Glory Days

We’re going to be telling the next generation about yesterday, about this past week and the whole month of October, 2004. These are the “glory days”. In what might have been the single best sports day a region has ever had, the Red Sox won game two of the World Series, and the Patriots vanquished an undefeated division rival to add to their league record winning streak.

The Red Sox took a 2-0 lead in the World Series with a 6-2 win over the Cardinals. Bob Hohler’s game story looks at the Sox getting 2 wins away from a title. Jeff Horrigan looks at Curt Schilling and the Red Sox “stitching together” a game two victory. Steven Krasner says that despite not making things easy for themselves, the Sox new motto should be “it doesn’t matter”. David Heuschkel wonders if the city of St Louis ready for the Red Sox pack of idiots. David Borges says the Red Sox aren’t getting smug with a 2-0 lead. Dan Shaughnessy wants to push the envelope a little, making parade plans and having visions of a sweep dancing in his head. Bill Simmons is fully onboard the “Why not us?” bandwagon.

The biggest storyline from last night was of course Curt Schilling and his ankle. Jackie MacMullan looks at the long day for Schilling, who woke up yesterday thinking there was no way he could pitch. Stephen Harris looks at Schilling experiencing the full range of feelings yesterday, emotionally and physically. Sean McAdam links Schilling’s postseason with that of Kirk Gibson, noting that what Schilling is doing is even more impressive. Jeff Jacobs is perhaps a little skeptical of the whole Schilling thing:

I'll be honest: I believe in Schilling's fastball. And I believe in Schilling's Lord. But I also believe in Schilling's ability to embellish the drama.

He contrasts him to Mark Bellhorn, who has been just as big for the last four games now, yet you can’t get him to talk about it. Jacobs seems to wish that Schilling would follow Bellhorn’s example a little more. Jon Couture however, says there is nothing contrived about Curt Schilling. Steve Buckley says that Schilling is well on his way to becoming a New England folk hero. Lenny Megliola refers to Schilling as a “one man soap opera” in his column this morning. Joe Burris looks at the Cardinals being unable to solve Schilling last night, healthy or not. Art Davidson has more on the impact of Schilling.

The aforementioned Mark Bellhorn has indeed been another big star the last four games, and yes his approach is different from Schilling. I don’t see that as a reason to criticize either one. Steve Britt admits that he is rooting for Bellhorn, who he says is an “ordinary guy”. Sean McAdam and Michael O’Connor look at Bellhorn’s transformation at the plate from inept to red hot. Tom Yantz says that Bellhorn only makes noise with his bat. David Borges says that Bellhorn has more than justified Terry Francona’s patience in him. Alex Speier looks at Bellhorn’s rise from the scrap heap.

Amid the euphoria, Bob Ryan urges some caution, noting that despite being up 2-0, there are some disturbing numbers being put up by the Red Sox. But Tony Massarotti notes that things are going so well that the Sox can’t even kill themselves these days. Bill Reynolds says that Schilling and Keith Foulke are the biggest reasons the Sox are where they are at the moment. Paul Doyle says the Red Sox find ways to overcome their mistakes. Kevin McNamara says the flawed defense hasn’t stopped the Sox yet in this series. Tom Yantz has more on the Red Sox errors.

Steve Conroy looks at the big hit from Jason Varitek last night to jump start the offense once again. Jim McCabe also looks at Varitek turning it on. Paul Doyle notes though, that Varitek’s focus is on his defense. Gordon Edes and Michael Silverman look at Orlando Cabrera, who is not at all in the shadow of the player he replaced at shortstop. Edes says that plans are being made by the Red Sox to retain Cabrera, who is scheduled to be a free agent. Jackie MacMullan and Kevin McNamara look at the efforts of Keith Foulke in this postseason. Peter May looks at Embree and Timlin doing their part last night. Steve Buckley talks to Sox hitting coach Ron Jackson, who wants the DH to be adopted by the National League.

Tony Massarotti looks at how Terry Francona’s ultra-laid back approach has made him the right man for this job. Bill Reynolds looks at how far Francona has come this year. Jim McCabe notes an interesting family tie between Francona and Tony La Russa. The latter was once roommates with Francona’s father, Tito. Michael Silverman looks at the individualism that is allowed on this Red Sox team. Kevin Gray looks at the hairy situation in the Red Sox clubhouse. Peter May looks at the importance of scouting in this World Series. Kraz’s Corner looks at the importance of Manny working a 2 out walk in the first after getting behind in the count 0-2. Kevin McNamara talks to Derek Lowe about his contract situation.

Bob Ryan wants to emphasize how important he 1967 Red Sox team was to the region, and how it is responsible for what the franchise is today. Tom Yantz talks to one of the members of that squad, Jose Santiago.

Horrigan’s notebook looks at Mueller’s three errors last night. Heuschkel’s notebook has Cabrera taking offense to John Kruk’s ESPN statement that went into second too roughly Saturday night. Hohler’s notebook has more on the Red Sox errors. Krasner’s notebook looks at Francona shuffling his lineup to protect David Ortiz. Speier’s notebook looks at the respect Ortiz is getting.

Out in St Louis, they’re getting a little concerned. The Post-Dispatch sports section has a number of articles on the Series. In the Boston papers, Karen Guregian looks at the Cardinals being shut down by the Red Sox pitching. Joe McDonald has the Cardinals looking forward to getting home. John Powers says these aren’t the same Cardinals who won 105 regular season games. Howard Bryant says this series is over. I repeat, over. McDonald looks at Larry Walker. Jack O’Connell and Joe Burris look at the injury to Tony Womack, who played last night anyway.

Guregian’s notebook has Tony La Russa showing respect to David Ortiz. McDonald’s notebook looks at Tony Womack playing in pain. O’Connell’s notebook reports on La Russa using Marlon Anderson at DH last night.

After all that, we still haven’t gotten to the Super Bowl New England Patriots, who won their 18th consecutive regular season game and 21st in a row overall. The team they beat yesterday just happened to be an undefeated division rival. Game stories from Foxboro are pounded out by Nick Cafardo….Michael FelgerTom Curran….Alan GreenbergDamian Vega and Michael Parente. As the Patriots continue to make history, even their most vociferous critics have to appreciate what they’re doing, or else end up looking even more foolish. Ron Borges notes that yet another opponent has come into Foxboro and been turned away with a loss, wondering just how it all happened. Jim Donaldson knows no middle ground, as much as he killed the Red Sox and called them chokers and losers, he goes the other way with the Patriots, gushing, calling them a super team that can bounce bullet off their chests. Dan Pires says that the fourth quarter is when the games are won for the Patriots.

Kevin Mannix and Paul Kenyon look at Ted Johnson, who found himself a major player in an “old fashioned” smashmouth style football game yesterday. Alan Greenberg also looks at Johnson and company shutting down Curtis Martin. Mike Reiss says it was just like old times yesterday. Christopher Price looks at the big plays that made the difference for the Patriots. Dan Ventura looks at the Jets failing to get the knockout punch. Paul Harbor looks at Corey Dillon, who continues to fit in well with the Pats. Tim Weisberg says that Dillon is the Patriots new go-to guy. George Kimball says it’s unfair to compare Dillon and Martin.

Damian Vega looks at how much David Givens has stepped up with Deion Branch and Troy Brown out. Rich Thompson also has more on Givens. Marvin Pave looks at how both Givens and David Patten have increased their level of play.

Christopher L Gasper looks at the longevity and production of Curtis Martin as he just continues to roll along and rise among the all time running backs. Dan Ventura looks at a dejected Martin following the game. Frank Dell’Apa looks at Tom Brady running the two minute drill to perfection right before the first half ended. Rich Thompson writes about Brady not even thinking about the historic streak the team is on. The Herald has another excerpt from Felger’s book, this one looking at events in the 1976 division playoff game against the Raiders.

The Standard-Times notebook looks at the Patriots having all the streaks covered. Parente’s notebook looks at the Patriots stuffing Curtis Martin. Ian M Clark’s notebook looks at the Patriots shutting down the Jets weapons, with both Martin and Chad Pennington being held to their lowest numbers of the season. Reiss’ notebook looks at Dillon as the Patriots new closer. Felger’s notebook looks at Randall Gay playing a big role, and being on the field for the first play over Eugene Wilson. Cafardo’s notebook looks another injury at fullback for the Patriots.

Shira Springer notes that the Celtics have a few incredibly athletic players, but this doesn’t mean they can gamble or be overzealous in trying to make steals or create turnovers. Mark Murphy looks at how Raef LaFrentz will be used by Doc Rivers and his system this year. It will be somewhat different from how he has been used by other coaches and teams. Murphy’s notebook looks at the Celtics’ struggles on defense.

ABC will have Broncos/Bengals at 9:00. FSN will have Celtics/Cavs preseason action at 7:30.