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.
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.
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.
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.