Curt Schilling is headed out to the bullpen to continue his recovery, and this news topped the sports talk community yesterday. It was even at the top of national shows such as ESPN SportsCenter. The Red Sox picked up a win in Texas last night behind Matt Clement. Those are the major stories this morning, but there are also some Celtics stories regarding their summer league entry in Vegas.
The Red Sox made it two in a row over the Rangers and Matt Clement went within one out of a complete game in picking up his 10th win of the season last night in Texas. David Heuschkel says that Clements claims not to have been making a statement last night, but he made one anyway. Sean McAdam notes the Red Sox fine bounceback since Monday night’s disaster with Keith Foulke. Jeff Horrigan notes that it was also a bounceback for Clement, who had been pounded in his previous start against the Blue Jays. Nick Cafardo says that with a depleted bullpen, the Red Sox are showing again that they thrive during gut-check time.
Yesterday the big news of the day once again revolved around the bullpen. During his weekly segment on WEEI, Manager Terry Francona volunteered the information that Curt Schilling will be pitching out of the bullpen tonight for Pawtucket, and that he will continue that role when he rejoins the Red Sox. Amalie Benjamin takes a look at the situation, and how Schilling will be used. She gets Tim Wakefield’s reaction, and the knuckleballer isn’t thrilled with the decision, saying that he’d rather see Schilling back in the rotation. Howard Bryant (subscription only) says that the Red Sox aren’t panicking with this move, but they are desperate. They need some edge, some swagger out of the bullpen to discourage opponents from thinking they can come back on them. Jeff Horrigan notes that the biggest question surrounding Schilling will be how he will handle the physical part of coming out of the bullpen and how his arm will bounce back. Sean McAdam writes that it’s likely Schilling won’t join the Red Sox until after the All Star break next week. David Heuschkel has Johnny Damon saying that he feels Bronson Arroyo would be the best choice to be the closer, with Mike Timlin a close second. Jon Baker has a Pawtucket report, with a look at how the news of Schilling was being received there as well as a look at Jon Papelbon’s first start tonight and Manny Delcarmen being moved up to the AAA club.
Jackie MacMullan has a lengthy column on Foulke, his struggles and how he is dealing mentally with the pressures of Boston. She talks to two former Boston pitchers, Dennis Eckersley and Bob Stanley about the pressures of closing and of pitching in Boston. Damian Vega talks to the agent of Mariners’ closer Eddie Guardado about why he has Boston on his list of 10 teams he can’t be traded to without his permission. Benjamin takes a look at the strong outing for Matt Clement last night, bolstering his case to be added to the All Star team should Kenny Rogers decide to bow out. Howard Bryant looks at Rangers starter Chan Ho Park falling apart after a strong beginning last night. Kevin Henkin says that the Red Sox should pursue Astros setup man Dan Wheeler.
McAdam’s notebook says that Johnny Damon’s sore shoulder has only gotten worse since his diving catch in Texas earlier this week. The centerfielder will get the night off tonight in Baltimore. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Damon’s shoulder. Cafardo’s notebook has Damon saying that there are “a lot of upset people” in the Red Sox clubhouse over the decision to make Schilling a closer, Damon says that he and his teammates would rather see Arroyo or Timlin. It’s amusing that Damon says Schilling is “too old” to be the closer, while pushing for Timlin, who is a little bit older than Schilling. But Timlin of course is used to coming out of the bullpen. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Foulke’s upcoming knee surgery. Cafardo also files a fairly brief All Star Notebook.
WEEI has gotten itself a pair of scoops the last couple days, first getting the news on Tuesday afternoon that Keith Foulke was headed back to Boston for an MRI on each of his knees, and then getting word yesterday directly from manager Terry Francona on-air that Curt Schilling would be used out of the bullpen. They are the Red Sox flagship station, and it is appropriate that this sort of news be broken over their airwaves. They’ve gotten this news with almost exclusively fill-ins appearing during the day this week, with Michael Holley the only regular host working the week.
Steve Bulpett looks at Marcus Banks, who despite not being on the summer league roster in Las Vegas is there working out and practicing with the team every day. All agree that this is a very positive sign for the young point guard, who has a chance to be the starter next season. Bulpett also reports that Danny Ainge has put a toe in the free agent waters, talking to forward Brian Scalabrine and point guard Will Solomon, as well as the agent for Antoine Walker. The Bergen Record reports that Scalabrine to the Celtics is pretty much a done deal, with the forward getting a 5 year, $15 million dollar deal from Boston. Bulpett’s notebook has Doc Rivers giving his thoughts on some of the players, including Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes and Taylor Coppenrath. He also says that Kendrick Perkins has made the biggest strides over the course of the last year.
Bonnie DeSimone’s Tour De France update reports on Lance Armstrong being ordered to don the yellow jersey, against his original intentions.
John Powers looks at London winning the bid to host the 2012 Olympic games. Powers wonders if New York will make another bid for 2016. You can get more news on NYC losing out on the Olympic games over at the New York Sports News page.
John Molori’s Media Blitz hits on a number of topics this morning, looking at show number 500 for the DieHards, the Keith Foulke situation and NESN’s Corey Masse, among many other topics.
NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00 (ESPN Nationally) TBS has Braves/Cubs at 7:30.