Yes Virginia, there is a game five

Somewhat abbreviated Monday links today…

The Red Sox managed to stay alive in the American League Championship Series with a dramatic 6-4 win in 12 innings. David Ortiz (who else?) that lovable sack of you-know-what does it again for the Red Sox with a game winning home run. Bob HoherJeff HorriganSteven KrasnerDavid Heuschkel and David Borges all provide the game stories from Fenway. Dan Shaughnessy has another game story for the Globe news section.

Bob Ryan writes that the Red Sox finally showed a little spunk last night. Tony Massarotti says the Red Sox are in the ultimate one-game-at-a-time scenario here. Sean McAdam says that once again, David Ortiz is Mr. Clutch for the Sox. Jackie MacMullan also looks at Ortiz wearing the hero’s jersey. Jon Couture says that Red Sox nation still believes. Steve Buckley looks at Derek Lowe stepping in with a big performance last night. Steven Krasner also looks at Lowe, who ended up leaving the game in a huff. Tom Yantz has another look at Lowe’s night.

Bob Ryan ponders Pedro’s seven years here and wonders if this is his last hurrah with the Red Sox. Tony Massarotti says that Pedro has again become the Red Sox ace in the postseason. Former Grady Little apologist Sean McAdam says that the fans are targeting the manager to blame for the Red Sox failures once again. Gordon Edes looks at Francona making the right moves last night. Howard Bryant looks at Keith Foulke allowing the Red Sox to live another day.

Horrigan’s notebook has the news that Curt Schilling will get the start in game six should the Red Sox survive another day. Heuschkel’s notebook has Theo Epstein exploring why the Sox had until last night underachieved against the Yankees. Hohler’s notebook looks at the Sox hoping to be able to send both Pedro and Schilling at the Yankees one more time. Krasner’s notebook has more on Schilling.

Before the Red Sox could get their first win against the Yankees, the Patriots took their 20th straight win, a 30-20 victory over the Seahawks, who came into the game flapping their jaws instead of their wings. Michael Felger looks at Seattle providing enough motivation for the Patriots to beat them. Nick Cafardo also looks at how the Seahawks talking came back to haunt them. Tom E Curran, Alan Greenberg, Michael Parente, Christopher Price and John Japha have the rest of the game stories from Foxboro. BSMW’s Scott A Benson weighs in with his thoughts on the game as well.

Kevin Mannix has a short article trying to make the case that the hit on Tom Brady in which he fumbled cause the Patriots’ QB to be “shaky” for the rest of the game. Jim McCabe looks at Brady holding things together just fine. Ron Borges writes about Bethel Johnson trying to make amends for his past transgressions with the big catch yesterday. Jim Donaldson feels like an idiot for picking against the Patriots. (I’ll be nice and refrain from comment on the first two lines of the column.) Jim McCabe looks at the Patriots playing for pride right to the end of the game. Rich Thompson looks at Ty Law tying the franchise record for career interceptions.

Paul Kenyon looks at what a difference Corey Dillon makes. Rich Thompson and Ron Indrisano have more on Dillon, who racked up a 100 yards despite not being a 100%. Alan Greenberg looks at Bethel Johnson’s catch. Dan Ventura has another look at the catch by the speedy Patriots receiver that basically put the game away. Ventura also looks at Rodney Harrison silencing the upstart Seattle talkers.

Felger’s notebook has Bill Belichick accepting blame on himself for some blown coverages during the game. Cafardo’s notebook also focuses on Belichick’s mea culpa. Parente’s notebook has more on Belichick. Curran’s notebook has the Seahawks eating their words. Japha’s notebook has more on the Bethel Johnson reception.

Shira Springer looks at the Celtics new offense, which is basically just “play basketball”.

Dave Scott has a special Monday edition of Scott’s Shots, looking at the Red Sox coverage over the weekend, and a number of other scattered items.

Fox has Red Sox/Yankees at 5:00.

Evening Update – Pats Win

Fred Kirsch of Patriots.com has the game story on the Patriots 30-20 win over Seattle today. Danny Pires has a timely feature on Corey Dillon who is enjoying being a bit anonymous in New England. Pires also has some positive news on the recovering Deion Branch and the news that Bobby Shaw may be signing soon with the Pats. But Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News characterizes Shaw as a pretty dumb player. Sullivan goes on to say that the Bills are a team full of dumb players. Vito Stellino has his NFL Confidential today and discusses how Brett Favre has become another legendary quarterback who just hung around too long. Christian Ewell reports that Mel Kiper Jr

Rock Bottom

The Red Sox hit rock bottom last night losing 19-8 to NY to go down 3-0 in the ALCS. If reading about that disaster is somehow any less unpleasant than watching it, read on. If not, scroll down to the links on New England’s champions, the Patriots. Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan, and Steven Krasner have game stories on a game that brought back flashbacks to the pre-Garciaparra trade Sox. There was bad baserunning, bad third base coaching, and bad pitching. It served as a reminder of how ugly this team was before August. Sean McAdam wonders how the Sox got so bad so fast. Dan Shaughnessy reminds us that if it were 19-18 instead of 19-8 that it wouldn’t have made a difference. Bob Ryan explains that the Red Sox were overmatched as Jackie MacMullan appreciates a great baseball team from the Bronx.

Tony Massarotti in his Baseball Notes says Mariano Rivera owns the postseason. Michael Silverman lets us know that for better or worse, Derek Lowe will start the last gasp effort by the Sox in game four. This will probably be Lowe

Lets Play Two Today…Or One Monday.

An abbreviated version of the Saturday links today by Rich ([email protected]).

Red Sox
Despite the rainout, there is no shortage of Red Sox articles in Globe (nine) and Herald (ten). Imagine if they had played the game! The big news is that Curt Schilling may still pitch. The Globe’s Bob Hohler, the ProJo

Um…Is it still “on”?

Down, but not out. That’s likely to be your theme for today. Have people been a little testy around you, or you around them the last couple days? Beth Daley on the front page of the Globe looks at the “social psychology” of sports fans, an area that researchers have actually done extensive work in. Tony Massarotti says indeed that this team may appear to be down, but this collection of “idiots” isn’t about to concede anything. Bob Ryan looks through his scorebook for the first two games and emerges with what he calls the white space factor. The Red Sox have too much of it in their column. Bill Reynolds notes how quickly the focus has gone from thriving to just plain surviving for the Red Sox. Dan Shaughnessy is back to wondering if this Red Sox team is really a pack of frauds. I guess there’s no in between. They’re either “special and historic”, The “best Red Sox team in a generation” or a “pack of frauds”. And the writers think the fans take things too seriously? Don Amore looks at the perspective of the Yankees as they head into Fenway. Jim Donaldson has the painfully predictable “If it’s October the Red Sox must be looking for excuses” column to trot out today.

Jeff Horrigan says the Red Sox are hoping that their home field is indeed friendly Fenway. Kevin Gray lists out what the Sox need to do to dig out of the hole they find themselves in. David Borges has the Sox tapping their heels and chanting “there’s no place like home…” Steve Britt looks at the Red Sox choosing to fight the long odds with confidence. Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox are looking for Fenway to save them. He says it’s their safe house, their lifeline. They get their own food, their own music and their own dirt. Ron Chimelis also looks at the Sox looking forward to getting back to playing baseball at Fenway. Jackie MacMullan says that for the Sox to get going, Johnny Damon must get going.

Steven Krasner says Bronson Arroyo plans to pitch aggressively tonight in his attempt to get the Sox back on track. Paul Harber adds that Arroyo isn’t going to be shy about pitching inside. Steve Conroy says Arroyo may be the Sox youngest starter, but he knows what’s at stake here, and what Red Sox/Yankees is all about. Jeff Jacobs has a deeper look at the Red Sox least experienced starter. Tom Yantz writes that the Red Sox have simply made things too easy for the Yankees pitchers in this series. David Borges says that all the luck in this series has seemingly gone the Yankees way.

Bob Hohler reports on the fact that there will be no game five start possibility for Curt Schilling. Steven Krasner and Andy Vogt also report on Schilling’s scratch. Steve Conroy looks at Derek Lowe, preparing to fill in for Schilling. Tom Yantz has a similar piece, with Lowe saying he’s looking forward to doing something more than carrying the candy bucket out to the bullpen in this series. Michael Silverman though, says that if tonight is rained out, look for Pedro to start a possible game five on Monday. Gerry Callahan wonders if Pedro’s postgame speech the other night was the beginning of an attempt to win over the fans of NY in anticipation of joining them as a free agent this winter. Callahan seems to concede that Martinez is gone, already talking about him in past terms, saying that “Boston has definitely been the place for him. We’re going to miss him when he’s gone.”

Chimelis’ notebook has more on Lowe making preparations for a start in this series. Yantz’s notebook has Terry Francona dismissing any curse talk. Hohler’s notebook has the Red Sox looking to change history. Horrigan’s notebook has Alan Embree saying the chants in Yankees stadium have been good-natured thus far. Krasner’s notebook has the Red Sox not quite ready to throw in the towel.

Peter May and Stephen Harris look at Kevin Brown as he prepares for his game three start against the Red Sox. Karen Guregian says the Red Sox are in trouble being down 0-2, because the Yankees are terrific front-runners, and will not fold up. Kevin McNamara looks at Mel Stottlemyre working magic with his pitching staff during the postseason. Jack O’Connell also has a look at the work done by the Yankees pitching coach. Howard Bryant says the Yankees have executed their plans perfectly, keeping Johnny Damon and Mark Bellhorn off the bases. John Powers says the postseason is Bernie Williams’ time to shine. McNamara says that Joe Torre would’ve leaped at a chance to managed the Red Sox back in 1988. Jon Couture looks at the attitude and atmosphere of New York. Guregian’s notebook, McNamara’s notebook and Powers’ notebook each look at El Duque getting the game four start for the Yankees. O’Connell’s notebook has Jorge Posada’s opinion of Fox’s Diamond Cam.

Patriots

Alan Greenberg says that Sunday is the time for the Patriots to find out just how good they are, as a quality opponent comes into Foxboro for the first time since week one. Tom E Curran writes that Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander will present quite a challenge for the Patriots. Michael Parente looks at the maturation process for Hasselbeck. Michael Felger has Kevin Faulk expecting that Corey Dillon will play on Sunday. Chris Kennedy also looks at Dillon’s status for Sunday.

Christopher Price looks at the progress made by Rosevelt Colvin, who seems to get a little bit better each week out there as he continues his comeback from a broken hip. Nick Cafardo speaks with Jimmy Johnson about NFL and College coaching, noting that Bob Kraft’s last two coaches are now at the top of their professions. Cafardo’s comments comparing Belichick’s salary cap management to how long Carroll can keep players in college are curious at best. Michael Felger looks at Tom Brady dealing with his shorthanded offense. Ian M Clark has another look at the Bethel Johnson situation. Curran’s notebook acknowledges some of the nuances of Bill Belichick’s press conferences, an appreciation apparently lost on some of his more obtuse colleagues. Parente’s notebook looks at the crowded training room at Gillette. Felger’s notebook has news of the Patriots possible interest in wide receiver Bobby Shaw, and also has an interesting story from within the Patriots locker room yesterday involving Willie McGinest exerting some leadership. Cafardo’s notebook has more on Dillon’s status for this weekend.

Celtics

Shira Springer examines the Celtics after two preseason games and notes that they show some inexperience, but also some mental toughness. Mark Murphy looks at rookie Tony Allen, who has incredible physical gifts, and might be the most ready of the rookies to contribute right away, but who still makes a whole lot of mistakes out there. Murphy’s notebook looks at fellow rookie Delonte West, who has also been impressive early.

Media

Bill Griffith looks at John Valentin’s progress in becoming a studio analyst and the perspective he brings as a former player. Griffith also looks at an incident involving 1510 having a lottery for playoff tickets and getting into a little bit of hot water. 1510 suspects WEEI of dropping a dime on them. With the NHL lockout keeping hockey fans unfulfilled, Andrew Neff looks at NESN and CSTV adding more Hockey East programming. David Scott salutes WFAN and doesn’t look forward to another season of Tommy Heinsohn in this weeks edition of Scott’s Shots.

Fox has Red Sox/Yankees at 8:00. ESPN Classic is still showing Red Sox and Yankees programming throughout the day and evening.

Yankees 3, Red Sox 1 – NY Leads Series 2-0

Excruciating. I think that’s the only word to describe the experience Red Sox fans have had watching the first two games of the series. Watching the Yankee hitters constantly on base, constantly working the count on the Red Sox pitchers, while the Yankee starters seem to effortlessly breeze through the vaunted Red Sox lineup, inducing weak popups and grounders. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. But it is how it is, and the Red Sox now face a must-win tomorrow night at Fenway. From last night, game stories are as follows: Bob Hohler looks at a game Pedro Martinez who was still outdueled by Jon Lieber, who might’ve pitched the game of his life on the biggest stage. Jeff Horrigan says the bats once again let Pedro down in the Bronx. Steven Krasner looks at another rough night for Pedro against the Yankees. Don Amore looks at the contrast in efforts last night for the starting pitchers. Jon Couture says Pedro was once again a victim of no run support. David Borges looks at the Yankees beating both Red Sox aces. Dan Shaughnessy has his game story from the front page of the Globe.

Jackie MacMullan says that this loss can’t be blamed on Pedro, who delivered a big performance, but didn’t get any support. Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox wasted a quality outing from Martinez. Bill Reynolds wonders why the Yankees have the postseason mastery over not only Pedro, but all the Red Sox. Tony Massarotti looks at Pedro’s teammates once again being silenced at the plate, leaving him almost alone out there on the field. Ron Chimelis looks at the night for Pedro as well. Lenny Megliola and Howard Bryant look at the Yankees beating down the 1-2 punch of Schilling and Martinez for the Red Sox. Bob Ryan writes that the Yankees are showing that they are the ones that have the aces.

Curt Schilling’s ankle is of course, a huge story for this series. Bob Hohler says that a dislocated tendon has him questionable for the rest of the postseason. Steven Krasner, David Borges and David Heuschkel also have injury reports on the Sox ace. Alex Speier looks at the injury and has the Red Sox bravely asserting that they can win the series without Schilling if they have to. Steve Britt says that the injury to Schilling changes everything for the Sox. Tony Massarotti looks at just how devastating this event is for the Red Sox. Sean McAdam looks at the options the Sox have to contemplate as they make a new plan. Steve Buckley writes that Theo Epstein and the Red Sox brain-trust have a difficult decision to make here, as they don’t want Schilling to turn into another Dizzy Dean. Lenny Megliola looks at the Sox options without their “difference maker”. Raja Mishra in the Globe reports that the only hope for a complete recovery from this injury is surgery. Bob Ryan says that it always seems like there is something that comes up to derail the Red Sox postseason run.

Derek Lowe is ready to go for game five if needed for the Red Sox. Or is he? Steven Krasner says Lowe would be the obvious choice to step in and pitch in Schilling’s place for game 5, but the headline of Stephen Harris’ article would have you believe that Lowe isn’t counting on getting the nod to start a game in this series. Kevin Paul Dupont’s headline says that Lowe is ready to contribute in any role, though you’d be hard pressed to find him saying that in the article. The only thing Lowe says is that it kills him not to contribute. David Heuschkel says Lowe would need to know today if he was going to start on Sunday so that he could begin to prepare for it.

Now, onto the Red Sox offensive woes. Sean McAdam says the problems start right at the top of the order, where Johnny Damon and Mark Bellhorn are a combined 1-16 thus far. Paul Doyle looks at Damon’s struggles at the top of the order. Stephen Harris and Kevin Paul Dupont also look at the slumping Damon. Steve Buckley says that this “lack of hitting thing” is the reason the Red Sox are in an 0-2 hole for the series. Alex Speier says that the dynamic duo of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz hopes to revive the Red Sox offense. David Heuschkel notes that there is no panic in the Red Sox clubhouse just yet, as they prepare to go back to Fenway. Buddy Thomas says this is a huge series, but looks ahead the free agent market over the winter. Tom Yantz keeps vigil in Boston, noting that the Boston police will tolerate no tomfoolery around Fenway. The Globe has an excerpt from the book “The Rivals“.

Hohler’s notebook has Pedro volunteering to come back on short rest if needed. The Projo notebook also has Pedro being willing to pitch in. Britt’s notebook looks at the pitching matchup for tomorrow night. Chimelis’ notebook looks at the silenced bats for the Red Sox. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the possibility of rain tomorrow night.

Karen Guregian looks at Jon Lieber’s sterling performance last night. Joe McDonald says with all the stars on the Yankees, a couple of castoffs in Lieber and John Olerud ended up being the difference. Jack O’Connell also looks at Olerud getting a chance to finish on top. John Powers also writes about Olerud. Peter May has a piece on Mariano Rivera, who had a slightly less complicated day yesterday then on Tuesday. Steve Conroy looks at which version of Kevin Brown is going to show up at Fenway tomorrow night. McDonald also has a piece on Hideki Matsui. Steven Krasner looks at the Yankees getting aggressive right out of the chute last night. Power’s notebook says El Duque may get the start for game four. Guregian’s notebook has the Yankees shedding no tears over Schilling’s injury as they’ve had their own rotation issues. McDonald’s notebook looks at Brown’s start tomorrow night.

It was a relatively tame night for the Fox broadcast crew. Other than Tim McCarver saying “Mariano Rivera was brought in because of his lifetime success against Rivera” and their obsession with why Jason Varitek and Pedro were changing signs and huddling up so much in the first inning. Perhaps they were trying to get out of a jam? They also didn’t seem to grasp the concept that when Varitek went out, they probably were calling the next few pitches, so that Varitek didn’t have to lay down more signs – Pedro could just throw it up there and Varitek would know what was coming. Oh yeah, and if I have to hear one more time how hard Gary Sheffield swings, I’m losin’ it. They say it even when he fouls one back. Big deal. I could get in the box and take a terrific hack. I’d be way off, but I could swing hard.

If you wish to retain your sanity, (What you have left of it.) I would highly recommend staying away from sports radio or any of the “sports radio TV” programs out there for today and tomorrow. Trust me. You’ll thank me for it. Listen to some music. Go to a movie. I hear “Friday Night Lights” is pretty good…

The Seahawks come into Foxboro on Sunday, and promise to be a little more formidable than the competition the last three weeks. Michael Felger looks at the Bill Belichick/Mike Holmgren matchup, and indicates that this may not be a friendly rivalry between the two coaches. Holmgren openly admits that his participation on the competition committee and their effort to emphasize the illegal contact rule was aimed directly at the Patriots. Tom E Curran says that Belichick’s praise of his opponent just may have merit this week, as the Seahawks are a deep, talented team. Michael Parente terms the Seattle defense “scary” and says that they will pose a big challenge to the Patriot offense. Mike Reiss looks at Seattle quarterback (and former Patriots ballboy) Matt Hasselbeck. Cafardo’s notebook leads with more on Hasselbeck. Reiss’ notebook has Richard Seymour looking forward to the challenge of the Seahawks.

Bethel Johnson seems to have a lot to learn still, as the second year receiver spoke out yesterday about his benching last week against the Dolphins. Nick Cafardo has Johnson saying that benchings will not serve to motivate him. Mike Reiss says that comments like that might only serve to keep Johnson on the bench even longer. Alan Greenberg has a pretty extensive article on Johnson, and how his development has perhaps been slower than expected at times. Chris Kennedy and Christopher Price have more on Johnson. Funny how the headlines differ on those last two articles. Kennedy’s piece says Johnson is “unrepentant”, while Price’s says he “appears contrite”. Curran’s notebook also leads with Johnson, as does Felger’s notebook.

Shira Springer reports on the Celtics preseason loss to the Pistons in Detroit last night. The Celtics appeared to have the game in hand, but the youngsters on the floor at the end couldn’t hit their free throws and allowed the Pistons to pull out the win. Steve Bulpett talks with Mark Blount, who has bought in to the new regime, likes what he sees so far, and hopes the running game continues through the entire season. Bulpett’s notebook has more on the game last night.

Fox has Astros/Cardinals at 8:00. ESPN has Louisville/Miami college football at 7:30. NESN will have SportsPlus at 7:00 with Ron Borges and Tim Fox joining Tom Caron to preview the Patriots-Seahawks game. Then at 7:30, Bob Ryan and Dan Shaughnessy look back at Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS and look ahead to the weekend games at Fenway. Then there will be a two edition of Sox Talk Live starting at 8:00. ESPN Classic is running Red Sox and Yankees programming pretty much throughout the day. Shira Springer will be on CN8 SportsPulse at 10:00 to talk about the first two preseason games for the Celtics.

Yankees 10, Red Sox 7

Curt Schilling’s performance last night left more than 55,000 people speechless last night…they just didn’t happen to be in Yankee Stadium as the Red Sox ace was roughed up and clearly struggled last night with injury. The fastball rarely touched 90 on the gun, and the Yankees teed off early and often. Despite being behind 8-0 and Mike Mussina throwing 6 1/3 perfect innings, the Red Sox somehow still made a game of this one, putting up seven runs across the seventh and eighth innings. The game stories from the Bronx include Bob Hohler, who looks at the ups and downs from last night. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Sox just not being able to completely dig themselves out of that early hole. Steven Krasner writes that the Sox are proud of their comeback even if it fell short. David Heuschkel looks at Curt Schilling getting roughed up. David Borges says that the Red Sox at least showed that they do not go down without a fight. Jon Couture writes that game one certainly lived up to the hype, perhaps not in the pitching of Schilling, but in the rest of the game. Bill Simmons has his game one diary.

Lenny Megliola writes that last night’s game proves that there is a curse and that the pressure of 1918 is too much for the Red Sox. Are storylines really that hard to come by? Dan Shaughnessy provides sort of a second-tier game story, going over the game again and looking at the pressure on Pedro tonight. Sean McAdam writes that last night was actually games rolled into one for these two clubs. Gordon Edes says that the Sox still managed to make a statement last night with their late rally.

Bob Ryan looks at the rough night for Schilling, who was not able to back up his big words coming into the game. Tony Massarotti says that Schilling had nothing last night, and may not be able to even pitch any more this series. Alex Speier looks at the Sox ace getting into a hole. Ron Chimelis has a recap of the rough night for Schilling. Michael Silverman reports that Schilling’s availability for the rest of the series is entirely up in the air at this point. Steven Krasner says that Schilling sure sounded a whole lot different after the game than he did before it. Kraz’s Corner tells us that a bad breaking ball got Schilling started on the road to his downfall. He notes that the Sox ace was clearing never comfortable on the mound last night.

Schilling’s loss of course means that Pedro is in the spotlight tonight. Sean McAdam says that Martinez has a lot to prove in the Bronx this evening. Steve Buckley (subscription only) writes that as in so many times in the past, the Red Sox will be looking to #45 in a tough situation.

Now, the Red Sox need for Martinez to be their Dominican Dandy of days gone by. They need for him to be what he has been for so many years: They need him to be their stopper, their savior, their leader of the pack.

Steve Britt also looks at Pedro facing the pressure of beating the Yankees. David Borges says that Pedro is in fact not scared of the Yankees. Pedro didn’t appear at the media session yesterday, and that of course becomes a story as well. You don’t think it’s a big deal, this note is from the Projo notebook:

The Baseball Writer Association of American lodged an official complaint with Major League Baseball when Pedro Martinez, tonight's Game 2 starter, didn't make himself available for a pre-game interview session, as is customary in the post-season for the next day's scheduled starter.

MLB responded with a statement that these sessions are not in fact mandatory. The players are invited to come, and if they don’t want to be there, they don’t have to be. Are there many things less sympathetic than the complaints of sportswriters? Hohler’s notebook informs us that it was Jack O’Connell who filed the complaint. Michael Silverman has other Red Sox members speaking for Pedro, as does Gordon Edes. Ron Chimelis’ notebook has more on Pedro not talking, as does Heuschkel’s notebook.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at Tim Wakefield getting a chance to work off some rust last night, even though he gave up a couple runs that turned out to be key. Sean McAdam and Howard Bryant look at Kevin Millar providing comic relief and serving as a lightning rod for the Red Sox. Steve Conroy looks at Johnny Damon’s rough night at the plate, including four strikeouts. Steven Krasner says the combo of Manny and Ortiz can strike at any time. Howard Bryant (subscription only) looks at Ortiz nearly tying the tie last night with his triple off of Tom Gordon in the eighth inning. He notes that Ortiz was pleased after the game at having put a scare into the Yankees after being behind 8-0. Jackie MacMullan has Derek Lowe disputing the notion that he’s been partying too much and having it affect his pitching. Conroy has Paul Quantrill reflecting on the changes in the Red Sox clubhouse and culture since the time he was there. Horrigan’s notebook has the news of Scott Williamson having to in fact go through Tommy John surgery, which will likely sideline him for 2005.

Jim Donaldson looks at the plethora of storylines coming out of this series. Tom Yantz looks at the atmosphere in Boston during the NY portion of this series.

The Fox coverage…predictable. Some items left you scratching your head, such as the glowing praise to Derek Jeter for his “calm eyes” in handling a routine ground ball in the second inning. Other left you bewildered, such a McCarver informing the audience that tonight’s pitching matchup was to be “Brandon Arroyo vs Pedro Martinez”. Or his statement that the Tim Wakefield didn’t have to pitch around a Yankee batter, as the knuckleball would do that naturally. Was there a need for when Wakefield gave up the homerun to Kenny Lofton to immediately break out all the Aaron Boone highlights they could find? How about McCarver’s comment when Terry Francona left Mike Timlin in to face Hideki Matsui, choosing not to bring in Mike Myers, and McCarver stated that “Damon and Matsui are the reason Myers is on the roster.” Huh? The bright spot last night was Al Leiter, who wasn’t afraid to challenge a couple of those ridiculous statements (On Matsui’s bloop hit which McCarver called an “extraordinary job of hitting” Lieter added “…or just really lucky”), was informative, showed us what a knuckle curve is, and was 10 times more informative last night than Brett Boone was during the entire playoffs last year.

Peter May and Steve Buckley look at Mike Mussina’s bid for a perfect game last night. Don Amore writes the game story from the Yankee perspective. Karen Guregian, Jackie MacMullan and Jeff Jacobs look at Mariano Rivera coming back from family tragedy in Panama to get the save last night. Joe McDonald, Peter May and Stephen Harris look at tonight’s Yankees starter, Jon Lieber. John Powers writes that weird things have been happening to the Yankees in the Stadium. Harris looks at the huge night for Hideki Matsui. McDonald’s notebook looks at Mussina’s perfect game falling apart. Guregian’s notebook looks at the Yankees denying that they has mastery over Pedro. Power’s notebook looks at the 3/4 spots in the Yankee lineup doing damage last night.

Ron Borges says that it isn’t right that the Patriots are on the longest streak of domination in Pro Football history and still are overshadowed by the Red Sox, who he reminds us, haven’t won in 86 years. (Clark Booth used this same premise last week.) Still, nice of Ron to acknowledge and stand up for the success of the organization in Foxboro. Since he’s the guy who says “time will tell” it’s hard to tell where this is coming from. Of course, on 1510 yesterday afternoon, Borges made the claim that Bill Belichick was a loss away from being fired after the 1-3 start during the 2001 season. A preposterous claim, given how much the Krafts had invested in Belichick, and the fact that he had lost his $100 million quarterback on a hit from Mo Lewis. While I’ve had share of email battles with Ron, I wouldn’t post them online. However, if someone else wants to post their exchanges with Ron on another website, that’s fine with me. Cold Hard Football Facts has a reader taking exception to being painted as an “idiot” by Borges last week when the Globe writer used that term on SportsPlus to describe fans who would prefer Tom Brady over Payton Manning.

I don’t like the media insinuations however, that rooting for the Red Sox and Patriots is an either/or situation. It’s possible to root for both teams equally.

Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider looks at the Patriots at the quarter-season mark, noting there is a lot of improvement to be made. He also looks at Ted Johnson’s work on first down and has a look at the Seahawks. Michael Parente has a look at Vince Wilfork’s progress and the fact that he has a lot of room for improvement still. Jonathan Comey has his NFL Power Rankings.

Craig N Liadis has the details of the Celtics 104-74 preseason opening win over the Chicago Bulls in Manchester, NH. Steve Bulpett looks at the progress of second year big man Kendrick Perkins. Shira Springer looks at Tom Gugliotta looking to make the most of his chance with the Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook also looks at the preseason game last night.

Fox has Red Sox/Yankees game 2 at 8:00.

And so it begins…

Is it really possible that a full year has elapsed already? The time, as they say, has flown by. Bob Ryan says that tonight isn’t game one, it’s really game eight, a continuum of an on-going series. Jeff Horrigan says that this matchup has been in the works all year. Dan Shaughnessy writes that this is the classic baseball rivalry, the year has been so eventful the characters so colorful that even ARod is almost afterthought at this point. David Borges examines the long awaited rematch. Tony Massarotti looks at the Sox new catch phrase – “Why not us?” David Heuschkel looks at the Red Sox pitching as an edge that they have in this series, including their pair of aces at the top of the rotation. Alex Speier says that that pitching is in fact the key to the series for the Red Sox.

Schilling is the focus for tonight’s game one, as he prepares to do something he’s done before, beat the Yankees in a postseason series. His ankle appears to be a concern to everyone except himself and the Red Sox. Bob Hohler looks at Schilling going into tonight. Stephen Harris also has Schilling expressing what he hopes to do at the stadium tonight, mainly make 55,000 fans be quiet. Steven Krasner has more on Schilling hoping to hush Yankee fans. Ron Chimelis writes that the Yankees will hope to wear down Schilling, but that he feels ready to the challenge. Steve Britt says that Schilling is a difference maker. Steve Conroy has a brief bit on the pitcher opposing Schilling tonight, Mike Mussina. Michael Silverman gives us five keys to beating the Yankees. Bill Reynolds tells us why the Red Sox WILL beat the Yankees. Sean McAdam and Gordon Edes breaks down the matchups for the series. Howard Bryant gives five keys to beating the Red Sox.

One of the many keys to the series is the two bullpens, and specifically the closers. Gordon Edes looks at how the series could come down to Mariano Rivera or Keith Foulke. Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox have complete confidence in Foulke. Stephen Harris looks at the Sox bullpen as a whole, and the large role it could play. Michael Silverman writes that Rivera could rejoin the Yankees in time for tonight. Joe McDonald writes that if he doesn’t make it, the Yankees are prepared to go on for tonight without him. Howard Bryant (subscription only) writes that the Red Sox have plenty of experience against Rivera, and don’t really fear him the way most other teams do. They’ve beaten him before, and feel they can do it again. Could it be that the Red Sox view Rivera sort of the same way that the Yankees view Pedro?

Steve Buckley (subscription only) has John Henry revealing that Grady Little was gone after last season regardless of what happened in game 7. He says that even had the Sox won the World Series, Little would not have been back. Henry states that Little was not “on the same page as the rest of the organization”. Jackie MacMullan suggests reverse psychology as a way for Red Sox fans to get through this series. John Powers has a feature style article on the long rivalry between the teams. Steven Krasner looks at how the Red Sox and Yankees are opposites in nearly every way. Garry Brown says Mark Bellhorn could be an ALCS hero.

The ProJo notebook says Schilling’s ankle is responding well. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Jason Varitek, who hopes to break an 0-for-the-season slump at Yankee Stadium. Hohler’s notebook looks at the Sox adding former Yankee Ramiro Mendoza to their ALCS roster. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Mendoza. Chimelis’ notebook looks at the contrast in the teams. Borges’ notebook looks at the Sox going with 11 pitchers.

Karen Guregian looks at Joe Torre’s calming affect on his Yankees team. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at ARod earning his Pinstripes. Steven Krasner looks at the Yankees taking pride in their clean shaven and professional image. Steve Buckley looks at the depth of the Yankee lineup. Bob Halloran is on the Derek Jeter bandwagon, he compares him to Tom Brady. Stan Grossfeld catches up with Aaron Boone. McDonald’s notebook looks at Mike Mussina facing another test on the big stage. Guregian’s notebook says the Yankees will rally around Rivera. Dupont’s notebook says the status of Rivera is uncertain.

Kevin Mannix hands out his Patriots grades, including a “D” for Tom Brady. Nick Cafardo looks at a banged up Brady, who must be prepared to get blitzed and pressured more and more each week. Tom E Curran says that Brady and the Patriots passing game suffered from a decided lack of receivers on Sunday. Alan Greenberg says that despite having the unofficial record in hand, the Patriots aren’t about to let up. Mike Reiss previews a tough four game stretch coming up for the Patriots. Michael Parente looks at the Seahawks trying to move into the league’s elite. Christopher Price has a look at Christian Fauria preparing to meet his old team for the first time. Rich Thompson looks at the the challenge the Seahawks might pose for the Pats. George Kimball (subscription only) has a look at Corey Dillon, who missed the end of Sunday’s game with an apparent injury and didn’t get a chance at 100 yards, but isn’t unhappy about it. Today’s excerpt from Tales from the Patriots sideline” has the story of how the Patriots chose Clive Rush over Chuck Noll as head coach. Cafardo’s notebook has Josh Miller wondering what would happen if the Patriots found themselves short a placekicker as the Dolphins did on Sunday. Curran’s notebook has Bill Belichick holding off on the Hall of Fame induction for Vince Wilfork. Reiss’ notebook looks at stability on the offensive line.

The Celtics open up the preseason tonight in Manchester, NH. Steve Bulpett has Doc Rivers acknowledging that not many people are likely to watch his team tonight. Shira Springer says that early reviews on Rivers from the players are positive. John Habib previews tonight for the people of Manchester.

Bill Griffith looks ahead to a huge day of Sunday programming for the Fox network in Boston.

Fox has Red Sox/Yankees game one at 8:00.

And The Game Ticket Says…

Columbus Day Patriots links by Rich ([email protected]) – giving Bruce a much deserved day off. Also, don’t miss the separate entry below from Ben with Red Sox and baseball news.

The game tickets printed in June were prophetic (I guess the Pats front office was willing to take the streak 4 games at a time), as the Pats won their historic 19th in a row. The Herald

Around the Horn

Baseball links by ben ([email protected])

The next week (hopefully two) will be madness. I didn