Weekend Watch – Shaughnessy Contest Edition

The readers have spoken. We’ll do this Win, Place Show style:

The winner of the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest is Chris Kyle for his Touching ‘Em All column submission. Chris took home nearly 1/3 of the couple hundred votes.

A strong second was “The Return of Pedro” by Brad Danielson.

Coming in third is Selective Memory for Returning Diva submitted by James Sanders. (Not the Patriots safety)

Many of the other entries were outstanding as well, with some getting off some killer Shaughnessy-like lines. Thanks to all who contributed entries as well as those who voted. This was a fun contest and I’ll be trying to incorporate more of this type of stuff in the future.

Pedro vs Roger, revisited.

This week was dominated by the return of Pedro Martinez to Fenway Park. It was quite different from the return of Roger Clemens, who for many years was treated like the Antichrist by fans and media alike here in Boston. (I include myself in that grouping.)

Why such different receptions for all time greats who both left the Red Sox to sign elsewhere?

There’s a few reasons, one of which has to be the fact that Pedro won a World Series here in Boston. The biggest difference in my mind has to be how each pitcher acted after leaving Boston. I don’t think either player wanted to leave Boston, but when Roger left, it seemed that Boston was dead to him. He never acknowledged the fans that had supported him for so many years, he didn’t seem to want to talk about his time with the Red Sox, other than to take (perhaps deserved) shots at Dan Duquette and Red Sox management. After having a few sub-par seasons in the Won-Loss department for the Red Sox during which he was more injury prone than he had ever been, suddenly in Toronto, Clemens was once again the durable, dominant pitcher that he had been earlier in his career. Then he engineered a trade to the Yankees. All of this seemed like slap after slap to the face of the Boston fans. It took until his final season with the Yankees, when it appeared he might retire, that he seemed to soften ever so slightly and talked fondly about Boston, Fenway Park and the Red Sox fans.

Pedro, on the other hand, did also take a few shots at the Boston front office, but always attempted to keep the fans on his side. He talked glowingly about them. He talked about his heart being in Boston. We also got the sense that we had seen the best of Pedro while he was here in Boston, and that this New York Mets version was truly on the downside of his career. Pedro didn’t really have a giant resurgence with the Mets. He’s doing just fine in the National League, but he’s not the dominant Pedro of 1998-2000. Regardless of his performance, Pedro did the smart thing by attempting to reach out to the fans of Boston and ensure them that he was appreciative of their support during his time there. Had Clemens just made a similar gesture, I believe he would’ve been treated much differently…at least until he became a Yankee.

Boo

After just having written all of that, is there a more ponderous topic for sports radio than the “Will (insert name of former Boston athlete here) be booed or cheered when he comes back to Boston?”

It’s the Boston sports radio theme of 2006. We’ve seen it with Johnny Damon and Pedro, and to a lesser extent, Antoine Walker. If you think we’re past the worst of it, just wait until Adam Vinatieri and the Indianapolis Colts come into town this fall. Sure, it might be interesting for a moment to consider the reception that each athlete is going to receive. But as with most things, sports radio and the sports media in general here make it a theme that permeates everything for days and weeks on end. I can understand talking about it for a few minutes, but please, move on and give us some talk about the actual games and teams. What’s worse is when media members and quasi-media members take it upon themselves to tell the fans how they should react.

Here’s a look at the local media columns, plus a few other other items of interest:

Andrew Neff has a look at NESN’s new “What If” program series, which looks at how Boston sports would be different if some big moments had just happened a little bit differently.

Jim Baker has a look at the weekend ahead, with the red hot Red Sox, World Cup soccer and Wimbledon tennis all on the docket.

Susan Bickelhaupt reports on Wendi Nix leaving channel 7 for ESPN, news first reported by John Molori earlier this week.

Get your Red Sox/Marlins news this weekend on the Red Sox Daily Links page and from the Miami Herald.

Kevin Baxter of the Miami Herald has a piece on Mike Lowell, a Miami native, looking at his turnaround this season in Boston after being traded from the Marlins with Josh Beckett last winter.

A Boston College sports blog did an email interview with Bob Ryan this week, in which the Globe columnist gave his thoughts on not only BC Sports, but also on sports coverage and the impact that the Internet has had on it. His comments regarding Boston.com are particularly interesting. Part OnePart Two.

Sports Media Columns From Around the Country

George Solomon, ESPN Ombudsman – Despite complaints, ESPN’s Cup coverage on the ball.

Phil Mushnick, New York Post – Dolan Insists Media Play His Shill Game.

Andrew Marchand, New York Post – Care You Spare A (Joe) Buck?

Richard Sandomir, New York Times – ESPN Rises Above the Rim.

Bob Raissman, New York Daily News – Yanks do A-Rod an in-Justice.
(Reports that YES studio host was ordered by higher-ups to be critical of Alex Rodriguez.)

Michael Hiestand, USA Today – Visser liked football early.

Chris Zelkovich, Toronto Star – Cup ratings continue to soar.

Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune – Longtime Sox fan describes story of a lifetime.

Dave Darling, Orlando Sentinel – ESPN2 is keeping it wild.

Barry Jackson, Miami Herald – Broadcasting moves coming.

David Barron, Houston Chronicle – Houston soccer fans are tuning in to World Cup.

Judd Zilgad, Minneapolis Star-Tribune – After 46 years, it could be splitsville for Twins, WCCO.

Bob Wolfley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – NBA draft provides eclectic show.

Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News – Lance-less France OK for OLN.

Jay Posner, San Diego Union Tribune – O’Brien taking soccer hits, but fans watching.

John Maffei, North County Times – Padres play two; only one is on TV.

Big Papi’s Power Hitting Clinics

Big Papi

Sox Make It 12

After dominating the Mets in the first two games of this series, the Red Sox found themselves in a much tighter game last night. No problem. After a textbook example of manufacturing a run in the seventh, Coco Crisp saved a run with a spectacular catch in the outfield and David Ortiz added an insurance run with his 23rd homer of the season in the eighth inning. This gave the Red Sox a 4-2 victory and their 12th in row overall. It also moved Curt Schilling to 10-2 on the season.

How good of a game was it last night? Michael Silverman calls it one of the “most picture-perfect baseball games any team could wish to play.” Gordon Edes focuses on Coco Crisp’s late inning heroics on the basepaths and the field, which should make some start to forget that guy who he replaced in centerfield. Steven Krasner also focuses on Crisp, who took a star turn with his play in the late innings last night. Jeff Goldberg has more on a memorable night at Fenway park for all. Brendan McGair looks at the Red Sox doing all the little things needed to win. Bill Ballou says that the Red Sox should go ahead and start printing their playoff tickets now.

Dan Shaughnessy’s entry is short and sweet today, but then again, there’s really nothing to complain about around Fenway these days is there? Lenny Megliola looks at Crisp and the Red Sox catching magic. Garry Brown says that good teams find ways to win and that is what the Red Sox did last night. Rob Bradford breaks down the Red Sox 12 game winning streak.

John Connolly has Tom Glavine hoping he gets another chance to pitch at Fenway Park before his career comes to an end. Check out the coverage of the night from the enemy perspective on the New York Sports Pages.

Amalie Benjamin looks at the record setting infield defense of the Red Sox, which should give sinkerball pitcher Jason Johnson some piece of mind as he prepares to make his first start for the team tonight in Florida. Tony Massarotti says we should start referring to them as the “Rd Sox” because they play in a world without E’s. Speaking of defense, Benjamin also devotes an entire article to Coco Crisp’s catch which was the best many can remember seeing around Fenway in…decades. Alex Speier looks at Manny’s catch as just the latest in a series of web gems for the Red Sox defense. Krasner looks at Manny dealing with a sore right knee.

With the Marlins on the schedule next, it means the Red Sox first look at Hanley Ramirez. Silverman says the Florida shortstop has no bitterness towards the Red Sox and is glad for the chance to play everyday in the majors. Connolly looks at the ex-Marlin’s on the Red Sox making their first trip back to Florida this weekend.

Edes’ notebook has the agent for Manny Ramirez declaring that his client is happy in Boston and that there will be no further trade demands coming from his camp. Goldberg’s notebook also looks at this story. Silverman’s notebook has Terry Francona hoping that Ramirez can skip the All Star game to rest his knee, which has been bothering the Red Sox slugger since May. Krasner’s notebook looks at Curt Schilling winning the pitching duel last night with Glavine. Brown’s notebook has more on Manny wishing to stay put in Boston. Ballou’s notebook has more on Manny’s sore knee. Bradford’s notebook has Pedro upset that the Red Sox fired Dr Bill Morgan after the 2004 season.

With the Red Sox top pitching prospects now on the major league roster, Chris Snow takes a look at the Top 10 minor league prospects for the Red Sox in his minor league notebook. Rich Thompson has a look at Pawtucket All Star reliever Craig Breslow.

Geoff Edgers of the Globe talked to Peter Gammons last week about his debut CD. The Herald offers up a fantasy baseball column from Paul Gaeta.

Steve Bulpett remains at the forefront of the Allen Iverson trade rumors as he writes this morning that a trade for the Sixers superstar would put the Boston Celtics back on the NBA map. Jackie MacMullan however, disagrees. She urges the Celtics not to make any deals for Iverson, saying he is not The Answer to their problems. Tim Weisberg also takes a look at the Iverson scenario.

Shira Springer looks at the Celtics introducing Rajon Rondo, and then speculating on what is next for Danny Ainge this summer. Mark Murphy says that both Rondo and Sebastian Telfair impressed Ainge a long time ago, when he saw them both play in high school. An article in the Projo says that the Celtics could play two point guards at once often in the upcoming season. Scott Souza has Ainge praising his new guards. Kevin Henkin writes that the Celtics came up big on draft day. The Herald notebook says that the price has to be right for the Celtics in any trade they make this summer for a veteran.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at new Bruins coach Dave Lewis, who is a big believer in “Show me” when it comes to play on the ice. Stephen Harris wonders if the ex-Red Wings coach can win without superstar players. Joe McDonald notes that there will be a lot of getting-to-know-you going on with Lewis and the Bruins in the coming weeks. Douglas Flynn has the Bruins hoping that Lewis can impart some Red Wings magic to their floundering franchise. Bud Barth says Mike Sullivan should be an easier act to follow than Scotty Bowman was for Lewis. Mick Colageo says Lewis will need to work to show the Bruins fans that he is for real as a coach. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that common objectives help Peter Chiarelli make the decision to hire Lewis.

Check out a little roundtable discussion from the BSMW Power Play blog on the hiring of Lewis. Flynn says that Lewis has already put his new club on notice that things are going to be different. Harris’ notebook says that the Bruins have some money to spend and targets in mind for free agency, which opens tomorrow. Burrell has Andrew Raycroft looking forward to a fresh start in Toronto. Dupont’s notebook reports that at least two Bruins will be bought out, and that Hal Gill and Brian Leetch will not be offered new contracts by the team.

Check back later for the results of the Shaughnessy contest and a look ahead to the weekend.

Pedro Fizzles

It was the best of both worlds for Red Sox fans. They got to cheer Pedro Martinez and acknowledge his seven great years with the club, and then they watched their club take him apart and rout the Mets 10-2 last night at Fenway Park.

Michael Silverman looks at Pedro pitching his worst game as a Met after getting a warm and generous ovation from the fans. Gordon Edes has the game story in the Globe as the Red Sox jumped on Martinez right out of the gate. Art Martone reports on the Red Sox romping through another National League East ace. David Heuschkel looks at Pedro being touched by the ovation from the fans and then touched up by the Red Sox lineup. David Borges and Phil O’Neill also have coverage of Pedro’s rough return to Fenway Park.

Dan Shaughnessy finally submits his long-awaited column on Pedro, but it only focuses on his performance last night, no looks back at the career of Pedro, no Dominican diva or Mango tree references. Since we’re not sure what the Globe has done with the real Shaughnessy, we’re still going ahead our contest for the best impression of the Globe columnist. Go to the Dan Shaughnessy Contest Page and submit your vote. The contest has generated a lot of interest, as evidenced by the over 6000 that have hit the contest page thus far. The voting will be open all day today. I’ll announce a winner tomorrow.

Sean McAdam notes that what was supposed to have been Pedro’s homecoming instead turned into a mere cameo appearance. Rob Bradford says that this was clearly not the same Pedro that Red Sox fans witnessed in his prime. John Tomase takes a look at the dark side of Martinez, whom he says was at the very least disingenuous in his press conference on Tuesday. Tomase draws from information in Seth Mnookin’s blog about revisionist history regarding Pedro. Tony Massarotti notes that once the cheers died down, the Red Sox treated Martinez like just another pitcher. Silverman and Dave Wedge look at Pedro reflecting on a “beautiful” friend who lost her battle with cancer last summer. Lenny Megliola admits to being a bit let down in the evening last night. Alex Speier notes that there might’ve been a changing of the guard at Fenway last night. Jon Couture says that the Red Sox showed Pedro who his daddy really is last night.

On a night when all the hype and focus was on Pedro Martinez, Josh Beckett took the mound for the Red Sox and stole the evening. Nick Cafardo looks at the night for Beckett, and notes there was likely a changing of the guard and allegiances last night at Fenway as the fans saluted their past and gave their present a standing ovation as he left the game. Tomase also looks at Beckett, who wasn’t fazed in facing Martinez. Steven Krasner’s Inside the Game looks at Pedro getting himself in trouble with his indecision in the first inning. Massarotti has a piece on Alex Gonzalez, who homered for the second straight night and is opening eyes with his bat now as well as his glove. Garry Brown looks at Curt Schilling again preparing to take on the opposition’s top starter.

Chris Snow chats with native son Tommy Glavine, who is enjoying a rebirth this season with the Mets and reflects on never getting the chance to play for the Red Sox. Glavine pitches tonight against Curt Schilling in what should be a genuine pitchers duel. Cafardo also has a piece on the amazing Julio Franco, who at 48, continues to play the game he loves and shows no signs of slowing down. Snow looks at Lastings Milledge, who again had an adventure in the outfield for the Mets.

Get the stories and coverage from New York on the New York Sports Pages.

Edes’ notebook has Wily Mo Pena looking forward to getting some at bats against live pitching in the minors, as well as some time at first base. Silverman’s notebook looks at Curt Schilling once again drawing a tough assignment in facing the opposition’s best pitcher. Krasner’s notebook says that Schilling has done quite well for himself in those matchups. Heuschkel’s notebook Beckett reminding fans of the old Martinez with his performance last night. Borges’ notebook and O’Neill’s notebook each have more on Schilling’s matchup with Glavine tonight. Couture’s notebook looks at the Sox defense setting a record.

Celtics Get To The Point

Danny Ainge was wheeling and dealing once again on draft night, and came away from the evening with two young point guards, an aging center and a second round forward. Peter May believes the night was a success for the Celtics. To be honest, I’m not sure whether to be pleased or terrified that May approves of the moves… Bill Reynolds has always been very critical of Danny Ainge, and that trend continues this morning, as he mocks the Celtics ADD (Ainge Deficit Disorder) and gives Boston’s boss a C+ for his moves last night. Scott Souza looks at the Celtics adding a bolt of electricity to their backcourt with their moves last night. Michael Muldoon seems high on Ainge’s draft night moves as well. Paul Doyle has more on the Celtics focus on the point guard position.

Steve Bulpett examines what the Celtics believe they have in Sebastian Telfair. Shira Springer examines the players that the Celtics acquired in Rajon Rondo, Telfair and Theo Ratliff. Bill Doyle looks at the Celtics scoring two points last night. Mark Murphy has Telfair very happy to be heading East to the Celtics. Shalise Manza Young has more on the night for the Celtics. Tim Weisberg concludes his look at the moves by saying that the Celtics have put together some attractive pieces for a bigger deal perhaps involving Allen Iverson.

Julian Benbow looks at Rudy Gay leading a parade of UConn players selected in the draft. Murphy’s notebook looks at Gay dealing with his disappointment in slipping down in the draft. Matt Eagan has more on the Huskies going a little lower than anticipated.

Bulpett’s notebook says that the potential Allen Iverson trade is still alive. Springer’s notebook looks at the Raptors selecting Andrea Bargnani first overall amidst a flurry of trades. Zach Rocha’s notebook observes that the Celtics passed up big to go small, to their benefit.

Bruins To Hire Lewis

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the Bruins choosing once again to hire outside their organization to bring in former Red Wings coach Dave Lewis. Traditionally, the Bruins have usually made hires of ones who had some sort of previous connection to the club. Stephen Harris notes that Lewis does have one connection to the Bruins – “It was he whose low, clean check wrecked the knee of 20-year-old defenseman Gord Kluzak during a 1984 preseason game in Portland, Me., altering the career of a No. 1 overall pick whom many believed would become one of the all-time greats.” Douglas Flynn hopes that Lewis has some of the right answers for the public today. Bud Barth and Mick Colageo have more on the Scotty Bowman disciple who will be introduced at a 1:00 PM press conference today. Harris has Andrew Raycroft hoping to bounce back big with the Maple Leafs.

Mike Reiss picks up a New Orleans newspaper report that new Patriots D-lineman Johnathan Sullivan was arrested this past weekend for “possession of marijuana, a seat belt violation, running two stop signs and playing loud music.”

NESN has Mets/Red Sox at 7:00