In case you missed it, be sure to check out the special Sunday edition of Scott’s Shots, where plans for the new ESPN Radio Boston featuring Michael Felger are discussed.
The Red Sox and White Sox made up their August 14th game which had been rained out with the White Sox ahead 5-2, and Chicago won this one, 5-3, behind rookie starter Brandon McCarthy, who dazzled the Red Sox over seven innings. Curt Schilling made the start for the Red Sox, and while he game up four runs and nine hits, David Heuschkel notes that there was plenty of positive reaction to his performance in the Red Sox clubhouse. David Borges says that yesterday’s game wasn’t worth the wait for the Red Sox. Chris Snow reports that Schilling showed progress yesterday, getting life on his fastball (topping out at 95) and stretching out to 117 pitches, while showing improved command. Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox needed this one as they begin a tough stretch with games this week against the Angels and Yankees upcoming. Steven Krasner says that the proverbial glass was half-full after yesterday’s action, because of the improvement of Schilling as well as Keith Foulke.
Jon Couture writes that Schilling made some progress yesterday, but he and the Red Sox still have work to do. Lenny Megliola says that Schilling still has a ways to go to be back up to his old standards. Steve Buckley (subscription only) writes this morning that the Red Sox aren’t ready for October, and its because of their pitching. He concludes his article by saying:
But until there appears on the mound the old Curt Schilling, the tough-talking, get-out-of-my-way, I'm-in-charge, you-can't-catch-up-to-my-fastball-and-my-splitter-will-have-you-for-lunch Curt Schilling, it's premature for anyone around here to talk a lot of smack about October.
(Is that a record for most dashes in a sentence?) Gordon Edes writes that the Red Sox really felt the absence of Johnny Damon from the lineup yesterday, as he had hurt his other shoulder on Sunday after diving back into second base. Interestingly, Edes notes towards the end of the article that the Red Sox are “bent on re-signing Damon” after the season, as they view him the same way they viewed Jason Varitek last winter. Silverman has a brief article on the Red Sox struggles against young pitchers that they’ve never faced before. Buckley also turns in a brief report on the encouraging outing of Keith Foulke yesterday afternoon. Murray Chass in the New York Times writes about a former Red Sox security supervisor who is bitter and now hates the club because he didn’t get a ring.
Snow’s notebook looks at the improvement on the changeup for Keith Foulke, who was able to control the pitch much better in his outing yesterday. Krasner’s notebook also reports on the erstwhile closer. Heuschkel’s notebook says the timetable is uncertain for Foulke’s return to the closer role. Borges’ notebook reports on the improvements of both Foulke and Schilling, while Silverman’s notebook reports on Johnny Damon’s injured shoulder.
The Patriots attention has fully turned from putting their team together, to focusing in on the Oakland Raiders, who come in on Thursday night to open the NFL season. Alan Greenberg examines the challenges of game planning for a season opener. Michael Parente says that Bill Belichick is impressed by the new look, “big and fast” Raiders offense. Jerome Solomon looks at the Patriots defensive backs as they prepare to go up against the bigger Raiders receivers, including 6-4 Randy Moss. Tom E Curran says that Moss will certainly get attention from the Patriots, and notes Belichick’s reactions when asked if the troubled receiver could play for him. Michael Felger discusses how Dan Koppen plans to handle Ted Washington, who outweighs him by 75lbs. Albert Breer looks at the challenges the Patriots face in the re-tooled Raiders offense.
After knocking the Patriots and their coach a bit last week, Hector Longo reverses field and showers them with praise in his preseason report card, handing out straight A’s, with the exception of linebacker, which he grades a B. Felger briefly reports that Mike Vrabel is “ready to go” for Thursday night after getting injured in the first preseason game. Dan Pires does a follow-up on receiver P.K. Sam, who was released by the Patriots on Saturday. Sam accepts blame for his short career in Foxboro, but also apparently feels a little bitter about his time here as well. Eric McHugh looks at undrafted Mike Wright making the 53 man roster. Christopher Price looks at the Raiders talented number two receiver, Jerry Porter.
Felger’s notebook has Bill Belichick’s thoughts on Randy Moss. The Patriots coach compares Moss to Lawrence Taylor in terms of someone who had off the field problems, but who the other team had to account for on every play. Curran’s notebook has Raiders coach Norv Turner talking about the Patriots own top receiver, Deion Branch, despite not having played in the preseason. The Globe notebook looks at Jarvis Green and others on the Patriots trying to help out Katrina victims. Punter Josh Miller has volunteered use of his Boston home to any family that needs a place to stay.
Interestingly, receiver Michael McGrew, who has been seen around training camp with a cast on his arm though he was released a few days before two-a-days began, was in the locker room yesterday. His name and jersey number (15) are on a plate in the locker room.
From the "Dude, You Really Should Focus On Checking Your Facts When Your Beat Includes Only One Team" file, Jerome Solomon of The Boston Globe found the recent presence of WR Michael McGrew in the Pats' locker room "interesting," given that the team has released him; actually, the Patriots previously placed him on IR.
File under: Ouch.
Note: There seems to be some dispute as to whether McGrew is actually on IR. CBS Sportsline places him there, but other outlets such as CNNSI have him as released. Ryan Claridge is the only one listed on IR at Patriots.com.
It was perhaps a rough day for the Boston Globe sports pages, as Peter King also seemed to take a bit of a shot at the paper, noting the vast difference in the coverage devoted to the Red Sox and Patriots in the newspaper. King curiously though doesn’t mention the ownership ties between the Globe’s parent company and the Red Sox. He notes that the articles about the Red Sox go beyond just the sports section, but doesn’t mention the ownership angle as a possible reason for it.
Jim McCabe reports on Olin Browne breaking through and winning the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton yesterday. Steve Bulpett, Bruce Berlet and Paul Kenyon also file reports on the first PGA win for Browne since 1999. Bob Ryan has more on Browne, who has had to beg his way into events by means of sponsors exemptions this year. Jim Donaldson likes that Browne can speak in complete sentences, unlike many of the athletes he has to cover. Kevin Paul Dupont and Tony Massarotti report on the play of Bill Andrade, while Fluto Shinzawa reported from the 18th hole. Kevin McNamara followed Rhode Island natives Andrade and Brad Faxon. McCabe says that Tiger Woods is in line for a much needed vacation.
Bulpett’s notebook reports on Brad Faxon, and notes that Walter McCarty was in the crowd as well. McCabe’s notebook has more on Faxon. Kenyon’s notebook reports that even while out of contention, Tiger Woods still drew a huge crowd.
Plenty of stories in the New York Sports News page, including the above Chass column. The Bay Area Sports page looks at the impending return of Barry Bonds, the retirement of Jerry Rice and the Raiders preparation for the Patriots. The Raiders notebook in the Mercury News reports on how Bill Belichick was a candidate to become head coach of the Raiders back in ’97.
NESN has Red Sox/Angels at 7:00.