Links a little late due

Links a little late due to some Internet connection issues. I’m using a wireless internet connection and it seems a bit spotty at times. Hopefully this isn’t am ongoing issue. Thankfully today is a light day for the links. I haven’t been able to connect to the Projo yet though. Don’t know if it is my problem or theirs.

Sox had the night off, so a slow(er) day on the local sports scene. Bob Hohler checks out the fourth annual Nomar Bowl, and finds the shortstop has the full respect of not only his teammates, but the community as well. Michael Silverman looks at the struggles of Derek Lowe, but notes that the team fully believes that he is going to be ok in the end. Gordon Edes says Roger has a bone bruise from the line drive he took off his hand Wednesday night, but that he plans to go on Monday. Joe Torre though, says any rainouts this weekend would push Roger back. David Heuschkel looks at Bill Mueller, who is seeing is popularity skyrocket, and just a few at bats shy of leading the league in hitting. Rich Thompson gives us an update on the Sox minor league system. Michael Gee’s pay column tells us the Yankees can be had. They have weaknesses in the bullpen and in the middle of their lineup. Lenny Megliola looks at a Natick probation officer who has also worked at Fenway selling and cooking hotdogs for 30 years. Hohler’s notebook looks at Johnny Damon’s struggles at the top on the lineup and how it is hurting the team.

Annika is the big story of the day on the airwaves and in the papers. Jim McCabe reports on her opening round yesterday. He notes the support she’s receiving and cautions that her downfall could be the short game. Joe Gordon provides the recap of the round for the Herald. Gerry Callahan gushes over Annika in his column today, but nothing so outstanding that I feel the need to quote him on. Kevin Paul Dupont says that we certainly learned that Annika can play with these guys. Jeff Jacobs agrees that Annika was able to silence the knuckleheads.

Christopher Price ponders how the Celtics can get better. Peter May looks at the Cavs winning the LeBron Lottery. Shira Springer has a quick sidebar on a date being set for the day in court for the fan who claimed Antoine Walker assaulted him during game three of the Nets series. The opportunistic Stewart Berg will have his day in the sun. Maybe Berg is hoping he can get Antoine to sign that game used jersey of Walker’s that he’s selling on his web site. Michael Vega looks at Troy Bell making the rounds of NBA teams.

Ron Borges looks at the signing of Dedric Ward, who felt right at home when joining the Patriots yesterday. Michael Felger has a similar look at the former Jet and Dolphin. Michael Parente looks at the possible roles that Ward could play on the team.

James Murphy answers critics (who, me?) who wondered why the Joe Thornton incident didn’t get much more play in the media here.

Roger picks up win #

Roger picks up win # 299 at the expense of the Red Sox. Even though he left the game in a 2-2 tie, the Yankees went ahead immediately after he left and Roger gets the victory. This sets the stage for a monumental showdown with next Monday night in Yankee stadium for # 300. Steven Krasner focuses on the game and not Clemens in his wrapup of the evening. Jeff Horrigan has the Sox looking for positives after dropping the game and series to Clemens and the Yankees. David Heuschkel’s game story is all about Roger. Bob Hohler picks out the key moments that led to the victory for Clemens. Michael Silverman says Tim Wakefield was determined not to be the loser last night, but fell short anyway. Paul Harber says last night was just an old fashioned pitchers duel. Bill Reynolds says Joe Torre is at his best when dealing with adversity. Lenny Megliola says Roger will not even consider the idea of missing his start on Monday, no matter how bad his hand is. Mark Murphy says only a broken bone will prevent him from starting. Gordon Edes looks at how Clemens earned that win last night. Alex Speier says it wasn’t vintage Roger, but enough to get the job done. Shira Springer says the early runs the Sox were able to get on Nomar’s home run just weren’t enough. Silverman says Pedro could be out anywhere from 5 days to 3 weeksDan Ventura looks at the relief provided the Yankees by Mariano Rivera. Getting out of the eighth without throwing a pitch is a neat trick. Don Amore says that Rivera is worried about his old running mate, Ramiro Mendoza. Notes that his body language on the mound is just not positive. Glenn Ordway said yesterday afternoon that Mendoza might not be “tough” enough to play in Boston. Frank Dell’Apa looks at Damian Jackson feeling contrite after being picked off by Rivera. They were ready to unleash the venom on Jackson on the Globe SportsPlus last night, but John Valentin was able to keep the hounds at bay somewhat noting that no matter what, sometimes these things happen. Hohler also looks at the baptism by fire of Rudy Seanez as a Red Sox. Dell’Apa reports on Bucky Dent’s view from the Monster. Harber looks at Bruce Chen, a day removed from his surprise start. Edes says that Brandon Lyon is a salvage job by Theo that would make Dan Duquette proud…and that’s a compliment. Hohler’s notebook says that Pedro could return to face the Yankees next week, though likely not against Roger on Monday. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Jackson dealing with the pickoff last night. McAdam’s notebook reaffirms that Pedro is at best iffy for Memorial Day. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Nomar giving the Sox the early edge last night.

Karen Guregian says the Sox are on the verge of being a trivial pursuit answer. Steve Buckley’s pay column focuses on the fact that the Sox cleverly trotted composer John Williams out for the first pitch to give them an excuse to play the Evil Empire theme, composed by Williams. Dan Shaughnessy calls that move a “stroke of genius” by the Sox. Dan revels in the history from last night Dent, Curt Gowdy, The Yankees, Roger. I think we’ve read the word “twilight” this week more than any other. That, and how durable and a “work horse” Clemens has been. Before the game last night, Shaughnessy was on the NESN pre-game show. He did a segment by himself in which he stood in front of the Wall and defended Roger against all those critics who accused him of mailing it in for his last four years here. The irony of that was delicious. He almost scolded those ones who would knock Roger. Well, what was Shaughnessy thinking when Roger left town? Let’s take a little trip in the BSMW time machine…consider:

But on this day of new beginnings and inestimable wealth, there was no glory, no grace in either Toronto or Boston. Clemens bolted Boston and he spit on Fenway on his way out the door.

Let the record show that The Rocket is 34 years old and went 40-39 over the last four (injury-filled) seasons while earning $20 million. Despite those numbers, he's now the highest-paid pitcher in baseball (Atlanta's John Smoltz got $31 million for four years).

That’s from the Globe of 12/14/1996. So lets see, Shaughnessy points out the 40-39 record and even adds the jab that those seasons were injury filled. He also says Clemens “spit on Fenway” on the way out the door. This is the same guy who is now lionizing The Rocket and jabbing Dan Duquette for letting him go. Was there criticism of Duquette in that article? Very little. Just some grumbling by Clemens, and that some other players are wanting to leave the Sox at that time as well. Shaughnessy concludes the article though, with this:

He didn't take any lumps yesterday. He took $31.1 million. And he dumped all over the Boston Red Sox, who were good to him for 13 big league seasons.

So the Sox (Duquette) were good to Roger, eh? I love revisionist history. These guys love to tear guys down while they’re here, chase them out of town, (the article has quotes from Clemens’ agents about negative press coverage being a factor in Roger’s leaving) and then later hold them up as gods that the Sox were stupid to let go. Same thing will happen with Nomar. Michael Gee in his pay column takes on this notion that Roger is a healthy workhorse while Pedro is a fragile prima donna. He compares the injury histories of the two, and concludes:

Funny how images change. When Clemens was hurt in the '90s in Boston, he was blasted as an out-of-shape prima donna at perpetual risk of ending his career with his next pitch. Two teams and three Cy Young Awards later, Clemens is a universal symbol of athletic discipline and toughness, qualities he always had.

Martinez has come back from all of his injuries, too. But when Pedro gets hurt, there's a hue and cry that he's a prima donna with an arm made of cracked crystal.

Sean McAdam looks at Roger after the win last night, who says if he had Rivera as a teammate earlier in his career, he’d already be at 300. Roger is also bringing in plenty of former Sox teammates to cheer for him next Monday in New York. Great, so we get to see Bruce Hurst, Rich Gedman, etc, sitting in the crowd with Yankee caps on cheering for the Bombers.

Apparently this morning John Dennis acknowledged his bad source from yesterday which told him the Celtics were trying to get rid of Jim O’Brien. Mark Murphy reports on the extension given to the Celtics head coach. Shira Springer has details from the coach on his reaction to the new deal and what he sees looking forward. Christopher Price also looks at the new deal. Peter May says O’Brien deserves this new deal. He also says his offensive coaching and development of young players could use improvement. Where have we heard that before? Murphy adds that Rick Pitino might’ve ended up saving this franchise after all. Lenny Megliola also looks at O’Brien’s loyalty to Pitino. Springer adds a brief bit in which Ainge is intrigued by BC’s Troy Bell, who worked out for the team on Tuesday.

Michael Felger reports that the Patriots are close to signing former Jet and Dolphin Dedric Ward.

Kevin Paul Dupont weighs in on Annika Sorenstam, blasting those who are making a huge deal of the gender issue.

In the Unsilent Majority, Luke Meredith looks at the NBA lottery, Joe Thornton’s arrest, Cade McNown and other items.

ABC has Nets/Pistons at 8:30. The draft Lottery is right before the game at 8:00. ESPN Classic continues its Red Sox/Yankees week, with Mike Mussina’s near perfect game in 2001 being shown today at 5:00. Go ahead, cheer for Carl Everett when he gets a hit with two out in the ninth inning.

I continue to get intermittent

I continue to get intermittent complaints from people have problems accessing the site at times. (now dubbed the “Cleve disease” since he seems to have spread his infection) I apologize for any difficulty this is causing. Blogspot is the host of this site, and though I pay them, they don’t seem to do a great job keeping things running smoothly. About the only advice I can give you if you’re having trouble viewing the site is to refresh your browser. Several times if need be. One of those times you’re going to get the page served up to you correctly. You could also click the refresh button while holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard. That works for some people. I’ve got to move myself, (tomorrow) and after a bit I can take a look at moving the site to a more stable hosting service. Thanks for your patience.

John Dennis proclaimed on WEEI that he had sources telling him that the Celtics were low balling Jim O’Brien in an attempt to make it look like they were trying to re-sign him, but in reality wanted him gone. Then a couple hours later on the Dale & Neumy show, word came down from the Celtics that they had agreed with O’Brien on a two year contract extension. O’Brien was a radio guest today, first on WWZN and then on WEEI. Danny Ainge was the first guest on the Big Show, but technical problems prevented the Big Show crew from coming on the air, so the interview and beginning of the Big Show was done by Dale & Neumy.

David Koeppel (NY Times, free registration required) has an interesting look at how to survive as a Red Sox fan while living in New York. Hmmm. I thought they didn’t care about the Red Sox in NY and this “rivalry” was just a figment of Boston fans imaginations…David Pevear says No Pedro? No Problem. At least for last night. Mike Fine looks at last nights game, which wasn’t exactly a dream pitching matchup. Alan Greenwood says that despite the scratch of Pedro, the Sox had good karma working for them last night. Ken Lechtanski (making his BSMW debut) says that the Pedro injury puts a strain on the Sox whole pitching staff.

There’s an interesting contrast in Jim McCabe’s two articles on Annika Sorenstam today. There’s his Globe one, linked earlier today, which is Pro-Annika, and there is his MSNBC one, which is decidedly not. I guess I should give him credit for not simply recycling his Globe column for a national paycheck like some of the local media do, but which side does he believe? I’m guessing the MSNBC one, since it has more of his personal opinion in it. The Globe article builds her up, the MSNBC one tells us she doesn’t deserve to be there.

Mark Farinella weighs in on the state of the Big East.

When the word came down

When the word came down yesterday that Pedro would miss his start last night, it was almost as if the game was canceled. If you were waffling between watching Pedro, or some other event on TV, (Season or series ending episodes of “24” or “Buffy”) your decision suddenly got a lot easier. I had no interest in anything but the Sox game, so the beginning felt an awful lot like the previous night. Yankees out of the box quick. Only this team, they had Jeff Weaver going for them instead of David Wells. David Heuschkel notes that the Sox had to overcome a whole lot more than an early scoreboard deficit last night. Jeff Horrigan says that the increased security and presence of police dogs everywhere, including the team clubhouses somehow seemed symbolic after the news that Pedro was going to be scratched. Sox fans were on terror alert in more ways than one. Bob Hohler says the baseball gods were up to some mischief last night. Steven Krasner says that the Sox, outside of their comfort zone of having Pedro on the mound, were able to scratch out a win. Christopher Price says getting to Jose Contreras was sweet revenge for the Sox. Lenny Megliola says last night was just full of twists and ironies. Kevin Gray says there may have been some reverse psychological effect on the Yankees with them having prepared for a difficult test in Pedro and getting Chen instead. John Powers says things turned very quickly for Contreras last night. Mark Murphy looks at Joe Torre trying to express confidence in his 32 Million dollar Cuban ace. Sean McAdam looks at the bullpen woes both teams have faced this year. Nick Cafardo looks at Nomar continuing his hitting streak. Michael Silverman looks at Bruce Chen’s efforts last night as a last minute fill in. Dan Shaughnessy is comparing Brandon Lyon to Dick Radatz. And they say the fans are quick to anoint players as stars. A few tough outings and CHB will be calling him the cowardly Lyon…Karen Guregian says Red Sox fans have to love the struggles of the Yankees high priced offseason acquisitions. The essence of Michael Gee’s pay column is that both bullpens stink. Paul Harber looks at David Ortiz getting the big hit off of Contreras. Gordon Edes looks at Bucky Dent sitting in the Monster seats tonight and talk of the screen being trotted back out to the monster at some point.

Michael Silverman looks at Pedro’s mild strain of the right latissimus dorsi. Steven Krasner, Bob Hohler, and David Heuschkel also report on the injury to Pedro. Gordon Edes looks at he intrigue around the Pedro injury, and says Pedro’s vow to not talk to the media is “now silly”. Getting frustrated, Gordon?

Dan Shaughnessy says ‘Ha! now who would you rather have, Roger or Pedro?’ I think Dan is forgetting how many groin and hamstring pulls Roger has suffered over the years. But overall, not too bad of an article by Dan. It was speculated last night that Shaughnessy would have a real venomous article on Pedro today, but he’s not too harsh on him for the most part. Shaughnessy uses complete games as a measure of how fragile Pedro is, saying he’s only had 4 since 2000. Nice stat by “edison” on the tagboard…since 1999, Pedro has 16 complete games, Roger 2. If you go back through ’97, Pedro has 32 complete games to Roger’s 16. Steve Buckley’s pay column is also comparing the fragile Pedro to the Iron Horse Roger.

Sorry, all you Roger Clemens bashers from Warwick to Waterville, but Martinez is no Rocket when it comes to good luck and good health. For all the ongoing myths about how Clemens resembled a hard-throwing Ralph Kramden during his days with the Red Sox, the reality is that the big lug rarely was unable to punch in at starting time. During one three-year stretch, he made 36, 35 and 35 starts; Martinez, by comparison, has never made more than 33 starts during his nine seasons as a big league starter.

I love the revisionist history. Roger spent his fair share of time on the DL here. Buckley also takes a few more shots at Dan Duquette:

Remember? These were the last days of the Dan Duquette regime, the last days of Cowardly Fenway Park, the last days of the John Harrington mob. Duquette ordered puppet manager Joe Kerrigan to have Martinez pitch against the Yankees, so Martinez pitched. It was painful to watch.

Take a deep breath and let the hatred go, Buck. Michael O’Connor looks at some of the fan debate around Clemens. In a feature for the Boston Metro, Alex Speier says Roger is not a Red Sox, Blue Jay or Yankee…he’s a Texan, through and through. Nice article. Jack O’Connell says Nolan Ryan is watching Roger’s progress towards #300 very closely. Paul Harber says Roger will be fired up for tonight. Rudy Seanez is the star of the notebooks, leading off the Globe, Herald and Projo editions, while Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Bruce Chen’s start not being a total surprise to the pitcher.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Stephen Harris report on Joe Thornton and Mike O’Connell finally getting to talk about the incident over the weekend. Joe is very sorry.

Shira Springer looks at Chris Wallace getting permission to speak to the Trail Blazers about their GM opening. No word on if taking Vin Baker with him was a stipulation made if Wallace leaves…

The Big East/ACC saga continues on. Kevin McNamara says the ball is in Miami’s court on this one. Ken Davis reports that the Big East football schools that would be left behind are trying to arrange a meeting with Miami officials to persuade them to stay. Mark Blaudschun thinks that BC has the power to get Miami to stay, if the Eagles would just take a firm stand. Not sure I agree with that theory. Mike Shalin has more on the other Big East schools trying to get Miami to remain.

Jeff Jacobs says that Annika Sorenstam is doing this for herself, and herself only. There’s no crusade here. Jacobs can’t decide if he wants her to win or fall flat on her face. Jim McCabe looks at her competitiveness and drive going into this event. Joe Gordon says she acknowledges that she has an uphill climb here. Bill Griffith looks at the coverage USA Network has planned for the tournament, starting tomorrow morning.

John Molori’s article mentioned yesterday is now online.

NESN has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00. (ESPN2 nationally) ESPN has Senators/Devils at 7:00. TNT has Mavs/Spurs at 9:30. ESPN2 has Giants/Diamondbacks at 10:00. At 5:00 this afternoon, ESPN Classic has game three of the 1975 World Series.

Pedro Martinez is suffering from

Pedro Martinez is suffering from a strained lat muscle and will miss tonight’s start against the Yankees. WWZN and WEEI both reported the story about the same time, I couldn’t hear both, but it seems that WWZN got the report on air first. Before the nature of the injury was revealed, Michael Felger tried to make the case that the Sox were just delaying Pedro a day to go against Roger tomorrow. He was heckled by Ordway and Sean McAdam, and then the nature of the injury was revealed, in which Pedro will be missing this start altogether. It is coming out that Pedro hurt himself during a session of catch yesterday. The other story of the afternoon was the increased security around Fenway because of the terror alert being raised. The area immediately around the park is being cleared. If you’re going to the game, better plan on getting there as early as possible.

Mike Fine says last night was no fun for the Sox. Tonight isn’t looking so hot, either. Del Jones says Clemens is relishing the time around his 300th win. Chaz Scoggins says Roger is warming to his time in Boston.

David Aldridge attempts to defend the honor of Chris Wallace. (Scroll down to “Wallace did plenty of good for Celtics”) Dave, here’s a nickel, get a clue.

Round one to the evil

Round one to the evil empire…Steven Krasner notes that if you were even 20 minutes late for watching the game, you pretty much missed all the action. Which is true, by the time I gathered my food off the grill and opened a cold one, it was 5-0, Yanks. Jeff Horrigan is very clear that the tag on Nomar which snuffed out the Sox own first inning rally was the 2003 version of the Phantom Tag. Bob Hohler makes no such claim. David Heuschkel says an eighth inning brawl in the stands was the most action seen at Fenway after the first. Kevin Gray has one of the most well rounded pieces of the day, looking at the seemingly million storylines for last nights game. Sean McAdam says the Sox were just unable to do what they’ve been so good at all year so far; get the clutch hits. Alex Speier notes that Casey Fossum was very impressive after the horrific start. Nick Cafardo says this was just a game of offensive frustration for the Sox. Michael Silverman looks at Johnny Damon’s three hit, two triple evening. Rich Thompson says that Fossum did a great job in the game of coming in in relief…of himself. Frank Dell’Apa says that Fossum was able to put the first inning behind him and move on to pitching the rest of his night effectively. Howard Bryant says that the Yankees made quick work of the Red Sox in the first inning. Gordon Edes turns to the Yankee bullpen for a blow by blow account of the huge eighth inning brawl down near the Pesky pole. Mark Murphy has David Wells gushing about the new seats on the wall, saying that it has changed his whole view of Fenway and allowed him to pitch well last night. Don Amore looks at Wells great performance on the eve of his 40th birthday. Joe McDonald has more on a typical night for the hefty lefty. Steve Buckley looks at his favorite player, Nomar, as he continues nonchalantly with his now 20 game hitting streak. Mark Murphy takes the obligatory look at the Giambi brothers. Michael Gee’s pay column is solely about the “Yankees Suck” chant, that there are Yankee haters everywhere, and there is no war between Red Sox fans and Yankee fans because you need two sides to have a war, and Yankee fans just don’t care about the Red Sox. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Trot sitting out last night. Krasner’s notebook looks at the electric atmosphere around the park last night. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Johnny Damon’s big offensive night.

Jackie MacMullan looks at Roger Clemens and his place here in Boston and in history. His session with the media yesterday reveal a relaxed, almost reflective player. McDonald has more on something mention prominently in MacMullan’s article, how photos of the players Roger is about to pass in the record books are placed in his locker as he approaches each record. Silverman also has a piece on the relaxed Roger. Cafardo gets Theo’s opinion of Roger. Theo was 12 when Clemens struck out 20 in 1986…Michael O’Connor says fans are split on how Clemens should be viewed here and if his number should be retired. Edes also gets Kevin Kennedy’s predictable thoughts about Roger. Included in that article is an effort by a “Rocket Scientist” to examine the seasons put forth by Clemens in ’93 through ’96, to see if Roger really was on the decline, or a victim of bad circumstances. Jon Couture says that some Red Sox fans walk a fine line when it comes to Clemens. Jon Wallach looks at a lifetime built on hating the Yankees. In Steve Buckley’s pay column, he continues his assumed role as the final authority on what numbers should be retired by the Red Sox. No surprise, he says # 21 should be up there, and that Larry Lucchino is acting like a 10 year old when he calls the Yankees the evil empire and when he says that under current policy, Roger’s number would not qualify to be retired. In his pay column, Howard Bryant notices the softening of Clemens on the subject of Boston, an attitude that seemed to seep through a bit during his media session yesterday.

Steve Conroy says there will likely be no team penalty for Joe Thornton. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says contact has still not been made between Thornton and the Bruins.

Michael Felger reports on the Patriots passing camp. They’re looking to open up the offense a bit this year, and hope the new and healthy pieces can come together. Rohan Davey is also going to be given every chance to win the backup QB spot behind Brady. Nick Cafardo also has a positive report from the camp, noting that Brady is feeling strong, and won the longest throw event at the recent QB challenge by throwing a ball 62 yards.

Gerry Callahan’s pay column is about Annika Sorenstam and the class she has displayed. She knows and we know she isn’t going to win, Callahan says she likely won’t even make the cut, but she’s not afraid to go out there and try, unlike Vijay Singh, who catches the full ire of Callahan:

Until last week Singh had been best known as a cheater, but he proved to be a pretty fair liar as well. After winning the Byron Nelson Sunday, he withdrew from the Colonial, claiming he promised his wife he would take a week off. What can you say? Chivalry is not dead in the Singh household. Vijay is probably putting in a load of laundry at this very moment.

If there is any justice in the golf world, the Colonial will list the withdrawals below all the players who at least had the nerve to tee it up, assuring that Sorenstam will finish ahead of Singh. By anyone's standard, missing the cut is more admirable than bailing out at the last minute with some lame excuse. Singh said Sorenstam ``didn't belong'' at the Colonial, which is debatable. This, on the other hand, is not debatable: Singh did belong there. He fanned the flames of controversy and then ran like Funny Cide when he felt the heat. Does your husband play, Vijay? Maybe he can show up and defend your honor.

In the media columns, Bill Griffith notes that Red Sox fans hoping to hear Curt Gowdy in his call with Chris Berman on ESPN will be disappointed, as the broadcast will be blacked out here because of NESN. Jim Baker uses his column to laud NBC’s coverage of the Preakness over the weekend, with praise to Bob Neumeier for picking the 1-2 winners. John Molori’s Media Blitz (Not online yet) focuses on Channel 5 legend Don Gillis, knocks SI humor writer Bill Scheft, despite a plug from Bill Simmons, and says WEEI’s “Down with OBP” skit as their funniest ever. I don’t agree. They’ve had much funnier skits than that one.

NESN has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00. ESPN has Nets/Pistons at 8:00. At 5:00 this afternoon ESPN Classic has Pedro’s 17 strikeout game at Yankee stadium. Despite seeing two Red Sox no-hitters since then, that game remains the most dominating pitching performance I’ve ever seen.

Baseball season officially begins today.

Baseball season officially begins today. The Yankees are in town. With the win over the Angels yesterday at Fenway, the Red Sox move into a first place tie with the Bronx Bombers. Bob Hohler uses the terms “How sweet” and “How delicious” to describe the win and the anticipation of the series with the Yankees. Jeff Horrigan says that yesterday’s Burkett/Lackey matchup was almost like an undercard for the big fight which starts tonight. Sean McAdam agrees, noting “the undercard is done.Time for the main event.” Jeff Goldberg points out that Burkett and Fossum were recently flip flopped in the rotation…likely because of Burkett’s historical struggles against the Yankees. Art Martone and Rich Thompson note that this time, Burkett was able to dodge those sixth inning woes that have plagued him in recent starts. Kevin Gray says it was a NH kid who Trot threw the ball to Saturday afternoon, keeping the Angels rally alive. Gerry Callahan is not letting Trot off the hook this morning on WEEI, Gerry is one of the few in the media here who will go after Trot. He got on him about his weight this spring, and he’s not this gaffe from the weekend slide. He’s noting the hypocrisy of people who won’t let things Manny does slide. John Dennis says a perfect comparison to Manny is Allen Iverson in Philadelphia. He’s held to a higher standard because he’s a superstar. I don’t see the connection at all, John. Karen Guregian has a newsflash…Roger Clemens should go into the hall of fame with a Red Sox, because you know, he got most of of his wins here, and played longer here. In a related story, Dan Shaughnessy tells us there is a long history between the Red Sox and Yankees. Keeping on the “masters of the obvious” theme, Michael Gee’s pay column is wholly devoted to telling us not to get excited, and that this series will not decide the season. You can’t win the pennant in May. Thompson also looks at Bill Mueller looking for his first taste of the Red Sox/Yankee rivalry. Gordon Edes gushes over Alfonso Soriano. Alex Speier, in his weekly notes column for the Metro, looks at Jose Contreras. first base problems for the Yankees and Rafael Palmeiro. Jack O’Connell looks at the Yankees eager to come up and play in Fenway. Hohler’s notebook looks at Person’s first save with the Sox. In McAdam’s notebook Person knows there is plenty of room for improvement. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the Giambi brothers getting their first chance to go head to head in the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. The same theme is the first topic in Goldberg’s notebook.

Howard Bryant provides two pay columns today, the first one is a look at the Yankees struggles since their blistering 18-3 start. In the second column Bryant honors pioneering writer Sam Lacey, who died last week at the age of 99. Lacy, the first African American to be allowed into The Baseball Writers Association of America, started writing in 1934, and continued right through until last week. Bryant tells us:

Transcendent individuals always seem more relevant, more necessary in crucial times. And even in death, Lacy reappeared at the most opportune of moments. At a time when the news business seems to have lost its way, the contrast could not be clearer. Sam Lacy inserted himself into his work to advocate a position, which is a distant cry from the dynamic of today, where the mill of opinion is fed not out of advocacy for a position but of egocentricity and cheap entertainment.

He concludes the article with these thoughts

In Boston, the murky space between reporting and shock jock is the most pronounced in the nation, and in an unfortunate sense, it seems fitting that here would be the place where a venerable, respected presence would slip into the quicksand.

As much as Ryan's fall should serve to caution journalists about the increasingly blurry lines between celebrity and real journalism, between solid reporting and bombastic opinion, so too should the life of Lacy provide an eternal road map - and a reminder - that this business is at its best when the cause comes before the individual.

I was hoping that someone locally would write about Lacy, since there are so many baseball historians around town. My gut tells me that perhaps Bryant was hoping someone else would write the piece as well, and when no one did, he went ahead with it. I’ve no evidence for that, just a feeling. Bryant shouldn’t have had to step up and write this, though he is the best qualified to talk about Lacy. One of the so-called ‘baseball dudes” should’ve written about this earlier.

Other then the Red Sox, there isn’t a whole lot going on. Joe Thornton’s arrest over the weekend is the subject of a couple of articles. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the incident, in which the assault seems to consist of Joe pushing a couple officers who were arresting his brother. Tom Farmer says that a friend of Thornton’s backs his version of the story. What that version is, isn’t clear.

Alright, I’ll say it. Joe Thornton is arguably the best player in the NHL right now. Why isn’t this getting more attention here? If this was Manny, or Antoine Walker or Tom Brady, wouldn’t he be getting raked over the coals right now by the press? You can’t blame this just on the lack of popularity of Hockey. After all, Dan Shaughnessy did a feature article on Thornton for ESPN the magazine. Why isn’t there the rush to judgement to condemn Joe? Because the press likes him. The same way they like Trot. Am I asking for the media to go after Joe? NO. So those of you who think I’m sitting here complaining that the media is too hard on players and now complaining when they look the other way…I’m just pointing out the double standard.

This little nugget is from today’s Inside Track:

Yes, that was WEEI's afternoon host Glen Ordway breaking bread with the head of FOX Sports Net at Davio's the other day. Ordway is disgruntled over pay cuts his co-hosts got hit with last week and may be looking at other opportunities when his radio contract runs out.

NESN has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00 (ESPN2 nationally) ESPN has Senators/Devils at 7:00. TNT has Mavs/Spurs at 9:30.

Here is the Sunday Night

Here is the Sunday Night Sports shows recap.

The Guest columns have stopped

The Guest columns have stopped coming in. Perhaps the mailbag will become the weekend feature for the future. Think of them as “mini-columns”.

Dan weighs in on the Globe/Ryan situation and the Boston media brotherhood:

There really is nothing like the "Brotherhood" of the sports media in Boston.

That sound you here is the medial circling the wagons to protect one of their own.

Be it driving into Florian Hall or driving the wrong way in Kenmore Square several years ago - that's okay - he's one of us

Or, if you've developed a relationship with the middleweight champion and it turns out he regularly beat his wife Bertha and was a cokehead don't ever talk about it all. He's your buddy.

Perhaps you've made fun of a movie star but you get the opportunity for your wife to meet him. That's okay he's a good guy because he did ME a favor.

It all goes back to what Tony Massarotti had in his column a week ago Sunday. "The media in this town take themselves way to seriously and are hardly ever held accountable for anything they say or do."

Finally, someone was.

Congratulations Boston Globe I'd like to renew my subscription!

Well said Dan. Thanks for the thoughts.

Steve O’Brien (apparently no relation to Jim) says that Peter May…

...is just an absolute jerk he has been trying to get Antoine out of town since he's been here. The love feast over O'Brien is sickening with the Globe writers. Here is a coach who wouldn't play the best pure athlete on the team because he was an inconsistent shooter from the arc, are you kidding me. Well Ainge has already said he wants athletes, wing players slashers I guess that describes Kedrick Brown. If it was up to me OB would have been fired and I'm tired of hearing what a nice family man he is. I want a coach that knows how to coach NBA players.

I’ve said it before, and will again, O’Brien has done a solid job, but his weaknesses are developing young players and coaching offense. If Ainge can get the importance of those things through to the coach, then the Celtics will be in good hands.

John from the tagboard checks in:

BRUCE, I'm reading what you said about the media responsibility "partially" towards Carl Everett and his treatment in Boston... and what a load of garbage. It just shows how Bruce can tie the word blame to almost anything with the media. And I have no connections to the media, I don't even like everything anyone does. But Peter Gammons said it best on ESPN last night and former ballplayers and managers on the set agreed, "When you call all the people in Boston racist (among other things), that's what you get!"

It's funny, Bruce can read all the ridiculous things Everett says about Boston, similar to Byron Scott, and the hate Everett spews.. But it's all the "Boston media that spreads the hate, they're telling us to not like Carl Everett." Yeah Bruce, like I need the media in Boston to help me dislike Carl Everett. Did you read what HE said about Boston? I've even heard him say some of those things at the ballpark to some fans. He got laughed at.

A little more tempered email comes from Tim, also disagrees with me:

As for your comments this AM regarding Carl Everett and the Boston Media, you have to keep in mind that Carl does things to draw attention to himself in this incidents as well. He's been baiting the fans in rightfield this whole homestand. It's been small things, but done consistently he raises the ire of fans till the less intelligent/drunk respond with more than yelling and booing. An example of Carl's ability to annoy fans and draw their attention, after catching the final out Tuesday night in front of the Texas bullpen he turned toward the bleachers, held the ball up to show he was going to toss it in the stands, something most outfielders do these days, then tossed the ball in the air, but soft enough so that it landed in the Texas bullpen. A small thing in the course of the night, but repeated by a guy already the target of the crowd and you see the stimulus provided the less inhibited fans later in the evening. Not to excuse their behavior at all of course, but I have yet to read anything about Carl's responsibility in this at all, either the fans got out of control, or now your blaming the media as well.

I'm not a great writer and I'm rushing to get this done here at work, but I hope you understand my point. Let Carl shoulder some of the blame for things getting out of hand here last night.

Couple comments on these. Everett is absolutely the most responsible for how he is treated here. He has brought this upon himself. The problem I have with it is again the tendancy by the media around here to pile on. Everett didn’t make negative comments about the fans while he was here. He had a war with the media. The media now takes every opportunity they have to slam this guy, to remind everyone what a terrible person he is, that he is a monster and “nutjob”. People have done worse things on the field and in the clubhouse than Carl has done, but they don’t get the treatment that Everett gets from the media. The media does have power over the fans, and they’ve exerted it here, All the fans read is what an awful person he is, and it does influence their treatment of him. When Carl was here, he hustled down the line every at bat, played hurt and brought a fearless intensity to the club on the field that was needed.

George concludes the discussion on this topic:

I enjoyed and agreed with your "soapbox" presentation on media nastiness, but definitely think you're understating the case. The media is MUCH more than a "small" factor in what happened to Everett at Fenway last night, although they would be the last to admit it. The most detestable trait of the Boston media is their practice of creating a negative, cheap sentiment and then putting the blame on the Boston fans for being (take your pick) pessimistic, gloom and doom, fickle, low brow. The reality is that Boston sports media is all of these and more - throw in narrow minded, stubborn, and hopelessly insulated. I cite Dan (Dr. Doom) Shaughnessy as Exhibit A. These idiots are not the type to police themselves. That's why your work is so important. Keep it up!

Thanks George. That’s a wrap for the mailbag this week.

Sox win in a blowout,

Sox win in a blowout, Pedro’s ok, and the Lakers are eliminated from the playoffs. I call that a good night. Michael Silverman reports on the game, Pedro’s gem and his groin. Bob Hohler says it was a night of Fenway fun. Paul Kenyon says finally Pedro is getting the type of run support the other pitchers have been getting. Lenny Megliola says the game last night was all about Pedro and Carl Everett. Christopher Price looks at the sweep of the Rangers by the Sox. Tom Yantz says Pedro’s who repertoire was on display, the zip on his fastball, the drop of the changeup and the bite of the curve. Kevin Gray looks at the masterful performance of Pedro last night. Dan Shaughnessy though, says Pedro’s health is a mystery, since he won’t talk. He then moves on to his favorite topic, Carl Everett, who had things thrown at him last night and needed to be removed from the game for his own safety. The Everett incidents where the other big topic from the game. John Powers reports on the ugly situation, Mike Shalin notes that the one who threw the baseball at Everett was arrested. Kenyon says the incidents in Chicago with fans coming onto the field has made them all a bit wary.

This situation begs the question. What culpability does the media have in what happened to Everett last night? Ridiculous? Some of you will no doubt say that. (Many of you associated with the media, especially) There goes Bruce, blaming the media once again. I’ll make this clear. I’m not saying the media is at fault for a few pinheads who booze it up and think it’s cool to throw stuff at a player. But when the media, especially this media, spends so much time telling us what an awful guy Carl Everett is, and say hateful things about him in newspapers, on radio and TV, the clear indication given is that you too should hate this man if you are at all a decent human being. They stoke up the flames of hatred towards this man. Does all that type of media coverage have anything to do with how Everett was treated last night? I think it has to be considered a factor, even if it is a small one. Other players have certainly done worse things in their lives than Everett has done, but he gets the special treatment. Why? Is it because he is almost a year round topic among the media in this market? Shaughnessy today does his best to distance himself from the situation, even joking that he was nowhere near the area from which the debris that hit Everett came, but if something worse had happened last night, he should’ve been taking a long look at himself and how what he says and writes influences other people’s opinions and even their actions.

Ok, down from the soapbox. Back to your regularly scheduled links. Gordon Edes has a look at Roger Clemens as he preps to go for win # 299 tonight. A mini-controversy is brewing as to whether the Yankees will give Roger an extra day of rest to allow him to go for # 300 at home in NY. That could all be moot if the Yankees game tonight gets rained out, which is at least a possibility. Karen Guregian takes the arguments discussed on sports radio yesterday and uses them to compose her column today. How it makes sense from a business sense for the Yankees to hold Clemens back a day. Roger would even prefer to go for it at Yankee Stadium, etc. Yesterday, John Tomase had the first in a two part cover story on Roger Clemens. Nick Cafardo gets Jim Rice to talk about Roger as a teammate and his thoughts on going for win # 300. The Globe has a Peter Gammons archived article from Clemens first major league win available. Jim Donaldson says fans love to worry about Pedro. This is an alternative to the “Red Sox fans love to be miserable” theme that is so tired. Christopher Price looks at how Fenway is home sweet home for the Sox so far this year. Powers also looks at the purchase of the Angels by Mexican-American Arturo Moreno, making him the first Latino owner of a US professional sports franchise. Rich Thompson looks at the Red Sox leader in slugging percentage…Mann….errr…Bill Mueller. Cafardo also looks at Mueller’s extra base barrage. Mueller is also the first topic in Kenyon’s notebook. Yantz’s notebook has more on Everett, while Silverman’s notebook has Larry Lucchino hinting that pitching help will be acquired at some point. Hohler’s notebook focuses on whether Lucchino is mad that the Yankees might hold Clemens off for a day and have him miss Fenway.

Chad Finn defends Antoine, saying that trading the Celtics cocaptain would be a mistake, he says not only should Danny Ainge not be making any phone calls to trade Walker, he shouldn’t accept any, either. Mark Murphy says the new Celtics owners are willing to admit they’ve made a number of mistakes in this their first season in charge of the club. Shira Springer reports on Vin Baker, who is entering the “transition” phase of his rehab treatment. Jackie MacMullan says that the new Charlotte franchise is interested in adding ML Carr as a consultant. Are they looking for advice on how to tank a season and still not manage to get the # 1 pick in the draft? Bill Reynolds wonders if Monday night was the last time we’ll see Antoine as a Celtic. Ray Duckler remembers Dave DeBusschere.

Tom Curran has a quick notebook about the Patriots being close to a deal with LB Don Davis.

Bill Griffith reports on WEEI making paycuts to Big Show co-hosts. John Molori gets quotes from Fred Smerlas, who says he has resigned from the show. Griffith also reports on Sean McDonough’s last day at WWZN yesterday. He left quietly, didn’t go off the show with guns blazing. Jim Baker doesn’t have the WEEI information, brushes quickly past the McDonough departure, and focuses on Joe Buck and Tim McCarver trashing closer by committee. Clark Booth touches on a myriad of topics, including his belief that the Celtics should “dump” Antoine Walker for getting into it with a fan.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Angels at 7:00. ESPN has Pistons/Sixers at 7:30, and Wild/Mighty Ducks at 10:30. TBS has Braves/Padres at 10:00