Sox Playoff Picture is Much Clearer

Submitted by Guest Blogger Dave)

Tim Wakefield tied his career high of 17 wins last night, and JD Drew had three hits including a triple and the game winning 3-run homer in the 7th pushing the Sox to a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins. Steve Krasner over at the ProJo has more on Drew. With Cleveland’s loss last night the Red Sox can finish no worse than tied for the best record in the American League. As Gordon Edes> writes, manager Terry Francona didn’t wait around for the results before determining that Curt Schilling would skip his Sunday scheduled start. Jeff Horrigan says that none of the Sox players hung around after last nights win.

With the Sox’s playoff scenarios solidified, and the Sox not announcing the 25-man roster until Tuesday, let the playoff roster speculation begin. Horrigan chimes in with his 10 active pitchers for the ALDS. What we also learned over the past two days is that we can guarantee that Clay Buchholz will not be one of the ten as Amalie Benjamin writes. Rob Bradford has more on Clay and Mike Reinhold the Red Sox assistant trainer who has worked with many of the Sox pitchers, and is now responsible for providing Buchholz with an offseason strength program. Within the Globe’s notebook we learn who Tom Werner chooses as Red Sox MVP.

Tony Massarotti provides us with a rehash of A-Rod’s October woes. Tony also checks in with a preview of the Sox match up with the Angels. We’re sure to hear plenty about the Angels aggressive style of baseball over the next few days.

In case you missed Remy or Orsillo over the past few weeks here’s where you can pick up your NESN bobble desk, once that’s all set, be sure to place your order for your very own genuine Fenway Park bleacher seat. These are going for the bargain basement price of $495, not bad. I think I’ll set mine down right on top of the outfield grass I bought in ’04.

Patriots

(Also be sure sure to check out Patriots Daily this morning for news and links as well.)

The Pats finished up preparations for their trip to Cincinnati for Monday Night Football. With Cincy running back Rudi Johnson sidelined for Monday’s game, many believe the Bengals will have no other option than to air it out, Pats defensive coordinator Dean Pees believes otherwise. In this Rich Thompson piece we hear Belichick give some praise to Ben Watson.

Mr. Old Time Baseball sits down with Pats LB Rosevelt Colvin to discuss last year’s loss to the Colts, and Colvin’s desire not to look into the past. While many NFL teams continue to struggle in free agency and salary cap management, the Patriots as an organization continue to excel. Within this piece, Christopher Gasper looks at just that, essentially the team building year after year.

After last week’s match up between the Lugo family, we might just have a match up between the Green family on Monday.

This may come as a disappointment to some, but Ocho Cinco has released a statement that there are no TD celebrations scheduled for Monday, also within the same notebook we hear from Bengal’s coach Marvin Lewis who expresses his desire to implement coach-to-player communication on the defensive side of the ball.

A New York Jets season ticket holder has filed a class-action lawsuit Friday against the New England Patriots and coach Bill Belichick for “deceiving customers.” This lawsuit really has traction. The Patriots have released a statement, which can be heard here (audio needed). We can just hope Gregg Easterbrook isn’t on the jury or they just might have a case.

The Pats Picks

With the Pats playing Monday, it’s always fun to see what the nation thinks will be the outcome. All but one of HBO’s Inside the NFL host’s picked the Pats this week. Surprisingly it wasn’t Marino picking against the Pats either. It’s none other than Moss’ former teammate Chris Carter.

Bill Simmons is back with his usual Sunday picks column.

Also, the all of the “experts” at ESPN have the Pats remaining undefeated on Sunday.

I’m still awaiting the results from Pete “The Meat” Shepherd’s X-Box simulation

BC Eagles

It certainly wasn’t pretty, but the BC Eagles were able to stave off the Minutemen 24-14 and go 5-0 for the first time since 1954. Bob Ryan has Minutemen coach Don Brown saying there are no moral victories here. Buckley’s back with a look at the dangers of team’s looking ahead on their schedules.

Sunday TV

With the Patriots playing on Monday Night Football we get a chance to check out some of the other AFC competition. Its Bills and Jets on CBS at 1PM, as well as, the Rams and Cowboys on Fox. The 4:15 game is the game the national pundits have termed “The Game of the Week”. We’ll get to see if Indy can remain undefeated as they head home to take on Denver, this is also on CBS.

Julian Tavarez will toe the rubber for the Sox as they finish up their season with their final game vs. the Twins at 2PM on NESN.

The rest of the day’s sports listings can be found here.

Weekend Watch – Sox Playing for AL East Title

By Monday we’ll know if the Red Sox were able to capture their first AL East crown since 1995 and will know for sure who they will be playing in the first round of the playoffs next week.

A two game lead with three to go sounds like good odds to me. We’ll see how it turns out. Keep up with the coverage on RedSoxLinks.com.

The Patriots play on Monday night, so this Sunday we get to sample of the other action from around the country. Locally, we’ll be watching Bills/Jets on CBS and Rams/Cowboys on FOX for the early game, and the late CBS game is the intriguing Colts/Broncos matchup NBC has Eagles/Giants on Sunday night. If you’re outside the New England area, you can see what you’ll get for games on the coverage maps: CBS Game 1, CBS Game 2 and FOX Single Game.

Patriots Daily will keep you covered with College Scout on Saturday and the Sunday Links. You can also check in at PatriotsLinks.com.

For your college football viewing this weekend, there is the invaluable College Football TV Schedule.

While we’re at it, we might as well point out CelticsLinks.com and BruinsLinks.com.

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Guest Bloggers Needed

You probably have noticed the frequency of the afternoon posts has again been on the decline. I’ve been completely swamped with a number of items recently and haven’t been able to create those posts regularly. In addition, I’m going to be needing to take some days off here and there over the next few months. Therefore, I’m putting a call out for anyone who might be interested in contributing some afternoon posts during the week, (Mostly links, TV schedule, maybe a sports radio or media update from that day) and the occasional morning post when I’m away.

I’d also be open to anyone who’d like to contribute on the weekends. There’s plenty of Boston sports media items to discuss, and I’m not able to do it all by myself at the moment. There’s no pay involved at the moment, but it’s a great chance to get some exposure on a nationally recognized sports blog.

If interested, drop me an email.

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The Media Circus checks out Sean Salisbury’s rather odd web site.

Tom Danyluk looks at how NFL broadcasters continue to spew clichés.

John Clayton has his first and 10 heading into the weekend.

Don Banks looks at the NFL’s most competitive division, and guess what? It’s not the AFC East.

Tom Curran was sick of Brett Favre back in 2002, but he’s starting to enjoy him again.

Dr. Z tries to figure where Favre fits among the all time greats.

Jason Whitlock says that now that he has Randy Moss, Tom Brady might be able to prove that he is a better quarterback than Peyton Manning.

One I missed from earlier this month, Tony Massarotti looks at Carlos Pena enjoying a second life in baseball with the Rays.

Mike Dunshee on the BSMW Power Play compares Martin Brodeur and Dominick Hasek.

Bruce Allen thinks that the Patriots Town/Red Sox Town argument isn’t worth the debate.

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National Sports Media Columns

New England
David Scott checks in with a weekly edition of Scott’s Shots. He’s suggests once again that it just might be time for the Patriots radio duo of Gil Santos and Geno Cappelletti to hang it up. He also however, has a number of other media notes today, including a new Sunday night show for channel 5. Susan Bickelhaupt has more on WCVB channel 5 launching a new Sunday night sports show. She also looks at NESN continuing Red Sox pre and post game shows in the postseason, even though they will not be broadcasting the games as they’re all national. Bill Doyle has Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs launching a commercial career.

New York
Phil Mushnick looks at the Mets slide, and has shots at Chris Russo, John Sterling, and others. Neil Best says that the Mets TV crew has been doing a fine job calling the Mets collapse this month. Bob Raissman says that Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca has become the voice of the fan. Justin Terranova has five questions with MSG Ranger analyst Joe Micheletti.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand checks out Fox Sports Net’s Sport Science. Chris Zelkovich has Bill Clement, Craig Simpson and Jeff Marek playing musical chairs. Leonard Shapiro says that Comcast SportsNet dropped the ball in its recent interview of Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

South
Barry Jackson has sports radio 790 The Ticket owner Joel Feinberg displaying some decidedly weird behavior. After his station lost the rights to the Dolphins games to WQAM for this season, Feinberg has apparently been sending emails to the GM of WQAM, gloating about the Dolphins 0-3 start to the season. Dave Darling has the Braves signing off of TBS after 31 years of national broadcasts. David Barron notes that there will be no HD for Texans fans this weekend, and they won’t be able to see the Cowboys at all in Houston. Barry Horn looks at why we see the Cowboys so much on Sunday Night Football.

Midwest
Bob Wolfley says that if Brett Favre sets the career touchdown passing record on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, there won’t be any elaborate celebrations, even though its is the equivalent of Barry Bonds passing Hank Aaron on the all time home run list. Judd Zulgad looks at the mayor proclaiming today “Minnesota Big Ten Network Day” in Minneapolis – even though most people in the city do not have access to the channel. Jeffrey Flanagan wonders if there will be room for Fred White when the Royals TV and Radio teams are shuffled this offseason.

West Coast
Tom Hoffarth has more on Sport Science, as well has a look at the crazy travel schedule of Kirk Herbstreit for ESPN. Jay Posner and John Maffei has Tony Gwynn getting ready for a busy three weeks of postseason work for TBS. Christine Daniels has a review of what’s on this weekend. Jim Carlisle also looks at TBS taking over the MLB Divisional Series, and also has a notebook leading of with a look at the Presidents Cup coverage this weekend.

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NFL games were the top ranked program in 28 of 30 national markets last week. Here’s a look at the numbers:

NFL_Ratings_week_3.jpg

Still Sitting At Two

The Red Sox were unable to move their magic number, which still sits at two, with three games left to play. Josh Beckett suffered the loss last night, giving up 5 runs in 6 innings to the Twins in the 5-4 Red Sox loss at Fenway Park.

Just abbreviated links this morning, so I’ll send you to RedSoxLinks.com to get your baseball coverage.

Over at Patriots Daily, we’ve got our weekly Roundtable discussion, looking ahead to Monday night’s matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.

David Scott checks in with a weekly edition of Scott’s Shots. He’s no doubt going to anger some fans with his suggestion that it just might be time for Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti to hang it up. He also however, has a number of other media notes today, including a new Sunday night show for channel 5.

Susan Bickelhaupt has more on WCVB channel 5 launching a new Sunday night sports show.

Meanwhile, if you pick up Patriots Football Weekly this week, you can read my monthly Media Watch column. This week I have a chat with Yahoo! Sports Michael Silver, who talks about making the transition from a print magazine with a web presence in Sports Illustrated, to the web-only world of Yahoo!

With Celtics media day set for today, WEEI will be broadcasting live there on the Big Show this afternoon. Get your basketball fix at CelticsLinks.com.