Manny: Take that, Tomase

The Red Sox managed to squeak out a road win over the Indians last night. We’ve also got a look at a couple young prospects headed to Lowell, some NBA draft talk, college nicknames, and a look back at the Shaughnessy/Holley showdown on late night television.

The Red Sox held on for a wild 10-9 victory in Cleveland last night over the Indians. Chris Snow looks at the night for David Wells, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon and Jason Varitek, all of whom had a part to play in the evening. Jeff Horrigan looks at the offense coming to the rescue of some pretty poor pitching. Steven Krasner says that this game showed that the Red Sox still need a stabilizing force in the bullpen. David Heuschkel writes that the Red Sox didn’t exactly cool off the Indians last night, who had been the hottest team in baseball, but they did manage to outslug them. David Borges looks at a game hyped as a battle between to heavyweight lefties, which instead turned into “a battle of the least fit”.

Michael Silverman looks at the rough night for the Red Sox pitchers in Cleveland. Nick Cafardo looks at Johnny Damon, who is in many ways the face and soul of the Red Sox, is toughness is right up there with Jason Varitek. Nick reports this morning that Damon may be willing to back down slightly on his original demands for a five year contract. You gotta love Nick though, almost every piece he writes somehow involves a contract. Horrigan reports that Curt Schilling is eager to take the next step in his recovery. Steve Buckley (subscription only) examines Terry Francona’s decision to sell his house in the Philadelphia suburbs and move his family up into Boston, where he says he is very comfortable.

Gerry Callahan (subscription only) comes to the defense of Manny Ramirez this morning, though the slugger seemed to make a strong statement of his own with his bat last night. Manny had been criticized by John Tomase and Gary DiSarcina recently, and Callahan doesn’t feel the criticism is warranted. He says we have a happy Manny now, one who plays hard and is a World Series MVP and a perennial All Star. Cafardo looks at Manny’s bat speaking loudly last night as he went 3-5 for 4 RBI in the win last night. Silverman also looks at Manny’s eventful return to his old stomping grounds. Jon Couture wonders if the Red Sox have gone too far by trotting the World Series Trophy to every town in Massachusetts, renaming the left field foul pole after Carlton Fisk, giving rings to former players and even raffling off three rings to fans. Ron Chimelis says that ARod, not Barry Bonds deserves to be the all time home run leader when all is said and done.

Two profiles on a couple of Lowell Spinners, Tim Bresnahan looks at outfielder Jason Twomley, a native New Englander. Rob Bradford has a profile of pitcher Clay Buchholz, a big time prospect, who had to endure a two hour grilling by the Red Sox team psychiatrist before they would draft him. At issue was a incident in college where Buchholz and a classmate stole 29 laptops and sold them to students. The pitcher acknowledges his mistake and calls it a one-time thing, the result of handing around the wrong people.

Krasner’s notebook has Schilling eager to begin a rehab assignment and get back to facing live hitters. Heuschkel’s notebook says that Terry Francona is not going to rush Curt Schilling back into the rotation. Borges’ notebook has more on Francona being cautious regarding Schilling’s return, wanting him to do another side session before going on a rehab assignment. Snow’s notebook also looks at Schilling and provides an All Star voting update. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Aaron Boone facing the Red Sox for the first time since…well, you know when.

There were apparently no rumbles between the Cleveland and Boston Media last night. You might recall that last May, there was a confrontation between the two groups which ended with a Cleveland radio reporter locking himself in a bathroom stall and refusing to come out.

The Yankees fell to Casey Fossum and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays last night at Yankee Stadium, get the details over at the New York Sports News page.

Mark Murphy has a look at the point guard prospects available in this year’s NBA draft. Bill Reynolds wants us to know that he still likes the NBA. Shira Springer looks at Robert Horry, whose big game shots are now legendary in the NBA. There were actually a few callers to WEEI yesterday who suggested that Horry would be a Hall of Fame candidate. I don’t see any scenario where that happens, Horry is merely a role player.

Amalie Benjamin has a piece on the issues of college team nicknames and how some are still offensive to Native Americans. She notes that UMass was well ahead of the curve in attempting to reverse this trend. She also looks at the issue in High School sports. Benjamin is the latest full time member of the Globe sports staff, and considered a rising star. One report sent to me said that she had actually turned down an offer from a major New York daily to be the Mets beat writer in order to remain at the Globe. I have not been able to confirm that report, but it came from a solid source.

I had missed this piece from Sunday, Chris Kennedy has a look at the Richard Seymour situation, and also the quarterback position on the Patriots in his Sunday football column.

David Scott has a “Internet Community Journalism Participation” look at the Dan Shaughnessy/Michael Holley confrontation on WHDH’s Sports Xtra on Sunday night. John Molori’s Media Blitz takes a nice look at Lesley Visser and how in many ways she was a trailblazer for women in sports media. Bill Griffith looks at HBO boxing and Formula One racing in his Tuesday media column.

NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 7:00. ABC has Spurs/Pistons Game Six at 9:00.

06.20.05 Afternoon

John Tomase tears into Manny Ramirez today, claiming that Ramirez simply does not care at all about baseball this season.

Among the quotes from this piece:

Players who care don’t leave games after getting hit by pitches that wouldn’t have hurt a Little Leaguer. Players who care don’t seek days off like the office hypochondriac.

Ramirez has done all of these things in a brazen affront to the organization and a metaphorical middle finger to its fans. The days of writing off his behavior as quirky are over. He’s robbing the Red Sox and more than indirectly contributing to the cost of baseball’s highest tickets.

Later on, he adds:

So while the fans take out their frustration on players like Millar and Mark Bellhorn, who barely make $6 million a year between them, Ramirez coasts along, hitting .260, disappearing in the clutch and taking the occasional day off.

He does note that Manny has actually only missed four games this season, so I’m a little confused as to how Manny is taking these “occasional” days off. It’s also interesting that Tomase claims the pitch that hit Manny over the weekend wouldn’t have hurt a little leaguer, while one of Ramirez’s teammates, who probably has a better knowledge of the situation said in Gordon Edes’ column this morning,

“Don’t be too hard on Manny,” one teammate advised. “He got hit pretty good. He wouldn’t have been of much use to us.”

Interestingly, on the occasions in the past when Manny has been out of line, you’d be hard pressed to find a teammate sticking up for him. This time it appears to be legit. I’m not sure why Tomase has chosen this incident to make this fuss, as that pitch certainly looked like it hurt. It appeared to bounce right off the ankle or shin bone.

Mike Fine looks at the Red Sox heading into Cleveland, and looking to to improve their road record, which has been pretty poor the last couple years. Bob Stern examines the Red Sox ability to take care of business at home while struggling on the road. Alan Greenwood revisits the Red Sox win over the Pirates yesterday to cap off a strong homestand. Fine’s notebook looks at the Red Sox reserves stepping up. Greenwood’s notebook examines the Red Sox road woes and how they plan to rectify it.

Mike Reiss has decided to take a short posting break on his Blog, from today until around July 8th, likely gearing up for the beginning of training camp next month. So where are Patriots fans going to get their news the next few weeks? Mike promises to brings us any major news as it happens.

Finally today, a request from David Scott of Scott’s Shots. He’d like anyone who personally watched the Michael Holley/Dan Shaughnessy confrontation on late night television last night to write in with their observations. He says:

You can call it an “Experiment in Community journalism where we take a SportsNation approach to a local sports media-related ‘event’. Just taking the pulse of a niche group on an item or some worthiness.”I’ll compile the responses we get (by 11 p.m. tonight, or so?) and we’ll post something at Shots in the morning.

You can send your thoughts and observations to [email protected]

Red Sox Buc Up

The Red Sox finished off a very successful homestand in style yesterday, the US Open was NOT won by Retief Goosen or Tiger Woods, and we even sneak in a few New England Revolution articles into the mix today.

The Boston Red Sox resumed their winning ways with an 8-0 shutout of the Pittsburgh Pirates behind Matt Clement. Chris Snow focuses on the performance of Clement yesterday and thus far this season, noting that the the righthander can likely start to make All Star plans. Jeff Goldberg looks at the Red Sox trading being shutout on Saturday for shutting out the Pirates yesterday. David Borges also looks at the Red Sox returning the favor. Joe Haggerty looks at the Red Sox capping off a solid homestand in style. Lenny Megliola says that Clement and the Red Sox were never tested yesterday. Sean McAdam writes that after this strong homestand, Boston must now attempt to keep their momentum as they head out onto the road…again. Tony Massarotti agrees that now is the time to start winning consistently on the road, especially after beating up on weaklings this week at home.

Gordon Edes looks at the patchwork job Terry Francona did yesterday on Father’s Day and also examines the needs of the team as we inch closer to the midpoint of the season. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that Clement hasn’t quite caused people to completely forget about Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe, but he’s also warming up for the All Star game. Alex Speier has a look at the Red Sox depth, which was on display yesterday. Rich Thompson looks at Trot Nixon being placed in the leadoff spot and getting two hits. John Tomase has a feature on Johnny Damon and his rise to national prominence. Kelsie Smith looks at Bill Mueller, who seems to be at his best with the bases loaded.

Buckley has a brief look at the Pirates starter on Friday night, Josh Fogg, and his local ties. Thompson looks at Jay Payton making it difficult for the Red Sox to part with him. Massarotti looks at Manny Ramirez sitting out yesterday. Massarotti’s notebook looks at the strong outing for Alan Embree, who went two innings and displayed his trademark fastball. Borges’ notebook has Payton trying to make the best of his situation. Golderberg’s notebook also looks at Payton. McAdam’s notebook makes the case for Clement as an All Star. Snow’s notebook says that Johnny Damon’s shoulder needs a little rest and also has some theories for the struggles of Alan Embree as of late.

Shira Springer looks at Robert Horry once again working his playoff magic in the Spurs’ 96-95 overtime victory in the NBA Finals. Springer’s notebook looks at the struggles of Rasheed Wallace in the finals and have some dumb comments from Brent Barry about the TV ratings. (“I don’t really give a rat’s [expletive] who’s watching.”) Attitude like that is what has turned a lot of people off from the NBA. Lenny Megliola has a quick look at Bob Cousy, who will be honored at The Tradition tomorrow night. Add Zach Rocha to the list of those who feel Paul Pierce should be sent packing, and he takes a hindsight look at last year’s draft.

Jim McCabe, Joe Gordon and Bruce Berlet look at New Zealander Michael Campbell flying under the radar to win the 105 US Open. Bob Ryan has a look at Campbell and what his victory means for this country. Jeff Jacobs also examines Campbell’s historic victory. McCabe looks at Retief Goosen, who really has no explanation for his final round fade. Gordon looks at Tiger Woods, whose putter was his undoing yesterday. Gordon’s notebook observes that the spirit of Payne Stewart was felt by all yesterday. McCabe’s notebook looks at the final round struggles of Jason Gore.

Frank Dell’Apa looks at the Revolution struggling with injuries as they come off their first defeat of the season. Gus Martins says that the squad might be without a couple of their top players for a little while. Martins also says that Taylor Twellman doesn’t appear to have much of a shot to make the US National team.

Check out the New York Sports Headlines page for more coverage of the US Open, NBA Finals and to keep up with the Yankees and Mets.

NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 7:00. (ESPN2 Nationally)

Quick hits

An extremely brief update today as hopefully people are out enjoying the day today. The Globe has a reprint of a 1991 Father’s Day column by

Jerome Solomon compares and contrasts the contract situations of Richard Seymour and Terrell Owens in a “Tale of Two Cities” style. I’ll have to give credit to Solomon for attempting to use a little imagination for a column that has become too predictable when it is written by others. Mike Reiss looks at the friendship of Scott Pioli with Indians GM Mark Shapiro. The Red Sox and Indians play a series starting tomorrow.

Gordon Edes’ Baseball Notes start off with a look at first round pick Craig Hansen, who is eager to jump into the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. He also includes a Red Sox alumni report later on in the piece. Tony Massarotti is Covering all the Bases in his Sunday column, leading off with the vastly improved Indians, who are still in the race. He ends the piece with “Fastballs and Curves” a section of quick hit oneliners.

Peter May’s NBA Notes continues on the theme May has pursued the last few weeks…Larry Brown and Gregg Popovich. He’s got a few draft items, but nothing terribly interesting. Mark Murphy’s NBA notes looks at the return of Phil Jackson.

Kevin Paul Dupont has Pro Hockey Notes.

Bob Ryan’s post from the US Open focuses on darkhorse underdog Jason Gore.

Keep up with the stories from New York with the New York Sports Headlines page.

5 in a Row

The Sox continue to do what good teams need to do: destroy less talented competition. Raising their American League best home record to 21-9, the Sox overcame a sub-par start from Wade Miller with a big hit from Mark Bellhorn, a solid top half of the 9th from Keith Foulke and some clutch hits from Kevin Millar and Johnny Damon in the bottom half of the inning to win 6-5. Game stories in the local papers from the Herald

New Home for Boston Celtics Basketball

Boston Radio Watch reports that the Celtics and WRKO have reached a new radio broadcast deal, taking the rights off of WWZN and back to the station that broadcast many of their games from the glory days of the 1980’s.

Mike Fine looks at Kevin Youkilis, who seems assured of a full-time job with the Red Sox starting in 2006.

Jim Baker writes about the US Open coverage, John Madden moving again, Red Sox coverage and other items from the world of sports media.

Busy Off Day

Despite the off night for the Red Sox, we’ve got plenty of links and things going on today. Assorted baseball items are followed by some information on The Tradition, coverage of the Pistons tying the NBA Finals 2-2 and US Open coverage.

The Red Sox were off last night and that means an assortment of articles this morning looking at various aspects of the team. Tony Massarotti looks at the Red Sox chances of repeating, stating that first they must address their “woefully inept” pitching before anything else. Steven Krasner agrees that the success of this team depends on what they get from their pitching staff. Michael Silverman has a look at the unhappy Jay Payton, who wants out of Boston. He’s not content being a role player and wants to be traded to a team where he can play more. He’s careful to respect the guys playing ahead of him and knows there isn’t a spot for him here, so he’d like to be elsewhere. Alex Speier looks at Keith Foulke attempting to get his act together, and confident that he will do so.

Jim Donaldson writes this morning that the Red Sox are going to be just fine, the worst part of the season is behind them, they’re getting healthy, their pitching is improving and the bats of people like Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar are coming around. Wow. A “Mr Positive” effort from Donaldson, not known for that style, especially when it comes to the Red Sox. Stan Grossfeld provides a guide to the worst seats at Fenway – many of the obstructed view and distant seats in the house, but many of the fans don’t seem to mind, they’re happy to be at Fenway, which I’m sure is exactly what the owners are counting on. Color me as one confused and annoyed by Larry Lucchino’s comments on Dennis and Callahan yesterday, when asked by Dennis about whether there is a long term plan to address the lack of size and space in many of the seats, Lucchino said there was. An economic plan. People willing to sit in those seats (which make up much of the ballpark) will pay less then the other seats which might have a little more room. It didn’t really sound like a plan to me at all, just a effort to be diplomatic rather than say, “We’re not going to replace seats and reduce the capacity of Fenway Park”.

David Heuschkel previews the Pittsburgh Pirates as they come to town for a weekend series with the Red Sox. He notes that the franchise just hasn’t been the same since Barry Bonds…and Tim Wakefield left. Silverman has a sidebar noting that the Red Sox have just about had their fill of interleague play. Anil Adyanthaya takes a look at the glory days of Jerry Remy, featuring 10 memorable games from his playing career. Silverman’s notebook looks a Kevin Millar heating up in the month of June. Nick Cafardo’s notebook also looks at Millar.

Chris Snow has a minor league notebook in which he looks at the Lowell Spinners and some of the players they are expected to have this summer. He also has Kelly Shoppach speaking about his brief Major League stint and looks at Jon Papelbon and some of the other Portland phenoms. Michael Silverman also produces a Minor League Notebook and he looks at the Red Sox first round selections from the last 10 years, most of whom has disappointed.

The Tradition - at The Sports Museum Tuesday Night
Lenny Megliola has a piece on Bob Cousy, who will be honored as part of The Tradition at the Sports Museum on Tuesday night. Mike Reiss looks at Andre Tippett, who will also be honored and presented by Dante Scarnecchia. Other honorees at the event will include:

  • Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, Jack O’Callahan, and Dave Silk — The Boston-bred heroes of the Miracle on Ice
  • Tony DeMarco — The kid from the North End who became champion of the world 50 years ago
  • Terry O’Reilly — The grinder who became an All-Star and the quintessential Bruin
  • Lesley Visser — The journalist who shattered multiple gender barriers
  • The ownership of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox — The ultimate cursebreakers and miraclemakers

It’s sure to be a memorable evening. More information is available at the website for the Museum.

Shira Springer looks at the Pistons evening up the NBA Finals with a 102-71 victory over the Spurs. Every game of this series has ended in a runaway victory. Springer’s notebook says that the Union and the League has agreed to resume talks today on the new CBA.

Bob Ryan looks at the challenges of the Pinehurst course, where the US Open began play yesterday. Jim McCabe looks at the leaders after the first round, Olin Browne and Rocco Mediate, both at 3 under par. Joe Gordon also has a look at the first round. George Kimball looks at Tiger Woods shooting an even-par 70 yesterday. McCabe’s notebook has the James Driscoll update, while Gordon’s notebook looks at a jet-setting day for Corey Pavin.

I have to add that it is a disappointment that it appears the US Open will not be broadcast in HD by either network covering it. I understand the logistics and additional expense that is likely involved in doing this, but FOX appears to broadcast the NASCAR races each week in HD, why can’t this Major Golf event be covered as well? If someone from the networks is reading…I know you are…feel free to drop me a line so I can understand this a little better.

David Scott looks at Michael gee peddling his talents; he takes issue with Holley taking issue with Shaughnessy and has of course a number of other items and thoughts from around the media world.

Bill Griffith has a look at Lesley Visser, whose days on the NFL sidelines are over as she will now be part of the CBS pregame show. He also looks at NFL Network featuring Bill Belichick as part of the Father’s Day programming on Sunday and has a look at SportsPlus on NESN tonight, which will have a one-on-one with Charlie Weis.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Pirates at 7:00.

Kevin Millar/WEEI

The Kevin Millar interview on WEEI yesterday was odd in many aspects. When it was revealed that the entire phone call was also being filmed for a TV segment, it attained a reality-show type of feeling. (Have I mentioned that I hate reality shows) How much of this call was planned in advance and how much was spontaneous? In any event, here are a few snippets from the segment:

Millar: …it could have been Renta- you guys have blown Renteria out of the (unintelligible).

Buckley: Baloney, baloney

Ordway: That’s not true!!

Burton: Now wait a minute

(All talking)

Ordway: Kevin you’re not being fair here.

Burton: Yes he is.

(all talk)

Ordway: No he’s not! We’ve never jumped on Renteria! We never got on Manny Ramirez-

Burton: Are you kidding me?

Ordway: Because there’s a track record there.

Burton: Guys, wait a minute! Edgar Renteria, we were all over. Are you kidding? They called him Diarrhea, they called him Rent a Wreck…

Buckley: That’s not true. That’s wrong.

Burton: You never heard those nicknames here on the radio?

Buckley: From 6 to 10.

Burton: OH! Come on!

All talking

Buckley: We weren’t all over Renteria.

Burton: Buck you’re wrong.

Ordway: I missed those shows.

Burton: You mean to tell me this station was not ripping Edgar Renteria?

Ordway: This show was not ripping Edgar Renteria!

Burton: Oh, this show. This show.

Ordway: Well, I can only speak for this show. I mean do you speak for Lobel?

Burton: (something) 6-10?

Ordway: Do you speak for Lobel? I can’t- go ahead, Kevin.

Millar: No, this is what I’m talking about. This- you’re telling me, to answer the question, was the show not ripping Edgar Renteria?

Ordway: We were not ripping Edgar Renteria, no.

Burton: We have been on Edgar Renteria.

Ordway: I think callers from time to time have been on Edgar Renteria, Kevin, I mean every time somebody doesn’t perform, and I hear what you’re saying, you average it out in the long run, and you believe that your numbers are going to be there. But if you’re expecting the public to be patient, and forget about us, do you think the fans sit there patiently waiting as a guy is struggling the way you’ve been struggling?

So they haven’t been on Renteria or Manny. Ridiculous. More on this a little later on.

Burton: Does the criticism- do you listen to talk radio? Does the criticism bother you?

Ordway: It does, he already says the show sucks. (all laugh) You gotta listen to know it sucks.

Millar: No, honest to God, I’ve never, never listened to your show before. Because

Ordway: Shame on you!!! (over Millar) For saying the show sucks without listening!!!

No, the Big O would never pan something without watching or reading it. Never.

Millar talked about how the team cares for each other. He mentioned he and Varitek talking for 45 minutes on an off-day about how they could help and support Mark Bellhorn. That led to this exchange:

Ordway- We don’t see it, but I think we understand it. [inaudible] Kevin, I think that’s something we do bring up all the time, that these guys care about each other. I disagree with that I, I. Certainly we’ve been critical and I have been very critical of you in the first half of this season.

Buckley-Trying to run him out of town if I recall.

Ordway- No that was you trying to run Nomar out of town last year. But we are critical, this is, this is what we do. Fans here are very emotional and they take every game as if it’s the last game. I totally agree with that. I don’t think anybody has taken away what you guys and the feeling you have for each other. It was genuine last year, it was obvious and to be honest with you I think it’s coming across this year even though you’ve had some problems.

Another asinine statement. No, the majority of fans around here are not as Ordway describes, they do not all treat each game as the last game. Perhaps the callers to the radio station are like that, but as mentioned here in the past, these callers are not representative of the average fan.

Later in the show they tried to define the difference between “being critical” and “ripping”. They were hard pressed to do so. Many times the declaration was made “THIS IS WHAT WE DO!!!”

So they’re “critical”…that’s what they do, huh? I’ll have to remember that next time I get an email from one of these guys complaining about what I say about them. My response will be “THIS IS WHAT I DO!!!”

Meanwhile, The Diehards were talking actual sports…as I write this, I realize I probably fell into the WEEI trap…here I am writing about WEEI, when yesterday I recommended you check out The Diehards. I was able to do both, thanks to the wonders of technology, and some assistance in putting together the transcript from a couple of volunteers. I left out the part where Buckley called Millar a “smartass” after the player asked if Buck had ever written a positive article about him.

Michael Holley this morning came out gunning at Dan Shaughnessy’s column this morning in the Globe, calling it among other things, “unfortunate” and “Inappropriate” he was taking particular issue with the paragraph towards the end where Shaughnessy uses a David Halberstam quote:

Asked to speculate on life after winning, the estimable David Halberstam, a baseball guy and a foot soldier in the civil rights movement, predicted, “It will certainly change things. It will fragment. With the civil rights movement, all these great black leaders were pulled together and were loyal to each other as they were ascending, struggling against the white supremacists. The moment they won, everything fragmented because it went on to individual ambition. There’s always a difference in a revolution. When you finally get it, the strength that bonds you together changes and you put private ambition over group ambition, and that’s something the Red Sox will have to think about. Will success and winning spoil the unique sense of community and passion and this mystique of being close but never quite getting there?”

Holley was upset at both Shaughnessy and Halberstam equally, for this viewpoint. He felt that the comparison was way out of line and that Shaughnessy had a “major, major brain cramp” in including this and that the editors should not have allowed this segment into the piece. It was just “dumb”. During the crossover with Dennis and Callahan, Holley stated that the Globe should issue an apology.

Clean Sweep

The Red Sox finished off a three game set with the Reds last night at Fenway, the Yankees unveiled plans for a new stadium, plenty of US Open previews as well as some NBA and TV articles on the docket for today.

For the fourth straight game the Red Sox got outstanding starting pitching and the offense provided more than enough support as Boston completed a three game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with a 6-1 victory at Fenway. David Heuschkel says that the Red Sox did everything right and that Reds could not have look more overmatched in this series. Joe McDonald looks at Bronson Arroyo picking up his first win in six weeks with his strong outing. Jeff Horrigan looks at David Ortiz once again leading the offense with two hits and 3 RBI. Nick Cafardo writes about Arroyo shaking off his sluggish feeling of the last couple months and getting the win. David Borges and Joe Haggerty complete the game stories with looks at Arroyo stepping up and getting the job done on a frigid June night.

Dan Shaughnessy says that things are different around Fenway this year. Not necessarily bad, he says more than once, but more relaxed, less intense. Anil Adyanthaya has a Red Sox Nation citizenship test, any true follower of the team should be able to answer the questions on it. Alex Speier looks at the Boston bats starting to find their groove and pick up the production. Adam Kilgore looks at the larger then life David Ortiz, who you will be seeing a lot more of around town, especially if you like sandwiches. Michael Silverman says Ortiz was tempted by the prospect of a triple last night, but put on the brakes at second to play it safe. Steven Krasner and Borges looks at Tommy John surgery for Rocco Baldelli, it means he’ll have had ACL and Tommy John surgery in the same year, both injuries that could’ve ended a career not so long ago. Jon Wallach says you shoulda seen Ken Griffey Jr in his prime.

Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at Bronson Arroyo finding his way last night. He wonders if the suspension for the Tampa Bay incident is what messed him up. Horrigan has Terry Francona touting Mike Timlin as an All Star, a decision the Red Sox (and All Star) manager can make himself. Buckley also talks to Bill Mueller, who would prefer not to play second base, if given the choice. Krasner’s notebook says that Kevin Millar appears to thrive when faced with competition for his job. Heuschkel’s notebook has Keith Foulke refusing to talk about his health. Borges’ notebook looks at Francona making preparations to serve as All Star manager. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the progress the Red Sox are making towards signing their draft picks. Cafardo’s notebook leads with Francona avoiding a suspension.

Sasha Talcott and Dom Amore looks at the Yankees plans for a new stadium, which could once again add to the cash flow that the Yankees enjoy. Adam Kilgore gets Red Sox reaction to the announcement. You can check out the New York stories on the plans over at the BSMW New York Sports Headlines page.

If you missed the Kevin Millar interview on WEEI yesterday, there will be at least some segments from it later this morning here on BSMW.

Bob Ryan has a column on Sergio Gracia this morning, as the 25 year old continues to search for his first Major title. There are plenty of other US Open articles this morning, the Herald has a huge Golf Section and there are several pieces in the Globe as well.

Shira Springer has a piece on Antonio McDyess, who managed to stay healthy as a role player for the Pistons this year. McDyess nearly joined the Celtics last summer, but opted to sign with Detroit instead. Springer’s notebook looks at the Union hoping the re-open talks with the league.

Bill Griffith looks at John Madden agreeing to a six year deal with NBC.

ABC has Spurs/Pistons Game 4 at 9:00.

BSMW Recommends

Just a couple links before some recommendations on sports radio for the Boston fan.

Mark Farinella delivers a very good piece on Tom Brady today. He emphasizes the need for all of us not to take the Patriots QB for granted, he is not only a champion, but a class act as well. The article was triggered by yesterday’s incident with the place that Brady was supposed to be boarding that skidded off the runway. Tom King looks at Chad Brown, who wants to be ready for anything that is thrown at him this season.

Former Globe writer Dave Doyle takes a look at the Sports Journalism business in his blog.

If you were listening to Dale and Holley today and heard them talking about Jerry Crasnick’s License to Deal: A Season on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent and wanted to see the book, you can click on that link to go to the Amazon.com page for the publication.

John Madden is on the move again, leaving ABC to join NBC’s football coverage. This means Madden has pretty much made the rounds of the networks…CBS…Fox…ABC and now NBC.

If you’re a Boston sports fan are looking for good sports radio, here’s what I would recommend your listening schedule look like during the week:

Morning Show

Mike and Mike in the MorningESPN Radio
Host(s): Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg
Time: Weekdays 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ET

This show is not a local show, but if you’re looking for sports news, talk and scores in the morning, this is your best option. The two Mikes get a lot of good guests, (Naturally many ESPN Personalities) talk about the events of last night and preview the day ahead. When ESPN 890 comes into the Boston area you should be able to get the station in your car close to the city, if you’re in southern NH, ESPN 900 from Nashua comes in fairly well. (Also available on XM Satellite Radio – 140 ESPN Radio)

Midday Show

Dale and HolleyWEEI
Host(s) Dale Arnold and Michael Holley
Time: Weekdays 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m. ET

The best of the WEEI daily lineup. These guys generally try to stay away from the political issues and frat house style antics of the shows that precede and follow them. For the most part it is serious sports talk, that attempts to get you the facts on a particular issue. They’re not afraid of the internet and will consider new ideas. It’s not the perfect show, but it’s the best on the station.

Afternoon Drive

The DiehardsWWZN
Host(s) Ryen Russillo, Anthony Pepe, John Anik
Time: Weekdays 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

I realize that this station doesn’t register in the all-important ratings book, but more and more I find myself heading over to this program on my drive home. The signal strength remains a huge problem, but where I can get the station in on the drive, I’m usually listening to it. I will listen to segments of the Big Show on WEEI, but I find myself tiring of day after day of the same topics, beaten to death. On any given day, The Diehards will be talking about the Celtics, whichever league draft is upcoming, or interviewing a guest such as Buster Olney, or one of the guys from Baseball Prospectus – both weekly guests on the show. Ryen Russillo is of course the central figure of the show, but his sidekicks know their places and do a competent job – certainly no worse than some of the co-hosts the Big Show trots out.

If you’re in an office all day, the good news is that all three of these shows have streaming audio available.