Busy Off Day

Nomar’s agent said last night that he expects the shortstop to stay with the Red Sox beyond this season. Bob Hohler looks at the thawing in the relationship between Arn Tellem and John Henry. Whether the words by Tellem are just agent-speak remains to be seen, but for the fans of Nomar, this has to be positive. Byung-Hyun Kim is headed back to Korea. Joe McDonald and Jeff Sullivan report on the Sox pitcher seeking treatment back home on his injured back and hip. The A’s are in town for the first time since last fall’s ALDS. Michael Silverman examines whether there are lingering bad feelings between the clubs, especially involving Derek Lowe. The stability of having Keith Foulke in the bullpen has meant a lot to the Red Sox. Jim Donaldson and Tony Massarotti look at the closer’s impact on both the Red Sox and the A’s. David Heuschkel looks at how the Sox have managed to stay on top of the division despite all the mounting injuries. Paul Kenyon looks at the noise and crowds of Fenway which make it such a special place for the Red Sox players. Karen Guregian has a look at Bronson Arroyo and his hobby of playing the guitar. Dan Shaughnessy strings together a decidedly mediocre series of “thoughts” mostly on baseball, but with some Ty Law, Stanley Cup finals and Rick Carlisle items. The Globe Red Sox notebook says that the Sox could have some interest in outfielder Raul Mondesi. I cannot envision that happening. Silverman’s notebook reports that with eight more plate appearances, Kevin Millar will trigger his option year.

Michael Felger has the news that Troy Brown has had a year extended to his contract. There appears to be some confusion on the actual finances involved in the deal. Mike Reiss has Brown taking a sizable cut in pay for this upcoming season, more than is reported by Felger, yet they both cite the NLFPA web site figures. I say if you’re even in doubt about the cap figure of a Patriot player, go to Miguel. He has the following to say about Brown’s status:

May 24, 2004 update: His 2004 salary dropped from $2,250,000 to $760,000. He is now signed through the 2005 season at a salary of $2.5 million. It appears that Brown converted part of his 2004 salary into a signing bonus as part of the deal.

Michael O’Connor looks at Patriots announcer Gil Santos being honored by The Sports Museum as part of “The Tradition”.

So is everyone pumped and jacked for the Stanley Cup Finals? Nancy Marrapese-Burrell tries to give us some introductions to these teams. James Murphy says this year’s Stanley Cup Finals is going to be a lot more exciting than the traditional media will ever understand. Mick Colageo says that the NHL knows no greater irony than having this matchup for the finals. A good piece.

By the way, new Celtics coach Doc Rivers has been doing a blog on the playoffs for NBA.com. Nothing earth shattering there, but it’s somewhat interesting to get the thoughts of your new coach.

John Molori has a very interesting edition of Media Blitz. He reports on the future of the Celtics radio broadcasts on WWZN. Seems things are so bad at 1510 that they may not be able to afford Cedric Maxwell as a analyst, Sean Grande has had his pay chopped in half, and may end up doing the broadcasts by himself. Maybe he can produce them as well, as Howie Sylvester has been fired by the station. He also lauds Steve Burton for the Ty Law interview. (!) He also has the news that the Boston Dirt Dogs website may soon be hosted by Boston.com, which hosts the Boston Globe and NESN. Very interesting. Good for Steve Silva and Dirt Dogs if this true. It could be a step toward legitimizing the genre of so-called “fan” websites. Bill Griffith looks at ESPN trying some novel approaches to advertising. John Tomase has a review of ‘Chasing Steinbrenner’ a new book from the Lowell Sun’s Rob Bradford which looks behind the scenes at the front offices of the Red Sox and Blue Jays as they chased the Yankees last summer.

NESN has Red Sox/A’s at 7:00. (ESPN2 nationally) ESPN has Flames/Lightning at 8:00. TNT has Lakers/T-Wolves at 9:00.

Sox Sweep

First of all a huge thanks to all those who made the Spring mini fund drive a rousing success. The goal was reached, and even passed by about $70. I’m always blown away by the generosity and support of the readers.

Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox finished off a three game sweep of the Blue Jays yesterday. Game stories from yesterday: Michael SilvermanDavid HeuschkelDavid BorgesSteven Krasner and Bob Hohler. Wakefield, still adjusting to being a dad, was one of the main stories of the day, generating articles about his performance. Sean McAdam wonders if Wakefield is really the ace of the Red Sox staff. Bob Ryan, John Connolly, Joe Haggerty and Jon Couture all have additional articles on the job done by the knuckleballer. David Ortiz was another big story from yesterday, Karen Guregian says the slugger shows no signs of letting up after signing his new contract. I didn’t think he would, but a little early for that angle, isn’t it Karen? Marvin Pave has more on Ortiz, who is leading the AL in doubles. Rich Thompson and Paul Harber have pieces on leadoff man Johnny Damon. Tony Massarotti says that the Sox are winning with their patience at the plate. Thompson has a look at the battery combo of Wakefield and Mirabelli. Jim Donaldson shows why he’s nothing more than Shaughnessy lite, as he submits another tired, mailed in column about the angst of Red Sox fans:

You'd think, given all that, that Sox fans would be ecstatic. That they'd be enjoying the moment.

You would think that, unless you had spent significant time in New England, and thus come to understand the tortured psyche of the true Red Sox rooter -- an angst-ridden, long-suffering soul, who, at least subconsciously, considers himself cursed and isn't really happy unless he's miserable.

Can’t a highly paid journalist at least come up with his own material? Does Shaughnessy get a cut of this? If I was Dan, I’d be demanding one. And who’s fixated on the players? I don’t know any fans that are “fretting” about it…but I know that there are stories in the paper everyday about the free agents to be…Steve Buckley (subscription only) pulls his old trick of taking what he talked about on the radio yesterday and making it a column today. This time it’s Kevin Youkilis and that he is still with the big club, and will be facing Moneyball man Billy Beane and the A’s this week. Alex Speier has an interesting piece on the defensive alignments the Sox have been using against some of the opposing team’s sluggers. Connolly looks at another strong outing for the Red Sox bullpen. Krasner’s notebook has more on new dad Wakefield. Borges’ notebook looks at the Sox success at home. Heuschkel’s notebook, Hohler’s notebook and Silverman’s notebook all look at Bill Mueller getting another opinion on his injured knee.

Not much else out there on this Monday morning. Plenty of good links on the weekend, continued thanks to Len who puts those up for me, and allows me to have a semblance of a life on Saturday and Sundays.

Shira Springer has a brief note about the Celtics lining up a few pre-draft workouts.

Mark Blaudschun has a look at BC AD Gene DeFilippo as the school prepares to make the leap to the ACC.

David Scott has a look at the Sunday night sports shows, including Steve Burton’s interview with Ty Law (transcript below) and a number of other notes from around the media world. He also has an explanation of why Bob Ryan was not on PTI last week, even though he is the usual first replacement for the show. Scott’s Shots got BSMW a mention by Sean McDonough on Friday night baseball last week, as McDonough mentioned the behind the scenes piece that Scott did on May 10th.

NESN has the Portland SeaDogs taking on Binghamton at 6:00. ESPN has Pistons/Pacers game two at 8:00. ESPN2 has Astros/Reds at 7:00.

Sports Final Steve Burton Interview with Ty Law

CBS-4 Sports Final Steve Burton Interview with Ty Law – May 23, 2004
(Thanks to BSMW reader Gina for transcribing this.)

(Preview)

Ty Law: It’s no more of a privilege to play for the Patriots than it is to play for any other team in this league.

(Intro)

Steve Burton: Let’s nip this in the bud right from the get go. Then we’ll move on. People back home, the media back home I should say, are thinking that you only talk to black reporters. The African American guys. Are you?

Ty Law: (laughing, raises his fist) Black power.

SB: Is that your intention?

TL: No, that wasn’t my intention at all. I talk to Ron Borges, I talk to Michael Felger. Unless they’re real fair skinned, I don’t think they’re black. That’s absurd. What difference does it make if it’s a black reporter or a white reporter? It’s someone doing their job.

SB(voiceover highlight reel): He’s the best cornerback in the NFL. He knows it, the Patriots know it. Here’s the problem. The Pats can’t afford to keep him. They can’t afford to let him go, either.

SB: I asked Terry Glenn this and he said “I D-I-D, did. The famous DID word. Do you still want to play for the Patriots?

TL: I love the Patriots. I love my teammates, my fans, playing for them. That’s the only team I know. I also understand that this is a business and that I can’t always have my way. I’m gonna go out there and play my heart out just like I always do. Just because I have a problem with Coach Belichick and Scott Pioli doesn’t mean I have a problem with the organization as a whole. You know, Mr. Kraft has been good to me, Mrs. Kraft has been good to me. I have a pretty good relationship with all of them. If I had my druthers, I would retire here.

SB: I’m going to read you a quote you said. “I have the utmost respect for Belichick, the best coach in the league. He’s getting paid accordingly, I want get paid accordingly as well. He just re-did his deal. I don’t know the details but I guarantee this…” I’ll let you finish the quote.

TL: He didn’t take a pay cut.

SB: What did you mean by that?

TL: Exactly what I said. He done a great job with the team, the organization. He helped bring home two championships to New England. He got a contract extension and he got a raise. I was a part of that. I helped bring those championships home too. He asked me to take a pay cut. Why should I take less when he didn’t take less?

SB: You called your boss a liar. Most people, if they do that, they get fired. How are you going to come back and work with Belichick?

TL: First of all, the reason I called him a liar..let me give you an example. He said to me because of my age, he couldn’t give me a long term deal. But when you look at Rodney Harrison, 30 years old, six year deal. Tyrone Poole, 5 year deal, 31 years old. Drew Bledsoe, a ten year deal. That’s a lie. You told me that to my face.

SB: Do you regret saying that?

TL: No, I don’t regret saying that. I’m a man and I’m going to stick by anything I say. Maybe I shouldn’t have used those exact words but where I come from, you know, a lie is a lie.

SB: You use the statement “I gotta eat”. I gotta eat? That the most ridiculous statement you could have made. What were you thinking? What did you mean by that?

TL: That was totally taken out of context. The question that was asked of me was “Ty, will you hold out? Will you go to training camp?” That’s the question that was asked of me. I was like why would I hold out? I never asked for more money. I wasn’t complaining about the money I was making currently. I said I got a family, I gotta eat. Why wouldn’t I go to work?

SB (voiceover training reel): Law has been out in L.A. working with his own personal trainer, Bob Kersee from the Jackie Joyner Kersee family. He’s been working him hard.

TL: He’s been working the hell out of me. Like always. That’s what he does. But you know, it’s not for everyone. Many people have come and many people have gone.

SB (voiceover): Law signed a seven year, 51 million dollar contract extension in 1999. He’s more than lived up to it. At age 30, he’s coming off of his best year ever.

TL: Let me put it in layman’s terms. You got a job. You’re making fifty-thousand dollars a year. Forty-thousand a year. You get employee of the year like I did. I was defensive player of the year. Your boss comes to you and says next year, we can only pay you thirty-thousand dollars. You’re gonna have a problem with that. Why? Well my contract, my salary says I’m supposed to make this. I’ve done my job. I’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations. Why should I have to make thirty-thousand dollars. See, people are looking at the number. The millions of dollars. People can’t relate. But that’s fair market value. That’s the fair market value for my services. No one tells Bill Gates he shouldn’t make any more money. Or Henry Ford to not make anymore money.

SB: You’ve brought up in the past, Belichick’s contract with the Jets. Why?

TL: Because people seem to forget about that. I’m trying to make a similarity to my situation and his. And Scott Pioli’s. They were under contract. He had three years left under his deal. He fought so hard and was so adamant about not coaching. And it wasn’t like you were taking a lower position. You were getting a raise and getting bumped up to Head Coach of the New York Jets. You signed that contract and you didn’t honor yours. But I’m being a bad guy when I’m not willing to take a pay cut but I’m willing to honor mine. Everyone forgets about Coach Belichick and his situation.

SB: When you see Belichick for the first time, face to face, what is that going to be like?

TL: Like it always is.

SB: You think so?

TL: Hey, what’s up Bill, how you doing …shake his hand and acknowledge his as a head coach trying to defend his championship.

SB: Do you think he’ll shake your hand?

TL: Why not? I mean, if you a professional, why not? I mean, we’re here now, no sense in arguing on the field. We’re trying to defend a championship.

SB: Are you a selfish player?

TL: Let me ask you the question, Steve. Then you can answer it for me. I went to Coach Belichick when this whole thing was happening with Tom Brady and his contract and I went to him, nobody told me to, between practices and training camp and said would you like me to restructure my contract so we can get Tom Brady done and move on because it was getting to be a big distraction. So I went on my own, willing to redo my contract to get Tom Brady done and that was my intention. Tom Brady. Because getting asked the questions, every day, it was like can we move on. Understand that I have the highest cap number, one of the highest cap numbers of the guys. Is that selfish?