Sports Sunday on Fox25 was hosted by Butch Stearns (who said he was in a funky mood) led off with The Sporting News and Boston as sports city of the year. After the Red Sox highlights, the spotlight was focused on Tim Wakefield. Levan Reid discussed moving Wakefield back to the pen when Hermanson returns. Tim says he’ll do what the team needs and Grady treats him different from managers have in the past. Tiger Woods highlights followed. Butch asked if we could trade Manny for Tiger. (?)
Patriots rookie Deion Branch was looked at leading off the next segment, followed by a Boston College Football preview. Who will replace William Green, a look at the season past, a look at the early schedule were considered by Rob Nikoleski.
Much of the rest of the show was replayed clips from the afternoon’s special on The Sporting News honoring Boston. If you saw the original show after the Red Sox game today, perhaps you were as struck as I was by the fact that the very first thing that Stearns and Sean McDonough talked about was how this was *not* a scheme to promote 1510 The Zone. They said they had to answer critics who were making that accusation. Why mention it at all, let alone leading off the program which was supposed to be celebrating the year in Boston sports? Methinks thou dost protest too much….
The clips were interviews from Lawyer Milloy and Derek Lowe. Milloy talked about being a champion, and how much that means to be able to bring it home to the fans in Boston. It was interesting to note that Milloy talked about playing baseball in college and that he played against Nomar. Being at Fenway as a former baseball player might’ve meant more to him than to most of the other Patriot players. Milloy noted that this is a baseball town and if the Red Sox ever win it all…he might not leave his house. Lowe’s interview talked about the pressure of playing in Boston, he’s come to love it, he wouldn’t want to play anywhere else, every game is so meaningful. He talked about Boston having four great teams and going to the Celtics great comeback game against the Nets.
Last Blast…Butch said get ready for a strike. A date will likely be set tomorrow, and the date is likely August 16…next Friday. So next week at this time there could be no baseball.
NECN’s Sports Late night was hosted by Mike Adams, (or Bud Zipfel, the former Washington Senator) and the Red Sox highlights were followed by Red Sox personnel talking about how valuable Tim Wakefield is. Wakefield picked up his 100th career win today. The rest of the highlights from the Sports world made up most of the first half hour of the show.
WBZ’s Sports Final was hosted by Steve Burton. A Dan Roche interview with Pedro Martinez followed the highlights from the day. Pedro says the results show that he’s back to his old form. The results reflect his health. He is still curious to see how his health holds up, the season is not over, but he feels better than he did back in ’99. He is wiser, older now, can do more with less effort, saving “bullets” for the end. Seeing what Derek is doing is a lot of fun, he doesn’t have to do it all himself. He thinks this team is very capable, “right there”. The players are praying for no strike. He recalls being with Montreal in ’94 in first place, doesn’t want to go through that again, nor have the fans have to put up with that.
Dan Shaughnessy and Sean McAdam made up the first panel. Wakefield was the first topic. Asked if you forget about the Yankees, Dan says yes. You focus on the Angels and A’s and root for the Yankees when they play those teams. McAdam says the Sox need to be within three games when they play the Yankee to have any chance. A look at the upcoming schedule, McAdam says that if they can get through this stretch, September is much easier. Asked who you start in game one of the playoffs, Pedro or Lowe, Dan says Pedro. A little talk about maybe having Lowe go first then knowing you have Pedro in game two. McAdam says this talk is all likely moot because nothing will be clinched probably before the last weekend of the season. Wakefield won’t be left off any post season roster this year. Cy Young….both say Pedro.
Patriots up next, a look at last night’s game. Ron Borges, Michael Felger and Nick Cafardo. Felger started off saying that backstage Borges and Cafardo were already bashing Brady. Cafardo and Borges harped on all the negative stuff they could find. Patriots kicked four field goals, running game was non-existent. Felger said as much a these guys will be rooting against Brady, he’s going to be fine. Borges said sure, they should be taking down Joe Montana’s plaque to make room for Brady. Cafardo says it’s rediculous to say that he and Borges are against Brady. Borges says he hates to burst everyone’s bubble but, a Cowboys coach told him Brady wasn’t among the top QB’s. Whenever Felger would say someone did something good, Branch, etc, Borges said it’s just the first pre-season game, you can’t tell anything. Felger says Branch is a player. Cafardo then gushed over Bledsoe’s performance Friday night, said Tom Donahue was “beaming” over the game. Cafardo says they (the Bills) are going to have a successful season. Borges then attacked Belichick for Antowain Smith not coming into camp in shape. Felger asked who else WBZ can bring in to gang up on him.
Shaughnessy, Buckley and Ryan were the next group. Playoff pitching was the first topic. The first round is a five game series. You don’t have to worry about having a guy go games 1-4-7. But, as Ryan notes, this is a useless topic, you have to make it there first. Ryan says that Lowe is not a given for a playoff performance, he’s fallen out of the sky. He’s an unknown for the playoffs. Buckley seems to be angling to have Lowe as the game one starter. You can’t bring Pedro back on three days. Ryan is adamant that Lowe is not a given. Shaughnessy says move on…Asked if they’re going to make the playoffs, Ryan says “probably not”. Buckley isn’t confident that they’ll make the playoffs, but thinks if they get there, they could go to the series. Shaughnessy brought up the poor record in one-run games. Buckley says Offerman will have a game winning hit against the Sox this week when they play the Mariners. Ryan says no one on this team gets big hits, Nomar’s on base percentage is bad, he’s back to his worst rookie habits. Buckley likes the makeup of this team character wise. The players know their roles. They have a bench, and guys who don’t mind coming off the bench instead of whining about wanting to play everyday.
Mike Shalin was in next, (bumping Shaughnessy) talking about his book, about the top 100 players not in the Hall of Fame. Pete Rose’s name was raised immediately. Shalin clarified that only eligible players are discussed. Ryan called Rose a scumbag who prefers gambling over baseball. Some of the names Thurman Munson, Dick Allen, Don Mattingly, Luis Tiant. Shalin is a Hall of fame voter. He says that many of the players who aren’t in had troubles or incidents off the field. Ryan says he didn’t vote for Jim Rice for years, but changed his mind and now votes for him. Buckley talked about the myth of Boston writers not voting for Jim Rice. He said he did a poll of Boston writers and they all voted for Rice for the Hall. Buckley is amazed that Catfish Hunter is in the hall and Luis Tiant isn’t. Another comparison made was Ron Guidry versus Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Some writers will not vote for a guy for his first time in. Joe DiMaggio was not inducted in his first time. Jose Canseco was brought up, Buckley and Ryan both immediately said no…Shalin said he’s leaning towards yes. His reasons were that he was a good right fielder before his injuries and hit many home runs in parks not easy to hit a lot of homers in. This was the most entertaining and information segment of the program.