Sox Can’t Sweep

After beating the Indians 1-0 last week, Daisuke Matsuzaka took a shutout into the seventh inning yesterday afternoon in Tampa before giving up a solo home run. However, once again the Red Sox were unable to provide any run support and ended up falling 5-2 to the Devil Rays, missing out on a sweep of the three game series.

Jeff Horrigan notes that this was a good road trip for the Red Sox, as they come back home still holding an eight game lead over the Yankees. Amalie Benjamin has the Rays spoiling the finale of a very successful road trip for the Red Sox. Joe McDonald has the Red Sox bullpen melting down for the second straight day in Tampa. Jeff Goldberg has Manny Delcarmen stumbling in relief of Matsuzaka. Paul Jarvey has the Rays using the long ball to finally silence the Red Sox fans who invaded their dome this weekend.

Rob Bradford notes that there are no Manny Ramirez trade rumors at this deadline period, and that seems to sit fine with just about everyone around the Red Sox, including Manny. The other Manny, Delcarmen, got lit up yesterday, prompting talk from Nick Cafardo that the Sox might need bullpen help just as much as another bat. Bradford notes that Japanese pitchers usually need some time to adjust to the baseball used here in America, because it is different from the Japanese ball, in size and consistency. Horrigan has Matsuzaka working with Doug Mirabelli for the first time yesterday, and things ended up going pretty smoothly for the pair.

Horrigan’s notebook has Mike Timlin needing a rest for his aching shoulder, but hoping to avoid the DL. Benjamin’s notebook has more on Dice-K and Mirabelli working together for the first time. McDonald’s notebook leads off with more on the combination. Jarvey’s notebook says that the pair appeared solid in their debut together.

Bob Hohler has Barry Bonds hitting the road in pursuit of the home run record after failing to reach the accomplishment on the recent homestand.

Patriots
Mike Reiss has Tom Brady pacing himself in camp, monitoring his throws as he and team aim to protect his arm from extended wear and tear. John Tomase has Brady liking what he sees from his offense early on. (or did Albert Breer write this one?) Mark Farinella has Brady pleased with the potential that this team has, but realizing that coming together as a unit takes time. Michael Parente has the Patriots providing Brady with plenty of new weapons this season. Jennifer Toland has Brady spreading passes and praise for his new options. David Heuschkel also looks at Brady getting to know his new receivers. David Brown also has Brady working on building his new offense.

Steve Buckley says Brady will be making his own decision on where to be when his baby finally arrives.

Remember all the talk after the AFC Championship Game loss that Tedy Bruschi was seriously thinking of retirement? In Daniel Malloy‘s article today, Bruschi says he did not consider retirement. Tomase has more on Bruschi who is ready to play on despite his advancing years. Albert Breer has another linebacker, Mike Vrabel, glad for the versatile reinforcements at his position, and ready to take on another season.

Robert Lee has first round pick Brandon Meriweather learning on the job, with such veterans as Rodney Harrison there to guide him along. Breer has more on Brandon Meriweather getting on the field and learning fast after getting his contract signed. Christopher Price also has a look at Meriweather settling in.

We’ve also got a Monday update at PatriotsDaily.com

The Globe notebook has Jabar Gaffney standing out from the crowd at wide receiver during the first few days of camp. Tomase’s notebook has more on Gaffney, who appears to be picking up right where he left off in the postseason, where he was the team’s most productive receiver. One note – the article says Gaffney came to the Patriots after the Texans didn’t offer him a contract…he actually was signed by the Eagles last year and cut in training camp. Shalise Manza Young’s notebook has more on Bruschi, who likes the mix of skills that the Patriots have at the linebacker position. Toland’s notebook also looks at Bruschi, as he prepares to enter his 12th season. Dan Pires’s notebook has still more on Bruschi, who is pumped for the new season.

Celtics
The Kevin Garnett trade rumors are back. Jeff Goodman on FOXSports.com and Marc Stein on ESPN.com say that a deal could be close for the Timberwolves star. Maybe the Celtics will make a bigger trade than the Red Sox at the July 31st deadline? Keep up with the news at CelticsLinks.com

National Media Columns

Just a few links as we head into the weekend, as the launch of PatriotsDaily.com has consumed the week.

By the way, the plan for the weekend over there is to have links in the morning along with a look at the action from training camp.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox are in Tampa this weekend, keep up with the action on RedSoxLinks.com.

The Baseball Hall of Fame inductions, AFL title game, and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard highlight the national sports event this weekend…those and the Barry Bonds home run chase.

National Media Columns

Boston/New York
David Scott – Boston-bred Bryant Bounces to ESPN
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell – ESPN’s coverage will air it out
Richard Sandomir – Unfettered Rose Inquiry a Contrast to N.B.A.’s Case
Neil Best – Ex-Isle GM Milbury will join NBC’s hockey team
Bob Raissman – Mets voices off base & on babble
Phil Mushnick – Good News From Bad Ref? You Bet!

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand – ESPN steps up coverage for Bonds’ home run chase
Chris Zelkovich – Very little Canadian about Open coverage
Laura Nachman – Former Eagle tackles second career
Leonard Shapiro – Wouldn’t It Be Nice…
Jim Williams – Baltimore media descends on Cooperstown
Jim Williams – What do Beckham and Geraldo have in common?

South
Barry Jackson – Dolphins radio gig excites Mandich
Barry Horn – Double take
David Barron – Franklin fine following scary auto accident

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein – Comcast, Big Ten continue cold war
Judd Zulgad – Getting Twins on KSTP not easy for some
Bob Wolfley – A chance for sweet-talk

West Coast
Jim Carlisle – ESPN won’t just be shooting the breeze
John Maffei – The Hall truth on watching Gwynn
Jay Posner – Proctor has been there for both Gwynn, Ripken
Tom Hoffarth – Media notes, the stuff that’s not good enough
Larry Stewart – Patrick finds a new course for career
Larry Stewart – Announcers can make history too

Blogosphere
Sports Media Watch – Weekend ratings predictions.
Sports Media Journal – You Too Can Be On ESPN. But Why?

Another New Beginning

The first day of NFL training camp is a bittersweet day. No matter how hot and muggy it is right now, you know that when all is said and done, the season will end with snow on the ground and ice in your blood. It’s a reminder of how fast things go in life. There’s a lot to be excited about this Patriots season, and it all begins today.

PatriotsDaily.com kicks off coverage of the season with a extended Training Camp edition of the Roundtable.

The “Questions” column is a staple whenever a team is about to start the season. Today is no exception. We’ve got questions columns, plenty of them. John Tomase has six. Shalise Manza Young has seven. Ian M. Clark only has four. Eric McHugh submits ten. Christopher Price and Jeff Howe have five things to look for in camp. David Heuschkel also gives us a number of storylines and questions from camp.

Jackie MacMullan says that once again, Rodney Harrison enters camp with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. Albert Breer says that Asante Samuel deserves a little more credit than some are willing to give him. Karen Guregian and Breer has Samuel set to stay home until something gets worked out in his contract situation. Young says that Samuel could end up joining his teammates sooner rather than later.

Christopher L. Gasper has Troy Brown approaching this training camp just as he has the last 14 for the Patriots, just trying to compete for a job. (Bob Ryan gave Gasper some serious love on a WROR appearance yesterday morning, saying that this kid “has it.”) Mike Reiss notes that the Patriots continuity on both the offensive and defensive lines has given them a solid foundation. Mark Farinella previews the defense, and says that Asante Samuel’s return is the biggest question mark for this unit. Thomas also notes that Brandon Meriweather doesn’t have a deal, either.

Dan Shaughnessy is making Super Bowl reservations. David Brown says that we can expect a circus in training camp, though it might not be as entertaining as we’d like it to be. Lenny Megliola says that the Tom Brady/Peyton Manning rivalry is at an all time high right now.

Gasper’s notebook has more on Samuel likely not showing up today. Brown’s notebook has more on Samuel and Meriweather.

Red Sox
The Red Sox celebrated the start of Patriots training camp by scoring two touchdowns and holding the Cleveland Indians to three field goals in a 14-9 victory at Jacob’s Field.

Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox bats (including Wily Mo Pena) coming to life in a big way last night. Nick Cafardo has more on a big night at the plate for the Red Sox. Jeff Goldberg has the Red Sox changing things up after only scoring one run over the last two games prior to last night. Bill Ballou has the Red Sox adding on to their lead over the Yankees in the process. Joe McDonald has the Sox hitting the Indians with both barrels last night.

Rob Bradford has Manny Ramirez hitting what he called the longest home run of his career last night, showing that he can still surprise after 15 years in the league. Amalie Benjamin has a look at a big night for Pena, who had a single, two doubles and a home run. Joe Haggerty has a look at Gabbard, who prior to last night, had been rolling along for the Red Sox. Bradford has David Ortiz looking for the Red Sox to make a move at the trade deadline that will bring them some help for the stretch run.

Horrigan has the Red Sox penciling in August 5th as the date for Curt Schilling‘s return to the rotation. Donald Emmons reports on Schilling’s outing for Pawtucket last night. John Wagner has more on the five inning stint for Schilling.

Rich Thompson has the PawSox giving Clay Buchholz a chance to pitch deeper into the game. Benjamin looks at another minor league pitcher that is grabbing attention for the Red Sox, AA right hander Justin Masterson.

Horrigan’s notebook has Kason Gabbard unable to pick up the victory last night despite all the run support. Cafardo’s notebook has the Red Sox unwilling to overpay for any trade in the next few days. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Schilling’s rehab start last night. Ballou’s notebook has Terry Francona saying that he’ll be happy if his club stays just as it is at the trade deadline. The Projo notebook says that deals are possible, but not imminent.

David Scott has word of Howard Bryant on the move once more, this time over to ESPN. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has ESPN going all out with their NASCAR coverage.