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.

Enough links for ya?

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

So did the Yankees really

So did the Yankees really cancel their game quickly so they could avoid facing Roy Halladay last night and also reshuffle their rotation for the Sox this weekend? That was the half-kidding speculation on NESN last night, and on the WEEI broadcast, Jerry and Joe said the Yankees game canceled “awfully quick”. Who knows. The Sox took care of business again, beating the Tigers in between the raindrops. Sean McAdam says good teams beat the teams that they should beat. Jeff Horrigan says the Sox wanted to get last night’s game in and keep their momentum going. Bob Hohler notes that another Grady Little shuffled lineup was able to get the job done. David Heuschkel says it was a familiar tale against the Tigers. Dan Shaughnessy looks at Nomar on his 30th birthday. A generally positive piece, Shaughnessy essentially notes at one point that the media can spin player quotes whichever way it suits them. Sox pick up a lefty specialist, Michael Silverman reports on the acquisition of Scott Sauerbeck. McAdam notes that this trade adds a missing ingredient that the bullpen had lacked. Hohler looks at the trade in all its parts, which had the Sox giving up Brandon Lyon and Anastacio Martinez and picking up Sauerbeck and hard throwing AAA prospect Mike Gonzalez. Heuschkel says the Sauerbeck is already looking forward to playing in Fenway and facing the Yankees. Down in NY, George King reports that Sauerbeck was the first choice of the Yankees, but the Pirates told them the Yankees they didn’t have what it took to acquire him. The Yankees instead picked up 46 year old Jesse Orosco. Kevin Gray feels we should thank Brandon Lyon for all he did for this team this season. Tony Massarotti looks at Derek Lowe, who still made some mistakes last night, and continues to have trouble with left handed batters. Shira Springer says that Lowe has figured out his mechanical problem. Silverman says the Sox will not look past the Devil Rays the next two nights in preparing for the Yankees. John Tomase looks at Carlos Pena, who is on the right path in his big league career. Springer also writes about Gabe Kapler, who is happy with his role here in Boston. Matt Eagan continues his Q&A with Red Sox ownership, talking about the future of Fenway. McAdam’s notebook looks at a cancer-free Tony Cloninger, and has the Sox interested in purchasing some prospects. Horrigan’s notebook says the news on Cloninger was certainly a relief. Hohler’s notebook has Epstein feeling pretty good about the Sox chances. Thank goodness he didn’t say he was feeling a little dangerous right now…

Summer’s over. The Patriots start training camp today. Tom Curran tells us ramblings-style what will and won’t happen during training camp. Michael Smith notes that Pats training camp will have all the comforts of home. Michael Parente looks at how the offseason moves and work have all been preparations for what starts today. Michael Felger looks at the Patriots preparing to bounce back into contention this season. Alan Greenberg looks at some questions and concerns heading into camp. Jon Wallach asks if you’re ready for all of this to begin and lists some things to look for. Dan Pires has 10 questions facing the Patriots as they begin camp. Shane Donaldson has an interesting look at technology in football, how the use of it has changed in the game over the years and what we might see in the future. Ron Borges on MSNBC picks the Pats to finish third in the division. Mike Reiss says this is truly Bill Belichick’s team now. Mark Farinella says this will not be a simple or easy camp for the team. Curran looks at Stephen Neal’s injury and how that impacts the offensive line. Nick Cafardo has part of a 1-1 interview with Matt Light that will appear on the Globe SportsPlus on NESN. Felger completes his camp preview with a look at Special Teams. Cafardo’s notebook has his first controversy and slant against Belichick as he reports on a feud between the coach and team’s field superintendent, leading to the latter’s resignation last week.

Reports last night had the Celtics agreeing to terms with Travis Best, but apparently that is not the case yet. Mark Murphy and Shira Springer report on the courting of the free agent point guard. Christopher Price talks to Marcus Banks about his week in the Reebok Summer league.

Lenny Megliola writes about Phil Burton, making a name for himself in the TV world here in Boston. Jim Donaldson wonders if “Seabiscuit” could mean a boost to local racetracks.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Cubs/Phillies at 7:00. ESPN2 has Royals/Twins at 7:00. FSNE has Revolution/Crew at 7:30.

I’ve added a few more

I’ve added a few more comments from people regarding yesterday’s letters posted on the web site. I’ve marshaled all of the responses onto another page, where the discussion continues.

To wrap things up, I’ll turn to Howard Bryant once again, as he responds to many of the points brought out on the above page:

It strikes me that one of the central disconnects in this whole discussion is in how it is framed, that the very phrase "CBC" infuriates because it is not wholly accurate, and thus has become part of the media schtick. Using that abbreviation gets the discussion off on the wrong foot, usually irreparably.

As I've said in the past, I AGREE with the James argument that the closer should be used best when the game is on the line. What has always perplexed me is that everyone knows that the save statistic is essentially meaningless, yet executives have allowed it to raise the salaries of relief pitchers for the past 15 years. But the Red Sox first attempted this new strategy without a proven closer at all. The theory is solid. The execution was not.

Should people apologize for being wrong on the bullpen? Of course, not. They *weren't* wrong, because the current 'pen is very different in personnel and in use than when the season began. The club remained flexible in trying to solve the problem, and it appears that they have.

That's what good organizations are supposed to do.

As for the rest of the discussion about our business, I've found it very interesting being back in Boston how much time is spent on the personalities of the writers, a phenomenon very different than in other cities I've worked.

Someone asked how I feel about a writer calling someone a "piece of junk." I don't advocate that, and I wouldn't do it.

Another person suggested that sports reporters aren't "serious" journalists, for those folks are covering the "real world." I don't think that is particularly fair.

When I worked in Oakland, I stopped covering murders b/c it hurt being in a woman's house minutes after her eight-year old was killed in crossfire, asking for quotes.

I covered technology for the San Jose Mercury News, responsible for networking and explaining the ramifications of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was daunting and I think made me a better reporter.

I switched to sports not because I couldn't handle it, or wanted to watch Jason Giambi stand around in his underwear, but because I wanted to write a book on the history between black players and the Red Sox, and being in the game was the only way to reach those sources. Are there people in the biz who cover sports 'cause they like being around this lifestyle? Absolutely yes. Are there writers who don't have the chops to cover complex subjects, so they cover sports? Yes, to that. But people cover different subjects for different reasons. Bob Hohler at the Globe covered the Clinton White House. My favorite assignment was covering the video game industry, because of the wonderfully creative people, and because playing games for a living was *fun!* And when someone died, you could hit the reset button and start again.

Sorry for the long post!

HB

I want to thank Howard for taking the time to respond both to the original piece and to the reactions that it spawned. He brought up a couple things that I was going to mention, namely that he himself had covered news other than sports, and that Bob Hohler came over from the news side of the business. Hohler certainly didn’t make the change because he couldn’t handle what he was doing.

I think this exchange has been productive. I wish other media people would take the time to attempt to explain some of their viewpoints, and help the readers to understand where they’re coming from on different issues. A couple writers in the past had agreed to answer a few questions for this site, in which I hoped to let them do just that. They never answered the questions I sent to them. Others have offered to do a chat type discussion here, and I may take them up on their offers.