No Division Title

Hopes of catching the Yankees were pretty much dashed last night as the Red Sox lost to the Devil Rays 9-4 and the Twins laid down to the Yankees in a doubleheader. Pedro Martinez struggled mightily once again, prompting concern about the former ace’s health and even psychological state as his postgame comments reflected a loss of confidence. Game stories (they aren’t really game stories, as most of them are all about Pedro.) from Tampa are provided by Bob HohlerJeff HorriganSean McAdamDavid Heuschkel and David Borges.

Even with the loss last night, the big topic was Pedro’s statement that he had been told the night before that he would be the game two starter for the playoffs. He made the comment matter-of-factly, and agreed with the assessment calmly, with apparent humility and without rancor or bitterness. Then, when the shot back to Tom Caron in the studio, Caron said something to the effect that Pedro was obviously very upset over the decision and seething. I didn’t see that. I think it was conjecture on Caron’s put based on what we know about Pedro, but I’m uncomfortable with speculating what someone’s thoughts are and the insinuation that they’re saying one thing and thinking another. Caron and Dennis Eckersley went on to say that perhaps Pedro’s poor outing was also based on him getting the news last night about being the number two guy. Again…given Pedro’s struggles the last month, I don’t know if I would go so far as to say the reason for his performance last night was anger and bitterness. Something is wrong with Martinez. But, the media is all about generating controversy and this number one/number two starter thing has had legs and talk shows and hosts are going to milk it for all it’s worth.

Gordon Edes looks at a humble Pedro, contemplating his place on the team, in the game and what his future holds. Tony Massarotti obviously subscribes to the theory in the above paragraph, as he says Pedro was sulking on the mound and after the game and generally acting insulted. David Borges has a look at Bronson Arroyo, who could be tapped as the number three starter for the postseason. Steve Buckley (subscription only) has a Red Sox “source” who tells him the team is not happy with Derek Lowe, insinuating that the pitcher perhaps did a little too much celebrating after the postseason clincher. Joe Haggerty has a good look at Boston’s “Orlando connection” Johnny Damon and Mark Bellhorn, who grew up within 15 minutes of each other in Orlando. John Tomase responds to a readers question about whether Kevin Millar is a leader. Jeff Sullivan thinks that Theo Epstein is really managing the Red Sox and that Terry Francona is just his puppet. Massarotti talks to a couple of former Expos players about the team moving. Ron Chimelis says the wildcard celebration was overdone and inappropriate.

Hohler’s notebook looks at Schilling getting the nod as the game one playoff starter. Horrigan’s notebook and McAdam’s notebook both have Pedro being “positive” that he and the Red Sox can reach a deal on a new contract. Borges’ notebook looks at Tim Wakefield getting the start tomorrow night, but nothing is certain beyond that point.

Nick Cafardo says the Patriots still have plenty of motivation heading into Buffalo for this Sunday’s game with the Bills. Last year’s season opener is still fresh in their minds. Michael Parente has a look at the Bills defense and what the Patriots might be doing to counter it. Mike Reiss says that on offense, the Bills are likely to employ plenty of trick plays. Tom E Curran says that the Bills fans are growing impatient with the club. Michael Felger looks at Drew Bledsoe and difficult time he’s having in Buffalo. Alan Greenberg has a more in-depth article on the same topic, chronicling Drew’s downward decent since the midway point of the 2002 season. Hector Longo also has a piece on Bledsoe. Steve Conroy says last year’s game in Buffalo still haunts Tom Brady. Chris Kennedy notes that the Patriots will be all business with the Bills.

Bill Reynolds looks at how Bill Belichick is the hottest thing in coaching right now, and how there is a certain irony to that, given what he went through in Cleveland. Karen Guregian has an article on Matt Chatham and Jarvis Green, two Patriots players preparing for their life after the NFL. Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots winning streak and compares it to the other great ones in NFL history. Jackie MacMullan and Steve Conroy say that the Patriots aren’t even thinking about the streak. Glen Farley says that the statistics don’t tell the story when it comes to Richard Seymour. Cafardo’s notebook has Benjamin Watson out for the year with a knee injury. That is also the lead topic of Felger’s notebook, Reiss’ notebook . Parente’s notebook and Kennedy’s notebook. Curran’s notebook has a look at Brady/Bledsoe – a story of two quarterbacks.

What’s this? Celtics articles? Be still my heart. Peter May has a look at the major questions and issues heading into Danny Ainge’s second full season. At the top of the list is of course, Gary Payton. Ainge says that he’s confident Payton will show up for camp starting Monday. However, an AP article has Payton’s agent saying that that statement is “incorrect”. Lenny Megliola says the Celtics have two players who could be “characters” on this squad and make things interesting/miserable. Of course, he’s talking about Payton and Ricky Davis. Mark Murphy says that Doc Rivers is looking forward to the challenges of coaching this team and even dealing with Davis and Payton. Murphy’s notebook says Ainge and Rivers are optimistic about Payton.

Stephen Harris says the AHL, including the Providence Bruins who have Patrice Bergeron playing for them, will get greater attention with the NHL out of business.

College football is about the only sports on nationally this evening as ESPN has Navy/Air Force at 7:30 and ESPN2 has Pitt/UConn at 7:00.


Hangover Free

Despite a very shaky performance from Derek Lowe, the Red Sox managed to come back and beat the Devil Rays in extra innings, 10-8, thanks to a Kevin Millar 2 run homer in the 11th inning. Jeff Horrigan has the story from the Tropicana Dome. Bob Hohler looks at the Sox keeping things going after the postseason clincher last night. Sean McAdam says the Sox avoiding letting any sort of letdown after clinching beat them. David Heuschkel has more on that same theme, as the Sox had no hangover from Monday night. David Borges looks at Derek Lowe getting hit hard once again.

Gordon Edes looks at the struggling Lowe and ponders just what his role in the offseason is going to be. Steve Buckley looks at Terry Francona as he prepares for his first playoffs as a big league manager. John Tomase has a look at Boston’s own version of the Bash Brothers, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.

Howard Bryant (subscription only) has a very interesting Boston UnCommon column today. The first part of it deals with Pedro Martinez, and what his future is, not just whether he’s the number one starter in the playoffs, but also his contract. He says scouts have been at Fenway, checking out Pedro. He reports:

One league source with some intimate knowledge of the Red Sox said Saturday he was convinced the club would not go beyond the $11 million per season mark in salary or three-year threshold for Martinez. Another option, the source said, was that the Sox were prepared to offer Martinez a one-year contract worth $15 million, plus incentives. Neither Larry Lucchino nor Theo Epstein could be reached for comment.

He goes on to say that it is unclear whether the Yankees will actually be interested in Pedro. One side says he “has not impeded the Yankees from the playoffs or their destinies” and thus the Yankees would be hesitant to throw a lot of money at a 33 year old pitcher. Others says he could make a Roger Clemens like transition in the Bronx. Hated to regaled. (Was Clemens really ever “regaled” in NY though?) The second part of the column is an appreciation of Ellis Burks and what he has meant to this team this year, even injured and also what he’s meant to the Red Sox organization, and how far it was come since his early years with the Red Sox. A very nice retrospective on a class act.

Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at the Red Sox last ditch charge to capture the division this week. Michael Gee also has a subscription column looking at the Expos move to Washington DC. Gee was a Senators fan growing up, but has a twinge of sadness at the Expos leaving Montreal. He also says the move is entirely about greed by bad ownership. Howard Bryant has the second part of his series on language barriers in baseball, and today he looks at how the Latino stars of the game have missed out on advertising opportunities because of the language and race issues. Ron Chimelis looks at the death of Carl Yastrzemski’s son, Michael. Bob Halloran’s head is swirling with numbers. David Borges looks at Rocco Baldelli’s season.

Holer’s notebook looks at the Sox going with a four man rotation for the playoffs. He also has Pedro saying that Felix Heredia came to him offering his #45 if Pedro came to the Yankees next season. Horrigan’s notebook has more on the playoff rotation. McAdam’s notebook says the rotation hasn’t been changed for this last week of the season and Division chase. Heuschkel’s notebook says only Pedro and Schilling are locks for the postseason rotation. Borges’ notebook seems to have Francona indicating that unless the Sox are tied with the Yankees by Friday, he’s going to rest his pitchers.

Ron Borges has an article on Drew Bledsoe, who believes he can get it all together and still be a top QB in the NFL. It’s a good read, and Borges doesn’t try to make excuses for Bledsoe’s play or really defend him in any way. He lets Drew try to do it himself. Michael Felger has a look at Eugene Wilson, who is developing into a top-flight NFL defensive back. He looks at concerns regarding Wilson coming out of college, concerns that seem to have been unfounded to this point. He also looks at Tom Brady’s shoulder and talks to Pete Carroll about Brady and Bledsoe. Mike Reiss looks at the problems the Bills offensive line will face in figuring out the Patriots defensive front. Jonathan Comey has his Wednesday NFL notes and power rankings. Michael Parente says Richard Seymour needs to step up, looks at Lawyer Milloy itching to play against the Pats and a couple other items. Jim Donaldson looks at the rash of server injuries around the NFL.

Check back later today for the BSMW Review of “Patriot Reign” including a Q&A session with the author, Michael Holley.

There is a very interesting article by Jim Salisbury in the Philadelphia Inquirier. He looks at the media coverage devoted to Boston area sports franchises and how the Patriots still play second fiddle to the Red Sox when it comes to attention. He has quotes from many members of the Boston media and from the Patriots in here. You’ll probably have to register to read the article, but it’s an interesting outside perspective.

Ron Borges has boxing notes, and makes the case that Roy Jones Jr shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Sugar Ray Robinson as the best boxer ever.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil rays at 7:00. ESPN will have Twins/Yankees at 7:00 and Giants/Padres at 10:00. ESPN2 will have Rockies/Dodgers at 10:00. CN8 SportsPulse will have their weekly visit from Shira Springer to talk Celtics at 10:00.

Post Season Bound

The Red Sox will be playing in the playoffs once again this year. Down in Tampa, Scott Kazmir was once again mowing down the Red Sox lineup until he inexplicably got embroiled in a beanball war, and was tossed from the game. Bob Hohler looks at the game and celebration afterwards. Jeff Horrigan looks at the celebration and the players noting that they have a lot more to accomplish still. Sean McAdam says last night’s celebration was a bit more subdued than last year’s wild card clincher at Fenway. David Heuschkel has more reaction from the Red Sox clubhouse regarding the playoffs. David Borges says the Sox are hoping to go further in the playoffs this time around.

Gordon Edes says clinching the playoff spot was just the beginning of the journey that the Sox hope will lead further than last year. He also leaves a note for Butch Stearns, telling him that “that was Curt Schilling slapping Pedro Martinez on the back, then wrapping his arms around him.” Phew. I was worried about that. The overall theme of Tony Massarotti’s column is almost biblical. What they have done is what they ought to have done. He notes the high expectations in the Red Sox clubhouse. Bill Reynolds says the Red Sox will only go as far as a self-doubting and petulant Pedro Martinez will carry them. Jon Couture looks at Terry Francona’s shortcomings, real or perceived, but says they’re not really the reason the Sox will win or lose. His biggest contribution might’ve been swinging the scales so Curt Schilling would come here. Jeff Horrigan looks at Bronson Arroyo getting win number 10 on the season. Massarotti has a look at tonight’s starter, Derek Lowe, who is putting his struggles behind him, at least in his mind. Howard Bryant has the first in a series of articles looking at the language barrier in baseball.

Hohler’s notebook looks another episode of ugliness in a late season series in the Tampa. McAdam’s notebook also looks at the ejections of Kazmir and Lou Piniella. Borges’ notebook looks at postseason preparations already underway. Horrigan’s notebook and Heuschkel’s notebook both look at Scott Williamson, who is on the postseason bubble.

Alan Greenberg says that the Patriots still really haven’t proven that they can stop the run, and that if they don’t, this season could turn out like 2002. Preparation for the Bills is well underway, and Rich Thompson and Michael Parente have a look at what the Patriots are going to be looking at from the Bills under a new coaching staff. Christopher Price says that even though the personnel is much the same, there isn’t the same grudge-match feeling between the two clubs. Kevin McNamara says that the Patriots are just anxious to start working normal work weeks, something they have yet to do this season. Nick Cafardo and Chris Kennedy each have a nice look at linebacker Roman Phifer, a productive marvel at the age of 36. Mike Reiss compares the tight ends drafted the same year as Daniel Graham, and notes that Graham is moving to the head of that class. McNamara’s notebook looks at the Pats going against old friend Drew Bledsoe. Thompson’s notebook says having Corey Dillon is an advantage for the Patriots.

Dan Shaughnessy has the story of former Jamaica Plain High School football player Darryl Williams, who was shot in the neck at halftime of a game 25 years ago today. Lenny Megliola is all over the place in his “thoughts” style column.

Bill Griffith looks at the Red Sox record breaking ratings numbers.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00.

09.27.04 Afternoon

A brief afternoon update. Mike Fine looks at the Red Sox perhaps sending a message to the Yankees with their performance in the last two games. David Pevear says it seems inevitable that these two teams will meet again in a few weeks. Steve Solloway says that the weekend series victory over the Yankees isn’t all that satisfying. Alan Greenwood looks at Curt Schilling pitching the Sox past the bombers. Glen Farley looks at the ugliness that erupted in the later innings. Kevin Thomas says yesterday was a great way to end the regular season at Fenway. Bob Stern says the hunt for a playoff spot could come to a (successful) end tonight. Fine’s notebook looks at Schilling’s outing. Thomas’ notebook looks at Trot Nixon getting comfortable in the lineup.

"I'm still not happy with Belichick. I don't know how you can take a million dollars to stay another year to become the head coach and then walk out on the job. I still can't figure out why he didn't take this job." "Bill did a good job for me. But I did a good job for him. Honestly I still can't figure out why he didn't take this job instead of going to New England. If the Patriots never came forward, I think he would have been happy to be the head coach of the New York Jets."

"His excuse about things changing with the death of Mr. Hess was weak. Mr Hess had been dead for seven months. The potential buyers of the the Jets were all told by Goldman Sachs that Belichick, by contract, would automatically be the next coach as soon as I as stepped down."

Who’s that? It’s Bill Parcells. No, that’s not his reaction to Bill Belichick’s comments, rather, those are his comments from the book: “The Final Season My Last Year as Head Coach in the NFL” by Parcells and Will McDonough. Those comments are from 2000. Belichick’s comments in “Patriot Reign” are from 2002. They’re both old. But the Parcells worshipers in the media will never bring up or criticize the words of big Bill, even though he’s squirmed out of multiple agreements himself. got a facelift.

Fond Fenway Farewell

The Red Sox wrapped up their regular season home schedule and season series with the Yankees by thumping the bombers, 11-4. This one had a little bit of everything in it. Bob Hohler comments on the little bit of ugliness towards the end of the game. Michael Silverman looks at the Red Sox finishing out the home schedule, but looking forward to returning in a couple weeks. Steven Krasner looks at the feistiness that once again surfaced between the two teams yesterday. David Heuschkel focuses on the outing by Curt Schilling and the hostilities between the clubs being the result of familiarity. Garry Brown looks at Schilling breezing through the Yankee lineup. David Borges has more on Schilling getting win number 21 on the season. Lenny Megliola looks at the Sox and Yankees facing off…in more ways than one…for the final time during the regular season. Joe Haggerty also has a game story from Fenway on the Red Sox win.

Curt Schilling is the popular topic today. The obvious angle for all is that he is the Red Sox ace based on his season and performance yesterday against the Evil Empire. Jackie MacMullan has a look at Schilling as the main attraction yesterday, saying that he was the Yankees “Daddy” and spanked them hard. Pedro can say it, but it just doesn’t sound right coming from Jackie…Karen Guregian says Schilling has to get the start to open the playoffs and if not, shame on Terry Francona. Jim Donaldson says Schilling is the Red Sox ace and he also calls him the Yankees “daddy”. Rich Thompson briefly looks at the Yankees struggles against Schilling yesterday. Alex Speier looks at Schilling padding his already impressive season resume with an overpowering performance against the Yankees yesterday. While Schilling may deserve the game one start, (What does it matter, really? Other than to generate controversy, of course.) unless Francona alters his rotation, it still may be Pedro in that first game. Schilling is scheduled to pitch Saturday.

Dan Shaughnessy says the regular season may be over for Fenway, but we’ve surely not seen the end of Red Sox baseball there for this year. He ponders the A’s and Twins and hopes the Red Sox don’t put a World Series logo on the field too soon this time. Ron Chimelis says that we all need to cower in fear of the Twins. John Tomase also says we need to be afraid, very afraid of the Twins.

Stephen Harris looks at the old hostilities surfacing during yesterday’s Red Sox rout. Howard Bryant (subscription only) also has a look at the ugliness between the two clubs, which has to be set aside as both teams have other things to focus on before they have a chance to meet again. Gordon Edes and Mark Murphy look at Trot Nixon, who is finally feeling healthy and ready to be a big part of a playoff run. Steve Britt has a look at the Sox beating back the bombers and perhaps sending a message. Michael O’Connor has a look at Bill Mueller, whose defense, hustle and grit is a big part of the Red Sox team character. Thompson looks at Kevin Brown’s early exit, and Nick Cafardo looks at the Kenny Lofton elbow incident at first base.

An article by Rob Bradford yesterday contained the nugget that there are plans to transform the Fenway park outfield into a skating rink during the winter.

Hohler’s notebook looks at the Red Sox 2004 success at Fenway. Silverman’s notebook looks at the team’s travel plans to Tampa with the aftermath of Hurricane Jeanne. Krasner’s notebook looks at Lofton’s flying elbow. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Trot Nixon’s impact on the lineup. Chimelis’ notebook leads with the Sox and Yankees throwing at each other. Borges’ notebook also looks at the hot tempers.

Alan Greenberg looks at Charlie Weis, rumored to be heading elsewhere after the season, but very happy with the players he has to work with this season. He calls it the best group of “football players” he’s had to work with since he’s been here. Kevin Mannix spends an entire column telling us that the playoff wins don’t officially count towards the winning streak, so all this hype over the Patriots streak is moot. Yesterday’s Patriots notes by Hector Longo says that the Patriots offensive lineman are unhappy with how they’re being rotated. Chris Kennedy had an interesting Q&A with Tedy Bruschi. Nick Cafardo’s Patriots notebook looks at Troy Brown, surrounded by talented receivers, and having to “endure” a stint as a cornerback in the preseason. Endure? Mannix’s notebook looks at the Patriots depth.

There is another excerpt from Patriot Reign in the Globe today. This one looks at Super Bowl 38.

As a followup to comments made by Cafardo and Alan Greenberg yesterday criticizing Bill Belichick for comments in the book about Bill Parcell’s actions during the week of Super Bowl 31, I would state that Belichick is not the only one that has done this. In Parcell’s book that he did with Will McDonough, “The Final Season” The Tuna leveled some accusations towards Belichick, calling his loyalty to Leon Hess into question and making comments about him turning his back on an agreement that was made, that sort of thing. Certainly just as strong, if not stronger than anything that Belichick has said.

All that being said, the “truce” between the two coaches than Greenberg wondered about is still in effect. The release of Patriot Reign has not changed anything. The official BSMW review of the book should be up sometime this week, and I hope to include a Q&A session with Michael Holley as a part of it.

Ed Berliner of CN8 SportsPulse calls out Butch Stearns (without mentioning him by name) for creating a “non-story, and perhaps something of a slightly exaggerated one at that” in his episode with Curt Schilling last week. Stearns, despite his claims that he was “done” talking about it, still referenced it on his Sportscast last night and said he hasn’t talked to Schilling yet, but still hopes to.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ABC has Cowboys/Redskins at 9:00 CN8 will have Andy Hart from PFW and a 1-on-1 with Red Sox closer Keith Foulke on SportsPulse at 10:00.

Wild Card Fever Grips Hub

The playoff bound Red Sox cut their magic number to three last night with a seven run 8th inning last night to beat the Yankees 12-5 at Fenway Park. The Yankees still have a firm control of the AL East with a 4.5 game lead. Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan, and Sean McAdam have game stories.

In Hohler’s game story, he has Tito Francona referring to the game as a “great win”. There is a sentiment out there that Francona conceded the AL East earlier and that message was sent with the use of BH Kim in the 9th inning on Thursday night in a two-run game. Scott Williamson was available and according to Sean McAdam in his notebook, needs and wants innings to get his velocity back to where he wants it. Wouldn’t Williamson have been a better choice than Kim? You have to wonder what kind of message that sends to Williamson as well as the rest of the Red Sox. McAdam also looks at Wakefield trying to recover from his slump. Bob Hohler

“Grady” Francona?

Saturday links by Rich (

Red Sox
It was deja vu all over again as Pedro Martinez surrendered the tying and winning runs to the Bombers in the 8th inning last night at a point in the game when most of Red Sox nation felt he should have been safely on the bench wearing a warm-up jacket. The loss puts the home nine 5.5 games behind in the division, and was the proverbial nail in the coffin to their already faint hopes of a division title. Game stories, complete with telling quotes from Pedro, are filed by the Globe’s Bob Hohler, who remembers a request Terry Francona made of the fans at last winter

10 more feet…

…and they would’ve won. Had David Ortiz gotten a bit more bat on the ball, there probably wouldn’t be the debates this morning about why Terry Adams was brought in to start the 6th. Why Mike Myers got to face a righty. Why last night was chosen as the time to get Byung Hyun Kim his first action in months. In any case, all the Sox could manage this week was a split at home with the Orioles, falling 9-7 at Fenway last night. Games stories from last night were submitted by Bob HohlerJeff HorriganSteven KrasnerTom YantzRon Chimelis and David Borges.

The Yankees come to Fenway for a three game series starting tonight, but thanks to last night, the best the Sox can do this weekend with a sweep is come to a game and half behind. Jackie MacMullan says it’s pretty much now or never for the Red Sox as far as making a charge for the Division. Tony Massarotti says whether he likes it or not, Pedro Martinez has something to prove tonight. Ron Chimelis agrees, saying Pedro needs to have more than just a “quality start”. Michael Silverman says Pedro is comfortable pitching at Fenway, and this should help him out in tonight’s outing. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says that the Red Sox need to find a way to keep Pedro here. Seven years of the greatest pitcher of our generation is not enough. He gives Pedro credit for not going the Nomar route and causing a distraction and dark cloud around the club. Nice sentiment, but once again it’s Gerry taking shots at Nomar, and elevating one guy by putting another down. Rich Thompson says that despite having a little bit of success against him recently, the Sox still have the utmost respect for Mariano Rivera.

Sean McAdam outlines what he thinks the Red Sox roster for the ALDS should look like. Alex Speier looks at a number of questions around the Red Sox heading into the postseason. Tony Massarotti looks at the disturbing struggles of the Red Sox starters as of late. He notes:

Excluding ace Curt Schilling's performance Tuesday night, the remainder of the Red Sox' starters are 0-3 with a 13.06 ERA, beginning with Lowe's implosion against New York Saturday at Yankee Stadium. In 20 innings during those games Sox starters have allowed 32 hits, 33 runs (30 earned) and 14 walks.

Back to last night, Joe Burris looks at Derek Lowe’s exit after five innings. Michael Silverman has a look at the inning of work for Byung-Hyun Kim, who looked ok for the first two batters he faced, retiring them both, but struggled after that and left to boos. A much better comeback story is that of Ellis Burks, finally activated before the game and brought in as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning. After a extended ovation, Burks responded with a basehit. Rich Thompson has the story. Ron Chimelis looks at Burks saying he’ll retire after the season. David Borges looks at the movie “Fever Pitch” being filmed in and around Fenway this week. Alex Speier also has a look at Bronson Arroyo, and his journey to where he is today. Joe Burris looks at Curtis Leskanic. Steve Buckley gets Butch Hobson’s reaction on his Red Sox strikeout record being broken by Mark Bellhorn. John Tomase says that David Ortiz is making a late season push for the MVP award.

Horrigan’s notebook has Tim Wakefield getting some coaching from Charlie Hough regarding his knuckleball. Chimelis’ notebook looks at Scott Williamson, who is making a push for the postseason roster. Krasner’s notebook looks at Ellis Burks getting activated for last night. Borges’ notebook has more on Burks. Yantz’s notebook leads with the Orioles once again killing the momentum of the Red Sox.

With the bye week, Bill Belichick allows some of his assistant coaches a chance to talk to the media. Predictably a Nick Cafardo article pushing Charlie Weis’ candidacy for a future head coaching job follows. He mentions the Dolphins or the University of South Carolina as possible destinations for Weis. Michael Felger looks at the load of options and talent that Weis has at his disposal this season, probably more than he’s ever had here, and has Weis talking about his ultimate piece, Tom Brady. Tom E Curran writes that despite the lack of name recognition on the offensive line, the group has been good enough to win 17 games in a row. Ian M Clark looks at one of those on the line, Stephen Neal. Chris Kennedy and Michael Parente have a look at the seeming struggles of Richard Seymour, but both have Bill Belichick coming to the defense of his best lineman. Curran’s notebook also looks at Belichick coming to the defense of Seymour. Felger’s notebook looks at some areas that the Patriots defense can tighten up on, and also looks at some harsh words in Michael Holley’s book regarding Patrick Pass.

Bill Griffith and John Howell have reviews of ESPN’s original movie HU$TLE. I was hoping Griffith would have something on the Butch Stearns/Curt Schilling WEEI/FOX25 mess. Maybe Sunday? Dave Scott has a look around the local and national sports media and has word of another Globe sports staff defection. Andrew Neff has some news on a new/old sports radio host up in Maine.

From a long time BSMW Reader: “Confessions of a message board addict.”

UPN38 has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00.