Sox, Tigers To Play Two Today

The Red Sox were rained out last night, and will play two games today, starting with a 12:35pm first game this afternoon.

Bob Ryan says that with a little adversity facing them now, it’s time to see what this Red Sox club is made of. Tony Massarotti says that this Red Sox team has not been tested yet, and once they are, we’ll know a lot more about how far they can go. Alex Speier notes that today’s doubleheader will be the first real test of the Red Sox depth.

Rich Thompson has a look at Pawtucket center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who has emerged as the class of the Red Sox farm system, on a fast track to the majors. Nick Cafardo looks at how the Red Sox have managed to be able to give Jonathan Papelbon plenty of rest and time off thus far, hoping that he’ll be strong and fresh for August and September. Steven Krasner has more on Papelbon getting plenty of rest in the early going, to the point where he doesn’t feel he earned his paycheck this month so far. Jeff Horrigan and Rob Bradford report that Josh Beckett will be scratched for tomorrow night’s start, though the Sox hope their ace can heal quickly enough to avoid the DL.

Amalie Benjamin has Jon Lester getting the go-ahead to get back on the mound and continue his rehab with Pawtucket, where he is scheduled to pitch on Saturday. Carolyn Thornton has the Red Sox proceeding cautiously with Lester. Bill Ballou has more on Lester getting the go ahead to re-start his rehab with the PawSox. Speier also takes a look at the young lefty getting closer to a return to Fenway.

Michael Silverman has Julian Tavarez saying that he doesn’t mind the scheduling quirks that come with being the fifth starter, he’s just happy to be here. Jeff Goldberg has Tavarez unaware of who Ernie Banks is, but agreeing with his sentiment of “Let’s play two” today. Joe Haggerty has Tavarez willing to take the ball whenever he might asked to pitch for his team. Speier has more on Tavarez channeling Banks with his enthusiasm to get to the ball park today. Jeff Horrigan says that last night’s rainout could actually be of benefit to the Red Sox. Silverman notes that J.D. Drew was not in the lineup last night, was available to pinch hit, though Terry Francona hoped to avoid using him in that role as well.

In the Projo, Elizabeth Rau recounts her tale of her family taking her to Fenway Park for Mother’s day, only to end up leaving early because the game appeared lost. Kevin Gray has a look at “Oil Can” Boyd on a mission with his barnstorming tour. Mike Petraglia has a look at Sox-killer Magglio Ordonez, who feeds off the crowds to fuel his success against the Red Sox.

Kevin McNamara and Brendan McGair report on the PawSox posting a 7-4 comeback win over the Durham Bulls yesterday.

Benjamin’s notebook has more on Beckett being scratched for tomorrow, and says Kason Gabbard seems the likely candidate to start the game tomorrow. Horrigan’s notebook has more on Lester getting set to resume his rehab at Pawtucket. Thornton’s notebook has more on Drew’s injury. Ballou’s notebook has Gabbard likely to get the call to replace Beckett as tomorrow night’s starter.

Misc columns/stories

Douglas Flynn has the Bruins picking up 20-year-old defensive prospect Adam McQuaid in a trade with Columbus for a fifth round pick.

Christopher Price has former Boston College defensive back Larry Anam hoping for a shot to stick with the Patriots, and looking forward for the change to work on special teams to prove himself. Stan Grossfeld has a look at the New England Surge of the Continental Indoor Football League, who feature Steve Grogan’s son as a wide receiver, and going through ups and downs in their first season.

Bill Reynolds has seen them all, but says he hasn’t seen anyone quite like Steve Nash. Jeff Jacobs says that the punishment that David Stern passed down to the Suns this week was irrational.

Garry Brown is hitting to all fields. Buddy Thomas introduces his All Jerk team.

Bill Doyle has Worcester Sharks announcer Jamie Smock hoping for a shot at an NHL job.

Verlander Shuts Down Sox

Tim Wakefield had been the Red Sox hottest pitcher coming into last night, but the Tigers lineup has Magglio Ordonez, who seems to own Wakefield, no matter the situation. Ordonez had a three run homer off of the knuckleballer as the Tigers beat the Red Sox 7-2 last night at Fenway Park.

Gordon Edes has the Red Sox playing under a caution flag with last night’s loss, which saw J.D. Drew leave the game with an injury. Jeff Horrigan has Wakefield getting a bad matchup against the flame-throwing Justin Verlander. Kevin McNamara has the Tigers turning the tables on the Red Sox with their victory over Boston. Jeff Goldberg has Verlander shutting down the Red Sox lineup with his incredible stuff. Garry Brown says that it only took two bad pitches to ruin Wakefield’s night. Bill Ballou notes that the ultimate in contrasts was on display in last night’s starting pitchers.

Jon Couture says that the Red Sox hot start reminds him of the 2002 edition, which started out 40-17, before going .500 the rest of the way and missing the playoffs by six games. Steve Buckley says that the small warning signs are starting to add up for the 2007 Red Sox. Steven Krasner looks at the success that Ordonez has had against Tim Wakefield. Lenny Megliola has Gary Sheffield talking about how much he longed to play for the Red Sox this season. Michael Silverman looks at J.D. Drew hurting himself with a collision with the wall in front of the Red Sox bullpen last night. Nick Cafardo says the bigger problem is Drew’s bat, not his back.

Brendan McGair has Tommy Harper talking about the man who might break his club record for steals someday soon, Pawtucket outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Buckley looks at the difficulty that Kyle Snyder has in keeping weight on his 6-8 frame. Terry Nau says he sees some similarities between this Red Sox team and the 1998 Yankees who won 114 games. Mike Petraglia has Julio Lugo starting to find his stride once again.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has Tigers’ pitcher Justin Verlander feeling good right from the moment he started warming up last night. Silverman has Tigers first baseman Sean Casey taking some time to help feed the hungry yesterday morning. Burrell also has a piece on Tigers’ center fielder Curtis Granderson, who is having himself a pretty good week. Joe Haggerty notes that Granderson, like Curt Schilling, is a blogger.

Horrigan’s notebook says that it seems likely that Josh Beckett will miss his next start on Friday, with Kyle Snyder probably filling in. The Projo notebook has a look at Beckett’s bullpen session yesterday, but also agrees that he’ll probably miss his next start. Edes’s notebook looks at Julian Tavarez, who will adjust to losing his starting spot when Jon Lester is ready, because he is grateful to simply be in the game of baseball. Goldberg’s notebook has Mike Timlin making progress in his recovery from shoulder tendinitis. Brown’s notebook has Doug Mirabelli enjoying greater success at the plate this season. Ballou’s notebook has more on Drew’s injury.

Patriots/Misc
Christopher L. Gasper has a look at rookie free agent quarterback Matt Gutierrez, who the Patriots hope has a little bit of Tom Brady in him, beyond their background connections. John Tomase has Jarvis Green learning the restaurant business as another post-football option.

Mark Blaudschun has Jeff Jagodzinski jumping head first into his new job as Boston College football coach.

Jim Donaldson has a review of the new book “Our Game” written by his colleague at the ProJo, Bill Reynolds. Shockingly, he gives it a rave review.

Tuesday Tibits – 05.15.07

From someone who claims to know: Yesterday’s photo of Dan Shaughnessy watching himself on TV which appeared on Barstool Sports is genuine.

However, there’s a little more to the story than might meet the eye. According to someone who was also there, Shaughnessy had been attending a fundraiser for children with Down Syndrome in the neighborhood. One of the men with him that night was his brother.

Dan’s son was apparently also spotlighted on the NESN show and he took his brother into the establishment so he could see the segment of the show. Obviously Shaughnessy himself was also on the program, leaving the impression that Dan was in there simply checking out his own appearance.

While I’ve taken my shots at Shaughnessy over the years, this scenario is at least plausible, (I haven’t confirmed the fundraiser or that his son was on the show) so perhaps in this instance, Shaughnessy wasn’t there simply being narcissistic.

Hey, it’s a pretty slow news day. You can take it or leave it.

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ESPN announced a number of new programming initiatives today, with details being given on five new original content offerings. ESPN Reports (Which is only a working title at this point.) is described as a “primetime news magazine shot in high definition and dedicated to cutting-edge sports journalism.” Tom Farrey, Rachel Nichols, Lisa Salters, Jeremy Schaap and Michael Smith will serve as correspondents/reporters on the show, while Bill Simmons and Chuck Klosterman will also have featured roles on the show.

SportsCenter Minute will start airing hourly during ESPN on ABC programming in September .

The Moto X World Championships are a new annual event from the ESPN X Games team, the first will be held in April, 2008.

This is SportsCenter 300 is a series of specials airing Tuesdays in September to celebrate the 300th This is SportsCenter ad promo. These commercials have been running for 14 years now, and the specials will look back at some of the most memorable spots and talk to those involved in making them.

Finally, ESPN News will have a weekly one hour program focusing on Fantasy sports, starting in August.

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Celtics broadcaster Sean Grande (who co-hosted with Dale Arnold on WEEI mid-day today) has a column on Celtics.com saying that there is more to the 2007 draft than simply Greg Oden and Kevin Durant.

Eric Wilbur looks back to the last time Tim Wakefield was this hot with the Red Sox…1995.

Richard Sandomir looks at the cable operators scoring a victory against the NFL Network.

Leonard Shapiro says that Nick Faldo needs the perfect foil on Golf Channel.

Bob Raissman addresses the sad situation of 84-year-old Ralph Kiner’s deterioration in the Mets booth.

Neil Best says New York listeners don’t have much to choose from on their two midday sports radio offerings.

Mike Dunshee looks at candidates for the NHL Hall of Fame on the BSMW Power Play.

Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback, Tuesday Edition, looks at King fave (or obsession) Brett Favre.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Tigers @ Red Sox
8:00pm, TNT – Bulls @ Pistons
9:00pm, Versus – Red Wings @ Ducks
10:30pm, TNT – Warriors @ Jazz

Daisuke is Complete

Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched his first complete game in the American League last night as the Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers 7-1 at Fenway Park.

Jeff Horrigan has the Tigers, and even Matsuzaka himself unimpressed with the outing, while Gordon Edes has Tiger’s manager Jim Leyland calling “that Matsuki guy”… “the real deal.” Paul Kenyon looks at a terrific night for the Fenway faithful. Jeff Goldberg has more on Matsuzaka’s complete game victory. Ron Chimelis and Jennifer Toland complete the game stories.

Steve Buckley says Dice-K is adjusting to the big leagues right before our eyes. Bob Ryan says that “The Daisuke Era has now officially begun.” Steven Krasner breaks down Matsuzaka’s start last night by the numbers. Jon Couture looks at how watching Daisuke is a fixation on two continents.

Nick Cafardo has a look at the matchup of the two elite teams thus far in the American League this season. Rob Bradford has Gary Sheffield calling this the best Red Sox team since he joined the Yankees in 2004, and says that Yankees have a hard road to climb to overtake them. Alex Speier looks at the “what if” scenario had Sheffield been allowed to come to Boston this season as he had wanted to. Bill Reynolds weighs in on Curt Schilling, David Ortiz, and Dan Shaughnessy’s new book Senior Year.

Rob Bradford has Dustin Pedroia sparkling in the field with several nice plays at second base. Joe Haggerty has the Tigers and Red Sox gearing up for round two tonight. Buckley has former Red Sox pitcher (and Tigers minor league pitching coach) Bill Monbouquette monitoring the progress of his former pupils with the Tigers. Mike Petraglia has Javier Lopez riding the Boston/Pawtucket shuttle. Dom Amore says there are still more Yankees fans than Red Sox fans in Connecticut, but the Red Sox fans are making small gains each year.

Horrigan’s notebook has the Red Sox taking a wait-and-see attitude with Josh Beckett’s finger. Edes’ notebook suggests that Beckett could be out for a few weeks with the finger ailment. The Projo notebook says that the Red Sox are a few days away from knowing anything about Beckett’s availability. Goldberg’s notebook indicates that initial reports are positive on Beckett. Chimelis’ notebook has the Red Sox being cautious with Beckett. Toland’s notebook says there is no timetable yet for Beckett. Couture’s notebook has more on Beckett’s healing process.

Patriots
Christopher L. Gasper has Kareem Brown looking to shed the label of “underachiever” and replace it with “playmaker.” Eric McHugh has Bill Belichick seemingly impressed with Brown’s recent weight loss. John Tomase looks at the demands on the rookies at minicamp and what it says about the players.

Monday Wrap – 05.14.07

Back in the swing of things after a beautiful weekend in New England, weather wise.

It was good and bad to see Ron Borges back on the pages of the Boston Globe this weekend. His feature on Randy Moss was interesting reading, though it might’ve carried a little more weight had his main sources been two people other than perhaps the worst coaches the NFL has seen since the glory days of Rich Kotite.

A reminder that former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson appears on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel at 10:00pm tonight. The program explores the subject of head trauma in former NFL players and the after effects, including dementia, depression and Alzheimers.

Patriots All-Access won their second Boston/New England Emmy Award for best sports series at Saturday night’s Boston/New England Emmy Awards ceremony at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. All-Access also won an Emmy in 1999.

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Yesterday’s Fastballs and curves column by Tony Massarotti contained the following line, seemingly placed out of nowhere:

The only things worse than faceless media critics who hide behind their laptops are the media people who fund such wannabes.

I don’t really care about the obvious shot at this address. (Though if Tony perhaps knew how to use the internet better, he’d realize I’m not faceless.) What’s interesting here is the attack on his colleagues in the media.

If Tony only knew how many of his colleagues he really just insulted there.

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Apparently Dan Shaughnessy likes to go into bars and watch himself on TV. (Barstool Sports)

Dan Kennedy had a good take over the weekend on David Ortiz’s frustration with the Herald and their headline writers.

Butch Stearns says he has done his due diligence and is comfortable to report the breaking news that “Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finalized a deal with Richard Childress Racing.”

Peter King has his Monday Morning Quarterback column for this week.

Gordon Edes has a Monday edition of the Ask Edes Mailbag.

Edes also did a Red Sox chat earlier today.

Michael McCann on Sports Law Blog looks at Tim Wakefield’s loyalty to the Red Sox and the Reserve Clause.

Jonah Keri looks at Wakefield’s amazing start to the season, and what a bargain his contract is for the Red Sox.

Michael Hiestand reports that the World Series this fall will begin on a Wednesday, and if it goes to a game 7, would end on November 1st.

On ESPN.com, Sean McAdam manages to catch up with the ever-elusive J.P.Ricciardi to talk about the Blue Jays struggles thus far this season.

Barry Horn looks at the TPC ratings and talks to FOX baseball analyst Mark Grace.

David Barron notes that all hell seems to break loose in the Houston sports media world whenever he goes on vacation.

Dan Caesar says that FSN Midwest’s plug of a saloon owned by a Cardinals broadcaster came at a poor time.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Tigers @ Red Sox
7:00pm, TNT – Cavs @ Nets
7:00pm, Versus – Sabres @ Senators
8:30pm, ESPN – AFL – Chicago Rush @ Dallas Desperados
9:30pm, TNT – Suns @ Spurs

Mother’s Day Magic for Sox

Do you get the feeling yet that something special is happening at Fenway Park this season? Trailing 5-0 with one out and no one on in the ninth inning, Coco Crisp hit a pop up that was then dropped by Orioles catcher Ramon Hernandez in the infield. Crisp reached base, and thus started a rally that ended with a close play at first base and a thrilling 6-5 Red Sox victory.


Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox amazing rally after having lost ace Josh Beckett in the fourth inning with a skin avulsion on his right middle finger. Amalie Benjamin looks at the Red Sox displaying a never quit attitude on an afternoon that had loss written all over it. Paul Kenyon has the Orioles gift-wrapping one for the Red Sox on the Mother’s Day holiday. Jeff Goldberg has the Orioles making one mistake after another in handing the victory to the Red Sox. Ron Chimelis looks at the “most extraordinary game” of the season thus far for the Red Sox. Paul Jarvey looks at how things quickly turned after a muffed popup by the Orioles.

Bob Ryan chronicles the amazing comeback, which happened after a lot of people had given up on the afternoon. Steve Buckley looks at the sterling performance of Baltimore starter Jeremy Guthrie going to waste after he was curiously pulled with one out in the ninth inning with a 3 hit shutout going and only having thrown 91 pitches. Lenny Megliola says that the comeback was worth waiting for. Buckley also looks at Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo trying to explain his thinking in the move…one which might even cost him his job. Steven Krasner says that the Crisp popup was a textbook example of why pitchers should be fielding popups and not leaving them to the catcher and infielders. Chimelis says everybody got what they deserved at Fenway Park yesterday.

Rob Bradford has more on the avulsion which pulled Beckett from the ballgame. Joe McDonald also looks at the skin tear which brought Kyle Snyder into the game way earlier than expected. Alex Speier has more on Beckett’s starting being suddenly interrupted. Bradford also talks to Beckett’s mom on Mother’s Day, who says she knew his injury wasn’t that serious by watching him. Brendan McGair has Jack McKeon talking about Beckett’s heroics in the 2003 World Series against the Yankees.

Joe Haggerty has a look at Kevin Youkilis, who is in the middle of a hitting streak that should place him among the league leaders. Buckley looks at red hot Mike Lowell getting the afternoon off. Bradford has Daisuke Matsuzaka impressing teammates Beckett and Tim Wakefield after beating them in a golf showdown last week. Speier has a look at the Tigers, who come to town tonight and have made the remarkable transformation from doormats to contenders.

Brendan McGair and Robert Lee have the PawSox enjoying their own walk-off win on Mother’s Day yesterday.

Get the view from the opposition in the pages of the Baltimore Sun and the Washington Post.

Horrigan’s notebook has Francona removing Manny Ramirez from the game after eight innings due to tightness in his hamstring. Benjamin’s notebook has Beckett hopeful he’ll be able to make his next start. The Projo notebook has more on Francona saying that he was being a little overprotective in taking Manny out of the game with his tight hamstring. Goldberg’s notebook has Beckett’s bid for either wins in eight starts stymied by the skin avulsion. Chimelis’ notebook has the Cora effect staying true – the Red Sox are now 11-0 in games started by Alex Cora. Jarvey’s notebook has more on Beckett’s finger.

Patriots
The Patriots held their rookie minicamp this past weekend, giving media their first look at the draftees and undrafted free agents hoping to latch on with the team. John Tomase says that the job market here in New England is pretty poor for most of these players. Mike Reiss takes a look at the hour-long on field workout for the rookies yesterday afternoon. Tommy Hine has the Patriots rookies getting some hard-learned lessons this weekend. Christopher Price notes that the Patriots rookies are facing the toughest job interview of their young lives. Eric McHugh has the Patriots again swimming against the tide with the selection of Brandon Meriweather.

Karen Guregian has Vince Wilfork offering advice to fellow University of Miami players (and Patriots draftees) Brandon Meriweather and Kareem Brown. Shalise Manza Young has Brown hoping to shake the “underachiever” label that was attached to him in college. Dan Pires has Brown planning on keeping his mouth shut and his ears and mind open and learning as much as he can. Mark Farinella has more on Brown, noting that he already sounds like a pro, having come from a huge program at Miami.

Albert Breer has sixth round pick Corey Hilliard tuckered out after an exhausting weekend at minicamp. Jennifer Toland has seventh round pick Oscar Lua hoping for the chance to play with his idol, Junior Seau. Tomase looks at the long odds facing former Air Force safety Denny Poland in his NFL dream. Young has quarterback Matt Gutierrez honored at the chance to learn from Tom Brady.

Guregian’s notebook has Belichick remaining mum on the report that Junior Seau is set to re-sign with the Patriots. The Globe notebook says that the Patriots history with undrafted free agents the last few seasons makes them an attractive destination for those in that position. Toland’s notebook has more on Gutierrez hoping to learn from Brady. Farinella’s notebook has more on Seau’s possible return to Foxboro.

Weekend Watch – Schilling/Bonds/Steroids Burnout

It was just another week in Boston, with wall-to-wall controversy, backbiting and steroids talk filling the airwaves.

It leads into a “normal” May sports weekend, with NBA and NHL playoffs, MLB regular season and Golf (TPC Sawgrass) all available for viewing the next two days.

Locally, the Red Sox entertain the Orioles at Fenway, and the Patriots hold their rookie mini-camp this weekend.

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David Ortiz’s honeymoon with the Boston sports media might’ve ended this week as the Red Sox slugger refused to talk to print media this week after he felt his comments earlier in the week on whether he might’ve unwittingly had taken performance enhancing substances as a young player in the Dominican Republic. We’ll see how long this lasts and how it is treated by those effected by the boycott.

Meanwhile, Ortiz might consider just freezing out all media, there was speculation about him on WEEI as well. After railing on about how irresponsible it was for Curt Schilling to call a name under suspicion for steroids without direct proof, a WEEI host then started to wonder aloud if Ortiz was working on lessening the blow if he was later found to be connected to steroids. Ortiz’s power numbers now compared to his time in Minnesota was present as possible evidence. Of course, last week, Ortiz’s former teammate with the Twins (and Red Sox) Todd Walker was on the same show and talk about how the coaches in Minnesota really tried to change Ortiz’s natural style, which led to his struggles there.

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Former Patriot Ted Johnson will be interviewed as part of HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” on Monday night at 10:00. One of the topics for the show is post-concussion syndrome that is of increasing concern due to the number of former NFL players suffering from debilitating memory loss, confusion, dementia and even suicidal depression.

Though he cleaned himself up for the HBO interview, Johnson, the former Patriots linebacker, had spent the previous 11 days in a darkened apartment.

Johnson says on the show: “I don’t shave. Don’t shower. Don’t brush my teeth. You don’t care.”
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In between dodging inquires about his suspension on 890 ESPN this week, Ron Borges actually was pretty positive about the moves made by the Patriots this offseason. When asked about Randy Moss, he compared it to the move to get Corey Dillon three years ago, and he was very supportive of the Dillon move when it occurred. He also gave the other side of the Brandon Meriweather incident in the Florida International game last season, (as chronicled by Chris Gasper in the Globe today) noting that an FIU receiver had repeatedly been trying to hit Meriweather in the head throughout the game.

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A few radio notes:

With each week that goes by, Gerry Callahan’s absence becomes more and more curious. There’s no doubt Gerry sounded horrible in the weeks (months) leading up to this “break”, but WEEI’s actions in handling this have only raised questions about the future of the Dennis & Callahan show. By switching around their lineup with Dale Arnold doing this week with Dennis and Michael Holley doing next week (Who is next in line, Pete Sheppard?) the station appears to be trying to scramble and try combinations on the chance that Callahan doesn’t come back from this, either because his voice is permanently damaged, or he decides to move on when his contract is up in a few months. Could Entercom be thinking of moving him over to WRKO to try and spark ratings on that morning show?

What makes it even more curious is the fact that no one as the station is talking about it. You’d think a topic like this would be one ripe for plenty of jokes, and while there have been a few here and there, it’s been very tame, like no one wants to talk about it. When an edict is issued at WEEI not to talk about something, it is usually followed to the letter.

Callahan last appeared on April 24th. Next week will be his third away from the station.

We heard a little sniping between media heavyweights this week

Glenn Ordway took a shot at Peter Gammons on Wednesday by saying that he had his “head in the sand” over the whole steroids issue.

In his weekly appearance on 890 ESPN radio on Thursday Gammons then referred to WEEI as “angry white radio” when discussing Curt Schilling’s comments on Barry Bonds.

Gammons, of course, used to appear on WEEI weekly, and now is exclusively on 890 ESPN.

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In the Phoenix this week, Mike Miliard had a look at the Boston Braves and how big a part of Boston they once were. The title of the article asks if the wrong team left town in 1953. Like several readers, I was curious about this section of the story:

Several years ago, Johnson, who’s written books about both Boston baseball teams, remembers getting a call from a local sports-media figure who shall remain nameless: “Gee, could you tell me, when did the Braves become the Red Sox?” Johnson was dumbfounded. “It took me 10 minutes to explain that there were two teams.”

I demand to know who this was. Butch Stearns? Steve Burton? Bill Burt? Michael Felger?

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After the Celtics gave Doc Rivers a contract extension, Bill Simmons needed to do a mailbag as therapy.

The Smittblog is pretty sure that Simmons’ column from Thursday got shortened a bit after the fact.

Chad Finn has his national nine innings column for FOX Sports.

ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber addresses perceived conflicts of interest in ESPN coverage.

Dr Z says that no matter how many great years Randy Moss has with the Patriots, he’s going to do all he can to keep him out of the Hall of Fame.

Pete Prisco has post-draft NFL power rankings, with the Patriots coming in second behind the Colts.

Football Outsiders is re-running a column on Randy Moss from 2004.

John Smallwood in Philadelphia says Curt Schilling shouldn’t apologize, he only said what the rest of us are thinking about Bonds.

Lars Anderson of Sports Illustrated looks at Dale Earnhardt Jr’s decision to leave Dale Earnhardt Inc, including an exclusive chat with Earnhardt.

Paul Lukas has a look at uniform cameos – players who spent much of their career with one team, but also appeared in the uniform of another, which are usually forgotten. Dr J as an Atlanta Hawk? I must’ve spent a half hour on this article, clicking on all the links to the photos.

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Sports Media Columns from Around the Country

New England
David Scott looks at the Ron Borges Redemption Tour getting into full swing this week, with the reinstated writer acting “equal parts smug and fidgety” during a few appearances this week. Scott examines the Globe’s silence on the matter of Borges’ work for Oscar De La Hoya during his suspension, and the Boston Newspaper Guild’s support and defense of Borges at an upcoming arbitration meeting. Susan Bickelhaupt talks to Entercom’s Jason Wolfe about the switch of Red Sox games from WEEI to WRKO. Wolfe, as you might expect, says everything is going very smooth and easy. Bill Doyle has WTAG radio host Mike Messina (“the moose”) making a name for himself.

New York
Bob Raissman notes that Roger Clemens is already dealing with the media on his own terms. Richard Sandomir has NFL Network losing a court ruling that allows Comcast to put the network on their sports tier on the systems they recently acquired from Time Warner. Neil Best has NFL commissioner Roger Goodell issuing updated media guidelines which indicate that head coaches must make their assistants available to the media on a regular basis. Best also launch his sports media blog WatchDog this week, and is off to a terrific start with it. Pat Reichart has five questions with YES Network analyst Al Leiter.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand says that hole 17 at TPC Sawgrass will be in the spotlight at this weekend’s NBC coverage of The Players. Michael McCarthy says that Johnny Miller might be rough on the players, but he is very good for the viewers, which is how it should be. Chris Zelkovich looks at the Maple Leafs changing the TV landscape in terms of local TV rights. Laura Nachman has FOX’s Ken Rosenthal having a homecoming of sorts this weekend in Philadelphia. Bob Smizik says Penguins radio voice Mike Lange could be interested in the Coyotes TV job which recently opened up. Jim Williams has another case of when good broadcasters go bad in Baltimore. He also notes that the Washington Capitals website will be streaming the World Hockey Championships. Leonard Shapiro examines the strategies and competition between Washington D.C.’s two sports radio stations, WTEM and Triple X ESPN Radio.

South
Barry Horn says Derek Harper called it like it was during the Mavericks elimination at the hands of the Warriors. Barry Jackson has 790 The Ticket beating out WQAM in the latest ratings book. Dave Darling has SPEED channel examining the Dale Earnhardt/Jeff Gordon rivalry.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein looks a FOX’s experiment of putting microphones on umpires during their Saturday baseball broadcasts. Jeffrey Flanagan has former Kansas City broadcaster Doug Franz calling KC the “greatest sports town in America.” Dan Caesar has KTRS host Mike Claiborne back on the air after a serious illness. Judd Zulgad has both FOX and ESPN focusing on the Twins/Tigers series this weekend. Bob Wolfley has criticism of Johnny Miller, saying that the NBC golf analyst has been getting a bit too cozy with the sponsors.

West Coast
Larry Stewart has the TPC limiting the number of commercial breaks during the NBC broadcast in an effort to raise the stature of the event. John Maffei has more on NBC going all-out in their coverage of the TPC. Jim Carlisle has the focus on the 17th hole at “the fifth major.” Carlisle’s notebook has a look at a high ratings weekend for a number of sporting events. Jay Posner has a look at the NFL’s revised media policy. Tom Hoffarth looks at FOX letting the umpires have their say on the telecasts. Joe Davidson has Sacramento native Jeff Ogan working his way up to becoming vice president of Turner Sports and a big part of the TNT NBA coverage.

Sox Sweep Jays

David Scott looks at the Ron Borges Redemption Tour getting into full swing this week, with the reinstated writer acting “equal parts smug and fidgety” during a few appearances this week. Scott examines the Globe’s silence on the matter of Borges’ work for Oscar De La Hoya during his suspension, and the Boston Newspaper Guild’s support and defense of Borges at an upcoming arbitration meeting.

Red Sox
The Red Sox continued to roll and the Blue Jays continued to roll over for them last night, as Toronto ace Roy Halladay was roughed up to the tune of eight run (seven earned) in five innings, while Tim Wakefield continued his stretch of dominance with seven shutout innings as Boston blanked the Blue Jays 8-0 at Roger Centre.

Sean McAdam says it was more of the same for the Red Sox last night – “opportunistic, two-out hitting and stellar starting pitching.” Gordon Edes has the Red Sox putting all the controversy behind them and rolling to the win behind Wakefield. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox closing out a 5-1 road trip in impressive fashion. Jeff Goldberg reports on the Blue Jays leaving the roof open to try to increase their odds of success against Wakefield to no avail. Bill Ballou wonders if the Red Sox have created the perfect baseball team.

Rob Bradford has a mini-feature on reliever Hideki Okajima, who has emerged from the shadow of Daisuke Matsuzaka to become something of a star in his own right out of the Boston bullpen. Nick Cafardo says that the Red Sox could end up running away with the division. Alex Speier notes that the reason for the Red Sox success this season is simple – they’ve been healthy.

Michael Silverman looks at Wakefield extending his scoreless streak to 16 innings with the win last night. Joe Haggertyhas the Red Sox ready for some home cooking after their six game road trip. Silverman has Julian Tavarez talking about his reliance and admiration for Jason Varitek, on whom he has relied heavily on during his stint as a starter. Mike Petraglia has the Orioles coming to town this weekend under another shadow of misery. Horrigan has Kevin Youkilis back in the Red Sox lineup and inflicting pain on the Blue Jays after having to sit out the night before after getting hit in the leg in consecutive games. Amalie Benjamin has a minor league notebook, and looks at the slow start for the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Horrigan’s notebook suffered a critical setback after losing closer B.J. Ryan for the season to Tommy John surgery. Edes’s notebook has Mike Timlin taking the time to reminisce about the start of his career in Toronto, and hoping to end his career as he started it…with a World Series title. McAdam’s notebook says that a first inning double play might have been the play of the game for the Red Sox last night. Goldberg’s notebook has a couple of Red Sox players still talking about the steroids issues and Barry Bonds. Ballou’s notebook compares the Red Sox 2007 start with those among the best in team history.

Celtics/NBA
Shira Springer and Mark Murphy report on the Celtics giving head coach Doc Rivers a contract extension. The deal is believed to be a one year extension with an option for one beyond that. Christopher Price also looks at the Celtics giving Rivers a new deal despite just concluding one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

Desmond Conner has a look at Ajou Deng, former UConn and Fairfield player and older brother to the Chicago Bulls’ Luol Deng. Ddavid Sandora offers up an NBA Un-Star team.

Patriots
Christopher L. Gasper has at look at Patriots first round draft choice Brandon Meriweather, with those who know him adamant that he is not a bad seed. Background is given to the FIU incident on October 14th as well as the gun incident, along with a look at his skills and potential. Karen Guregian has Kevin Faulk talking about the Patriots offseason additions and the excitement that is building towards the 2007 season. Eric McHugh has a profile of the team’s sixth round pick, running back Justise Hairston from Central Connecticut State University. When CCSU alum Scott Pioli happened to be in town for a reunion last fall, Hairston put on a show, rushing for a school-record 332 yards.

Columns/Misc
Bob Ryan takes a few minutes to empty out the drawer of the sports mind. Jim Donaldson also has his own version of the thoughts column, leading off with the wonderment that Boston fans are supposed to cheer Randy Moss and boo Roger Clemens this year.

Susan Bickelhaupt talks to Jason Wolfe about the switch of Red Sox games from WEEI to WRKO. Wolfe, as you might expect, says everything is going very smooth and easy.

Michael Vega has Dale Earnhardt Jr leaving the family business of Dale Earnhardt Inc.

Schilling, Steroids Holding Airwaves Hostage in Boston

Does anyone else see the irony in WEEI hosts criticizing Curt Schilling for saying stupid things on the radio?

This whole Schilling/Barry Bonds/steroids/blogging thing is just way out of control and I’ve got a headache from hearing take after take on the topic.

In talking about the attention being paid to Barry Bonds on the steroid issue, Michael Felger on 890 ESPN radio laid out a fairly compelling circumstantial trail connecting Roger Clemens to steroids through his trainer, Brian McNamee. (Just Google that name with the words steroids.)

Even the Technology/PR blog Micro Persuasion is talking about Curt Schilling’s blog, saying: “I wish every company had its high profile individuals blogging like Curt Schilling does.”

Jonathan Papelbon weighed in on the topic as well, saying what Schilling said about Bonds “wasn’t too professional.”

The blog LyfLines says Glenn Ordway twisted Schilling’s words on The Big Show yesterday.

Eric Wilbur notes that lost in among all this nonsense is the fact that the Red Sox are tearing it up on the field.

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Mike Reiss has a quick Q&A with Wes Welker.

Dan Lamothe looks at the NFL cracking down on how the injury report is use. Based on what I’ve seen, I don’t think much will change here in New England or anywhere around the league. Players who have an injury will be listed as “questionable” and “had limited participation in practice” which will be just a vague as the old system.

Jake Schumaker on Football Outsiders polls a number of the top NFL draft grades and averages them out.

Tina Cassidy looks at what Tom Brady wearing a Yankees cap really means.

Jessica Camerato has Tony Allen playing basketball again. Sort of.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Blue Jays
7:00pm, Versus – Senators @ Sabres
9:00pm, ESPN – Pistons @ Bulls

Dice-K Gets It Together

Daisuke Matsuzaka reversed his trend of seeing his ERA raise with each of his starts, as the Japanese righthander held the Blue Jays to just one run over seven innings while striking out eight in the Red Sox 9-3 win in Toronto last night. Matsuzaka improved to 4-2 on the season with a 4.80 ERA.

Gordon Edes has Matsuzaka restoring order to his world, and Toma Ohka left frustrated in front of the Japanese media and fans once again. Jeff Horrigan notes that an unconventional game day training routine perhaps helped Matsuzaka get back on track last night. Sean McAdam has the mad scientist efforts by Matsuzaka to figure out his struggles paying off with a very good performance last night. Jeff Goldberg has Matsuzaka making some technical adjustments heading into last night’s start. Bill Ballou says the Red Sox are scary when they make it look this easy.

Nick Cafardo has Terry Francona urging Curt Schilling to “zip it a little” when it comes to speaking his mind. Cafardo also uses this occasion to remind the public “how dangerous unedited blogs can be” – even though this whole latest mess started when Schilling opened his mouth on the radio. Michael Silverman notes that this edition of the Red Sox is impressive in their ability to shut out the circus-like atmosphere that has surrounded them this season.

Silverman has Schilling, David Ortiz and Francona having to deal with the fallout of the steroid talk from earlier in the week. Goldberg examines Schilling’s public apology to Barry Bonds yesterday. Christopher Price also looks at Schilling’s apology.

Cafardo looks at Matsuzaka’s improved performance last night, and notes the many adjustments he’s been trying make and says that Dice-K became a good pitcher again last night. Horrigan has J.P. Ricciardi saying that the Blue Jays will do all they can to play tonight’s game with the roof open in an effort to avoid facing Tim Wakefield in a dome. Alex Speier says that Wakefield might have a shot at the Red Sox all-time wins record held by Cy Young and Roger Clemens. At his current pace, he could reach the mark in early 2011 at the age of 44.

Bob Ryan wants to know what the punishment is going to be for players found to have used steroids once George Mitchell’s much ballyhooed investigation eventually wraps up. Buddy Thomas says Roger Clemens won’t be enough of a difference for the Yankees.

Get the view from up North in the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail

Horrigan’s notebook has a look at Mike Lowell becoming the top opposing hitter against the Blue Jays with at least 100 at-bats. Edes’s notebook has Ortiz and Francona frustrated with how the media has latched onto the slugger’s comments earlier in the week about steroids and whether he has ever used them. McAdam’s notebook has a look at Schilling’s apology to Bonds on his blog.

Misc

John Tomase has a look at Patriots fourth round pick Kareem Brown, and has his position coach at Miami saying that New England might’ve gotten the steal of the draft in the defensive lineman.

Mark Blaudschun and Lenny Megliola look at the memorable week for Doug Flutie, as he was elected to two Halls of Fame in two different countries.

Mike Fine says that there is a lot of things in sports that he just doesn’t “get.”

Michael Vega looks at the Boston Cannons’ rock and roll superstar Mike Powell.

Bill Reynolds says that a new book on the Duke Lacrosse case chronicles the sad state of our society today.

Douglas Flynn has the Providence Bruins relying on a ragtag lineup in the AHL playoffs thanks to a rash of injuries.

Bill Doyle has WTAG radio host Mike Messina (“the moose”) making a name for himself.