(Afternoon Links provided by Guest Blogger David Vidinha. Dave can be reached at DVidinha@gmail.com)

Who plays third base?

That’s a pretty straight forward question, right? Well, that’s a question that I came up with while I was bartending during the Red Sox dream season of 2004. Nothing really ground breaking about the question, but it was something I conjured up to ask the droves of people who looked up at the TV and asked “What’s the score?”.

You see, when a local sports team is doing well (See: every team in Boston), the bandwagon for these local teams can become rather full. Especially when that team enters into the World Series. Well, back in 2004 I had enough. I was tired of the band wagon jumpers who had no clue who any of the players were, with the exception of maybe “Manny” or “Papi”. Somehow these fair weather fans were now “following” my team. How can you follow a team and not know who the players are? How can you watch the final games of a season if you don’t know the story of how they got there. Would you watch the finale of Grey’s Anatomy if you haven’t watched an episode all season? Of course not, it just wouldn’t make any sense. Then why would you sit and watch a baseball game when you only know a handful of characters and no idea of the storyline?

Then I realized that this is baseball, America’s past time. A game that everyone played as a child. Whether you were the best kid in little league or the worst kid in gym class, everyone has held a bat in there hands at least once. There’s no need to know everything about the team to enjoy the World Series, the action and drama are self-explanatory. J.D. Drew’s struggles or failed trades made at the trading deadline are for the hardcore fans to discuss amongst themselves.

With the home team headed into the World Series tomorrow, every office in the area will have their own “Red Sox Day”. Children at all the local schools will go to school fully decked out in their Red Sox gear, and conversation around these parts will be mainly about our team. I’ve come to the realization that this is a phenomenal time to be a Boston sports fan. Who cares if the bandwagon hoppers can’t name more than two players on the Red Sox or they don’t know all the player’s full names, heck Tim McCarver has a tough time as well. So move over Red Sox fans there’s plenty of room on the bandwagon for all of us.

By the way, the answer is Mike Lowell.

From the “In case you missed it” files…

Michael Silver addresses the Patriots new “Pit bull Persona” in his Morning Rush. He also speaks to former Patriot Ty Law for his opinion.

In Monday Morning Quarterback, Peter King looks at the NFL’s first game in London. Also, two Patriots received props in Peter’s “Awards Section”.

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio has his take on the Patriots “running it up” in his weekly 10-Pack.

Around the Web

“Dishonesty, cheating, arrogance, hubris, endless complaining even in success. The Patriots have three Super Bowl rings, but that jewelry is tarnished by their cheating scandal. They run up the score to humiliate opponents”

That’s just a small sample from Boston’s favorite sports writer Gregg Easterbrook. Gregg’s back with his anti-Patriot propaganda in this week’s edition of Tuesday Morning Quarterback. Gregg uses this week to explain why the Colts are so good, using heart warming quotes such as, “sportsmanship, honesty, modesty, devotion to community, embrace of traditional small-town life, belief in higher power, even love of laughter.” I kept thinking it was some sort of satire, but its not! He’s for real.

Just one more quote from Easterbrook’s TMQ, this one will send Pete Sheppard off the deep end…

“That constant smirk on Brady’s face reminds one of Dick Cheney; people who smirk are fairly broadcasting the message, “I’m hiding something.”

Dr. Z takes on the ESPN announcing crew in his weekly mailbag.

Ken Rosenthal gives us his take on the Mitchell investigation leak, or conspiracy theory to there being a leak. Now, is it rather strange that this information was leaked prior to Game 7 of the ALCS? Yes. Does there appear to be a conflict of interest between Mitchell and the Red Sox? Yes. What this does not take into account though is the absolute collapse by the Indians. The revelation that Paul Byrd used HGH does not cause Travis Hafner to become incompetent at the plate or the two aces of their staff to completely fail. What it does call into question is just how Mitchell will handle this situation if it becomes known that a prominent Red Sox player is found to have used HGH.

Amalie Benjamin had a chat today.

Don Banks says this year’s Patriots team will not only go undefeated, but will break the NFL scoring record.

The Sporting News has their position-by-position breakdown for the World Series.

ESPN’s Rob Neyer gives us his all-time World Series All-Stars.

Cold Hard Football Facts has their weekly rankings.

Within this Yahoo! Sports piece by Tim Brown, we get the following quote from Julio Lugo, “Feelin’ bananas, dawg”. Perfect. Now if Julio can just provide some offense, I’ll be “feelin bananas”.

Dan Lamothe compares the Colorado Rockies to the Blues Brothers.

Nice feature in Sports Illustrated on Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle.

Tom Curran has some words with Peyton Manning about records.

Awful Announcing takes a look at the hilarious interview by Keyshawn Johnson of his cousin Chad Johnson that aired on ESPN on Sunday.

Tim Kurkjian has “Five Questions” to ponder heading into tomorrow’s Game 1 of the World Series.

Peter King is back with MMQB Tuesday Edition. In it Peter looks at the Pats-Indy matchup and if it’s cowardly to cut block.

If Jacoby Ellsbury steals a base tomorrow night, he’ll get you a free lunch.

Joe Sports Fan looks at some of the Red Sox headlines from around the web.

Keith Law of Scouts, Inc. says the Rockies have their work cut out against the Sox. He also provides us with the keys for both teams.

Tom Brady has the edge on Peyton Manning in completion percentage, passing yards, touchdowns and the anomaly that is quarterback rating. Now, Tom has claim to one more edge in this statistic.

Detroit Tigers reliever Todd Jones is writing for Sporting News. Today Todd gives his take on the Rockies ability to perform after a long layoff.

ESPN has their weekly Power Rankings.

Tonight on TV

It will be a slow night in the sports world as everyone gets ready for the beginning of the World Series tomorrow. In the meantime you can stay occupied with tonight’s exhibition between the Celtics and the Nets. The game will begin at 7:30PM on CNSE. There’s also an NHL hockey game tonight as the NY Rangers head to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins. That game will be on Versus beginning at 7PM.