Will Nomar play tonight for the big club or won’t he? That is the question of the day. The shortstop seems hesitant to make the jump to the big club and declare himself ready to play. Bob Hohler reports that Garciaparra may wish to play one more game for Pawtucket before joining Boston. Talk radio has been a little more harsh on Nomar, with WEEI hosts and callers still openly speculating if Nomar is trying to stick it to management and control the situation. In certain aspects I can’t help but think of when Manny broke his finger a couple years ago, and played in Pawtucket – played awful – and the press was all over him for taking his time coming back to the big club. In that instance, the radio people were saying Manny was more comfortable in Pawtucket and would prefer to just stay there. What do any of these guys (radio) know about the injuries and what is going on in a players mind? They don’t know any more than you or I. The Nomar situation is curious, no doubt about it, but getting the facts and discerning them from the wild speculation is a job in itself for fans of the team. Michael Silverman agrees that tomorrow or Thursday seems more likely for Nomar’s 2004 debut with the Red Sox. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) tells us that Nomar is going to fell the pressure immediately, and we will all get to see how he is going to react. It’s as if he’s being put into a playoff situation everyday for the rest of the year. Alex Speier has an article looking at how Nomar and Terry Francona go way back. Tony Massarotti says that when Nomar does return, he’s going to provide a huge energy boost to the Red Sox and their lineup. David Heuschkel also has a look at Nomar’s impending return.
The MLB draft was yesterday, and Red Sox fans felt further frustration with the ineptitude of the information provided by the local media. WEEI Flash guy Pete Sheppard was consistently an hour and half behind in the process, showing no initiative to do a little work and get information out to listeners. (Red Sox picks were posted on the message board of this site and others within minutes of being announced, along with information about the draftees.) The MLB draft isn’t a big deal like the NFL draft, but it’s still nice to get information as it happens. Michael Silverman’s notebook looks at the Red Sox nabbing a shortstop with their first pick at #65 overall. Marc Craig looks at Mark Rogers from Maine, being selected by the Brewers with the fifth overall pick. Dan Ventura looks at Peabody’s Ryan Moorer getting picked by the Cubs. John Gillooly looks at Pawtucket’s Jay Rainville being picked 39th overall by the Twins. Kevin Gray has a look at some NH kids being drafted. Christopher L. Gasper and Ventura have articles on Jeff Allison, the former Peabody star isn’t ready to rejoin the Marlins organization anytime soon, as he still has some things to sort out in his life.
Bob Hohler’s notebook has a look at the many Padre/Red Sox connections that will be in evidence for this week’s interleague series. He also reports on Trot Nixon, who is ready to begin a rehab assignment of his own. The ProJo notebook has more on Nomar, and looks ahead to the Dodgers shuffling their rotation for Fenway.
I mentioned in this space yesterday about Michael Smith’s budding relationship with the Poston brothers and how that could be influencing his writing. I guess I’m not the only one who noticed. From ProFootballTalk.com under the subheading “Postons Trying To Soften Image?”
Given the realities of gathering and reporting NFL news in major newspapers, some league insiders believe that the Postons have been playing quid pro quo with Michael Smith of the Boston Globe in exchange for favorable coverage in the market where the team with which they have a bad relationship resides, due in large part to a lingering dispute between the Pats and defensive back Ty Law.
Kevin Paul Dupont and Stephen Harris have coverage of Tampa winning the Stanley Cup. Mick Colageo says the Cup will be making a stop in New Bedford this summer, and has other NHL news of note. Dupont’s notebook looks at Ray Bourque providing a boost to a couple of old teammates. Harris’ notebook has Dave Andreychuk finally getting the Cup.
Steve Bulpett reports that the Celtics are close to a deal with another assistant coach, this time one who will focus on developing the skills of young players. Shira Springer looks at the Lakers hoping to bounce back in game two. Bulpett also looks at the Pistons getting their offense in gear with the help of lousy defense from the Lakers. Bill Reynolds says we might have an NBA Finals, after all.
Bob Ryan says that while Smarty Jones may not have won the Triple Crown, thoroughbred racing could be a big winner and back on the rise.
NESN has Red Sox/Padres at 7:00. ABC has Pistons/Lakers at 9:00.