The Patriots start training camp today for the 2006 season, and what promises to be an interesting year begins with 10 players landing on the PUP list to start camp. Deion Branch won’t be there today, but Laurence Maroney will be.
Get your season kicked off with the BSMW Game Day crew, who kick around a few issues on the minds of the fans as camp begins. Check back later today for an offensive and defensive preview.
Albert Breer broke the news last night that first round pick Maroney and the Patriots have agreed on a five year contract. This means all rookies are signed and will be on hand to start camp. Jerome Solomon rehashes the Branch situation and also reports on the contract for Maroney. Albert Breer also addressed the Branch holdout and the reasons behind it for both sides. Michael Parente also examines the Branch situation.
Tom E Curran looks at Bill Belichick as the coach begins his seventh training camp with the Patriots, and notes that after week three, he will become the teams all time leader in games coached. John Tomase has an optimistic preview to start camp, but feels there are five or so issues that need to be ironed out for this team to be really successful. Alan Greenberg updates us on who is healing and who is holding out for the Patriots. Ian Clark has a look at positions in transition for the Patriots and who might step up to fill bigger roles for the team. Eric McHugh has 10 pressing questions facing the team if they hope to get to Super Bowl XLI in Miami. Parente also offers up a special teams preview to kick off camp.
Curran’s notebook throws a new wrinkle into the Branch negotiations. The agent for the holdout wide receiver has stated that Branch will report to camp without a new deal if the Patriots promise not to use the Franchise tag on him next spring. The Globe notebook details the players placed in the PUP list to begin camp, and also looks at Chad Brown rejoining the fold. Tomase’s notebook looks at the same matters, as well as the release of linebacker Ryan Claridge.
The Red Sox have a big weekend series with the red hot Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim starting tonight. Gordon Edes has a preview of the series, which looks to be a competitive one at Fenway Park the next three days. Jeff Horrigan looks at rookie starter Jon Lester, who looks to be more efficient and keep his pitch count down in future outings, starting tonight. Bill Ballou says that this weekend’s series will feature a number of impressive young arms on display.
Karen Guregian looks at an amazing rookie class out there in baseball, and notes that Jonathan Papelbon might have a tough time taking home any postseason hardware. David Heuschkel takes a quick snapshot of the Red Sox and looks ahead to the rest of the season. Ron Chimelis wonders if the Red Sox rotation could be their downfall. Jessie Noyes looks at David Ortiz’s new role as corporate pitchman.
Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox should not include any of their top prospects in a deadline trade this weekend. Sean McAdam notes that competition is stiff in the trade market right now. The Herald looks at deadline deals since 1986 made by the Sox, highlighting four that helped and four that didn’t.
Horrigan’s notebook reports on Javier Lopez getting recalled from Pawtucket and has a number of other items of note. Edes’ notebook looks at Mike Lowell as a candidate for the AL Gold Glove award at third base. Nick Cafardo has a minor league notebook focusing on the Red Sox second round pick from last month, Justin Masterson who is pitching for Lowell.
Paul Gaeta offers up some fantasy baseball advice.
David Scott has a wide ranging edition of Scott Shots, where he examines Bob Hohler’s “$neaker War” series, the competition on the Patriots beat and a follow-up to NESN’s out of market issues. Fluto Shinzawa looks at TV networks’ attempts to deliver “clean” broadcasts – something that doesn’t always happen as TNT can attest to.