Late update

I apologize for the lack of an update this morning, but just like the rest of you, I haven’t gotten a whole lot of sleep this past week. I had an opportunity to get some this morning, and darn it, I took it. I also had the chance to go to a media lunch on by FSN for the upcoming Celtics season. It was a good time, information, and a chance to talk with a number of the local media types. Predictably, even though the event was for the Celtics, there was a lot of Red Sox talk around the room.

Some items of interest regarding the upcoming Celtics season on FSN:

  • The home games will be broadcast in HDTV. Tommy Heinsohn joked that he’s survived a lot of things in his career, but he wonders if he’ll survive high definition.
  • Mike and Tommy will have a Q&A session with Doc Rivers in the pregame prior to each game. Also Willie Maye will speak to an assistant coach and a player during halftime of each game. As Maye noted, they’re looking for more of national broadcast feel to each telecast.
  • There will be a dedicated post game show following each game: “Green Zone” will not just be a segment of New England Sports Tonight, but will deal solely with the Celtics game just completed.
  • “Legend of Red” will be a two part biography on Red Auerbach. Part I will premier on November 6th at 7:00. The program will include never seen before family photos, interviews with former players such as Bill Russell and Larry Bird and classic Celtics footage with calls by Johnny Most.

Mike and Tommy took questions from those in attendance, Tommy emphasized how much he’s going to enjoy seeing an up-tempo team with speed and quickness. He said the former style of play the last few years has been BORING. The running style of play is essential because a good big only comes along once a decade, if that. He mentioned several times about the whole organization being on the same page, and how that has not been the case in the past.

About the rookies, Tommy said that Al Jefferson has some Moses Malone in him. He can score, and he can rebound. It may take some time to develop him, but he’s got it in him to be great. He feels Kendrick Perkins is going to be a contributor this year. Regarding Delonte West, Heinsohn noted that he made a pass in the preseason that he’s only seen three players ever make. A full court bounce pass that was waiting perfectly for the recipient. Magic Johnson, Bob Cousy and Ernie D were the only other players he said he’s seen make that pass.

I asked Heinsohn about Gary Payton…he has had strong opinions about Payton in the past…and not positive ones. I asked him how he viewed him now as a Celtic. Tommy joked that it’s a case of he wore the black hat before, and now has donned the white hat. He feels Payton is going to be a leader, and is already helping the younger players and setting the tone for the club.

Mike Gorman was also very enthusiastic about the prospects for this team, he feels they will compete for the Atlantic Division. As for Gary Payton, he says he is already displaying great leadership. He was amazed to see that Payton has only missed 8 games in his entire career. He wasn’t sure about what Danny Ainge was doing when he first heard about the trade, but now he feels it was brilliant. He also said this Celtics team will not be short on toughness…something that previous teams lacked.

A few quick notes from elsewhere…you may have seen this already, but if you haven’t be sure to check out this Slide Show from Reily Studios….just an amazing series of pictures that should leave you with goosebumps. It’s good to see that Dan Shaughnessy is picking up from his radio appearance yesterday and made it into a column, the premise of which is “I invented the curse, I wrote the book, I say when it is over.” At the same time, Dan seems a little weary of the whole thing himself. Yes, Phil Mushnik may hate everyone, but today he tears into Tim McCarver and Joe Buck…something that should warm the hearts of Red Sox fans all over the country. Don’t expect things to get better in the next round however, with McCarver having played many years with the Cardinals, and Joe Buck being a TV and Radio broadcaster for the team and of course the ties his father had with them as well. We’re not the only ones tired of McCarver though, there is even a website shutuptimmccarver.com, which isn’t even done by a Red Sox fan, but instead by a Mets fan.

WEEI will continue its wall-to-wall Red Sox coverage this weekend. Jon Wallach will have overnight post game shows, and Jon Meterparel and Wendi Nix will be on Sunday morning from 6-9 prior to the usual NFL Sunday program.

As for the Patriots, how crazy is it that they are going for the “Official” league record for consecutive victories (already owning the “unofficial” record) this Sunday against the New York Jets, and no one is saying a peep about it. Maybe it’s better that way, it seems to have made Bill Belichick’s press conference’s even better, you need to check out today’s transcript. Maybe it was because there were only hard-core football writers there, but this stuff is as informative as you’re going to see anywhere. It continues to boggle my mind how media types complain about Belichick being boring and dull. They want the Bill Parcells’ “She” material all the time, yet if you take the time to read and listen, Belichick tells you 100 times more about the nuances of football than Parcells or probably anyone else does. In the articles today, Nick Cafardo brings up the Patriots supposed interest in trading up for Dewayne Robertson in draft day 2003, but Michael Felger calls that rumor “baseless” and shreds it.

Dave Scott looks back at a week only an “idiot” would believe in Scott’s Shots.

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How quickly things change…

A sampling of media reaction from earlier this week. Sure, no one could’ve predicted that the Red Sox would make the complete comeback from down 0-3, but some of this stuff needs to be preserved for posterity. This isn’t really intended to make these ones look bad, but as the title of this post says, it’s to show just how quickly and dramatically the whole situation turned around. The extreme swings in emotions and viewpoints in this series are worth remembering. Many of the fans were saying these same things, so again it’s not a slam on the writers. Most of them anyway. Thanks to Rich for helping put this together for me.
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Let the record show that, for the second straight season, the beginning of the end of the Red Sox season came on Oct. 16.

Sean McAdam 10/17
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So there. For the 86th consecutive autumn, the Red Sox are not going to win the World Series.

Dan Shaughnessy 10/17

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They are down, 3-0, after last night's 19-8 rout, and, in this sport, that is an official death sentence. Soon it will be over, and we will spend another dreary winter lamenting this and lamenting that.

The idea that the Red Sox accomplished anything good at all this season seems inconceivable. The only thing that resonates now is the idea that, once again, the Red Sox have been beaten by the Yankees, this time in an incredibly undignified manner.

Nothing good has come from this. Nothing. We all wanted the Yankees. What, dare I say it, idiots we all were.

Bob Ryan 10/17
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So now the Sox are down, 3-0, and it's over, and everyone knows it, even the resilient Boston players who have never said die all season, and aren't about to start now. Give them credit for that, because there isn't much else to praise them for.

You can hang your bruised and battered Boston cap on the fact this series would be different if Curt Schilling was healthy.

You'd be wrong.

How could anyone have underestimated a lineup that features Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, and Hideki Matsui all in a row?

Jackie MacMullan 10/17
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Johnny Damon may look like a prophet, but his words have proven false.

It is not, as he said, the Red Sox who are a bunch of idiots.

What they are is a bunch of chokes.

The idiots are all those fools who truly believed this would be the year the perennially disappointing Sox -- who haven't won a World Series since 1918, nor even a pennant since 1986 -- would finally beat the 26-time, world-champion Yankees, who now are on the brink of playing for a 27th title.

Only a bunch of idiots would continue to put their faith in this chronically overpaid and underachieving aggregation of ill-kempt characters, this wild-and-crazy bunch of hirsute fun lovers who gleefully pop open champagne bottles to celebrate finishing second for the seventh straight season.

Sure, they're loose. They're also losers.

Jim Donaldson 10/17
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Maybe Boston's smug club president Larry Lucchino will finally regret not going the extra dollar or two for A-Rod today (OK, it was more like $15 mil). And maybe we all overrated the Red Sox. They certainly looked a lot better from afar.

Jon Heyman NY Newsday 10/17
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The fates have aligned for one of the greatest collapses in the history of baseball.

But I'm certainly not talking about the Yankees.

For a town that has known only heartache for the past 86 years, tonight's Game 7 loss will probably hurt even more than a certain "E-3" from nearly two decades ago.

Joe Deemer Indiana Tribune 10/20/04
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As crazy as it sounds, Red Sox fans ought to feel more cursed than ever. Their grief has been prolonged for one more day, for a Game 5 in the ALCS that, despite its apparent lopsided nature, doesn't want to end. There are plenty of Sox fans who would have found peace in having been swept by a Yankee team that's clearly more focused, better managed and just plain superior. Aaron Boone's home run in Game 7 last October was a wicked stake through the heart. But this? This was torture sure and slow, like dull scissors slicing through the soul.

Lisa Olson NY Daily News 10/18
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All season, the Yankees let their play speak for themselves. The Red Sox talk turned out to be so much bigger than their walk.

Kevin Kernan – NY Post 10/17
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The victory gives the Yankees a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series going into tonight's Game 4. No team in baseball has flushed such a bulge. That means the Yankees are a lock for their 40th flag, and their second straight World Series appearance.

George King NY Post 10/17
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Forget the cushion, it's time for the Yankees to play with desperation. If not, this Curse will be reversed and this Yankee team will be remembered as the Greatest Choke of all time.

Don't expect that to happen.

Kevin Kernan – NY Post 10/19

What I love about all this, is that never again will you see articles and quotes like the above…even if the Red Sox don’t win the World Series. Whenever a team goes down 0-3, the 2004 Red Sox will be brought up. Whenever the Red Sox and Yankees play, in addition to 1948, 1978, 1999 and 2003, the year 2004 will be prominently attached and will overshadow all those other dates. Kind of brings a tear to your eye, huh? The passing of an era…

In addition, great radio was to be heard this morning on Mike Barnicle’s radio show on 96.9 FM as Dan Shaughnessy asserted that the “curse” (his meal ticket) is still alive and well. After Shaughnessy was told that the “curse” is a Red Sox/Yankees thing that the Sox beating them ends it, Shaughnessy curtly said “I wrote the book, and I’m telling you it’s not over.”

Bill Simmons has no idea what to do with himself after last night’s events. Bob George says no one can take this miracle away from us. Thomas Boswell…with family ties to New England looks at the rejoicing of the area after last night.

Bedlam in the Bronx

How does it feel to witness history…positive history at that? The Red Sox capped off the most incredible and unlikely comeback in baseball history by stomping on the Yankees 10-3 last night in the Bronx to complete their Lazarus-like return from a 0-3 series deficit – something never done before. My highlight last night? After the game, while Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and Al Leiter were wrapping up their broadcast, hearing the chants of “Who’s your daddy” from the Red Sox fans that stuck around the stadium after the game. You couldn’t script ANY of this any better. If you made up a story in which the Red Sox fell down 0-3 in a series to the Yankees, and then came storming back to win in game seven – at Yankee Stadium – in a rout, with Derek Lowe on the mound, and Johnny Damon who was mired in a miserable slump breaking out with two homers including a grand slam, you’d be ridiculed and laughed at. Yet it happened. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Bob Hohler says the Red Sox shocked the nation. Jeff Horrigan notes that the roles were “delightfully reversed” last night in Yankee stadium. Steven Krasner says “Finally”! Paul Doyle says the Red Sox issued a definitive response to years of Yankee domination and torment. David Borges says that the ghosts of Yankees past were unable to do anything to assist the current day Yankees last night. Dan Shaughnessy says that October 20th will go down in history and always be remembered for the day when the Red Sox got their payback against the New York Yankees. Dom Amore says the aftermath will not be pretty for the Bombers after this one. Garry Brown writes about the “impossible comeback”.

Some of these articles today are to be savored. Bob Ryan’s column is one, as he is in journalistic shock over what has happened in the last week and specifically last night. Sean McAdam says the Red Sox have momentarily thrown off the shackles of history as they now try to go on and win the World Series. Jeff Jacobs says that the universe is now upside down as the Yankees are the ones who suffered a historic, monumental postseason collapse. Lenny Megliola says that this one is a win for the ages. Howard Bryant suggests that last night, Red Sox/Yankees finally became a real rivalry, with the Red Sox “demanding respect and gaining it in a way no baseball fan has ever seen.” Bill Reynolds says last night was the completion of a miracle, arguably the biggest win in Red Sox history. Gordon Edes captures the moment very well:

This is what Yankee Stadium looks and feels like after Steinbrenner has been humbled, Sinatra has been silenced, and the Yankee Stadium monuments avert their eyes in shock at what this Red Sox team, unlike any of its predecessors in almost a century's worth of trying, was able to accomplish at the expense of pinstriped pride that may never feel quite the same again.

Tony Massarotti looks at the Red Sox making some of their own history. Alex Speier says that history is no longer a four letter word around Boston. Jon Couture writes that “collapse” has a new spelling this morning. David Heuschkel looks at the Red Sox beating impossible odds. Edes looks further at how the Red Sox never gave up and were able to pull off this incredible storybook ending for the ages. Michael Silverman writes that the Red Sox, while thrilled with their accomplishment are not yet satisfied as there is one more hurdle to leap.

Karen Guregian looks at George Steinbrenner’s millions being wasted on this edition of the New York Yankees. Joe McDonald looks at the morgue-like Yankee Stadium and team clubhouse after the Yankees failed to deliver. Peter May has more on the failures of the newest Yankees to continue on the legacy of beating the Red Sox. Sean McAdam and Jack O’Connell look at the umpires reversed calls in game six and wonder if they turned the tide for the Sox. Garry Brown looks at the Evil Empire being struck down.

Jackie MacMullan looks at Derek Lowe rising the occasion and putting on the performance of his life. Steve Conroy also looks at the incredible outing for Lowe. Ron Chimelis has more on Lowe standing tall. Stephen Harris looks at series MVP David Ortiz delivering yet again for the Red Sox. Sean McAdam writes that Ortiz was the obvious choice for MVP. Steve Britt writes that Big Papi is the new Babe Ruth. Paul Doyle has more on Ortiz. Reid Laymance and Steve Buckley look at Johnny Damon busting out of his series long slump with a performance that will go down in history. Doyle has more on Captain Caveman.

Reid Laymance looks at Pedro Martinez, happy to get a chance to share in the win last night. Massarotti writes that Tim Wakefield will get the game one start in the World Series. Britt looks at the exhausted bullpens on both sides. Krasner looks at the scene at the Stadium after the game. Jon Couture says that after last night, the Boston has no reason to feel inferior to the Yankees. Krasner also looks at Mark Bellhorn getting another home run last night. Laymance has a piece on Keith Foulke and his contribution to the series win. Kraz’s Corner looks at the Red Sox blowing a chance at an early run last night.

Tony Massarotti writes that now that most of American has seen Alex Rodriguez as his peers do, “As a self-absorbed, attention-seeking glamour boy.” Sean McAdam and Joe McDonald note that ARod may have twice raised the ire of the Red Sox, causing them to get fired up. Jack O’Connell looks at ARod, forced to watch another postseason celebration.

Steven Krasner, David Heuschkel andMichael Silverman have a look at the medical work done to get Curt Schilling on the mound for game six. The Globe says that the procedure was a new version of Morgan Magic for the Red Sox. Howard Bryant and Jackie MacMullan and David Borges look back once more at the amazing effort of Schilling on Tuesday night.

Horrigan’s notebook looks at Pedro finally going to the World Series. The ProJo notebook looks at Pedro’s shaky performance out of the bullpen last night. Hohler’s notebook has more on series MVP Ortiz. Britt’s notebook looks at Bellhorn delivering for the Red Sox. Heuschkel’s notebook says all hands were on deck for the Red Sox bullpen last night. Speier’s notebook looks at the effort of Keith Foulke in this series. McDonald’s notebook says that Kevin Brown has been a season long disappointment for the Yankees. Amore’s notebook says the Yankees have a lot of offseason work to do.

Impossible. Shocking. I thought there was no way it could happen. The Red Sox winning game 7? No, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the fact that I could be disgusted and turn off WEEI this morning. With the Red Sox accomplishing something that has never been done before in baseball history, and doing it against the most storied franchise in sports history, you’d think things would be positive, would you not? Nope. Dennis and Callahan led off the show with vitriol and venom over Pedro Martinez’s appearance in the game last night. I repeat, led off. I turn on the radio at 6:10 this morning, eager to hear about this history being made, and instead hear those two complaining, grousing and angry about Pedro. Give me a break. Yes, I expect that situation to be discussed. I was also scratching my head and baffled at why Lowe was finished, cruising along at 69 pitches. I could not understand why Pedro was brought it. But have some perspective, last night was historic, and yet the miserable duo has to lead off with a negative topic. Then they pimped an appearance by that fraud “Angry Bill” who proclaimed that the Red Sox have no “bullets in the gun” left for the World Series, and Callahan further proclaiming that the World Series is merely anti-climatic. I ended up quickly shutting off the station and happening to land on Star 93.7 FM which at that point had better Red Sox talk than WEEI. A freakin’ DISCO station.

A couple other notes:

*Was it wrong that I enjoyed listening to WFAN last night after the game? Hearing things from the other side was pretty satisfying, though there were just as many Mets fans calling in to rejoice in the Yankees loss.

*It was equally fun to listen to the end of the Yankees radio broadcast. They produced a montage of the audio clips from the series, and hearing the tone in John Sterling and Charlie Steiner’s voices get slightly more desperate at the end of each broadcast was….priceless.

*Did Butch Stearns see Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez hug after the game? Just checking.

Enjoy today everyone.

Game Seven, take two.

Wow. What more can you really say? We’re here again, right back to where we were last year. Red Sox/Yankees game 7, something unimaginable just a couple days ago. Now, with a win tonight, Dan Shaughnessy says they will complete the greatest baseball comeback story ever told. Can you say enough about Curt Schilling? Jeff Horrigan recaps another wild night between the two clubs, this time in the Bronx. Steven Krasner looks at Schilling and the Red Sox doing what it took to get the job done. David Borges has more on the game, which again was filled with oddities and controversy. Bob Hohler says Schilling and his teammates are not heroes, but they certainly are special. Dom Amore looks at a remarkable turnaround for the Sox, setting up tonight. Garry Brown also has a game story from last night.

Curt Schilling is going to be remembered for ages for what he did last night. Jeff Jacobs looks at Schilling making New York shut up. Bob Ryan wonders if Schilling can close tonight, but is more amazed that there is going to be a baseball game at all tonight. Steve Buckley says Schilling put on a performance that any baseball fan, even a Yankee fan, has got to respect and admire. Alex Speier looks at a Rocky-like, Willis Reed-like performance by the Sox righthander. He also reports on the whereabouts of Pedro Martinez, who could get a chance to close tonight himself. Jon Couture writes that the stage doesn’t get any bigger than the one that Schilling step up onto last night. Michael Silverman also looks at how Schilling was able to get out onto the mound. Steve Conroy says that Schilling’s determination and outing even impressed his teammates, who have seen him pitching through pain all season.

Gordon Edes suggests that a win tonight can do much to erase the many years of frustration for the Red Sox and their fans. Tony Massarotti says that we will witness a contest of survival tonight in the Bronx. Sean McAdam says that everything since last October has been building for tonight’s game 7 rematch. David Heuschkel has Kevin Millar saying that the Sox are looking to “shock the United States of America” and maybe Japan, too. Steve Britt looks at the incredible run which has the Red Sox back in a game seven against the Yankees. Bill Reynolds says the Red Sox tonight chase history…not only their own, but baseball history. Ron Chimelis says that these ’04 Sox have earned our admiration. He also looks at how they sit one game from history.

Nick Cafardo and Howard Bryant look at Mark Bellhorn, redeeming himself of an earlier bases loaded double play, and struggling throughout the playoffs with the game winnings 3 run home run. Steven Krasner also has a brief piece on Bellhorn. Paul Doyle has more on Bellhorn snapping out his hitting slump with one big stroke. Garry Brown has still more on Bellhorn’s redemption. Gordon Edes looks at the Red Sox bullpen getting a little bit of a breather last night, which means everyone will be available for tonight. David Heuschkel looks at another huge performance for Keith Foulke, working his third day in a row and getting the save. Kraz’s Corner looks at the adjustments the Red Sox made against Jon Lieber last night. Steve Buckley looks at the job Theo Epstein has done as GM of the Red Sox. Jeff Horrigan looks at Pokey Reese, who would love to be the starting shortstop for the Red Sox next season. Sean McAdam looks at the umpires getting the calls right last night. Michael Silverman says Carl Pavano hopes the Sox give him a call in a few weeks.

They’re still talking about game five. Peter May looks at the little things that made up that epic contest. Dom Amore and Sean McAdam look at the big hits in that game and in the series by David Ortiz. David Borges has more on Ortiz. Nick Cafardo looks at how Dave Roberts speed was a huge factor in both games four and five.

Hohler’s notebook has Derek Lowe tabbed to start tonight’s series finale. Horrigan’s notebook agrees with that call. The ProJo notebook goes with Terry Francona’s mention before the game that Tim Wakefield would be the game seven starter. Heuschkel’s notebook has Manny staying focused despite not having a great power series. Chimelis’ notebook looks at Schilling’s faith.

John Powers says the pressure is on the Yankees to avoid becoming the “biggest chokers in the history of organized baseball.” Karen Guregian also says the Yankees are trying to avoid the “biggest choke job baseball has ever witnessed.” Joe McDonald has more on the implosion of the Bronx Bombers. Jack O’Connell says that this Yankees team is no longer patient at the plate. Peter May and Stephen Harris look at ARod slapping the ball out of the glove of Bronson Arroyo, sparking controversy and ugliness last night. O’Connell has more on that situation, recalling that there is bad blood between Rodriguez and Arroyo. O’Connell also says Kevin Brown is expected to get the start tonight. Amore’s notebook looks at the banged up Jorge Posada, sticking in the lineup. Powers’ notebook has Joe Torre being evasive about tonight’s starter. Guregian’s notebook looks at the ugliness on the field in the 9th inning. Imagine if that happened in Boston? Is the mayor of NY going to issue an apology? McDonald’s notebook looks at the play of David Ortiz against the Yankees.

Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider looks at the continued played and durability of Curtis Martin. He also looks at Corey Dillon’s contract, Kevin Mawae’s “club” and more subterfuge with the injury report. Ron Borges has more on Martin making a statement with his continued strong play and for once, his mouth, prior to the season. Michael Parente looks at the challenge of facing the Jets this Sunday. Christopher Price has a piece on Rodney Harrison. Jonathan Comey says that at a certain point you run out of things to write about regarding this Patriots team. He also has his NFL power rankings.

Mark Murphy says even the Celtics have the Red Sox on their minds. Shira Springer looks at Doc Rivers trying to settle on a backup point guard behind Gary Payton. Murphy’s notebook has the Celtics youngsters again dropping a lead in a preseason game.

Fox has Red Sox/Yankees game seven at 8:00. Nothing else matters.

10.19.04 Afternoon

Bill Simmons can’t quite believe what happened the last two nights at Fenway. Rob Bradford looks at the Red Sox attempting to make history. Mike Fine says that it just doesn’t get any better than this. Ken Lechtanski looks at the Sox “Mr October” propelling them back to NY. Eric Wilbur suggests that last night might’ve been the best game ever. Tim O’Sullivan looks at Ortiz pulling the Red Sox fans back in. Kevin Thomas also has a game story from last night. He also looks forward to possible history in the making. Still a little early for that. One game at a time, boys.

Chaz Scoggins writes about another miracle for Ortiz. Kathy McCabe looks at Ortiz making his own Daddy proud. Alan Greenwood says Ortiz and the Red Sox are at least getting the attention of New York. Del N Jones writes that Ortiz decided that enough was enough last night. Bob Stern also has a look at Ortiz. Fine has a look at the contribution by Tim Wakefield. On a national level, Eric Neel of ESPN.com Page2 says it’s time for Curt Schilling’s storybook game. Thomas’ notebook looks at Schilling’s throwing session yesterday.

Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots improvement in their Red Zone defense. Tom King says focus is the key to how Ty Law and the Patriots have reached their goals to this point. Glen Farley says that Patriots/Jets makes for a perfect 10 matchup. Gary Meyers of the NY Daily News says the Patriots are beatable, and looks at Herm Edwards’ efforts to end the 20 game winning streak. Richard Lezin Jones looks at Edwards being careful not to provide any bulletin board material for the Patriots. Too late for that, as Chad Pennington said on national TV Sunday after the Jets beat the 49ers that they were going to go up and beat the Patriots this week. Dave Hutchinson previews the battle of the unbeatens. Bob Dicesare of the Buffalo News tells us that history has never seen a team like the Patriots. Gregg Easterbrook jumps on the “Patriots are lucky” bandwagon. He says they’ve avoided injury, which is total bunk. They’ve had plenty of injuries, but have had the depth to overcome them.

David slays Goliath…again

If there are two more miserable people on the face of the earth than John Dennis and Gerry Callahan, I have no wish to meet them. In the face of another exhilarating walk off, extra inning playoff victory over the Yankees, the WEEI duo came on the air today to castigate Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez, (Hitting a “soft .333” – hard to drive guys in when nobody gets on in front of you.) Trot Nixon, Terry Francona, and even impugn that David Ortiz’s words to Steve Buckley last night were selfish and possibly the words of someone too full of themselves. (They seemed Larry Bird-esque to me…) While criticism of struggling players is going to happen, I don’t know that it’s warranted at 6:00 AM the morning after the huge win. At least there were no “Angry Bill” sightings during the time I had them on, although it seemed like they were hoping he would call. Give me a break. Enjoy the win, fellas.

Dan Shaughnessy has the game story from the front page of the Globe. Jeff Horrigan says this one will go down in history and be remembered by generations to come. Steven Krasner looks at the Red Sox once again refusing to concede the series. David Heuschkel wonders what destiny has in store for these clubs. David Borges looks at a series headed back to the Bronx. Bob Hohler notes that the series is right where last year’s was. 3-2 Yankees heading back to NY. Joe Haggerty has Pedro Martinez saying that Ortiz is the Yankees Big Papi. Ron Chimelis calls it “one of the most amazing postseason baseball games played in this generation, possibly ever.”

Bill Reynolds says that despite the dramatics, these last two wins were really for nothing but pride at this point for the Red Sox. Tony Massarotti argues that the Red Sox have proven that they have no intention of bowing out quietly in this series. Sean McAdam says that a whole lot of what has happened in this series already is against the odds. Bob Ryan doesn’t know where to start on this one, so much action, so many heroes. He also observes”

So the Red Sox are alive. Most baseball teams down, 3-0, get swept (20 of 25). Only two have ever gotten to a sixth game. None have gone farther than that. Curt Schilling will put on his Bill Buckner/Johnny Unitas high-top shoe tonight and make another attempt at shutting up 55,000 people. Should be fun.

Lenny Megliola wonders where we’re going to erect the statue of Ortiz. Jeff Jacobs has a column almost as long as the last two games. Kevin Gray writes that these Sox are showing that anything is possible. Jackie MacMullan looks at winning pitcher Tim Wakefield, who proved once again that he is always ready to pitch. Paul Teves and Steve Conroy also write about Wakefield getting the win. Garry Brown says that one game at a time, the Red Sox are climbing back into this thing.

Tom Yantz writes that Ortiz’s late momma has got to be proud of what Papi has done. Nick Cafardo looks at the amazing transformation of Ortiz since he has come to Boston. In this case, the headline topped the article, as the headline calls Ortiz the Sox “ultimate closer” something that doesn’t appear in the otherwise good article. Stephen Harris also has a piece on Ortiz, noting that the slugger is fueled by the desire to have the Red Sox win the World Series. Sean McAdam writes that what Ortiz has done the last two nights is not human. Jon Couture looks at what is turning into an amazing series, and concludes:

No team has ever come back from a three games to none deficit.
Baseball's never seen a team like the 2004 Boston Red Sox.
Believe it.

A win tonight will have a lot more people believing, as Curt Schilling attempts to write the pitching version of a Roy Hobbs-like storyline. Michael Silverman says Schilling is getting his wish of being back out on the mound against the Yankees. Bob Hohler has Schilling saying he couldn’t ask for anything more than just getting a chance to get out there again. Steve Buckley writes that Schilling is proving himself once again to be a tough, old school style pitcher, refusing to turn in his uniform.

If Schilling and the Sox are unable to extend the series to a game seven, last night could possibly have been the last appearance in a Red Sox uniform for Pedro Martinez. While Mark Blaudschun describes last night’s outing as “workmanlike” for Martinez, Sean McAdam notes that Pedro once again couldn’t hold a lead against the Yankees and that “if the Yankees are the ultimate yardstick, then Martinez has fallen short too often.” Howard Bryant says that Pedro did enough to keep the game close and give the Red Sox a chance to stay alive. Art Davidson terms it a “quality start” for Pedro last night. Paul Doyle gives us the final tally on Pedro’s tenure in Boston:

So if he is gone, here's the final tally on Pedro in Boston: 117-37, 2.52 ERA in 203 games, with 1,683 strikeouts in 1,3832/3 innings. He won two Cy Young Awards, was selected for four All-Star Games, and was part of four playoff teams in seven seasons.

His future will be addressed after the season, I say you have to find a way to keep him here. He’s not the same pitcher as the one who put up the bulk of those numbers above, but he’s better than most of what is out there on the market this winter.

The Sox bullpen picked up Martinez with eight (count ’em…EIGHT) shutout innings. Michael Silverman says the bullpen delivered in the zero hour. A big part of that was Keith Foulke, who Paul Doyle notes, got four huge outs in his second consecutive appearance. Alex Speier looks at the exhausted pitching staffs on both sides. Steve Britt says the Boston bullpen was bottomless last night. Garry Brown wonders what the winner of this series is going to have left in the tank. Bob Hohler has Derek Lowe looking at his possible exit from Boston after the season. Nick Cafardo and Kevin McNamara look at the continued struggles of Johnny Damon, who promises to start hitting again. Tonight would be a good time for that. Tom Yantz looks at Dave Roberts having a huge role in the series without picking up a bat.

Gordon Edes’ notebook has John W Henry hoping for a rainout tonight. I don’t know that would be the best scenario…keep the momentum going. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Jason Varitek having a few rough moments with Tim Wakefield knuckleballs. Kraz’s Corner looks at Varitek trying out hitting right-handed against Mike Mussina. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on the long night for Varitek. Borges’ notebook also looks at Varitek. Speier’s notebook looks at the continued struggles for Johnny Damon.

John Powers looks at the Yankee celebration being put on hold for at least another day. Karen Guregian says the Yankees go back to NY hoping the familiar surroundings of the Stadium get them back on track. Kevin McNamara looks at the failures of Mariano Rivera the last two nights. Don Amore has a piece on the surprising contribution of Esteban Loaiza last night. Stephen Harris looks at tonight’s starter, Jon Lieber. Jack O’Connell looks at the sudden struggles of the Yankee offense. Peter May writes about the Yankee bullpen giving up another lead. O’Connell also writes about the supposed quotes of Gary Sheffield that became bulletin board material for the Red Sox. Guregian’s notebook has more on the Yankees leaving men on base. Power’s notebook looks at the importance of game five. Amore’s notebook looks at the state of Joe Torre’s bullpen.

Kevin Mannix has his weekly Patriots report card. A’s, B’s, and C’s across the board for the Pats. Jim McCabe looks at the Patriots stingy defense. Alan Greenberg and Chris Kennedy also look at the Red Zone defense for the Patriots. Rich Thompson compares the running backs in this weekend’s matchup; Corey Dillon and Curtis Martin. Tom E Curran says that Dillon’s presence gives Charlie Weis a whole new bag of tricks. Michael Parente says that Dillon is thoroughly enjoying life away from the Bengals.

Parente also has a report card for last Sunday’s game. Mike Reiss looks at Daniel Graham doing it all in earning a game ball on Sunday. George Kimball looks at Dan Klecko adding another chapter to his versatility. Thompson’s notebook has more on the Red Zone defense. McCabe’s notebook looks at the attention that Corey Dillon is getting on a winning team. Curran’s notebook looks at the home field advantage of Gillette. Reiss’ notebook has more on the Red Zone.

Shira Springer looks at Celtics rookie Al Jefferson as he tries to figure out life in the NBA. Mark Murphy has a piece on Marcus Banks, who remains confident despite his coach’s concerns about his play.

Bill Griffith looks at FOX’s broadcast from Gillette this past Sunday, and has a number of other media notes.

FOX has Red Sox/Yankees at 8:19.

Yes Virginia, there is a game five

Somewhat abbreviated Monday links today…

The Red Sox managed to stay alive in the American League Championship Series with a dramatic 6-4 win in 12 innings. David Ortiz (who else?) that lovable sack of you-know-what does it again for the Red Sox with a game winning home run. Bob HoherJeff HorriganSteven KrasnerDavid Heuschkel and David Borges all provide the game stories from Fenway. Dan Shaughnessy has another game story for the Globe news section.

Bob Ryan writes that the Red Sox finally showed a little spunk last night. Tony Massarotti says the Red Sox are in the ultimate one-game-at-a-time scenario here. Sean McAdam says that once again, David Ortiz is Mr. Clutch for the Sox. Jackie MacMullan also looks at Ortiz wearing the hero’s jersey. Jon Couture says that Red Sox nation still believes. Steve Buckley looks at Derek Lowe stepping in with a big performance last night. Steven Krasner also looks at Lowe, who ended up leaving the game in a huff. Tom Yantz has another look at Lowe’s night.

Bob Ryan ponders Pedro’s seven years here and wonders if this is his last hurrah with the Red Sox. Tony Massarotti says that Pedro has again become the Red Sox ace in the postseason. Former Grady Little apologist Sean McAdam says that the fans are targeting the manager to blame for the Red Sox failures once again. Gordon Edes looks at Francona making the right moves last night. Howard Bryant looks at Keith Foulke allowing the Red Sox to live another day.

Horrigan’s notebook has the news that Curt Schilling will get the start in game six should the Red Sox survive another day. Heuschkel’s notebook has Theo Epstein exploring why the Sox had until last night underachieved against the Yankees. Hohler’s notebook looks at the Sox hoping to be able to send both Pedro and Schilling at the Yankees one more time. Krasner’s notebook has more on Schilling.

Before the Red Sox could get their first win against the Yankees, the Patriots took their 20th straight win, a 30-20 victory over the Seahawks, who came into the game flapping their jaws instead of their wings. Michael Felger looks at Seattle providing enough motivation for the Patriots to beat them. Nick Cafardo also looks at how the Seahawks talking came back to haunt them. Tom E Curran, Alan Greenberg, Michael Parente, Christopher Price and John Japha have the rest of the game stories from Foxboro. BSMW’s Scott A Benson weighs in with his thoughts on the game as well.

Kevin Mannix has a short article trying to make the case that the hit on Tom Brady in which he fumbled cause the Patriots’ QB to be “shaky” for the rest of the game. Jim McCabe looks at Brady holding things together just fine. Ron Borges writes about Bethel Johnson trying to make amends for his past transgressions with the big catch yesterday. Jim Donaldson feels like an idiot for picking against the Patriots. (I’ll be nice and refrain from comment on the first two lines of the column.) Jim McCabe looks at the Patriots playing for pride right to the end of the game. Rich Thompson looks at Ty Law tying the franchise record for career interceptions.

Paul Kenyon looks at what a difference Corey Dillon makes. Rich Thompson and Ron Indrisano have more on Dillon, who racked up a 100 yards despite not being a 100%. Alan Greenberg looks at Bethel Johnson’s catch. Dan Ventura has another look at the catch by the speedy Patriots receiver that basically put the game away. Ventura also looks at Rodney Harrison silencing the upstart Seattle talkers.

Felger’s notebook has Bill Belichick accepting blame on himself for some blown coverages during the game. Cafardo’s notebook also focuses on Belichick’s mea culpa. Parente’s notebook has more on Belichick. Curran’s notebook has the Seahawks eating their words. Japha’s notebook has more on the Bethel Johnson reception.

Shira Springer looks at the Celtics new offense, which is basically just “play basketball”.

Dave Scott has a special Monday edition of Scott’s Shots, looking at the Red Sox coverage over the weekend, and a number of other scattered items.

Fox has Red Sox/Yankees at 5:00.