Lack Of Offense Dooms Sox

Maybe it just seems this way, but do the Red Sox have to struggle around the trade deadline every year? They seem to falter in July, play frustrating baseball, and then they either turn it around in August and September (’03, ’04, ’07) or crash and burn (’06). Which will it be this season, and how long do we have to figure it out?

There seems to always be a point where I say, “that’s it, the Patriots links come first now, unless the Sox turn it around and make the playoffs.” I’m almost there. If we’re fed up with the Sox play, Mike Fine says that they’re fed up with themselves.

The Red Sox will get top billing today, but not the links. If you want to read about how they almost got no-hit by John Lackey, who has usually lived up to his name when he faces the Sox, you’re going to have to head on over to RedSoxLinks.com.

Patriots

The Patriots season is still fresh and new, so we haven’t gotten totally sick of the patented storylines that are being pounded at us on a daily basis. The storylines are there, the top ones that you are going to be totally sick of hearing about sometime in the next few weeks are as follows:

  • The Super Bowl hangover.
  • Who is going to wear the radio headset on defense?
  • Tom Brady took time off this offseason rather than working out.
  • Is Chad Jackson a bust?
  • Why isn’t Randy Moss playing in the preseason games?

There will be more, I’m sure. Refreshingly, there are really none of those on display today. Instead, there is a nice variety of coverage.

Christopher Price has LaMont Jordan denying that he and his agent had any sort of agreement with the Raider that he would not sign with the Patriots after his release from Oakland. 

Christopher L. Gasper has Tank Williams not saying whether he’s going to be a safety or a linebacker in the Patriots defense. Karen Guregian has more on Williams getting his feet wet at linebacker for the Patriots. Shalise Manza Young has Williams accepting the challenges of learning a new system and position with the Patriots.

Douglas Flynn has a look at the Patriots young defensive backs getting an education in training camp. Guregian has the Patriots’ rookie DBs trying learn on the job as they get experience going up against NFL receivers in practice. Rich Garven has Terrence Wheatley looking to secure a spot in the starting lineup once the season begins.

Tony Massarotti has Tedy Bruschi saying that he won’t pull a Brett Favre when it comes time to decide whether or not to retire. Mark Farinella talks to Sammy Morris about his long road back to action after his injury last season. Eric McHugh gets to know special teamer Sam Aiken a little better. Baxter Holmes has a look at the new rule changes for this season, and how the NFL officials helped out the Patriots in understanding them yesterday at practice. Massarotti has Kevin Faulk not feeling threatened by the signing of Jordan.

Farinella reflects on how times have changed since his first Patriots camp back in 1977.

Gasper’s notebook has Stephen Gostkowski working on extending his range on field goals. Guregian’s notebook has Belichick talking about the rule changes. Farinella’s notebook has more on the rules. McHugh’s notebook has more on Gostkowski’s practice habits this summer. Garven’s notebook has Faulk focused on only his job, not the signing of Jordan. Flynn’s notebook has the refs explaining the new rules at practice yesterday. Young’s notebook has more on the rule changes.
 

Globe Taking on WEEI.com? Boston Mag on Belichick

A couple items of interest this midday:

David Scott has The Boston Globe preparing for life without Gordon Edes, and at the same time gearing up to battle with the all-new WEEI.com by creating an internet-only Red Sox reporting position in addition to a replacement for Edes. Interesting stuff. Scott provides a list of potential hires by the Globe for the open spots.  

Boston magazine has 14 armchair psychologists (including Senator John Kerry, Michael Felger, Will Leitch, Gregg Easterbrook, and embattled author James Frey) break down the mind of Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

 

Angels Have Their Way With Sox Again

After getting swept in the playoffs last year by the Red Sox, the Los Angeles Angels have had their way with Boston this season, winning six of the seven games the two team have played, including a 7-5 victory last night at Fenway Park.

Jeff Horrigan has the Angels striking with a big sixth inning to knock out the Sox. Amalie Benjamin has the Angels giving the Red Sox plenty of fits. Joe McDonald has Dice-K falling apart in the sixth inning last night. Joe Haggerty has the law of averages catching up with Matsuzaka last night. Mike Anthony has the Japanese ace getting roughed up by the Angels last night. Bob Stern has the Angels outclassing the Sox. Ron Chimelis notes that walks weren’t the problem for Matsuzaka last night, it was the hits. Phil O’Neill has Dice-K unraveling quickly in the sixth inning.

Dan Shaughnessy declares his column a Manny-free zone – for today. Steve Buckley makes the exact same pledge, focusing on Daisuke’s role as the number three starter. Alex Speier has Jacoby Ellsbury trying to weather his first ever slump. Mike Fine has the Red Sox struggling against the top teams in the league.

Rob Bradford says that the Manny situation boils down to money (over who gets it) and whether his knee is really injured or not. Jim Donaldson says that it is time to close the book on the Manny era in Boston. Bob Halloran says that it is time for the Manny apologists to man up. Alan Siegel says that resolving the Manny situation will go a long way towards allowing the Red Sox to concentrate on the pennant race. Stern says that it is clear: Manny must go.

Baxter Holmes has Daisuke Matsuzaka lamenting the sixth inning walk which opened the floodgates for the Angels.  Sean McAdam says that last minute trades before the deadline could determine who wins the AL East. Bradford looks over the latest trade rumors, which include Miguel Tejada, among others. Buckley has Kevin Youkilis saying that hitting leadoff just isn’t for him. Haggerty has Bartolo Colon throwing a bullpen session yesterday. Holmes has the Angels using short-term memory when it comes to the playoffs last year.

Benjamin’s notebook has Jacoby Ellsbury’s slump extending to the basepaths. Horrigan’s notebook has Clay Buchholz finally feeling like himself out on the mound. McAdam’s notebook has Bartolo Colon inching closer to a return to the rotation. Anthony’s notebook also has an update on Colon. O’Neill’s notebook reports that all was quiet on the Manny front yesterday. Stern’s notebook has Justin Masterson looking much better last night.

Patriots

Christopher Price has Raiders owner Al Davis steamed that LaMont Jordan signed with the Patriots.

Christopher L. Gasper looks at a new era starting in football with the defensive headsets being put into place this season. John Tomase has the Patriots weighing in on the possible difficulties caused by the new policy. Glen Farley says that the Patriots defense isn’t quite ready to go radio-active.

Rich Thompson checks in with backup QB Matt Cassel, who feels comfortable in the offense with four years of practice experience under his belt. Price says that things are coming into focus in the early days of camp. Mark Farinella has Logan Mankins and the offensive line viewing camp as a fresh start. Hector Longo tells us we shouldn’t sell LaMont Jordan short.

Thompson has a look at the value of Jabar Gaffney, now in his third season catching passes from Tom Brady. David Brown has Gaffney glad he ended up here with the Patriots after bouncing from the Texans to the Eagles. Shalise Manza Young has a look at Gaffney’s strong rapport with Tom Brady.

Douglas Flynn has veteran tight end Marcus Pollard hoping to find a spot on the final roster for the Patriots. Bud Barth recounts how Pollard made the jump to the NFL without playing football in college. Farley says that Pollard was a legitimate long shot to even make the NFL in the first place, much less play 13 seasons.

Gasper’s notebook has Gaffney proving to be a fine catch for the Patriots Tomase’s notebook has Pollard as the original Antonio Gates, making the jump from college hoops to NFL tight end. Farinella’s notebook has Bill Belichick talking about the helmet issue. Brown’s notebook examines some of the difficulties the radio system might have. Young’s notebook has the Patriots needing to make a decision on who will wear the headset on defense. Barth’s notebook has NFL officials coming to camp today to brief players on rule changes for this season.