Weekend Watch – Labor Day Weekend 2007

Can it possibly be Labor Day Weekend already?

It’s our last weekend before the NFL regular season kicks in, and one last chance to spend some quality time with your family on a Sunday afternoon.

The Red Sox look to get back on the winning side of things starting tonight at Fenway in the first of a three game series with the Orioles. Keep up with the news this weekend on RedSoxLinks.com.

The Patriots have started their preparation for next Sunday’s season opener against the division rival Jets down in New York. Saturday will mark cutdown day as the team needs to trim down to the regular season limit of 53 players (though they have an extra spot until Asante Samuel is actually ready to play). Keep up with the news on Patriots Daily. Tomorrow we’ll have a college football breakdown, with an eye towards players that might be in the Patriots future. Sunday will also bring another edition of the Sunday Links.

Will Gerry Callahan and John Dennis magically reappear on the WEEI airwaves Tuesday morning? It wouldn’t be the biggest upset of the year if they did.

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The Red Sox may make more headlines and have their own Nation, but the Patriots are showing that they are no slouches at PR and media production either, as they announced today this season’s offerings on the Patriots Football Network, which spans TV, Radio, Print and the Internet. The new season will include a complete re-design of Patriots.com, set to debut on September 4th. Here’s a breakdown of all the PFN programming for this season:

PATRIOTS on TV

Patriots All Access (Premiering LIVE Friday, Sept. 7 from 8:00-9:00 p.m. on WCVB in Boston)
Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. on WCVB in Boston; Sundays at 1:30 a.m. on WPRI in Providence; Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. on WFXQ in Springfield and anytime on Comcast On Demand

Patriots All Access, winner of the 2007 New England Emmy Award for best Sports Series, airs weekly throughout the season. Patriots All Access features weekly sit-downs with Coach Bill Belichick including the popular “Belestrator” segment where the coach breaks down upcoming opponents.

Kristina Akra
Patriots Today (NEW – Premiering Sept. 4 on Patriots.com)
Daily at Patriots.com and on Comcast On Demand
Patriots Today, the team’s newest media offering, gives fans a daily, in-depth look at the club that is unmatched by any other outlet. The show is hosted by Kristina Akra and features daily reports from Brian Lowe and twice-weekly analysis from PFW’s Paul Perillo. Hall of Fame Offensive Lineman John Hannah will also offer his expertise throughout the season. This daily half-hour webcast is dedicated exclusively to the Patriots and provides daily features, reports and commentary that will satisfy every fan’s daily Patriots fix.

Patriots This Week (NEW – Premiering Sept. 15 at 10:30 p.m. on WSBK)
Saturdays at 10:30 p.m. on WSBK Channel 38
Patriots This Week, airing on Channel 38 every Saturday night, provides a thorough recap of each week’s developments to get fans up-to-date and excited for the next day’s game. Hosted by Kristina Akra, the show delivers fans everything they need to know, with the week’s best stories, quotes and analysis.

Totally Patriots (Premiering Sept. 9 at 11 a.m. on WCVB in Boston)
Sundays at 11:00 a.m. on WCVB in Boston; Sundays at 12:30 p.m. on WNAC in Providence; Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. on WFXQ in Springfield and anytime on Comcast On Demand

Totally Patriots, a weekly youth-oriented football show is back for its third season on WCVB, Channel 5 in Boston. Hosted by Kerry Connolly, Totally Patriots allows the next generation of Patriots fans unprecedented access to their favorites players, enabling them to ask questions in a relaxed, informal setting. The program also includes football tips from Patriots Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett and a current Patriots player, and the opportunity to win college scholarships by writing weekly essays on the Patriots.

Patriots Football Weekly (TV)
Tuesday nights at 11 p.m. during the season on NECN
Every week during the season on New England Cable News, the writers from Patriots Football Weekly gather to discuss everything Patriots. They’ll review Sunday’s game and look forward to New England’s next opponent. It’s a great half hour of Patriots talk on TV. Every Tuesday night at 11 p.m. hosted by NECN’s Chris Collins. Replayed at 11:30 p.m.

Patriots 5th Quarter
Immediately following each game on WBZ-TV/TV38
WBZ-TV and TV38 team up to broadcast Patriots 5th Quarter immediately following each Patriots game. WBZ-TV Sports Director Bob Lobel and WBZ-TV Sports Reporter Steve Burton join former Patriots players Scott Zolak and Steve DeOssie to provide instant reaction and analysis in studio and at the stadium. Patriots 5th Quarter also features exclusive live coverage of the Patriots post-game press conferences with Coach Belichick and Tom Brady.

PATRIOTS on RADIO

Patriots Monday
Mondays during the season on WEEI Sports Radio 850 AM (Boston); 103.7 FM (Providence); 1440 AM (Worcester); 105.5 FM (Springfield).

WEEI Sports Radio broadcasts Patriots Monday each week, offering fans the chance to hear from Coach Belichick, Tom Brady and the players of the game.

Patriots Friday
Fridays during the season on 890 ESPN Boston
890 ESPN Boston has the exclusive rights to broadcast Patriots Friday from Gillette Stadium each week during the season. Kevin Winter delivers Patriots updates throughout the day, and ESPN Boston’s Mike Felger hosts The Mike Felger Show from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. from Gillette Stadium, where he is joined by prominent Patriots players each week.

Patriots Pregame and Postgame
Before and after each game on the WBCN Rock Radio Network
WBCN is the Patriots’ flagship station, broadcasting every Patriots game across its FM radio network. Three hours prior to kickoff, during halftime and after the game, host Gary Tanguay is joined by co-hosts Scott Zolak and Andy Gresh among other guests, serving up all the pregame and postgame news and notes, including live sound from the postgame press conferences.

PATRIOTS IN PRINT

Patriots Football Weekly
Subscriptions Available by calling 800-494-PATS
Patriots Football Weekly is the official newspaper of the New England Patriots and the nation’s only full-color football newspaper. PFW is published weekly throughout the season and monthly during the offseason, providing readers with exclusive Patriots coverage. Each issue of Patriots Football Weekly is loaded with the latest news, game previews and reviews, feature stories, contests and full-color posters.

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Pink Hat Hell reviews Sox Appeal Episode 5.

Tony Massarotti notes that it has been 40 years since Carl Yastrzemski became the last triple crown winner in baseball.

Mike Celizic says that the Red Sox will be fine as long as their pitching holds up.

Greg Cosell says that Tom Brady is the most mobile quarterback in the NFL.

Rich Cimini has a Patriots season preview on NFL.com.

Bucky Brooks predicts the best and worst of the upcoming NFL season.

Bill Simmons has his top 50 fantasy football picks.

Tom Curran Tom Curran recently ranked Eli Manning and the 25th best QB in football. He heard from a few Giants fans afterwards.

Steve Greenberg says that Paul Pierce needs to get into the best shape of his life so that he doesn’t wear down late in games this season.

Chris O’Leary of Slam has Paul Pierce among those players who participated in the making of EA Sports NBA Live 08 – a pretty entertaining article, especially reading the talk among the various players.

Frank Isola says that the Kevin Garnett trade will have an impact that will be felt throughout the NBA.

Richard Deitsch talks to Boomer Esiason about his new job taking over for Don Imus on WFAN, which starts next Tuesday.

Matt Casey looks at some of the greatest names in the world of sports.

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New England
David Scott wraps up his experience at the ESPN Media Workshop yesterday. Susan Bickelhaupt checks in with Tommy Roy of NBC sports, who has been nominated for more Emmys than anyone in the history of sports television. Bill Doyle has a look at Worcester Sharks announcer Eric Lindquist, who has a Showcase Showdown victory on The Price is Right under his belt. John Molori had Cris Carter talking about former teammate and new Patriot Randy Moss.

New York
Phil Mushnick knocks ESPN/ABC for using 50 Cent to open the network’s Saturday night college football games. Richard Sandomir has John McEnroe mellowing from “superbratty to cuddly.” Neil Best wonders if college football will ever be relevant in New York City.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand looks at ESPN/ABC launching into college football with 25 games this weeks, profiles 89 year old Jimmy Wall, who has been a stage manager at CBS for 40 years, and has Faith Hill professing her love for football as she replaces Pink in the intro to NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Leonard Shapiro has Mike Tirico jumping at the chance to cover Virginia Tech’s home opener, the first game since the April 16th tragedy that killed 32 people. Chris Zelkovich notes that Canadians will even watch hockey in the sweltering August heat. Laura Nachman has Comcast and the NFL Network still battling over placement of the network on the Sports Tier.

South
Barry Jackson has former UM coach Larry Coker getting ready to cover his former team this weekend as an analyst for ESPNU. Dave Darling gives us 10 reasons why the BCS works. David Barron has high school football going up against the Texans last night on Houston television. Barry Horn lists out his top 10 NFL announcers.

Midwest
Dan Caesar reports that FOX NFL Sunday will again have a new look for this season. Judd Zulgad notes that KMSP could take a huge hit if the Vikings’ season opener is blacked out, as no other game will be available as a replacement to the station. Teddy Greenstein looks at three new books on college football, and has a few other media items. Bob Wolfley notes that the Big Ten Network is currently only available by satellite TV as Time Warner, Comcast and Charter have not yet made a deal to bring the network on.

West Coast
Jay Posner looks at a possible new competitor for XX Sports Radio. Larry Stewart has a look at the return of college football. Tom Hoffarth has NBC on the Jimmy Clausen watch. John Maffei notes that the new San Diego State radio crew is a bit of a mismatch. Jim Carlisle has a piece on Dr. Jerry Punch and what the Dr. part has to do with his role on television. Carlisle’s notebook has former Dodgers announcer Ross Porter now doing 90 second commentaries on KLAC. Carlise also has a new blog: Jim Carlisle’s Sports Notes.

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Sox Swept Out of Bronx

The Red Sox showed a little fire yesterday in the Bronx, but none of it with their bats, as they were swept by the New York Yankees in the finale of a three game series, 5-0, which dropped their AL East lead back to five games.

As evidence of how anemic the Red Sox offense was, Amalie Benjamin points out that it was the first time in 40 years that a team has been no-hit for more than the first five innings in two straight games. Michael Silverman says that this sweep was certainly not a crushing blow to the Red Sox postseason hopes, but it is certainly a disappointment. Sean McAdam has the Red Sox getting dusted in the finale of the three game series. Jeff Goldberg has things getting riled and wild in the Bronx yesterday. Bill Ballou says that it was just another three awful days in the Bronx for the Red Sox.

Dan Shaughnessy says there are always more than merely baseball games going on when the Red Sox and Yankees play. He assures us though, that there will be October baseball in Boston. Tony Massarotti says that it is clear that J.D. Drew is a $70 million bust. Lenny Megliola looks at things turning quickly in the AL East this week. Ron Chimelis says that regardless of the standings, the Yankees appear to match up very well with the Red Sox. Bill Burt tries his hand at the “10 Things We Learned” format with a list from the Red Sox/Yankees series.

Rob Bradford looks at how Chien-Ming Wang seems to have mastered the Red Sox lineup. Alex Speier says that a promising road trip turned out to be one of missed opportunity. Steve Buckley has the MLB fashion police doing Terry Francona a disservice by hassling him while the game was going on. Jon Couture has three pretty close games, but all losses for the Sox. Mike Marzelli identifies four key areas that the Red Sox must shore up.

Massarotti has Joba Chamberlain getting the Red Sox attention with two pitches at Kevin Youkilis’ head in the ninth inning. Nick Cafardo has Chamberlain pleading his innocence after the game. Paul Doyle has more on the Chamberlain/Youkilis incident, which Chamberlain insisting that both pitches “slipped.”

Buckley has Curt Schilling saying that he lost and got outpitched in yesterday’s game. Joe Haggerty looks at the huge void that the Red Sox have in their lineup when Manny Ramirez is out. Bradford has Derek Jeter and the Yankees saying all the right things after the game.

Silverman’s notebook has a look at the play in which Francona got himself ejected from the game. Benjamin’s notebook has Francona “uniformly upset” over the attention that MLB payed to his attire this week. McAdam’s notebook has the umpire justifying the ejection of Chamberlain in the ninth inning. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Francona’s ire over the checkup from the MLB official. Ballou’s notebook has more on Francona’s dustup with the “fashion police.” Couture’s notebook also examines that angle.

Jeff Horrigan has a minor league notebook in which he looks at some candidates for a September callup. IN Benjamin’s minor league notebook, she looks at Lowell shortstop Oscar Tejeda, who is all of 17 years old.

You can check coverage of both Red Sox/Yankees and Patriots/Giants on the New York Sports Pages.

Patriots
Scott has the Game Day Rear View of last night’s Patriots pre-season finale, a 27-20 win over the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. He notes that the game ended with Matt “Gutierrez covering kicks, which was probably indication it was time, mercifully, to end the pre-season and complete the construction of New England’s final roster. ”

Christopher L. Gasper has the Patriots holding a 60 minute job fair last night in their final pre-season game. Karen Guregian says that audition time is officially over and it is time to look ahead to the Jets. Shalize Manza Young has the Patriots going almost solely with backups in last night’s win over the Giants, and notes some of those backups did distinguish themselves. Albert Breer says that the Patriots are ready to rumble for real. Mark Farinella says that the game wasn’t an artistic success, but did break a three-year losing streak in pre-season finales. Dan Pires says that for all involved, the real games can’t begin soon enough. Michael Parente also has the Patriots ready to get the season started. Chris Kennedy wraps up the pre-season finale.

Bob Ryan has a look at Matt Cassel, heading into another season of playing backup rather than getting on the field himself. Christopher Price has his 10 Things We Learned Last Night. John Tomase says that with the pre-season over, all appears well in Patriots land. Jim Donaldson examines the battle of the backups at Gillette last night, but has no doubt the real players will be ready to go next Sunday against the Jets. Ian M. Clark has the Patriots bench getting one last test to prove themselves last night. Jennifer Toland has rookie Oscar Lua getting injured in last night’s game.

Mike Reiss looks at first round pick Brandon Meriweather playing mostly at safety last night and looking very comfortable doing it. Rich Garven has the stars hiding last night, with Meriweather the biggest name on the field for the Patriots. Tomase has a look at how the Patriots like Willie Andrews and his ability to contribute in all three phases of the game. David Heuschkel has the backup quarterbacks getting Belichick’s approval with their performance last night. Breer has veteran linebacker Chad Brown fighting until the last snap of the game in his effort to land a spot on the team. Price notes that several players will come to fear the reaper as cuts are made by tomorrow.

The Globe notebook has a look at Oscar Lua’s injury, which seemingly could land the rookie on IR. Guregian’s notebook has the agent for Asante Samuel saying that the cornerback would like to stay with the Patriots beyond this season. Young’s notebook has the Patriots making a change at punter, waiving Danny Baugher and signing veteran Chris Hanson. Farinella’s notebook has more on Lua. Parente’s notebook also looks at Lua, but seemingly before the injury, as it talks about his chances to stick with the team, which is stocked with older linebackers. Garven’s notebook has punter Baugher getting the boot yesterday. Kennedy’s notebook has more on the Patriots bringing in Hanson.

David Scott wraps up his experience at the ESPN Media Workshop yesterday. Susan Bickelhaupt checks in with Tommy Roy of NBC sports, who has been nominated for more Emmys than anyone in the history of sports television.

Boston Sports Review – Sept 2007

This is a quick overview of Boston Sports Review for September, 2007.

This is the 2nd annual “Power Broker” issue, listing out the 50 most powerful people in Boston sports.

David Scott has the cover story with the list. Somehow, I didn’t make the top 50. (A point that will be addressed in your annual review, Dave.)

BSR_Sept.jpg
Here’s the top 10:

1.) Tom Werner and John Henry
2.) Jonathan and Robert Kraft
3.) Mike Dee
4.) Larry Lucchino
5.) Glenn Ordway
6.) Jeremy Jacobs and Charlie Jacobs
7.) Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca
8.) Theo Epstein
9.) Bob Ryan
10.) Rich Gotham

Other notables include Tom Brady (11) Kevin Garnett (26) Brad Blank (28) Bill Simmons (34) Jason Wolfe (37) and Joe Sullivan (45).

Eleswhere in the magazine: In Media Monitor, Jim Baker looks at NESN’s “curious” decision to part ways with Dale Arnold on the Bruins telecasts this season. John Molori talks to NBC Sports’ Tom Curran.

Lenny Megliola has a profile of Red Sox executive vice president/public affairs Dr. Charles Steinberg, who was mysteriously missing from the top 50 list above.

Alex Speier has a look at Red Sox rookie second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who has shown all that he is the real deal. Speier also has a sidebar discussing fellow Red Sox rookies Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima and whether they should factor into the Rookie of the Year voting. Ian Browne profiles Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan. Mike Scandura looks at Pawtucket pitcher Craig Hansen and what his future looks like. David Laurila has a Q&A with Lowell catcher Dan Milano, who played collegiately for Northeastern. Scandura also has a sidebar on the 25th anniversary of the Mark Fidrych/Dave Righetti game in Pawtucket.

Albert Breer in the Patriots Preview says that the team made a lot of noise in free agency this offseason, but notes that the team is really built through the draft. He also lists out 10 items in his game plan for success on the road to the Super Bowl for New England. He also has thumbnails on the Broncos, Chargers, Colts and Ravens as the top competition in the AFC. Bob Halloran doesn’t play the contrarian for once, and says that the Patriots are the most talented team in the league and have built their roster for Super Bowl success.

Lenny Megliola has a preview for each of the major college leagues in New England.

Scott looks at the Celtics’ busy offseason in his Big Ticket to paradise article. He has a sidebar that looks at Kevin Garnett and Randy Moss being reunited in New England, and Megliola has a look at how Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are charged with rebuilding the Celtics tattered and torn reputation. Scott Souza looks at how Celtics rookie free agent Brandon Wallace was worth the gamble that the Celtics have taken on him.

Jim Baker talks with exiled Bruins PR executive Nate Greenberg, who found himself out of a job this year after 34 years with the franchise.

Scott also has a look at the Deutsche Bank Championship with his piece Tiger tale at TPC.

Sam Bernstein looks back 60 years ago, when Ted Williams won the Triple Crown, but not the MVP.

Scott wraps up the magazine, with his Closers column, which looks at “Power Jokers” – those who didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory over the past year. Those include Ron Borges, Charlie Moore, Peter Chiarelli, Asante Samuel and Jason Wolfe.

Sox Can’t Topple Rocket

The Red Sox offense was once again held in check last night, as Boston could only manage four hits on the night – just two against 45-year-old Roger Clemens, who got the win in the 4-3 Yankees victory.

Tony Massarotti says that without Manny Ramirez, the Red Sox offense can be shut down and makes them vulnerable. Jeff Jacobs looks at Roger Clemens – still a force at 45. Those two articles kind of sum things up. The weak Red Sox offense, combined with a still solid Clemens.

Get the rest of the stories from last night on RedSoxLinks.com and the New York Sports Pages.

The Patriots play their final preseason game tonight against the New York Giants at Gillette. Is it consumer fraud time again? Over in the Metro, I say it’s not consumer fraud, it’s a public service

Over on Patriots Daily, Greg Doyle looks at the start of the college football season, with the angle of looking at how top college players might fit in with the Patriots, in the debut of his new column, College Scout.

Get the rest of your Patriots news over on PatriotsLinks.com.

David Scott has a Dennis and Callahan update, as the duo tries to put it out there that they still have competitors for their services. He also has more on Albert Breer leaving for the Dallas Morning News.

Bill Doyle has a look at Worcester Sharks announcer Eric Lindquist, who has a Showcase Showdown victory on The Price is Right under his belt.

Breer Hits the Bricks for Big D

David Scott reports that Albert Breer has accepted a job covering the Dallas Cowboys, on a shared beat, for the Dallas Morning News.

We just knew we had it just a bit too good on the Patriots beat there recently, didn’t we?

With the Gatehouse Media sharing agreement with the Boston Herald expiring soon, Breer’s work wasn’t going to be appearing there much longer. The next question is whether the MetroWest Daily News will replace Breer, or turn to another Gatehouse Media-employed writer such as The Patriot Ledger’s Eric McHugh to provide content for the paper and perhaps a Patriots blog.

Speaking of the Patriots beat, John Tomase stepped up today and ate a little crow for his column yesterday in which he stated that Asante Samuel’s holdout was fruitless. A good move by Tomase, as it’s OK to be off once in a while, especially if you admit it.

This is very different from someone like Ron Borges, who gets suspended for plagiarism, is allowed to retire his position, and then goes on the radio proclaiming that he was the victim and was “screwed.”

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Another busy day at Patriots Daily, as John Hannah (or someone doing a reasonable impression of him based on email and IP address) weighs in with a comment on the Direct Snapp column from today.

Bill Simmons has a look at life in the “new” Red Sox Nation, including a photo album from a weekend in Tampa Bay.

Former Red Sox fan Jim Caple says that the team has the most obnoxious fans of all of sports.

Howard Bryant has a look at David Ortiz, who has been in pain almost all season, has heard criticism about his play, yet keeps carrying on.

Bryant also looks at how the Red Sox have gone retro, with manager Terry Francona becoming the public face of the front office.

Mike Miliard in The Phoenix, examines whether Sox Appeal has any appeal to Sox fans.

Eric Wilbur looks at the Red Sox facing Roger Clemens for the first time in nearly four years.

Sean Deveney says that the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry is always relevant, regardless of the standings.

The Media Circus examines MickVickMania, which has seemingly overtaken all sports shows.

Peter King ranks the top 500 players in the NFL. Tom Brady comes in at number 2.

Tom Curran has a collection of interesting quotes from around the NFL.

Elizabeth Merrill looks at what is involved for an NFL player in learning the playbook.

Vic Carucci weighs in with some observations from week three of the NFL preseason.

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Tonight
7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees (ESPN2 Nationally)

Damon Haunts Sox

Daisuke Matsuzaka battled Andy Pettitte to a 3-3 tie into the seventh inning last night, but Johnny Damon stuck it to his old team with a two run homer off Dice-K in the seventh to give the Yankees a 5-3 win over the Red Sox in New York.

Michael Silverman says that losing Manny Ramirez and Bobby Kielty to back injuries during this one caused “enough M. Night Shyamalan-type signs hovering over the Bronx to give Red Sox followers a minor case of the heebie-jeebies” – whatever that means. Gordon Edes says that after hitting the game winner, Damon “deflected every invitation to send a verbal tweak toward the team that let him go” – whatever that means. Who was doing the inviting? Boston writers or New York? Bill Ballou says that Matsuzaka is a strong candidate for Disappointment of the Year – whatever that means. Jeff Goldberg says that Damon’s home run went to the same spot that his 2004 ALCS Game 7 grand slam went, and “the Yankees hope it sparks some comeback payback.” Whatever that means. Sean McAdam doesn’t say anything silly in his game recap.

Despite declaring the AL East race over a couple of days ago, Tony Massarotti says that the Red Sox would be well served to take the next two games and put a dent in the Yankees playoff plans. Dan Shaughnessy says that the AL East might be over, but the Yankees could still do some damage in the post season and meet up with the Red Sox again. Shaughnessy does manage to fit in some jabs at Curt Schilling, which is always fun. Steve Buckley says that Damon might’ve been miserable earlier this season in New York, but he’s happy (and healthier) now. Nick Cafardo gushes over Damon.

Rob Bradford has Matsuzaka once again failing to get his 14th win, and sporting a 6.91 ERA against the Yankees this season. Jon Couture has the Yankees, like the Red Sox, using more youngsters this season. Chad Finn goes nine innings on Red Sox/Yankees. As usual, Finn hits the nail on the head:

I've been reluctant to declare American League East race ovah, for two reasons: First, there is a tendency among certain media members to race to become the first to pronounce the Yankees dead . . . and then, when they inevitably crawl out of the crypt, history is somehow revised and spun so that it was really the numbskull fans who were the ones claiming matters were settled when there were 60 games remaining. The habit is as transparent as it is annoying, and I don't want to be one to fall into that trap.

Here’s looking at you, Tony Massarotti. And Dan Shaughnessy.

Buckley has J.D. Drew hoping he can contribute to the team the rest of the season and into the playoffs. Sarah Green reflects on Tim Wakefield’s career. Bradford also has Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell saying that video work has revealed that Eric Gagne could’ve been tipping his pitches, and that may have been the cause of his early struggles with the Red Sox. Joe Haggerty has Gagne hoping for a chance to face the Yankees in this series. Bradford also has Dustin Pedroia looking forward to facing Roger Clemens tonight.

Get the view from NYC in the New York Sports Pages. Cafardo examines Joba Chamberlain in his first appearance against the Red Sox. Dom Amore has Andy Pettitte making a strong impression last night. Amore also says that the Yankees need to work on finishing out games strong.

Silverman’s notebook has more on the back injuries for Ramirez and Kielty which will likely keep them out of tonight’s game. Edes’s notebook has more on the back injuries to the outfield duo. McAdam’s notebook says that tonight’s Josh Beckett/Roger Clemens matchup holds plenty of interest. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the Red Sox back woes. Ballou’s notebook also focuses on Manny’s back. Couture’s notebook has Manny adding another Yankee Stadium home run to his total before leaving the game.

Patriots
Dan Snapp has another edition of Direct Snapp on Patriots Daily, where he makes the case that the road to the Super Bowl is best traveled by ground, and not by air, despite all the new wide receivers in camp.

Christopher L. Gasper and Mike Reiss report that Asante Samuel did gain a concession in his contract that can prevent him from being franchised next season. Albert Breer isn’t so sure that the franchise provision was included in the final deal. Shalise Manza Young has Samuel saying that both sides are happy with the new deal. David Heuschkel has Samuel with no regrets over his holdout or new one year contract. Dan Pires says that Samuel’s holdout was fruitless. Rich Garven and Mark Farinella have more on Samuel putting the contract issue behind him and getting ready for the season.

The Globe notebook has Troy Brown landing on the PUP list to start his 15th season. Which reminds me of the horrible joke Glenn Ordway had on the big show yesterday when he wondered if the Falcons were going to place Michael Vick on the “Pup” list. Breer’s notebook has more on Brown starting the season on the sidelines. Young’s notebook has Chad and Eddie Jackson joining Brown on the PUP list. Garven’s notebook wonders if Randy Moss could be getting closer to making it out onto the field for the Patriots. Pires’ notebook has Laurence Maroney saying that the Facebook profile that has become fodder for bloggers is a fake. Farinella’s notebook has Kyle Brady trying to get to know Tom Brady a little better.

Farinella also sounds off on a number of topics in another edition of Ask Fearless.

Mike Martin on the BSMW Full Court Press offers a chill pill for the kingmakers and naysayers alike.

David Scott leads off with another look at Ron Borges’ comments about “getting screwed” by the Globe in the plagiarism case this spring.

Borges, it seems, just won’t go quietly.

Over on Patriots Daily, Christopher Price has his weekly Inside Gillette column, where he takes a look at rookie linebacker Oscar Lua’s efforts to make the club, gives us five things to look for Thursday night against the Giants and has a stat and quote of the week from Gillette.

Asante Samuel returned to the fold yesterday, but as John Tomase points out, he gained nothing by his holdout. Christopher L. Gasper writes that Samuel’s return will cause some shifting around in the defensive secondary. Shalise Manza Young reports that while Samuel showed up yesterday, he did not yet sign the one-year franchise tender. Albert Breer says that the final piece to the Patriots puzzle fell into place when Samuel reported yesterday. David Heuschkel says that Samuel’s return appeared to have been met with a collective ho-hum at Gillette.

Tomase has Samuel’s teammates happy that he is back, but saying that now is the time for him to get to work in preparation for the season. Mark Farinella has more on Samuel finally being in the house for the Patriots. Jennifer Toland has more on Samuel’s teammates reacting to his return to the fold.

Robert Lee has Kelley Washington trying to stick at a crowded wide receiver position for the Patriots. Mark Farinella has more on the 28-year-old Washington, who brings some impressive physical gifts to the field. Eric McHugh looks at another receiver, Randy Moss, who has his fair share of vocal critics, as well as supporters. Breer reports that it appears that Nick Kaczur has won the right tackle job to start the season. Jeff Howe has rookie Kareem Brown hoping to steal some playing time from the veterans, in addition to stealing their moves.

Gasper’s notebook has coach Bill Belichick praising Willie Andrews, who could see some time at safety if Eugene Wilson is out for an extended period of time. Tomase’s notebook has owner Robert Kraft cautiously optimistic about the team’s chances this year. Paul Kenyon’s notebook has Marcellus Rivers to trying make a roster sport for himself as a blocking tight end. Toland’s notebook discusses the cuts that must be made by 4:00pm today. Six players will need to be cut from the roster by that time.

Red Sox
Rob Bradford has an interview with Red Sox owner John Henry about what his club has done over the last few years to try and compete with the Yankees. Nick Cafardo also has a look at the Red Sox and Yankees, with New York having been unable thus far to catch the Red Sox in the division. Sean McAdam says that this Red Sox/Yankees series feels more like an afterthought than a showdown. Bill Ballou however, says that Red Sox fans must feel like Titanic survivors as they head into the series with the Yankees. Terry Nau says that the difference between the Red Sox and Yankees this season is money well-spent. Jon Couture has the Red Sox and Yankees ready to rumble once more, as does Joe Haggerty.

Lenny Megliola looks at who has overachieved, underachieved, or landed somewhere in the middle this season for the Red Sox. Gordon Edes looks at Mike Timlin, who is closing in on his 1000th career big league appearance. Jeff Goldberg says that last Friday will be remembered as the turning point in this season for both the Red Sox and Yankees.

Edes notebook has Mike Lowell and David Ortiz being named Co-Players of the Week in the American League. Bradford’s notebook looks at the magic number for the AL East finally coming into play.

Celtics
Scott Souza has a look at the newest Celtic, forward James Posey, who looks forward to making another title run. Steve Bulpett has Posey saying that the Celtics offered the best opportunity to win a championship. Jessica Camerato has more from Posey. Daniel Malloy has more on Posey’s introduction at the Garden.

Mike Biglin has the Revolution doing some fine tuning in their time off.