Training Camp / Trading Deadline

Saturday links by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com)

Sox
The Nomar-less Sox routed the Twins last night 8-2. Game stories by the Globe

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Day One in the Books

Day one of Patriots camp is in the books. Kevin Mannix says the theme and rallying cry has already been established. “Forget 2003”. That might be hard to do for the fans, but for the players and staff, that’s what they’ll have to do. Mike Reiss has an overview of the good, the interesting and the ugly from the first day of camp. Alan Greenberg notes that Bill Belichick took it easy on the players for the first day of camp. Expect that to change quickly. Michael Smith looks at the necessary evil that is training camp. Michael Felger says that Belichick rewarded the players for their hard offseason work with an easy first day of camp. Ian M Clark says that a focus for the Patriots this season will be applying the lessons learned from the 2002 season. Dan Pires has the interesting note that Rohan Davey was given number 73 to wear yesterday. Why?

His only sign of dissatisfaction was the numbers on backup quarterback Rohan Davey's red practice jersey. No. 6 on game day, Davey sported a number usually reserved for an offensive lineman -- in this case, a very famous one, Patriots all-time great John "Hog" Hannah (No. 73).
Reportedly, Davey, who was the NFL Europe's MVP this past spring, missed his target weight coming into camp.

Rich Thompson and Michael Vega look at Rodney Harrison as he comes into his second year in Patriots camp, after having made quite an early impression in last year’s camp. Jim Donaldson lumps all New England sports fans together and says we all always want something to worry about, so he tries to find things to worry about on the Patriots. He doesn’t come up with much. Michael Parente looks at David Patten coming into camp fighting for a job. Tom Curran looks at Benjamin Watson, a holdout for the Patriots, with no quick resolution in sight. Thompson looks at James Williams, ready to tackle a job with the Patriots after a year off. Curran’s notebook says that Williams passed his conditioning run yesterday, as did everyone who took it. Smith’s notebook says that Williams from excused from taking the run. We’ll let you guess which paper had the right information. Felger’s notebook has a look at some news from the secondary.

Tony Massarotti says that Theo Epstein’s best deal might be to not make a deal at all. David Heuschkel looks at how Nomar Garciaparra and Derek Lowe are handling trade rumors involving them very differently. Michael Silverman says the Sox efforts to make any sort of trade are proving fruitless. Bob Hohler looks at the verdicts coming in on suspensions for the brawl with the Yankees. Sean McAdam says the Sox are paying a higher price for this brawl. The Courant baseball writers team up to look at the suspensions. Karen Guregian says that while the Red Sox are paying a stiffer immediate price, in the long term the brawl might be a key spark to the season. Silverman’s notebook also looks at the suspensions. Hohler’s notebook looks at the stagnant trade market.

Bill Griffith notes that WEEI got big ratings again, but really can’t brag or even talk about them. Why? Seems they didn’t renew their contract with Arbitron. That’s a relief to WEEI listeners who hopefully won’t have to be subjected to the usual self-congratulatory propaganda that follows any ratings period. Jim Baker looks at speculation over the next NFL TV deals. Scott’s Shots welcomes the Patriots and explains why he’s so hard on Shaughnessy.

If you’ve enjoyed reading the Boston Radio Watch website, you might’ve noticed that the link to the site is dead. I contacted the gentleman who runs the site, and it turns out that recently there was a fire in the building where the server for the commons.somewhere.com domain was being hosted and the server was severely damaged. Thankfully no one was injured and they’re working on getting the sites back up and running sometime next month.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Twins at 7:00. FSN will have Michael Holley in at 6:30 and Alan Greenberg at 10:00.

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A Few Notes on Belichick’s Press Conference…

…for those of you who can’t wait till tommorow’s papers.

Conditioning test: Everyone who ran passed the conditioning test. Overall the condition of team is “acceptable”

Jeff Burris: Waived – did not report to camp. He (Burris) “made a personal decision and I respect that.”

Eugene Wilson: “Is out there doing what everyone else is doing”.

Do unsigned rookies annoy you?: It’s part of the process – it is what it is. It “could take an hour (to sign them), could take a month”.

Cory Dillon: Is in good condition, ran well, (BB) expects he will be a “contributor”.

Zeron Flemister signed because of Fauria injury and Watson holdout?: “Maybe a little bit”. Mostly had to do with it just working out.

Rosie Colvin: All players should be participating. No one is in the category of Steve Neal last year (unlikely to play).

Is he (Colvin) on schedule?: “I don’t know what the schedule is”. He is moving well, running well, he’ll be out there when he is ready.

Importance of camp on season: I have never been part of a good season where we had a bad camp.

Tom Brady = even keeled?: He is, but he has a spark and a presence and an enthusiasm that is contagious to his teammates.

David Patten: Has had almost a full year to rehab and has looked good all spring.

Bethel Johnson: Has had a real good off season and improved in a lot of areas.

7.29.04 Afternoon Update

A few more Pats articles to help you digest that lunch or afternoon snack…Michael Smith has a position-by-position breakdown in a training camp primer on Boston.com. He also gives you a few campers to watch. Elsewhere, Chris Kennedy looks at the Patriots opening camp, and Mark Farinella looks at the signing of James Williams.

FootballOutsiders celebrates its first anniversary today. Check out some of the highlights from the first year.

Eric Wilbur floats between the Red Sox, Patriots, random thoughts, and a couple emails in his blog entry today. Boston.com also has the latest edition of the Larry Lucchino mailbag.

Lucchino was on with Michael Holley and Greg Dickerson on the morning show on WEEI for his weekly visit, and here some highlights of their discussion. (Props to Holley and Dickerson for being the anti-John Dennis and asking concise questions and then actually letting the guest answer, instead of answering himself three times.)

Trades: Everyone is tradeable. Red Sox have a policy against no trade clauses in player

Day One

The journey begins today. The New England Patriots begin training camp and in so doing start the long trek towards attempting to defend their Super Bowl championship. Certainly not an easy prospect, but this group of coaches, players and management seems to be a very goal and challenge oriented group. Some national publications may dismiss the Patriots as potential repeat champions just because…you know, it’s like difficult to do so. If we’ve learned anything from the past three years with this team, it’s not to tell them they can’t do something. Lenny Megliola says all eyes are on the Patriots now, a startling turn of events for a franchise that was “Once the whipping boys playing in a dumpy stadium next to a horsemens’ park”. New Englanders have come to count on the Patriots to lift them out of the sports doldrums caused by the Bruins, Celtics, and yes, the Red Sox. The Red Sox will perhaps get a little less attention now, from both the media and the fans, and maybe it will even benefit them for the final two-plus months of the season. Michael Felger says the Patriots hope to learn from and apply the lessons learned during the playoff-less season of 2002 as they attempt to defend their title. Michael Parente looks at the champs back in action and starts another countdown…only 42 days until the Colts come for the regular season opener. Tom Curran provides the list of all lists heading into Training camp. Such topics as “Four good places to watch training camp”, “Five story lines guaranteed to be beaten to a bloody pulp.” and “Five items that will put Belichick in the verbal four-corners.” Ian M Clark previews the defense for the 2004 Patriots. Christopher Price agrees that it’s time to go camping. Michael Gee (subscription only) says that Bill Belichick, a student of history, needs to apply the lessons learned during the 2002 season in order to have a chance to repeat. He concludes:

Belichick made several visits to Fenway this summer. Perhaps they weren't recreational. The coach might've been absorbing a sports truth embodied by the Sox.

The team that denies its history is condemned to repeat it.

Parente has a preview of the Patriots special teams unit, a group headed by new punter Josh Miller. Michael Smith has a look at Russ Hochstein. A “burning” question of my own today…where’s the Globe? I assume they’ll start having Patriots stuff in the paper tomorrow, but other papers have been doing camp and positional previews for some time now, but there have really been nothing, other than an occasional transaction report or Sunday notes section regarding the defending Super Bowl champions in what is supposed to be the biggest and most influential newspaper (and sports section) in the area. Today is just a profile of an offensive lineman? Maybe when Ron Borges gets back from suspension the coverage will increase. Oh wait. That’s right, he’s not suspended. They’ve just chosen to give him almost six weeks off. He’s been writing columns for MSNBC like a madman recently. Some “vacation”. Mike Reiss looks at the three Patriots draft picks still unsigned coming into camp. Curran’s notebook looks at unsigned first round draft pick Benjamin Watson. Felger’s notebook looks at the Patriots signing former Bear James “Big Cat” Williams.

The Red Sox slipped back into their punchless ways last night, making Dave Borkowski, a guy who prior to this year last pitched in the majors in 2001, look like Cy Young. Sean McAdam looks at Borkowski and Javy Lopez (two homers) beating the Sox and putting an end their brief three game winning streak. Bob Hohler looks at Curt Schilling and the Sox falling to the O’s yet again. Michael Silverman says the Sox bats just went silent once again. David Heuschkel says the Red Sox bats were as quiet as could be in the 100th game of the season. David Borges also has a look at Borkowski outdueling Schilling. Gordon Edes says that things are still quiet on the trade front for the Red Sox. Karen Guregian has Pedro saying he’d like Derek Lowe and Nomar to stay with the Red Sox and not be traded. McAdam takes a look at the difficulties the Red Sox are having making anything happen in the trade market. Guregian also has a look at Curt Schilling as he tries to figure out how he lost to Borkowski and the Orioles last night. Silverman’s notebook has David Ortiz pleading for mercy with MLB disciplinarian Bob Watson. Hohler’s notebook also has Ortiz making his case for a reduced suspension. McAdam’s notebook, Heuschkel’s notebook and Borges’ notebook all carry similar themes.

Steve Conroy looks at the Bruins signing Tom Fitzgerald to a two year deal.

Howard Bryant (subscription only) says that athletes should be free to walk away from the sport they play at any time. He’s of course talking about Ricky Williams, who walked away from the Dolphins last week. Bryant cites Scott Brosius, who retired after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, (finishing out the season) and Robert Smith of the Vikings as a couple who walked away from the high paying world of pro sports to do other things. He says Williams shouldn’t be treated as a freak for walking away from the game to do other things. That of course is based on the assumption that Williams really is walking away because he no longer wants to play or wants to pursue other interests. More and more rumors abound (some even from quotes from Williams himself) that Williams had forgotten to take a masking agent and was facing a suspension from the league for marijuana use. Buddy Thomas suggests that Williams is running away from a personal problem.

With the Red Sox on an off night, there isn’t much on TV tonight for sports. FSN will have Scott Zolak in at 6:30 and Tom Curran at 10:00 to talk about the opening of Patriots camp. With no Antowain Smith around to fail the conditioning run, what are they going to talk about?

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