Bob Hohler reports on Trot

Bob Hohler reports on Trot Nixon stealing the spotlight on Nomar’s birthday. Kevin McNamara notes that Tim Wakefield finally got some run support. Jeff Horrigan says the Sox didn’t let the Rays steal this one from them. David Heuschkel says last night’s game was brought to you by the number seven. Christopher Price gives us the thumbnail account of the game. Kevin Paul Dupont has a look at Trot Nixon, quietly having the best season of his career. Tony Massarotti has a similar piece, noting how Nixon is tough enough to withstand the pressures of playing in Boston. Shira Springer looks at how Tim Wakefield finally got some run support out there. Michael Silverman says Wakefield was due for a lift. Dupont also has a look at Scott Sauerbeck, who made his Red Sox debut last night. Seems KPD is trying establish his own baseball catch phrase, as he uses the term “Hub of Hardball Heartache” for the second time in three days. He does get a decent line in about the Yankees’ “late-night raid of the Pine Valley Senior Home” to get Jesse Orosco. Silverman also has a piece on Sauerbeck, who seems to be saying all the right things in regard to Boston and the Yankees. Dave Wedge reports on the controversy around the QuesTec system. Springer also has a short report on the system, and how Derek Lowe will face a doubly tight strike zone on Sunday night in front of an ESPN audience. Steven Krasner says Rocco Baldelli enjoyed his time off during the All Star Break. David Borges also has a look at Baldelli’s first season. In his third and final segment of the interview with the Red Sox owners, Matt Eagan records their answers on spending money, bringing a World Series title to Boston and small market designations. Mike Giardi says this is the year for the Red Sox. Hohler’s notebook looks at possible rotation shuffling if the game gets rained out today. Horrigan’s notebook has Grady Little noting that Bill Mueller made his first mistake of the entire season the other day. McNamara’s notebook looks at Sauerbeck being caught off guard at coming to Boston. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Sauerbeck.

Today is New Hampshire day at Fenway Park. Kevin Gray provides a few stories as to why New Hampshire loves the Red Sox. Vin Sylvia looks at how Carlton Fisk carried the hopes of NH baseball fans on his shoulders during the 1970’s. Eric Emmerling and Sylvia provide a lengthly report on the many ties between NH and the Red Sox over the years.

Dan Shaughnessy puts together a thoroughly enjoyable article about the start of Patriots training camp. Thanks Dan. Even enjoyed the Ron Borges reference. Michael Felger reports that Belichick’s extension was actually done a year ago. He also takes a quick look at the tenure of the coach and his staff and the moves they’ve made in the draft and free agency. Nick Cafardo tries to figure out the mystery of who actually failed the conditioning test. Kevin Mannix says that players not showing up to camp in shape reflects that they do not respect their coach, and says that is of concern. Mike Reiss looks at why the contract extension to Belichick was the right move and what it signals about the organization. Cafardo also reports on the extension, as does Christopher Price. Tom Curran looks at Tom Brady, who seems poised to take the next step in an already impressive young career. Lenny Megliola is just glad football is starting again. Jim Donaldson can’t figure out who the real Patriots are, and doesn’t use his column to solve that problem, either. Curran also reports on Antowain Smith and the conditioning run, notes that Smith might’ve failed it last year on purpose out of superstition, and if the club might be making preparations for his release after failing it for the third year in a row. Michael Parente also weighs in on the run, and tries to read the Belichick tea leaves for answers. Jonathan Comey says that on paper, this is be best team of the Belichick era. Shane Donaldson’s notebook looks at Smith’s failure and has a number of observations from the first day of camp. Parente’s notebook looks at Belichick extension and has notes from the first day of camp. Cafardo’s notebook says that Larry Centers might be brought in for a look during camp. Felger’s notebook has Rodney Harrison introducing himself to Troy Brown and also says future rainy day sessions will not be closed to the public, but instead fans will be able to watch practice from within the stadium on the big screen. Curran’s notebook has more on Belichick’s extension.

Dale Arnold reported leading off his WEEI show this morning from Gillette that Antowain Smith was among those practicing today, indicating that he’s passed the conditioning test.

Mark Murphy reports on Jim O’Brien checking in with Vin Baker.

John Molori looks at coverage of the FleetBoston Classic, and also at Patriots Fifth Quarter, which will air after every game on WBZ4 or UPN38, even after games not carried by WBZ. Molori notes that the shows will be hosted by Bob Lobel, Steve DeOssie and Scott Zolak. I’ll add to that and mention to watch for Bob Nuemeier to be a part of the mix as well, likely both on the pregame shows and the Fifth Quarter shows.

While some of us might already be sick of the Kobe Bryant talk on the airwaves, the on-line community can’t get enough of it. The Lycos 50 notes that searches about Kobe and his accuser are off the charts.

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NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 1:00.