The Patriots and Saints didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard at Gillette Stadium last night, as the Patriots took a 7-6 win in their preseason opener. Rookie Chandler Jones seems to be the takeaway story from this one, as the first round pick was impressive in his time on the field, showing the pass rush that fans and media have been clamoring for in recent years.

Get all the coverage at, but here are a few of the top stories:

Debut of top pick Jones is a show of strength – Greg A Bedard says that Mr. Jones has arrived.

Ten Things We Learned Thursday: Quite an opening act for Jones, Hightower – Christopher Price says that both first round picks looked good, and that Bill Belichick should be expecting a note from the league office.

A little good, a lot bad, mostly ugly – Mike Reiss says that this one was predictably sloppy.

Patriots defense came ready to play – Tom E Curran says that the Patriots got some good returns from the unit on its first time out.

One thing I keep hearing and reading over and over this preseason is how either Deion Branch or Donte Stallworth will be cut, as the Patriots can’t keep both.

The consensus seems to be that Walker and Lloyd are locks as the top two, Gaffney as the third receiver, and then Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater are both indispensable for the other things they do for the team, leaving only one spot available between Branch and Stallworth. In 2007, the Patriots carried 7 receivers for a good part of the season – Moss, Welker, Gaffney, Stallworth, Kelley Washington, Chad Jackson and Troy Brown. Both Jackson and Brown were PUP’d to start the season, but were later activated and carried on the 53-man for the rest of the season. The Patriots also carried three tight ends and four running backs for most of that season.

All I’m saying is that I don’t think it’s impossible that the Patriots carry 7 receivers. They’re going to need them all at some point.

The Red Sox season to nowhere continued in Cleveland last night with a 5-3 loss to the Indians.

After the game, Joe Haggerty tweeted:

He then followed up with a column today:

Signs are there that Sox are giving up on the season

This provided plenty of fodder for the talk shows this morning, and on Twitter, with plenty expressing outrage that Lackey had beer after the Red Sox had supposedly banned all beer in the clubhouse.

Dale Arnold and John Dennis noted that no one else had reported what Haggerty said about Lackey and the beer, and Rob Bradford called in to say why – the ban on beer was only ever about their own Fenway clubhouse. Beer has been allowed in visiting clubhouses all season. Bradford then noted that this was the first time Haggerty had been on the road with the Red Sox this season, so he must not have been aware.

Meanwhile, Hardball Times issued a rebuttal to Haggerty’s premise about the Red Sox:

John Lackey has beer in the clubhouse, so apparently the Sox have given up

Is Lackey tone-deaf ? Yes. Do I want him gone? Absolutely. Is this another media-created tempest in a teapot? Definitely.

Interesting that other media types have jumped on the clarification bandwagon, probably to explain why they didn’t report what Haggerty did.

This headline though, cracks me up:


You’ve got your sensational bold headline with “Double Fisted” and the underneath it, in much smaller type, why it’s not a big deal AND the suggestion that the person who reported it didn’t know the score.

Good times.

At 55-58, Red Sox facing a new reality – I approve of Peter Abraham’s plan.

A couple of media columns to wrap up Friday:

Mike Gorman tries his hand at calling a different sport – Chad Finn talks to the Celtics announcer about calling Olympic handball for NBC this summer. Interestingly Gorman is not in London, he’s called all the games remotely from New York.

Golf Channel Hopes For Big Weekend With PGA Championship – My SB Nation Boston media column. Golf Channel is on an incredible run, and this weekends PGA Championship (On TNT and CBS) could be one for the ages.


22 thoughts on “Patriots Show Signs, More Red Sox Beer Drama

  1. Still what’s the point of banning beer in the clubhouse when it’s a partial ban?

    I know the reporters who cover the team knew of the partial ban but I didn’t. I think it’s worth reporting…I mean, at this point you might as well.


    1. Too bad Haggs didn’t get a photo of it. It would have made a great cover
      shot for the “anti”-media guide for the 2012 Red Sox season.

      I love how this point already went into the Rob Bradford, “You can’t make legit statements about the team because you’re not there covering them every day”


  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s not that a guy wants to drink a beer after a game. It’s the message it sends — a message that apparently beat guys are desensitized to because they’re around the team every day. No one is saying Johnny “Double Fists” Lackey shouldn’t be allowed to drink beer. But to strut around the clubhouse with a couple of beers in hand after a LOSS, like they’re on some kind of 10-day, three-city fishing trip shows exactly how much they — or at least Lackey specifically — care about winning.

    Again, Bruce, this is why I boo this team. I care more about another World Series than the players.


      1. My bad, Bruce. I didn’t mean that you’ve said anything like that in this particular case. The whole “media prompting us to boo Beckett” storyline is a slightly separate issue. My comment was more of a broad statement about why I boo guys like Beckett, and in this case, Lackey. And since this is your website, I like to address my comments directly to you. BTW, keep up the good work.


  3. Not a big deal, Nick? An absolute stiff like Lackey, not playing, double fisting beers after a tough loss, like the clubhouse was Animal House. Not a big deal Nick? And if this was a year long standing rule on the road, why did the Red Sox not expalin that fact when the no beer rule was instituted, before the season started? Why has no reporter mentioned it before? Poor Joe Haggerty, one honest man in a den of see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil baseball beat writers. BE CAREFULL jOE, SOMEONE WILL TRY AND STEAL YOUR CREDENTIALS. Bye the way, Nick, among Red Sox fans your credibility is on par with Larry “come early and see the plaques and buy a beer while you’re at it “Luchino. TRIPLE BOGEY AS IN THREE STRIKES YOU’RE OUT.


  4. I think the fact that Tom Brady was pedestrian and that the Patriots Defense played well enough to win was the best possible outcome of last night’s game. Had the offense lit NO up for 21 first q points the expectations in NE right now would be unbearable. As it is enough good happened (Shane Vereen, the safety play, Jones and Hightower) for people to be excited football is back, while enough bad happened (the makeshift OL, the play of both back up QB’s, and receivers) that Bill Belichick can temper expectations.

    The stories that will come out of Foxboro will be interesting over the next week. I do think they wanted Hoyer to light it up, or they will next game, so they can trade him for a pick rather than lose him to free agency. Likewise who they bring in to solidify the tackle position will be interesting to watch. I believe both Waters and Mankins will play so the line is not nearly as big an issue as it looked yesterday.


  5. On Lackey and the beer in the clubhouse, it should infuriate me as a fan, but at this point its clear management does not care about the team, they thought they had bought off the messengers (the beat writers) and if not for a sub (Hags) we would not know about it. Now the hacks are circling the wagons, management I am sure will offer no apology nor show any remorse, and they continue to take the fans for granted. In one way Nick Cafardo is right… its no big deal. For it to be a big deal the team, the media, and ownership would have to care what the fans think…clearly they don’t.


  6. Another reason to ignore all stories on who is and isn’t a good clubhouse guy. Beat writers and players consistently say Lackey is a good teammate, yet his on-field demeanor and performance was terrible so he’s called a cancer. And the reputation builds on reports like Haggerty. I’m sure much worse things than holding two beers have been witnessed in the clubhouse, but they went unreported because they didn’t fit a convenient storyline that Lackey provides.


  7. Someone please draw the causal path for me between “John Lackey having two beers in his hands” and “Felix Doubront’s tired arm hanging unmoving fastballs over the plate” and/or “An increasingly ineffective Josh Beckett persisting in his self-held delusion that he’s still 26 years old with a 97MPH fastball that he can throw past major league hitters.”

    I don’t blame Lackey for wanting a couple of beers. Lord knows I need to drink heavily to dull the pain of watching this team….


  8. I thought the ban was silly to begin with, but the fact that it’s a partial ban just proves it. What, the beers don’t have as much of an effect on the road? They can’t find the packie in a strange city so the club needs to provide it?


    1. Obviously the ban is meant to not allow the players to drive under the influence and has nothing to do with last year. That’s why it is banned at home and on the plane rides home and not on the road where a bus transports them to and fro. If Hagerty had taking 10 seconds to ask another reporter about this he could have saved himself the embarrassment, altjough he doesn’t seem fazed by it.


      1. But it wasn’t sold as a anti-drunk driving measure, it was sold as a way that they were addressing the drinking culture and showing that Bobby V was in charge.


  9. Once again the Red Sox beat writers have been caught not doing their jobs. These guys are constantly on the radio and on TV everyday and would you think in the midst of this season on the heels of what happened in Spetember last year that at least ONE DAMN writer would bring up the fact that guys were still having happy hour in the clubhouse no matter if it was on the road? You think that kind of info might be interesting to know or is it more important for the McAdams and Cafardo’s and Baghdad Bradford’s of the world to play grab ass with the players and sox management? We know the answer.
    They have failed ONCE AGAIN in their duty to report something as important as drinking in the clubhouse in light of what happened last year. They have had many opportunities to do so. Thank god their was a hockey guy in attendance who doesn’t need to stroke Uncle Larry for access. He couldn’t care less so we finally got some truth out of there. I can’t wait for Felger to hammer Baghdad Bradford on this. Baghdad Bradford is garbage as a “reporter”. He should be ashamed of himself for being a floor mat for the Sox.


    1. OH.MY.GOD. When did being a Red Sox fan become synonymous with being a butthurt schoolmarm? THEY WERE DRINKING BEER, AND YET HERE I AM W/NO APOLOGY? I’m at the point where I want Beckett to wear one of those beer helmets, absinthe on one side, moonshine on the other, to the mound just to see the Red Sox Nation Ladies’ Temperance League can all head for their fainting couches en masse. That game of musical chairs should be set to “Everybody Hurts”, the official theme song of All Who Have Been Wronged By Lackey’s Bud Lights. “When you think you’ve had too much…just hold on…hooold on…”


  10. Looks like someone fulfilled my request:

    The Patriots tweeted out the following on Friday: “Tremendous support from #PatriotsNation last night! Pats game did a 13.5 rating w/a 23 share – even up against the Olympics! (11.1 rating w/a 21 share).

    The numbers reflect the widespread interest in the team, even for a preseason game.

    As a point of comparison, I was also curious how it stacked up
    against the Red Sox-Indians game on Thursday. Turns out Sox-Indians
    earned a 3.9 rating and a 4 share.

    Summing it up, the Patriots ended up winning on and off the field on Thursday.


  11. The Minihane vs. Haggerty feud? Spilled over onto Sports Sunday and was happily jabbed at and continued on D+C this morning since Kirk is guess hosting. Fun times. You even got some mention, Bruce, as Kirk said Joe Haggerty had friends/family Astroturf some poll. Fun times.


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