Today may be ring day for the Patriots. But the Dodgers rang Tim Wakefield’s bell yesterday as they routed the Sox 14-5. The only good news is that the Big Four of the Sox bullpen got the day off. Of course, those four are Foulke, Embree, Williamson, and Timlin. Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan, and Steven Krasner have the game stories.
Dan Shaughnessy finds an easy target in the optimistic Tito Francona as Shank has another theme piece today. This feature has Tito making excuses for every Sox gaffe during the last hundred or so years. In Bob Hohler’s notebook, the main topic is the injury to the most important player on the team, Curt Schilling. Schilling’s ankle injury is serious enough that he may have to shut it down until after the all-star break. Hohler also reports on the return of BH Kim and Pedro trying to get some revenge on a team he absolutely despises – the Dodgers. Horrigan tells us in his notebook to forget about seeing Carlos Beltran in a Sox uniform this year. He also has more on the Schilling and Nixon injuries. In his baseball notes, Gordon Edes makes the case for Jason Varitek. Edes also has a look at the Sox top draft pick, infielder Dustin Pedroia, who has the reputatoin of being a gamer. Paul Harber has a puff piece on Kevin Millar who made it to the bigs as a Northern League veteran.
Karen Guregian reports that Curt Schilling does not like the way the Boston media disrespects the players’ privacy in the clubhouse. Tony Massarotti commends the Sox on their performance up to this point without Garciaparra. Tony Maz also tells us that the Cubs resemble the Sox and Angels in that they have battled with serious injuries all season. Sean McAdam explains that the Sox are a bit thin on the pitching staff right now. Krasner’s notebook focuses on the Schilling injury and Sox pitchers getting hammered.
Now that he is done serving as Ty Law’s agent, Michael Smith has moved on to Richard Seymour and Tom Brady. It doesn’t seem to matter to Smith that both are signed through the next three seasons and won’t be free agents until 2007. Smith also fancies himself as a capologist and wants Brady’s contract restructured to free up some room on the salary cap. Smith also speculates that San Diego will wind up with David Patten or JJ Stokes. In some good news, Smith reports that Mike Vrabel went back to school and earned his degree from the Ohio State University this Spring. That woud allow the star to go back to his alma mater to coach when he retires. Mike Reiss has a more analytical look at the Patriots salary cap situation. The team will need to find $3 million in space to sign its draft picks. The maniacal one, Miguel, pegs the number at closer to $2 million. Reiss also looks at Brady as a candidate for a restructure. Speaking of Brady, Reiss related that Brady likes the way Corey Dillon has fit in with the team. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, it is always the season for Kevin Mannix to go off on Bill Belichick. Mannix latest problem is the coach’s request that the press not reports on injuries at mini-camp. He argues that if the camp is open, the press should be allowed to do as it sees fit. In his notebook, Mannix rehashes a rough week for Parcells and finds someone who has another excuse for another rough season for Bledsoe. Tom Curran has a feature on Robert Kraft who has reached the top in helping to build his team and the NFL. Tom Curran seems to be one of the few actually providing news in his notebook as to the Pats mini-camp letting us know that JJ Stokes has had a great camp. Their are more kudos from Belichick to Daniel Graham. Curran also explains that Tom Brady will be even more of a coach on the field as he will be given more freedom to call audibles at the line of scrimmage.
Kevin Paul Dupont makes a case for the election of Terry O’Reilly to the Hall of Fame.
Peter May wishes the Celtics had kept Chauncy Billups. He also likens this year’s Finals to the 1984 Celtics-Lakers series. Steve Bulpett tells us that ML Carr likes Danny Ainge’s approach as GM of the Celtics. In his notebook, Bulpett explains Ainge’s use of a doctor who analyzes brain types of players. He also reports that John Carroll is not looking for a job.
Bill Griffith focuses on NBC’s coverage of the olympics. He also previews tonight’s late night sports shows. Ch. 7 has Christian Fauria and CBS-4 has Derek Lowe.
The Red Sox-Dodgers 8:00 pm game is the ESPN Sunday Night game of the week. Ch. 5 has the NBA Finals at 9:00 pm. Other than NCAA baseball tournament coverage on ESPN (all day) and NASCAR on FOX-25 (1 pm), it is not a busy day of sports on tv this afternoon. Enjoy a beautiful June Sunday.