Chad Finn tells us that no matter what the Boston beat writers tell you, Grady Little is responsible for what happened last Thursday night.
This week’s edition of Thoughts by Kent Thaler looks at yet another impressive victory by the Patriots.
Apparently the Celtics have traded Antoine Walker and Tony Delk to the Dallas Mavericks for Raef LaFrentz, Jiri Welsch, Chris Mills and a 2004 first-round draft pick.
Steve Young said it well on ESPN’s Sunday NFL countdown when he said being a Boston sports fan is a baffling experience. The Red Sox, loaded with talent, can’t get it done for 85 years or whatever, and manage to lose in incredible ways. He can’t understand how the Patriots keep winning games with all the guys out that they have. He says he looks at the films, but still can’t figure it out. He wonders if there could’ve been some way for the Patriots to lend the Red Sox some good karma. I’ll tell you how the Patriots have done it, Steve. Depth. Much of which was acquired during the 2003 draft – a draft that you recall was praised nationally, but panned locally. The Jets were praised for how they “outmaneuvered” the Patriots and landed the stud of the draft in Dewayne Robertson. (For a review of what people were saying about the Patriots draft, click here.) At the time, Eddie Andelman was also on record as calling the Pats draft a “dud”, “absurd” and “in the bottom 20% of the league”. He said that the Jets have “pulled away from the Patriots”. Way to go. Yes, it’s still early and there is a lot of football left to play, as Bill Belichick himself will tell you. The early returns, have been encouraging however, as has the play of six of the rookies who have made contributions to the success of the team.
Michael Felger and Michael Smith look at the Patriots ending their curse in Miami. Tom Curran says there only seems to be one four letter word that offends this team: Can’t. Alan Greenberg and Michael Parente say this one was worth the wait. Kevin Mannix says that the Patriots pulled this one out in spite of the coaching. Ron Borges takes a detailed look at the final play of the game, the 82 yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Troy Brown, over the Dolphins two safeties. George Kimball also looks at the play. Jim Donaldson contradicts himself a few times while saying this team is playing like 2001. Michael Holley looks at how both intense planning (running the 46 defense to try to stop the run) and seize-the-moment opportunism led to victory for the Patriots. Ian M. Clark looks at the Patriots sitting in first, despite all that has gone against them thus far this year. Robert Sens and Parente look at how the Patriots managed to hold Ricky Williams under 100 yards rushing yesterday. Bob Emanuel Jr looks at a rough second half for Dolphins kicker Olindo Mare. Michael Synder looks at the blocked field goal by Richard Seymour, a guy who just seems to make big play after big play. Donaldson looks the day by Tom Brady, who is now 6-0 for his career in overtime games – a mark that Donaldson notes is the best in NFL history. Terry Bradshaw was 5-0 in OT in his career. Greenberg looks at Troy Brown on that final play of the game. Synder has a look at the afternoon by Tyrone Poole, which included the interception which got the ball back to the Patriots for the Brady-to-Brown game winning heroics. Kimball has a pay column on Brady’s OT career and his play in that frame yesterday. The Globe provides a page of Sidelights to the game. Curran has a look at a Dolphin out for revenge the next time these teams hook up. Donaldson says the Marlins gave Seymour and the Patriots a boost yesterday. Smith’s notebook looks at the very strange coin flip, and later on, gives some rationale to why the team released Larry Centers. Curran’s notebook looks at the play of the revamped secondary. Parente’s notebook looks at the misses by Mare.
Fear not, there will be no coverage of the World Series in this space. Add Bill Burt to the growing list of media people who are trying to save Grady. Burt says the season ending loss on Thursday night was entirely the fault of Pedro Martinez, and not Grady. Burt joins Sean McAdam and Tony Massarotti, who were the first to proclaim their allegiance to the embattled Red Sox manager. In the last few days, Gordon Edes (With an entire article of “what ifs” yesterday), Michael Holley, Dan Shaughnessy (He said on ESPN that he hopes Grady is here forever.) and now Burt. What are these people thinking? Well, they’re thinking Grady is a nice man, and they don’t want to see a nice man fired. That’s the bottom line. They’ll try to spin it and say that Grady shouldn’t be judged on just one game, as Alex Speier does today, but no one is doing that. Speier says with fans like those around here, who needs curses? Nice. Tony Massarotti looks at John Henry, who has moved on, both from the loss Thursday night and from his ownership of the Marlins. Dan Shaughnessy says the Sox won’t make any announcements about Grady until after the World Series. Gordon Edes also catches up with Henry who is grateful for the support of the fans. He also talks with Chad Fox, who is glad to be away from the negativity of Boston. Instead of targeting the media, Fox says the fans expect too much.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Steve Conroy have coverage of the Bruins 4-3 win over Anaheim last night. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at a pair of white knuckle games on the West coast thus far, Conroy’s notebook looks at Nick Boynton getting bailed out of a potentially costly penalty last night.
Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer look at the Celtics trying to put together a rotation. I was at the game in Manchester Saturday night, Vin Baker looked pretty strong out there, a highlight was a thunderous dunk off of a spin move, something we didn’t see all of last year. The venue was very good, and a highlight was of course Larry Bird putting in an appearance and watching his Pacers play. Bird received standing ovations and chants whenever he moved around. It’s only the preseason but Jim O’Brien is already driving me mad. It was a preseason game, and he still couldn’t find any minutes for Kendrick Perkins and Brandon Hunter. In fact, O’Brien didn’t make his first in-game substitution until there was just over three minutes left in the game. The starters played the entire first and third quarters, the second team played all of the second quarter and most of the fourth. Only ten players saw action. I’ll get over it, but I really wanted to see Perkins play. Christopher Price has a look at Tony Delk, trying to impart his well traveled wisdom on the Celtics young point guards.
ABC has Chiefs/Raiders at 9:00.
The preseason continued on for the Celtics last night in Manchester, NH. The green pulled out a 84-80 win over the Indiana Pacers, or at least a team wearing Pacers uniforms. Among the Pacers who did not dress was former Celtic Kenny Anderson, who is the feature of a Steve Bulpett article in the Herald today. Anderson has moved on in his career, but remains disappointed that he was traded, and believes that the Celtics have still not replaced what he brought to the team while he was here. Craig N. Liadis looks at a reunion of Larry Bird and Danny Ainge in Manchester last night. Shira Springer has a look at Tony Battie, who has become almost overlooked in the this preseason, but remains a vital cog in the team’s hopes. Out in Indiana, Sekou Smith has a look at last night’s game which only featured a couple of the Pacer regulars actually getting into the game. One guy who looked good last night was Vin Baker, who had a particularly good looking dunk off of a spin move in the second half. Baker is the subject of an exclusive one-on-one interview for Inside Hoops this weekend. Bulpett’s notebook has a look at John Niednagel, who Danny Ainge has brought onto the Celtics staff. Niednagel is an expert in being able to being able to determine and project a player’s capacity to perform, based on what he refers to as “Brain type”.
Add Bill Burt to the growing list of media people who are trying to save Grady. Burt says the season ending loss on Thursday night was entirely the fault of Pedro Matrinez, and not Grady.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoon and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, you rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then, just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops."
-A. Bartlett Giamatti
Thanks to poster Tiki for reminding me of that quote from the late commissioner. Giamatti was, of course a Red Sox fan.
As for last night, I’m sure in time, he’ll come to be known at Aaron bleeping Boone. Grady Little will be criticized into the next century for not pulling a laboring Pedro Martinez to start the eighth. So be it. I can handle the loss. I can even handle Yankee fans, who I believe got themselves at good scare and whether they admit it or not, developed a healthy respect for this Red Sox squad. What I will not be able to handle is nitwit columnists who profit off of this loss, or the nationwide ignorants who proclaim last night the latest chapter in an ongoing curse. Those I will not be able to stand, and I dread having to listen to and read them over the winter and into next year. There’s no way I’m going over all the articles today, as almost of them try to connect last night to events that happened 16, 25, 28, 54, and 57 or more years ago.
First though, we’ll look at a few good articles from today, which include Tony Massarotti, who can see that this edition of the Red Sox is different. Lenny Megliola gives the Sox their credit. Kevin Gray focuses on the game, not history. Nick Cafardo reviews the series for us. Bill Griffith with a look at how this series has generated mail for him.
Now onto the ugly stuff…
If Dan Shaughnessy gets a nickel for each time the word curse or Ruth appears in a story or headline by any writer today, he will be a very rich man. I wonder how many appearances on shows from around the country Shaughnessy will be making today. Certainly many more than if the Sox won last night. The beat goes on and on with tired, lazy references to curses instead of what actually happened in the baseball game that was played last night. Sean McAdam – “Curses again”. Jeff Jacobs– “Only One Curse, Thank You Very Little”. I’ll give Bob Ryan credit, as he refrains from uttering either of the two phrases above, instead admitting that this storyline just doesn’t ever seem to change. More dreadful headlines: Jeff Horrigan – “Sox fall short? Of Curse: Series hopes dashed as Yanks rally, win in 11” Steven Krasner– “A ruthian collapse” , Bob Hohler – “Haunting blow”. More connections to the past: Jackie MacMullan – “Father knows best? You bet your life”. Peter May – “Magical reminder of things past”. Art Martone – “Sox have only selves to blames for accursed loss.” (as the sports editor, he needs to get a grip on his headline writers.) Dom Amore.
That’s enough baseball for me today. Newly appointed Patriots beat writer Michael Smith gives us a look at the job Romeo Crennel has done for the Patriots this year. He includes quotes from Crennel, which is interesting as other writers have complained about the lack of access to the assistant coaches. Tom Curran looks at another outstanding season in progress for Roman Phifer. George Kimball says that just by attracting the double-team, Richard Seymour is doing his job, but he’s gone well beyond just getting the job done. Ian M. Clark looks at Bobby Hamilton, often a forgotten man in the Patriot defense. Alan Greenberg looks at the challenge of facing Jason Taylor. Michael Parente looks at what the Dolphins hope Junior Seau brings to their team. Smith’s notebook looks at Mike Vrabel, itching to get back in action. Kimball’s notebook looks at Adam Vinatieri, who is not happy the Marlins made the World Series. Curran’s notebook looks at rookie Tully Banta-Cain, who practiced for the first time yesterday. Parente’s notebook also looks at Banta-Cain.
This is it. Today is the day. How often in your life have you had a Red Sox/Yankees game 7 with Pedro Martinez and Roger Clemens on the mound? Never? Well tonight you have it. The dream matchup of perhaps all time. Dom Amore, Bob Hohler, and Jeff Horrigan have the game stories of the Red Sox 9-6 win at Yankee Stadium. Sean McAdam says last night was great, but there is an even bigger game tonight. Ah yes, tonight. Tony Massarotti Lenny Megliola Steven Krasner Gordon Edes and Dan Shaughnessy look at Pedro/Roger tonight, the game of the century. Bill Reynolds says tonight is a chance for the Sox to change their history. Yes, Gerry Callahan is still alive, though his pay column today is decidedly uninspired, as he attempts to do a “diary” type writeup of last night’s game. Kevin Gray looks at the Sox bats coming alive at the right time. Jeff Jacobs looks at the Sox smoking a Cuban…Jose Contreras. Bob Ryan looks at Nomar finally getting it done with the bat. Steve Buckley has a pay column focusing on Pedro’s moment. This is was the Red Sox got him for six years ago, to pitch them into the World Series. He’s determined to do it. Jackie MacMullan says you just can’t count this Red Sox team out, they just keep coming back to live another day. Howard Bryant says this game and matchup tonight of Roger vs. Pedro is nothing but fate stepping in:
If fate wasn't so convinced that Clemens and Martinez needed one last meeting to settle a simmering, overly incestuous relationship between two legends, two legendary cities and two franchises that will play each other for the 26th and final time this season, the Yankees would not have imploded in Game 6 last night and this series would be over.
Karen Guregian, David Heuschkel and Sean McAdam look at another huge outing by the Red Sox bullpen, notably Alan Embree getting out a jam by throwing a 97 mph fastball past Jason Giambi. On the flip side, Michael Silverman, Kevin McNamara and Peter May look at the Sox getting to the Yankee bullpen, notably Contreras. The bats also came alive, Steven Krasner looks at Nomar hopefully getting on track,Nick Cafardo, Heuschkel, and Rich Thompson look at various aspects of the offense coming to life. Art Martone says game six always seems to be the memorable one in a playoff series involving the Red Sox. Steve Buckley looks at an abbreviated outing from John Burkett — perhaps the last of his career? McNamara notes that the Yankees are looking forward to tonight as well. Peter May says none of the Yankees were hanging their heads in the clubhouse last night. Cafardo has a look at Trot Nixon redeeming himself in the ninth after a rough first few at bats. Tom Yantz has another look at the Pedro/Roger matchup. Lenny Megliola says we live for moments like tonight. Dave Solomon says tonight has the making of a classic. Kevin Gray says there’s nothing bigger than Pedro/Clemens. Michael Gee says it is unfair for anyone to criticize Manny & Nomar for smiling in the dugout during the game five loss. Jack O’Connell writes about Brian Cashman taking the heat for Jason Giambi’s struggles. Our pal, the clueless Buddy Thomas says Pedro is hardly the best pitcher in the game, because if he was, he would’ve taken the ball last night. Buddy says:
His team was on the brink of elimination and the ace of the staff was content to sit back and watch the No. 4 guy carry the load.
You can’t fake that kind of ignorance. Multiple sources, including ones linked above, state that Pedro told Grady he wanted to and would pitch last night. Grady made the decision to go with Burkett. Hohler’s notebook looks at Manny and Nomar bouncing back. Horrigan’s Red Sox notebook says the Sox are all business heading into tonight. Silverman’s Yankees notebook looks at Pettitte failing to carry the Yankees through to Rivera. McNamara’s notebook has a similar theme. Amore’s notebook also looks at the short outing from Pettitte. The Courant and ProJo also have some quotes from around the ballpark. Jerry Trecker looks at the FOX coverage last night.
Michael Smith looks at how the Patriots are preparing to deal with Jason Taylor, who always seems to give them fits. Michael Felger looks at the Patriots going down to Miami with something to prove. Tom Curran looks at the stiff challenge the Patriots face in stopping Ricky Williams. Mike Reiss has conflicted thoughts on the Patriots…should we jump on the bandwagon and think this is the time they win in Miami, or has it been a mirage? Alan Greenberg looks at the solidifying force in the middle of the Patriot defense, Richard Seymour. Michael Parente tries to explain how this defense has become so good, with so many people out. Christopher Price has a look at the ever-upbeat Tyrone Poole. Smith’s notebook looks at the challenge of facing Ricky Williams. Felger’s notebook looks at possible gamesmanship between the Dolphins and Patriots. Curran’s notebook looks at small improvement from Ken Walter, and an injury to Larry Centers. Parente’s notebook looks at the heat in Miami.
Mark Murphy and Shira Springer look at Kendrick Perkins, who has been a bright spot in the preseason with his rebounding. Murphy’s notebook looks at the Celtics falling to 0-4 on the preseason with a dismal showing in Detroit.
It’s a conspiracy, I tell ya. No, not the Red Sox losing to the Yankees, but the electricity being out all morning, right up until the time I have to leave, giving me no way to do the links. Even though I was up and about, thanks to the wind and rain, which is something else up here right now.
We’re all tied up. Gordon Edes, Jeff Horrigan, Steven Krasner, and Dom Amore look at the Red Sox 3-2 win over the Yankees last night. Jeff Jacobs, Jackie MacMullan, Kevin McNamara and Michael O’Connor look at a monster effort turned in by Tim Wakefield, who picked up his second win of the series. Lenny Megliola also has a look at Wakefield, and also speculates a little on why Nomar is struggling so mightily in the playoffs. Steve Buckley’s pay column says Joe Kerrigan is likely feeling foolish for the way he lacked appreciation for what Wakefield can do. Paul Doyle has yet another piece on Wakefield, who outdueled Mike Mussina for the second time in the series. Sean McAdam says this Red Sox team wasn’t about to fold up before the Yankees after the events of Saturday. He reports on the atmosphere in the clubhouse prior to the game, where Bill Cosby was a visitor. (And Kevin Millar imitated him.) Dan Shaughnessy looks at a game free of the extracurricular activities and full of good baseball. Tony Massarotti says Red Sox/Yankees is enough of a show without all the extras. Michael Holley says that the rain on Sunday is largely responsible for the series being tied this morning, and notes that Lawyer Milloy was a visitor in the Red Sox clubhouse last night. Bill Reynolds notes that with this Sox club, there is a different hero everynight. Bob Ryan looks at Doug Mirabelli, who has embraced his unique role with the Red Sox.
David Heuschkel, Joe McDonald, John Powers and Michael O’Connor look at Todd Walker’s club record fifth home run of this post season. Kevin Gray notes that this was a feel-good win at the right time for Boston. Alex Speier and Art Davidson look at the Sox tying the series behind Wakefield. Amore & Yantz, Michael Silverman, Nick Cafardo and Sean McAdam look at Mike Mussina falling short, especially when Trot Nixon was involved. Rich Thompson looks at Nixon changing his luck against Mussina in one night. Karen Guregian and Kevin Paul Dupont look at how the hustle by Jason Varitek to beat out the double play proved to be the difference in the game. Lenny Megliola says that most of the dirt from Saturday has been washed away. Speaking of Saturday, Dom Amore has an update on charges facing a pair of Yankees. One of those Yankees, Jeff Nelson, found himself the subject of an on-field body search last night. Peter May has Nelson wondering what all the fuss was about. Gray relates a report on what happened in the Yankee bullpen Sunday, from some people who saw it. Nick Cafardo writes about Theo’s moves that haven’t panned out so well for the Red Sox. Apparently, he must feel that Tom Donahoe would’ve done a much better job. Steve Buckley says that Theo is one of the few involved in this series who has acted with maturity. Joe McDonald and Tony Massarotti get Johnny Pesky’s thoughts on the events from Saturday. Joe Sullivan gets embroiled in Red Sox/Yankees while visiting an English class at Manchester Central High School. Howard Bryant looks at the worth of Jason Varitek. Jon Couture says win or lose, we as fans have all cowboyed up. John Tomase says Pedro is all done as a prime time player.
Karen Guregian says that Pedro’s antics Sunday will have no effect on his upcoming negotiations with the Red Sox. Bill Reynolds says Pedro needs to apologize. Bob Hohler, Tom Yantz and Rich Thompson look at another impressive bullpen performance from Timlin and Williamson. Eddie Andelman mocked the Red Sox all spring for bringing him in as the bullpen coach, but Jackie MacMullan looks at what Euclides Rojas brings to the Sox staff. John Powers says that Rivera is ready to go as long as the Yankees need him to. Hohler looks at today’s starter for the Sox, Derek Lowe. Yantz looks at Lowe and the Yankees’ counterweight, David Wells. Peter May looks at Wells. Joe McDonald says that Sox teammates a tiring of Manny and Pedro refusing to talk to the media. Whatever. I think there are actually bigger things on their minds right now. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at David Dellucci drawing the start in right last night for the Yankees. Edes’ notebook has Mussina lamenting his lack of run support, and Zimmer mixing it up with players in the past. Horrigan’s Red Sox notebook says Grady is going with Burkett for game six. Silverman’s Yankee notebook looks at Nelson coming up clean in his surprise inspection. McAdam’s Red Sox notebook looks at a confident Scott Williamson. McNamara’s Yankee notebook looks at the struggling Giambi. The Courant notebook says Wakefield could be available out of the pen as early as today.
The NY Times and the Globe are trading stories during the series. NY writer Dave Anderson appears to be encouraging Yankee fans to throw batteries at Pedro should he take the mound in a game seven at Yankee Stadium:
Names or even nicknames will never hurt Martinez, but in the absence of sticks and stones, a battery might. When he's on the mound or when he warms up in the bullpen, he would be within range of any Yankees loyalist with a good arm. But if there's no Game 7, Pedro the Perpetrator will be safe.
Way to bring credit to your profession, Dave.
Kevin Mannix hands out Patriots’ grades from the win Sunday against the Giants. Ron Borges looks at the Giant challenge coming up Sunday for the Pats. Tom Curran says the Patriots have already forgotten about the Giants and are looking ahead to the Dolphins. Michael Felger looks at how Roman Phifer has worked out a way to see his son each week without having to fly across the country. Michael Parente and Michael Smith look at how penalties have been perhaps the only negative of the last couple weeks. Alan Greenberg says the Patriots have put themselves in the position where Sunday’s game in Miami isn’t going to make or break their season. Christopher Price looks at the Patriots hoping to change their luck in Miami. George Kimball has a pay column looking at the struggles of Adam Vinatieri. Jon Wallach says the Pats are flying under the radar, but keep on winning. Hector Longo looks at Tom Brady just finding a way to get the job done and win. Curran’s notebook looks at the penalties, as does the notebook from Felger. Smith’s notebook has the Pats hoping for a fresh start in Miami.
Mark Murphy looks at the Celtics point guard situation, and the challenge that faces Marcus Banks and Mike James in blending in the team with Walker and Pierce. Shira Springer has a piece on Banks and where he stands at this point in time.
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