Manny Madness Reaches New Levels

After another weekend of Manny Madness, the Red Sox managed to salvage one game of the three game set with the New York Yankees last night behind approaching-ace-status lefty Jon Lester, 9-2.

Gordon Edes has the Red Sox restoring a little bit of sanity to their universe with the win last night. Jeff Horrigan has the Sox avoiding the sweep behind some early offense and the strong pitching of Lester. Joe McDonald has Lester coming up big in the series finale for the Sox. Jeff Goldberg has Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz proving again that they are baseball’s most dynamic duo – the question is simply how much longer they’ll be together. Bob Stern has the Red Sox salvaging their dignity with the win last night. Bill Ballou has Lester taking command of the game last night.

Sean McAdam says that Manny and the Red Sox seem to be in sync on getting the slugger out of town quickly. Amalie Benjamin and Gordon Edes assess the Manny situation, noting that the slugger is hurt that the front office and others will never take him at his word when he says he is injured or in pain. Joe Haggerty has Manny challenging the front office to deal him. Rob Bradford has Manny saying that he’ll accept a trade if the Red Sox can find someone to take him. Horrigan has Julio Lugo coming to the defense of Manny, and saying that if he says he’s hurting, he’s hurting. Goldberg has Manny open to a trade following the latest saga.

Dan Shaughnessy actually treads pretty carefully around the Manny subject, but states that the Manny act has gotten tiresome and wonders if Theo Epstein can deal him out of town before the trade deadline as he did Nomar in 2004. Terry Nau wonders if Manny can be salvaged. Steve Buckley says that even the win last night isn’t enough to cure the latest Manny mess. Jeff Jacobs says that the latest Manny mess is grounds for a divorce between the two parties. Stern says we can call it the saga that won’t die until there is a resolution. Alex Speier examines the headache that is managing Manny. Ron Chimelis says that Manny should just let his bat do the talking for him, as he did in the game last night.

Baxter Holmes has Lester able to close down a Yankees rally in the fifth inning. Bradford says that Lester has officially become an ace with his latest performance.

Fluto Shinzawa has a move to the bottom of the lineup benefiting Jacoby Ellsbury. McAdam has more on the move to the bottom of the order working out for Ellsbury last night. Shinzawa has Jed Lowrie focuses on always being prepared, whether he’s playing or not. Kenyon has Ramirez and Ortiz restoring the proper thump to the 3-4 spots in the Red Sox offense.

Holmes has a look at Robinson Cano and his hot streak since the All Star break. Paul Kenyon has this version of the Yankees finding a new path to success. Bill Burt says that the Yankees will be in this race for the long haul. Burt also played word association with Derek Jeter yesterday.

Buckley remembers Russ Gibson, a catcher from the 1967 Red Sox, who passed away at the age of 69 yesterday morning.

Benjamin’s notebook has the Red Sox offense showing some signs of life last night. Horrigan’s notebook has Terry Francona gaining confidence in his bullpen. The Projo notebook has more on Lugo speaking up on behalf of Manny. Goldberg’s notebook has Ellsbury picking up three hits in the nine spot. Burt’s notebook has Lester making a name for himself as one of the better lefthanders in baseball. Chimelis’ notebook has more on the latest Manny mess. Ballou’s notebook has more Manny talking Manny.

Nick Cafardo has former Sox manager Dick Williams talking at the Hall of Fame ceremonies this weekend about his role in creating “Red Sox Nation” back in 1967. Cafardo’s notebook has the Hall honoring the late Globe writer Larry Whiteside with the J.G. Taylor Spink Award.

Patriots

Over on Patriots Daily, Chris Warner kept a running diary from his visit to Patriots training camp last week.

John Tomase has the Patriots adding some solid insurance to their backfield with the addition of LaMont Jordan. Barbara Matson has Jordan eager for a fresh start with the Patriots. Eric McHugh has more on Jordan, who rejoins former teammate Randy Moss here in New England. Rich Garven says that Jordan’s ability to both run and catch made him attractive to the Patriots. Shalise Manza Young has Jordan ready to contribute to the Patriots’ winning ways.

Mike Reiss has the Patriots attempting to keep players healthy in camp by carefully managing their workload. Mark Farinella takes a look at Tank Williams, and how his versatility has already been on display in training camp. Rich Thompson has Pierre Woods opening some eyes and getting some praise from Bill Belichick in camp. Christopher Price has Sammy Morris and Chad Jackson looking to come back strong after an injury filled 2007 season. Thompson also has Heath Evans taking on all comers in blocking drills, but especially relishing matchups with Tedy Bruschi.

Tomase has Bill Belichick taking some time to speak with the fans and sign autographs.

Reiss’ notebook has Nick Kaczur returning to the field at practice yesterday. Farinella’s notebook has Jordan hoping to follow the example of Randy Moss in coming to New England from the Raiders. Tomase’s notebook has Kaczur returning to practice at just the right time for the Patriots. McHugh’s notebook has Jabar Gaffney showing off his skills at practice, and hoping to land a starting spot. Garven’s notebook also has a focus on Gaffney. Young’s notebook has undrafted linebacker Gary Guyton putting in the hard work necessary at camp. 

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A Friday Megalink Thing

Ken from the Fang’s Bites blog to do your Friday megalinks. As usual, we look at the weekend viewing picks before we do our links.

Weekend Viewing Picks

Baseball dominates the viewing landscape this weekend. Yankees-Red Sox will be a major part of the viewing. NESN has tonight’s game starting at 7. Then Fox with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver airs the Saturday’s game at 3:55 p.m. And on Sunday, ESPN with Jon Miller, Joe Morgan and Peter Gammons has the third game at 8 p.m.

Other baseball includes Marlins-Cubs on WGN, Saturday at 1 and on TBS Sunday at 2 p.m. White Sox at Detroit also on WGN on Sunday at 1. And there’s the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies on ESPN Classic, Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

ESPN picks up the NASCAR Sprint Cup series with its first race on Sunday. The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard from Indianapolis Motor Speedway starts at 2 p.m. The night before, ESPN2 will have the Nationwide Series’ Kroger 200 from Indy at 8 p.m.

The IndyCar Series is in Canada for the Rexall Edmonton Indy, Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN.

The PGA Tour heads up north for the RBC Canadian Open. CBS has the weekend coverage starting at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday

The LPGA Tour is in France for the Evian Masters. Golf Channel will have same day coverage starting at 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Senior Open Championship is on ABC and again, it’s same day coverage starting Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 1 p.m.

CBS has its second Elite XC Mixed Martial Arts broadcast, Saturday night at 9.

Tennis fans can watch the U.S. Open series which continues this week with the Rogers Cup being played just outside Toronto and the EastWest Bank Classic in Los Angeles. ESPN2 has all night semifinal coverage from both tournaments Saturday starting at 8 p.m. Then on Sunday, ESPN2 has the Rogers Cup championship at 3 p.m. and the EastWest Bank Classic final at 5 p.m.

The Tour de France concludes its month-long endurance test. Versus has live coverage of Stage 20, Saturday morning at 8. Then on Sunday, the final stage, the procession into Paris, will be live on Versus at 7:30 a.m. and CBS has a complete wrap up of the race later in the day at 1 p.m.

Beach volleyball prepares for the Olympics as the #1 seeded men’s and women’s teams in the world play in the Long Beach Open on NBC. Both finals will be played at 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

Let’s get to your links.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today says ESPN will be using a TV novice to star in live spots to promote its new live morning SportsCenter block.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that Comcast SportsNet Northwest will celebrate roller derby next week.

East and Mid-Atlantic

David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch looks at the media coverage from Patriots Training Camp.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe talks with Fox Sports’ Tim McCarver about Yankees-Red Sox.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has a story on SNY becoming the official New York home of the Big East conference.

From the New York Daily News, Bob Raissman talks about how the Mets’ Billy Wagner is the latest athlete to have a problem with the media.

Over to Phil Mushnick of the New York Post who goes after New York Yankees radio voice John Sterling for making a miscall on a close play at the plate during Monday’s game against the Twins.

The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with YES’ Al Leiter about Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon re-igniting the Yanks-Sox rivalry. And Justin has five questions for New York Giants’ voice and new NFL Network play-by-play man Bob Papa.

To the Baltimore Sun and Ray Frager who says WMAR-TV is an adjustment period after long-time sports anchor Scott Garceau stopped doing nightly reports.

Jim Williams in the DC/Baltimore Examiner lists his best and worst sports announcers.

South

Paul Stelow of The State in South Carolina says current TV deals prevent any changes in the Bowl Championship Series for at least six years.

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson has 15 things that would make his TV sports viewing a better experience.

Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel writes that Florida’s Tim Tebow is bound to be mentioned every day on ESPN’s College Football Live program.

David Barron in the Houston Chronicle discusses the local TV sports reports changing over to HDTV.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes about Dallas Cowboys radio analyst Babe Laufenberg having to overcome a speech impediment.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman laments the loss of sideline reporters on football broadcasts. Mel also has a look at the early college football matchups on TV. Mel has his viewing picks.

Midwest

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press profiles a local sports radio host who took an unorthodox path to his show.

Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald is happy for Sun-Times sportswriters Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley who have replaced Mike North on WSCR.

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune has his five TV (and radio) picks for the weekend.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says there’s a potpourri of sports to watch this weekend.

West

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says a Los Angeles sports radio station showed up in the local radio ratings, but a local station did not. And Jay has the ratings from the weekend.

From the North County Times, John Maffei says NBC will use eight outlets to air the Olympics.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes that NASCAR fans don’t like the extra features ESPN throws at them.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times says the Dallas Cowboys are a perfect candidate for reality TV. John Scheibe in the Sound and Vision column tells us that NASCAR has fit in very well at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at David Wallechinsky’s comprehensive book on the Summer Olympics. And in his media notes, Tom has an interview with Wallechinsky.

Canada

William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the CBC is still wondering what rules it will have to abide by for the Olympics in Communist China because they keep changing.

CBC has announced that world champion hurdler Perdita Felicien is joining its commentary team in Beijing.

Mediacaster magazine reports that Rogers Sportsnet will increase its schedule of Toronto Maple Leafs games.

Blogs

CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks inside the bidding finalists for the Chicago Cubs.

Joe Favorito says the Chicago Blackhawks have done a tremendous job in resurrecting its brand.

Awful Announcing has the video of a huge basebrawl between the Dayton Dragons and the Peoria Chiefs.

SportsbyBrooks looks at the Lowell Spinners’ “Politically Incorrect” promotion night on Thursday.

The DC Sports Bog at the Washington Post continues its battle with the Redskins over video shot at Redskin Park.

That’s it. Enjoy your weekend.

Lightning Strikes Out Links

A lightning strike yesterday on a line outside my house has left the internet and phone service fried. What’s up with this weather, anyway?

In lieu of the morning links, I send you over to David Scott who has a look at the local coverage of the first day of Patriots training camp.

One last thing…I just don’t even have the words for this:

Mayor Butch Stearns

Red Sox Sweep In Seattle

After being swept down in Anaheim by the Angels, the Red Sox returned the favor on the Seattle Mariners, finishing off a three game sweep with a 6-3, 12 inning win at Safeco Field.

Gordon Edes has the Sox putting in a long days work to finish the job. Michael Silverman has the Sox bullpen finally writing a happy ending in a game. Sean McAdam says that maybe, just maybe, the Red Sox have turned the corner. Jeff Goldberg has the Sox ending the trip on a strong note.

Dan Shaughnessy says now the true pennant race can begin on Friday at Fenway Park. Tony Massarotti says that while the bullpen finally came through yesterday, will it hold up, or do the Sox need to make changes?

Kevin Cullen lectures us on the premise that it is time to retire the “Yankees Suck” chant. I’m pretty sure the media coverage of Manny has officially jumped the shark this week. Massarotti has Mike Lowell coming up with the big hit yesterday. Rob Bradford has David Ortiz’s wrist feeling good, and the slugger ready to rejoin the big club. Dan Hickling has Ortiz finished with his rehab, and ready to help the Red Sox.

Edes’ notebook reports on Manny’s injury. Silverman’s notebook also reports on Manny’s mystery injury. McAdam’s notebook has more on Ortiz ready to rejoin the Sox. Goldberg’s notebook has Justin Masterson passing his first bullpen test.

Patriots

On Patriots Daily, Dan Snapp looks at the Patriots reconstruction of their linebacking corps during the offseason.

Bill Burt scores an exclusive interview with Bill Belichick, exploring such topics as the Super Bowl hangover, his relationship with Robert Kraft and a number of other items. Christopher L. Gasper examines how well Bill Belichick uses training camp to prepare his team for the rigors and situations of the NFL regular season. Karen Guregian highlights six main issues facing the Patriots as camp begins. Shalise Manza Young says that the Patriots start camp today with an attitude of having unfinished business to take care of.

Mark Farinella looks at the Patriots defense, which he says is still a work in progress. Young assesses the safety and linebacker positions for the defense. David Brown comes up with a day-by-day review of the offseason for the Patriots. Christopher Price has the Patriots getting back to work this morning at Gillette. Eric McHugh has more of the issues and questions facing the defending AFC Champs.

From this morning’s Reiss’ Pieces blog, Gasper reports that the Patriots have signed first round pick Jerod Mayo. This changes the information in the notebook items below….

Gasper’s notebook has first round pick Jerod Mayo getting closer to a deal, but still remaining unsigned as camp begins. Guregian’s notebook has more on Mayo’s status.

Celtics/Bruins

Frank Dell’Apa has a newly re-signed and healthy Tony Allen hoping to land a larger role with the Celtics next season. Rich Thompson says that Allen’s health was key to the new deal. Lenny Megliola has the Celtics brass enjoying the fruits of their success.

Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins locking up Dennis Wideman with a new deal while waiving Glen Murray. Douglas Flynn has more on the new deal for Wideman. Steve Conroy has reaction from Murray’s agent.

Tomase Likely To Move To Sox Beat

Adam Reilly on his Media Log blog talks with Boston Herald sports editor Hank Hryniewicz, who has the following to say about his paper’s posting for an NFL writer:

“That posting is for Rob Bradford’s spot,” Hryniewicz tells the Phoenix. “I reserve the right to change my mind, of course, but the best guy I see out there to replace Rob on the Red Sox beat is John Tomase.

Patriots fans will be happy with the move, what about Red Sox fans?

Reilly asserts that going from the Patriots beat to the Red Sox beat is a better job, and that Tomase seems to have been rewarded for running with his factually false taping story.

Dice-K Efficient In Sox Win

Daisuke Matsuzaka only needed 99 pitches to make it into the eighth inning last night, a sharp contrast to some of his previous starts. J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell helped power the offense, and the result was a 4-2 Red Sox win in Seattle.

Michael Silverman has the trio above straightening themselves out and getting the Sox the win. Gordon Edes has the Red Sox starting pitching shutting down the Mariners’ offense for the second straight night. Jeff Goldberg has Matsuzaka making amends for his last outing in Seattle. Sean McAdam has Matsuzaka getting deep into the game, making the load lighter for the bullpen once again.

Tony Massarotti wonders if the Red Sox are better off just keeping Jed Lowrie at shortstop even when Julio Lugo is ready to return. Dan Shaughnessy also has a look at Lowrie, who was back home in the Pacific Northwest last night, enjoying the time in front of his family. Lenny Megliola says that the Red Sox position is tenuous right now.

Jon Couture says that the save stat has led to an overvaluation of the closer role, making multimillionaires out of otherwise mediocre performances. This is all thanks to Chicago sportswriter Jerome Holtzman, who invented the save stat. Holtzman passed away earlier this week. Joe Haggerty looks at which relievers the Red Sox might target before the trade deadline. Silverman says that the key for Clay Buchholz tonight is getting a clean first inning. McAdam has more on the first-inning barrier for Buchholz. Massarotti notes that Matsuzaka’s effort was the latest in a series of games in which the starting pitching has been able to go deep into the game.

Dan Hickling reports on David Ortiz’s latest rehab appearance.

Silverman’s notebook has Terry Francona talking about the strict jaywalking laws in Seattle. Edes’ notebook has more on Francona’s reaction. Goldberg’s notebook also says that the key for Buchholz tonight is the first inning. McAdam’s notebook says that the price for bullpen help may be too steep for the Red Sox.

Patriots

The Patriots start training camp tomorrow down in Foxboro. Scott Benson has a quick five questions on the last day of school. Mark Farinella says that it is time for the lies to begin on a daily basis down in Foxboro. Rich Garven says that the Patriots have moved on from the Super Bowl loss.

Mike Reiss has a mini-feature this morning inside the world of Randy Moss, who is in a different, better place this season than he was a year ago. The questions about his skills and work ethic are no longer there, and he’s happy to be able to just focus on football. Jim Donaldson says that it is time for the Patriots to help us put the Super Bowl nightmare behind us.

Christopher L. Gasper has a look at 10 issues and storylines for Patriots camp. Chris Kennedy also has a few issues and topic confronting the Patriots. Farinella previews the offense, a unit with few question marks for the Patriots. Eric McHugh has part 2 of his NFL training camp preview. Shalise Manza Young has a look at the D-line and cornerbacks. Karen Guregian has a look at some of the areas of competition in camp.

Jonathan Saltzman and Andrew Ryan report on Patriots offensive lineman Nick Kaczur taking a plea deal on his drug possession case.

Gasper’s notebook has a look at the signing of Wheatley. Guregian’s notebook also reports on the signing of the second round pick.

Something to keep an eye on is the status of the Herald’s John Tomase and whether he remains on the beat. The Herald has been advertising for a NFL writer to cover the Patriots and with Rob Bradford heading over to WEEI.com at the end of the month, it would be very easy for the Herald to slide Tomase over the Red Sox coverage in Bradford’s slot.