Sox Sweep

First of all a huge thanks to all those who made the Spring mini fund drive a rousing success. The goal was reached, and even passed by about $70. I’m always blown away by the generosity and support of the readers.

Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox finished off a three game sweep of the Blue Jays yesterday. Game stories from yesterday: Michael SilvermanDavid HeuschkelDavid BorgesSteven Krasner and Bob Hohler. Wakefield, still adjusting to being a dad, was one of the main stories of the day, generating articles about his performance. Sean McAdam wonders if Wakefield is really the ace of the Red Sox staff. Bob Ryan, John Connolly, Joe Haggerty and Jon Couture all have additional articles on the job done by the knuckleballer. David Ortiz was another big story from yesterday, Karen Guregian says the slugger shows no signs of letting up after signing his new contract. I didn’t think he would, but a little early for that angle, isn’t it Karen? Marvin Pave has more on Ortiz, who is leading the AL in doubles. Rich Thompson and Paul Harber have pieces on leadoff man Johnny Damon. Tony Massarotti says that the Sox are winning with their patience at the plate. Thompson has a look at the battery combo of Wakefield and Mirabelli. Jim Donaldson shows why he’s nothing more than Shaughnessy lite, as he submits another tired, mailed in column about the angst of Red Sox fans:

You'd think, given all that, that Sox fans would be ecstatic. That they'd be enjoying the moment.

You would think that, unless you had spent significant time in New England, and thus come to understand the tortured psyche of the true Red Sox rooter -- an angst-ridden, long-suffering soul, who, at least subconsciously, considers himself cursed and isn't really happy unless he's miserable.

Can’t a highly paid journalist at least come up with his own material? Does Shaughnessy get a cut of this? If I was Dan, I’d be demanding one. And who’s fixated on the players? I don’t know any fans that are “fretting” about it…but I know that there are stories in the paper everyday about the free agents to be…Steve Buckley (subscription only) pulls his old trick of taking what he talked about on the radio yesterday and making it a column today. This time it’s Kevin Youkilis and that he is still with the big club, and will be facing Moneyball man Billy Beane and the A’s this week. Alex Speier has an interesting piece on the defensive alignments the Sox have been using against some of the opposing team’s sluggers. Connolly looks at another strong outing for the Red Sox bullpen. Krasner’s notebook has more on new dad Wakefield. Borges’ notebook looks at the Sox success at home. Heuschkel’s notebook, Hohler’s notebook and Silverman’s notebook all look at Bill Mueller getting another opinion on his injured knee.

Not much else out there on this Monday morning. Plenty of good links on the weekend, continued thanks to Len who puts those up for me, and allows me to have a semblance of a life on Saturday and Sundays.

Shira Springer has a brief note about the Celtics lining up a few pre-draft workouts.

Mark Blaudschun has a look at BC AD Gene DeFilippo as the school prepares to make the leap to the ACC.

David Scott has a look at the Sunday night sports shows, including Steve Burton’s interview with Ty Law (transcript below) and a number of other notes from around the media world. He also has an explanation of why Bob Ryan was not on PTI last week, even though he is the usual first replacement for the show. Scott’s Shots got BSMW a mention by Sean McDonough on Friday night baseball last week, as McDonough mentioned the behind the scenes piece that Scott did on May 10th.

NESN has the Portland SeaDogs taking on Binghamton at 6:00. ESPN has Pistons/Pacers game two at 8:00. ESPN2 has Astros/Reds at 7:00.

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Sports Final Steve Burton Interview with Ty Law

CBS-4 Sports Final Steve Burton Interview with Ty Law – May 23, 2004
(Thanks to BSMW reader Gina for transcribing this.)

(Preview)

Ty Law: It’s no more of a privilege to play for the Patriots than it is to play for any other team in this league.

(Intro)

Steve Burton: Let’s nip this in the bud right from the get go. Then we’ll move on. People back home, the media back home I should say, are thinking that you only talk to black reporters. The African American guys. Are you?

Ty Law: (laughing, raises his fist) Black power.

SB: Is that your intention?

TL: No, that wasn’t my intention at all. I talk to Ron Borges, I talk to Michael Felger. Unless they’re real fair skinned, I don’t think they’re black. That’s absurd. What difference does it make if it’s a black reporter or a white reporter? It’s someone doing their job.

SB(voiceover highlight reel): He’s the best cornerback in the NFL. He knows it, the Patriots know it. Here’s the problem. The Pats can’t afford to keep him. They can’t afford to let him go, either.

SB: I asked Terry Glenn this and he said “I D-I-D, did. The famous DID word. Do you still want to play for the Patriots?

TL: I love the Patriots. I love my teammates, my fans, playing for them. That’s the only team I know. I also understand that this is a business and that I can’t always have my way. I’m gonna go out there and play my heart out just like I always do. Just because I have a problem with Coach Belichick and Scott Pioli doesn’t mean I have a problem with the organization as a whole. You know, Mr. Kraft has been good to me, Mrs. Kraft has been good to me. I have a pretty good relationship with all of them. If I had my druthers, I would retire here.

SB: I’m going to read you a quote you said. “I have the utmost respect for Belichick, the best coach in the league. He’s getting paid accordingly, I want get paid accordingly as well. He just re-did his deal. I don’t know the details but I guarantee this…” I’ll let you finish the quote.

TL: He didn’t take a pay cut.

SB: What did you mean by that?

TL: Exactly what I said. He done a great job with the team, the organization. He helped bring home two championships to New England. He got a contract extension and he got a raise. I was a part of that. I helped bring those championships home too. He asked me to take a pay cut. Why should I take less when he didn’t take less?

SB: You called your boss a liar. Most people, if they do that, they get fired. How are you going to come back and work with Belichick?

TL: First of all, the reason I called him a liar..let me give you an example. He said to me because of my age, he couldn’t give me a long term deal. But when you look at Rodney Harrison, 30 years old, six year deal. Tyrone Poole, 5 year deal, 31 years old. Drew Bledsoe, a ten year deal. That’s a lie. You told me that to my face.

SB: Do you regret saying that?

TL: No, I don’t regret saying that. I’m a man and I’m going to stick by anything I say. Maybe I shouldn’t have used those exact words but where I come from, you know, a lie is a lie.

SB: You use the statement “I gotta eat”. I gotta eat? That the most ridiculous statement you could have made. What were you thinking? What did you mean by that?

TL: That was totally taken out of context. The question that was asked of me was “Ty, will you hold out? Will you go to training camp?” That’s the question that was asked of me. I was like why would I hold out? I never asked for more money. I wasn’t complaining about the money I was making currently. I said I got a family, I gotta eat. Why wouldn’t I go to work?

SB (voiceover training reel): Law has been out in L.A. working with his own personal trainer, Bob Kersee from the Jackie Joyner Kersee family. He’s been working him hard.

TL: He’s been working the hell out of me. Like always. That’s what he does. But you know, it’s not for everyone. Many people have come and many people have gone.

SB (voiceover): Law signed a seven year, 51 million dollar contract extension in 1999. He’s more than lived up to it. At age 30, he’s coming off of his best year ever.

TL: Let me put it in layman’s terms. You got a job. You’re making fifty-thousand dollars a year. Forty-thousand a year. You get employee of the year like I did. I was defensive player of the year. Your boss comes to you and says next year, we can only pay you thirty-thousand dollars. You’re gonna have a problem with that. Why? Well my contract, my salary says I’m supposed to make this. I’ve done my job. I’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations. Why should I have to make thirty-thousand dollars. See, people are looking at the number. The millions of dollars. People can’t relate. But that’s fair market value. That’s the fair market value for my services. No one tells Bill Gates he shouldn’t make any more money. Or Henry Ford to not make anymore money.

SB: You’ve brought up in the past, Belichick’s contract with the Jets. Why?

TL: Because people seem to forget about that. I’m trying to make a similarity to my situation and his. And Scott Pioli’s. They were under contract. He had three years left under his deal. He fought so hard and was so adamant about not coaching. And it wasn’t like you were taking a lower position. You were getting a raise and getting bumped up to Head Coach of the New York Jets. You signed that contract and you didn’t honor yours. But I’m being a bad guy when I’m not willing to take a pay cut but I’m willing to honor mine. Everyone forgets about Coach Belichick and his situation.

SB: When you see Belichick for the first time, face to face, what is that going to be like?

TL: Like it always is.

SB: You think so?

TL: Hey, what’s up Bill, how you doing …shake his hand and acknowledge his as a head coach trying to defend his championship.

SB: Do you think he’ll shake your hand?

TL: Why not? I mean, if you a professional, why not? I mean, we’re here now, no sense in arguing on the field. We’re trying to defend a championship.

SB: Are you a selfish player?

TL: Let me ask you the question, Steve. Then you can answer it for me. I went to Coach Belichick when this whole thing was happening with Tom Brady and his contract and I went to him, nobody told me to, between practices and training camp and said would you like me to restructure my contract so we can get Tom Brady done and move on because it was getting to be a big distraction. So I went on my own, willing to redo my contract to get Tom Brady done and that was my intention. Tom Brady. Because getting asked the questions, every day, it was like can we move on. Understand that I have the highest cap number, one of the highest cap numbers of the guys. Is that selfish?

Bullpen Domination

The Sox increased their lead to 1.5 games last night keeping the game close and leaving it up to a battle of the bullpens. Manny Ramirez hit another towering shot to tie it up at 2 in the sixth and the Sox then feasted on a lame Blue Jays bullpen. Of course, the Sox bullpen, as often is the case, shut down the Jays in the 5-2 win. Nick Cafardo, Jeff Horrigan, and Steven Krasner have game stories.

Marvin Pave tells us about the winning debut of Anastacio Martinez. Rich Thompson tells us that Pedro Martinez was very happy to have fellow Dominican Anastacio Martinez pick him up in the seventh. Thompson also has Terry Francona explaining his restraint in resisting the temptation to let Pedro stay in for one more innning. John Connolly lets us know that Mark Bellhorn had the game winning hit last night and he seems to be getting hot.

Sean McAdam explains why it makes sense for the Sox to take a wait and see approach with their big four free agents to be. With the important role the bullpen has showed in the success of this version of the Red Sox, it seems odd to me that nobody has suggested that it might make sense to find a way to keep Scott Williamson in a Red Sox uniform. Jeff Horrigan’s notebook delivers a message from Scott Williamson that if he had to pitch right now, he could. Also, Trot Nixon is tentatively scheduled to start his extended Spring training tomorrow. In his notebook, Tony Massarotti compares the 2004 Red Sox to the 2003 Yankees. He also looks at the possibility of growing frustration of many with Nomar Garciaparra

Manny’s Last Blast

Manny Ramirez broke a 5-5 tie with a mammoth home run over everything as part of an eighth inning explosion in the 11-5 Sox win. The Sox are back in first place. Nick Cafardo, Michael Silverman, Steven Krasner, and Tom Yantz have game stories.

Marvin Pave has the details on the Sox signing David Ortiz to an extension. Silverman tells us in his notebook that Williamson needs to shut it down for a while and was placed on the 15 day DL. There is also the news of the Sox interest in Raul Mondesi and some quotes from Nomar Garciaparra who says he is still not ready but is making

Final Day of Drive – $1100 in, $400 to go…

PayPal is the preferred method of donation.

Day two brought in another $370 total. Your support is much appreciated. To repeat from the last two days: This site at present doesn’t have the support of advertisers, and the Google ad revenue has gone down in recent months. Since the big fall drive the site has seen a logo design, a site re-design, a change-over from Blogger publishing to Movable Type, and a move to a new web host, all of which has pretty much exhausted the BSMW war chest. This “mini-drive” is being held to bridge the gap until the next fall drive, likely to be held once again in November. (Ok, I confess, it’s also to get shag carpeting for my parent’s basement, since it’s common knowledge that all website operators live in the basement of their parent’s house.) The goal for this three-day event is $1500. In addition to PayPal, you can donate via Amazon.com or by making a purchase through Amazon. You can also buy one of the special items of BSMW fund drive merchandise at CafePress which have been marked up to allow you to make a donation to the site and get something for yourself at the same time, similar to making a donation to PBS and getting a “gift”. You can also make a donation via Snail Mail by sending it to:

Bruce Allen
Boston Sports Media Watch
PO Box 183
Epping, NH 03042

As always, thank you for your support.

Derek Lowe continued his quest to get a lousy free agent contract last night, getting shelled by the lowly Devil Rays. Bob Hohler says last night’s game was something out of a Stephen King novel. Jeff Horrigan looks at a disappointed end to the road trip. Sean McAdam and David Heuschkel say that Lowe’s problem last night was throwing too many strikes. Strikes that were then turned into hits. David Borges dubs last night’s affair the “Travesty at the Trop”. Gordon Edes and Tony Massarotti look at the continued struggles of Lowe, who had vowed not to let his contract situation faze him, yet it appears that that is exactly what is happening. Terry Nau has a look first at a Pawtucket high school star, but then goes into Nomar, and how his loyalties have changed in the past year. In the past he would do whatever it took for the Red Sox, but with the events of last winter, and now having a wife, his focus and loyalty has changed, according to Nau.

So is today’s column by Dan Shaughnessy the next chapter in his book? He looks at the Boone family, and particularly the grandfather of Aaron Boone, Ray, who was a scout for 43 years for the Red Sox, but who didn’t feel guilty at all for enjoying his grandson’s homerun last October. Art Martone has a review of the “Still we believe” movie. I still have zero interest in seeing it. Massarotti says the Sox are looking forward to getting home, where they’ve been much more successful. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) has a column today where he says among other things that we are just biding time until October. The regular season is meaningless until then, for all involved, fans, free agents to be, etc. He also has a number of thoughts…sports, politics and entertainment. The Dirt Dogs website reports that the Sox will retire Tony C’s number 25 next year after Ellis Burks, who is currently wearing the number, retires. Steve Buckley is in heaven. Hohler’s notebook says that the Sox might be close to a deal with David Ortiz. Horrigan’s notebook has Bill Mueller leaving to club to get tests done on his knee. McAdam’s notebook and Heuschkel’s notebook also look at the Sox injuries, as does the notebook from Borges.

Mike Reiss looks at new Patriot Bob Hallen, who has no intention of becoming the annual Patriot free agent lineman to retire during training camp. Tom Curran looks at the Patriots other NFL Europe success, wide receiver Chas Gessner.

David Scott has Hockey fever, and his usual brand of ramblings and assorted thoughts from the world of sports and media. Bill Griffith looks at the charitable endeavors of various media personalities. Yesterday on Dennis & Callahan, Bill Simmons was a guest and noted that as part of his new deal with ESPN.com he will have his own webpage there and do columns 2-3 times a week. This was not really followed up on by D&C

UPN38 has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. TNT has Lakers/T-Wolves at 9:00.

Day 2 – $800 to go to reach the Goal

PayPal is the preferred method of donation.

Day one was a success, bringing in $700 total. Your support is much appreciated. To repeat from yesterday: This site at present doesn’t have the support of advertisers, and the Google ad revenue has gone down in recent months. Since the big fall drive the site has seen a logo design, a site re-design, a change-over from Blogger publishing to Movable Type, and a move to a new web host, all of which has pretty much exhausted the BSMW war chest. This “mini-drive” is being held to bridge the gap until the next fall drive, likely to be held once again in November. (Ok, I confess, it’s also to get shag carpeting for my parent’s basement, since it’s common knowledge that all website operators live in the basement of their parent’s house.) The goal for this three-day event is $1500. In addition to PayPal, you can donate via Amazon.com or by making a purchase through Amazon. You can also buy one of the special items of BSMW fund drive merchandise at CafePress which have been marked up to allow you to make a donation to the site and get something for yourself at the same time, similar to making a donation to PBS and getting a “gift”. You can also make a donation via Snail Mail by sending it to:

Bruce Allen
Boston Sports Media Watch
PO Box 183
Epping, NH 03042

As always, thank you for your support.

The Red Sox made it two in a row over the Devil Rays with a 4-1 victory in the Tropicana Dome. Bob Hohler says that even though Schilling wasn’t perfect, he was plenty good enough to beat the Rays. Jeff Horrigan looks at Schilling getting only second victory on the road this season, where he’s had a few struggles. Sean McAdam notes that once Schilling got through a rough first inning, he cruised the rest of the evening. David Heuschkel looks at a solid seven innings for Schilling, who got some help from the bats of Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez. David Borges needs to demand a new headline writer. “Schilling, Sox no match for Devil Rays” Isn’t it the other way around? The Rays were no match for Schilling…Gordon Edes looks at Lou Piniella, who is trying to quit smoking and deal with so much losing at the same time. Tony Massarotti looks at the continued lights out performance of Keith Foulke. Michael Silverman looks at Scott Williamson, another free-agent-to-be and notes that he could cash in on the market this winter as well. Paul Doyle looks at the exploits of Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson, both over 40 and pitching as they did in their prime. Silverman says the Sox would also like to hold onto Pokey Reese, yet another free agent, as they like his flexibility. Massarotti has a look at the struggles of Derek Lowe thus far. Edes looks at Manny Ramirez, who just keeps hitting, injured or not, and continues modest about it. Hohler’s notebook has more on Lowe. Horrigan’s notebook looks at an elbow injury for Scott Williamson. McAdam’s notebook says that the Sox will not try to deal Kim until he gets his stuff back. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Manny, continuing to serve as DH with his sore groin. Borges’ notebook looks at Derek Lowe trying the regain control of his sinker tonight.

Charlie Weis’ agent continues to make the rounds, as Tom Curran is the next to report on the Pats offensive coordinator’s inability to reach an agreement on a new contract. The agent says this is Weis’ last year with the Patriots. Michael Felger reports that Bethel Johnson had stomach surgery yesterday, he is expected to recover fully, but the surgery seems to have been something of an emergency. The Globe has a brief note about Bobby Hamilton signing with the Raiders.

Shira Springer looks at former Celtic Mike James, now enjoying the Pistons run through the playoffs. James has some words for how things were in his brief stint in Boston. She also reports that the C’s have reached a deal with assistant coach Tony Brown.

Bill Griffith reports on a new TV deal for the NHL, this time with NBC. Buddy Thomas lectures on integrity and accuracy in sports journalism.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Nets/Pistons game 7 at 8:00. ESPN2 has Flyers/Lightning game 6 at 7:30.

Spring Mini Fund Drive – Goal $1500

PayPal is the preferred method of donation.

Your donations are much appreciated. This site at present doesn’t have the support of advertisers, and the Google ad revenue has gone down in recent months. Since the big fall drive the site has seen a logo design, a site re-design, a change-over from Blogger publishing to Movable Type, and a move to a new web host, all of which has pretty much exhausted the BSMW war chest. This “mini-drive” is being held to bridge the gap until the next fall drive, likely to be held once again in November. (Ok, I confess, it’s also to get shag carpeting for my parent’s basement, since it’s common knowledge that all website operators live in the basement of their parent’s house.) The goal for this three-day event is $1500. In addition to PayPal, you can donate via Amazon.com or by making a purchase through Amazon. You can also buy one of the special items of BSMW fund drive merchandise at CafePress which have been marked up to allow you to make a donation to the site and get something for yourself at the same time, similar to making a donation to PBS and getting a “gift”. You can also make a donation via Snail Mail by sending it to:

Bruce Allen
Boston Sports Media Watch
PO Box 183
Epping, NH 03042

As always, thank you for your support.

Onto the Links for today. New Dad Tim Wakefield was on his game last night as the Sox returned to the win column with a 7-3 victory in Tampa. Game stories are filed by Bob HohlerJeff HorriganSean McAdamDavid Heuschkel and David Borges. Christopher Price says that Wakefield is one of the under-appreciated stars on the Boston sports scene. Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks pitched a perfect game last night, only the 17th in MLB History. It quickly became the hot topic for the night, and locally, many people turned over to TBS to see the end of it. Gordon Edes talked to Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling about the game by Johnson, neither has through a no-hitter, though Pedro did throw nine perfect innings in 1995 before giving up a hit in the 10th inning. Tony Massarotti also takes a look at the Johnson gem, noting that the 40 year old Johnson could be on the trading block later this summer. Michael Silverman concludes his look at the Sox free agents with an article on Nomar. Once again he goes to sources around the league, and unlike for the other Sox free agents to be, the opinion on Nomar appears to be unanimous. He’s outta here at the end of the season. Keeping with Nomar, Massarotti has a brief piece on Nomar’s agent, Arn Tellem. He says Tellem has a strong relationship with Tom Werner, and if the Sox hope to keep Nomar, they may need to set it up so Werner and Tellem deal directly.

Mike Fine looks at how Terry Francona has his hands full with Curt Schilling. In a good way. Edes also has a report on the Sox efforts to trade Byung Hyun Kim. Massarotti also has an update on Trot Nixon, who continues to make slow progress towards a return. He’s batting in extended spring training games, but unable to run the bases. Borges looks at looks at the empty seats in Tampa, and what affect that has on Rocco Baldelli. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at another collision for Johnny Damon, as does Horrigan’s notebook and McAdam’s notebook. Borges’ notebook has Theo saying that it is possible that Nomar could join the PawSox this weekend. Hohler’s notebook looks at the slow recovery of Nomar and Nixon.

Mike Reiss reports that the Patriots have opened contract talks with receiver David Givens. Brad Blank, who represents Givens, (and plenty of Boston media people) says the talks have not been fruitful. Tom Curran has a piece on Adam Vinatieri, hoping to improve on an “OK” 2003 season. He also hopes to be a life-long Patriot, but will see what happens this year as he enters the final year of his contract.

Bob Ryan looks at the globalization of basketball, specifically in Asia, as he talks with Lawrence Norman – Head of Global Sports Marketing for Adidas.

Jonathan Comey wishes the New Bedford/Fall River area could get a minor league sports team.

NESN has Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Sharks/Flames at 9:00. ESPN2 has Giants/Cubs at 7:00 and Yankees/Angels at 10:00.