Rodney Speaks

John Molori’s Media Blitz has Gary Tanguay expressing the belief that his WBCN Patriots pregame show can take listeners away from the new WEEI NFL Sunday show. Tanguay and company also tell proudly how they are not waving Patriots “pom-poms”, nor are they team ‘ball-washers”. Here’s a little tip though, guys. When a team goes out and dominates like the Patriots did on Saturday night, and you’re on the air going out of your way trying to find things to criticize so that you won’t be a “ball-washer”, you just sound like an idiot…Being objective is great, but for so many media types, it means being “critical”. They’re not the same thing. Molori’s column also touches on a number of other items, including media treatment of Manny Ramirez.

Rodney Harrison spoke with reporters yesterday for the first time about getting back out on the playing field in game action on Saturday night against the Redskins. Dan Pires has Harrison saying that he’s feeling really good, which can’t be good news to the teams on the Patriots schedule this season. Shalise Manza Young has Harrison finding a positive in his time off this past year – he was able to allow his body time to recover and settle. Mike Reiss has Harrison shaking off any tentativeness he might’ve felt when he first stepped on the field, and realizing that his knee could stand up to a little twist in the pile. Michael Felger says that Harrison’s return really boosts the Patriots defense, making it tougher and more solid. Michael Parente has Harrison ready to take the field on opening day for the Patriots. Albert Breer has Harrison and Dan Koppen grateful for a return to the daily grind of the NFL.

Rich Garven says that receiver Kelvin Kight is putting himself into a position to be considered for a roster spot on the Patriots. Alan Greenberg has a look at Patrick Cobbs, who has certainly opened eyes with his performance in the preseason, overcoming the odds and making it tough for the Patriots to cut him. Chris Kennedy also has a look at Cobbs, but doubts that he makes the final roster. Young has Mike Vrabel saying that a trip to China next summer would be “terrible” for the Patriots preparation for the season. Eric McHugh notes that the Patriots have been near-perfect in the the last two preseason games. Christopher Price looks at the job Ben Watson has done in stepping up in the absence of Deion Branch.

Felger’s notebook says that the trade market from Deion Branch might’ve shrunk a bit yesterday with the trade of Dante Stallworth to the Eagles. Reiss’ notebook has the Patriots’ starters looking at a light load Thursday night against the Giants. Young’s notebook has more on Cobbs making a case for himself, a subject also explored in McHugh’s notebook. The impending cuts can cause some tension among those on the bubble. Parente’s notebook has more on this topic. Garven’s notebook has more on Harrison talking about his return to the field.

Sox Fall Again

The Red Sox fell once again out west, getting thumped by the A’s 9-0 out in Oakland. This is beyond painful.

Gordon Edes has the sad tale from Oakland where the Sox played without David Ortiz, who was sent home for more tests on what could be an irregular heartbeat. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox fielding a lineup that would’ve been unacceptable even in spring training. David Heuschkel notes that once you thought things just couldn’t get any worse for the Red Sox, they did.

Tony Massarotti reports on the Sox taking no chances with Ortiz and sending him back home for tests on his irregular heartbeat. Nick Cafardo says there’s nothing manager Terry Francona can do to turn things around for his club, as things have just gotten so far out of control. Bill Reynolds also looks at Francona, as the manager just has no answers for all that is happening to his team right now.

Massarotti also writes that not having the leadership of Jason Varitek and even Johnny Damon has really hurt the Red Sox while all the pieces have been coming apart. Steven Krasner’s Inside the Game looks at the effect the the Oakland Raiders football field has on the baseball diamond in the Coliseum. Rob Bradford knows things have been just awful in August, but he tries to be positive about things anyway. Not an easy task. Joe Haggerty has more on the Sox coming undone in the August heat.

You can check out the coverage from the Oakland/San Francisco area on the Bay Area Sports Pages.

Edes’ notebook examines how Francona went about putting his patchwork lineup together last night. Horrigan’s notebook has Carlos Pena living a dream and finally suiting up for the Red Sox. Krasner’s notebook has more on Ortiz’s absence from the lineup, but only calls it the flu. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Pena’s debut with the Sox.

Fluto Shinzawa has Zdeno Chara stepping up and taking charge at a workout with his new Bruins teammates. Chara will wear number 33 for the Bruins this season.

NESN has Red Sox/A’s at 10:00.