Plenty of off-day articles on the Red Sox, and coverage of the Patriots making a trade to bring in another wide receiver. The Celtics apparently also make a deal, getting themselves a point guard who averaged 13.2 points and 5.2 assists as a starter last season. A couple of media articles round out the links today.

Off days during the season usually mean a lot of musing and reflecting on the “state of the team” the next day in the papers, and today is no exception. Michael Silverman examines the bullpen, which he says is in need of change, and quickly. David Heuschkel also looks at the pitching staff and the moves that Terry Francona can make. There is an interesting paragraph in the article, which if true, disputes something that has been tossed around on sports radio quite a bit recently and that is that Craig Hansen needs to be called up to the big club by August 31st in order to be eligible for the postseason. In fact, Pete Sheppard guaranteed that Hansen would be called up prior to that date so that he would be eligible. Heuschkel, however, writes:

But there is no need to rush to get Hansen on the roster by Aug. 31. In order to be eligible for the postseason, players only need to be in the organization by that date.

A quick look at the 2002 stats of Francisco Rodriguez might seem to bear that out. Though I can’t tell from looking at that page if he was on the roster on August 31st, he didn’t make his MLB debut until September 18th, and only pitched in five regular season games that season. In perhaps a clue as to the timing of his call-up, the stats only begin on September 16th, where it says he did not play the first two games before making his debut on the 18th, then they list every game for the rest of the season, whether he pitched or not. So I’m guessing he was called up on the 16th.

Update: I got the following email from Alex Speier this morning:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alex Speier"
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 9:05 AM
Subject: postseason roster

Hi Bruce,

The postseason roster can include anyone who was in
the organization (as opposed to on the 25-man roster)
by August 31 as long as he "replaces" a player who is
on the 60-day disabled list. Thus, with Mantei on the
60-day, the team can use his spot for one of the

Alex Speier

Gerry Callahan (subscription only) as he does often in his columns, plays the role of optimist. It’s such a striking change from his radio persona, that it really makes you take notice. He says that the Red Sox are in terrific shape right now, and that having young pitchers such as Papelbon and Hansen is a key for the club down the stretch. John Tomase also examines the state of the Red Sox pitching staff. Steven Krasner writes that with young arms such as Jonathan Papelbon on the staff, things could be looking up. Gordon Edes reports on the Red Sox offense, a powerful group on pace to lead the league in scoring for the third straight year. Lenny Megliola is worried about two things, the Yankees and the Red Sox bullpen.

Globe intern Luis Andres Henao, who is from Edgar Renteria’s home country of Colombia, conducts an interview with the Red Sox shortstop. Karen Guregian reports on how Kevin Millar is adjusting to his reduced role with the club. Garry Brown says that the schedule down the stretch drive favors the Red Sox. Eric Benevides reports on Trot Nixon’s second rehab outing for Pawtucket. Bill Reynolds has bits on Curt Schilling and the Red Sox offense sandwiched around a look at the scandals at UConn. Edes reports that David Wells’ appeal of his suspension will be heard tomorrow.

Edes’ notebook has Jonathan Papelbon open to any way in which the Red Sox decide to use him the rest of the way. Silverman’s notebook has Tony Graffanino happy that his former teammates in Kansas City finally ended their losing streak. He also makes mention of Hansen needing to be called up prior to Sept 1st to be eligible for the postseason. Though I hold Silverman in high regard, I’m going to go with Heuschkel’s version on this one.

The Patriots acquired wide receiver Andre Davis from the Cleveland Browns yesterday in a move that came as a surprise to many. Jerome Solomon says that even though he denies it, Bill Belichick is sending a message to his club with this move. Michael Felger says that this move is about strength in numbers. Alan Greenberg writes that the move was a wakeup call to the younger receivers on the roster. Chris Kennedy says that there is always room for a little more competition on the Patriots roster. Michael Parente says that this move was needed because several of the receivers have spent more time in the trainer’s room than on the field recently.

Ron Borges has a terrific look at Romeo Crennel, and what he has faced in finally reaching his goal of being an NFL head coach, and what challenges are in front of him with the Cleveland Browns. Christopher Price garners Patriot lockerroom reaction to the death of 49er’s lineman Thomas Herrion after a preseason game Saturday night. Michael Smith says that the Patriots are like Radio Shack – we’ve got questions, they’ve got answers. Tony Massarotti and Tom E Curran report on NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue paying a visit to Gillette yesterday. Tom Meade reports on some Patriots shooting guns for charity over the weekend.

Felger also has a brief report on Belichick calling out rookie Ellis Hobbs for a gamble made in the game against the Saints last week. Curran’s notebook also reports on the purpose pitch from Belichick. To me, the statement indicates that Belichick thinks that this kid can play, because otherwise, he wouldn’t waste words on him. Solomon’s notebook looks at Matt Light showing up on crutches yesterday. Felger’s notebook looks at a handful of players returning to the practice field yesterday. Parente’s notebook says that linebacker Chad Brown is slowly getting more comfortable with the Patriots system.

Shira Springer reports on the Celtics working out a sign-and-trade to acquire New Orleans point guard Dan Dickau.

Bill Griffith catches up with Frank Deford and looks at what the 66 year old writer is up to these days. John Molori’s Media Blitz looks at the original NHL phenom, Bobby Carpenter, has a look at some things said by NFL types recently and lists out his top ten football reporters and commentators.

Get your update on the state of the Yankees as they continue chase of the Red Sox over at the New York Sports Headlines page. Check out the extensive coverage of the death of the 49er’s Thomas Herrion on the Bay Area Sports page.

NESN has Red Sox/Royals at 7:00.