Back on the Job

A busy morning today as we look at a Red Sox doubleheader, continue the post-mortum on the Celtics season, and look at Tom Brady’s new contract.

The Red Sox split a pair with the Mariners at Fenway, winning the opener 6-3 behind Jeremi Gonzalez and then dropping the second game 6-4 despite a strong debut from Wade Miller. Jeff Horrigan notes that the Sox received a pair of quality starts in the two games yesterday. Chris Snow looks at a weird day at Fenway as far as how the ball carried, or most of the time, how it didn’t carry…Steven Krasner writes that the team has found two more quality starters to add to the rotation in Gonzalez and Miller. David Heuschkel analyzes a split decision in the two games. Andy Vogt says that Wade Miller gave the Red Sox a lot of reasons for hope with his debut. Dan Shaughnessy says that the first appearance by Miller was the lone ray of sunshine on a gloomy day at the ballpark. Karen Guregian examines the performance and career of Gonzalez, who has helped the Red Sox weather the injury storm. Lenny Megliola observes that Gonzalez and Miller were the silver lining to a nasty day. Steve Buckley (subscription only) claims that Miller has already earned his money from the Red Sox, whose $1.5 Million gamble on the righthander has already paid off.

Jon Couture looks at a day of new beginnings at Fenway and has several baseball related notes as well. Among the things he mentions is the death of clubhouse assistant Bernie Logue, who apparently fell to his death from the sixth floor of a parking garage following the Celtics game on Saturday night. Michael Silverman has a report on the death of Logue, who was very popular among the players. David Abel and Chris Snow have the story for the Globe, and Paul Kenyon has it for the ProJo. Tony Massarotti has a piece on Hanley Ramirez this morning, noting that the Red Sox Super Prospect has an idea situation in which to grow and learn here in the Boston organization. Mike Shalin and Marvin Pave each have stories on how the wind and weather took away runs, especially from David Ortiz. Silverman looks at a bit of a rough major league debut for Cla Meredith yesterday. John Tomase had a piece yesterday looking at the “aging” and “mismanaged” Yankee franchise, which continues to reel. Maria Cramer looks at the Red Sox efforts to police alcohol use at Fenway.

Snow’s notebook leads off with more on debut of Meredith, a popular subject, as other notebooks feature the same thing. The notebooks in general are a little longer than usual, given the fact that there were two games yesterday. Krasner’s notebook and Heuschkel’s notebook both also lead with Meredith, while Horrigan’s notebook has an update on Edgar Renteria’s finger, which still hasn’t healed enough to let him grip a baseball or bat properly.

The end of the Celtics season remains a hot topic. Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer have thoughts from Danny Ainge about the plans for the team heading into the offseason. Key issues are discussed, such as the future of Antoine Walker and Gary Payton, as well as the development of the younger players. Peter May looks at the roster of the team piece by piece and examines areas of strength and weakness among them. Bob Ryan says that this Celtics team proved to be talented, but also completely unreliable on the offensive end of the floor, they could not be counted upon to work as a team. Mark Murphy gets Doc Rivers thoughts on the season and what some of his offseason goals are. Tim Weisberg writes that Ainge and Rivers are focused on the future now, and that future could be very bright. Carolyn Thornton wraps up the Celtics season, noting that they are still miles away from being a real contender. Springer explores the options available for Payton and Walker in the offseason. Rich Thompson says that the Celtics youngsters earned the respect of the veterans this season. The Herald notebook has Rivers turning down TV analyst jobs for some time off.

I’m still trying to figure out how Bob Ryan and Jackie MacMullan forgot all they ever knew about Celtics history. On Friday, Ryan called Pierce’s ejection at the end of game 6 “the single most unforgivable, untimely, stupid, and flat-out selfish on-court act in the history of the Celtics.” Then, on Sunday, MacMullan made reference to the incident, calling it “one of the most appalling moments in sports history“.

Huh?

Both statements are ridiculous, but I’m not sure which one is worse. Ryan only narrows it to the Celtics…but was what Pierce did…pushing off Tinsley with his forearm…worse than Larry Bird losing his temper, throwing the ball at Bill Laimbeer in a playoff game? Was it worse than Robert Parish taking down Laimbeer with a flurry of fists in a playoff game, earning him a suspension for the following game? I don’t get it. Pierce’s ejection was all the more curious because I can’t ever remember a player getting two technicals in the course of a game – each time after he was fouled hard.

Let’s be clear here. I’m not defending Pierce. He should’ve kept his cool. I’m taking issue with the statements of, in my opinion, the two best columnists in Boston. “one of the most appalling moments in sports history”? Are you kidding? Players getting paralyzed after a cheap shot…a tennis player being stabbed while on the court…players (from the Pacers) going up in the stands to fight fans….and Pierce’s action is even in the same category as those? Please. Ryan and MacMullan could’ve held back a bit in the hyperbole.

Ok…who had Michael Felger in the “Who is going to write first that Tom Brady’s contract is a bad thing for the Patriots” pool? Felger also says that Asante Samuel, Dan Koppen and Deion Branch should be unhappy with the deal and wondering when they’re going to get theirs. I think we have our Big Show agenda today. Ordway: “Here’s the problem with Brady’s contract…”.

One more Patriot item…I may have been on vacation last week, but I still managed to hear Ron Borges compare Bill Belichick to Emperor Hirohito and claim that Brady is the only reason for the Patriots success. After talking about the Patriots not wanting to give Brady the signing bonus he wanted, here’s a couple snippets from the show:

Caller: Well, I just have the feeling that Belichick...we all trust him at this point...

Borges: We don't all trust him...

Caller: Most of us trust him...three Super Bowls, he's got a little bit of a track record around here.

Borges: Yeah, well, you know, Emperor Hirohito had a big lead in the early days too...

And then a little bit later in the discussion:

Borges: Most people think like George until it's too late.

Caller: ...if you could only jettison either Belichick or Brady, which would you say sayonara to...everyone says Brady...

Borges:You're right, that's the way people are thinking, I've long been on record, as Chuck Fairbanks once said, it's not about "X's" and "O's" it's "Jimmy's and Joe's" so I still believe in the players, and my argument is you have short...you obviously have like, not you in particular, Patriots fans, have what I would call short term memory loss, 'cause the same coach was here the first year, Tom Brady wasn't the quarterback, and won 5 games. So unless you subscribe to the fact that he went to an intensive coaching school after that first season, it has a little bit more to do about Tom Brady than it does anything else.

It amuses me because for a long time, Borges always dismissed Brady as a “system quarterback” who could only “throw sideways”. It will be interesting to hear what Borges has to say now that the Patriots have locked up Brady.

David Scott has more on the impending departure of Sports Editor Mark Torpey and local Emmy winners from Saturday night