5 in a Row

The Sox continue to do what good teams need to do: destroy less talented competition. Raising their American League best home record to 21-9, the Sox overcame a sub-par start from Wade Miller with a big hit from Mark Bellhorn, a solid top half of the 9th from Keith Foulke and some clutch hits from Kevin Millar and Johnny Damon in the bottom half of the inning to win 6-5. Game stories in the local papers from the Herald

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New Home for Boston Celtics Basketball

Boston Radio Watch reports that the Celtics and WRKO have reached a new radio broadcast deal, taking the rights off of WWZN and back to the station that broadcast many of their games from the glory days of the 1980’s.

Mike Fine looks at Kevin Youkilis, who seems assured of a full-time job with the Red Sox starting in 2006.

Jim Baker writes about the US Open coverage, John Madden moving again, Red Sox coverage and other items from the world of sports media.

Busy Off Day

Despite the off night for the Red Sox, we’ve got plenty of links and things going on today. Assorted baseball items are followed by some information on The Tradition, coverage of the Pistons tying the NBA Finals 2-2 and US Open coverage.

The Red Sox were off last night and that means an assortment of articles this morning looking at various aspects of the team. Tony Massarotti looks at the Red Sox chances of repeating, stating that first they must address their “woefully inept” pitching before anything else. Steven Krasner agrees that the success of this team depends on what they get from their pitching staff. Michael Silverman has a look at the unhappy Jay Payton, who wants out of Boston. He’s not content being a role player and wants to be traded to a team where he can play more. He’s careful to respect the guys playing ahead of him and knows there isn’t a spot for him here, so he’d like to be elsewhere. Alex Speier looks at Keith Foulke attempting to get his act together, and confident that he will do so.

Jim Donaldson writes this morning that the Red Sox are going to be just fine, the worst part of the season is behind them, they’re getting healthy, their pitching is improving and the bats of people like Manny Ramirez and Kevin Millar are coming around. Wow. A “Mr Positive” effort from Donaldson, not known for that style, especially when it comes to the Red Sox. Stan Grossfeld provides a guide to the worst seats at Fenway – many of the obstructed view and distant seats in the house, but many of the fans don’t seem to mind, they’re happy to be at Fenway, which I’m sure is exactly what the owners are counting on. Color me as one confused and annoyed by Larry Lucchino’s comments on Dennis and Callahan yesterday, when asked by Dennis about whether there is a long term plan to address the lack of size and space in many of the seats, Lucchino said there was. An economic plan. People willing to sit in those seats (which make up much of the ballpark) will pay less then the other seats which might have a little more room. It didn’t really sound like a plan to me at all, just a effort to be diplomatic rather than say, “We’re not going to replace seats and reduce the capacity of Fenway Park”.

David Heuschkel previews the Pittsburgh Pirates as they come to town for a weekend series with the Red Sox. He notes that the franchise just hasn’t been the same since Barry Bonds…and Tim Wakefield left. Silverman has a sidebar noting that the Red Sox have just about had their fill of interleague play. Anil Adyanthaya takes a look at the glory days of Jerry Remy, featuring 10 memorable games from his playing career. Silverman’s notebook looks a Kevin Millar heating up in the month of June. Nick Cafardo’s notebook also looks at Millar.

Chris Snow has a minor league notebook in which he looks at the Lowell Spinners and some of the players they are expected to have this summer. He also has Kelly Shoppach speaking about his brief Major League stint and looks at Jon Papelbon and some of the other Portland phenoms. Michael Silverman also produces a Minor League Notebook and he looks at the Red Sox first round selections from the last 10 years, most of whom has disappointed.

The Tradition - at The Sports Museum Tuesday Night
Lenny Megliola has a piece on Bob Cousy, who will be honored as part of The Tradition at the Sports Museum on Tuesday night. Mike Reiss looks at Andre Tippett, who will also be honored and presented by Dante Scarnecchia. Other honorees at the event will include:

  • Mike Eruzione, Jim Craig, Jack O’Callahan, and Dave Silk — The Boston-bred heroes of the Miracle on Ice
  • Tony DeMarco — The kid from the North End who became champion of the world 50 years ago
  • Terry O’Reilly — The grinder who became an All-Star and the quintessential Bruin
  • Lesley Visser — The journalist who shattered multiple gender barriers
  • The ownership of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox — The ultimate cursebreakers and miraclemakers

It’s sure to be a memorable evening. More information is available at the website for the Museum.

Shira Springer looks at the Pistons evening up the NBA Finals with a 102-71 victory over the Spurs. Every game of this series has ended in a runaway victory. Springer’s notebook says that the Union and the League has agreed to resume talks today on the new CBA.

Bob Ryan looks at the challenges of the Pinehurst course, where the US Open began play yesterday. Jim McCabe looks at the leaders after the first round, Olin Browne and Rocco Mediate, both at 3 under par. Joe Gordon also has a look at the first round. George Kimball looks at Tiger Woods shooting an even-par 70 yesterday. McCabe’s notebook has the James Driscoll update, while Gordon’s notebook looks at a jet-setting day for Corey Pavin.

I have to add that it is a disappointment that it appears the US Open will not be broadcast in HD by either network covering it. I understand the logistics and additional expense that is likely involved in doing this, but FOX appears to broadcast the NASCAR races each week in HD, why can’t this Major Golf event be covered as well? If someone from the networks is reading…I know you are…feel free to drop me a line so I can understand this a little better.

David Scott looks at Michael gee peddling his talents; he takes issue with Holley taking issue with Shaughnessy and has of course a number of other items and thoughts from around the media world.

Bill Griffith has a look at Lesley Visser, whose days on the NFL sidelines are over as she will now be part of the CBS pregame show. He also looks at NFL Network featuring Bill Belichick as part of the Father’s Day programming on Sunday and has a look at SportsPlus on NESN tonight, which will have a one-on-one with Charlie Weis.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Pirates at 7:00.

Kevin Millar/WEEI

The Kevin Millar interview on WEEI yesterday was odd in many aspects. When it was revealed that the entire phone call was also being filmed for a TV segment, it attained a reality-show type of feeling. (Have I mentioned that I hate reality shows) How much of this call was planned in advance and how much was spontaneous? In any event, here are a few snippets from the segment:

Millar: …it could have been Renta- you guys have blown Renteria out of the (unintelligible).

Buckley: Baloney, baloney

Ordway: That’s not true!!

Burton: Now wait a minute

(All talking)

Ordway: Kevin you’re not being fair here.

Burton: Yes he is.

(all talk)

Ordway: No he’s not! We’ve never jumped on Renteria! We never got on Manny Ramirez-

Burton: Are you kidding me?

Ordway: Because there’s a track record there.

Burton: Guys, wait a minute! Edgar Renteria, we were all over. Are you kidding? They called him Diarrhea, they called him Rent a Wreck…

Buckley: That’s not true. That’s wrong.

Burton: You never heard those nicknames here on the radio?

Buckley: From 6 to 10.

Burton: OH! Come on!

All talking

Buckley: We weren’t all over Renteria.

Burton: Buck you’re wrong.

Ordway: I missed those shows.

Burton: You mean to tell me this station was not ripping Edgar Renteria?

Ordway: This show was not ripping Edgar Renteria!

Burton: Oh, this show. This show.

Ordway: Well, I can only speak for this show. I mean do you speak for Lobel?

Burton: (something) 6-10?

Ordway: Do you speak for Lobel? I can’t- go ahead, Kevin.

Millar: No, this is what I’m talking about. This- you’re telling me, to answer the question, was the show not ripping Edgar Renteria?

Ordway: We were not ripping Edgar Renteria, no.

Burton: We have been on Edgar Renteria.

Ordway: I think callers from time to time have been on Edgar Renteria, Kevin, I mean every time somebody doesn’t perform, and I hear what you’re saying, you average it out in the long run, and you believe that your numbers are going to be there. But if you’re expecting the public to be patient, and forget about us, do you think the fans sit there patiently waiting as a guy is struggling the way you’ve been struggling?

So they haven’t been on Renteria or Manny. Ridiculous. More on this a little later on.

Burton: Does the criticism- do you listen to talk radio? Does the criticism bother you?

Ordway: It does, he already says the show sucks. (all laugh) You gotta listen to know it sucks.

Millar: No, honest to God, I’ve never, never listened to your show before. Because

Ordway: Shame on you!!! (over Millar) For saying the show sucks without listening!!!

No, the Big O would never pan something without watching or reading it. Never.

Millar talked about how the team cares for each other. He mentioned he and Varitek talking for 45 minutes on an off-day about how they could help and support Mark Bellhorn. That led to this exchange:

Ordway- We don’t see it, but I think we understand it. [inaudible] Kevin, I think that’s something we do bring up all the time, that these guys care about each other. I disagree with that I, I. Certainly we’ve been critical and I have been very critical of you in the first half of this season.

Buckley-Trying to run him out of town if I recall.

Ordway- No that was you trying to run Nomar out of town last year. But we are critical, this is, this is what we do. Fans here are very emotional and they take every game as if it’s the last game. I totally agree with that. I don’t think anybody has taken away what you guys and the feeling you have for each other. It was genuine last year, it was obvious and to be honest with you I think it’s coming across this year even though you’ve had some problems.

Another asinine statement. No, the majority of fans around here are not as Ordway describes, they do not all treat each game as the last game. Perhaps the callers to the radio station are like that, but as mentioned here in the past, these callers are not representative of the average fan.

Later in the show they tried to define the difference between “being critical” and “ripping”. They were hard pressed to do so. Many times the declaration was made “THIS IS WHAT WE DO!!!”

So they’re “critical”…that’s what they do, huh? I’ll have to remember that next time I get an email from one of these guys complaining about what I say about them. My response will be “THIS IS WHAT I DO!!!”

Meanwhile, The Diehards were talking actual sports…as I write this, I realize I probably fell into the WEEI trap…here I am writing about WEEI, when yesterday I recommended you check out The Diehards. I was able to do both, thanks to the wonders of technology, and some assistance in putting together the transcript from a couple of volunteers. I left out the part where Buckley called Millar a “smartass” after the player asked if Buck had ever written a positive article about him.

Michael Holley this morning came out gunning at Dan Shaughnessy’s column this morning in the Globe, calling it among other things, “unfortunate” and “Inappropriate” he was taking particular issue with the paragraph towards the end where Shaughnessy uses a David Halberstam quote:

Asked to speculate on life after winning, the estimable David Halberstam, a baseball guy and a foot soldier in the civil rights movement, predicted, “It will certainly change things. It will fragment. With the civil rights movement, all these great black leaders were pulled together and were loyal to each other as they were ascending, struggling against the white supremacists. The moment they won, everything fragmented because it went on to individual ambition. There’s always a difference in a revolution. When you finally get it, the strength that bonds you together changes and you put private ambition over group ambition, and that’s something the Red Sox will have to think about. Will success and winning spoil the unique sense of community and passion and this mystique of being close but never quite getting there?”

Holley was upset at both Shaughnessy and Halberstam equally, for this viewpoint. He felt that the comparison was way out of line and that Shaughnessy had a “major, major brain cramp” in including this and that the editors should not have allowed this segment into the piece. It was just “dumb”. During the crossover with Dennis and Callahan, Holley stated that the Globe should issue an apology.

Clean Sweep

The Red Sox finished off a three game set with the Reds last night at Fenway, the Yankees unveiled plans for a new stadium, plenty of US Open previews as well as some NBA and TV articles on the docket for today.

For the fourth straight game the Red Sox got outstanding starting pitching and the offense provided more than enough support as Boston completed a three game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with a 6-1 victory at Fenway. David Heuschkel says that the Red Sox did everything right and that Reds could not have look more overmatched in this series. Joe McDonald looks at Bronson Arroyo picking up his first win in six weeks with his strong outing. Jeff Horrigan looks at David Ortiz once again leading the offense with two hits and 3 RBI. Nick Cafardo writes about Arroyo shaking off his sluggish feeling of the last couple months and getting the win. David Borges and Joe Haggerty complete the game stories with looks at Arroyo stepping up and getting the job done on a frigid June night.

Dan Shaughnessy says that things are different around Fenway this year. Not necessarily bad, he says more than once, but more relaxed, less intense. Anil Adyanthaya has a Red Sox Nation citizenship test, any true follower of the team should be able to answer the questions on it. Alex Speier looks at the Boston bats starting to find their groove and pick up the production. Adam Kilgore looks at the larger then life David Ortiz, who you will be seeing a lot more of around town, especially if you like sandwiches. Michael Silverman says Ortiz was tempted by the prospect of a triple last night, but put on the brakes at second to play it safe. Steven Krasner and Borges looks at Tommy John surgery for Rocco Baldelli, it means he’ll have had ACL and Tommy John surgery in the same year, both injuries that could’ve ended a career not so long ago. Jon Wallach says you shoulda seen Ken Griffey Jr in his prime.

Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at Bronson Arroyo finding his way last night. He wonders if the suspension for the Tampa Bay incident is what messed him up. Horrigan has Terry Francona touting Mike Timlin as an All Star, a decision the Red Sox (and All Star) manager can make himself. Buckley also talks to Bill Mueller, who would prefer not to play second base, if given the choice. Krasner’s notebook says that Kevin Millar appears to thrive when faced with competition for his job. Heuschkel’s notebook has Keith Foulke refusing to talk about his health. Borges’ notebook looks at Francona making preparations to serve as All Star manager. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the progress the Red Sox are making towards signing their draft picks. Cafardo’s notebook leads with Francona avoiding a suspension.

Sasha Talcott and Dom Amore looks at the Yankees plans for a new stadium, which could once again add to the cash flow that the Yankees enjoy. Adam Kilgore gets Red Sox reaction to the announcement. You can check out the New York stories on the plans over at the BSMW New York Sports Headlines page.

If you missed the Kevin Millar interview on WEEI yesterday, there will be at least some segments from it later this morning here on BSMW.

Bob Ryan has a column on Sergio Gracia this morning, as the 25 year old continues to search for his first Major title. There are plenty of other US Open articles this morning, the Herald has a huge Golf Section and there are several pieces in the Globe as well.

Shira Springer has a piece on Antonio McDyess, who managed to stay healthy as a role player for the Pistons this year. McDyess nearly joined the Celtics last summer, but opted to sign with Detroit instead. Springer’s notebook looks at the Union hoping the re-open talks with the league.

Bill Griffith looks at John Madden agreeing to a six year deal with NBC.

ABC has Spurs/Pistons Game 4 at 9:00.

BSMW Recommends

Just a couple links before some recommendations on sports radio for the Boston fan.

Mark Farinella delivers a very good piece on Tom Brady today. He emphasizes the need for all of us not to take the Patriots QB for granted, he is not only a champion, but a class act as well. The article was triggered by yesterday’s incident with the place that Brady was supposed to be boarding that skidded off the runway. Tom King looks at Chad Brown, who wants to be ready for anything that is thrown at him this season.

Former Globe writer Dave Doyle takes a look at the Sports Journalism business in his blog.

If you were listening to Dale and Holley today and heard them talking about Jerry Crasnick’s License to Deal: A Season on the Run with a Maverick Baseball Agent and wanted to see the book, you can click on that link to go to the Amazon.com page for the publication.

John Madden is on the move again, leaving ABC to join NBC’s football coverage. This means Madden has pretty much made the rounds of the networks…CBS…Fox…ABC and now NBC.

If you’re a Boston sports fan are looking for good sports radio, here’s what I would recommend your listening schedule look like during the week:

Morning Show

Mike and Mike in the MorningESPN Radio
Host(s): Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg
Time: Weekdays 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ET

This show is not a local show, but if you’re looking for sports news, talk and scores in the morning, this is your best option. The two Mikes get a lot of good guests, (Naturally many ESPN Personalities) talk about the events of last night and preview the day ahead. When ESPN 890 comes into the Boston area you should be able to get the station in your car close to the city, if you’re in southern NH, ESPN 900 from Nashua comes in fairly well. (Also available on XM Satellite Radio – 140 ESPN Radio)

Midday Show

Dale and HolleyWEEI
Host(s) Dale Arnold and Michael Holley
Time: Weekdays 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m. ET

The best of the WEEI daily lineup. These guys generally try to stay away from the political issues and frat house style antics of the shows that precede and follow them. For the most part it is serious sports talk, that attempts to get you the facts on a particular issue. They’re not afraid of the internet and will consider new ideas. It’s not the perfect show, but it’s the best on the station.

Afternoon Drive

The DiehardsWWZN
Host(s) Ryen Russillo, Anthony Pepe, John Anik
Time: Weekdays 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

I realize that this station doesn’t register in the all-important ratings book, but more and more I find myself heading over to this program on my drive home. The signal strength remains a huge problem, but where I can get the station in on the drive, I’m usually listening to it. I will listen to segments of the Big Show on WEEI, but I find myself tiring of day after day of the same topics, beaten to death. On any given day, The Diehards will be talking about the Celtics, whichever league draft is upcoming, or interviewing a guest such as Buster Olney, or one of the guys from Baseball Prospectus – both weekly guests on the show. Ryen Russillo is of course the central figure of the show, but his sidekicks know their places and do a competent job – certainly no worse than some of the co-hosts the Big Show trots out.

If you’re in an office all day, the good news is that all three of these shows have streaming audio available.

Wells Dominant Again

The Red Sox make it three wins in a row over the National League, we’ve got a number of football stories still, a look at the Pistons taking game three, some Tiger Woods articles for this weekend’s US Open, and the Globe issues a disclaimer.

David Wells was once again on his game, and for the third straight night the Red Sox received strong starting pitching and also crushed the ball. David Heuschkel says that Wells has upheld his reputation as an interleague ace. Jeff Horrigan looks at how Wells flirted with a no-hitter through 5 2/3 innings last night. Nick Cafardo looks at a strong all around game for the Red Sox, which included a home run for Manny Ramirez, who might be coming around. Steven Krasner notes that since Theo Epstein spoke out over the weekend, the starters for the Red Sox have been outstanding. Rom Chimelis calls last night one of the finest performances in Wells’ long career. David Borges notes that Wells earned himself another $200,000 with the start last night – and was worth every penny. Christopher Price says Wells has rounded into form nicely. Lenny Megliola also looks at Wells, who knows he has to pitch well at Fenway.

Alex Speier writes that though Wells is only 5-4, his victories have been “ace-like stuff”. Jim Donaldson says that the key for Wells is always getting ahead in the count. Tony Massarotti has more on the incentives earned by Wells by taking the mound last night and how he is still a bargain. Stephen Harris looks at tonight’s starter, Bronson Arroyo, who hopes to break out of his slide and turn in a strong performance. Christopher Price looks at a tale of two seasons this year for Arroyo. Gordon Edes says that the reason Keith Foulke hadn’t pitched in nearly a week was a flareup of back problems, but the Red Sox closer looked sharp last night. Art Martone says that the ceremony naming the left field foul pole for Carlton Fisk was a swing and miss by the Red Sox owners. Howard Bryant’s Boston Uncommon (subscription only) looks at the gap between the AL and NL as evidenced by pitchers who switch leagues. He also looks at the glut of books on the market (27 to date) regarding the Red Sox World Series victory. He recommends a couple other baseball books if you’re looking to get some separation from that historic event to get some perspective.

Marvin Pave looks at how Mike Myers keeps showing up making his appearances and getting guys out. Ron Chimelis says that the Red Sox biggest problem has been not playing with a sense of urgency. In a another piece by Harris, Jason Varitek says of Manny in a quote that appears in other articles this morning as well: “He doesn’t have to be anything more than he is – the best right-handed hitter in the game.” Somewhere, Peter Gammons is cringing. Jason, have you ever heard of Albert Pujols? (Just kidding, Peter.) Joe McDonald looks at Manny finding his power stroke. Horrigan has a brief update on Johnny Damon’s heel, Pave also has a piece on Kevin Millar and Bill Mueller, who both extended hitting streaks last night.

Cafardo’s notebook has Arroyo hoping for a good outing tonight. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Arroyo, who doesn’t feel public appearances for his CD are a cause of his struggles. Borges’ notebook also looks at Arroyo. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Curt Schilling throwing some batting practice to Arizona State players yesterday. Krasner’s notebook says that Schilling is expected to arrive in town today to have his ankle examined. Chimelis’ notebook looks at a reunion in Agawam for Reds manager Dave Miley.

An eagle-eyed reader noted an apparent contradiction in a couple of the notebook items. Horrigan’s notebook states:

Curt Schilling ended his two-week rehabilitation stay in Arizona on an apparent positive note yesterday by throwing batting practice to Arizona State University players and a couple of former major leaguers.

Nick Cafardo’s notebook has the following to say:

Francona also said Schilling was going to throw batting practice to Arizona State hitters, but he had to find someone else because NCAA rules prohibit that.

Not really a major issue, but it would interesting to know who was right in this instance.

A number of good football articles this morning, notably, none are from the major papers. Chris Kennedy has a look at second year tight end Benjamin Watson, who recalls how hard it was to sit and watch with his injury last season, and is looking forward to contributing this year. Mike Reiss looks at another second year player, receiver P.K. Sam, who appears to have grown up quite a bit during his year with the Patriots. He’s been hanging out with Deion Branch, which can only be a good influence on the youngest player in the 2004 draft. Eric McHugh looks at young receivers Sam and Bethel Johnson, who have both been working very hard this summer. According the article, Johnson injured his foot by pushing himself too hard in offseason workouts. Lenny Megliola looks at Andre Tippett, who has a love for New England and is glad to have “been the face of the organization in many ways”.

Shira Springer reports on the Piston making it a series, winning game three last night 96-79. She also reports on the Lakers re-hiring Phil Jackson, and her notebook looks at Manu Ginobili getting a little banged up last night.

Going into this week’s US Open, Bob Ryan has a look at Tiger Woods, who in many ways remains on his own level. Joe Gordon also looks at Woods, who aims to win another Major this weekend. George Kimball (subscription only) has Phil Mickelson recalling the 1999 US Open, held at the same location it is this year, and his tough loss to Payne Stewart in that event. Jim McCabe looks at Brookline’s James Driscoll preparing for his first US Open.

Michael Holley predicted it during the Keith Foulke/Alabama mess – perhaps he was working on inside information – but last night the Globe sports department effectively disassociated themselves from the Boston Dirt Dogs web site. On the page now in the left hand side there is a notice: “BDD is a feature of Boston.com. It is not produced by The Boston Globe Sports Dept. More” If you click on the “more” link, you’re brought to a popup that says simply:

Boston Dirt Dogs is a fan site produced by Boston.com. The Boston Globe newspaper and its Sports Dept do not oversee the site and have no role in its production. BDD