Ready for the Theo articles?

Ready for the Theo articles? To shamelessly steal a phrase, I’m thoroughly enjoying the Theo Epstein era. I’m glad the Sox made this move. Yes, it’s a risk, but I don’t think it’s a huge gamble. I was reading somewhere yesterday that Theo could be the GM of the Sox for the next 30 years. He’d still just be 58 then. Imagine that. 2032 Theo Epstein retires after seven World Series championships. He recalls when the late Dan Shaughnessy ripped him for trading Nomar Garciaparra prior to the 2004 season. Little did Shaughnessy know that the Red Sox would receive two future hall of fame players in the deal. Epstein also recalled his long running feud with Herald writer Tony Massarotti who until the day he retired from the Herald five years ago, insisted that Theo channeled the spirit of Larry Lucchino before he made any moves.

*snap* Back to reality. To be fair, Dan Shaughnessy seems actually willing to give the kid a chance. Everyone please remember this article for the future. Tony Massarotti writes that there are a lot of hard decisions to made and though acknowledging that Theo said the right things yesterday, from the tone of the article, Tony Mazz is going to be watching everything very closely. Gordon Edes gives us a thorough background on Theo, his family, his upbringing, how he got to this point. Makes for a good read. Steve Buckley likes the kid, even gives him some advice on a pickup line he can use. Bill Reynolds says that this is a leap of faith, for sure. Gerry Callahan outlines how Epstein might be an ever better choice than Billy Beane. He’ll be more dedicated, less distracted, and cost the Red Sox a whole lot less to put in place. Brian McGrory steps over from the City & Regions side of the Globe to mock the appointment. Sean McAdam weighs in and produces an article that reads just like he sounds. Jeff Jacobs weaves in Casablanca references and generally provides a fairly entertaining column, while cautioning Theo that this region eats its young. Bob Hohler writes that John Henry was convinced about giving Theo the job when he considered “that it’s the young turks in baseball who at this point may be making the largest contributions in the game.” Jeff Horrigan gets Billy Beane’s reaction to the hiring, and has John Henry sounding like Anne of Green Gables talking about “kindred spirits”. I don’t know what’s more embarrassing, Henry using that line, or me making that connection. David Heuschkel’s headline to his story says “Short Leash For Young Pup”. The story is not really like that however. It just talks about the circle that will be around to advise him and that the big decisions will be run by Lucchino and Henry, etc. This would be the case if Billy Beane were here too. Michael Silverman provides background on Epstein as well, and says heck, he could be commissioner by age 40. Lenny Megliola sounds a little skeptical. Boston.com compares Theo with the oldest GM in the game. Ken Fratus sizes up all the Red Sox GM’s through the years. Horigan has a notebook with word on Port and Thomas, as well as possible player and coaching moves. Mike Sullivan updates us on erstwhile candidates Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan. Dennis and Callahan spent some time on WEEI this morning begging for an anti-Theo call.

Theo could pay other dividends as well. Over the past week, I’ve gotten a huge chunk of traffic from searches on Yahoo and Google, people, (Women mostly, I’m making the huge leap to assume) searching under terms like “Theo Epstein married”, “Theo Epstein bachelor”, “Theo Epstein girlfriend” and “Theo Epstein bio”. The Red Sox could capitalize on Theo and his Tom Brady-like chin, cashing in with females who had never been interested in a team General Manager before. Imagine the woman that lands him, bringing him home to meet the parents. “So what do you do for a living, son?”

Jackie MacMullan looks at Tom Brady, the pressure he is under, and the unfair criticism he receives for all his early success. Kevin Mannix provides a report card with a whole lot of “C’s”. Paul Kenyon writes that the Patriots are glad to be playing on Thanksgiving, but wary of the Lions. Alan Greenberg chronicles the quick turnaround this week, and recalls Brady getting his first NFL snaps in Detroit on Thanksgiving a couple years ago. Mark Murphy looks at tough guy Joe Andruzzi. Nick Cafardo acknowledges the job Ty Law has done this season shutting down top receivers. Karen Guregian looks at the mess that is the Detroit Lions. Steve DeOssie (nice picture…gotta check it out. Wonder how soon this one appears on the WEEI website) writes about the Patriots for the Boston Metro. The notebooks all look at the return of Pat Patriot. The Globe, the Herald and the Projo.

Peter May looks at Antoine Walker’s frustration at not being considered for the Olympic team. Steve Bulpett looks at the bolstered point guard situation for the Celtics. May’s notebook deals with the prospective new owners missing their first deadline…not to worry though. Yet. He also compares the numbers this season of Vin Baker and Mark Blount. Bulpett’s notebook looks at some sickness going around the team and mentions that Tony Battie has a swollen knee.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the Bruins pushing all the right buttons and making all the right moves. Joe Gordon says the team is just going with the flow. Gordon’s notebook features Mike O’Connell shooting down trade rumors.

Bill Griffith previews tonight’s HBO’s “Real Sports” and looks ahead to Thanksgiving NFL coverage, including a planned segment on Charlie Weiss. Bruce Mohl looks at the impact NESN is having on increasing cable TV rates in New England. Jim Baker pans HBO’s boxing coverage and gives some opinion on the Patriots coverage from the weekend. John Molori praises Sean McAdam and Chris Collinsworth.

NESN has Bruins/Flames at 7:00. FSNE has BU/Harvard College Hockey at 7:00. ESPN continues coverage of the Maui Invitational, with semifinal games at 7:00 and 9:30. HBO has “Real Sports with Bryant Gumble” tonight at 10:00.

I wonder if the Patriots

I wonder if the Patriots are chagrined at all that their “Patriots Monday” programming has been usurped most of the midday hours today. Patriots.com streams all of WEEI’s programming on Mondays, so you can hear all the Epstein talk no matter where you are. They carried the full press conference (about a half hour) and also had a one on one with Epstein and Bob Nuemeier, who was at Fenway rather than Gillete Stadium where Dale Arnold was. Peter Gammons and Larry Lucchino were also guests of the program. For complete audio of the press conference you can go to RedSox.com. For video, NECN.com has a good amount of the event on its website. For more on the WEEI programming, I’ve spun off a page of transcripts compiled by “Big Dog”. WEEI also got Mike Port on the air, who was gracious, didn’t give away whether he’ll be staying with the team, but did say he would need a real role, with significant duties to entice him to stay. He wouldn’t stay on if he wasn’t going to be used and challenged. Christian Fauria and Troy Brown were the Patriot guests.

Eddie Andelman on WWZN continued his recent theme of ripping the Red Sox owners, today, it’s of course for picking Theo Epstein. He claims that no other GM will want to deal with him because if he ever gets the better of the deal they will feel they were shown up by a kid. He also managed to rip WEEI in the discussion claiming that if he had business deals with the Sox he might kiss up to John Henry too, but he has no agenda and he will be watching him closely. Right. Eddie…objective?

More Patriots links: Eric McHugh really liked Victor Green’s lick on Randy Moss yesterday. Michael Parente also liked the hit, feeling it set an early tone. Ron Hobson says nothing comes easy for this team. Dan Pires writes that the Pats weren’t going to get burned by the no-huddle for the second week in a row. David Pevear says there isn’t time to analyze this game, they need to move right on to the next one. Pevear also wonder’s what’s next for Brady. Mike Lowe had more on the Jekyll-and-Hyde Patriots. Steve Solloway asks the real Patriots team to stand up. Tim Weisberg says this team is struggling to find its identity while maintaining a sense of urgency. Garry Brown says that a repeat in history is needed. Tom King says the three quick strikes were enough….barely. Parente has a notebook with a big focus on Christian Fauria. McHugh’s notebook has a look at the next few days of preparation.

Yesterday, Rob Bradford had an interesting scoop about Chris Wallace trying to sign up Randy Moss for the Celtics summer league team in 2000 and 2001.

As with any home game,

As with any home game, a plethora of articles this morning. Michael Felger says the Patriots can beat the bad teams — barely. Tom Curran says that yesterday was a microcosm of the entire season. Nick Cafardo found a lot of interesting sideshows to an otherwise ugly win. Kevin Mannix picks up where he left off last night on Fox25, talking about the lack of a killer instinct. Ron Borges notes that all the mistakes and lack of focus yesterday “can be ignored if you do what the Patriots’ defense did yesterday – make late adjustments.” Jackie MacMullan though, says that truly good teams “do not exhibit a second of weakness or allow your (their) single-minded mentality to waver.” Jim Donaldson says that this team just can’t do things the easy way. Steve Buckley says that this was a must-win and that they got the job done. He shares a bit of Bill Belichick humor from his press conference yesterday: “Belichick said he planned to have a walk-through for the Lions game last night. He was, of course, kidding. But nobody – not one person in the room – laughed. Belichick actually had to say to one reporter, “I’m kidding.” Michael Gee had a line that was the butt of many Dennis and Callahan jokes and snide references: “(Let that be a lesson to you carpers. There’s no law that says short passes can’t be long gains. Why must we always look at what stars can’t do? The clods who complain that Brady can’t go deep are like the ones who complain about Manny Ramirez’ baserunning. In fact, they’re probably the same clods.)” Hmmm. Maybe Gee is alright after all. Karen Guregian gets the Chris Hovan and Randy Moss quotes that are also hot topics. Also on D&C, John Dennis says that the team will struggle to finish 8-8. Callahan spent much of the time deriding Antowain Smith. Nick Cafardo came on the Mike Adams show on WWZN and went right into the route that Felger talked about last night on Sports Final…started talking about how they were on a roll this time last year, that things were wonderful and that this just doesn’t feel the same, doesn’t feel good. He then went on to predict that the Lions will win on Thursday 21-14. About last year, anyone remember the second Buffalo game? How about the Browns game? Did either of those leave you feeling like that team was on its way to beating the Rams in the Super Bowl? I am not saying the Patriots are going to win it again. But I agree with Felger that it is too early to tell one way or the other.

As for the second level articles, Christian Fauria is the focus of several articles. Carolyn Thornton says that he is usually in the right place at the right time. Mark Murphy also notes that Fauria can find his way around the red zone pretty well. Joe Burris paints him as a happy guy. Alan Greenberg also profiles the seventh year tight end. Kevin Paul Dupont has a lot of “F” words in the headline to his article to describe the day that Roman Phifer had. Kevin McNamara looks at the job that the defense did. Is the bend but don’t break style back? Michael Smith notes that there always seem to be “buts” attached to Patriot wins. Smith also compiles a best and worst list with some fast facts thrown in. Murphy also writes that for the defense, chasing Dante Culpepper was like trying to catch a jackrabbit. With the boxing match Saturday night clearly fresh in his mind, Mike Reiss makes a lot of boxing analogies. Ian Clark says the defense got mean when they needed to. Dan Ventura looks at the job the secondary did on Randy Moss. Dupont also takes a look at Randy Moss‘ performance. Carolyn Thornton also has an article on Tom Brady’s accurate passing day. Rich Thompson looks at Kenyatta Jones working his way back into significant playing time. Cafardo’s notebook looks at preparation for the Lions and lines at the restrooms. Felger’s notebook focuses on a strolling Moss, and blitz adjustments. Curran’s notebook looks at offensive line adjustments. Christopher Price’s notebook in the Metro also looks at the quick turnaround. Bill Griffith looks at the Fox coverage of the game, and like me, was annoyed with the constant trumpeting of the upcoming Tampa Bay/Green Bay game.

The honeymoon is clearly over, as Tony Massarotti tees off on Larry Lucchino on the Theo Epstein hiring. At one point he says: “As for Lucchino – or is it Pitino?” He also says that Lucchino “clearly knows so extraordinarily little about” about the Red Sox as an institution in Boston. I guess if Lucchino knew as much Massarotti, that media favorite Mike Port would be the GM. Paul Doyle looks at the search process and gives some more background on Epstein. Gordon Edes is all facts today too. No opinion on the choice. Michael Silverman also has a neutral look at the hiring and at the job ahead of Epstein.

Just a couple of Celtics articles, Peter May has the team resting up after back to back wins against Atlanta. Steve Bulpett looks at the Celtics renewed effort on “D”.

Plenty of College basketball on the tube tonight as ESPN2 has UMass/Indiana at 5:00 and Davidson/Duke at 7:00. ESPN has Kentucky/Arizona State at 9:00. ABC has Eagles/49ers on Monday Night Football at 9:00. NESN also has a college basketball game with Ohio State/Coppin State at 8:00.