Homestand Split

In the sixth inning last night, with the Red Sox trailing 6-2, Don Orsillo remarked, “If the Red Sox win tonight, they’ll have had a 4-2 record on this homestand.” It seemed a curious comment to make, especially with what the score was at that time. The Sox did score a couple times in the ninth to make it interesting, but wound up falling to the Indians 6-4 to cap off a subpar 3-3 homestand against the Royals and Indians. Tim Wakefield had a bit of a rough night, having all six Cleveland runs charged to him. The game stories today come from Gordon EdesKevin McNamaraMichael SilvermanTom Yantz… and Paul Teves. Beat writers must be like starting pitchers. The papers send them to the next city a bit earlier than the rest of the team. None of those guys just mentioned is the # 1 beat guy for his respective paper. Silverman splits that duty with Jeff Horrigan. Jackie MacMullan looks at the problems of Byung Hyun Kim. It might have been brought up elsewhere and I just didn’t read it, but MacMullan tells us that Kim’s work ethic is a major problem. No, it’s not that he doesn’t work enough. He works TOO much. Good job by Jackie in writing about this. Even Kim’s teammates are frustrated at how hard the guy works, he doesn’t think of anything else besides baseball, throws everyday, and seems on the road to burnout. Karen Guregian shows us another side of Manny…this time family man Manny, who thinks he may want to retire after his current contract runs out so he can be with his kids. Michael O’Connor looks at what is involved in becoming an American citizen, including 10 sample questions that Ramirez might’ve had to answer.

Ben McGrath in the New Yorker has a fascinating feature article about the knuckleball, and prominent in the piece is last night’s starter, Tim Wakefield, as well as the Sox minor league knuckleballer, Charlie Zink. Paul Harber looks at Doug Mirabelli, not satisfied with his performance last night despite two doubles. Matt Kalman says that the Sox strikeout numbers are of concern. Marvin Pave says that Wakefield’s problem last night was his inability to get ahead of the hitters. Michael Gee has a pay column telling us that the Red Sox poor fielding is going to catch up with them sooner or later. You just can’t get that kind of analysis anywhere else. Harber and Kalman have looks at Jamie Brown, who was called up from Pawtucket to replace Kim. McNamara’s notebook says that the Sox plan to give Kim plenty of work in Pawtucket. Yantz’ notebook looks at a close call in the outfield for Johnny Damon and Gabe Kapler last night. (Steve Buckley has a pay column about the same incident.) Teves’ notebook looks at Lou Merloni, happy to be in Cleveland. Silverman’s notebook looks at Brian Daubach coming through as a pinch-hitter last night. Edes’ notebook says Curt Schilling doesn’t mind high pitch counts.

Other than the Sox, a pretty slow morning in the newspapers. Peter May has a look at the Lakers, Nancy Marrapese-Burrell an article on the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ron Borges on Roy Jones Jr.

Ron Indrisano writes about the 21 year old trainer of Imperialism, who finished third in the Kentucky Derby. George Kimball says The Cliff’s Edge might have to withdraw from the Preakness.

NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. ESPN has Lightning/Flyers at 7:00 and Sharks/Flames at 10:00. ABC has Spurs/Lakers at 8:00.

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Late Innings Magic

Any chance the Red Sox can stop the Indians from scoring two runs in the first inning tonight? The Indians did it again, but the Sox were able tie it up and then come back again in the eighth inning to go ahead for good on a triple from David McCarty. Game stories are compiled by Nick CafardoMichael SilvermanJoe McDonaldDavid Heuschkel and David Borges. Sean McAdam looks at Pedro Martinez settling down into an economical groove after needing 50+ pitches to get through the first two innings. Jeff Jacobs has a column about “Citizen Prima Donna” Pedro. He says public and media opinion on Pedro will sway each five days. Lenny Megliola has Pedro enjoying the support and cheers from the Boston fans when he’s going well. Marvin Pave looks at Pedro overcoming a blister to make it through 115 pitches. Michael Gee has a pay column saying it was the right call to leave Pedro in to start the seventh even though he had already thrown 103 pitches. Karen Guregian has a piece on the new American citizen, Manny. Borges also looks at the “new Manny” — seemingly a totally different guy this season.

Michael Vega looks at the clutch hit from David McCarty that won the game for the Sox. Steve Buckley has a pay column about McCarty, who is already being pursued for a career after his playing days are over. Michael O’Connor looks at the Gape Kapler home run which started the scoring for the Sox. Vega has a bit on Bronson Arroyo, who is glad to be rejoining the starting rotation after a brief bullpen stint. O’Connor also looks at Johnny Damon agreeing to shave his beard for charity. Bob Ryan writes about the Sox opening up Fenway for the 7th annual “Field of Dreams” fund raising event. Howard Bryant has a pay column looking at the Braves incredible run since 1991 and also the dead end job which is the first base coach. Silverman’s notebook looks at the Sox sending Byung-Hyun Kim to Pawtucket. Heuschkel’s notebook has Theo taking the blame for the performance of Kim. McDonald’s notebook looks at the demotion of Kim. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the return of Manny as a citizen. Borges’ notebook looks at batting practice for Trot and Nomar.

Tom Farmer of the Herald has a report on the ill will that existed between the children of Ted Williams right down to the death of John Henry Williams. Well adjusted kids, those.

Michael Smith reports on the Patriots signing Guard Bob Hallen. The Inside Track tells us that the Patriots visited Walter Reed Army Hospital on Monday to talk with Soldiers, some of whom are just back from Iraq.

Jonthan Comey gives us a few reason to watch the NBA and NHL playoffs. Jim Donaldson writes about PawSox owner Ben Mondor.

Shira Springer has a brief note that the Celtics and Tony Brown are “far apart” on a contract to bring the assistant coach on-board to work with Doc Rivers.

As a heads-up, I’m planning on having a 3-day “mini” fund drive next week for the spring. Ideas and suggestions for the drive are welcome.

NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 7:00. ESPN has Heat/Pacers at 8:00 and T-Wolves/Kings at 10:30. ESPN2 has Braves/Cardinals at 7:00 and Cubs/Dodgers at 10:00.

Sox Scalping

The Red Sox continued their streaky ways last night, dropping their second in a row, this time 10-6 to the Indians. Byung-Hyun Kim had a rough outing and was dropped from the rotation following the game. Bob Hohler and Jeff Horrigan both use the same phrase in describing the quick hook from the rotation for Kim, they say it demonstrates that the Sox will have “little patience for (or with) mediocrity”. Sean McAdam says there will be no waiting around for things to improve. David Heuschkel has more on the shaky outing by Kim and David Borges looks at the hit barrage from the Indians. Joe Haggerty has a look at the doomed Kim era, over before it even got started. Joe McDonald looks at Bronson Arroyo jumping back into the starting five with the struggles of Kim. Nick Cafardo says the Sox feel they have a more dependable option in Arroyo. Michael Silverman says that Arroyo’s success made the move an easy one for Terry Francona. Rich Thompson and Paul Harbor look at Brian Daubach filling in for Manny and producing results.

Lenny Megliola offers up a few thoughts from Fenway. He’s the only one today who even questioned a little (in print, anyway) Manny leaving the team to get his citizenship. He says:

Maybe manager Terry Francona was thinking, Why couldn't Manny have done this during spring training or on an off day? Or five years ago for that matter.

He then notes that “publicly” the manager supported the move, seemingly implying that the manager felt differently than what he said. Steve Buckley has a pay column today lauding Manny for taking the steps to be a citizen. He says:

And now Manny Ramirez is a member of the club. What a great story. Today, civics teachers in schools throughout the commonwealth can use the sports pages in their classroom discussions, with Manny Ramirez as an example that American citizenship is something not ever, ever to be taken lightly.

He says that Manny deserves a “thunderous ovation”tonight when he’s introduced. Gordon Edes takes a tour of the Baseball Hall of Fame with Dennis Eckersley, who can tell some good stories from his career. Jeff Sullivan says that any rumors of Carlos Beltran to Boston are just silly. Thompson and Harbor also have pieces on the return of Lou Merloni to Fenway Park. The notebooks are a Manny sweep. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Manny getting his citizenship. McAdam’s notebook also leads with Manny, as does Hohler’s notebook and Borges’ notebook. Horrigan’s notebook says Manny was absent for the right reasons.

Michael Felger has a report on the Patriots visit to the White House yesterday, with big Ted Washington making the trip with his former team and tossing a few light hearted barbs around. David Lightman and Wayne Washington also have reports.

Shira Springer has a brief piece on Dave Wohl joining Doc Rivers’ staff with the Celtics. Bill Reynolds says that even though they wouldn’t be eliminated, tonight could be the end of an era for the Lakers. Let’s hope so. Peter May looks at the distractions the Lakers are fighting with the whole Kobe Bryant case going on.

Bill Griffith reports on Channel 7 bringing in a new sports anchor. David Briggs will be joining the station from Tulsa. Griffith also looks at the new FSN show “I, Max” with Max Kellerman and Michael Holley.

NESN has Sox/Indians at 7:00. ESPN has Flames/Sharks game 2 at 9:00. TNT has Nets/Pistons at 8:00 and Lakers/Spurs at 10:30.

Mothers Day Mess

This was one of those games that conventional logic tells you the Red Sox should have no problem with. Those are the games that usually come back to bite you. Derek Lowe had another rough outing as he continues his pitch for free agency and a new contract. Game stories from the 8-4 loss are provided by Bob HohlerJeff HorriganJoe McDonaldDavid Borges and David Heuschkel. Bob Ryan writes about Derek Lowe, who was “disgusted” with his performance yesterday. Michael Silverman looks at Lowe still trying to find the proper combination of pitches. Michael Gee has a pay column saying that Lowe’s bad outings are hurting his free agent market value. Brilliant! Jeff Sullivan has a look at Kelly Shoppach, and whether he might be ready to replace Jason Varitek next season should the Red Sox catcher move elsewhere in free agency. Steve Buckley has a pay column in which after taking a shot at Kevin Paul Dupont, says that Varitek should be named captain of the Red Sox immediately. John Connolly looks at the streaking Kevin Millar. Nick Cafardo writes about the Sox intentionally walking Mike Sweeney three times and probably wishing they had gone for four. Rich Thompson looks at the role played by Royals reliever Jamie Cerda yesterday. Silverman looks at Bill Mueller’s 13-pitch at bat against Cerda. Thompson also has a look at Carlos Beltran, a potential prize for the Yankees and Red Sox. Hohler’s notebook looks at Mark Malaska rushing himself a bit yesterday. Horrigan’s notebook has Pokey Reese upset with the call at second base made by Umpire Joe West. Heuschkel’s notebook has Red Sox reactions to comments by George Steinbrenner in last week’s edition of SI. Borges’ notebook looks at KC’s Carlos Beltran…could he be playing for the Sox someday? McDonald’s notebook looks at the struggling Derek Lowe. Connolly has a look at the importance of tonight’s start by Byung-Hyun Kim.

Jim Donaldson does his version of a “thoughts” column, all negative, looking at the Red Sox, the world of sports, and also taking multiple shots at the Celtics. At one point Donaldson brags:

Haven't watched even one quarter of an NBA game this season, and see no reason to tune in now.

Now this is a guy who gets PAID, and quite handsomely at that, to write about sports. Hello. He’s had plenty of columns about the Celtics this year, and yet he didn’t even watch a quarter of one game the entire season? So what exactly qualifies him to comment on the Celtics or NBA at all? This is precisely the type of arrogance in the media that really turns off a lot of people. I’ll admit that the Celtics weren’t that good or entertaining this season. I actually watched them. I did a daily blog for them over at FSNE, and I was getting a paid to do it, I felt a duty to watch the games and know what I was talking about. Guys like Donaldson feel they can not watch the games and yet weigh in with strong opinions and expect to be taken seriously. Peter May has a brief notebook on Doc Rivers putting together his coaching staff.

Russ Conway looks at the state of the NHL as the lockout looms.

Scott’s Shots has an exclusive, behind-the-scenes day/night with Sean McDonough and the gang in the TV38 Friday Night Booth – plus the Sunday night show recap and all the action from the weekend. John Molori looks at CN8’s “Sports Pulse” in this week’s edition of Media Blitz. He has high praise for the CN8 show, which might seem to be a conflict of interest as he has appeared on the program. Molori also looks at the 15th annual Hot Dog Safari and has a new segment – “Three up and three down” looking at who is hot and who is not in the Boston Sports Media.

NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 7:00. (ESPN2 Nationally) ESPN has Lightning/Flyers game 2 at 7:30. TNT has Pacers/Heat at 8:00 and T-Wolves/Kings at 10:30.

Pokey Power

Sunday guest links from Tiny (tinyfrombsmw@yahoo.com):

Red Sox / MLB
Pokey Reese powers the Sox to their 4th straight win, or as the funny headline for the Globe

Perked up Pedro

Rumblings here and there tell me that the Globe may not even hire a columnist at all. They may decide to just add another full time person as a reporter or beat writer. That would be a mistake, in my humble opinion. The once-proud sports section is a mess. It need a boost. Make a bold move, Joe Sullivan.

Whatever happens, I’m prepared to be thoroughly underwhelmed.

Other than the Sox, a pretty light day today:

Pedro overcomes a little bit of a rough opening to finish strong and beat the Indians. Game stories are issued by Bob HohlerMichael SilvermanJoe McDonaldDavid Heuschkel and David Borges. Pedro’s performance gave the critics something to chew on, as he looked darned good after the shaky start. Karen Guregian and Gordon Edes look at how Pedro helped himself with that outing. Silverman has a short bit about David Ortiz being left off the All Star Ballot. Guregian has a look at KC centerfielder Carlos Beltran, who she says the Sox are interested in. However the Yankees are also interested in the talented Beltran as are a number of other teams. Gerry Callahan has a pay column which is more of a random thoughts collection. A bit of sloppy editing there, as he leads off the column talking about the news last night about Bud Selig canceling the Spider-Man ads on the bases, but further down in the column he has a line telling us how much the Red Sox will receive for putting the logo on the bases at Fenway. Michael Gee has a pay column telling us that the Red Sox season is going much as we could have expected it to. Hohler’s notebook has more on Ortiz being left off the All Star Ballot. Silverman’s notebook has an update on first base coach Lynn Jones. McDonald’s notebook looks at a big night for Pokey Reese at the plate. Heuschkel’s notebook says that Nomar and Trot will likely not be back before June. Borges’ notebook looks at Bill Mueller getting back on track after being moved down to the eight spot in the lineup.

Steve Bulpett has a short report on Doc River putting together his coaching staff.

Bill Griffith reports that Fox25 is canceling “Sports Sunday” and has some news from WCVB channel 5 as well. David Scott gives Jerry Remy some camera handling criticism and compiles his own short list for the Globe columnist position in today’s edition of Scott’s Shots. I mention the guy yesterday on a lark, and he comes up with a sports related column today Ty Burr has a review of the Red Sox movie. John Howell has a look at Chris Berman as he and ESPN prepare for the 25th anniversary in September.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Royals at 7:00. ESPN has Nets/Pistons at 8:00.