Shifting Standards or Media Creation?

The philosophy has changed!!!

By now, you’ve surely heard the outcry from those who claim that the Patriots have changed their standards on player character. Moral arbiters such as Dan Shaughnessy and John Dennis are coming out strong in their sanctimonious outrage over the selection of Brandon Meriweather in the first round on Saturday and the trade for Randy Moss on Sunday. (Sanctimonious is the word that Shaughnessy used this morning to describe the Patriots standards.)

These critics are saying that the Patriots have set aside their standards, that they can no longer stand on the “moral high ground” that they’ve claimed in the past and that this a major shift in their emphasis on only bringing in “character guys.” Shaughnessy goes so far as to say that public perception of the Patriots has forever changed.

It seems that what people will stretch to make the point of a story gets further and further from the truth each time. Do the Patriots value character? Absolutely!

But have you ever heard Bill Belichick or Scott Pioli make an especially big deal about the philosophy on character? Other when praising a specific player? I don’t think so.

How long a list can you make of players with supposed character issues who were brought here the last few years? A dozen?

While the Patriots do indeed put an emphasis on having a lot of “character guys,” the idea that they only target these types of players is just another media creation.

Do Meriweather and Moss come here with “baggage?” Sure seems that way. However, it didn’t prevent the Patriots from adding them to the roster.

Let’s go back three years to April 2004 when the Patriots traded for Corey Dillon. Note the reaction back then to the move. It was being said that the Dillon trade “signals a sharp change in the way Scott Pioli and Bill Belichick do business.” Agent Brad Blank said the “Patriots misled him and all of New England by promoting that they go for strictly ‘character guys.’” Gerry Callahan was ripping the Patriots from pillar to post over the move.

So isn’t all the outrage and talk about shifting standards just recycled material? Sure seems that way. Interestingly, Ron Borges was on-board with the Dillon trade. Note what he says in closing:

Dillon will be arguably the most talented running back to wear New England's colors. With the draft still five days away, it is already a success because you cannot draft a proven commodity like Corey Dillon with any pick.

Replace Dillon’s name with Moss’ and “running back” with “wide receiver” and you have an interesting statement.

But to the current situation, at least today Michael Felger admits that he is a hypocrite:

Bottom line question: Have Moss and Meriweather brought the Pats one step closer to the Super Bowl? Unequivocally. And if you aren’t looking forward to watching Brady throw the ball up to Moss in the end zone, you don’t have a pulse. For those of us who’ve been calling for the Pats to be more aggressive and add more front-line talent, it’s a little hypocritical to be complaining now. We asked for it.

One last bit from Shaughnessy:

But the public perception of the Patriots -- something very dear to Kraft -- is forever changed. His football men successfully bounced the Red Sox-Yankees off the landscape for a couple of days (which Kraft is obsessed with)

What a laugh I got out of that. The Red Sox are infamous for the perception that they’ll do anything they can to overshadow the Patriots. If anyone is obsessed with this concept, it’s the Red Sox.

Rolling Pats Gather Moss

It was one of those rumors you’ve been hearing for a couple of years, but never thought would actually happen. But here it is, the last day of April, 2007 and Randy Moss is a member of the New England Patriots.

Mike Reiss looks at the Patriots newest weapon, along with some of the baggage he brings with him. John Tomase says Tom Brady has got to be smiling today with this move. Shalise Manza Young notes that Bill Belichick said he learned more about Moss from Doug Gabriel than anyone else, meaning that Gabriel’s brief stay with the Patriots wasn’t without some merit. Tommy Hine says that the Draft was really only a formality for the Patriots this weekend, as the trade for Moss made the most noise. Mark Farinella has the trade for Moss overshadowing the whole draft. Chris Kennedy has more on the trade for the inimitable Moss.

I can think of really only one word to sum up Dan Shaughnessy‘s column today. Predictable. Meanwhile, Michael Felger/ says that while the NFL is finally taken steps to “distance itself from the thug culture and questionable attitudes ,” the Patriots are now embracing those qualities this weekend by adding Moss and and first round pick Brandon Meriweather. Jim Donaldson says that the Patriots are building their own evil empire. A column with no by-line in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette (Rich Garven?) says that the Patriots have officially lost the ideal that character matters to this franchise.

Albert Breer says that the definition of a Patriots-type player is simple: One that will help them win. Ian M. Clark says that the move for Moss has the chance to be a steal. Karen Guregian has Moss pledging allegiance to the Patriot way. Jennifer Toland has Moss giving the Patriots that deep threat they’ve always needed. Dan Pires says that the Patriots made this a weekend of giving second chances.

Tomase has former teammate Jermaine Wiggins saying that Moss will find new life and a fresh start in New England. Breer talks to Jim Donnan, who has known Moss since he recruited him out of high school for Marshall, and says he isn’t a bad person. Christopher Price says that Moss “immediately restores a tremendous level of credibility to the Patriots’ passing game.” Farinella has Moss ready for rebirth in Foxboro.

David Brown has a good look at first round pick Brandon Meriweather, which includes his high school coach talking about his character and how the people in his home town feel about him.

We’ve got a 2007 Draft Wrapup on the BSMW Game Day page. Chad Finn offers up his Moss and draft thoughts. Some guy named Rog Bornes, who describes himself as a writer who is currently “between assignments” at a major metropolitan newspaper also feels the need to weigh on the draft weekend activity.

Christopher L. Gasper analyzes the Patriots second day draftees, led by Miami defensive tackle Kareem Brown. Robert Lee has more on the fourth round selection of Brown. Craig Larson has a look at Zak DeOssie landing with the Giants, and a few other New England college players finding NFL homes as well. Rich Thompson has more on the younger DeOssie landing with the same team that his father won a Super Bowl with in January 1991.

Here is where you can check reaction to the trade from the Bay Area media.

Reiss’ notebook has Bob Kraft signing off on the Patriots moves to bring in a couple of players with some character issues, saying that the team has done their homework. Guregian’s notebook has the Patriots getting defensive with their second pick, Miami’s Kareem Brown. Pires’ notebook has the Patriots hoping to have picked up some depth on the second day of the draft. Garven’s notebook has more on the Patriots picks from day two.

Red Sox

The Patriots managed to steal the spotlight off of a Red Sox/Yankees series, something that Shaughnessy is obsessed with. Boston took two out of three from New York this weekend, including a 7-4 win at the Stadium yesterday.

Gordon Edes has the Red Sox making an early season statement by taking 5 of 6 from the Yankees this weekend and last. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox hitting three home runs off the Yankee to power Boston to the win. Dom Amore has the Red Sox winning a big swing game. Bill Ballou has the Red Sox finishing up another hot April. Joe Haggerty has more on the Red Sox taking the weekend series from the Yankees.

Check the game stories from the Bronx on the New York Sports Pages.

Bob Ryan says that despite his own protests, Alex Cora is making a case for there to be a second base controversy with his strong play. Jeff Jacobs has Alex Cora and the Red Sox really hitting on all cylinders right now. Michael Silverman has more on Cora making a case for himself at second. Steven Krasner also looks at the strong play of Cora at second.

Steven Krasner says that Hideki Okajima could be the Red Sox MVP for the first month of the season. Jeff Goldberg has Hideki Matsui talking about his former Japanese teammate and the success he is having thus far here in America. Amalie Benjamin looks at Okajima shutting down the Yankees once again. Bradford focuses on Okajima’s delivery, which has him staring at the ground, or even behind him as he releases the ball.

Rob Bradford has Manny Ramirez ending a frustrating April on a high note. Silverman has Julian Tavarez picking up the win, but knowing and accepting that his days as a starter are numbered.

Nick Cafardo has the Yankees trying to figure out how to cure what ails them. Steve Buckley has Joe Torre on the hot seat in New York.

Adam Smartschan has a professor of journalism at Northeastern University examine Curt Schilling’s blast against the media on his blog from last week.

Edes notebook has a few members of the Red Sox reacting to the death of former Boston farmhand Josh Hancock in a car accident Saturday night. Horrigan’s notebook has more on the Sox remembering Hancock. Krasner’s notebook has the Red Sox getting themselves into some odd double-plays last night. Goldberg’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis taking the death of Hancock hard. Ballou’s notebook has Big Papi again feeling very comfortable in the Bronx.

Celtics

Peter May notes that today the Celtics can finally start talking openly about some of the players in the draft. Steve Bulpett has Celtics players talking about what they need to work on most this offseason.

Patriots Acquire Randy Moss

In a move that is sure to dominate the WEEI airwaves for much of the rest of the year, the Patriots today shipped a fourth round draft pick to the Oakland Raiders for wide receiver Randy Moss.

This pick was the one that they acquired from the San Francisco 49ers yesterday in addition to the Niners 2008 first round pick in exchange for the Patriots first round pick at #28 yesterday.

So in effect, the Patriots traded the #28 pick for Randy Moss and the 49ers first round pick next season.

Taking it a step further, perhaps they would not have made the deal had they not had an additional pick from the Deion Branch to Seattle trade, so this could be viewed as Branch for Moss and a #1 pick.

Here’s a link to check the Bay Area reaction to the Moss trade.

Check in with the BSMW Game Day page with live updates of the second day of the draft, which is already off to a crazy start.

Here’s is the BSMW Draft profile for first round pick Brandon Meriweather.

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BSMW Quick Poll

NFL Draft 2007 Weekend

This is another highlight of the yearly sports weekend calendar with so much going on.

The NFL moves back into the spotlight this weekend with their annual college draft. This two day event features wall-to-wall TV coverage from two networks, plus more radio and internet coverage than any fan could possibly keep up with.

Locally, WEEI is going big with their coverage this weekend, several personalities who rarely, if ever appear on the airwaves outside of their Monday-Friday routine. Glenn Ordway and John Dennis will both be on this weekend…together in fact. Dale Arnold and Michael Holley are doing a show together, and Pete Sheppard will be on with Greg Dickerson.

In addition to the draft, we’ve got another edition of Red Sox/Yankees, this time down in the Bronx. Locally, NESN has the Friday and Sunday games, while the Saturday game is on FOX.

Keep up with the coverage from the New York papers on the series on the New York Sports Pages.

TNT and ESPN have NBA playoff action this weekend, while NBC and Versus bring you the NHL playoffs.

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On our Patriots Game Day Page, we’ve put together alot of material this week to help get you ready for this weekend, here’s the list and links of the features from this week:

BSMW Draft Week Coverage
Sunday, April 22nd – Second Day Offensive Prospects
Monday, April 23rd – Second Day Defensive Prospects
Tuesday, April 24th – Ultimate Draft Profiles Database
Wednesday, April 25th – Final Rumor Inventory
Thursday, April 26th – Final Mock Board
Friday April 27th – Roundtable
Saturday April 28th & Sunday April 29th – Draft Blog

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A classy move by Stacey James and the Patriots Media Relations department. The following notice was sent around to the media this morning:

From: "James, Stacey"
Date: April 27, 2007 12:52:11 PM EDT
Subject: Dedication to the Memory of Alan Greenberg - Day One of NFL Draft

I am passing along a suggestion made by members of our press corps and encouraged by this department. This weekend will be the first time that members of the Patriots press corps have had an opportunity to gather since the sudden and untimely passing of former beat writer Alan Greenberg. In Alan's honor, it was suggested that the media attending Saturday's draft wear a polo shirt. Pastel colors would be most appropriate. Faded shirts, all the better. Shirts with holes and shorts are entirely optional.

For those of you who do not possess such items in your wardrobe, we will also be honoring Alan by serving Papa Gino's pizza for lunch starting at noon. Please be prepared to eat twice as much as usual. :-)

On a serious note ... While we encourage all of the above in Alan's memory, for those wanting to truly honor the memory of Alan Greenberg, we encourage you to contribute to the trust fund that has been established in for Alan's three children Alex, 13; Allison, 10; and Abigail, 7. Donations can be made in the name of Greenberg Children's Trust, at Citizens Bank; 450 Boston Post Road; Sudbury, Mass., 01776.

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Ian Thomsen of Sports Illustrated has quite a few thoughts on the Celtics this week, including the following:

VP Danny Ainge knows how to draft young players, and he’s done an exceptional job at it. But the record shows that he doesn’t apply the same investigatory work to scouting the more than 400 players in the NBA. The Celtics are vulnerable on trades for existing NBA players because they don’t do their homework. While they are exceptional at seeking out the minute details of 19-year-old college sophomores, the Celtics — unlike most of their rivals — don’t have a pro personnel scout traveling the league and collecting behind-the-scenes information on veterans who may be traded to Boston. Rival teams are fully aware that Boston is vulnerable on trades for NBA talent, but the Celtics have yet to address this weakness in their front office.

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Patriots.com has their Patriots 2007 Draft Board that will be updated throughout the weekend.

The Patriots Football Weekly staff offer their pre-draft predictions. They all seem to love David Harris.

Rochelle Lefebvre has an interview with Steve DeOssie and Fred Smerlas about their new steakhouse.

Bill Simmons remembers David Halberstam.

Sean McAdam on ESPN.com looks at the Red Sox other Japanese pitcher, Hideki Okajima, who has quietly become their best setup man.

David Steele of the Baltimore Sun tells Curt Schilling to put a sock in it

Richard Deitsch has his sports media power rankings for April.

Jessica Camerato tries to show us a different side of Sebastian Telfair.

Mike Freeman and Gregg Doyel debate on the topic of Telfair and the hype that has surrounded him since high school.

David Borges has a look at Boston College defensive back Ryan Glasper, who may or may not get drafted this weekend after getting a raw deal from coach Tom O’Brien.

David Cohen in a guest column on Football Outsiders attempts to rate Mel Kiper Jr’s predictions over the years.

Tom Curran predicts the NFL prospects who will play right away.

John Clayton has his First and Ten, draft edition.

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Sports Media Columns From Around the Country

New England

Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at the dueling draft coverage of ESPN and the NFL Network this weekend. Bill Doyle has Mel Kiper’s thoughts on the Patriots methods of evaluation and drafting. Andrew Neff looks at Bangor’s own Gary Thorne finding himself in a mess with his comments about Curt Schilling’s bloody sock in the 2004 playoffs. David Scott has a look at Schilling firing back at Thorne and the media on his blog. He also looks at the 12th annual EPpy awards, which are without a Boston representative.

New York
Phil Mushnick relates the story of David Halberstam’s fifth cousin, David Halberstam, who has also been published and was often confused for his more famous relative. Pat Reichart notes that last Sunday’s Red Sox/Yankees game was a record setter for ESPN. He also has five questions for Patrick Ewing, serving as an analyst for NBA-TV. Jack Curry and Richard Sandomir team up for a look at the Gary Thorne situation, and Bob Raissman notes that Thorne’s delivery has “always been fearless, spontaneous and, sometimes, reckless.” Neil Best notes that 35% of the population does not have the ability to watch the NHL playoffs on Versus, even if they wanted to.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand has a look at what happens when a family member is in the broadcast booth covering another family member. He also notes that NBC has had to kill their live mike during several NHL broadcasts. Chris Zelkovich has The Score having a pretty good week for itself, picking up two Toronto Raptors playoff games. Laura Nachman has Scott Graham adjusting to life outside the Phillies broadcasts for the first time in 16 years. Jim Williams is scratching his head as to how the NFL Draft has become must-see viewing. He also has a look at former Georgetown player Jerome Williams finding work as a color analyst for NBA-TV. The Virginia Tech shootings hit a little too close to home for Leonard Shapiro, whose son is a student at the school.

South
Barry Jackson notes that Dolphins fans have five outlets on which to track this weekend’s draft. He also notes more sniping between WQAM and 790. Dave Darling says that after 24 years of ESPN draft coverage, everyone seems to want Mel Kiper’s opinion. David Barron looks at KILT talk show host John Granato filing a lawsuit against the station and somehow still remaining on the air. Barry Horn says NHL TV ratings are a good news-bad news business.

Midwest
Bob Wolfley says that there is a reason that the networks are always promoting Red Sox/Yankees games – people watch them. Judd Zulgad has the Timberwolves keeping their broadcasts on country music FM station BOB. Teddy Greenstein has Mel Kiper suggesting that the Bears might trade down from 31 in this weekend’s NFL draft. Dan Caesar has the Blues making a deal with FSN Midwest to show playoffs games since KSDK has the Cardinals games and wouldn’t make other arrangements. Jeffrey Flanagan has Dick Vermeil saying that Dante Hall is a great pickup for the Rams, and saying he’d like to do some more TV work next season.

West Coast
Tom Hoffarth looks at Keyshawn Johnson’s part in this weekend’s NFL draft coverage on ESPN. He also compares the NFL draft TV coverage between ESPN and NFL Network. Larry Stewart notes that there is plenty of Barbaro coverage coming up as we approach the Kentucky Derby next month. He also notes that Larry Merchant could be leaving HBO after 29 years. Joe Davidson looks at LA Times sportswriter Mike Penner, who will soon be Christine Daniels. Jim Carlisle notes that the NFL Draft coverage is almost as popular as the on-field games. He also has a note about a recently discovered play-by-play by Vin Scully of Sandy Koufax’s first no-hitter in 1962. John Maffei has plenty more on the NFL draft coverage.

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Weekend Highlights

Friday April 27
7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees
7:00pm, ESPN2 – Raptors @ Nets
7:00pm, Versus – Rangers @ Sabres
8:00pm, ESPN – Bulls @ Heat
9:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Rockies
10:00pm, Versus – Canucks @ Ducks
10:30pm, ESPN – Mavericks @ Warriors

Saturday, April 28
11:00am, NFLN – NFL Draft Coverage
12:00pm, ESPN – NFL Draft Coverage
3:00pm, ABC – NASCAR Busch Series: Aaron’s 312
3:00pm, TNT – Pistons @ Magic
3:00pm, NBC – Sharks @ Red Wings
3:55pm, FOX – Red Sox @ Yankees
5:30pm, TNT – Cavaliers @ Wizards
8:00pm, ESPN – Spurs @ Nuggets
8:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Rockies
8:00pm, Versus – Senators @ Devils
8:00pm, ESPN2 – NFL Draft Coverage
10:30pm, ESPN – Rockets @ Jazz

Sunday, April 29
11:00am, ESPN – NFL Draft Coverage
12:00pm, NFLN – NFL Draft Coverage
1:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees
1:00pm, ABC – Bulls @ Heat
1:30pm, FOX – NASCAR Nextel Cup: Aaron’s 499
2:00pm, NBC – Sabres @ Rangers
3:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Rockies
3:00pm, TV38 – Revolution @ FC Dallas
3:30pm, ABC – Suns @ Lakers
7:30pm, TNT – Raptors @ Nets
8:00pm, ESPN – Cubs @ Cardinals
8:00pm, Versus – Ducks @ Canucks
10:00pm, TNT – Mavericks @ Warriors

Wily Mo Comes Through

Trailing 2-1 in the eight inning, the Red Sox had two runners on when the Orioles decided to intentionally walk Jason Varitek in order to get to Wily Mo Pena. The birds had their closer in the game to end the threat, only Pena had other plans. He blasted a grand slam off of Chris Ray to give the Red Sox a 5-2 win in Baltimore.

Michael Silverman looks at Pena calling his shot in the dugout before it happened. Gordon Edes has more on Pena lowering the boom on the Orioles with his eighth inning blast. Bill Ballou has more on the huge hit from Pena to save the Red Sox. Steve Krasner says that the sounds surrounding Wily Mo were were a whole lot different for this at bat.

Steve Buckley notes that Josh Beckett is in some rarefied air with his 5-0 month of April. Amalie Benjaminhas Pena breaking out of his strikeout slump with the huge grand slam.

Dan Shaughnessy describes Daisuke Matsuzaka as a guy who loves to throw. He makes up an elaborate series of scenarios to try and make his point. The Red Sox won the bidding for Matsuzaka over the winter, but Rob Bradford points out that the Yankees could use him now.

Silverman’s notebook has the Yankees pulling their Japanese pitcher, Kei Igawa out of the rotation for this weekend’s series against the Red Sox. Benjamin’s notebook has Matsuzaka getting ready for his start in New York tonight. Krasner’s notebook has David Ortiz getting fooled by a lefty pitcher this time out. Ballou’s notebook has Gary Thorne retracting his comments on the Schilling sock saga.

Oh yeah, that whole Sock thing. I was hoping the Wily Mo grand slam would’ve pushed the topic right off the radar this morning, but I guess everyone needs to get their last thoughts in on the matter.

That of course includes Schilling himself, who put together his response on 38Pitches, and he comes out swinging, not pulling any punches throughout.

Gordon Edes wraps up the whole sock story this morning, hopefully putting it to bed. Rob Bradford has there being a lot of upset Red Sox personnel because of this incident. Alex Speier explains why this was a big deal for everyone involved. Steve Buckley says that it is good to re-examine these legends every once in a while. Spencer Fordin on MLB.com has Thorne admitting his error.

David Sandora has former teammates Doug Mientkiewicz, Johnny Damon and Orlando Cabrera defending Schilling. Krasner says that there is no doubt that Schilling bled for the Red Sox in the 2004 playoffs.

David Scott applauds Schilling for his post, and has a look at the EPpy Awards, in which Boston is not represented at all.

Patriots

Michael Felger says not to look for the Patriots to trade up in the first round, he says they do their best work when they stand pat or even move down. Shalise Manza Young attempts to figure out what the Patriots might do this weekend. Chris Kennedy says that the Patriots are relaxed heading into the draft. Draft week coverage continues on the BSMW Game Day page, where the crew tosses around a few draft related thoughts. Jim Donaldson says that the draft is a guessing game.

Mike Reiss notes that taking wide receivers in the first round often comes with a risk. He does look at Calvin Johnson however, and notes that he is viewed around the league as a can’t miss prospect. He then profiles Ted Ginn Jr and a few other receivers.

John Tomase examines why young linebackers seem to be such a bad fit for the Patriots defense. He says that taking a linebacker early in the draft “will require a shift in the way the Patriots do things.” I’m not sure that’s an accurate statement. He himself says that the club would’ve taken Jonathan Vilma had he been available in 2004. Karen Guregian looks at linebackers who could on the Patriots radar, such as Miami’s Jon Beason or Penn State’s Paul Posluszny. Dan Pires looks at defensive backs who might be possibilities for the Patriots. Mark Farinella also looks at the secondary. Eric McHugh examines the Patriots needs on the offensive side of the ball.

Reiss reports that tight end David Thomas, getting ready for his second season with the Patriots, suffered a broken foot in offseason workouts. Tomase has Vince Wilfork raising money for diabetes research in honor of his father, who died of the disease.

Celtics

Mike Petraglia says that success for the Celtics can be as easy as 1-2-3. The FSN Nothing But Net blog wraps up its three part roster analysis of the Celtics.

Jeff Goodman has former BC big man Sean Williams getting ready for the draft.

Gary Thorne in the Spotlight

The comments by Gary Thorne on Curt Schilling’s bloody sock in the 2004 playoffs have predictably dominated the discussion everywhere today.

Terry Francona and Doctor Bill Morgan were both guests of WEEI’s Dale & Holley show today to dismiss the claims by Thorne. Gordon Edes has the story from Dr. Morgan and also the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The blog Joy of Sox has the complete transcript of the discussion between Thorne and Jim Palmer which led up to the comments about the stain being “painted on” Schilling’s sock. It seems like they were talking about Schilling’s blog and how “the press hates him in Boston” before they got to the sock issue.

The blog http://letsgosox.blogspot.com has the video of the segment. It was taken from the MLB.com archive of the game, and was recorded from a computer screen, so it is a little bit shaky, but you can hear Thorne and Palmer discussing the issue:

ESPN.com has coverage of the issue, including excerpts from Alan Schwarz’s new book, Once Upon a Game: Baseball’s Greatest Memories in which Schilling recalls the game against the Yankees in the 2004 playoffs.

A few other links on this issue today:

Dan Kennedy says both Mirabelli and and Thorne have some explaining to do, and he wouldn’t be surprised to see Mirabelli run out of town over this.

Deadspin finds it shocking that Schilling is being accused of being self-aggrandizing.

Baseball Musings says Thorne has been known to screw up on the air before.

Thorne’s chat today on USA Today has been canceled. Thorne was scheduled to be a guest on the NESN pregrame tonight. We’ll see if he makes that appearance.

Though Schilling hasn’t commented yet on 38Pitches, Rob Bradford did pull out some old references to the sock for his new Herald blog the Bradford Files.

I’m inclined to believe that Thorne meant this as a throw-away comment, not thinking that it would actually be followed up on. He may have misinterpreted a joke or comment made by Mirabelli (perhaps not even directly to him) and then embellished it as part of his storytelling/time filling during the Orioles broadcast. He didn’t think that there was any way that he would be challenged on the statement. I’m sure broadcasters might do this with little things, but this one was too big to ignore. Now it has blown up in his face, and he’s been embarrassed by it.

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This video really has nothing to do with the bloody sock, but I found it interesting anyway. It is WGBH’s Beat the Press talking about Schilling’s blog last month:

Sox Back On Track

The Red Sox were able to get back on the winning track last night in Baltimore, as Curt Schilling was solid, going seven innings and just giving up a single run in the 6-1 Boston win.

Gordon Edes’ game story mostly revolves around comments made by Orioles announcer Gary Thorne (a Bangor, ME native) who claimed on the broadcast that Doug Mirabelli had told him a couple of years ago that the bloody sock incident from the 2004 ALCS was fake and that Schilling had used paint on his sock. Based on the reaction within the story from Red Sox players and management, this bears watching, and Thorne will likely find himself at the center of attention today.

Michael Silverman looks at a bloop hit from David Ortiz proving to be the difference in this one. Steve Krasner has David Ortiz once again coming through in the clutch for the Red Sox. Jeff Goldberg has Schilling stepping in to stop the Red Sox two game losing streak. Bill Ballou has the Orioles as the perfect remedy for the Red Sox.

Steve Buckley notes that no one is talking about Curt Schilling’s weight these days. Amalie Benjamin looks at David Ortiz getting the best of Jamie Walker once again. Rob Bradford looks back at the Kevin Millar/Japan saga and how that impacted the Red Sox reputation in that country. Lenny Megliola must’ve been listening to Butch Stearns on the Big Show the other day, as he leaps onto his premise that Barry Bonds could break the MLB Home Run record in Fenway in June.

Dan Hickling has Jon Lester’s AAA start scheduled for yesterday pushed back because of rain. Silverman has a brief box stating that Coco Crisp may be headed to DL. The photo with the article has a caption that says: “Coco Crisp may be headed to the DL for the rest of the season.” – which is not what he article says at all. Bradford has Alex Cora feeling like more of a slugger this season thanks to the Red Sox hitting coach. Buckley has Julian Tavarez revealing what he was saying to Daisuke Matsuzaka in the dugout in those clips that were shown last weekend on TV.

Bradford also notes the unusual friendship struck up by Dustin Pedroia and Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn. Mike McMahon of the blog Hub Sports has Pedroia telling WEEI that he’ll be fine, it always takes him a little while to adjust to a new level, and he is confident that he will hit .300 in the big leagues. Buckley says that complimentary tickets are the reason that the Toronto game the other night had the highest attendence of any Red Sox game since World War II.

Edes’s notebook has a look at Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan, whose ability to speak both English and Spanish is a big plus among the Red Sox players. Silverman’s notebook has Julio Lugo not pleased with the attitude shown by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez last night. Krasner’s notebook has more on Crisp possibly heading the DL for a stint. Goldberg’s notebook has Terry Francona saving Lugo by coming out to talk to him and umpire after their disagreement. Ballou’s notebook has more on Crisp’s possible trip to the DL.

Patriots

Over on Patriots Game Day this morning, we’ve got the final edition of the Mock Draft Masher, which takes the results from the top mock drafts and mashes up a consensus draft rating for the prospects that are most likely to be selected on the first day of the draft.

Mike Reiss looks at the state of the Patriots, with Scott Pioli entrusted with ensuring the long term health of the franchise. John Tomasesays not to look for any clues in which players the Patriots bring to Gillette for pre-draft workouts. History has shown that they’re just as likely to grab a player they hadn’t publicly shown much interest in previously. Bill Doyle has Mel Kiper Jr liking the way that the Patriots go about their business in the draft. Christopher Price comes up with five guidelines we can use in figuring out which way the Patriots will go in the draft.

Reiss profiles Miami linebacker Jon Beason, projected to be one of the top linebackers in the draft. Kevin McNamara has a look at Brown linebacker Zak DeOssie. Guregian also looks at the influence of Dr. Robert Troutwine on the Patriots’ drafting. John Altavilla notes that character is becoming a more and more important quality in the draft.

Reiss also looks at the other linebackers available in the draft. Karen Guregian has a look at the ofensive linemen in the draft. Shalise Manza Young goes through the defensive line prospects. David Brown goes through the inside lineackers and Mark Farinella peeks at the running backs.

Celtics/Misc

Bob Ryan says that Sabastian Telfair never really belonged here with the Celtics. Mark Murphy has Tony Allen vowing to be more careful in the future following his acquittal. Murphy also puts together a good growth chart looking at the progress that the young Celtics still need to make.

Ron Chimelis has Dr J reflecting on his time at UMass.

Bruce A. Mohl has a look at Ticketmaster filing a lawsuit against resellers that they say are using sophisticated software to buy bulk tickets from them to resell at a profit.

Callahan Resting His Pipes

Gerry Callahan announced in the crossover to Dale & Holley yesterday morning that he’s been ordered by his doctor to take a few weeks off to completely rest his voice.

Anyone who has heard Callahan over the last few weeks knows that this is a wise move. Callahan was painful to listen for a few months now, and it had nothing to do with the content of what he was saying.

It is a little curious that the whole thing has been underplayed by WEEI…a collection of guys who don’t underplay ANYTHING. It was so underplayed that I wasn’t even aware that Gerry was out for that length of time. An emailer wanted to know why I hadn’t said anything about it, so I went and reviewed the show from yesterday and found the comments from Callahan in the crossover. Then this morning coming out of the 6:30 break, John Dennis mentioned casually that Callahan would be out for a couple weeks to rest his voice.

Callahan’s voice is clearly in bad shape, but the way the station hasn’t mentioned anything about it makes you wonder if there is something else going on here. The rumors have been flying around about D&C possibly shopping themselves around as their contract winds down, and it makes sense for Callahan to want to make sure his voice is OK for any new employer.

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I first noticed this a few weeks ago, but this post on the Red Sox Chick blog reminded me that I hadn’t mentioned it here yet.

For weeks now, (and perhaps longer) the Herald hasn’t been able to spell Jeff Horrigan’s name correctly. In the byline for many of his stories, it has been appearing as “Jeff Horrgan.”

Does the Herald have a hot-button that is set up incorrectly, or are they just continually messing this spelling up?

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Last night, Rob Bradford posted a final post on the old Bradford on Baseball blog. In the post, he thanked people at the Eagle-Tribune and directed people to his new Boston Herald powered blog, The Bradford Files.

This morning, the post is gone. Even though they can’t really keep the blog going without Bradford, the Eagle-Tribune apparently doesn’t want a link on it pointing to their former employee at the Herald, either. It is understandable on some levels, but rather petty on others. It makes it look like Bradford left without thanking the readers or his former employers at the ET.

Apparently, the ET has also shut off comments on the blog after some readers were posting the link to Bradford’s new blog.

Maybe Bill Burt’s absence on the Big Show yesterday (with Bradford on) wasn’t just a coincidence…

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ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast (April 22) featuring the New York Yankees at the Boston Red Sox averaged 3,952,000 household impressions and 5,483,000 viewers (people 2-plus), becoming the most-viewed Sunday Night Baseball telecast ever (ranking ahead of Yankees/Red Sox, July 25, 2004 – 3,862,000 households and 5,258,000 viewers).

The game was the most-viewed regular-season Major League Baseball telecast since Cardinals/Cubs – when Mark McGwire hit his 61st home run – September 7, 1998 (7,104,000 households). Additionally, the telecast ranked fifth in households and viewers among regular-season telecasts since ESPN began airing Major League Baseball games in 1990 (1,544 telecasts).

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For those of you wanting to do some more in-depth scouting for this weekend’s NFL draft: In you have Comcast On Demand, there are profiles of more than 50 leading draft prospects featured. These profiles incorporate footage of the NFL Combine as well as Senior Bowl clips and collegiate highlights, and are available in the NFL Network section of the Sports & Fitness On Demand category.

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Monday night I was a guest on the Lowell Sun Sports Talk Live program. The show airs each Monday night and is an hour long. I was on for the entire hour, and hosts Teddy Panos and Barry Scanlon and I discussed sports media, past, present and future.

You can check out this week’s show on the Sports Talk Live web page, the link to the audio is in the upper left hand corner of the page.

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I don’t think we’re going to read about this in the Globe.

Bill Simmons says that the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight will be the last Big Fight, period.

Tom Casale has another edition of the Ask PFW mailbag.

Patriots Football Weekly also has an Official Blog with focus this week on the draft.

Eric McHugh has a look at where the Patriots stand defensively and whom they might target in the draft.

Mike Reiss lists out the top draft day deals for the Patriots.

Gary Fitz has the media looking to stir some things up prior to last night’s Red Sox game.

Sarah Green isn’t ready for another round of Red Sox/Yankees, but it’s coming this weekend regardless.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Orioles
7:00pm, TNT – Nuggets @ Spurs
7:00pm, Versus – Rangers @ Sabres
8:00pm, ESPN – Tigers @ White Sox
9:30pm, TNT – Warriors @ Mavericks
10:00pm, Versus – Canucks @ Ducks

Sox Throw It Away

If Monday night was a letdown/hangover game, then what was last night? The Red Sox committed four errors as they were routed by the Blue Jays 10-3 at Fenway Park.

Nick Cafardo answers my question: awful. Jeff Horrigan notes that the largest crowd since World War II was on hand to see the Red Sox humiliate themselves last night. Tom Yantz notes that the three game sweep of the Yankees seems like a long time ago indeed. Ron Chimelis has the Sox dropping the ball at Fenway last night. Phil O’Neill says that last night was the real letdown for the Red Sox and the fans. Joe Haggerty has the Jays taking full advantage of the poor pitching and sloppy fielding of the Red Sox.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at four errors doing in the Red Sox last night. Stephen Harris looks at the struggles of starter Julian Tavarez in the loss. Joe McDonald says that putting Tavarez back in the bullpen and bringing Jon Lester to the starting rotation might be the best thing for the Red Sox. Paul Kenyon looks at how the season is off to an odd start for Mike Lowell – he’s been hot at the plate and shaky in the field.

Steve Bulpett has Frank Thomas talking about pacing himself over the course of the long season, as he wants to have an impact on the AL East race. Harris has New England native John McDonald talking about how special it is to come back and play at Fenway. Kevin Grayhas former NH Fisher Cat Aaron Hill now reaching his peak with the Blue Jays.

Bulpett notes that fans who wanted Wily Mo Pena in center over Coco Crisp are now booing him for his play.

Cafardo’s notebook says that Jon Lester could be waiting in the wings should Tavarez struggle in his next couple of starts. He also has Terry Francona talking about his ongoing battle with chewing tobacco. Horrigan’s notebook has Lyle Overbay saying he wasn’t trying to take out Alex Cora with his hands-up slide last week in Toronto. The Projo notebook has some mock cheers going up for Pena after a routine catch later in the game. Yantz’s notebook has Lester waiting in the wings. Chimelis’ notebook has some questions over Daisuke Matsuzaka tipping his cap to ARod after hitting him over the weekend. O’Neill’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis and Coco Crisp getting another night off to rest their aches.

Celtics

Shira Springer and Mark Murphy look at Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck parting ways with Sebastian Telfair and have the player’s agent responding to the way that the owner handled the situation.

Peter May reports that charges against Tony Allen dating back to a 2005 incident have finally been dropped, but Murphy says that Allen could now face a civil suit from the alleged victims of the brawl and threats.

Mike Petraglia looks at the status of the coaching staff going into the offseason, and over at Nothing But Net on FSN there is the second part of three part series breaking down the roster.

Patriots

On BSMW Game Day, we’ve got the final version of rumor inventory chart. What it is essentially is a listing of all college players that we’ve seen connected to the Patriots in some way, either through a combine interview, or a campus visit or being brought to Gillette for a personal workout and visit.

Mark Farinella notes how the NFL draft has become a spectator event, and looks back at the first time the Patriots did the draft up big, in 1998.

Mike Reiss looks at the top quarterbacks in the draft, focusing mainly on the top two players, LSU’s JaMarcus Russell and Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn. Christopher L. Gasper has a look at Division II QB prospect Toby Korrodi, who has opened eyes with his arm. David Brown goes over some offensive linemen the Patriots could be interested in. Karen Guregian looks at the defensive backs in the draft, noting that this is an area the club may focus their attention on. Shalise Manza Young looks at running backs, while Farinella looks at the tight ends.

Misc

Bob Ryan remembers David Halberstam. Christopher Price notes that Halberstam loved New England sports.

David Scott has more details on Rob Bradford’s blogging future.

Steve Conroy has young defensemen Mark Stuart and Matt Lashoff feeling ready to step in and help the Bruins defense.

Celtics Cut Ties with Telfair

Sebastian Telfair will not be back with the Celtics next season, a move that was not unexpected even prior to his arrest last week. Telfair did not live up to expectations in his first year with the Celtics, and by the end of the season, rookie Rajon Rondo had taken over the starting point guard role, with Telfair relegated to the bench. Today on the Boston Globe Celtics blog, the following was posted:

The Boston Globe has learned that the Celtics will sever ties with guard Sebastian Telfair after one season with the team, according to team managing partner Wyc Grousbeck, who sent an email to Globe reporters with the news.

"I wanted to let you know that we have removed Sebastian’s nameplate from his locker in Waltham. The facts and circumstances of his case have not been determined but he does not have a Celtics locker and we do not anticipate that he will," Grousbeck wrote in the email.

Why did Grousbeck find it necessary to send an email to the Globe (and other reporters) about this? I can’t say that the Celtics owner comes off well in this situation. He’s clearly trying very hard to make an example of Telfair and make a statement about how the franchise will handle these situations, but I think it comes off clumsy and contrived. The message indicates that the facts aren’t important. So what happens if a more important player is charged with something in the future…innocent or guilty? Will they also be released before the “facts and circumstances” are revealed? Perhaps there is more going on behind the scenes here – like a warning was given after the incident last season – but I still don’t like the public handling of this.

I didn’t think Telfair would be back with the team next season regardless, but Grousbeck’s email today could come back to bite him. This was just not handled well. Could you picture the Patriots handling something in this manner? No, they’d just cut the guy and move on. We still have no idea what happened to Doug Gabriel, except for speculation from various writers that he wasn’t working hard or picking up the system, but you didn’t heard a peep from the Patriots.

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Butch Stearns is trying at this blogging thing, but is still having his rough patches. In his latest entry, Butch proclaims:

Not only is it OK to get excited, it is mandatory that you do! These two teams NEVER sweep each other. OK, the Yankees did it in September last year to basically end the Sox' miserable season.

I especially like the all-caps NEVER. If by NEVER Butch means nine times in the last 10 years prior to this weekend, then that certainly is a pretty incredible event.

Yup, nine times since 1997 the Red Sox or Yankees have swept the other in a regular season series.

  • 2006 – August 18-21, Yankees sweep five games from Red Sox in Fenway
  • 2004 – April 23-25, Red Sox sweep in New York
  • 2004 – June 29 – July 1, Yankees sweep in New York
  • 2002 – August 27-28, Yankees sweep two games (13-0 total score) in NY
  • 2001 – May 23-24, Yankees sweep in NY
  • 2001 – August 31 – September 1, Yankees sweep in Fenway
  • 2001 – September 7-9, Yankees sweep in NY
  • 1999 – September 10-12, Red Sox sweep in NY
  • 1997 – September 15-16, Yankees sweep 3 in NY

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The Situationist makes the case that players selected in the NBA Draft will succeed or fail largely due to the situation of the team that drafts them.

Rob Bradford files his final column for the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune before moving onto the Boston Herald.

Mike Dunshee has a look at the second round of the NHL playoffs for the BSMW Power Play.

Dan Kennedy remembers David Halberstam.

CBS says that they will show up to six games in HD each week during the next NFL season.

Don Banks has 10 things that simply make too much sense not to happen on draft weekend. (Number 7: New England selects Brown University’s Zak DeOssie.)

Peter King doesn’t see many early draft trades this weekend.

Gregg Easterbrook has his 2007 mocking of mock drafts in Tuesday Morning Quarterback.

Mark Farinella has a look at the offensive linemen in the draft, though he doesn’t see the Patriots taking one early.

Richard Sandomir says that ESPN didn’t do a great job in their replays of the Red Sox four consecutive home runs on Sunday night. He points to the Theo Epstein reaction shot, which was shown as being after the wrong home run and a few other things.

Bob Raissman knocks ESPN’s Jon Miller and Joe Morgan for holding back on revealing their conversation with Manny Ramirez.

Neil Best praises John Sterling despite his flaws for his calls of ARod’s home runs this season.

Leonard Shapiro notes that the Virgina Tech shootings hit a bit too close to home, as his son is a student there.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Blue Jays @ Red Sox
7:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Marlins
8:00pm, TNT – Heat @ Bulls
10:30pm, TNT – Lakers @ Suns