Wednesday Wrap – 06.20.07

I got a rather disturbing email yesterday that suggested that Gerry Callahan’s throat ailment was more serious than anyone has reported thus far.

The emailer suggested that the seriousness of the condition is the reason why WEEI has not been making a ton of jokes and running excessive comedy bits about his absence.

I have been unable to confirm anything about this, as no one I’ve contacted is talking. (The emailer said that Callahan had requested that the nature of his condition not be made public at this time.) While that is understandable, people do want to know what is going on, and silence leads to speculation. Every day I’m getting emails asking about his condition, and the search term “Gerry Callahan” has dominated all searches on the site for the last few weeks.

I really hope it is nothing serious, that the email was just another rumor, and I certainly wish Callahan a complete and quick recovery.

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LeBron James and Jimmy Kimmel will cohost the 2007 ESPN ESPY Awards which will be held on Sunday, July 15, at 9 p.m. ET.

In addition, this year’s presenters will include Dane Cook (Good Luck Chuck), Matt Leinart (Arizona Cardinals), Samuel L. Jackson (1408, Resurrecting the Champ), Peyton Manning (Indianapolis Colts), Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (The Game Plan, Get Smart), Michael Phelps (Swimming Star), Maria Sharapova (Tennis Star), Kate Walsh (“Private Practice,” “Grey’s Anatomy”), Jamie Lynn Sigler (“The Sopranos”), T.I. (rapper/songwriter/producer/actor) and Vince Young (Tennessee Titans) with more to be announced in the coming weeks.

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Bob Ryan remembers Larry Whiteside. (He really didn’t know about the Black List?)

The Eagle in Atlanta blog has an interview with Dan Shaughnessy – mostly about his new book, but he is asked about blogging as well.

We got a look at the Kevin Garnett rumors on the BSMW Full Court Press.

Bill Simmons offers his draft advice to the lottery teams.

Jessica Camerato looks at whether there is anyone out there that can turn the Celtics around at picks 5 and 32. She also takes part in an NBA Draft Sleepers discussion and the Basketball News Team Draft.

Mike Fine looks at Coby Karl’s visit with the Celtics.

Teddy Panos chastises the worriers in Red Sox nation.

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Tonight on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, (10:00pm) Gumbel concludes the show with a few words about Gene Upshaw, the embattled head of the NFL Players Association. Here’s what he has to say:

“Rarely a day goes by now when you can’t find Upshaw’s name in your local newspaper, generally being verbally assailed by folks with legitimate grievances. A number of ex-NFL players find him cruel and callous, a variety of folks are taking exception to his definition of disability, medical people are questioning his seeming lack of regard for player safety, some veterans have filed suit claiming he’s denied them millions in licensing fees, Congress too wants some answers up on Capitol Hill.

“Now instead of being professional, Upshaw, in response to all this has adopted the turtle defense, choosing to explain himself to no one. At a time when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is rightly using an iron fist to upgrade the image of active players, the players’ union boss has become the leagues biggest embarrassment, even stooping to physical threats against one of his critics.

“As one whose low opinion of Gene Upshaw is a matter of record, I can’t say I’m surprised. History suggests you can only deceive so many for so long. One can only wonder when the active players will join the growing chorus of those crying out for new leadership. It is, after all, their union. It’d be nice to see them reclaim it before they become ex-players, and find out the hard way why so many are so outraged.”

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Tonight

7:00pm, ESPN2 – College World Series
7:30pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Braves

Beckett, Sox Back on Track

Josh Beckett improved to 10-1 on the season (and hit a double at the plate) and David Ortiz stroked his 12th home run of the season as the Red Sox bounced back to take the second game of their series with the Atlanta Braves 4-0 at Turner Field last night.

Sean McAdam says that the performance of Beckett last night helped the Red Sox keep their minds off the status of Curt Schilling’s shoulder. Jeff Horrigan has Beckett laying hold to the claim of stopper last night in Atlanta. Gordon Edes looks at David Ortiz hitting a homer in the win last night, something that has become increasingly rare this season and pitchers refuse to give the Sox slugger anything to hit. Jeff Goldberg says that Beckett reaffirmed his status as ace of the staff with his outing last night. Bill Ballou has more on Beckett picking up his 10th win of the season.

Rob Bradford has a look at Beckett growing into the role of the ace of the Red Sox staff. Nick Cafardo has Beckett helping himself out with his bat, something that he takes pride in. Bradford has a source that tells him that Curt Schilling’s MRI shows no damage to the pitcher’s shoulder. Edes’ also says that the MRI results are normal, showing no damage to Schilling.

Jon Couture says that even with his recent struggles, Schilling is still a bargain. Horrigan has Beckett praising the great catch made by Coco Crisp in the fifth inning last night. Jeff Howe has Johnny Pesky talking about the Red Sox seemingly neverending carousel at shortstop the last few years.

Lenny Megliola talks to Mike Barber, who made the short film Roger Clemens 2057 which has been circulating around the internet like crazy this week. Dan Ackman in the Wall Street Journal has a feature on Bill James.

Horrigan’s notebook has Terry Francona giving the slumping Julio Lugo the night off, and tabs Devern Hansack as the pitcher the Red Sox might turn to should Curt Schilling not be able to make his next start. Edes’s notebook has Coco Crisp once again making a spectacular catch in the outfield, and showing signs of life at the plate as well. McAdam’s notebook has Schilling’s MRI coming back clean. Goldberg’s notebook has a look at Alex Cora picking up his fourth triple of the season. Ballou’s notebook has more on Schilling’s shoulder.

Columns
Dan Shaughnessy has a few observations on the Boston sports scene, including thoughts on the Bruins. Garry Brown is hitting to all fields. Mark Farinella has thoughts on Troy Brown, Curt Schilling, Bridget Moynahan, the Bruins and more.

Patriots/NFL
John Tomase wants to know what is holding up the return of Troy Brown to the Patriots. Albert Breer says that the Patriots could have interest in Georgia corner Paul Oliver in the supplemental draft next month.

Christopher L. Gasper has the NFL coming up with a plan to deal properly with concussions. Eric McHugh looks at a patented mouth guard that has been shown to be effective in cutting down on concussions, but isn’t getting any love from the NFL. He also gets an opinion on Ted Johnson.

Bruins
Stephen Harris says that if Claude Julien is to be the Bruins next coach, he has a big challenge ahead of him. Fluto Shinzawa has Peter Chiarelli attempting to copy the Ottawa style of scouting prospects. Mike Loftus has more on the coaching situation.

Celtics
Mark Murphy looks at Boise State guard Koby Karl, son of Denver Nuggets coach George Karl and also a cancer survivor. Mike Fine looks back to the fateful 1986 draft.

Tuesday Tidbits – 06.19.07

Crazy day here…

It was interesting to hear Bob Neumeier mention this morning in the closing of the WEEI morning show that he was going to be back on in a couple of weeks.

This would seem to indicate that unless Neumeier is filling in for John Dennis, Gerry Callahan is nowhere close to being ready to resume his morning show duties.

In the June 8th media column by Susan Bickelhaupt Callahan made a joking reference to Asante Samuel. At this rate, Samuel will be back in action before Callahan…

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Mike Reiss checks in with another offseason edition of the Ask Reiss Mailbag.

A couple of possible supplemental draft possibilities for the Patriots are mentioned in the Globe and Herald blogs today, as Reiss mentions Nebraska offensive lineman Chris Patrick and Albert Breer has a look at former Georgia corner Paul Oliver.

When Dale Arnold started reading this story about former Celtic Vin Baker, today, I was sure that Baker had met an untimely death. Should we be relieved it was “only” drunk driving? What a mess this guy’s life is.

Gordon Edes had a Red Sox chat on Boston.com today.

Dan Lamothe nabs an interview with one of the Red Sox bongo drum dancers.

Bill Simmons chronicles his latest trip to Vegas.

Neil Best wants your opinion on the best and worst NYC sports announcers.

Michael Hiestand says that Johnny Miller delivered for NBC in the U.S. Open broadcast, while Chris Berman, not so much…

Bob Raissman didn’t enjoy the Roger Clemens infomercial during ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

Richard Sandomir examines why Alex Rodriguez has yet to be the subject of a YES network “Yankeeography” show.

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Tonight

7:00, NESN – Red Sox @ Braves
7:00, ESPN2 – College World Series

Monday Wrap – 06.18.07

Probably won’t have a morning post tomorrow as I’ve got to be at Logan at 6:30 to pick up a family member.

My “headline dashboards” for each of the four major Boston pro teams are now finished, and you can use them at any time to check out the latest headlines from the local papers, national sites and fan blogs on the local teams.

RedSoxLinks.com

PatriotsLinks.com

CelticsLinks.com

BruinsLinks.com

Please update your bookmarks, as these are new URL’s and will be the permanent homes to these dashboards as I continue to add onto them.

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This morning on WEEI, right after the “headlines” segment, and after the show had been sent o commercial, the following apology was run, read by John Dennis:

On February 16th 2007, we discussed the criminal case of Patrick Doyle who had recently been sentenced in Essex Superior Court. During the show, we made statements suggesting that members of the Doyle family, including a District court judge, a retired district court judge, and an assistant district attorney had made phone calls to the sentencing judge or otherwise had influenced the outcome of Mr Doyle’s sentence. We want to make it clear to the public that we did not mean to claim that any member of the Doyle family had actually done anything improper and that we did not have any information to support those statements. We apologize to the Doyle family and to the public for any confusion our statements may have caused.

If you’re wondering, this is the case to which that apology is referring to. I’m personally not too worked up over the insinuations made by D&C.

Speaking of the WEEI morning show, it’s been great to hear Bob Neumeier in the mornings. I wouldn’t mind a full time return to the station for Neumy.

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From Chad Ford on ESPN Insider today, regarding possible destinations from Kevin Garnett:

If KG’s not going to Chicago, where could he go? From what I’m hearing — and at this point it’s just a hot rumor — the Wolves and Boston Celtics are talking about a Garnett deal.

In this scenario, Boston would send Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, and change to Minnesota along with the No. 5 pick in the upcoming draft. In exchange, the Celtics would get Garnett.

Jefferson AND Green AND the No. 5 pick? No thanks.

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Apparently it was just another day in the NFL. Pacman Jones is in trouble again, another Bengal was arrested, and another NFL player (LaVar Arrington) was involved in a motorcycle accident.

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Peter King has his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column.

Tom Curran says that Mike Nolan has the 49ers headed on the right track.

Sean McAdam looks at the AL East and says that the Yankees will need some outside help to overtake the Red Sox.

Dayn Perry says that the series to watch this week is Red Sox/Padres.

Chaz Scoggins reviews the DVD set, “Impossible to Forget” about the 1967 Red Sox, as well as a pair of sports books.

Tony Massarotti says that Bud Selig and Tony LaRussa have a tough decision on whether to add Barry Bonds to the National League roster for the All Star game which is being held in San Francisco this year.

Dan Guttenplan says that it is clear the Bonds didn’t get the message this weekend. He also seems to suggest that baseball had the Giants made the Red Sox “natural rivals” this season and did that just so that Bonds could face the adverse conditions of Boston this season, while chasing the home run record. Neither is true of course, as the interleague rotation is set up years in advance.

Mike Fine looks at the bats returning to action for the Red Sox yesterday. Alan Greenwood and Bob Stern have more coverage from yesterday’s game.

Ronald Tillery of the Memphis Commercial Appeal says that the Grizzlies have hired Celtics GM Chris Wallace to be their new GM to replace Jerry West.

Jeff Goodman has the Celtics taking Mike Conley Jr. with the 5th pick.

Ian Thomsen says that several top NBA picks. including Greg Oden, have injury concerns

Pat Imig looks at the Time magazine cover curse.

Deadspin.com has a pretty extensive interview with Harold Reynolds, who talks about his dismissal from ESPN.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Braves (ESPN National)
7:00pm, ESPN2 – College World Series
10:00pm, ESPN2 – AFL – Chicago Rush @ Colorado Crush

Sox Finish Off Sweep of Giants

The Red Sox finished off a three game sweep of the San Francisco Giants yesterday at Fenway Park with a 9-5 win behind Tim Wakefield. Barry Bonds hit a solo home run for the Giants, while Manny Ramirez hit his 10th on the season for the Red Sox.

Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox bats awakening and Joel Piñeiro getting the job done in relief for the Red Sox victory. Michael Silverman looks at a feel-good Father’s Day at Fenway Park. Shalise Manza Young notes that despite the score, the game really came down to one key pitch from Piñeiro. Jeff Goldberg has the Red Sox finishing up the sweep despite the solo home run by Bonds off his former teammate Wakefield. Paul Jarvey looks at the Sox getting to Giants starter Matt Morris early and often yesterday. Jeff Howe notes that the Sox roughing up Morris was just like game 2 of the 2004 World Series.

Bob Ryan looks at a good weekend at Fenway for the Red Sox, noting that you’ve got to feel good about this team going forward. Steve Buckley looks at Bonds getting his Fenway Park home run and being in a good mood after the game, despite the loss. Nick Cafardo notes that Bonds actually enjoyed himself in Boston this weekend, and that the fans weren’t nearly as nasty to him as everyone (i.e. the media) said they would be. Rich Thompson looks at Wakefield joining the long list of pitchers who have surrendered a home run to Bonds. Lenny Megliola looks at Bonds and the Sox parting ways after a lively weekend at Fenway. Ron Chimelis says that the Giants will be a better team when Bonds is gone. Eric McHugh notes that Bonds is “the No. 1 punching bag in all of sports.”

Rob Bradford has Kevin Youkilis approaching Stuffy McInnis’ club record for consecutive games at first base without an error. Daniel Malloy has David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez starting to come into form, power wise. Bradford has Joel Piñeiro turning things around for himself with one pitch yesterday afternoon. Howe has Bonds hitting a solo homer as he adds Fenway to his list of Parks. Bradford has Osamu Higashio, who managed Daisuke Matsuzaka in Japan, recalling his matchups against legendary Japanese slugger Sadaharu Oh. Bradford also has David Ortiz getting a special Father’s Day gift from his wife and kids.

Get the rest of the coverage, including feeds from many of the top Red Sox fan blogs on the RedSoxLinks.com page. Check out the view from the Bay Area on Bonds getting his Fenway Park home run on the Bay Area Sports Pages.

Chad Finn offers up a few thoughts on the weekend.

Silverman’s notebook has Brendan Donnelly going on the IR, with Manny Delcarmen getting the call to replace him on the roster. Benjamin’s notebook has more on the Sox placing Donnelly on the injured list with a strained forearm. The Projo notebook observes that Bonds didn’t really make a mark in this series with his bat. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Donnelly’s injury. Chimelis’ notebook also follows up on the injury to the Sox main right handed setup man. Jarvey’s notebook has Bonds finally getting his Fenway home run.

U.S. Open
Jim McCabe looks at Angel Cabrera holding off the big names to win his first Major championship. Tony Massarotti has Tiger Woods unable to complete his comeback yesterday, finishing one stroke behind. Jeff Jacobs looks at the “waddling duck from Argentina” holding off Woods for the win. Bruce Berlet has more on Cabrera.

Massarotti looks at Jim Furyk letting another U.S. Open slip away. McCabe has a number of the players talking about how the Oakmont course was mentally and physically abusing to them.

Massarotti’s notebook has a look at a nightmarish final round for Woods’ playing partner Aaron Baddeley. McCabe’s notebook has Furyk’s decision to go with a driver on 17 being his undoing. Berlet’s notebook has updates on a couple of guys with local ties.

Sunday
A few of the Sunday/Weekend columns:

Dan Shaughnessy remembered Larry Whiteside. Christopher L. Gasper had Whiteside’s obituary in the Globe.

Kevin Paul Dupont endorses Mike Milbury as the Bruins next coach. Steve Conroy prefers Providence Bruins coach Scott Gordon. Mike Loftus says that Dave Lewis was never a good fit here.

Mike Reiss had Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum (A former Globe delivery boy) talking about his dad on Father’s Day. Eric McHugh had former Pat Sean Morey finding a new home with the Cardinals.

Mark Murphy says that the Celtics could find decent value with the 5th pick. Peter May loves the Spurs. Steve Bulpett has Kendrick Perkins challenging himself and his teammates to get better this offseason.

Nick Cafardo loves the Yankees in his Baseball Notes and says that beating the Red Sox might’ve turned their season around. Massarotti in Covering All Bases also says that the Yankees appear to have put it all together. Jon Couture looks at the Giants fan who made the trip to Fenway this weekend. Mark Farinella says that baseball has lost its luster among the current generation.

Weekend Watch – Barry Bonds Hits Boston

Former Boston Globe sports reporter Larry Whiteside, a pioneer in many respects, passed away Friday morning at the age of 69.

Nick Cafardo offers a few thoughts, as well as a copy of the nomination letter he sent to the national committee for the J.G. Taylor Spink Award (Baseball Hall of Fame) earlier this year. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig commented on the passing today as well.

The letter from Cafardo gives you some idea of just how great a man Whiteside was, and yet what he did and accomplished in his career is largely unknown to the average Boston fan.

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Breaking
The Bruins have “relieved” head coach Dave Lewis Dave Lewis and associate coach Marc Habscheid of their duties. Douglas Flynn and Kevin Paul Dupont report on the news.

Hmmm, the Bruins choose 6:00pm on a Friday night to announce it. I guess I just don’t get that practice in general. It’s almost insulting to the fans and public. Much like the Borges “retirement” being announced on a Friday evening.

Messageboards are buzzing that Pat Quinn could be a possible replacement.

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Barry Bonds is coming to town this weekend, and the Fenway faithful should be sufficiently stoked up enough to give the San Francisco Giants slugger a loud welcome. Certain members of the Boston media have been salivating over this weekend for months, encouraging the fans to boo Bonds and chant at him for the entire weekend.

Many of these same media types talk about the importance of being objective, and not a home town yahoo. Is encouraging the fans to taunt Bonds any more or less objective than rooting for the home team?

Granted, most of the ones encouraging this behavior are columnists and talk show hosts, not the day-to-day beat writers. But the ones who are advocating the harsh treatment of Bonds have completely lost the right to be critical of the fans for how they behave. If an ugly incident happens this weekend, are those same media types going to knock the fans for “going too far?” Bonds may be a lousy human being and a cheater, but the media’s encouragement to the fans has been distasteful.

A positive this weekend should be warm reception for 2004 ALCS hero Dave Roberts.

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Keep up with the news this weekend with the help of RedSoxLinks.com and PatriotsLinks.com.

Check out the view from the Bay Area on the Bay Area Sports Pages.

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Bob Ryan provides another entertaining blog entry with The amazing Mr. Scully.

Chad Finn has Nine Innings on FoxSports.com

He’s also got his local edition of Touching All The Bases, where he’ll be live-blogging the first matchup between the Red Sox and Giants in 95 years.

Evan Brunell on Fire Brand of the American League says that letting Orlando Cabrera go was Theo Epstein’s biggest mistake.

Pete Prisco lists out his top 50 NFL players.

Peter Schrager isn’t ready to anoint the Patriots NFL champs for the upcoming season.

Matt Mosley on ESPN’s Hashmarks is an incredibly prolific blogger.

Here’s Bill Simmons’ latest podcast with David Stern.

SI.com has an excerpt from Dan Shaughnessy‘s new book Senior Year: A Father, A Son, and High School Baseball.

Dr Z. has the latest edition of his NFL Mailbag.

You mean it might not be entirely Bill Belichick’s fault that Ted Johnson is having health issues? A tough column from Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune.

They’re pretty excited about their rings out in Indy.

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Sports Media Columns

New England
David Scott has a look at an unexpected infusion of intelligence on the WEEI airwaves. Susan Bickelhaupt notes that the NBA Finals lacked competition…and viewers for ABC. Clark Booth explores why the NBA and NHL ratings have been so horrible this spring.

New York
Bob Raissman says that “major significance should be attached to MLB.com hiring Harold Reynolds.” Phil Mushnick wasn’t pleased with ESPN’s opening round coverage of the U.S. Open. Neil Best looks at ticket resellers such as StubHub getting a boost with the passing of a recent New York bill. Richard Sandomir has a look at the dismal ratings for ABC in the NBA Finals.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand has some ideas on how to juice up the ratings for the NBA playoffs. Chris Zelkovich has a look at the straight shooting Johnny Miller. Laura Nachman looks at Philly Sports Radio 950 bringing in a local guy to do their morning show. Jim Williams has a look at a huge weekend of racing action.

South
Dave Darling encourages you to watch the U.S. Open, even if you need to employ a drinking game to get into it. David Barron notes that the NBA Finals were an afterthought for much of the viewing public.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad has Carl Pohlad-family owned Northern Lights Broadcasting purchasing an FM radio station, but issuing denials that the Twins (who are owned by Pohlad) will end up there in the future. Teddy Greenstein has WSCR-AM 670 host Mike North having a rather heated exchange with White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper on the air Thursday morning. Bob Wolfley has the Milwaukee Admirals finding a new radio home.

West Coast
John Maffei looks at Johnny Miller returning to the site of his own U.S. Open triumph. Joe Davidson says that many viewers seem to prefer Nick Faldo over Miller. larry.stewart has a look at the all-out coverage that the Open is getting. Tom Hoffarth tears into Chris Berman and ESPN’s coverage of the first round of the event. Jim Carlisle notes that pars will be hard to come by for the field this weekend. He also has a notebook on the NBA finals reaching a new low. Jay Posner reports on a pair of Padres announcers keeping busy on the side with some college sports work.

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Weekend Viewing Highlights

Friday, June 15

7:00pm, NESN – Giants @ Red Sox

Saturday, June 16

1:00pm, NBC – U.S. Open, 3rd Round
2:00pm, ESPN – College World Series
3:30pm, FOX – Giants @ Red Sox
7:00pm, ESPN – College World Series
8:30pm, ESPN2 – Busch Series: Meijer 300

Sunday, June 17

1:00pm, NBC – U.S. Open, 4th Round
2:00pm, NESN – Giants @ Red Sox
2:00pm, TNT – Nextel Cup: Citizens Bank 400
2:00pm, ESPN – College World Series
7:00pm, ESPN2 – College World Series
8:00pm, ESPN – Mets @ Yankees

Rockie Horror Show Continues For Sox

Well, those out there who said things are much more interesting when the Yankees are a factor are getting their wish, as the Red Sox continue to give up ground in the standings with what has become their latest edition of the June swoon. The latest outing was a energy-less 7-1 loss to Rockies last night at Fenway Park, where Josh Beckett suffered his first loss of the season.

Michael Silverman says that Barry Bonds might not be the only one getting booed at Fenway Park this season. Gordon Edes looks at things getting ugly for the Red Sox as their free fall in the standings continues. Sean McAdam observes that things are suddenly going all wrong for the Red Sox. Jeff Goldberg looks at Josh Beckett struggling to his first loss of the season last night. Phil O’Neill says that the possibility of a 1978-like collapse has to be in the minds of Red Sox followers.

Bob Hohler gets a brief interview with Barry Bonds and works into a mini-feature on the Giants slugger, who says he holds no ill-will towards the city of Boston. Steve Buckley says that “tonight, Barry Bonds becomes the most heavily booed player in the 95-year history of Fenway Park.” Dan Shaughnessy says that Bonds might be a record breaker, but he’s also a rule breaker. Garry Brown says that Bonds commands respect from the Red Sox players and pitchers. Alex Speier says that Bonds is respected, but certainly not beloved. Jeff Howe says that it is a tradition for baseball to hate it’s best.

Mark Murphy has Red Sox starters gearing up to face Bonds this weekend. Daniel Malloy says that “respect” not “fear” is what the pitchers have for Bonds. Joe McDonald notes that Bonds has a big fan in the Red Sox clubhouse in rookie Dustin Pedrioa, who grew up a Bonds fan in California. McDonald had the story yesterday, and Edes repeats it for the Globe today; the tale of Red Sox minor league field coordinator Rob Leary and his friendship with Bonds.

Garry Brown looks at the beloved Dave Roberts returning to town with the Giants tonight. Buckley has Curt Schilling saying on WEEI yesterday that he is open to a one year deal with the Red Sox. Guregian has Terry Francona trying to shuffle around his struggling lineup to find a combination that is going to be productive.

Amalie Benjamin looks at the control issues that plague Beckett last night. Murphy says that Josh Beckett looked like the pitcher who struggled in the second half of 2006 last night. Malloy looks at Julian Tavarez, who takes the ball tonight for the Sox against the Giants.

Karen Guregian notes that we should start to worry about the red hot Yankees, who have gotten right back into this race. Rob Bradford looks at the new trend in baseball for pitchers to find new life at 40.

Jeff Horrigan has a look at Gary DiSarcina taking the reins of the Lowell Spinners…his first managerial job. Benjamin has a look at Red Sox pitching prospect Michael Bowden and his deceptive delivery.

Silverman’s notebook has J.D. Drew leading off for the Red Sox last night in an effort to take advantage of his on base percentage. Edes’s notebook says that the experiment with Drew at the top of the lineup was not a success, at least for last night. The Projo notebook has more on Drew in the leadoff spot. Goldberg’s notebook has Red Sox players for the most part downplaying the arrival of Bonds for this weekend. O’Neill’s notebook has more on Drew hitting leadoff.

US Open
Jim McCabe has Nick Dougherty grabbing the early lead at Oakmont. Tony Massarotti has Phil Mickelson with an encouraging round despite his sore wrist. Jeff Jacobs has more on Dougherty. Bruce Berlet says that Tiger and Phil were both up to the task yesterday. Massarotti has Tiger Woods in the hunt, in contrast to last year’s Open.

McCabe’s notebook has Bubba Watson and Boo Weekley getting off to a good start in the Open as well. Massarotti’s notebook has a look at first round leader Dougherty.

Misc
David Scott has a look at an unexpected infusion of intelligence on the WEEI airwaves. Susan Bickelhaupt notes that the NBA Finals lacked competition…and viewers for ABC.

Jackie MacMullan reports on the Spurs capturing their fourth NBA title in nine years with their win over the Cavs last night in Cleveland.

Steve Bulpett has the Celtics adding to their must-see list.

Guregian has a look at the candidacy of Ron Burton for the Patriots Hall of Fame.

Fluto Shinzawa has Bruins rookie Phil Kessel winning the the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for being the NHL player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.

“Fifth Quarter” staying on WBZ-TV

From WBZ-TV:

Boston’s WBZ-TV today announced an agreement with the New England Patriots and Kraft Sports Productions and on a three-year renewal of “New England Patriots 5th Quarter.”

The renewal secures the exclusive relationship between WBZ-TV and the New England Patriots to exclusively carry live post-game press conferences live after every regular season and playoff game. The “New England Patriots Fifth Quarter” is the only instant access program to Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots immediately following the game.

WBZ-TV is the exclusive broadcaster of “New England Patriots 5th Quarter.” Occasionally, “New England Patriots 5th Quarter” may be moved to WBZ-TV’s sister-station TV38 (WSBK-TV) to accommodate CBS Network’s broadcasting obligations.

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Shameless plug alert – I made an appearance on the NBCSports.com Fantasy Fix video program this afternoon to talk a little Red Sox…

From the appearance on NBCsports.com's Fantasy Fix

Curt Schilling checks in with a look at his performance against the Rockies last night.

Jason Chung and Michael McCann have an interesting look on Sports Law Blog on the issue of potential Celtics draftee Yi Jianlian’s actual age.

Tony Massarotti has a look at the rift between Prince and Cecil Fielder which has the two not having spoken for a couple of years, and Prince no longer speaking OF his father either.

Seth Mnookin has a look at his favorite columnist Murray Chass and his assertion that the Yankees will pass the Red Sox in the standings by July 4.

Albert Breer has an excerpt from the new book from Tedy Bruschi and Michael Holley – Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery and My Return to the NFL

Bill Simmons outlines how to fix the NBA playoffs.

From last week, ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber addressed the plight of viewers held hostage by ‘tyranny of the storyline.’

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Rockies @ Red Sox
8:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Twins
9:00pm, ABC – Spurs @ Cavs

Rockies Shell Schilling

There were no redeeming factors in last night’s 12-2 loss to the Rockies for Curt Schilling and the Red Sox. Schilling gave up 5 earned runs in 5 innings, while Kyle Snyder and Joel Pineiro each gave up three runs in relief.

Michael Silverman observes that with each loss, the Red Sox allow the surging Yankees to make up ground. Thus far they’ve cut the lead from 14.5 to 8.5 games in a very short period of time. Amalie Benjamin has things getting ugly at Fenway for Schilling and the Sox last night. Joe McDonald notes that nothing was clicking for Schilling on the mound last night. David Heuschkel has Schilling following his best outing of the season with one of his worst. Phil O’Neill has Curt getting cuffed around by the Rockies.

Steve Buckley says that last night really came down to one poor pitch for Schilling, a changeup that was left hanging and was belted for a three run homer in the fifth. Steven Krasner has speedy center fielder Wily Tavarez getting the Rockies off on the right foot last night. He also looks at Mike Lowell getting another error, and the Sox lack of communication costing them last night. Lenny Megliola says that the natives are getting restless with the Red Sox lead continuing to shrink by the day. Ron Chimelis says that sports talk radio should be heating up with the lead shrinking, and he wants no part of it.

John Tomase has the Red Sox waiting for Manny Ramirez to start hitting some homers. Daniel Malloy has Javier Lopez doing well in his role and thankful to still be here after the Sox chose to designate J.C. Romero for assignment rather than send Lopez to Pawtucket when Mike Timlin was activated.

Silverman has the Sox coming up with a novel idea to make Kevin Youkilis an All Star.

Buckley says that the Red Sox shouldn’t be trying to get Youkilis into the All-Star Game after having made the effort last year to keep Manny Ramirez out of the game.

Fluto Shinzawa has errors by Julio Lugo and Mike Lowell costing the Red Sox early in the game last night.

Tomase has a look at Kaz Matsui, who was a teammate of Daisuke Matsuzaka in Japan, and remembers the pitcher as an 18-year-old phenom who came in and dominated. Alex Speier has more on Matsui, who he says should be a cautionary tale for sky-high expectations for Japanese players in America. Malloy has the Rockies getting to Schilling for 6 runs, thus giving their starter Josh Fogg plenty of support.

McDonald talks to Red Sox minor league field coordinator Bob Leary, who has been good friends with Barry Bonds since they were 7 years old, and who might be the only person in New England who will be happy to see Bonds in town this weekend with the Giants. Bill Ballou has a look at Bonds coming to Boston, and his chase to become baseball’s all time home run leader.

Steve Conroy has a look at outfielder Brandon Moss, who is opening eyes with his bat at Pawtucket.

Silverman’s notebook has David Ortiz bowing out of the home run derby this season. Benjamin’s notebook has Ortiz willing to step aside to allow Kevin Youkilis a chance to become an All Star. The ProJo notebook has more on the Sox efforts to get Youkilis into the All Star game. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on the efforts. O’Neill’s notebook has still more on Ortiz’s willingness to yield to Youkilis for the All Star nod.

U.S. Open
Jim McCabe looks at the massive tree removal at the Oakmont Country Club, site of this year’s U.S. Open championship. Bruce Berlet says that the open spaces are what makes Oakmont such a different and difficult challenge. Tony Massarotti has expectant father Tiger Woods keeping his focus on golf this weekend.

McCabe’s notebook has recent bad weather making for a rough playing surface at Oakmont this weekend. Massarotti’s notebook has more on the conditions of the greens for this tournament. Berlet’s notebook has Arnold Palmer offering some advice on the Oakmont course, as he feels the field is really not ready for this challenge.

Patriots
Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots going cautious with Brandon Meriweather, wanting him to be completely healthy for training camp, as he might be needed to play corner should Asante Samuel not come back into the fold. Christopher Price looks at whether Laurence Maroney will be able to carry a full load for the Patriots this season. Karen Guregian has Stanley Morgan hoping to become a member of the Patriots Hall of Fame this year.

Celtics/Misc
Mark Murphy has the Celtics brass traveling down to Washington to check out Jeff Green. Jeff Clark has Danny Ainge trying to decide whether to play deal or no deal.

Jackie MacMullan looks at how Gregg Popovich has brought out the best in Tony Parker.

Michael Vega has Dale Earnhardt Jr deciding to go with Hendrick Motorsports, effective next season.

Wednesday Wrap

Had switch off WEEI after hearing Glenn Ordway and Steve Buckley discussing “where David Chase went wrong” in the Sopranos finale…

Buster Olney has David Ortiz and the other Red Sox players trying to get Kevin Youkilis into the All Star game at first base. Because DHs are not listed on the ballot, Ortiz is listed as the Red Sox representative at first base. Big Papi was “all for” the idea that his name be replaced with Youkilis on the ballot sent to players.

Olney was also on 890 ESPN Boston this afternoon.

Jessica Camerato analyzes how a trade for Shawn Marion would impact the Celtics.

Bill Burt on BradfordonBaseball.com says that it is time to end interleague play.

Merril Hoge and Joe Theismann debate the best offenses and defenses in the AFC East.

Carmine Frongillo doesn’t think the Asante Samuel situation will get dragged out.

Mark Farinella has another edition of “Ask Fearless.”

Tom Curran says that there are good guys in the NFL, it’s just that the bad apples are getting the attention.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Rockies @ Red Sox
7:00pm, ESPN – Diamondbacks @ Yankees