A tough loss in Toronto leads off the links today, followed by several stories on the return of Troy Brown to the Patriots. Dan Shaughnessy has an interesting high school tennis article, and another paper decides to go the subscription route to irrelevance.
In a back and forth game, the home team usually has the advantage, if for no other reason than they have “last ups”. The Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of this last night, and beat the Red Sox 9-6 on a three run walkoff homer from Reed Johnson, his second home run of the game. Michael Silverman looks at the Red Sox usually trusty duo of relievers Mike Timlin and Alan Embree faltering last night. The headline of Chris Snow’s piece on the game sums things up pretty well. “Reed and weep”. Steven Krasner writes that the Blue Jays took advantage of every mistake made by the Red Sox pitching staff. David Heuschkel examines Francona’s choice of pitchers in the later innings. David Borges looks at Johnson breaking scoreless streaks for both Embree and Timlin.
Nick Cafardo looks at Edgar Renteria, who went 2-4 with a triple and some nice plays in the field last night. The shortstop still would rather have gotten a win, and speaks about his start here in Boston and the support he has received. You’ve heard a lot about the rough treatment that Renteria has been receiving here, but when you stop to consider it, it’s really all just one place that has been really critical of him, and that is WEEI. The fans were a little tough on him over the weekend, but it’s mostly been the airwaves of 850 AM that have stirred the most criticism of him. Well, that station and one Boston.com blog which mysteriously yanked all criticism and mocking of Renteria after Curt Schilling spoke out on the matter. Tony Massarotti looks at the struggles that the Red Sox righthanded hitters have had against lefties this year and points to that as a big reason for the struggles of the team. Mike Fine lists out six concerns with the Red Sox despite their being close to the top of the standings. Cafardo looks at the Red Sox starting pitching depth and how that is going to be critical to the team’s success, even moreso than their hitting. Massarotti also tries to stir up a little controversy by suggesting that Terry Francona was responding to and criticizing comments made by Larry Lucchino on the topic of David Wells ‘ start last week in Oakland. He’s also got a sidebar on Wells’ performance from last night.
Krasner’s notebook looks at Bill Mueller getting knocked off his feet with a pitch last night, an incident that caused him to leave the game. Silverman’s notebook also has some on Mueller. Borges’ notebook looks at Bronson Arroyo returning to the mound tonight after eight days and six games off. Heuschkel’s notebook revisits Curt Schilling’s comments on Tony LaRussa. Snow’s notebook has Alan Embree not using a jaw infection as an excuse for his outing last night.
Troy Brown is officially returning to the Patriots and we’ve got no less than seven articles on the topic this morning. Jerome Solomon writes that Brown’s six year old son helped him make the decision to turn down the Saints and return to the Patriots. That proves to be a common theme throughout the articles this morning. Michael Felger says we can “chalk it up to another Patriots player choosing love over money.” Mike Reiss says that Brown initially wanted to chase the money elsewhere, but voices told him to return to where his heart was. Tom E Curran has Brown giving psychoanalysis on Coach Belichick, saying “People may say he’s not attached to players, but I think, somewhere deep down inside him, he is. He just doesn’t know how to show it.” Michael Parente and Christopher Price also have pieces on the return of Brown, both using the child’s plea for the Patriots as their angle. Felger has an additional report in which he says that Brown’s marketing relationship with TC Banknorth was a factor in his return and because of it, Brown will make up for the money he left on the table with the Saints.
Peter May looks at Pistons coach Larry Brown’s health problems and what they mean for his future. Howard Bryant (subscription only) looks at how the Celtics game seven loss to the Pacers is still burning Wyc Grousbeck, mostly because there could’ve been so much more this team could’ve accomplished.
Dan Shaughnessy has a column today looking at a controversial decision in a state sectional final tennis match in which a player who was leading the match was ruled disqualified because he didn’t have a coach in attendance. The opposing player, a fierce rival pointed out the situation, and was declared the winner. An interesting story, and there’s an Aesop’s Fable lesson in there somewhere. Speaking of tennis, Bud Collins writes about Andre Agassi bowing out in the first round of the French Open.
Jonathan Comey attempts to put some order in the world of sports, coming up with a number of lists.
Ron Borges has his Wednesday boxing notes.
A notice on the Lawrence Eagle Tribune homepage informs us that as of June 1st, they’re going to be converting to a paid format, where you will need to purchase a subscription in order to view their articles.
NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. ESPN has Astros/Cubs at 7:00. TNT has Pistons/Heat at 8:00. ESPN2 has Dodgers/Giants at 10:00.