Sox, Pats Head West, C’s Ready To Start Defense

Amalie Benjamin has a feature on Daisuke Matsuzaka, who put up impressive numbers in his second season with the Red Sox, despite struggling with his control for stretches. Bob Stern says that these Red Sox have had a special bond all season. Jon Couture says that the Red Sox can win without Josh Beckett, but it won’t be easy. Mike Anthony says that the Sox are confident with or without Beckett. Paul Jarvey has the Red Sox positive and confident heading into the series. Joe McDonald talks to a Major League scout about what to expect from the Angels.

Benjamin has the Sox feeling good about putting Jon Lester out there in game one. Alex Speier looks at Lester in terms of The Making of an Ace this season. Rich Thompson has Beckett still on track to pitch game three back in Boston. Joe Haggerty though, says that Beckett’s status is still up in the air. Dan Ventura has Jason Varitek confident about his pitchers heading into the postseason. Alan Siegel says that the Red Sox rookies must be able to adjust to playoff baseball. Rob Bradford has David Ortiz not expecting to see much to hit in the postseason. Robert Lee has J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell hoping to be on the roster for this series.

Michael Silverman has a final regular season report card for the Red Sox. (It lets you grade as well.) If you want to click through 63 pages (no joke) you can also view Tony Massarotti‘s report card on Boston.com. Alex Speier looks at the non-trade for Johan Santana which shaped this year’s Sox.

Bill Reynolds says that expectations are tempered and the pressure is off for these Red Sox. Nick Cafardo revisits the story of Angels first baseman Mark Teixeira, who was drafted by the Red Sox, but didn’t sign because of the way he was treated by Dan Duquette and the old regime. Mike Fine says that the roles are reversed somewhat in this series. Carolyn Thornton has the team still hopeful that Beckett will be ready for game three on Sunday.

Chad Finn recaps a Los Angeles Times column in which Manny Ramirez talks about his unhappiness in Boston.

Thompson’s notebook has J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell able to take batting practice yesterday, and perhaps could be ready to play in this series. The Globe notebook has Justin Masterson relying on tips given to him by the veterans. The Projo notebook has Jonathan Van Every just glad to be around during the playoffs.

Celtics

The Celtics had their annual media day yesterday to kick off training camp and begin defense of the NBA title.

Marc J. Spears has Paul Pierce finally joining the ranks of the NBA’s marquee players with his NBA Finals MVP performance. Jim Fenton has the Big 3 ready to go back to work. Steve Bulpett has the Celtics eager for a second helping. Tim Weisberg has a focused Celtics squad ready to start their title defense. Scott Souza has Doc Rivers having to change up his message this season. Jeff Goodman says that the Celtics could be even better this season.

Frank Dell’Apa has the Celtics all focused on this season, on repeating, not on the journey of last season. Mark Murphy has the health of Kendrick Perkins shoulder a concern for the Celtics. Bulpett has a healthy Tony Allen looking to be more aggressive and assertive this season. Bill Doyle has Doc Rivers preaching focus to this team. Jeff Howe has more on the C’s getting back to business.

Spears has Commissioner David Stern with some kind words and reflection on the Celtics and their latest championship.

Dell’Apa’s notebook has Sam Cassell talking about the difficulties of repeating, having done it with the Rockets in the ’90′s. Murphy’s notebook has more on Cassell returning to the Celtics.

Patriots

Christopher L. Gasper has Richard Seymour and the Patriots defense hoping to be able to put some pressure on 49ers QB J.T. O’Sullivan on Sunday. Karen Guregian says that the defense also needs to be able to stop the run. Eric McHugh says that the Patriots need to generate pressure on the opposing QB’s. Shalise Manza Young says that getting pressure on O’Sullivan will be the Patriots first order of business.

Rich Garven notes that kickoff returns are a strength of this year’s Patriots, thanks to Ellis Hobbs. Douglas Flynn has the Patriots defense prepping for another battle with Mike Martz. Christopher Price has some of the Patriots familiar with what to expect on Sunday.

The Globe notebook has Tom Brady choosing a surgeon in LA to repair his knee. Guregian’s notebook has the West coast stay agreeing with the Patriot veterans. Garven’s notebook has more on O’Sullivan. Young’s notebook has the Patriots enjoying the bye week. Flynn’s notebook has the Patriots not really able to remember much about O’Sullivan from his time on the Pats practice squad.

Carey, Martinez to Call Sox Games on TBS

TBS has released their Telecast Schedule and Broadcast Teams for the MLB Division Series coverage.

The Red Sox games will be called by Chip Carey, with Buck Martinez as the color analyst. Craig Sager will do the reporting.

NESN’s Don Orsillo gets the call for the Tampa Bay series against either the Twins or White Sox. Orsillo is teamed with Harold Reynolds.

NESN’s Dennis Eckersley will be in the TBS studios for the pregame TBS MLB on Deck show, and the postgame Inside MLB show as well.

For national radio, Dan Shulman and Dave Campbell will have the Red Sox/Angels series on ESPN Radio.

Red Sox Rally Monday

The baseball regular season is now behind us, and it is onto the postseason for the Red Sox. The Sox received a bit of a blow yesterday when it was revealed that Josh Beckett suffered an oblique injury during his bullpen session, which caused the Sox to push their ace back to game three, and move Jon Lester into the game one start.

Amalie Benjamin reports on the injury to Beckett, and has Terry Francona quoting team Dr Thomas Gill as saying ‘Hey, relax. This is going to be all right.’ – which should make Sox fans feel a little better. (Though Dan Kennedy thinks you still need to keep your fork handy.) Steve Buckley (who apparently was the first with the story yesterday) doesn’t include the quote from Dr Gill, and paints a more grim picture of the scenario for the Red Sox. Rob Bradford has Beckett feeling better yesterday.  Jeff Goldberg has more on Beckett getting pushed back to game three. Ron Chimelis has Francona delivering the news after the second game last night. Mike Fine says that the Beckett injury is a real damper for the Red Sox. Alan Siegel says that the Beckett injury puts the Red Sox postseason hopes in jeopardy.

Bob Ryan says that whatever happens this postseason, these Red Sox are playing with house money. Jim Donaldson makes the argument that either team could sweep this first round series. Lenny Megliola says that it is a tough road ahead for the Red Sox. Bill Burt says that Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia are the new “Dirt Dogs.”

Buckley looks at Johnny Pesky’s No. 6 getting raised to th right field to join the other numbers retired by the Red Sox. Bill Ballou has Pesky overwhelmed with the attention yesterday. Chimelis has Pesky humbled by the honor yesterday. Joe McDonald has more on the ceremony honoring Pesky. A piece from McDonald yesterday is well worth a read, it’s a look at the first major league hits by Gil Velazquez and George Kottaras, and what it meant to them. Jon Couture says that retiring Pesky’s number just feels wrong.

Carolyn Thornton has the Sox splitting the season ending doubleheader with the Yankees. Bob Stern has more on the season-ending twin bill. Rich Thompson has Mark Kotsay ready to contribute to the Red Sox in the postseason. Dan Lamothe looks at the Red Sox injury-depleted playoff roster. Joe Haggerty looks at Pedroia coming in second in the batting race. Bradford has Tim Wakefield ready for bullpen duty in the postseason if needed.

Bill Doyle has Don Orsillo talking about working the postseason for TBS.

Adam Kilgore‘s notebook recaps a busy doubleheader day at Fenway yesterday with the Yankees, which also including the retiring of Johnny Pesky’s number 6. Thompson’s notebook has Jon Lester moved up to start game one. Thornton’s notebook has more on Lester, as well as J.D. Drew finally seeing some action. Chimelis’ notebook has Jonathan Papelbon unhappy with his final performance of the regular season. Stern’s notebook has the Red Sox trying to get through yesterday’s doubleheader without any more injuries.

Patriots

The guys at Patriots Daily has planned a week long tribute to Troy Brown, honoring the man many feel embodies everything good about this decade’s Patriots. Yesterday Scott Benson had the piece A Man Among Men, grasping at words to describe Brown as a football player. Today, Chris Warner chimes in with the Legends of Troy, a look at the signature moments of Troy Brown’s career with the Patriots.

Mike Reiss says that Bill Belichick’s Patriots usually fare well coming out of the bye week, and looks at a few things the team has been working on. Karen Guregian says that the Patriots Red Zone struggles continue to be a major concern. Shalise Manza Young has a look at receivers coach Bill O’Brien. Michael Vega looks at how hard work and versatility have made Ray Ventrone an asset to the Patriots. K.C. Joyner on WEEI.com says that the doomsday predictions for the Patriots are off base.

Misc

Stephen Harris says that the Bruins must remember the lessons that they learned last season. Barbara Matson has the Bruins working on getting their team and act together. Joe Haggerty has Michael Ryder ready to show the Canadiens something.

Mark Murphy looks at the challenges Doc Rivers will face in trying to put his bench together while trying to repeat at NBA champs. Jeff Howe has the Celtics ready to begin their title defense after a short summer.

Mark Blaudschun says that it is too early to write some teams off from the National Championship race in college football.

A Rainy Friday Megalinks Session

Ken from Fang’s Bites with you again. With it raining heavily here in New England, nothing much is going on, so it’s time to give you your regular Friday megalinks.

As usual, we go over your Weekend Viewing Picks.

Baseball’s last weekend of the regular season is going down to the wire with pennant and wild card races. Now weather permitting, the Yankees and Red Sox play their final regular season games this weekend. Of course, Johnny Pesky’s retirement ceremony has been postponed to Sunday and I doubt tonight’s game will go off at all, but you never know with the Red Sox. If the game is played as scheduled, it’ll be at 7. Fox has tomorrow’s game at 3:55 p.m. with former TV-38 Red Sox voice Dick Stockton teamed with NESN’s Jerry Remy, then NESN will carry Sunday’s game at 1:30 p.m., all this of course, weather permitting.

As for the national TV partners, ESPN carries its final MLB game of the season, Cubs-Brewers tonight at 8. Fox has coverage of four games on Saturday, including Yankees-Red Sox. The entire slate and announcing assignments can be seen here.

TBS has Mets-Marlins, Sunday at 1 p.m.

College Football has some interesting games now that #1 USC was upset on Thursday by Oregon State. One of the better matchups takes place in the SEC with Alabama visiting Georgia on ESPN at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday. The College Football Viewing Picks will help you to sort out your schedule for a rainy Saturday.

The NFL goes into its first real bye week and it leaves us with a slim picking of games. Yes, there’s the AARP Bowl between Arizona and the Jets, with a matchup of older QB’s, Kurt Warner vs. Brett Favre and the lone late afternoon game will be on Fox, as Washington travels to Dallas at 4:15 p.m. Sunday. Of course, the NFL Viewing Picks has everything you need to know about announcing teams, coverage maps, DirecTV channel assignments and Sirius Satellite Radio channel assignments.

The PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup culiminates this weekend with the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Golf Channel and NBC team up for coverage on Saturday and Sunday. Golf Channel takes the morning coverage Saturday at 10 and Sunday at 11. NBC then takes over at noon Saturday and then at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Golf Channel has same day coverage of the LPGA’s Navistar Classic, Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

NASCAR’s Camping World RV 400 will be seen Sunday at 2 p.m. on ABC.

The Formula 1 circuit heads to Asia for the Singapore Grand Prix which Speed will have Sunday morning at 7:30.

Now to your links:

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says Fox has two games missing from its MLB schedule for Saturday.

The Sports Media Watch says one businessman is suggesting that Saturday’s Alabama-Georgia game be postponed. The SMW has some football names and notes. And the blog has some stuff on ESPN.

Christopher Byrne’s Eye on Sports Media blog has the first of a mult-part look at the setup of ESPN’s College Gameday at the University of Georgia campus this weekend.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell crunches the numbers from USC’s upset at the hands of Oregon State and finds that both schools may have made money on the deal.

Joe Favorito appreciates the planning behind the Montreal Canadiens’ centennial celebration for this season.

Erin Andrews Sexy Time. Deadspin is all over it.

East and Mid-Atlantic

David Scott goes in-depth into Red Sox beat reporter Sean McAdam’s departure from the Providence Journal and joining the Boston Herald.

Because of the recent migration by several Boston sports reporters, fearless leader Bruce Allen put together a Media Movement Scorecard.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe talks with NESN Bruins voice Jack Edwards.

The great Neil Best of Newsday touches upon a bunch of subjects in his Friday column including catching up with the stenographer who does the closed captionining for the Mike Francesa show on YES. Neil has a bit more with the stenographer in his blog. And Neil says Mets manager Jerry Manuel could hold a clinic on media relations.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick remembers the late New York Giants radio analyst Dick Lynch.

The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with ESPN’s Jesse Palmer and ESPN/ABC’s Craig James about Alabama-Georgia. Justin has five questions for SNY’s Ron Darling.

The constantly bitter and increasingly angry Bob Raissman wonders why the Mets aren’t on Fox tomorrow.

Laura Nachman says Phillies announcer Tom McCarthy has been tapped to do the Nationals-Phillies game for Fox on Saturday.

Over to the Baltimore Sun’s Ray Frager who writes that ESPN’s Ron Jaworski is impressed with the Ravens’ offense.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner writes that former DC sports radio talk show host John Riggins returns to Sirius NFL Radio starting today. And in the Baltimore Examiner, Jim writes that Fox NFL analyst Brian Billick feels his former team, the Ravens could make the playoffs.

Midwest

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says FSN Detroit followed Red Wings forward Dan Cleary as he took the Stanley Cup to his native Newfoundland over the summer.

Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald grades the city’s baseball TV and radio announcers.

Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox’s Daryl Johnston likes Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the new sports radio station in town won’t stoop to low brow humor.

Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star says last Sunday’s Chiefs-Falcons game was the lowest in the market dating back to 2001.

South

Doug Nye from The State says the TV ratings prove that the NFL is as popular as ever.

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson talks about TBS tinkering with its MLB postseason coverage this season.

The Orlando Sentinel’s Dave Darling talks with Tampa Bay Rays voice Andy Freed (formerly of the Pawtucket Red Sox) about the team’s amazing rise to the playoffs.

Eric Crawford of the Louisville Courier-Journal feels ESPN should end its Friday night college football games.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says ESPN has jumped on the Dallas Cowboys’ bandwagon.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle tells us that Astros radio voice Dave Raymond will be working on the radio during the offseason.

Mel Bracht from The Oklahoman says FSN Big 12 analyst Gary Reasons will be on the field for the TCU-Oklahoma game tomorrow. Mel discusses ESPN’s plans for a 23 hour college basketball season opening marathon in October. And Mel has his weekend viewing picks.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News says more and more Utah Jazz games are heading to cable and off free TV.

Jay Posner in the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that the Padres radio broadcast team will remain intact for 2009. Jay also has the ratings from San Diego over the last week.

John Maffei of the North County Times is happy that Vin Scully is returning to the Dodgers for his 60th season.

Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star says the TBS’ staff feels the Dodgers despite their record cannot be taken lightly.

From the Los Angeles Times, Steve Springer writes that a local sports radio host is now looking for work.

Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News says coming up next week, the Tampa Bay Rays won’t be hidden from the national spotlight anymore. Tom has the first part of his media notes in his Farther Off the Wall blog. And here’s part 2 of his notes.

Gary Washburn of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says ESPN/ABC college football analyst Ed Cunningham is one of a handful of former NFL lineman who have lost weight to change his quality of life.

Canada

William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail looks at the Boston Globe’s new weekly sports publication.

Digital Home Canada says CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Radio returns to Sirius Satellite Radio on Monday.

The Montreal Gazette says CBC has added 10 Montreal Canadiens games to its Hockey Night in Canada schedule.

The Canadian Press says CTV/TSN has recorded a new version of the Hockey Theme which until last season, played the beginning of every Hockey Night in Canada game on CBC. And a preview can be heard at the TSN.ca site.

That’s it for now. Stay dry over the weekend.

Media Movement Scorecard

Here’s a snapshot look at the movement of some Boston sports media members during the last few months: (Not in strict order)

Gordon Edes – Boston Globe > Yahoo! Sports

Jackie MacMullan – Boston Globe > Buyout > ESPN

Peter May – Boston Globe > Buyout > Yahoo! Sports

Tom Casale – Patriots Football Weekly > DegenerateGambler.com

Michael Parente – Woonsocket Call > Patriots Football Weekly

Michael Felger – Boston Herald/ESPN 890 >WEEI.com (and Comcast SportsNet)

Rob Bradford – Boston Herald > WEEI.com

Alex Speier – NH Union Leader > WEEI.com

Tony Massarotti – Boston Herald > Boston.com/Boston Globe

Jeff Horrigan – Boston Herald > Private Sector

Ron Borges - Soup Kitchen > WEEI.com > Boston Herald

Sean McAdam – Providence Journal > Boston Herald

Bob Lobel – WBZ-TV > Retirement > WODS103.3FM/Oldies 103.3

Hazel Mae – NESN > MLBTV

Adam Kilgore – Washington Post > Boston Globe

Lew Goldstein and Mike Vallee (“Lew & Mike”) 1510theZone > ESPN 890

Laura Behnke – NECN/CSN > KNTV-NBC11 (San Francisco)

Joe Haggerty – Boston Metro > WEEI.com

Who did I miss?

McAdam Latest On Media Merry-Go-Round

The last few months in the Boston sports media have seen a game of musical chairs among some of the big players in the market. Between buyouts, internet defections, new startups and just changing jobs, we’ve seen some of the bigger and most familiar names in Boston sports coverage changing employment addresses.

David Scott has the latest, which is Sean McAdam leaving the Projo and joining the Boston Herald as a columnist and baseball writer. He also touches on the Herald’s announcement of their hiring of Ron Borges, where they trumpet his ability to aggravate and how they’re looking forward to turning him loose and “watching him shake things up.”

I think the Herald has shaken enough things up for one year, this coming just months after the paper pleaded with readers for forgiveness and vowed to rebuild the “sacred bond” with their readers.

McAdam is a tremendous hire for the Herald, with the losses of Rob Bradford, Tony Massarotti and Jeff Horrigan, the paper needed a big baseball voice, and they might’ve gotten the most respected baseball guy in New England in that role.

So, one great hire, one questionable one. I guess that’s not as bad as it could be. Maybe.

Troy Brown’s retirement from the Patriots was the big story yesterday, check out all the coverage on PatriotsLinks.com

Check up on the Red Sox coverage this morning on RedSoxLinks.com

NESN kicks off their coverage of the new Bruins season tomorrow. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell talks with play-by-play man Jack Edwards about the new season.

Marc J. Spears has Kevin Garnett amped up for another title run with the Celtics, while Mark Murphy has the Celtics as a whole looking for another long run in the playoffs.

Tony ‘Miserable’ Massarotti In Top Form

We knew that Tony Massarotti hates the Patriots and their fans, and he has continued his slanted coverage of them in his new role at the Boston Globe.

While his Red Sox coverage is generally shiny and positive, his Patriots postings consist of things like Tony’s Top 5 most disturbing statistics about the Patriots. You know, Patriots fans probably aren’t feeling all that great already, and Tony feels the need to pile on more misery, even though the season has already gotten as disturbing as it can be. Now that posting is from a few days ago, and I just now got around to seeing it. Lucky me.

His first statistic is an old standby.

With Tom Brady as his starter, Bill Belichick has a career record of 87-24. Without Brady, Belichick is 43-58. As Bill Parcells might say, you are what you are. As Belichick might say, it is what it is.

How many times is this going to be trotted out there? First used by Ron Borges, this stat has been repeated over and over and over again by the self-proclamed “objective” members of the meda.

How come no one says: “With David Ortiz on his roster, Terry Francona has a career record of 468-338. Without Ortiz, Francona is 285-363. As Bill Parcells might say, you are what you are. As Belichick might say, it is what it is.”

How about: “With Kevin Garnett on his roster, Doc Rivers has a career record of 66-16. Without Garnett, Rivers is 273-312. As Bill Parcells might say, you are what you are. As Belichick might say, it is what it is.”

No, you don’t hear either of those. It’s only Belichick that this stuff gets applied to.

I prefer to turn it around and say Belichick’s career record without stiffs like Bernie Kosar and Drew Bledsoe is 105-46. (Something like that anyway…I’m counting the second half of the ’93 season after Kosar was cut, and all of the ’94 and ’95 seasons, and not counting the first 18 games of his New England career when Bledsoe was the QB.)

Brown To Join CSN as Analyst

The ink hasn’t even dried on Troy Brown’s retirement papers, and the sure-to-be Patriots Hall of Famer has signed on to join Comcast SportsNet as an NFL analyst:

Selected in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL draft, Troy Brown proved to be Mr. Versatility during his 15 prosperous years as a New England Patriots wide receiver, return man and part-time defensive back. Comcast SportsNet will rely on his high football IQ to provide unmatched local NFL analysis.

Brown, 36, joins the Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight program which airs Monday through Friday live, twice-a-night at 6:30 and 10 p.m. In addition to his in-studio work, Brown will focus on feature pieces from Gillette Stadium involving the Patriots and its players during the week. Brown will make his first appearance tonight at 10 p.m.

“I have been asked to do many things during my football career and I believe that my experience in all facets of the game will provide a great foundation for providing what I hope to be expert analysis on the team,” said Brown. “It feels like my rookie year all over again. I look forward to the challenge as I embark on this new career and as I continue my fifteen year relationship with this great community and team.”

“Troy Brown is a great addition to Comcast SportsNet’s Patriots coverage. Given his on-field versatility, there is perhaps no former player more qualified to provide the type of insight and analysis that fans covet,” said Bill Bridgen, Comcast SportsNet executive vice president and general manager.

Globe Launches New Weekly Sports Publication – The “OT”

The Boston Globe announced today the launch of a new weekly 24-page tabloid style sports publication called the “OT” (for “Our Town/Our Teams”)

The OT will cost 50 cents at newsstands. It features content from Tony Massarotti, Charlie Pierce, Chad Finn and others. There is also an online edition of the publication. The stories are meant to be a little more substantial than what you will get in the regular sports section, with a longer shelf life as well.

In the announcement, the publishers acknowledge that newspaper revenues are sharply declining, and that this is an attempt to get some of it back:

The new publication arrives at a time when newspapers across the country are scaling back staffs and pages amid declining circulation and advertising. To counter those losses, some media outlets are searching for fresh sources of revenue by tailoring new products to niche audiences. OT is aimed at Boston’s voracious sports fans.

“The articles you are reading in this publication are timely but don’t expire after one day,” said Jay Fogarty, vice president of strategic planning for Boston Globe Media, a unit of The New York Times Co. and publisher of several other niche publications, including recent start-ups for fashion, home design, and young women. “It reads more like a Sports Illustrated than a daily newspaper.”

OT will include columns and analysis by boston.com sports bloggers Chad Finn and Eric Wilbur as well as previews of upcoming games involving the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics, and Bruins. The weekly will help readers predict the winners of games and report on fantasy sports. A feature called “Dirt” will chronicle the intersection of sports and gossip. The publication will also have an online component: a blog called “OT online” that will be highlighted on boston.com‘s sports section.

Color me a little skeptical about the chances of the long term success of something like this. Will readers pay 50 cents to pick this up? That’s our poll question for today. (see below) I also had a bit of a involuntary shudder at the mention of the “Dirt” feature. Who will be assigned to camp outside Tom and Gisele’s apartment in New York City? Comparing the publication to Sports Illustrated was a little ballsy as well.

I can see the content being better than you’ll get in the paper, Charlie Pierce’s presence assures that. But with so much sports information and content already out there, almost all of it available free of charge, will consumers go out of their way to purchase this? It’s an interesting experiment for the Globe, and the latest in a series of improvements and changes to their offerings.

With WEEI.com in the market, Boston.com and the Globe are locked in a battle with the new radio-backed startup for the attention of sports fans. It will be fun to see what’s next in this new rivalry.

————-

Will You pay 50 Cents to Read The OT?
Total Votes: 708 Started: September 25, 2008 Back to Vote Screen

Another Party At Fenway

David Scott reports that Ron Borges has been hired by the Herald as a full time columnist, and will be leaving WEEI.com after just a month on the job.

The Red Sox clinched their fifth postseason appearance in six years last night with their 5-4 win over the Cleveland Indians and 22 game winner Cliff Lee. The Red Sox celebrated after the game, prompting some, like Dan Kennedy, to comment that celebrating a wild card berth seems “a little cheesy.” I actually agree with the take from the NESN crew during the celebration, which was that it is so hard just to make it to the postseason in baseball, that it is certainly an accomplishment worth a little celebration, especially with all that this team has been through this season.

Garry Brown has the Red Sox getting back to the playoffs the hard way. Paul Kenyon says that in some ways, it was more of the same at Fenway Park, while in other ways it was totally different. Adam Kilgore has another celebration of Korbel and Bud Light taking place in the Red Sox clubhouse. John Tomase says that these Red Sox have come a long way since the trade of Manny Ramirez. Joe Haggerty has the Red Sox finally able to look forward to the postseason. Paul Doyle has last night as another annual rite for the Red Sox. Paul Jarvey understands why the Red Sox celebrated last night.

Mike Fine says that these Red Sox earned the right to celebrate. After acknowledging the accomplishment of making the postseason and how difficult and rare it is, Dan Shaughnessy finds “these early-accomplishment celebrations a little overdone.” Rich Thompson says that even though the Sox celebrated last night, they are resolved to stay focused going forward. Bob Stern says that Octoberfest is once again on the schedule for the Red Sox.

Alex Speier says that the Red Sox title hopes could rest with Kevin Youkilis. Joe McDonald says that Terry Francona has gotten better as the years have gone by. Vega notes that for some members of the Red Sox, this is a new high. I’m pretty sure that down at the Providence Journal, Jim Donaldson and Bill Reynolds have a little contest going on between them to see who can be the grumpier old man. The stuff those two have turned out in recent months has been unbelievable. This morning Donaldson, not content to grouse about one Boston team, takes on both the Red Sox and Patriots in one fell swoop.

Michael Vega and Steve Buckley look at the Red Sox announcement that they will retire Johnny Pesky’s number 6 at a ceremony this Friday night. Even though Sarah Green likes the Red Sox strict requirements for retired numbers, she’s glad they made an exception for Pesky. Rich Thompson says that Pesky’s contributions to the Red Sox are simply too great to overlook. Kevin McNamara has Pesky finally joining his dear friends Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr in immortality in the right-field corner at Fenway Park. Doyle looks at the 57-year association between Pesky and the Red Sox. Jarvey notes that Pesky was “flabbergasted” at the news.

Kevin Gray has a look at the trendy Phiten necklaces being worn by many major leaguers. Bill Burt has impossible dream manager Dick Williams seeing similarities between his 1967 Red Sox and the 2008 Tampa Rays. Speier looks at former teammates Bay, Sizemore reunited in this series.

Kilgore’s notebook says that now that the Sox are in the playoffs, they may pull back on their efforts to win the division. Tomase’s notebook has Mike Lowell vowing to play in the postseason. The Projo notebook has David Ortiz in fine form during the celebration last night. Doyle’s notebook says that struggling Jed Lowrie is likely to get some rest this week. Jarvey’s notebook also looks at the Sox plans for the rookie shortstop.

Patriots

Over at Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp wonders if this is a good bye for the Patriots or goodbye. If you missed it yesterday, be sure to also check out Tyler Carter and his analysis of the Dolphins’ “wildcat strikes” on Sunday.

Mike Reiss talks to six NFL experts about the state of the Patriots heading into the bye week. Karen Guregian talks to Solomon Wilcots, who called the Dolphins/Patriots game on Sunday about the effort of Randy Moss. Wilcots had called out Moss on one play, but feels that overall, Moss was “into” the game. Christopher Price says that if the Patriots need to make some changes, they’ve got plenty of time to do it. Lenny Megliola says that suddenly the upcoming game against the 49ers has become a critical one for the Patriots.

Bill Burt says that the Patriots Players, not Bill Belichick should be under the microscope this season. Tomase says that the Patriots expect to see gadget plays again this season.

Bruins

Mike Loftus has a look at the competition for spots on the Bruins blue line. Stephen Harris has Shawn Thornton getting his punches in early this season. Fluto Shinzawa has Milan Lucic hoping to be a top-six forward for the Bruins this season. Harris’ notebook has Matt Lashoff hoping that this is his year.