Pretty much just two groups of stories today – coverage of the Red Sox beating the Indians yesterday afternoon and articles on the Celtics draft picks and the future of the franchise.
Nick Cafardo says that all the Red Sox wanted yesterday was a routine game with no late inning relief pitching dramatics. They got their wish, as Tim Wakefield, Doug Mirabelli and company salvaged the last game of the three game series with a 5-2 victory over the Indians. Jeff Horrigan looks at Wakefield playing the role of the stopper in the win. Sean McAdam examines how Wakefield was able to thrive in the muggy soup that was Fenway Park yesterday. Jeff Goldberg looks at Wakefield’s start and Mike Timlin’s finish to the game yesterday. David Borges says that Wakefield and Mirabelli are back in their comfort zone.
A major topic of conversation around the team continues to be the bullpen, and specifically Keith Foulke. Alex Speier looks at the situation and notes that sticking with Foulke is really the only option Terry Francona has at this point. Howard Bryant (subscription only) leads off his Boston Uncommon column today with a look at Foulke and how his fastball is down so much that it has cause there to be almost no difference between it and his changeup. He’s also not getting ahead of batters as he was last year. Bryant also looks at the NBA’s future, which is looking up. Tony Massarotti wonders if Bronson Arroyo could step into that role and provide a respite for Foulke, but notes that in the long run, Foulke will be the closer for this team. Horrigan looks at Francona turning to Mike Timlin to finish out yesterday afternoon’s game. Kelsie Smith looks at Matt Mantei, who struggled initially in his outing yesterday, but explained that by saying he was trying some new mechanics.
Damian Vega looks at Tim Wakefield settling into a comfort one on the mound, where he is 3-0 in his last three starts. Ron Indrisano also has a look at the knuckleballer finding his groove. Steve Conroy looks at his battery mate, Doug Mirabelli, who has also been hot as of late. Michael Silverman has a look at former ace Pedro Martinez, who has finally moved on and has no bitterness towards the Red Sox. He is very clear to Silverman as to what he misses and what he does not miss about Boston:
"Fenway is different, without a doubt, it is different. Tradition, the history of the team, it's different. And I miss a lot of that but I don't miss the media - at all; don't miss the talk (radio) programs that they have on WEEI. Don't miss any of the negativity that was around there. Pretty much all the negatives that everybody sees, I don't miss. Everything else, you can say I miss."
He goes on to mention specifics that he misses, which include the fans, his ex-teammates (he has baseball cards of Manny and Ortiz in his Mets lockers) and other things around Boston.
Curt Schilling made his first rehab start for Pawtucket last night, and looked pretty sharp in the five innings he worked. Cliff Mehrtens has the account of the game for the Globe. Jay Edwards has Schilling feeling good after his outing and appreciative of the Red Sox fans that showed up to support him. Dave Sherwood also reports on Schilling’s start, and notes that the righthander “felt phenomenal” during the game, saying it was the first good game he’s pitched in seven months.
David Pevear and John Tomase have articles on Indians (and former Red Sox) reliever Scott Sauerbeck and how his time here in Boston back in 2003 was not pleasant for he or his family. Pevear’s article deals mostly with how Sauerbeck and his family were treated by the fans, while Tomase examines Sauerbeck’s hatred (doesn’t seem to be too strong of a word) for Red Sox trainer Chris Correnti. Massarotti has Trot Nixon enjoying the hot weather. Conroy looks at John Olerud reaching a milestone with his 1200th career RBI.
Borges’ notebook looks at how John Olerud is making the most of the opportunities that he has. McAdam’s notebook says that things will remain as they have been in the bullpen for the time being at least. Goldberg’s notebook looks at Mirabelli doing his job, both at the plate and behind it. Cafardo’s notebook says that Francona is sticking with Foulke.
The newest Celtics met the press yesterday. Shira Springer looks at Green’s commitment to education as well as the education that he is going to receive in his first season in the league as he is taught by Doc Rivers and the rest of the Celtics coaching staff. Mark Murphy looks at Gerald Green going from being cut from his high school team to being drafted in the NBA out of high school. Carolyn Thornton says one thing is very clear about Green, he is extremely persistent. Lenny Megliola says that Green’s hard work on his game paid off with his selection by the Celtics in the first round. Michael Muldoon says that the Celtics just could not pass up on Green.
Tim Weisberg wonders if Green might provide a bit of good karma for a franchise that has been in need of it for years. Consider that not only is his last name the same as a nickname often given to the Celtics as a team, but that he was born in 1986, the year of their last title and the year in which their spiral downward began with the death of Len Bias. Bias dies in 1986, Gerald Green is born in 1986. Ok. I won’t go too far with this. It’s a very good piece by Weisberg, however. Gabe Kahn says that yesterday was a sunny day in Celtics nation.
Peter May, ever the contrarian, says that the last thing the Celtics needed was another high school player. He speculates if the selection will expedite the exit of Paul Pierce from Boston, even playing GM himself and suggesting a couple trades. He does manage to leave out any references to Tony Parker, which is a relief. On the NESN page you can see video of May explaining why the pick was a step back for the Celtics. The title? “May not crazy over Green pick”. Mike Fine says that the Celtics hope they get as lucky (or more) with this youngster as they did with last year’s top pick. Brendan McGair looks at how the NBA has come to prefer potential and raw talent over experience and accomplishment when it comes to draft picks.
Thornton also has a piece on second round pick Ryan Gomes and how being picked by the Celtics turned out to be worth the wait for him. Steve Bulpett has more on Gomes and how he is glad to being staying home in New England after his selection by the Celtics. Matt Eagan also looks at the forward from Providence, who wants to prove the Celtics right for selecting him. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the Celtics inviting Vermont forward Taylor Coppenrath to be a part of their summer league squad. He also looks at a couple other players that will be part of the squad for the Celtics. Springer’s notebook has Doc Rivers hoping that Paul Pierce will stay put.
Be sure to also check out Chad Finn’s Draft Review, in which he hands out various awards from the evening.
Down in New York, Gary Sheffield has promised to be a divisive influence on any team the Yankees might trade him to. Cool cat, that Sheff. Check out the news at the New York Sports Headlines page.
ESPN has Indians/Orioles at 7:00. TBS has Braves/Marlins at 7:00.