Rainout # 6

With the rainout yesterday, we’ll just look at a few select links from today and the weekend.

With no Pedro column from Shaughnessy today, the deadline has been extended. You can still submit entries today for the contest.

Right now, I’m thinking I’m going put about the top 20 columns online somewhere and then let the readers decide the winner.

Check out another fantastic edition of the BSMW Full Court Press, which is looking at some of the other top prospects in the NBA draft. This is a followup to last week’s column which looked at the top six players.

Speaking of Dan, he was pretty much the only local media guy to touch the Brett Myers situation over the weekend. Tony Massarotti gingerly approached the topic, but to his credit Shaughnessy went after it fully.

Bob Ryan writes about Big Papi David Ortiz, who extended his legend even further in Boston, with yet another walk-off home run. Steven Krasner looks at the special qualities that make Ortiz who he is. Jeff Goldberg looks at how Curt Schilling handled an apology from Manny Delcarmen after the younger pitcher gave up the lead and cost Schilling a win on Saturday.

Gordon Edes’ Baseball Notes leads with Pedro Martinez’s happiness with the Mets and their transformation into a contender, and he follows that with a number of other interesting items. Tony Massarotti’s Covering All Bases, also looked at Martinez, who he calls the “single most fascinating player to write about and talk about” during his 15 years writing about baseball.

Michael Felger asserted on Sunday that if the Patriots are to be Super Bowl contenders, rookies and veterans who have been disappointments in the past are going to have to step up and produce. Jerome Solomon believes things aren’t looking too promising in the Deion Branch/Patriots negotiations. Albert Breer has a look at the Patriots offensive line, which looks to be in much better shape that the crew that took the field in Denver to end the season.

Peter May looked at a lean 20 years for the Boston Celtics. Mark Murphy’s NBA notes looks at Danny Ainge needing to hit a home run with this draft, and how Antoine Walker demonstrated that he really hasn’t matured all that much after all.

Seve Conroy has the Bruins pleased with their draft. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins turnaround is going to take some time. Kevin Paul Dupont weighs in on the Bruins top pick, Phil Kessel. Mick Colageo says that the Bruins had no choice but to grab Kessel. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says the Bruins are thrilled with Kessel and with goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask, whom they acquired from the Maple Leafs for Andrew Raycroft. Dupont has more on Rask.

NESN has Red Sox/Phillies at 1:00 and Ottawa/PawSox at 7:00. ESPN2 has Braves/Yankees at 7:00. ESPN has the College World Series – Oregon St/North Carolina at 7:00.

Advertisements

Weekend Watch – June 23rd Edition

With the NBA and NHL finals now over, we’re heading into a quieter time for professional team sports, and fewer options for TV viewing. Which, when the weather is nice, is probably a good thing. This weekend…we’ll see how the weather goes here in New England.

For the weekend, check in with the Red Sox on the Red Sox Daily Links Page.

A reminder about participating in the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest – try to get the columns to me before Monday. I’ve gotten a number of top-notch ones thus far, and it’s going to be a tough call to pick a winner.

Callahan on Mariotti

Gerry Callahan has been dead-on-target with his comments and criticism towards Jay Mariotti and Rick Morrissey yesterday and today. Callahan showed that he knows the role of a columnist and what the responsibilities are. He called Mariotti “pathetic” for making the story yesterday about himself. He called out Morrissey for suggesting that Mariotti needed to go down to the clubhouse and confront Ozzie Guillen and take the manager’s wrath for the column. Callahan shared something his former sports editor at the Herald once told him – that he didn’t want Callahan hanging around the clubhouses because he wanted him to remain separate and not form some friendships or relationships that would taint his opinion. The point Callahan made several times was that the columnist’s main responsibility is to the reader.

I’ve always held that Callahan the sports writer and columnist is a much different personality than Callahan the radio host. Gerry was outstanding the last two days in his commentary on the situation involving Mariotti. The wish here is that we heard more of Callahan the sports guy.

Mariotti is a clown and we in Boston should be glad we don’t have him here.

In the same discussion, Greg Dickerson, subbing for John Dennis this morning, lauded Dan Shaughnessy as the ultimate example of someone who can both dish it out and take it.

Move On People

I enjoyed Bronson Arroyo when he was with the Red Sox, and I’m rooting for him to do well with the Reds. However, I grew tired of the constant lament, updates and tongue baths towards the former Red Sox hurler being tossed by the local media long ago. This morning, we had an article in both the Globe and Herald, breathlessly giving us the latest on Bronson, and how he’s not mad at the Red Sox for trading him and how much he still loves Boston. Last night on Fox 25 they had a full segment on Arroyo, with a reporter talking to as many Red Sox players as he could about whether they miss Bronson, and whether the team would be better with him, and other such inane questions. It’s time to move on. Sure, Arroyo would look good in the rotation, but he’s gone. The team is in first place, and doing pretty well. No amount of pining away is going to get him back here this season. Wish him well and focus on the players that are actually here.

For those who really want Arroyo here, consider this comparison of numbers put up last season. (Thanks to “Feejis” for the stats.)

Arroyo.png

Who is “Pitcher X”? Scroll down to the end to find out.

Local Media/Blogs/Items

David Scott relates his experience with the Boston Globe Magazine roundtable which he attended last week, and has some criticism of the magazines State of Boston’s four teams report from last Sunday.

In other local sports media columns, Susan Bickelhaupt notes that while we may be going into the dog days of professional teams sports with the NBA and NHL seasons over and only MLB in season, things for ESPN are really heating up as they are entering one of the busiest periods of time for them. She also notes that Jerry Remy and Ron Darling will exchange spots in the Red Sox and Mets TV booths for a few innings during next week’s series between the clubs. Jim Baker talks to NESN

More Thoughts on Crawford, ‘roids.

I received a number of outstanding entries in the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest yesterday. It’s amazing how well some of you have his style down pat. If you’re planning on entering (You don’t have a do a complete column, 3-4 paragraphs will do), please get your entry to me by the end of the weekend. As mentioned, we’ll have a nice prize or two for the winner.

John Tomase talks to a number of players who were on the Red Sox during the time Paxton Crawford was around, including Mike Stanley, John Valentin and Jeff Frye, all deny that steroids were being used by members of the team and claim that Crawford is making stuff up, that he wasn’t around the big league clubhouse long enough to know what the veterans were doing. Jim Fennell talks to a couple members of the Nashua Pride, whom Crawford pitched for in 2003, who aren’t really surprised at his admissions. Art Martone notes that baseball has a long history of cheating, and includes a quote from 1969’s Ball Four, which would seem to sum up the feeling of players even today. The subject of Paxton Crawford and steroids is also the topic of a Boston Globe Editorial this morning.

Gordon Edes and Michael Silverman each have stories on Bronson Arroyo, whose manager on the Reds says it’s an “automatic” that he’ll start the All Star game for the NL and is a potential Cy Young candidate. Arroyo says he has no bitterness against Boston and would like to pitch for the Red Sox again some day.

Jeff Horrigan reports on Kevin Youkilis, who is making the most of finally being an everyday major league player. David Heuschkel also focuses on Youkilis, who is often the subject of ribbing from his teammates, including Manny Ramirez. Phil O’Neill has more on Youkilis, who has been better than anticipated in almost every facet of the game. Tomase has a look at Trot Nixon putting up big numbers in his (surprise) contract year. Ron Chimelis examines the Red Sox success in interleague play this season. Mike Fine has a look at Jon Lester, and another at David Ortiz. Chimelis also has an interesting article on sidearm pitchers, of which Josh Papelbon is one.

Bob Ryan reports on Roger Clemens’ first game since coming off his three month sabbatical.

Chris Snow’s notebook looks at how and why the Red Sox are feasting on National League competition. (Reasons which could also explain Arroyo’s success.) Horrigan’s notebook reports on the Red Sox signing their top draft pick, high school outfielder Jason Place. The 18-year-old says he models his hitting style after Albert Pujols and his fielding after Andruw Jones and Jim Edmonds.

Snow’s minor league notebook has a look at AA pitcher Chris Smith, who seems to be overlooked when talking about the Red Sox pitching prospects. Rich Thompson’s minor league notebook has a look at the potent Pawtucket double play combination of Alejandro Machado and Dustin Pedroia.

Steve Conroy looks at Joe Thornton winning the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. That one hurts. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that all signs point to Mike Sullivan being out as Bruins head coach. Mike Loftus has more on Sullivan waiting to hear his fate. Joe McDonald also looks at Sullivan’s wait. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at one of the potential Bruins selections in Phil Kessel. Stephen Harris looks at Waltham’s Brian Strait, who should be the first New Englander picked in the NHL draft. Christopher Hurley looks at another local, Joey Ryan, who should also be selected. Conroy’s notebook reports on the Bruins likely losing their director of Pro scouting to the Los Angeles Kings.

Steve Bulpett tries to figure out which direction Danny Ainge is going to go with the #7 pick in next week’s NBA draft. Scott Souza also has a look at what Ainge might be trying to do with his top selection.

Albert Breer says that the Patriots were not present at workouts for Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who will be available in a July 13th supplemental draft. Yesterday, Breer had a good profile of Brooks, who had been thrown off the Virginia squad by head coach Al Groh. We’ll have more from Breer this afternoon…

Lester K’s 10 in Sox Win

The Boston Herald Website was down this morning as I was preparing the links, so thus the lack of stories from that paper… Update: I’ve since added the stories in now that the site is back up.

Also, if you want to participate in the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest, please submit your version of Dan’s upcoming column on Pedro Martinez’s return to Boston before the end of the weekend. The person who comes closest to Dan’s actual column in spirit, style and substance will win a nice prize package.

The Red Sox completed their second straight three game sweep of a National League opponent, downing the Nationals 9-3 behind the pitching of rookie Jon Lester.

Amalie Benjamin looks at the impressive outing from Lester, who struck out 10 in his six innings of work. Carolyn Thornton says Lester’s approach of one game at a time is working well for him. David Heuschkel says that the lefthander is a keeper. David Borges writes that while the Red Sox might still have concerns over the 5th slot in their rotation, it appears that the the 4th spot belongs to Lester. Bill Ballou suggests that Lester might render David Wells obsolete for the Red Sox. Jeff Horrigan looks at Lester making quick work of the Nationals.

Steve Krasner says that the fact the Lester already has two strikeout pitches is very impressive for the 22-year-old. Julian Benbow has a piece on Alex Gonzalez and his seven-year-old son Alexander, who aspires to be just like his dad. Gordon Edes has a mini-feature on Pedro Martinez, as the former Red Sox ace prepares to return to Fenway Park next week with the Mets. Michael Silverman also has a very good piece on Pedro. Fran Sypek talks to Pittsfield’s Russ Quetti about his role in the longest game in professional baseball history, the 33 inning game between the PawSox and Rochester Red Wings 25 years ago.

Chris Snow and Gordon Edes report on Paxton Crawford’s admission of steroid use while with the Red Sox, as reported by ESPN the Magazine. John Tomase has reaction from the Sox, specifically from Tim Wakefield, who has some harsh words for the former prospect. Art Martone also has a report on the story. Alex Speier reports on the steroid scandal hitting home at Fenway Park.

Tomase has a quick look at Curt Schilling expressing his approval on the performance of Lester. Mark Murphy covers David Ortiz’s second inning grand slam. I have no idea what Buddy Thomas’ column is about this week. Presumably it is something about White Sox fans calling themselves the Black Plague, sort of their version of Red Sox nation.

Benjamin’s notebook looks at the acquisition of Jason Johnson, as well as backup options at first base now that J.T. Snow is no longer with the team. The Projo notebook has more on the Red Sox picking up Johnson as a 5th starter. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Johnson, a groundball pitcher who should benefit from the strong infield defense that the Red Sox have. Ron Chimelis also has a piece on Johnson. Borges’ notebook has more on the pickup of Johnson, which sent Kyle Snyder to the minors. Ballou’s notebook has more on the Red Sox latest foray into discount shopping. Horrigan’s notebook has Mark Loretta volunteering to play first base if needed.

Michael Parente takes a look at the Patriots secondary, and notes that while the club still might try to bring back Ty Law, they might also pass on the former Patriot, as they’ve taken measure to shore up that position already.

Kevin Paul Dupont says that Bruins coach Mike Sullivan could learn his fate either today or tomorrow, and it doesn’t appear likely that he will keep his job. Mick Colageo reports on Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli adding former Bruin Don Sweeney to his front office staff. Stephen Harris has more on Sweeney’s appointment.

Steve Bulpett has Danny Ainge planning to sit down with Paul Pierce to begin talks on a contract extension very soon. John Habib reports on NH’s Matt Bonner getting traded from the Raptors to the Spurs. Bob Ryan says that the Mavericks have no one to blame but themselves for letting the NBA finals get away from them.

Bill Doyle says that Phil Mickelson’s collapse had NBC’s Johnny Miller at his best, while that night, Jon Miller of ESPN wasn’t at his best doing the Red Sox/Braves game.

ESPN has Twins/Astros at 8:00.

Paxton Crawford Admits to Steroid Use

Already got a couple entries for the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest…keep them coming!

In the latest ESPN the Magazine, former Red Sox pitcher Paxton Crawford admits to using steroids and HGH while with the team in 2001. He seems to indicate that he wasn’t along in using on the Red Sox. If you have an ESPN Insider Subscription, you can read the story online. Towards the end, Crawford says:

I'll never name names, but I know it wasn't just me. Steroids had a hold on the game. Guys were walking around like zombies. Baseball is mostly mental, and all these things you're putting into your body are going to affect how you think. In 2001, that started happening to me. I was taking way too much stuff, and I'd get rattled.

The Red Sox acquired pitcher Jason Johnson from the Cleveland Indians this afternoon for a player to be named later.

Bill Simmons weighs in on the incredible success of Jonathan Papelbon.

David Scott has an afternoon update weighing in on the Big Show crew complaining about the conditions in their studio this afternoon.

Chad Finn offers up nine innings worth of thoughts on the local sports scene.

Rob Bradford has Alex Gonzalez giving credit to his father for his incredible skills. Mike Fine and Alan Greenwood look at how the future is now for the Red Sox pitching staff.

Celtics beat writer Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald lost his mother recently. I’d like to pass along my condolences while also linking to this note from Bulpett that appeared on Celtics Blog this afternoon.

Think You Can Be Shaughnessy?

So you think you know what Dan Shaughnessy is going to write, even before you read his column?

http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js

We’re going to have a little contest. Next week, the New York Mets come into town, and of course with them will be Pedro Martinez. We know Shaughnessy will write a column about the return of Pedro. You probably have a good idea what it is going to read like.

So write it.

That’s right, write Shaughnessy’s column about Pedro’s return, complete with all the phrases and references he’s bound to use. When you’re done, email it to me. I’ll go through them, and when Dan’s column appears, (Right now Pedro is lined up to pitch on Wednesday) whoever’s column is the most like Dan’s in both style and substance will win a prize. I’m not sure what the prize will be, but it will be a nice prize. The winning column may also be published here on the site, so keep that in mind. I reserve the right to publish any entries received.

Get the entries to me as soon as you can, preferably before Monday, which is an off-day for the Sox and might be the day Shaughnessy’s column gets published. In the off chance that Shaughnessy doesn’t write a column about Pedro (Do you really think he can resist?) I’ll just go with the best one. Have fun with this.

The Red Sox won their fifth in a row last night, romping to an 11-3 win over Livan Hernandez and the Washington Nationals.

Michael Silverman has Tim Wakefield relieved to get some early runs behind him from his team. Chris Snow also looks Wakefield finally getting some run support in the win. Sean McAdam has more on Wakefield enjoying the early cushion provided him by his teammates. Bill Ballou says Wakefield probably wishes he could’ve banked some of those runs to use in another start. David Heuschkel says that Wakefield’s biggest challenge was keeping his back from getting stiff while his teammates were scoring all those runs. Ron Chimelis says that the Sox are making the Nationals look like the old Senators this week. David Borges goes a step further and says the Washington Nationals looked more like the Washington Generals to the Red Sox Harlem Globetrotters.

John Tomase reports on Curt Schilling showing his appreciation towards Frank Robinson for the impact he made on him early on in his career, after the former had lost his father. Steven Krasner looks at Trot Nixon learning patience at the plate, and having it translate into his best season thus far. Mark Murphy and Joe Haggerty have more on the support for Wakefield, who received a nice ovation from the fans after getting out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth. Lenny Megliola says that the Red Sox have done a good job of burying that three game sweep at the hands of the Twins last week. Alex Speier reports on the Red Sox young pitchers getting a chance to grow together on the big club.

Julian Benbow also looks at the rehab of Wily Mo Pena, which seems to be coming along nicely. The young slugger is hoping to take batting practice before the end of the homestand. Tomase examines how Alex Cora is making the most of his opportunities to play. Murphy has more on Kyle Snyder, who is grateful for a second day in the majors with the Red Sox, and thankful to the franchise for giving him a new beginning to his career. Julian Benbow examines the quick and painful night for Hernandez, who game up six earned runs in 1 2/3rds innings last night. Megliola reports that the Red Sox will honor the 1986 club next week when the Mets are in town. Bill Buckner will not be there. Kevin Gray has a look at NH native Mike Chambers, starting his pro career with the Lowell Spinners. Jon Couture examines the Red Sox shuffling their pitching staff.

Snow’s notebook has Keith Foulke battling arm trouble for the first time in his career, something that came out of nowhere and has him baffled. Silverman’s notebook leads with Terry Francona calling all his young pitchers together and telling them they hope to keep them with the big club and give them more responsibility moving forward. McAdam’s notebook has more on Francona’s meeting with his young pitchers. Heuschkel’s notebook also sticks with this topic, noting that Francona plans to use them more, but while still developing them into big league pitchers. Chimelis’ notebook looks at the “big four” of the Red Sox young pitchers finally all together with the big club. Borges’ notebook also looks at the meeting with the young pitchers. Ballou’s notebook looks at the youth movement officially beginning for the Red Sox pitching staff.

Dan Shaughnessy files a thoughts column, filled with references to Hartford, Gary Glitter, World Cup soccer, and yes he does mention Pedro.

Scott Souza has a look at Al Jefferson, who is working hard with new Celtics big man coach Clifford Ray and determined to fulfill the promise he has shown in glimpses over his first two NBA seasons. Steve Bulpett reports that Danny Ainge and Kevin McHale have teamed up to scout prospects together, each holding workouts on their home floor with the other attending. Jeff Goodman says that BC’s Craig Smith has been given a promise from the Milwaukee Bucks that they will draft him in the second round.

Peter May reports on the Miami Heat winning the NBA championship last night with a 95-92 victory in Dallas. Bob Ryan looks at the Miami Rileys…err, Heat, putting it all together in the playoffs behind the “transcendent” and “luminous” play of Dwyane Wade. May’s notebook looks at Mark Cuban picking up a $250,000 fine from the league for his comments. The last paragraph of the notebook has some information on Celtics workouts.

Steve Conroy says that the Bruins appear to be in a position to grab a very good player with the 5th overall pick in this weekend’s NHL draft. Fluto Shinzawa has a piece on New England native Brian Strait, who could be a first round pick in the draft. The Herald has thumbnails of five players who might be available to the Bruins with the fifth pick.

Somehow, Michael Felger got the tough assignment of covering an Anna Kournikova conference call about her upcoming visit to Boston as as part of her involvement in World Team Tennis. It was probably a little different than a Bill Belichick conference call.

NESN has Red Sox/Nationals at 7:00. ESPN has Mets/Reds at 7:00 and Mariners/Dodgers at 10:00.

Snyder Makes a Mark

The Red Sox continued their strong play in interleague play with a 6-3 win over the Washington Nationals last night at Fenway Park. Kyle Snyder, picked up off the scrap heap, pitched well enough in his five innings of work to pick up the victory for Boston.

Amalie Benjamin has the game story for the Globe, and notes that in appearance, Synder looked like “a supersized Bronson Arroyo, come back to save a Red Sox pitching staff”. Michael Silverman isn’t sure if it was Kyle Snyder or Keyser Soze out on the mound for the Sox, but he got the job done. Shalise Manza Young looks at Snyder giving the Red Sox a boost with his efficient five innings of work. Jeff Goldberg also focuses on the nice outing from the Royal retread. Ron Chimelis says that Snyder was sent out there to take one for the team, but he might’ve made it instead. Laurie Los says last night had the makings of a slugfest, but Snyder and the Boston bullpen got the job done. Bill Ballou says this one might’ve seemed lost before it even started for the Red Sox, but they got a gift from Synder.

Dan Shaughnessy has a look at “quite possibly the most underrated player in the history of baseball” in Nationals manager Frank Robinson. Shaughnessy puts together an interesting piece on the Hall of Famer, including a tidbit that I probably knew at one point, but forgot…Robinson played high school basketball with Bill Russell. Gerry Callahan is gushing over Alex Gonzalez, and deservedly so. The Red Sox shortstop amazes everyone on a nightly basis with the things he does in the field. If I had a dollar for every time in the last week I heard a media member say he’s the best defensive player they’ve seen on the Red Sox in their lifetimes I’d be rich…however this time, it’s no hyperbole. If Ozzie Smith is the Wizard, then as former manager Jack McKeon said, Gonzalez is a magician.

Mark Murphy looks a the job done by Synder last night in his Red Sox debut. Kelsie Smith examines Terry Francona’s bullpen getting the job done last night. John Tomase looks at former PawSox and AM 1510 broadcaster Dave Jageler enjoying his role as a play-by-play man for the Washington Nationals radio crew. Matt Eagan says that the Sox let an ace get away in Bronson Arroyo. Seeing Snyder on the mound last night might’ve caused Alex Speier to reflect on how much the Red Sox miss Arroyo.

Lenny Megliola looks at unsung heroes getting the job done in the Red Sox win last night. Smith also reports on the Fenway crowd welcoming back Gabe Kapler. Tomase makes the observation that Red Sox fans love Gabe Kapler. Silverman has a quick report on the Red Sox parting ways with J.T. Snow. Murphy also has a look at Alfonso Soriano adjusting to his move to the outfield quite well. Bob Halloran looks at an award winning season in the works for Jonathan Papelbon.

Benjamin’s notebook looks at J.T. Snow’s stint with the Red Sox coming to an end. Silverman’s notebook looks at Craig Hansen getting recalled from Pawtucket following the game, with Jermaine Van Buren being sent down. The Projo notebook has more on the J.T. Snow era coming to an end in Boston. Chimelis’ notebook, Ballou’s notebook and Los’ notebook have more on Snow.

Murray Chass in the New York Times his morning says that before Barry Bonds signed with the Giants in 1992, his agents proposed a 7 year, $50 million deal to the Red Sox. Lou Gorman, the Red Sox GM at the time talks about how close things got. (Not very) Interesting story, but again, we’ve got the Times writing about the Red Sox, their investment…

http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at Glen Wesley and the Carolina Hurricanes finally being able to hoist the Stanley Cup. Down in Hartford, Jeff Jacobs looks at the franchise formerly known as the Whalers winning it all – a concept still unbelievable to many. Burrell’s notebook looks at rookie Cam Ward winning the Conn Smythe Trophy postseason MVP trophy.

Stephen Harris reports that it appears unlikely that Mike Sullivan will be brought back as head coach of the Bruins. He also indicates that the club is preparing to make a run at Peter Laviolette, whose Hurricanes just won the Stanley Cup. Kevin Provencher looks at the L.A. Kings hiring former Bruins GM Mike O’Connell as a pro scout and player development consultant, who will likely remained based here on the East coast.

Steve Bulpett and Scott Souza look at former Duke and Chicago Bulls guard Jay Williams working out for the Celtics. Williams is attempting to come back from a horrific motorcycle accident three years ago which left him with a shattered pelvis and mangled leg. Shira Springer looks at the Dallas Mavericks needing to regroup after losing three straight to the Heat in Miami.

Jim McCabe talks to pros who are still stunned by Phil Mickelson’s collapse in the final hole of the U.S. Open.

NESN has Red Sox/Nationals at 7:00. ABC has Heat/Mavericks at 9:00.