Walk Off Into First

The Red Sox bullpen couldn’t save an outstanding start from Curt Schilling. But David McCarty’s walk off homer in the 12th inning sent the fans home happy in a 9-7 Sox win. Bob Hohler, Sean McAdam, and Jeff Horrigan have game stories. Paul Harbor explains that McCarty was zoned in on that pitch and got it right where he wanted it. Matt Kalman explains that it wasn’t just Red Sox relievers that struggled yesterday. Karen Gueregian captures the excitement from Sox ace Curt Schilling who was perfect until the sixth inning. Rich Thompson spoke to a reflective Keith Foulke who may not be perfect. But he is pretty close.

Bob Ryan is enjoying the Kevin Youkilis era. In his notebook, McAdam has more on Schilling and explains that Youkilis may be the God of Runs too. Bob Hohler makes the rounds in his notebook. He tells us that Foulke was relieved to be picked up by his team and that Trot Nixon’s strained quadriceps continue to bother him.

Brian Bennett tells us that Nomar felt good physically after last night

Knuckling Under

The Red Sox fell into second place yesterday as Tim Wakefield gave up five early runs and the Mariners bullpen stalled the Red Sox in the 5-4 Sox loss. Nick Cafardo, Jeff Horrigan, and Steven Krasner have game stories.

Nick Cafardo tells us in his notebook that Nomar Garciaparra will begin his rehab assignment for the PawSox tonight in Louisville. He also reports on Scott Williamson, who is getting ready for his return and top prospect Hanley Ramirez, who will be out for a month with a wrist injury. Jeff Horrigan’s notebook also focuses on Sox injuries as Trot Nixon looks to his next assignment and Williamson looks forward to joining the team on the upcoming road trip.

Bill Reynolds looks at the career of former Globe columnist Leigh Montville and his new book, Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero. Bob Hohler has a nice article on Terry Francona’s success in getting comfortable as the manager of the Red Sox. Dan Shaughnessy has a very cynical comparison of Manny Ramirez and Joe DiMaggio. You may want to compare that to Michael Silverman, who has a more conventional look at the red hot Red Sox slugger. Tony Massarotti compares the Red Sox to the Angels and has a look at the struggles of Shawn Green, Baltimore pitching, and the Cleveland bullpen. Gordon Edes looks at the Sox bullpen, the baseball draft, and some bad blood between the Reds and Marlins.

Michael Felger tells us that the Patriots will get Adam Vinatieri some help as he got worn down last season. Felger also explains that Tom Brady has shown no bad effects from his shoulder procedure he had this offseason. Mike Reiss relates that most NFL players need to get ready for life after football. Andre Tippett and J’Rod Cherry are two local players that have. I would be remiss if I did not comment on the Pat Kirwan article that Rich linked to yesterday. Kirwan speculated that the Patriots might have to put the franchise tag on Tom Brady in 2006. Kirwan is uninformed here. Brady is signed through 2006 and it is a bit early to be concerned right now about a free agent year that is four years away. That doesn’t stop Michael Smith though. Smith writes today about Richard Seymour’s contract status even though Seymour is also locked up through 2006. Smith also has a look at a heroic rescue attempt by former Patriot Cam Cleeland. In addition, he spoke to Corey Dillon who likes the fact that the Pats offseason training regiment is more demanding than anything he has seen before.

Charlie Pierce has a feature on an optimistic Doc Rivers. As the NBA draft approaches, Steve Bulpett believes that Celtics fans need to be patient as none of the players available will bring instant gratification.

Steve Conroy reminds us that Brian Rolston, a member of the Team USA World Cup team, had a lousy season and is a free agent.

Bill Griffith reports on the 25th birthday of ESPN as it shares its birthday with Paul Mara of Belmont. NECN’s Chris Collins makes the case for saving the marriage between Garciaparra and the Red Sox in this week’s The Improper Bostonian. But there is a curious line in there in that Collins believes that Nomar is more popular in these parts than Tom Brady. That may have been true before 2004. Things have changed lately though.

NESN has the Sox-Mariners today at 2:05 as Curt Schilling gets the start at Fenway.

Email Len

el Gran Slam

Saturday links by Rich. I will be filling for Len on Saturdays for the next few months – Len will still be doing Sundays. Please e-mail feedback to Rich@bostonsportsmedia.com

Red Sox / MLB
David Ortiz’s grand slam powered the Sox to a big win over the Mariners last night. Game stories are filed by the Globe

Short Day/Long Weekend

The A’s extracted a measure of revenge for the previous two nights, whipping the Red Sox 15-2 last night. Bob Hohler says that things were all going just a little bit too smoothly for the Sox. Jeff Horrigan writes that Fenway seemed especially small to Red Sox pitchers last night. Joe McDonald says that this was not a pleasant game to watch for Sox fans. Tom Yantz says things got so bad that David McCarty almost made his second appearance as a pitcher this season. David Borges says this one was a mismatch from the start. This was a bad outing from Bronson Arroyo. Sean McAdam (don’t you dare call him longwinded) looks at a reality check for the Sox number five starter. Rich Thompson and Joe Burris also look at the “stinker” (Herald headline) from Arroyo. Michael Silverman says that despite last night, the Sox have not given fans any real cause for worry so far this season. Joe Haggerty has a pretty in depth look at Kevin Youkilis and his approach to hitting. Nick Cafardo has an article on Pokey Reese and Nomar, and what is going to happen when Nomar finally returns. He throws it out there that Nomar could be the one to change positions. (an idea brought up by Mike Felger on the Big Show, where the idea was haughtily dismissed by his co-hosts) Cafardo doesn’t treat the idea as really viable, but he does throw it out there. He also gives us the interesting tidbit that in High School Reese was a QB and David Patten of the Patriots was one of his receivers.

Alex Speier says that if you’re looking for a bright spot from last night, it’s that even though they didn’t really get to him, the Sox hitters still made Mark Mulder work, he threw 117 pitches in just 5.2 innings. John Connolly also looks at the night for Mulder. Karen Guregian looks at Manny, Pedro and David Ortiz helping out with relief efforts with floods in the Dominican Republic. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) tackles the issue of Nomar’s slow return from his injury. He refers to the idea put forth by his “curly haired friend” that Nomar is taking his time returning as a way to make a statement. Callahan asserts that Nomar is smart to wait until he is 100% healthy before returning. He has too much on the line here to rush back and play while he’s still hurting. Jeff Jacobs looks at the Sox efforts to expand the NESN empire through Connecticut and elsewhere. Cafardo also has a look at David McCarty, ready to have gone into the game as a pitcher last night. Thompson takes a look down in the minors. Hohler’s notebook looks at the Sox production on 3-0 counts. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Kevin Millar kicking in his option for next year. McDonald’s notebook and Borges’ notebook look at the defense failing the Sox last night. Yantz’ notebook looks at the rough outing from Arroyo, and has Curt Schilling calling the police to report an erratic driver. (also reported in the Herald.)

Steve Bulpett reports on the Celtics finally officially adding Dave Wohl and Tony Brown to Doc River’s staff. He also looks at other possibilities including former Celtic Ed Pinckney. Rivers had a chat on Boston.com yesterday. Bob Ryan freely admits that he is whining about the state of the NBA today. Peter May looks at the T-Wolves looking overmatched against the Lakers.

Lenny Megliola has a number of thoughts which start out with a chat with former Celtic Bill Walton on his feelings for Boston. But his first thought after that reads:

Feel free to wonder, like a growing number of Patriots' fans are, if Rosevelt Colvin will ever be of use to the team.

I’m reading this more and more, and it bugs me. What are these people basing this on? What information do they have? Why is this number growing? All “official” comment on the matter, by the Patriots and Colvin himself have been pretty positive on this topic. He has made appearances on WEEI and FSN, and yesterday there was an article on Patriots.com by Paul Perillo where Colvin is confident in his progress. It’s my belief that if the injury was truly going to be the end of his career – or even if that was a possibility – you’d hear nothing from him or the Patriots on the matter. All this doom and gloom regarding Colvin is pure speculation, yet it’s being treated more and more like a fact. I believe he’ll be on the field for training camp. They’ll probably take it slow with him, as they should, but I think he’ll be there.

It’s started slowly, but picking up steam. Philly Sports Media Watch is up and running. The posting times are later in the day, as my man there has a few scheduling conflicts for earlier posting. The site is in it’s infant stages, if you know people around Philly, feel free to point them to the site and make suggestions for links. Philly was chosen as the next “Media Watch” site as it seems to be the closest to Boston in terms of media and coverage and passion for sports. Keep an eye on it, and spread the word.

David Scott has his Friday edition of Scott’s Shots, with a paragraph devoted to the Boston.com purchase of Dirt Dogs, and a variety of other sports and media topics. Bill Griffith looks at the decision the Celtics have to make regarding their radio future on WWZN.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Mariners at 7:00. ESPN has Pacers/Pistons game four at 8:00.

Dirt Dogs Goes Big Time

John Molori’s report from Monday that the Boston Dirt Dogs site would soon be hosted by Boston.com has been confirmed. The New York Times company has put out a press release announcing the acquisition of the site, they also announced that Steve Silva will be joining Boston.com starting June 7th as a sports producer. Congratulations to Silva for turning his “fan site” into a new career for himself.

That being said, (Thanks, Buckley) It will be interesting to observe what effect the new corporate affiliation will have on the Dirt Dogs website. After all the NY Times and Boston Globe are part owners of the Red Sox. Will the site continue to hit hard when stars struggle? Will Silva’s ability to get scoops to his site quickly improve or lessen within the confines of a legitimate news organization?

As part of the continued tangled web that is the Boston sports media scene – it seems everyone is tied to everyone else in the media somehow – something that I did not know until yesterday was that Silva is also the webmaster for the All Pro Patriots Tailgate parties website, a venture headlined by WEEI personalities Glenn Ordway and Fred Smerlas. An interesting tie, given the acrimony between WEEI and the Globe.

Perhaps these issues will be addressed in a future Boston.com online chat with Silva – an event that many will be looking forward to, for many different reasons, good and bad. I’m not sure it will actually happen. If it does, it will be heavily moderated.

Wednesday

The Red Sox pounded Tim Hudson and the A’s last night 12-2. It was a chilly night at Fenway, but Nick Cafardo looks at a “totally cool” performance by the Sox. Jeff Horrigan notes that there was no revenge for the A’s last night. Sean McAdam looks at a strong performance for both Curt Schilling and the Red Sox bats. Ken Davis says last night’s anticipated pitchers duel never materialized. David Borges says that it sure didn’t look like Tim Hudson on the mound for the A’s last night. Lenny Megliola looks at the offensive explosion by the Sox. Tony Massarotti has a look at the Sox lefties going 7-10 against Hudson last night. Dan Shaughnessy says the Sox have become unbeatable at home. Sean McAdam looks at the Sox injuries forcing them to keep pulling guys from Pawtucket. Jim Donaldson looks at the latest of the callups, Andy Dominique. Alex Speier also looks at the Sox injuries. Megliola also has a piece in which he says he has a “gut feeling” that Nomar will stay with the Sox. Paul Harber and Matt Kalman look at a big night for Mark Bellhorn.

Karen Guregian looks at a big start for Derek Lowe tonight. Jeff Sullivan has a “thoughts” column, which begins by telling us that Byung-Hyun Kim can speak English just fine. Steve Buckley (subscription only) takes up the topic of whether Curt Schilling is Hall of Fame material or not. He says his induction speech would be something worth listening to. Howard Bryant (subscription only) knocks those who would question Nomar’s desire and ability to play. He also does a mea culpa for messing up a quote in an article from two weeks ago. Not often that you see that. Horrigan and Cafardo report on Bill Mueller missing six weeks for knee surgery. Harber has a look at new A’s closer Arthur Rhodes. Kalman looks at the A’s filling in holes after losing several key players over the winter. Borges’ notebook looks at some comments by Nomar yesterday and when he might begin a rehab assignment. Davis’ notebook and Steven Krasner’s notebook look at the surgery for Mueller. Horrigan’s notebook and Cafardo’s notebook look at Nomar’s progress towards a rehab stint.

Steve Bailey looks at the Sox planning on staying at Fenway for a long time.

Michael Smith looks at the cap restructuring done by the Patriots during this offseason. Michael O’Connor looks at Mike Haynes being honored by the Sports Museum.

Peter May, still hounding the Celtics for making the playoffs, has a look at the draft lottery.

It will be interesting to see if anything comes of Eddie Andelman accusing Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie of “lining their pockets” with the proceeds of their recent “Fred’s Run” charity event. The 1510 host made the accusations during a rant on yesterday’s program in which he also went off on many of the WEEI personalities.

NESN has Red Sox/A’s at 7:00. (ESPN2 Nationally) ESPN has Pistons/Pacers at 8:30. ESPN2 has Giants/Diamondbacks at 10:00.

Busy Off Day

Nomar’s agent said last night that he expects the shortstop to stay with the Red Sox beyond this season. Bob Hohler looks at the thawing in the relationship between Arn Tellem and John Henry. Whether the words by Tellem are just agent-speak remains to be seen, but for the fans of Nomar, this has to be positive. Byung-Hyun Kim is headed back to Korea. Joe McDonald and Jeff Sullivan report on the Sox pitcher seeking treatment back home on his injured back and hip. The A’s are in town for the first time since last fall’s ALDS. Michael Silverman examines whether there are lingering bad feelings between the clubs, especially involving Derek Lowe. The stability of having Keith Foulke in the bullpen has meant a lot to the Red Sox. Jim Donaldson and Tony Massarotti look at the closer’s impact on both the Red Sox and the A’s. David Heuschkel looks at how the Sox have managed to stay on top of the division despite all the mounting injuries. Paul Kenyon looks at the noise and crowds of Fenway which make it such a special place for the Red Sox players. Karen Guregian has a look at Bronson Arroyo and his hobby of playing the guitar. Dan Shaughnessy strings together a decidedly mediocre series of “thoughts” mostly on baseball, but with some Ty Law, Stanley Cup finals and Rick Carlisle items. The Globe Red Sox notebook says that the Sox could have some interest in outfielder Raul Mondesi. I cannot envision that happening. Silverman’s notebook reports that with eight more plate appearances, Kevin Millar will trigger his option year.

Michael Felger has the news that Troy Brown has had a year extended to his contract. There appears to be some confusion on the actual finances involved in the deal. Mike Reiss has Brown taking a sizable cut in pay for this upcoming season, more than is reported by Felger, yet they both cite the NLFPA web site figures. I say if you’re even in doubt about the cap figure of a Patriot player, go to Miguel. He has the following to say about Brown’s status:

May 24, 2004 update: His 2004 salary dropped from $2,250,000 to $760,000. He is now signed through the 2005 season at a salary of $2.5 million. It appears that Brown converted part of his 2004 salary into a signing bonus as part of the deal.

Michael O’Connor looks at Patriots announcer Gil Santos being honored by The Sports Museum as part of “The Tradition”.

So is everyone pumped and jacked for the Stanley Cup Finals? Nancy Marrapese-Burrell tries to give us some introductions to these teams. James Murphy says this year’s Stanley Cup Finals is going to be a lot more exciting than the traditional media will ever understand. Mick Colageo says that the NHL knows no greater irony than having this matchup for the finals. A good piece.

By the way, new Celtics coach Doc Rivers has been doing a blog on the playoffs for NBA.com. Nothing earth shattering there, but it’s somewhat interesting to get the thoughts of your new coach.

John Molori has a very interesting edition of Media Blitz. He reports on the future of the Celtics radio broadcasts on WWZN. Seems things are so bad at 1510 that they may not be able to afford Cedric Maxwell as a analyst, Sean Grande has had his pay chopped in half, and may end up doing the broadcasts by himself. Maybe he can produce them as well, as Howie Sylvester has been fired by the station. He also lauds Steve Burton for the Ty Law interview. (!) He also has the news that the Boston Dirt Dogs website may soon be hosted by Boston.com, which hosts the Boston Globe and NESN. Very interesting. Good for Steve Silva and Dirt Dogs if this true. It could be a step toward legitimizing the genre of so-called “fan” websites. Bill Griffith looks at ESPN trying some novel approaches to advertising. John Tomase has a review of ‘Chasing Steinbrenner’ a new book from the Lowell Sun’s Rob Bradford which looks behind the scenes at the front offices of the Red Sox and Blue Jays as they chased the Yankees last summer.

NESN has Red Sox/A’s at 7:00. (ESPN2 nationally) ESPN has Flames/Lightning at 8:00. TNT has Lakers/T-Wolves at 9:00.

Sox Sweep

First of all a huge thanks to all those who made the Spring mini fund drive a rousing success. The goal was reached, and even passed by about $70. I’m always blown away by the generosity and support of the readers.

Tim Wakefield and the Red Sox finished off a three game sweep of the Blue Jays yesterday. Game stories from yesterday: Michael SilvermanDavid HeuschkelDavid BorgesSteven Krasner and Bob Hohler. Wakefield, still adjusting to being a dad, was one of the main stories of the day, generating articles about his performance. Sean McAdam wonders if Wakefield is really the ace of the Red Sox staff. Bob Ryan, John Connolly, Joe Haggerty and Jon Couture all have additional articles on the job done by the knuckleballer. David Ortiz was another big story from yesterday, Karen Guregian says the slugger shows no signs of letting up after signing his new contract. I didn’t think he would, but a little early for that angle, isn’t it Karen? Marvin Pave has more on Ortiz, who is leading the AL in doubles. Rich Thompson and Paul Harber have pieces on leadoff man Johnny Damon. Tony Massarotti says that the Sox are winning with their patience at the plate. Thompson has a look at the battery combo of Wakefield and Mirabelli. Jim Donaldson shows why he’s nothing more than Shaughnessy lite, as he submits another tired, mailed in column about the angst of Red Sox fans:

You'd think, given all that, that Sox fans would be ecstatic. That they'd be enjoying the moment.

You would think that, unless you had spent significant time in New England, and thus come to understand the tortured psyche of the true Red Sox rooter -- an angst-ridden, long-suffering soul, who, at least subconsciously, considers himself cursed and isn't really happy unless he's miserable.

Can’t a highly paid journalist at least come up with his own material? Does Shaughnessy get a cut of this? If I was Dan, I’d be demanding one. And who’s fixated on the players? I don’t know any fans that are “fretting” about it…but I know that there are stories in the paper everyday about the free agents to be…Steve Buckley (subscription only) pulls his old trick of taking what he talked about on the radio yesterday and making it a column today. This time it’s Kevin Youkilis and that he is still with the big club, and will be facing Moneyball man Billy Beane and the A’s this week. Alex Speier has an interesting piece on the defensive alignments the Sox have been using against some of the opposing team’s sluggers. Connolly looks at another strong outing for the Red Sox bullpen. Krasner’s notebook has more on new dad Wakefield. Borges’ notebook looks at the Sox success at home. Heuschkel’s notebook, Hohler’s notebook and Silverman’s notebook all look at Bill Mueller getting another opinion on his injured knee.

Not much else out there on this Monday morning. Plenty of good links on the weekend, continued thanks to Len who puts those up for me, and allows me to have a semblance of a life on Saturday and Sundays.

Shira Springer has a brief note about the Celtics lining up a few pre-draft workouts.

Mark Blaudschun has a look at BC AD Gene DeFilippo as the school prepares to make the leap to the ACC.

David Scott has a look at the Sunday night sports shows, including Steve Burton’s interview with Ty Law (transcript below) and a number of other notes from around the media world. He also has an explanation of why Bob Ryan was not on PTI last week, even though he is the usual first replacement for the show. Scott’s Shots got BSMW a mention by Sean McDonough on Friday night baseball last week, as McDonough mentioned the behind the scenes piece that Scott did on May 10th.

NESN has the Portland SeaDogs taking on Binghamton at 6:00. ESPN has Pistons/Pacers game two at 8:00. ESPN2 has Astros/Reds at 7:00.

Sports Final Steve Burton Interview with Ty Law

CBS-4 Sports Final Steve Burton Interview with Ty Law – May 23, 2004
(Thanks to BSMW reader Gina for transcribing this.)

(Preview)

Ty Law: It’s no more of a privilege to play for the Patriots than it is to play for any other team in this league.

(Intro)

Steve Burton: Let’s nip this in the bud right from the get go. Then we’ll move on. People back home, the media back home I should say, are thinking that you only talk to black reporters. The African American guys. Are you?

Ty Law: (laughing, raises his fist) Black power.

SB: Is that your intention?

TL: No, that wasn’t my intention at all. I talk to Ron Borges, I talk to Michael Felger. Unless they’re real fair skinned, I don’t think they’re black. That’s absurd. What difference does it make if it’s a black reporter or a white reporter? It’s someone doing their job.

SB(voiceover highlight reel): He’s the best cornerback in the NFL. He knows it, the Patriots know it. Here’s the problem. The Pats can’t afford to keep him. They can’t afford to let him go, either.

SB: I asked Terry Glenn this and he said “I D-I-D, did. The famous DID word. Do you still want to play for the Patriots?

TL: I love the Patriots. I love my teammates, my fans, playing for them. That’s the only team I know. I also understand that this is a business and that I can’t always have my way. I’m gonna go out there and play my heart out just like I always do. Just because I have a problem with Coach Belichick and Scott Pioli doesn’t mean I have a problem with the organization as a whole. You know, Mr. Kraft has been good to me, Mrs. Kraft has been good to me. I have a pretty good relationship with all of them. If I had my druthers, I would retire here.

SB: I’m going to read you a quote you said. “I have the utmost respect for Belichick, the best coach in the league. He’s getting paid accordingly, I want get paid accordingly as well. He just re-did his deal. I don’t know the details but I guarantee this…” I’ll let you finish the quote.

TL: He didn’t take a pay cut.

SB: What did you mean by that?

TL: Exactly what I said. He done a great job with the team, the organization. He helped bring home two championships to New England. He got a contract extension and he got a raise. I was a part of that. I helped bring those championships home too. He asked me to take a pay cut. Why should I take less when he didn’t take less?

SB: You called your boss a liar. Most people, if they do that, they get fired. How are you going to come back and work with Belichick?

TL: First of all, the reason I called him a liar..let me give you an example. He said to me because of my age, he couldn’t give me a long term deal. But when you look at Rodney Harrison, 30 years old, six year deal. Tyrone Poole, 5 year deal, 31 years old. Drew Bledsoe, a ten year deal. That’s a lie. You told me that to my face.

SB: Do you regret saying that?

TL: No, I don’t regret saying that. I’m a man and I’m going to stick by anything I say. Maybe I shouldn’t have used those exact words but where I come from, you know, a lie is a lie.

SB: You use the statement “I gotta eat”. I gotta eat? That the most ridiculous statement you could have made. What were you thinking? What did you mean by that?

TL: That was totally taken out of context. The question that was asked of me was “Ty, will you hold out? Will you go to training camp?” That’s the question that was asked of me. I was like why would I hold out? I never asked for more money. I wasn’t complaining about the money I was making currently. I said I got a family, I gotta eat. Why wouldn’t I go to work?

SB (voiceover training reel): Law has been out in L.A. working with his own personal trainer, Bob Kersee from the Jackie Joyner Kersee family. He’s been working him hard.

TL: He’s been working the hell out of me. Like always. That’s what he does. But you know, it’s not for everyone. Many people have come and many people have gone.

SB (voiceover): Law signed a seven year, 51 million dollar contract extension in 1999. He’s more than lived up to it. At age 30, he’s coming off of his best year ever.

TL: Let me put it in layman’s terms. You got a job. You’re making fifty-thousand dollars a year. Forty-thousand a year. You get employee of the year like I did. I was defensive player of the year. Your boss comes to you and says next year, we can only pay you thirty-thousand dollars. You’re gonna have a problem with that. Why? Well my contract, my salary says I’m supposed to make this. I’ve done my job. I’ve exceeded everyone’s expectations. Why should I have to make thirty-thousand dollars. See, people are looking at the number. The millions of dollars. People can’t relate. But that’s fair market value. That’s the fair market value for my services. No one tells Bill Gates he shouldn’t make any more money. Or Henry Ford to not make anymore money.

SB: You’ve brought up in the past, Belichick’s contract with the Jets. Why?

TL: Because people seem to forget about that. I’m trying to make a similarity to my situation and his. And Scott Pioli’s. They were under contract. He had three years left under his deal. He fought so hard and was so adamant about not coaching. And it wasn’t like you were taking a lower position. You were getting a raise and getting bumped up to Head Coach of the New York Jets. You signed that contract and you didn’t honor yours. But I’m being a bad guy when I’m not willing to take a pay cut but I’m willing to honor mine. Everyone forgets about Coach Belichick and his situation.

SB: When you see Belichick for the first time, face to face, what is that going to be like?

TL: Like it always is.

SB: You think so?

TL: Hey, what’s up Bill, how you doing …shake his hand and acknowledge his as a head coach trying to defend his championship.

SB: Do you think he’ll shake your hand?

TL: Why not? I mean, if you a professional, why not? I mean, we’re here now, no sense in arguing on the field. We’re trying to defend a championship.

SB: Are you a selfish player?

TL: Let me ask you the question, Steve. Then you can answer it for me. I went to Coach Belichick when this whole thing was happening with Tom Brady and his contract and I went to him, nobody told me to, between practices and training camp and said would you like me to restructure my contract so we can get Tom Brady done and move on because it was getting to be a big distraction. So I went on my own, willing to redo my contract to get Tom Brady done and that was my intention. Tom Brady. Because getting asked the questions, every day, it was like can we move on. Understand that I have the highest cap number, one of the highest cap numbers of the guys. Is that selfish?

Bullpen Domination

The Sox increased their lead to 1.5 games last night keeping the game close and leaving it up to a battle of the bullpens. Manny Ramirez hit another towering shot to tie it up at 2 in the sixth and the Sox then feasted on a lame Blue Jays bullpen. Of course, the Sox bullpen, as often is the case, shut down the Jays in the 5-2 win. Nick Cafardo, Jeff Horrigan, and Steven Krasner have game stories.

Marvin Pave tells us about the winning debut of Anastacio Martinez. Rich Thompson tells us that Pedro Martinez was very happy to have fellow Dominican Anastacio Martinez pick him up in the seventh. Thompson also has Terry Francona explaining his restraint in resisting the temptation to let Pedro stay in for one more innning. John Connolly lets us know that Mark Bellhorn had the game winning hit last night and he seems to be getting hot.

Sean McAdam explains why it makes sense for the Sox to take a wait and see approach with their big four free agents to be. With the important role the bullpen has showed in the success of this version of the Red Sox, it seems odd to me that nobody has suggested that it might make sense to find a way to keep Scott Williamson in a Red Sox uniform. Jeff Horrigan’s notebook delivers a message from Scott Williamson that if he had to pitch right now, he could. Also, Trot Nixon is tentatively scheduled to start his extended Spring training tomorrow. In his notebook, Tony Massarotti compares the 2004 Red Sox to the 2003 Yankees. He also looks at the possibility of growing frustration of many with Nomar Garciaparra