The Red Sox bats came alive and pounded the Devil Rays 15-2 last night, giving the Red Sox one more day in first place. Sean McAdam reports that the bats were so explosive for the Red Sox last night, that Curt Schilling’s strong performance became a mere footnote. Chris Snow says that the game got so out of hand that even quiet and serious John Olerud managed to get a dry quip in. Jeff Horrigan notes that the performance of the bats was able to ease the anxiety a bit from the Yankees hard charge towards the Sox. David Heuschkel says that despite the all the noise made by the offense, the clubhouse was still a pretty quiet place following the game. Except for Kevin Millar of course. David Borges notes that it was once again David Ortiz sparking and leading the offense for the Red Sox, and he notes some of Big Papi’s accomplishments thus far.

Gordon Edes
looks at the sensational September for David Ortiz, whom continues his assault on the Red Sox record books and is right now according to Edes “the single most compelling reason anywhere to watch a baseball game in September.” He’s drawing comparisons to Barry Bonds, even if he’s not quite on the 73 homer, 100+ intentional walk pace. Tony Massarotti also looks at Ortiz, and ponders the unthinkable…where would the Red Sox be without him? Bob Ryan looks at the 12 teams still alive in the MLB playoff hunt and assesses the chances of each team to win it all. Massarotti reports on Curt Schilling getting into a nice rhythm last night on the mound. Howard Bryant (subscription only) looks at how Curt Schilling gets a pass from all for his injury riddled season this year. The reason?

Here's why: Curt Schilling came to Boston with the embers of Aaron Boone still crackling. He came here to deliver a championship when no one else had and he did. And he did it by allowing doctors to stitch his ankle tendon to the top of his skin. No one would have faulted him had he said, "Hey, Skip, I can't go."

He maimed himself for them.

Schilling talked big and won big. Nobody else had. Mo Vaughn said Babe Ruth was dead. Pedro said he'd drill The Babe in the ass. Bill Buckner, well, he's suffered enough. Roger Clemens had a blister. They all lost.

People in Boston will never forget that.

He goes on to point out some of Schilling’s faults and the fact that he’s never been overly popular with teammates. One opposing manager however, wants to know why Keith Foulke doesn’t receive similar hands off treatment, for Foulke according to the manager, was the real reason the Red Sox won in the postseason last year. Bryant moves on to manager Terry Francona, and how it was conventional wisdom that suggested that the manager who led the Red Sox to the World Series Championship would never have to buy a drink in town again, yet Francona finds himself constantly under scrutiny. Bryant notes it’s a product of the times we live in, combined with a management that has “a voracious desire” to claim the credit that traditionally goes to the manager. Garry Brown says that the Red Sox and Yankees are headed for a historic showdown next weekend at Fenway Park. Joseph DeMartino has a mini-feature on Boston native Manny Delcarmen and how his family – especially his dad, put the love of the game into him, a love which stayed despite the injury and subsequent Tommy John surgery the young pitcher underwent in 2003. Borges reports that despite being injured the entire season, Rocco Baldelli could get a long term deal from the Devil Rays this winter. Horrigan reports on Kevin Youkilis trying to stay positive and be back sometime during the playoffs. Horrigan also reports on Jason Varitek breaking out his slump with four hits last night. Steven Krasner had a Red Sox chat on the Projo website yesterday.

Snow’s notebook looks at the myriad of injuries facing the Red Sox right now, and giving status updates on many of them. He also makes more comparisons between Craig Hansen and Francisco Rodriguez. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Trot Nixon climbing out of his sick bed to help pace the Red Sox offense last night. McAdam’s notebook looks at David Ortiz’s continued assault on the record books. Heuschkel’s notebook says that Ortiz is races for more than just the division and MVP. Borges’ notebook has more on Kevin Youkilis and his injury.

Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider leads off with a look at Tom Brady and how the Patriots QB is often at his best the week after he’s been at his worst. This bodes well for this Sunday in Pittsburgh. Felger also looks at Brady’s opposite number for the Steelers, their QB Ben Roethlisberger, who is off to a nearly perfect start this season, but has only thrown eight second half passes thus far. Nick Cafardo chimes in with a midweek report on the Patriots, leading off with Bill Belichick’s wish for goal-line cameras, more on Roethlisberger, some possible strategies for the Patriots against the Steelers and ending by noting that John Fox beat the Patriots because he is not afraid of them. Dan Pires says that even the smart kids fail a test once in a while, so the rest of the league shouldn’t be getting their hopes up that the Patriots are suddenly going to just fall apart. Michael Parente looks at the Patriots mental attitude heading into the rematch with the Steelers on Sunday, knowing its another stiff test. Eric McHugh analyzes the Patriots kick coverage, which has been a definite weak point for the club thus far.

Mike Reiss had his weekly mailbag for, which continues to amaze me as Reiss takes questions from the readers and brings them into the Patriots lockerroom. The Tim Dwight question/answer is an especially good example of this. Jerome Solomon also had a Patriots chat on yesterday. Glen Farley looks at a grim day on Sunday and probably another on tap for this coming Sunday. Jim Donaldson notes that Bill Belichick says that the Patriots just need to do a better job coaching and in all three areas of the game. Donaldson runs with that, attempting humor, trying to apply that type of logic to other situations and failing miserably. Been a little while since we’ve had a stinker of this multitude from Donaldson.

Kevin Paul Dupont has a short feature on new Bruins center Alexei Zhamnov, whose former GM says that “some people are going to be absolutely stunned by how good this guy is.” Stephen Harris reports that the new NHL rules favoring offense are going to be trouble for players such as Hal Gill. Dan Hickling reports on last night’s preseason opener for the Bruins, which resulted in a 5-0 Maple Leafs win. Harris’ notebook has more on the game. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook has Joe Thornton happy to be out on the ice again for the Bruins.

Bill Griffith reports on a number of media moves and announcements yesterday, involving the Celtics radio and TV, and also that Ted Johnson will join the Patriots pre and post game shows on CBS4. David Scott has podcast version three ready for listening, and sounds off on the Globe (non)coverage of the Patriots and has a few leftovers from opening night at Gillette. The NY Times company will be slashing 500 jobs, 160 of them coming from the Boston Globe, and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. 35 newsroom jobs will be cut at the Globe.

A few snippets from yesterday’s Big Show rant against the Boston Globe. (Making many of the points that BSMW has been making all along here. Glad to see we’re on the same page, guys.)

Ordway: Somebody