Friday Afternoon Update

Friday afternoon update by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com)

Sox
Carl Nolte of the San Francisco Chronicle (free subscription required) reports that the weekend series against the Sox is

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Derek gets his Lowjo Back

Friday guest links by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com)

Red Sox / MLB
The Sox avoided a sweep at the hands of the Rockies yesterday, as a great performance on the hill by Derek Lowe and the hot bats of David Ortiz and Nomar Garciaparra paced the club to an 11-0 rout of Colorado. The lopsided win had everyone in the clubhouse feeling loose, and the Globe

Scraps and tidbits pieced together from around the web…

Eric McHugh and Andy Hart have more on Tedy Bruschi’s new contract with the Patriots. McHugh’s piece also looks at the Patriots rebuffed interest in Neil O’Donnell, and Hart’s has a bit on the injury to Ben Watson.

Clark Booth thinks that the media around here is and has been a little too tough on Nomar. A pretty interesting read, really. Eric Wilbur has more to say about the Devil Rays than he does about the Red Sox today. Yesterday, John Tomase looked forward to Trot’s return. Joe Haggerty has another look at Chasing Steinbrenner. Steve Czaban looks at the trials and tribulations associated with being a newly converted Red Sox fan.

Gabe Kahn reviews the second half of the first year of the Danny Ainge era. William Kalec looks at how the Lakers demise was reason for Red Auerbach to light up a victory cigar. Michael Muldoon has a look at the NBA Finals and the end of the Laker dynasty. Bill Simmons also has a look back at the end of the Laker dynasty. Kevin Canfield has an interesting bit in the New Republic Online, which deals with the nauseating coverage of Kobe Bryant.

Another Rocky Outing

Just what is it about road games during interleague play? The Red Sox fell once again to the lowly Rockies, this time 7-6. Bob Hohler has a look at a shaky outing from Curt Schilling, who insists that he’s “turned the corner” as far as his ankle is concerned. Jeff Horrigan also has Schilling saying he felt great and felt strong last night on the mound. Sean McAdam says it was poor command and poor execution that did Schilling and the Sox in last night. The headline to David Heuschkel’s article says Schilling could end up on the DL, but that possibility is not mentioned anywhere in the article. Michael Silverman has an article on Nomar, who is lashing out a bit at the people who are critical of his early performance and from what he did at the plate at the end of last season. WEEI hosts and callers will be all over this. Nick Cafardo has a look at the return of Trot Nixon to the Sox lineup. McAdam reports that Derek Lowe is working with a sport psychologist in an effort to get things turned around for himself. Silverman has Nixon giving himself a mixed review in his first game back. Jeff Sullivan takes a peek around SoSH and has a number of other mostly baseball related thoughts. Terry Nau in the same paper, also has a thoughts column. Two in one day? Heuschkel’s notebook has Pedro saying that Nomar wants to stay in Boston….and he does too. Hohler’s notebook looks at Nomar’s slow start to his return. Horrigan’s notebook has Anastacio Martinez being sent down to make room on the roster for Nixon. McAdam’s notebook also looks at the return of Nixon.

From the saying something for the sake of saying something department…last night on FSN, Greg Dickerson said he was glad to have Trot Nixon back, because it meant better defense in right field. He said Kevin Millar has done fine at Fenway but was having trouble with some of the bigger right fields around the league. Ahem…isn’t Fenway one the biggest right fields in the majors?

Michael Smith reports on a strained achilles for rookie tight end Ben Watson. Mike Reiss has further details on Tedy Bruschi’s new contract.

Lenny Megliola reminds us again that fans and player don’t care about the history of the Boston Celtics. I’m not sure what the purpose of this article is, other than to just be negative. Bill Reynolds reviews the NBA finals, noting that the Lakers really embarrassed themselves. Jackie MacMullan compares the Pistons to the Patriots. Peter May says this finals loss is likely to usher in a new era for the Lakers. Steve Bulpett looks at how the Pistons were able to topple the Lakers, and what this means going forward. I respect Glenn Ordway’s opinions on the NBA. Listening to his backtrack yesterday was laughable. After insisting (correctly) for years that the team with the best player always won the series, he changed course and yesterday insisted that it’s the team with the most talent that wins, and that the Pistons have more talent than the Lakers. It’s not about the best player…it’s about the most overall talent. He took quite a little beating on the whiner line for his “that’s not what I said…” stand.

Plenty of US Open stories in the local papers…too many to link here. Here are the Golf sections of the Globe and the Herald.

NESN president and general manager Sean McGrail answered viewer questions in this week’s edition of the NESN.com Executive Mailbag. He reveals plans to re-launch the Globe Sportsplus show with a new set and format and making a twice-weekly show. He also talks about discussions with DirecTV to make the NESN HD feed available from that carrier. The Boston Radio Watch website has a couple WEEI and WWZN notes in the latest edition. You can listen to the WEEI guys bash the NBA and tell you how unwatchable it is, but the numbers would disagree. The NY Times has the numbers from the Finals and here are a couple interesting points:

The Detroit Pistons' clinching victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of the N.B.A. finals on ABC on Tuesday night generated a 13.8 Nielsen rating, a 123 percent leap from last year. It was the highest-rated Game 5 since 1998.

For each of the five games, ABC won the prime-time ratings race. And the ratings for key male demographics were the highest since 2001; the rating for men 18 to 34 was the highest since the 1998 finals.

NESN has Red Sox/Rockies at 3:00. CN8 Sports Pulse will have Mike Petraglia from MLB.com to talk Red Sox at 10:00. FSN will have Tony Massarotti as a guest on the 6:30 show and Pete Sheppard on the 10:00 show.

Afternoon Ramblings

Mike Fine looks at the Pistons winning the NBA title, and says that even with the example of Detroit to follow, the Celtics are light years away from becoming a contender. Matt Bonesteel is begging Doc Rivers to stay on as an ABC broadcaster and not coach the Celtics.

David Perry looks at the book Chasing Steinbrenner: Pursuing the Pennant in Boston and Toronto written by his Lowell Sun colleague Rob Bradford. Tom Caron has his NESN Mailbag, and opens by poking fun at the Internet message board controversy. Eric Wilbur considers trading Nomar. Mike Klis of the Denver Post looks at the slow start by Nomar in his return. Jack Curry of the NY Times (registration required) has a look at Curt Schilling, that he has endeared himself to Sox fans and also talks some about the SoSH incident. Peter Gammons said that Buck Showalter had the following to say on Schilling:

"I don't know anyone with a bigger heart than Curt, and he wears his heart on his sleeve because he is so passionate about everything. Some people don't like the fact that he tells it as he believes it is, isn't afraid to tell it anyone, and that he's right more than most of us."

What? Could reporters not like Schilling because he’s smarter than they are?

Peter Kerasotis reports that Mark and Bobby-Jo Ferrell have dropped their efforts to have Ted Williams’ remains taken out of Alcor.

Terry McCormick reports that Neil O’Donnell has rejected overtures from the Patriots to join them as a backup QB. Andy Hart of Patriots.com also has a look at O’Donnell and if the Pats might’ve been interested. Out in Chicago, Bob LeGere has the story of former Patriots practice squad player (he was active in one game this past season) Jamin Elliott, who is wondering why he didn’t get a Super Bowl ring. Larry Weisman of USA Today has a look at NFL players serving as interns preparing for a post playing career. Featured prominently in the article is the Patriots’ Jarvis Green. Pat Kirwan has an overview of the AFC East.

Michael Felger in the print edition of the Herald this morning reported that Tedy Bruschi has agreed to a contract extension with the Patriots that keeps him here through 2007. The story never made it to the on-line edition. If you go to the NFLPA website, you can get the breakdown of the numbers for the new deal.

The Washington Post reports in it’s NBA notebook that the Celtics have targeted Wizards forward Etan Thomas as someone they would use their mid-level exception this summer on.

Rocky Mountain Low

The Red Sox had an early lead on the Rockies in Coors Field last night, but let it get away and fell 6-3. Bob Hohler notes that the Sox felt sure they’d score more than just three runs last night. Jeff Horrigan says that the Sox just could not get a clutch hit. Sean McAdam laments all the men left on base by the Red Sox, which enabled the Rockies to end an eight game losing streak. David Heuschkel says that pretty much everyone was shocked that the Red Sox couldn’t pull a win out last night. Michael Silverman looks at the outing from Bronson Arroyo, who despite giving up the 3-1 lead, didn’t pitch all that terrible in the mile high atmosphere. Nick Cafardo takes a look at Pedro, who is regaining his form and feeling much more at peace as of late. Pedro also disputes the notion that he had even partially torn his labrum back in 2001. Alex Speier takes another look at Pokey fever around Boston. Jonathan Comey looks at those darn Yankees, who just keep winning at an unbelievable pace. Bob Halloran shares three discoveries he’s made this year about the Red Sox and the managerial style of Terry Francona. Silverman takes a look at the concern and anxiety around the ankle of Curt Schilling. CN8’s Ed Berliner weighs in on the Schilling/Media situation. Hohler’s notebook has Schilling feeling optimistic about said ankle. Horrigan’s notebook says that the ankle is feeling better. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at the return of Trot Nixon, who will be in the lineup tonight.

Bob Neumeier and Jonathan Comey deserve credit as being perhaps the only two local media guys who said the Pistons could and would beat the Lakers. Detroit closed out Los Angeles in five games, the first real upset in the NBA finals in nearly 30 years. It also brings to an end a streak in which the winning team had the best, or one of the two or three best players in the league – something that should give some hope to teams like the Celtics. Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer look at the return of the Bad Boys. Bulpett takes a look at series MVP Chauncey Billups (yup, Bob Lobel already said it). The Celtics had a hand in this title, and since it resulted in a defeat of the Lakers, I’m not all that upset about it. Springer’s notebook looks at the role that Danny Ainge played in bringing the title to Detroit. Some interesting words in there from Doc Rivers too, who wants to have former Celtics around his team as much as possible, Robert Parish among them. Bulpett’s notebook has the Celtics seeing hope in what Detroit was able to accomplish. Howard Bryant (subscription only) says that the Celtics are not worthy of fans spending their money on season tickets for the team, but he is impressed with what he’s seen and heard from Doc Rivers thus far.

While we’re on the subject of Bryant, I need to clarify his quote from yesterday that I featured in this space. There was a second part to it, and I unthinkingly left it out after the first part seemed so staggering to me. The entire quote read:

I don't know the exact reason why media in Boston is so much more a part of the story than in other cities, but I suspect it has in part to do with the aggressive nature and self-importance of the fans here, who distrust the people who cover the team. That, and the high visibility of the reporters themselves - who have through spouting personal opinions on television and radio (when we're supposed to be objective) have injected their personalities into the daily drama instead of merely reporting on it - has made for an explosive mix.

That’s a little different. If Bryant’s article wasn’t a subscription article, it might not have been a big deal, since anyone could just go in and see the context of the quote. Since though, the article was a pay item, it wasn’t really fair of me to just put the first part in and leave it hanging out there on it’s own when others didn’t have the access to go in and see the entire paragraph.

Bob Ryan takes a look at Phil Mickelson, hoping to make it two majors in a row this weekend. Ryan confesses that he has now become a Mickelson fan. Jim McCabe and George Kimball look at Padraig Harrington, and Joe Gordon has an article on Tiger Woods.

Stan Grossfeld looks at the counseling and advocacy work done by Kathy Redmond who was raped by then-Nebraska nose tackle Christian Peter, who was briefly a Patriot draftee. Some disturbing tales in this story.

NESN has Red Sox/Rockies at 9:00. ESPN has Cubs/Astros at 7:00 and ESPN2 has Yankees/Diamondbacks at 10:00. The Globe SportsPlus will be on NESN at 7:30, and one of the segments will be Dan Shaughnessy and Kevin Paul Dupont arguing who is better, Clemens or Pedro. CN8’s Sports Pulse is on at 10:00 and will have a representative from the Northeastern Center for Sport in Society who will talk about the recent comments of Bill Parcells and Larry Bird. Shira Springer will also be in to talk about the Celtics and the NBA.

All’s quiet on the western front so far…thanks for the supportive emails, everyone.

Mike Fine has a look at Bronson Arroyo and the Red Sox preparing to face the Rockies tonight. Eric Wilbur hopes Arroyo doesn’t get pounded in the thin air of Coors field. Old School Alan Greenwood thinks it’s time to do away with the DH and Interleague play. Joe Haggerty looks at the impending return of Trot Nixon.

The View From Out Of Town:

Out in Colorado, Woody Paige does a comparison of the Red Sox and (in his eyes, woeful) Rockies. Tracey Ringolsby says the Red Sox are a hot ticket out at Coors Field.

They’re already getting worked up in San Francisco for the Red Sox/Giants this weekend. Henry Schulman looks at the two franchises and the 1912 World Series. (Warning, Shaughnessy quotes within that article.) Notably:

"People are very self-absorbed here," Shaughnessy said. "They're like teenagers. They don't think about the woes of their parents, they just think about themselves and maybe see a correlation with the Cubs.