Baseball Prospectus has an article asking Is Pedro worth the money? The article brings up a point I hadn’t seen mentioned before. If the Sox didn’t pick up the option, they were still obligated to buy out the final year for 2.5 Million. So picking up the option really “only” cost them $15 Million, rather than the 17.5 figure. (Thanks to The Auditioner for pointing this out.)
Looks like we gotta give the new guy in town, Holden Kushner of the 1510 Morning Press Box his props. ESPN is reporting that Kansas will announce the firing of AD Al Bohl at a 4:30 press conference this afternoon. If (looks more like When) Roy Williams then announces he’s staying at Kansas, (WEEI’s Pete Sheppard is still reporting that UNC will be offering their job to Williams) Kushner will have scored a pretty major coup his first week on the job.
Bill Simmons gets up close and personal with Mike Tyson. A fascinating look.
Check out the Bill James interview on David Pinto’s Baseball Musings website. He touches on how the game has changed, Todd Walker and working for the Red Sox, but nothing on CBC. Garry Brown looks at the Sox new PA guy, Carl Beane. On 1510 this morning, Beane did a pretty fair Sherm sound-alike. Rob Neyer weighs in on the Sox picking up the Pedro option.
Mike Loftus says the difference in the Bruins/Devils series could be Pat Burns.
Mike Fine looks at the replacement of JR Bremer in the starting lineup, witnesses Yankee fan Eric Williams wearing a Red Sox cap, and doesn’t mention that he (Fine) was the one who asked the question that sent Paul Pierce out of the building. Jim Fenton looks at a proud Robert Parish, heading to the Hall of Fame.
More poor pitching does in the Sox. Derek Lowe struggles once again, the bullpen gives up a few more, not an encouraging performance all around. In fact, Gordon Edes says that Lowe is “reviving memories of the insecure kid who lost his confidence in 2001″. Howard Bryant puts the onus on the offense, and the missed opportunities. Edes’ article touches on it, but Sean McAdam goes into more detail about Lowe pining away for the cancer stricken Tony Cloninger, thinking that he might be able to help his straighten out his pitching issues. Michael Silverman informs us that baseball rules forbid a trainer to pop a blister for a pitcher on the mound. David Heuschkel notes that Lowe has always struggled at Skydome. Pedro is still in the news, after the Big Show on WEEI spent the whole afternoon talking about how stupid the Red Sox were to pick up the option, there are several articles today on the topic. Gordon Edes says there will be no hometown discount for the Red Sox in contract negotiations with Pedro. Silverman’s notebook says ” The idea of a hometown discount was not totally rejected by Martinez.” Heuschkel’s notebook says Pedro is a special case and should be treated as such, teammates such as Johnny Damon agree. McAdam’s notebook looks further at the Pedro contract situation. Howard Bryant’s premium column notes that the Sox goodwill with Pedro has seemingly already expired, after listening to Pedro yesterday, Bryant notes:
Martinez does not sound like someone who understands that concession and compromise are necessary on both sides of any deal, but, rather, a pitcher who knows exactly what he wants and knows the on-ramp to the Mass Pike if he doesn't get it. He also didn't sound like someone who understood that the Red Sox were not obligated to give him a penny before the end of the season or that the gesture deserves recognition when the two sides begin hard discussions.
Lenny Megliola says that the pressure pendulum has swung from the owners to Pedro, and that “a sour beantown ending would be a shame”. Edes’ notebook looks at former Red Sox catcher Bill Haselman returning to the organization.
Steve Conroy notes that the Bruins recognize the need to keep their emotions in check when dealing with the Devils. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the Bruins/Devils series, with the Bruins still not naming their starting goaltender, and the how the Devils and Bruins are polar opposites in styles. Karen Guregian says that barring a major surprise, it will be Steve Shields in net. Douglas Flynn asks and answers five questions heading into the Bruins/Devils series. Joe McDonald previews the series for the ProJo. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says the Bruins hope to find a new start and second wind in the playoffs. James Murphy has the Ray Bourque playoff beard going as he previews all the first round matchups. Paul Doyle looks at the Stanley Cup playoffs in a nutshell. Jackie MacMullan looks at how the return of Sergei Samsonov could bolster the Bruins. Jim Hoban sizes up the Devils roster. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook also points to Steve Shields as the starting goalie tonight. Conroy’s notebook says Sean O’Donnell is out tonight and day to day thereafter.
Looks like Jim O’Brien has lost faith in another young player, as Tony Delk will start tonight in place of JR Bremer. Michael Vega reports on the change, with O’Brien saying that the team needs a fresh outlook, and played its best recently with Delk on the floor. Steve Bulpett notes that Delk finally getting fully healthy is also a big factor in the chance.
Michael Felger reports that should the Patriots lose out on Cedric Woodard by virtue of the Seahawks matching their offer, their next target could be Miami defensive tackle Jermaine Haley, who might be a better player than Woodard. Tom Curran reports that Seattle will indeed match the offer to Woodard. Nick Cafardo says the Patriots will have receiver Oronde Gadsden in for a visit and physical today. Both Cafardo and Felger report on the Rob Konrad comments from 1510 yesterday. If you missed it, Konrad, a fullback with the Dolphins, and native of North Andover, was on the Eddie Andelman show yesterday with Eddie and Cafardo, and took some shots at the Patriots organization. He claimed that the team had told him he was their first choice at fullback, and made arrangements for him to come up for a visit. Before he could come though, the team made an offer to Richie Anderson. Konrad felt misled and immediately re-signed with the Dolphins. On the radio, he questioned the Patriots integrity and ethics. Nick and Eddie loved it, but didn’t follow up too much on it. In the articles today, it appears that Felger went and contacted Konrad’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who was the one who actually talked with the Patriots, and who defused the situation somewhat. Cafardo stuck with Konrad, who admits he didn’t talk directly to the Patriots, and backpedaled on his comments made earlier in the day. Cafardo includes the line that the Patriots released through Stacey James; “No Patriots official ever spoke directly to him.” (Konrad). Mike Reiss reports on Grey Ruegamer signing with the Packers. Paul Perillo on Patriots.com looks at new fullback Fred McCrary and how he hopes to help the team.
Holden Kushner of the new 1510 Morning Press Box, citing sources around Iowa and close to the Kansas athletic department, claimed to be breaking the story this morning that Roy Williams will be staying at Kansas and the AD, Al Bohl will be fired.
After listening the last few days, I’d say these guys have been pretty good, a nice change up from the political rantings of D&C. My only problem is that Kevin Winter and Kushner seem to sound almost exactly alike and it’s difficult at times to tell who is who. That could change as time goes on and they become more familiar, we’ll see.
Bill Griffith looks at the Roy Williams/Bonnie Bernstein story, which was a major topic on sports radio locally yesterday. Dale & Neumy and The McDonough Group spent almost the entire length of their respective shows discussing the situation. He also provides some rating numbers and a look at the NHL playoffs.
NESN will carry the Bruins/Devils game one tonight at 7:00 (ESPN2 nationally) The Red Sox/Blue Jays will be bumped to ATT3, also at 7:00. FSNE has Celtics/Wizards at 7:00. ESPN has Maple Leafs/Flyers game one at 7:00 and NBA Action with Wolves/Sonics at 10:00. ESPN2 also has Angels/Mariners at 10:00.
Holden Kushner of the new 1510 Morning Press Box, citing sources around Iowa and close to the Kansas athletic department, claimed to be breaking the story this morning that Roy Williams will be staying at Kansas and the AD, Al Bohl will be fired.
So, the option gets picked up. If someone said that to you yesterday, you likely immediately knew who and what they were talking about. Reactions are mixed, predictably. I guess you can look at this a few different ways. One, picking up the option meant they likely could not even come close on a multi-year deal. Two, by picking up the option, don’t they immediately set the bar for 2005 at no lower than 17.5 Million? So much for the market correction. It’s my opinion however, that there will be no market correction for the market for Pedro. Its true that guys like ARod and Manny, if they were free agents this coming offseason, there’s no way they would get the same deals they have now. So in that sense, there has already been a market correction, but that does not apply to Pedro. As his agent says in Gordon Edes article today, “all it takes is one team to set the market.” I think we all know which team that would be. There would be no market correction for Pedro, as the Yankees would spend whatever it takes to land Pedro, and do so with glee. People in the media here might say the Red Sox are foolish for picking up the option. (Hello, Tony Massarotti) Those who do, would be the very first ones to knock the Red Sox if they let Pedro get away to the Yankees. In my opinion, picking up the option was only the smart thing to do, and the first small step towards keeping him here (and happy), where he belongs. Dan Shaughnessy bounces around on the topic. Pedro could be the greatest Red Sox pitcher ever, Pedro is frail, Owners are too concerned with being nice and keeping people happy, owners don’t want to build a new ballpark. David Heuschkel, Sean McAdam and Michael Silverman just report the facts, ma’am. Howard Bryant, in a premium column, tells us that the Red Sox did the right thing here. They avoided having Pedro fume throughout the season and afterwards having to face this:
The season is over, and Martinez is no longer so inclined to return to Boston. Sure, money has a way of assuaging feelings, but pride has a way of twisting logic. They thought I was going to get hurt, Martinez might think, and I didn't. They let Roger Clemens go, too, and look at him now. They intimidated Luis Tiant into leaving, and he did. There's a message from George Steinbrenner on the voice mail, and another one from John Schuerholz. Mo Vaughn said it, once, too: the price goes up every day.
Bryant does acknowledge that this can have ripple effects on Nomar and Lowe, but also says that Pedro could be the best pitcher this franchise has ever had. You do what you have to.
Elsewhere in Red Sox land, the bullpen remains the hot topic. Bob Hohler remind us that after eight games last year, the bullpen had blown three games. Two of those were courtesy of the now God-like Ugueth Urbina. Doesn’t anyone remember the hue and cry over Urbina? Does the term “heart attack closer” ring any bells? I’m not saying this bullpen is better, or even the right guys, I’m saying its early. In Michael Silverman’s piece today, Grady Little says this is the best bullpen he’s ever been associated with. There’s some snide comment just waiting to be made there. I’m not going to make it. Sean McAdam says Grady was just trying some positive reinforcement with that remark. He goes on to mull over some options to bolster the pen. David Heuschkel reports that the bullpen theory has caused certain unnamed players to “privately grumble”. Christopher Price has an interesting interview with Bill Lee, talking about his upcoming book, and stating his desire to come back and coach the Red Sox. Yes, Wayback Wasdin did pitch a AAA perfect game last night, striking out 15. Kevin Winter wonders why we can’t get players like that…
My favorite player growing up was the Chief. oh, I revered Larry, of course, but I always though Parish was a cool dude. I can’t think of anyone better than Bob Ryan to remember number 00 for us. He recalls Parish’s arrival in town, getting the nod from Dave Cowens to continue the center tradition in Boston , and the grand ’85-’86 season when Bill Walton came aboard. Steve Bulpett also weighs in on Parish. Peter May & Joe Burris weigh in on Parish’s career and Hall selection as well. Shira Springer looks at the Celtics ongoing search for a third scoring option. Could it be Waltah? (no) Steve Bulpett says the the Celtics are still trying to figure out a number of problems. Carolyn Thornton looks at Antoine and his recent shooting struggles. Jon Wallach says that true Celtics fans will follow and support the team, no matter its flaws.
Stephen Harris gives us 10 logical reasons the Bruins can, should and will defeat the Devils. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that the Bruins still have not settled on a goalie to start the playoffs. James Murphy says Jozef Stumpel’s level of play may increase with Samsonov back alongside him. Karen Guregian looks at the bad blood brewing between Mike O’Connell and Pat Burns. Harris’ notebook also wonders about the starting goalie, has injury updates, and gets scouts opinions on the Devils/Bruins series. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at the Bruins making it tougher on themselves with the last season slide from 6th to 7th in the standings.
Mike Reiss and Michael Felger report on the Patriots playing the waiting game, seeing if the Seahawks match their offer to Cedric Woodard. Michael Parente provides a number of Patriots notes. One correction…the late season prime time game against the Jets is on a Saturday night, not a Sunday night.
In his column on the NCAA title game last night, Bob Ryan tells us that Carmelo “Anthony has Bird/Magic-like vision when he is double-teamed”. High praise. Mike Shalin says that even with possible defections, both Syracuse and Kansas are in good shape for next year. Mark Blaudschun looks at another big game emotional loss for Roy Williams.
Bill Griffith looks at why NESN is bumping the higher rated Red Sox games to ATT3 in favor of the Bruins. My question…why should they have to put these games on ATT3 at all? Why not move them to 38 or 4? Especially the ones they knew before the season would be conflicts. Playoff games give a little cause for leeway, but there’s really no excuse for regular season conflicts. It only makes sense to put them on 38 or 4 rather than having fans try to find the game on yet another channel. (I should clarify to say that I know why the games go to ATT3…not everyone gets 38 or 4. I’m just talking about the principle of the thing…you know there’s going to be a conflict before the season, why not let the other broadcast partner take the game, and make arrangements for DirecTV to pick it up from there. I just think it seems sloppy.) Jim Baker got quotes from all Bruins announcers except Dale Arnold on the upcoming series with the Devils, and sounded like he (Baker) and Glenn Ordway are on the same page when he said “Bob Lobel, paid by the Sox as a NESN host, sounded loyal gushing over Green Monster seats in low-rated late Sunday shows. . . .” (Ordway knocked Sports Final as an “infomercial”, and deemed WBZ as “house men” yesterday afternoon.)
Mediamadness Final Four matchups. Winners in Bold.
Michael Felger (3) vs. Bob Ryan (1)
Despite calling Felger a
The Chief has made it into the Hall of Fame.
The Sunday Night Shows are transcribed. Rather than including them in this section each week, I’m going to place them on the archives page, so you can go back and re-visit some of the things said by various media types on these shows.
Rob Bradford looks at MJ’s last performance in Boston. Mike Fine has the story of an old friend catching up with MJ yesterday. Del Jones says the Celtics insist that they’re playing well, despite dropping the last two games.
Mike Loftus says that Pat Burns must be salivating over the chance to play the Bruins.
Peter King looks at the NFL schedule, breaking it down as far as which teams made out and which got jobbed. He places the Patriots in the “They might not be good enough to survive this” category. The Jets get the “I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes” grouping, the Dolphins get: “The league is tweaking these guys … again”, While the Bills get the “They have nothing to complain about this year.” He laments the Jets having to play in Oakland again, (just like the Patriots seemingly play in Denver every year…last year being an exception), the Dolphins having to come to Foxboro in December again, and for the Bills he says:
If I'm a Bill, I'm resigned to the fact Bill Belichick will beat me in Foxboro to close the season (he'll figure out some silly scheme), and I'm thinking: I have to find a way to go 10-5 the rest of the way.
For the Patriots, he just concludes, “Their schedule is tougher than it looks.” Later in the column, he weighs in on CBC and Bill James.
Finally, when in doubt, find some way to blame the Yankees. I love this correction from the Globe today:
Correction: Because of incorrect data in the New York Yankees media guide, Christy Mathewson's won-lost record was misstated in a box with Sunday's baseball notes column. He was 373-188.
Michael Jordan leaves Boston a winner. The second straight one-point loss for the C’s. Shira Springer says it was just a matter of Jordan up to his old tricks. Mark Murphy and Carolyn Thornton also recap the game. Lenny Megliola notes that yesterday was a “happy game” for Jordan, right from the start. Jackie MacMullan also looks at Michael’s last game, noting the style is different, yet no less effective. Jordan also indulges in some nostalgia towards the end, and laments the things that the young players of today don’t know. Steve Bulpett reflects on Michael’s final final final game in Boston. Nick Cafardo notes that things weren’t so happy in the Celtics locker room after the game, as the room was closed for a time after the game, and many players left without speaking. Christopher Price looks at Jordan’s last trip to Boston for the Metro. Rich Thompson records a little of Jordan remembering the 63 point playoff game in the Garden. Thompson also writes that Jordan will still have plenty in the tank for the rematch Wednesday night in Washington. Thornton’s notebook has more on Jordan’s farewell, and why Eric Williams’ eyesight is poor. Springer’s notebook looks at Antoine’s quiet day. Murphy’s notebook has Jordan talking about Walker.
It's only been one week, but only a true curmudgeon could complain about the Red Sox' 5-2 record.
Let’s keep that in mind, shall we? Sean McAdam says this is a different team from the one that went 0-4 against Rodrigo Lopez last year. David Heuschkel says that the Fossum trade is now looking like one of the best trades the Red Sox never made. OK, well, he said it the context of Hillenbrand’s hot start, but still, how quickly things change. Tony Massarotti has more on Hillenbrand, out to prove his doubters wrong. Dan Shaughnessy’s column today looking at Nomar’s day is great…until the last sentence. The CHB just had to get a CBC reference in there…Massarotti also looks at Garciaparra’s near cycle. Up in Manchester, Carole Robidoux says they’re trying to figure out what to name their new team. John Clayton looks at a a NH man who is marking his 36th straight year attending the Yankees home opener. At least Clayton admits he was conflicted writing the article. Hohler’s notebook has Tim Wakefield grateful of the offensive support he received. Silverman’s notebook, in addition to Wakefield makes sure to tell us Manny has a long way to go to catch Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game hitting streak, something Hohler also mentioned. McAdam’s notebook looks at Nomar’s bid for the cycle.
Kevin Paul Dupont points to Martin Brodeur as the biggest obstacle the Bruins face in attempting to knock off the Devils. Stephen Harris says the season is new for the Bruins now, in the only games that really count. James Murphy thinks its at least possible the Bruins could surprise in the first round. Steve Conroy looks at a couple of New England natives hoping to make life miserable for the Bruins.
Nick Cafardo and the Globe finally get around to reporting on the Patriots signing restricted free agent D-lineman Steve Woodard to an offer sheet. This has been reported elsewhere since Saturday. Nick was waiting for Chad Eaton to call him back. He also reports the Patriots offer as 605K…that was Seattle’s qualifying offer to Woodard, the Patriots likely offered more if they hope to land Woodard and not have Seattle match. After it looked like he was gone to Cleveland, Mike Reiss reports that Grey Ruegamer may just return to the Patriots after all. Rich Thompson says Adrian Klemm is hoping for a shot at full time duties this upcoming season.
OK, I was a week off. The 1510 “Morning Press Box” launched today, instead of next week. I got everything else right. They did actually talk sports this morning, something they described as a “novel concept”. They did divert from straight sports talk to play a quickly aborted game of “Hockey player, Tennis player or Porn star.” Names are given, and they had to choose which career matched the name.
John Molori’s Media Blitz gives praise to WEEI war talk, knocks Neumy on baseball and praises Steve Buckley. In the emailed version of the column, he also said Greg Dickerson looks like Screech. That bit was left off the online edition. I still think a more accurate comparison was someone who said Dickerson resembled the fat Matthew Perry.
That Theo sure was a genius not to give up Fossum for Colon, eh? Fossum is undefeated while Colon is winless on the season. Given how everyone likes to vacillate so much I was waiting for someone to write that this morning, to go as far possible the other way. Didn’t really happen. The headline chosen for Bob Hohler’s article is like one of those car license plates that you spend too much time trying to figure out. “Might Casey Strikes”. Not “Mighty Casey” but “Might”. I give up. Not a bad article though. Sean McAdam says the Sox hitters are finally showing their stuff. Jeff Horrigan starts off a little more dramatic than need be, but at least he’s positive. David Heuschkel provides his usual detailed account. Tony Massarotti has more on Fossum’s performance. Steve Buckley looks at another hot start for Shea Hillenbrand. Gordon Edes looks at the Sox hitters who may not scare Tampa pitchers, but who will likely cause a few other pitchers around the league to blink. Massarotti looks at Kevin Millar making a case for an everyday role. Lenny Megliola gives us a little of this and a little of that on the Red Sox roller coaster. Karen Guregian and Stan Grossfeld look at the new Monster seating. If you slapped down your five bucks, you can read Buckley’s riveting article about John Burkett and the pressures he faces as the fifth starter in Boston. Hohler’s notebook begins with Millar and his hot start, Horrigan’s notebook looks at the Pedro deadline still in play. McAdam’s notebook focuses on the Sox hitters working the Tampa pitchers.
Anyone else sick of ties in the NHL? I know I am. I thought maybe the Bruins would be leading the league in ties, but they’re not even close. Steve Conroy and Nancy Marrapese-Burrell look at the Bruins grinding out a 1-1 deadlock with the Devils. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at Andy Hilbert up from Providence with another chance to impress. Conroy’s notebook says that Steve Shields might claim the number one goalie spot for the playoffs.
Steve Bulpett must be trying to butter me up, how else to explain an article on Kedrick Brown. Yeah, that’s it. He saw my reaction to Mike Fine’s piece earlier this week and wanted some of that for himself…Paul Pierce calls Brown one of the three toughest defenders he’s ever faced. Michael Vega looks ahead to tonight’s game with the Kings, a real test for the Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook also looks ahead to tonight’s matchup. In a pay column, George Kimball isn’t shedding any tears over Michael Jordan’s last Boston appearance, noting that he’s tired of Michael Jordan retirements.
With the Patriots schedule being released yesterday, there’s the first reactions from those who cover the team. The consensus seems to be, tough early, opportunity to make hay over the second half of the season. Even the bye week is interesting, as that will be when the Bills travel to Dallas on November 9, New England fans will likely be watching that Parcells/Bledsoe matchup closely. How ticked must the Dolphins be, having to play Thanksgiving day in Dallas, after having a Sunday night home game? Michael Felger describes the Patriots schedule as a “Drew Sandwich” with the Pats opening and closing against the Bills. He also provides a few notes on college players working out for the Pats. Everyone knows by now, but the Boston media got scooped once again as the team worked out Willis McGahee in Miami, and the story was broken yesterday by a Florida paper. (Where did I read/hear that the workout was in Foxboro…I know someone said it. Might’ve been ESPN.) The cloak and dagger stuff is likely the cause of the animosity towards the team by certain media members. Tom Curran looks at a couple of grudge matches on the schedule for the Pats. Alan Greenberg has a quick overview of the schedule. Nick Cafardo has a longer look, and proclaims the Bills will be undefeated heading into their first matchup with the Patriots. Just kidding. Only one mistake from Nick. He says the Pats have the Monday night and two Sunday night appearances for their prime time gigs. That should be one Monday night, (Denver) one Sunday night, (Cowboys) and one Saturday night (Jets). Curran also reports on the McGahee workout, and while others have also reported that Charlie Weis was there, Curran notes that the presence of the the Pats OC means that this was not just another run-of-the-mill workout. Christopher Price notes that the Patriots will need to “Target September” once again this year. Mike Reiss also looks at the schedule, noting highlights and giving a couple free agent updates. Curran also looks at Brown University receiver Chas Gessner hoping to make it in the NFL.
Bob Ryan, prepping for his mediamadness final four appearance, weighs in on the NCAA version. Mike Shalin looks at Jim Boeheim and Syracuse, back in the Final Four. Mark Blaudschun also focuses on the Orangemen. If you’re really starved for NCAA talk, you can read Michael Gee extol the virtues of New Orleans as a Final Four host.
Bill Griffith addresses the topic of war on sports talk radio. Some might think he takes it easy on WEEI and the war talk, given that he in principle disagrees with the decision to go to full time war talk for a time, but he’s got personal reasons for not getting into this sooner. Memories of past wars often haunt people many decades later. Griffith, for one, would be grateful for a distraction from war coverage sometimes. Many of the younger generation of journalists, who have never really lived through a war and had it effect their lives, can’t relate to this. John Howell looks at the NCAA women’s coverage on ESPN, but also has a few other media notes, including Connecticut sports radio 1410 looking to add a local afternoon show. He also reports that Bill Lee will be a week long co-host on TBDSSP on Fox Sports Net. Jim Baker looks ahead to CBS’ Final Four coverage. In The Week That Was, I’m talking about media hysteria on opening day, CBC, and I’ll tell you the who and when for 1510’s new morning show.