The roller coaster that is the Red Sox continued last night. What a game. Not too enjoyable at times. Has any manager had more moves backfire in one night than Grady Little had last night? They were almost all chronicled on the tagboard. I don’t know that you can blame Grady for all of them not working out, you certainly can’t blame him for his pitchers giving up 5 runs….all via the homerun…in extra innings. Many heroes (Nomar in particular last night) just as many goats. (Nixon, Mendoza, Lyon, Little) Buzzards luck. Yeah, that’s it. Isn’t that what Jimy would say? Speaking of Jimy, he leads his Astros into town starting tonight. John Tomase says it is becoming apparent that Grady Little is not the long term answer as manager of the Red Sox. He is not making the grade. Back to last night, Sean McAdam notes that two stirring comebacks were just not enough. One of the decisions Grady had to make was walking Albert Pujols to face Jim Edmonds in the 13th. Tom Yantz says wrong move. Jeff Horrigan says the Cardinals still know how to break the hearts of New Englanders. Bob Hohler says the Sox just fell short one comeback in this one. Nomar really did it all last night. Both at the plate, in clutch time and in the field. Rich Thompson and Paul Harber look at Nomar’s night, including his 11th triple. As noted there, the league leader in triples last year (Damon) had 11 all year. The bullpen continues to struggle. Moves are promised. Joe Burris and Mike Shalin look at last night’s new chapter in this team’s bullpen horror story. Tony Massarotti looks at Trot Nixon’s night to forget. What’s the record for most men left on base in one game by one player? I don’t know the answer, but 12 seems pretty high to me. Aaron Harlan notes Trots guilt after the game. A standup guy. That’s why the media loves him, and can excuse just about anything he does. (Dennis and Callahan did spend a good chunk of the morning slamming Trot, however.) Joe McDonald looks at Jim Edmonds homer, which will be remembered by Red Sox and Cardinal fans for some time to come. Harber looks at Tom Brady and Lawyer Milloy taking some batting practice before the game. As Harber points out, it was fitting, those two know something about beating St. Louis. Tom Curran writes a feature about the randomness of no hitters. No name pitchers get them, and guys like Roger Clemens, Greg Maddux and Pedro don’t pitch one. Harlan looks at Jason Shiell, who wisely is living halfway between Pawtucket and Boston. The Astros are coming in tonight, but the Jimy and Bagwell talk and stories are already here. Thompson has a quick preview of Jimy’s squad. Don Amore has a short piece on Jimy remembering his Boston days. Jeff Bagwell will finally play a regular season game at Fenway. Gordon Edes reminds us that the Red Sox traded him for Larry Anderson. Did you know that? Do they do this in other towns? Of course, this is the town where the media still reminds us of Babe Ruth, so this Bagwell thing has at least another 70 years of life to it, I figure. To this day, Lou Gorman will defend the deal. Oh well. Enough of those things. In McAdam’s notebook, he reports the Sox have signed their top draft pick, David Murphy. Horrigan’s notebook reports on the Sox interest in Chuck Finley. Hohler’s notebook says Pedro felt fine the morning after his 47 pitch outing. Yantz’ notebook also looks at Pedro.
Joe Thornton spoke publicly yesterday for the first time since his arrest earlier this offseason. Steve Conroy looks at the year Jumbo Joe has had, and gets the details on the arrest from the Bruins Captain. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell also has an article on Thornton, who doesn’t want to look back, only ahead. Conroy’s notebook looks at the short list of coaching candidates for the Bruins, with Mike O’Connell hoping to name a coach by next week.
Steve Bulpett looks at a couple more potential Celtic draftees. BSMW draft guru howiecarrfan…AKA Way of the Ray, will give us the particulars on these players on the tagboard later today…
John Powers looks at The Tradition awards last night, with top honoree Red Auerbach. Steve Buckley has a very nice pay column on the awards last night, with memories from Don Gillis and Tim Horgan. I like the Horgan story:
Horgan, whose columns always were clean, breezy and topical, has one very special memory. He covered Game 1 of the 1975 World Series, when Tiant shut out the Reds, and wondered how he could find the right words to describe it.
``Well, I wrote a column, and the next day, before Game 2, there was this big crowd around Tiant,'' Horgan said. ``We made eye contact, and he shooed me down into the dugout and I'm thinking, `Uh-oh, what's this all about?' He got me alone and just said, `Thank you,' and then he went back out to the field. That was the first time that ever happened to me.''
I somehow don’t think Pedro is going to be thanking any local writers for anything they write about him these days…
Bill Griffith looks at how networks now proclaim every game a “big event”, but how they differentiate the big events from the really big events. They trot out someone like Chris Berman to signify the occasion. Berman was not enjoyable during the Stanley Cup Finals, he recycles his material more often than Dan Shaughnessy and though he is much more likeable than alot of guys, he’s gotten stale. Sidenote: He’s only 48? Jim Baker looks at recent ratings numbers and gets a little harsh on poor Walter Levy, the fan who won the contest to call an inning of a Sox game on NESN. Give him a break, Jim.
UPN38 has Sox/Astros at 7:00. ABC has Spurs/Nets at 8:30. TBS has Braves/Mariners at 10:00. ESPN Classic has a SportsCentury on Carlton Fisk at 8:00 & 11:00.