeck said during this process he wasn’t sure if they were going to be able to keep it all a secret, but they managed to do so pretty well. As far as the roles, he will be the front man, will be involved in the day to day operations, the other two partners at this time, his father, H. Irving Grousbeck and Stephen Pagliuca will sit on the board and be more behind the scenes. They are looking at adding additional investors and partners, and have many offers already lined up for these spots.

Stephen Pagliuca spoke next, talked about always loving basketball and the Boston Celtics, he lauded the “fantastic management team” that they have in place, from the GM down to the coach, and that they hope to be like the Krafts and bring championships to Boston. They clarified that the price was $360 Million for 100% of the team, not just Gaston’s 48.3%. The public shareholders will be being bought out, and Gaston said they will benefit from the sale. The new owners clearly appear giddy at times, Pagliuca mentioned that he only told his wife this morning about them buying the team. While they were speaking, NECN showed Jim O’Brien, Lester Connor, Chris Wallace and Leo Papile watching from above on one of the balconies and Pagliuca made sure to compliment them again, say what a great job they’ve done, emphasized that there is no need in this transaction to be making changes, they will keep continuity here.

Some breaking news this afternoon,

Some breaking news this afternoon, the Boston Celtics are being sold.

From the breaking news section on Boston.com:

“Celtics owner Paul Gaston is selling his 48.3 percent stake of the team for $360 million to a partnership that includes venture capitalists Wycliffe K. Grousbeck of Highland Capital Partners and Stephen Pagliuca , a managing director of Bain Capital. The deal is subject to NBA approval. A 3 p.m. press conference is planned.”

It appears WEEI was first on this story, with Dale Arnold breaking the news sometime around 1:30. WWZN followed up a few moments later. As WWZN is the official radio home of the Celtics, you would think they would have it first. Arnold was first to get the details from Boston.com which you see above. He also has Steve Bulpett on the line almost immediately who was watching the Ryder cup and now has to go to work. From the websites linked above, both the guys mentioned appear to be fairly young guys. Eddie Andelman brought in Steve Burton who said channel 4 will be covering the press conference, and WWZN was attempting to get Jackie MacMullan on the line as well.

This whole process sure seemed to slip below the radar of anyone.

There is also now a more complete story on Boston.com, which includes this information: “Wyc Grousbeck apparently has wanted to own a Boston sports team for awhile. In March, Globe business columnist Steve Bailey reported that former Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette tried to stay with the team by telling the new owners that he could bring big money to the deal.

According to Bailey

Bob Ryan leads off expressing

Bob Ryan leads off expressing his frustration with Tiger Woods. This as you can imagine quickly became a hot topic on the golf-crazed Dennis and Callahan program. They criticized Ryan and other media figures who seem to look for something wrong in Tiger, and focus on his “spotty” record in Wild Card play. Always looking for a negative. I thought that was rather ironic. Karen Guregian’s article was also discussed, in which she looks at the British media trying to find something to nail Tiger with. Jim Baker focuses on the coverage of the Ryder Cup. Bill Griffith does the same with additional notes on ESPN HD and a Mike Lynch schedule change and contract extension.

The tights ends seem to be a common theme throughout the Patriots articles in the papers today. It is the sole subject of a Michael Smith article in the Globe this morning. It’s also mentioned in most of the various notebooks. Michael Felger and Alan Greenberg look at the receivers as a group. Paul Kenyon has the Patriots impressed with the Chargers defense. Rich Thompson writes about a reunion of ex-Buffalo Bills and good friends on Sunday, in Antowain Smith and Marcellus Wiley. Smith’s Globe notebook gives us an injury update. Roman Phifer hopes to visit his son after the game Sunday in Felger’s notebook. Ian Clark says the running game is ready to go.Leigh Montville makes his weekly picks and says copycat head coaches around the league are telling their offensive coordinators to get their stomachs stapled. I’m glad he mocked that “copycat” stuff…if I hear one more time that the NFL is a copycat league….

Lenny Megliola wraps up the Red Sox season. Bob Hohler has a piece on Shea Hillenbrand, who says Joe Kerrigan never liked him. Jeff Horrigan reports on Josh Hancock’s first MLB start yesterday. Another Projo no byline article (Is it McAdam?) also features Hancock. Horrigan’s notebook has Little talking rest for Hillenbrand and Damon, Ramirez’s batting title quest and the possible end of the line in Chicago for Frank Thomas. Hohler’s notebook has the news that the Sox might be close to a deal with Alan Embree and a mea culpa from Hohler about a mistake in an article from yesterday.

Goalies are the rage today. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at Andrew Raycroft, while Steve Conroy profiles John Grahame.

Up for a little soccer talk? Frank Dell’apa looks at last night’s 2-0 Revolution playoff victory. Gus Martins has the Herald’s version. George Kimball tries valiantly to make a comparison between last year’s Patriots and this year’s Revolution.

Fox25 has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN2 has Astros/Giants at 10:30. ESPN Classic has the NBA Hall of Fame inductions at 7:00. Catch Larry Bird presenting Magic.

For some reason, Dan Shaughnessy’s

For some reason, Dan Shaughnessy’s column on Pedro today doesn’t offend me nearly as much as Buckley’s yesterday did. I’m not sure why. It contains the obligatory veiled “curse” references, but Dan *almost* seems human in this piece, he tells us what he would do, there’s alot of “I think” references in there. He doesn’t engage in too much hyperbole, just kinda lays it out there, and tells us what he would do and what he thinks about the situation. I think Dan might even be sincere when he says he hopes Pedro stays here forever.

Gordon Edes has a nice piece with former Indians Manager Charlie Manuel. (Who, if Grady Little returns, will likely be here as a coach next year) The major topic of the article is Manny. Some nice insight into Manny’s character and drive here. The Projo (no byline given) lists out the 10 most damaging defeats of the season for the Sox. Jeff Horrigan, Bob Hohler and David Heuschkel file games stories. Hohler’s notebook looks in on Derek Lowe while Horrigan gives us word from Josh Hancock and several other items. Tony Massarotti says shame on you if you thought there was any chance for a miracle finish with this team. Ray Duckler wants NH guy Bob Tewksbury as the Sox pitching coach next year.

Nick Cafardo looks at all the injuries facing the Patriots this week, though at the moment only Andruzzi appears to be in jeopardy of missing the game Sunday. Michael Felger floats the idea that perhaps age is catching up with the defense. Alan Greenberg also frets over the untimely injuries. Hector Longo gets a little critical of the coaching staff. Tom Curran looks at Drew Brees. Mike Reiss says the Patriots need another linebacker, but it may not be easy to find one. Michael Smith’s notebook has Belichick picking Matt Light’s brain for tips on Drew Brees, while Felger gives us what he knows about the injuries in his notebook. Michael Gee chooses to whine about NFL injury reports today. Mark Farinella gives his winter wonderings, listing things he hates…

Michael Muldoon says Chris Wallace has no worries about the Point Guard position on the Celtics. Peter Gelzinis writes about intimidation at the Paul Pierce stabbing trial, while Laurel Sweet reports from the courtroom. Kathleen Burge reports that overzealous cleanup by nightclub employees has hindered the case.

ESPN is going into the HDTV market with its announcement that it plans to provide a high-definition simulcast service of its premier network ESPN to be launched in April of 2003. ESPN HD will include in its first year 100 live telecasts

Rats…I get slammed (indirectly) on

Rats…I get slammed (indirectly) on WEEI’s Big Show and didn’t even get to hear it. Something about “quasi-journalists who write on the internet, make no money and live in their mother’s basement.” Says that they just don’t understand the business and how the producers book the guests. That they should probably call Brett or Andy to learn about the business and how they book…

Hmmm. First of all, it seems that he may have heard about my comments about Buckley through the grapevine or misunderstood them because it came across as if I had criticized Buckley for regurgitating his column on ‘EEI while really it was the opposite. Buckley took what had been talked about all day on the station, and took five minutes, wrote a column out of it and submitted it to his editor. This is the same guy who can criticize Manny for not running hard, or Pedro for shutting down early? If Buckley had written a controversial column of his own accord and it became a hot topic for conversation on the airwaves, that’s one thing. For him last week to write an article that had already been done, (Yes, I know there’s no copyright on ideas) go over the top with it, and then have it published the same day he had already been booked in advance on WEEI is another thing all together. So here’s what Buckley has done in the last week:

1) Took the article by Tomase, put his own spin on it, and then waited a few days to have it appear in the paper the same day he’s booked on WEEI.

2) Taken the hot topic of yesterday on WEEI (of which he was a participant) and then written a lame column about it today.

Mike Fine imitates the trick that Dan Shaughnessy used recently, the disclaimer that he won’t be giving his best effort today. It wasn’t funny when Shaughnessy did it, either. Joe Fitzgerald weighs in on the Paul Pierce trial and the safety of athletes and public figures. Eric McHugh looks at Ken Walter’s sneak attempt and Ted Johnson. Rob Bradford makes the Drew Bledsoe/Roger Clemens comparison.

I feel like Bill Parcells.

I feel like Bill Parcells. Reading Buckley’s newest “effort” makes me feel like throwing up in my mouth…today’s piece was produced using another media whore method. This time instead of swiping his idea from a smaller paper, he takes the topic from yesterday’s sports radio discussions and writes a column out of it. Talk about shutting it down…I’m beginning to wonder if Buckley has an original thought in him. Borges must be either real pleased with Buck, for taking the heat off him, or ticked off because he’s taking the spotlight away. I can’t figure out which. Can the Herald sports editor be truly pleased with this submission? I debated not mentioning this column at all today, because by leading off with it, aren’t I just being an “enabler”? Giving him publicity about his column–however dreadful it is? Who was it that said “There’s no such thing as bad publicity?” I decided in the end, that I’m here to cover to media, and like it or not, stuff like this has to be mentioned. I’m not all that mad about the content of the column, though I don’t agree, I can at least understand those who are ticked off at Pedro for passing up his last start if the Sox are eliminated, it’s the fact that Buckley wrote this column after saying all these same things for 4 hours yesterday on the Big Show that has me irate. He ends the column with “please, no more talk about how it was understood he’d make his next start if the Sox were still in it. If that’s the case, what was with the flowers, champagne and personal notes left at Pedro’s locker after his last start?” (He said this exact same thing on WEEI yesterday…verbatim) There had been much talk before that start about if Pedro won his 20th game that really the season would be a resounding success for Martinez, it was a symbolic milestone of how far he’s come back from last year. It was a big deal to Pedro, and to his teammates, clearly. The gifts were in congratulations of meeting crossing that magical 20 win line. Somehow Buck doesn’t get it.

David Heuschkel starts off with Pedro wondering, What’s all the hubbub, bub? Bob Hohler looks at how the offseason could shape up. Gordon Edes chats with Grady Little. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Sox Wild hopes still being alive, and fills his notebook with a Little milestone and other sundry items. Sean McAdam combines a game story with a notebook. Tony Massarotti looks at Derek Lowe’s chances for the Cy. In contrast to Pedro, Lowe wants to make two more starts to increase his chances for the award.

Nick Cafardo looks ahead to the Chargers, and includes a tale of a college matchup between undefeated teams led by Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Michael Felger looks at just how far Tom Brady has transcended expectations. Felger’s notebook has an injury update and an honor for Larry Izzo. Jim Donaldson takes a look around the NFL and decides the Vikings should be contracted. Cafardo’s notebook has word of Ty Law’s contract being restructured.

Looks like NESN and the Globe will be joined at the hip even more very soon. A blurb on NESN’s website says: “NESN.com is about to get a new home. Starting October 2, Boston.com and NESN will combine their resources to help create New England’s premier sports site. We’re excited about working together, and hope that you will continue to visit us at our new online home, boston.com/sports.”

NESN has Red Sox/White Sox at 8:00. ESPN & ESPN2 have baseball doubleheaders at 7:00 & 10:00.

Two weeks ago it was

Two weeks ago it was Manny, last week it was Nomar, this week Pedro is in the crosshairs. It gets real old, real quick. Why they think this makes good radio totally blows my mind. It’s been almost all Pedro “shutdown” talk all day on WEEI. The Touchdown Twins were on with “The View” (Dale and Neumy…Ordway has dubbed them that) and while everyone on that program and at the beginning of the Big Show (Felger, Buckley) is careful to say they like Pedro, they want him to finish his career here, that he’s a great pitcher, they don’t want to run him out of town, but then they all proceed to slam him. After some football Tuesday talk with a pretty entertaining Matt Light, the talk on WWZN also turned to Pedro. Tony Massarotti was a voice of reason taking on Eddie. He noted that the same people who are all indignant over this would castigate the team if Pedro were to get injured and mess up next season. He took Eddie on vociferously, for perhaps the first time, even saying if Eddie did what he’s pontificating about …putting Pedro out there when you’re on the hook for big bucks next year and risking an injury…that Eddie would be a bad businessman…which is hitting Eddie hard. Glen Ordway tried to make the ludicrous analogy of saying Pedro’s actions are like Tom Brady shutting it down with four games left and the Patriots trailing the Dolphins by one game. He quickly realized the absurdity of that comment and retracted it. Kevin Paul Dupont and Mike Giardi joined Sean McDonough for the McDonough group. Sean introduced the Pedro topic almost right off the bat. Kevin Paul Dupont made an excellent point that Pedro’s shutdown was pretty much validated by his manager, Grady pretty much threw up the white flag with that lineup in the second game of the doubleheader last week. He adds that that lineup, along with Little’s non-action against Manny are fire-able offenses. Giardi feels that as much as he wants to see Pedro finish his career in Boston, that it isn’t going to work out that way.

Bill Simmons writes a Red Sox eulogy, and also addresses the media madness in Boston. Some strong stuff in there. Since Simmons has cartons more juice than I’ve got in this town, it’ll be interesting to see what the ramifications of his knocking Buckley are. Mike Fine looks at the Cy Young race.

First of all, a million

First of all, a million apologies for the unannounced outage this morning. It was a surprise to me, too. Why a hosting company would choose the morning to run maintenance is beyond me…

Gerry Callahan says the Pats got the best receiver to ever come out of Marshall. Interesting story that Brown’s last play at Marshall was in the 1992 Division 1-AA National Championship, and the coaches put him in at corner and he came up with an interception. Karen Guregian criticizes Tiger Woods for snubbing the Ryder Cup in some comments in favor of paying events. Michael Gee hates dull endings to games. I hate dull columns. Bill Reynolds offers three mini-columns. The Patriots, Pedro and Troy Brown are the topics. Lenny Megliola weighs in on Pedro. Ron Borges observes the 50th anniversary of Rocky Marciano becoming Heavy Champion of the World.

Kevin Mannix gives some failing grades to the coaching and special teams in his report card. Jackie MacMullan says that the Chargers offense better look out Sunday. Tom Curran emphasizes the need for balance. Alan Greenberg notes the need for consistency on defense. Michael Smith examines the wake-up call. Mark Murphy has Bill Belichick looking to improve the running game, while Rich Thompson notes that the pass protection needs to be better as well. The notebooks for the Globe, Herald and Projo , all contain some of the same and some unique information.

Is tonight the night the Red Sox are officially eliminated from the playoffs? With Appier pitching for Anaheim against Texas, it could very well be. Jeff Horrigan invokes Edgar Allan Poe in describing the Sox faint heartbeat. Bob Hohler says the Sox need some new arms for next year. Michael Silverman and Sean McAdam look at the hunt for a new General Manager. McAdam also predicts some changes on the coaching staff if Grady Little is retained. Silverman reports that Rey Sanchez wants to stay in Boston. (and Baerga too) In Horrigan’s notebook, Little repeats the essence of what Pedro said last week (and what everyone seems to forget) that if the Sox are still alive when Martinez’s turn comes up he’s going to pitch. “If Anaheim (continues to lose) and we’re still in it, of course I’ll pitch,” said Martinez (20-4). “I didn’t think that needed to be said. I’ll even pitch a few days early if needed. If they want me to go on two or three days (rest), I’ll gladly do that.” David Heuschkel looks at the Sox last and Grady’s fate.

Bill Griffith has details of ESPN’s new network. (No it isn’t ESPN7 produced by Bill Simmons) Jim Baker rates CBS’s coverage of the Patriots game Sunday, and gives Bob Lobel a little grief. I have to admit though, that he’s right, I get sick of Bob curtly telling us each time they can’t show a doubleheader that it’s because of the system…and the “Adam and Leave” thing did get old after about the second time he said it…John Molori has Sean McDonough pleading to keep his Red Sox gig, (Does John get to be on the McDonough Group now?) and information on the “Road to Ireland” a thoroughly worthy event being held next Monday night at The Rack.

NESN has Red Sox/White Sox at 8:00. TBS has Braves/Phillies at 7:00. ESPN Classic has a Rocky Marciano Night at the fights at 9:00