The story continues. Frankly, I lost interest after Monday, but that’s just me. Yeah, yeah, I know. The exits of Roger Clemens and Drew Bledsoe should’ve prepared me for this. The daily stories and revelations continue to seep out and new information is seemingly always coming to light. A source tells Bob Hohler that Nomar might’ve been injured before spring training, a notion that Nomar’s agent strongly denies. Other items in here include the Cubs trainers seeming to tell a slightly different version of what is being told here regarding Nomar’s prognosis, and Nomar saying that he didn’t get off the bench in Yankee stadium because his teammates told him to sit in one spot so they could rally. Meanwhile, John Tomase tells us that there is no need to cast Nomar as a villain. Tomase, you may recall, wrote what may have been the first strong anti-Nomar piece a couple of Septembers ago. It got overshadowed because a couple days later, Steve Buckley wrote almost an identical piece that became the subject of sports radio discussion for a week. Mike Shalin looks at Nomar making a deal to get the familiar number five on his back again. Part of the deal was that he will seriously consider signing up with the Cubs. Gordon Edes has a look at what the future of the shortstop position might hold for the Red Sox. He notes Hanley Ramirez’s promotion to AA Portland, which he says has been a stepping stone to the majors for fast tracks prospects. Ramirez is only 20, and might be a couple years away still, but he is clearly the biggest long term hope. Edes also mentions a couple other shortstops the Sox have in the minors. Edes deserves some praise for his handling of the Nomar story this week. I believe he’s done a great job of presenting all sides and trying to just report the story, not opine on it.
Nomar has an ally in Chicago in the person of Todd Walker. In a story by Mike Kiley in the Sun Times, Walker says:
"You guys know a lot of things [the media] know is just a big gift from the front office to 'the experts' -- put that in quotes,'' Walker said. "I haven't heard much about it other than what Nomar has told me. I do know they are very negative up there, and if there is anything negative, they are going to write and talk about it.''
Walker also talked about how his defense was portrayed in Boston and how everyone says how much better they are with Pokey now. Jeff Vorva of the Daily Southtown and Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald also have articles on Walker commenting about Boston and Nomar.
Bronson Arroyo and the Sox were cruising along last night when it all fell apart. Then, as the Sox tried to mount a ninth inning rally to tie the score with their newfound speed, Dave Roberts was gunned down at the plate by Rocco Baldelli. David Heuschkel notes that third base coach Dale Sveum is on the hot seat today for his decision to send Roberts. The following doesn’t speak too well of Sveum in this situation:
"Baldelli hasn't made a whole lot of good throws," said Sveum, who might not have known Baldelli led the league in outfield assists last year (14) and has six this season. "Obviously he pulled one off tonight. They made a great play. To be honest with you, if we did it the same tomorrow night I'd do the same thing.
I guess Heuschkel thought it was a bad idea to send Roberts. Jeff Horrigan also has the game story, and he has Roberts expressing surprise, saying “I don’t really get beat by that much.”, which also speaks to it being a bad call from Sveum. Bob Hohler, Steven Krasner and David Borges round out the game stories. Lenny Megliola says that the problem with this team is they hug way too much. Christopher Young tells us that the Yankees are far from a lock to win it all. Buddy Thomas says the Yankees have a curse of their own to deal with. The Republican curse. Mike Shalin looks at Bronson Arroyo paying for one mistake with a loss. Horrigan’s notebook has Sveum saying he’d do it all over again. Hohler’s notebook looks at the challenge facing Terry Francona in using all the pieces of his roster properly. Krasner’s notebook looks at Manny getting a night off from outfield duty. Heuschkel’s notebook says that Doug Mientkiewicz will be the primary first baseman. Borges’ notebook also looks at Mientkiewicz.
Tom Curran today has a look at one of the biggest reasons for the success of the Patriots, turnovers. Michael Smith looks at how the Patriots offensive line always seems to be in turmoil personnel-wise, yet always gets the job done. Alan Greenberg has a look at Willie McGinest and the work he does in the community, including a visit to a Pop Warner team yesterday, who had a teammate hit by a stray bullet while they were practicing on Sunday, an experience that might’ve seemed like deja vu to McGinest. Michael Felger has a look at Tedy Bruschi, who is happy to be in camp with a new contract that will likely ensure that he retires a Patriot. When the contract was signed, it was stated in the Globe that Bruschi’s teammates were unhappy that he took a “home town discount” to stay with the Pats. Felger comments on this:
Some of Bruschi's teammates were said to be perplexed that he would settle for a below-market deal, thereby strengthening the internal salary cap on the Pats.
"I've only received countless congratulations from my teammates,'' Bruschi said.
The article concludes with a quote from Bruschi, which really tells you all you need to know about the linebacker and how he feels about New England and the fans here:
"I'll tell you something that would just kill me,'' Bruschi added. "To go to another team and then come play a game here and see all those people wearing No. 54 jerseys in the stands. That's something I couldn't take.''
Michael Parente looks at rookie safeties Dexter Reid and Guss Scott competing for roster spots and playing time, but also forming a bond. Marvin Pave says that Rohan Davey will get a lot of playing time during the preseason. Hector Longo looks at Dan Klecko making the transition from lineman to linebacker. Dan Pires looks at a couple of south shore residents who own Super Bowl rings for their work in the Patriots video department. Christopher Price looks at the focus on the new “chuck rule” in the NFL. David Elfin looks at the popularity of Tom Brady in Boston. Curran’s notebook looks at Wilbert Brown being put on the reserve/did not report list. Smith’s notebook looks at Benjamin Watson’s holdout reaching a week. Felger’s notebook also looks at Davey preparing for a lot of playing time in preseason.
The WEEI midday show personalities have been taking a lot of heat around town for what is being portrayed as an anti-Red Sox management stance. Even other WEEI shows have been taking potshots, especially at Dale Arnold. Steve Buckley knocked him yesterday and Larry Lucchino took a shot at him on D&C this morning. However, a reader of the site noted the following about the exchange:
Lucchino goes on Dennis & Callahan and takes a swipe at the integrity of Dale for commenting on a conversation between Bob Lobel and Lucchino. Lucchino said that he has not spoken to Lobel "in weeks." Wrong, Larry. I saw Lobel and Lucchino talking on the Green Monster at the Sunday, July 25th game against the Yankees. I can tell you that Lobel was sitting in Section M4, Row 2 and Lucchino came up to the Monster until around the 5th inning. I don't know anything about the subject of their conversation nor is it any of my business.
Take it for what it’s worth. Dale & Neumy have been the subject of on-line vitriol by the usual “internet heroes” as well. For the record, Dale & Neumy’s stance has been more along the lines of “the truth is somewhere in the middle” and that we shouldn’t necessarily be believing “everything” that the Red Sox are telling us. Of course, there is a little bit of irony in Dale taking that stand on the Red Sox, in light of past accusations regarding himself and Bruins ownership. I’m not saying the accusations are valid, or not valid, but they’re there.
The Red Sox are off tonight. FSN will have John Valentin in at 10:00. CN8’s Sports Pulse will have MLB Insider Mike Petraglia and the Boston Metro’s Christopher Price in studio tonight at 10:00.