The Red Sox continued their recent struggles, dropping two out of three in a frustrating series this weekend against the Devil Rays. Yesterday’s was perhaps the most exasperating loss of the season, as the Sox bullpen failed to hold a lead against the last place Rays. The decision in the 7-6 loss went to Julian Tavarez, who gave up a 10th inning home run to Greg Norton.
Chad Finn tries to sort through the insanity that inevitably comes from the sports media when the Red Sox struggle. Probably a good idea to read that as an inoculation before you dare to turn on any sports radio or TV today.
Gordon Edes explores the latest frustrating loss for the Red Sox. Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox have forgotten how to beat the bad teams in the league. Steven Krasner says games like this shouldn’t get away. David Heuschkel says it was a really bad day for the Red Sox bullpen. David Borges says this was truly a bad loss for the Red Sox. Bill Ballou says that the Red Sox might need a parachute to get them through August.
Amalie Benjamin says this one was a group effort from the Red Sox bullpen. Steve Buckley says the Red Sox bullpen is toast, kaput, finished, done, burned out, stick a fork in ’em, the season is over, and the brilliant sports media has been telling you this all along, etc etc etc. Speaking of the brilliant sports media, Bob Halloran plays “what if” regarding the Red Sox. All negatives. Apparently nothing positive can ever possibly happen. Silverman looks at Jason Johnson putting in a good effort, but having nothing to show for it. Buckley also reports on Dave Wallace, whom he says is close to resuming his duties as pitching coach, which would push Al Nipper into an assistant role. Joe McDonald reports on Hee-Seop Choi, who had he been healthy this season, would likely be on the major league roster giving Kevin Youkilis a backup at first base.
Edes’ notebook looks at David Ortiz becoming the first Red Sox player to hit 40 home runs on three consecutive seasons. Silverman’s notebook has more on Big Papi reaching the milestone. Krasner’s notebook says that Ortiz has found a way to beat the Joe Madden shift – hit the ball over it. Heuschkel’s notebook has more on Ortiz making history, noting that he is on pace to hit 58 homers this season. Borges’ notebook looks at a more satisfactory outing for Jason Johnson this time around. Ballou’s notebook says Keith Foulke could rejoin the team as soon as Friday.
With the Patriots set to play their first preseason game this Friday, Mike Reiss highlights the top five on-field storylines for the team. He also reports at the end that Johnathan Sullivan has passed his conditioning test. Michael Felger tries to provide an update on injured Patriots and those on the PUP list, including Rodney Harrison, Daniel Graham and Dan Koppen. Tom E Curran looks at three players at three very different points in their NFL careers – Eric Alexander, Logan Mankins and Corey Dillon. Michael Parente looks at the search for a special team gunner on the Patriots.
In addition to the doomsday talk about the Red Sox, there will likely be some talk on WEEI today about this article that appeared in the San Diego Union Tribune yesterday. WEEI will try to paint it as Willie McGinest ripping the Patriots and his former teammates. Not so much. Duane Starks is the only Pats player mentioned critically by McGinest, and the former Patriots point in the piece is to say the Patriots have a great system, but you also need great players for that system, and last year too many of them were hurt.
Michael Vega reports on Jimmie Johnson winning the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, a place that had given him plenty of trouble in the past. Vega’s notebook reports on Johnson overcoming a flat tire to get the win.
Highlights From the Weekend:
Note: The Metrowest Daily News website is apparently “in transition”, so a few of the links below may or may not work. Or they may work for a moment, and then give you an error message.
We hear a lot about “Red Sox killers” – players who seem to do better against the Sox than against any other team – Jon Couture created an entire team of them. Alex Speier looked at Red Sox fans getting a glimpse this week of the potential that led Theo Epstein to acquire Wily Mo Pena at the expense of Bronson Arroyo. Art Davidson had a look at Yankees top prospect Phil Hughes, who grew up a Red Sox fan. Rob Bradford talked to Red Sox mental performance coach Don Kalkstein and Cleveland Indians sports psychologist Charlie Maher about hoe David Ortiz has been able to come through in the clutch time after time. Steve Buckley gave us a good mini-feature on Alex Cora, as well as a dreadful blog entry about Manny extending his hitting streak to 22 games by virtue of a “gift”. I’m sure Joe D. didn’t receive any gifts in his streak either. Give me a break. Nick Cafardo’s Baseball Notes lead off with a talk with Washington GM Jim Bowden, followed by yet another Roger Clemens update. In Covering All Bases, Tony Massarotti says that the July 31 trading deadline is the line of demarcation between the Red Sox and Yankees.
Ever the beacon of joy, Mark Farinella listed out the four most disappointing things that have transpired thus far in the Patriots’ training camp. (Note: The link to this article is no longer valid and points to another Farinella article.) In the Herald NFL Notes, Michael Felger applauded Tom Brady’s action in speaking up for Deion Branch last week. Dan Pires had a look at rookie tight end Dave Thomas, who has shown a lot of promise thus far in camp. Albert Breer on the Patriots Beat looked at how the Patriots coaching staff has had to try and fit in as much teaching and coaching as possible during this camp. Eric McHugh gave us an update on a player we haven’t seen at all so far in camp: Rodney Harrison. Alan Greenberg looked at a shocking development: Tom Brady has hit NFL middle age. Greenberg also looks at why the Patriots haven’t offered Deion Branch a new contract.
Tom E Curran examined the NFL’s stubborn refusal to make pass interference penalties reviewable. Jerome Solomon’s Football Notes in the Globe gave us an update on how things are going thus far for Eric Mangini in New York. Jim Donaldson attempted to help readers beat the heat by reviewing some cold weather Patriots moments. Solomon had a good piece on the backup linebackers who are looking to take advantage of opportunity they have in front if him. Chris Kennedy looked at Martin Gramatica, who is in the spotlight this camp as a possible replacement to Adam Vinatieri.
In Courtside View, Scot Souza talks to Danny Ainge about the state of the Celtics. Ainge says it won’t be a disappointment if the Celtics aren’t able to swing a deal for an established veteran before camp starts. He provides updates on several players, including Al Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins and Wally Szczerbiak. In his Basketball Notes, Peter May had Blazers coach Nate McMillian talking about Sebastian Telfair. McMillan is very complimentary of his former point guard, and says the decision to trade him was solely based on the style of play they’re looking to use in Portland. Mark Murphy in his NBA Notes has the saga of Al Harrington, as the free agent forward tries to get a sign and trade worked out with his old team, the Indiana Pacers. Desmond Connor talked to Nevil Shed, a member of the Texas Western team that won the 1966 NCAA basketball title about the movie Glory Road.
In his On Hockey column Douglas Flynn had a look at new Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and how the transition is going for him as well as how the building/rebuilding of the franchise is progressing along. In the Pro Hockey Notes, Nancy Marrapese-Burrell talked to Hall Gill about getting a fresh start with the Maple Leafs. She also talks to newly re-signed Brad Boyes about the changes the Bruins have made this offseason.
ESPN has Angels/White Sox at 7:00. ESPN2 has the USA Mens Basketball team taking on China at 9:30.