08.31.04 Afternoon

A few afternoon links while we await Sox/Angels tonight…

Joe Haggerty and Rob Bradford made the trip up to Lowell last night to see David McCarty and Kevin Youkilis face some live pitching in preparation for their return to the big league roster. Mike Fine says the emergence of Ramiro Mendoza and acquisitions of Curtis Leskanic, Terry Adams and Mike Myers have made a huge difference in the Red Sox bullpen. Christopher Young looks at how sometimes rooting interests can get clouded by a variety of factors.

Rich Maclone of the CapeNews.net website has the story of Manny Ramirez bringing his 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS to Falmouth Auto Works for custom work. Here’s another photo on their website of Manny.

More on Rosevelt Colvin…Glen Farley has the Patriots linebacker expressing confidence that he’ll be able to regain the form he displayed with the Chicago Bears. Tom King says that Colvin is just about back to feeling normal out there on the football field. Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders has the 2004 DVOA Projections, and the Patriots come in at number one. A surprise is that the Jets project to number four.

Mike Loftus looks at the World Cup of Hockey.

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Down the stretch they come…

It all begins tonight. We get an extra day of September baseball with the Angels coming into town to face Curt Schilling and the Red Sox to battle for the Wild Card lead. Bob Hohler looks at the Angels from the perspective of Dave Roberts as well as some of the other Red Sox. A minor correction in the article, Hohler states that the Angels have won 10 in a row coming in, they’ve won nine of their last 10. Art Martone says that the Sox have taken their game to a higher level, going 20-8 since The Trade. John Tomase suggests that even though it’s still August, the Sox could be nine days away from October. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) lists off how things need to be for the Sox in September, how they can avoid derailing the train that is gaining momentum. They need to keep Manny happy, play the defensive guys, keep Pedro quiet about his contract and get Dale Sveum some guidelines. Dennis and Callahan continued this topic on WEEI this morning, trying to put together the postseason roster and worrying about who (Millar, Roberts, Reese, Bellhorn) is going to be complaining about not playing and ruining the entire month for the team.

Mike Fine says there is no time to waste for the Red Sox. Tony Massarotti says that this Red Sox starting rotation might be the best in team history. David Heuschkel looks at the experienced Red Sox setup men, Mike Timlin and Alan Embree, and how they’ll both be here next season after reaching option incentives on the same day. Steve Buckley (subscription only) has a rather pointless column, talking about September callups of the past, and he too takes a crack at putting together the postseason roster. I love it how these guys always say the fans get too far ahead of themselves in anointing players and putting teams in the playoffs prematurely. Hohler’s notebook details how Mark Bellhorn has more than made up for the loss of Todd Walker. Massarotti’s brief notebook looks at who might get added to the rosters when they are expanded.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal today titled “A Baseball Owner Is Beaned by the Market.” (subscription only) Red Sox owner John W. Henry seeks to reassure Red Sox fans that even though his fund is in a slump, it won’t effect his running of the Red Sox:

Unlike with most firms, there is a group on Wall Street with no connection to John Henry & Co. that nonetheless is pulling hard for Mr. Henry's firm to turn around: die-hard Red Sox fans. Some of these people worry that continued losses might make Mr. Henry less likely to open his wallet to help the Red Sox add new, expensive players. "If he loses 20% of his assets I can't fathom how that would be a positive for the Red Sox," says Kevin Caliendo, a lifelong Red Sox fan who manages health-care stocks for Citigroup.

Mr. Caliendo knows the Red Sox are run by Mr. Henry as a separate business from his investment firm. And Mr. Henry notes the Red Sox are profitable and he says the Red Sox fans needn't worry about his investment returns.

Rosevelt Colvin is still a hot topic of interest down in Foxboro. Many media types in the offseason speculated that he would never play again. He’s made it back on the field, and in the last two games played as much as anybody in an effort to get himself back into form. Michael Parente and Chris Kennedy take a look at the progress of the 27 year old linebacker, who hopes to be taking down quarterbacks on a regular basis once again. Howard Ulman also has an AP article on Colvin. Alan Greenberg looks at the depleted receiver corps for the Patriots, who have Troy Brown and David Givens dinged up, which gives some opportunities to the young tight ends to pick up some slack. Adam Kilgore has a look at Stephen Neal, a piece that’s been done before, but is usually interesting nonetheless. Funny line from Matt Light, saying he’s learned not to try to wrestle Neal.

Tom Brady looked sharp on Saturday night and his presence back there inspires a lot of confidence, both in his teammates and the fans. Rich Thompson has Corey Dillon putting the moniker of “The Truth” on Brady. (Don’t tell Paul Pierce.) Kevin McNamara says that despite all that he has accomplished already in his career, Brady still hopes to improve on some things as he enters his fifth season in the NFL. Eric McHugh looks at the impressive play of Benjamin Watson during the preseason. He suggests that Watson just may have been worth waiting through that holdout for. Glen Farley says the Patriots really have no time to waste before getting into their next preseason game, Thursday night. Christopher Price says the Patriots still have some fine tuning to do on Thursday night. Kilgore’s notebook looks at Brown’s injury. Thompson’s notebook has more on Colvin. McNamara’s notebook looks ahead at the roster cuts. Parente’s notebook says the Jaguars will provide the Patriots with another test. McHugh’s notebook looks at the absence of Ty Law and Rohan Davey on Saturday night.

Steve Conroy says Joe Thornton might have a hard time cracking the lineup for the Canadian World Cup team.

Dave Scott looks at the Sunday Night shows, rate the Olympic coverage for the local press, has some interesting observation on Internet sports coverage and more in today’s Scott’s Shots. Bill Griffith wraps up the Olympic coverage as well, and has some notes from the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radiothon.

NESN has Red Sox/Angels at 7:00. ESPN2 will have the World Cup of Hockey, USA vs Canada at 7:00.

No Complaints

An on-air Boston media member’s nightmare. An off day with nothing really screaming to be harped on and beaten to death. How boring. Unless of course they want to try to make the case that the Patriots really are on a two game losing streak in the preseason. That’s ridiculous of course, as the Patriots who count beat the Panthers that count. The Red Sox keep rolling on, but today might be a day of reflection and to gather oneself for the very critical next 10 days. Sean McAdam says that the days of easy living are over for the Red Sox, who now go head to head with the teams they’re competing for a playoff berth with. Lenny Megliola notes that the Sox are playing as well as they have the entire year, and the timing couldn’t be better. Gordon Edes says that John W. Henry knew that his team was very capable of putting together the run that it has, and that it was only a matter of time before it would do so.

The Sox kept things going with a 6-1 win over the Tigers that kept them up by one and half games in the Wild Card standings and that brought them to within 4 1/2 games of the Yankees in the AL East. Game stories are provided by Bob HohlerTony MassarottiSteven KrasnerDavid HeuschkelRon Chimelis and David Borges. Yesterday, Bill Burt took a look at the Red Sox and all the other contenders for the Wild Card chase. Alex Speier looks at the red hot Red Sox. Steve Britt says Tim Wakefield and the rest of the rotation at peaking at just the right time. Chimelis says the Sox playing better since getting rid of Nomar is no coincidence. Not a bad column other than the opening line which says Red Sox fans are obsessed with the curse. Bob Halloran, on the other hand, says that the Nomar effect is way overrated. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says Wakefield’s last start against the Tigers in which he gave up six home runs was actually the start of a nice run for the knuckleballer. Christopher L Gasper looks at Wakefield being able to go eight strong innings against the Tigers yesterday. Thompson has Curt Schilling talking about the improved Red Sox defense.

Hohler’s notebook looks at Manny returning to the lineup yesterday after taking a nasty foul ball of his knee on Friday night. Massarotti’s notebook looks at Curtis Leskanic getting a bit of a chemical burn on his arm yesterday. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Manny and has an update on Byung-Hyun Kim. Chimelis’ notebook looks at the Sox suddenly tearing it up on the basepaths. Borges’ notebook looks at the critical upcoming stretch of schedule for the Red Sox.

Alan Greenberg notes that there was much more good than bad for the Patriots to take out of Saturday night’s preseason game with the Panthers. Ian M Clark says that the Patriots put alot of things together on Saturday night. Michael Parente says that Saturday night wasn’t about who won or lost, but how the Pats played the game, and they played it pretty well. Tom Curran suggests that the Patriots are slowly coming together and getting things in order for the season opener a week from Thursday. Joe Burris says that the Patriots have to begin trimming the roster, starting tomorrow.

Free of annoying spin, (unlike his NFL Notes yesterday, which have turned into little more than an Ex-Patriot update column) Nick Cafardo says that the Panthers brought out the intensity in the Patriots, and perhaps some nastiness and dirty play as well. Michael Felger looks at the multiple options that rookie Ben Watson brings to the Patriots offense, all of which were on display Saturday night. Dan Pires looks at a number of things of interest from Saturday night. Chris Kennedy says that the Patriots are still trying to get sharp in a number of areas before the opener. Kevin Mannix says that Corey Dillon is starting to come into form nicely for the Patriots. Del Jones previews the Dolphins in part three of his look at the AFC East. Be sure to also check out the BSMW exclusive football column – Patriots Rear View.

Felger’s notebook has Bill Belichick being very direct in his response about an inquiry regarding Ty Law’s unavailability for the game Saturday. Curran’s notebook also pursues this topic and looks at Steve Smith, still trash talking. Parente’s notebook looks at a solid performance from Tom Brady on Saturday night.

Dave Scott apologizes for his absence today, but promises an edition of Scott’s Shots for tomorrow.

ESPN2 will have Cubs/Expos at 7:00. ABC will have Titans/Cowboys preseason action at 8:00.