No Tricks, Just Treats

***UPDATE***

CBS is reporting that Corey Dillon is OUT with an injury today.

We have another big game today as New England fans can finally shift their focus back on the Super Bowl Champion Patriots. As a reminder, this is the latest in the season that the Patriots have been undefeated (6-0) and the current record streak is 21 games. The Patriots-Steelers game is on CBS-4 at 4:15. Plan trick or treating accordingly.

Tom Curran explains that, contrary to popular belief, Bill Belichick and the Patriots don

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I Love A Parade

Parade Day links by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com)

Red Sox
The Red Sox parade begins at 10 today, and thousands are already lining up on the route. The Globe has the details on the parade, including a map of the route. For those out of the local area, the parade can be seen on ESPN News and/or MLB.com. The Herald’s Michael Silverman says the parade will make believers out of the players who still think they may be dreaming this. The Globe’s Jim McCabe reports that although Nomar Garciaparra is back in Boston, he won’t be participating in the parade, but he is very happy for his old teammates. Meanwhile Rhode Islanders need not fear. There will be a parade in the ocean state, but as the ProJo’s Kevin McNamara explains, there simply hasn’t been time to plan it yet.

The Globe

They’re ruining my celebration…

I expected it from Dennis and Callahan, but not from the Big Show. Less than 48 hours after the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, Glenn Ordway has to lead his show in a discussion of…politics. I realize there is a Presidential Election on tap for next week, but c’mon, this is a sports station, and it’s not like there is a lack of a compelling topic to talk about this week. THE RED SOX JUST WON THE WORLD SERIES.

It’s uncalled for on the “Sports Radio Leader”.

It’s more ironic that Glenn mentioned that Boston media people were upset with Ted Sarandis for allegedly cheering for the Red Sox in the auxiliary press box Wednesday night. What a crime. Apparently there are “rules” that the press must maintain decorum and remain objective in covering such a serious topic such as sports, yet these same guys feel that it is acceptable to be using their position on the airwaves to push their own political agendas, whatever they may be.

Glenn…people don’t want to be listening to your political views this week of all times. You should be ashamed of yourself for using your show to promote these things.

Friday Afternoon Pats Update

Friday afternoon Patriots links by Rich (Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com) – giving the hardest working man in weblogbiz a much deserved break.

A match-up of the two 2001 Super Bowl champs – the team that actually went to New Orleans and won the game, and the team that spent the following off season talking about how they were really the best team in the NFL – just ask them. This was of course prior to the black and gold getting smoked by the Pats in the 2002 season opener, which led to one of my all time favorite Bill Simmons columns (fear not – no Starbucks references).

The major dailies locked in on two of the Pats offensive stars of late, with the Herald’s Michael Felger and the Courant

Day Two of the Rest of your life…

Articles today are again way too numerous to link. The Boston Herald alone has at least 25 Red Sox related articles today. The Globe has almost as many, and The Projo is stocked full as well. I’ll once again attempt to bring you some of the stuff that stands out to me.

As usual Bob Ryan “gets it “. While some of his Globe colleagues cannot enjoy the win, Ryan understands what this means to the real fan. Tony Massarotti says the 2004 Red Sox found the right combination in all areas. Lenny Megliola looks at how the Sox made history. Alex Speier says that not even filmmakers could’ve anticipated how this postseason would go for the Red Sox. Steve Britt looks at 10 postseason heroes for the Red Sox. David Heuschkel has a nice look at Terry Francona. David Borges writes about Johnny Pesky and Ellis Burks, both finally World Series Champs. Stan Grossfeld writes about the triumphant return to Boston by the Red Sox. I like the quotes from Pedro that end the article:

Just don't tell us you'll sign with the Yankees.

"I promise," he said. "I'm not going to the Yankees. I want to stay right here.''

To be honest though, I’m scratching my head at some of this coverage. I should’ve expected it, but thought that perhaps it would come later, not before the team had even had it’s victory parade yet. What am I talking about? The negative talk, the downer stuff. The leader of the pack is of course Dan Shaughnessy, and while he starts out talking about the jubilation of the fans and how this was worth the wait, he ends with:

Personally, I already miss the old Red Sox a little.

The Red Sox as we have always known them are gone forever. They never again will be the cuddly team on a near century-long, quixotic quest. They are no longer cursed and they will cease to be America's team as soon as the hangover wears off. The ghosts are purged. Buckner and Friends are off the hook. All of them.

Now the men who play at Fenway Park are simply the World Champion Boston Red Sox. The best team in baseball.

I guess we'll have to settle for that.

I supposed we can acknowledge that Dan is mourning the loss of his cottage industry, which extends well beyond the books. The books will still sell for a time. He’ll add the final chapter, the happy ending, and sell thousands of copies. For the next few weeks, maybe even months, he’ll still get the call to make TV and Radio appearances around the country, being well compensated for these. But they will gradually peter out. The days of the easy income will be over. Soon he’ll no longer be the alleged foremost expert on the Red Sox curse, he’ll just be another tired, bitter, out of touch sportswriter whose time has passed him by. How sad. His colleague at the Globe, Brian McGrory insists that winning is a positive thing, but every other word of his column indicates he wishes they were still losers. ( I mean, c’mon, even Jim Donaldson “gets it” for crying out loud.) I began reading Howard Bryant’s column today with great promise. He revealed he was hoping that the Red Sox would win game four. For a while, his column feels good, he even takes a little shot at the “the cottage industries that have sprouted over the past 20 years, the prospectors who exploited 86 years of failure at big profits.” (Hi Dan!) But Bryant ends on a down note as he reveals why he hoped the Sox would win game four:

During this month of splendor, I had a theory: The Red Sox winning the World Series over time would make them one of the more loathed franchises in baseball, at least outside of Boston. The lifting of the historical baggage will also remove the sympathy, and the Red Sox can now be viewed for what they are, a financial monster that will smartly and shrewdly use its power to take players from the weak in the same vein as the bauble-buying Yankees. Both teams, unlike the rest of the league (Dodgers and Cubs possibly excluded) are the only ones in baseball that are never faced with losing players for financial reasons.

He adds that the new chapter has begun, and he’s looking forward to the ongoing story. The Red Sox may well lose Pedro, Lowe and Varitek for “financial reasons”. Gerry Callahan explores what could have happened had Schilling gone to the Yankees and ARod came to the Red Sox.

Elsewhere, on a more enjoyable topic Glenn and the Big Show boys went after Paul Costine, A.K.A “Angry Bill” for an idiotic article that appeared in NY Newsday yesterday. Ordway called him a fraud, and with good reason. Costine is another who sees his 15 minutes of fame rapidly fading out. Thank God. The man is a miserable, pathetic little twit who actually dares to blame his alcoholism on the Red Sox. He’s angry that the Red Sox have won the World Series. He called into Dennis and Callahan this morning to try to defend himself, said he’s been trying to call during this Championship run, but hasn’t been able to get through. He sucked up to John and Gerry, as he usually does and asked for a “special” number to be able to call in. He made no mention of his pronouncement that the Red Sox have “no bullets left in the gun” which he made after the Sox beat the Yankees.

David Scott has been writing non-stop since the Red Sox won. He checks in with a post game coverage report card of the various media types.

One thing I can admire. Edward Cossette has closed up shop on “Bambino’s Curse” the weblog he’s been writing for a number of years now. The mission has been accomplished. He doesn’t have to pursue the quest of the Red Sox winning it all anymore. Best wishes to Edward as he moves forward. I had a few moments of reflection on whether the Red Sox winning the World Series would effect BSMW at all. Will the writers and media now change? After a few minutes I quickly realized that no, nothing will really change, except for the curse references. The Patriots have won two Super Bowl titles and we still have the same media goofiness by certain people, perhaps even more so now. I’m confident that the Boston sports media will continue on, just as they have before in their coverage of the Red Sox.

Yes, there is a pretty big football game on this weekend. If I can find the time (and energy – I bushed) maybe I can get some Patriots links up this afternoon.

“I don’t believe in damned curses…”

So how do you feel? Is part of your identity now gone forever, or are you totally enjoying the moment and looking forward to more? For generations, the Red Sox have held the fans attention in Boston, always ending the season just short of the glory, yes sometimes agonizingly so. Now, that period in time is over. Another generation will not grow up as the last several have. There will be no more talk of 1918, of Babe Ruth and of any ridiculous curse. This Red Sox team put an end to all such weak minded, negative talk and did so in the most convincing and powerful fashion imaginable. They swept the Angels, a team only a couple years removed from a title, they did to the Yankees what that franchise has done to them so often, only a hundredfold, crushing their spirit in a most demoralizing way. They then swept the St. Louis Cardinals, thus avenging two of their previous seven game World Series loss. What else could they have possibly done? As was the case with so many other people around Red Sox nation last night, I thought of those who never got to see this. My great-grandfather for one, who introduced me to the aging Yaz and the Red Sox, starting me down the path of being a fan myself. Thanks Papa. Wish you were here.

I don’t believe there is any way I’m going to get to all the links today. I’ll try to get you the most important ones, the ones from the people you want to hear from, and the perspectives I think are interesting. My advice to you, just this once….BUY the newspapers. All of them. Read them. Keep them. Even the smaller newspapers, because things are going to change in the future, I don’t mean just with the Red Sox. In so many ways, an era ended last night. Things WILL be different going forward, but only in a good way. You’ll have those papers and years from now will be able to look back and appreciate just how different our perspective and even life was, back in the year 2004. A milestone year in so many ways for the sports fans of New England. Fans here have the Super Bowl Champions and the World Series Champions, both reigning at the same time. These are truly the glory days, my friends.

A column we’ve been waiting years for was finally written this morning. Dan Shaughnessy writes about the World Series champion Boston Red Sox. He can have his own paragraph and space here, as like him or not, he’s been at the forefront of the Red Sox sense of urgency the last 10 years or so, and now it has been accomplished. His book can get that final chapter, and be put to rest. Dan can now move on with the rest of his life, just as all of the rest of us can.

Gerry Callahan tells us that in so many ways, this Red Sox team did things that we will never see again. Bob Ryan tells us just “What this is about”, going through all that makes this so magical. Sean McAdam says yes, this does change everything, and now there will be a clear line of demarcation between this season, and all before it. Tony Massarotti notes the irony that “The team that so often failed to measure up has set new and lofty standards for everyone else to aim at.” Jeff Jacobs says the pain of cynicism that has been passed through generations of Red Sox fans is now gone forever. Lenny Megliola says that all wrongs have been righted. Jackie MacMullan looks at the celebrations among the players, noting the tears of joy in the eyes of Pedro Martinez, and how the team went about “transforming themselves from frustrated losers on the brink of elimination to the finest of champions.”

Bill Reynolds writes about “the great night in the history of New England sports”. Howard Bryant looks at Theo Epstein, ending the torment of Boston fans everywhere. Alex Speier says that at long last, there will be no more “wait till next year”. Steve Britt says that all of this just doesn’t feel real yet. Kevin Gray says “believe it”, the Sox have finally done it. Jon Couture says that many things are finally over, but he doesn’t want this morning to be one of them.

Yeah, I’ll get you the lead game stories. David Heuschkel says the Sox made it look easy. Steven Krasner says this is no cruel joke, this really happened, the Red Sox are champions. Bob Hohler says “hail the lovable idiots”, the Red Sox are champions of the World. David Borges simply ends with “Unbelievable.”

How about that Derek Lowe? Gordon Edes looks at Lowe’s “Road to Glory”. Steve Buckley says Lowe was as brilliant in his post game comments as he was on the mound in the post season, saying all the right things. Jack O’Connell says stock in Derek Lowe is once again on the rise after last night’s performance. Art Davidson says all Boston fans will owe Derek Lowe an everlasting debt of gratitude. Peter Gammons writes about Lowe coming through in the biggest of ways.

Manny as World Series MVP? Perhaps some might be curious over that choice, but he did hit .412 in the Series, and has a record tying 17 game postseason hitting streak going. Some might choose Schilling, though that would be for more intangible and emotional reasons, as Schilling’s outing performance wise at least, was matched by both Pedro and Lowe. Stephen Harris looks at Manny achieving one of his career goals. The other? The Hall of Fame. John Powers says that Manny’s performance in the series symbolized what these Red Sox are about. Jack O’Connell looks at Manny’s journey from waivers to MVP. Alex Speier says Manny’s consistent stroke in the Series got him the MVP honors. David Borges also looks at Manny as World Series MVP.

The post game coverage was extensive, and there was no way to catch all of it, but flipping around a bit, the following moments and scenes will be preserved in my memory:

  • On NESN, Don Orsillo was on the field after the game and one of the people he talked to was Don Lowe, father of Derek. The guy was a live wire. Wearing coke-bottle glasses and bouncing around, talking a mile a minute, you could easily see how the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in this instance. He was wild.
  • NECN’s Chris Collins was also on the field, and actually got lost in the crowd a number of times, he got some good interviews, including Johnny Damon and also talking to Pedro as he headed off the field and into the clubhouse. However as mentioned, Collins was engulfed by the crowd and you couldn’t even see him on his own camera a few times. He escaped the crowd after a bit, and went off babbling excitedly for a few minutes before sending it back to Mark Ockerbloom and Mike Shalin in the studio.
  • During the presentation of the World Series trophy, Jeanne Zelasko had a bit of a rough time, once she got over to Theo Epstein, she got covered with champagne as Epstein and Curt Schilling had a bit of a celebration. You could see Zelasko cringing, trying to avoid the spray, to no avail. In the middle of talking to Theo, she turned off camera and asked for a towel, appearing more than a little annoyed.
  • Bob Lobel, repeating over and over in disbelief: “The Red Sox have won the World Series. The Red Sox have won the World Series.”
  • In closing out the baseball broadcast season, WEEI had a great audio montage of the entire season, incorporating moments from sweeping the Yankees in NY in April, all the way through the summer and through the playoffs. Very well done. I’ve heard TV stations did similar pieces, but I didn’t get to see them.

As I said in the opener, there are so many other great articles out there. Buy the papers, real them all, soak all of this in. You’re going to remember last night and today for the rest of your life. Enjoy it, my friends.