Ben Cherington, Red Sox Send Clear Message With Blockbuster

When Ben Cherington ascended to the position of GM of the Red Sox, he made sure to call attention to his own deliberate style, noting that he tends to gather as much information as possible and not rush into decisions.

I’ll admit, I’ve had my moments where I felt that this quality of my NH homeboy would work against him when it came to being able to pull off big deals.

With his historic blockbuster deal today, Cherington has made it clear that he is capable of thinking and performing big. In one move, he was able to hit a giant reset button and do what many thought impossible – find someone to take Josh Beckett, and clear out the enormous salaries of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford, while still getting something in return.

That someone was the Los Angeles Dodgers, who, with new ownership, are looking to make a big slash. They’ve wanted Gonzalez, a Southern California native who had his best years down the road in San Diego, and to get him, they were willing to take on the contracts of Beckett and Crawford.

Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston was in the lead on this story:

However, in a column that sure seems prophetic, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times pretty much proposed this deal on Thursday morning:

Directing the dream of Adrian Gonzalez to the Dodgers

While Larry Lucchino was heavily involved in this deal, working extensively with his Dodgers counterpart Stan Kasten, this deal belongs to Cherington, who in one swoop corrected a number of organizational mistakes, removed a lightning rod from the clubhouse, and put the team in a position to be able to build the team he wants going forward.

His press conference announcing the deal showed a confident Cherington, who had the answers, and was eager to start the process of building the team he wants to build.

The offseason has begun for the Red Sox. I wasn’t crazy with the idea of dumping Gonzalez, but I’m not overly broken up over his departure either. While he was terrific last season, and showed signs of late of rounding into form, (he also hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat with the Dodgers tonight.) he just never quite captured the affection of the fans as much as we hoped.

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On a completely unrelated note, I felt really, really bad for Don Criqui last night. At 72, he’s still got the voice, but just cannot keep up with the action, and keep his facts straight. I lost track of the player misidentifications, the errors (Nate Ebner was not a “free agent” from Ohio State.) and just general confusion that was on display in that telecast last night.

It’s time for the Krafts to make a move on their preseason telecasts.

Celtics Green Lost For Season, Mayo Locked Up With Pats For Five

The Celtics announced today that Jeff Green has been diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm148190220939046912, and will miss the 2011-2012 season. He is expected to make a full recovery and is expect to be ready to play next season.

Here’s some reaction to the news:

What Green’s loss means to C’s – Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston.

JEFF GREEN WILL MISS THE 2011-12 SEASON – Paul Flannery, WEEI.com

Green to have surgery for aortic aneurysm; out for year – A. Sherrod Blakely, CSNNE.com

Jeff Green will miss entire season – Gary Washburn, Boston Globe.

ESPN’s Ric Bucher adds some thoughts on what the Celtics will do with Green’s contract:

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And then we have:

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Yeah. The aneurysm is totally on Danny. Totally. John Dennis is rapidly climbing the “Enemies List” for this week…

I mean, really? I think we have a candidate for stupidest tweet in the history of Twitter.  Jeff Green should be pissed because Danny’s hubris gave him an aortic aneurysm. Can he sue?

Of course, the big part of this is that this physical potentially saved Green’s life. That shouldn’t be overlooked.

With the Patriots, Adam Schefter reported this morning that the Patriots have agreed to a five-year contract extension with Jerod Mayo.

Rather than been viewed as a positive, some are viewing this as bad news for Wes Welker, whose contract is up at the end of the season.

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I don’t think Welker is going anywhere. Either the Patriots will tag him, or he’ll get a new deal. Many view Mayo as underwhelming, but his coaches and teammates rave about him, and he’s showing signs of becoming the playmaker his critics say he isn’t. It’s a great move to get him locked up through his prime.

Sunday Notes and Links

A quick look at some of the material out there in the local newspapers and websites.

First of all, I’d like to send condolences to my good friend Chad Finn, who lost his mom last week.

Red Sox come together as they grind through injuries – Sean McAdam has this Red Sox team forming its own personality as it battles adversity.

Baylor is feeling skipped over in managerial mix – Nick Cafardo’s baseball notes have Don Baylor wondering why he can’t get another chance in the big chair. Nick also thinks that it is super-cool that “Astros catcher Jason Castro hails from Castro Valley, Calif.”

For tight-knit Sox, family matters – John Tomase’s baseball notes has the Red Sox clubhouse looking like a  kindergarten these days.

New Marshall in town makes Miami tougher – Albert Breer has picked the Dolphins to win the AFC East this season, and Brandon Marshall is a big reason for that pick.

Quick-hit thoughts around NFL & Pats – Mike Reiss has 10 NFL/Patriots thoughts. He also has a profile on David Givens and his new smoothie business.

Patriots’ Success or Failure Against Jets Will Determine Fate in 2010 – Jeff Howe looks at the matchups between the two AFC East rivals.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick anticipates training camp full of “interesting” position battles – Ian Rapoport looks at the many defensive positional battles that Patriots training camp will hold.

Draft has turned into a glorified trade show – Gary Washburn says that the NBA Draft is broken, with players taken strictly on potential, and with teams constantly trading because they don’t like the players available.

Pickin’ apart draft results – Mark Murphy grades the winners and losers from the NBA draft.

Celtics’ future hangs on Rivers – Scott Souza looks at the importance of retaining Rivers for the Celtics.

Peter Chiarelli’s busy as a B – Stephen Harris notes that Peter Chiarelli was a very busy and popular man yesterday.

Red Sox Pound Moyer, Phillies – Saturday Quick Links

Jamie Moyer had the worst start of his 24-year Major League career last night, giving up nine hits and nine runs while recording just three outs in the Red Sox 12-2win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park.

Get the complete links over at RedSoxLinks.com.

Red Sox 12, Phillies 2: Early show at Fenway – Eric Avidon wonders if social services should be called for what the Red Sox did to the 47-year-old Moyer.

Upon further review, the Red Sox offense has been just fine – Ron Chimelis notes that for all the talk prior to the season about the Red Sox offense being the weak link, it actually has been a strength.

Last hurrah for Lowell as a Red Sox? – Alex Speier wonders if last night’s home run was the last highlight we’ll see from Mike Lowell as a member of the Red Sox.

Humbling time for Moyer, Nelson – Joe McDonald notes that last night for humbling for two pitchers, each for different reasons.

Now Hermida forced on DL – Amalie Benjamin’s notebook has Adrian Beltre sending another Red Sox outfielder to the disabled list.

Celtics

Putting Finals pieces together – Dan Shaughnessy with a number of items and thoughts on the finals. Not bad, though I did shudder that he somehow managed to work a “Spygate” reference in there.

Game 5 could be Allen’s last in Boston – Chris Forsberg looks at what could be the end of the line for Ray Allen in Boston.

Brought to its knee by injury – Steve Bulpett says that without Andrew Bynum, it looked a lot like 2008 out on the court. The Lakers ARE a different team without him.

I’m not sure why though, the Lakers rely so much on Bynum. His talent is undeniable, but he just can’t stay on the court. He’s played in 82 games in a season just once, and the most other than that was 65 this year. In his five seasons in the NBA, he’s played in 46,82, 35,50 and 65 games. That fact that he’s hurt now shouldn’t be a surprise.

Game 5 offshoot four-gone conclusion – Gary Washburn says that tomorrow night has to be the Celtics night if they have any hopes of a title.

Celtics full of fight – Dan Duggan says that it is the resiliency of this Celtics team that really stands out.

Misc

Patriots do the OLB shuffle – Mike Reiss doesn’t think the Patriots have done enough at outside linebacker. He also thinks they’re making a mistake in playing hardball with Logan Mankins.

Hey offense, it’s time to diversify – From yesterday, Karen Guregian looks at some changes that could be coming to the Patriots offense.

USA vs. England preview – John Shimer on WEEI.com offers up a preview of today’s World Cup match.

Bruins Torch Flames

The rare Sunday links make an appearance…

Bruins power up, snuff sputtering Flames – Steve Conroy has the Bruins power play finally producing, giving them three goals in the win over Calgary.

Bruins center Marc Savard progressing slowly from concussion – Mike Loftus has the Bruins center speaking  publicly for the first time since his injury.

Myers at head of this class – Kevin Paul Dupont in his Hockey Notes, pushes the Sabres’ Tyler Myers as rookie of the year.

Plenty of obstacles await Celtics in playoffs – Bill Doyle looks at the Celtics chances of winning a title as a three-seed, and notes some of the tough potential first-round matchups.

Finley’s knowledge should help Celtics – Chris Forsberg says that the Celtics are counting on Michael Finley to give them a scouting report for tonight’s game a

 Celtics turning into repairmen – Scott Souza notes that with just 10 games left in the season, the Celtics are still trying to fix things.

Durant has Thunder making noise in West – Gary Washburn’s NBA Notes has Kevin Durant making the Oklahoma City Thunder playoff contenders.

Under smoke screen, Patriots eye USC players – Karen Guregian’s NFL Notes has New England look at several Southern Cal players, and also has Eagles fans not thrilled with Asante Samuel.

On the Cowboy ranch, the key word is ‘stable’ – Albert Breer has an extensive series of NFL notes this morning, starting with Dallas’ inactivity in free agency thus far.

Quick hits around NFL and Pats – Mike Reiss with 10 quick Patriots and NFL items.

For Shoeneweis, a sort of homecoming – Brian MacPherson explains why coming to the Red Sox is something Scott Schoeneweis has wanted to do for a long time.

Anderson getting a do-over with Dogs – Kevin Thomas in the Portland Press Herald looks at Lars Anderson getting another chance in AA, and has some other Sea Dogs notes.

Managerial decisions, from No. 1 to No. 30 – Nick Cafardo’s Sunday Baseball Notes ranks all the managers, and checks in across the rest of baseball.

Marco Scutaro took the long route – John Tomase’s Baseball notes starts with a look at the Red Sox new shortstop.

Sox Get Martinez, Kotchman at Deadline

For your weekend links, check out RedSoxLinks.com for all the coverage of the Red Sox trades yesterday which brought slugging catcher/1B Victor Martinez from the Indians and 1B Casey Kotchman from the Atlanta Braves.

Oh, the Sox also won last night, with David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis hitting homers in a 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Keep up with Patriots training camp at PatriotsLinks.com. The talk of camp yesterday was Michael Vick, with certain sources insisting (even after learning that Vick was in Virginia for court) that Vick was in Foxboro working out yesterday. It took a statement from the Patriots to convince people that Vick was not, in fact in Foxboro. Michael Gee has a take on this mess.

SIRIUS NFL Radio will be broadcasting live from Patriots training camp this afternoon. Patriots Daily has the details.

The Celtics parted ways with Gabe Pruitt yesterday, waiving the third year point guard. Check what this means for the roster at CelticsLinks.com.

Bruins Take Game One

The Bruins didn’t show any rust last night from their long layoff, as they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 in the first game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Since this is the weekend, we’ll have you rush over to BruinsLinks.com for all the coverage.

Do the Rays now own the Red Sox, or what? Tampa defeated Boston 6-2 last night in Tampa. Check RedSoxLinks.com for the depressing recaps.

Could the reign of the defending NBA Champs come to an end tonight? The Celtics and Bulls go at it in the deciding game seven of their first round playoff series. How many overtimes will we see tonight? Check in at CelticsLinks.com.

Down, and Then Up Day for Boston Sports

Yesterday was one of those rare days we all cherish here in New England. Three of our local sports teams in action, two of them in the playoffs.

The Celtics got the day started at 12:30pm, and frankly, were pretty terrible. They dropped the opener of their best-of-seven playoff series 105-103 in overtime. Paul Pierce missed a free throw with two seconds left in regulation that would’ve given the Celtics the lead. Ray Allen scored 4 points for the game. Rookie Derrick Rose tied a playoff record for rookies with 36 points. Kevin Henkin on the BSMW Full Court Press has the grim details. Check the rest of the coverage at CelticsLinks.com. Hint – don’t read Shaughnessy this morning. His effort was worse than the Celtics, if you can believe it. Marc J. Spears in his NBA Notes looks at Chauncey Billups trying to lead his hometown Nuggets deep into the playoffs.

The Red Sox were up next, at 7:00pm – Josh Beckett didn’t have his best outing, giving up four runs, three earned, in the fifth inning, but those were all the run that the Orioles got, as the Red Sox won, 6-4. Kevin Youkilis hit his third homer for the Sox. RedSoxLinks.com has all the stories and recaps you could possibly need. Nick Cafardo in his Baseball notes has Jake Peavy and the Padres liking where they are for now. Michael Silverman in his Baseball notes looks at the concern over David Ortiz’s lack of power and production thus far.

The Bruins capped off the night in style, with a rousing 5-1 game two victory over the hated Montreal Canadiens. Once again, check in at Bruinslinks.com for the coverage and reaction. Kevin Paul Dupont in his NHL notes checks out the teams that didn’t make the postseason and what the future might hold.

The Patriots continue their preparation for next weekend’s NFL draft. Chris Warner on Patriots Daily hands out a list of 2009 Draft Superlatives for your perusal. PatriotsLinks.com will get you caught up on the rest.  Mike Reiss has a good edition of the NFL notes with an assessment of the 2006 draft for each team, now that three seasons have past.

Weekend Update

Just a few quick notes on a Saturday evening…

Entercom Announces New WEEI Weekend Lineup

With the recent sacking of the Mustard and Johnson Saturday morning program, Entercom has now announced their new schedule for the weekends:

Beginning Sunday, September 7th, Michael Felger takes over as host of NFL Sunday, the pre-eminent Patriots football pre-game show, from 9:00am to noon. Felger will be joined by two regular contributors to the program, New England Patriots Hall of Fame Linebacker Steve Nelson and Paul Perrillo, Senior Writer for New England Patriots Football Weekly. Tom Curran of NBC Sports.com will also call in every week to provide a national perspective on each week’s games. NFL Sunday will provide listeners with the most comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of the Patriots as they prepare for their upcoming opponents.

After the game, it’s The Real Post Game Show with Big Show Flash Anchor Pete Sheppard, and two of the most respected and well versed former Patriots in town — Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie. The program airs immediately after every Patriots game, and will give listeners their first chance to discuss, break down and analyze the outcome. The Real Post Game Show airs from 4pm to 7:30pm, leading into the network’s coverage of Sunday Night Football.

On Saturday, WEEI is proud to announce the addition of The WEEI.com Radio Show. The new show will kick off this Saturday, September 6th at 9am, and will be co-hosted by WEEI.com editor Rob Bradford and Mike Mutnansky. Mutnansky has been a weekend contributor to WEEI in recent months and also hosts an afternoon drive show on WGAM 900 AM in Nashua NH. Bradford, of course, most recently wrote for the Boston Herald and is the author of two books, “Chasing Steinbrenner” and “Deep Drive”. In addition to covering the major sports stories of the day, the TheWEEI.com Radio Show will highlight the newly-created content on WEEI.com. Each of the regular contributors to the web site — Ron Borges, Will Leitch, Mike Petraglia, Alex Speier, Jeff Goodman and others — will appear on the show on a rotating basis.

It also appears we haven’t seen the last of “Yankees Talk”; regarding Mustard and Johnson, Jason Wolfe offered the following statement: “Craig Mustard and Larry Johnson have done a spectacular job on their Saturday morning shift, and I want to thank them very much for all they have contributed to the success of WEEI. They are certainly going to continue to be a part of our lineup in the weeks and months ahead, and we are also speaking with them about new and specific roles with WEEI.com. I am very excited to continue to work with both of them.”

From the announcement, it would appear that the Baseball show with Mike Adams, Sean McAdam and Steve Buckley is done for the season, it would stand to reason that some form of the show will return at some point, either for the postseason should the Red Sox make it, or next spring after the Patriots season concludes.

The cleverly named The WEEI.com Radio Show is clearly an effort to promote and integrate the new web site into the listenership. In monitoring the RSS feed of the blog postings from the site, the content has been steady, though not spectacular at this point. It will be interesting to see how things continue to develop with this experiment, and what tone it takes…will there be more reporting and digging up of facts, or will there be bombastic opinion similiar to what you can hear simply by turning the radio station on?

In an unrelated/related story, I’ve also been looking forward to the promised changes at Boston.com, as both Tony Massarotti and Chad Finn have assumed their new roles by now. I’ve haven’t seen anything of note yet, but will continue to monitor…