Rolling Moss Still Gathering News

Well, what did we expect? It was a blockbuster trade, one of the biggest in Boston since . . . the Patriots acquired Moss from Oakland during the 2007 draft. Foxborough has found a way to keep the Patriots in the news during a bye week, so let’s indulge them this final time.

Patriots

Ian R. Rapoport has nothing but kind words for Moss coming out of Gillette Stadium yesterday. Robert Lee has the Pats locker room sad to see Moss go but still believing in themselves. Michael Vega has former teammates reconciling the trade as a “business decision.”

Christopher Price hopes Moss’ place on the field can be filled as fast as his vacant locker was. Karen Guregian has Moss one of the best people Vince Wilfork has ever met. Mike Reiss has Bill Belichick citing a combination of factors leading to the trade, none of which involve alleged friction with Moss. Bob Ryan didn’t really expect the truth anyway. Jeremy Gottlieb throws two more cents into the percolating pot that is Randy Moss.

Jerry Thornton broke the cardinal rule of being a Belichickian when he let the Moss trade shock him. Lee’s Patriots Journal has Wes Welker also surprised but ready to step up his game. Rapoport’s Patriots Notebook has Tom Brady never surprised about anything anymore.

Lest we forget, there are other things going on in Foxborough. Remember Logan Mankins? Tom E. Curran reports confirmed rumors that the Pats are in discussions to trade him to the Chargers for Vincent Jackson. However, in a Rap Sheet post, Rapoport has Mankins’ agent saying something else.

Bruins

It’s on to the NHL season as the B’s are in the Czech Republic awaiting their first two regular season games this weekend. It’ll be a home-and-home of sorts against the Phoenix Coyotes at the O2 Arena in Prague. D.J. Bean looks back on the B’s now-concluded preseason, with Nathan Horton’s play topping his highlights.

Kevin Paul Dupont has Patrice Bergeron signing a three-year contract extension last night in Prague. Douglas Flynn says Bergeron’s extension was the culmination of a summer-long pursuit. Joe Haggerty has GM Peter Chiarelli holding up at the Prime Minister’s Palace until this one got done.

Stephen Harris has Zdeno Chara hoping to get an extension of his own. Mary Paoletti takes a closer look at the B’s captain.

Dupont’s Bruins Notebook dubs Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron the new “gold-dust twins.”

Red Sox

Before the Sox begin to dabble in the free agent market this Hot Stove season, Sean McAdam says they have to address some free agents of their own. John Tomase has Sox scouts sniffing at former NL Cy Young winner Brandon Webb. So, now we know Theo’s planned counter-attack to the Yankees’ imminent acquisition of Cliff Lee.

In the Herald’s continuing Taking Stock of the Sox series, Michael Silverman dissects this past season along the injury line.

Jim Donaldson has some words of remembrance for Ben Mondor, who rescued the PawSox from bankruptcy and owned them for the last 34 years until his death last Sunday.

Odds & Sods

Chris Forsberg calls Marquis Daniels a cog in Boston’s ballyhooed bench squad after helping the C’s to a 96-92 win over the Nets last night in New Jersey. A. Sherrod Blakely has Delonte West and the second unit sparking a comeback in this one.

Eric Ortiz spews some Belichickian wrath at the St. George’s football program after the Rhode Island prep school pulled out of last weekend’s game to avoid getting hurt.

Justin A. Rice has David Shinskie’s struggles opening up the QB job on The Heights.

Those of you lucky enough to be setting out on a three-day weekend, enjoy every minute of it. For the rest, we’ll see you back here on Monday morning. Have a great bye, all.

Will Moss-less Pats Pack Any Punch?

Good morning, Boston. Nice to be back bringing you Morning Links while Bruce is away. I’ll be doing things old school for the next week. No top tens, but not exactly full coverage. Just some great reporters and columnists in and around Boston covering the morning’s hot topics.

With Theo’s bridge leading to a quiet autumn and the Pats’ upcoming bye, it figured to be an easy week ahead. Then came yesterday’s Randy Moss bomb, so let’s head to Foxborough first.

Patriots

Shalise Manza Young has the Patriots undergoing a vintage makeover with the trade of Moss to the Minnesota Vikings yesterday, ditching the long ball in favor of no-name receivers. Among Kirk Minihane‘s ten thoughts on the trade is his praise for Bill Belichick’s decision to cut bait during Act I of Moss’ season-long pity party. Mike Reiss credits Belichick for having a sense of trouble brewing. However, Ron Borges berates Belichick for trading tutti-frutti and not even getting vanilla in return.

Karen Guregian attributes irreconcilable differences between Moss and ownership – not Belichick -to yesterday’s divorce. Jackie MacMullan calls it another case of Randy getting what he wanted. Josh Bousquet follows the problem child Moss through three teams and three ignominious exits. Christopher Price has Moss a complicated indididual, while CSNNE.com brings in the medical experts, who diagnose Moss with a case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Ian R. Rapoport collects comments on the Moss trade from around the NFL, including Jets CB Darrelle Revis’ eulogy of the Pats’ vertical game. Extra Points brings us a few more Revis barbs directed at Moss. Guregian has more talk of condensed spaces and hamstrung offenses circulating among football pundits. On the fan side, Michael Carraggi and Emily Wright team up to call it a split decision. Rich Garven is already looking forward to Halloween when Moss returns to Foxborough.

In light of Moss’ departure, Worry Wart Chris Warner is even more concerned about the Pats’ soft defense. And in a travesty of justice, Jill Steward has Patrick Chung beaten out of AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Celtics

The Celtics got their exhiibition season underway last night in Manchester with a 93-65 win over Philadelphia. Julian Benbow has the C’s pulling out their familiar tough-defense calling card against the 76ers. Mark Murphy has 7-foot center Semih Erden the big surprise, pouring in 13 points and grabbing five rebounds. A. Sherrod Blakely says Erden’s NBA debut was just what the C’s need – defensive-minded role players. Evans Clinchy has practice making perfect for Erden.

Murphy has first-round pick Avery Bradley, whose recovery form ankle surgery could limit him to D-League play this season, savoring his role as spectator last night.

Red Sox

Ahhh, the quiet autumn morning around The Fens, with only the talk of next year. Gordon Edes starts us off with Yawkey Way believing David Ortiz can still make a profound impact on the Sox offense next year but questioning whether he’s worthy of a multi-year contract. Alex Speier tells you why the confoundingly inconsistent Daisuke Matsuzaka still figures in Boston’s 2011 plans.

Scott Lauber says the Sox are in a Catcher-22 predicament over whether to re-sign Victor Martinez this offseason. Sean McAdam has prospect Ryan Westmoreland oozing determination during his miraculous recovery from brain surgery last March.

That’s it for now. Bruins fans can send their hate mail my way at [email protected] Barring a Wes Welker trade for a 2012 fourth-round pick, we won’t see each other again until tomorrow morning.

Week Log: Grabbing a Gators Cap and a Beer

Red Sox

Payback can be a bitch. Following the Angels’ 3-0 sweep over Boston last October, the Red Sox have responded with a vengeance. Although most fans would prefer the ALDS win, the Sox have taken nine straight when it counts the most – i.e., lately. On Tuesday, Ryan Kalish and Clay Buchholz did the damage in this most recent series opener. Red Sox Monster has Terry Francona’s move of Kalish to center raising lots of questions about Jacoby Ellsbury’s future. Kirk Minihane thinks that Buchholz’s 2010 has been the very definition of a break-out season. With the Sox bullpen in shambles, The Bottom Line hopes the rest of the rotation took notice of Buchholz’s 7-inning outing Tuesday.

Perhaps they did. Throw in another seven from Lackey last night, then Bard in the 8th and Jonathan Papelbon in the 9th, and Surviving Grady has all the ingedients for a textbook ‘W’ . . . almost. Sean McAdam thinks Paps’ milestone 30th save last night may have been more important as a boost to his confidence. Full Count applauds Francona’s pinch-hitting elections in the 7th, although bats were optional for those plate appearances.

The bad news is that Better Red Than Dead says .700 baseball will be needed just to tie for the Wild Card, and National League teams aren’t walking in that door to help the Sox anymore. Bosox Injection cites injuries as a great and convenient excuse for missing this postseason, although Two Cents From Beantown suspects the Sox use injuries as an excuse to unfairly stock the roster. If the Sox do go on a tear from here on out, Fire Brand Of The American League would not be surprised in the least.

Over The Monster has the highest paid starters also doubling as the most disappointing performers. I’m Just Sayin’ is just saying that Lackey and Josh Beckett need to pitch like aces before Theo throws more good money after bad. Extra Bases would throw a pile of Theo’s money at Adrian Beltre this winter. Boston Dirt Dogs has money tight among scalpers as well.

Patriots

Coming off a win in their preseason opener against the Saints last Thursday night, the Pats scrimmaged the Falcons down in Atlanta this week leading to tonight’s game. Pats Pulpit theorizes that trips like these are designed to cram in as much experience for first- and second-year players as possible.

You can’t blame a guy for asking, but Masshole Sports is blaming Falcon Matt Ryan for asking Tom Brady for QB tips. Why should Ryan even bother if Michael Felger is right? PatsFans takes Felgie to the woodshed for asserting that Tom Terrific is no longer a playoff-caliber QB. Luckily, Extra Points has the Pats brass feeling good about the development of Brian Hoyer. Michael Hurley has Brady gunning for perfection in everything so far this summer.

NE Patriots Draft updates their roster predictions after a promising performance against the Saints. After his Brady attack, Felger pines for a Welker/Edelman tandem of slot receivers rather than butting heads against the wall with non-performing TEs. Pats Chowder would find Ty Warren’s IR a little easier to swallow if Bill Belichick hadn’t let Jarvis Green walk. It Is What It Is considers the mystery of punter Zoltan Mesko, the Most Interesting Man in the NFL. Stay thirsty, my friend.

If Chucky Gruden’s fawning on Monday night didn’t clue you in yet, there ‘s going to be a lot of Jets obsession this season, but Boston Blood Sox thinks they still suck. Patriots Gab says to go ahead and push the Pats to the back of the pack because that’s where they like it.

Odds & Sods

The fight for Jerry Thornton is over, as he officially endorses Brett Favre’s candidacy as the most beloved athlete in all of sports. Speaking of pseudo-retirement, Evans Clinchy speculates on Rasheed Wallace’s worth in a mid-season return next year. Marc Savard may not be returning, as Joe Haggerty has the center hurt by the B’s shopping him around this summer.

Toeing The Rubber rails against Rob Dibble and misogynists everywhere as she recounts some of her own bad experiences. And Another Thing . . . remembers the greatest baseball ballplayer and most significant musician of all time, who both died on this week 29 years apart. Boston Homer hopes that what goes around comes around for Dustin Johnson, who handled his two-stroke penalty on the 72nd hole in last weekend’s PGA Championship with class.

Let’s close on an important note, as NESN tells you how you can contribute to the Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon going on today and tomorrow.

Now, about that cap and beer

The Boston blogging landscape changes fast. It has to. New bloggers with a little spare time step into the jetstream daily, as existing ones struggle to retain reader share and their day jobs while manning shields against attack from the mainstream media. This is what I like to call the off-Broadway of the Boston sports world. These bloggers give us color – and sometimes, off-color – but they speak with an unfiltered voice that is missing in traditional outlets.

For 20 months now, Bruce has given the blogging community and me the chance to have that voice heard. It is an opportunity I can no longer reap. For me, the mainstream media has been most hospitable, and readers keep coming to our site. However, Week Log is falling victim to the most virulent of blogging obstacles: the day job.

In some ways I envy the full-time press who make a living at what is a true passion of mine, and have access to perqs I must stand in line and pay for. Then again, I can’t be fired for the vagaries of my headwear, so when The Man continually asks me to do more with less – as he is everywhere and to everyone in this economy – I can either comply or put on a Gators cap, grab a beer, and slide down the chute. The problem is, I’ve never looked good in a cap. The choice is one of necessity.

I’ll still be around, backing up Bruce on Morning Links and keeping slots open for the occasional special edition Week Logs, such as when the Sox make the 2010 playoffs. Look for advance notice on Twitter and Facebook. And, as always, I’m at [email protected] Thanks for all your support. Until the next gig . . .