“Grady” Francona?

Saturday links by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com)

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.

Another Walk Off Victory

Keith Foulke might’ve given up another ninth inning home run, but it just gave the Red Sox another chance to pull out a last at bat victory, which they did on Orlando Cabrera’s bottom of the 12th home run. Bob Hohler looks at another crazy finish over the Orioles. Jeff Horrigan has a look at Cabrera’s heroics and the Sox eighth straight one-run victory. Steven Krasner looks at a long day for the Red Sox shortstop who flew from Columbia in the overnight. Paul Doyle has more on Cabrera. David Borges says it’s just another day, another hero for the Red Sox. Ron Chimelis says that these Red Sox just don’t have quit in them. Gordon Edes looks at another rough outing for Keith Foulke in giving up the game tying home run in the ninth.

Michael Silverman and Paul Harber have more on Cabrera, who certainly experienced a whirlwind 24 hours. Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun Times suggests that the Cubs should pursue Cabrera in the offseason, rather than trying to re-sign Nomar. Kevin McNamara and Mark Murphy look at David Ortiz hitting his 40th home run last night. Karen Guregian talks with Pedro Martinez, who isn’t concerned whether he starts game one or two of a playoff series. However, he wonders who in the organization will have the “stones” to tell him he’s not going in the first game. There are couple hints in there that Pedro is a little grumpy about his contract situation.

Steve Buckley (subscription only) takes a look at Mark Bellhorn setting the Red Sox single season record (and major league record for switch hitters) for strikeouts. He uses the old clich

09.22.04 Afternoon

There is still a buzz in the air from last night’s Red Sox victory. Mike Fine looks at the ninth inning dramatics and the outing from Curt Schilling. One small correction for Fine…Youkilis didn’t pinch hit for Trot Nixon, he hit for Doug Mientkiewicz. Yeah, I know, picky, picky. Win Bates looks at the Red Sox getting a much needed win. Eric Wilbur asserts that last night’s outing should have secured the Cy Young award for Schilling. Wilbur also says “Arroyo couldn

Saved by the Bell(horn)

“The Red Sox got win number 90 on the season, thanks to some ninth inning heroics from Mark Bellhorn, to beat the Orioles 3-2. Bellhorn picked up Keith Foulke who would’ve been on the hook after giving up a 1-0 lead in the top of the ninth. That set the stage for some bottom of the ninth magic for the Sox. Michael Silverman has the action from Fenway. Sean McAdam looks at the heroics of Bellhorn. David Heuschkel notes that Curt Schilling was absolutely dominant last night, going eight shutout innings with 14 strikeouts. Garry Brown says the Red Sox took a haymaker in the top of the ninth, but refused to go down. David Borges looks at the Red Sox finally extracting some revenge against their 2004 nemesis, the Orioles. Peter May says it was clutch efforts from both Schilling and Bellhorn last night that got the Red Sox the win. Lenny Megliola also looks at Bellhorn rescuing the Sox. Finally, Joe Haggerty also has a look at the action from Fenway.

Bob Ryan looks at Curt Schilling, and says the Red Sox got everything they paid for in this guy and more. He asserts at the end that last night was the “opening night of Curt Schilling’s personal second season.” Despite leading the majors, and on the verge of breaking the Red Sox single season record for strikeouts, Mark Bellhorn came through against a strikeout pitcher last night. Mark Murphy looks at the hit and the season for the Red Sox second baseman. Alex Speier and Karen Guregian have articles on Bronson Arroyo, who has come a long way since first joining the Red Sox organization and has established himself as a legit Major League starting pitcher, with potential for even greater things. Steve Bailey in the Globe looks at efforts by the Red Sox to crack down on scalping, especially as the Yankees come to town this weekend. Murphy also has the story of Wade Boggs and the Red Sox mending fences, as Boggs will be inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

Steve Buckley (subscription only) has a look at Curt Schilling’s outing last night. He didn’t get the win, but he showed how vital he is to the team. Buckley takes a little jab at Pedro Martinez’s line from the other day when Pedro said of himself that he was just a guy “doing his job”, he says Schilling has done more than that. Buckley does give Pedro his props as far as all time status, but says for this year, Schilling is clearly the guy. Jim Donaldson has a thoughts style column today and he too uses it as a forum to take a jab at Pedro. Lenny Megliola in his column linked above also made a jibe at Pedro, saying Schilling is “really the ace”. This is something I just don’t get. The media says the fans do this, but they’re even more guilty. It is impossible for them to praise one guy without putting down the other. They have to pick a guy and elevate him and in showing how good he is, instead of letting his accomplishments and on the field play speak for themselves, they have to put the other guy down. Apparently there is no room to share glory or status. Has to be one guy and one guy only. I, for one am glad to have both Schilling and Pedro on the Red Sox, and I don’t really care who starts game one of any series, as long as the team is there.

Howard Bryant (subscription only) is 50/50 Baseball and Hockey today. He says the stretch drive is money time for some members of the Red Sox. He says the Orioles could be interested in Derek Lowe for next season and that Anaheim could take a run at Pedro in the offseason. He compares the NHL labor situation to the disastrous 1994 baseball work stoppage. He ends his column with a suggestion that baseball think about having the second base umpire call the balls and strikes. He says that way, the umpire has the same view as seen on television and that most of the players see as well.

Silverman’s notebook looks at Keith Foulke being saved last night. The rest of the notebooks deal with the activation of Byung-Hyun Kim. Silverman’s notebook says Kim wouldn’t be eligible for the postseason, but Brown’s notebook says he would be. It’s probably an unlikely scenario in any event. McAdam’s notebook says a heartfelt apology from Kim last week convinced even his harshest doubters to give him another chance. May’s notebook says it’s uncertain what Kim’s role will be. Heuschkel’s notebook says Kim’s side sessions showed his stuff to be the best it’s been all year. Borges’ notebook also has a look at Kim’s activation.

Michael Parente, Chris Kennedy and Nick Cafardo each look at second year safety Eugene Wilson. Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider looks at the Patriots one game at a time approach, has Don Shula praising the Pats, some trickery by Mike Vrabel, and Dennis Green showing (a lack of) humility. George Kimball (subscription only) has more curious remarks from Green, who made comments to the effect that Vrabel probably thinks he played the worst game of his career Sunday because he had about 10 shots at the QB and didn’t get there. Vrabel doesn’t understand why he’s singled out by Green, but takes the high road and gives him the benefit of the doubt. Jonathan Comey says the Dolphins look really bad, and has power rankings for the rest of the NFL. Kimball’s notebook has updates on Adrian Klemm and Rosevelt Colvin. Cafardo’s notebook deals with…Drew Bledsoe. Big surprise. He gets Ted Johnson to say that Drew is not done.

Ken Davis has a look around the Basketball Hall of Fame and notes that Wilt Chamberlain would’ve approved of what he saw there. Ron Borges has midweek boxing notes.

Greg Gatlin looks at NESN taking the plunge into reality TV.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. (ESPN Nationally) ESPN2 has Cubs/Pirates at 7:00 and Astros/Giants at 10:00. CN8’s Sports Pulse will have Shira Springer on to talk Celtics at 10:00. “Dirt Dog” Steve Silva will also be a guest on the program. Sports Plus on NESN at 11:00 will have Bob Ryan and Nick Cafardo looking ahead the Yankee invasion of the Fenway over the weekend.

09.21.04 Afternoon

A few items of interest for the afternoon. Eric McHugh says that one of the keys to the Patriots success is always looking for what they’ve done wrong and how they can get better. Tom King says that because of the attitude, the glass is always half-empty for anyone associated with the team. David Pevear says that from top to bottom the team isn’t going to talk about their winning streak. They’re still strictly one game at a time. Glen Farley looks at the firestorm over the comments by Bill Belichick regarding Bill Parcells in Patriot Reign. McHugh’s notebook also covers this topic and some other items from the book.

While it’s interesting to read Belichick’s thoughts on Parcells making the phone calls, it’s not like this is new information. Holley had written an article for the Globe last fall that revealed the phone calls that week. The national media must not have seen that original article, because this story has become a hot topic everywhere and treated as a new revelation.

Red Sox…do we have to talk about them? Eric Wilbur is doom and gloom. Mike Fine says there is nagging worry that this team is sliding back to the club that played .500 ball for nearly three months. Win Bates and Alan Greenwood look at the Sox dropping yet another game to the Orioles last night. Chaz Scoggins also recaps the loss. The playoff roster is among the topics tackled by Gordon Edes in his weekly mailbag. Edes also had an online chat today as well. The Boston.com Red Sox Report Card has low grades for the club this past week.