John Molori has a special

John Molori has a special edition of Media Blitz out this morning, in which he announces the additions of Bob Neumeier and Tom Curran to the WBZ/UPN Patriots “Game Day” and “Fifth Quarter”. Neumy will be filling the shoes of the late Will McDonough and will be adding his point spread and odds knowledge to the programs.

Just remember where you heard the Neumeier news first. I had it on this site back on July 24th.


Soup’s on for tonight. Will

Soup’s on for tonight. Will we hear Don Orsillo spilling stories about his former roommate? Jeff Horrigan says you’ll see the same stuff from the Jeff Suppan of five years ago, but a completely different pitcher. Bob Hohler says this soup can stand being heated in the kitchen. Sean McAdam looks at the decisions which went into Suppan being left exposed in the expansion draft in ’97. Bob Ryan is hedging his bets as to whether this is the year for the Red Sox. It could be, but he just doesn’t know and won’t commit one way or the other. Headlines make all the difference Bill Reynolds’ column today is much like Ryan’s, but his headline says the Sox do have what it takes to go all the way. John Wallach’s faith in the team has not been shaken. He is still a believer. David Heuschkel looks at the job Theo Epstein has done this year, how he has answered his doubters and impressed a guy like Brian Cashman. Lenny Megliola looks at the other eyes that are on Theo in this region. Joe Sullivan touches on a number of Red Sox items, including saying Pedro is in the twilight of his career and the Sox should just dump him, how great Damian Jackson is, and that he’s reading Moneyball. Ok, that book has officially jumped the shark…Hohler’s notebook looks at the Sox great success at home. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Pawtucket third baseman Kevin Youkilis, who last night tied Kevin Millar’s minor league record of reaching base in 71 consecutive games.

The obsession with Todd Jones’ column just won’t die. George Kimball tackles it today in a pay column, comparing Jones to Jayson Blair, noting that he “crossed an ethical line” by giving examples of questions that were in reality never asked. After spending a few paragraphs trashing Jones’ on-field performance, Kimball goes directly to Boston media defense # 2 as noted in my post from yesterday afternoon:

Now, if somebody had actually asked Jones either of those questions, the ridicule would not be misplaced, but the fact of the matter is that nobody did. Beat writers who have covered the Sox every day since Jones' July 2 acquisition unanimously concur that neither question was ever asked. Not even television reporters ask questions this stupid.

Kimball also talked to Jones’ editor, who said he knew no one had asked Jones those exact questions, and that Jones was trying to create an example of some of the dumb questions asked. Interestingly, it appears The Sporting News has pulled this column from its website. Day after day this is getting talked about. Why not ignore it? Let it go away. If no one talked about it, it would’ve died out by now. But it seems each day someone new has got to take their turn at trashing Jones and defending the honor of the righteous brotherhood of the Boston sports media. Just let it go, people…

Kevin Mannix looks at the rookie cornerbacks Eugene Wilson and Asante Samuel, who will get the chance to go against the first string offense of the Giants Thursday night as they will be starting the game for the Patriots. Nick Cafardo says that the two rookies have impressed in all areas of preparation, now will be a chance to see if they can actually play. Tom Curran has more on the potential secondary of the future for the Pats. Alan Greenberg looks at the at the young pair as well as all the other cornerbacks the Patriots have tried out since Ty Law came on board. Michael Parente looks at Matt Chatham, who has carved an NFL career for himself on special teams. Christopher Price says Deion Branch is looking to break out this year. Mannix’s notebook looks at the continued development of Daniel Graham. Cafardo’s notebook says that Kevin Faulk has been getting the majority of the snaps with the first team offense, and that Willie McGinest is back on the field. Curran’s notebook looks at the signing of Arena League wide receiver Thabiti Davis. Parente’s notebook looks at a rainy day of practice yesterday.

Jim Baker writes about CBS holding its annual NFL announcer-analyst seminar, where a focus is on getting the call of the game correct “to ensure there’s no repeat of viewer confusion that ensued when Fox’ Cris Collinsworth wrongly said Giants placekick holder Matt Allen could have prolonged the playoff game by spiking the ball – which would not have been allowed.” He provides a programming note:

NESN, which should offer viewers something besides gab during rain delays, has the Sox series vs. Anaheim starting at 7 tonight. ESPN gobbled up the Aug. 24 Seattle game here and turned it into an 8 p.m. start, but left the Aug. 31 and Sept. 7 Yankees games for NESN. The latter, if left at 1 p.m., would be the season's last Sox-Yanks game and appear opposite the Pats-Bills opener on Ch. 4.

I have a feeling that Sept. 7th game will get switched around somehow. It only makes sense. As for something that doesn’t make sense, how much more do we have to listen to Eddie Andelman exhorting the Red Sox “carpetbagger” owners to pipe the NESN games into Veteran’s homes? The idea of the Veterans getting to watch all the games is a noble one, but Eddie should be going after the local cable company, not the Red Sox. They can’t send their NESN feed directly to the homes. The cable company should make this accommodation.

NESN has Red Sox/Angels at 7:00.

Peter Gammons has a piece

Peter Gammons has a piece on the job Theo did at the trading deadline and all season really. His relationship/rivalry with Yankees GM Brian Cashman is also discussed. A lot of praise heaped on the young fella in this article. Some of the possible moves that were discussed are enough to make you dizzy. Three way trades, four way trades, all sorts of stuff. One paragraph though, is such classic Gammons, that I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read it:

Anyone who knows Epstein's family knows that he was raised with the same values as Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro's family values, and the questions raised about Lyon's health not only surprised him, but upset him.

That’s the only mention Shapiro gets in the article. It just made me smile how Gammons works the names in there.

No Patriots news in Peter King’s MMQB column, but there is a brief three question segment with Drew Bledsoe mixed in among the usual Starbucks, Girls field hockey and Harry Carson hall of fame pitches. He is however, right on with the throwback mesh caps comment.

A new edition of Hench’s Hardball tells us that the Sox do not win or lose games because the fans or media are negative or not negative, it’s all on them.

Circling of the wagons continues

Circling of the wagons continues in the media from the Todd Jones article last week. Almost all shows on TV and Radio, as well as many writers have taken their shots at the article. While I don’t agree with all that Jones wrote in the article, I find the media defense amusing. Me thinks thou doth protest too much. Here’s their objections:

1) He hasn’t been here long enough, how does he know what’s going on here?

Granted, Jones has been here only a matter of weeks. But he’s been in the Majors since 1993 and this is his sixth season in the American League. That’s plenty of trips through Boston. He’s also I’m sure, played with a few guys who have spent time here in Boston, and has also heard stories from other players about what goes on here. His column was likely not based solely on his time here, but on the overall reputation that Boston has among major league players. Fair or unfair, a reputation is hard to live down. To try to shoot down Jones’ premise based on how long he has been a member of the Red Sox is mere circular reasoning.

2) “I’ve been in the locker room plenty of times, and I’ve never heard anyone ask a player ‘Did you mean to give up that home run?'”

Mike Giardi presented this argument to me on NECN Saturday night. This is one question that on second thought, I wish I had answered a bit better. Jones was using a little known literary tool known as hyperbole here. Of course no reporter would ask that exact question, but Jones was exaggerating to make a point. To harp on the wording of that sentence rather than the spirit behind it is just using a red herring. Diverting attention from the main issue onto a side issue.

3) Based on what Jones said in an earlier column on how he would feel about having a gay teammate, this disqualifies him from being able to talk with any authority on this particular topic.

Can you say “Ad hominem”?

4) Jones should concentrate more on his pitching than on his writing career.

Well, maybe you can score one for the media guys on this point…

In conclusion,

As I said on NECN, it wasn’t really fair to paint all the media with this broad, negative brush. Jones doesn’t either, he acknowledges that the beat guys are good guys…they have to be, they’re in there everyday, and a few dumb questions, or mangled quotes and they’re going to find their job difficult. It’s a few that give the whole a bad name. This piece today isn’t meant to say whether Jones was correct or not, but to chronicle the defense that the media is giving, which I find amusing. They’re all saying the same things, and given the different people involved, it’s just a very interesting situation.

Bob Hohler talks “faint-hearted” Sox

Bob Hohler talks “faint-hearted” Sox fans in off the ledge. Sean McAdam says the Sox had the confidence to know that their bats would come around sooner rather than later. Jeff Horrigan says the bats returned as if struck by lightning…which they nearly were. David Heuschkel says the Sox were not about to get swept in Baltimore for the first time in 30 years. Bob Ryan says the Sox would’ve waited through until midnight if that’s what it took to get the win yesterday. George Kimball looks at Tim Wakefield’s continued ascent in the Sox record book with his 100th win with the club yesterday. Kimball has a pay column in which he notes that the Sox fans just cannot root for the Yankees. Kevin Gray says that Sox fans shouldn’t be limiting themselves to Wild Card thinking just yet. Chuck Brusso looks at past Glory Days with a few Sox items thrown in. Yesterday, John Tomase penned a “defense of Bill James.” Hohler’s notebook has Jeff Suppan jacked and pumped for his return to the Red Sox. Horrigan’s notebook has more on Suppan. McAdam’s notebook has still more on Act II of Jeff Suppan in Boston. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at the end of the Lou Collier era in Boston.

Kevin Mannix looks at Ty Warren, who is being broken in slowly. Mannix utters words that should chill any Patriots fan as he mentions Warren in the same sentences as Ken Sims. Michael Parente has a little more positive view of Warren. Michael Smith says Adrian Klemm is ready to take a giant leap forward in his career. Carolyn Thornton looks at JR Redmond, whom Bill Belichick says needs to develop more consistency. If you missed it, last Friday marked the return of AskNick along with its mailbag. Where they get some of these questions and readers, I’ll never know…Mannix’s notebook says Redmond may not be long for the Pats. Parente’s notebook looks forward to Thursday night’s preseason opener with the Giants. Thornton’s notebook does likewise.

John Molori looks at the return of Monday Night Football and tries a little Page2 style rambling. I think there is a certain movie that Jim Donaldson wants us to see, especially in wake of the many stories that have been filling the sports pages as of late.

ABC has Packers/Chiefs preseason football at 8:00. ESPN has Royals/White Sox at 8:00.

Dan Shaughnessy was on the

Dan Shaughnessy was on the NESN pregame commentary tonight, and he said he was doing something you don’t often hear in the media, saying that he was wrong. In this case, he was wrong about David Ortiz. He didn’t mention what he had originally called him, (a “giant sack of you-know-what”) but said that everytime he had seen Ortiz in the past, in the playoffs last year and also against the Red Sox, all he did was strike out. He said he didn’t think Ortiz was going to be a very good addition to the club, but he’s been proven wrong. Ortiz has been terrific with big hits, plate coverage, and in the clubhouse. Shaughnessy ended the segment by saying that Ortiz was a “sack of gold”.

I admire Shaughnessy for doing this. Let me clarify why I think it was such a big deal that he apologize for this. The original comments he made were very inflammatory and didn’t really specify whether he was talking about Ortiz the person, or Ortiz the player. They could be taken either way, and given Shaughnessy’s past, he likely could’ve been making the comments personal. As such, they were way out of line. It’s one thing to knock someone’s work, and another to knock them as a person. I’m still not sure Shaughnessy understands the uproar over this incident, but what he did tonight was the right thing to do. I’d like to see it in print, as well, but that might be asking too much.

A gloomy Saturday, with no

A gloomy Saturday, with no Sox game until the evening. Has anyone noticed the Sox have again slumped after Eddie Andelman (and this time Pete Sheppard) have jumped aboard the bandwagon?

In other news, I’ll be on NECN’s Sports Late Night tonight to talk about the site. I’m a little nervous, but it should be interesting.