For a day with no

For a day with no baseball game locally, there is still an overflow of stories. I don’t think I got all of them, but I did as many as I could in the time that I had. Sean McAdam, Karen Guregian, and Paul Doyle report on the fines being handed out by MLB. Pedro gets 50k, Manny 25k, but Yankees Karim Garcia (still possibly facing assault and battery charges) and Don Zimmer (who had no business being on the field, period.) get only 10k and 5k respectively. Gordon Edes reports on the busy day of off-field activity. While rather calm and lucid in print, Edes and Tony Massarotti (Pretty good article on Pedro.) were pretty critical on Sports Final last night. Massarotti condemned the City of Boston, the Red Sox and the fans for disgracing themselves for the second time in four years. Since there were no arrests, and the Boston police consider the bullpen incident an unprovoked attack, I’m not sure what Tony means. He did call Garcia jumping into the bullpen “unconscionable”. Steve DeOssie and Scott Zolak totally disgraced themselves on the program, and took the side of Jeff Nelson. (Despite their protests that they were not doing so.) So much so, that Lobel remarked they he felt like he was on the Jerry Springer show, and actually told DeOssie and Zolak to “Shut up”. Dan Shaughnessy does everything except say “get him gone” as regards Pedro. McAdam, in a similar piece to to Massarotti gets Pedro’s version of things.

Jeff Jacobs looks at the apology from Don Zimmer. Bill Reynolds says that baseball got burned by the incidents this weekend. Jackie MacMullan and Tom Yantz write about an ashamed Zimmer. Bob Hohler looks at the Sox owners talking about the incidents…against the edict from MLB. Howard Bryant notes the three-way sniping going on. Steven Krasner says Saturday showcased all of Pedro’s weaknesses. Jeff Horrigan looks at how the rainout will affect the rotations. David Heuschkel and Kevin Paul Dupont say Burkett may not get another chance to start. Lenny Megliola looks at the dust settling after Saturday. Katherine McQuaid and Kevin Gray look at the NH resident who was injured in the bullpen incident. Peter May has Jeff Nelson insisting that he did nothing wrong. Michael Holley says the Red Sox trail in the series because they can’t play small ball. Michael Silverman looks at Mike Mussina, who hopes pitching on his normal rest will benefit him tonight. John Powers say Wakefield is ready to go tonight. Rich Thompson says the player are fine with having yesterday off. Joe McDonald has the Yankees saying that the rainout is going to benefit the Sox. Michael O’Connor gets a sampling of fan reaction to Saturday. McDonald says that Babe Ruth’s daughter is rooting for the Sox.

The Projo Yankee notebook has Nelson proclaiming his innocence. Horrigan’s notebook says Pedro had a game plan going into the game Saturday. Silverman’s Yankee’s notebook looks at David Wells getting skipped. The Projo Red Sox notebook looks at the Sox rotation. The Courant notebook has Carlton Fisk even disapproving of the events Saturday.

My own thoughts on Saturday are directly below this post, but I have also posted them on the archives page for future reference. I don’t claim that my thoughts are totally objective, but instead they’re what I feel is a counter-opinion to what seems to be the prevailing opinion nationwide.

Tom Curran, Michael Felger Alan Greenberg, and Michael Smith report on a Patriots victory that had Coach Bill Belichick practically gushing with pride in his team afterwards. Ron Borges looks at the defining quality of this team thus far: perseverance. Shane Donaldson looks at this team of grinders that continues to find ways to win. Kevin Mannix says this team is using the same formula as in 2001 to win. Jim Donaldson pulls out his dictionary in attempting to describe this years edition of the Patriots. Ian M. Clark (or is it Alan Lessels- look at the bottom.) looks at the toughness of this team. Ed Gray and Shalise Manza Young look at the big game from Richard Seymour. Dan Ventura notes that the Giants had all their weapons, but could only fire blanks against the Patriots. Gray and Curran also look at Matt Chatham, who is no longer an untested quantity. Curran takes a look at Tom Brady, who had it when it counted. Christopher Price and Ron Indrisano look at the defense leading the way for the victory yesterday. Jim Baker and Smith take a look at Kevin Faulk, who had another strong game. Young also has a look at Rodney Harrison making a huge impact in his first season in New England. Christopher L. Gasper looks at turnovers by the Giants as the Patriots key to victory. Paul Harber says Adam Vinatieri isn’t down on himself yet. Baker also has a look at Tyrone Poole. Curran’s notebook looks at the running game. Felger’s notebook looks at another fine for Rodney Harrison.

Mark Blaudschun says B.C. finally got what it wished for, but they may find themselves regretting the move later on down the road. Ken Davis and Mike Shalin look at B.C.’s move to the ACC.

All I can say about

All I can say about yesterday is that I am fairly astonished at the media coverage of the on-field fiasco from the fourth inning. Pedro Martinez is now Public Enemy Number One nationwide. The Red Sox are a disgrace and group of thugs. That’s the slant you’re getting all around the country and on TV.

First, the throwing at Karim Garcia — a guy whose manager can’t even remember his name. (Anyone catch the Fox interview with Torre after the game, where Torre started to call him “Serg..” and then corrected himself to say “Karim Garcia”.) From all the perspectives seen, Pedro didn’t even hit him, (it hit his bat) and the ball wasn’t at his head. Was Pedro frustrated and perhaps just wanting to put the guy on base to set up the double play? Likely. The Fox announcing crew, of which Tim McCarver is perhaps the biggest disgrace on the airwaves, was quick to point out that Pedro must’ve been throwing at Garcia, because he has such pinpoint control. OK. If that’s the case then Pedro clearly wasn’t throwing at his head, as the pitch was behind Garcia, and nowhere close to his head. Pedro might’ve also wanted to stir things up a bit, and pump himself and everyone in the ballpark up. After struggling to that point, (ok, he stunk) he was pretty much lights-out the rest of the time he was in there, as was Roger Clemens.

Garcia…what can we say about this guy? Lucky to be on the Yankees, lucky to be in the bigs, a guy who was batting a lusty .194 for the lousy Indians this year before the Yankees rescued him and made him pretty much an everyday player. He’s got a right to strut around like he’s worth being thrown at by Pedro? If you felt bad for him in the least for being thrown at by the devil incarnate, Pedro Martinez, those feelings should be gone after two incidents by Garcia, which showed the level of class in this scrub. The rough takeout –well beyond the second base bag — of Todd Walker that same inning, an incident which was missed by the Fox crew until some time had gone by. (Interestingly, at times the most objective guy in the broadcast crew was the one guy who could actually have made a legitimate case for rooting for the Yankees, Brett Boone -his brother being on the team and all.)

The second incident was the ninth inning ruckus in the bullpen where, while 6’8″ Jeff Nelson was pounding away at a member of the Red Sox grounds crew, Garcia felt the need to scale the bullpen wall and mix in a few haymakers of his own. He then had the audacity to cry about hurting his hand while nailing the guy, who serves as a special-ed teacher during the day. For that incident, the impartial McCarver, before the facts had come out, was quick to assume that a Red Sox fan had jumped into the bullpen and started attacking helpless Yankee relievers. Even if the grounds guy was overly zealous in rooting for his team, and got aggressive, Nelson had plenty of help out there without Garcia flying in. Nelson and Garcia could now possibly face charges for the incident in the bullpen.

The Red Sox are the bad guys here? Reading stories around the country, it’s the Red Sox who are the thugs, yet two Yankees could be facing charges. Makes sense.

Oh yeah, back to Pedro. Pedro let his emotions get the better of him immediately after the Garcia brushback, yelling at Yankees, pointing to his head and saying whatever it was he was saying. There’s no disputing that. He disgraced himself, and let his emotions get out of control. For a TV viewer though, it made great theater. I was with a large group of people, and you couldn’t help but get caught up in it all and just be transfixed, wondering what was going to happen next.

The next inning, Manny Ramirez overreacted, but understandably so, as tensions were so high at that point, to a high pitch from Roger Clemens. Both benches emptied, and 72-year-old Don Zimmer took off out of the Yankee dugout and made straight for Pedro. Now comes the incident for which Pedro is being vilified nationwide. Zimmer came at Pedro, head down, his left hand raised as if ready to swing at Pedro, who did a nice matador impression, put his hands on Zimmer

Sox take the first one,

Sox take the first one, and no matter how bad or biased the Fox announcers were, they couldn’t take away the enjoyment of this one. Games stories are filed by Jeff Horrigan, Sean McAdam, Jack O’Connell, and Bob Hohler. The knuckler was dancing last night. Bob Ryan looks at an amazing pitching performance from Tim Wakefield. Tony Massarotti has another look at the game pitched by the knuckleballer. Paul Kenyon also has a piece on the tremendous effort of a locked-in Wakefield. Michael Silverman also looks at the Yankees inability to connect against Wakefield. David Heuschkel says all of the Red Sox past history is just that in this series. Gordon Edes took note of what could’ve been an early good omen for the Sox. Michael Gee looks at Manny and Ortiz starting to come around. Lenny Megliola looks at the Sox shaking the house that Ruth built. Early this morning, this Dan Shaughnessy story actually contained two editions of the same story in one, but either way, it’s the same old stuff. Michael Holley looks back at the ’99 Red Sox, and while he is fond of that edition, this one is better. George Vecsey of the Times says this is a different Red Sox team, not one obsessed with any past history.

Alex Speier looks at the Sox getting the first jump on the Yankees. Karen Guregian looks at another big game from Todd Walker. There was much talk before the series about how the Yankees had their rotation just as they wanted it, Dom Amore looks at how it might’ve not been quite that way, for Mussina anyway. Mark Blaudschun says that after having a week off, Mussina just couldn’t get into a zone last night. Mike Stanton looks at the scalping business and how this series is a boon for those in that field. Steven Krasner writes about how Grady Little went against the numbers last night simply by having David Ortiz in the lineup against Mike Mussina. Nonbeliever Jim Donaldson is impressed, but takes care to remind us that the Sox need three more wins against the mighty Yankees. Lenny Megliola looks at the pieces that Theo brought in coming up huge in the first game of the series. Krasner looks at another solid effort by the bullpen last night. Michael Gee focuses on the effort of Mike Timlin in particular. Krasner has a piece looking at the return of the bashers in the Boston lineup. Cafardo also looks at the return of power to the Sox lineup. Steve Buckley looks at the guy on the Yankee hotseat, GM Brian Cashman. Paul Kenyon reports on Johnny Damon, who rejoined his teammates yesterday and hopes to play on Saturday against Clemens. Edes reports that Damon has only a vague memory of the incident Monday night. He also notes that Gabe Kapler knows a little something about outfield collisions. Kevin McNamara lsays that the Yankees got the message sent by the Sox early in this series. Kenyon looks at Derek Lowe, who is out to achieve success on the road, starting tonight. Guregian also looks at a different edition of Derek Lowe, one who has confidence and even a bit of bravado. Nick Cafardo says Lowe is ready for tonight’s road test. Massarotti says the Sox are determined to salvage Byung-Hyun Kim. O’Connell collects a group of thoughts from anonymous sources, and one Yankee coach says:

A Yankees coach on Manny Ramirez's slow trot around the bases on his three-run home run in Game 5 against the A's: "It would not be smart for him to do that against us. Our pitchers don't like to be shown up. I don't want to mention any names, but their initials are Roger Clemens and David Wells."

Yeah, that’d be smart. Just announce it in the papers ahead of time, too. How about if you don’t give up any home runs? Then you don’t have to worry about being shown up. John Powers and McNamara look at tonight’s Yankees starter, Andy Pettitte. Cafardo says the Sox aren’t going to let up after having taken the first one in New York. McNamara also looks at how any of the games could come down to Mariano Rivera, who is throwing the best he has all season.

Jim Donaldson asserts that the Yankees are a much more likeable collection of players than the Red Sox are. Cubs fans Alan Rosenberg hopes that his team gets to settle an old score with the Red Sox. Yankee fans claim the ball was foul, but TV replays clearly prove otherwise. There is also a collection of quotes from those involved in the series in that piece. Guregian also has a piece looking at the Yankees fans around Walker’s homerun. Kevin Gray says there should be no crying foul over this play by Yankee fans. Christopher Price notes there is little sympathy for the Yankees on that play. Powers looks at the umpires getting together and making the correct call. Bob Ryan tells the story of how Joe Torre came to manage the Yankees.

McAdam’s Red Sox notebook looks at the continued postseason heroics of Todd Walker. McNamara’s Yankees notebook looks at another postseason struggle for Mike Mussina. Silverman’s Yankees notebook also looks at the rough outing for Mussina. Horrigan’s Red Sox notebook looks at the timetable for the return of Johnny Damon. Gray’s notebook has more on Damon. Amore’s Yankees notebook says Enrique Wilson will likely be in the lineup Saturday to face Pedro, who he seems to own. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Kim being left off the roster for the Yankees series. Hohler’s notebook says Kim is in the Sox future plans.

Yes, I know the Bruins opened up their season last night, and the Celtics were in action as well. There are Patriots stories out there. I’m out of time, as I was yesterday. So many Red Sox stories that it’s taken me two hours just to sort through them all. I started at 5:00 and have to leave for work at 7:00. So, my apologies if you’ve come looking for the stories on the other sports teams this morning, as some of you were yesterday.

Chad Finn weighs in on

Chad Finn weighs in on Georgie-Porgie.

Tony Massarotti says that this

Tony Massarotti says that this Red Sox squad is not afraid of the Yankees, and that is why they can beat them. Bob Hohler looks at the Red Sox, out to get themselves a pennant. Art Martone notes that whenever the Sox play in October, they make memories, and not all of them are bad. Kevin Gray, Gordon Edes and Jeff Horrigan look at the Red Sox/Yankees matchups. Matt Eagan says this is not only a new type of Red Sox team, but also a new breed of fan, in general no longer the fatalistic, negative type – though those types still exist. Michael Silverman dubs this The Perfect Series. Dan Shaughnessy has been taking infusions of positive juice, as he is getting a Patriots-like vibe from this team, and picks the Sox in six. John E. Mulligan looks at the emotions being ridden by Red Sox and Yankee fans. Dom Amore says this matchup of the Yankees and Red Sox is different from any other that has taken place during the 100 years of this rivalry. Michael Holley still has some questions about the A’s series. John Tomase writes about the Sox eagerness to take on the Evil Empire. Christopher Young looks at the known and unknown as the Sox head to the Bronx. John Powers takes a lengthy look at the second installment of this epic series. The rebellion is well under way. Paul Kenyon looks at the relaxed atmosphere of the Sox clubhouse. He notes Kevin Millar teasing Theo Epstein as Theo has also gone the route of the shaven head. Jim Donaldson says everyone wanted this series. Jackie MacMullan dreams ahead to Red Sox/Cubs in the World Series. Will Red Sox fans take up a 1908 chant? Karen Guregian looks at Yankees game one starter, Mike Mussina. Nick Cafardo has a look at the Sox game one starter, Tim Wakefield, and how he has come full circle since ’99.

Jeff Jacobs looks at the divided nature on Connecticut on the Red Sox and Yankees. Sean McAdam gives us answers to 10 burning questions. Jack O’Connell looks at the brashness of the Sox and how it has rubbed opponents the wrong way. He quotes a Yankee source:

A Yankees coach who didn't want his name used contended that the Red Sox have been particularly spiteful this year. He recalled a game when pitcher Pedro Martinez was verbally abusive to Yankees catcher Jorge Posada from the bench all game. "I can understand why the A's were ticked off," the coach said.

The Globe collects quotes from many of the principals involved in the series. Mike Giardi has high praise for Derek Lowe. Gordon Edes says Lowe’s performance Monday night might’ve ended the streak of shaky postseason relief appearances for the Red Sox. Michael Silverman, Nick Cafardo and Paul Kenyon look at the condition of Johnny Damon. Karen Guregian looks at Roger Clemens pitching at Fenway for game three and other Red Sox/Yankee items. Bill Reynolds provides three mini-columns in one. He looks at Cowboy up, the Sox lineup and a good sign for teams who wish to win a championship. Bob Ryan says Jason Varitek is the Red Sox MVP. Tom Yantz reviews the 1999 series. Cafardo reviews the 2003 Red Sox, month by month. McNamara looks at the confident Yankee starting pitchers. Jeff Goldberg looks at how certain websites have fanned the flames of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry and passion for baseball. The Courant looks at stops that can be made in drive between Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium. Peter May says Mariano Rivera is rounding into perfect form as the playoffs progress. May also looks at Derek Jeter, and his up and down year. Nick Cafardo looks at Gabe Kapler, who was the first to jump aboard the haircut craze. Nick compares Kapler to Kevin Romine, I think I’d be insulted if I was Kapler. Bill Griffith looks at how this series will effect the roving members of the media. Steve Buckley’s pay column says that all involved deserve a better series than we got in 1999.

The Globe gets a couple of ex-players who were involved in the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry to compose their thoughts on the series. “Ball Four” author Jim Bouton, now a Red Sox fan, writes about coming to Fenway as a Yankee. Bill Lee remembers the “good old days” of the 1970’s and recalls beating the Yankees as a routine. Jeff Goldberg gets Bucky Dent to comment on the Red Sox and Mike Torrez on the Yankees, 25 years after the 1978 playoff matchup.

A Rockland, Maine group has composed a song they hope will catch on among Red Sox fans. You can download a MP3 of “Red Sox Fever” at the WMTW webpage.

Silverman’s notebook looks what the Red Sox ALCS roster will likely look like. McNamara’s Yankees notebook looks at Pedro/Roger playoff edition II set for Saturday. Kenyon’s Red Sox notebook looks at Gabe Kapler ready to step in for Johnny Damon. Amore’s Yankees notebook looks at the Pinstriped rotation. O’Connell’s notebook says not to expect Kim on the ALCS roster.

Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider says that Bill Belichick’s policy of silence regarding injuries is about winning. Michael Smith looks at the contributions of a couple of the Patriots 2003 draft picks. Michael Parente says the Giants might have something to prove against the Patriots this weekend. Parente also writes about Ty Law’s toughness being a form of leadership for his teammates.

Fox has Red Sox/Yankees at 8:00. (Also Cubs/Marlins) FSNE has Celtics/Pistons preseason at 7:30. ESPN has Mighty Ducks/Stars at 8:00.

Here’s this weeks edition of

Here’s this weeks edition of Thoughts by Kent Thaler. Can’t say I agree with all he says this week, especially about Adam Vinatieri, (Kent has long held that no kicker should be paid anything more than the minimum.) Dennis & Callahan, and especially the Red Sox.

Remember, Kent’s email is at the end of the column, and he’s likely to be far more cordial in response to your disagreements than Dan Shaughnessy would be.

I haven’t said much on the subject of Dennis & Callahan, mostly because I’m somewhat torn on the issue. I don’t think the pair of them are racists, and don’t think they should be fired by any means, but at the same time it gives me some peverse sense of pleasure to read quotes like this from John Dennis:

''I've heard people who know nothing about me evaluate my character, analyze my heart, dissect my brain, and pronounce me a lost and despicable soul,'' Dennis wrote. ''I understand their anger, and, frankly, I deserve much of what I'm getting.''

From the Globe

That quote, combined with the footage of Dennis avoiding the media and rushing into a building, (The “Perp walk” they call it.) is in my mind a bit of poetic justice. Dennis and Callahan have built their show by doing exactly what Dennis complained about in his quote. They’re quick to label accused people they know nothing about –guilty or not– “scumbags” (Their favorite term) or “despicable” and other friendly terms while sullying their reputations beyond repair. It was also ironic to read Callahan complaining last week about free speech. This from the same character who decried anyone who protested the Iraqi war. I’ll give Dennis some big credit in the above quote, as he seems to at least realize that the worm has turned in his case, and his behavior is reaping what he’s sown. Let D&C serve their two weeks, (more of a punishment than you might think given what the next two weeks will hold in the local sports scene) then get them back here, hopefully slightly humble and having learned a little something.

Now can we get back to the Red Sox?

Bill Simmons has a column pure from the old BSG days today, re-living his emotions of watching the Red Sox finish off the A’s.

Next stop, New York. Bob

Next stop, New York. Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan, David Heuschkel and Steven Krasner provide the game stories of the Sox 4-3 win over the A’s in game 5 of the ALDS. Gordon Edes wraps up the crazy series of events that occurred last night. Tony Massarotti says that Derek Lowe dispelled any lingering doubts that he is a clutch, pressure player. Sean McAdam notes that it took a full season, but perhaps the Sox have finally learned how to finish games the right way with the bullpen. Lenny Megliola takes note of the stress of watching the game last night, lists the dramatic moments, and is disapproving of Manny. Bob Ryan looks at the bullpen, which in the playoffs simply means any pitcher not starting that game, as with Lowe last night. Howard Bryant and Mark Blaudschun look at Manny’s huge, decisive home run. Kevin Gray wraps up the big moments of an amazing night. Bill Reynolds says that yesterday and last night were strong reminders of just why we love baseball so much around here. Dan Shaughnessy reminds us that the Yankees are up next and that beating them “has never been an easy task for the Boston Red Sox”. A low point of the game was the most horrific outfield collision I’ve ever seen, with Johnny Damon getting knocked out cold and having to be taken off in an ambulance. Gordon Edes, Tony Massarotti and Sean McAdam all have stories in the incident. Jon Wallach says Pedro’s option was picked up for games like last night. Heuschkel has a look at the bullpen getting a measure of redemption last night and in the series.

The A’s have now strongly established their own record of postseason futility, and Tim Casey looks at the players venting their frustration after the game, mostly at Derek Lowe. Billy Beane also continues with his custom-made postseason excuse, Sunday he said Manny and Nomar, $35-Million worth of ballplayers were simply doing their job in the game four win, implying that if he, Beane had more $ to spend, he could win too. (You had your chance, Bill.) In Casey’s article today, Beane says:

"I'll tell you what," Beane said. "If you want to give us $50 million more, I'll promise you we won't blow that 2-0 lead. Our guys battled their rear ends off. If you guys want to make an issue of it, so be it."

Barry Zepel has another look at the A’s postseason failures. Casey also has another look at the suffering of A’s fans. Steven Krasner has more on how the A’s feel Derek Lowe’s body language just went too far after recording the final out. The A’s were also in denial over any nightclub incident involving Tim Hudson Friday night. Gordon Edes and the Projo report on the A’s comments on the matter. The Inside Track gives a slightly different account of things. Perhaps overshadowed by events later in the game was the performance of Pedro Martinez. Jeff Jacobs wonders if last night was just as Pedro dreamed it would be on the flight to Oakland. Howard Bryant, Sean McAdam and Mark Blaudschun look at the outing by the Sox ace, who was masterful early. Another overlooked hero was certainly Jason Varitek, who got things started with a homer off Zito. Steve Buckley has a look at the Sox catcher. Buckley also has a pay column looking at how this Red Sox team will never stop fighting, and the Sox concern for Johnny Damon amidst their postgame celebration. Blaudschun looks at the A’s lost chances in game 3 for which they paid dearly last night. Donovan Slack and Anne Barnard look at the highs and lows associated with being a Red Sox fan. Seems to be heavy on once again looking at fatalistic Red Sox fans who cringe at their lives changing if the Sox actually win it all. McAdam has a quick look at Tony Cloninger being on hand for the clinching win. Edes says that Tim Wakefield will draw the game one starting assignment against the Yankees. Hohler’s notebook looks at Varitek’s blast to open the Sox scoring. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the A’s grousing over Derek Lowe’s body language. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on that topic.

Kevin Mannix hands out the Patriots report card. A’s and B’s all around, except for the defensive backs, who get a C. Mannix also says that Ty Law is worth the money and that the Pats can’t afford to lose him. Ron Borges looks at Law and his grit and toughness in continuing to play despite the injured ankle. Tom Curran looks at the Patriots running game coming together. Michael Felger also looks at the addition of Mike Cloud to the running back mix and how the position is coming along. Alan Greenberg has a look at Dan Klecko and the many roles he’s playing in his rookie season. Michael Parente also looks at the Patriots three-way man. Mike Reiss says a 50/50 split between running and passing is working well for the Patriots. Michael Smith says the Patriots are striving for some consistency right now. Christopher Price talks to Law about the art of the interception. Jim Baker also has a quick look at Law. George Kimball has a pay column looking at Matt Chatham. Parente’s notebook looks at a mini-slump for Adam Vinatieri. Felger’s notebook also looks at the Pats kicker. Curran’s notebook looks at Troy Brown feeling underused in the offense. Smith notebook says Brown would like a bigger role.

Steve Bulpett says that Celtic fans can rest easy about the condition of Tony Battie’s knee. Tony Chamberlain reports on how Mike James is looking in Celtics camp. Bulpett’s notebook also looks at James.

Dean Johnson reports on WEEI suspending both John Dennis and Gerry Callahan for two weeks for the comments made last week. Sasha Tolcott reports for the Globe. Greg Dickerson and John Meterparel were filling in for D&C this morning. Gotta give Dickerson credit for working with no sleep, as he was live on FSNE following the Sox game last night, and apparently came straight to WEEI and crashed for a couple hours there before going on this morning. Bill Griffith has a look at weekend TV numbers.

Where to begin, where to

Where to begin, where to begin…Red Sox Game stories are filed by Jeff Horrigan, Bob Hohler, Steven Krasner, Art Davidson and David Heuschkel. Kevin Gray says the events yesterday at Fenway were the stuff of fiction. Tony Massarotti looks at another stunning comeback by the Big O and the Sox. Art Martone looks at some of the biggest hits from David Ortiz this year. Bob Ryan looks at what made Ortiz’s hit all that much more remarkable…he couldn’t see the pitch. Lenny Megliola has a look at Ortiz and also another hero from yesterday, Scott Williamson. Rich Thompson observes Ortiz breaking out of his series-long slump. Jeff Jacobs has another look at Ortiz and towards the end of his column looks at the Pedro vs Zito matchup and Pedro’s comments in the past regarding Zito’s Cy Young win last year. Sean McAdam writes about how this team continues to have our hearts thumping. Gordon Edes notes that the A’s have their own burdens that they need to free themselves from. Alex Speier writes that the Sox have lived to “die another day”, 007-style. Kevin Paul Dupont and Michael O’Connor look at a huge game from Johnny Damon. Dan Shaughnessy writes about the excitement in these Sox. Bill Reynolds says that it is now the A’s that must confront their postseason ghosts. Michael Gee notes there difference between the Red Sox supposed curse and the A’s recent history in his pay column:

But the A's curse is their own creation. The same core group of admittedly talented players has been on the field and in the dugout for all eight of those losses when a win would've meant capping a playoff series victory. People don't say you're jinxed in those circumstances. They say you choked, and with reason. The Athletics are now one game away from earning a permanent place among legends of the game like Fred Merkle, Bill Buckner and the '64 Phillies.

Karen Guregian writes about the slumping Manny and Ortiz getting the hits when it mattered the most yesterday. Jackie MacMullan says that Scott Williamson has ended the closer debate. He’s the man. Krasner also has a look at the latest triumph for Williamson. Howard Bryant also has a pay column on Williamson’s emergence. Nick Cafardo says that the Sox decision to hold off on pitching Pedro yesterday might pay huge dividends tonight. Steve Buckley has a pay column looking at Pedro vs Zito, and reports on John Henry reminding Pedro that Zito took the Cy Young award from him last year. Edes writes that Trot Nixon’s homer on Saturday will be one for the ages. Kevin McNamara looks at the A’s closer coming up short yesterday. Massarotti looks at Byung-Hyun Kim, who may not be pitching again for a while. While much attention has been focused the struggles of Manny and Ortiz, John Powers notes that the A’s two top guns have been even worse. Megliola pauses to savor the moment after the victory yesterday. Jim Donaldson looks at the Boston/Foxboro crossover connection from yesterday. Some people had commented on it, and McAdam looks at some parallels between yesterday’s win and the 1978 playoff, but with a happier ending for the Sox.

On the Sunday night shows, on Sports Xtra Dan Shaughnessy said he feels about these Sox the same way he felt about the Patriots after the snow bowl. On Sports Final, Steve Burton reported that Tim Hudson and Barry Zito were at a bar in Boston on Friday night, and Hudson, very intoxicated got into a fight and it required about 10 people to get him out of there. Burton speculated that that incident might’ve been the cause of Hudson’s injury yesterday.

Horrigan’s Red Sox notebook looks at John Burkett talking retirement. Silverman’s A’s notebook looks at Barry Zito getting ready for tonight’s game 5 battle. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at the confidence that Pedro and Zito inspire in their teammates. Krasner’s Red Sox notebook looks at Burkett sticking around in the game yesterday. McNamara’s A’s notebook looks at more bad luck for the Sox with the loss of Tim Hudson. Hohler’s notebook looks at Manny trying to crank it up.

Michael Felger looks at a huge win for the Patriots in Foxboro yesterday. Tom Curran notes that the Patriots had just as many huge moments as the Red Sox did yesterday. Michael Smith says that the Patriots took a lot of joy from their win yesterday. Alan Greenberg looks at big plays and a running game leading the Pats to victory. Ron Borges looks at Mike Cloud bursting upon the scene. Kevin Mannix looks at a hobbled Ty Law locking up the victory for the Patriots. Christopher Price looks at the Patriots going right down to the wire to pull out the win. Jim Baker writes about the Pats receivers coming up big yesterday. Joe Burris looks at Deion Branch with some big plays. Mark Murphy also looks at Branch. Mike Reiss looks at a big performance from the offensive line. Ed Gray also looks at the O-line. Joe McDonald has another piece on the offensive line play. Kevin Gray looks at a pleasant all around day for New England fans. Dan Ventura notes that the Titans know exactly where the game was lost. Christopher Gasper concurs, noting the Titans might need to review “Tackling for Dummies.” Gray looks at Rodney Harrison and the Patriots D providing some pop. Shane Donaldson looks at the Pats riding Cloud to victory. Michael Vega looks at Antowain Smith setting the tone early in the running game. Shalise Manza Young has a look at Mike Cloud’s Patriot debut. Baker also looks at Tom Brady’s elbow, which certainly looked healthy yesterday. Burris also has a look at Brady’s performance. McDonald says that the Titans disappointed on Defense. Murphy and Curran look at the ever-expanding roles that Dan Klecko is building on this team. Greenberg looks at Cloud’s debut. The Daily-News notebook looks at another gutsy return by Ty Law. Felger’s notebook looks at the effect the crowd cheering for the Red Sox had on the Patriots.

Steve Bulpett says Paul Pierce is happy with the Celtics point guard additions. Tony Chamberlain looks at Jumaine Jones. Bulpett’s notebook looks at more knee soreness for Tony Battie.

Donovan Slack says that WEEI’s culture encouraged the comments by John Dennis last week.

Fox has Red Sox/A’s at 8:00. ABC has Colts/Bucs at 9:00

No AM links today, late

No AM links today, late start and can’t really do them justice from the office. Here’s a few links to some articles topical for today and for this site. John Dennis’ suspension from WEEI is a hot topic of discussion, getting attention from around the country. Sasha Talcott in the Globe has a story on it, and there is also an editorial dealing with Dennis and Rush Limbaugh. Bill Griffith also tackles the subject. Jennifer Peter of the AP also has an article on Dennis. Howard Manly has a pay column in the Herald on the subject, in which he calls Dennis a “white supremacist” who “revealed his Ku Klux Klan tendencies” with the METCO comments. He implores WEEI to become more diverse in its content and hiring practices. Dean Johnson in the Herald reports on the Boston City Council’s wishes that Dennis be fired.

Looks like BC is headed to the ACC, and it could happen very quickly. I may have a guest column on this topic for tomorrow.

Sometimes Bill Simmons hates sports. He also makes his NFL picks.

Anyone tired? It’s going to

Anyone tired? It’s going to be a long day until 4:00 pm. I’m very impressed that the papers have their websites updated at this early hour. Something tells me I’ll be hitting the Green Mountain coffee machine early and often today. Jeff Horrigan has the story of a theme that has been consistent throughout the year…the bullpen can’t hold a ninth inning lead. Bob Hohler looks at the stunning ending to a marathon contest. Steven Krasner says we’ve seen this late inning implosion stuff before somewhere. David Heuschkel says the bullpen was bound to blow a late inning lead at some point during the playoffs. Why not get it over with early, huh? Tony Massarotti, Gordon Edes and Sean McAdam look at the performance by Pedro Martinez, who, while not at his best, still impressed fans, his teammates and himself with his determination and heart. Jackie MacMullan, Michael Silverman and Jim Donaldson look at a huge night for Todd Walker, who would’ve been the hero of the game had the bullpen been able to hang onto the lead Walker gave them with his two home runs. Howard Bryant and Tim Casey look at the performance of Tim Hudson last night, who battled Pedro until having to leave the game with a finger cramp. (Finger cramp? Can you imagine if a Boston player left a playoff game with a finger cramp? Per Hohler’s game story) Steve Buckley writes about a strong night for Jason Varitek. Edes looks at Derek Lowe, suffering a back to the future moment. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at another bullpen meltdown for the Red Sox. Lenny Megliola laments another heartbreaking loss for the Sox. Dan Shaughnessy will be grinning from ear to ear today, as he notes that:

In other words, this one was Buckner, Dent, Galehouse, and Frazee all rolled into one tight package.

Michael O’Connor draws the assignment from the Herald of having to write the story of the 25th anniversary of Bucky Dent. Massarotti looks at Doug Mirabelli drawing the game two catching assignment today. Dupont looks at Manny’s lifetime play in the postseason, which is well below his regular season standards. Heuschkel has a look at Tim Wakefield, prepared for his start this afternoon. Dupont also has a story on the knuckleballer. If you heard the Big Show on WEEI yesterday around 4:30, then you have the entire content of Steve Buckley’s pay column today. Wakefield, could pitch until he is 45, remarkable story if you check his numbers from the ’94 season in the minors, where he was the worst pitcher in baseball, and his coming back from being snubbed in the ’99 playoffs to now be starting game 2 today for the Sox. Tim Casey has a look at Barry Zito, as he gets set to take the mound for the A’s this afternoon. Bill Griffith looks at channel 5 picking up the ESPN feed from game three on Saturday as well.

Sean McAdam looks at the A’s recent postseason frustration. Howard Bryant’s pay column notes that the A’s aren’t buying into those same stories about their frustration. Steven Krasner looks at the matchup of the superstar shortstops in this series. Edes has a look at Bill James and his role in getting the Sox to the playoffs. David McPherson looks at the effect last night’s game will have on the New England workforce today. Jackie MacMullan looks at the Twins calling their former teammate, David Ortiz yesterday to wish him luck. Bob Ryan looks at the special bond that exists among the Twins. Jeff Jacobs has a similar look at the Twins. Jim Donaldson recalls the afternoon World Series games of his childhood and says games like last night prevent a whole generation of kids from becoming baseball fans because they can’t stay up to watch. Well, you got an afternoon game today, Jim. Peter May says the Yankees aren’t about to panic just quite yet.

The Herald’s Red Sox notebook looks at Derek Lowe coming into the game in a surprising relief role last night. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Grady’s decision to keep Nomar in the # 2 slot in the batting order. The Herald A’s notebook looks at Oakland’s adjustments to face Tim Wakefield this afternoon. Hohler’s notebook looks at Trot Nixon, well enough to play in the outfield last night, but now getting the next two games off. Peter May’s AL playoff notebook looks at a source of inspiration for the Twins. Krasner’s notebook looks at Trot getting back into the lineup. McAdam’s A’s notebook has Zito being concerned only about the things he can control. Bill Griffith’s TV notebook looks at Fox’s darlings, the Cubs.

Tom Curran looks at the major challenge the Patriots will face in the Titans on Sunday. Michael Felger says the Pats well remember the beating they took from the Titans last season and would like to return some of the physical punishment. Mike Reiss says that toughness is a trademark for the Titans. Ron Borges says the Patriots face a huge challenge in trying to slow down Steve McNair. Alan Greenberg looks at the development of Daniel Graham and the Patriots need to turn him into a threat in the middle of the field. Curran’s notebook has more on the problems the Titans present for the Patriots. Felger’s notebook says that Tom Brady is hurting more from the loss Sunday than from his elbow. Borges’ notebook has Jeff Fisher impressed with what he’s seen from Eugene Wilson at safety.

Steve Bulpett looks at Celtic rookie Brandon Hunter. Shira Springer looks at defense as an early emphasis in Celtic camp. Bulpett’s notebook has a look at a very well conditioned Mark Blount.

ESPN2 has Red Sox/A’s game two at 4:00. FOX has Yankees/Twins at 8:00