Happy Fourth of July.
Sox ace Curt Schilling went the distance last night as the Sox finally got back on track with a 6-1 win last night. Fireworks were provided by Doug Mirabelli with a grand slam and the suddenly hot Nomar Garciaparra with a solo shot. Game stories on Schilling’s masterpiece are presented by Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan, and Steven Krasner. Dan Shaughnessy writes about a very concerned Theo Epstein making a road trip to Atlanta last night.
Bob Hohler’s notebook looks at Schilling pitching to someone other than Jason Varitek last night, the league stopping Keith Foulke from wearing a tiny American flag patch on his cap (nice time of the year for the league to rule on that one), and player comings and goings. Jeff Horrigan’s notebook focuses on Schilling getting acclimated to Mirabelli, new acquisition Jimmy Anderson, and the news that the Sox have not given up on B H Kim. Krasner’s notebook has more on Anderson, some changes in the batting order, another Kevin Millar gimmick, and the news that Kim’s return to Boston is not imminent. Tony Massarotti explains that the streaky Garciaparra is now on a hot streak. In Hohler’s minor league notebook, he focuses on Matt Murton and other Cape Cod League graduates in the Sox farm system. Hohler also explains that Brian Daubach is making a case for a return to the big club. Do you think he could be more productive than a Cowboy? Lenny Megliola looks at bad karma surrounding the Red Sox and how fans have turned on Tito Francona and Nomar Garciaparra.
Gordon Edes looks at the race for the AL Wild Card, the improving Rangers, the struggling Jimy Williams led Astros, the ridiculous internet three-way trade rumor that had Garciaparra going to LA, and some help for for aid to the Dominican after floods ravaged the Dominican and Haiti. Tony Massarotti looks at a big Wild Card series coming up this week between the Sox and A’s. He also looks at the Giants being in the same situation with Barry Bonds that the Sox were in with Martinez last year with a push by the player to pick up a humongous option early. Unlike Sox management, Peter Magowan is not blinking. Tony Maz also reminds us that both Bartolo Colon and Sidney Ponson are struggling this season is because they are . . . . well, okay, they’re FAT.
Michael Smith has Pro Football Notes duty for the Globe today. He looks at an emerging Daniel Graham. He also has looks at 2005 restricted free agents, the comeback of Lonnie Paxton and Tom Brady speaking at a Dads Count Breakfast in San Mateo. Smith gets a little dig in at Brady for complaining to ESPN.com about not receiving the Cadillac he earned as Super Bowl MVP. It does seem odd that there has been some backlash in the press against Tom Brady for speaking out against “little” General Motors for being inept at keeping its promise. GM gets enough publicity for being associated with the Super Bowl. If they fall asleep at the wheel (pun intented), Tom Brady can give them some heat. Tom Curran explains that this year’s Patriots team is a better defending champion than the defending champion 2002 Patriots. Michael Felger has a look at big offseason moves around the NFL. Mike Reiss focuses on Tyrone Poole and how he feels going into the season as a defending champ. Reiss also reports that the Patriots are negotiating an extension with Tom Ashworth.
It’s July 4. In England, they have Wimbledon to take the focus away from a famous war they lost. Bud Collins, in his typical dramatic fashion, compares Russian teen sensation, Maria Sharapova, to Maria from West Side Story. He has a flowery game story of Sharapova’s championship win over Serena Williams. NBC has live coverage of the the men’s championship this morning featuring Roddick versus Federer.
Shira Springer explains that the Celtics are looking at player development as their primary focus this Summer with a mini-camp in Orlando before the Orlando Summer League begins and then off to Las Vegas for the Vegas Summer League. Springer also explains that 76ers coach Jim O’Brien’s first priority is to sign Celtics free agent Mark Blount. It will just a matter of time before O’Brien brings the Sixers to the same level of mediocrity as the O’Brien led Celtics. Finally, Springer lets us know that Kobe Bryant is a big backer in the Lakers trying to land Mike Krzysweski (“Coach K”). Steve Bulpett looks at the Celtics looking into dealing some of their wing players (Welsch or Davis) if the value is there. He also reports that nobody wants Antoine Walker and his onerous contract.
Nancy Marrapese-Burell has a look at former Bruins goalie Rob Tallas who has gone through a rough year with heart problems. He hopes to play hockey again around Christmas time. Marrapese-Burrell also looks at how teams are not spending on free agents or picking up ridiculous options on players. Steve Conroy looks at some retooling in Ottawa, speculation on some moves by Mike O’Connell and the news that Toronto has not received the message that teams are not supposed to spend like crazy for players.
Bill Griffith has a look at American Forces Radio sports coverage.
CBS-4 and TBS have the Sox-Braves at 1 pm. CN8 (Ch. 3 in many Comcast systems) has Toledo-PawSox at McCoy Stadium at 6 pm. ESPN has the battle of Chicago with Cubs-White Sox at 8 pm. NBC-7 has Breakfast at Wimbledon with the Men’s Championship featuring America’s Andy Roddick vs Roger Federer.