Big Night For Ortiz Powers Sox Over Angels

David Ortiz hit a pair of home runs last night as the Red Sox beat the Angels 6-3 behind a strong effort from Clay Buchholz on the mound. Buchholz picked up his 11th win of the season. Get the full links over at RedSoxLinks.com.

Sports rival claims ’EEI is padding Hub stats – We’ll start out the links with Jessica Heslam looking at the dispute over radio ratings. Jason Wolfe still sounds like a weasel.

Boston bats finally produce late – Sean McAdam has the Red Sox offense finally coming through in the late innings.

Martinez makes presence felt in return – Alex Speier takes a look at Victor Martinez’s return to the lineup.

A good place to start – Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox have needs as the trading deadline approaches, but starting pitching is not one of them.

Bard has quickly become one of game’s top relievers – Daniel Barbarisi with a look at the young fireballer’s development.

Ellsbury takes his first step back – Peter Abraham’s notebook has Jacoby Ellsbury finally getting into a rehab game.

The trials of training camp – Mike Reiss and Tedy Bruschi preview the start of training camp for the Patriots.

A look at six spots up for grabs at Patriots camp – Karen Guregian has a look at some positions where there are jobs to be won or lost on the Patriots roster.

These numbers might lie – Tom E Curran says that despite strong numbers, the Patriots running attack as a whole is not healthy.

Postional Previews – Wide Receivers – Patriots Daily with a rundown of the 13 receivers on the roster to open camp.

Finally…

Guess who?

Too bad Boras can’t speak for Hideki Okajima. Okie spit the bit Sunday, then refused to explain his strange decisions regarding his fielding of Mariners bunts. This prompted media members to complain about Okie’s lack of accountability, which in turn prompted assorted fanboys to say the writers are being crybabies. Let’s go over this one more time people: if players don’t explain themselves, they are snubbing you, not us. Personally, I don’t care if any of these guys ever say another word. We only ask them stuff because we presume you want to know. If you are OK with a guy turtling after coughing up a lead, then I’m OK with it.

Lets go over this one more time: I don’t care if Okajima talks to you or not, I just want him to stop being lousy on the field. I don’t feel snubbed because Okajima wouldn’t show his face after the horrendous outing. Does that mean I’m OK with his performance? Not at all.

Listening to 98.5 yesterday afternoon, Felger and Massarotti are not admitting defeat on this Brady situation, they’ve just changed their tune. Here’s how it goes now:

Felger: “Of course we knew Brady wouldn’t hold out, and we know that he’s going to get a new deal from the Patriots that will be close to Peyton Manning’s. But why did they make him BEG for it? They made this guy, who has won three Super Bowls for them, and made the Patriots the fifth most valuable franchise in professional sports, get down on his KNEES and BEG for it.”

Massarotti: “You’re absolutely right, Mike.”

Red Sox Ratings On NESN Down 35.8% From 2009

In an article from Sports Business Journal, John Ourand reports that the Red Sox TV ratings on NESN are down almost 36% from last season.

Red Sox lose RSN ratings lead

The Red Sox are still 5th overall in MLB in terms of local ratings, averaging a 6.52 per game on NESN.

Ourand has the following to say about the Red Sox decline, and notes that it crosses over to the radio side as well:

In Boston, the declining TV numbers are not the only evidence that suggests Red Sox Nation is more apathetic about this year’s team than in years past. Despite the fact that the team just had its 600th straight sellout at Fenway Park, the lack of the traditional enthusiasm around the local nine this year extends to the team’s radio broadcasts, too. For the first half of the season, Red Sox games on WEEI-AM were down 16.5 percent, to 107,500 listeners. The coveted male 25- to 54-year-old demographic was down 28 percent, posting a 10.2 average. It should be noted that the Celtics’ run in this year’s NBA playoffs required the relocation of 20 Red Sox broadcasts this spring from flagship WEEI-AM to WRKO-AM.

St. Louis has taken over the top spot, averaging a 9.70 on Fox Sports Midwest. The Red Sox have been at the top of this list every season since 2004.

Brady In Camp, Making Progress on New Contract

The following was reported last night, around the same time it was reported that Brady was in fact, already in camp, having reported with the rookies.

Tom Brady and Patriots making progress on a contract extension that could get done this summer. http://is.gd/dIEjuMon Jul 26 02:45:04 via web

What? All I’ve read in the Globe and heard on 98.5 FM is that Brady and the Patriots hate each other, and that if Brady were smart he’d skip the entire season.

Schefter’s article linked above has a few other nuggets that fly in the face of what we’ve been reading and hearing here from people who get paid to cover the Patriots. (Emphasis mine)

The Colts would like to re-sign quarterback Peyton Manning, the Saints Drew Brees and the Redskins Donovan McNabb. At this time, the Patriots and Brady appear to be the furthest along in their conversations, according to league sources.

Furthest along? So will the media descend on Colts camp now or Saints camp to talk about the “disconnect” between QB and club?

Now, as for that disconnect, and reports of unhappines from Brady:

There also was speculation that the relationship between Brady and the Patriots is strained. Yet, Brady was spotted this offseason having dinner with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others have been adamant that the relationship between the two sides is as positive as ever.

Adam Schefter is as close to a sure thing in the football media as there is. Apparently Patriots fans have to turn to him to get information on their team, as certain members of the media actually assigned to cover the team have been too busy speculating, “advancing the story” of the non-holdout and disconnect, and appearing on every media outlet they can to scream about the unhappiness of Brady.

I tuned into the beginning of CSNNE’s “Sports Sunday” and heard Michael Felger saying about the Brady situation. “Some think it is being overblown, but it’s NOT.” He went on to say how Brady has had a month to dispute the disconnect quote, and he hasn’t, so clearly it is true.

The Globe and certain radio personalities have positively embarassed themselves in this entire affair.

But don’t despair guys, you still have Logan Mankins and his actual acrimony with the Patriots.

Now, lets look at a few links from this morning:

The Red Sox continue their fall out of the playoff race, losing 4-2to the Mariners in Seattle. Hideki Okajima was saddled with the loss after not being to get outs on two bunts in the inning. In case you hadn’t heard, Okajima refused to talk to reporters after the game.

Why Hideki Okajima not talking means something – Rather than just whine about it, Rob Bradford explains why Okajima not talking following last night’s loss is important.

Sox must find relief for weak spot in ’pen – Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox need help in their weakest link.

Red Sox heading for trade deadline nightmare – Bradford looks at why the Red Sox aren’t likely to find much help this week.

Not bad outing for Dice-K, but pen gives it up again – Daniel Barbarisi’s Red Sox Journal sews up a few loose ends.

Questions need answering – Mark Farinella looks at the top issues heading into camp.

Patriots looking for answers – Ian Rapoport also has a list of questions.

Plenty of competition among linebackers – Glen Farley looks at the linebackers.

Sweating it out – From yesterday, Albert Breer looked at why a new deal for Brady will be so much harder than one for Peyton Manning.

Well-Krafted plan – Also from yesterday, Rapoport’s conversation with the Patriots owner.

Rajon Rondo now has national appeal – Mark Murphy’s NBA notes focus on Rondo’s spot on the national team.