Jeff Horrigan tells us that

Jeff Horrigan tells us that for the first time in four years “Fall” won’t mean “Fail” at Fenway. Steven Krasner says the finish line is in sight. Paul Doyle looks at the Sox win and a strong finish from Byung-Hyun Kim. Bob Hohler looks at a win that included the Sox full complement of players. Michael Silverman looks at Jeff Suppan, taking it one pitch at a time. Kevin McNamara has another look at last night’s Sox starter. Jackie MacMullan says Grady deserves to be back next year. Lenny Megliola looks at another night closer to the playoffs for the Sox. Kevin Paul Dupont examines the life and times of Tim Wakefield, who next year will mark his 10th year in Boston, a seeming miracle for a knuckleball pitcher picked up off the scrapheap. Alex Speier looks at the return of the bats last night at Fenway. MacMullan also looks at another shaky ride from the bullpen. Jim Fennell looks at former Sox player and manager Butch Hobson, one win away from managing the first ever two time champion of the Atlantic League. Steve Buckley has a pay column looking at Kim, who he thinks might be on track after Grady yanked in him from the game last Friday night. Dupont has a quick look at David Ortiz, who hit # 28 last night after a brief slump. Silverman looks at Scott Williamson and his concerns off field with the health of his infant son and wife. Horrigan’s notebook looks at a baserunning blunder from Johnny Damon that would’ve been a capital offense had Manny done it. (Not from Horrigan, just in general.) Damon can joke about with the media, so he’s all set. Hohler’s notebook looks at Williamson’s situation. Krasner’s notebook has more on the same topic.

The injuries are still the topic with the Patriots. Bob Ryan looks at the situation, acknowledges Belichick’s attempts at black humor on the topic, and looks for the positives…the contribution of the rookies who have stepped in to fill big shoes. I still say some of Ryan’s colleagues at the Globe could learn so much from Ryan. Kevin Mannix hands out the weekly report card. B’s and C’s all around. Tom Curran looks at what the Pats are trying to do to deal with the hand they’ve been dealt. Alan Greenberg looks at the injuries and what the Pats are doing to get by. Jim Baker has another injury related article. Check out what Tom Brady’s elbow looked like last week after the Philly game. Nick Cafardo looks at the cuts into the roster all these injuries have made. Dan Pires wonders what’s next for the Pats. From Saturday, Mark Farinella calls Bill Belichick a liar. Even the reporters from the small papers don’t get it. The fans don’t care how Belichick treats you guys, or if he makes you feel like a moron so quit whining about it. If fact, I’d venture to guess most fans enjoy that part of it. Don’t try to say he’s doing injustice to the fans by how he treats you, either. Do your job, there are other sources of information besides Belichick’s press conferences. Back to the injuries, never mind the jokes, the loss of Ted Washington is huge for this team. Michael Parente looks at what it means for the team. Rich Thompson also looks at what the big guy means inside. Jon Wallach is concerned about all the injuries. Mike Reiss says it’s time to lower the expectations for this team. Gerry Callahan has a pay column in which he tells us the broken hearts in the locker room from two weeks ago have been replaced with broken hips, legs and arms. He concludes:

We said it two weeks ago, we'll say it again. Now we'll find out what kind of coach Bill Belichick really is. He bounced back nicely after making the mistake with Milloy, but that was then. This is now. The broken hearts have healed. The broken bones will take a while. Until then, the Patriots need more than a smart coach with a good plan. They need a miracle.

Ian M. Clark says the running game is on the rebound. Christopher Price says one of the reasons Bill Belichick can still sleep at night is Adam Vinatieri. Thompson’s notebook looks at Mike Compton, finished for the year. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the acquisition of Wilbert Brown. Curran’s notebook looks at Jarvis Green, hoping for a shot at the nose tackle. Parente’s notebook has more on the injury report.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00.


Pats improve to 2-1, but

Pats improve to 2-1, but not without paying a heavy price. The injury bug once again claims starters. Nick Cafardo says the Patriots said “So what?” to all the injuries and just went out and won anyway. Tom Curran says given the ways things are going, get used to this kind of win. Ugly. Alan Greenberg says that eventually these injuries are going to catch up with the Pats if they continue to mount, but yesterday they had enough to get it done. Michael Felger looks at a victory marred by costly injuries to key players. Ian M. Clark says the Pats defense, though battered, came up big when it had to. Mike Reiss says the Patriots turned to an old formula to pull out he win yesterday; just manage to win. Michael Parente says a bend-don’t-break mentality got the Patriots through this one. Christopher Price wraps up the story of a war of attrition. Ron Borges looks at the injuries, noting that it’s going to be hard for Bill Belichick to keep all of them under wraps. He does get off a pretty good line when he says Ted Washington having a broken leg is like a giraffe having a sore throat. He also says that Mike Vrabel has either a broken wrist or arm. Kevin Mannix notes that the injuries led to some eye opening combinations on the D-Line by the end of the game. He comes away impressed by the Patriots grit and effort. Jim Donaldson says the sky is falling. Dan Shaughnessy has a look at Tom Brady and a rough start to the season as far as injuries to the QB and team. Steve Buckley has a rambling pay column in which he says this Patriot team has no identity, and needs to find one soon. Michael Smith and Jim Baker look at Ty Law, bouncing back from an injured ankle to return to the game. Paul Kenyon looks at Law and Asante Samuel having big afternoons on the corner. Lenny Megliola has a look at Samuel, as #22 made the biggest play on a day that began with a moment of silence for Ron Burton, who wore that number. It was his first ever interception return for a touchdown. Peter May has a similar look at Samuel stepping in and making the big play. Jeff Jacobs has a third story on the play by the rookie. In addition, Howard Bryant has a pay column on Samuel and his pick. Kevin McNamara looks at the Jets failure on third downs, which led Herman Edwards to try a fake field goal, which was also unsuccessful. Joe Burris also looks at the unusual call by Edwards. Tim Weisberg says that with all the injuries, the Patriots 2003 draft is paying early dividends. Mark Murphy looks at the strong running game exhibited by the Patriots yesterday. Price also has a look at Faulk & Smith playing well. Parente has a more in depth look at the improvement in the running game, which was a key to victory. Curran has a look at Colvin’s injury and the accusations made towards Belichick that he was lying in the matter. Speaking of Colvin, Ken Powers, along with Jennifer Toland, today in the Telegram & Gazette, speculate that Colvin’s career may be over. They use as their source a doctor who is quick to point out that he has not examined Colvin, nor has he had access to any medical information on the situation. The headline of the article screams that Colvin’s career could be in jeopardy, but the doctor, Dr. Rick Herman, who is used by WBCN on their pregame shows, says:

"As far as returning to play, the worst-case scenario might be that he may have played his last down in the NFL," Herman said. "Injuries of this type are incredibly rare. In fairness, however, the best-case scenario is it's a small fracture that required a minimally invasive amount of surgery and, after an adequate window of rehabilitation, he'll fully recover."

He goes on to says that comparing this injury to that suffered by Bo Jackson, is “speculation on a speculation.” Steve Solloway wonders if the curse of Lawyer Milloy is responsible for all the injuries. Kenyon has more on the injury epidemic that is striking the Patriots. Gus Martins looks at another rough game for Curtis Martin. Mike Lowe looks at the Patriots depth paying off. Rich Thompson has a look at Rick Lyle, who will be pressed into full time duty with the injury to Washington. George Kimball has a pay column in which the Jets lament their lost opportunities. Sam Garnes’ dropped interception being foremost. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the running game, which was fun for all involved. He also mentions the WBCN report on Colvin. Felger’s notebook looks at the key injuries on defense. Curran’s notebook looks at Tom Brady, in denial about this injury. Parente’s notebook says the Pats are getting a crash course in dealing with injuries. The Standard-Times notebook says that Colvin has not officially been placed on the injured list yet.

Sox inch closer to the playoffs on the arm of Pedro. Bob Hohler looks at a big performance from the trio of Pedro, Manny and Kim, all of whom were silent after the game. Hohler doesn’t seem to mind. Michael Silverman says the Sox were able to put Saturday out of their mind and bounce back yet again. Sean McAdam says that Pedro can cure any bad game hangover. David Heuschkel says that Pedro saved his best for last. Tony Massarotti echoes those sentiments. Gordon Edes says that Pedro is a comic book superhero. Literally. Massarotti looks at a small step forward for Byung-Hyun Kim. Hohler’s notebook looks at a tough stretch for Scott Williamson, on and off the field. Silverman’s notebook looks at Nomar having to leave the game early after getting plunked in the side. McAdam’s notebook looks at who will be on the postseason roster. He says Sauerbeck will be in that mix. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Kim getting another chance yesterday.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. ABC has Raiders/Broncos at 9:00.

Bill Simmons weighs in on

Bill Simmons weighs in on the HBO documentary “Curse of the Bambino.” Simmons declined to appear on the program, and explains why he didn’t want to be a part of it. Good choice. I had some interaction with the producers of the program and can relate a somewhat similar experience. They insisted this was not going to be a negative story dwelling on the supposed “curse” but that HBO was insisting that they use the title of Shaughnessy’s book as the title. This article is a must read.

So why did the Red Sox allow Spike Lee to throw out the first pitch at Fenway a couple of weeks ago? In this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated, when asked about his biggest sports fantasy, Lee says it would be for the Knicks to win the NBA title again during his lifetime, and that the Red Sox never win the World Series during his lifetime.

Sox get another day closer

Sox get another day closer to the postseason. Jeff Horrigan looks at a strong starting performance from Tim Wakefield. Steven Krasner looks at the Sox, floating like a knuckleball towards a return to the playoffs. Tom Yantz says the Sox seized the opportunity to pick up a game on Seattle. Peter May gets the call from the Globe to write the Sox game story and practically proclaims the Sox as his lock of the century for a playoff spot. Lenny Megliola simply says the playoff chances are looking good. Kevin Gray looks at a very loose Sox clubhouse, which including Manny and Byung-Hyun Kim dancing to rap tunes before the game. Sean McAdam looks at Grady’s strategy this week of leaving his starters in the game as long as he possible can. Jackie MacMullan looks at the Sox, and what they need to do to sew up that playoff spot. Gordon Edes looks at the aftermath of the bullpen TV controversy. Rich Thompson looks at Lou Piniella pushing Rocco Baldelli for rookie of the year. Krasner looks at the late season rash of injuries suffered by the Sox. Karen Guregian looks at the bond between Pedro and John W. Henry, noting that this could mean a future in Boston beyond 2004 for Pedro. Steve Buckley must’ve been stumped for a story, or perhaps just had too many media appearances to come up with a new idea, as today in his pay column he writes about something he’s been talking about since the spring, the Sox playoff rotation and whether Derek Lowe should be the game one starter. Nothing you haven’t heard Buck say a thousand times on the air this year already. Thompson also has a look at how Wakefield approaches each pitch. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Bill Mueller’s back spasms which led to an early exit from last night’s game. Yantz’s notebook also has Mueller as it’s lead. Krasner’s notebook looks at Nomar’s interesting third inning in the field last night. May’s notebook has more on Mueller.

Nick Cafardo says Matt Chatham is ready to step up to a bigger role with the injury to Colvin. Tom Curran says Sunday might be a huge game for Antowain Smith. Alan Greenberg says the team’s depth will be tested early because of an assortment of injuries. Ian M. Clark examines whether the Patriots practice of spreading passes among many players is a good thing, or if it is indicative of the team not having a go-to guy. Michael Felger gets Bob Kraft to come out his bunker and talk some about this 2003 edition of the Patriots. Michael Parente says you won’t find anyone in the Patriots locker room saying that Curtis Martin has lost a step. Christopher Price looks at the adjustments the Patriots have made to face Vinny Testaverde. Michael Gee has a pay column looking at Bill Belichick’s cone of silence regarding injuries and other information. No new revelations in there. Cafardo’s notebook has Dan Klecko eager for some game action. Felger’s notebook says the Patriots will continue to pass more than they run. Curran’s notebook has high praise from Belichick for Tom Brady. Parente’s notebook has more on the Patriots’ pass-run ratio.

Steve Conroy looks at PJ Stock. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports on Joe Thornton and Glen Murray visiting Jonathan Girard in the hospital. Conroy’s notebook has more on that same topic.

Bill Griffith looks at John Rooke, who keeps busy working a multitude of jobs and running his own company. Jim Baker previews BC/Miami in his pay column.

Art Davidson says Jan Volk is rejoining the NBA, in a position with the Atlanta Hawks, recently purchased by Steve Belkin.

UPN38 has Sox/Indians at 7:00. ESPN has Astros/Cardinals at 8:00.

The JV Sox lineup couldn’t

The JV Sox lineup couldn’t score any runs last night against Tampa. David Heuschkel looks at a frustrating night at Fenway. Steven Krasner reports on a wasted night for the Sox. Jeff Horrigan says that even with TV in the bullpen, there wasn’t much to watch at the ballpark last night. Bob Hohler has the story of Victor Zambrano improving to 4-0 lifetime at Fenway, pitching the bulk of the only Red Sox shutout at home. Lenny Megliola blames the slow night at the park on Post Pedro Syndrome. Michael Silverman takes a look at the TV controversy that emerged last night. Sean McAdam notes that on such a slow night, the lone Sox highlight was 31 year old Andy Abad getting his first major league hit. Tony Massarotti writes the 73,394th (unofficial count) article wondering when the Sox are going to pick up Grady’s 2004 option. Bob Ryan looks at a weird, full-moon type game. Silverman has a piece in which he polls various Sox on their opinions on who should win the league’s major awards. Brian Fleming looks at the Sox vaunted offense sputtering a bit on this homestand. Peter May looks at Rhode Island day at Fenway. Michael Gee has a pay column in which he says Grady Little knows the bullpen will the be the death of this team, so he’s leaving the starters in as long as they can go. Ryan also looks at the good atmosphere in the Sox clubhouse this season, as opposed to previous years. A Guerilla Sports satire article looks at the Sox acquiring the rights to the Rally Monkey to use the name for their bullpen. Horrigan’s notebook looks at a strained left abdominal muscle that sidelined Johnny Damon last night. Krasner’s notebook has more on the injury, as does Heuschkel’s notebook. Hohler’s notebook concludes the injury update, noting that the baseball injury gods might be catching up with the Sox finally.

The Colvin injury is the biggest Patriot story this week. In light of yesterday’s press conference exchange between Bill Belichick and Ken Powers of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. I shelled out my 50 cents so I could read what Powers had to say today. (The T&G is a paper you have to pay to read on-line.) Powers calls the Patriots communication regarding injuries a “A sham of a mockery of a sham.” Powers inserts himself into the story, relating the tale of his exchange with the coach:

It's just inconceivable to me that Belichick doesn't know the injury or the timetable, and I told him that.

He didn't take it well.

"I don't know what to tell you," he stammered. "You can be as belligerent as you want about it. I can't give you any more information than what I have, which is the injury and the treatment has not been fully decided on yet. That is a fact, and he is not playing this week. Write whatever you want to write. Make it however long you want to make it. I can't verify it one way or the other."

Belligerent? Me? Now that hurts.

Watching the conference, I don’t think Belichick “stammered” out that answer. He was decisive and assertive. If it makes Powers feel better to put it that way, then so be it. Powers goes on to assert that the policy is “disingenuous, insulting and disrespectful” and needs to change “immediately”. Does this episode provide any clues as to the hostility towards Belichick in many media corners? You bet it does. I’m not saying Belichick is right or wrong in this situation, but it does provide insight as to why many of the press corps are openly hostile towards him. Alan Greenberg has a more measured version of the situation. Karen Guregian looks at the press conference and Patriots information policy as well. Michael Parente also has a piece on the injury. Nick Cafardo reports on the situation, and says that sources tell that Globe that Colvin “suffered a temporary dislocation of the left hip that popped out and popped back into place shortly after he injured the hip.” I guess that begs the question…Is it possible to have a dislocated hip, and then have it not dislocated? Where’s Michael Felger when we need him? Oh, writing about Tedy Bruschi. Felger looks at the linebacker’s game, which is all heart. Tom Curran says that Colvin’s injury is like having your best Christmas present break on December 27. Christopher Price looks at how the Patriots will attempt to make up for Colvin’s loss. George Kimball looks at Ray Mickens, who will be starting at cornerback for the Jets this Sunday, filling in for Donnie Abraham. Cafardo also takes a look at Matt Light, who has a tough matchup in every AFC East game. Curran’s notebook has Herm Edwards saying he hates dealing with unexpected situations. Felger’s notebook looks at the injury bug at Gillette. Parente’s notebook looks at Vinny Testaverde, excited to be playing football again.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins contract impasse with Nick Boynton. Stephen Harris has a look at Marty Lapoint, and his value to the B’s. Travis Barrett looks at Jeff Jillson, coming in with high expectations.

Jackie MacMullan has a feature on Dan Allen, The Holy Cross football coach is battling Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, and is confined to a wheelchair. A tough story, Allen hopes to recover and walk again, but the prognosis for the future is unknown.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Texas A&M/Virginia Tech at 7:30. ESPN2 has Revolution/Rapids MLS soccer at 7:30.