Another busy morning in the newspapers. The Red Sox and Celtics both lost last night, Tim Wakefield signs on to be a Red Sox for life, the fans in the Sheffield incident are going to be facing charges, and Bill Belichick speaks on the Patriots draft.
The Red Sox bullpen was unable to hold a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning and the Sox wound up losing to the Blue Jays 4-3 at Fenway. As it was the night before the road trip, most of the regular beat writers had the night off. Chris Snow however was still on the beat, and he witnessed a Manny Ramirez home run that could’ve eclipsed the 502 foot Ted Williams blast marked by the red seat. The blast by Ramirez cleared the light tower. Michael Silverman focuses on the bullpen imploding after David Ortiz had also launched one, giving the Red Sox the lead. Shalize Manza Young covers the rough night for Alan Embree and Keith Foulke. Sean Courchesne and Paul Teves round up the game stories. Lenny Megliola looks at the bullpen melting down for the Sox last night. Tony Massarotti looks at Manny Ramirez leaving the game early with what was called a strained quad. As is always the case with Ramirez, the severity and veracity of the injury is immediately called into question. Ron Indrisano and Steve Conroy look at a good outing from Bronson Arroyo going to waste.
The Red Sox announced yesterday that they had agreed to a long term deal with Tim Wakefield, to keep the knuckleballer pitcher with the club as long as both sides want him. An unusual deal, to be sure. Sean McAdam writes that Wakefield has shown a lot of loyalty to Boston by agreeing to this deal, which for once, is not about the money to the player. Dan Shaughnessy also lauds Wakefield and has an overall feel-good piece about the knuckleballer…until he takes his obligatory shot at Pedro Martinez towards to end, putting a mar on an otherwise sterling column. But I guess it just wouldn’t be Shaughnessy not to do that. Alex Speier and Christopher Price also have articles on the signing, as do Snow, Teves and Massarotti. However, it is noteworthy to observe that all of the articles basically refer to this deal as being “in perpetuity” – without an end until the Red Sox say so. Massarotti’s article though, is the only one that says that the Sox hold options until 2009. That’s only 4 seasons beyond this one. If Massarotti is correct, he’s got information that I didn’t see anywhere else this morning. Steve Buckley (Subscription only) has a piece on how Wakefield and David Ortiz have forsaken big money elsewhere to remain here in Boston, and how that endears them to the Boston fans. A feelgood article without taking shots at anyone else.