Times like these demonstrate the credibility of those “sources” that media figures strive so hard to cultivate. Yesterday we heard from Butch Sterns on WWZN that one of his sources from Cleveland said a Red Sox deal for Jim Thome was “all but a done deal”, the next hour he cited a different source that said there was no deal. He said it again on his Fox25 sportscast, that his Cleveland sources said the deal was wrapped up, his Boston sources said it wasn’t. So Butch is covered either way, it appears. On WEEI, Peter Gammons said he doesn’t think the Sox will get Thome, Shawn Estes was a name he thought more likely. On the WB56 Ten O’Clock news last night, Mike Ratte reported that his sources in Cleveland told him that a Sox deal for Thome was “imminent”. In today’s Red Sox notebook in the Herald, Jeff Horrigan acknowledges that talks are taking place, but says no trade announcement is imminent. He does add quotes from Manny, who said Thome asked him a lot of questions about Boston and that Manny told him “it’s great”. In Gordon Edes’ notebook, his source, (Though he likes to use the buzzword “Insider”) says Thome will waive his no-trade, but that the Indians are still asking too much. Much of the notebook though, is focused on the seeming inevitability of a work stoppage. Looks like it’s gonna happen. If that’s the case, the Sox should give up nothing for Thome. Edes also takes his near-daily shot at Manny, this time for not scoring from second on a double. Steven Krasner’s notebook also mentions Thome, and that he refused to speak to the media last night.
(Note to ProJo…or the company that created your cookie-cutter site…you gotta fix that glitch that causes the line break after any word formatted in bold. This is going on months)

Michael Holley dons his Philip Marlowe hat and tries to solve the mystery of which teams won’t make payroll. His prime suspect is the Tigers, though Shaughnessy hears another cash register ring when JP Ricchardi quips that if it’s the Red Sox, ”Then you’ll really hear about curses.”

The front page of the Herald informs us John Henry Williams wants to freeze his own body too, and join his dad in a future life.

Shira Springer reports the Celtics have brought in a 7-3 center to work out and possibly sign as a free agent. (Bruno Sundov) Chris Wallace says he fits because he can shoot three-pointers. No, I’m not making that last part up. Sundov has averaged just over two points and a rebound a game for his 50 game NBA career. In one game in January 2001, however, he played 33 minutes and scored 17 points and had 9 rebounds. He didn’t play significant minutes again after that. He’s also never made a three pointer in his NBA career.

Karen Guregian attempts her version of a “ramblings” column. Michael Gee leads off his postage-due column with “Strikes stink”. It doesn’t pick up much from there. Bill Griffith asks the question…If the Sox go to having the vast majority of their games on NESN next year, who’s the play by play guy? McDonough or Orsillo? (Or Jon Miller?)

CBS Marketwatch has an article today on ESPN.com and its popularity. Included in the piece is a brief profile and interview with Bill Simmons. Thanks to reader Dave for sending this in. Speaking of Simmons, he takes the Blazers selecting Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan and makes a readable column out of it. Bob Hollaran meanwhile, is innocently looking for information on an NFL player when his mouse inexplicably starts clicking on NFL cheerleaders and Bob is forced to learn as much as possible about them.

When Sean McAdam dons his national writer cap at ESPN.com, he is obligated to be a bit more broad in scope and not focus solely on the Red Sox. He could refrain however, from lavishing praise on the Yankees, especially when the praise given is questionable. In yesterday’s piece, he writes:

“One of GM Brian Cashman’s master strokes was his defensive play to keep Randy Johnson away from the Cleveland Indians in 1998. If Cashman senses that the Mariners or Red Sox are about to make a move which could impact October, he’ll be ready to respond accordingly.”

Ok…So just what was Cashman’s “master stroke” back in ’98? and how did he prevent the Indians from getting Johnson? Houston, you’ll recall, traded Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen, and John Halama for Johnson. That was far and away the best package they were offered. Cashman, on the other hand refused to part with the “fat toad” Hideki Irabu, and lost out on Johnson. (A quick Google search reveals a CNN/SI story on the trade when it happened) The piece indicates that it was between the Indians and Astros and that the Yankees bowed out because the price was too high. (Imagine the rancor in the local media here had Dan Duquette refused to part with Irabu to get Randy Johnson…we’d be hearing about it to this day…but for Cashman, it’s a “master stroke”.)

McAdam’s piece goes on to say how the Red Sox worry everyday that Pedro’s next pitch could be his last.

NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays tonight at 7:00. Someone told me that Paul Piece is scheduled to be on Fox Sports Net’s BDSSP tonight. (Anyone catch Pedro on that show last night? Someone told me when asked about the “Curse”, Pedro said curses are stupid and that “anyone who writes about that stuff is evil” and messed up in the head …are you listening Shaughnessy?)