So here it is. It all begins this afternoon and by all accounts, this is what the Red Sox have been waiting for all season. Curt Schilling is ready, even jumping back on-line to open the posting thread for today’s game on SoSH. The media is ready, with the Boston Herald having no less than 20 articles on the Red Sox in today’s paper. No way I can link to all 20, but that link will take to the page where they all are. Gordon Edes outlines reasons why the Sox feel they are the team that no one wants to face in the postseason. Sean McAdam gives five keys to success for the Red Sox in this series against the Angels. Tony Massarotti says the Angels are going to be a tough opponent. David Heuschkel and David Borges look at Curt Schilling as he prepares to go out and do what the Red Sox acquired him for. Jackie MacMullan has an article on Pedro, and says that you just don’t know what’s going to happen with him, either tomorrow night or after the season. Jeff Horrigan looks at Schilling, resting and eager for this afternoon. Dan Shaughnessy says that the Red Sox have been planning for this day ever since…well, you can guess when they started planning for today…Bill Reynolds writes about how things could be very different for the Red Sox right now. Bob Ryan reminds us that the Yankees are still the class of the American League.
Howard Bryant says that having one or even two aces doesn’t always translate to postseason success. Steven Krasner writes that both teams know that the key to postseason success is momentum. Bob Hohler looks at a eventful year for a maturing Manny Ramirez. Sean McAdam, Tony Massarotti and the Globe all break down the matchups for this series. Paul Doyle looks at the personality and grooming of this Red Sox squad. Alex Speier looks at a couple NH natives playing a big role in the Red Sox front office. John Tomase says that the pressure is on Pedro for the postseason. Bob Halloran says that if the Sox don’t win it all this year, they’re definitely heartbreakers. He says they’re the best team in baseball and should be expected to win it all.
Steven Krasner says that the Angels are going to be running all the time on the Red Sox. Steve Britt looks at two aces with one goal for the Red Sox. Tony Massarotti also has a look at the 1-2 punch for the Sox. Jon Couture says the Sox hope Pedro can show glimpses of the old Pedro this month. Joe Haggerty has an article on Orlando Cabrera, who is pumped and jacked to be playing in the postseason for the first time. Bob Hohler looks at the confidence of the Red Sox heading into the postseason. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says that the late night starts, such as tomorrow night aren’t fair to the fans, especially the young ones. Think of the children, will you, Fox? Howard Bryant (subscription only) looks at Terry Francona making it through the regular season, but notes that the playoffs will be a whole new test for the Sox skipper.
Hohler’s notebook has Curt Schilling, ready to carry the Sox through the postseason. Horrigan’s notebook looks at last minute roster tweaking for the Red Sox. Krasner’s notebook says this is just like Theo Epstein and Curt Schilling talked about over Thanksgiving dinner last fall. Borges’ notebook says the Sox are wary of the force that is Vladimir Guerrero.
Need more Sox links? I didn’t even come close to getting all the ones in the Herald, which have a lot of individual profile pieces, key moments of the season, and looks at the Angels. I didn’t link to the Globe stories from the Angels side either. Just didn’t have the time to get to them all. My thinking is that you’re going to see the pieces in those two big papers anyway, I’m trying to bring you the stories from all around New England and some of the smaller papers that you might not regularly read.
Kevin Mannix’s report card hands out a special teams “F”, but otherwise has pretty high marks for the Patriots. Michael Parente also trots out his own version of the Patriot report card. Without saying it, Nick Cafardo wonders if Tom Brady is just a “system” quarterback, a product of the brilliance of Charlie Weis. Mike Reiss looks at how the Patriots offense has evolved from a “horizontal” attack, to one that is much more “vertical” and not afraid to take shots down the field. Tom E Curran looks at the perhaps overlooked job done by Tom Brady on Sunday.
Rich Thompson looks at the Patriots preparation for the Dolphins. The Pats expect plenty of pressure from Miami. Kevin McNamara and Steve Conroy both look at Tedy Bruschi, who will stop at nothing to make the big play when it counts. Alan Greenberg has yet another article on how the streak isn’t affecting the Patriots. Michael Gee (subscription only) says that success has changed Patriots fans. They’ve forgotten what failure is like. They’ve come to expect success and have become smug…like Yankees fans. Christopher Price says that a big part of the Patriots success is coming through in the clutch. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the injuries to the Patriots wide receivers and speculates that Scott Pioli will be tapped to run a team elsewhere next season. While that might be the feeling around the league, I sense that Pioli is quite happy here, and he’s characterized himself as Bill Belichick’s best friend. I say he’s here for a while yet. Reiss’ notebook looks at the Patriots success on third down. Thompson’s notebook has more on the streak. McNamara’s notebook has Ty Law in awe of the Dolphins perfect season. Parente’s notebook looks at Stephen Neal’s big play on Sunday.
The Celtics had their media day to start training camp yesterday, and guess who showed up? Gary Payton was in the house, saying all the right things. If you’re optimistic about the Celtics chances this season, noted cynic Peter May even tries to list out some reasons for hope this year. After listing a bunch of “ifs”, May concludes: “then the season may be better than even the most starry-eyed optimist envisions.” Mark Murphy, Shira Springer and Carolyn Thornton all report on Gary Payton’s arrival to Boston and what his thoughts are on being here and for the season. Lenny Megliola also weighs in on Payton and says that the Celtics are taking a huge roll of the dice here. Springer’s notebook looks at rookie Tony Allen, who spent some time in the offseason with some guy named Jordan. The Herald notebook has a look at the persuasion job done by Danny Ainge on Payton.
Bill Griffith looks at the baseball postseason braoadcasting options and has some other media notes. John Molori looks at Mark Ockerbloom moving from NECN to Fox25 in this week’s edition of Media Blitz.
ESPN will have Red Sox/Angels Game one at 4:00. NESN will have the pre and post game shows. ESPN also has Dodgers/Cardinals at 1:00. Fox will have Yankees/Twins at 7:00.