That question is being asked quite a bit these days, as some feel that the Angels are “due” to finally break through and beat the Red Sox in a first round playoff series. Perhaps the Angels will beat the Red Sox, but it certainly will not be because they are “due” to win.
Dan Shaughnessy is certainly happy that the Red Sox are playing the Angels. It gives him another chance to go out to what has become his second home, Los Angeles. Shaughnessy has become a frequent visitor there, making regular appearances on the Jim Rome Show, and watching Manny Ramirez’s every move for days at a time. Today he tells us that Richard Nixon was a big Angels fan, and recaps some of the things that have happened to the Red Sox over the years in Anaheim.
John Powers produces a feature on Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, who most project will be a Major League manager in the future, but has plenty to do with the Red Sox right now as they prepare for the postseason. John Tomase has a feature on how the Red Sox have gotten much more than they bargained for from Victor Martinez, who is not only fast becoming a clubhouse leader, but is actually making the Red Sox his team. Mike Fine has more on what Martinez has meant to the Red Sox. Conversely, Gerry Callahan points out Jason Varitek’s diminished role since Martinez arrived, and begs the captain to consider hanging them up.
Sean McAdam gives us 5 keys for the Red Sox in this series. Amalie Benjamin says that the Red Sox know that the Angels are going to run run run when they get on base in this series. Joe McDonald has the Red Sox entering this postseason much healthier than they were last year. Paul Jarvey says that experience is definitely not an issue for the Red Sox in the postseason. Peter Gammons looks at the Angels and Red Sox meeting once again in the postseason.
Adam Kilgore notes that Jonathan Papelbon truly saves his best for last, as his career 0.00 ERA in 25 postseason innings will attest. Joe Haggerty has Clay Buchholz planning on having plenty of “good nerves” in his first playoff start. Alex Speier has a feature on how Daniel Bard managed to turn his career around this season.
The Globe notebookhas Manny Delcarmen’s recent car accident putting his postseason roster status in jeopardy. Tomase’s notebook has more on Papelbon’s perfect postseason record. The ProJo notebookhas Rocco Baldelli’s status for the first round still uncertain. Fine’s notebook has more on Delcarmen.
The grades are in for Sunday’s win over the Baltimore Ravens, and for the most part, things are looking good.
We’ll lead off the report card segment with Jeremy Gottlieb on Patriots Daily, who has “A’s” and “B’s” across the board for the Patriots. Michael Felger has a “C” for the offensive line, but otherwise things are good in his card. The grades are good from Ron Borges, but the commentary is pretty biting across the board. This week it’s the “aging Fred Taylor.” Last week he was an “instructional video” who did all the “heavy lifting.” Today he’s “aging.” On the plus side, as far as I can tell, it appears Borges actually got all the names of the players and coaches correct, which may be a first for this season. Steve DeOssie was impressed by the play of the lineman on both sides of the ball.
The Globe is all about the storylines today, first Michael Vega chases the Belichick/McDaniels angle, then he goes after John Harbaugh’s claim that Tom Brady received preferential treatment from the refs, and then they wrap things up in the Globe notebook with Rodney Harrison and Brady.
It’s fine, and expected that they covered these stories…but only those stories? Pure storyline chasing.
Glen Farley says that after a rocky start to his tenure, Josh McDaniels has the Broncos soaring in the early part of the season. Ian R. Rapoport has more on admiration between McDaniels and Bill Belichick. Christopher Price has more on the reunion in Denver on tap for Sunday.
Dave Willis notes that the Patriots defensive line has been a force this season, even without Richard Seymour. Mike Reiss looks at how new rules put defenders in a tough spot when it comes to rushing the passer. Karen Guregian says that bringing back Junior Seau makes sense, and he can help the Patriots right away. Rich Garven has Seau and Rodney Harrison both making noise yesterday.
Guregian has more on Harrison’s Brady ‘joke’ Sunday night.
Rapoport’s notebook has a look at how Belichick prepares his team for the officials as well as the opponent. Young’s notebook has more on Harrison and Brady trading barbs. Farley’s notebookhas more on the possibility of Seau returning.