Patriots head into bye week, Celtics open 2012-13 season

The Patriots will head into the bye week coming off of their first complete 60-minute game of the season in their 45-7 win over the Rams in London. Tom Brady played his best game of the year, and the defense finally generated some pressure on the opposing quarterback by blitzing for the first time this year. This will definitely be one of the talking points during the bye week of whether or not they will build off of Sunday’s performance and blitz more often during the second half of the season.

The team altered its flight plans from London and left early Monday morning to arrive at Logan airport a little before noon Monday. It was apparently one of the final flights allowed to land before the brunt of the storm hit the area. Many of the reporters who covered the game in London had their flights cancelled and will now be stuck there until Tuesday or Wednesday. Not a bad place to have a couple of extra days, but I’m sure many of them would rather be home and with their families. Thoughts are with everyone on the east coast affected by Hurricane Sandy.

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Patriots aren’t half bad at all against Rams– Chad Finn takes a final look at the Patriots convincing win over the Rams.

Patriots report card– Ron Borges’ grades are in from this past week.

Patriots report card: Finally a complete game– Christopher Price says the Patriots played their first 60-minute game of the season.

Stepping up to challenge– Jeff Howe says the Patriots made some big plays in at the right time in Sunday’s win.

Ninkovich hopes to ‘look like totally different defense’– Tom E. Curran looks ahead to the second half of the season for the defense with quotes from Rob Ninkovich.

The Celtics traveled Sunday night ahead of the storm to Miami where they will open their season against the Heat tonight where the Heat will be raise the banner for last year’s championship. The main story line to this game will be Ray Allen facing his former team as there as been a great deal of discussion over the past few weeks about his time in Boston and his eventual departure.

Entering the unexpected– A. Sherrod Blakely has how Ray Allen has no idea what to expect  Tuesday night.

Rajon Rondo ranks among Celtics great– Bob Hohler looks at how Rondo is one of the best players in Celtics history, and talks to some Celtics legends to get their thoughts.

Rondo his own man– Mark Murphy also looks at Rondo’s career thus far with some Celtics greats’ thoughts mixed in.

End of a Celtics era brings new promise– Paul Flannery has his season preview, including looking at how the rookies might make an impact.

Boston Celtics retooled for another title run– Frank Dell’Apa looks ahead to the upcoming season.

Heart and soul– Gerry Callahan says the Celtics will go as far as Kevin Garnett takes them.


Wrapping up Patriots-Jets, new era for Sox starts today

Although it wasn’t pretty, a win is a win, and the Patriots are now in first place in the AFC East despite having many flaws. The main concern for me surprisingly is not the secondary, it’s the offenses inability to close out games. For the third time in six games, the Patriots blew a two possession lead in the fourth quarter. In each of these  games the offense has had the chance to first make it a three possession game over the course of the game, and then having possession of the ball with around five minutes to play and a one possession lead, but have given the ball right back to their opponent fairly quickly, failing to produce a good drive when it matters most.

There is no question the secondary is bad, but there isn’t going to be a drastic turnaround. On the other hand, the offense is one of the most prolific in the league. There is no excuse for failing to put teams away, and struggling with their four-minute offense. A lot of this has to with the Patriots not having an idenity on offense. Tom Brady was asked about it and he said he didn’t really know either. This is not good when it’s Week 6 and you still don’t know your idenity on offense. The Patriots are messing too much with the run. They are a built to be a passing offense. Line up four or five wide with Brady in the shotgun and let him pick defenses apart, stop messing with a running game, especially in key situations.

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It’s their biggest concern– Shalise Manza Young says giving up big plays is the biggest issue for the Patriots.

Patriot report card– Ron Borges hands out his grades for Week 7.

Patriots must keep pace fast– Jeff Howe says the team is at their best in the no-huddle.

McDaniels keeps seeking consistency– Tom E. Curran looks at the Patriots offensive play-calling.

The Red Sox are set to introduce their new manager John Farrell today with a press conference at Fenway scheduled for Noon. Unlike last year, the Red Sox got their number one choice. Only time will tell if it was the correct move, and the organization better hope it was because they certainly passed on some very worthy candidates. For the record, I do believe Farrell was the right guy for the job as he has the ability to change the pitching staff around, which is the key to the 2013 Red Sox.

John Farrell isn’t more pf the same for Sox– Chad Finn has the Farrell hiring being the right move.

Best job ever– Gerry Callahan says Farrell cannot do any worse than the job Bobby Valentine did.

No comes hard part for Red Sox– Peter Abraham looks at hardest part of the off-season being rebuilding the team.

Red Sox can expect Farrell to understand team, city– Sean McAdam has Farrell’s familiarity with Boston will do him well.

Pitching Farrell: New manager’s most pressing task is obvious– Alex Speier says Farrell will need to turnaround the teams’ pitching staff right away.

Patriots-Jets rivalry not the same

With both the Patriots and Jets going into Sunday’s game at 3-3 and tied atop the AFC East standings, just a few years ago this game would be the talk of both huge media markets, and a must-see-game on television, especially with Jets coach Rex Ryan running the show. But, things just aren’t that way this time around — it’s just another regular season game.

There isn’t much of a rivalry between the teams anymore. The Patriots have won three straight division titles (the three year’s Ryan has been head coach), and also nine of the last ten. While the two teams come in with the same record, there is no denying the two are not in the same category. The Patriots have one of, if not the best offense in football, while the Jets are still searching for an identity and have a quarterback in Mark Sanchez who has a completion rating of 49.7 this season. The continuous story line with the Jets this year has been when Tim Tebow will take over as quarterback and making matters worse, the team has been depleted by injuries. The Jets are a mess, and have no business beating the Patriots on Sunday.

Even if the Jets weren’t playing good football on the field, there was always Ryan running his mouth, but even that has gone away. When he first came to the Jets, Ryan was always good for a bulletin board post for the Patriots, like in 2009 when he said, “I never came here to kiss Bill Belichick’s, you know, rings. I came to win. Let’s just put it that way. So we’ll see what happens. I’m certainly not intimidated by New England or anybody else. . . .” Then came him guaranteeing wins and Super Bowl’s, none of which have come true. Ryan’s act just isn’t working anymore and he knows it. Both the New York and Boston media baited him in his press conferences this week to say something sound bite worthy, but he wasn’t going for it. Even the man who once fueled the rivalry, wants no part in it right now.

Simply, the Patriots aren’t on the same level as the other teams as the rest of the AFC East, even with all four teams with 3-3 records. It’s not as much the Patriots getting better, more of the rest of the division getting worse. No one has been able to challenge the Patriots in the division, as it seems the Patriots have wrapped up division titles in early-mid December every year. Sunday’s game had the ability to be one of the most hyped Patriots-Jets games in recent years with both teams looking to seize control of the division, but with the Jets inconsistent and at times poor play, along with Ryan’s new, subdued attitude it should be just another regular season division game.

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Patriots’ losses are rest of AFC East’s gain– Shalise Manza Young has the state of the AFC East, with Miami, Buffalo and New York each looking to capitalize on the Patriots’ poor start.

Jets’ Rex Ryan shows respect for Bill Belichick– Amalie Benjamin has a much more humble Rex Ryan than in the past.

Jets not in crisis– Jeff Howe looks at the Jets, and how they are still finding their identity, six weeks into the season.

How the Patriots and Jets continue to force each other to evolve– Christopher Price  looks at how the two teams sometimes build their rosters specifically for when they play one another.

More Patriots-Seahawks fallout

The Patriots suffered one of the worst losses in the Belichick-Brady era on Sunday to the Seahawks and as expected sports radio was blowing up on a number of topics Monday. Obviously the poor secondary play was the leading topic of discussion, but also being discussed was the trend of losing close games, Brady’s play, Belichick and the coaches needing to take more accountability on defense and then comments made by Seahawks players following the game, particularly defensive back Richard Sherman. (It should be noted one of the tweets has been removed from his account)

Many have over-reacted following the loss proclaiming what an average team the Patriots are, Brady and Belichick are losing their touch, etc. Taking a step back things are not as bad as they seem. The Patriots have lost three games, by a combined four points. This is not even close to a disaster, just a few plays in each game that need to be made to turn losses into wins. Their losses to the Cardinals, Ravens and Seahawks are not as bad as they look on paper as their combined record is 11-6. Most importantly, the AFC is wide open this year. There are only two teams with winning records (Ravens and Texans), and both of those teams have suffered season-ending injuries to their top defensive players. The Patriots will get better as the year goes on, playing their best football in December and will once again be there in the end.

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Sure, man, whatever– Gerry Callahan looks at the post-game comments made by Anthony Sherman, a guy most people never even heard of until Sunday.

Patriots can’t cover flaws vs. Seahawks– Chad Finn says the Patriots once again struggled to close out their opponent on Sunday.

Patriots report card– Ron Borges has his grades for this week.

Patriots are now mired in mediocrity- Tony Massarotti says the Patriots aren’t anything special so far this year.

Patriots show trouble at the top– Mike Reiss says Belichick and Brady are largely to blame for the loss.

Tom Brady not to blame for Patriots’ struggles– Chris Gasper says it is not Brady’s fault, it’s on the secondary.

Why drafting and developing defensive backs continues to be a struggle for Patriots– Christopher Price looks at a major issue, which has hurt the Patriots over the recent years.

Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Chris Serino who lost his battle with cancer on Monday. Serino coached college hockey at both UNH and Merrimack followed by acting as both athletic director and hockey coach at Malden Catholic. He was one of the good guys and will certainly be missed.

Warrior Serino dead– John Connolly and Jim Clark have an outstanding piece on the late coach.


Pete Carroll to face old foe, a new name in Red Sox managieral search

As Tom Brady and the Patriots prepare for their trip to Seattle this weekend (Brady’s first game in Seattle), it is also a chance for Pete Carroll to go against the team he coached for three years from ’97-’99. Much of the talk on sports radio this week has been about Carroll and his time in New England, and he even appeared on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning.

When it comes to the game itself, it will be interesting to see if the Patriots will be able to run their no-huddle, fast-paced offense with the crowd noise which comes with playing in Seattle. Seattle’s defense is ranked at the top of the league so Brady and the offense will certainly have their hands full, but with how bad the Seahawks’ offense is it shouldn’t take much offense to come home with a win.

More balance paying dividends for Patriots offense– Shalise Manza Young looks at the new-look Patriots offense and how well its been working, making it even more difficult for opposing defenses.

Pete Carroll, Bill Belichick like night at day– Jeff Howe looks at the two coaches and their different styles.

One scout’s breakdown of Patriots-Seahawks: Run key for both teams– Christopher Price begins to preview Sunday’s game.

Patriots determined to win turnover battle– Mary Paoletti says the turnover battle is the key to winning Sunday’s game.

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The first name has come out in who the Red Sox will interview for their managerial opening, and it isn’t a name many people were talking about. Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach will reportedly be interviewed by the team next week. The Red Sox were said to be interested in him last year, but the Dodgers would not grant permission for him to speak with Boston. The news was first reported by the Boston Herald.

Manager choice not as important as roster moves– Tony Massarotti says the way the Red Sox rebuild the roster is much more important than who they hire as manager.

John Farrell not alone on Red Sox’ list– Michael Silverman updates the Red Sox’ managerial search.

Searching for (and finding) J.D. Drew– Rob Bradford catches up with J.D. Drew and touches on a number of subjects including his time in Boston.

Who will, and who won’t return to the Red Sox– Sean McAdam looks at how the Red Sox roster might look next year.

Q&A with NESN Red Sox reporter Jenny Dell

While NESN Red Sox reporter Jenny Dell hasn’t been in the Boston media market for long, she certainly already has developed quite the following. Dell grew up in Southbury, Conn. as a Yankees fan, but once getting to college at UMass she converted to a Red Sox fan following the 2004 season. From UMass Dell went to work for ESPN in the event production department before being asked to try on-air positions after a few short months, which led to many appearances for the network before getting the Red Sox reporting job this past winter. A major change for someone who in high school had her own catering company and actually was offered a scholarship to attend culinary school. Boston Sports Media Watch had the chance to catch up with Dell following her first season covering the Red Sox for NESN:

NESN Red Sox reporter Jenny Dell recently finished her first season with the team.

BSMW: You didn’t take the conventional path to becoming an on-air personality. Was there a specific moment or advice that you received which made you really consider a career being an on-air reporter? As a child, what was your dream job?

JD: As a child, my dream job was to be a chef and own a restaurant. I loved cooking and even had my own small catering company in high school called “Simply Dell-icious”. This passion lead to my initial major at UMass Amherst in hospitality and tourism Management.

I picked up my second major in Sport Event Marketing my sophomore year in college. UMass has a program where you can create your own major, called Bachelor Degree with Individual Concentration (BDIC). You come up with a course plan that completes a certain number of credits and I combined my love for sports with my interest in event planning and marketing. I started working for the UMass athletic department my junior year, where I helped out in the advancement office and assisted with the event planning for the football and basketball programs.  I loved the constant energy and excitement that came along with the job and it was then that I decided to pursue a career in the sports industry.

I applied for a position as an administrative assistant for three coordinating producers at ESPN, with the intention of eventually making my way to the Marketing department. They ended up offering me a position as a production assistant, working on the NBA. I immediately fell in love with production; helping in the creation of show segments and creative video packages for our live game broadcasts. It was about four months into my time at ESPN that I was approached in the ESPN cafeteria about working on-air. I’ll never turn down an opportunity, so I went for it. I started off doing a few fantasy segments here and there, and that turned into weekly shows, and major interviews. I truly believe that working both behind-the-scenes in production and on-air made me well rounded in the field. It’s been beneficial to know both sides.

I decided to pursue a career in front of the camera about a year and a half ago. I really enjoyed conducting interviews, being in the middle of the action and the challenge of working on-air. I realized I could combine my passion for production into a full-time career in front of the camera.

BSMW: Coming into this season were you nervous at all? What were your thoughts upon arriving in Ft. Myers for spring training?

JD: Coming into spring training, I was more excited than nervous. There were so many unknowns and I had so many questions, but I was eager to jump right into it all. My first priority was to get to know my production crew and introduce myself to the team. I wanted to establish relationships, get to learn everyone’s personalities and start to understand the job as a whole. The whole NESN crew and team were so inviting, and helpful. Even former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine pulled me aside and said, “We’re all rooting for you this season. Let me know how I can help.”

Getting this opportunity in Boston has been a dream come true. I welcomed the challenge and knew exactly what I was getting myself into. Boston fans are so passionate and knowledgeable. It makes me strive to be the best I can, and to always be prepared. There is an immense amount of pressure in this position and this market, but I think the majority of that pressure comes internally.

BSMW: What was the best moment for you this season? What is it like working for NESN with Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy? Has the teams’ struggles on the field impacted your job at all?

JD: My favorite part of my first year was the fact that I was able to experience the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. All of the ceremonies and events were so exciting and it was amazing that I could take part in all of the celebrations. I enjoyed being able to report on the Red Sox 100 Acts of Kindness, where the players and Red Sox Foundation completed 100 acts of charity throughout the year.

Working for NESN has been a dream come true. The production team is full of experienced and talented individuals, who all had my best interest at heart. They made me feel part of the family and did everything in their power to put me in the best light possible in this new career.

What can I say about Don and Jerry? They are simply the best. They made me feel comfortable from day one, and have given me advice and support throughout the whole season. Don and Jerry welcomed me with open arms and I couldn’t ask to be a part of a better broadcast crew. They keep me on my toes, keep me laughing, and made a long baseball season so enjoyable.

My job is to tell stories, to share with Red Sox Nation what is going on with the team, the match-ups, Red Sox Foundation, Fenway Park, etc… I’ve had the chance to get to know these players over the year, and naturally, when you are surrounded by the same people every single day, you want to see them succeed. Whether they won or lost, I would need to report on the game and situation.

BSMW: Have you ever gotten this much attention at any other point in your career? How long did it take for you to adjust to being a celebrity in Boston, having people come up to you everywhere you go asking for you to pose for a picture, etc.?

JD: I have NEVER received this much attention at any other point in my career. It’s all a bit crazy to me, because (in my eyes) I am just a normal girl who grew up in Connecticut, went to college at UMass and has been blessed with this amazing job opportunity. I will never turn down a request for a picture or autograph, and to be honest, I don’t think I will ever get used to getting those requests. The fact that I can help someone have a positive experience at Fenway, or that I can help make someone’s day a little better just by signing my name or taking a picture is really special. I feel honored.

BSMW: What does the off-season have in store for you? Will you be making any appearances on NESN? What are you looking forward to most next year?

JD: This off-season, I will be hosting NESN Daily, which will provide an incredible opportunity to anchor a studio show.  I had my first taste of hosting last Thursday, with the special edition of NESN Daily: The Bobby Valentine Edition.  Working in the studio is so different than my normal job on the field and I am looking forward to learning the anchor role. Also, I will be working at the Patriots home games- providing content and interviews pre-game and post-game. As a huge football (and Patriots) fan, I couldn’t be more excited to work with the team.

I am looking forward to next season for so many reasons. First and foremost, I will go into spring training having a much better idea of what this job entails. Last season was full of unknowns. Now, I have a much better handle on the position and have established relationships with the NESN production crew, and the Red Sox players and staff. There are going to be a lot of changes to this Red Sox organization over this off-season and I can’t wait to see what next season holds.


With Valentine gone, now the most important part of the off-season — rebuilding the roster

Now that Bobby Valentine has been fired and nightmare of a season is over, now the hard, and most important part begins – rebuilding the roster. After their worst season in more than 45 years and the events which took place, there was no question of if Valentine would be fired, just a matter of when.

Although the new manager is a major part of the 2013 team, what is most important is the players themselves. With the needs the Red Sox have, and financial flexibility, it certainly will be a busy, very important offseason.

The only players virtually guaranteed to return are Dustin Pedroia, Will Middlebrooks, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Felix Doubront and John Lackey. The team could trade away players currently inked to contracts including center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. But, that isn’t a bad group of players to build around to say the least.

General manager Ben Cherington has already stated resigning David Ortiz and Cody Ross are a top priority this off-season and this needs to happen.

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Nightmare finally over for 2012 Red Sox

Editor’s note – both Ryan and Bruce contributed to this abbreviated post.

The nightmare of a season for the Red Sox finally came to an end Wednesday night with a brutal 14-2 defeat at the hands of the Yankees. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitching in undoubtedly his final game in a Red Sox uniform and possibly his last game in the major leagues in general, did not go out on the right note as he allowed five runs on six hits, including two home runs in just 2 1/3 innings of work. The Red Sox finished 69-93, their worst record since 1965, and they finished last in the AL East for the first time since 1992.

The first report of Bobby Valentine being fired following the season came Wednesday from CBS Sports. (Jon Meterparel “reported” this morning on WEEI that Valentine will be fired.)Ben Cherington would not comment and told reporters in New York he would not talk about the situation until following the season. It was a bit of a surprise Valentine did not make any comments directed at the Red Sox organization about the season at all during his three days in New York. It would be assumed upper-level management would meet Thursday to make a decision on Valentine with an announcement soon there after. Last season Terry Francona was let go on a Friday, with a press conference early Friday evening and it would not surprise me if it were the same this time around with Valentine.

Once the manager situation is taken care of it will be all about rebuilding the team, which will certainly keep things interesting in these parts all winter long.

Shortened links today due to a variety of factors, none of which you care about…

Valentine was a managed disaster for Red Sox – Sean McAdam doesn’t hold back in his criticism of Valentine and ownership, of whom he says “failed to take into account, however, was that, often, for every problem Valentine solves, he creates two new ones.”

On 98.5 this morning, McAdam suggested the possibility that Ben Cherington could quit if he does not get to make the decision on the next manager.

Ben Cherington plays blame game– Nick Cafardo looks back at the season at the relationships within the organization.

For Bobby Valentine and Red Sox, 2012 is a wrap- Dan Shaughnessy says Valentine did not go out “guns blazing” in his final days.

A year of chaos: The Bobby Valentine Timeline – Alex Speier looks back at an unmitigated disaster.

Bitter end for Bobby V, Sox – Michael Silverman says that Valentine didn’t change who he was right to the bitter end.

Bobby V’s longest year will end soon – Gordon Edes looks at the end of the longest year for Valentine and Red Sox fans.

Is the NBA in prime position to usurp MLB? – Ryan Hadfield wonders if the struggles of the Red Sox and the lockout of the Bruins will vault the Celtics and the NBA past the Red Sox and MLB locally.

The Patriots will face Peyton Manning and the Broncos Sunday at Gillette in a game where weather may play a factor, with rain expected and highs only in the mid-50’s. For Patriots coverage visit

If you tune into 850 AM this morning, you’ll hear a loop recording pointing you to 93.7 FM in preparation for ESPN Radio to take over the 850 frequency tomorrow.

Patriots-Bills reaction, Beatdown in the Bronx for Red Sox

Unlike the past two weeks there isn’t much of a negative story line with the Patriots following their 52-28 win over the Bills on Sunday. The defense generated a pass rush and limited the third-best running attack in the league to only 98 yards rushing. They also forced four interceptions, including two by Devin McCourty who was the major topic of discussion last week. Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski each went over 100 yards receiving and Tom Brady did what he had to do to lead his team to a come from behind win.

This week Peyton Manning and the Broncos come to town, which will be interesting to see how the Patriots secondary reacts to facing one of the better quarterbacks in the league, something they have struggled with of late.

Practice makes perfect for Patriots punt unit– Shalise Manza Young looks at Zoltan Mesko and the punting unit, who were outstanding Sunday.

Easy win, but no easy conclusions– Tony Massarotti says not much can be learned about the Patriots from their huge win. He wants to see them go against tougher opponents.

Game ball goes to ‘D’– Jeff Howe looks at the Patriots defense, which was very impressive, forcing six turnovers.

Patriots report card– Karen Guregian hands out her grades for Week 4.

Patriots in a rush to put up big numbers on the ground– Christopher Price looks at the Patriots running game and how they met the challenge of their coach, Bill Belichick.

Same Peyton, new place– Mike Reiss looks at Peyton Manning making his return to Foxboro.

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The Red Sox thankfully have just two game remaining in the regular season after their 10-2 loss at the hands of the Yankees Monday night. A nine-run second inning is what doomed the Red Sox. In his last start of the year Clay Buchholz allowed eight runs, on six hits, including three home runs in just 1 2/3 innings. The Orioles couldn’t have been happy with the Red Sox lineup against CC Sabathia, which included Mauro Gomez batting clean up. Following the game Rob Bradford learned Dustin Pedroia broke a finger in Sunday’s game against the Orioles and will miss the final two games. The Red Sox confirmed the report shortly thereafter.

Buchholz, Sox stink– Scott Lauber looks at Buchholz’s worst outing of the season.

Not the ending Buchholz or Red Sox wanted – Sean McAdam also looks at Buchholz’s start, which will be his last of 2012.

Thumbs-up on Bailey for next year– John Tomase says Andrew Bailey is ready to go and is ready to be the teams’ closer next season.

David Ortiz insists this offseason won’t resemble his last one– Rob Bradford looks at Ortiz’s situation for next season and what the offseason has in store for the Red Sox slugger. Ortiz says there is mutual interest in the team bringing him back and him wanting to come back.

Sox need Big Papi more than ever– Gordon Edes says the Red Sox must re-sign Ortiz to get some ‘pop’ back in the Sox lineup.

Red Sox end home portion of schedule with what else, a loss

The Red Sox played their last game of the 2012 season at Fenway Park and fitting with how the season has gone it was another loss. The fell to the Rays 4-2, thus being swept in the brief two-game series. The Red Sox finished the year  34-47 at home, their worst record at Fenway since 1965. It was also the first time since 1997 the team finished the year with a sub .500 record at home, and it was also the last time a team finished below .500 overall as well. Could this have been the last game Bobby Valentine manages at Fenway Park?

The team followed up Tuesday night’s honoring of the 2004 World Series team with a pre-game ceremony naming the All-Fenway Park team. The team included 40 Red Sox players voted on by the fans as well as the organization. It was a very good mix of players from many decades, past and present, many of whom were on hand Wednesday night for the ceremony. Unlike Tuesday night’s ceremony honoring the 2004 team, this was a very nice way to wrap up the 100th anniversary of the Red Sox and not a PR stunt to try and attract fans to a meaningless game. If there is one thing to be said about the 2012 Red Sox is they do know how to put on a great pre-game ceremony, which have gone on throughout the year.

Enough with the Fenway 100 Celebrations– Tony Massarotti has had enough of all the celebrations this year.

The contrived party is over at Fenway Park– Dan Shaughnessy also didn’t like the pre-game festivities, especially last night. He says the franchise has lost its way.

Bobby Valentine not conceding this is the end– Michael Vega says Valentines pre-game press conference Wednesday sounded like his last one ever at Fenway Park.

A Fenway finale, but same Bobby Valentine- Scott Lauber looks at what could have been Valentine’s last game as manager at Fenway Park.

Red Sox look through gloom– Gordon Edes looks back at the final home game of the year and also how there is hope for the future.

David Ortiz: ‘It’s going to get better’– Joe McDonald says Ortiz wants to come back next season and also end his career as a member of the Red Sox.

After three days of replacement referee talks, the league and the refs finally reached a deal late Wednesday night and the refs will reportedly be ready to go for tonight’s Ravens/Browns game. All I can say is, it’s about time.

For all your Patriots coverage visit