Kicking Things Off

Bill Barnwell has The Case For – And Against – Adam Vinatieri, Part II posted over on the Patriots Game Day page. Barnwell looks at whether Vinatieri will put the Colts over the top and if the Patriots made a mistake by not signing him.

Speaking of kickers, the Patriots made their decision yesterday on who is going to hold down that position this season as they released veteran Martin Gramatica, leaving rookie Stephen Gostkowski as the winner of the competition. Mike Reiss looks at Gostkowski, who welcomes the challenge of kicking in New England. John Tomase says that this decision was more an affirmation of Gostkowski than an indictment of Gramatica. Kevin McNamara has more on the Patriots settling on Adam Vinatieri’s replacement. Alan Greenberg looks at the decision and says there are still questions to be answered about whether the rookie will be able to kick in cold weather. Chris Kennedy says there was no puff of white smoke, but the Patriots still named a successor yesterday. Rich Garven and Christopher Price round out the coverage of the kicking decision.

Albert Breer has Vince Wilfork trading in the Miami way for the Foxboro way and poised to have a big year in this, his third NFL season. Michael Parente also focuses on Wilfork and his development in learning the Patriots defense and techniques. Tomase has Johnathan Sullivan attempting to set the record straight on his arrest in June and on characterizations being made of him in the media. Kennedy has a look at the tight ends looking to be a huge part of the offense. Ian Clark has a look at the kicking situation and Madden football 2007. Eric McHugh looks at Junior Seau getting his feet wet with the Patriots. Gary Dzen has Ellis Hobbs looking to make a big leap in his second year. Hector Longo has Rodney Harrison hoping to win this year for Seau.

Reiss’ notebook has more on Sullivan pleading his case before the media. Tomase’s notebook looks at an up and down camp for Monty Beisel. The Projo notebook says that the depth at tight end indicates that this is going to be a key position for the team this season. Garven’s notebook looks at whether the team might go with just two quarterbacks even though now they’re not going to carry two kickers. Parente’s notebook has more on Gramatica getting the boot from the Patriots. McHugh’s notebook has Dan Klecko focusing solely on the defensive line this summer.

Sox Snap Streak

The Red Sox managed to snap their six game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Angels. Jon Lester improved to 7-2, Jonathan Papelbon picked up his 33rd save and David Ortiz and Wily Mo Pena homered in the win.

Gordon Edes has the game story, tempered by the news that the Sox might be without Manny Ramirez for a while, as the slugger had to leave the game in the fourth inning because of soreness in his right knee – the same knee that caused so much mocking from the media over the All Star break. David Heuschkel however, suggests that perhaps Manny has simply quit on the team. Jeff Horrigan has more on the losing streak finally coming to an end for the Red Sox. Steven Krasner says manager Terry Francona is satisfied that last night’s win shows that his club hasn’t thrown in the towel.

Tony Massarotti writes a column…*gasp*…defending Manny. He makes some very good points, noting that every week, someone complains about a scorers decision. Why do we only hear about when Manny does it? He notes that perhaps the Red Sox should be accused of “dogging it” for not getting the necessary players around him to win another World Series. He concludes his piece by saying:

Unfortunately, Ramirez won’t cooperate enough to let us find out for sure, and shame on us for taking the easy way and thinking of him solely as a dope.

Wow. I’m stunned. A media member actually acknowledging this? When I wrote my Manny – Perception vs. Reality column, the whole point was that the media and fans largely overlook Manny’s greatness by just focusing on his shortcomings. It seems almost every day since I posted that, talk show hosts and media people seem to indirectly reference the accusations in that column by the way they preface their Manny comments by saying that they’re “not bashing Manny, but….” and then proceed to bash him. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. He won’t be truly appreciated until he’s gone. All course, Massarotti might’ve written that column just to be different from all other writers in town and to get some attention today. (If so, it worked.) Who knows whether he believes the things he wrote in there or not. I really hate to be cynical about this, but I’ve seen it too many times not to be.

Dan Shaughnessy treats one and all to another sarcastic and embarrassing column written prior to last night’s game. Hope the red wine from the hotel bar was good last night Dan, after all, you are in California. Krasner’s Inside the Game looks at Jon Lester piling up a high pitch count early once again.

Kevin Gray talks to Fisher Cats manager Doug Davis, who was on the Marlins with Josh Beckett. David has some theories about Beckett’s struggles, and it’s not surprise to him that Beckett has done especially bad without Jason Varitek behind the plate. Horrigan has a look at Dustin Pedroia attempting to settle in at the big league level. Massarotti has Keith Foulke coming through for the Sox again last night. Art Davidson reports that 1999 Red Sox draft pick Greg Montalbano is once again battling cancer.

Horrigan’s notebook has more on Manny’s injury, which could be tied to the hamstring tightness and might keep him out of the lineup for an extended period of time. Krasner’s notebook has more on Manny’s injury. Edes’ notebook has Jonathan Papelbon interested in a post-season trip to Japan with a group of MLB players, but the Red Sox aren’t so keen on their young closer making the trip. Heuschkel’s notebook has Doug Mirabelli talking about whether this Red Sox team can rally back into the playoff race.

Bruins and Misc.

Joe McDonald has newly signed Patrice Bergeron ready to be a leader with the Bruins. Mike Loftus says that the Bergeron deal truly spells a new era for the Bruins. Douglas Flynn agrees that this shows how much things really have changed in the Bruins front office this summer. Fluto Shinzawa has more on Bergeron and what he means to the Bruins.

The BSMW Power Play takes a look at the Bruins’ salary cap situation. Flynn’s notebook has Cam Neely impressed with the offseason overhaul done by the Bruins.

Lenny Megliola issued a thoughts column, while Buddy Thomas answers more made up questions from fictional readers.

ESPN has Portsmouth, NH taking on Georgia in the Little League World Series tonight at 7:30. ESPN2 has Cardinals/Mets at 7:00. FOX has Dolphins/Panthers preseason football at 8:00. NESN has Red Sox/Angels at 10:0.

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ESPN Boston to Air “Patriots Friday”

The New England Patriots and ESPN Boston today announced that the station will team up to bring “Patriot Friday” to the airwaves each week starting on September 8th – the Friday prior to the season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

The show will air in the afternoon from 4:00 to 7:00 and will be hosted by Michael Felger. Patriots players Troy Brown, Rosevelt Colvin and Matt Light will be regulars on the program, as will opposing team executives and writers.

“Although we’ve only been on the air for a short period of time, we are pleased to partner with one of the NFL’s elite teams,” said 890 ESPN Boston President and General Manager Jessamy Tang. “Patriots Friday allows us to kick off each football weekend with some great guests who will provide our Boston listeners with unique insight and perspective into the upcoming Patriots game.”

“Boston is known for its passionate Patriots fans and this is just one more example of how 890 ESPN Boston is providing exclusive content for those fans,” added Traug Keller, Senior Vice President, ESPN, Inc.

This is a nice step for ESPN Boston (890 and 1400 AM). Now if they could just get a signal…especially with the days getting shorter. Once it gets dark at 5:00, the audience will be very limited and will have to rely on internet streaming, which currently isn’t available in my car.

Seau Steps In

David Scott takes a look at the Burton Brothers managing to get a (quick) interview with holdout Patriots receiver Deion Branch, which was shown on CBS4 last night.

Mike Reiss has a good piece on Rodney Harrison, as the Patriots safety continues to work towards getting more contact and eventually game action in his comeback. Harrison also speaks about former and current teammate Junior Seau and what he can bring to the Patriots. John Tomase also has a good article on Seau, as the veteran linebacker adjusts to his new team and begins the process of figuring what his role is going to be with the team. Paul Kenyon also looks at Seau as he took the practice field for the Patriots and lined up at middle linebacker on the first team defense. Chris Kennedy has more on Harrison as he battles his way back on the field. Rich Garvin looks at Seau taking the field with the Patriots, ponders his role, and his taking of jersey number 55. Michael Parente says it won’t be a surprise if Seau plays this weekend for the Patriots.

Alan Greenberg reports on second year tackle Nick Kaczur coming off the PUP list and hitting the practice field for the first time this camp. Dan Pires looks at rookie Ryan O’Callaghan stepping up to possible take a starting role with the Patriots. Christopher Price looks at what Seau could mean to the Patriots. Tomase has a report on the Deion Branch interview mentioned by David Scott above. Tom E Curran gives a short report on the interview as well. Albert Breer tells us why #55 is so important to the USC football program. Tomase also as a bit on Harrison as the safety allows reporters to play the guessing game as to when he’ll be playing in games.

Reiss’ notebook has Nick Kaczur returning to practice for the first time this camp, and revealing that he battled a shoulder injury for much of the last part of the 2005 season. He also has Bill Belichick poking a little fun at himself. Tomase’s notebook also featured Kaczur’s return to the field. Kenyon’s notebook follows a similar pattern. Kennedy’s notebook says that the trade of Brandon Gorin was a signal that some of the Patriots young linemen are ready to step up into bigger roles. Garvin’s notebook looks at the revolving door at tackle with players leaving and coming.

Sox Still Sinking

The Red Sox fell to their sixth straight loss last night as they lost to the Angels 4-3 out in California. Kyle Snyder was decent as the starter, giving up three runs in five innings, but rookie Kason Gabbard gave up the winning run in the 7th inning and took the loss.

Gordon Edes has the depressing game story on the loss. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox being unable to stop the bleeding. Steven Krasner says different coast…same results for the slumping Sox. David Heuschkel notes that not even a pre-game pep talk from manager Terry Francona could help the slumping Sox.

Gerry Callahan informs us that not only is there no hope for this season, there isn’t any for the future either. He says the Red Sox reluctance to spend money will likely continue and that fans should just adopt the “Wait till next year” slogan each year like they used to. Dan Shaughnessy rips Manny Ramirez for his latest hamstring strain, saying we’re all sure Manny is faking it, this time to protest a bad call by the official scorer over the weekend. Shaughnessy also rips the “fanboys and sycophants” who always forgive Manny because he puts up big numbers. Well, duh. If it’s not ok to be a “fanboy” of a future Hall of Fame player, then why the hell do we follow sports at all? Tony Massarotti devotes a whole column to telling us that the Javy Lopez acquisition has been a disaster. No kidding Sherlock. Meanwhile, the Yankees made the greatest trade in baseball history by getting Bobby Abreu.

Horrigan reports on Manny‘s hamstring and his absence from the lineup last night. Krasner has more on Manny in his Inside the game report. Kevin Gray notes that as bad as things are going with the the Red Sox, at least they’re not getting into fights with the manager as they are in Toronto. Massarotti looks at the job turned in by Kyle Snyder last night. Alex Speier says that the Red Sox are going to need to show a lot of character in order to turn things around.

John Connolly has a look at the uniforms being worn in tomorrow night’s Old Time Baseball game, the charity event organized by Steve Buckley.

Edes’ notebook looks at Dustin Pedroia making his Major League debut last night. Horrigan’s notebook has more on Pedroia. Krasner’s notebook has still more on Manny. Heuschkel’s notebook has more Pedroia and more Manny.

Elsewhere

The Bruins and young star Patrice Bergeron came to terms on a new five year contract yesterday, putting the final offseason piece of the puzzle in place for the Bruins. Fluto Shinzawa and Steve Conroy have the details. Mick Colageo says that this signing was the real statement of the summer from the Bruins about how things are changing in the way they do business. Bud Barth has more on the signing and what it means for the Bruins.

Larry Phung has Bob Cousy talking about the mentality of a point guard and his thoughts about the Celtics new duo at that position. Scott Souza looks at the offseason work Al Jefferson and the other young Celtics are putting in.

NESN has Red Sox/Angels at 10:00. ESPN2 has White Sox/Tigers at 7:00.

Season Over.

John Molori’s Media Blitz reports that ESPN Boston is interviewing candidates for a permanent co-host for Michael Felger and that Tony Massarotti is the frontrunner for the job.

Well, its official:

Football Season has begun!

Greg Doyle has a Review of the Tape from Saturday night’s Patriots preseason win over on the Patriots Game Day page.

Michael Felger says that the early returns on the performance of the Patriots cornerbacks thus far have been encouraging. He also looks at a few items from Saturday’s preseason game with the Cardinals. Mike Reiss looks at the Patriots dealing off offensive lineman Brandon Gorin, which appears to be another successful product off the Dante Scarnecchia production line. Tom E Curran looks at Bam Childress making a name for himself thus far in camp. The diminutive receiver impresses Bill Belichick with his competitiveness and toughness. Christopher Price has Tully Banta-Cain having a great month on the field, and pumped about Madden ’07.

Ed Berliner says that the Patriots have a lot of problems, and they can’t hide them. He says “The Patriots’ dynasty years are in the rear-view mirror. There’s blood in the water…” Eric McHugh says that in the first two games, the Patriots offense has shown it can get the job done on third down, even without Deion Branch. Rich Garvin has Belichick pleased with his team’s performance on Saturday, but admitting there is still a lot of work to do. The AP has Willie McGinest reluctant to hand over 55 to Junior Seau.

Felger also reports on the Patriots trading Brandon Gorin to the Cardinals. Curran also looks at the trade and a couple of minor cuts by the team. Reiss’ notebook looks at the competition for the fourth running back spot on the Patriots. McHugh’s notebook says that the jury is still out on the Patriots run defense.

Do We Have To Talk About This?

This west coast road trip could not come at a better time for both the Red Sox and their fans. For the next week or so, most of their games will be decided at a time when most East coast fans are already safely in their beds. A historic five game sweep by the New York Yankees was capped by yesterday’s 2-1 loss by the Sox, who now find themselves 6 1/2 games out of first, and seemingly dead in the water. There will be plenty of mentions and comparisons to the “Boston Massacre” and this time, the media isn’t blowing things out of proportion. This was horrible.

Amalie Benjamin notes that David Wells was sharp and on his game yesterday, but it wasn’t enough to avert the sweep. Michael Silverman says look on the bright side…things can’t get any worse. Joe McDonald is embarrassed to use a cliché, but says that the Red Sox have some serious work to do or they can kiss their playoff hopes good-bye. Paul Doyle says that the Red Sox are unraveling right before our eyes. Garry Brown has more on the Red Sox leaving town reeling. David Borges and Phil O’Neill round out the depressing game stories.

Uncle Bob Ryan sits us down and explains some very uncomfortable truths about our favorite baseball team. Sean McAdam notes that the Red Sox lost perspective in this series, and has some legit, even-handed criticism of Manny sulking about an official scorers ruling. Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox best hope now is the Wild Card, but we have no evidence that they are up for that challenge. Jim Donaldson looks at this series by the numbers. Jon Couture says that it could be a long September around Fenway Park. Mark Murphy says that yesterday’s David Wells performance was not one that the Red Sox could afford to lose. Jeff Jacobs looks at everything going as wrong as it possibly could for the Red Sox over the last four days.

A nameless column in the Worcester Telegram &amp: Gazette proclaims that the heartless Sox choked in this series. Jackie MacMullan says that this series has left the Red Sox devastated, blames yesterday on Manny, (though McAdam above makes a better case for criticizing Manny and his teammates) and says that the Sox have no choice but to try and use the final 38 games to regroup from scratch. Buckley has more on Manny’s hammy, including Curt Schilling and Alex Cora defending him. Lenny Megliola says that it is quite possible that the Red Sox October hopes went away this weekend. Murphy looks at the down scene in the Red Sox clubhouse following the game.

David Borges reports that Dustin Pedroia was pulled from the PawSox doubleheader last night and is headed to the big club. Fluto Shinzawa notes that despite a wild pitch that allowed the winning run to score, Keith Foulke’s performance yesterday had to be a rare bright spot for the Sox on the afternoon. Matt Kalman also says that Foulke was the lone positive to emerge for the Red Sox. Mike Fine says that this series won’t change the way Theo Epstein does business. Kevin Gray looks at the Yankees finishing the job on the Sox.

Kevin McNamara has Bobby Abreu saying that he likes the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry. Yeah, no kidding, huh? Kelsie Smith looks at Yankees starter Cory Lidle making the most of a huge opportunity. Get the jubilant coverage from NY on the New York Sports Pages.

The Projo notebook reports that Dustin Pedroia will be called up this week to take the place of Alex Gonzalez, who will be placed on the DL. Benjamin’s notebook looks at Craig Hansen getting sent down to Pawtucket, perhaps more to clear his head than anything else. Also noted in there is that Mike Mussina left the game on Sunday after four innings with a “strained groin” but was fine yesterday. No suggestions that he “bailed” on the Yankees? Not a foxhole guy? Silverman’s notebook suggests that there may be a few changes to the roster as soon as today for the Red Sox. Doyle’s notebook looks at Hansen’s demotion. Brown’s notebook also reports on Hansen. O’Neill’s notebook says that things won’t get any easier for the Sox on the road. Borges’ notebook focuses on Manny’s hamstring. Couture’s notebook has Hansen getting time to regroup in Pawtucket. Fine’s notebook says that it is hard to believe how far the Sox have fallen.

Misc.

Kevin Paul Dupont reports that the Bruins are closing in on a long term deal with Patrice Bergeron.

Michael Vega has BC coach Tom O’Brien looking for a few take-charge guys. Steve Conroy looks at middle linebacker Jolonn Dunbar of the Eagles. The Eagle in Atlanta blog has an email exchange with ESPN’s Andy Katz about the BC basketball team.

Keep up with the Portsmouth NH Little Leaguers on Seacoast Online.

NESN has Red Sox/Angels at 10:00.

Yankees On Verge Of Sweep

Wow.

I really don’t have much to say. What a pathetic weekend by the Red Sox.

A couple internal links here I think you should check out:

Over on the Patriots Game Day page, we think our new format is coming along nicely, with new content almost every day. On the actual game days, we’ve been posting a blog of pregame thoughts, halftime thoughts and postgame thoughts. We’re doing a weekly film review of the game, a weekly roundtable discussion of hot-button topics and we’ve got a weekly Patriots-themed Football Outsiders column, from which Ron Borges already quoted extensively last week’s Deion Branch column in his Sunday Football Notes, (Though not mentioning where he actually read the information.)

Today on the page, we’re featuring part one of a two part column looking at The Case For – And Against – Adam Vinatieri.

Over the weekend, David Scott exposed ESPN trying to get cute with its Team USA Basketball coverage, and pretending that announcers Fran Fraschilla and Jim Durham were in Japan announcing the game when they really were in Bristol, Ct.

If you really want to read about the woeful Sox, go to the Red Sox Daily Links or to the New York Sports Pages for the articles from New York.

NESN has Red Sox/Yankees at 1:00. ESPN has Cowboys/Saints Preseason football at 8:00.

Weekend Watch – Red Sox/Yankees Armageddon

It’s a busy weekend for sports, with Red Sox/Yankees, Patriots preseason football, PGA Championship Golf and NASCAR all on tap.

Today is of course the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. Please take a moment and consider having a part in this wonderful event.

Most of the media coverage this weekend will focus on Red Sox/Yankees. We make it simple for you, check out the Red Sox Daily Links page for the articles and blog entries from around New England, and go to the New York Sports Pages for the articles from the four largest New York dailies.

The Patriots take on the Cardinals at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night. WCVB has its first preseason game of the summer, kicking things off with a pregame show at 7:30. Keep up with the stories on the Patriots, including any movement on the Junior Seau front on the Patriots Daily Links page. We’ll also be blogging this weekend on Patriots Game Day, so be sure to check out the blog during and after the game for observations on the action.

The Little League World Series is also on ESPN all weekend. Portsmouth, NH plays at 8:00 PM on Saturday night, taking on Columbia, Mo.

Seth Mnookin had a great week on his blog. Entries included Free Rob Bradford from purgatory – an entry I am in 100% agreement with. I’ve basically given up on linking to articles on the Eagle-Tribune website. For a while they had the links changing every few hours, and now, even though the links seem to be more stable, most of the articles can only be accessed with a paid account. Mnookin’s Friday article is entitled “Jason Giambi is a gutless, steroid-using punk.” Makes you want to read it just by the title.

Chad Finn served up another great nine innings of Red Sox thoughts yesterday.
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And now, onto our weekly feature of looking at media columns from all around the country:

New England

David Scott broke the news that the Providence Journal’s Tom E Curran will be leaving the Patriots beat on the paper to join a revamped NBCsports.com page as a lead football writer. Susan Bickelhaupt checks in with NESN host Tom Caron about his rise from a journalism student in Vermont to his current role on the flagship Red Sox broadcasts. Jim Baker previews a sports weekend headed up by Red Sox/Yankees.

East Coast

Phil Mushnick has a look at Jim Kaat’s impending departure from the Yankees television booth, a move he feels will take perhaps the only voice of reason out of the booth. Andrew Marchand reports that FOX is in the process of developing 3-D Television and say that we can expect it sometime in the next 10 years. He also reports that Deion Sanders will be joining NFL Network as a studio analyst. Marchand’s Memo of the Week pleads with Jerome Bettis and other analysts to please reveal more private conversations. Richard Sandomir talks with Pat Summerall about his upcoming book “Summerall: On and Off the Air” in which the legendary announcer tells all, including his lifelong battle with alcohol. Bob Raissman notes that Bryant Gumbel is already doing what he does best…stirring the pot and causing headaches. Neil Best is heading out on vacation, but before he goes, he writes about tennis finding love on the tube.

Paul Farhi of the Washington Post wasn’t too impressed with his colleague Tony Kornheiser’s debut on “Monday Night Football” this week. Michael Hiestand goes a little easier on Kornheiser in his review. Kornheiser gave his own impressions the next day. Hiestand also writes about the Michaels brothers, Al and his brother David, both now working at NBC. Jim Williams goes over a full slate of sports action in the Washington D.C./Baltimore area.

Jane McManus looks at NBC bringing in Fred Gaudelli to produce the “Sunday Night Football” package. She notes that “Gaudelli is the guy behind the yellow first-down line, the rotating score box on the screen and the goal-post camera.” Aaron Bracy says that ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” debut wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t that great, either. He offers up some leftover tidbits from the column in his blog. Laura Nachman reports that WIP associate producer Mark Farzetta recently tried out for “American Idol”. Bob Smizik looks at the struggles of Fox Sports Radio in PA in relation to ESPN radio. Chris Zelkovich tries to make sense of the crazy way that Canadian television operates.

South

Jim Sarni previews two new television series based on high school football, MTV’s Two-A-Days and ESPN’s Friday Night Lights. Dave Darling offers up some suggestions to new NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for improving the TV viewing experience of fans. Barry Horn says that the ESPN MNF crew still have some kinks to work out. David Barron has some more on Al and David Michaels both working at NBC.

Middle America

Bob Wolfley reports on former Brewers announcer Matt Vasgersian getting the call to broadcast NFL games for FOX. Teddy Greenstein goes behind the scenes of CBS Golf coverage and has a few laughs. He also looks at how the TV Networks are forcing colleges to schedule football games on days and nights other than Saturday, leading to college football games almost every night of the week. Dan Caesar has a look at KTVI’s locally produced Rams preseason games.

West Coast

Jim Carlisle notes that Joe Buck is becoming to broadcasting in this decade what Brent Musburger was in the 1970’s and 80’s. He wonders if it could result in too much of a good thing and have things end up in the same way as they did for Musburger at CBS in 1990. Jay Posner has a a look at Buck’s CBS rival Jim Nantz, who currently carries much of the sports load for the network. Tom Hoffarth looks at what promises to be a terrific series from FSN West as they went to the Dominican Republic to shoot footage on a series of background stories on the Latin stars of the Angels and Dodgers. John Maffei reports on CSTV’s rights-fees battle with Cox Communications, which could lead to local college football games not being seen. Joe Davidson looks at what NBA TV has lined up in the next month, including a tribute to Wilt Chamberlain, who would’ve turned 70 this Monday. He also looks at Rick Barry’s exit from KNBR 680.

Seau to Pats? Sox, Yanks to Play Two Today.

David Scott has the news that Tom Curran will be leaving the Providence Journal on September 1st to join a revamped NBCsports.com as its lead NFL writer.

Be sure to check out a new edition of the BSMW Game Day roundtable as we toss around the topics of the week involving your New England Patriots.

Junior Seau to the Patriots? Sure looks like it is going to happen. Mike Reiss and John Tomase each file reports on the possible signing of Seau, who would be called upon to plug a hole at inside linebacker for the Patriots. Alan Greenberg notes that Seau could allow Mike Vrabel to stay outside in the Patriots defense. Chris Kennedy says even though Seau has played both inside and outside linebacker in his career, at his age, he might be better suited to play inside.

The other big media story from yesterday involving the Patriots was Tom Brady’s name coming up in the Greg Anderson/BALCO hearings. Gerry Callahan says that Brady’s link to Anderson is tenuous, at best and that this is much ado about nothing. Jerome Solomon examines Brady’s comments on the matter and Tomase has Brady downplaying any conversation he had with Anderson. Tomase also says Brady avoided a possible PR hit yesterday. Alan Greenberg, Michael Parente, David Brown and Rich Garvin all have more on the story.

Tom E Curran says that this was a tougher training camp then in previous seasons.

Solomon’s notebook says that the Patriots need some more hands on deck at the receiver position. Tomase’s notebook says that we now know that it is Tedy Bruschi’s right wrist that has the broken bone. Curran’s notebook has more on Brady’s conversation with Anderson. Garven’s notebook has more on Seau’s possible signing with the Patriots.

Red Sox, Yankees to Play Five

Bob Ryan notes that 39 years ago today was when Tony Conigliaro was beaned, ending his season, and in reality, his career. A thoughtful, somber column. Steve Buckley didn’t write something today about Tony C? I’m shocked. I’m equally shocked that we didn’t get a Red Sox/Yankees – Athens/Sparta column today from Dan Shaughnessy.

Tony Massarotti says that these games with the Yankees really mean something, as this is finally the year in which the loser of the division will not have the wild card to fall back on. Sean McAdam says that while this weekend may offer plenty of drama and highlights, it will offer little in the way of resolution. Amalie Benjamin writes that the acquisition of Bobby Abreu could be what ends up turning the tide in the AL East race. Gordon Edes claims that the Red Sox could’ve had Abreu for themselves if they were willing to spend the money. David Heuschkel says that Theo Epstein has not done a good job this season in bolstering the pitching staff. Alex Speier says that the pressure lay more with the Red Sox this weekend.

Phil O’Neill offers up a nice preview of this important weekend series with the Yankees. Nick Tavares says that the Yankees have a slight edge in this series. Michael Silverman notes that the Red Sox have struggled against the better teams in the league. I only wish he had posted how the other contenders had done against the same teams to give us some sort of gauge. Jon Couture says that it is now or never for the Red Sox. McAdam reports on Eric Hinske, set to join the club today. Matt Kalman looks at Jason Johnson pitching in games that count for the first time in his career. Ron Chimelis revisits the Josh Beckett trade. Dom Amore looks at the Yankees preparations for the series. Curt Brown talks to Dominic DiMaggio about the rivalry with the Yankees.

For the view from the Big Apple, check out the coverage in the New York Sports Pages.

Silverman’s notebook looks at what Eric Hinske will bring to the club, now that he is officially in the fold. Edes’ notebook says that Hinske will be a big plus to the Sox because of his versatility. Benjamin’s notebook says that the going has continued to be rough for A-Rod in NY. David Borges’ notebook looks at the Red Sox getting set to welcome both Hinske and the Yankees. O’Neill’s notebook offers more on Hinske.

Nick Cafardo’s Minor League Notebook has a look at knuckleballer Charlie Zink, who might be showing enough consistency to warrant a promotion to the big leagues soon.

Misc.

Douglas Flynn and Mick Colageo report on the Bruins signing top draft pick Phil Kessel. Fluto Shinzawa also has coverage of the signing.

Gabe Kahn has a quick look at Celtics rookie point guard Rajon Rondo.