Four midseason Patriots wrapups in

Four midseason Patriots wrapups in the Sunday papers this morning. Ron Borges, Kevin Mannix, Ian M. Clark and Tom Curran. I would give Curran’s the nod as being the best read of the four.

Bill Griffith looks at why Sports Xtra always seems to beat Sports Final in the ratings.

A couple more donations have come in over the weekend, increasing the total towards the goal in the Fall Fund Drive. The drawing for the TiVo is a week from tomorrow. Here’s hoping for a strong final push this week….Thank you so much to everyone who has donated thus far. I wish I had TiVos for everyone…

Howard Eskin who has a

Howard Eskin who has a show on WIP in Philadelphia spent the majority of his afternoon drive show ripping Theo Epstein, who he heard, “on good authority” was using video games during the manager interview process. Allegedly (so Eskin’s claim goes), Theo would setup a potential game situation, and asks the interviewee what they would do in that situation.

Given his own credibility, or those of his past sources, I’d take this with a grain of salt. However, given that ex-Phillies manager Terry Francona was interviewed this week (and I’m not sure how “in” he was with Francona), it does make you wonder.

Just thought I’d pass this along. Eskin was calling it “childish, stupid, and ridiculous” for a 28-year old manager to use video games during the interview process, and that Theo would be the laughing stock of the winter meetings once word of this got out. (“Hey Theo, did you run this trade through your video game yet?”)

(Thanks to Dave in Philly for this account.)

The BSMW Fall Fund Drive

The BSMW Fall Fund Drive continues, despite the protests of Cornell students. Yesterday was a fairly strong day, and hopefully today with some more we can reach the halfway mark to the goal amount. Thank you for those who have already made a donation. You can donate for a chance to win a TiVo Series2 Digital Video Recorder. The drive will last this week and next and the drawing will be held on Monday, November 17th. If you enjoy reading the site each day, please consider making a donation. Think of it this way, there are about 240 business days a year. If you think this site is worth 10 cents each day, that would be roughly $25.00 for the year. If you think it’s worth 25 cents a day for the entire year, that’s about $60.00. Please consider helping out the site in this way. Click on the above link for more details about the drive and other prizes up for grabs.

Michael Felger reports that David Patten is facing surgery. Eric McHugh starts the countdown to the battle of the Bills. Rich Thompson has Bobby Hamilton’s thoughts on the two Bills. Michael Parente says that the Patriots have high hopes for burner Bethel Johnson. Ian M. Clark looks at how the Patriots young receivers have stepped up. Glen Farley looks at how players select jersey numbers. Jim McCabe makes his NFL Picks. Football Outsiders provides a midseason AFC report. Christopher Price catches up with a few Patriots as they head out of town.

Another edition of “Ask Nick” is in the books. It really is the gift that keeps on giving. (When does it become “Ask Mike” (Smith)? On the heels of last week’s comments about irresponsible websites and message boards is this comment from this week’s edition:

A lot of people try to come off as media or media experts and they don't know the first thing about the subject.

Ouch.

Speaking of Michael Smith, he delivers a nice piece today looking at the Patriots draft from this year. A really good in depth at how the Patriots go about scouting and selecting players. Interesting was this statement:

And speaking of Robertson, the Patriots never were serious about trading with Chicago for the No. 4 pick and selecting him.

Hmmm. I think I remember someone from the Globe calling Belichick all sorts of names (a “liar” was perhaps the tamest.) and insisting that the Patriots were desperately trying to trade for Robertson. Who are you going to believe? The guy who is down there every day, or the guy who seems to only be around when things are going bad? (True or not, that is the perception.) It’s also amazing to me that all the nasty personal attacks made on Belichick after week one have all been swept under the carpet and ignored. (Are you there, Kevin Mannix?)

Going back to “Ask Nick” for a moment, check out his response to an emailer who praising the Patriots draft and their potential for the future. (It’s the last question in the mailbag.)

A: Just be careful. How many teams have back-to-back great drafts?

The Bruins remain winless at home after a 5-5 tilt with the Sharks. Stephen Harris. Joe McDonald and Nancy Marrapese-Burrell sum up the action from the Fleet. Ron Indrisano and Karen Guregian look at Kyle McLaren in his return to the FleetCenter. He hold no grudges against the city or team. Steve Conroy looks at the homecoming of Niko Dimitrakos. Conroy also looks at the tying goal by Sergei Samsonov. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at Martin LaPointe assigned to the Sergei line. McDonald’s notebook says it is only a matter of time before Joe Thornton and Glen Murray start scoring goals. Harris’ notebook looks at the play of Felix Potvin last night in giving up five goals.

Actual conversation on WEEI yesterday discussing the tragic death of former Sox prospect Dernell Stenson:

Dale: He was shot multiple times and then run over.
Neumy: Foul play suspected?
Dale: (stunned silence followed by) Usually when someone is shot multiple times it’s pretty hard for them to run themselves over with their own car. I think it’s pretty safe to say there was foul play involved.

Jackie MacMullan talks with Bruce Hurst, who while not interested in the job of Red Sox manager, has his opinions on the opening and who would be a good fit for it. Michael Silverman reports that the Sox are on the hunt for a second baseman. John Tomase says that Terry Francona is clearly a better candidate than Glenn Hoffman. The “New Hampshire Primaries“? Yup. That is the name of NH’s new baseball team. Howard Bryant has a pay column on the Red Sox managerial search. He says the team already has it’s “managers” in Lucchino and Epstein.

Get your Celtics links at Fox Sports Net New England.

Bill Griffith wraps up all the action from Monday night and Tuesday morning with the Patriots, and has a number of other items of interest. Jim Baker reports on the NFL Network in his pay column. Matt Ashare writes about Dennis and Callahan.

FSNE has Celtics/Nets at 7:30. ESPN has Timberwolves/Magic at 8:00 and Blazers/Sonics at 10:30.

The BSMW Fall Fund Drive

The BSMW Fall Fund Drive continues. A couple more donations yesterday added to the total. Thank you for those who have already made a donation. You can donate for a chance to win a TiVo Series2 Digital Video Recorder. The drive will last this week and next and the drawing will be held on Monday, November 17th. If you enjoy reading the site each day, please consider making a donation. Think of it this way, there are about 240 business days a year. If you think this site is worth 10 cents each day, that would be roughly $25.00 for the year. If you think it’s worth 25 cents a day for the entire year, that’s about $60.00. Please consider helping out the site in this way. Click on the above link for more details about the drive and other prizes up for grabs.

Get your Celtics links from last night’s game at Fox Sports Net New England.

Bob Ryan looks at this remarkable Patriots team. An excellent piece. Critics of this site often make the accusation that all I and others want from the media is cheerleaders. That’s not the case. The Ryan article is a perfect example of what I want to read in the papers. He’s positive, yes, but he isn’t a blind cheerleader either, after looking at the incredible run of this team, and the outstanding personnel decisions made by the team, both in the draft and free agency, he notes:

I'm not calling Super Bowl or even AFC title game. I'm still wary, because I know there are more talented teams out there, and none of them are coached by dummies. I don't believe in microanalyzing the schedule for the probable Ws and Ls, because it just doesn't work out that way, as we all know. There are dangerous "Ats" and treacherous "Heres." I'll happily settle for watching it all unfold.

He’s being realistic. Balanced. Read and learn. Lenny Megliola starts stoking the fires for Parcells/Belichick, a week from Sunday. Michael Felger says don’t expect the Patriots to return to work as fat cats next week, whenever they need humbling, the opener at Buffalo is a stark reminder. Eric McHugh notes that while the defense seems to get the headlines, offense is still a point of focus for the team. Alan Greenberg looks at the bye week activities and the work that is still to be done. Michael Smith says there is plenty of work to be done, and looks ahead to the second half schedule. Carolyn Thornton looks at the schedules of some of the Patriots during the four days off they now have scheduled. Mike Reiss asks a number of Patriots players about the reasons for the success of the team. Michael Parente notes that while the players might have a few days off, there is no real rest for the weary. Smith has excerpts from a one-on-one interview with Rodney Harrison. Christopher Price provides an update on Richard Seymour’s injury status. Glen Farley looks at the Patriots positioning after the win Monday night. Buddy Thomas takes the Glenn Ordway route and wants to make sure everyone knows that Belichick calling for the safety was not a great call, it was just happened to be the correct one. Michael Gee’s pay column has him worried that the Patriots will start listening to the fans telling them how great they are during the bye week.

Reiss’ notebook has the agent for Ted Washington making the accusation that his client’s injury was the result of dirty play by the Jet’s Kevin Mawae. There is a history of bad blood between the two players. Parente’s notebook also gives an update on Seymour. Thornton’s notebook has Belichick downplaying his matchup with Parcells. Felger’s notebook has a words of respect for Parcells from Belichick.

Terry Francona yesterday became the second candidate to be interviewed by the Sox in their search for a manager. Bob Hohler and Michael Silverman report on the day in the hub by the former Phillies manager. David Heuschkel looks at some of the challenges Francona has faced in his post playing career and climb through the coaching and managing ranks. Joe McDonald says that Francona learned from his stint as manager of the Phillies. Jack O’Connell looks at the crop of managerial candidates out there, not just for the Red Sox opening but for all the openings in MLB. I’m not sure exactly what the point of Bill Reynolds column is this morning. Do Boston fans regret rooting for the Marlins? He tells us it’s time to just move on? Where is this coming from? John Tomase tells us that history will not be kind to the 2003 Red Sox. Silverman also writes that the search for a new manager will not be rushed.

That’s all the time I have for today…don’t forget the Google ads, either, they help out too.

Way to go, Pete Sheppard.

Way to go, Pete Sheppard. Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

The BSMW Fall Fund Drive

The BSMW Fall Fund Drive continues. Day two brought us about one-third of the way towards the final goal. Thank you for those who have already made a donation. You can donate for a chance to win a TiVo Series2 Digital Video Recorder. The drive will last this week and next and the drawing will be held on Monday, November 17th. Thank you for your continued support. Click on the above link for more details about the drive and other prizes up for grabs.

New England is still buzzing from Monday night. Morning came early yesterday, and I’m still feeling the effects this morning. Kevin Mannix gives us his report card for the outing. The coaching, QB and DB’s all get A’s this week. Michael Smith and Mike Reiss look at the Patriots proficiency at the two-minute drill. Michael Parente notes that everyone is contributing to the success of the team. Michael Felger has his Patriots Insider today, and it focuses on Parcells vs. Belichick, he gets reaction from many on Parcells, including players and front office types. He also brings up a few curious play calls from Monday night and even has a brief (2 question) mail bag. Nothing about the ex-groundskeeper though. Tom Curran looks at how the Patriots just keep winning in ways and places that you don’t expect them to. Michael Holley looks at the type of players the Patriots are winning games with, and winning everyone over with.

Alright…I’ll admit it. I enjoyed reading Dan Shaughnessy this morning. A great read. I even laughed at this line:

Denver newspapers (there are some real wiseguy columnists in this town; not sure how the readers tolerate it) had a field day with the Belichick-Mike Shanahan mismatch.

Was Dan being ironic with that line? I think he just might’ve been. Then again, some of the Denver columnists are just dreadful. One name: Woody Paige. If you’ve ever read him, he makes Jim Donaldson look great and if you’ve seen Paige on Around The Horn, you long to hear Bill Burt four straight hours on WEEI. Check out Paige’s thoughts before and after the Monday night matchup. Classic stuff. Anyway. Back to the Patriots. Alan Greenberg says these Patriots are proving themselves to be made out of a lot of tough guys. Ian M. Clark says Monday night was the antidote for the loss to the Redskins earlier in the season. Hector Longo recaps the win in Denver, and Christopher Price calls Belichick’s safety call the key to the game. Curran gives us a recap of the last eleven minutes of the game. Jonathan Comey hands out some midseason hardware.

Gerry Callahan has a pay column today on Tom Brady and his clutch performance and how he thrives in those situations. He writes:

No one is saying he's Elway or Montana yet, but he shares one trait with the great clutch performers of our time. As the clock ticks down, he perks up. The pressure mounts, the noise builds, Madden rambles haplessly, the folks at home gnaw their nails to the bone, and Brady rubs his hands together in the huddle. How we winning it this week, boys? He may look like Shemp in the headshot ABC kept showing, but when the heat is on, he sure seems to have a lot of Larry in him.

Amen to that. George Kimball has a pay column looking at the heat that Mike Shanahan is taking in Denver for his team’s collapse against the Patriots. Smith’s notebook looks at the league inquiring into the Richard Seymour injury. Parente’s notebook looks at Tom Brady continuing to mature as a QB.

Get your Celtics links at Fox Sports Net New England.

Lenny Megliola talks with the high school coach of Manny Ramirez. He provides some insight into what Manny’s youth was like and some of why he is the way that he is. Michael Silverman and Bob Hohler report on the Sox interviewing former Phillies manager and current A’s bench coach Terry Francona today. Hohler’s article also contains some notes, which indicate Mike Timlin is likely to stay aboard, and Todd Walker is less likely.

I mentioned this last night, but don’t want it to get lost in the shuffle. Check out the 2004 Ford C. Frick Award Nominee Voting. Ken Coleman and Ned Martin are two on this list. Joe Castiglione, Jerry Trupiano, Bob Montgomery, Sean McDonough and Jerry Remy are also on this list of nominees. But I can’t think of a better way to honor Coleman and Martin, both of whom passed away within the last two years then to get them honored with this award. Lets do what we can.

Stephen Harris says that Mike Sullivan doesn’t play mind games. Joe McDonald looks at the Bruins calling up Zdenek Kutlak from Providence. Harris’ notebook also looks at Kutlak.

Mark Blaudschun and Kevin McNamara look at the newly expanded Big East.

FSNE has Celtics/Pistons at 7:30. ESPN has Nuggets/Cavs at 8:00 and Grizzlies/Trail Blazers at 10:30. ESPN2 has Louisville/TCU college football at 7:30.

First, thanks to John McGrath

First, thanks to John McGrath for sending me the link to the 2004 Ford C. Frick Award Nominee Voting. As John points out in his email, the people of Boston should flood the voting to insure either Ken Coleman or Ned Martin gets in. Joe Castiglione, Jerry Trupiano, Bob Montgomery, Sean McDonough and Jerry Remy are also on this list of nominees. But I can’t think of a better way to honor Coleman and Martin, both of whom passed away within the last two years.

Here’s another batch of Thoughts from Kent Thaler.

The BSMW Fall Fund Drive

The BSMW Fall Fund Drive continues. Yesterday was a modest step towards the final goal. Thank you for those who have already made a donation. You can donate for a chance to win a TiVo Series2 Digital Video Recorder. The drive will last two weeks and the drawing will be held on Monday, November 17th. Thank you for your continued support. Click on the above links for more details about the drive and other prizes up for grabs.

Wow…all I can is…wow! This Patriots team just continues to amaze. Despite missing Richard Seymour, a couple early turnovers, a plethora of penalties, giving up a punt return for a TD, some questionable play calls, and a loud Denver crowd, the Patriots pull out a 30-26 victory. Game stories of this amazing conquest are filed by Michael Smith, Tom Curran, Alan Greenberg, Mike Reiss and Michael Felger. Among the columnists, Kevin Mannix says this win is the best of the bunch for this determined team. Michael Holley says that this team is accomplishing great things, and all of all the teams that Bill Belichick has coached, this may be his favorite. Dan Shaughnessy reminds us that these aren’t the Red Sox. How predictable was this column? That pregame intro to Monday Night Football with Christopher Lloyd as a Boston minister preaching salvation in the Patriots was pretty funny though.

Rich Thompson and Nick Cafardo look at Tom Brady’s performance in leading the Patriots through the air. George Kimball looks at the play of Deion Branch, who made the big play in the first half to keep the Patriots in the game at that point. On the other side, Brian Howell looks at Delta O’Neal, who went from hero to goat in a hurry. Michael Smith notes that the Patriots could’ve had Clinton Portis instead of Daniel Graham in the draft last year. Thompson looks at the barrage of penalties that nearly proved fatal for the Pats last night. Cafardo and Kimball look at Bill Belichick’s decision to accept the safety with his team backed up to the one yard. The decision could not have worked out more perfectly. Dennis & Callahan noted that Grady would never have called for the safety… A development that surely saddened all Patriot fans was the fact the Shannon Sharpe is no longer undefeated against the Patriots. Thompson looks at the reunion of B.C. centers on the field last night. Smith’s notebook looks at the absence of Richard Seymour. Felger’s notebook has more on the injuries to Seymour and Troy Brown. Michael Parente’s notebook is also on the injuries.

With the late finish, a few stories were filed before the game ended, just to get things into the paper. Bill Reynolds writes about the atmosphere at Hooters for Monday Night Football. Michael Parente gives us our first look ahead to the next Tuna Bowl. Tom Curran looks at how Patriots fans travel well. Ian M. Clark says this team is hungry for more success. Kimball has a pay column comparing and contrasting Invesco Field to the old Mile High Stadium.

By the way, I think my new favorite Patriot is Eugene Wilson. No articles on him today, but man…did you see some of those hits? I think Rod Smith is still trying to clear his head. It’s always fun to hear the announcer say that so-and-so just got drilled by the *rookie* from .

Bill Griffith looks at the launch of the NFL Network, and when it might be available in New England, without DirecTV.

Bob Hohler and Tony Massarotti report on the Sox interviewing former shortstop Glenn Hoffman. Massarotti’s piece focuses on Hoffman’s session with the media, of which he says:

But then, dealing with the media is part of the challenge in managing the Red Sox, which is why Epstein sat off to the side during Hoffman's media session and watched over a man who could be the very first manager he hires.

It was all part of the test.

Is it just me, or is this the media making themselves the story again? It’s like Massarotti is taking pride in the fact that he perceives that the Red Sox are putting their candidates in front of the microphones to assess how they deal with the vaunted Boston Press. Bob Ryan looks at what Hoffman can bring to the Red Sox. Sean McAdam says Boston is a comfort zone for Hoffman. David Heuschkel also takes a look at Hoffman. Steve Buckley has a pay column weighing in on the managerial openings and moves around baseball. He takes some nice shots at Don Zimmer, and of course manages a Boston Braves reference. Gerry Callahan also has a pay column today on the Red Sox search for a new manager. His contribution is nine multiple choice interview questions.

Get your Celtics links at Fox Sports Net New England.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at Glen Murray looking to get untracked. Stephen Harris looks at the Bruins trying to improve their home record. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the rebirth of Hockeytown. Too bad. Boston could’ve and should’ve been America’s Hockeytown. I don’t believe any team has more loyal, rabid fans than the Bruins.

First off — Today is

First off — Today is the start of the BSMW Fall Fund Drive. Donate for a chance to win a TiVo Series2 Digital Video Recorder. The drive will last two weeks and the drawing will be held on Monday, November 17th. Thank you for your continued support. Click on the above links for more details about the drive and other prizes up for grabs.

The Patriots head into the Mile high city tonight in their latest attempt at payback. After having beating Miami in Miami earlier this season, something that had never happened in the months of September and October, could things be aligned for a victory in Denver as well? Tom Curran says this is a HUGE game for the Patriots, as the implications from a win or loss will likely be felt down the road. Kevin Mannix gives us his game day breakdown of the matchups. Alan Greenberg says the Patriots are going in with a no-excuses attitude. Michael Smith looks at the focus of the Patriots as they try to avoid a trap of thinking ahead to the bye week. Dan Shaughnessy with another look at what its like to play on Monday night. Michael Felger says the Patriots will likely have to go without Troy Brown for tonight, though the receiver did show some improvement yesterday and will be a game-time decision. Michael Parente looks ahead to the game tonight. Dell Jones issues a mea culpa on behalf of the media for how they doubted Bill Belichick after the first week of the season. Hector Longo gushes about Belichick and how he uses the pieces he has to work magic. George Kimball has yet another article on Danny Kanell. After the past week, I think I know more about Danny Kanell than I do about my own sisters. Sean Smith looks at the importance of a good placekicker in the NFL. Bill Burt declares the honeymoon over for Drew Bledsoe and the Bills. Kevin Mannix says the Mike Shanahan might be Bill Belichick’s match when it comes to (presumably football) scheming. Parente’s notebook looks at Belichick edict this week on not talking about chop blocks.

Just can’t knock those Red Sox off the headlines. Nick Cafardo looks at Glenn Hoffman and Bud Black coming in for interviews this week, and says the Red Sox have set the bar for managerial success so high that “The next Sox manager will have to be the best manager in the history of the franchise.” Tony Massarotti also looks at the early stages of the hunt for the new manager. Steve Buckley has a pay column on the Sox manager search and personnel decisions. Buckley’s notebook gives us an idea of how the interview will not be just a sit-across-the-desk-and-fire-questions sort of deal. Art Davidson says that Willie Randolph might be the best man for the job. Jim Donaldson says the Sox are trying to dump all their stars. Too bad we can’t dump all second-rate columnists that easily. Yankees beat writer Lawrence Rocca hits strongly with his article on Grady Little. He says of Little:

It's probably impossible to write too much about Little's tactical inadequacies, but most simply put, he was a strategic blockhead who trusted his cotton-farmer instincts more than hard statistical data. Sitting next to him in the dugout during the eighth inning of Game 7 must have felt a little bit like sitting near Kruschev during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

He refers to local efforts here to portray the Sox front office as a bunch statheads as “stupid media pandering” The article goes on, making more strong points of what the Sox are looking for in a manager, how Grady fell short. He also adds:

To believe the Red Sox fired Little because of that one non-move in Game 7 is absurd. That one non-move was merely the most obvious and damaging example of his anti-intellectual style of managing.

Are you listening Tony Massarotti and Sean McAdam?

Stephen Harris looks at the Bruins standing behind Joe Thornton’s frustrations with the officials. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins’ frustration after Saturday’s 3-2 OT loss to the Penguins. Kevin Paul Dupont and Russ Conway look at the Hall of Fame career of Grant Fuhr. Harris’ notebook looks at the semi-open practice held by the team yesterday.

Get your Celtics links at Fox Sports Net New England.

Bill Burt looks at some supporters of Dennis & Callahan, and also reports on how Tony Cloninger turned around Scott Williamson. Ron Borges looks at the sad decision by Evander Holyfield to continue fighting.

ABC has Broncos/Patriots at 9:00.

An amusing little jab at

An amusing little jab at Dan Shaughnessy and his “Curse” legend can be found at Guerilla Sports, which brings you “The Curse of Luis Gonzalez.”