7.26.04 Afternoon

Bob Stern wonders which Red Sox edition is the real deal. Getting beat up by the Orioles, or taking two of three from the Yankees. Rob Chimelis looks at Derek Lowe coming up big in what he was saying could be his last start at Fenway for the Red Sox. Alan Greenwood says the Sox were able to make a point this weekend. Mike Fine says the Sox came out swinging this weekend, in more ways than one. After this Yankees series, Eric Wilbur isn’t looking forward to going back to playing the Orioles again. David Ropeik looks at a pins-and-needles weekend at Fenway. Chimelis’ notebook looks at Nixon and Leskanic heading to the DL. Greenwood’s notebook looks at the Sox and Yanks moving past the brawl. Fine’s notebook has Lowe refusing to blame his outfielders for his early trouble last night. Jerry Remy has a brief mailbag.

Charles P. Pierce looks at sports crazy Boston. There’s also a Red Sox Vs. Patriots page.

Eric McHugh considers 10 questions from the NFC. Nick Cafardo is in good form already regarding the Patriots. He said on the Eddie Andelman show that it is going to take the Patriots missing the playoffs for fans to be negative and question “the way they do things down there’. His partner in crime, Ron Borges was on NECN last night, and according to a viewer from KFFL, was up to his usual tricks regarding the Patriots.

Dick Heller of the Washington Times has a piece on Reggie Lewis, who died 11 years ago tomorrow. Chad Ford of ESPN Insider rated the top Summer League rookies, and Al Jefferson of the Celtics was at the top of the list. He says:

After watching Jefferson dominate in the paint in two summer leagues, scouts walked away convinced that Jefferson had a chance to be a significant contributor to the Celtics this season. Jefferson had a couple of dominant games, including a pair of 27-point outbursts versus the Nuggets and Wizards in Las Vegas. Danny Ainge is breathing a huge sigh of relief. All three Celtics rookies played well in the summer leagues. If he can get even half the production Jefferson gave him in Vegas, the Celtics will be better than we thought this year.

Insider also has a full Patriots preview today. Too much to quote here. Pretty high all around, a little concern about the depth on the offensive line and defensive backfield.

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Shoulda Swept ‘em

….but we’ll settle for two out of three. Baby steps. That’s all that was accomplished this weekend. The Sox beat the Yankees 9-6 last night before a national ESPN audience. Game stories are provided by Nick CafardoTony MassarottiSteven Krasner….David Heuschkel and David Borges. Dan Shaughnessy says last night wasn’t a bad night to be at the ballpark. Lenny Megliola looks back at a wild weekend at Fenway. Sean McAdam looks at Derek Lowe, recovering from a rough beginning to post a very solid outing in a pressure packed situation. Rich Thompson and Marc Craig also look at Lowe, who said he pitched as if it was his last game for the Red Sox. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that the weekend brawl could turn the season around for the Sox. Then again, it might not.

Alex Speier has a look at the injury bug rearing it’s ugly head at the Sox once again. Kevin Millar had a monster series, going 10-13 with four homers and eight RBI. Mark Murphy and Paul Harbor take a look at the resurgence of the KFC pitchman. Terry Adams made his Red Sox debut last night, and Thompson and Harbor have small pieces on him. Murphy talks to Willie Randolph about a time when men were men and fights were fights, back in the Red Sox/Yankee brawls of the 1970’s. Sean McAdam says Jason Varitek and ARod are likely facing suspensions for their actions from Saturday. Del Jones says that it is time to ban brawls in baseball. David Borges and Steve Krasner look at Trot Nixon and Curtis Leskanic heading to the DL. Craig has a look at the life of utility infielders, always moving around and needing to adjust their perspective in the field. Down in Pawtucket, Eric Benevides has a look at Scott Williamson, who was displeased with his rehab outing. Cafardo’s notebook has more on Nixon heading to the DL. Massarotti’s notebook also looks at Nixon. Krasner’s notebook looks at Varitek sitting out last night. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Varitek’s injury. Borges’ notebook has a look at Terry Adams and an incident he once had with Manny.

Mike Shalin and Gordon Edes each have a look at Dennis Eckersley being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday and his emotional speech. Shalin also has a Hall of Fame notebook.

Yesterday, Len had run a complaint from “NASCL” who had purchased extra tickets to the game Saturday, and had received them from the team, then got to the park and found out the tickets were no good. Here’s an update from that same person:

Yesterday I posted regarding the Red Sox screwing up by mailing out tickets that were invalided without notification.

I just wanted to pass along that I did speak to a young man at the Sox offices today by the name of Sean Walsh and received superior customer service. He is a credit to the Red Sox organization.

Michael Felger looks at the Patriots linebackers. The biggest question of course concerns the health of Rosevelt Colvin. The popular stance that many have taken this offseason is to say that he won’t play at all or will be on the PUP list to begin the season. That of course is a no-lose proposition for those fearless prognosticators. If he plays to begin the season, everyone is happy to see him and forgets the predictions. If he’s delayed because of injury, these guys get to toot their own horn and tell everyone how right they were. My opinion is that they will take it easy on Colvin in camp, and ease him into the physical contact part of things. I think he’ll be ready to start the season. Michael Parente previews the defensive line for the Patriots. Yesterday Hector Longo had a training camp preview of the Patriots. Bill Burt had a look at newly signed QB Kurt Kittner, whose high school coach raves about him. Of course he does. Christopher Price looks at the Dolphins hellish off-season reaching it’s apex with the retirement of Ricky Williams.

Bob Ryan looks at Lance Armstrong winning his record sixth Tour De France.

Scott’s Shots weighs in asking for Zim to come back, Larry Merchant to leave and Christian Fauria to sit down.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. ESPN has Cardinals/Reds at 7:00. FSN will have Tony Massarotti at 6:30 and Steve Buckley at 10:00. CN8’s Sports Pulse will not be on this week due to the DNC.

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Sunday NFL Update

The Daily News put together a 12-member blue ribbon panel to rank the top ten coaches in the NFL. Gary Myers reports that Bill Belichick was ranked number one. It should come as no surprise that a former Patriots head coach is number two. The vote was not close. The article is an excellent read.

Vito Stellino reports on the emotional separation of the Titans and Eddie George. But he reminds us that the Titans paid him a roster bonus of $1 million this Spring and the Titans believed that was part of his 2004 compensation. When added to their $1.5 million offer, that would be $2.5 million for 2004. George and his people conveniently forgot about that check after they cashed it and wanted out. Jim Wyatt informs us that Chris Brown, Antowain Smith, and Robert Holcumb could be the committee that replaces Eddie George. We all know you can

A-Rod Won’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

WOW!!!! Just when we thought we have seen everything in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, we saw so much more in yesterday’s Fox game of the week. The Red Sox resembled the Dead Sox trailing 3-0 when Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez. Instead of walking to first, A-Rod instigated a bench clearing brawl that led to his ejection and may have woken the Sox up from their three-month long slumber. With the Yankees leading 10-8 in the ninth and superstar closer Rivera on the mound, the Sox bats went off on the Yankees closer and won 11-10 on a walk off homer by Bill Mueller. Maybe this win will give the Sox the momentum they need to make the playoffs. Earl Weaver used to say that momentum is only as good as your next day

Saturday update

Saturday update by Rich ([email protected])

On the local front, the Patriot Ledger’s Del Jones reviews how Nomar must tolerate the constant trade rumors involving him, and the Manchester Union Leader’s Alex Speier gives Jeter the edge over Nomar “for being both pulse and conscience of the team”. Speier also finds a quote from 10 years ago by the Globe’s Nick Cafardo when both Nomar and Jeter were in double A.

Cowboy Was Up, but…

Saturday links by Rich ([email protected])

Sox
The Sox lost another heartbreaker the Bombers last night – the Herald

NY Invasion

Alan Greenwood and Garry Brown have more coverage of the doubleheader split from yesterday. Chaz Scoggins also looks at the split decision, and compares Abe Alvarez’s debut to that of another pitcher who made his debut 20 years ago this summer at the age of 21. Mike Fine says that the Red Sox need to get things in gear this weekend. Clark Booth says don’t believe all those trade rumors you hear every year at this time. Brown says the luster is off this weekend’s Red Sox/Yankees series. Eric Wilbur is playing dueling bloggers with a blogger from New York. Christopher Young looks at the 2004 Hall of Fame class. Greenwood’s notebook looks at the suspension of David Ortiz. Fine’s notebook says that thanks to an appeal, Ortiz will be playing this weekend. Brown’s notebook also looks at Ortiz.

Yes, it’s rather hard to get excited for the Yankees coming to town this weekend, isn’t it?

Well, maybe some comments from their snide media will get the locals riled up. Sam Borden says that Boston is in a panic as the Red Sox fall apart. Michael Morrissey says the Yankees are out to bury the dead Sox. Lawrence Rocca says the Yankees are the least of the Red Sox problems. He looks at the Red Sox recent history:

Just in the past two weeks, Pedro Martinez went on a six-day vacation, Manny Ramirez staged another sick-out, Nomar Garciaparra started a kooky war with the commissioner's office over the MLB logo on his batting helmet, and David Ortiz tried to dump the club's entire inventory of Louisville Sluggers on an umpire's head.

Poor Terry Francona, the "manager" of this team, has been as feckless as Dean Wormer in "Animal House." Only Francona doesn't even have the guts to place anyone on double-secret probation, certainly not pet pitcher Curt Schilling, who blew off the pre-series scouting meeting before the last Yankees-Red Sox series here, the same series in which Schilling idiotically questioned the fortitude of reliever Scott Williamson after he left a game with what turned out to be nerve damage.

George Willis says Mariano Rivera and the Yankees don’t care about the Red Sox. Chuck Culpepper looks at a somewhat bizarre connection between Curtis Leskanic and Gary Sheffield. I have no idea what Filip Bondy is saying, but that’s ok, I’ve hated him ever since he co-authored “The Selling of the Green” – perhaps the most biased piece of sportswriting from the last 25 years. Mike Vaccaro says the Sox can only hope for the Wild Card at this point. Andrew Marchand has some quotes from the insufferable Tim McCarver, who says that if the Red Sox miss out on Arod, Randy Johnson and the playoffs in the same year that:

It is going to be one of the more dismal chapters in an 85-year period that has been horrendous in American sports.

Then we have Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who says:

Finally, it's time for our Dixie Chick Segment, when I demand a boycott of something or someone stupid enough to disagree with me.

"Some of you may know that I hate the Red Sox. I say it's time real Americans - assuming any rooted for those losers - stopped buying tickets to their games.

"And here's why, ladies and gentlemen. Fox News and The O'Reilly Factor conducted a scientific poll to find out who Sox fans are:

"Thirty-seven percent are pointy-headed, left-wing professors teaching our kids to hate America; 28 percent are spend-and-tax Massachusetts liberals; 23 percent are dangerous feminists who want to destroy marriage as an institution.

"So until Fenway reflects the American way, you won't see me there."

In case you’re wondering, you can reach Mr Fitzpatrick at [email protected].

Need to feel better? Keep reminding yourself that the Patriots go back into action next week. Michael Parente has a look at the Pats going with a youth movement at receiver and tight end. Andy Hart has a look at the safety position for the Patriots heading into camp. Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News has questions and answers for the beginning of NFL training camps. When asked who he likes in the AFC, he says:

The Patriots, New England, and, oh, yeah, the Patriots. The Colts and Chiefs both have WMD offenses but come up Super Bowl short on the other side of the ball. If the Chiefs think they can bring their defense up to code simply by getting a new coordinator, they are sadly mistaken. Meanwhile, the Pats only have gotten better since winning their second Super Bowl title in 3 years. With the return to health of linebacker Rosevelt Colvin and the addition of first-round defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, master strategist Bill Belichick has added to his deep supply of versatile front-seven weapons. His signing of cornerbacks Jeff Burris and Terrell Buckley has further bulked up the league's deepest secondary. And then there was the trade for running back Corey Dillon. He'll turn 30 in October but still is a significant step up from the Pats' leading rusher of a year ago, Antowain Smith.

Mike Davidson of the Lowell Sun has a thoughts-style column.

Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News wants to boycott ESPN.

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Doubleheader Split

The Red Sox salvaged a double-header split with the birds yesterday, thanks to a big performance from Tim Wakefield in the second game. Bob Hohler says the two games were like night and day. Jeff Horrigan says the Red Sox managed to stop some of the bleeding with a win in the second game last night. Steven Krasner looks at the Sox continuing their .500 dance with the split. Paul Doyle and David Borges also recap the two games. Lenny Megliola recaps some sights, sounds and thoughts from the doubleheader at Fenway. The Yankees are coming to town starting tonight, but as Sean McAdam points out, the series is pretty much meaningless at this point. Tony Massarotti says that the Yankees just have more desire to win than the Red Sox do. A little oversimplification perhaps, but it’s hard to argue the point otherwise. Nick Cafardo looks at the Yankees coming in on a roll. Doyle notes that the numbers for the Red Sox and Yankees and the standings don’t seem to add up. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that the Sox have been sleepwalking for the last three months and seem headed for disaster.

Abe Alvarez made his major league debut in the first game, and took the loss. David Borges says Alvarez was “alright” and showed a little of his promise during his five inning stint. Kevin McNamara says that Alvarez’s time just hasn’t arrived yet. Marc Craig says that Alvarez, noted for his control in the minors, had problems hitting his spots yesterday. Steve Britt and Mark Murphy also look at the debut of the 21 year old left hander. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, no Bobby Sprowl references in any of the articles that I saw.

Tim Wakefield stepped up big for the Sox in the second game. Joe Haggerty, Rich Thompson and Marc Craig look at the knuckleballer coming back from his injury in his last start to give the Sox seven strong innings. Paul Harbor and Thompson look at David McCarty having a nice night in the second game. Adam Kilgore has a piece on the Sox debut of Ricky Gutierrez. Steven Krasner and Mark Murphy have the news of David Ortiz being handing a five game suspension by MLB. Steve Buckley has an article of appreciation for Dennis Eckersley. Hohler’s notebook looks at Ortiz planning on appealing his suspension. Doyle’s notebook and Borges’ notebook both lead with the same topic. Krasner’s notebook looks at Scott Williamson hoping to return soon. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the debut of Gutierrez.

Michael Felger looks at the Patriots receivers and tight ends today. Thumbnail profiles are available for the players as well.

Gabe Kahn weighs in with some thoughts and observations from the Las Vegas NBA Summer league.

Bob Ryan reports on Lance Armstrong and the Tour De France.

Bill Griffith looks ahead to NASCAR this weekend up in NH. Jim Baker also has a preview of what’s on TV for the weekend. John Howell has a look at what we might expect from Dennis Eckersley when he gives his Hall of Fame speech on Sunday. Scott’s Shots looks at the growing Remdawg empire.

CBS4 has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00. FSN will have Sean McAdam at 6:30 and Andy Gresh at 10:00. CN8’s Sports Pulse will have Michael Parente in at 10:00 to talk Patriots.

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BSMW Store 3.0

Not a whole lot out there for afternoon links today. More Sox postmortem, and at the moment, they’re losing again to the Orioles. Mike Fine looks at the mess that is the Boston Red Sox lineup. Alan Greenwood and Ron Chimelis also look back at last night’s fizzle at Fenway. Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post says that both the Red Sox and Cubs are cursed. How original. Ron Borges for MSNBC says that Carlos Delgado should be cheered for his protest of the conflict in Iraq. Wouldn’t you love to see Borges and Gerry Callahan debate this topic? This has to happen somehow. Fine’s notebook looks at the play of Gabe Kapler as of late. Greenwood’s notebook looks at the acquisition of Ricky Gutierrez. Chimelis also has a piece noting that Bronson Arroyo has been a better pitcher than Derek Lowe this season. Chimelis also has a notebook on Gutierrez.

Mark Farinella has a brief look at the Patriots releasing Marquise Walker after a recent arrest. A Des Moines newspaper reports that Patriots third round draft pick Cedric Cobbs recently had some chiropractic work done for some nagging injuries.

and now…the BIG news. BSMW Amazon Store version 3.0 is online now. This thing is pretty amazing. A ton of thanks go to BSMW readers TLL (coding) and Tiki (content) for putting this together. Remember, anything you buy through here benefits BSMW and helps keeping the site solvent. The content in here is going to be updated weekly, and there will always be new and interesting items in here. I really think you’re going to enjoy this new feature of the site.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents – The Birds

The good news? Well the good news is the Patriots start training camp next week. That’s about all I got. The Red Sox and Pedro Martinez suffered a 10-5 loss to the Orioles. The O’s are 1-8 against the Yankees this year and 5-2 against the Red Sox. Yes, a sports radio blackout may be in order once again. Games stories are filed by Bob Hohler target=”_blank”Michael SilvermanSteven KrasnerTom Yantz and David Borges. What’s the deal with these Red Sox? Sean McAdam says there is no excuse for this team to be playing .500 ball. Tony Massarotti looks at the Sox in their “hellbent pursuit of mediocrity”. John Tomase says that this Red Sox team is just barely going through the motions. Alex Speier looks at the worn out Red Sox bullpen.

Marc Craig looks at Pedro Martinez finishing up rough after a promising start to his evening. Steve Buckley and Steven Krasner look at Karim Garcia’s return to Fenway. Mark Murphy looks at the bizarre incident of Manny cutting off a throw from Johnny Damon in the outfield last night. Joe Haggerty has a look at Gabe Kapler, who hit a home run last night, and then called out his teammates after the game. Tony Massarotti has a look at Abe Alvarez, who will be starting one of the doubleheader games today. Paul Harber looks at David Newhan, who had quite a night for the Orioles in the first game he’s played at Fenway. Murphy has a look at the return of Kevin Youkilis, while Craig looks at the return of Mark Malaska. Borges’ notebook has more on Alvarez. Yantz’s notebook looks at Mark Bellhorn’s night at shortstop, and reinforcements on the way. Krasner’s notebook looks at Pokey going to the DL and the Sox bringing in Ricky Gutierrez. Hohler’s notebook and Silverman’s notebook also have more on this topic.

Kevin Paul Dupont takes a look at baseball as it was played in 18th century Pittsfield Massachusetts.

Michael Felger takes a look at the Patriots’ running backs today, including new back Corey Dillon. He has thumbnail profiles of each of the backs on the roster. If you missed it from earlier this week, Ron Borges on MSNBC (Exactly one Globe column since June 15th) says the Patriots have a good shot at repeating. FootballOutsiders takes a look at the AFC over-unders in a two part series. It’s a look at each team in the AFC and their current line for wins and some comments about that number. Here’s part one, and here’s part two.

I really have nothing to say about Jim Donaldson’s column today, except that the title of it seems to say it better than I ever could. Thanks for being honest, Jim.

Adam Kilgore looks at the Bruins and Hall Gill coming to agreement on a one year deal.

Michael Vega looks at Jimmie Johnson as he and the rest of NASCAR get ready to invade New Hampshire International Speedway this weekend.

NESN had Red Sox/Orioles at 1:00 and at 7:00. FSN will have Steve Buckley at 6:30 and Bill Burt at 10:00. CN8’s Sports Pulse will have Mike Petraglia and Kevin Winter on at 10:00.