West Coast Offense

With their 7-1 win over the A’s last night, the Red Sox continued their scalding hot pace and continued to serve notice to the rest of the league that they’re the team to watch out for. Since August 16th, they are now 19-2. Jeff Horrigan’s game story focuses on Derek Lowe, who was pumped up for this one. Sean McAdam looks at how the Sox just keep on piling up win after win on this hot streak. Bob Hohler says that Terry Francona is enjoying this kind of September baseball. David Heuschkel says “the big goof” Lowe, just wins, and did so again last night. Tonight, the Sox throw Pedro Martinez against Tim Hudson, and as Tony Massarotti writes today, Pedro feels as good about this Red Sox team as any that he’s been a part of. He just wants one thing these days, and that’s a ring. Howard Bryant (subscription only) has a look at Manny, who has done a 180 since last season and has become all that the Red Sox hoped and needed he could become. Bryant says Ramirez is at this point the most dangerous he’s ever been at the plate as a member of the Red Sox.

Dan Shaughnessy looks at Trot Nixon, who was activated yesterday, and pinch hit in the ninth inning, but isn’t quite ready to play regularly. He’s still got the fire, as Shaughnessy tells the story of Nixon getting on Don Orsillo after he thought the Sox announcer had “jinxed” the team in Tampa last night. Rob Bradford has a piece on Dave Roberts, who has taken over the locker previously occupied by Nomar, and his clubhouse neighbors and others have noticed quite a difference in that section of the room. Howard Bryant has a look at the A’s still steaming over the job done by the umpires on Monday night. Bryant also has a look at Johnny Damon coming back with a bang last night. Sean McAdam looks at Trot Nixon and Pokey Reese being activated, but notes it’s uncertain when they’re be in the lineup for the Red Sox. Heuschkel’s notebook also discusses Trot and Pokey. Hohler’s notebook has Curt Schilling make a pitch for the Sox to re-sign Pedro and Jason Varitek. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Scott Williamson hoping to be activated Friday in Seattle. McAdam’s notebook looks ahead to the Yankees series 10 days from now.

Jason Stark addresses the situation with the Yankees, Devil Rays and Hurricane Frances. He makes a few decent points that the real idiots are in the front office of Major League Baseball, but doesn’t really address the actual comments made by the Yankees about requesting a forfeit. It’s fun to villainize the Yankees, and the media here and nationwide has had a field day at this week. This might be the first article on a national level from the other side that I’ve seen.

The Patriots and Colts continue to get ready for tomorrow night’s NFL opener in Foxboro. Tom Curran says that no matter what each team is preparing for, they’re likely to see something different. Nick Cafardo has a look at Bill Belichick and how he’s handled his team this preseason. It’s been a different camp this year, and Cafardo indicates that Belichick knows what he’s doing, and is taking a page from the Bill Walsh book for defending a Super Bowl. Michael Felger looks at the Patriots needing to stop Edgerrin James tomorrow night. Jonathan Comey notes that the Patriots will be very thin in the backfield tomorrow night. Eric McHugh looks at some young Patriots who showed enough to make the team. Ian M Clark looks at Ty Warren making progress and looking to make an impact in his second year.

You’re going to hear a lot of about pass interference during tomorrow night’s game, and likely see a lot of flags on the field as the NFL tries to help out the offenses. Alan Greenberg looks at how the point of emphasis is going to affect Ty Law. Chris Kennedy and Glen Farley also have a look at this topic. Michael Parente has the Patriots and Colts both sounding off on the adjustments the league is looking to make. Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider looks at the coaches on bot sides being tight lipped and in full bunker mode. He also looks at the linebackers and the offensive line for the Patriots. Christopher Price looks at the Patriots rookies facing their first big test tomorrow night.

Parente’s notebook looks at Kevin Faulk, out for the season opener. Curran’s notebook says to look for the Patriots to do a lot of throwing tomorrow night. Felger’s notebook looks at the thin backfield for the Patriots, with only Corey Dillon and Patrick Pass on the roster as running backs. Cafardo’s notebook says the game could down to the kickers, and these teams have two of the best in the league.

Some clarification on an item that ran over the weekend in this space. Rich had mentioned some comments made by Ryen Russillo about Bill Simmons’ column regarding the Gary Payton to the Celtics trade.

Earlier in the week, 1510 The Zone


“Tell ’em we’re coming.”

The Red Sox managed to continue their hot streak, taking down the equally hot A’s out in Oakland, 8-3. Bob Hohler has the game story and a look at Kevin Millar’s latest team rally effort. Jeff Horrigan has more on the dynamic duo of Manny and Ortiz leading to Sox to victory. Sean McAdam looks at the Sox taking advantage of a blown call to take down the A’s. David Heuschkel looks at the efforts of the starters, a pair of guitar strumming, laid back beach bums. Dan Shaughnessy checks out the atmosphere in Oakland with a look at the A’s and how they keep on winning. Howard Bryant has a comparision of the A’s and Red Sox, noting that they are every bit the rivals that the Red Sox and Yankees are. He looks at how they chase the same players, executives and follow similar philosophies. Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle says the two clubs have a real rivalry…and a civilized one. Jeff Goodman, writing for USA Today, looks at the Championship run the Red Sox seemed to be poised to make. Lisa Olsen says the Red Sox are winning the way that the Yankees used to.

Tony Massarotti says that the Yankees asking that the Devil Rays forfeit a game shows that they are “either insultingly arrogant or insanely desperate, though that does not eliminate the possibility that they are both.” The Yankees are taking heat everywhere, including New York, where Mike Lupica and Kevin Kernan carve them up this morning. Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic has a look at Curt Schilling, and how the reception and treatment that he’s received in Boston have left him speechless. Jon Wallach of WEEI is quoted in the article as well. Sean McAdam looks at Derek Lowe returning to the mound in Oakland tonight for the first time since his game 5 controversy in last years’ ALDS. Howard Bryant has more on the A’s anger over the blown call by a rookie ump last night. Hohler’s notebook looks at Johnny Damon sitting out again, and says that Trot Nixon and Pokey Reese will be activated tonight. Horrigan’s notebook says Damon might be ready to go tonght. McAdam’s notebook has more on the injuries and how Pedro Astacio might be used down the stretch.

This morning on WEEI, John Dennis showed his membership in the Michael Gee “are we peaking too soon” club when he asked whether the Red Sox might’ve put things together just a little too early and might not be able to sustain it. The Michael Gee reference is of course a reminder of a column Gee wrote last fall when he asked if maybe it would be a good thing for the Patriots to lose one of their final regular season games to “get it out of the way”.

The buzz is building for Thursday night’s NFL opener between the Patriots and Colts. Nick Cafardo says the quarterback matchup is a throwback, like an old Joe Montana/Dan Marino tilt. A nick article, but it wouldn’t be Nick without making reference to Brady’s contract and how much more Manning makes, with the implication that the Patriots will be too cheap to ever pay Brady what he is really worth. Alan Greenberg also looks at the two players, and he too compares the salary, but refrains from a shot at the Patriots. Kevin Mannix has a look at Brady, and the fact that he’s often the object of good natured ribbing from his teammates. Christopher Price says that the backup QB’s are a big part of the practice preparation this week. Tom Curran tries to examine why the Patriots have had so much success in recent meetings with the Colts.

Michael Parente looks at undrafted rookie cornerback Randall Gay sticking with the Patriots and making the roster – beating out Terrell Buckley in the process. Chris Kennedy looks at the preparation the Patriots are putting into the matchup with the Colts. Jonathan Comey has a brief bit on the practice squad. Eric McHugh looks at the unknowns abot what we might see in the opener Thursday night. Hector Longo looks at the improvements on offense since the 2001 season. Kennedy also has a Patriots Preview piece looking at the challenges facing the defending champions. Cafardo’s notebook has Tony Dungy saying he had nothing to do with pushing the point of emphasis regarding illegal contact for this season. Mannix’s notebook looks at the preparation of the stadium and team for the season opener. Curran’s notebook also looks at Dungy distancing himself from blaming the Patriots physical play for his team’s loss in the AFC title game. Curran also had a Patriots chat on Projo.com last night. Parente’s notebook also looks at the role of the backup QB’s this week.

John Molori’s Media Blitz has Bryan Cox’s thoughts on the Patriots, a look at the WWZN/Celtics radio rights situation and a game by game look at the Patriots schedule.

NESN has Red Sox/A’s at 10:00. CN8’s Sports Pulse will have Patriots Football Weekly’s Fred Kirsch and Bob Lamey, the play-by-play voice of the Colts on tonight at 10:00.

Road Trip! Road Trip! Road Trip!

The Sox may not be as excited about their upcoming road trip as Bluto Blutarsky and the gang from Delta House were for theirs, but the Sox are coming off a season altering 9-1 homestand while the Deltas struggled at home. With yesterday

Sunday Afternoon Update

As promised below, the Red Sox started a new streak today with a 6-5 win backboned by Curt Schilling’s 18th win. But the Rangers put a scare into the Sox with four in the ninth. Mike Petraglia of MLB.com has the game story.

As Eric McHugh predicted, Ty Law is still a Patriot as the Patriots got down to the 53 man limit. But Patriots.com has the list of cuts today and Terrell Buckley was not quite so fortunate.

Mike Freeman of the Jacksonville Times Union says the film doesn

Sox to Start New Streak Today

The Red Sox failed to pick up ground on the slumping Yankees as they fell behind by seven runs and their late rally fell short in an 8-6 loss to the Rangers. Tito Francona stuck with Tim Wakefield through all eight runs. Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan, and Sean McAdam have game stories of the loss that ended the Sox 10 game winning streak.

Gordon Edes looks at things from a Rangers perspective as recent Princeton graduate Chris Young came up big at Fenway. He also looks at a bitter Jeff Nelson who believes Boston unfairly treats him because the Boston media painted him as the villain in the bleacher/bullpen incident with the Yankees last year. He is also unhappy that Red Sox management hasn

Angels Swept Away

The word “gutsy” was thrown around alot last, describing the effort of Derek Lowe, who pitched seven and 1/3 innings in leading the Red Sox to a 4-3 win, capping of a three game sweep of the Angels. David Heuschkel looks at the Sox hopping on for a night on the Lowe Rider. Bob Hohler looks at the Sox winning their ninth in a row, despite stranding 14 runners. Jeff Horrigan says the Sox kept the heat on the Angels, putting more distance between themselves and their Wild Card rival. Steven Krasner also looks at the Sox finishing off their improbable three game sweep of the powerful Angels. Garry Brown calls it a “true grit” performance by Lowe last night. David Borges says it was a little hard to know what to expect last night as Lowe and Bartolo Colon have been mirror images of each other this year in every way except appearance. Joe Haggerty says nine is fine for the Red Sox. Lenny Megliola says the Sox continue to get the job done any way that it takes, and looks at their scary numbers from the last 15 games. Howard Bryant (subscription only) has a look at the performance of Derek, noting that his outing was impressive because he had to work for every out he got against the dangerous lineup, and despite getting hit early, he stayed cool. Dan Shaughnessy tries to figure a name for this club, like the Impossible Dream, or Morgan Magic. He’s settled on No More Nomars. Color me unimpressed.

Andy Nesbitt says that Lowe is peaking at exactly the right time for the Red Sox. Michael Silverman has the disturbing news of the injury to David Ortiz, much of which is unknown at this time, it could keep him out from 2 days to 2 weeks. He hurt it on Sunday after a collision at home plate after being sent by third base coach Dale Sveum. Terry Francona defends Sveum in this instance, saying Ortiz took too wide a turn rounding third. Jeff Horrigan also has a sidebar on the Ortiz injury. Alex Speier looks at the candidates for Sox MVP and says even Mark Bellhorn should be considered. Silverman has a look at Dave Roberts, atoning for a earlier error in the field. Nesbitt has a quick look at the Texas Rangers, who invade Fenway for the weekend. Jeff Sullivan looks at Trot Nixon, arriving in Pawtucket for a rehab assignment. Hohler’s notebook has more on the injury to Ortiz. Krasner’s notebook also looks at Ortiz, as does Heuschkel’s notebook and Borges’ notebook. Brown’s notebook has Jason Varitek defending Nomar. Horrigan’s notebook has Orlando Cabrera a little concerned about the kidnapping of Ugueth Urbina’s mother in his native South America.

You could call last night’s affair at Foxboro a Patriots preseason game, but those weren’t the Patriots on the field. It was the Patriots backups. Coach Bill Belichick took no chances last night and let the reserves carry the entire load. Michael Felger says the decision by Belichick was likely accepted, albeit grudgingly by the starters, but the coach wanted to take a long look at fringe players. Nick Cafardo plays it straight today, reporting on what happened on the field, and noting that Colts coach Tony Dungy got nothing if he was scouting this one. Tom Curran says this one was as boring as watching paint grow. Now that’s boring. Mike Reiss says the focus for the Patriots is already on the Colts. Chris Kennedy says there was nothing compelling about last night’s game. Alan Greenberg says Rohan Davey likely threw away his chance at the backup quarterback spot last night. Michael Parente also has a recap of whatever that was at Foxboro last night.

Now comes the misplaced indignation and fire and brimstone section of the links. Kevin Mannix, sensing himself further slipping into irrelevancy decides that going the Borges route is the way to get some attention. His biggest beef is that paying fans never got to see the starters, and he goes after Bill Belichick. This is a classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. If Belichick had played his starters and any of them had gotten hurt, Mannix would be all over the coach. Which starters should he have played Kevin? Also, in the final preseason game it is generally accepted that the starters play maybe one series. So playing the starters one series would’ve completely made the high priced tickets worth it? I don’t think so. The original Ron Borges also has a piece on this topic, but towards the end he also says the Jaguars should be embarrassed for having their starters get shutout in the first half by the Patriots backups. Jim Donaldson’s column is a mess, I have no idea what he is trying to say. Jim Fennell says we should just trust Belichick to know what he is doing.

Christopher Price looks at the preseason, now in the rear view mirror. Speaking of rear view, Scott A Benson has the Patriots Rear View edition for last night’s game. Rich Thompson, Adam Kilgore and Kevin McNamara look at a so-so performance for Rohan Davey. Lenny Megliola thinks Doug Flutie could be the Patriots backup QB if he is released by the Chargers. Ron Indrisano looks at Patrick Pass.

Cafardo’s notebook looks at Ty Law getting his workout bonus. Felger’s notebook and Reiss’ notebook look at Kevin Faulk missing last night’s game and that he is back in Louisiana, fueling speculation about an injury. Curran’s notebook looks at Mike Cloud stepping into the void with 93 yards last night. Kennedy’s notebook looks at Ty Warren achieving his goal of knowing all the positions on the defensive line.

Bill Griffith looks at Red Sox ratings numbers and a few other items. Jim Baker hands out some awards for NBC’s Olympic coverage. Andrew Neff looks at a NESN producer striking out on his own. Griffith also took a field trip to ESPN and saw that Red Sox/Yankees permeates the atmosphere there.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Rangers at 7:00.