Patriots Hold Off Jets

The New England Patriots were cruising along in the Meadowlands yesterday, holding a 24-0 lead over the New York Jets, when all of sudden things started to go wrong. In the end, the Patriots had to hold on for a 24-17 win over the charging Jets, who showed spark and a refusal to give up. For the media however, most of their focus was on frothing over their storyline of the Bill Belichick/Eric Mangini coaching matchup and all the subplots which may or may not be true regarding it.

Mike Reiss has the Patriots disappointed with the way that the game unfolded over the final quarter and a half. John Tomase reports on the Patriots escaping with the win. Shalise Manza Young says that all the principals in this soap opera made it into the final plot as the Patriots hung on for the win. Alan Greenberg says that Tom Brady was better in this one, but then the whole team got lazy and might not be so fortunate the next time. Rich Garven says that the Patriots accept that they still have a long way to go. Michael Parente looks at the Patriots getting off to a fast start, and managing to hold on in the end. Mike Lowe looks at the Patriots getting the win in spite of themselves. Dave Kraska has the quick version of the Patriots squeaking by the Jets.

Get the game stories and coverage from the New York Sports Pages.

Ron Borges says that these are hard times for the Patriots, who were just as good as they needed to be to beat the Jets yesterday. Michael Felger says that the Patriots remain a very good clutch team, putting together a clock killing drive to hold off the Jets in the fourth quarter. Bob Ryan suggests that this Patriots team might need some “tough love” from the New England faithful, whom he says is up to the task. Is he saying that the fans need to get on this team and boo them? Albert Breer says that the Patriots continue to have problems with the fundamentals. Turnovers. Missed assignments. Bad tackling.

Jeff Jacobs says that Bill Belichick has iced Mangini, and been unnecessarily cold to him. Steve Buckley is all over the coaching matchup, and whether the handshake after the game qualified as one “According to Hoyle”, and the coaches refusing to discuss the issue. Amalie Benjamin says that the handshake left a lot to be desired, as did the post game comments from both.

Tony Massarotti says Tom Brady has resigned himself to the fact that the running game is now secondary to the passing game, as Massarotti says the Patriots don’t have anyone who can get open. Young has more on Brady adjusting to what he has to work with. Greenberg looks at Brady attempting to break in his new receivers during regular season game action. Ian Clark says that it was another erratic game for Brady as he adjusts to his new teammates.

Christopher L. Gasper looks at Chad Jackson making his debut for the Patriots, and says that the rookie was worth the wait. Breer also looks at Jackson making an impact on the field in his first NFL game. Joe McDonald offers some game analysis from both sides of the ball. Greenberg also has some sideline notes from various aspects of the game. Felger says that the Patriots managed to handle the Jets no-huddle offense pretty well when New York chose to try it.

Matt Gagne has a quick look at the final drive, which sealed the game for the Patriots. Breer says that the running backs wore down the Jet defense over of the course of the game, leading in part to that final drive. McDonald says a fourth quarter sack of Pennington was the key play of the game for the Patriots. Lowe says that the Patriots will take the win at this point of the season. Gagne looks at the Patriots secondary getting burned with a couple of big plays on the afternoon.

Tomase’s notebook looks at Tedy Bruschi’s return to the field, which was capped off with an interception in the closing seconds. Reiss’ notebook has more on Bruschi, who gave the whole team a lift with his return. Young offers up a few talking points for the afternoon’s action, in a notebook-style column. Garven’s notebook has the Patriots welcoming several reinforcements back to their ranks. Parente’s notebook looks at Jackson’s debut, as well as the “handshake” and Bruschi’s return. Lowe’s notebook has Jackson and Bruschi making an immediate impact.

Red Sox Playing For Pride

The Red Sox swept a doubleheader from the Yankees yesterday, 6-3 and 5-4, taking 3 out of 4 overall in the weekend down in Yankee Stadium It was of course, too little, too late for Boston, but some of the young kids on the Red Sox, such as David Murphy were able to get their first taste of Yankee stadium and did quite well for themselves.

Gordon Edes looks at the Red Sox putting the Yankees plans for clinching at home on hold for a little bit. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox getting their first Yankee Stadium doubleheader sweep since 1976 thanks to a pair of rookies. Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox merely postponed the inevitable, but kept their pride intact. Dom Amore looks at the Red Sox getting the sweep and ending Derek Jeter’s hitting streak at 25. Bill Ballou looks at rookies shining in September and leading the Sox to victory. David Borges says that the present is bleak, but the future is looking bright in some aspects for the Red Sox.

Nick Cafardo looks at David Murphy as a late bloomer showing promise, but needing to deliver on that promise pretty quickly. David Heuschkel looks at how much Johnny Damon has meant to the Yankees this season. Sean McAdam looks at David Ortiz’s pursuit of 50 home runs, which has been about the only reason to watch the Red Sox lately. Michael Silverman appears to be ready to get that sideshow over with. Ballou’s notebook looks at Ortiz’s magic number getting reduced to one. Edes’ notebook has Ortiz inching closer to the Red Sox record book. Horrigan’s notebook has the Red Sox adding two more names to their injury report.

Get more game stories and coverage from the New York Sports Pages.

Karen Guregian says that the Bruins made a mistake in not playing Zdeno Chara in their preseason opener last night in Lowell. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins getting smoked 5-0 by the Devils in the opener. Guregian’s notebook has Hannu Toivonen returning to the ice for the first time in nine months.

Dan Shaughnessy on NASCAR? Yup.

ESPN has Jaguars/Steelers at 8:30. TBS has Braves/Nationals at 7:30.


Weekend Watch – Boston vs. New York

It’s a Boston – New York sports weekend, but unfortunately, the games won’t mean nearly as much as they have in past years. The Red Sox will be playing more for pride than anything else, as they hope to get a little payback for the five game sweep the Yankees delivered at Fenway Park a few weeks ago. The Jets are rebuilding under rookie head coach Eric Mangini, and the biggest subplot of that game will be the match up between Mangini and his longtime boss, Bill Belichick.

We’ve been busy on the Patriots Game Day Blog, with entries posted before, during and after the game. Check in there for the latest thoughts and news. We’re not reinventing the wheel here, but we think you’ll like it. If you need still more Patriots news, thoughts and opinions, you can get them on the Patriots Daily Links page. Since a New York team is involved, you’ll need to monitor those papers as well. Fortunately, we’ve got them all in one place on the New York Sports Pages, with delivers the latest headlines from the Times, Daily News, Newsday and Post all on one page.

For the on-air Patriots coverage, FSN’s Football Block, (New England Tailgate and Four Downs with Felger) which aired last night from 7:00 – 8:00 is repeated tonight at 7:00 and Saturday at 6:00 PM. The Deion Branch trade is heavily featured on both shows, as you might expect. On Saturday night at 7:00, Patriots All Access airs on WCVB channel 5. The show will feature a segment with Kevin Faulk back home in Louisiana, and safety Artrell Hawkins is mic’d up at practice. On the telestrator, Bill Belichick looks at how effective Chad Pennington and Laverneus Coles were in last week’s Jets victory over the Titans. The show will be repeated Sunday morning at 10:00. Later in the week, you can use your On Demand feature with Comcast to watch Coach Belichick breaking down the 3 key plays of the game each week, starting Wednesday.

ESPN radio also has Patriots programming with this afternoon’s Patriots Friday (with Jonathan Kraft at 4:00 PM) show as well as NFL Countdown on Sunday morning from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM with Kevin Winter and Russ Francis. Then on Monday nights they have Monday Night Countdown with Winter and Tim Fox from 7:00 to 8:30. WEEI has NFL Sunday at 9:00 on the morning of the game. This week there will be no Real Postgame Show after the game because the Red Sox are playing at night. Instead there will be a special edition of the Pete Sheppard-led program after NFL Sunday and before the game from 1:00 to 4:00.

CBS4 has the Patriots game on Sunday, the Patriots GameDay Pre-Game Show starts at 11:30, followed by the Bills and the Dolphins at 1:00 and the Patriots/Jets at 4:00. Patriots 5th Quarter will air on TV38 immediately following the game.

Note of the week from Patriots Football Weekly: In a sidebar discussion between Paul Perillo and Tom Casale on who will lead the Patriots in receptions without Deion Branch, Casale calls it a slam dunk that it will be Ben Watson, while Perillo thinks that Troy Brown has enough gas in the tank to rack up 75 receptions this season and lead the team.

For other NFL coverage this weekend, here are your national maps: CBS 1:00 PM and CBS 4:00 PM (Most of the country gets Broncos/Chiefs) and the FOX Single game.

The crew from Cold Hard Football Facts is back for another year of football and beer. They’ve expanded their focus to a more national level, and have added a number of new faces, including former New Bedford Standard Times sports editor Jonathan Comey. Founder Kerry Byrne is now working on the site full time, and has two other full timers working with him.

Someone want to get Clark Booth another helping of tapioca?

If you read through the media columns below, you’ll see that this is a HUGE weekend for college football. Find out when and where your team’s game is going to be shown on the College Football TV Schedule.

Yes, They’re Still Playing Baseball

Red Sox/Yankees as an afterthought? In September? Who would’ve thought it? Even with a Saturday doubleheader? That is the case, however as the series is overshadowed locally by football. NESN has tonight’s game, and tomorrow’s late game (8:00 PM), as FOX handles tomorrow’s 1:00 PM game and ESPN has the finale on Sunday night at 8:00.

Keep up with the series on the Red Sox Daily Links page and the New York Sports Pages.

NASCAR hits NH for the second time this year for the Sylvania 300, which will be broadcast in HD on TNT at 1:00 PM on Sunday.

Your week isn’t complete without reading Chad Finn, though I’ve got to say, he bums me out this week.

Here’s the weekly National Media Column wrap up:

New England

Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at WCVB’s Patriots All Access program which has established its own audience in a market filled with Patriots related programming. Bickelhaupt talks to host Mike Lynch and producer Matt Smith of Kraft Productions about what goes into the preparation and taping of the program. David Scott has a look at smaller newspapers in the region teaming up to share content, and they hope, advertising revenue. Andrew Neff looks at Maine viewers saying goodbye to the NFL Network on Time Warner cable today because of the dispute between the two sides. The sides even having dueling websites, with Time Warner launching and the NFL Network responding with . In the Herald, Jesse Noyes has a quick report on former Bruin Tom Fitzgerald joining NESN for this upcoming season, and the network announcing three new Bruins-based programs.

New York

Lots of love for Yankees broadcaster Jim Kaat, who is retiring after tonight’s Red Sox/Yankees game at the Stadium. Kaat has been in baseball for nearly 50 years, the last 23 as a broadcaster, and at age 67 wants to spend more time with his family, play more golf in Florida and tour the country in his RV. Good for him. The old Boston Sports Guy joke doesn’t hold true in this case, Phil Mushnick doesn’t hate everyone. He’s going to miss Kaat. Richard Sandomir has more on Kaat’s plans for retirement and why he’ll be missed. Neil Best looks at how Kaat is not a sentimentalist, so this week’s accolades and tributes have been uncomfortable for him. Jane McManus also looks at Kaat deciding to turn the page and open a new chapter to his life. Bob Raissman looks at Mets announcer Gary Cohen, and how the transition from radio to television has gone for him this season. Mike Forde notes that FOX will be making some adjustments to its NFL pregame show this weekend, after having a few technical issues last week, and also with Joe Buck having some issues hosting the show with crowd noise in the background. Forde’s Memo of the Week encourages Tony Kornheiser to make a few more fantasy football comments this week, despite the protests of Mike Tirico.

East Coast

Michael Hiestand looks at FOX’s pregame show rating dominance faltering slightly last week. Impressive stat of the week: FOX “claims a 134-1-2 ratings record vs. CBS’ pregame show.” He also looks at former USC Coach John Robinson serving as a “broadcast spotter” for John Madden. Jim Williams has a newsflash: DC loves watching the Redskins. Laura Nachman has a roundup of all outlets where Eagles fans can get their fix on the latest news surrounding Donovan McNabb and company. Aaron Bracy has some thoughts on FOX’s NFL pregame show, as well as reflections about how his sports media blog at the Courier-Post has been going. Chris Zelkovich looks at how digital channels are working out for Canadian sports fans.


Barry Jackson reports on the bosses of Miami’s two sports radio stations, WQAM and 790 the Ticket trading pointed barbs in the local media. Jim Sarni looks at college football getting in high gear this weekend with what he calls “best Saturday of the college football season.” He’s also got Jimmy Johnson with some NFL week one observations. Dave Darling analyzes the week one returns in the NFL prime time battle between NBC and ESPN, with boths sides using their PR departments to trumpet their ratings and viewership. Barry Horn says that ABC finally realized the light and brought prime time college football to a national audience on Saturday nights. He also has comments from Jimmy Johnson, this time on the Cowboys. David Barron has ESPN’s Ron Franklin hoping that this weekend’s visit to Houston for the Rice-Texas game goes smoother than his last visit to the city, which was to call and Oilers game which didn’t take place.


Dan Caesar reports on Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell not being renewed as host of KFNS’ 10 a.m-1 p.m. weekday radio show. Ed Sherman says that people who think that Ken Harrelson jinxed Freddy Garcia’s potential no-hitter by talking about it on the air are way off base. He also looks at the Cubs as the focus of an HBO documentary, which if the Red Sox are any indication, should mean that the Cubs will win the World Series in 2007. He has a third piece this week which looks at Pat Foley, who, after calling Blackhawk games for 25 years, now has to find work calling minor league hockey game. Bob Wolfley has Jimmy Johnson knocking the Packers for signing Koren Robinson, as well as a number of other items. Judd Zulgad has Brian Sieman moving over from radio voice with the WNBA Lynx, to the NBA Timberwolves.

West Coast

Jim Carlisle looks at how Notre Dame is able to command a national audience on both TV and Radio, year after year. Michael Lev looks at former USC Academic All-American and offensive lineman Jeremy Hogue finding time to talk Trojans football on FSN. John Maffei has a preview of what is being “billed as the best day in college football in 13 years.” Jay Posner reports on how Padres announcers are juggling their national gigs with the baseball team’s pennant race. Larry Stewart looks at ESPN’s “College Game Day” making more frequent visits to the west coast. Stewart also looks at ABC’s off-beat approach to their Nebraska-USC prime time broadcasting crew this weekend. Tom Hoffarth profiles Massachusetts native Dave Saraiva’s web creation The Brushback – which has spawned not only imitators, but also other projects for its creator.

Quick Links for a Friday Morning

Check back later for our weekly media column wrapup and weekend preview. In the meantime…

David Scott looks at Gatehouse Media, which included the Patriot Ledger, beginning a new program where they share their stories with CNC, which includes the Metro West Daily News. Scott also has a pile of other notes and observations from around the Boston sports media world.

On the Patriots Game Day page, the crew is gearing up for the Patriots /Jets game this Sunday with their weekly roundtable. Topics include Deion Branch (of course) as well as other potential upcoming defections, Brady’s relationship with his new receivers and some picks for the weekend.

Just one quick newspaper link this morning…Karen Guregian is the early leader in the clubhouse for ridiculous line of the week. In her story this morning on Doug Gabriel, she says the following:

Gabriel, however, will find out the infamous Black Hole may be a friendly place compared with callers on local sports talk radio. If he doesn’t pull in at least a half-dozen balls Sunday against the Jets, if he doesn’t make some kind of impact, Patriot Nation will be on his case.

That statement is silly on so many levels, I can’t even begin to discuss them all. How did 6 catches become the magic number, by the way? Why not 5?

Browse the rest of the Patriots stories on the Patriots Daily Links page.

It’s a big New York – Boston sports weekend, even if the Red Sox are just playing out the string. Check out the news from enemy territory on the Red Sox and Patriots on the New York Sports Pages.

Find your Red Sox stories on the Red Sox Daily Links page.

Moving On

Tom Brady spoke to the media yesterday about former teammate Deion Branch who was traded to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday. Brady admitted that the situation had weighed on his mind last week, and could’ve contributed to his performance on Sunday against the Bills. John Tomase has Brady ready to move on and refocus himself this week. Mike Reiss says that the loss of Branch stings for Brady, but he’s now ready to focus on beating the Jets this weekend. Alan Greenberg wonders what effect the trade will have on the Patriots “collective psyche” this Sunday. Chris Kennedy has more from Brady on Branch. Rich Garven has Brady ready to put aside the distractions and focus on football.

Ian Clark has thoughts from not only Brady but other members of the Patriots as well on moving on past Branch. Tomase also has other Patriots in the locker room ready to move on as well. Bill Burt attempts to make sense of the Branch situation by asking himself imaginary questions. Albert Breer talks to Don Davis about being on the field in a goal line situation for the Patriots, something that he had not gotten much practice on in the preseason. Jeff Howe says that the Patriots are looking for a few good receivers.

Michael Parente looks at Eric Mangini as the 35-year-od adjusts to life as a head coach in the NFL. Shalise Manza Young looks at longtime colleagues Mangini and Bill Belichick facing each other as head coaches for the first time this Sunday. Steve Buckley says Mangini sounds just like Belichick, and we shouldn’t expect either coach to wax nostalgic about their past time working with each other.

There are plenty of Patriots/Jets articles in the New York Sports Pages, as we get closer to Sunday. There are also a couple Red Sox/Yankees related items.

Tomase’s notebook has Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma studying films of Tedy Bruschi in the offseason to prepare for his new role in Mangini’s 3-4 defense. Reiss’ notebook reports on Bruschi participating in practice for the third day in a row. In Young’s notebook, there is more talk from Brady on his emotions over Deion Branch’s departure. Greenberg’s notebook has Mangini talking about Belichick. Garven’s notebook has thoughts from other Patriots on Branch. Parente’s notebook has Brady admitting that the Branch drama affected his play against the Bills.

Red Sox

There was a lot of talk yesterday about how the Red Sox were 12-1 this season against the the Orioles. Make that 12-2 now, as Baltimore shut out the Red Sox 4-0 in Tim Wakefield’s return to the rotation.

David Borges has Kevin Millar and the Orioles finally breaking through and beating the Red Sox. Gordon Edes looks at Tim Wakefield getting back on the mound for the Red Sox and suffering the tough luck loss. Sean McAdam looks at the anemic offense not being able to provide Wakefield with any support in his return. Michael Silverman looks at Wakefield being victimized by a punchless offense and uncharacteristically sloppy defense.

Bob Ryan says that the case for AL MVP is clear – Derek Jeter, not David Ortiz is his choice. Mike Fine agrees that things don’t add up in the case for Papi for MVP. Bill Reynolds is also leaning towards Jeter as the AL MVP.

David Scott has a transcript of Harold Reynolds talking to Charlie Steiner about his ESPN dismissal on XM radio earlier this week. Tony Massarotti looks at Curt Schilling, who is not willing to be shut down for the season just yet. David Heuschkel has Schilling declaring that the season is not over for the Red Sox. Massarotti also looks at Kevin Millar getting a home run off of his former teammate Wakefield last night.

Borges’ notebook has Curt Schilling getting pushed back from his scheduled start this weekend against the Yankees. Heuschkel’s notebook has Manny having too much fun while his teammates stagger towards the finish line of the season. McAdam’s notebook has more on Schilling getting pushed back because of a “sluggish arm.” Edes’ notebook looks at Mike Timlin, who despite his struggles this season and the fact that he will turn 41 next spring, still wants to pitch in 2007 as he aims for 1000 career appearances. Silverman’s notebook has Schilling’s arm preventing him from throwing a side session yesterday.

Bruins Start Camp

Kevin Paul Dupont has a mini-feature on new Bruin Marc Savard, who finds enjoyment in hitting the open skater. Joe McDonald says that the Bruins have a new look and outlook as training camp begins for the 2006-2007 season. Mick Colageo says that one of the Bruins first and most urgent priorities this camp is to determine who is to be their stopper in net. Karen Guregian has Peter Chiarelli hoping that Bruins fans can join him in moving on from last season’s disaster.

Stephen Harris looks at Phil Kessel’s impressive showing thus far. Douglas Flynn has more on the fifth overall selection in this summer’s draft. Guregian says that Rick DiPietro’s 15-year contract has raised eyebrows at Bruins camp.

McDonald’s notebook says that first round pick Phil Kessel has made a good early impression. Harris’ notebook has the Bruins bringing 17 rookies into camp with them. Dupont’s notebook has more on Kessel.

Lenny Megliola has Celtics rookie Allan Ray looking to prove he belongs in the NBA.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. ESPN2 has Phillies/Braves at 7:00.

Tough Business

Bob Ryan says that football is harsh business, “especially the way it’s practiced in Foxborough.” He feels fans are better off ignoring this side of the game. After praising them for the last six years, the new radio-enabled Michael Felger continues his new tact of criticizing the way that the Patriots do business. He examines the Branch situation, uses quotes from agents (a favorite of the Globe, and never an objective source) and basically tells fans that the Patriots aren’t interested in winning in 2006. Am I exaggerating? “Did it work out for the Patriots this time around? Only if you don’t care about winning a championship in 2006.” I know Felger is only doing this for attention, (The Big Show crew yesterday said the same thing – they say he doesn’t believe any of this.) but it is annoying as hell. All of a sudden, the way that the Patriots have operated for years, which Felger has praised all along for their tough, unrelenting stances, (he’s praised the team for locking up rookies to five and six year deals – I know that.) all of sudden now that Felger needs some attention for his radio show, he’s done a 180 and gone the Borges route and been critical of them. This is media at its worst. It’s fine to be critical of the team. But doing it just for attention is nauseating.

Over on our Patriots Game Day page, Bill Barnwell looks at statistics to try and analyze the situation that the Patriots have gotten themselves into: what happens when a team loses two receivers the caliber of Deion Branch and David Givens?

Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots charges against the Jets. Ron Borges reports that the Patriots have also filed a grievance against Branch, seeking as much as $800,000 in fines and signing bonus money.

Albert Breer has Heath Evans saying that the Patriots will remain calm and confident after this matter, just like they always are. Rich Garven has Branch saying that the holdout and standoff with the Patriots didn’t break him.

Mike Reiss has a mini-feature on Eric Mangini as the former Patriots assistant adjusts to life as a head coach in the NFL, and this week prepares to go against his mentor, Bill Belichick. Michael Parente has a look at this weekend’s showdown between student and teacher.

Mike Reiss’ notebook has Deion fitting in out in Seattle, and a number of other team items. Chad Finn weighs in with Patriots and NFL thoughts in his First and 10 column.

Red Sox

Gordon Edes combines his game story with comments from David Ortiz, trying to clarify his earlier remarks about Derek Jeter and insisting that the media was misrepresented him in this matter. Michael Silverman looks at the game, in which Coco Crisp drove in three runs and Mike Timlin nearly coughed up a 6-1 lead. Sean McAdam looks at the Red Sox surviving the late Baltimore rally. David Heuschkel notes that the win pushed the Sox to 12-1 this season against the Orioles. David Borges asserts that the Red Sox can still count on beating the Orioles.

Tony Massarotti has Kevin Millar feeling for his former teammates on the Red Sox and the tough stretch that they’ve been through the last two months. Bill Ballou says that Big Papi no longer has a shot at MVP. Mike Fine has a bit on Dustin Pedroia.Silverman has Ortiz sending a message to Jeter via back channels to assure him he wasn’t slighting the Yankees shortstop. Massarotti has Kason Gabbard having to leave the game with injury after 4 2/3 scoreless innings last night.

Edes’ notebook has Carlos Pena hoping that he can stick with the Red Sox beyond this season. Silverman’s notebook has Manny Ramirez sitting out last night’s game because of his sore knee. McAdam’s notebook has the Sox giving Lenny Dinardo a start tonight as the late season auditions continue. Heuschkel’s notebook has Ortiz insisting that he wasn’t trying to put down Derek Jeter. Ballou’s notebook has a quick recap of last night’s action.


Shira Springer has Kendrick Perkins trying to “play it safe” coming off of shoulder surgery this offseason. Steve Bulpett has Perkins talking about the loyalty that both he and the Celtics have displayed thus far to each other.

Stephen Harris says that Zdeno Chara already has the look of a team captain. Bud Barth has Chara eager to begin the season with his new club. Kevin Paul Dupont has Glen Murray hoping to bounce back and have a big year with the Bruins on a new line with Marc Savard. Douglas Flynn looks at Tom Fitzgerald hanging them up after a 17-year career. Harris’ notebook has Bruins rookie forward Ben Walter looking to impress the coaches early on. Barth’s notebook has more on Fitzgerald hanging up the skates.

Fluto Shinzawa examines how NASCAR’s Chase system is working out for the sport.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. ESPN has Rangers/Tigers at 7:00.

Patriots Prune Branch

Michael Felger has his first regular season report card of the year. The passing attack gets low marks, but otherwise it appeared to be a good game for the Patriots. Ian Clark also offers up a report card, with similar marks and thoughts. Greg Doyle has a film review of Sunday’s Patriots/Bills game over on the Patriots Game Day page.

The aftermath of the Deion Branch trade is the focal point of the newspapers this morning, as you might expect. Mike Reiss has a twist to the saga, not only have the Patriots traded Branch, but he says they have gone ahead and filed tampering charges against the New York Jets, arguing that the Jets told Branch and his agent what they were offering the Patriots, thus compromising the Patriots bargaining position.

John Tomase reports on the trade and how things got to this point. Joe McDonald explains that both sides got what they were looking for in this exchange. Alan Greenberg notes that emotions were high because of this deal. Albert Breer writes that the deal leaves the team with a clear void on offense, and teams will soon just start to stack it up against the running game. Rich Garven says this turned out like youth soccer – no losers. He does feel that it should’ve been handled differently however. Michael Parente looks at the end of a bizarre holdout that has been going on since June mini-camp.

Gerry Callahan says that Bill Belichick was caught by surprise with this situation and clearly did not see it coming. He says that the Patriots are a poorer team for it. Ron Borges writes that Branch stood up to the Patriots, and came away handsomely rewarded for his stand. Jim Donaldson says that while the Patriots may have been in the right in this fight, they probably hurt themselves in the short term. Dan Pires has an extensive look at the situation, which seems to have ended with both sides getting what they wanted. Christopher Price looks at the end of the Deion Branch era in Foxboro.

Tomase goes around the Patriots locker room for reaction, (a little misleading since there were only three players there and available for comment) and encounters a some sad faces. Christopher L. Gasper has Richard Seymour particularly stung by the departure of Branch. Shalise Manza Young talks to Seymour and Mike Vrabel about the situation, each having a slightly different take on matters. Breer looks at who’s left at receiver for New England with Branch out of town. David Brown notes that the Patriots are left to gamble with some unproven players at receiver.

Tomase says that the the Seahawks are happy with the trade. For more reaction from out west, you can check the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Tacoma News Tribune for more stories and coverage.

Bill Reynolds wonders how in the world the Patriots could’ve gotten booed at home on Sunday.

With the Jets on the schedule for Sunday, it should be an interesting week should the tampering issue have legs. Keep up with the Jets side of things on the New York Sports Pages. This morning there is an article in the Daily News about the Mangini/Belichick relationship heading into this weekend’s matchup.

Tomase’s notebook has more on the Patriots charges against the Jets. Gasper’s notebook says that Doug Gabriel and Chad Jackson will each be given the chance to step up to attempt to fill the void left by Branch.

Red Sox

Gordon Edes has a nice feature on Red Sox legend Jimmie Foxx, who is likely to have his team home run record broken by David Ortiz sometime this week. Paul Doyle looks at Ortiz’s pursuit of Foxx’s record. David Borges wonders if Ortiz is still the AL MVP.

Steven Krasner has a look at Wily Mo Pena, as the young slugger is going to get full opportunity the rest of the season to show that he should be the Red Sox right fielder in 2007. Joe Haggerty also has an article on Pena, known as “Manimal” among his teammates for his incredible power. Tony Massarotti says that just about the only thing worth watching with the Red Sox in the remaining games is the opportunities that younger players are going to have to show their stuff on the big stage. Garry Brown says that for players like Kason Gabbard, their chance to shine is now. Bill Ballou says that trading prospects that turn out to be stars is certainly nothing new for this franchise.

Massarotti’s notebook has Derek Jeter dismissing MVP talk brought up by David Ortiz. M. Charles Bakst, the Providence Journal’s political columnist traveled to Seattle to watch the Red Sox take on the Mariners, and while the games weren’t much, (the Red Sox were swept) he provides a look a the food available at the park.


Steve Bulpett had the news yesterday afternoon that the Celtics and center Kendrick Perkins have agreed to a four year contract extension. Shira Springer also has news of the signing, which appears to be a good deal for all sides.

Steve Conroy has 19-year-old left wing Petr Kalus catching the eye of new Bruins coach Dave Lewis in rookie workouts this week. Kevin Paul Dupont has a number of young Bruins hoping to make the leap from junior hockey to the NHL this season. Douglas Flynn looks at Dusty Demianiuk, a defenseman trying to make the Bruins as part of NESN’s “Be A Bruin” reality show. Conroy’s notebook looks at the friendly competition between Tim Thomas and Hannu Toivonen in net.

Conroy has BC coach Tom O’Brien praising freshman kick returner Jeff Smith’s 213 yard performance against Clemson. Mark Blaudschun says that BC could be making a leap in the ACC standings this season.

An interesting bit at The Big Lead looks at changes at ESPN which might signify the end of the “boo-yah” era at the sports leader.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00.