Five in a row now.

Five in a row now. Bob Hohler looks at Pedro improving to 12-0 lifetime against the Mariners. Jeff Horrigan says it was clear that Pedro was still weak and recovering from his illness. Sean McAdam says that Pedro and the Sox have made a hairpin turnaround since last week. David Heuschkel says Pedro’s competitive spirit was there for all to see. Tony Massarotti looks at the Sox as a team keeping their heads during this tough stretch of games, and executing. The next most important two stretch of the season is in front of them. Gordon Edes gets reaction from the Mariners clubhouse after the game, and they’re full of praise for the Sox. A Seattle reporter however, so shocked at seeing the Mariner’s pitchers torched as they were, raises the question of whether the Sox were stealing signs in this series. Mark Blaudschun looks at another huge hit for David Ortiz. Rich Thompson also has a look at the Sox red hot # 5 hitter. Shira Springer writes about three more hits for Nomar yesterday. Massarotti also looks at Nomar, rebounding nicely from his 0-6 on Saturday. Rich Thompson looks at Johnny Damon, the Sox are 18-1 this year when he scores two runs or more in a game. Jon Couture tries to explain to Kevin Millar the mentality of the fan base here in New England. Michael Gee looks at the Sox debut of Bronson Arroyo, who picked up the save. Gee has a pay column in which he says the Pedro we saw yesterday is what the Pedro of 2006 & 07 will look like. Hohler’s notebook looks at Grady lining up his rotation for the Yankees. Horrigan’s notebook has Grady speaking about the things that likely ticked Pedro off. McAdam’s notebook says that it is no surprise that the Sox have turned things around at home. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Arroyo, and also Grady getting testy with the media.

Now comes the obligatory Pedro section. Feel free to avert your eyes from this paragraph as the content within is not likely to be pretty. Dan Shaughnessy is Dan Shaughnessy. What did we expect? Not his worst rip job, but a more subtle version. Jim Donaldson wishes to grow up and be Dan Shaughnessy someday. The master of the one line paragraph attempts to establish himself as cultivated, (“the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”?) before taking his shots. He even says the criticism of Pedro last Thursday was “admittedly ignorant”, yet Pedro should’ve just ignored it. I’ll keep this in mind next time a media member comes to me complaining that I’m taking “cheap shots” at them. Some members of the Boston sports media (I’m not necessarily including Donaldson in this group.) are the most hypocritical, thin skinned people you will ever meet. Any criticism of them results in a strikeback. The Angry White Golfers yesterday morning circling the wagons and saying the Boston media is not negative was laughable. Going into full mode defense against criticism of themselves, yet they’re lecturing guys like Pedro to just ignore it when their manhood is questioned? That it’s just part of being here? The same rules apply to you guys, so just keep that in mind. I don’t take “cheap shots” nor do I make personal attacks, yet, I certainly hear from enough media people when I’ve criticized them. Ok. Back to the Pedro articles. Gerry Callahan has a pay column today in which he says Pedro needs to be here, because he thrives on the intensity and criticism that he gets, Callahan says:

Pedro is an incredibly bright guy who is more articulate in his second language than most ballplayers are in their first, but if his skin were any thinner you could see through him. This is a man with the heart of a lion and the ears of a rabbit. Presumably Pedro wants to play somewhere without hecklers, without critics, without cranks or curmudgeons or pessimists, and of course, with a $120 million payroll. He wants the 34,000 fawning acolytes every night but not the occasional heckler. He wants his next baseball town to be like Cuba on election day - 100-percent approval. You see a town like that on the baseball map, you let Pedro know. It might be tough to locate.

Thin skinned, eh? We could fill a book with the sarcastic, biting and personally insulting remarks that Dan Shaughnessy has made to people who dare question him via email. Seems he reacts to hecklers just as well as Pedro does. Callahan goes on to say though, that those hecklers drive Pedro to greater performances. Not sure the same can be said media members. Does criticism drive them to greater columns? I’m not going to paint with a broad brush and say all media members are like that. They’re not. There are plenty of fine reporters and journalists in this town. The majority of them, in fact. But as with anything, the negative is what stands out. A few loud mouthed media types are enough to ruin the reputation of the whole group.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled links. If you skipped the above paragraph, good for you. David Patten is the story of the day in Patriots links. Nick Cafardo, Tom Curran, Alan Greenberg, Ian M. Clark and Michael Parente all look at how Patten continually has to prove himself and earn his spot on the team each year. Kevin Mannix looks at Kevin Faulk and how he just won’t concede the lead running spot to Antowain Smith. Cafardo’s notebook has more on the hole in the running game and also contains a nice story from the late Ken Coleman about Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Mannix’s notebook looks ahead to tomorrow night’s preseason finale against the Bears. Parente’s notebook looks at the slow progress of Kenyatta Jones. Curran’s notebook looks at possible cuts for today.

Bill Griffith looks at the evolution of the whole Pedro situation. Jim Baker defends Johnny Miller in his pay column, wheeling out witnesses who saw Pedro talking to Miller. They saw them talking, but didn’t hear what was said. They (Alan Greenwood and Jimmy Golen) vouch for Miller’s credibility in this instance. Matthew Gilbert reviews “Playmakers”.

Celtics fans, Michael Muldoon has a Q&A session with Danny Ainge on the moves he’s made in his first 100 days on the job and also discusses the future of the franchise. This article appeared Saturday but wasn’t posted until last night.

A few new articles up at Football Outsiders. NFC West, NFC South and AFC South previews are up. There will also be a staff predictions article up sometime today.

NESN has Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. TBS has Mets/Braves at 7:30. ESPN has the debut of “Playmakers” at 9:00.

Sox get their fourth win

Sox get their fourth win in a row, and have Pedro going this afternoon against a team he’s never lost to. All is well right? (I’ll group the Pedro articles together in a bit, you can then skip them if you like.) Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan, Steven Krasner and David Heuschkel provide the game stories from last night’s nationally televised 6-1 win for the Sox. Derek Lowe was strong last night. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Karen Guregian look at the outing by Lowe, and the wax paraffin treatments he used to heal his blister. Tony Massarotti and Shira Springer look at the big blow by David Ortiz that sealed the game for the Sox. Horrigan looks at Pedro’s physical condition for this afternoon’s start. Michael Gee looks at the Mariners Ryan Franklin taking one for the team last night. Gee tells everyone to calm down and relax in his pay column. Enjoy the playoff chase. Don’t get too high or too low. On the ESPN telecast last night, Joe Morgan was his usual self, but he did score an on-camera interview with Manny before the game. Clips were shown during the broadcast, and Manny came off as he usually does, humble, shy and very likeable. He was asked how he keeps such an even keel during the game, not letting bad at bats get to him, and he credited his mother, who he said doesn’t get angry, always keeps her cool. Hohler’s notebook looks at Pedro on the hill today. In Horrigan’s notebook, he wonders if Scott Williamson might be getting some save chances coming his way. McAdam’s notebook also looks at Pedro cleared to pitch today.

So that concludes the on field portion of your Red Sox coverage for today. Now the Pedro section. Tony Massarotti says this is all part of the Pedro package. Either you accept him as he is, or you won’t have him. Mazz says personally, he likes watching Pedro pitch every five days, so he’d like to keep him around. Sean McAdam says that Pedro is far too sensitive to be here, some of his teammates silently resent him, (If they’re silent about it, how does Sean know about it?) and we’re likely coming to the end of the Pedro run in Boston. Bob Hohler reports on the situation. This sentence deserves some elaboration: “Martinez suggested his integrity was wrongly impugned partly because he is Dominican.” What did he say? Give us more, Bob, you just can’t throw that out there without expanding on it. David Heuschkel also reports on the events of yesterday. Lenny Megliola says even though Johnny Miller didn’t get this on tape, (he reportedly gets everything on tape) no one doubts that Pedro said these things. He then suggests that Pedro call a press conference and get everything out in the open. Call out the people he’s mad at, let everyone know. Howard Bryant has a pay column, that while not exclusively on the subject of Pedro, looks at the New York/Boston similarities in media coverage. He says the Yankees would never allow their best players not to speak to the media as the Red Sox do, noting that “George Steinbrenner and the city’s sports editors both understand their responsibility to the city.” Steven Krasner has a sometimes amusing look at Pedro’s use of the english language. This is part of a four day series the Projo is running on the now World wide game of baseball, there are many stories in the series, too many to link to, so go check it out if you get a chance. Some interesting bits in there.

A note from yesterday, worth preserving for posterity. Tony Massarotti says the media in Boston does go too far at times:

That said, we, the self-righteous members of the Fourth Estate, need to recognize our part in this. There are insufficiently-skilled reporters out there, just as there are those who are fair and responsible. Sure, we can dole out the criticism and cheap shots, but we often have difficulty accepting them. And despite general perceptions, being too negative is just as much a sin as being too positive for those who are supposed to be in the middle.

It's never supposed to be personal. Never, never, never.

Who cut J.R.? Nick Cafardo reports on the release of Redmond, and how that gives Patrick Pass a little breathing room, for the moment. We’ll always remember Redmond for his clutch performances in the Snow Bowl and the Super Bowl. He doesn’t get out of bounds during that Super Bowl winning drive, and there likely isn’t any game winning kick in regulation. Kevin Mannix says that David Patten appears to have successfully fought off competitors for his place on the team. Paul Kenyon also looks at Redmond and Pass. Alan Greenberg also has a brief bit on the roster moves of yesterday. In Texas, Richard Oliver wonders if Bill Parcells can win without Bill Belichick at his side. Cafardo’s notebook has Ty Law being realistic about what the Patriots have accomplished in the preseason. Mannix’s notebook has more on the cuts from yesterday.

NESN has Red Sox/Mariners at 1:00. ESPN has Padres/Diamondbacks at 9:00. ABC has Colts/Broncos preseason football at 8:00.