John Molori’s Media Blitz has a source saying that Jerry Trupiano knew all along that 2006 would be his last season in the booth for the Red Sox. The source also claims that infamous Red Sox VP of public affairs Charles Steinberg leaked the information to the media. Big surprise there.
Michael Felger issues his Patriots report card, and although he hands out all A’s and B’s, he questions whether their talent level is sufficient to legitimately contend for another Super Bowl. Ian Clark also issues a report card with high marks all around.
John Tomase looks at how the Patriots dominant defensive line wreaks chaos on opposing offenses. Kevin McNamara examines the Patriots ability to finally swing the turnover ratio in their favor. Albert Breer says that the challenge for the Patriots is to not fall into the same trap Cincinnati did. The Bengals were coming off a big win against Pittsburgh and perhaps weren’t as focused as they should’ve been for the Patriots. Now with the Patriots facing the Dolphins this week, they need to make sure they’ve got their stuff together. Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots ability to bounce back when the odds are against them. Cold Hard Football Facts had a good piece on this topic as well yesterday, looking at the Patriots off-the-mat performances from the last few years. I would’ve also found a place for the Philly game in ’03, which came on the heels of the 31-0 loss to Buffalo and the “They hate their coach” proclamation by ESPN analyst Tom Jackson. Michael Parente has some more on this theme.
Christopher L Gasper looks at the Patriots bringing back Hank Poteat, and the defensive back once again grateful for the opportunity to be playing football. Breer also looks at the offense and defense stepping up in the fourth quarter against the Bengals to really put the game away. Hector Longo says that Bill Belichick clearly outclassed and outcoached Marvin Lewis in this one. Mike Petraglia says that the Patriots showed that they still have considerable bite left in them.
Tomase’s notebook has Reche Caldwell doing fine after the brutal hit he took on Sunday. The fact that he took the hit and then came back into the game should put to rest questions about Caldwell’s toughness that some had raised. Gasper’s notebook has Bill Belichick praising Troy Brown for his willingness to step into the secondary. McNamara’s notebook has more on Brown getting the call to play defensive back.
The Celtics opened training camp yesterday with their annual media day, and there was at least one surprise arrival in camp. (More on that in a bit)
Bob Ryan has a look at Gerald Green, who enters his second season in the league after having spent an exhaustive summer trying to improve in all areas of this game. Already an exceptional athlete, Ryan is encouraged that Green “knows what he doesn’t know” and is working hard to improve. Mark Murphy reports on captain Paul Pierce arriving in camp ready to go. Lenny Megliola says that Pierce relishes his role as an elder statesman at age 29 on a team of youngsters. Shalise Manza Young looks at Al Jefferson, who has slimmed down, and attempted to address as many issues as possible with his game and career this offseason. Bill Doyle also reports on Jefferson, who has lost 30 pounds and gained a sense of maturity.
Steve Bulpett has new point guard Sebastian Telfair putting a guarantee out there that the Celtics will make the playoffs. Scott Souza has more on Telfair talking a big game when it comes to the Celtics chances this season. Murphy reports on Michael Olowokandi showing up for camp, which was a surprise to many, but the 7-footer is simply looking for an opportunity. Tim Weisberg says that Olowokandi is the only one who can save his career at this point.
Peter May’s notebook reports on Michael Olowokandi making a surprise appearance for the first day of camp. Not signed by anyone as a free agent, the former number 1 overall picked is in camp on the veteran’s minimum and seeking to prove himself enough to warrant a roster spot. Bulpett’s notebook has Delonte West determined not to let a sore back slow him down during camp.
Tony Massarotti issues his Red Sox report card, which includes an F for Theo Epstein.
The Red Sox informed hitting coach Ron Jackson and pitching coach Dave Wallace that they will not be brought back to the club next season. Gordon Edes looks at the dismissals, and talks to Wallace, who is a bit mystified and hurt at the situation. Karen Guregian focuses more on Jackson, who is disappointed, but thankful to the organization and fans for the the opportunity he had here. Sean McAdam has more on the two coaches cleaning out their lockers at Fenway for the final time. David Heuschkel says it shouldn’t take long for the club to name their successors. As he says a source tells him that “former Dodgers hitting coach Tim Wallach is a leading candidate to replace Jackson, and Kirk Champion, the White Sox minor league pitching coordinator, will take over for Wallace.” David Borges has Terry Francona saying that the decisions were difficult ones to make.
Steve Buckley says that Terry Francona and the Red Sox made a mistake by having Wallace and Al Nipper work as a tandem for the final two months of the season. Joe Haggerty has a brief report on the dismissals. Garry Brown has more on the Sox beginning to clean house. Rob Bradford says that the evolution of this team begins now. Jon Couture has more on the moves at Fenway as heads begin to roll. Mike Fine has Theo Epstein admitting to his shortcomings this season.
Steven Krasner examines what went wrong for the Red Sox this season.
Not surprisingly, Gerry Callahan says there is no comparison between Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
Guregian’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis expressing confidence that the front office will make the Sox a contender again next season.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that the Bruins are considering using P.J. Axelsson on the power play. Steve Conroy has a look at new Bruins forward Jeff Hoggan. Bud Barth says that the Bruins will likely make a roster move today. Conroy’s notebook has more on Axelsson.
Here are some ratings numbers from Sunday:
ESPN has A’s/Twins at 1:00 and Cardinals/Padres at 4:00. FOX has Yankees/Tigers at 8:00.