The Grady Little era officially

The Grady Little era officially came to an end yesterday afternoon with Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino sent out to face the ravenous wolves who comprised the writers in attendance. To their credit, they, especially Theo, handled themselves quite well. Dan Shaughnessy was among them, and his article today has him all mixed up. He insists:

but no matter what they say, this goes down as the first instance of a Red Sox manager getting the ax for a single decision in a single game.

So he says it’s all because of game seven, and there is no other reason that management declined to bring him back. But just a couple paragraphs later he gives an example from the during the season that he says shows that Grady didn’t have the backing of ownership, and later still in the article he notes another thing said by Grady and says:

It was a telling remark, proof that in the end, the job overwhelmed the nice guy/cotton farmer from North Carolina.

So the manager was clearly overwhelmed in the job, but they all want him back. Makes sense. If Grady didn’t have the backing of ownership earlier in the season, then how was the decision to not bring him back stem from one game? The rest of the article is comprised of lying out the impossible standards that the Red Sox have set in what they’re looking for in the manager. Howard Bryant has a pay column showing how game seven really had nothing to do with yesterday. Grady wasn’t coming back, and John W. Henry was certain of that months ago. Michael Holley comes to pretty much the same conclusion. Gerry Callahan says that all that game seven did was to make things a whole lot easier for the Red Sox to part ways with Grady. He says:

The Sox expect to be in the playoffs again next year and the year after that. Grady says he'll be there to haunt them, but the Sox' owners can live with that. They saw him manage in a big game in October. Nothing can be as frightening as that.

Michael Silverman says it was philosophical differences that led to Grady’s downfall within the organization. Sean McAdam looks at the whole situation and provides likely the best top to bottom account of the situation. Jeff Jacobs feels the Red Sox were being disingenuous during this process, and particularly Theo for saying even Grady won game seven he wouldn’t have likely been brought back. Jacobs calls that remark “baloney”. Tony Massarotti says that there is a split in the Red Sox organization and that the two guys who faced the music yesterday were actually Grady’s biggest boosters in the Red Sox offices. Lenny Megliola says that John W. Henry was never in Grady’s corner. Steven Krasner notes a few of Grady’s decisions that led to his downfall. The Herald looks at the reaction to Grady’s unemployment among the players and the league. Trot Nixon was among those speaking out. Alex Speier examines Grady’s dismissal and tenure here. Paul Doyle affirms that Henry had doubts about Little for quite some time. Krasner notes that some of Grady’s best work was done off of the diamond. Bill Reynolds says Grady was just a scapegoat for everyone else’s failures. David Heuschkel looks at the praise being thrown at Grady while the team declined to bring him back. Jim Donaldson continues his relentless quest to outdo Buddy Thomas. He says:

...the Boston Stat Geeks, a.k.a. the Bambino-cursed Red Sox, announced yesterday they were dumping their Old Salty Dog Baseball Traditionalist of a manager, Grady Little.

It just goes downhill from there. Perhaps someone should remind him that the “Old Salty Dog” way of doing things around here hasn’t worked. That being said, Steve Buckley’s column in the Herald was pretty actually pretty enjoyable. Or was it just because it immediately followed that bit by Donaldson? Buckley looks at the dignified, classy way Theo handled things yesterday, even if the decision wasn’t his to let Grady go.

Jeff Horrigan looks at the qualities the Sox will be looking for in the next manager, and some of the candidates. Gordon Edes says the search could take some time. Weeks, if not months. Tony Massarotti says that Grady won’t be out of work very long. Sean McAdam examines the field of candidates. Nick Cafardo has Tommy Lasorda weigh in on who should be the next manager. John Wallach looks at the work Theo has ahead of him. Hohler’s notebook looks at some personnel related business the Sox will need to take care of fairly soon.

Pretty much solid “B’s” with a couple “C’s” is what Kevin Mannix comes up with for the Patriots report card this week. Michael Smith says this Patriots defense is moving up among the best in the league. Mike Reiss says Romeo Crennel is getting attention for what his defense is doing. Tom Curran looks at the Patriots success in close games. Christopher Price looks at the productivity of Kevin Faulk. Rich Thompson looks at Faulk as a major component of the running game. Christopher Young looks at the NFL at the halfway point. Karen Guregian wonders who the Patriot MVP at the midway point is. Michael Parente looks at an up-and-down October for the Pats. Up with a 4-0 record, but paying a price with all the injuries. Alan Greenberg looks at the formula the Patriots have used for success this year. The Herald notebook looks at Kenyatta Jones, movin’ on. Smith’s notebook looks at the Pats ability to win close games. Curran’s notebook looks at the tough choices the Patriots will have to make as players return from injury. Reiss’ notebook looks at the flexibility that Eugene Wilson at safety affords the Patriots.

Starting tomorrow, the Celtics portion of the links will be hosted over at the Fox Sports New England webpage. They bring you the games, and now they will bring you the Celtics links each morning. I’ll be putting them together for the page. All other links (Red Sox, Patriots, etc) will remain on this page. More details to follow. Hope to see you over there. Jackie MacMullan looks at Danny Ainge’s rise as a player, coach and now director of basketball operations for the Celtics. Throughout his life, he’s always been one who is not afraid to speak up, and be a straight shooter. Steve Bulpett looks at the questions that face the Celtics as the season begins. Shira Springer gives us her Celtics preview. Bill Griffith looks at the NBA TV and Radio crews gearing up for another season. Peter May says the Lakers could be in for a long season. Jerry Trecker looks at the NBA getting a much needed boost this season. Springer also looks at the Celtics depth chart. Springer’s notebook looks at the overhaul done to the starting five of the Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook also looks at the starting lineup.

Bye-Bye Grady. If you think

Bye-Bye Grady. If you think the talk will slow down now that he won’t be returning, just think of the weeks of speculation we now have to look forward to as to who the next manager will be.

But one last note here…just how bad was Grady’s game seven managing? Heck, even Butch Hobson would’ve taken Pedro out before the eighth inning started.

Monday means another edition of Thoughts from Kent Thaler.

The Patriots get to the

The Patriots get to the midpoint of the season at 6-2. Who is the first media member to point out that the last time the team started 6-2, they finished 2-6 and out of the playoffs? Of course, Pete Carroll was the coach and Drew Bledsoe the QB at that time. Things are likely different this time around. Game stories for yesterday’s 9-3 Patriots win are filed by Michael Smith, Tom Curran, Michael Felger, Christopher Price and Alan Greenberg. As far as the columnists go, Ron Borges loves the players on this team. The toughness and grit they show are something he can appreciate. Kevin Mannix says a win like yesterday is one of the essentials in any team’s quest for the playoffs and championships. Bob Ryan wasn’t entertained by yesterdays game, but he recognizes the importance of each win. Jim Donaldson says there is never anything boring about winning, even you don’t look good doing it. Lenny Megliola says while the win wasn’t pretty, defense coaches love games like yesterday. Dan Pires says the old Patriots defense has finally returned. Mike Reiss has a Cleveland player showing respect for Belichick and the Patriot defense. Michael Parente says statistics lie when it comes to this Patriot team.

Daniel Graham showed some of his potential yesterday in breaking through with a career game. Nick Cafardo, Karen Guregian, Michael Parente, Paul Kenyon Tim Weisberg and Alan Greenberg look at the seven catch, 110 yard performance from the second year tight end. Mike Vrabel, in his first game back since breaking his right arm, was a huge disruptive force on defense, racking up three sacks. Carolyn Thornton and Michael O’Connor have a look at the effort of the Patriots linebacker. Kevin Faulk was another big contributor, Ian M. Clark, Tony Chamberlain, Rich Thompson and Paul Kenyon have more on the 96-yard performance by Faulk. O’Connor looks at the day of Adam Vinatieri, who had three field goals. Thornton also has a look at the Pats kicker, who had some difficulty with footing on the field. No, not because the Evil Belichick had a dispute with the Michael Vick of groundskeepers, but because there was an MLS soccer game on the field on Saturday. Christopher Price looks at the optimism surrounding this team and the inevitable comparisons to the 2001 team. Mannix has Christian Fauria expressing disappointment in his team’s offense. Hector Longo looks at the emergence of Richard Seymour as a team leader. Jim Baker looks at a pair of chop-block calls on the Patriots offensive linemen. Michael Smith looks at the release of Kenyatta Jones. Steve Buckley has a pay column looking at the Patriots hoping to ease the pain of the Red Sox end to the season. Michael Gee’s pay column is a look at the injuries suffered by the Browns yesterday, while George Kimball has a pay column on Ty Law, hobbled by his injury, but able to keep up with the speedy Kevin Johnson on the Brown’s last play of the game and intercept the ball, sealing the win for the Patriots.

Felger’s notebook looks at the release of Jones. The Standard-Times notebook also looks at Jones and a number of other items. Parente’s notebook also looks at the release of Jones. Smith’s notebook looks at the importance of Special Teams field position in the game. Curran’s notebook looks at a very good game by Ken Walter.

The Grady watch continues. Can we just get a resolution here? Even some of the media guys are tiring of talking about it on the air. Not all, just some. Bob Hohler says the end for Little may come as soon as today. Michael Silverman says Jerry Remy is on the list of candidates to replace Little. Steven Krasner looks at the sudden turn of events for Little over the last two weeks. Tony Massarotti, to the bitter end in Grady’s corner, thinks the Sox will have a hard time finding anyone to manage for them after the shoddy way they treated Little. Silverman also says letting Grady go will be a severe mistake. Gordon Edes looks at possible candidates to be Grady’s replacement. John Tomase looks at who will likely stay and go among the players. I liked Ed Cossette’s edition of Bambino’s Curse today, which takes aim at the media siding with Grady and making the Red Sox organization out to be some…dare we say, evil entity in this whole scenario. Don’t be misled by the title of his site, Cossette doesn’t believe in a Curse, he uses his site and writing to treat the subject tongue in cheek, and oftentimes to dismiss the idea altogether.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at four young players that have Bruins fans excited. Stephen Harris also looks at the Bruins young players.

Shira Springer takes a look at the reading and work Paul Pierce is doing to establish himself as a leader. Steve Bulpett looks at the fast friendship between Eric Williams and Raef LaFrentz, which goes back to their Denver days and a shared injury. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the green picking up the fourth year option on Kedrick Brown.

John Molori returns with a Media Blitz article on the Grady Little overkill on the airwaves.

ABC has Chargers/Dolphins (from Phoenix) at 9:00.