Patriots say good bye to O-T-I-S. Thanks for the memories. 13 years (so far) in the NFL, not bad for a guy who wasn’t even drafted. Tom Curran looks at Smith’s career and what led to the tough decision yesterday. Nick Cafardo obtains some quotes from Smith’s agent and gets a sprinkling of reaction among players who would comment. Alan Greenberg contributes a piece on Smith, says a couple of his teammates were “burned” by the move and claims that management told the rookie cornerbacks not to comment on the situation. I thought rookies just weren’t supposed to talk to the media period during training camp…Michael Parente calls this move the most difficult of Bill Belichick’s three year tenure with the club. Christopher Price says the move was tough for Belichick because Smith was one of “his guys”. Michael Gee wraps up the coverage of the hard decision to let Smith go. Jon Wallach will miss Otis. Hector Longo does another Ron Borges impression. The Herald notebook reports that the team has agreed to a contract with guard Corbin Lacina, and are now looking at James “Big Cat” Williams as a possibility. Parente’s notebook also looks for O-Line help. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Bethel Johnson, while Curran’s notebook has more on Johnson.
The biggest laugh I got last night was while browsing through SOSH and one poster noted that he would trade Todd Walker for the second baseman on the Saugus Little League in a heartbeat….maybe Steven Krasner would as well, as he says Walker just doesn’t have it. Gordon Edes looks at the importance of this homestand. Gerry Callahan has a pay column in which he says many of the same things. Dan Shaughnessy looks at Derek Lowe. Steve Buckley has a pay column that looks at some of the new changes at Fenway that are in place for this homestand. You can get pretty much the same information by reading Jimmy Golen’spiece for the AP. Tony Massarotti looks at how dramatically better the Sox are at home, and how they’ll need to be during this stretch. David Heuschkel says a .500 homestand will not cut it. In an article that no doubt has John Meterparel beaming, Jeff Horrigan notes that Gabe Kapler is a good Jewish role model. John Tomase looks at the playoff chase as the teams come down the stretch. Horrigan’s notebook looks at how Grady Little’s contract status is still up in the air.
A couple new Football Outsiders articles up. One is an AFC West preview and the other is a look at how different receivers fared with starting QBs vs. backup QBs last year…helpful in light of the Michael Vick injury.
NESN has Red Sox/A’s at 7:00.