Meet me in St. Louis

The World Series shifts to St. Louis tonight, and weather permitting, the Red Sox will send Pedro Martinez out to the mound to do something he’s waited seven years to do…make a World Series start. Bob Ryan says this is not just another World Series game, this is high athletic drama for Martinez and his future. Michael Silverman looks at a new chapter to be written in Pedro’s career tonight, and has the nice scene of Curt Schilling telling Pedro how excited he is to see him pitch tonight. Butch Stearns will tell you that’s an act and that they really hate each other. Jim Donaldson uses his classic one sentence paragraph style to tell us that it’s time for Martinez to put up. Howard Bryant says that tonight is Pedro’s chance to put a stamp on what has been a very odd season for the Red Sox righthander. Ron Chimelis says Pedro is ready to shine tonight.

Jeff Horrigan says that the Sox made the trip to St. Louis just fine, appear relaxed, but not overconfident in leading the series 2-0. Already counting down the outs, Sean McAdam says that this team seems unaffected by any pressure. David Heuschkel says everyone around the club is saying all the right things. Lenny Megliola writes that the Red Sox don’t need to be reminded of the danger of getting ahead of themselves. Jackie MacMullan ponders the reasons why the Series is over, and the reasons why the Series is not over. She’s a little tough on Pedro, calling him self-absorbed, and also seems to indulge in at least a little cursemongering, but otherwise a usual solid read from Jackie. Alex Speier writes that going to the NL park isn’t going to faze the Red Sox, as they’re built for just about any situation. Joe Haggerty also takes a look at the Sox as they head to the midwest. The Metro West Daily News trots out Lou Merloni to write a column for the Series, he looks at the adjustments the teams will make in St. Louis.

Part of going to the NL park means David Ortiz at first base, Tony Massarotti looks at what losing the DH is going to mean to the Sox. Curiously Massarotti makes no mention of the theory he espoused so fervently on the Big Show a number of weeks ago, namely that the Sox might consider sitting Ortiz in these games. I guess Big Papi’s bat has won over Mazz. Steven Krasner also has a look at the significance of losing the DH for the Red Sox. Bob Hohler looks at Ortiz, hoping to make a positive impact at first base for these games. David Heuschkel says Ortiz is hoping for a little good luck around the bag the next few nights. David Borges says Ortiz isn’t quite as bad at the position as many would have you believe. Steve Conroy also has a look at Ortiz getting his glove out of storage. Art Davidson says Ortiz is prepared to meet this challenge and play a steady first base. With Ortiz at first, it means Kevin Millar is out of the lineup. Jim McCabe has Millar saying that he’ll be ready to hit in a pinch over the next few nights.

Michael O’Connor writes about Derek Lowe preparing to pitch…and hit…in game four. Joe Sullivan talks to former Cardinal Bob Tewksbury who is rooting for the Red Sox in this series, and not just because he works for NESN. Steve Britt looks at the massive job that Keith Foulke has done for the Red Sox in the postseason. Michael Gee says momentum is real. I say tell that to the Yankees, I bet they thought they had momentum up 3-0, having just beaten the Sox 19-8. Bob Hohler reports that Curt Schilling’s status for the rest of the series is simply day-to-day. John Tomase writes that Schilling’s performance Sunday night won him over, saying:

I'll admit that the cynic in me wondered if he wasn't doing it for show, playing up the whole wounded-warrior thing to retain the spotlight. I even had words written to that effect.

Dan Shaughnessy, clearly writing for a national audience and the casual fan, writes about how much the Red Sox mean to generations of New Englanders. One positive thing for Globe readers about these postseason games is that Shaughnessy has had to reign in his act a bit, and insert less of his own opinion. He’s had to play it straight more often, “columnize” less. After saying yesterday that Curt Schilling was playing things up for drama, today Jeff Jacobs says he hates Red Sox fans. Sounds like just another irrelevant columnist crying out “Notice me!” Bill Reynolds says that once this team found it’s identity, there has been no stopping them. Gordon Edes has a piece on Tom Werner and his role in the Red Sox front office and operations. Zach Rocha looks back at the 1918 World Series. Steve Buckley says that the players understand the historical significance of playing the Cardinals.

Hohler’s notebook has the Red Sox voting Nomar Garciaparra a postseason share. Horrigan’s notebook has the Red Sox surprised at the Cardinals’ complaints about their Boston accommodations. Chimelis’ notebook says the Sox are relaxed in St. Louis. Borges’ notebook has Pedro rarin’ to go in his first World Series appearance. The ProJo notebook has Terry Francona expecting big things from Pedro. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Pedro.

The St Louis Post-Dispatch has the Cardinals stories from today. In the local papers, former Red Sox pitcher Jeff Suppan will oppose Pedro tonight, and he is the focus of many stories this morning as well. John Powers looks at Suppan who was a 16-9 this season. Stephen Harris says that Suppan has something to prove to the Red Sox. Garry Brown also looks at Suppan. Karen Guregian looks at Suppan handling the pressure, something that was questioned about him during his time in Boston. Jack O’Connell says that his familiarity with this Red Sox team could help Suppan. Mark Blaudschun writes about the support the Cardinals have in St. Louis. O’Connell looks at the Cardinals heading home to Busch Stadium. Gordon Edes writes about the atmosphere at the stadium. Jim Donaldson writes about Ray King, the Cardinals designated David Ortiz stopper. Mike Anthony says that Cardinals fans are just as passionate as Red Sox fans, just less crass and nasty. Guregian’s notebook looks at the Cards heading home. Blaudschun’s notebook looks at the possible the Cardinals might get at home.

From the “Who thinks this makes good radio?” department of BSMW…what’s the deal with seemingly every sports talk radio host who feels the need to complain about their free hotel accommodations, given to them so that they can attend and watch the greatest sporting events on the planet…again for free? This happens over and over, I remember it during the last two Patriot Super Bowl appearances and now it’s happening on WEEI during this World Series. Have some perspective guys, you’re not sympathetic at all when you do this…more like pathetic.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice this, but did FOX only sell about 10 commercials for the entire playoffs? They weren’t funny the first 500 times we saw them. In addition, if there is one development in TV viewing from the 21st century that I just don’t get, it’s this reality TV craze and how many dozens of shows there are now of this genre. FOX slamming them down my throat does not make me want to even give them a chance. I used to like the FOX network. They’ve lost me. I’m sure that pains them.

Kevin Mannix and Michael Parente hand out Patriot Report Cards. Joe Burris looks at the Patriots success in the two minute drill on Sunday, leading to the winning touchdown. Tom E Curran notices that the Patriots getting off to a quick start in each game has helped them during the streak. Alan Greenberg agrees, noting that there isn’t a need for comebacks when you’re not trailing.

Mike Reiss says that when opponents say that they the Patriots don’t make mistakes, or that their own mistakes killed them, they’re off base. Rich Thompson has Bill Belichick praising Bill Cowher. Michael Parente looks at the important of Friday’s practice session. Reiss also looks at former UMass coach Mark Whipple as he tutors the Steelers young QB Ben Roethlisberger. Thompson’s notebook looks at rookie Vince Wilfolk’s first experience against Kevin Mawae. Curran’s notebook says the Patriots streak could be in jeopardy against the Steelers this weekend. Reiss’ notebook looks a the importance of practicing the two minute drill.

Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer report on things getting nasty in Ohio last night, as the Celtics and Cavaliers had a hallway brawl after the game, instigated by claims that Paul Pierce spit at the Cavs bench during the game. In Cleveland, Pierce is identified as the bad guy in this sudden rivalry between the two teams. Springer also writes about Walter McCarty, while Bulpett’s notebook looks at the Cavs offseason interest in Jiri Welsch.

Bill Griffith has Red Sox and Patriots ratings numbers and a series of bulleted notes on the media coverage of the events. Richard Sandomir in the NY Times (registration likely required) has a profile of Joe Buck, who acknowledges that Boston fans get on him about his announcing style. Christopher Price takes on “ethically challenged individuals masquerading as journalists” who wear Red Sox gear while “objectively” covering the team. The Globe looks at the city quietly making plans for a Parade. Guess it’s not that quiet after all, if it’s in the papers, eh?

Fox has Red Sox/Cardinals game 3 at 8:00.

10.25.04 Afternoon

This afternoon’s post will try to bring something a little different, a look at a number of items piling up in my in-box that I’ve wanted to mention on here, but haven’t found the right space for yet.

Before I mention the other items, amidst all the other excitement of yesterday, a big event happened down in Foxboro. The fourth wall came tumbling down. Scott A Benson reports from Gillette on the Patriots win over the Jets as well as meeting some fellow BSMW members.

A medical blog is asking just what caused the death of Victoria Snelgrove during the aftermatch of the Red Sox win over the Yankees in the ALCS. He claims that the reported facts just don’t match up, and tries to do an online CSI style investigation.

The Herald has been experimenting with Weblogs lately, (I didn’t get a call though.) and one of the best of the bunch is Mike Reiss’ blog, in which he gives a lot of Patriots tidbits and behind the scenes information. Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders has a piece on Page2 in which he issues NFL QB rankings…with a twist, he associates each QB with a player from the Red Sox/Cardinals World Series. Cold Hard Football Facts is another football based website that is coming on strong.

Edward Cossette has been one of the most dedicated and long suffering Red Sox bloggers. His “Bambino’s Curse” blog appears each day on the FSN website, and I’ll eager to see what he has to say over the next week. The name of his blog is tongue in cheek, he is no cursemonger…. Cursed and First is another Boston area blog worth checking out. Right now the focus is on the Sox, but the site also devotes a lot of type to the Pats. The Soxaholix may not be the most family-friendly website, but he captures many of the feelings of Red Sox nation dead-on time after time. Buckner was framed is another entertaining take on the life of the Red Sox. Dan Lewis made a pretty cool Mosaic out of photos from the ALCS. The old staple, Sons of Sam Horn has a very poignant thread entitled “Win it for…“. It takes up many, many pages, but you need to at least read the first entry.

Former Sox 2B Todd Walker did a chat on today. He’s not bitter or anything.

For hoops fans, is easy on the eyes, and comprehensive in bringing you news and commentary regarding the 16 time NBA champions. For BSMW, I’m looking at having a rotation of members do a weekly or bi-weekly “Rear View” on the Celtics, similar to what we have for the Patriots.

Every day, MP Connelly cranks out a top ten thoughts on (mostly Boston) sports from the events of the day/night before.

I’d like do something like this a little more often, so if you see something worth sharing, pass it along, and I’ll compile them up and try to put something together periodically.

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.