Sox Can’t Topple Rocket

The Red Sox offense was once again held in check last night, as Boston could only manage four hits on the night – just two against 45-year-old Roger Clemens, who got the win in the 4-3 Yankees victory.

Tony Massarotti says that without Manny Ramirez, the Red Sox offense can be shut down and makes them vulnerable. Jeff Jacobs looks at Roger Clemens – still a force at 45. Those two articles kind of sum things up. The weak Red Sox offense, combined with a still solid Clemens.

Get the rest of the stories from last night on RedSoxLinks.com and the New York Sports Pages.

The Patriots play their final preseason game tonight against the New York Giants at Gillette. Is it consumer fraud time again? Over in the Metro, I say it’s not consumer fraud, it’s a public service

Over on Patriots Daily, Greg Doyle looks at the start of the college football season, with the angle of looking at how top college players might fit in with the Patriots, in the debut of his new column, College Scout.

Get the rest of your Patriots news over on PatriotsLinks.com.

David Scott has a Dennis and Callahan update, as the duo tries to put it out there that they still have competitors for their services. He also has more on Albert Breer leaving for the Dallas Morning News.

Bill Doyle has a look at Worcester Sharks announcer Eric Lindquist, who has a Showcase Showdown victory on The Price is Right under his belt.

Breer Hits the Bricks for Big D

David Scott reports that Albert Breer has accepted a job covering the Dallas Cowboys, on a shared beat, for the Dallas Morning News.

We just knew we had it just a bit too good on the Patriots beat there recently, didn’t we?

With the Gatehouse Media sharing agreement with the Boston Herald expiring soon, Breer’s work wasn’t going to be appearing there much longer. The next question is whether the MetroWest Daily News will replace Breer, or turn to another Gatehouse Media-employed writer such as The Patriot Ledger’s Eric McHugh to provide content for the paper and perhaps a Patriots blog.

Speaking of the Patriots beat, John Tomase stepped up today and ate a little crow for his column yesterday in which he stated that Asante Samuel’s holdout was fruitless. A good move by Tomase, as it’s OK to be off once in a while, especially if you admit it.

This is very different from someone like Ron Borges, who gets suspended for plagiarism, is allowed to retire his position, and then goes on the radio proclaiming that he was the victim and was “screwed.”

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Another busy day at Patriots Daily, as John Hannah (or someone doing a reasonable impression of him based on email and IP address) weighs in with a comment on the Direct Snapp column from today.

Bill Simmons has a look at life in the “new” Red Sox Nation, including a photo album from a weekend in Tampa Bay.

Former Red Sox fan Jim Caple says that the team has the most obnoxious fans of all of sports.

Howard Bryant has a look at David Ortiz, who has been in pain almost all season, has heard criticism about his play, yet keeps carrying on.

Bryant also looks at how the Red Sox have gone retro, with manager Terry Francona becoming the public face of the front office.

Mike Miliard in The Phoenix, examines whether Sox Appeal has any appeal to Sox fans.

Eric Wilbur looks at the Red Sox facing Roger Clemens for the first time in nearly four years.

Sean Deveney says that the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is always relevant, regardless of the standings.

The Media Circus examines MickVickMania, which has seemingly overtaken all sports shows.

Peter King ranks the top 500 players in the NFL. Tom Brady comes in at number 2.

Tom Curran has a collection of interesting quotes from around the NFL.

Elizabeth Merrill looks at what is involved for an NFL player in learning the playbook.

Vic Carucci weighs in with some observations from week three of the NFL preseason.

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Tonight
7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees (ESPN2 Nationally)

Damon Haunts Sox

Daisuke Matsuzaka battled Andy Pettitte to a 3-3 tie into the seventh inning last night, but Johnny Damon stuck it to his old team with a two run homer off Dice-K in the seventh to give the Yankees a 5-3 win over the Red Sox in New York.

Michael Silverman says that losing Manny Ramirez and Bobby Kielty to back injuries during this one caused “enough M. Night Shyamalan-type signs hovering over the Bronx to give Red Sox followers a minor case of the heebie-jeebies” – whatever that means. Gordon Edes says that after hitting the game winner, Damon “deflected every invitation to send a verbal tweak toward the team that let him go” – whatever that means. Who was doing the inviting? Boston writers or New York? Bill Ballou says that Matsuzaka is a strong candidate for Disappointment of the Year – whatever that means. Jeff Goldberg says that Damon’s home run went to the same spot that his 2004 ALCS Game 7 grand slam went, and “the Yankees hope it sparks some comeback payback.” Whatever that means. Sean McAdam doesn’t say anything silly in his game recap.

Despite declaring the AL East race over a couple of days ago, Tony Massarotti says that the Red Sox would be well served to take the next two games and put a dent in the Yankees playoff plans. Dan Shaughnessy says that the AL East might be over, but the Yankees could still do some damage in the post season and meet up with the Red Sox again. Shaughnessy does manage to fit in some jabs at Curt Schilling, which is always fun. Steve Buckley says that Damon might’ve been miserable earlier this season in New York, but he’s happy (and healthier) now. Nick Cafardo gushes over Damon.

Rob Bradford has Matsuzaka once again failing to get his 14th win, and sporting a 6.91 ERA against the Yankees this season. Jon Couture has the Yankees, like the Red Sox, using more youngsters this season. Chad Finn goes nine innings on Red Sox/Yankees. As usual, Finn hits the nail on the head:

I've been reluctant to declare American League East race ovah, for two reasons: First, there is a tendency among certain media members to race to become the first to pronounce the Yankees dead . . . and then, when they inevitably crawl out of the crypt, history is somehow revised and spun so that it was really the numbskull fans who were the ones claiming matters were settled when there were 60 games remaining. The habit is as transparent as it is annoying, and I don't want to be one to fall into that trap.

Here’s looking at you, Tony Massarotti. And Dan Shaughnessy.

Buckley has J.D. Drew hoping he can contribute to the team the rest of the season and into the playoffs. Sarah Green reflects on Tim Wakefield’s career. Bradford also has Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell saying that video work has revealed that Eric Gagne could’ve been tipping his pitches, and that may have been the cause of his early struggles with the Red Sox. Joe Haggerty has Gagne hoping for a chance to face the Yankees in this series. Bradford also has Dustin Pedroia looking forward to facing Roger Clemens tonight.

Get the view from NYC in the New York Sports Pages. Cafardo examines Joba Chamberlain in his first appearance against the Red Sox. Dom Amore has Andy Pettitte making a strong impression last night. Amore also says that the Yankees need to work on finishing out games strong.

Silverman’s notebook has more on the back injuries for Ramirez and Kielty which will likely keep them out of tonight’s game. Edes’s notebook has more on the back injuries to the outfield duo. McAdam’s notebook says that tonight’s Josh Beckett/Roger Clemens matchup holds plenty of interest. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the Red Sox back woes. Ballou’s notebook also focuses on Manny’s back. Couture’s notebook has Manny adding another Yankee Stadium home run to his total before leaving the game.

Patriots
Dan Snapp has another edition of Direct Snapp on Patriots Daily, where he makes the case that the road to the Super Bowl is best traveled by ground, and not by air, despite all the new wide receivers in camp.

Christopher L. Gasper and Mike Reiss report that Asante Samuel did gain a concession in his contract that can prevent him from being franchised next season. Albert Breer isn’t so sure that the franchise provision was included in the final deal. Shalise Manza Young has Samuel saying that both sides are happy with the new deal. David Heuschkel has Samuel with no regrets over his holdout or new one year contract. Dan Pires says that Samuel’s holdout was fruitless. Rich Garven and Mark Farinella have more on Samuel putting the contract issue behind him and getting ready for the season.

The Globe notebook has Troy Brown landing on the PUP list to start his 15th season. Which reminds me of the horrible joke Glenn Ordway had on the big show yesterday when he wondered if the Falcons were going to place Michael Vick on the “Pup” list. Breer’s notebook has more on Brown starting the season on the sidelines. Young’s notebook has Chad and Eddie Jackson joining Brown on the PUP list. Garven’s notebook wonders if Randy Moss could be getting closer to making it out onto the field for the Patriots. Pires’ notebook has Laurence Maroney saying that the Facebook profile that has become fodder for bloggers is a fake. Farinella’s notebook has Kyle Brady trying to get to know Tom Brady a little better.

Farinella also sounds off on a number of topics in another edition of Ask Fearless.

Mike Martin on the BSMW Full Court Press offers a chill pill for the kingmakers and naysayers alike.