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.

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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:


Pope Clement Remains Perfect

A strong performance from Matt Clement and some leftover items from the weekend make up a pretty busy Monday edition of the links.

The Red Sox finished a wet series with the Atlanta Braves at Fenway yesterday with a 5-2 win behind a impressive complete game from Matt Clement. Nick Cafardo says that Clement was very clean and tidy in his performance yesterday afternoon. Cafardo also seems to go out of his way in the article to point out twice that despite going 0-4, Edgar Renteria worked the count on John Smoltz a couple times, forcing his pitch count higher. With the trend on the air seeming to be to bash Renteria at any opportunity, it’s good to find someone looking for the positive at least. Tony Massarotti says that it seemed like Clement and Smoltz switched pitching styles for the day, with Smoltz being the one with control issues and high pitch count. Sean McAdam notes that this was quite a contrast from Clement’s last start, out in Oakland. David Heuschkel says that there was no debate in the dugout as to whether Clement should go out in the ninth and finish the game himself or not. David Borges says that the afternoon was a complete success for Clement. Joe Haggerty also has a look at the outing for Clement.

Lenny Megliola says there are some good signs that the sky is brightening for the Red Sox as we near the end of May. Mike Shalin looks at Manny Ramirez appearing to wake up a little bit with a 3-5 afternoon that included a two run homer. John Tomase yesterday had a piece on Manny in which he raised the possibility that either Manny could be on “a precipitous down phase of his career” or that he simply could have a desire problem and is guessing at the plate too much. Howard Bryant (subscription only) looks at Kevin Millar asking the press to get off of Edgar Renteria and asks if the fans are going to boo anyone, it should be him, not the shortstop.

Rich Thompson looks at Bill Mueller’s hot day yesterday against John Smoltz. Marvin Pave looks at Clement’s impressive 5-0 start to his Red Sox career. Massarotti has a brief piece discussing Kevin Youkilis’ impressive play at first base. Paul Harber examines at the continued struggles of Edgar Renteria. Shalin has a quite bit on new assistant coach Mike Barnett, who is impressed with what he’s seen of the team thus far, there’s also another sidebar on Johnny Damon’s plans for Cooperstown. Michael Gee (Subscription only) writes that Clement’s complete game could signify that Terry Francona might use Keith Foulke a little differently until he gets his problems straightened out.

Borges’ notebook looks at Manny seeming to snap out his funk a little bit yesterday. Heuschkel’s notebook has Millar asking people to lay off Renteria. McAdam’s notebook looks at Youkilis looking pretty impressive over at first base yesterday. Massarotti’s notebook has Millar refusing to get the boot. Cafardo’s notebook leads with more on Youkilis.

You knew Dan Shaughnessy was begging for this assignment, and in my opinion he should’ve been the last guy the Globe sent down to the New York to cover Pedro Martinez pitching for the Mets against the Yankees. You know he was praying that Pedro would blow up and that the Yankees would ride roughshod over him. He manages to keep the insults to a minimum, but of course he can’t let a piece go by without mentions of “He Who Must Not Be Named” – very lame. And by the way…Pedro sure looked like he was scared and ducking the Yankees yesterday, didn’t he?

If you missed it yesterday, Mike Reiss had a good article on Patriots linebacker Rosevelt Colvin, who finally feels completely healed from his broken hip from 2003 and is looking forward a bigger role in the Patriot defense this season. Desmond Conner reports on Bill Belichick receiving his honorary doctorate from Wesleyan University. The big news over the weekend was the return of Troy Brown to the fold. One thing that bugged me in the coverage of it however was the constant references by sports anchors and hosts to the claim that Brown had been “released” earlier in the offseason by the team. This may be a minor point, but it is simply not true. The team declined to exercise the outsized option for this year on Brown’s contract, making him a free agent. There’s a difference. As I said, it may seem to be a minor point, but these people are professionals and should be accurate in their reporting of what happened.

Frank Dell’Apa has Eric Wynalda singing the praises of the Revolution’s Tyler Twellman. Wynalda, the US national team all time leading scorer, believes that Twellman will break his record someday. Of course, he has to still make the team, and according to Gus Martins, the US coach doesn’t appear to be all that impressed with Twellman.

Yesterday, Bill Burt spoke with Al Jefferson’s high school coach about the future for the Celtics forward. Peter May looks at the questions around Shaquille O’Neal going into tonight’s game one of the Eastern Conference finals.

A couple items on the Bob Lobel lawsuit against ”Get Fuzzy” comic strip creator Darby Conley, United Feature Syndicate, and the New Bedford Standard-Times. First, BSMW reader “Feejis” has some thoughts on how the local Boston sports media has reacted to this incident, and I believe he raises many good points in his analysis. I would highly recommend a read of this article. Also Michael Feldman has some thoughts on the comic strip and Lobel in his blog, he also includes the original cartoon in case you missed it.

More on Lobel…Sports Final last night which celebrated 25 years on the air at the station was pretty much a home run. The 25 minute highlight package was outstanding, showing the highs and lows of Boston sports from the last quarter century, with many of Lobel’s sportscast from the events. After the highlights, the Three Bobs of Boston sports media, Lobel, Ryan and Neumeier (sorry Bob Hohler) gave their thoughts on the last 25 years and what stood out the most. Bob Ryan’s most vivid memory was the Snow Bowl game, and he singled that out as the night he’d most like to re-live. Neumeier focused on the tragedies and untimely deaths of Len Bias and Reggie Lewis and covering those. I also enjoyed following the program, the various advertisments from over the years that Lobel had done with Ted Williams, Bobby Orr and others. The one where he gets checked by a Bruins player against the boards and spits out a few teeth was one of the funniest.

TNT has Pistons/Heat at 8:00.

Troy Brown returns to the fold

(Sunday links by Bryan: bryan @ bostonsportsmedia.com)

The Sox fall to the Braves in a wet and sloppy game at Fenway, and Troy Brown is returning to the Patriots.

We’ll start with Brown. On “New England Sports Tonight” earlier this week, Michael Felger said he expected the wide receiver would re-sign with the Patriots, noting that 1) Brown hadn’t visited with any other clubs in the offseason to talk about a deal, and 2) No. 80’s name plate hadn’t been removed from the Patriots locker room at Gillette. The latter was not an oversight, Felger said, because Bill Belichick’s staff overlooks nothing.

Felger either was either taking good notes on a spring wander through the locker room, or had some good information from his sources. Brown is indeed back with the Patriots for the 2005 season, and Felger has the story in today’s Herald. Mike Reiss had the report on Brown in his Reiss’ Pieces blog yesterday afternoon at 5:31. Jerome Solomon has the story for the Globe.

Felger also has public words from Tedy Bruschi, who says he hasn’t yet made a decision on whether to play this season.

In a Sunday NFL notes column today, Nick Cafardo looks at the Ravens naming former Giants head coach Jim Fassel as their new offensive coordinator. Kevin Mannix, meanwhile, leads with an update on Tim Hasselbeck, a former quarterback at Boston College and now a backup for the Giants.

Solomon also has a feature on Logan Mankins, including the horrific details of a summer 2000 truck crash that left the first-round pick’s brother, Morgan, with severe brain damage.

Soggy night at Fenway
There aren’t many positives to take from the Red Sox’ rain-soaked 7-5 loss to the Braves last night (box score).

Cafardo, Jeff Horrigan, Steven Krasner, and David Heuschkel file the game stories.

Edgar Renteria had two of Boston’s four errors last night and was also ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the ninth inning. Paul Harber writes about Renteria’s struggles this season. Mike Shalin, meanwhile, has an article on Tim Wakefield’s rough outing. Robert Lee writes about Johnny Damon, one of the few bright spots for Boston on an otherwise dreary night.

Curt Schilling and his ankle are among the topics in the Sox notebooks by Cafardo, Horrigan, and Krasner.

Bob Ryan compares the Red Sox’ start this season to the starts of former Red Sox clubs the “year after” previous championships and other standout campaigns.

In paid columns in the Herald, Steve Buckley writes about the successful major league debut of Atlanta starter – and Georgia native – Kyle Davies, while Michael Gee examines the offensive slumps of several Sox players.

Buckley also delivers a very enjoyable read with a feature on Sox legend and Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, who was in town last week.

Williams always referred to Doerr as the ``silent captain of the Red Sox.'' And in 1986, when Doerr received the call informing him he'd been elected to the Hall of Fame, it was Williams who was on the phone.

``Well, first it was Ed Stack from the Hall of Fame,'' said Doerr. ``Someone had told me I missed by one vote the year before, so when Ed Stack called, I'm saying to myself, 'Oh, my, am I really in the Hall of Fame?' And then he handed the phone to Ted, who came on the line and said, 'You're a Hall of Famer now, Bobby.' I still get excited just thinking about it.''

Tony Massarotti looks at the upcoming baseball draft in his Sunday “Covering All Bases” column today.

Gorden Edes checks in with Gabe Kapler, who’s having a miserable go of it in Japan.

On the air
1510 the Zone broadcasts all day today (9:00-4:00pm) from Suffolk Downs, site of Eddie Andelman’s annual “Hot Dog Safari”. “Sports Court” follows from 4:00-6:00, and will include a discussion of the Bob Lobel libel lawsuit, which, according to Bill Griffith was filed in Norfolk Superior Court by Lobel’s attorney Harry Manion on Thursday.

Griffith has more on Lobel in his regular Sunday “SporTView” column, but this time he’s referring to the ”25 Years of Boston Sports” tape scheduled to run on Channel 4’s “Sports Final” tonight.

NESN broadcasts the finale of the Sox-Braves series this afternoon at 2:00.

Miller tames Braves

A sincere “Thank you” to all that helped make the recent “mini” fund drive a success. The goal was reached and your generosity and support is very much appreciated.

The Red Sox got back on the winning track last night at Fenway Park, defeating the Atlanta Braves, 4-3 behind 6 1/3 strong innings from Wade Miller. Michael Silverman says that just about everyone was impressed with Miller…except Miller. David Heuschkel writes that Miller felt the least comfortable in his three starts so far last night. Nick Cafardo notes that it was another nail-biting save for Keith Foulke, who needed a double play in order to preserve Miller’s victory. Steven Krasner says that it wasn’t a perfect win, but it was pretty close. Lenny Megliola agrees that it was quite a night at Fenway. Mike Fine and David Borges round up the game recaps.

Michael Silverman has the second of his two part series on the Red Sox organizational philosophies, this time looking at the pitching side. Dan Shaughnessy turns in a run of the mill effort saying that Interleague play has run its course. His biggest reason seems to be because the Red Sox have no natural rival. Jon Couture says that we saw the Wade Miller we had hoped for last night. Mike Shalin looks at Jason Varitek’s role in the win last night. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Curt Schilling shedding the boot on his ankle and preparing for the next step of his rehab. Silverman’s notebook reports on Doub Mirabelli landing on the DL after hurting his wrist in batting practice. The ProJo notebook and Fine’s notebook each have more on Schilling, while Borges’ notebook and Heuschkel’s notebook each focus on Mirabelli.

The Celtics and Danny Ainge agreed to a new three year contract extension yesterday, ensuring that the developmental plan that had been in place will continue. Shira Springer reports that the deal only took “two or three minutes” to negotiate, showing how satisfied both parties have been with how things have gone thus far. Steve Bulpett notes that Ainge felt that now was the right time to get this deal done. Carolyn Thornton has a fairly extensive article with Ainge noting that he is grateful that these owners can see the “big picture”. Michael Gee (subscription only) says it’s still too early to say whether Ainge will succeed or not, the extension ensures that we’ll get to see whether his “vauge master plan” is sound or not. He notes he has made some progress so far, the extension lets it continue.

Eric McHugh looks at Milton’s Tim Bulman from Boston College, who is hoping to hook on with the Arizona Cardinals.

Bill Griffith has a short report on Bob Lobel’s lawsuit against ”Get Fuzzy” comic strip creator Darby Conley, United Feature Syndicate, and the New Bedford Standard-Times.

NESN has Red Sox/Braves at 7:00.

Dennis and Callahan still don’t get it

Because it’s easy and “edgy” for them to say that Pedro was “ducking” Randy Johnson tonight, John Dennis and Gerry Callahan continue to say that it is the case, even when they are challenged on the matter. Here’s an exchange from this morning:

John Dennis: Jeffrey from Boston says