Well, the good thing about this time of year is that there are Patriots stories to read when the Red Sox suffer crushing losses like last night. While the Sox will likely be resilient and bounce back from this latest tough loss, last night was painful. Sports radio will be even more painful today. In any event, the Patriots have officially moved to the # 1 spot in my attention span. Yes, I will continue to rabidly follow the Sox until their season is over, but the Pats come first. Actually, my pro sports ranking system actually goes Celtics 1, Patriots 1a, Red Sox 1b, Bruins 25. Thankfully the Patriots make a big move last night to offset the Sox somewhat. The joke of course, is that we’re not kidding when we say big move. Ted Washington is in the fold. Kevin Mannix & Michael Felger team up to report on the trade that brought the 375lb nose tackle to the Patriots. Nick Cafardo says Washington is another good locker room guy, who likely won’t play full time. Tom Curran says the Isle of Washington will be a handy deterrent to wheel out on teams that think they can run up the middle on the Pats. Michael Parente, and Robert Campbell round off the local coverage of the acquisition of Washington. ESPN’s John Clayton says that this move could put the Patriots over the top in the AFC East. David Haugh reports on the story for the Chicago Tribune. Michael Gee writes that Bill Belichick is still beaming over Tom Brady’s 85 yard hookup with David Patten Saturday night. Parente looks at the Patriots 3-4 defense, which has a wrinkle because of the versatility of the linebackers. Carolyn Thornton looks at Bobby Hamilton, starting again at square one with another training camp. Cafardo also reports on the addition of Corbin Lacina to the Pats offensive line, in addition Rich Tylski, who retired during camp last year is interested in coming back. Tylski speaks very positively of his (brief) stay in New England, which may come as a surprise to certain scribes & talking heads who intimated that the training camp retirements were a reflection of how the Patriots (Belichick) treated people. Gee’s notebook says that Lacina is planning on sticking around for a bit. Thornton’s notebook also says Lacina is here to stay. Parente’s notebook wraps up the Lacina coverage, and notes that Antwoine Womack briefly got on the practice field yesterday, but had to cut it short.
Alright, if we must, we’ll now go into the Red Sox. I’ll try to make it as brief and painless as possible. Bob Ryan hates blisters. Michael Silverman, Bob Hohler, Sean McAdam and David Heuschkel wrap up the game for us. Jeff Jacobs wonders if a blister might spell doom for the season. Lenny Megliola says welcome to Boston, Sauerbeck and Williamson. Steve Conroy looks at Lowe’s night, pre-blister. Mike Shalin says Ken Macha takes no particular joy in beating his former employer. Kevin McNamara has a similar look at the A’s skipper. Gordon Edes looks at the huge job done by the A’s bullpen. Shalin also looks at the A’s pen, which gave the team a huge boost. Michael Vega says Scott Williamson takes full responsibility for giving up the homerun. Big of him. Who else is he going to blame it on? Conroy writes that Tim Wakefield is ready to take the mound in tonight’s crucial game. Edes sneaks a quick peek at A’s phenom Rich Harden. Howard Bryant has a short pay column in which he looks at reaction after the game, the A’s were calm and focused, while Billy Bean noted of the crowd:
"Did you hear that?'' Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane said. ``That was intense. The guy throws one pitch and comes off to that? Is the world going to end tomorrow? What was that? Face it, it won't make a difference if they win three, we win three or someone wins two. There is so much baseball left. It's crazy, but that's also why I love Boston.''
Well, maybe that’s the proper perspective. Silverman’s notebook looks at continued playing time for Damian Jackson. Hohler’s notebook says the division is slipping away. The ProJo notebook says Hudson wants to go against Pedro. Heushckel’s notebook also looks at the benching of Todd Walker.
NESN has A’s/Red Sox at 7:00. (ESPN2 Nationally) ESPN2 has Braves/Giants at 10:00. USFL fans can catch the original Boston Breakers taking on the Los Angeles Express on ESPN Classic at 9:00.