A variety of stories in the papers today, Curt Schilling’s latest steppingstone in his rehab, Red Sox/Yankees talk, a couple Patriots items, and a number of articles on Gary Payton’s back as the Celtics prepare to take on the Dallas Mavericks tonight at home. A couple more emails and other articles complete today’s posting.

Curt Schilling pitched in a minor league game yesterday and made more progress as he continues his return from ankle surgery. Chris Snow says that Schilling felt very encouraged by his arm angle and stuff yesterday. Jeff Horrigan writes that yesterday could’ve been the moment that triggers another successful season for Schilling. David Heuschkel says that Schilling is aiming for the first series at Fenway as a possible return to the rotation. David Borges also reports on Schilling. Dom Amore reports on the game between the Red Sox and Yankees yesterday, a low key affair won by Boston 7-2. Sean McAdam says that the two teams are ready for the grind of the regular season including the 19 head to head matchups. Michael Gee (subscription only) claims that the biggest thing the Red Sox have going for them is their success against Mariano Rivera. Jonathan Comey says he doesn’t like what he’s seeing from the Red Sox either this spring. He lists out five reasons for his discomfort. Gordon Edes has an article (and slide show) on Randy Johnson talking about the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. Tony Massarotti writes that the Yankees have the edge in the pitching department, which Joe Torre says might be the best he’s ever had. Massarotti says Boston fans are blind to this.

Many Boston sports followers are still inhaling the fumes from the outbreak of local championships, and they're so high now that they cannot see straight. That has been the annoying side effect in this golden era of Bill Belichick and Theo Epstein, two leaders who have cultivated such blind faith that nobody bothers to question them anymore.

So is Tony volunteering to become the Ron Borges of the Red Sox beat? The big debate on The Big Show revolved around whether Red Sox fans have lost their edge, and if the team will get a pass this year because of the World Series victory. Be prepared for an onslaught of that discussion as the season goes on, especially if the Red Sox struggle. The Herald does another Upside/Downside discussion today, the issue being the new steroid policy and the future of the game. Karen Guregian says that baseball is taking steps in the right direction, while Steve Buckley writes that there are still a number of disturbing problems facing the game, despite the recent surge in popularity. Buckley also has a short subscription only column talking with one of the construction crew working on the latest renovations to Fenway. The man believes the Red Sox are doing the right thing in staying in the park and making changes to it. Howard Bryant (subscription only) writes that after the bad examples of Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, etc, Johnny Damon is the latest to show us that ballplayers shouldn’t be role models with the information in his book about the end of his marriage. Edes’ notebook and McAdam’s notebook look at the return of Mike Myers, the Herald notebook also looks at Myers and says that the Sox might be close to sending Byung-Hyun Kim to the Rockies.

A couple emails from the inbox yesterday:

----- Original Message -----
From: William H
To: bruce@bostonsportsmedia.com
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 10:57 AM
Subject: BSMW Thoughts

Hi Bruce--

I enjoy your site when I get the time to browse it, but fear after reading this morning your outrage over Shaughnessy's excerpt that you may be getting too sensitive. I have objected over the years to a number of Dan's tactics--submarining players with an ambiguous 'on the record/off the record' policy; employing childish insults (Offerman) to emphasize arguments; mailing in slapdash copy more frequently as he gets older--but I can't agree that he has always been out to "profit from the pain" of the Red Sox fans. Fact is, for years the Sox broke our hearts. Last year they warmed them. Dan chronicled it as every journalist did, and his copy reflected what took place on the field. Simple as that. In his opinion--a lazy one, if you ask me, but still his opinion--extraterrestrial factors were at work. This was not the opinion of one man, but a consensus of conspiracy theorists nation-wide. It was a silly theory, and I don't think readers should stoop to Dan's level in implying that he had in mind a grand plot to make money off of all this drama. He isn't that smart.

I like your site, and I think the media stars in Boston need it--Borges, Cafardo, Stearns more than most--so I don't want to see you jump the shark by overreacting. Keep up the good work,

Liam H
Washington, D.C.

Is it possible to defend Dan Shaughnessy while trashing him at the same time? I do think there is a good point here, there’s always difficult point of trying to determine where the point of “piling on” is reached. It is ironic that many of the media types who use this tactic for whatever agenda they have, are the first to accuse me of doing the same. I try not to do it, but I’m sure I’m guilty of it at times. Here’s another email that addresses a long standing point of contention in the hallways of BSMW:

----- Original Message -----
From: D___, Michael H.
To: bruce@bostonsportsmedia.com
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2005 6:25 PM
Subject: Sports Media "Knowledge"


When reading your Shaughnessy comments and reader emails today I was reminded of something you often mention that goes largely unnoticed by the rest of the media and many of the listeners / readers of the Boston sports scene. I