I guess this would be

I guess this would be sort of a mini Guest Column. It’s a remembrance of Ron Burton, Sr. as related by “Charlie”.

The news of the passing of Ron Burton, Sr. brought back a flood of memories from the

Bill Simmons weighs in on

Bill Simmons weighs in on the HBO documentary “Curse of the Bambino.” Simmons declined to appear on the program, and explains why he didn’t want to be a part of it. Good choice. I had some interaction with the producers of the program and can relate a somewhat similar experience. They insisted this was not going to be a negative story dwelling on the supposed “curse” but that HBO was insisting that they use the title of Shaughnessy’s book as the title. This article is a must read.

So why did the Red Sox allow Spike Lee to throw out the first pitch at Fenway a couple of weeks ago? In this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated, when asked about his biggest sports fantasy, Lee says it would be for the Knicks to win the NBA title again during his lifetime, and that the Red Sox never win the World Series during his lifetime.

Sox get another day closer

Sox get another day closer to the postseason. Jeff Horrigan looks at a strong starting performance from Tim Wakefield. Steven Krasner looks at the Sox, floating like a knuckleball towards a return to the playoffs. Tom Yantz says the Sox seized the opportunity to pick up a game on Seattle. Peter May gets the call from the Globe to write the Sox game story and practically proclaims the Sox as his lock of the century for a playoff spot. Lenny Megliola simply says the playoff chances are looking good. Kevin Gray looks at a very loose Sox clubhouse, which including Manny and Byung-Hyun Kim dancing to rap tunes before the game. Sean McAdam looks at Grady’s strategy this week of leaving his starters in the game as long as he possible can. Jackie MacMullan looks at the Sox, and what they need to do to sew up that playoff spot. Gordon Edes looks at the aftermath of the bullpen TV controversy. Rich Thompson looks at Lou Piniella pushing Rocco Baldelli for rookie of the year. Krasner looks at the late season rash of injuries suffered by the Sox. Karen Guregian looks at the bond between Pedro and John W. Henry, noting that this could mean a future in Boston beyond 2004 for Pedro. Steve Buckley must’ve been stumped for a story, or perhaps just had too many media appearances to come up with a new idea, as today in his pay column he writes about something he’s been talking about since the spring, the Sox playoff rotation and whether Derek Lowe should be the game one starter. Nothing you haven’t heard Buck say a thousand times on the air this year already. Thompson also has a look at how Wakefield approaches each pitch. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Bill Mueller’s back spasms which led to an early exit from last night’s game. Yantz’s notebook also has Mueller as it’s lead. Krasner’s notebook looks at Nomar’s interesting third inning in the field last night. May’s notebook has more on Mueller.

Nick Cafardo says Matt Chatham is ready to step up to a bigger role with the injury to Colvin. Tom Curran says Sunday might be a huge game for Antowain Smith. Alan Greenberg says the team’s depth will be tested early because of an assortment of injuries. Ian M. Clark examines whether the Patriots practice of spreading passes among many players is a good thing, or if it is indicative of the team not having a go-to guy. Michael Felger gets Bob Kraft to come out his bunker and talk some about this 2003 edition of the Patriots. Michael Parente says you won’t find anyone in the Patriots locker room saying that Curtis Martin has lost a step. Christopher Price looks at the adjustments the Patriots have made to face Vinny Testaverde. Michael Gee has a pay column looking at Bill Belichick’s cone of silence regarding injuries and other information. No new revelations in there. Cafardo’s notebook has Dan Klecko eager for some game action. Felger’s notebook says the Patriots will continue to pass more than they run. Curran’s notebook has high praise from Belichick for Tom Brady. Parente’s notebook has more on the Patriots’ pass-run ratio.

Steve Conroy looks at PJ Stock. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports on Joe Thornton and Glen Murray visiting Jonathan Girard in the hospital. Conroy’s notebook has more on that same topic.

Bill Griffith looks at John Rooke, who keeps busy working a multitude of jobs and running his own company. Jim Baker previews BC/Miami in his pay column.

Art Davidson says Jan Volk is rejoining the NBA, in a position with the Atlanta Hawks, recently purchased by Steve Belkin.

UPN38 has Sox/Indians at 7:00. ESPN has Astros/Cardinals at 8:00.

The JV Sox lineup couldn’t

The JV Sox lineup couldn’t score any runs last night against Tampa. David Heuschkel looks at a frustrating night at Fenway. Steven Krasner reports on a wasted night for the Sox. Jeff Horrigan says that even with TV in the bullpen, there wasn’t much to watch at the ballpark last night. Bob Hohler has the story of Victor Zambrano improving to 4-0 lifetime at Fenway, pitching the bulk of the only Red Sox shutout at home. Lenny Megliola blames the slow night at the park on Post Pedro Syndrome. Michael Silverman takes a look at the TV controversy that emerged last night. Sean McAdam notes that on such a slow night, the lone Sox highlight was 31 year old Andy Abad getting his first major league hit. Tony Massarotti writes the 73,394th (unofficial count) article wondering when the Sox are going to pick up Grady’s 2004 option. Bob Ryan looks at a weird, full-moon type game. Silverman has a piece in which he polls various Sox on their opinions on who should win the league’s major awards. Brian Fleming looks at the Sox vaunted offense sputtering a bit on this homestand. Peter May looks at Rhode Island day at Fenway. Michael Gee has a pay column in which he says Grady Little knows the bullpen will the be the death of this team, so he’s leaving the starters in as long as they can go. Ryan also looks at the good atmosphere in the Sox clubhouse this season, as opposed to previous years. A Guerilla Sports satire article looks at the Sox acquiring the rights to the Rally Monkey to use the name for their bullpen. Horrigan’s notebook looks at a strained left abdominal muscle that sidelined Johnny Damon last night. Krasner’s notebook has more on the injury, as does Heuschkel’s notebook. Hohler’s notebook concludes the injury update, noting that the baseball injury gods might be catching up with the Sox finally.

The Colvin injury is the biggest Patriot story this week. In light of yesterday’s press conference exchange between Bill Belichick and Ken Powers of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. I shelled out my 50 cents so I could read what Powers had to say today. (The T&G is a paper you have to pay to read on-line.) Powers calls the Patriots communication regarding injuries a “A sham of a mockery of a sham.” Powers inserts himself into the story, relating the tale of his exchange with the coach:

It's just inconceivable to me that Belichick doesn't know the injury or the timetable, and I told him that.

He didn't take it well.

"I don't know what to tell you," he stammered. "You can be as belligerent as you want about it. I can't give you any more information than what I have, which is the injury and the treatment has not been fully decided on yet. That is a fact, and he is not playing this week. Write whatever you want to write. Make it however long you want to make it. I can't verify it one way or the other."

Belligerent? Me? Now that hurts.

Watching the conference, I don’t think Belichick “stammered” out that answer. He was decisive and assertive. If it makes Powers feel better to put it that way, then so be it. Powers goes on to assert that the policy is “disingenuous, insulting and disrespectful” and needs to change “immediately”. Does this episode provide any clues as to the hostility towards Belichick in many media corners? You bet it does. I’m not saying Belichick is right or wrong in this situation, but it does provide insight as to why many of the press corps are openly hostile towards him. Alan Greenberg has a more measured version of the situation. Karen Guregian looks at the press conference and Patriots information policy as well. Michael Parente also has a piece on the injury. Nick Cafardo reports on the situation, and says that sources tell that Globe that Colvin “suffered a temporary dislocation of the left hip that popped out and popped back into place shortly after he injured the hip.” I guess that begs the question…Is it possible to have a dislocated hip, and then have it not dislocated? Where’s Michael Felger when we need him? Oh, writing about Tedy Bruschi. Felger looks at the linebacker’s game, which is all heart. Tom Curran says that Colvin’s injury is like having your best Christmas present break on December 27. Christopher Price looks at how the Patriots will attempt to make up for Colvin’s loss. George Kimball looks at Ray Mickens, who will be starting at cornerback for the Jets this Sunday, filling in for Donnie Abraham. Cafardo also takes a look at Matt Light, who has a tough matchup in every AFC East game. Curran’s notebook has Herm Edwards saying he hates dealing with unexpected situations. Felger’s notebook looks at the injury bug at Gillette. Parente’s notebook looks at Vinny Testaverde, excited to be playing football again.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins contract impasse with Nick Boynton. Stephen Harris has a look at Marty Lapoint, and his value to the B’s. Travis Barrett looks at Jeff Jillson, coming in with high expectations.

Jackie MacMullan has a feature on Dan Allen, The Holy Cross football coach is battling Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and is confined to a wheelchair. A tough story, Allen hopes to recover and walk again, but the prognosis for the future is unknown.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Texas A&M/Virginia Tech at 7:30. ESPN2 has Revolution/Rapids MLS soccer at 7:30.

HBO’s “Curse of the Bambino”

HBO’s “Curse of the Bambino” program which debuted last night was a hot topic all day on the radio. Each occasion I got to listen in during the day it was being discussed, on D&C, D&N and The Big Show. Much of the talk was critical of the idea of a “curse”, which was encouraging. Of course, Gerry Callahan knocking the show, but his revealing later on his show that his own segment ended up cut from the final production was worth raising an eyebrow over. Pete Sheppard told the story of what he did after the 1986 World Series as a 19 year old, collapsing into his father’s arms, emotionally exhausted.

From my daily email update from The Jax Show:

First, Bill Simmons - "The Sports Guy" from ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com - called in from L.A. with some long distance Boston pain. Bill watched HBO's "Curse of the Bambino" special on Tuesday night and was unhappy with the fact that it had just 2 moments of positivity in a 1 hour show. Simmons also talked about the narrator of the special - Ben Affleck - and his relationship troubles with Jennifer Lopez. Bill also recounted what he calls "Black Sunday", September 7th when the Patriots were shut out by the Bills and the Red Sox missed an opportunity to sweep the Yankees. Simmons said that day was essentially 3 hours of hell. Bill said he thinks there's no reason that the Sox shouldn't make the playoffs with their schedule, and he said if they do, Grady Little's job should be safe.

Sean McAdam - the Sox beat writer for the Providence Journal-Bulletin - chatted with the guys about Red Sox nation as well. McAdam talked about how important it's been for Pedro Martinez to put in the innings that he has in his last couple starts. He said that Pedro and Derek Lowe give the Sox a solid foundation in their rotation heading into what should be a postseason run. But, they do have issues beyond those two, both at the back end of the rotation and in the bullpen. McAdam also detailed the prolific Sox offense and how easy it's been for them to score runs. Sean said that it's tough to pick a team MVP, but he does believe that Bill Mueller is a legitimate AL MVP candidate in his first season in the AL. Sean also said that there's no question that David Ortiz is the 2nd-half MVP of the team, both on the field and in the clubhouse. McAdam says that no one's admitting that the team is focused on the Wild Card, but he does believe it has made the team more loose down the stretch.

Watching and listening to the Bill Belichick press conference today, I get a kick out of the exchange Belichick had with Ken Powers of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Yes, it’s frustrating not knowing as a fan how long Colvin is going to be out, or what his injury is. But there was a certain Parcellian feel about the whole confrontation and exchange. The transcript of the conference doesn’t quite capture the moment, but you get the idea. You can also listen to the exchange via RealPlayer.

Wild Card lead swells to

Wild Card lead swells to 2.5, playoff tickets go on sale on Friday. Bob Hohler says last night was another edition of the “Dominican Destroyers” with Pedro and Ortiz leading the Sox to victory. David Heuschkel looks at Pedro’s 100th win with the Red Sox, a complete game. Steven Krasner says the gaudy offensive numbers the Red Sox have put up this season, Pedro is the key to Boston doing anything in the playoffs. Jeff Horrigan says Pedro is making a statement to the Cy Young voters. He records Pedro flipping the game ball to John Henry, who called him a “sweetheart” and returned the ball to Pedro, who was unaware of the win being his 100th with the Sox. Kevin Gray looks at all the moves paying off for Grady last night. Alex Speier looks at the great theatre that was Pedro’s 100th win with the Sox. He also notes Pedro’s tendency to tire out with high pitch counts:

Instead, when he stretches past the 105-pitch mark, as he did in his 121-pitch performance last night, Martinez becomes less than ordinary. Batters suddenly tag him at a .370 clip, getting on base with frightening frequency (.419 OBP) and with Wall-banging clout (.444 slugging percentage).

Speier notes those are worse numbers than any member of the Red Sox bullpen, including Mendoza. Tony Massarotti says Pedro is turning it up and right on schedule for baseball in October. Dan Shaughnessy looks a complimentary look at Pedro while still getting in the obligatory little shots at the “Dominican Diva”. Lenny Megliola, like many of us, just wants to go ahead and put the Sox in the playoffs already. Michael Silverman says Manny might be a lock to win his second straight AL Batting title. Shira Springer looks at another huge hit from David Ortiz. Silverman also takes a look at that huge clutch hit from Ortiz. Peter May looks at how Grady’s unique move of swapping Nomar and Walker in the batting order paid off last night. Karen Guregian chats with Lou Piniella about the chances this Sox squad has to win it all, compares it to the ’78 team, and can’t help but mention Bucky Dent. He does say though that this team has what it takes to win it all. Howard Bryant has a pay column in the Herald where he looks at what he describes as apathy in the stands at Fenway, the quality of opponents, he says is a factor in this. He also looks at Grady’s contract, (Pick it up, he says.) Sports and entertainment industries becoming increasingly melded, the lack of spoilers in baseball races, and Ron Burton Sr. The Inside Track has word of the Yankees’ Enrique Wilson settling a paternity suit in Boston, and a photo of Manny with his wife, whom I had not seen before. Hohler’s notebook discusses the possibility of easing Trot Nixon into the lineup as a DH. Horrigan’s notebook also looks at Nixon, who may pinch hit tonight. Krasner’s notebook says Cy Young voters should not dismiss Pedro. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at a start at first for Andy Abad.

Bob Ryan says we still don’t know anything about this current Patriots squad. Michael Felger, in his Patriots Insider this week looks at the very slow development of Jets rookie Dewayne Robertson, Terry Glenn, Curtis Martin and just how bad Antowain Smith has been. Christopher Price looks at the Jets hoping to extend their five-year winning streak at Foxboro. Michael Smith looks at how the Patriots will try to implement their game plan against the Jets, likely without Rosevelt Colvin. Rich Thompson looks at how Bobby Hamilton just keeps on going. Jim Baker looks at Willie McGinest, who will have a big part of filling in for Colvin. Jonathan Comey says Bills fans shouldn’t be getting fitted for their replica Super Bowl rings just yet. Jim Donaldson is sick of the talking heads on the air and the stupid things they say. Pot. Kettle. Black. Alan Greenberg says there is still no definitive word on Colvin. Football Outsiders provides the week two NFL Efficiency Ratings, with some related notes.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at a roster longshot hoping to stick with the Bruins. Stephen Harris looks at the goalie competition. Joe McDonald looks at Andrew Raycroft, making a strong pitch to be Felix Potvin’s backup. Dupont also reports on Joe Thornton getting back onto the ice. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at 18 year old Patrice Bergeron, trying to make an impression. Harris’ notebook looks at Thornton. McDonald’s notebook looks at yesterday’s intrasquad scrimmage.

Bob Halloran looks at the demise of the WUSA, noting he doesn’t watch women’s sports.

If you’re in Connecticut or near the Springfield affiliate and looking for a WEEI alternative in the afternoon, on The Jax Show, Bill Simmons will be a guest. Sean McAdam will talk some Red Sox baseball too, as they face the fight to the finish for the AL Wild Card. Plus Bob Halloran from WCVB in Boston will be “Halloran At You” about why men are smarter than women – tongue firmly in cheek, of course. The show starts at 4:00.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Marlins/Phillies at 7:00 and Diamondbacks/Dodgers at 10:00. ESPN2 has White Sox/Twins at 8:00.

Yup, I screwed it up

Yup, I screwed it up this morning, it was a loss by the Mariners last night that increased the Sox wild card lead to 1.5 games, not the Angels. My bad.

Don Aucoin had an article in the Living/Arts section of the Globe that I missed this morning. He looks at young fans who don’t have a negative, fatalistic view of the Red Sox and their chances to win the World Series. On his WBZ 1030 “Keller at large” radio segment this morning, John Keller chose this topic as his subject. He essentially dismissed these young “whippersnappers” for not being wise to the ways of the world, and while not fully believing in the “Curse” himself, Keller said the Red Sox just aren’t meant to win it all.

Apparently I missed the latest addition to the “Whiner Line” – “the voice of Peter King”. I wish I heard it, but I must have just missed out on it, as I heard the last 30 seconds of that segment with the “voice of Bob Neumeier”, who is my current favorite.

Sox got their wild card

Sox got their wild card lead back to 1.5 games with a 8-2 win and an Mariners loss. David Heuschkel looks at Derek Lowe, who was able to get his 16th win on cruise control. Steven Krasner says the Sox were able to feast on the Tampa Bay pitching. Kevin Paul Dupont says this was a typical comfortable win over the Devil Rays. Jeff Horrigan says the offense was rediscovered after a tough weekend against the White Sox. Alex Speier puts the emphasis on the win on the pitching of Lowe. Michael Silverman says that Lowe is clearly on his game. Kevin McNamara says that Lowe shows no signs of cooling off as the weather does. Gordon Edes looks at Manny’s Monster shot last night and the guy who found it. A couple of pay columns in the Herald. Steve Buckley says that Grady Little should get his contract for next year picked up right now. He asserts that Little has done a better job than he did last year, just as he said he would, as evidenced by his handling of the Manny situation. He also mentions that there hasn’t been a single clubhouse incident in the two years Grady has been manager. He says if they don’t make the playoffs, it isn’t Grady’s fault, and he shouldn’t lose his job over it. Howard Bryant looks at Manny, who is red hot since his suspension, and it couldn’t come at a better time. He’s making amends with his teammates with his play. Shira Springer looks at Andy Abad, still hoping to get a chance to contribute. Silverman also looks at Kevin Millar, who in the midst of a slump, is tinkering with things to try to break out of it. Edes has a similar piece on Millar. He notes that Millar may get some rest soon. Springer looks at vintage Lowe. Edes previews the proposed 2004 schedule. Horrigan’s notebook has Nomar upset over the folding of the WUSA. Krasner’s notebook looks at Rocco Baldelli. Dupont’s notebook looks at Nomar returning to the lineup.

Kevin Mannix hands out his week two report card, and gives the coaching of the “arrogant oaf” and staff an “A”. Alan Greenberg says the play of Dan Koppen and Eugene Wilson on Sunday gives us a glimpse of the future without Damien Woody and Ty Law. Tom Curran says spreading out the offense is a big key to the Patriots success. Michael Felger says the Lawyer Milloy talk is finally quieting down, the team has long since moved on, and Woody has moved into Milloy’s old locker. Christopher Price looks at the big game by Willie McGinest on Sunday. Rich Thompson looks at Koppen stepping in for Woody instead of having Compton move over to the center spot. Bill Reynolds says that a win is the best thing for all the controversy the Patriots have had the last two weeks. Michael Parente looks at the next game on the schedule, the defending AFC East champs, who are currently winless. Ron Borges says you would be foolish to dismiss the Jets this week. Bill Burt says that Bill Belichick has gotten his team and respect back. Gerry Callahan weighs in on the “hate their coach”comments in a pay column. He says the team certainly does not love Belichick, but that isn’t necessary, or even desirable. He has their respect and attention, and they certainly trust his game planning. Callahan concludes:

As long as Belichick keeps doing what he did Sunday, as long as they believe in him, his players will keep playing. And they'll keep loving the meal, even if they can't stand the cook.

Jim Baker looks at the Tom Jackson comments as well, adding what the ESPN analyst said last night. Jackson amends what he said, noting that perhaps “hate” was too strong, and that he had not talked to any of the players on the team. Jackson says he didn’t know his comments would be taken personally by Belichick. How could they not be? Nick Cafardo looks at the situation as well, getting reaction around the locker room on the matter. The important thing is not whether teams like their coach, but if they play hard for him or not. Nick says they did on Sunday. Jon Wallach is nervous about the J-E-T-S. The second headline leading off Cafardo’s notebook speculates that Rosevelt Colvin may have suffered a dislocated hip on Sunday, but that is not expanded upon within the contents of the notebook itself. Felger’s notebook says that it is clear that Colvin did not dislocate his hip. He also has specifics on Brady’s elbow injury. Curran’s notebook says that the 2003 draft is looking pretty productive.

Bill Griffith has the Sox debut in HDTV, the weekend Patriots events on the TV, and even a Kevin Winter sighting.

Stephen Harris says the Bruins need to improve greatly on defense. Harris’ notebook looks at a couple of young forwards making an impression in camp.

Susan Bickelhaupt and Jamie Pote look at the collapse of the WUSA. Frank Dell’Apa says the league might’ve tried to get too big, too soon.

NESN has Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00.

Here’s this week’s edition of

Here’s this week’s edition of Patriots Thoughts from Kent Thaler.

Peter King mixes in a number of Patriots and Red Sox mentions in this week’s edition of MMQB. On the subject of Tom Jackson claiming that the Patriots locker room “hates” Bill Belichick, King applauds Jackson for “throwing it out there” on ESPN yesterday. Even if it isn’t true, as King himself believes. What?

John Tomase has a scout telling him that Grady Little is grossly misusing Scott Williamson. Yesterday, Chad Finn looked at the Red Sox as the “trendy” pick around the country to win the World Series, and a number of other topics while touching all the bases.

I’m still trying to figure out whether this is a real website or not…

After a week in which

After a week in which practically no one thought the Patriots could win this week, and on a day in which ESPN’s Tom Jackson declared that the Patriot players “hate their coach” and Steve Young declared that Belichick had “ripped the heart out” of the team, the Pats go to Philly and take care of business. Nick Cafardo, who picked “the Eagles in a romp” for this game, seems pretty impressed with what the Patriots did. He praises their game plan and defense. Michael Felger looks at the team coming together and making big plays in this game. Apparently last night on Sports Final, (I didn’t see it.) he reported that Rosevelt Colvin left the stadium on crutches and reported hearing something pop in his hip…doesn’t sound good. Tom Curran looks at the Patriots getting fans to come down from the ledge with their performance yesterday. Alan Greenberg says the Patriots flipped a switch and delivered a totally different performance from last week. Michael Parente looks at a productive afternoon in Philly. Ron Borges looks at Tom Brady answering his critics, including Borges, with his performance yesterday. Last Tuesday, Kevin Mannix had an email read to him on WEEI (from me) which criticized him for his personal attacks on Belichick and asserted that he could not be considered an objective reporter, as he would write now with the object of supporting his Anti-Belichick stand. Mannix insisted that he could write objectively. After the game yesterday, this is the opening paragraph from Mannix:

It certainly wasn't perfect. There were too many passes that could have been intercepted. There were too many Philadelphia receivers running clean in the Patriots secondary. There were too many failed third-down situations.

I’m silly to have doubted you, Kevin. Bob Ryan notes that if you’re the road team, the hearing the boo-birds is a welcome sound, especially in Philly. Jim Donaldson repeats a theme that was echoed on Patriots Fifth Quarter yesterday, namely that it wasn’t that the Patriots were so good as much as it was that the Eagles were bad. Jeff Jacobs says things are very ugly in Philadelphia for Donovan McNabb right now. Rich Fisher looks at tough times for McNabb. Ian M. Clark looks at the huge turnaround from last week. Karen Guregian examines whether Tom Jackson’s comments yesterday are true. Dennis and Callahan looked at this article and noted that no one denies hating the coach. Curran also garners reaction to the quote. Parente says that however they feel about the coach, a win eases a lot of tension in the locker room. George Kimball looks at Willie McGinest, who played increased minutes with the injury to Colvin yesterday. Michael Smith, Donaldson, and Guregian look at Christian Fauria, who somehow seems to always get open in the end zone. Mark Murphy looks at a strong performance from Deion Branch. He also looks at Dan Koppen, who did a fine job of filling in for Damien Woody. Cafardo’s notebook looks at an emotional week for Tedy Bruschi. Felger’s notebook has word on the injuries to Colvin and Brady (elbow soreness). Curran’s notebook also looks at Bruschi. Parente’s notebook has Kenyatta Jones itching to get back on the field.

The Patriots did suffer a loss yesterday, however. Ron Burton, their first over draft pick, and community stalwart, passed away after a long battle with bone cancer. Lenny Megliola remembers Burton. Michael Smith writes about Burton’s passing for the Globe. Steve Buckley has a pay column in which he remembers Burton.

Kent Thaler’s Patriots thoughts will likely be posted late this afternoon, or early this evening. Check back for those.

Bob Hohler looks at the Sox dropping their second in a row, but managing to hold onto their slim wild card lead. Jeff Horrigan looks at the loss and the upcoming schedule, which could be deceiving. Steven Krasner looks at the difference in the game, ability to pitch with runners on base. David Heuschkel gets on Manny for not breaking up a double play yesterday. Sean McAdam says the playoff race is going to come right down to the end, and if the Sox don’t win 10 of their last 14, they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs. Gordon Edes hopes the Devil Rays aren’t about to play spoiler. Dan Shaughnessy claims to have been sucked in by this Red Sox team and should have know better than to have thought they were headed for an easy road to the playoffs. Rich Thompson looks at another early hole dug by John Burkett. Kevin Paul Dupont also looks at Burkett. Thompson also looks at another strong performance from Mark Buehrle. Howard Bryant has a pay column in which he asserts that clubs that rely as much on offense as the Red Sox do, do not perform well in the postseason. I’m thinking, then again, teams with pitching staffs like the A’s have had the last few years haven’t done so well in the postseason either. Also the Braves of the 90′s. From yesterday, John Tomase in a feature type article, says Jason Varitek is the conscience of the Red Sox. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Nomar being scratched with the flu. Hohler’s notebook also looks at Nomar. Krasner’s notebook has more on Manny on the basepaths.

Stephen Harris looks at Mike Knuble, who is looking to improve upon the best season of his career last year. Andy Nesbitt looks at Glen Murray, who is also looking to improve. Harris’ notebook looks at Joe Thornton spending his third night in a row at the hospital with a staph infection on his forehead.

NESN has Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ABC has Giants/Cowboys at 9:00. ESPN Classic is showing Bill Parcells SportsCentury at 8:00 & 11:00.