A busy Monday morning as we take a look at the Red Sox victory over the Angels at Fenway Park yesterday. There is also a series of articles on the characters who threw out the first pitch yesterday, and then some good stuff…some articles from the weekend on the topics of football and basketball.
The Red Sox took two out three from the Angels over the weekend, and yesterday did it with some help from the bullpen – sharp contrast from Saturday’s nightmarish outing from the ‘pen. Kevin Paul Dupont takes his turn composing the game story, and uses numbers to show how bad the Red Sox played yesterday despite coming away with the 6-3 victory. Tony Massarotti says that there is no middle ground with the weather or this team. We’ve gone straight from winter to the dogs days of summer. Sean McAdam writes that the entire afternoon yesterday was a struggle, but the Red Sox were able to grind out the victory. Jeff Goldberg looks at an afternoon without a horror show from the Red Sox bullpen. Paul Teves agrees that relief was the theme of the afternoon. Lenny Megliola looks at the Sox being able to reverse the results from Saturday, with help from Mike Myers. Joe Haggerty also provides a recap of the win for the Red Sox.
Mike Shalin has a look at the afternoon for starting pitcher Wade Miller. The aforementioned Myers played a big role over the weekend in helping to contain an Angel’s lineup with a strong lefthanded presence. Marvin Pave and Paul Kenyon have pieces this morning on the soft thrower with the funky deliveries, who thus far this season is 3-1 with an E.R.A. of 1.46. Kevin Millar has also been heating up as of late. Alex Speier looks at that development, a theme also pursued by Adam Kilgore. However, Shalin notes that Millar is getting hot a the wrong time, as he will likely have to sit the next games as the Red Sox go to play in St Louis, where David Ortiz will have to play first base. Howard Bryant (subscription only) picks up on a theme started by sports talk radio last week – proclaiming Ortiz the greatest free agent signing in the history of the Red Sox. (That’s really not much of a statement however, considering that until the Red Sox signed Manny Ramirez, it was usually thought that Bill Campbell was the best free agent the club had signed.) Bryant says Ortiz is underpaid, and that the Red Sox didn’t know what they had when they signed him to be “Jeremy Giambi’s backup”. Bryant also has a piece on Jay Payton, who says of his role “I don’t particularly like it”, but who is getting used to it. Massarotti also looks at Johnny Damon’s sore shoulder. Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at the Red Sox returning to St Louis for the first time since winning the Series there.
The MLB draft is this week, and there is a lot of emphasis being placed on it by the Red Sox, who have six of the first 59 picks. John Tomase has a good preview of the draft and what the Red Sox will be looking for. Marty Dobrow takes a look at UMass pitcher Matt Torra, expected to be a high pick in the draft.
Goldberg’s notebook looks at Damon’s sore shoulder, he also looks at the uproar over the cast members of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” throwing out the first pitch yesterday, noting:
Their appearance, filmed in spring training, drew criticism last week on Boston talk radio with some comments bordering on homophobic, irking Damon.
I wonder who he’s talking about here. Dupont’s notebook also leads with Damon’s shoulder, but has a note later on down that Nomar Garciaparra will receive his World Series ring later this week when the Red Sox go to play the Cubs. McAdam’s notebook says that Damon is paying the price for playing with abandon. Massarotti’s notebook looks at Terry Francona trying to lessen the load on his bullpen.
Maria Cramer and Maria Sacchetti have coverage in the Globe on the “Queer Eye” guys throwing out the first pitch at Fenway yesterday. Jill Radsken has a preview of the Red Sox theme season opener of the series in the Herald. It’s also of course in the Inside Track. It’s likely to be a rough week for Gerry Callahan and John Dennis and they try to express their disgust without crossing the line far enough to be disciplined. Callahan’s “Fruitcake” comments from last week were already duly noted by Boston.com.
A few football links from yesterday – Tom E Curran takes a look around the AFC East, noting that offseason changes certainly have added intrigue to the division. Mike Reiss’ NFL notes said that Bob Kraft could play a large role in the NFL’s upcoming labor talks. Jerome Solomon had a look at Eric Mangini’s Football Fundamentals Mini-Camp, a topic also covered in Curran’s notebook. The latter also has Curran addressing the points made by Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, who refuted some things that Curran had said last week in a column. Reiss also talked to Fresno State secondary coach Randy Stewart about safety James Sanders, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Patriots this year and considered a sleeper by some. Reiss, always a busy guy, also looked at Stacey James giving the Patriots rookies some media and PR advice. A bit of a contrast from the techniques used by the 49ers…
Bob Ryan says that the NBA players should be ashamed of themselves for what the didn’t do for George Mikan. A very good article, one I’d recommend reading if you aren’t familiar with Mikan, what he meant to the game, and what he went through in his last years, despite having a long successful career in business. Yesterday Peter May had an NBA Notes column looking at the monster playoffs from Amare Stoudemire, and including some notes on this month’s draft. He gives his usual gloomy outlook for the future regarding the Celtics: “Team payroll will be an issue.” (What team won’t have payroll issues?) May doesn’t however, provide any numbers to back his claim. He also has a league official saying there is no interest in Paul Pierce around the league right now. The CelticsBlog.com site however relates a rumor that is going around regarding interest in Pierce from the TrailBlazers. Mark Murphy also had an NBA Notes column, he looked at Danny Ainge’s success in last year’s draft and how he is hoping to strike again.
NESN has Red Sox/Cardinals at 8:00. TNT has Heat/Pistons Game Seven at 8:00.