The quarterback and receivers get “C’s”, while it’s “A’s” and “B’s” for the rest of the Patriots in this week’s Report Card by Kevin Mannix. Must get tough grading a team that just keeps winning. The Professor seems to be reaching for things to grade tough on this club. Once again Steve Grogan has “A’s” for the Patriots offense and defense. A couple of contrived sports radio “controversies” are put to rest this morning by the newspapers. As he reported in his blog yesterday, Mike Reiss reports that Corey Dillon went back into the game Sunday to test his leg, not to reach some potential contract incentive. In addition, Ron Borges says that Bill Belichick was not running up the score on the Browns Sunday, calling that notion “a mini-controversy of the media’s making”. Borges still manages one or two passive-aggressive shots at Belichick, but overall is positive. It seems that Borges and Gerry Callahan might have exchanged bodies this morning, as Callahan spent a lot of time this morning railing against Belichick “rumpswabs” out there, and that he’s taking a stand to ensure that the Patriots coach doesn’t get away with this…what “this” is, isn’t exactly certain from this corner.
Alan Greenberg and Tom E Curran look at how a bad few minutes in Pittsburgh earlier this season could haunt them down the road. Michael Parente writes that the Bengals could be tougher than you would expect this Sunday. Marvin Pave and Rich Thompson look at the Patriots preparation for Carson Palmer. Chris Kennedy has a look at the Bengal offense, a group that has several big weapons. Christopher Price says the Patriots offense isn’t too shabby themselves. Hector Longo writes that Bill Belichick will have his work cut out for him the rest of the season, ensuring that there are no bumps along the way. Paul Kenyon looks at the improvement of second year defensive lineman Ty Warren. George Kimball (subscription only) has the breaking news that the Browns might be interested in Scott Pioli! In fact, he speculates that the compensation might be high enough that “Pioli might feel honor-bound to take it for the good of the Patriots.”
Pave’s notebook and Thompson’s notebook both have more on Warren. Kenyon’s notebook has Bill Belichick talking about why Corey Dillon was put back into the game for one play. Parente’s notebook also tackles this subject. Reiss’ notebook compares the Patriots schedule to that of the Steelers.
The Celtics lost their second straight game on the west coast, falling to the Warriors 110-106. Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer report on the action from Oakland. The Celtics Blog also has a good recap of what happened in the game. Springer has another look back at a half effort Sunday night against the Kings. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the NBA avoiding an MLB-like steroid scandal. Springer’s notebook looks at the rejuvenated Raef LaFrentz. I also want to pass along wishes for a speedy recovery to Celtics FSN play-by-play man Mike Gorman, who was taken ill to the hospital with stomach cramps. Cedric Maxwell filled in with Tom Heinsohn last night.
Gordon Edes reports on John W Henry and Larry Lucchino scheduling a “social” visit with Pedro Martinez down in the Dominican Republic tomorrow morning. Tony Massarotti reports that the Sox are likely to offer salary arbitration to Pedro, Jason Varitek, Orlando Cabrera and Derek Lowe. He also reports that Sean McDonough has been not been renewed as the voice of Friday night baseball on UPN38. Chaz Scoggins beats a tired drum as he tells us that:
Sorry to spoil the party, folks, but the worst thing that could have happened to the Red Sox was to win the World Series.
Gerry Callahan (subscription only) compares Barry Bonds to Pete Rose and says that the former, like the latter, should be banned from baseball for life. Joe Haggerty talks to former Sox farmhand Freddy Sanchez, who was happy to see his former club win it all. Patrick Smith of the Union Leader looks at the Sox interest in Japanese second baseman Tadahito Iguchi. Steve Buckley (subscription only) informs us that he intends to vote for Wade Boggs and Jim Rice for the Hall of Fame, and explains his reasons why.
Bill Griffith has a peek at the new DVD from Carmer Productions and the Globe: “Boston’s Greatest Sports Stories: Beyond the Headlines”. I got my copy yesterday and intend to provide a full review here soon. I had it on last night, and the nearly three hour DVD has just about all you could hope for from a Boston sports documentary. Even Borges and Shaughnessy come across as actually liking sports and enjoying their jobs…as I said, more on that later, and we’re also putting together a promotion that will allow you to purchase the video through this site…
ESPN has college hoops with Pitt/Memphis at 7:00 and Oklahoma State/Syracuse at 9:00.