Michael Gee says farewell

As I mentioned over the weekend, Michael Gee is the latest casualty of the Herald cost-cutting. Mr Gee emailed me this morning, requesting a little space to say goodbye to his colleagues in the media as well as the readers of the Herald:

----- Original Message -----
From: Michael Gee
To: bruce@bostonsportsmedia.com
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 11:08 AM
Subject: Gee farewell

Hi! Since as a matter of honor I will not enter a press box nor attend any event open to the media without getting paid for my time, Bruce has more than graciously allowed me to say au revoir to people I may not encounter for awhile, but who do frequent this web site.

To the non-Herald media corps: Gang, I couldn't think of a better group of folks with whom to go to work. See you around the campus.

To the Herald sports staff: I loved being on your team, and will always be proud of the team. My very best wishes and good luck. You'll need plenty.

To Boston sports readers: I'll miss you most of all. As I once told Bruce, what makes working here fun isn't that it's a great sports town, it's that Boston is full of people who love sports AND love to read. Imagine a website sustained by those who care enough about sportswriters to hold us accountable-or at least to kick the crap out of us. What a tribute!

I hope I'll be able to re-enter your lives before too long. I also hope I'm not ringing your doorbell clad in a Domino's hat when that happens.

Check you all later
Michael Gee


Reality Check

A fairly light morning as we all return to work after the weekend. We’ve got the coverage of the Red Sox loss to the Orioles last night, the tragic death of a team radio broadcaster, and a few football stories from the weekend.

After winning two of three games in New York this weekend, the Red Sox were sent a reminder last night that neither they nor the Yankees have been the top dog in the AL East thus far this season. That team has been the Baltimore Orioles and they showed why last night, beating Bronson Arroyo and the Sox, 8-1 at Fenway. Paul Doyle says that last night was indeed a reality check for the Red Sox. Sean McAdam observes that after going through that incredible unbeaten streak, Arroyo has struggled mightily in his last two outings. Michael Silverman concurs that it was indeed a step back for the Red Sox last night after their successful weekend series against the Yankees. Chris Snow says that Arroyo didn’t have it last night and neither did the Red Sox hitters. Paul Teves says that a clear message was sent by the division leaders last night.

Tony Massarotti writes this morning that even though there is a possibility that Curt Schilling will never be the same dominant staff ace that he’s been in the past, he was worth every penny the Red Sox paid for him. Nick Cafardo reports that Schilling took a step forward in his recovery yesterday by throwing a bullpen session with the aid of a specially designed shoe. Alex Speier has a look at the lineup decision facing Terry Francona, Kevin Millar vs John Olerud. Steve Buckley also has an article on this situation, noting that Olerud’s presence will put the heat on Millar to produce.

Paul Harber looks at Rodrigo Lopez once again dominating the Red Sox, some that has become a familiar scene the last few seasons. Mike Shalin looks at Bronson Arroyo’s rough night. Massarotti has a small piece on Bill Mueller showing his appreciation for a fan who backed off and let him make a play in the stands. Bill Reynolds has a piece on Oil Can Boyd, and what pitching again in organized baseball means to him.

Teves’ notebook looks at Orleud getting the start at first for the second time in three games. Doyle’s notebook looks at Curt Schilling testing out the new shoe to support his ankle. Silverman’s notebook leads with an update on Doug Mirabelli. Snow’s notebook looks at Kevin Youkilis getting a little time at second base last night.

Mike Petraglia reports on Red Sox Spanish broadcaster Juan Pedro Villaman being tragically killed in a car accident while returning from this weekend’s series in New York. Steve Buckley (subscription only) also has a column on Villaman, and calls him a “21st-century, Spanish-speaking, baseball-loving reincarnation of Johnny Most”. Laura Crimaldi also has a report in the Herald. Maria Cramer and Heather Allen report the story for the Globe.

One of the more interesting stories from the weekend was a piece from Mike Reiss on David Terrell and how the Patriots strength coach has enlisted the help of Michael Irvin in assisting Terrell to make the most of his body type and potential. It’s interesting to note some of the similarities in the two players and to remember that Irvin didn’t break out until his fourth season in the league. Ron Borges’ football notes on Sunday dealt with the Patriots policy about requiring a ticket even for infants brought to the game. I ask…who in their right mind brings an infant to a Patriots game? That same day, Jackie MacMullan looked at how the Patriots spend money and said that Adam Vinatieri deserves better than just the average of the top 5 kickers in the league. I wish Jackie did a little more research on this one, as the franchise tag is the average of the top five players at that position, OR a 20% raise, whichever is greater. Since Vinatieri was already the highest paid kicker in the league, he gets the 20%. He’s not exactly being shafted by the Patriots.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. (ESPN Nationally) TNT has Heat/Pistons at 8:00.

Holiday Weekend

Not too much of an update this morning, but then I suspect that (hopefully) most of you have plans for the long weekend.

The Red Sox continued their slide with a 6-3 loss in NY last night. I’m not really too worked up over it, but I don’t want to read about it, either.

Head on over to a special Jumbo Scott’s Shots with a bevy of crap including how Bill Belichick is revered in College Circles, Why Eddie Andelman and Steve Silva need to go away, and, of course, Hot Pressed Cuban Sandwiches.

The firing squad stays busy as the executions continue down at the Herald, Michael Gee has been issued his walking papers.

If you looking to escape the Red Sox, there aren’t many other choices in the paper today. On the web, Mike Reiss has a Q&A with Patriots receiver David Terrell.

Northern Exposure

The Red Sox got swept up in the Toronto and now head into the Lion’s Den of Yankees stadium. A couple Patriots profiles, some media stories, and I take a few minutes to weigh in on the topic of the day in sports radio yesterday…

The Red Sox got swept in Toronto last night as Wade Miller got pounded for seven runs in just two innings. Nick Cafardo has the details of the Blue Jay capping off a three game sweep. Michael Silverman looks at the Sox dropping into fourth place in the AL East with the loss. Steven Krasner notes that things don’t get any easier with the next stop on the road trip being the Yankees. David Heuschkel says that Wade Miller just didn’t have it last night. David Borges observes that the Red Sox are at their lowest point in the standings this late in the season in eight years.

Jim Donaldson looks at the Yankees turning things around in a hurry this season. Howard Bryant also has a look at how the Yankees have heated up and gotten on a roll. Nick Tavares says that there are more rivalries in baseball other than Red Sox/Yankees. Bob Hohler says that the Yankees turnaround can be traced to one thing…pitching. Steve Buckley (subscription only) writes that the Red Sox have appeared just ordinary as of late, while the Yankees have been extraordinary. Dan Shaughnessy looks at the struggles of Randy Johnson in his first season in New York, comparing them to Edgar Renteria. He includes a line about the “ever-insufferable Curt Schilling calling WEEI to tell everyone in the world how to do his or her job.” Awww…are Dan’s feelings hurt after Schilling called him an All Pro Cheap Shot Writer? Silverman writes about David Wells cutting his emotional ties with the New York fans.

Tony Massarotti says get used to the ups and downs with Wade Miller as he continues his comeback from the injury. Chris Snow looks at Miller’s outing last night, where as he says himself, “everything went to hell”. Massarotti also has John Henry speaking up for team Doctor Tom Gill. Silverman looks at the callup of John Olerud and what it means for the team.

Borges’ notebook looks at Olerud getting called up right after the game. Krasner’s notebook also looks at Olerud, as does the Globe notebook. Kelly Shoppach was also called up. Heuschkel’s notebook has Curt Schilling and Foulke being coy about their status. Silverman’s notebook has Terry Francona saying that Schilling will likely be out the full 12 weeks of the initial 2-12 week prediction. Snow also has a minor league notebook in which he looks at Rule V draftee Adam Stern getting back on track.

Jerome Solomon has a piece on second year nose tackle Vince Wilfork. Michael Felger writes that Corey Dillon is still hungry for more success. Mike Reiss talks briefly with former Patriots defensive coordinator Steve Sidwell about Chad Brown. John R Johnson looks at a QB from Canton who got to double for Adam Sandler in “The Longest Yard”.

Peter May looks at how the Heat/Pistons series changed quickly with the play of Dwayne Wade in game two.

Bill Griffith looks at a busy holiday weekend in sports, including Red Sox/Yankees, with three games on three different networks. John Howell looks at the media coverage for this weekend’s Indianapolis 500.

I was on the phone with Microsoft for about six hours yesterday, so I missed most of the excitement revolving around Boston Dirt Dogs and

Another Loss Up North

Way behind this morning…

The Red Sox got beaten once again by the Boston Strangler, Ted Lilly (apologies to Andrew Toney) Chris Snow looks at the lefty once again dominating the Red Sox. Michael Silverman looks at the Red Sox going the wrong way while up North. Steven Krasner has the Red Sox cognizant of the fact that they need to start hitting again, starting tonight. David Heuschkel looks at Bronson Arroyo’s return to the rotation, a sloppy outing that earned him his first loss. David Borges has David Ortiz saying that Lilly is their daddy.

Nick Cafardo wonders what’s wrong with the Red Sox, while Tony Massarotti reports that we could be waiting for a Curt Schilling return for a long time…the end of July perhaps. It doesn’t get much better in the other articles of the day, Massarotti has players grumbling about the team medical staff, and says that as Kevin Millar goes, so go the Red Sox. Cafardo has Jay Payton wishing he could play more. Silverman and Massarotti team up to report that Keith Foulke did go to Alabama…to have his pitching mechanics analyzed at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham. Alex Speier talks to Edgar Renteria about his struggles so far and about his determination to turn things around in Boston. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that the interview on WEEI wasn’t one of Tony LaRussa’s shining moments.

Either La Russa really is a smart guy who used some reverse psychology to call into question Renteria's ability to handle the Boston baseball market (which would be really mean-spirited), or else he was simply too dumb to realize the damage his words might cause.

Snow’s notebook conflicts the report by Silverman & Massarotti by having Foulke say he went to Alabama to visit a “barbecue restaurant called Happy Day, not Andrews’s American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham.” Heuschkel’s notebook also has the barbecue story. Silverman’s notebook looks at Trot Nixon getting another start against a lefty. Krasner’s notebook also looks at this angle. Borges’ notebook has Shawn Wooten talking about Kelly Shoppach.

Jerome Solomon has the story of two Patriots who missed most of their rookie campaign, Benjamin Watson and Guss Scott – who are both hoping to make a big impact this year. Michael Felger talks to Duane Starks about whether he’s here to replace Ty Law. Mike Reiss has some more details on Troy Brown’s contract numbers, wonders if Roman Phifer is the next to return and has a couple other notes. Football Outsiders looks at the draft for the AFC East teams.

Jackie MacMullan looks at Boston businessman Steve Belkin, enjoying his venture of owning the Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers, but still wistfully wondering what might’ve been regarding the Celtics and Larry Bird. Peter May looks at the Heat evening up the Eastern Conference Finals at one game apiece.

Bill Reynolds looks at how television changed the life of “Contender” Peter Manfredo Jr.

Gus Martins looks at the depth of the Revolution being tested by callups to the National team. Martins’ notebook looks at Avery John, a member of the Trinidad & Tobago team which has had it’s struggles.

A site always worth checking out is Chad Finn’s Touching all the Bases. Today he’s got an extensive list of Red Sox enemies.

NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00.

Eddie Speaks Out on WEEI

This afternoon around 1:45, Eddie Andelman had some harsh words and promises (threats?) for WEEI. There was a few other interesting items on the show as well:

(Caller tells Andelman that the station down the dial is making fun of the Hot Dog Safari)

EA: No, I heard it, they called it a matzo ball thing, which I

Reed it and weep, folks

A tough loss in Toronto leads off the links today, followed by several stories on the return of Troy Brown to the Patriots. Dan Shaughnessy has an interesting high school tennis article, and another paper decides to go the subscription route to irrelevance.

In a back and forth game, the home team usually has the advantage, if for no other reason than they have “last ups”. The Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of this last night, and beat the Red Sox 9-6 on a three run walkoff homer from Reed Johnson, his second home run of the game. Michael Silverman looks at the Red Sox usually trusty duo of relievers Mike Timlin and Alan Embree faltering last night. The headline of Chris Snow’s piece on the game sums things up pretty well. “Reed and weep”. Steven Krasner writes that the Blue Jays took advantage of every mistake made by the Red Sox pitching staff. David Heuschkel examines Francona’s choice of pitchers in the later innings. David Borges looks at Johnson breaking scoreless streaks for both Embree and Timlin.

Nick Cafardo looks at Edgar Renteria, who went 2-4 with a triple and some nice plays in the field last night. The shortstop still would rather have gotten a win, and speaks about his start here in Boston and the support he has received. You’ve heard a lot about the rough treatment that Renteria has been receiving here, but when you stop to consider it, it’s really all just one place that has been really critical of him, and that is WEEI. The fans were a little tough on him over the weekend, but it’s mostly been the airwaves of 850 AM that have stirred the most criticism of him. Well, that station and one Boston.com blog which mysteriously yanked all criticism and mocking of Renteria after Curt Schilling spoke out on the matter. Tony Massarotti looks at the struggles that the Red Sox righthanded hitters have had against lefties this year and points to that as a big reason for the struggles of the team. Mike Fine lists out six concerns with the Red Sox despite their being close to the top of the standings. Cafardo looks at the Red Sox starting pitching depth and how that is going to be critical to the team’s success, even moreso than their hitting. Massarotti also tries to stir up a little controversy by suggesting that Terry Francona was responding to and criticizing comments made by Larry Lucchino on the topic of David Wells ‘ start last week in Oakland. He’s also got a sidebar on Wells’ performance from last night.

Krasner’s notebook looks at Bill Mueller getting knocked off his feet with a pitch last night, an incident that caused him to leave the game. Silverman’s notebook also has some on Mueller. Borges’ notebook looks at Bronson Arroyo returning to the mound tonight after eight days and six games off. Heuschkel’s notebook revisits Curt Schilling’s comments on Tony LaRussa. Snow’s notebook has Alan Embree not using a jaw infection as an excuse for his outing last night.

Troy Brown is officially returning to the Patriots and we’ve got no less than seven articles on the topic this morning. Jerome Solomon writes that Brown’s six year old son helped him make the decision to turn down the Saints and return to the Patriots. That proves to be a common theme throughout the articles this morning. Michael Felger says we can “chalk it up to another Patriots player choosing love over money.” Mike Reiss says that Brown initially wanted to chase the money elsewhere, but voices told him to return to where his heart was. Tom E Curran has Brown giving psychoanalysis on Coach Belichick, saying “People may say he’s not attached to players, but I think, somewhere deep down inside him, he is. He just doesn’t know how to show it.” Michael Parente and Christopher Price also have pieces on the return of Brown, both using the child’s plea for the Patriots as their angle. Felger has an additional report in which he says that Brown’s marketing relationship with TC Banknorth was a factor in his return and because of it, Brown will make up for the money he left on the table with the Saints.

Peter May looks at Pistons coach Larry Brown’s health problems and what they mean for his future. Howard Bryant (subscription only) looks at how the Celtics game seven loss to the Pacers is still burning Wyc Grousbeck, mostly because there could’ve been so much more this team could’ve accomplished.

Dan Shaughnessy has a column today looking at a controversial decision in a state sectional final tennis match in which a player who was leading the match was ruled disqualified because he didn’t have a coach in attendance. The opposing player, a fierce rival pointed out the situation, and was declared the winner. An interesting story, and there’s an Aesop’s Fable lesson in there somewhere. Speaking of tennis, Bud Collins writes about Andre Agassi bowing out in the first round of the French Open.

Jonathan Comey attempts to put some order in the world of sports, coming up with a number of lists.

Ron Borges has his Wednesday boxing notes.

A notice on the Lawrence Eagle Tribune homepage informs us that as of June 1st, they’re going to be converting to a paid format, where you will need to purchase a subscription in order to view their articles.

NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. ESPN has Astros/Cubs at 7:00. TNT has Pistons/Heat at 8:00. ESPN2 has Dodgers/Giants at 10:00.

Hall Of Fame Game

Some general Red Sox talk leads us off this morning, and then we’ve got a few Patriots articles as they prepare to hold their passing camp this week. Some basketball, hockey and soccer round out the sports coverage, and there are a couple Tuesday media columns in the mix as well.

With the Red Sox basically off yesterday – playing a the meaningless Hall of Fame exhibition game – there is a mixed bag of articles on the team today. Gordon Edes has an enjoyable piece on the Teammates – Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio discussing some of their golden memories of the game. Karen Guregian has coverage of Curt in the car and his call in to WEEI yesterday afternoon. She first looks at Schilling’s thoughts on Tony LaRussa’s comments about Edgar Renteria, which have caused a maelstrom of talk on the airwaves, and she has a second, shorter article in which Schilling talked about his recovery and the need for a shoe that will help provide him the balance he needs on the mound. David Heuschkel looks at the struggles of Renteria, talking to Tim Hudson, about the challenges of changing leagues and the adjustments needed in that regard. Bob Halloran says that despite all the “experts” weighing in on the topic, we can’t say for sure what is causing Renteria’s struggles.

Steven Krasner has some details from the exhibition game yesterday, looking at the partly minor league lineup that fell to the Tigers, 6-4. Jeff Horrigan looks at Bronson Arroyo’s suspension coming to an end after tonight’s game. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says that Kevin Millar is a good teammate for what he tried to do to get the heat off of Renteria, but he can’t stop the boos. Gerry includes the following line

Fair is fair. If Pedro was a greedy, self-centered fool for leaving Boston and all he had built up, what does that make Renteria?

Horrigan has a sidebar noting that Millar’s foot is feeling better, and he expects to be in the lineup tonight. Ron Chimelis says that the Red Sox aren’t concerned over their somewhat cool start, knowing that they will heat up eventually. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the game and home run derby yesterday. Edes’ notebook has more details on the afternoon in Cooperstown.

Karen Guregian has a feature on new Patriots backup QB Doug Flutie and how he is enjoying the chance to be a part of his hometown team once again. Tom E Curran and Michael Felger each have articles on second year tight end Ben Watson, who is eager to get back on the field and produce. Felger has a note in his piece which clarifies when Watson actually suffered his season ended injury last year, the injury occurred in camp, wasn’t bad enough to keep him out of the season opener, but then flared up the week after. Felger also reports on Keith Traylor signing with Miami. Jerome Solomon has a very brief note in the Globe regarding the official signing of Troy Brown by the Patriots. Michael Gee (subscription only) has a column today examining how NFL players make decisions regarding their future, some choose to go where the most money is, others stay where they are happy or where they can win. He say that Tom Brady got the best of both, and will still have a chance to chase the money when this deal runs out.

Peter May looks at Jim O’Brien’s dismissal from his dream job in Philadelphia, a move that didn’t catch anyone familiar with the situation by surprise. Shira Springer looks at an issue front and center in the NBA labor negotiations, the minimum age limit being pushed by David Stern. Jon Couture says that the NBA playoffs have gotten his attention.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Steve Conroy report on the Providence Bruins playoff match with the Philadelphia Phantoms last night which the Baby B’s won in OT.

Frank Dell’Apa looks at how the Revolution have gotten off to their eight game unbeaten streak despite being unable to practice much of the time outdoors because of the unfavorable weather.

John Molori reports that Eddie Andelman has put in a bid to purchase 1510 the Zone. Molori has many other items in his column, including this paragraph:

Speaking of Andelman, it is clear that he, Ron Borges and Dan Shaughnessy have become the most despised sports media figures in Boston. Is it because Andelman is no longer a huge ratings draw and has helped his family achieve success in media? Is it because Borges has a penchant for criticizing the beloved Patriots? Is it because the ubiquitous Shaughnessy openly speaks his mind? Or, is it because none of these men are in the WEEI-Boston Herald-Fox Sports Net (FSN) loop? To be sure, Andelman, Borges and Shaughnessy have their faults, but being out with the in-crowd is not one of them.

I would disagree with that assessment. The trio is disliked because they have taken purposely antagonistic stands against the common fan solely for the attention that it brings to them. On some levels, they probably do not even believe the bombastic things that they say, which just makes them even more despicable in my eye. Bill Griffith looks at early morning live tennis on ESPN.

NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. ESPN has Spurs/Suns at 9:00.

Afternoon Links and Curt in the Car

A few afternoon links while listening to Curt Schilling call Dan Shaughnessy an “all pro cheap shot writer” during a call-in to WEEI’s Big Show this afternoon…

Alan Greenwood looks at Matt Clement giving the Red Sox their first complete game of the season. Rob Bradford also looks at Clement, who may have changed public perception of himself in just a couple hours. Mike Fine writes that Clement had the whole package yesterday. Win Bates and Ron Chimelis also have articles on the Red Sox righthander. Chimelis also urges fans frustrated with the starts of Manny Ramirez and Edgar Renteria to give them a chance…given their track, they’re bound to return to form. Bates reports on the Brockton Rox signing Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd to a contract for the entire season. Greenwood’s notebook looks at signs of life in Manny’s bat yesterday. Chimelis notebook looks at Terry Francona having to manage a few extra games by virtue of having won the World Series.

As mentioned in the outset, Curt Schilling called into the Big Show this afternoon to address comments about why he has not been speaking to the print media. He mentioned his frustrations with being misquoted, saying: