07.19.05 Afternoon

Mike Fine looks at the Red Sox tumbling out of first place last night after 25 days in that position. Bob Stern also has the dismal report from a steamy Fenway Park last night. Chaz Scoggins looks at Scott Kazmir once again silencing the Red Sox bats. Rob Bradford writes about Johnny Damon’s hitting streak coming to an end at 29 games.

David Ropeik on Boston.com has an article today looking at the lives and jobs of those who cover the Red Sox on a daily basis. David Heuschkel, Chris Snow, Karen Guregian, Steve Buckley and NESN producer Russ Kenn are among those interviewed for the article. All note the grind that the job can have on their lives, but are all very quick to acknowledge the perks that come with the job as well, as they have grown up with a love of sports. A quote from Buckley closes the article where he says “And this is not a job. It’s fun.”

John Molori’s Media Blitz reports on a local 22-year-old who was included in one of the nominations for the ESPY awards. He also applauds several WEEI personalities for their questioning and criticism of the Red Sox.

While WEEI is being applauded, a belated congratulations to Glenn Ordway for his being nominated for a Marconi Award. He was nominated for Major Market Personality of the Year. Here is a list of all nominees. The winners will be announced Sept 22nd.

Mike Reiss reports on the Patriots being interested in hosting the NFL Draft in the future.

Chad Finn gives us a Red Sox team picture on his blog. The Boston Phoenix has a Red Sox blog, written by Mike Miliard.

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Knocked Out of First

Another depressing night at Fenway as the Red Sox fall again. There are a couple of noteworthy columns in the papers today as well as plenty of rumors. Patriots articles are starting to trickle in as training camp begins at the end of next week. A few media notes round out today’s (late) update.

The slide continues. After letting Scott Kazmir off the hook in the first inning, the Red Sox could do nothing more the rest of the evening, losing to the Devil Rays 3-1. They managed only three hits the entire evening. Nick Cafardo has the depressing story from Fenway. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox tumbling into second place with the loss. Steven Krasner notes that despite a little excitement in the ninth inning, it didn’t help the Red Sox defeat the worst team in baseball. David Heuschkel observes that Johnny Damon’s inability to extend his hitting streak last night was symbolic of the entire night for the Red Sox. David Borges notes that there was very little for the crowd to cheer about last night.

Yesterday Dennis and Callahan were insistent that a writer needed to go into the locker room and ask Bill Mueller directly if he would have been willing to play second base for an inning or two on Sunday night had John Olerud been used as a pinch hitter for Alex Cora. Dan Shaughnessy must have been listening, and took this task upon himself. He went to Mueller. He went to Francona. He asked the right questions. I may not agree with his delivery of the column today, (I think it’s a bit of hyperbole to suggest that we should all totally lose faith in the entire organization because they apparently stick by Francona’s decision to allow Cora to hit.) but I’m willing to give him credit for being in the clubhouse and asking these questions of the people involved. This is a bit of a no-win situation for me, because Dan and those in his corner will say I’m not giving him enough credit, while Dan’s numerous detractors will say I shouldn’t give him any credit for merely doing his job.

Near the top of Gerry Callahan’s subscription-only column, he says

There is a moment for each Red Sox manager, a decision that defines him and follows him and sometimes haunts him throughout his tenure in Boston and into eternity.

He mentions McNamara leaving Bill Buckner in at the end of Game 6 in 1986, he mentions Joe Morgan sending Spike Owen up to pinch hit for Jim Rice, and of course Grady Little leaving Pedro in during game 7 in 2004. The inference of course, is that Francona’s decision on Sunday with Alex Cora might be that moment. A little more hyperbole, I believe. He does make a good point however that Francona at times seems to forget that he won the World Series last year and should perhaps be a bit more bold in his decisions.

Lenny Megliola says that we still have a lot of questions about this Red Sox team. Horrigan has a more low-key piece on the Bill Mueller situation, with Mueller saying he would’ve been willing to play second for an inning or two. Alex Speier looks at the leaks which have sprung in the Red Sox ship as of late. Joe Haggerty looks at Wade Miller just not having enough to win last night. Michael Silverman and Ron Indrisano each look at Lou Piniella’s eruption in the ninth inning last night following a reversed call at first base. Before the game, Indrisano had written an article on Piniella about how the Tampa Bay skipper came into town believing there would be no eruptions and tempers flaring between the two clubs. Steve Buckley has a quick report on the early returns on Jacoby Ellsbury at Lowell. Jon Couture tells us that the Orioles are in this race for the long haul.

Cafardo’s notebook looks at Johnny Damon’s hitting streak coming to an end. Heuschkel’s notebook reports on Mark Bellhorn heading to the disabled list. Krasner’s notebook observes that the Red Sox are short of candidates for second base. Borges’ notebook looks at what Bellhorn’s injury means for the roster, including Bill Mueller. Horrigan’s notebook says that Dustin Pedroia won’t be coming up to the Majors immediately, and reports on the Red Sox interest in Tony Graffanino.

La Velle E. Neal III in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports on possible interest between the Twins and Red Sox in making a deal. Relief pitcher J.C. Romero is said to have the Red Sox interest, while the Twins might like to acquire Bill Mueller for his bat.

It’s getting close to training camp time. Michael Felger has the first of the positional previews heading into camp. Today he looks at the cornerbacks, a position that was beefed up in the offseason with the goal of replacing Ty Law. Mike Reiss had a look at Adam Vinatieri yesterday and he and the Patriots continue to work on trying to get him signed to a long term contract.

Stephen Harris looks at the NHL labor deal getting closer to ratification. He also looks at the Bruins slim chances of winning the number one pick in the draft.

A note in the Hartford Courant informs us that columnist Jeff Jacobs is recovering from quadruple bypass surgery. Best wishes for a healthy and speedy recovery to Jacobs…Bill Griffith reports that signs seem to indicate that Greg Dickerson will be sticking around at FSN.

Carol Beggy and Mark Shanahan lead their “Names” feature in the Globe today with a mention of the Michael Gee situation as reported in Scott’s Shots last Friday.

Check out the sports stories and headlines from New York on the BSMW New York Sports News page.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00.

Down to a Half Game

Many links this morning, most having to do with another disappointing Red Sox loss, but also quite a few on the New England 300 at Loudon yesterday. There is also British Open coverage, and David Scott has a followup on his Scott’s Shots column from Friday.

The Red Sox submitted another dismal outing this weekend as they dropped 3 of 4 to the Yankees, including a 5-3 loss last night. This, coupled with losing 3 of 4 last weekend to the Orioles has all but eliminated their lead in the American League East. They know hold a mere half game advantage over the Yankees and one game over the Orioles. Chris Snow looks at a late Red Sox rally falling short, as Mariano Rivera slammed the door in the ninth. Jeff Horrigan looks at the pitching of Al Leiter and Tim Wakefield last night, Wakefield only allowed 5 hits, but three of them were homers. Steven Krasner also has a look at the late rally falling short for the Red Sox. David Heuschkel and Dom Amore have game stories from each side in the Hartford Courant. David Borges and Lenny Megliola round out the game stories from a disappointing weekend finale at Fenway.

Jackie MacMullan has a column today about the Yankees really putting the heat on the Red Sox this weekend which will result in scoreboard watching for the rest of the season. Tony Massarotti writes that no one can predict what is going to happen with this AL East race. Gordon Edes looks at last minute pickup Al Leiter riding to the rescue for the Yankees, having been picked up off the scrap heap just the day before. Jim Donaldson looks at Leiter coming full circle in less than a day. Mark Bellhorn had to leave the game last night with a thumb injury and if he is out for a while, or continues to struggle as he has, the Red Sox need to consider other options. The popular answer is Dustin Pedroia, however Sean McAdam writes today that a wrist injury and the fact that he is not on the 40 man roster could be factors to would leave the Red Sox looking elsewhere. McAdam points out the interesting news that Hanley Ramirez has been playing at second base the last couple nights. Kevin Thomas of the Portland Press Herald also reports on Ramirez playing second base the last couple nights.

Alex Speier looks at the challenges facing the Red Sox as they attempt to end their most recent slide, which appears to have begun in earnest on July 6th, a most chaotic day. Jon Couture says that this weekend has definitely given cause for concern regarding the Red Sox, but not panic. Amalie Benjamin looks at Alex Cora, who was thrown in to the fire last night with the injury to Mark Bellhorn. Kelsie Smith reports on Johnny Damon extending his hitting streak to 29 games with an eighth inning double last night. Borges also files a report on Damon extending the streak. Edes also reports on the return of Gabe Kapler, who is thrilled to be back in America and with the Red Sox organization. Massarotti also has a brief report on the return of the outfielder.

Kelsie Smith writes about Jason Giambi, who is slowly attempting to return to the form that made him one of the game’s most feared sluggers. Joe Haggerty looks at Al Leiter’s first game in his second stint in a Yankee uniform, one that was most memorable. Steve Buckley (subscription only) writes that Leiter is getting a chance to complete the circle of his career, as he was drafted by the Yankees and made his major league debut with them back in 1988. Michael Silverman looks at the Yankees winning the battle of the 3-4 sluggers this weekend. Andy Smith in the Eagle Tribune has the first of what will be a two part series. He went to a game this weekend in Yankee garb, and reports on his reception. He will do the opposite later this season, wearing Red Sox gear to Yankee stadium. Get all the perspective from New York on this series and the other news from the world of sports including another dominant outing from Pedro Martinez and Tiger Woods capturing another British Open on the New York Sports Headlines page.

The Devil Rays come to town starting tonight, and this a rivalry that has grown on its own the last several years, with a number of beanball and brushback incidents. Horrigan looks at the two sides set to renew hostilities. There are a couple of pieces in the papers this morning about tonight’s starter for the Red Sox Steve Buckley and Amalie Benjamin each have a look at Wade Miller and his first inning struggles thus far this season.

The notebooks are full of interesting assorted items. Snow’s notebook has Trot Nixon still riled up over earlier incidents with the Devil Rays, and also looks at trade rumors, and reports that Craig Hansen was undergoing medical tests at Mass General yesterday…a physical in preparation for a signing? Horrigan’s notebook looks at the possibility of Dustin Pedroia getting a shot if Mark Bellhorn is to be out for any length of time. The Projo notebook dismisses some trade rumors that were making the rounds yesterday. Heuschkel’s notebook has Kevin Millar denying that he asked for a trade. Borges’ notebook has Bronson Arroyo hoping that the antics with the Devil Rays will be at a minimum this week. Couture’s notebook looks at Bellhorn’s injury, Kapler’s road back to Fenway and a couple other items.

Yesterday was the big day on the New England calendar for NASCAR as the New England 300 took place at New Hampshire International Speedway. Tony Stewart won the race and is his personal tradition, climbed the fences afterward. Michael Vega in the Globe, David Exum in the Herald, Shawn Courchesne in the Hartford Courant and Allen Lessels in the Manchester Union Leader have the race stories from Loudon. Kevin Provencher from the same paper has a notebook of the race. Adam Kilgore looks at the Busch brothers, Kurt and Kyle, battling it out behind Stewart on the NHIS track. Exum also has an NHIS notebook. The Globe also has Vega’s notebook from the event. Kilgore also looks at Gibbs Racing having a much needed showing with two of the top three cars. Russ Conway has an extensive feature on how NASCAR lacks a union, but how what they have seems to work out just fine for them.

Rich Thompson and Frank Dell’Apa look at the New England Revolution pulling off a thrilling win last night at Gillette. Trailing 2-1 with a minute to play, Taylor Twellman scored a pair of goals to give the Revs the victory.

Jim McCabe reports on Tiger Woods winning another British Open, capturing the 10th Major Title of his career. Bob Ryan looks at the New Tiger, who made adjustments in his swing and game to capture this title, and will continue to make adjustments throughout his career. McCabe’s notebook looks at Brad Faxon falling apart in the final round.

Bonnie DeSimone reports on the Tour De France, where another American, George Hincapie won stage 15. Lance Armstrong’s overall lead remains secure, however.

David Scott posts a followup to his Friday story on Michael Gee. He explains how the story came together and answers reaction and criticism to the article which has emerged the last few days.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Rangers/Yankees at 8:00. TBS has Braves/Giants at 10:00.

Ugly Loss For Sox

Who know? Maybe it was the increased weight of his wallet, heavy with the All Star bonus he so desperately wanted. Whatever it was, Matt Clement was on the wrong side of that thin line of mechanical soundness on which he so perilously travels and the Yankees took advantage. Clement, having now given up 18 runs in his three July starts over 17 innings, only lasted 2 2/3 yesterday but his teammates, with their own baserunning and defense issues, were unable to pick him up despite great work from the bullpen.

Game stories from the Boston Herald

Sox wallop Yankees

Stories from an old-fashioned blowout at Fenway lead our posting this morning. We also have news on Scott Pioli’s contract extension, the New York sports headlines, and some more links in the blogosphere to yesterday Scott’s Shots article.

Plenty of good times at Fenway last night, as the Red Sox pounded the Yankees, 17-1 (box score).

Chris Snow writes in his game story that Trot Nixon’s son will be getting a new pair of Air Jordans, thanks to the right fielder

Patriots Sign Pioli to Extension

Mike Reiss reports that the Patiots and Scott Pioli have agreed to a contract extension. Terms were not disclosed. The Patriots have confirmed it with a press release, though it is as of yet not on their website.

The New England Patriots have signed Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli to a contract extension. Terms of the extension were not disclosed.

"We are proud to announce this extension," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "Scott has done a tremendous job managing our personnel department and overseeing the draft for us. He has successfully evaluated, recruited and acquired talented players who are also quality individuals that represent our family well, both on the field and in the community."

"There is mutual respect between Robert, Jonathan, the Kraft family and myself," said Pioli. "We have shared a great deal of success and I am happy to have an extended agreement with them."

Shots Followup

Word about the Scott’s Shots article on Michael Gee is making its way around the internet. The story was picked up by Romenesko of Poynter Online, right under a link to a story in today’s Herald about a couple of Lawrence Eagle-Tribune staffers getting suspended for speaking out about the paper’s new race policy. (A hot topic at a lot of papers, from what I hear.) Joe Strupp of the Editor and Publisher has more on the story, as he did a bit of a follow up on what happened. Baseball Think Factory also has a link to the story.

Dave Doyle has some thoughts about the article as well as about BSMW in general as he examines the changing attitude towards online media.

Michael Felger has a short piece for The Sporting News website entitled “Preparing for life without Bruschi” in which he looks at the offseason pickups the Patriots have made at linebacker. WEEI has been quoting a Kansas City radio station today as having reported that Ty Law has agreed to a deal with the Chiefs, pending a physical.