Mustard & Johnson Dumped, Mae to MLB

WEEI has dumped Yankees Talk, aka The Mustard and Johnson show from their Saturday morning lineup.

David Scott has more on the move and what WEEI will be plugging in during that time slot.

Scott also touched on Hazel Mae officially landing at MLB TV, something Jessica Heslam also reported in the Herald today.

Over on Patriots Daily, Scott Benson has a look at cutdown day for the Patriots, from the view of an alternative universe.

In the wake of Jeff Horrigan leaving the Herald, his former colleague Michael Gee talks about the job and role of the beat reporter, in stark contrast to a columnist.

Your Labor Day Weekend Megalinks

Ken from Fang’s Bites here as usual on this Friday. As we head into a three day weekend, it’s time to give you your Friday megalinks.

As always, we go into the Weekend Viewing Picks first.

College football has already begun with some games played on Thursday. Among the highlights for Saturday, USC takes on Virginia, Michigan hosts Utah, Appalachian State visits LSU and Alabama plays Clemson in the Georgia Dome. You can see the slate of nationally televised games for Saturday in my College Football Viewing Picks. On Sunday, ESPN has Kentucky-Louisville at 3:30 p.m. and FSN will air Colorado State-Colorado at Invesco Field at 7:30 p.m. Then on Monday, ESPN has a doubleheader starting Rutgers hosting Fresno State at 4 p.m. and Tennessee playing in the Rose Bowl against UCLA at 8.

The U.S. Open, tennis’ last Grand Slam Tournament of the year finishes its first week of play in Flushing Meadow, NY. CBS has extensive weekend coverage starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. USA has primetime coverage throughout the weekend at 7.

Major League Baseball heads into September with two games on Fox on Saturday at 3:55 p.m., Philadelphia at Wrigley Field to take on the Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays host Baltimore. The regional splits and announcing assignments are here. WGN has White Sox-Red Sox, Saturday night at 7. On Sunday, TBS has the White Sox-Red Sox at 1:30 p.m., WGN has the Phillies-Cubs at 2 and ESPN’s Sunday night game airs on ESPN2 as the Dodgers play Arizona at 8.

The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup continues with the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston in Norton. Golf Channel has 2nd round coverage on Saturday starting at 3 p.m. NBC takes over with 3rd round coverage Sunday at 3. Then NBC picks up the final round at 2 p.m. on Labor Day.

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series has the Pepsi 500 Sunday at 8 p.m.

Let’s head to your links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about the next step in instant replay.

Christopher Byrne of Eye on Sports Media looks at TBS’s blog which doles out its production assignments for its Sunday afternoon MLB games.

Glenn Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable reports that ABC’s College Football Countdown will finally be aired in HD. It’s about time.

Larry Barrett in Multichannel News tells us the NFL Network will have a slew of special programming leading up to Thursday’s Redskins-Giants season opener.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Olympians are picking up speaking engagements. Darren wonders if Nastia Liukin can make you eat your Wheaties. And Darren gets readers’ reaction to the LPGA’s English-only policy.

Joe Favorito likes how the US Open is going green.

The Sports Media Watch has some idle notes.

Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball talks about the new MLB postseason ad campaign being put forth by Fox and TBS. Thank goodness it will not involve Dane Cook.

East and Mid-Atlantic

David Scott breaks news that the Boston Herald is losing Red Sox beat reporter Jeff Horrigan.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe talks about Inside the NFL moving to Showtime.

Phil Mushnick in today’s New York Post remembers late Post columnist Dick Young.

The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck and NBC/NFL Network’s Cris Collinsworth about the Giants. And Justin has five questions for ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the composite college football schedule for the entire 2008-09 season.

Over to the Baltimore Sun where Ray Frager is impressed with Versus’ versatility. In his blog, Ray has the announcing lineup for ESPN’s family of networks’ college football games.

The Washington Times’ Tim Lemke writes that some Olympic sponsors are not re-upping for Vancouver and London.

South

Doug Nye of The State says the new SEC TV deals have made the conference #1 on TV. Doug talks about the South Carolina and South Carolina State football coaches shows switching channels.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that ESPN is promising a new documentary on the University of Miami will be fair and not a hatchet job.

Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel says there’s going to be a lot of college football on TV this season.

Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman says CBS’ Spencer Tillman is looking forward to calling his first Oklahoma football game. Mel has Spencer’s top five college football teams. Mel has some news and notes. And Mel give us his Weekend Viewing Picks.

Midwest

George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal has women angry over fantasy sports leagues.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley talks about Ron Jaworski getting a bigger role on Monday Night Football this season.

Teddy Greenstein in today’s Chicago Tribune says ESPN helped to broker Saturday’s matchup between Utah and Michigan.

Paul Christian of the Rochester Post Bulletin has a primer on the Big Ten Network.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks about the Rams not being on national TV this season. And Dan talks about Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann being reunited on Football Night in America.

Jeffrey Flanagan from the Kansas City Star has Fox NFL analyst Jayice “JC” Pearson lobbying for new sideline reporter Nishelle Turner.

West

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says focus groups turned ESPN back to the basics on Monday Night Football. Jay has the ratings from last week.

John Maffei in the North County Times writes about the new analyst for San Diego State University football games.

The Ventura County Star’s Jim Carlisle says the game will be the star on ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Imagine that.

Steve Springer of the Los Angeles Times compares this year’s Olympics overall viewing record to other programs.

The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth is on vacation, but he does give us a shrunken version of his media notes.

That’s going to do it for the megalinks. Have a good Labor Day Weekend.

Herald Loses Another, Horrigan To Depart

The baseball beat on the Boston Herald has taken another blow, as Jeff Horrigan will be leaving and looking for a non-journalism job in Milwaukee, where his wife is from.

Scott’s Shots has the details.

It’s the latest in a series of losses for the Herald, which earlier this season could boast of one of the best collection of baseball writers in the country with Horrigan, Michael Silverman, Rob Bradford and Tony Massarotti. Now, only Silverman will remain.

Big Apple Bites Back at Boston

It wasn’t a great day in the New York area for the local teams, as both the Red Sox and Patriots fell to their counterparts to the south.

John Tomase has the Red Sox letting the Yankees off the hook in the Yankee Stadium finale between the two clubs. Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox suffering one final indignity down in Yankee Stadium. Joe McDonald has Jason Giambi rescuing the Yankees from the sweep. Dom Amore has the Yankees getting the last word in a bit of “poetic justice” at the Stadium.

The bigger news from yesterday was that Josh Beckett has been scratched from his scheduled start tonight, and will be going down to see famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews today to examine his ailing right elbow. Tony Massarotti says that the Red Sox title hopes hang in the balance of this examination. Sean McAdam says that the news on Beckett made a bad day much worse. Benjamin reports that the concern with Beckett is that the elbows is still just not quite 100 percent despite the extra rest. Goldberg says that while the numbness has subsided in the elbow, the discomfort has persisted. Bill Ballou is critical of the Red Sox, asserting that they are taking a credibility hit with their handling of this Beckett matter. Dan Lamothe says that this Beckett situation should scare the bejeezus out of you.

Dan Shaughnessy says that the house of pain got the Sox one last time. Steve Buckley says that this one was truly a throwback game between the two clubs, with an all too familiar outcome. Massarotti points out how it was truly a game of inches yesterday. Jeff Goldberg has the Yankees getting the little breaks yesterday, leading to the win. Garry Brown says that even with the win, the Yankees face an almost impossible road to the postseason.

Michael Vega has a great effort by Jon Lester spoiled by the bullpen yesterday. Buckley has Lester returning to form yesterday after his rough start in Toronto the last time out.

Marty Dobrow‘s minor league notebook looks at who might get a September callup from the Red Sox. Terry Nau points out how the Pawtucket and Scranton teams mirror their parent clubs.

Check the view from New York in the New York Papers.

Benjamin’s notebook has J.D. Drew and Sean Casey set to see the doctor today about their respective ailments. Tomase’s notebook has the bullpen failing the Red Sox yesterday. Ballou’s notebook says that sticking with Hideki Okajima proved costly to the Red Sox yesterday. McDonald’s notebook has Lester getting a measure of redemption with his strong outing. Goldberg’s notebook has Casey scheduled for an MRI on his neck.

Patriots

The Patriots once again appeared to put forth a lackluster effort for the most part in their final preseason game. A pair of late touchdown drives from Kevin O’Connell saved the game from being a total disaster for New England.

Chris Warner has the analysis on Patriots Daily, including some roster battles that the coaches will be looking at. Christopher Price has his usual 10 Things We Learned Last Night.

Mike Reiss says that it is definitely time to bring on the real games. Ian M. Clark says that this preseason has caused Patriots fans to worry. Karen Guregian says that despite the fact that these games don’t mean anything, there has been something very unsettling about this preseason. Mark Farinella says that there was very little redeeming value to this game last night. Douglas Flynn has the Patriots not putting fans fears to rest with their performance. Shalise Manza Young has the play of O’Connell as one of the few highlights from last night.

Christopher L. Gasper says that not much was settled in the battle for the backup QB spot. Pulling double duty (Sox and Pats) John Tomase has the Giants saying that that Patriots don’t have much to worry about, and that they will be fine once the season starts. Farinella says that Kevin O’Connell and Chad Jackson were about the only ones to distinguish themselves for the Patriots. He also looks at whether certain guys did enough last night to secure a roster spot. Flynn looks at shiners and stumblers from last night.

Check out more PatriotsLinks and GiantsLinks from around the web.

Gasper’s notebook has Brady leading the list of big names who didn’t suit up last night. Guregian’s notebook has Chad Jackson scoring some points with his TD catch. Young’s notebook has Matt Gutierrez hoping he’s done enough to secure a roster spot despite having his least productive outing of the preseason last night.

Misc

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at Inside The NFL getting a facelift and moving over to Showtime.

Mark Blaudschun has Jeff Jagodzinski a little more relaxed heading into his second season at the helm of the Boston College football team. Steve Conroy has Chris Crane finally getting his chance at QB for the Eagles.

Jay Mariotti Coming To Boston? (Updated)

Please, no.

Chicago columnist Jay Mariotti abruptly resigned his position with the Chicago Sun-Times this week, to “pursue other opportunities.” At the same time, he proclaimed newspapers a dying industry and stated that sportswriting has become “entirely a Web site business.” (Which he might be correct about.)

This morning, Chicago Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthal ended his column on Mariotti with the following chilling passage:

One rumor on which Mariotti would not comment had him bound for Boston and an array of multimedia opportunities. How he would find flaws in a city with defending champs in basketball and baseball is anyone’s guess.

“An array of multimedia opportunities” – where would he get those? WEEI.com? (BSMW colleague David Scott has already gotten a denial from an Entercom source) Boston.com? They just hired Tony Massarotti to be “the voice of Boston sports on Boston.com.” The Boston Herald to replace Massarotti? That’s a newspaper…a dying industry. A revamped ESPN Boston? Doubtful.

An emailer to BSMW yesterday also stated that Mariotti was dropping hints about Boston his radio show yesterday. I did not hear the clips, so I cannot verify them, but it seems worth mentioning, especially given the content of the Rosenthal column today.

I really hope this does not happen. Marriotti symbolizes pretty much everything that is wrong with the sports media business right now. He’s all about faux controversy, storylines and manufactured outrage. We’ve got enough of that right now in this town.

Update (1:45pm): Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald  has Mariotti saying that he hasn’t talked to anyone about coming to Boston, but that he “would fit right in” here.

Pedroia, Sox Slam Yanks

Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox putting another nail in the coffin for the Yankees, who see their postseason hopes slipping away by the day. Joe McDonald has the Sox newcomers playing a big role in the win last night. John Tomase says that the Yankees are done. Dom Amore has the Yankees not even putting up a fight last night. Bill Ballou has the Sox cautious to still not count the Yankees out just yet. Jason Dachman has the Sox crushing the Yankees last hopes in one explosive inning.

Sean McAdam says that the deal for Mark Kotsay shows once again the front office’s commitment to always trying to help and improve their team. Tony Massarotti agrees, and examines how Theo Epstein has displayed the golden touch once again this season with the moves that he has made.  Benjamin has Kotsay arriving on a rescue mission for the Sox. Massarotti says Kotsay has been described as everything from a gamer to a grinder – you know, a dirt dog.

You get the feeling that Dan Shaughnessy feels bad for the Yankees in his column today. Ron Chimelis says that this afternoon will be history in the making at the old stadium. Jeff Goldberg has Jason Bay explaining how all his games with his new team have been Red Sox/Yankees-like,

Michael Vega has Dustin Pedroia slamming the doors shut last night on the Yankees hopes. Buckley has more on the first career grand slam for the Red Sox second baseman. Master of the obvious, Shaughnessy tells us that the Red Sox really need Josh Beckett for the postseason. Steve Buckley agrees, and applauds the Sox for not messing with Beckett’s health. Rob Bradford looks at the long standing relationship that Beckett has with Dr James Andrews. McAdam says that Paul Byrd has already fit in well with the Red Sox.

McAdam reports that the potential move of spring training sites for the Red Sox from Ft Myers to Sarasota is gaining momentum.

Check out the stories from New York in the New York Sports Pages.

Benjamin’s notebook has Byrd being targeted with a laser pointer all night long from a Yankees fan. McDonald’s notebook says that Kotsay’s arrival may cut into Coco Crisp’s playing time. Tomase’s notebook has a look at the ties between Kotsay and Red Sox owner John Henry. Goldberg’s notebook has Beckett on schedule for his Friday start. Ballou’s notebook has more on Kotsay and Beckett. Dachman’s notebook has a look at Kotsay’s arrival.

Patriots

The Patriots and Giants wrap up the preseason tonight. Another Patriots Daily newbie, Britt Schramm has a preview.

Christopher Price lines up five things to look for tonight. Mike Reiss has six areas to watch tonight. Karen Guregian selects five things to watch. Shalise Manza Young has six more things you might want to check out tonight.

Christopher L. Gasper says that this year’s rookie crop has shined, contrasting last year’s class,  of which only Brandon Meriweather made any impact. Mark Farinella says that tonight is far from a Super Bowl rematch. Douglas Flynn tells us that this meeting with the Giants does have meaning, however. Rich Garven has a look at those trying to make a good showing tonight.

I haven’t learned anything from this Patriots training camp.

Gasper’s notebook says that tonight is a last opportunity for many players. Guregian’s notebook has rookie Terrence Wheatley getting up to speed on NFL life. Young’s notebook explores which bubble players might step into the spotlight tonight.

Who Are These Guys? – David Brown

David Brown covers the Patriots for the New Bedford Standard Times.

He grew up in Rhode Island, and went to URI for a a bachelor’s degree in journalism. During his time in school he covered the URI basketball team in the Jim Harrick/Lamar Odom era while interning for the Newport Daily News. In his senior year, he did a co-op at The Boston Globe during the 2000 election.

After graduating from URI, he went to Chicago to work on his master’s degree at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He lived five blocks from Wrigley Field and covered Chicago sports for the Medill News Service.

After grad school he moved back to Falmouth for a time before moving to Hendersonville, N.C., and becoming the Prep Sports Writer at The Times-News in that town. He covered mostly high schools, but occasionally covered the Carolina Panthers (coincidentally during their run to Super Bowl XXXVIII vs. the Pats). He was recognized by the North Carolina Press Association with an award for sports feature writing in 2004.

He escaped the mountains of North Carolina after two years and returned once again to Falmouth, where he was hired by the Standard Times. He’s covered a number of sports for the paper, eventually landing on the Patriots beat alongside the late Danny Pires. He also covered the Red Sox World Series run alongside Jon Couture last fall.

In his time with New Bedford, Brown has been honored with three awards from the New England Associated Press News Editors Association (NEAPNEA) and two from the New England Press Association (NEPA). Last spring, he was recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) for an enterprise series on the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).

He describes his philosophy towards writing as this:

“I’m obligated to produce something that I would want to read. Because if I have no interest in my copy, then I can’t expect my readers to. Also, I’m a big fan of sleeping until noon and getting paid money to attend the Super Bowl. I can’t stress enough just how awesome that is. My greatest ambition at this point is to get paid more money to sleep until noon and attend the Super Bowl.”

For a couple examples of his work, he cites his Patriots training camp preview, as well as a piece on  Al “Bundy” Martinez, a mixed martial arts fighter from New Bedford.

A Step Forward For Sox

The Red Sox took the first game in their series with the Yankees last night, 7-3 down in Yankee Stadium. With the win, they were able to move up a game on the division leading Tampa Rays, who lost to the Blue Jays last night.

Amalie Benjamin has Justin Masterson coming up with the biggest pitch of the game – a double play inducing sinker to Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. John Tomase has the Red Sox putting together some of their best baseball of the year at the most crucial juncture of the season. Joe McDonald has Masterson putting a quick end to a potential Yankees rally. Dom Amore says that the Yankees look and sound just about done. Bill Ballou has the bottom of the order helping out the Red Sox last night. Jason Dachman has Tim Wakefield all business right from the start.

Sean McAdam notes that the Red Sox rewrote history during the final years of Yankee Stadium. Dan Shaughnessy relates his own version of memories and highlights from Yankee Stadium. Alex Speier examines the impact that the new Yankee Stadium will have on the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. Steve Buckley has Tim Wakefield coming full circle at Yankee Stadium.

Tony Massarotti has Justin Masterson earning the trust of his manager and being put into the game at its most important point. Nick Cafardo looks at the new instant replay policy that goes into effect tomorrow. Ballou has more on the new Instant replay, which will initially only be used for disputed home runs.

Michael Vega looks at Paul Byrd getting the start tonight, which isn’t his first big game against the Yankees. Massarotti has Josh Beckett set to return Friday after throwing a side session yesterday. Buckley reports that Mike Lowell is making progress in his recovery from his oblique strain.

Vega has Alex Rodriguez feeling the wrath of 55,058 jurors in Yankee Stadium last night. Tomase reports on the Red Sox interest in Atlanta outfielder Mark Kotsay. With J.D. Drew on the disabled list, McAdam explains the Sox interest in Kotsay.

Tomase also reports on Carl Yastrzemski being released from the hospital. McAdam reports that the Red Sox will help open the Mets’ new Citi Field next spring. Dan Lamothe says that there is some poetic justice with how the Yankees and Red Sox are playing right now.

Benjamin’s notebook has more on the Red Sox pursuit of Kotsay. Tomase’s notebook has Mariano Rivera missing the challenge of facing Manny Ramirez in the Red Sox lineup. Jeff Goldberg’s notebook has more on Kotsay. Ballou’s notebook has multiple injury updates. Dachman’s notebook has more on Kotsay.

Patriots

The Patriots made their first round of roster cuts and moves yesterday. Greg Doyle has the first edition of College Scout this season over at Patriots Daily.

Christopher L. Gasper examines yesterday’s moves, but looks closer at the moves facing the Patriots this weekend when they must trim to their final roster size. Ian Clark says that there were no real shockers among the moves yesterday. Karen Guregian also look at the choices that the Patriots still have to make in coming days. Shalise Manza Young says that roster cuts have never been easy for Bill Belichick.

Mark Farinella has LaMont Jordan back at practice for the Patriots. Hector Longo looks at the injury bug which has battered the offensive line for the Patriots. Glen Farley examines the impact of losing Stephen Neal for the first six weeks of the season. David Brown has the offensive line taking a couple of hits yesterday.

Christopher Price says that the Patriots still haven’t decided whether to use the new defensive communication system or not. Jennifer Toland says that if the Patriots keep five running backs, it could change their offense. Douglas Flynn also looks at the battle in the backfield for the Patriots.

Lenny Megliola says that Tom Brady has it all, but still wants more. If you missed it, Boston Magazine’s Luke O’Brien has a feature on Brady’s right hand man, Will McDonough. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has the Patriots Hall of Fame ready for its opening on September 18th. Guregian has Larry Izzo receiving the Ron Burton Community Service Award last night.

Gasper’s notebook speculates that there is some horseplay at work with the carefully planted items in Tom Brady’s locker. Farinella’s notebook has more on the roster moves of yesterday. Guregian’s notebook has Brady a no-show for the Pats Kickoff Gala last night. Young’s notebook has more on the scheduled opening ceremonies for the Patriots Hall of Fame. Toland’s notebook has more on the moves from yesterday. Flynn’s notebook says that the mood in Foxboro was somber with the cuts being made.

If you can only read one thing today, I recommend Dirty Jobs: WEEI Listener over on Pink Hat Hell.

 

 

Sox Saying Their Farewells To The Stadium This Week

Starting tonight, the Red Sox and Yankees will play their last series inside this version of Yankee Stadium. Amalie Benjamin points out that there is plenty of Red Sox history inside of Yankee Stadium, and talks to a few players about their first trip to the venue. Jeff Horrigan has a similar piece this morning as well. Joe McDonald says that the series will bring out some nostalgic feelings in a few members of the Red Sox. Dom Amore has a look at more of the memories between the two clubs in The Stadium. Bill Ballou has a few of his own memories in Yankee Stadium to share. Jon Couture says that the Red Sox need to forget nostalgia or the rivalry this week and just get the wins.

Tony Massarotti says that Terry Francona has shown that he does things the right way, even if it might mean a loss for his team. Dan Hickling has Clay Buchholz making it through seven innings without giving up a walk for AA Portland. Garry Brown says that the Yankees need to sweep the Red Sox this week in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Brown also checked out the Neil Diamond show at Fenway.

Benjamin’s notebook says that Jason Bay’s knees haven’t been a problem this year, as evidenced by his stolen base total. Horrigan’s notebook has the Sox considering the DL for J.D. Drew. McDonald’s notebook has a few more injury updates.

Patriots

On Patriots Daily, Tyler Carter has a new edition of The Turning Point.

Mike Reiss has the Patriots experimenting with a new version of the nickel defense, which features new safety John Lynch lining up with the linebackers. (Didn’t they try the “big nickel” a few years back when Lawyer Milloy and Tebucky Jones were the safeties and the club had signed Victor Green in the offseason?) David Brown gives us a deeper look at Matt Gutierrez, who impressed in his time against the Eagles. Robert Lee has Ray Ventrone impressing the Patriots with his ability and willingness to play in all three phases of the game. Douglas Flynn looks at Victor Hobson’s chances of making the club.

Citing Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Guregian says Tom Brady has a deep bone bruise, but will be ready for the season opener. Glen Farley says that Brady was still a little vague about his availability. Karen Guregian has Chad Jackson showing some spark as of late, but still proving to be a mystery overall. Mark Farinella has Jackson acknowledging that Thursday night could be his last shot with the Patriots.

Christopher Price has the Turk on the prowl this week in Foxboro. Rich Garven looks at a short week of major decisions for the Patriots. Farley says that Thursday night will be the last chance for many players on the roster. Bob Halloran says that Patriots fans must cling to their faith this preseason.

Reiss’ notebook has Brady expecting to be ready for the opener. Guregian’s notebook has local guy Mike Flynn doing his best to make the Patriots roster this week. Brown’s notebook has more on Ventrone, who is out to make the roster any way he can. Lee’s notebook says that things have been so far so good for Jerod Mayo in preseason. Flynn’s notebook has more on Jackson trying to make the most of this last opportunity. Garven’s notebook has Bill Belichick throwing a little praise at his rookie class.

8.25.08 Afternoon

A few quick links for this Monday afternoon:

Tom Brady told Dennis and Callahan that he expects to be ready for the season opener, and wanted to play Saturday night, but it was a coaches decision to hold him out. Mike Reiss reports that Brady and Matt Light were both at practice today.

Peter King has plenty of New England references and items sprinkled among this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback.

Jason Cole had an interesting article this weekend about Tom Brady, and how on many plays, his receivers aren’t even sent on specific routes…a lot of the plays are freelanced.

Albert Breer has an extensive interview with Bill Belichick in the latest print edition of the all new Sporting News. This link is some material that didn’t make it into the article.

Ron Borges says that it’s still a little early to be worried about the Patriots.

Pete Prisco says that Brett Favre makes the AFC East a little more interesting, but the Patriots are still lock to win the division – as long as Tom Brady is standing.

Michael Felger has this week’s Patriots report card.

Jeff Goodman isn’t a fan of the Celtics signing of Darius Miles.

Pink Hat Hell has the recap of Sox Appeal, episode 4.

John Donovan looks at this week’s Red Sox/Yankees series, and the possibility that both teams could miss the postseason this year.

Michael Hiestand analyzes the Olympic ratings.