Reality Check

A fairly light morning as we all return to work after the weekend. We’ve got the coverage of the Red Sox loss to the Orioles last night, the tragic death of a team radio broadcaster, and a few football stories from the weekend.

After winning two of three games in New York this weekend, the Red Sox were sent a reminder last night that neither they nor the Yankees have been the top dog in the AL East thus far this season. That team has been the Baltimore Orioles and they showed why last night, beating Bronson Arroyo and the Sox, 8-1 at Fenway. Paul Doyle says that last night was indeed a reality check for the Red Sox. Sean McAdam observes that after going through that incredible unbeaten streak, Arroyo has struggled mightily in his last two outings. Michael Silverman concurs that it was indeed a step back for the Red Sox last night after their successful weekend series against the Yankees. Chris Snow says that Arroyo didn’t have it last night and neither did the Red Sox hitters. Paul Teves says that a clear message was sent by the division leaders last night.

Tony Massarotti writes this morning that even though there is a possibility that Curt Schilling will never be the same dominant staff ace that he’s been in the past, he was worth every penny the Red Sox paid for him. Nick Cafardo reports that Schilling took a step forward in his recovery yesterday by throwing a bullpen session with the aid of a specially designed shoe. Alex Speier has a look at the lineup decision facing Terry Francona, Kevin Millar vs John Olerud. Steve Buckley also has an article on this situation, noting that Olerud’s presence will put the heat on Millar to produce.

Paul Harber looks at Rodrigo Lopez once again dominating the Red Sox, some that has become a familiar scene the last few seasons. Mike Shalin looks at Bronson Arroyo’s rough night. Massarotti has a small piece on Bill Mueller showing his appreciation for a fan who backed off and let him make a play in the stands. Bill Reynolds has a piece on Oil Can Boyd, and what pitching again in organized baseball means to him.

Teves’ notebook looks at Orleud getting the start at first for the second time in three games. Doyle’s notebook looks at Curt Schilling testing out the new shoe to support his ankle. Silverman’s notebook leads with an update on Doug Mirabelli. Snow’s notebook looks at Kevin Youkilis getting a little time at second base last night.

Mike Petraglia reports on Red Sox Spanish broadcaster Juan Pedro Villaman being tragically killed in a car accident while returning from this weekend’s series in New York. Steve Buckley (subscription only) also has a column on Villaman, and calls him a “21st-century, Spanish-speaking, baseball-loving reincarnation of Johnny Most”. Laura Crimaldi also has a report in the Herald. Maria Cramer and Heather Allen report the story for the Globe.

One of the more interesting stories from the weekend was a piece from Mike Reiss on David Terrell and how the Patriots strength coach has enlisted the help of Michael Irvin in assisting Terrell to make the most of his body type and potential. It’s interesting to note some of the similarities in the two players and to remember that Irvin didn’t break out until his fourth season in the league. Ron Borges’ football notes on Sunday dealt with the Patriots policy about requiring a ticket even for infants brought to the game. I ask…who in their right mind brings an infant to a Patriots game? That same day, Jackie MacMullan looked at how the Patriots spend money and said that Adam Vinatieri deserves better than just the average of the top 5 kickers in the league. I wish Jackie did a little more research on this one, as the franchise tag is the average of the top five players at that position, OR a 20% raise, whichever is greater. Since Vinatieri was already the highest paid kicker in the league, he gets the 20%. He’s not exactly being shafted by the Patriots.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. (ESPN Nationally) TNT has Heat/Pistons at 8:00.