Not a bad evening for the Boston fan. Two games, two pretty one sided victories. I guess we’ll start with the game that counted. John Burkett lately might be the only right handed pitcher ever described as “crafty”. That’s usually reserved strictly for lefties. Great quote by Burkett in Bob Hohler’s game piece:(It’s in all the game stories, actually)
"I think people are thinking that this old guy with gray hair who is throwing 85 miles an hour isn't going to be able to do the job, so I am constantly battling myself and battling that," he said. "And I like that."
Kind of says it all. I thought that was pretty funny. Not to mention that Burkett tops out at 85, most of his stuff is slower than that. Anyway, enough gushing about John Burkett. (Did I really just say that? If I were someone else, I think this would be the time I’d be saying something about lighting myself on fire.) Jeff Horrigan says that Burkett is getting stronger as the season goes along. David Heuschkel compares Burkett to a ’77 Pinto with primer that just seems to keep running and get good mileage. Alex Speier looks at Burkett’s evening. Sean McAdam says that these Sox are most impressive at home. Bob Ryan writes about the extraordinary David Ortiz. His last twelve hits have been for extra bases. That is truly amazing. (note to Don Skwar…why didn’t Dan Shaughnessy draw this assignment…where’s your sense of humor?) No, I’m glad Ryan wrote this article, as he did it well. Steve Conroy and Steven Krasner also weigh in with pieces on Ortiz. Both are enjoyable reads. Can’t get enough of Ortiz. A rare treat today is two Bob Ryan articles on the same day. His second looks back at Pedro’s complete game, and what that showed. His colleagues at the Globe could learn so much from Ryan. He’s not a cheerleader in his articles, but they’re free of the negative little shots and downers that we’ve seen from Shaughnessy and Dupont the last few days. Michael Vega says that Burkett might want to consider getting his lineup a gift for the support they’ve given him all year. Mark Murphy looks at the zone that Nomar has locked into at Fenway this year. The Derek Lowe Face has gone national, yet Karen Guregian says that Lowe is not changing his demeanor. Conroy also looks at Casey Fossum, back with the big club and ready for his start tonight against the Orioles. Patrick Garrity reports on “Red Sox Day” in Vermont yesterday. John Tomase looks back at vintage Pedro from Wednesday night. Hohler’s notebook looks at the DL as a likely landing spot for Ramiro Mendoza. Horrigan’s notebook has more on that, and reports that Mendoza has already cleared waivers, so that hurdle is past. McAdam’s notebook says the Sox aren’t going to release Mendoza, but need to figure out something with him. Heuschkel’s notebook has still more on that situation.
Patriots defense looked good…that seems to be the consensus. Good thing, says Alan Greenberg, since they didn’t show much in running the ball. Greenberg has a lot of praise for the defense, especially the rookies and Rosevelt Colvin. Tom Curran looks at a few big plays by some of the newcomers. Nick Cafardo says whatever players the Patriots put out there, they were better than what the Giants had. He notes some of the highlights and items of interest from the game. Michael Felger says the play of a number of key defenders should be encouraging to Patriots fans. Kevin Mannix looks at the impressive debut of Dan Klecko, with whom Tedy Bruschi is already very impressed. What’s this? A Ron Borges sighting? After going the entire training camp without hearing from him, he weighs in on the first preseason game. He seems very encouraged by what he saw out on the field. The new guys appeared to be capable of doing what they were brought in to do. Most importantly, no injuries. Michael Parente has a pretty complete wrapup of the action last night. Ian M. Clark says that though it’s only a preseason game, those who needed to show something did last night. Michael Smith writes that it’s hard for Patriots fans not to be overjoyed at some of the things they saw last night. Christopher Price hands out straight A’s for the Patriot rookies for last night. Carolyn Thornton has a look at Fred McCrary and the rest of the fullbacks and what they did last night. George Kimball looks at Tyrone Poole, who had a pick last night and has apparently gotten over his homesickness of a couple weeks ago. Looks like his wife set him straight. I won’t make any Doug Christie comments. Aaron Harlan looks at big plays by Colvin and Poole. Do I even want to touch Dan Shaughnessy’s article today? Starts out whining about football coming too soon. Then he’s trying to compare preseason football with baseball spring training. Save yourself a couple minutes. Don’t read it. Use the time to trim your nails or something else more productive. I’ll never get that two minutes back…Paul Kenyon looks at Giants defensive end and former URI player Frank Ferrara. John Altavilla looks at a rough night from the Giants perspective, and towards the end has a bit about Jeremy Shockey allegedly making a derogatory sexual remark about Bill Parcells. Weird. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the running back competition. Felger’s notebook has more on that topic. Curran’s notebook looks at Dan Klecko. The first line of the notebook is a reference to a group in the Patriots KFFL board which already has a Klecko Cult started.
Peter May looks briefly at the Celtics exhibition schedule.
A couple messy items…Ron Borges looks at Micky Ward claiming he was duped into selling his life story for only $1000. Not really sports media related, but it could manifest itself in some form on the WWZN airwaves between 12-3 in the afternoon sometime, is the ugly story of the Andelman/Costa gourmet food show breakup, as reported in the Inside Track.
John Howell reports on a Connecticut radio station that the Red Sox are allowing to do their own play by play for one game.
NESN has Sox/Orioles at 1:00, UPN38 Has Sox/Orioles game 2 at 7:00.