Are you all hydrating? For the first time in my life I drank Gatorade in the morning. The Red Sox made it worthwhile for all the fans who stayed up until the 2:00 AM finish, scoring four runs in the ninth inning to break open a tight game and make a winner out of Pedro Martinez. David Heuschkel has probably the most complete account of the game, which gives the Red Sox a 2-0 series lead. Jeff Horrigan looks at Pedro coming up big in his first postseason start this year. Bob Hohler looks at Pedro and Manny Ramirez leading the hungry Red Sox to the victory. Steven Krasner says the Sox know this series isn’t over yet. David Borges rounds out the game stories letting us know this wasn’t quite vintage Pedro, but good enough nonetheless. Jackie MacMullan tells us that the Red Sox and their fans need to fight the temptation to think that the series is over.
Plenty of articles on Pedro this morning. Tony Massarotti tells us that last night showed us that the fires are still burning within Martinez, and offers up the speeds of his final 20 fastballs of the night, all between 90 and 95. Sean McAdam says that Pedro served up a reminder that he is still an ace with the performance last night. Dan Shaughnessy says that Pedro wasn’t dominant, but he went out did his job. Lenny Megliola says that Martinez showed us something last night, and the result is baseball at Fenway tomorrow with the Sox up 2-0. John Harper of the NY Daily News tells us that it is a new season for Pedro. Jay Greenberg of the NY Post says that if the Red Sox win it all, they will overpay Pedro and be stuck with his contract and choke the payroll. Kind of like the Post website chokes your browser with popups. Mozilla or Firefox is recommended for reading the Post. Showering afterwards doesn’t hurt, either.
Sean McAdam has a very nice article on the new, outgoing Manny Ramirez, who was actually chosen by the Red Sox to represent the team at the pregame press conference. Alex Speier writes that Terry Francona is still in the process of proving himself as a postseason manager. Jackie MacMullan says that Francona has been unruffled in the postseason thus far. David Heuschkel says the postseason will be the basis on which Francona is judged. The Sox have gotten a 2-0 series lead on the road. The last time that happened, was of course, the 1986 World Series. Gordon Edes catches up with John McNamara, who reflects back on that time in his life. Howard Bryant (subscription only) has a piece on Johnny Damon, who is really the catalyst to the Red Sox offense, a go-to guy in the clubhouse, and it all stems from him being comfortable with this team and city. Steve Buckley (subscription only) tells us that the Angels are worthy of respect, with all they’ve battled through in terms of injuries and how they’ve dealt with problem players in the clubhouse is a model blueprint worthy of imitation.
Steven Krasner says that Damon should merit MVP consideration. Jackie MacMullan and Steve Buckley look at the big hit and steady night for Jason Varitek. Reid Laymance says that the Red Sox bullpen is ready to pick up where they left off last season. Tony Massarotti writes about Gabe Kapler who is happy to be in Boston and doesn’t mind taking a lesser role (and money) to be a part of what is happening here. Howard Bryant looks at some of the mistakes both teams made last night. John Tomase says Orlando Cabrera has made Nomar just a a memory around Boston. That bases loaded triple in the ninth certainly didn’t hurt his cause…Ron Chimelis says that the glimpses of “small ball” are encouraging.
Chris Berman takes a lot of heat for his performance on the ESPN telecasts. While his act may be old for some, I will still take it any day of the week over the Fox duo of Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. The ESPN booth of Tony Gwynn and Rick Sutcliffe along with Berman may be a little annoying at times, and Berman’s constant song and music references are tired, but at least they’re not openly rooting for and constantly praising one of the two teams. I actually like listening to Gwynn. I cannot listen to Buck and McCarver. If I do, I have to mock them the whole game, otherwise I’ll go crazy. I’m thankful Fox didn’t have that Yankees game last night, with Jeter hitting an early homerun and the Yankees coming back to win in extra innings, it would’ve been insufferable. If given a choice, I’ll take the lesser of two evils.
What got me was the FSN show immediately after the game. It’s after 2:00 AM and these guys still have the energy to work up fake anger and controversy. Mike Felger was hammering the home plate umpire for squeezing Colon all night. Maybe he was, but the energy level of the show was just a bit too much for me at that point of the night. Amazing. ESPN’s K Zone showed that the umpire actually did a pretty good job. But hey, NESN was showing an eBay infomercial at that time, so FSN deserves some props for being on the air.
The Red Sox notebooks all lead with Curt Schilling’s ankle. Hohler’s notebook also looks at the Sox pitching plans and Manny’s press conference. McAdam’s notebook looks at Mike Timlin’s continued October success. Heuschkel’s notebook has more from Manny. Borges’ notebook has a little on former Red Sox Curtis Pride.
Kevin Paul Dupont says that a less-hefty Bartolo Colon has been pitching like an ace again. Steven Krasner writes that Vladimir Guerrero is worth all the millions that the Angels invested in him. Michael Silverman looks at the Angels bullpen having their thunder stolen by the Red Sox relievers. Dupont looks at the Angels ‘pen coming undone. Krasner’s Angels’ notebook looks at their game three starter, Kelvim Escobar. Silverman’s Angels notebook looks at the team’s travel plans back to Boston. Dupont’s notebook also looks at Escobar.
Bob Ryan and John Powers look at another postseason comeback for the Yankees. Ryan says the Twins have a simple formula…fundamentals. Those who think the Globe is wasting Ryan sending him out to cover another series, take heart, he’ll be back in Boston for the rest of the Red Sox/Angels series. Powers’ notebook looks at Kevin Brown getting the call for tomorrow’s game three.
Matt Light’s contract extension is still the talk around the papers this morning, and the Patriots also quietly extended Larry Izzo for two more seasons as well. Michael Felger looks at how Light decided that some things are more important than just accumulating a ton of money. He quotes Light as saying: “To me, this is the classiest, best-organized NFL team out of all 32. Why not stay here?”. Hmmm. Don’t let certain reporters hear you say that, Matt. Nick Cafardo also writes about Light’s decision to stay in New England, and puts Adam Vinatieri out there as the next Patriot hoping for a new deal. Christopher Price notes that with his new deal, Light faces an immediate big test in the person of Jason Taylor on Sunday. The Dolphins are struggling mightily, Ron Borges and Chris Kennedy look at the woes of the proud Miami franchise. Tom E Curran says the Patriots and Dolphins are heading in two very different directions.
Watching Sunday’s game, as Terrence McGee ran back a kickoff for a touchdown, I said right away “Shawn Mayer is cut this week.” (cue the Buckley horn) I’m definitely not bragging, because I’m sure thousands of Patriots fans said the exact same thing. Well, it happened. Michael Parente looks at Mayer filling the role as sacrificial lamb this week, sending a message to the entire special teams unit. Mike Reiss says even though the Patriots are 3-0, they have problems, and they know it. He looks at what they’re doing to correct the problems. Alan Greenberg has a really good article on Roman Phifer, and how the Patriots linebacker just keeps going on and on, and what an influence he is on the younger players. Felger’s notebook says a matchup worth watching on Sunday is Rodney Harrison vs Randy McMichael, round three. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the emphasis on special teams this week, including bringing back Je’Rod Cherry to replace Mayer. Curran’s notebook has more on the new deal for Matt Light, a subject also in the lead of Kennedy’s notebook and Parente’s notebook. Reiss’ notebook explores who is next in line for a new deal from the Patriots.
By the way, don’t expect Tom Curran or Eric McHugh to be stepping up and filling the post vacated by Michael Smith at the Globe. A source around Morrissey Blvd says that upper management…not Joe Sullivan…are actively looking for a minority candidate.
Shira Springer looks at the battle for a starting spot between Jiri Welsch and Ricky Davis. Coach Doc Rivers says that the choice will come down to chemistry, whoever fits in better with the other starters is the one who will get the nod. Mark Murphy reports that Raek LaFrentz is encouraged with how his knee has been feeling and holding up early in camp. Michael Muldoon looks at the instant leadership provided by Gary Payton.
ESPN has Braves/Astros at 4:00. Fox has Cardinals/Dodgers at 8:00. NESN will have “Sox Talk” a two hour call-in show hosted by Tom Caron, starting at 8:00.