Peter May’s Flip Flop

Can a journalist feel strongly about something one day, and then a few days later write about the very same thing in an entirely different light due to personal prejudices? Apparently so.

On Monday, Peter May wrote a glowing article about high school prospect Gerald Green, whom he painted as a can’t miss prospect, and one of the top talents in the draft. Today, two days after the Boston Celtics selected that very same Gerald Green, May is posturing that the selection was a blunder and not what the Celtics should have done at all.

(Thanks to Jeff for extracting these comparisons)

May on Monday (pre-draft):

This high school class is not judged by NBA personnel people to be as deep as last year’s, from which eight prepsters were taken in the first 19 picks, the Celtics’ Al Jefferson among them. But there is little doubt that Green, a 6-foot-8-inch, out-of-the-gym leaper, is the cream of this crop. He could go as high as No. 3 — the Lakers, who own pick No. 10, lust after him and are trying to trade up — and should fall no lower than eighth under even the most bizarre draft night scenarios.

May on Thursday (post-draft):

Here’s my take on Gerald Green: He may be the next Tracy McGrady — although Chris Wallace thinks he’s closer to Rashard Lewis — but the last thing the Celtics needed in this draft was a high school kid. That’s three in three years since Danny Ainge took over, and while everyone has Al Jefferson penciled in for Springfield, remember that he didn’t even play 15 minutes a game last season.

How can a player that May himself said should go as high as 3rd and no lower than 8th in the draft, be “the last thing the Celtics needed”? How can that be?

May on Monday:

In one 72-hour stretch, he worked out for the Jazz, the Trail Blazers, and the Raptors. He also has worked out for the Hornets, Knicks, and Bobcats, and the reaction appears to be universal: Wow! “He’s by far the best athlete we’ve had in here,” said Charlotte Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff. “And he’s an athlete with skills.” New Orleans coach Byron Scott gushed, “athleticism-wise, he’s off the charts.” Celtics personnel director Leo Papile said, simply, “He’s one of those young super men, able to leap tall buildings.”

May on Thursday:

The sexy upside always seems to prevail in these circumstances, and he could be a really good player in a few years. What’s unfathomable is all the other teams passed on him — and why. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak was enthralled by the kid. No dice. The Raptors, who desperately need athleticism (see Rose, Jalen), passed on him twice. And they’re not exactly on the cusp of a title.

So Monday, May had no problem telling us the gushing that NBA people were doing on the physical gifts in Green. In fact, it’s a universal WOW. Now, today, with Green property of the Celtics, the enthusiasm is tempered considerably. His comment about the “sexy upside” seems almost sarcastic, and seems to hint that there MUST be a hidden downside reason why all these teams passed on him.

May on Monday:

At the Reebok ABCD Camp, he collected MVP honors. He also was playing AAU ball by then for the Houston Elite. Then he went back to Gulf Shores as a fifth-year high schooler (he’ll turn 20 Jan. 26) and averaged 33 points a game. He was a McDonald’s All-Star Game MVP, winning the event’s Slam Dunk title as well, and had a stellar performance in the Roundball Classic.

May on Thursday:

It’s impossible to understate the need for grown-ups on this team. With the drafting of Green, the Celtics are, well, incredibly green. They have nine players on their roster with no more than two years’ experience. (That includes both second-round picks from Tuesday’s draft.) You can promise excitement with youth. You can promise entertainment with youth. You can promise direction and, well, promise with youth. But in the NBA, you need more than that if you actually want to, you know, win. If that wasn’t the case, the Clippers would have won about eight NBA titles by now. The Clippers (and the Hawks before them) were always the best NBA team in warmups. But when the game started, it was clueless chaos.

Monday May was reciting the accomplishments of this young player at his age. Thursday, Green is not a grown up, and the Celtics are compared to the Clippers, the implication being that with all these young players, the Celtics are going to be nothing more than “clueless chaos” on the floor this season. That’s the message, right? Why else make that comparison?

However, IN THIS SAME ARTICLE, May suggests some trades of Paul Pierce, deals that he says are good because they will give the Celtics more draft picks! I thought the team was too young? Needed experienced veterans? Trade your best veteran and get some fluff and some picks…right. Makes sense to me.

May on Monday:

Green’s game has been compared to that of Tracy McGrady, himself a high schooler who went directly to the NBA and developed into an All-Star. Wallace sees Green more along the lines of another Houston area prep-to-pro player.
“He’s more in the Rashard Lewis mode,” Wallace said. “Gerald is more explosive and quick than Tracy was. But Tracy was more gifted at that age and had more of an upside. [Green] is not Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, or TMac. But he’s very, very intriguing.”

May on Thursday:

The Celtics have a chance to be decent, but the arrival of Gerald Green isn’t going to make any serious fan clear out vacation time next May and June for a deep run in the playoffs. They need to reconfigure and they need to do it before they all report to training camp in October.

May is acting here like there is a need and urgency around this area that the Celtics need to win NOW. The slant seems to be that fans are not intelligent enough to recognize that this talent is going to need time to mature, and could very well pay HUGE dividends in the future.

We also see clearly from this contrast that May has allowed his dislike for Danny Ainge and the Celtics organization to cloud his writing to the point that he could almost completely change his view on something in the course of three days. He’s clearly an eager student at the Ron Borges Institute of Journalism, (Classes held on Morrissey Blvd) where personal agendas come ahead of any sort of credibility.

Back in the “W” column

Pretty much just two groups of stories today – coverage of the Red Sox beating the Indians yesterday afternoon and articles on the Celtics draft picks and the future of the franchise.

Nick Cafardo says that all the Red Sox wanted yesterday was a routine game with no late inning relief pitching dramatics. They got their wish, as Tim Wakefield, Doug Mirabelli and company salvaged the last game of the three game series with a 5-2 victory over the Indians. Jeff Horrigan looks at Wakefield playing the role of the stopper in the win. Sean McAdam examines how Wakefield was able to thrive in the muggy soup that was Fenway Park yesterday. Jeff Goldberg looks at Wakefield’s start and Mike Timlin’s finish to the game yesterday. David Borges says that Wakefield and Mirabelli are back in their comfort zone.

A major topic of conversation around the team continues to be the bullpen, and specifically Keith Foulke. Alex Speier looks at the situation and notes that sticking with Foulke is really the only option Terry Francona has at this point. Howard Bryant (subscription only) leads off his Boston Uncommon column today with a look at Foulke and how his fastball is down so much that it has cause there to be almost no difference between it and his changeup. He’s also not getting ahead of batters as he was last year. Bryant also looks at the NBA’s future, which is looking up. Tony Massarotti wonders if Bronson Arroyo could step into that role and provide a respite for Foulke, but notes that in the long run, Foulke will be the closer for this team. Horrigan looks at Francona turning to Mike Timlin to finish out yesterday afternoon’s game. Kelsie Smith looks at Matt Mantei, who struggled initially in his outing yesterday, but explained that by saying he was trying some new mechanics.

Damian Vega looks at Tim Wakefield settling into a comfort one on the mound, where he is 3-0 in his last three starts. Ron Indrisano also has a look at the knuckleballer finding his groove. Steve Conroy looks at his battery mate, Doug Mirabelli, who has also been hot as of late. Michael Silverman has a look at former ace Pedro Martinez, who has finally moved on and has no bitterness towards the Red Sox. He is very clear to Silverman as to what he misses and what he does not miss about Boston:

"Fenway is different, without a doubt, it is different. Tradition, the history of the team, it's different. And I miss a lot of that but I don't miss the media - at all; don't miss the talk (radio) programs that they have on WEEI. Don't miss any of the negativity that was around there. Pretty much all the negatives that everybody sees, I don't miss. Everything else, you can say I miss."

He goes on to mention specifics that he misses, which include the fans, his ex-teammates (he has baseball cards of Manny and Ortiz in his Mets lockers) and other things around Boston.

Curt Schilling made his first rehab start for Pawtucket last night, and looked pretty sharp in the five innings he worked. Cliff Mehrtens has the account of the game for the Globe. Jay Edwards has Schilling feeling good after his outing and appreciative of the Red Sox fans that showed up to support him. Dave Sherwood also reports on Schilling’s start, and notes that the righthander “felt phenomenal” during the game, saying it was the first good game he’s pitched in seven months.

David Pevear and John Tomase have articles on Indians (and former Red Sox) reliever Scott Sauerbeck and how his time here in Boston back in 2003 was not pleasant for he or his family. Pevear’s article deals mostly with how Sauerbeck and his family were treated by the fans, while Tomase examines Sauerbeck’s hatred (doesn’t seem to be too strong of a word) for Red Sox trainer Chris Correnti. Massarotti has Trot Nixon enjoying the hot weather. Conroy looks at John Olerud reaching a milestone with his 1200th career RBI.

Borges’ notebook looks at how John Olerud is making the most of the opportunities that he has. McAdam’s notebook says that things will remain as they have been in the bullpen for the time being at least. Goldberg’s notebook looks at Mirabelli doing his job, both at the plate and behind it. Cafardo’s notebook says that Francona is sticking with Foulke.

Gerald Green and Wayne Gomes meet the press. (Photo from Celtics.com)

The newest Celtics met the press yesterday. Shira Springer looks at Green’s commitment to education as well as the education that he is going to receive in his first season in the league as he is taught by Doc Rivers and the rest of the Celtics coaching staff. Mark Murphy looks at Gerald Green going from being cut from his high school team to being drafted in the NBA out of high school. Carolyn Thornton says one thing is very clear about Green, he is extremely persistent. Lenny Megliola says that Green’s hard work on his game paid off with his selection by the Celtics in the first round. Michael Muldoon says that the Celtics just could not pass up on Green.

Tim Weisberg wonders if Green might provide a bit of good karma for a franchise that has been in need of it for years. Consider that not only is his last name the same as a nickname often given to the Celtics as a team, but that he was born in 1986, the year of their last title and the year in which their spiral downward began with the death of Len Bias. Bias dies in 1986, Gerald Green is born in 1986. Ok. I won’t go too far with this. It’s a very good piece by Weisberg, however. Gabe Kahn says that yesterday was a sunny day in Celtics nation.

Peter May, ever the contrarian, says that the last thing the Celtics needed was another high school player. He speculates if the selection will expedite the exit of Paul Pierce from Boston, even playing GM himself and suggesting a couple trades. He does manage to leave out any references to Tony Parker, which is a relief. On the NESN page you can see video of May explaining why the pick was a step back for the Celtics. The title? “May not crazy over Green pick”. Mike Fine says that the Celtics hope they get as lucky (or more) with this youngster as they did with last year’s top pick. Brendan McGair looks at how the NBA has come to prefer potential and raw talent over experience and accomplishment when it comes to draft picks.

Thornton also has a piece on second round pick Ryan Gomes and how being picked by the Celtics turned out to be worth the wait for him. Steve Bulpett has more on Gomes and how he is glad to being staying home in New England after his selection by the Celtics. Matt Eagan also looks at the forward from Providence, who wants to prove the Celtics right for selecting him. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the Celtics inviting Vermont forward Taylor Coppenrath to be a part of their summer league squad. He also looks at a couple other players that will be part of the squad for the Celtics. Springer’s notebook has Doc Rivers hoping that Paul Pierce will stay put.

Be sure to also check out Chad Finn’s Draft Review, in which he hands out various awards from the evening.

Down in New York, Gary Sheffield has promised to be a divisive influence on any team the Yankees might trade him to. Cool cat, that Sheff. Check out the news at the New York Sports Headlines page.

ESPN has Indians/Orioles at 7:00. TBS has Braves/Marlins at 7:00.

Celtic Green

It’s early, but many believe that Danny Ainge once again struck gold on draft night for the Boston Celtics. Good news, because it overshadowed an ugly defeat for the Red Sox. Coverage of both, as well as a few other miscellaneous items makes up today’s links.

Draft analysis is always an inexact science, and cannot really be done until a couple years after the draft. However, initial reaction to the Celtics picks from last night’s NBA draft has been extremely favorable. With their first pick, they selected 6-8 high school forward Gerald Green, who had been projected to go much higher. In fact in a profile on Green by Peter May in Monday’s Globe, the writer said the following of Green:

He could go as high as No. 3 -- the Lakers, who own pick No. 10, lust after him and are trying to trade up -- and should fall no lower than eighth under even the most bizarre draft night scenarios.

Welcome to bizarro world, as Green was there for the picking at #18. No Peter, you can’t take credit in the future for saying the Celtics would pick him. Shira Springer has a look at the selection of Green, noting that he must not have slid too much in the eyes of other teams, as Danny Ainge was deluged with calls just before he made the pick by teams looking to trade in. Steve Bulpett says that the addition of Green allows the Celtics even more flexibility with their roster. Carolyn Thornton writes that Green is the type of “player with the kind of athletic tools that with the proper guidance will pay bigger dividends down the road.” Jeff Goldberg notes that Green was born during halftime of the Patriots/Bears Super Bowl XX. With all the youth around the team, in that article Doc Rivers jokes that the Celtics could be in the hunt for the NCAA Championship. Lenny Megliola had a person who follows prep basketball for a living tell him this was a “Ridiculous pick” by the Celtics…and that’s a good thing. (One nitpick in the article…the Celtics did not draft three high school players in last year’s draft as the article states.) Christopher Price has Green surprised that he ended up with the Celtics.

Mark Murphy has Doc Rivers finding it hard not to acknowledge the comparisons to Tracy McGrady in Green. Jackie MacMullan notes how young this team will be and the need to find the correct veteran leadership. She says you’ve got to love this pick, even though she is “mildly concerned” that Green’s nickname is “G-Money”. Relax Jackie, it’s actually a rather common nickname. Howard Bryant, (subscription only) says that the drafting of Green just puts the onus even more on Paul Pierce to mature and be a leader. Peter May looks at the odd sequence of events in the draft that led to Green being available for the Celtics. In many ways you have Portland and Toronto to thank for the slide of Green. Bill Reynolds looks at how looking for “upside” has really changed the NBA draft process.

The Celtics second round was very received as well. Projected by some to be a first round selection, (some Providence media types hoped he’d go at # 18 to the Celtics) Ryan Gomes of Providence College was selected at #50. Kevin McNamara has Danny Ainge saying that Gomes being available at #50 was a bigger surprise than Green at 18. He believes Gomes has the talent to become an NBA starter. Mark Murphy agrees that Gomes is a steal at 50, and Ken Davis and Jeff Goldberg agree with that assessment as well. Kelsie Smith has a look at the Celtics’ second second-round pick, point guard Orien Greene, who has also been expected to go higher by some. Greene was plagued by injuries for part of his college career, which many felt held him back. Greene is 6-4 and a deft ball handler and good defender. The Herald notebook has Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson talking about their experiences as high school players coming into the NBA. Springer’s notebook has a few more updates on the Celtics youngsters.

Be sure to check out Scott’s Shots for observations on the draft coverage by ESPN and FSN.

The elation over the Celtics draft was a good thing, as it overshadowed an ugly loss by the Red Sox. Blowing an 8-5 lead, and with Keith Foulke giving up 5 earned runs on 1 1/3 innings of work, the Red Sox dropped their second straight to Cleveland. Tony Massarotti suggests that the Red Sox might need to find themselves another closer. Chris Snow notes that it wasn’t all Foulke’s fault, he merely found himself on the mound at the critical point of the game after ” a series of mistakes and curious decisions.” Steven Krasner looks at another disappointing performance for the Red Sox closer. David Heuschkel and David Borges round up the game stories from a painful evening at Fenway Park.

Nick Cafardo has a further look at Foulke, who he writes, hasn’t endeared himself to anyone this season. Karen Guregian says that the fans have lost patience in Foulke and that the front office many follow suit soon. Joe Haggerty also has an account of Foulke’s struggles last night. Several of Foulke’s comments are sure to be talk radio and whiner line fodder for today. How many callers pretending to be “Johnny from Burger King” do you think will be on the Big Show whiner line this afternoon? John Connolly looks at Travis Hafner, who proved to be the major foil to Foulke with his ninth inning grand slam off the closer. That home run made Hafner 6-10 in the two games this week.

Alex Speier wonders if last night’s starter for the Red Sox, Wade Miller, could be the one headed for the bullpen upon the return of Curt Schilling instead of Bronson Arroyo. Guregian also looks at Boston fans heckling Aaron Boone, I would say the booing is more out of obligation rather than hate, as the events of 2004 have gone a long way towards healing the wounds inflicted by Boone in 2003. Gerry Callahan, (subscription only) writes that this Red Sox team really doesn’t have any pressing needs (perhaps written prior to last night’s bullpen implosion) and that Theo Epstein might have the luxury of doing nothing at the trading deadline. Massarotti has a brief update on Schilling, who is scheduled to pitch tonight in Charlotte for the PawSox. Connolly has a look at Kevin Youkilis, who is willing to fill in wherever he is needed for Terry Francona.

Snow’s notebook looks at Schilling getting top billing for his start tonight, a “return” for the pitcher to Charlotte. Krasner’s notebook has more on Schilling. Massarotti’s notebook has Johnny Damon sticking up for Foulke. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at a rough month of June for Wade Miller. Borges’ notebook has Jason Varitek stating that it would be an honor for him and his team should he be elected the starting catcher for the American League in the All Star game.

Get more news on the NBA draft as well as stories on the Yankees bullpen also blowing a game over on the New York Sports Headlines page.

Glen Farley rehashes Peter King’s SI article about Ty Law, and how the former Patriot is still out looking for a home in the NFL. Donovan Slack reports on Russian President Vladimir Putin walking off with Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl Ring. The Herald also has the story.

James Murphy has Bruins defenseman Nick Boynton hoping to return to Boston and start playing hockey again very soon. When exactly IS the NHL going to announce a new labor deal?

Bonnie DeSimone has an article in the Globe on Lance Armstrong as he prepares to attempt to win his 7th…and final…Tour De France.

NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 1:00 this afternoon.(ESPN Nationally) ESPN has Yankees/Orioles at 7:00. ESPN2 has Giants/Diamondbacks at 10:00.

NBA Draft Tuesday

A busy Tuesday morning as we’ve got coverage of the Red Sox ending their winning ways, lots of analysis on tonight’s NBA draft and a couple other media related items.

The Red Sox hot streak came to a crashing halt last night in their return to Fenway as they were blanked by Kevin Millwood and the Cleveland Indians, 7-0. Chris Snow says that Eric Wedge and the Indians should be pleased with the symmetry achieved with this win. Sean McAdam notes that you can’t win if you don’t score, while Tony Massarotti goes a step further, telling us that when the Red Sox score at all…they win. Jeff Goldberg says that is was shoddy defense along with the lack of offense that did in the Red Sox last night. David Borges says that the Red Sox finally proved human after all.

Lenny Megliola looks at a forgettable night at Fenway, all was festive around the park…until the game started. Dan Shaughnessy tells us that the good news is that now the Red Sox can start new routines and wash the uniforms before starting their next winning streak. Karen Guregian writes that Bronson Arroyo is likely headed to the bullpen once Curt Shilling returns, and it has nothing to do with his shaky outing last night. Rich Thompson looks at how Kevin Millwood shut down the Red Sox bats last night. Kelsie Smith takes a look at the defensive lapses which did in the Red Sox last night. Alex Speier has a look at a historic run by Manny Ramirez over the last couple weeks. Massarotti has a brief note on Ramirez being named the AL Player of the week. Ron Chimelis writes that the Red Sox need to do what it takes to keep Johnny Damon, overpaying him if necessary.

Kelsie Smith also has a piece on super-prospect Hanley Ramirez coming down to visit Fenway and the Red Sox on his off day. David Ortiz played the role of bodyguard to the youngster. Guregian also has a piece on the shortstop making a short stop at Fenway. Borges’ notebook also looks at Ramirez coming down from Portland on his off day to hang out at Fenway. Snow’s notebook has Edgar Renteria expressing a willingness to learn a new position if it becomes necessary to make room for Ramirez. McAdam’s notebook updates us on the status of talks with first round pick Jacoby Ellsbury. Massarotti’s notebook looks at the shoddy defense by the Red Sox. Goldberg’s notebook looks at Aaron Boone’s return to Fenway.

Plenty of NBA Draft articles this morning. Jackie MacMullan asserts that the Celtics have a lot of holes to fill, and they will need to go well beyond this draft to try to fill them. Tim Weisberg says that Danny Ainge has done his best work on draft night, so we should be interested to see what goes down tonight. Mark Murphy looks at options for the Celtics this evening. Kevin McNamara provides draft thumbnails at each position. Mock Drafts are served up by Steve Bulpett, Peter May and Gabe Kahn.

Shira Springer looks at a pair of Europeans who might be of interest to the Celtics. Michael Muldoon also says a foreign player is a possibility, but in addition, he lays out some other possible picks for the Celtics. Brendan McGair looks at Rhode Island native T.J. Sorrentine from the University of Vermont, who hopes to hear his name called at some point tonight. Ken Davis looks at North Carolina’s four top prospects, all of whom are expected to go in the first round. Davis also takes a look at UConn’s Charlie Villanueva and where he might end up.

You can get more coverage of the NBA draft, as well as reports on George Steinbrenner calling his brain trust to Tampa for an emergency session on fixing his Yankees on the New York Sports News page.

Bill Griffith’s Tuesday SportView looks at the draft coverage tonight and also several other media items from the weekend. John Molori’s Media Blitz looks at John Tomase, the Celtics move to WRKO, and Russ Conway. Molori describes Tomase’s piece last week on Ramirez as an “assault”, but applauds him for having the “gumption” to pen the piece. He compares him favorably to Ron Borges, who “has been similarly and, at times, unfairly bashed for criticizing the ultra-popular Patriots.” Great stuff on Conway, though.

Bob Lobel update: The Inside Track has Lobel saying that ADD, not alcohol, causes his on-air mistakes and slurring.

Peter King has a good interview with Ty Law, who says he’s got no bitter feelings towards the Patriots or Bill Belichick, whom he says he has a good relationship with.

NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 7:00. ESPN has NBA Draft coverage starting at 7:00. FSN will break in to programming when the Celtics make their first round selection to provide reaction to the pick.

06.27.05 Afternoon

A few Celtics articles for the afternoon, but first, David Scott saw John Tomase on NECN last night and wasn’t impressed with the performance.

Jon Duke has the final part of the BSMW Full Court Press Draft Preview, where he breaks down the likely candidates for the Celtics first round selection at #18. Mike Fine has a good draft article, looking at what Ainge might be likely to do, which is just about anything. Jim Fenton also has a look at what might be on the Celtics draft board tomorrow night. Fine has a second article looking at the holes needed to be filled on the Celtics roster. Bill Simmons looks at something everyone will be looking for in the draft: TUP.

Rob Bradford has an interesting piece on the Lowell Spinners players having their turn for being tested for steroids. Some intriguing quotes from Spinners manager Luis Alicea:

“Today we had our drug test, but was it supervised? No. I could have easily (urinated) for another guy,” said Lowell manager Luis Alicea, whose club underwent the same test on two occasions last season. “It was no different than last year except last year we had a guy there looking. This year there was nobody looking. I was like, ‘Wow!'”

He also goes on to talk about his time with the Red Sox when Jose Canseco was a teammate of his. He says Canseco talked openly about what he was taking during that time.

This week, Cold Hard Football Facts has decided to preview the NFL Preview Magazines which are starting to appear on newsstands. In the first review, they check out The Sporting News.

Doug Kennedy in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review looks at the new NFL Broadcasting schedule that will go into place in 2006, with NBC taking over the Sunday Night Football game and ESPN the Monday Night Football game. He has the following tidbit, which I’m not sure what to make of:

Another plus for NBC is that no one, including ESPN, will be able to air any NFL highlights until midnight or after on Sunday. “So people will be tuning into NBC for highlights,” said McCarley.

Does this mean local programs, like newscasts and shows such as Sports Final will not be able to show highlights under after midnight? It probably means that NBC will have some sort of highlights show similar to what ESPN current does with “NFL Primetime”.

Road Sweep

The Red Hot Red Sox continue their winnings ways, the Celtics prepare for the draft tomorrow night, and the Boston.com image gets tarnished once again. All in a Monday morning edition of BSMW.

The Red Sox polished off a perfect 6-0 road trip with a 12-8 win in Philadelphia over the Phillies yesterday afternoon. In the process, Manny Ramirez hit his 19th career grand slam, tying him for second place all time in that category, behind only Lou Gehrig’s 23. The Red Sox did have an 8-1 lead in the fifth inning, but the Phillies came roaring back to tie the game before the Red Sox put them away with four more runs. Gordon Edes looks at the afternoon for David Wells and company in steamy Philadelphia. Jeff Horrigan looks at the club finishing up their “fantastic voyage” with the win. Steven Krasner looks at the Red Sox red-hot offense, which allows them the luxury of never having to panic, even when the other team roars back to tie the game. David Heuschkel notes that Wells “aggravated the plantar fasciitis in his right foot” yesterday, but there is no work on if it will affect his next start. David Borges looks at the “litany of impressive Sox streaks” which continued yesterday.

Lenny Megliola wonders if these Red Sox are simply too good to be true. On the other hand, Michael Silverman cautions that it is way too early to be getting cocky. Dan Shaughnessy beats up on Mark Bellhorn despite the second baseman’s 3-4 performance yesterday which included a home run and three RBI. Shaughnessy’s column from yesterday, which proclaimed that the Red Sox would be a runaway winner in the AL East even made it onto the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast, where Joe Morgan said he talked to Derek Jeter and Gary Sheffield about it. Horrigan also has a brief sidebar on Mark Bellhorn and his hot afternoon. Silverman looks at David Wells having two sore spots yesterday, his foot and the home plate umpire. John Tomase looks at how the Red Sox are suddenly the beasts of the AL East. We’ll have more on Tomase and his appearance on NECN’s Sports Late Night last night later on today.

Horrigan’s notebook looks at Manny’s chase of the Iron Horse. Borges’ notebook looks at an eventful day for David Wells in Philly. Edes’ notebook has Wells giving a few thoughts on the struggling Yankees. Krasner’s notebook looks at an extremely impressive week for Manny Ramirez, one which should garner him player of the week honors. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Bill Mueller, who has been consistent and clutch this season, making it hard for the Red Sox not to re-sign him.

The Yankees rallied to beat the Mets and avoid being swept at home. Get those stories and more on the NBA draft over at the New York Sports News page.

Steve Bulpett reports on Danny Ainge making a weekend trip to watch a lottery pick work out, and also pretty much closing the door on a return to Boston for Gary Payton. The veteran point guard had been on Fox Sports BDSSP last week and indicated that his number one choice would be to return to the Celtics. Peter May has a look at the top high school prospect in the draft, Gerald Green. According to May in the article, this will be the last year in which high school players will be able to be drafted. Ken Davis looks at the centers available in the draft. Zach Rocha looks at the choice facing the Milwaukee Bucks at the top of the draft, taking either Marvin Williams or Andrew Bogut.

John Powers has an article in the Globe this morning where he examines the idea of “cost certainty” in professional sports, an idea that doesn’t seem realistic to many. He quotes Marvin Miller as saying that slavery is a form of cost certainty. Powers looks at the topic in light of the night NBA labor deal and with the NHL still trying to come up with a new agreement.

Frank Dell’Apa looks at the Revolution having to deal with losing a few of their top players to National team duty for most of the month of July. Gus Martins looks at one of those players, Steve Ralston, who scored the game winner for the Revs on Saturday night. Martins has a brief note on the substitions by Revs coach Steve Nicol.

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention in passing the incident which happened on Friday afternoon over at Boston.com. The Dirt Dogs page ran a headline “Welcome Back Tito” and under the headline was a black and white photo, presumably from the 1950’s, of a black man surrounded by a mob of white men, one of whom was kicking him in the chest. Underneath the photo was the caption “Philly Fans Greet Francona as He Returns Home”. The photo was only up for a short time before it was yanked, and then later on that night the following statement was issued on the site by Boston.com management:

Note to users: Earlier today, Boston Dirt Dogs used a photo on this page that was offensive and inappropriate. There was no malicious intent behind the posting. We removed the photo immediately, and we apologize to any users who saw it during the brief time it was on the site.

I also received copies of emails from several readers who had written in to the Boston.com general manager to protest the use of the photo, and they all received the exact same response, which was very similar to the above statement. The story was significant enough to be mentioned on the FOX25 newscast that night.

Katie Johnston Chase looks at WEEI yanking the offensive DNA home testing kit advertisement off their airwaves. Good move by station management, that ad, along with the Jack Diamond ads – a lawyer who promises to help you beat a drunk driving charge – did not do the station any favors in terms of positive image. But one suggestion…how about listening to the ads before you run them on the station?

NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 7:00.

Red Sox win fifth straight

(Saturday links by Bryan: bryan @ bostonsportsmedia.com)

The Red Sox continued their winning ways in the City of Brotherly Love last night. We have your Red Sox links and catch up with the bloggers on an otherwise quiet Saturday morning.

Tim Wakefield blanked the Phillies for eight innings, and Manny Ramirez, David
Ortiz, and Doug Mirabelli all went deep for the Red Sox in an 8-0 victory (box
score
) that moved the Red Sox into first place in the AL East.
Gordon
Edes
, Jeff
Horrigan
, Steven
Krasner
, David
Heuschkel
, and David
Borges
deliver the game stories.

Michael
Silverman
and Dan
Shaughnessy
have columns on Terry Francona’s gracious return to
Philadelphia, a city where he made his share of enemies during a largely unsuccessful
managerial tenure (285-363 over four seasons).

Michael
Silverman
has a short article on Wakefield, who has allowed just
one run in his last three starts, a span covering 22 innings.

Borges writes that last night’s offensive performance by Boston would have
made Earl Weaver proud, as the Sox clubbed a pair of three-run
homers
.

The Sox notebooks by Krasner,
Edes
and, and Borges
lead with the story of an 84-pitch simulated start by Curt Schilling before
last night’s game. Schilling will make a rehab start for Pawtucket next Wednesday,
and Horrigan
writes that the righthander is anxious to “go and pitch.” Horrigan’s notebook
focuses on the big night – at the plate and in the field – by Ramirez, as well
as Johnny Damon’s return to the lineup.

In the Globe, Jackie
MacMullan
has a good column on the end of the eight-month tour
of the Commonwealth for the Red Sox World Series trophy, which reached its 351st
city/town in Massachusetts yesterday.

A leftover from yesterday: ProJo sports editor Art
Martone
returns to the winter of 1998, when Mo Vaughn signed with
the Angels and the Red Sox lost out on free-agent bids for Bernie Williams and
Albert Belle. Martone does this in the context of questioning the wisdom of
handing out long-term, big-money contracts, and he wonders how the Sox will
handle the cases of Johnny Damon this coming offseason, and David Ortiz in two
years. You can also hear Martone reading his column and see an amusing Vaughn
photo in Art’s
Audio Notebook
.

The Yankees weren’t Pedro Martinez’s daddies last night, as he beat them in
a Mets uniform at Yankee Stadium. See the coverage on the
New York Sports News
page.

NBA Finals and draft
Peter
May
looks back at the effort of Tim Duncan in Thursday night’s
Game 7, where the Spurs captured their third NBA title in seven years with a
win over the Pistons.

The Herald and Globe both have coverage of the upcoming NBA draft today.

Steve Bulpett
and Shira
Springer
have words from Danny Ainge, whose Celtics
are scheduled to make their first selection at No. 18. Mark
Murphy
also previews the top power forwards available for teams
in the draft.

If you missed the link earlier in the week, Jon Duke’s latest Full
Court Press
entry looks at some of the big men that the Celtics
could select with the 18th pick.

Around the web
It’s always interesting to check out the bloggers’ take on the Red
Sox and the Boston media.

The Singapore
Sox Fan
finds this quote from Pedro Martinez:

"I attract more attention from you guys and I don't understand why," he said. "To be honest, I dislike you all. I wish I could just live my
life and be a regular player like any other. ... I don't like being the icon."

Hart Brachen has a comical look – literally – at Manny Ramirez and John
Tomase
‘s follow-up column in his Soxaholix
blog. The site features a daily comic strip “set in a generic office/cube
farm inhabited by a collection of die-hard Red Sox fans who individually personify
a stereotyped and/or caricatured fan personality type.” Funny stuff.

Bill Mahoney takes a poke at Dan Shaughnessy in his parody blog, Call
of the Green Monster
.

On the air
Boston
Radio Watch
has more on WRKO becoming the new radio home of the
Boston Celtics. It notes that the station’s night signal west of Boston is poor,
and that an affiliate will need to be found.

Fox 25 and WEEI have the Red Sox-Phillies today at 1:20.

Onto the City of Brotherly Love

We’ve got Red Sox stories from the off day yesterday as they prepare to take on the Phillies tonight in their new ballpark. The NBA Finals concluded last night with the Spurs winning their third championship. There are a few more NBA draft preview articles, a look at the Celtics move to WRKO, and David Scott weighs in on John Tomase.

With the Red Sox off last night, there is a mixed bag of baseball articles this morning. Adam Kilgore has a feature on John Olerud, who has a daughter with tri-some 2p, 5p-, a unique condition which has caused Olerud and his wife to have to provide almost constant care for five years now. A moving story. Michael Silverman has Johnny Damon saying that if he doesn’t re-sign with the Red Sox this offseason, he may try to convince some of his teammates here who are also free agents to join him wherever he ends up. David Heuschkel has a look at Damon, who is having a fantastic season despite an assortment of nagging injuries and the prospect of being a free agent at the end of the season. Steven Krasner has a look at Mark Bellhorn, who many view as the weak link in the Red Sox lineup. Terry Francona views him as a strength for the things he can do for the team. Dan Shaughnessy looks at the origins of the word “walkoff”, a term which Dennis Eckersley claims to have originated.

Alex Speier has a piece on Jason Varitek, and how 2003 was in many ways a changing point in his career; he found his stroke at the plate, and really entered the prime of his playing days. Yesterday, Mark Shanahan in the Globe had a piece on Eric Van, a “statistical savant” who has gained fame on first USENET and now Sons of Sam Horn for his analysis and projections. Van is now employed by the Red Sox on a stats-based project. I’ve been familiar with Van’s stuff going back to about 1997 on USENET, and he truly is amazing with numbers. Jeff Horrigan looks at Terry Francona’s return to Philadelphia this weekend, a place that did not treat him well while he was there, yet you’ll never hear him complain about it. Chris Snow’s notebook has more on Francona’s return to Philly. Snow also has a minor league notebook in which he looks at Pawtucket first baseman Roberto Petagine, who has an “out” in his contract for next Thursday which he could possibly exercise.

Peter May looks at the San Antonio Spurs winning their third title since 1999 with a 81-74 win over the Detroit Pistons in game 7 of the NBA finals last night. May’s notebook is again about Larry Brown and Gregg Popovich and their 30 year friendship. Mark Murphy says that any number of good players could be available to the Celtics at pick #18 in next week’s draft, as much about this draft is uncertain. Shira Springer looks at the contingent from the University of North Carolina that will be available in this draft, four likely first round selections in the group. Murphy also previews the small forwards available in this draft. Don’t forget to also review Part III of the BSMW Full Court Press Draft Preview, which focuses on big men that might be available at pick number 18.

The Celtics move to WRKO on the radio dial is the subject of a few articles this morning. Lenny Megliola provides a brief overview of the move. Tim Weisberg has a longer look at the deal, and what it means for WWZN, WEEI and Celtics fans. It is also the main subject of Bill Griffith’s Friday Sportview column. Griffith provides some analysis of what options were available to the Celtics, the positives of the deal, and some additional factors.

Tom E Curran yesterday looked at the Patriots signing of Chad Morton.

Jeff Jacobs files sort of a “random thoughts” column, looking at items from around the world of sports and New England. Nick Tavares lists out eight things to be thankful for when Hockey finally does return. I still can’t believe the NBA came to a labor agreement before the NHL did, they even spotted hockey a year.

David Scott looks at the NBA Finals, John Tomase’s venture into the spotlight and Pete Sheppard’s move to the Shores of Hull, among other things, in this Friday edition of Scott’s Shots.

Get more stories on the NBA Championship, the Yankees’ struggles and Pedro Martinez returning to the House that Ruth built, taking the mound tonight at The Stadium, over at the New York Sports News page.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Phillies at 7:00. ESPN has Mets/Yankees at 7:00. (Pedro vs. Yankees) TBS has Braves/Orioles at 7:30.

Tomase Responds

I apologize for the lack of an update this morning.

John Tomase has responded to the feedback he has gotten on his article the other day on Manny Ramirez. He still doesn’t come off very well. I thought and still think John is better than this. Rather than address the issues raised, most of the time he tries to make light of the subject, showing how witty he is, or mocking the emailer for using “Multiple acronyms” in their correspondence (essentially calling the person a geek). He ends with the predictable “maybe the Red Sox should hire me as a motivational speaker” line.

This has been a sad week. I hope it gets better from here on out for Tomase. He shouldn’t be known as the guy who ripped Manny and lost all credibility in the process.

It’s one thing to critique Manny, he is certainly not immune to that. There are things that you can knock the guy for. But this article was over the top, and then was poorly followed up on by the bizarro Big Show appearance and then this print “response”, to which I have no words to describe. I can only shake my head.

You’re better than this, Tomase.

Be sure to check out Part III of the BSMW Full Court Press draft preview, this time looking at the big men that could be available when the Celtics pick at number 18 comes around.

Ortiz Shines Again

The Red Sox cruised in Cleveland last night. John Tomase squirmed on the Big Show yesterday. The NBA announced a new labor deal, and the Patriots sign another punt returner. These are just a few of the things covered this morning.

After barely surviving in Cleveland on Monday night, the Red Sox made it look easy last night against the Indians, winning 9-2 behind a strong performance from Bronson Arroyo and two homers from David Ortiz. Steven Krasner says that this is one of the few times during the season where a team can make it look that easy. David Heuschkel notes that Arroyo used his changeup last night, in fact more than he has the entire season. David Borges looks at the performance for Arroyo last night, noting that the righthander appears to be back in form. Jeff Horrigan looks at the multi-talented Ortiz, big league slugger, jilted waiter. Chris Snow’s game story tells us that Red Sox owner John Henry has had Ortiz in his fantasy baseball league since 1998.

Nick Cafardo says that Mike Timlin wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of being a closer again. Nick being Nick, he notes that Timlin’s contract is up at the end of the year and with pitching at a premium these days some team might want to use him as closer. Michael Silverman looks at Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz getting hot just as summer comes, which is very good news for the Red Sox. Silverman also looks at this year’s Ricky Gutierrez, Ramon Vazquez, who is also playing a little less than he thought he would be.

Snow’s notebook looks at the recent hot streak by Manny Ramirez, who is hitting .363 in his last 20 games. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the Red Sox setting a record as being the team going the furthest into the season without having a game go into extra innings. Krasner’s notebook looks at Manny Ramirez, who continues to heat up and hit the ball hard. Heuschkel’s notebook adds that since Manny and Ortiz have heated up together, that coincides with the Red Sox latest hot streak. We’ve heard a lot from Jay Payton lately, Borges’ notebook takes a look at the player traded here with him, Ramon Vazquez and why we haven’t heard much if anything about him.

John Tomase appeared on the Big Show yesterday to discuss his Manny article from the other day. It probably would have been better for him had he not done so. I’ve always held Tomase in high regard as he’s put out a lot of quality articles over the last few years. I just don’t get what he was thinking in publishing this one, AND going on the radio to talk about it. Here’s a few extracts from the interview on WEEI.

After Glenn Ordway had mentioned that we’ve kind of come to accept and even embrace Manny for who he is, this was Tomase’s answer:

Yeah and that’s what I have an issue with. Why is that acceptable? That’s like saying Jeffery Dahmer’s had people in his freezer for a while now, that’s what he does.

Nice, compare Manny with a cannibalistic serial killer. Then came the topic of Manny having missed four games out of 70, and Tomase’s assertion that he looks for ways to get out of games. He and Steve Burton went back and forth on this one:

SB: Hold on John. I’ve backed you up with the numbers in your first paragraph but now you’re taking a shot at a guy who’s missed two out of seventy games on his own merit.

JT: That’s not the point. The point is he’s taken himself out of three other games and there’s a pattern of…

SB: Out of seventy games?? Is he kidding? Maybe it’s me.

JT: He’s been hit in the leg twice. Trot Nixon keeps playing on a knee that needs surgery. Johnny Damon should be on the DL.

Pete Sheppard: John that was a pretty good thump he took the other night. Everybody said it, even Remy.

JT: Everyone says that and yet he’s back two days later.

SB: Forget about him being hit. John have you ever taken a day off in the last seventy days? Have you taken two days off in the last seventy days?

JT: That is so irrelevant that it’s not even worth it.

SB: How is that irrelevant John? That’s his job! Have you taken two days off in the last seventy days?

JT: Ok, you got me. I’ve taken a few days off the last seventy days.

SB: But now you’re ripping Manny for taking two.

JT: Well I can’t battle with logic. You’ve got me.

On where Tomase is hearing that the Red Sox are upset with Manny:

GO: Are you hearing it from players?

JT: That would be an affirmative.

GO: Are you hearing it from management people?

JT: I’m hearing it from in and out of uniform people associated with the team. I’m not going to out anybody.

GO: Nobody’s asking you to but out of uniform could be the concessionaire! We’re talking about management people, correct?

JT: Actually, I should talk to the concessionaire.

SB: So some of Manny’s teammates are coming to you and telling you he’s dogging it?

JT: They don’t come to me. They have to be asked.

PS: On the record they’re telling you this?

JT: On the record, they would be in the paper.

On why Manny has slumped this season:

JT: So then the question is: why? Why is a guy who is as phenomenally talented as he is struggling?

SB: John guys go through slumps all the time. Remember Jeter last year? Jeter went on a two month slump.

GO: Do you think he cares?

JT: Jeter is not part of the discussion here.

SB: I’m making it a part of the discussion.

JT: Manny played like a guy who didn’t care.

SB: John, I’m making Jeter a part of the discussion. When Jeter went on a two month slump, do you think he cared?

JT: I do think he cared.

SB: So here’s my question: why did Jeter go on a two month slump?

JT: Hey, sometimes slumps happen to players.

SB: Then you just answered your own question.

JT: But there are different reasons for slumps. That’s my point. What was the reason for Manny’s slump?

SB: Well I don’t know. What was the reason for Jeter’s?

JT: I just gave you a theory for Manny’s slump. He was swinging along early in the count, he was not swinging at fastballs, he was getting himself out. That to me suggests disinterest.

SB: So if Jeter did the same thing, would that suggest disinterest?

JT: That’s so irrelevant.

Later on, Tomase made this claim:

All you need to know about that is last year when, remember when he got his citizenship and ran out onto the field holding the American flag, he was in the clubhouse the entire time before the game saying ‘send me to Iraq. Somebody send me to Iraq.’ It was the same day that Nick Berg got his head cut off and nobody was making jokes about Iraq then but Manny being in his own world.

He concluded his call with:

Yeah well, I guess we’ve now answered the question Dale Arnold had of who the hell is John Tomase. I wasn’t wrong on Nomar and I may not be wrong on Manny.

That last reference is to a column written by Tomase back on September 15th, 2002. Steve Buckley had a similar column days later.

Peter May looks at the Detroit Pistons forcing a game seven with a 95-86 over the Spurs last night in San Antonio. The big news in the league was of course the announcement that the league and the players have come to agreement on a new six year collective bargaining agreement. Bob Ryan looks at the situation and is glad that the agreement is in place, but towards the end of the article he wonders if David Stern has perhaps stayed on too long and should consider moving on. May has a look at a few of the key points of the agreement. Mark Murphy reports on the deal being reached just in the nick of time. Also in the Herald, Steve Bulpett perhaps only half tongue-in-cheek, expresses his disappointment that he won’t be able to witness the “theater of the absurd” with rich people saying dumb things all summer.

Murphy notes that the timing of this agreement has worked out well for the Celtics, who would not have been able to get Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins had this deal previously been in place. Murphy today also previews the shooting guards available in the draft, noting that this year, this usually stocked position is somewhat thin in prospects. Jonathan Comey says that things were better in the old days for the NBA, but that the league is in pretty good shape right now, and unlike the NHL, will not be missing any games.

Mike Reiss reports on the Patriots signing punt returner Chad Morton to a one year contract, it appears he is insurance should Tim Dwight be delayed in returning from offseason surgery.

Stephen Harris writes that when the NHL work stoppage does finally come to an end, the Bruins are going to be in great shape to quickly build a contender.

Howard Bryant (subscription only) has his Boston Uncommon column today in which he looks at the Yankees announcement about their new stadium and how the Red Sox should be grateful that George Steinbrenner is doing this with private funds. He makes an interesting point however, that this will help reduce the Yankees revenue sharing dues, because MLB rules allow clubs to deduct stadium expenses from revenue sharing. He then looks at college coaches who make millions off their players, such as Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, and how that seems patently unfair. He concludes the column by noting that MLB is watching the NHL labor talks closely, because it things work out as expected, they will be the only major league without a salary cap.

After trailing the Devil Rays 10-2 in a start made by Randy Johnson, the Yankees scored 13 times in the eight inning to come back and win. That, plus more stories on the NBA labor agreement are all at the New York Sports News page.

Jeff Jacobs has a good column on Arnold Palmer this morning, looking at the King and what he has meant for golf.

NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 7:00. ESPN has Mets/Phillies at 7:00. ESPN2 has Rangers/Angels at 10:00.