Well, Mendoza showed one thing

Well, Mendoza showed one thing last night…that the Sox know they need another starter. Rumors were flying around the internet before the game last night that the Sox were on the verge of announcing another trade. Some said a trade was already complete, but that it wasn’t being announced yet. Peter Gammons was on ESPN around this time, talking about a three-way deal in which the Sox would end up with Freddy Garcia. You can be fairly sure that if there is a deal, it won’t be any deal that has been rumored in the press, because of Theo’s “Godfather” like policy of no leaks. Back to the game, David Heuschkel notes that Mendoza was long gone…from the game and the ballpark…by the middle innings. Bob Hohler says Ramiro had no Mendoza magic last night. Sean McAdam says that thud you heard last night was the Sox coming back to earth. George Kimball says Mendoza gave the Sox little reason to abandon their search for another starter. Gordon Edes says that Mendoza has left the Sox no choice but to go out and obtain another starting pitcher. Jeff Horrigan writes about Scott Williamson’s first trip to Boston, and has a general look at the Sox newest addition. Kevin Gray looks at the Sox getting another one-up on the Yankees with the Williamson deal. McAdam looks at some issues the Sox are running into in their quest for a starter. A few deals have fallen apart in the last 36 hours or so. Hohler takes a look at the Sox new-look bullpen, and figures out who will be used where. Steve Buckley in his pay column says to heck with the future, trade those prospects and get what you need to win now. Don Amore looks at the Sox and Yankees tussling over relief pitchers. The Bill Meuller story is still big, as it should be. Edes takes another look at the humble third baseman, and what his life has been like since he made history. George Kimball also has a pay column on Mueller, showing that he’s taking it all in stride. McAdam also has a piece on Mueller, showing how uncomfortable he is talking about himself and his accomplishments. Adrian Wojnarowski has a piece about how Theo is making Steinbrenner squirm, and has quotes from Theo’s dad about that “blowhard” Eddie Andelman. Jim Fennell has a piece about Dick Radatz, who still doesn’t believe in pitch counts and who thinks that the older guys in the Red Sox front office are doing most of the work instead of Theo. Hohler’s notebook looks at the release of Chad Fox. Horrigan’s notebook says that Odalis Perez might be a potential target for the Sox. McAdam’s notebook says Williamson is expected to join the team tomorrow.

Alan Greenberg looks at the newest Patriot, fullback Larry Centers. Nick Cafardo looks at the strong character players that the Patriots have filled their roster with. Michael Gee in a rambling pay column says that in addition to character, the players need to have skill, and most of all, will to succeed. Michael Felger looks at Anthony Pleasant, back for another season, and though in a reduced role, he is still a big piece to the team. Tom Curran looks at Rodney Harrison, a bad dude from the south side of Chicago. Christopher Price also looks at the addition of Centers. Curran also reports that Mike Cloud was out of practice yesterday due to a calf injury. Hector Longo says that Deion Branch is ready for bigger and better things. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Centers, who took a little shot at Cafardo’s binky, Tom Donahue yesterday. Felger’s notebook says that Brady’s tendency to throw the short pass made the Patriots a great fit for Centers. Curran’s notebook has more on that topic.

Jackie MacMullan looks at the hoards of retired Celtic numbers in the rafters and explores the topic of un-retiring some of them if a prize free agent wanted to wear one. Karl Malone and # 32 is one example. Mark Murphy writes about Grant Long, who enjoyed his time in Celtic Green and would’ve like to come back to the club. Michael Muldoon looks at how Danny Ainge has re-tooled the Celtics.

Jim Donaldson, sounding very old, says young sportswriters are just as bad as the young athletes of today.

NESN has Sox/Rangers at 8:00. TBS has Braves/Astros at 7:30.


Is the sports media negative

Is the sports media negative in Boston? (duh!) Well, now you have it straight from an athlete’s mouth. (Fingers?) Todd Jones, who has been with the Red Sox a mere matter of weeks says:

In Boston, there is a distinct line between the media and the players. To be honest, the media here is brutal. They are the most negative spin doctors I've run into. They make big deals out of nothing. One reporter goes in for an interview, and the next thing you know there are 35 around your locker asking the dumbest questions, such as, "Did you mean to give up that homer?" or "After this loss, is your team finished?"

Brutal…the most negative…big deals out of nothing…any of this sounding familiar? Jones goes on to say that “tilt in the media here in Boston is vicious.” He gives an example of how the press will try to stir something up around here:

In fact, in spring training, there are meetings about how to handle the media in Boston. Reporters here ask the same question six different ways. They figure you're not smart enough to figure out they're asking the same question, and you'll answer it just to get them to leave you alone. They will ask the question like, "Do you think Player A or Player B should have caught the ball that cost you the game?" You give them Player A, and the headline says, "Jones says Player B didn't hustle, cost Sox the game." You're like, "Huh? What just happened?"

He does say the beat guys are good guys…they have to be. It’s others who give the group a bad reputation among the players. He goes on to say that fear of being burned by the media is the reason that players spout the tired cliches of Happy to be here…taking it one game at a time…just hoping to help the team win…

All in all, an interesting take on life dealing with the media here in Boston. One part I would object to is when he says that the fans believe everything that is written about the team and are fueled by the media. With some fans, that might be the case, I think there are many more who are going against that, challenging what is being said by the media, and the popularity of this site is proof of that.

No word on whether Grady

No word on whether Grady made Bill Mueller go over to the Texas clubhouse after the game and apologize…Wow. The beauty of baseball is that even though the game has been played professionally for 130 years or so, you still witness things that have never happened before. Only 12 people have hit two grand slams in one game, but none have hit them from both sides of the plate as Mueller did last night. To top the night off, Theo trades for another top relief pitcher without giving up one of his prized prospects. Eddie Andelman has sarcastically talked about the “boy wonder” every day since Theo came on the job. He said no one would trade with Theo because they don’t want to be made to look bad by a 29 year old “kid”. Bob Hohler reports on a busy night at the ballpark. Jeff Horrigan reports on a humble Mueller. Sean McAdam writes that the Sox just continue to pound poor pitching, “demonstrating that pitching isn’t the only way to win games.” David Heuschkel looks at the historic night for the Sox third baseman. A new edition of Hench’s Hardball looks at the night by Mueller. Gordon Edes reports on the trade that brought the Sox hard throwing closer Scott Williamson. The entire Herald baseball staff give us the details on the deal, the Yankees were also trying to get this guy right down to the end. McAdam also weighs in on the deal which is meant to bolster the bullpen even more. In Heuschkel’s article on the trade, Tim Wakefield jokes that the Sox starters only have to go four innings now. Some might celebrate Dan Shaughnessy’s column today, feeling it is a positive piece at last. Not so fast. Is it necessary to remind us of the Jeff Bagwell trade with every midseason deal that involves prospects? He does lavish praise on Theo and has this cute line:

You gotta love it. While George Steinbrenner issues statements, signs old guys, and worries about the Red Sox, Epstein keeps dealing for the best available Scott. He got Scott Sauerbeck last week and last night it was the hard-throwing Williamson.

I’d say Theo is doing better than getting the best available Scott, but the line works. Shaughnessy concludes:

These 2003 Red Sox are proactive. They're thinking like champions. They're not done yet. And they won't be done until they finally win the whole damn thing.

Those quotes were good. The Bagwell stuff was unnecessary. George Kimball looks at Doug Mirabelli, who was glad for the offensive explosion after having four passed balls the first four innings of the game. Kimball also has a pay column in which he looks at the relief pitching with the trade for Williamson. He closes with quotes from Alan Embree:

"The bullpen-by-committee thing, in theory, if everybody was healthy, it probably could have worked, but for whatever reason, nobody was healthy,'' pointed out Alan Embree. "We lost four of those guys and had to make do with what we had. Then after that, you're being criticized with anything that goes wrong. The manager's getting hammered by people asking `How could you have the nerve to go and do that?' and players are thinking you're horrible, you can't pitch, but once we got that group together, Kim came in and settled everything down, and we're having fun now."

Interesting. Edes has another article today in which he looks at the night by Mueller and the additions in the bullpen. Stan Grossfeld has the conclusion of his two part feature on the making of a baseball. Hohler’s notebook says Manny appears to be ok after a tumble in the outfield last night that caused him to leave the game. McAdam’s notebook also leads with Manny. Horrigan’s notebook reports on the Sox still trying to work out something with the Pirates over Brandon Lyon.

Nothing like a good training camp brawl to get the juices flowing. You think those guys are ready to hit someone besides each other? Mike Reiss reports on Rodney Harrison once again stirring things up in Patriots camp. Alan Greenberg has Bill Belichick with some strong praise for Rosevelt Colvin. Michael Gee also looks at Colvin. Tom Curran says Tyrone Poole needs to focus on his job, we all miss our families when we go to work…Michael Parente looks at Daniel Graham, who has some big expectations placed on him for this coming season and the future. He’s got a booster in Tom Brady though. Speaking of Brady, Mike Giardi admits he used to be a card carrying member of Drew’s crew, but he converted to Brady’s bunch once he saw him play. Michael Smith has part of a 1-1 interview with Richard Seymour. Curran’s notebook leads with word of the brawl in camp. Parente’s notebook looks at Kevin Faulk, vying for even more playing time this season. Gee’s notebook says no word on Larry Centers yet. Smith’s notebook says Centers should be out on the fields this morning.

Number eight is headed to the rafters. Cam Neely will be honored by the Bruins next January. John Powers, Joe McDonald and Michael O’Connor report on the announcement by the team. James Murphy says the time is right for this move. Douglas Flynn also has a piece on the honor being given to Neely. Nick Colageo writes about how Neely made him appreciate how good Gordie Howe was.

Mark Murphy looks at the newest Celtic, Jumaine Jones, who is happy to be back in a winning situation. Shira Springer previews the NBA schedule, released yesterday and also reports on the Jones trade. Murphy also has a peek at the schedule.

John Molori looks at Jerry Remy, Remdog, or my personal favorite, coined by Sean McDonough on Friday night, “Reminem” in his Media Blitz column for the week. Bill Griffith reports on an extension for Jason Wolfe.

NESN has Red Sox/Rangers at 8:00. ESPN has Astros/Braves at 7:00. ESPN2 has Diamondbacks/Marlins at 7:00. ESPN2 is also showing the Patriots 2002 video yearbook at 11:00. FSNE has the Cape Cod League All Star game tonight at 7:30.

Dan Shaughnessy tells an emailer

Dan Shaughnessy tells an emailer that he will address his David Ortiz comments on a NESN commentary soon. He sarcastically notes that “it’s certainly far more important than anything else at this hour and must be addressed.” He hopes that doing this will leave the emailer and their family, “fulfilled”. Way to reach out to the fans, Dan.

Guests on Dale & Neumy included Peter King, as well as Cam Neely, who will be having his number retired next January by the Bruins. There was also a lot of Seabiscuit and horse racing talk. They even discussed Bill Simmons’ Page2 article on the Seabiscuit movie.

An interesting stat for Manny-bashers, as provided over at Musings from RSN.

"What might be most interesting to your readers is where Manny Ramirez ranks in terms of career slugging average (based on a minimum of 5000 plate appearances). #6 all time. Behind only the best of the best. Ruth, Williams, Gehrig, Foxx, and Greenberg. And ahead of Bonds! Now that is impressive company indeed.


Win Bates gets the perspective of a few Red Sox players on what it is like to play in Boston. Jon Couture wonders if it’s too early to hitch ourselves to this Red Sox wagon. Steve Solloway and Kevin Thomas write about a “Maine day rally” held by the Sox in downtown Portland yesterday.

Learned enough about Brenden Stai yet? Well, here’s more from Tom King, Mark Farinella, Glen Farley, and Eric McHugh. McHugh’s piece also looks at the other newcomer to the O-Line, Bill Conaty. Farinella also writes about the wife of Patriots safety Chris Akins, who is a true Patriot.

Let’s talk some football to

Let’s talk some football to open. First of all, I’d like to announce the launching of a new website, the aim of which is to look at football in a whole new light. There are many statistics in football which can be used in misleading ways. For example, do good teams “establish the run early” as a key to winning the game, or do they get a big lead and then pad their running stats while sitting on the lead? Did Lawyer Milloy really do nothing all year last season as Jim Donaldson said in a recent column? The traditional stats might say one thing, while a better analysis might show something else. While there are many new statistical ways of looking at football on the site, it’s not all about the stats. There will be articles on various topics, hopefully presented with a bit of wit. There is also a blog to highlight the top football articles from around the country. The site will be useful to the fantasy football owner as well as to the casual and serious fan. The site is named Football Outsiders and the address of the site is http://www.footballoutsiders.com/. You might be interested in checking out the AFC East Preview, which is up, and will give you some insight you’re not likely to see elsewhere. I have a very small role on the site, mainly finding articles from the AFC and NFC East to post in the blog. It should be a fun thing to be a part of though.

Keeping with the football theme, above, I mentioned the theory of establishing the run. Michael Smith writes in the Globe today that the Patriots are committed to playing a physical style of play, establishing the run early in the game. Michael Parente looks at the second week of camp, with things picking up and falling into place. Tom Curran says the additions of Brenden Stai and Larry Centers will add much needed depth to the team roster. Dan Pires says Stai could be a steal, and also reports on a flood at Gillette stadium last Tuesday during the Bon Jovi concert. Rich Thompson has a closer look at Stai. Alan Greenberg looks at another fresh start for Stai, as he’s on his fifth team in five years. Christopher Price says Stai is an offensive lineman-for-hire. Parente notes that Stai knows some of the Patriots, having played with Mike Vrabel and Tedy Bruschi before. Michael Gee’s pay column exhorts fans to forget about the 2001 Patriots and never compare this club or any other club to that team. Thompson’s notebook looks at Belichick getting down to business in the second week of camp. Curran’s notebook has “Assistant pro personnel director Ty Law” speaking on some new additions to the club. Smith’s notebook has Stai ready to jump into the action.

Another Dan Shaughnessy column comes and goes without contrition for his out-of-place comments about David Ortiz before the season. He does dub him the “new Yankee-killer”, but nothing about Dan’s own rude comments. Tony Massarotti says that the Sox may have exchanged roles with the Yankees, and now the Bomber might be the ones looking back over their shoulders. David Heuschkel says John Henry didn’t cry after the Sox beat the Yankees Sunday night, but he did get goosebumps… Steven Krasner says Casey Fossum is in a familiar position, wondering about his future with the trading deadline approaching. Michael Silverman looks at George Steinbrenner’s comments from yesterday and the reaction to them around the Sox. Gordon Edes also looks at Steinbrenner’s comments, and remind us that the Sox have a tough month of August still to play. Stan Grossfeld has the first of a two part feature on the individuals involved in the making of baseballs. Silverman also reports that the Sox don’t have any big trades in the works before the deadline. I would say that even if they did, we wouldn’t know about it, as Theo and his team have done a good job of keeping these things quiet. We had no real notice of the Kim and Sauerbeck trades until they were right upon us. Jon Wallach was feeling pretty good about the Sox after this weekend, but as his Yankee fan friend reminded him, it’s really not over. Bob Halloran says Grady Little won the weekend chess match with Joe Torre. Gerry Callahan’s pay column today says that it is a good thing that Billy Beane backed out of taking over the Red Sox. He would’ve dumped Varitek, announced the club wasn’t going to re-sign Nomar and wouldn’t have gotten along with Lucchino. Callahan says Theo is doing the job and doing it well. Edes’ notebook looks at Casey Fossum spending some time in Pawtucket, and Manny’s hot streak since the All Star break. Silverman’s notebook also looks at Fossum. Krasner’s notebook looks at AL player of the week Manny Ramirez.

Shira Springer reports on a sign and trade deal the Celtics have in the works to bring Jumaine Jones to to the team for J.R. Bremer and Bruno Sundov. Mark Murphy reports on the Celtics giving second round pick Brandon Hunter a two year deal. Murphy also reports on the Jones deal.

Bill Griffith reports on the 8th Big Man Run this past weekend as well as numbers from the weekend and assorted notes, including what’s up at WHDH TV. Jim Baker reported on the Sox/Yankees numbers in his pay column.

NESN has Sox/Rangers at 8:00. TBS has Braves/Astros at 7:30.

An emotionally spent fan base

An emotionally spent fan base deserves the off day they have tonight to recover from this weekend. In Gordon Edes‘ game story, he tells a tale that shows how much Sox fans want to beat the Yankees. Michael Silverman says the Sox sent the message that they are not going away. David Heuschkel and Sean McAdam note that Ramiro Mendoza called Varitek’s pitch and home run. Perhaps the “embedded Yankee” is now serving as a triple agent. Art Davidson says that the seventh inning last night could be remembered as the moment that pushed the Sox over the top. Kevin Gray looks at a classic finish to a classic series. Jackie MacMullan says that the Sox produced in all areas of the game the last two games. Alex Speier notes that hanging on for the save meant the world for Byung-Hyun Kim. Tony Massarotti writes that with his production this weekend, Johnny Damon may have finally arrived for the 2003 season. Shira Springer looks at Yankee pitchers trying to take the loss in stride. Joe McDonald says that this time, the Yankees were the ones who wasted a great effort by a starting pitcher. Don Amore has Jeff Weaver wishing he could’ve finished that seventh inning. Mark Murphy and Aaron Harlan look at the curious decision by the Yankees to turn Jason Varitek around and allow him to hit right handed. McAdam says this was a late inning comeback like no other this team has put together this year. Michael Vega says Damon’s solo home run stole the spotlight. Rich Thompson looks at David Ortiz’s new role: Yankee Killer. Nick Cafardo looks at things from the Yankee side, this series didn’t turn out as planned for them. Thompson also looks at Manny’s great catch and his chatter in the clubhouse after the game. McDonald looks at the Giambi brothers, and their dinner together Saturday night. Murphy writes that Jeremy Giambi hopes that Saturday can help turn his season around. Steve Buckley’s pay column talks about the seventh inning wakeup call for the Red Sox last night, and how Manny doesn’t like that the team has an off day today. Michael Gee says the Sox are copying the Yankees pattern for winning games, and any team that has Manny excited about playing is doing something right. Howard Bryant’s first pay column says the Yankees are beatable this year. His second talks some about race, and how Ron Burton and others are saddened to see a few African American athletes putting their lives in jeopardy, and reinforcing unfair stereotypes along the way. Yesterday, John Tomase explored the reality that Nomar could be leaving Boston. Edes’ notebook looks at Nomar’s wrist after getting hit last night. Silverman’s notebook has more on that, and a note about Fossum as trade material. Heuschkel’s notebook says the Sox may go away from the 12 man pitching staff and add another position player.

Michael Felger looks at Damian Woody, who didn’t get his contract season off to a flying start by failing the conditioning test. Tyrone Poole appears to be the prime candidate to be the third Patriots training camp retiree in as many summers. Alan Greenberg, Michael Parenteand Shalise Manza Young look at Poole’s situation. The Globe notebook looks at the signing on Larry Centers as well as a few other notes from camp. Felger also reports on the signings of Centers and Brendan Stai. Young’s notebook looks at the tight end position, and Ty Law’s thoughts on the rookie corners, both of which he says can play at a high level. Yesterday, Hector Longo had a look at Rosevelt Colvin. SI’s Don Banks looks at the Patriots front seven on defense. Some interesting notes in there, such as how the switch to the 3-4 isn’t such a big deal, since they’ve done it off and on in the past, and will switch it up this year as well. Also Seymour will likely play around 50% of his plays on the inside. So not too much will change, but the hype about the switch to the 3-4 will give the press something to harp on if the defense struggles early in the season. Felger’s notebook has more on Poole’s wavering as to his football future.

Chad Finn remembers Reggie Lewis.

No Red Sox tonight, but you can watch the AA edition of the Red Sox/Yankees starting at 6:00 on NESN as the SeaDogs and Thunder play a doubleheader. ESPN has Braves/Expos at 7:00

Here’s the Sunday Night sports

Here’s the Sunday Night sports shows.

…wondering when we’ll read anything from Dan Shaughnessy acknowledging that he was wrong and out of line to have called David Ortiz a “giant sack of you know what” several times last winter and this spring. This guy has delivered time after time for the Sox this year. He’s had huge hits against the Yankees, and his batting average following an intentional walk to Manny is just ridiculously good.

They said they wouldn’t look

They said they wouldn’t look past the Devil Rays yesterday, but might’ve anyway. In football, yesterday would’ve been called a “trap” game. Let the record show that even Glenn Ordway said it was “understandable” that the Sox dropped that game yesterday. David Heuschkel has Jason Varitek saying that looking ahead is something the media does, not the players. Jeff Horrigan says this was a huge downer going into the Yankees series. Kevin McNamara says that the good news is that Mendoza will not pitch in the Yankees series. I think I’d feel better if Mendoza was pitching against the Yankees instead of Burkett. Bob Hohler pretends that he is Britney Spears. Dan Shaughnessy looks at Red Sox/Yankees, a pretty easy read, though really nothing you haven’t read before from Dan. He could’ve also skipped the paragraph that mentions 1918. I think we’re all aware of that number. Tony Massarotti says that Sox/Yankees just keeps getting better, the recent sniping between the clubs just adds spice to the games. Sean McAdam says that while we know these Sox aren’t afraid of the Yankees, they still have to prove that they can win a series from them. Gordon Edes looks at Yankees/Red Sox, and includes comments from Clemens yesterday, doing what he does best, playing dumb. Lenny Megliola looks ahead to what should be a rockin’ weekend at Fenway. Mike Shalin notes that Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano are not sore at Pedro from the last series. Don Amore concurs. Michael Vega looks at yesterday’s Tampa hero, Damian Rolls. Rich Thompson has Varitek making the case that Mendoza didn’t pitch all that bad yesterday. Kevin Gray looks at a disappointing NH day at Fenway. Michael Cousineau reports on the NH festivities at the ballpark. Steve Britt says that NH day was full of bad omens for the Sox. Thompson also looks at Rolls and Antonio Perez who led the charge yesterday. Andy Nesbitt notes that Chad Fox always faces the music. Michael Gee’s pay column says that the Sox lead the league in a statistic called “squanders”. Jackie MacMullan writes the story that has been circulating online and in smaller papers for weeks, namely that of Dan Duquette starring in a rendition of the musical “Damn Yankees”. Hohler’s notebook looks at Pirate concerns over Brandon Lyon’s elbow. The Herald notebook also looks at the situation. The ProJo notebook says Fossum might be headed to Pawtucket to get “stretched out” for a start in August. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Sox/Yankees.

Yesterday during the WEEI broadcast from Gillette, Ron Hobson was with Dale Arnold, and while the Bill Belichick press conference was still in progress, said that the stories in the papers today would include articles on the safeties, and the nose tackle position. It’s any easy call, given that whatever is the subject of the press conferences usually become your stories for the next day. Still, form held in this situation as Michael Smith writes about the safety tandem of Lawyer Milloy and Rodney Harrison, and Tom Curran writes about the nose tackle spot and who will man that spot when the games start. Alan Greenberg looks at Antowain Smith and his yearly battle with the conditioning run. Smith seems unwilling to talk about it this year, in contrast to last year. Michael Parente also writes about Smith. Shane Donaldson looks at the apparent depth at linebacker. Hector Longo focuses on Mike Cloud’s failure of the conditioning run. Michael Felger’s notebook looks at the lack of information coming from Pats brass, and if that could be construed as leaving players out to dry. Curran’s notebook also looks at the silence on certain issues from Belichick. Smith’s notebook has more on that same topic. Donaldson’s notebook looks at possible help on the way for the offensive line. Parente’s notebook looks at proud papa Joe Klecko.

Shira Springer reports that the Celtics have agreed to a two year deal with second round pick Brandon Hunter. This is good news. Hunter adds something the Celtics have lacked the last few years. Toughness under the hoop. He’s undersized, but battles. Could be similar to Malik Rose. Mark Murphy reports that Danny Ainge isn’t waiting on Travis Best and instead has made an offer to Best’s backup in Miami, Mike James. Murphy also makes an interesting point concerning the Celtic finances:

The new Celtics owners will find it more difficult today to defend their insistence that they're under tight financial constraints.

The club has said it is limited in its free agent options by luxury tax consideration (illustrated by the Best/James decision), but league sources say the team will be getting a total of $14.45 million in rebates.

Murphy goes on to says that the club will also receive an additional 10 million from the increased ticket prices, as well as additional money from the league for the price of the Charlotte expansion team. Interesting.

Bill Griffith looks at WEEI’s continued dominance in the ratings numbers.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00. TBS has Braves/Expos at 7:00

Here’s a nice shot of

Here’s a nice shot of the practice fields down at Gillette Stadium. The picture is pretty big and will probably kill my bandwidth, so it may only be up for a limited time. Thanks to Dan for the shot.

In another meaningless note, I’ve also purchased the domain name bostonsportsmediawatch.com, so anyone going to that address will be directed to this site. Not that anyone would, but it prevents someone else from buying that name.

Bob Hohler reports on Trot

Bob Hohler reports on Trot Nixon stealing the spotlight on Nomar’s birthday. Kevin McNamara notes that Tim Wakefield finally got some run support. Jeff Horrigan says the Sox didn’t let the Rays steal this one from them. David Heuschkel says last night’s game was brought to you by the number seven. Christopher Price gives us the thumbnail account of the game. Kevin Paul Dupont has a look at Trot Nixon, quietly having the best season of his career. Tony Massarotti has a similar piece, noting how Nixon is tough enough to withstand the pressures of playing in Boston. Shira Springer looks at how Tim Wakefield finally got some run support out there. Michael Silverman says Wakefield was due for a lift. Dupont also has a look at Scott Sauerbeck, who made his Red Sox debut last night. Seems KPD is trying establish his own baseball catch phrase, as he uses the term “Hub of Hardball Heartache” for the second time in three days. He does get a decent line in about the Yankees’ “late-night raid of the Pine Valley Senior Home” to get Jesse Orosco. Silverman also has a piece on Sauerbeck, who seems to be saying all the right things in regard to Boston and the Yankees. Dave Wedge reports on the controversy around the QuesTec system. Springer also has a short report on the system, and how Derek Lowe will face a doubly tight strike zone on Sunday night in front of an ESPN audience. Steven Krasner says Rocco Baldelli enjoyed his time off during the All Star Break. David Borges also has a look at Baldelli’s first season. In his third and final segment of the interview with the Red Sox owners, Matt Eagan records their answers on spending money, bringing a World Series title to Boston and small market designations. Mike Giardi says this is the year for the Red Sox. Hohler’s notebook looks at possible rotation shuffling if the game gets rained out today. Horrigan’s notebook has Grady Little noting that Bill Mueller made his first mistake of the entire season the other day. McNamara’s notebook looks at Sauerbeck being caught off guard at coming to Boston. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Sauerbeck.

Today is New Hampshire day at Fenway Park. Kevin Gray provides a few stories as to why New Hampshire loves the Red Sox. Vin Sylvia looks at how Carlton Fisk carried the hopes of NH baseball fans on his shoulders during the 1970’s. Eric Emmerling and Sylvia provide a lengthly report on the many ties between NH and the Red Sox over the years.

Dan Shaughnessy puts together a thoroughly enjoyable article about the start of Patriots training camp. Thanks Dan. Even enjoyed the Ron Borges reference. Michael Felger reports that Belichick’s extension was actually done a year ago. He also takes a quick look at the tenure of the coach and his staff and the moves they’ve made in the draft and free agency. Nick Cafardo tries to figure out the mystery of who actually failed the conditioning test. Kevin Mannix says that players not showing up to camp in shape reflects that they do not respect their coach, and says that is of concern. Mike Reiss looks at why the contract extension to Belichick was the right move and what it signals about the organization. Cafardo also reports on the extension, as does Christopher Price. Tom Curran looks at Tom Brady, who seems poised to take the next step in an already impressive young career. Lenny Megliola is just glad football is starting again. Jim Donaldson can’t figure out who the real Patriots are, and doesn’t use his column to solve that problem, either. Curran also reports on Antowain Smith and the conditioning run, notes that Smith might’ve failed it last year on purpose out of superstition, and if the club might be making preparations for his release after failing it for the third year in a row. Michael Parente also weighs in on the run, and tries to read the Belichick tea leaves for answers. Jonathan Comey says that on paper, this is be best team of the Belichick era. Shane Donaldson’s notebook looks at Smith’s failure and has a number of observations from the first day of camp. Parente’s notebook looks at Belichick extension and has notes from the first day of camp. Cafardo’s notebook says that Larry Centers might be brought in for a look during camp. Felger’s notebook has Rodney Harrison introducing himself to Troy Brown and also says future rainy day sessions will not be closed to the public, but instead fans will be able to watch practice from within the stadium on the big screen. Curran’s notebook has more on Belichick’s extension.

Dale Arnold reported leading off his WEEI show this morning from Gillette that Antowain Smith was among those practicing today, indicating that he’s passed the conditioning test.

Mark Murphy reports on Jim O’Brien checking in with Vin Baker.

John Molori looks at coverage of the FleetBoston Classic, and also at Patriots Fifth Quarter, which will air after every game on WBZ4 or UPN38, even after games not carried by WBZ. Molori notes that the shows will be hosted by Bob Lobel, Steve DeOssie and Scott Zolak. I’ll add to that and mention to watch for Bob Nuemeier to be a part of the mix as well, likely both on the pregame shows and the Fifth Quarter shows.

While some of us might already be sick of the Kobe Bryant talk on the airwaves, the on-line community can’t get enough of it. The Lycos 50 notes that searches about Kobe and his accuser are off the charts.

Enough links for ya?

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 1:00.