Saturday links by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com)
The Nomar-less Sox routed the Twins last night 8-2. Game stories by the Globe
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.
…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.
Tom Currran was a guest of AM 790 The Score’s Andy Gresh and Scott Cordischi and reported that no Patriots failed the conditioning test.
He predicted Keith Traylor will start over Vince Wilfork at nose, the Pats will switch
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.
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
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?
Burning Questions are all the rage today. Come to think of it, where did that term originate? I did a quick search, but didn’t come up with anything. Probably just another well worn clich
The Red Sox got a partial night off with a rainout in Baltimore. So what better activity on a rainy night in the last week of July than some good trade talk? Gordon Edes looks at a few of the rumors including more talks between the Sox and Cubs regarding Nomar. Jonathan Comey says the Red Sox shouldn’t be making a trade just for the sake of doing so. Michael Silverman reports that the rain last night had Tim Wakefield feeling the effects of his being hit in the right shoulder by that line drive on July 17. Sean McAdam looks at the rainout giving the Sox a break. David Heuschkel suggests that the rain gave the overworked Boston bullpen another night of rest and recovery, specifically Alan Embree and Mike Timlin. David Borges notes that rainouts seem to be a common theme this year for the Red Sox and Orioles. Bob Hohler says the rainout was a no-lose situation for the Sox.
Karen Guregian says that Terry Francona and Dave Wallace should’ve gotten Pedro out of the game earlier on Monday night, and by not doing so, took a major risk with their ace. Joe Haggerty looks at some great baseball names over the years. Terry Nau says that the Red Sox should thank ARod for rattling the kennel and has other Red Sox related thoughts. Guregian is also cautiously optimistic regarding what she has seen from Ramiro Mendoza as of late. Borges’ notebook also takes a look at Mendoza. The rest of the notebooks look at Pedro’s hip. Heuschkel’s notebook says Pedro is still a little sore, but he is more concerned about his weight, he doesn’t want to lose anymore during the course of the season. Silverman’s notebook says Pedro is OK. Hohler’s notebook says Pedro plans to make his next start on Sunday. McAdam’s notebook says the hip injury seems minor.
For the Patriots, Tom Curran says the hard work of defending their title begins in earnest tomorrow. Michael Felger takes a look at the special teams of the Pats, including new Punter Josh Miller. He also has a few special teams thumbnails. In his positional review for the day, Michael Parente takes a look at the linebackers. Ian M. Clark looks at positions of strength for the defending Super Bowl Champions. Chris Kennedy says that the Patriots know that they are going to be in for some hard tests during this campaign. Jim Donaldson says there is really no way that the Patriots will not win at least the AFC East. Michael Smith looks at the three rookies who have yet to sign with the team, noting their agents are historically tough negotiators. I think a couple of Smith’s colleagues might suggest that that is in contrast to some of the pushovers that the Patriots normally deal with and take advantage of. Just the way they do things down there, folks. Don’t ya know? Tight End Ben Watson is one of those three rookies who hasn’t signed yet, and Mike Reiss notes that the Patriots have signed two tight ends in the last couple days, perhaps bracing for a potential holdout. Parente also has a piece on Rosevelt Colvin not being ready to go quite yet.
Peter May looks at Allen Iverson and Larry Brown, reunited for the US Olympic basketball team.
John Molori looks at Lisa Dergan and Leeann Tweeden, as well as Eddie Andelman’s boxing venture in this week’s edition of Media Blitz.
NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. ESPN has Phillies/Marlins at 7:00. ESPN2 has Giants/Padres at 10:00. The Globe SportsPlus on NESN will have Bob Ryan and Nick Cafardo talking about possible Red Sox trades and Patriots training camp at 11:00. FSN will have Bill Burt and Larry Johnson at 6:30 and Bob Rodgers at 10:00.
With the Sox out of town, there isn’t all that much for the afternoon update. John Tomase looks at the suddenly hot Kevin Millar. Eric Wilbur ponders over the race for Randy Johnson and if he’ll end up with the Yankees as many people seem ready to conclude. Boston.com hands out its weekly Red Sox report card. In the Phoenix, Christopher Young has a recap of the Hall of Fame ceremonies in Cooperstown over the weekend. Bill Simmons missed out on the Red Sox/Yankees brawl on Saturday. He was in Vegas.
Eric McHugh considers 10 burning questions from the AFC.
The latest edition of the Big Girl Diaries is up.
Pedro Martinez pitched well until appearing to tire a bit late in the game, but the Sox supplied him with plenty of offense while cruising to a 12-5 win at Camden Yards. Michael Silverman says perhaps the Yankees were a tune up for a much tougher task for the Sox…playing the Orioles. (And check out the new message board/commenting system at the bottom of the page. Some usual suspects have already made their presence there.) Sean McAdam says last night was a rarity, a series opening win away from home. Bob Hohler says the Sox knew the importance of carrying over momentum into last night’s game. David Heuschkel says the Sox are aiming for their first winning road trip since May. David Borges observes that Pedro and the Red Sox were able to overcome the nuisance for them that is the Baltimore Orioles, at least for last night. Gordon Edes looks at Pedro’s start last night, a little discomfort in his hip, and what the future might hold for the Red Sox ace. Karen Guregian also looks at Pedro’s hip discomfort.
Howard Bryant (subscription only) writes that the recently concluded tough stretch of the schedule exposed many flaws of the Red Sox. He says that they lack “togetherness” and that “Ownership, at this point, again believes Ramirez to be a major problem”. Bryant has plenty of grumbling sources within the Red Sox organization. There is some hope that this past weekend sparked the team, but that feeling was there after a sweep of the A’s at home a few weeks ago. Don Amore has ARod saying he was the victim in the brawl Saturday. Hohler also has a look at what the Sox might be looking to do now with the injury to Trot Nixon. Guregian looks at Gabe Kapler stepping up in Nixon’s absence. Heuschkel’s notebook speculates that Nixon might be done for the season. McAdam’s notebook looks at some possible replacements. Borges’ notebook looks at Kevin Millar being named co-player of the week. Hohler’s notebook looks at Pedro’s hip getting checked out today. Silverman’s notebook looks at Pedro, and another encouraging outing by Ramiro Medonza.
Alan Greenberg has a look at the Patriots as they prepare to go for ring number three. The article has Ron Wolf calling Tom Brady the best quarterback in the NFL. Better than Peyton Manning, better than Brett Favre. Michael Felger looks at the Patriots secondary today. The only issue he feels there is with this group is depth. Michael Parente and Andy Hart also look at the Patriots defensive secondary. Both provide very high marks for the position. The Herald provides thumbnail profiles of the players in the secondary. Tom Curran did a Patriots chat on ProJo.com last night. The transcript is well worth reviewing. Michael Smith seems to think that the Dolphins without Ricky Williams can morph into the 2001 Patriots. He goes through the players that Miami has, but leaves out perhaps the biggest stumbling block to success for the Dolphins. The head coach. Felger’s notebook has the Patriots placing Rosevelt Colvin on the active-PUP list, which is not as ominous as it might sound. It simply means he’s not ready for contact at the start of of camp. As Felger also says: “Once a player is taken off active-PUP and returns to practice, he cannot be placed on reserve-PUP later.” So if you see Colvin activated for practice sometime during camp, you’ll get a good idea that he’s going to be healthy for the season. They can, however move him directly from active-PUP to reserve-PUP. What this does in the short term however, is give the Patriots an extra roster spot for camp. Greenberg also has what you need to know going into training camp, and information for those who want to visit.
Bill Griffith looks at ESPN’s coverage of Red Sox/Yankees Sunday night. Bob Raissman of the NY Daily News gives the NY perspective on the weekend events. High praise for Suzyn Waldman and Tim McCarver, as you might expect.
NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. FSN will have John Tomase and Rico Petrocelli at 6:30 and Andy Gresh at 10:00.