The World Series shifts to St. Louis tonight, and weather permitting, the Red Sox will send Pedro Martinez out to the mound to do something he’s waited seven years to do…make a World Series start. Bob Ryan says this is not just another World Series game, this is high athletic drama for Martinez and his future. Michael Silverman looks at a new chapter to be written in Pedro’s career tonight, and has the nice scene of Curt Schilling telling Pedro how excited he is to see him pitch tonight. Butch Stearns will tell you that’s an act and that they really hate each other. Jim Donaldson uses his classic one sentence paragraph style to tell us that it’s time for Martinez to put up. Howard Bryant says that tonight is Pedro’s chance to put a stamp on what has been a very odd season for the Red Sox righthander. Ron Chimelis says Pedro is ready to shine tonight.
Jeff Horrigan says that the Sox made the trip to St. Louis just fine, appear relaxed, but not overconfident in leading the series 2-0. Already counting down the outs, Sean McAdam says that this team seems unaffected by any pressure. David Heuschkel says everyone around the club is saying all the right things. Lenny Megliola writes that the Red Sox don’t need to be reminded of the danger of getting ahead of themselves. Jackie MacMullan ponders the reasons why the Series is over, and the reasons why the Series is not over. She’s a little tough on Pedro, calling him self-absorbed, and also seems to indulge in at least a little cursemongering, but otherwise a usual solid read from Jackie. Alex Speier writes that going to the NL park isn’t going to faze the Red Sox, as they’re built for just about any situation. Joe Haggerty also takes a look at the Sox as they head to the midwest. The Metro West Daily News trots out Lou Merloni to write a column for the Series, he looks at the adjustments the teams will make in St. Louis.
Part of going to the NL park means David Ortiz at first base, Tony Massarotti looks at what losing the DH is going to mean to the Sox. Curiously Massarotti makes no mention of the theory he espoused so fervently on the Big Show a number of weeks ago, namely that the Sox might consider sitting Ortiz in these games. I guess Big Papi’s bat has won over Mazz. Steven Krasner also has a look at the significance of losing the DH for the Red Sox. Bob Hohler looks at Ortiz, hoping to make a positive impact at first base for these games. David Heuschkel says Ortiz is hoping for a little good luck around the bag the next few nights. David Borges says Ortiz isn’t quite as bad at the position as many would have you believe. Steve Conroy also has a look at Ortiz getting his glove out of storage. Art Davidson says Ortiz is prepared to meet this challenge and play a steady first base. With Ortiz at first, it means Kevin Millar is out of the lineup. Jim McCabe has Millar saying that he’ll be ready to hit in a pinch over the next few nights.
Michael O’Connor writes about Derek Lowe preparing to pitch…and hit…in game four. Joe Sullivan talks to former Cardinal Bob Tewksbury who is rooting for the Red Sox in this series, and not just because he works for NESN. Steve Britt looks at the massive job that Keith Foulke has done for the Red Sox in the postseason. Michael Gee says momentum is real. I say tell that to the Yankees, I bet they thought they had momentum up 3-0, having just beaten the Sox 19-8. Bob Hohler reports that Curt Schilling’s status for the rest of the series is simply day-to-day. John Tomase writes that Schilling’s performance Sunday night won him over, saying:
I'll admit that the cynic in me wondered if he wasn't doing it for show, playing up the whole wounded-warrior thing to retain the spotlight. I even had words written to that effect.
Dan Shaughnessy, clearly writing for a national audience and the casual fan, writes about how much the Red Sox mean to generations of New Englanders. One positive thing for Globe readers about these postseason games is that Shaughnessy has had to reign in his act a bit, and insert less of his own opinion. He’s had to play it straight more often, “columnize” less. After saying yesterday that Curt Schilling was playing things up for drama, today Jeff Jacobs says he hates Red Sox fans. Sounds like just another irrelevant columnist crying out “Notice me!” Bill Reynolds says that once this team found it’s identity, there has been no stopping them. Gordon Edes has a piece on Tom Werner and his role in the Red Sox front office and operations. Zach Rocha looks back at the 1918 World Series. Steve Buckley says that the players understand the historical significance of playing the Cardinals.
Hohler’s notebook has the Red Sox voting Nomar Garciaparra a postseason share. Horrigan’s notebook has the Red Sox surprised at the Cardinals’ complaints about their Boston accommodations. Chimelis’ notebook says the Sox are relaxed in St. Louis. Borges’ notebook has Pedro rarin’ to go in his first World Series appearance. The ProJo notebook has Terry Francona expecting big things from Pedro. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Pedro.
The St Louis Post-Dispatch has the Cardinals stories from today. In the local papers, former Red Sox pitcher Jeff Suppan will oppose Pedro tonight, and he is the focus of many stories this morning as well. John Powers looks at Suppan who was a 16-9 this season. Stephen Harris says that Suppan has something to prove to the Red Sox. Garry Brown also looks at Suppan. Karen Guregian looks at Suppan handling the pressure, something that was questioned about him during his time in Boston. Jack O’Connell says that his familiarity with this Red Sox team could help Suppan. Mark Blaudschun writes about the support the Cardinals have in St. Louis. O’Connell looks at the Cardinals heading home to Busch Stadium. Gordon Edes writes about the atmosphere at the stadium. Jim Donaldson writes about Ray King, the Cardinals designated David Ortiz stopper. Mike Anthony says that Cardinals fans are just as passionate as Red Sox fans, just less crass and nasty. Guregian’s notebook looks at the Cards heading home. Blaudschun’s notebook looks at the possible the Cardinals might get at home.
From the “Who thinks this makes good radio?” department of BSMW…what’s the deal with seemingly every sports talk radio host who feels the need to complain about their free hotel accommodations, given to them so that they can attend and watch the greatest sporting events on the planet…again for free? This happens over and over, I remember it during the last two Patriot Super Bowl appearances and now it’s happening on WEEI during this World Series. Have some perspective guys, you’re not sympathetic at all when you do this…more like pathetic.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to notice this, but did FOX only sell about 10 commercials for the entire playoffs? They weren’t funny the first 500 times we saw them. In addition, if there is one development in TV viewing from the 21st century that I just don’t get, it’s this reality TV craze and how many dozens of shows there are now of this genre. FOX slamming them down my throat does not make me want to even give them a chance. I used to like the FOX network. They’ve lost me. I’m sure that pains them.
Kevin Mannix and Michael Parente hand out Patriot Report Cards. Joe Burris looks at the Patriots success in the two minute drill on Sunday, leading to the winning touchdown. Tom E Curran notices that the Patriots getting off to a quick start in each game has helped them during the streak. Alan Greenberg agrees, noting that there isn’t a need for comebacks when you’re not trailing.
Mike Reiss says that when opponents say that they the Patriots don’t make mistakes, or that their own mistakes killed them, they’re off base. Rich Thompson has Bill Belichick praising Bill Cowher. Michael Parente looks at the important of Friday’s practice session. Reiss also looks at former UMass coach Mark Whipple as he tutors the Steelers young QB Ben Roethlisberger. Thompson’s notebook looks at rookie Vince Wilfolk’s first experience against Kevin Mawae. Curran’s notebook says the Patriots streak could be in jeopardy against the Steelers this weekend. Reiss’ notebook looks a the importance of practicing the two minute drill.
Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer report on things getting nasty in Ohio last night, as the Celtics and Cavaliers had a hallway brawl after the game, instigated by claims that Paul Pierce spit at the Cavs bench during the game. In Cleveland, Pierce is identified as the bad guy in this sudden rivalry between the two teams. Springer also writes about Walter McCarty, while Bulpett’s notebook looks at the Cavs offseason interest in Jiri Welsch.
Bill Griffith has Red Sox and Patriots ratings numbers and a series of bulleted notes on the media coverage of the events. Richard Sandomir in the NY Times (registration likely required) has a profile of Joe Buck, who acknowledges that Boston fans get on him about his announcing style. Christopher Price takes on “ethically challenged individuals masquerading as journalists” who wear Red Sox gear while “objectively” covering the team. The Globe looks at the city quietly making plans for a Parade. Guess it’s not that quiet after all, if it’s in the papers, eh?
Fox has Red Sox/Cardinals game 3 at 8:00.