5-1 Road Trip

I guess this qualifies as a successful road trip, eh? Kevin Paul Dupont looks at a late summer display of the Northern Lights in Toronto as the Red Sox rocked the Blue Jays 11-5. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox continuing to beat the teams they’re supposed to beat. Steven Krasner looks at the incredible road trip performance of Manny Ramirez as reason for the Sox success. The numbers he put up in the six games are mind boggling. David Heuschkel looks at Curt Schilling and the Red Sox continuing their hot streak. David Borges looks at the impact of Ramirez and David Ortiz crushing Blue Jay pitching. Gordon Edes has a look at Johnny Damon, who continues to struggle with the effects of the concussion suffered in the playoffs last year, though you wouldn’t know it by his play on the field.

Michael Silverman might have the controversy that sports radio is thirsting for with his article on David Ortiz being unhappy hitting in the cleanup position. What else is there to complain about for the Sox these days? Horrigan has a brief sidebar on Doug Mientkiewicz straining his shoulder. Edes also takes a look at Curt Schilling as he gears up for the stretch run of September. Silverman suggests that Bronson Arroyo might be the Red Sox third best starter at this point. Horrigan’s notebook says that Gabe Kapler does not intend to drop his appeal of his suspension at this time. The rest of the notebooks focus on the injury to Mientkiewicz. Dupont’s notebook also has word of the Sox signing a very highly touted prospect. Krasner’s notebook has a few injury updates. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Mike Timlin, who recently reached a clause that kicks in his option for next year. Borges’ notebook has the amusing note that Pedro volunteered to serve as backup catcher with the injury to Mientkiewicz.

Veteran reporters Nick Cafardo and Kevin Mannix look at Dan Klecko’s transition from Nose Tackle to Middle Linebacker, this is a big move, and while progress has been slow, it has been steady. Alan Greenberg also looks at Klecko and the linebackers in general. Mike Reiss and Michael Parente both examine the situation at safety, where the injury to rookie Guss Scott has left the team rather thin at that position. Reiss compiles a list of possible additions and solutions to the problem, while Parente looks at the other rookie safety, Dexter Reid. Tom Curran looks at Adrian Klemm, who somehow manages to keep sticking around.

Christopher Price looks at the Carolina Panthers, taking the preseason game on Saturday very seriously. Glen Farley also looks at the Panthers getting fired up. Mark Farinella says the Patriots are questioning themselves after the loss in Cincinnati and says the coach may be to blame:

Belichick has already added himself to the list to those culpable for the loss, but you have to wonder how he could have been so wrong about the preparation level of his team. One possible answer may be arrogance -- the likelihood that five years into his "program,'' and with two Super Bowl championships to his credit, he is starting to believe the sycophantic national media when it calls him the man with all the answers.

It doesn’t take much to turn on the guy, does it? One preseason loss and he’s an arrogant Dr Evil clone bent on world domination. Eric McHugh looks at the release of fullback Fred McCrary. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Tom Brady and talks to him about Troy Brown working out and defensive back. Brady comments that he’d like to see Brown be at receiver full-time and Cafardo adds this comment:

Brady's sentiments seem in lockstep with those of a few other Patriots, who have rolled their eyes and bit their lips when asked about Brown's switch in position.

Gotta love Nick, getting the little jabs in whenever he can. Nick is a mystery to me. By all accounts a very nice man, I enjoy reading his Red Sox coverage. His Patriots coverage however always seems slanted and so very different from his coverage of the Red Sox. He’s always got to get the little jabs in at Belichick. Of course, maybe the players were rolling their eyes at the question. Mannix’s notebook looks at the Panthers getting fired up for Saturday. Curran’s notebook has more on Klecko. Reiss’ notebook looks at hard feelings between Tyrone Poole and Steve Smith. Parente’s notebook looks at concern over fumbles in the first two preseason games. McHugh’s notebook says that this year’s rookie class is far behind where last year’s was at this time.

Kevin Paul Dupont says there has been no movement in the NHL Labor talks.

Shira Springer has a brief note about the Celtics coming to terms with second round pick Justin Reed. It’s a bit of a curious signing, as Reed didn’t really impress with his play in the summer leagues, but when you consider he shares the same agent as Mark Blount, you gotta wonder if there were some favors being exchanged there between the Celtics and the agent…

NESN will have Red Sox/Tigers at 7:00. ESPN will have Steelers/Eagles preseason football at 8:00.