Lester K’s 10 in Sox Win

The Boston Herald Website was down this morning as I was preparing the links, so thus the lack of stories from that paper… Update: I’ve since added the stories in now that the site is back up.

Also, if you want to participate in the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest, please submit your version of Dan’s upcoming column on Pedro Martinez’s return to Boston before the end of the weekend. The person who comes closest to Dan’s actual column in spirit, style and substance will win a nice prize package.

The Red Sox completed their second straight three game sweep of a National League opponent, downing the Nationals 9-3 behind the pitching of rookie Jon Lester.

Amalie Benjamin looks at the impressive outing from Lester, who struck out 10 in his six innings of work. Carolyn Thornton says Lester’s approach of one game at a time is working well for him. David Heuschkel says that the lefthander is a keeper. David Borges writes that while the Red Sox might still have concerns over the 5th slot in their rotation, it appears that the the 4th spot belongs to Lester. Bill Ballou suggests that Lester might render David Wells obsolete for the Red Sox. Jeff Horrigan looks at Lester making quick work of the Nationals.

Steve Krasner says that the fact the Lester already has two strikeout pitches is very impressive for the 22-year-old. Julian Benbow has a piece on Alex Gonzalez and his seven-year-old son Alexander, who aspires to be just like his dad. Gordon Edes has a mini-feature on Pedro Martinez, as the former Red Sox ace prepares to return to Fenway Park next week with the Mets. Michael Silverman also has a very good piece on Pedro. Fran Sypek talks to Pittsfield’s Russ Quetti about his role in the longest game in professional baseball history, the 33 inning game between the PawSox and Rochester Red Wings 25 years ago.

Chris Snow and Gordon Edes report on Paxton Crawford’s admission of steroid use while with the Red Sox, as reported by ESPN the Magazine. John Tomase has reaction from the Sox, specifically from Tim Wakefield, who has some harsh words for the former prospect. Art Martone also has a report on the story. Alex Speier reports on the steroid scandal hitting home at Fenway Park.

Tomase has a quick look at Curt Schilling expressing his approval on the performance of Lester. Mark Murphy covers David Ortiz’s second inning grand slam. I have no idea what Buddy Thomas’ column is about this week. Presumably it is something about White Sox fans calling themselves the Black Plague, sort of their version of Red Sox nation.

Benjamin’s notebook looks at the acquisition of Jason Johnson, as well as backup options at first base now that J.T. Snow is no longer with the team. The Projo notebook has more on the Red Sox picking up Johnson as a 5th starter. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Johnson, a groundball pitcher who should benefit from the strong infield defense that the Red Sox have. Ron Chimelis also has a piece on Johnson. Borges’ notebook has more on the pickup of Johnson, which sent Kyle Snyder to the minors. Ballou’s notebook has more on the Red Sox latest foray into discount shopping. Horrigan’s notebook has Mark Loretta volunteering to play first base if needed.

Michael Parente takes a look at the Patriots secondary, and notes that while the club still might try to bring back Ty Law, they might also pass on the former Patriot, as they’ve taken measure to shore up that position already.

Kevin Paul Dupont says that Bruins coach Mike Sullivan could learn his fate either today or tomorrow, and it doesn’t appear likely that he will keep his job. Mick Colageo reports on Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli adding former Bruin Don Sweeney to his front office staff. Stephen Harris has more on Sweeney’s appointment.

Steve Bulpett has Danny Ainge planning to sit down with Paul Pierce to begin talks on a contract extension very soon. John Habib reports on NH’s Matt Bonner getting traded from the Raptors to the Spurs. Bob Ryan says that the Mavericks have no one to blame but themselves for letting the NBA finals get away from them.

Bill Doyle says that Phil Mickelson’s collapse had NBC’s Johnny Miller at his best, while that night, Jon Miller of ESPN wasn’t at his best doing the Red Sox/Braves game.

ESPN has Twins/Astros at 8:00.

Paxton Crawford Admits to Steroid Use

Already got a couple entries for the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest…keep them coming!

In the latest ESPN the Magazine, former Red Sox pitcher Paxton Crawford admits to using steroids and HGH while with the team in 2001. He seems to indicate that he wasn’t along in using on the Red Sox. If you have an ESPN Insider Subscription, you can read the story online. Towards the end, Crawford says:

I'll never name names, but I know it wasn't just me. Steroids had a hold on the game. Guys were walking around like zombies. Baseball is mostly mental, and all these things you're putting into your body are going to affect how you think. In 2001, that started happening to me. I was taking way too much stuff, and I'd get rattled.

The Red Sox acquired pitcher Jason Johnson from the Cleveland Indians this afternoon for a player to be named later.

Bill Simmons weighs in on the incredible success of Jonathan Papelbon.

David Scott has an afternoon update weighing in on the Big Show crew complaining about the conditions in their studio this afternoon.

Chad Finn offers up nine innings worth of thoughts on the local sports scene.

Rob Bradford has Alex Gonzalez giving credit to his father for his incredible skills. Mike Fine and Alan Greenwood look at how the future is now for the Red Sox pitching staff.

Celtics beat writer Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald lost his mother recently. I’d like to pass along my condolences while also linking to this note from Bulpett that appeared on Celtics Blog this afternoon.

Think You Can Be Shaughnessy?

So you think you know what Dan Shaughnessy is going to write, even before you read his column?


We’re going to have a little contest. Next week, the New York Mets come into town, and of course with them will be Pedro Martinez. We know Shaughnessy will write a column about the return of Pedro. You probably have a good idea what it is going to read like.

So write it.

That’s right, write Shaughnessy’s column about Pedro’s return, complete with all the phrases and references he’s bound to use. When you’re done, email it to me. I’ll go through them, and when Dan’s column appears, (Right now Pedro is lined up to pitch on Wednesday) whoever’s column is the most like Dan’s in both style and substance will win a prize. I’m not sure what the prize will be, but it will be a nice prize. The winning column may also be published here on the site, so keep that in mind. I reserve the right to publish any entries received.

Get the entries to me as soon as you can, preferably before Monday, which is an off-day for the Sox and might be the day Shaughnessy’s column gets published. In the off chance that Shaughnessy doesn’t write a column about Pedro (Do you really think he can resist?) I’ll just go with the best one. Have fun with this.

The Red Sox won their fifth in a row last night, romping to an 11-3 win over Livan Hernandez and the Washington Nationals.

Michael Silverman has Tim Wakefield relieved to get some early runs behind him from his team. Chris Snow also looks Wakefield finally getting some run support in the win. Sean McAdam has more on Wakefield enjoying the early cushion provided him by his teammates. Bill Ballou says Wakefield probably wishes he could’ve banked some of those runs to use in another start. David Heuschkel says that Wakefield’s biggest challenge was keeping his back from getting stiff while his teammates were scoring all those runs. Ron Chimelis says that the Sox are making the Nationals look like the old Senators this week. David Borges goes a step further and says the Washington Nationals looked more like the Washington Generals to the Red Sox Harlem Globetrotters.

John Tomase reports on Curt Schilling showing his appreciation towards Frank Robinson for the impact he made on him early on in his career, after the former had lost his father. Steven Krasner looks at Trot Nixon learning patience at the plate, and having it translate into his best season thus far. Mark Murphy and Joe Haggerty have more on the support for Wakefield, who received a nice ovation from the fans after getting out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth. Lenny Megliola says that the Red Sox have done a good job of burying that three game sweep at the hands of the Twins last week. Alex Speier reports on the Red Sox young pitchers getting a chance to grow together on the big club.

Julian Benbow also looks at the rehab of Wily Mo Pena, which seems to be coming along nicely. The young slugger is hoping to take batting practice before the end of the homestand. Tomase examines how Alex Cora is making the most of his opportunities to play. Murphy has more on Kyle Snyder, who is grateful for a second day in the majors with the Red Sox, and thankful to the franchise for giving him a new beginning to his career. Julian Benbow examines the quick and painful night for Hernandez, who game up six earned runs in 1 2/3rds innings last night. Megliola reports that the Red Sox will honor the 1986 club next week when the Mets are in town. Bill Buckner will not be there. Kevin Gray has a look at NH native Mike Chambers, starting his pro career with the Lowell Spinners. Jon Couture examines the Red Sox shuffling their pitching staff.

Snow’s notebook has Keith Foulke battling arm trouble for the first time in his career, something that came out of nowhere and has him baffled. Silverman’s notebook leads with Terry Francona calling all his young pitchers together and telling them they hope to keep them with the big club and give them more responsibility moving forward. McAdam’s notebook has more on Francona’s meeting with his young pitchers. Heuschkel’s notebook also sticks with this topic, noting that Francona plans to use them more, but while still developing them into big league pitchers. Chimelis’ notebook looks at the “big four” of the Red Sox young pitchers finally all together with the big club. Borges’ notebook also looks at the meeting with the young pitchers. Ballou’s notebook looks at the youth movement officially beginning for the Red Sox pitching staff.

Dan Shaughnessy files a thoughts column, filled with references to Hartford, Gary Glitter, World Cup soccer, and yes he does mention Pedro.

Scott Souza has a look at Al Jefferson, who is working hard with new Celtics big man coach Clifford Ray and determined to fulfill the promise he has shown in glimpses over his first two NBA seasons. Steve Bulpett reports that Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale have teamed up to scout prospects together, each holding workouts on their home floor with the other attending. Jeff Goodman says that BC’s Craig Smith has been given a promise from the Milwaukee Bucks that they will draft him in the second round.

Peter May reports on the Miami Heat winning the NBA championship last night with a 95-92 victory in Dallas. Bob Ryan looks at the Miami Rileys…err, Heat, putting it all together in the playoffs behind the “transcendent” and “luminous” play of Dwyane Wade. May’s notebook looks at Mark Cuban picking up a $250,000 fine from the league for his comments. The last paragraph of the notebook has some information on Celtics workouts.

Steve Conroy says that the Bruins appear to be in a position to grab a very good player with the 5th overall pick in this weekend’s NHL draft. Fluto Shinzawa has a piece on New England native Brian Strait, who could be a first round pick in the draft. The Herald has thumbnails of five players who might be available to the Bruins with the fifth pick.

Somehow, Michael Felger got the tough assignment of covering an Anna Kournikova conference call about her upcoming visit to Boston as as part of her involvement in World Team Tennis. It was probably a little different than a Bill Belichick conference call.

NESN has Red Sox/Nationals at 7:00. ESPN has Mets/Reds at 7:00 and Mariners/Dodgers at 10:00.

Snyder Makes a Mark

The Red Sox continued their strong play in interleague play with a 6-3 win over the Washington Nationals last night at Fenway Park. Kyle Snyder, picked up off the scrap heap, pitched well enough in his five innings of work to pick up the victory for Boston.

Amalie Benjamin has the game story for the Globe, and notes that in appearance, Synder looked like “a supersized Bronson Arroyo, come back to save a Red Sox pitching staff”. Michael Silverman isn’t sure if it was Kyle Snyder or Keyser Soze out on the mound for the Sox, but he got the job done. Shalise Manza Young looks at Snyder giving the Red Sox a boost with his efficient five innings of work. Jeff Goldberg also focuses on the nice outing from the Royal retread. Ron Chimelis says that Snyder was sent out there to take one for the team, but he might’ve made it instead. Laurie Los says last night had the makings of a slugfest, but Snyder and the Boston bullpen got the job done. Bill Ballou says this one might’ve seemed lost before it even started for the Red Sox, but they got a gift from Synder.

Dan Shaughnessy has a look at “quite possibly the most underrated player in the history of baseball” in Nationals manager Frank Robinson. Shaughnessy puts together an interesting piece on the Hall of Famer, including a tidbit that I probably knew at one point, but forgot…Robinson played high school basketball with Bill Russell. Gerry Callahan is gushing over Alex Gonzalez, and deservedly so. The Red Sox shortstop amazes everyone on a nightly basis with the things he does in the field. If I had a dollar for every time in the last week I heard a media member say he’s the best defensive player they’ve seen on the Red Sox in their lifetimes I’d be rich…however this time, it’s no hyperbole. If Ozzie Smith is the Wizard, then as former manager Jack McKeon said, Gonzalez is a magician.

Mark Murphy looks a the job done by Synder last night in his Red Sox debut. Kelsie Smith examines Terry Francona’s bullpen getting the job done last night. John Tomase looks at former PawSox and AM 1510 broadcaster Dave Jageler enjoying his role as a play-by-play man for the Washington Nationals radio crew. Matt Eagan says that the Sox let an ace get away in Bronson Arroyo. Seeing Snyder on the mound last night might’ve caused Alex Speier to reflect on how much the Red Sox miss Arroyo.

Lenny Megliola looks at unsung heroes getting the job done in the Red Sox win last night. Smith also reports on the Fenway crowd welcoming back Gabe Kapler. Tomase makes the observation that Red Sox fans love Gabe Kapler. Silverman has a quick report on the Red Sox parting ways with J.T. Snow. Murphy also has a look at Alfonso Soriano adjusting to his move to the outfield quite well. Bob Halloran looks at an award winning season in the works for Jonathan Papelbon.

Benjamin’s notebook looks at J.T. Snow’s stint with the Red Sox coming to an end. Silverman’s notebook looks at Craig Hansen getting recalled from Pawtucket following the game, with Jermaine Van Buren being sent down. The Projo notebook has more on the J.T. Snow era coming to an end in Boston. Chimelis’ notebook, Ballou’s notebook and Los’ notebook have more on Snow.

Murray Chass in the New York Times his morning says that before Barry Bonds signed with the Giants in 1992, his agents proposed a 7 year, $50 million deal to the Red Sox. Lou Gorman, the Red Sox GM at the time talks about how close things got. (Not very) Interesting story, but again, we’ve got the Times writing about the Red Sox, their investment…


Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at Glen Wesley and the Carolina Hurricanes finally being able to hoist the Stanley Cup. Down in Hartford, Jeff Jacobs looks at the franchise formerly known as the Whalers winning it all – a concept still unbelievable to many. Burrell’s notebook looks at rookie Cam Ward winning the Conn Smythe Trophy postseason MVP trophy.

Stephen Harris reports that it appears unlikely that Mike Sullivan will be brought back as head coach of the Bruins. He also indicates that the club is preparing to make a run at Peter Laviolette, whose Hurricanes just won the Stanley Cup. Kevin Provencher looks at the L.A. Kings hiring former Bruins GM Mike O’Connell as a pro scout and player development consultant, who will likely remained based here on the East coast.

Steve Bulpett and Scott Souza look at former Duke and Chicago Bulls guard Jay Williams working out for the Celtics. Williams is attempting to come back from a horrific motorcycle accident three years ago which left him with a shattered pelvis and mangled leg. Shira Springer looks at the Dallas Mavericks needing to regroup after losing three straight to the Heat in Miami.

Jim McCabe talks to pros who are still stunned by Phil Mickelson’s collapse in the final hole of the U.S. Open.

NESN has Red Sox/Nationals at 7:00. ABC has Heat/Mavericks at 9:00.

Red Sox Sweep Braves

After getting swept by the Minnesota Twins last week, the Red Sox turned around and executed a sweep of their own, capping off the three game series against the struggling Atlanta Braves with a 10-7 win in front of a national audience on ESPN last night.

What a difference a weekend makes, eh? On Friday the Red Sox had lost four in a row, and had dropped to a second place tie with the Toronto Blue Jays, and Glenn Ordway was rejoicing, reminding everyone that Toronto was his team, that A.J. Burnett could put them over the top and that the Red Sox had no interest in winning this year, insisting again that they’re only concerned about the future and if they happen to do well this season, then that would’ve been a bonus. This morning the Red Sox are back in first place, a game ahead of the Yankees and three games ahead of Ordway’s binkies. Now the Braves have been terrible, but it’s just silly for anyone to proclaim the Red Sox done at this point. However, that is the WWE-like nature of the Big Show.

Chris Snow looks at a great eighth inning propelling the Red Sox to victory last night in Atlanta. Jeff Horrigan says it wasn’t pretty, but the Red Sox will take their first ever sweep of the Braves in Atlanta. Sean McAdam examines an emotional roller coaster act for the Red Sox which had a happy ending. David Heuschkel notes that it took a bullpen worse than their own to get the Red Sox the win last night. David Borges looks at a battle of Hall of Fame candidates with similar career paths turning into a was of ugly bullpens. Phil O’Neill notes that the game really only got started once Curt Schilling and John Smoltz exited.

David Borges talks with Bronson Arroyo, who is enjoying his stay and success with the Reds and reveling a little bit in the fact that the Red Sox “messed up” by trading him. Karen Guregian talks with Braves shortstop Edgar Renteria, who is enjoying a fine season with the Braves. He admits that he wasn’t comfortable in Boston last year and that the boos stung him. Gordon Edes looks at the Red Sox first round draft pick Jason Place, who is signed and should be beginning his pro career in rookie ball in a matter of days. Edes has a look a the struggling Boston bullpen, which again had problems last night. Rudy Seanez got the win despite giving up a three run homer which cost Curt Schilling the victory. Seanez picked up the victory himself as the Red Sox scored six runs the following inning. Guregian reports on Curt Schilling running out of gas after six inning last night in the Georgia heat.

Snow’s notebook has a profile of tonight’s starter, Kyle Snyder whose stay with the Red Sox could be very brief. Horrigan’s notebook has more on Snyder. McAdam’s notebook gives us some more information on Synder and mentions J.T. Snow as someone who could possible be but to make room on the roster. (Though he says it will likely be Jermaine Van Buren) Heuschkel’s notebook has still more on Synder. Borges’ notebook gives us a little more on the 6-8 right-hander claimed from the Royals. O’Neill’s notebook wraps up the coverage of the journeyman starter.

Jim McCabe and Bruce Berlet report on Geoff Ogilvy winning the US Open. Tony Massarotti and Bob Ryan look at the train wreck finish to the Open, which saw players such as Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie folding like the tents their shots were bouncing off down the stretch. McCabe has more on Colin Montgomerie at 43, perhaps missing out on perhaps his best chance at winning a major. Massarotti’s notebook looks at the challenging course resulting in the highest winning scores of any US Open since 1974. McCabe’s notebook looks at an early Sunday run from Jim Furyk falling short.

Shira Springer reports on the Heat taking a 3-2 series lead with a 101-100 OT win in game five of the NBA finals last night. Jackie MacMullan looks at Dwyane Wade adding another touch to his playoff masterpiece. MacMullan also looks at Alonzo Mourning, one win away from an NBA title and long way away from his Kidney transplant surgery. Springer’s notebook looks at how the Mavericks tried to replace the suspended Jerry Stackhouse’s offense in game five.

Mick Colageo says that the Hurricanes will win the Stanley Cup tonight and Peter Laviolette will again show the Bruins how they messed up by not promoting him to head coach when they had the chance. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has Sergei Samsonov enjoying his first extended postseason experience. Burrell’s notebook has the Hurricanes’ Doug Weight not optimistic about playing again in the series.

It was a very good weekend for the local sports pages. There were several top-notch articles which are certainly worth a re-visit here on Monday morning.

I approached Dan Shaughnessy’s much-hyped “Fandemonium” article determined to read it through with an open mind and without any prejudice against the author. (I honestly attempt to do that with all stories I read, but I openly admit that it has become increasingly difficult to do that recently with regards to Shaughnessy’s work.) This was a sequel to an article written 16 years ago by Shaughnessy and it was really interesting to see the shift in the local fandom. I think Shaughnessy did a good job with this latest piece in breaking down the fandom and state of each of the local franchises. He did his research in citing studies done of each of the fan bases and there were none of the trademark Shaughnessy cynicism or cheap shots in evidence. There were also no references to the curse in regards to the Red Sox. This might’ve been Dan’s best work in years and shows what he can do when he plays it straight and doesn’t rely on recycled themes and anecdotes. I might take issue with the “Red Sox are king…always have been and always will be” theme, as I think if the Red Sox had stunk since 2000 and the Patriots had done what they’ve done, the Patriots would be the darlings of the area. Overall however, the piece wasn’t bad.

Mike Reiss had a very nice examination of the team building philosophy adopted by Scott Pioli and the Patriots when they first took over the club in 2000 and how that process has continued. Eric McHugh had a good preview of training camp positional battles to look forward to next month when the Patriots start practice on July 28th. Albert Breer had a look at the Patriots rookie pass catchers getting a glimpse of the difference between the college and pro game at the recently completed minicamp. Michael Felger had a good piece on Troy Brown as the old man of the Patriots showed he still had the skills and fire at minicamp last week.

Tony Massarotti’s Covering All Bases looked at the Red Sox catching a break with the NL East on tap as their main Interleague competition this season. Phil O’Neill’s baseball notes looked at the likely All Stars for the Red Sox and had a look at Leigh Montville’s new book on Babe Ruth. Gordon Edes’ baseball notes examined how the Braves 14 year division title streak is likely to end this season and looked at the middle relief issues with the Red Sox.

Peter May looked at the 20th anniversary of the drafting and death of Len Bias, an event which still haunts the Celtics. Mark Murphy reported that Larry Bird might look to deal Jermaine O’Neal for the number one pick and the chance to draft Adam Morrison.

Kevin Paul Dupont in his hockey notes said that the Bruins would be open to offers for their number 5 overall pick in this month’s draft.

Over the weekend David Scott broke the news that Ed Berliner is out as host of CN8’s nightly “Sports Pulse” show. John Molori’s Media Blitz also has a report on the parting of ways for Berliner and CN8.

NESN has Red Sox/Nationals at 7:00. ESPN has Phillies/Yankees at 7:00. NBC has Hurricanes/Oilers at 8:00.

U.S. Open Championship Weekend

Weekend Update: David Scott reports that Ed Berliner, host of the nightly “Sports Pulse” is out at CN8.

It’s another great weekend for sports viewing, with a golf major, baseball, the NBA and NHL finals , World Cup soccer and NASCAR all on the schedule.

NBC has the 106th US Open Golf Championship starting Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 each day. The coverage is in High Definition and Johnny Miller is on the air with a fresh contract extension giving his biting analysis of the action.

A highlight of the weekend will also take place on Saturday afternoon when the USA takes on Italy in World Cup soccer action at 2:30 on ABC (Also in HD).

The Red Sox get into their main inter-league schedule, with three games in Atlanta against the equally struggling Braves. Saturday’s game will be on FOX, while Sunday’s game will be the featured Prime Time game on ESPN. (HD). Keep up with the Red Sox coverage on the Red Sox Daily Links page. (Please note the changed URL)

The NBA Finals are tied at 2-2 with game five slated for Sunday night. Dirk Nowitzki has gotten a lot of attention for finally getting his Mavericks into the finals, with some saying that the comparisons to Larry Bird are finally valid. Cedric Maxwell was way ahead of the curve on this one, as he said last March that he’d take Nowitzki over Bird.

News and Notes

  • The news that Comcast was giving NESN its own channel (851) on the HD tier was great news this week. NESN has made the commitment to producing as many programs in HD as possible and it was a shame that some of them were not available in the enhanced format. I believe that this move will also eliminate future conflicts with Celtics HD games next spring with FSN.
  • An emailer familiar with the goings on at Boston.com put forth a theory to me regarding the mysterious Bob Ryan column from earlier this week. The person suggested that the text of the column was somehow not available to the content management system or in PDF format and that it had to be re-typed by hand, which resulted in the plethora of errors. An interesting, and plausible theory.
  • FSN is adding two new shows – In Focus and The FSN Final Score – to its nightly programming lineup.

    In Focus features legendary broadcaster Dick Enberg and will look at television’s most compelling moments from the world of sports. In Focus debuts on Monday, June 26, and will run on FSN New England Monday through Thursday at 6 p.m.

    The FSN Final Score is a nightly 30-minute show featuring nothing but highlights. On The FSN Final Score, the highlights will be the star, not the hosts. The FSN Final Score premiers Monday, July 3, and will run on FSN New England Monday through Friday at midnight, Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. and Sundays at 9:30 p.m.

  • I added a couple of books to the left sidebar. The first one, Feeding the Monster is due out early next month, and promises a look inside the Red Sox front office like no other, as author Seth Mnookin was given unfettered access…even a key and office inside Fenway Park. I’m looking forward to this book’s release and giving it a review in this space.

    The second book isn’t due out until October, but you can place your order now for Moving the Chains : Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything. Charlie Pierce is the author of this book, which will likely be at the top of all Patriots’ fans reading lists this fall.

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A few local links of note:

Former Herald sports columnist Michael Gee has started blogging, and the early results are promising.

Jim Baker has a look at the coverage of the US Open Golf Championship, focusing on the NBC coverage lead by Johnny Miller, who just signed an extension with the network. NBC is broadcasting the tournament in HD, and having taken a peek at it yesterday, it’s looking good.

Andrew Neff talks with NESN Bruins host Eric Frede, who is glad to get away from the full time Red Sox coverage on the network and spend more time with his family.

Dan Kennedy has a quick note on more troubles for the New England media unit of the New York Times (The Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette.) which saw ad sales slip yet again.

On the heels of the just-completed Patriots minicamp, Mike Reiss has a Patriots mailbag posted on Boston.com. Tom King has a look at new Patriot Johnathan Sullivan, who is glad for a fresh start with the Patriots. Mark Farinella has Matt Cassel with his eyes on the #2 quarterback role behind Tom Brady.

Sports Media Columns From Around The Country

Bob Raissman, New York Daily News – Jeter can’t win with this crowd.

Neil Best, New York Newsday – Mad Dog’s book really bites.

Phil Mushnick, New York Post – Breaking News? Fix It.

Andrew Marchand, New York Post – Now Batting for SNY: Mookie.

Jim Williams, Washington Examiner – Rosenthal is FOX Sports

Sox Swept out of Minnesota

The Twins finished off a three game sweep of the Red Sox with a 5-3 win last night in Minnesota.

Dan Shaughnessy opens his game story trying to look at the positives for the Red Sox, which is admirable, given the current state of the club after getting swept by the Twins. Michael Silverman says that it is clear that the Red Sox are in the midst of a time honored tradition – the June swoon. Sean McAdam looks at the Sox getting swept in a three game series for the first time in over a year. David Heuschkel notes that the Twins bats seemed to find all the holes the last few nights, while the Red Sox couldn’t even get home runs to leave the park. Phill O’Neill looks at the Red Sox making Twins starter Carlos Silva, who hadn’t won in a month look like an ace.

Karen Guregian writes that the Red Sox offense deserves the blame for this recent slide by the club. Chris Snow looks at David Ortiz getting robbed of a monstrous homer last night by a speaker in the Metrodome. McAdam has a brief note about possible replacements on the market for Matt Clement. David Borges reports on the deal that got the Red Sox a lefty relief pitcher yesterday.

Shaughnessy’s notebook reports on the Red Sox acquiring reliever Javier Lopez from the White Sox in exchange for David Riske. Silverman’s notebook looks at what Lopez’s role will be with the club, which finds itself in need of both starting and relief pitching. McAdam’s notebook has more on Lopez, who is being counted on to be a lefty specialist. Heuschkel’s notebook makes the point that all this fuss over a lefty specialist could’ve been avoided if the Sox had re-signed Mike Myers, who has an 0.71 ERA with the Yankees. O’Neill’s notebook says that the move at least shows that the Red Sox are trying to address their bullpen issues.

Snow compiles a minor-league notebook, the focus of which is Single A second baseman Jeff Natale, who has put up some eye-popping averages and numbers in his short time in the minors. Rich Thompson’s minor league report checks in with PawSox starter Abe Alvarez. Kevin Gray looks at the buzz up in Manchester, where A.J. Burnett will make a rehab start for the Fisher Cats against the Portland Sea Dogs this weekend.

Corey Dillon was the center of attention yesterday during the final day of Patriots minicamp as the veteran running back pulled Michael Felger out of the media crowd and handed him a list to read before the gathered assembly. It was a list of Dillon’s career achievements. Dillon apparently feels that he isn’t given his due and is unfairly portrayed as washed up by the media. The session made life easy for the reporters on site, as they merely needed to keep up with him, and their notebooks would be full and their stories were practically written for them. Jerome Solomon says that Dillon was mostly be playful with the crowd, though there was a message underneath it all. Tom E Curran has more on Dillon’s session. Chris Kennedy also reports on Dillon’s session, where he has learned to make his points without causing too much stir. Rich Garvin says we found out that Dillon can talk yesterday, now in six weeks we’ll see if he can still run. Dan Pires says Dillon is still seeking respect, while Michael Parente says that if Dillon’s legs are as quick as his wit, he’ll be in good shape this year. Christopher Price notes that yesterday’s session was classic Corey Dillon theater: charming, polite and funny

Slammed. Again.

It was an ugly night for the Red Sox in Minnesota as the Twins thumped the Sox 8-1 in the Metrodome. Matt Clement again struggled and had to come out of the game due to an apparent injury.

Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox were simply outclassed by the Twins last night. Michael Silverman reports that the Clement will be going home to have the medical staff look at his arm. Chris Snow notes that a total lack of control by Red Sox pitching did them in last night. David Heuschkel adds that a total lack of offense doesn’t help either. Phil O’Neill notes that the loss slid the Sox out of first place and put them at 5-7 for June.

Lenny Megliola has a piece on Josh Papelbon, who begins his pro career with the Lowell Spinners this week. The younger Papelbon couldn’t be more different in pitching style than his older brother Jonathan. Dan Shaughnessy scratches out a piece on Matt Clement, whose struggles couldn’t come at a worse time for the Red Sox. Karen Guregian says that it is time to get some answers on just what is wrong with Clement. Guregian also talks to Julian Tavarez about his recent struggles and letting his teammates down. Buddy Thomas cautions Red Sox fans who are hoping the team makes a deal to acquire pitching help. Christopher Price talks to Jim Rice about being honored by the Sports Museum.

Snow’s notebook looks at Terry Francona’s decision to drop Coco Crisp from the leadoff spot and insert Kevin Youkilis there. Silverman’s notebook has more on the change at the top for the Sox. McAdam’s notebook also examines the switch at leadoff. Heuschkel’s notebook has Crisp taking the move with understanding, as he knows he’s been struggling at the plate since his return. O’Neill’s notebook also reports on the switch.

If I were Chris Snow, I’d say “Thank for nothing” for this piece from Dan Shaughnessy. Dan doesn’t even offer any congratulations in the column, which almost comes off as completely sarcastic towards Snow and the position. Out in Minnesota, Brian Murphy has a look at Snow’s hiring by the Wild. Edit: Earlier I had a comment about the Shaughnessy article not even having a quote from Snow. There is one in there. A rather generic one, which I don’t know if Dan got directly from Snow or not…but still a quote, I apologize for the mistake.

John Tomase looks at Tom Brady leading the team with his competitiveness, even in a June minicamp. Nick Cafardo looks at the first battle for the kicker spot on the Patriots in 10 years. Tom E Curran looks at Matt Cassel preparing to be Tom Brady’s top backup this season. David Brown also looks at Cassel seeking a move up the depth chart. Alan Greenberg has a good article on Laurence Maroney, who is being mentored willingly by Corey Dillon. Rich Garven has Johnathan Sullivan glad for a fresh start in the NFL with the Patriots.

Jerome Solomon has a good look at Troy Brown, who with Deion Branch out, has easily been the most impressive receiver in camp. Eric McHugh also talks to Brown, who downplays his role at this stage. Michael Felger focuses on Monty Beisel who has been working with the first unit in camp, and who the Patriots are counting on coming up big in his second year in the Patriots program. Jennifer Toland also has a piece on Beisel, who can count his 2005 season with the Patriots as a learning experience and be a better and bigger contributor in 2006. Michael Parente also focuses on Beisel, and notes that the Patriots have to hope that he can fill the gap inside so Rosevelt Colvin and Mike Vrabel can make up for Willie McGinest’s absence outside. Chris Kennedy looks at a number of young Patriots looking to step up into bigger roles this season. Ian Clark looks specifically at the rookies making an impression in camp.

The Globe notebook reports on Matt Cassel’s bid to be the #2 quarterback this season behind Tom Brady. Right now in camp there isn’t a whole lot of competition for the position. Tomase’s notebook reports that the Patriots turned down a deal with Denver that would’ve sent Daniel Graham to the Broncos for Ashley Lelie. Curran’s notebook has Tebucky Jones willing to do anything to help the Patriots, including special teams, where he was a standout early in his career. Parente’s notebook leads with more on Cassel. McHugh’s notebook has Sullivan as a man of few words and Brown being coy on Ty Law.

It’s been amusing to compare and contrast the observations of the various media people at Patriots minicamp this week, mostly in their blog entries. To wit:

On newcomer Johnathan Sullivan’s weight:

Michael Felger on Wednesday, after saying Sullivan looked “fat”:

How much does Sullivan weigh now? No way of knowing, but yesterday it looked closer to 350 than 320. The biggest joke of the day came when the rosters were handed out to the media, and Sullivan was listed at 315 pounds. No way. Seymour, Warren and Marquise Hill are sleek, athletic-looking defensive linemen, with none weighing more than 310 pounds. Next to those players, Sullivan looked out of place.

Tom Curran, same day:

Conditioning has been an issue for Sullivan but he didn't seem sloppy yesterday. In fact, he carried his 315 pounds rather well.

On Corey Dillon.

John Tomase Tuesday:

Corey Dillon looks big. There

Thoughts from Snow

Here are some of the thoughts from Chris Snow on covering the Red Sox, his love of hockey, and what he’ll miss from the newspaper business:

(On what it has been like covering the Red Sox for the last year and a half.)

Covering the Red Sox has been a tremendous platform as a writer. I feel I can say with confidence that there is no better environment in which to write game stories and notebooks than Fenway park. It’s vibrant, it’s electric, it’s filled with knowledgeable and caring people. The game of baseball, unquestionably, is the best to cover as a writer for several reasons – each game can be broken down into hundreds of individual moments (each pitch), you have these amazing one-on-one battles, and you’re outdoors. The elements you have to work with as a writer are limitless.

(On what would make him leave such an ideal job.)

So, why leave? Well, when I was about 8 my dad took me to my first Bruins’ game. He and a group of friends shared season tickets in Section G, Row 1, Seats 1-3 at the Garden. Those seats were right next to the goal judge, behind the net. I can remember being about 9 or 10 and sitting there for Game 7 against Buffalo. To me, there was no better place in the world.

I carried that love of hockey to Minnesota covering the Wild from August 2003 until December 2004. While in St. Paul I met people in the front office and on the coaching staff who were passionate, about the game and about life, and I identified with that. The chance to be able to work inside the sport, to contribute to a team environment, and to go to the rink each morning, was too great to pass up.

(On what he’ll miss after taking over his new position with the Wild.)

Will I miss writing? Absolutely. I love it. I’ll miss the feedback, good and bad. I’ll miss the dialogue between reader and writer. I’ll miss the people at the Globe who gave me opportunity, as an intern and a staff writer, when it would have been easy for them to write me off as too young and too inexperienced. Leaving those people made this a decision that tore me up inside over the last couple weeks. I just hope those relationships endure.

Chris Snow’s New Job

Here’s the release from the Minnesota Wild:

MINNESOTA WILD ANNOUNCES HIRING OF CHRIS SNOW AS DIRECTOR OF HOCKEY OPERATIONS

SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.