A few bits and pieces from around the ‘net.

Mike Fine hands out grades to the Red Sox in his first half report card. Win Bates says forget about the Yankees, focus on the Wild Card. This Red Sox team and the decisions they need to make are causing Eric Wilbur to lose sleep. Ron Chimelis says this is just another overrated “collection of frauds” playing for the Red Sox. Gordon Edes’ mailbag addresses questions on Terry Francona, whether the mailbag is real journalism, and Tim Wakefield’s place among the all time knuckleball pitchers. Jerry Remy’s brief mailbag from yesterday addressed the recent struggles of the Sox. Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News says Jeter is like, way better than Nomar. (What do you expect from a guy named Bucky?)

Mark Farinella doesn’t understand the vitriol in the local media for Nomar.

Frankly, I just can't abide by the suggestions being made by know-it-all talk show hosts that the Red Sox shortstop is laying down on the job and trying to get himself traded out of town, just as Patriots' cornerback Ty Law was a few weeks ago.

There has been absolutely no evidence to support that, yet it's being thrown around as fact on several of the gab programs, and touted the most vehemently by individuals who wouldn't know if a baseball is puffed or stuffed.

Garciaparra has never been a favorite of the prissy media corps that covers baseball in Boston. But that's no reason to suggest that he has ever given less than 100 percent on the field ...

“Prissy media corps”? Wow. That’s his opening bit in a “thoughts”-like column, in which he later tabs Benjamin Watson as the most likely Patriots training camp disappointment. Welcome to town, Ben, you haven’t even hit training camp yet and you’re being labeled as a disappointment. Anyone else see some irony here?

Ken Campbell of the Toronto Star mentions the story from the NY Post on Sunday that had Joe Thornton demanding a trade from the Bruins. Thornton’s agent wouldn’t comment on the report, and Campbell says if it’s true, the Maple Leafs would likely be in line to bid for Thornton. The Toronto Sun says that the Leafs are also interested in Glen Murray. Mike Loftus reports on the visit of the Stanley Cup to Cohasset.

Jim Fenton looks at the Celtics rookies preparing to play their first summer league game together tonight in Orlando against New Jersey.

Bill Simmons has a review of “Dodgeball”.

A BSMW reader checks in with his View from the Basement – a locale inhabited by many BSMW readers (and also web site operators).