Bombed in the Bronx

It was a long and ugly night on national TV for the Red Sox as Josh Beckett and company were bombed in the Bronx, 13-5 by the depleted New York Yankees.

Jeff Horrigan wonders if the Red Sox aren’t questioning their decision to trade top prospects Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez for Beckett, who melted down again last night. Steven Krasner wonders what’s wrong with Beckett. Chris Snow has a disgusted Josh Beckett talking about his brief outing and causing the Red Sox bullpen to be drained. David Heuschkel notes Beckett’s disbelief in his performance last night, in the park where he had celebrated the greatest moment of his career. David Borges notes that the Yankees seemed to have solved Beckett pretty well last night, as the Red Sox and Yankees once again flip-flopped in the standings. Bill Ballou, like many others, wonders if there is something physically wrong with Beckett.

Jackie MacMullan writes that this outing was stunning and unexpected from Beckett, thought he continues to struggle mightily on the road. Tony Massarotti believes that the Red Sox are nothing more than paper tigers who can’t beat anyone good. Gordon Edes observes that this was no instant classic in the Bronx, but the Sox will get another chance tonight. Steve Buckley says that the pressure is on young David Pauley tonight in the Bronx, perhaps not a wise decision for the Red Sox.

Michael Silverman reports on David Pauley, who will made his first visit to Yankee stadium yesterday and will make the second start of his big league career there tonight. Horrigan reports on Mike Timlin, who hopes to rejoin the Red Sox perhaps this weekend and strengthen up the bullpen a little. Steve Buckley has a look at Jermaine Van Buren, who also had a rough outing last night, giving up five runs in just an inning and a third.

Dom Amore says the Yankees are doing things a bit differently than they have in the past, but with just as much success.Nick Cafardo looks at the Yankees second string players coming up big as of late, not just last night. Massarotti looks at Joe Torre and the Yankees passing their injury tests with flying colors. Silverman has a report on Mike Mussina, who stayed patient and got the job done for the Yankees last night. Krasner looks at Derek Jeter missing the game with a right thumb injury. Amore’s notebook has more on Jeter’s thumb.

Get the New York perspective on the game over on the New York Sports Pages.

Snow’s notebook has David Pauley getting ready for his second major league start, tonight in New York. Horrigan’s notebook has the Red Sox being coy about Jon Lester’s status for Saturday, and also has Jerry Remy crawling out of his sick bed to report to work last night. Krasner’s notebook has Pauley playing tourist last night in Yankee Stadium. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Pauley getting ready for tonight. Borges’ notebook also notes that all signs point to Jon Lester getting the start on Saturday, but with no official confirmation. Ballou’s notebook has Pauley taking a history lesson in Monument Park.

The Patriots yesterday traded underachieving potential for underachieving potential as they swapped wide receiver/kick returner Bethel Johnson to the Saints for defensive lineman Jonathan Sullivan. Albert Breer compares it to swapping trash bags and hoping there is treasure inside the other one. Jerome Solomon and Mike Reiss have Johnson reflecting on his time in New England and excited about the possibilities with New Orleans. Michael Felger, who broke the news of the trade yesterday, has analysis on it today. Tom E Curran says it is a matter of two teams swapping headaches. Michael Parente also has a report on the transaction, which is still pending league approval.

Jim McCabe looks at Michelle Wie missing the cut yesterday while attempting to qualify for the men’s US Open. Gerry Callahan says that Wie’s father is pushing her too far, too fast.

John Molori’s Media Blitz has a look at Ted Sarandis’ run for the Governor’s Council.

NESN has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00.

Patriots Trade Bethel

According to Michael Felger on the Boston Herald Website and ESPN 890, the Patriots have traded wide receiver Bethel Johnson.

I love how this afternoon when they’ve talked about the trade, Ordway and the boys at WEEI have said each time without fail that the “Herald is reporting” and they have not once mentioned Michael Felger by name. Seems almost a little childish that they won’t credit Felger for his newspaper reporting because he joined a rival radio station and is now going head-to-head with them. I don’t see how they can feel threatened at this point by Felger and ESPN Boston, yet they refuse to acknowledge Felger’s work by name. Of course, now that I’ve written this, they’ll probably mention him by name to try and prove a point, but if they do I’ll count it as a small victory…

The Patriots today traded disappointing fourth-year receiver Bethel Johnson to the New Orleans Saints for veteran defensive lineman Johnathan Sullivan, the No. 6 overall pick in 2003, according to sources.

Paul Perillo and Andy Hart also have a report on Patriots.com regarding the transaction.

I’m sure there will be more forthcoming on this deal from Mike Reiss. (Reiss has an update now with quotes from Johnson earlier this offseason) You can also look for updates on various blogs and websites on the Patriots Daily Links page.

A media link of interest in yesterday’s NT Times sports magazine Play. Bryan Curtis looks at the influence and power of ESPN on the sports media scene.

Tigers Tamed, Yankees on deck

The Red Sox took two out of three over the weekend against Detroit, capped by yesterday’s 8-3 win over the Timers.

Gordon Edes recaps the victory, noting that Matt Clement might’ve temporarily quieted the debate over whether he should be allowed to “retain membership in the human race” – a little shot at sports radio – with his performance against the team with the best record in baseball. Edes also works in a little Yankees preview, with the Sox headed into the Bronx tonight. Jeff Horrigan has the Red Sox staying focused and not looking ahead to the Yankees in beating the Tigers yesterday. Steven Krasner has good old fashioned hard work receiving the lion’s share of credit for Clement’s ability to bounce back after a number of rough starts and get the win against Detroit yesterday. Jeff Goldberg says Clement worked extensively on his delivery last week and the results were on display against the Tigers. David Borges recaps the win for the Red Sox, which allows Boston to sit a half game ahead of the Yankees going into tonight’s game. Bill Ballou notes that four home runs helped pave the way for Clement and the Red Sox yesterday afternoon.

Amalie Benjamin looks at Clement making some adjustments to his delivery and trusting Jason Varitek to know when it was time to call it an afternoon. John Tomase has Clement changing up his preparation for this start, and having the results speak for themselves. Horrigan has Kevin Youkilis expecting to be in the lineup tonight after having to leave yesterday’s game after being hit in the forearm by a pitch. In the Boston Sports Review magazine for June, Alex Speier has a look Mike Lowell, who has landed on his feet here in Boston after an awful 2005. Lowell’s play thus far has the “experts” who proclaimed him done a week into spring training this year looking like fools.

Michael Silverman says that Red Sox fans need to face up to the fact that the Yankees are better than the Red Sox, despite what the standings might say. He cites the Yankees lineup and pitching statistics as superior to Boston’s, and the evidence. that the Yankees play better against better teams. Tomase has Curt Schilling lauding Joe Torre for the work he’s done with this year’s Yankee team, as well as over the years. David Borges has Mike Lowell fondly recalling his brief stint as a Yankee when he was called up at the end of the 1998 season. There are also preview articles in the New York Sports Pages as well as the Yankees prepare to welcome the Sox tonight.

A few MLB draft articles from the weekend, Alex Speier looks at the Red Sox having an abundance of picks in a draft that isn’t considered all that strong. Steve Buckley has Rudy Seanez remembering back 20 years to when he was drafted. Rob Bradford (link already expired – thanks E-T.) looks at the stress that the draft places on interested parents, and talks to the parents of Tom Brady and Josh Beckett about their experiences with the baseball draft. (Brady of course was drafted as a catcher by the Montreal Expos, but chose to go play football at Michigan instead. ) Mike Fine has Theo Epstein contrasting this draft to his first in 2003, and also looks at the top picks of the Epstein era.

Edes’ notebook reports that the signs continue to point to Jon Lester making his major league debut this coming Saturday in a doubleheader with the Texas Rangers. Horrigan’s notebook has Varitek’s bat starting to show signs of life after a rough start to the season. Krasner’s notebook looks ahead to the Yankees, and also provides updates on a number of Red Sox injuries. Borges’ notebook has more on Youkilis, who plans on playing tonight after getting hit in the forearm by a Tiger pitch yesterday. Ballou’s notebook has David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez approaching a pair of Red Sox Hall of Famers in the record books.

Hard to believe, but this week it will be 20 years since the Boston Celtics were last NBA champions. The Herald has a few articles commemorating the anniversary of that last title team. Mark Murphy says that “1986 was one last gasp of brilliance before the NBA moved from an age dominated by great teams to one of individual stars. ” Murphy also has a Where Are They Now article on the roster and talks to Bill Walton about being a part of that team for the ages. That era ended much too soon, as Murphy also has a piece about the swift downfall of the franchise not too much later. Kevin Henkin says that it is time for the Celtics roster to grow up, while Mike Fine has a look at the Celtics putting top NBA Draft prospects through the paces in recent workouts. Peter May has a look at the rejuvenation of the Dallas Mavericks, who not long ago were considered one of the worst franchises in sports.

Mick Colageo says it will be a long hard road to Stanley Cup contention for the Bruins. Steve Conroy looks at some local flavor in the NHL draft. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has Sergei Samsonov enjoying his time with the Oilers, who will be playing for that Stanley Cup starting tonight. Alex Beam wonders whatever happened to the game of hockey.

Christopher Price has a look at Patriots first round pick Laurence Maroney for Boston Sports Review.

NESN has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00 (ESPN Nationally) OLN has game one of the Stanley Cup Finals with Edmonton taking on Carolina at 8:00.

Massarotti Says No to Bandwagon Fans

Some quick links this morning as I continue the struggle against the 15 hour time difference. Who knew it could last this long and I’d still be unable to get to sleep until 4:00 AM four days later?

David Scott has his weekly edition of Scott’s Shots, where he ponders the possible end of the Bill Simmons era at ESPN, and has a number of worthwhile links and thoughts.

Jim Baker previews the sports weekend with the Red Sox taking on the Tigers and the NHL and NBA playoffs continuing. Susan Bickelhaupt lauds Mike Lynch for WCVB’s weekly “High 5″ segment. Andrew Neff looks at the AP Sports awards for Maine, with sports radio station WZON winning five awards. Last week Neff reported that Gary Tanguay has gotten a second movie role.

A few Red Sox Links…Tony Massarotti lashes out against the bandwagon fans that have come aboard in the last 3-4 years. He says they’re taking all the tickets and ruining the experience for the “real” fans. While I might agree with the overall theme, it seems a bit ironic that Massarotti and a lot of other media people used those same bandwagon fans to sell books to after the World Series championship. Tony doesn’t have to worry about getting tickets to the games for himself. It was also amusing to read Tony write that “the masochists” were claiming that interest in the Red Sox would cool off after they finally won a title. Actually it was many of Tony’s colleagues in the media that were writing and saying that. Lastly, is this really a front page story? Bill Ballou looks at Mike Lowell giving early chase to Earl Webb’s MLB doubles record of 67 in a season. Lowell has 23 doubles in 51 games, projecting to 73 in the course of a full season. David Borges looks back to a “lucky” incident in spring training which might’ve changed the course of the early season for Jonathan Papelbon and the Red Sox. Bob Ryan says it would’ve been fun to have Roger Clemens back here, and revisits some of his own quotes from when Clemens first arrived in Boston back in 1984.

Kevin Paul Dupont and Mike Loftus look at the job facing new Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.

Mark Murphy looks at the Celtics workout of 19 year old Spanish point guard Sergio Rodriguez. The Boston Globe has Wally Szczerbiak recovering from surgery and planning on coming back strong next season for the Celtics.

Christopher Price says that the New England Patriots and Detroit Pistons are cut from the same cloth.

Red Sox Avoid The Sweep

…and I’m back…

After a whirlwind month, I’m finally back in New England and ready to get back into the swing of things around here. The wedding and trip was fantastic, and it was really good to just get away from things for awhile. I haven’t ever really done that. I kept up with the Red Sox, mostly by scores in the Australian papers, (no box scores, just scores) and the occasional trip to RedSox.com on the computer of whichever hotel I was at that day. It was kind of nice to just see the scores each day and know that the team was doing pretty well. I wondered occasionally what faux controversy was being aired on the Boston airwaves and who was being ripped mercilessly. Those thoughts would last about 3 seconds before I would happily move onto some other more pleasant thought. It reminded me of growing up when following my team was as simple as finding out whether they won or lost the night before. I remember following the entire 1984 Celtics champion run by reading the AP stories in the Union Leader at my grandmother’s house next door. There were no miserable talk radio hosts trying to suck the joy out of the season. It was just keeping up with the team, and gladly taking any small bits of information I could get.

Seems quite a bit happened while I was gone. The Red Sox ditched Greater Media Boston at the altar and went back to Entercom, although the games will be on WRKO starting next spring. The Patriots had rookie mini-camp and Doug Flutie called it a career. The Bruins hired a GM, and there were a couple rounds of Red Sox/Yankees battles. Most recently, Roger Clemens decided to go back to the Astros. Some of all of that I’m glad I wasn’t around for. I was in danger of getting burned out on the Red Sox “coverage” before the month of June.

Getting to the links, the Red Sox managed to take the last game of their latest three game set with the Blue Jays, 8-6 behind four home runs and four very young pitchers (plus Keith Foulke). Chris Snow notes also the defensive wizardry of Alex Gonzalez as a key to the victory, as the Red Sox shortstop helped turn four double plays last night. Jeff Horrigan writes that the high-wire act performed by Pauley and the Red Sox was tough to watch at times last night. Steven Krasner has more on the offense, defense and relief pitching coming through for the Red Sox. David Heuschkel notes that the Red Sox had to shake off more injuries to overcome the Blue Jays last night. David Borges reports on David Pauley and the Red Sox keeping their composure last night to hold on and win. Bill Ballou has more on the Red Sox managing to hold on win when they have to.

Tony Massarotti observes that it was the little things that enabled the Red Sox to escape the sweep last night from the Jays. Nick Cafardo looks at the start from young David Pauley, who hopes to get another start next week against the Yankees. Horrigan reports on the upcoming wrist surgery that will sideline Wily Mo Pe