Michael Silverman notes that for the second straight year, the Red Sox have hit paydirt with their big midseason trade. Last year it was Jason Bay, this year it is Victor Martinez. Silverman examines each of the seven late July trade-deadline deals made by Epstein during his tenure as GM.
Adam Kilgore notes that the difference between the 2008 Clay Buchholz and the 2009 edition are startling, and a result of confidence in his changeup. Brian MacPherson notes that the changeup has been important for a couple members of the Red Sox bullpen as well. Mike Fine looks at how good Billy Wagner has been for the Red Sox thus far.
Bill Ballousays that while Dustin Pedroia has been good this season, he hasn’t been as good as his MVP season a year ago. Daniel Barbarisi notes that the Red Sox can finish off the Tampa Rays for good this weekend. Lenny Megliola has the story of Kenny Reddick, Josh’s dad, who nearly lost his life in an electrical accident, but found therapy through his son’s baseball career.
Thomas Grillo reports that Janet Marie Smith, the architect behind the renovations at Fenway this season, has joined the Baltimore Orioles.
Christopher L. Gasper notes that the Patriots retooled secondary will get a big test on Monday night going against Terrell Owens and Lee Evans. Dan Duggan has a big piece of the unit, Leigh Bodden, liking what he sees thus far. Shalise Manza Young notes that Bodden has a short memory, an important asset for a CB. Jennifer Toland has Owens with his mouth already in midseason form.
Ian R. Rapoport has Fred Taylor starting a new chapter of his career with the Patriots after so many years with the Jaguars. Glen Farley has Taylor happy to just be out on the field again after finishing last season on IR. Mark Farinella also has a look at the veteran running back’s return to action.
Rapoport has injured rookie linebacker Tyrone McKenzie doing all he can to learn and get ready for next season. Christopher Price has several new Patriots getting their feet wet with the team. Duggan has TE Michael Matthews, acquired from the Giants, deciding not talk to his new teammates about a certain Super Bowl just yet. The Metro wonders if it is 2007 once more for the Patriots offense.
Bill Doyle has Gil Santos, who retired from his day job at WBZ-AM in January, rested and ready to start his 33rd season of Patriots games.
Rapoport’s notebook has the Raiders sending the 5-day ultimatum letter to Richard Seymour. Gasper’s notebook has more on the Raiders sending “the letter” to Seymour. Toland’s notebook says that the moment of truth is near for Tom Brady and the offense. Farley’s notebook has former Steeler Kendall Simmons getting caught up on the Patriot way. Young’s Patriots journal has more on the 5-day letter.
Kevin Paul Dupont reports that Phil Kessel is done negotiating with the Bruins. Stephen Harris has the Bruins starting training camp with the Cup on the mind. Fluto Shinzawa’s notebook has Milan Lucic ready to start at full-speed.
Ron Chimelis says that Jordan brings an air of royalty to Springfield. Laura Crimaldi says that Springfield is set to benefit from Jordan’s presence. Chimelis looks at the Trail Blazers 1984 draft blunder in which they selected Sam Bowie over Jordan. Jeff Thomas says that with Jordan, the true king is arriving at the Hall. Larry Silber looks back at Jordan’s first visit to the Hall.
Mark Blaudschun has BC linebacker Luke Kuechly enjoying his key role with the defense. Steve Conroy says that Billy Flutie knows his place with the BC football program. Blaudschun’s notebook says that each game will dictate which QB BC is using.
Check back at noon for a look at the “lost chapter” of Fighting Words which dealt with the New England Patriots and the media.