Rained out

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.

Lenny Megliola has a look at ML Carr’s newest venture, reaching out to kids with the website Warm2kids.com there are stories of growing up from Larry Bird, Pat Riley and others on there.

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.

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7.27.04 Afternoon update

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.

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Hip Check

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.

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7.26.04 Afternoon

Bob Stern wonders which Red Sox edition is the real deal. Getting beat up by the Orioles, or taking two of three from the Yankees. Rob Chimelis looks at Derek Lowe coming up big in what he was saying could be his last start at Fenway for the Red Sox. Alan Greenwood says the Sox were able to make a point this weekend. Mike Fine says the Sox came out swinging this weekend, in more ways than one. After this Yankees series, Eric Wilbur isn’t looking forward to going back to playing the Orioles again. David Ropeik looks at a pins-and-needles weekend at Fenway. Chimelis’ notebook looks at Nixon and Leskanic heading to the DL. Greenwood’s notebook looks at the Sox and Yanks moving past the brawl. Fine’s notebook has Lowe refusing to blame his outfielders for his early trouble last night. Jerry Remy has a brief mailbag.

Charles P. Pierce looks at sports crazy Boston. There’s also a Red Sox Vs. Patriots page.

Eric McHugh considers 10 questions from the NFC. Nick Cafardo is in good form already regarding the Patriots. He said on the Eddie Andelman show that it is going to take the Patriots missing the playoffs for fans to be negative and question “the way they do things down there’. His partner in crime, Ron Borges was on NECN last night, and according to a viewer from KFFL, was up to his usual tricks regarding the Patriots.

Dick Heller of the Washington Times has a piece on Reggie Lewis, who died 11 years ago tomorrow. Chad Ford of ESPN Insider rated the top Summer League rookies, and Al Jefferson of the Celtics was at the top of the list. He says:

After watching Jefferson dominate in the paint in two summer leagues, scouts walked away convinced that Jefferson had a chance to be a significant contributor to the Celtics this season. Jefferson had a couple of dominant games, including a pair of 27-point outbursts versus the Nuggets and Wizards in Las Vegas. Danny Ainge is breathing a huge sigh of relief. All three Celtics rookies played well in the summer leagues. If he can get even half the production Jefferson gave him in Vegas, the Celtics will be better than we thought this year.

Insider also has a full Patriots preview today. Too much to quote here. Pretty high all around, a little concern about the depth on the offensive line and defensive backfield.

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Shoulda Swept ’em

….but we’ll settle for two out of three. Baby steps. That’s all that was accomplished this weekend. The Sox beat the Yankees 9-6 last night before a national ESPN audience. Game stories are provided by Nick CafardoTony MassarottiSteven Krasner….David Heuschkel and David Borges. Dan Shaughnessy says last night wasn’t a bad night to be at the ballpark. Lenny Megliola looks back at a wild weekend at Fenway. Sean McAdam looks at Derek Lowe, recovering from a rough beginning to post a very solid outing in a pressure packed situation. Rich Thompson and Marc Craig also look at Lowe, who said he pitched as if it was his last game for the Red Sox. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that the weekend brawl could turn the season around for the Sox. Then again, it might not.

Alex Speier has a look at the injury bug rearing it’s ugly head at the Sox once again. Kevin Millar had a monster series, going 10-13 with four homers and eight RBI. Mark Murphy and Paul Harbor take a look at the resurgence of the KFC pitchman. Terry Adams made his Red Sox debut last night, and Thompson and Harbor have small pieces on him. Murphy talks to Willie Randolph about a time when men were men and fights were fights, back in the Red Sox/Yankee brawls of the 1970’s. Sean McAdam says Jason Varitek and ARod are likely facing suspensions for their actions from Saturday. Del Jones says that it is time to ban brawls in baseball. David Borges and Steve Krasner look at Trot Nixon and Curtis Leskanic heading to the DL. Craig has a look at the life of utility infielders, always moving around and needing to adjust their perspective in the field. Down in Pawtucket, Eric Benevides has a look at Scott Williamson, who was displeased with his rehab outing. Cafardo’s notebook has more on Nixon heading to the DL. Massarotti’s notebook also looks at Nixon. Krasner’s notebook looks at Varitek sitting out last night. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Varitek’s injury. Borges’ notebook has a look at Terry Adams and an incident he once had with Manny.

Mike Shalin and Gordon Edes each have a look at Dennis Eckersley being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday and his emotional speech. Shalin also has a Hall of Fame notebook.

Yesterday, Len had run a complaint from “NASCL” who had purchased extra tickets to the game Saturday, and had received them from the team, then got to the park and found out the tickets were no good. Here’s an update from that same person:

Yesterday I posted regarding the Red Sox screwing up by mailing out tickets that were invalided without notification.

I just wanted to pass along that I did speak to a young man at the Sox offices today by the name of Sean Walsh and received superior customer service. He is a credit to the Red Sox organization.

Michael Felger looks at the Patriots linebackers. The biggest question of course concerns the health of Rosevelt Colvin. The popular stance that many have taken this offseason is to say that he won’t play at all or will be on the PUP list to begin the season. That of course is a no-lose proposition for those fearless prognosticators. If he plays to begin the season, everyone is happy to see him and forgets the predictions. If he’s delayed because of injury, these guys get to toot their own horn and tell everyone how right they were. My opinion is that they will take it easy on Colvin in camp, and ease him into the physical contact part of things. I think he’ll be ready to start the season. Michael Parente previews the defensive line for the Patriots. Yesterday Hector Longo had a training camp preview of the Patriots. Bill Burt had a look at newly signed QB Kurt Kittner, whose high school coach raves about him. Of course he does. Christopher Price looks at the Dolphins hellish off-season reaching it’s apex with the retirement of Ricky Williams.

Bob Ryan looks at Lance Armstrong winning his record sixth Tour De France.

Scott’s Shots weighs in asking for Zim to come back, Larry Merchant to leave and Christian Fauria to sit down.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. ESPN has Cardinals/Reds at 7:00. FSN will have Tony Massarotti at 6:30 and Steve Buckley at 10:00. CN8’s Sports Pulse will not be on this week due to the DNC.

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Sunday NFL Update

The Daily News put together a 12-member blue ribbon panel to rank the top ten coaches in the NFL. Gary Myers reports that Bill Belichick was ranked number one. It should come as no surprise that a former Patriots head coach is number two. The vote was not close. The article is an excellent read.

Vito Stellino reports on the emotional separation of the Titans and Eddie George. But he reminds us that the Titans paid him a roster bonus of $1 million this Spring and the Titans believed that was part of his 2004 compensation. When added to their $1.5 million offer, that would be $2.5 million for 2004. George and his people conveniently forgot about that check after they cashed it and wanted out. Jim Wyatt informs us that Chris Brown, Antowain Smith, and Robert Holcumb could be the committee that replaces Eddie George. We all know you can

A-Rod Won’t Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

WOW!!!! Just when we thought we have seen everything in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, we saw so much more in yesterday’s Fox game of the week. The Red Sox resembled the Dead Sox trailing 3-0 when Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez. Instead of walking to first, A-Rod instigated a bench clearing brawl that led to his ejection and may have woken the Sox up from their three-month long slumber. With the Yankees leading 10-8 in the ninth and superstar closer Rivera on the mound, the Sox bats went off on the Yankees closer and won 11-10 on a walk off homer by Bill Mueller. Maybe this win will give the Sox the momentum they need to make the playoffs. Earl Weaver used to say that momentum is only as good as your next day