Ramping Back Up into Action

We’ll start off today’s post with a look at some of the ratings from the weekend. The postseason baseball numbers continue to fall below the national numbers…which are also being viewed as disappointing for the FOX network. Nationally, Sunday night’s game between the Mets and Cardinals posted a 6.4/10.

NASCAR continues to post respectable numbers in comparison to the competition, especially as the sport doesn’t get the attention that baseball or football receive. Nationally, the overnights for the Saturday night race were 4.1/7…so the locals numbers weren’t all that far off from the national figure. I’m sure ratings are much, much higher in the really big NASCAR markets.

Sports Final and Sports Xtra fought to a draw on Sunday night.

Note: I’ve not included the Bruins and other NESN/ESPN/Cable programming because they are measured on a separate report which I have not been able to get regular access to.

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Mike Reiss has a profile on Patriots lineman Ty Warren, who has really stepped up in his fourth season with the team, becoming one of the ironmen of the club, and arguably their best defender this season. Albert Breer has a look at Dan Koppen, who is glad to have his contract situation sorted out. Michael Parente has more on the Patriots center, who has been in the Boston area since coming to Boston College as a freshman.

The biggest non-story today for the Patriots will be the trading deadline. Media rumors have the Patriots possibly interested in Randy Moss. I just don’t see anything coming of that. John Tomase talked to Moss’ former teammate Doug Gabriel, who has nothing but great things to say about the enigmatic Moss. Shalise Manza Young also explores the topic of Moss, and has Gabriel praising him up and down. Dan Pires has more on Moss and the possibility of his coming here in a trade.

A NESN report yesterday has the Patriots tearing up the Gillette Stadium surface and replacing with a synthetic surface. Tomase has a look at FieldTurf which is the surface of choice for many modern stadiums.

Coming off the bye week, Rich Garven says the should have their aim focused on earning another bye week…for the first round of the playoffs. Alan Greenberg says that the Patriots are a good, “but hardly great” team and that the next six weeks will say a lot about them. He says that their chemistry and ability to act like a team regardless of the circumstances, might be their best weapon. Mark Farinella has a look at the Patriots getting ready to face Buffalo for the second time this season, and how preparation for a team is different when you’ve already faced them once. Christopher Price notes that it is back to business for the Patriots and examines their record post-bye week in the Belichick era.

Reiss’ notebook reports that Russ Hochstein injured his knee in practice last week, which could limit the Patriots flexibility on the offensive line. He also reports again that the Raiders and Patriots had not talked as of last night regarding Randy Moss or Jerry Porter. Tomase’s notebook has Jabar Gaffney getting comfortable with his new team and system. Young’s notebook looks at some of the fine tuning the Patriots were able to do during the bye week. Parente’s notebook has more on the Moss situation, and also as an injury update.

The BSMW Full Court Press kicks into gear with a preseason roundtable discussion among the panel. Steve Bulpett looks at Michael Olowokandi, who has impressed the Celtics in the early going with his renewed enthusiasm for the game, and while he seemed to be a long shot coming into camp, it now appears that if he keeps going the way he has been, he’s going to make the team. Scott Souza has Luke Jackson hoping to earn himself a larger role with the Celtics. Peter May reports on the never-ending legal saga of Tony Allen, as the case has gotten dragged out once again. Bulpett’s notebook has Doc Rivers scrambling to find a rotation for tonight’s game against the Knicks, as he’s got a lot of players sidelined from various ailments. You can get these links as well as a preview of the Celtics small forwards on the FSN Nothing But Net blog.

The Red Sox named their pitching coach yesterday, as John Farrell will be coming over from the Indians front office to lead the Sox hurlers next season. Sean McAdam has a look at Ferrell, who cited his fire to compete as a reason for leaving the front office and going back to a uniformed position. Nick Cafardo has Ferrell saying that his friendship with Terry Francona was another big factor in his decision to come here. Michael Silverman says Ferrell will be charged with getting the most out of the Red Sox stable of young arms. Jeff Goldberg notes that Ferrell had a big part in rebuilding the Indians talent base. Jon Couture has Theo Epstein saying that Ferrell can do a lot in the game of baseball. David Borges and Alex Speier also have articles on the appointment of Ferrell.

Rob Bradford reports that the Red Sox and Yankees will be engaged in a duel for Japanese pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka when his rights come up for bid next month. Lenny Megliola recalls Morgan Magic as Walpole Joe Morgan will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame on November 9th. Stan Grossfeld has a feature on David Ortiz playing some whiffle ball for charity. Bob Ryan looks at how Major League Managers need a perfect fit as well as a lot of luck in order to succeed.

Few things were more predictable than the WEEI crew rallying to the support of Steve Lyons yesterday. Listeners were treated to wall-to-wall discussion of the firing, which on the surface is pretty curious. Obviously there is more to this situation. The discussion was at times uncomfortable yesterday as several of the hosts treaded on grounds that they’re pretty shaky on to begin with. Glenn Ordway was even giving out the email addresses of Fox Executives over the air yesterday, asking listeners to voice their support to Lyons. Today Gerry Callahan goes on the attack against FOX, calling them frauds and says that the network was out to ruin a good man and a good baseball analyst. I don’t know how good of a person Lyons is, but in my mind, he wasn’t a very good analyst…

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Karen Guregian look at Bruins coach Dave Lewis drilling the concept of teamwork into his squad yesterday at practice. Mike Loftus says that the Bruins have plenty of work to do to get where they want to be. Guregian’s notebook has Lewis shuffling up some of his lines trying to provide a spark.