A Few Days Away

I’m going to be away until next Tuesday. For Thursday and Friday I have put together a lengthy look at the current state of the Boston Globe, looking at each area of sports coverage and giving them each a grade.

I think there will be at least one day of links over the weekend, and for Monday, I’ll have something posted as well.

For the days without the daily links, I’ve created a couple of pages to help make your daily reading at least a little easier without having the full front page links.

Red Sox Daily Links

Patriots Daily Links

These pages will update automatically. They aren’t all inclusive, but they should make things a little easier for you to find the major stories in one spot.

Scott’s Shots will have its regular Friday posting, and make sure to check in on the Patriots Game Day Rear View page for updates as well.

A scattering of afternoon links. Mike Reiss has the first edition of his Boston.com mailbag, Ask Reiss. Lots of linebacker and run defense questions in there this week. Mark Farinella looks at Bill Belichick rounding into form with the media, and is glad that he can turn some sarcasm back at the Patriots coach. Eric McHugh and Rob Bradford each have articles on the offensive line, which is a close bunch, even when jobs are up for grabs and injuries cause others to have to move around on the line. Tom Curran’s Blog has Matt Light’s father saying that his son’s injury isn’t serious. He also clarifies what stats Bill Belichick was actually referring to in the exchange he had with Alan Greenberg during yesterday’s press conference. This is also the incident referred to in Farinella’s article above.

Jim Fenton has an article on new Celtics point guard Dan Dickau.

Jeff Sullivan tells some interesting tales from his sportswriting days, involving Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens and Juan Gonzalez. Chad Finn writes about the Red Sox, Royals, Julio Franco and Dan Dickau among other things.


Red Sox Royalty

The Red Sox had a fairly easy time of it in Kansas City last night. The Patriots continue training camp as they prepare to face Green Bay at Lambeau Field on Friday night. Those are the main stories today, but there are a few other links out there as well.

It got a little tighter there towards the end, but all in all, it was another routine win for the Red Sox, 5-2 over the Royals last night. Chris Snow looks at how Mike Timlin’s ninth inning unfolded. Michael Silverman calls last night’s game embarrassingly one-sided until the ninth inning. Steven Krasner says that David Wells still feels a little “funky” but he had enough to get the win last night. David Heuschkel notes that the Red Sox were able to make the most of their early opportunities.

Bob Ryan writes that the 2005 Red Sox have been, and will continue to play with house money. They won it all last year, and aren’t really expected to be the favorite again, so we should just sit back and enjoy the ride. I enjoyed his paragraph referencing those who thought that winning the World Series would ruin the “Red Sox experience”, he calls that “an absurd reach on the part of pseudo-intellectuals who can spoil the fun with ludicrous over-analysis.” He correctly says that if winning once is nice, winning more than once is much better. Ask longtime Celtics fans. Ask current Patriots fans.

Karen Guregian looks at how David Wells is still dealing with the “aftershocks” of the virus that has weakened him over his last few starts. Gordon Edes looks at Mike Sweeney and how the Royals first baseman is stuck in Kansas City for a few more year, but might also be available after the season in a trade. Kelsie Smith looks at traveling man Trot Nixon, who found himself back in right field for the Red Sox last night. Guregian looks at Mike Remlinger, who was at least temporarily saved when the Red Sox decided to option Lenny DiNardo back to Pawtucket.

Howard Bryant (subscription only) has a very strong column this morning speaking about against the media for their silence in the steroid issue in baseball for the last seven years. He notes:

The general media assessment during the steroid era was naivet

08.23.2005 Afternoon

Apparently the clarification this morning did nothing for the local sports radio talkers. Glenn Ordway was still talking about the Red Sox needing to call up Craig Hansen prior to September 1st in order for him to be eligible for the postseason. After a few minutes of discussion, Steve Buckley got closer to the truth when he said he thought that the player just had to be in the organization prior to September 1st. Ordway asked him several times if he was sure, doubting that information. Buckley promised to check it out during the next break. (A couple breaks have gone by without a mention thus far) Buckley conveyed the correct information shortly before 4:00.

Chaz Scoggins says that Curt Schilling was not the answer to the Red Sox bullpen woes. Eric Wilbur says thanks for nothing, Schill, and looks at what the bullpen might look like in September. Ken Rosenthal thinks that Theo Epstein is going to ask for Billy Beane money after this season, and could threaten to go to the Yankees if he doesn’t get it. I’m pretty sure this is all pure speculation on the part of Rosenthal, as there are no sources cited to back this up.

Eric McHugh looks at the newest member of the Patriots, receiver Andre Davis. He also runs down the 12 receivers currently in camp. Glen Farley gets reaction in the Patriots lockerroom to the death of Thomas Herrion. Tom Curran’s blog has the account of a back-and-forth between Bill Belichick and the Hartford Courant’s Alan Greenberg this morning. McHugh’s notebook has more Patriots reaction to the sudden passing of Herrion.

Kirk Minihane has started a fantasy sports column for the Lowell Sun. This is still pretty unique in New England papers. I think the New Bedford Standard Times does some fantasy stuff, but most of the bigger papers have not really latched onto this niche yet. I’m not a fantasy sports player myself, but it seems that almost everyone I know is doing it.

Bill Simmons has some thoughts on the ESPN2 Frank Deford documentary, and has his sports book recommendation of the week. Journalism.org has a look at how newspaper sports writing differs from the news coverage.

Some of the key findings from the study:
  • Sports stories were overwhelmingly one-sided

Off Day Reflections

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.

Edgar Comes Through

A fairly light Monday for links. There is coverage of the Red Sox win over the Angels yesterday, a few football articles from Patriots training camp, and just a couple other miscellaneous items.

The Red Sox bats has pretty much been held in check for the entire series against the Angels until the eighth inning yesterday. Edgar Renteria snapped a scoreless tie with a three run homer, and then after David Ortiz laid down a bunt single (!) against the over-shift, (I’m looking forward to the three weeks of heated debate on this topic on WEEI…after all the precedent was set with the Edgar bunt earlier this season.) Manny Ramirez hit a two run homer, giving the Red Sox all they would need for a 5-1 victory and a split of the four game series against the Angels.

Gordon Edes says the shocks came one after another in the eighth inning, but produced a much-needed win. Michael Silverman reports on the Red Sox having the needed fireworks to overcome the Angels. Steven Krasner makes note of the many memorable sights and moments from yesterday afternoon in Anaheim. David Heuschkel notes that lost amid all the late inning happenings, we saw again the bright future that Jonathan Papelbon possesses, as the youngster tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

Dan Shaughnessy says it is about time that Renteria finally did something. Karen Guregian says that Renteria seems to be finding a groove at the plate, at least. Steve Buckley (subscription only) writes that the Red Sox are making the right move by putting Curt Schilling back in the rotation. He says they are not going to go far in October without the top of the rotation ace and the closer. He says Keith Foulke or even Craig Hansen will need to nail down the closer spot.

Jon Baker reports on Trot Nixon’s rehab appearance for Pawtucket yesterday. Jonathan Comey makes the case for Jason Varitek as American League MVP. Edes has a piece on Kevin Millar, who seems to have accepted the inevitable, that John Olerud deserves to be playing every day ahead of him. Guregian has a short bit on yesterday’s starter, Jonathan Papelbon, who impressed once again. Bob Halloran says the Red Sox are good.

I don’t think I was alone in being a little aggravated on Friday night at the UPN38/NESN Red Sox telecast from Anaheim. After David Ortiz was called out on strikes to end the top of the eighth inning, he started arguing the call with the umpire. You could see that things were getting heated and something was going to happen. The production crew decided to go right into their commercial break anyway. This is no second-guess, right when they went to the commercial I was annoyed. Of course when they came back, Ortiz had been tossed from the game and Remy and Orsillo had to go over everything that happened during the break. The network should’ve stuck with the live coverage. Remy was very strong in stating that he thought that Ortiz will be suspended for his actions. I haven’t heard anything else on that angle since then, though Remy did mention it on the FOX telecast Saturday.

Edes’ notebook says that the Red Sox are going to give Craig Hansen at least a few more day before calling him up to big club. Silverman’s notebook looks at the end of Schilling’s days as a reliever and reports that Mike Timlin will probably handle the closing duties until Keith Foulke or someone else are ready to take the job. Heuschkel’s notebook says that Schilling accomplished what he set out to do when he agreed to come out of the bullpen.

Michael Felger takes a position-by-position look at the roster and where the upcoming cuts are likely to come from. Jerome Solomon also looks at the roster and who is still trying to make an impression on the coaching staff. Tom E Curran has a look at Doug Flutie, who showed on Thursday night that he can still play this game and is in camp for a reason. Michael Parente has a piece on rookie Ellis Hobbs, who is making the most of his opportunities on the field, even on special teams.

In case you missed it, and the link has already expired; over the weekend Hector Longo suggested that it is time for Patriots fans to panic over their team. This of course is the same Hector, who last summer wrote about the “alarming whiff of negativity” around the Patriots in training camp and then the team proceeded to go 17-2 and capture their second straight Super Bowl title. I wish I could get the link back, but the Eagle-Tribune site doesn’t seem to have an archives section available for non-subscribers.

Michael Vega has a brief report from BC, where coach Tom O’Brien is pleased with his squad’s weekend scrimmage. Lenny Megliola reports on BC recruit Billy Flutie suffering a broken ankle.

Kevin Paul Dupont reports on the AND1 tour, which came to Boston last night. I guess I should give credit to the Globe for trying to think young and hip and include something on this in their pages, but I struggle with the idea of Kevin Paul Dupont hangin’ at that event.

Randy Johnson and the Yankees lost to the other Sox yesterday, falling back to 4 games behind the Red Sox once again. Ty Law finally gets on the practice field with the Jets. Get these stories and more at the New York Sports News page. A big story from the weekend was the sudden death of 49er’s lineman Thomas Herrion after a preseason game in Denver Saturday night. You can find the latest news on this tragedy on the Bay Area Sports page.

The Red Sox are off tonight, but you may get a glimpse of Craig Hansen as NESN is showing Sea Dogs/Thunder at 7:00. ABC has Cowboys/Seahawks preseason at 8:00. ESPN has baseball at 8:00, but the teams are not listed on their website yet.

08.19.2005 Afternoon

A number of links from the afternoon and late updating papers, as wells as some views from the blogosphere.

First of all, be sure to check out BSMW’s own Game Day Rear View. The new blog design is getting good reviews and the coverage by Scott A Benson reflects almost 40 years of observing Patriots football. Jeff Sullivan also has a number of thoughts and observations on last night’s game. Dave Doyle also weighs in while flipping between the Red Sox and Patriots.

Glen Farley says that the Patriots aren’t ready for prime time yet. Eric McHugh says that Tim Dwight was a bright light in last night’s loss. Ted Ribeiro calls it a typical preseason game. Tom King says that even though the end result was a loss, Patriots fans had to be happy to see Tom Brady on the field.

Ron Hobson looks at how Doug Flutie is defying the again process at 42. Farley says that Brady and Flutie began their nights with decidedly different results. David Pevear says that the two quarterbacks get passing grades for last night. Larry Phung looks at the night for Tim Dwight.

McHugh observes that the Saints were pretty much able to run amok on the Patriots last night. Viv Bernstein in the New York Times has a look at Romeo Crennel as he tackles the building of the Browns with an eye to acquiring another Super Bowl ring. King’s notebook looks at Wesley Mallard and has a number of items from the game last night. Phung’s notebook reminds us that it was the preseason for the coaches as well.

Jim Baker feels that the announcers in last night’s game were just a bit too Patriot-friendly.

Kevin Thomas says that Craig Hansen is drawing quite a crowd for what may be a brief stay up in Portland. Alan Greenwood says that we might be approaching an October than neither the Red Sox or Yankees will want to watch.

Losses All Around

A rough night for the locals as the Patriots drop an exhibition game at home to the New Orleans Saints (Though we can claim that the Patriots first team beat the Saints first team) and the Red Sox got thumped by the Angels out in Anaheim. Or is it Los Angeles?

The Patriots fell to the Saints 37-27 at Gillette,in a game which clearly meant a whole lot more to New Orleans than it did to the Patriots. Michael Felger reports that it was a struggle for the Patriots, who were inconsistent on both sides of the ball. Jerome Solomon says that at the very least, Tom Brady looked ok. Tom E Curran focuses on Doug Flutie’s effort last night, which sparked the Patriots to a touchdown drive. Alan Greenberg also focuses on Flutie and has observations about many of the first team players and how they looked last night. Tim Weisberg says that the Patriots quarterbacks looked ok last night, but the rest of the squad struggled in the loss. Michael Parente says that Brady and Doug Flutie were the focus of the night at Gillette. Scott Souza, who may be stepping up into Patriots coverage on the Metrowest Daily News with the departure of Mike Reiss reports on the evening at Gillette, and points out those who helped themselves last night.

Ron Borges writes that Doug Flutie showed that he still has that magic, and that should the Patriots need him this season, he’ll be ready to go. What’s interesting to me is how in print, Borges says that Brady’s arm is “allegedly” hurt, while in the pregame show on WBCN, he was stating it as if it were fact, stating that why else would Brady’s “throwing guru” have made an appearance in camp this week to check out his mechanics? He also said that if Charlie Weis was still around, there’s no way that guy would’ve been allowed near Gillette. Tony Massarotti muses about how far things have come in 15 years for Flutie. Jim Donaldson waxes on about Flutie’s love of the game, and how should the unthinkable happen and Tom Brady get hurt, that Flutie is the guy Patriots fans should want out on the field in his place. Lenny Megliola says that for starters, last night’s appearance by Flutie certain wasn’t dull.

Dan Pires says that Tom Brady was a little shaky last night, but he and his arm looked fine for a first preseason appearance. Christopher Price lists out 10 things that we learned last night. Ian M Clark looks at fullback Kyle Eckel, who continues to impress. Ron Indrisano looks at Rodney Harrison taking the loss hard last night, preseason or not. Howard Bryant (subscription only) also looks at Harrison and the Patriots taking losses, any losses, hard. He notes that the Pats are all business, not once last night was there any mention in the stadium about the team being the two-time defending world champions.

Mike Reiss makes his Globe debut with a look at rookie cornerback Ellis Hobbs, who also showed some spark as a kick returner last night. Robert Lee observes that Hobbs is making an impression during the preseason, showing there is likely a spot for him on this team. Adam Kilgore has a look at Tim Dwight, who looked good both as a receiver and punt returner. Adam Kurkjian and Reiss each look at Norwood’s Alfred Fincher, who enjoyed playing in Gillette against the Patriots last night. Kilgore also has a piece on Christian Fauria, and Lee submits another on Deion Branch, who didn’t play again last night, but is feeling good and rarin’ to go. Nick Tavares has a number of NFL thoughts, but most of all he just wishes TO would go away.

Solomon’s notebook leads with a mention of Mike Vrabel though no real information beyond the fact that he didn’t play and was wearing shorts and appeared to have no wrap on his ankle or leg. Felger’s notebook focuses on Tim Dwight and his night catching passes and returning punts. Curran’s notebook also looks at Dwight. While Dwight will likely handle the punt return duties, the Patriots would like to see what Chad Morton can do, that is the lead subject of Parente’s notebook.

Red Sox Thumped in California

I went to bed around 11:30 with the Red Sox/Angels score still at 1-0. I get up at 5:30 this morning, check the papers and see a 13-4 loss for the locals. Apparently a lot happened, most of it bad, after I retired for the night. David Heuschkel says that the Red Sox and Tim Wakefield were caught in harm’s way last night as the Angels put up those 13 runs, and Wakefield had to leave the game after getting whacked on the shin by a line drive off the bat of Casey Kotchman – which I think must’ve happened right after I turned off the game, because I believe Kotchman was on deck. Gordon Edes says that it’s usually good vibrations for the Red Sox when they visit southern California, but last night it was a hard knock life. Michael Silverman says that while the Red Sox might’ve taken a hard one last night, they usually bounce back from losses of that type pretty well. Steven Krasner says that at this point it is not known if Wakefield is going to miss any time with this injury.

Dan Shaughnessy notes that sometimes we forget that last year’s playoffs began with a series against the Angels. It’s usually all just Yankees and Cardinals. Karen Guregian gets an early start on the “give David Ortiz a new contract now” bandwagon as she talks to the Red Sox slugger about his contract, and if he’d like to finish his career in Boston. Guregian also looks at the line drive which felled Tim Wakefield. Silverman has Johnny Damon issuing a flat denial of a rumor that floated around internet chat rooms yesterday about steroids. Theo Epstein is quoted in the article and is correct about speculation of positive tests being a serious thing. I’ve gotten a number of emails from people who say they heard…usually from some unnamed person at a media outlet that so-and-so have test positive and that MLB is waiting another day or two to make the formal announcement. One said that the source was “someone who worked at ESPN” and that the network was simply gathering tape on the players so they could run the report. I haven’t put stock in any of them, and without the name of the originating source, I wouldn’t dream of publishing them anywhere, even on a message board. I almost wish that reporters would NOT take these internet rumors and ask a player to address them and then put it in the paper. It gives the people who start these things exactly what they want. Their “rumor” gets out there and becomes news, and they can sit back and enjoy the ruckus they caused. But, that is the age in which we live, where the line between internet rumors and reporting is sometimes blurred. I realize that the reporters job is to also shoot down false information like this, and I’m glad it’s been addressed and dismissed.

Heuschkel’s notebook also reports on Damon dismissing the steroid rumors. Krasner’s notebook looks at more shaky defense for the Red Sox out West. Silverman’s notebook says that Craig Hansen could be on the fast track to the majors, possibly before September 1st. Edes’ notebook looks at Trot Nixon making rapid progress and almost ready to go play on a rehab assignment.

Chris Snow’s Minor League notebook looks at AA pitcher Anibal Sanchez, who appears to be another terrific young power arm in the Red Sox system. There are a number of other notes in the article as well. Jeff Horrigan’s Minor League notebook leads with a look at Lenny DiNardo.

John Connolly looks at BC center and captain Patrick Ross, who hopes to continue the tradition of strong offensive lines at Boston College. Connolly’s notebook reports that the battle for starting tailback appears to have been won by sophomore L.V. Whitworth.

Fluto Shinzawa reports on NHL games that will be aired on Outdoor Life Network this winter.

David Scott looks at Tim Wakefield going down last night, he has a look at the bloggers from the mainstream media who are stumbling out of the gate…a dissection of the Globe’s insistence that we care about track and field and kayakking…and tons more in his weekly installment of Scott’s Shots.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Angels at 10:00. CBS has Vikings/Jets preseason at 8:00.