A bit late today, but there’s a lot to go through. The Red Sox rotation is hurting, Howard Bryant is a target, the Celtics try to rebound from a tough game two loss and a few football articles make up the links today.
Curt Schilling’s ankle is once again the focus of Red Sox fan’s attention, as the team ace is headed to the disabled list with what is called a “mild bone bruise” on his right ankle. Jeff Horrigan concludes his report with the comment that the time off will be good for Schilling, as he needs to drop a few pounds. Chris Snow looks at what the Red Sox plan to do in the absence of Schilling and David Wells. Kevin McNamara looks at the announcement coming at the same time as the unveiling of the Schilling “Bobble Ankle” doll. David Heuschkel reports on Schilling getting the boot once again. Garry Brown, David Borges and Christopher Price conclude the reports on Schilling. Lenny Megliola discusses what happens now for the Red Sox pitching staff. Tony Massarotti writes that the Red Sox took the cheap way out this winter, and are now paying the price. He plays the role of the knee-jerk reactionary caller to WEEI who complains that the Red Sox should’ve given Pedro and Lowe anything they wanted over the winter. I won’t stoop to calling Massarotti a “sphincter” as John Dennis did this morning, but Tony is off his rocker on this one – Pedro wasn’t coming back here regardless, and Lowe had already turned down a good offer and was statistically among the worst starters in the league last year.
Steven Krasner feels that we shouldn’t really be all that surprised that a couple of aging pitchers with weight issues have developed injuries. Michael O’Connor has a piece on Bronson Arroyo, who just last week was thought to be quickly headed to the bullpen with all the starters The irony of Nick Cafardo saying that he chooses to be the voice of reason with others panicking about the Red Sox is too good to let pass. It’s great that he takes a reasoned approach to the situation now at hand with the Red Sox. We need that. However, you know darn well that if this was the Patriots. Nick’s hand would be all over the panic button. Speaking of panic, another well reasoned man, Buddy Thomas wonders if we’ll remember April 26 as the night that the 2005 Red Sox died. Further, Steve Buckley (subscription only) reflects that this injury will likely hurt Schilling’s Hall of Fame chances. Jon Couture isn’t quite ready to panic yet, but he could be starting down that path. Michael Gee (subscription only) says that Tim Wakefield must now pitch like the ace of the staff.
Bill Reynolds looks at what the Yankees are getting for their $200 million payroll. John Tomase talks to Sammy Sosa and Mike Port about how close the slugger actually came (twice) to becoming a member of the Red Sox, and what that would’ve been like. Kevin Gray looks at former Red Sox outfielder Darren Bragg, trying to get another shot at the majors by playing with the Nashua Pride. Bob Halloran looks at a couple of the new ballparks out West. Heuschkel’s looks at Schilling’s spat with Lou Piniella. Steve Conroy says the Orioles know that they have sent a message to the Red Sox. Snow’s notebook and Horrigan’s notebook have more on Schilling vs. Piniella. Krasner’s notebook examines how the rotation will now be juggled. Heuschkel’s notebook says the Sox rotation could be further strapped if/when Bronson Arroyo is suspended for his actions in Tampa.
One of the biggest stories on the air yesterday was WEEI hosts going after Howard Bryant for his Boston Uncommon column yesterday in which he made a couple of controversial assertions. Bryant’s column was a “subscription only” and because of that many people did not get to read it, but instead are having their opinions formed entirely by WEEI. For the record, here are a couple of excerpts that were objected to:
The Red Sox are part of the growing synergistic cartel that maintains addresses at Yawkey Way, Morrissey Boulevard and Brookline Avenue (where NESN is headquartered). The New York Times Company owns the Boston Globe, and a piece of the Red Sox, which owns NESN. The Red Sox are also business partners with WEEI, the most influential sports radio station in the region. That means that the cartel not only has the means, but a financial interest in controlling information. That includes history. Boston has always been known for its insularity, but such naked consolidation is all a little too cozy to be acceptable.
That was followed a few paragraphs later by the following statement.
The story of Earl Wilson cannot be sanitized, either. Yet when Wilson died, another partner in The Cartel, the Globe, did not even mention his defining experience with the Red Sox, an omission too glaring to be coincidence. In 1966, Wilson walked into the Cloud 9 bar in Winter Haven, Fla., with two white teammates and was not served because he was black. It was not mentioned that the Sox told Wilson explicitly not to discuss the incident. They told Wilson, a proud man from Louisiana who endured the slights of southern racism from the day he was born, to swallow yet another humiliation.
The Globe did mention the Winter Haven incident, but included it in Wilson’s obituary, written by Paul Harber and contained in another section of the Globe. Bryant’s point, and he tried to explain this on a call in to Dale & Holley, was that he didn’t feel that the incident should be separated from Wilson, as it was in the Globe. Kevin Paul Dupont’s story didn’t mention the incident at all, which I agree is indeed curious and don’t understand. Bryant was the object of much scorn yesterday and this morning on WEEI, the hosts have latched onto the word “Cartel” and have used it ad nauseum. While there is some ammunition here, I have a feeling much of the vitriol on the station towards Bryant can be traced back to his outspokenness during the “Metco” incident.
The Celtics play game three of their playoff series with the Pacers tonight, Jackie MacMullan has a piece on Gary Payton stepping forward and dispensing advice and wisdom about the NBA playoffs to his younger teammates. Jackie also does something of a mea culpa regarding Payton at the end of the article. Carolyn Thornton says that Payton has accepted and is enjoying his role with the Celtics. Steve Bulpett’s notebook also looks at Payton taking the leadership role. Shira Springer writes that the Celtics must avoid getting overwhelmed by the Indiana crowd in the next two games. Steve Bulpett opines that Doc Rivers needs to play the kids…they provide energy and a spark to the team. Tim Weisberg says that Rivers let the team down on Monday night.
Michael Muldoon writes that the Celtics need to up the pace in order to take control of the series. Mark Murphy has Jermaine O’Neal complimenting Al Jefferson, noting that “He’ll become one of those guys I have to circle on the calendar, so I know when he’s coming up”. Hank Lowenkron looks at the Pacers hoping to keep getting better despite being banged up and shorthanded. Bulpett has Rivers worried about Reggie Miller’s antics and if the officials are going to continue to fall for them. Springer’s notebook says that Al Jefferson will pass tonight if he is double-teamed rather than forcing the shot. Murphy’s notebook has Stephen Jackson ready to play for the Pacers, despite sitting out practice yesterday.
Michael Felger has a look at Patriots draftee Ryan Claridge, a linebacker whose college coach, John Robinson, feels “has huge potential as an edge rusher”. He also is willing to do anything the Patriots ask of him, including flipping pancakes. Mike Reiss has a piece on receiver/kick returner Tim Dwight, what brought him to New England, and what he sees for himself here. Felger also has a very brief note saying that Troy Brown’s status with the Patriots could be resolved soon. New guy Jerome Solomon gets his first BSMW “minus” for this line that appeared in his story on the Chad Scott signing yesterday: “The Patriots did not draft a cornerback last weekend” The team of course drafted cornerback Ellis Hobbs on the first day of the draft, in the third round. Shouldn’t he know this? Shouldn’t his editor have caught this? Still on the Globe and their coverage of the Patriots, the chat transcript from the other day with Nick Cafardo talking about the Patriots contains many head-scratchers, mostly among the questions that made it through.
Ron Borges has a boxing column on James Toney.
The latest ratings book is out, and while WEEI’s numbers are down, they’re still dominant. Here’s a look at how WEEI makes the claim of being the “Highest rated sports radio station in the country”.
(For some reason the image may not be showing up in Mozilla/Firefox browsers if that is the case, you can click here)
FSN has Celtics/Pacers at 8:30. TNT has Heat/Nets at 7:00 and Rockets/Mavericks at 9:30.