Feb. 19, 2018
Why The Olympics Simply Continue to Entertain
The Olympics are the perfect disposable sports TV. ... The amazement in the moment never wanes. I’m seven again. We could all use more of that.

Feb. 7, 2018
Win or Lose, Patriots' Super Bowls Have Been Classics
Another thing about the nature of these games, though? They all feel like lost opportunities. ... That, however, is the ultimate first-world fandom problem. Doesn’t necessarily make the wind come back into your gut any faster, but it remains a really nice problem to have.

Jan. 29, 2018
'Two Bills' Way Better Than One
A preview of ESPN's latest 30-for-30, which wouldn't look out of place if ESPN shifted gears and only programmed things of direct interest to me.

Jan. 22, 2018
MLB Players Union Getting What it Deserves
The union wants to believe it's being treated unfairly as the hot stove barely simmers. I'd like to point out they had a chance to see this coming and to stop it, and instead chose to worry about chefs.

Jan. 15, 2018
We're Awash in Sporting Greatness
"To some degree, we all want to believe we're living in the best era. That we're getting to see the best ever ply their trades — in every aspect, of course, but certainly in sports. We're doing pretty well, aren't we?" And I'm not merely talking about New Englanders.

Jan. 8, 2018
People Will Believe What They Want To
When a story like Seth Wickersham's ESPN piece on the Patriots is refuted much as it's reported, we're left at readers to judge anonymous sources vs. anonymous sources. And thus, we're left with almost nothing.

Dec. 26, 2017
Red Sox Staring at 2009 In The Mirror
Memories of the failed Mark Teixeira pursuit, how much easier being in a bad division that year made coping with it, and how history might just repeat itself.

Dec. 18, 2017
It's Fun to Play 'What If' With Adrian Gonzalez
As he enters the journeyman phase, still playing under the megadeal he signed with the Red Sox, it's a moment to wonder if it was all worth it.

Dec. 11, 2017
Don't Panic, Red Sox Fans
It's been a trying couple of days for me on a professional level, but much like the Stanton-to-Yankees situation as it relates to the Red Sox, things will probably be OK once we calm down, assess and execute proper countermeasures.

Dec. 4, 2017
Fans Can't Steer The Ship
Eli Manning has driven me insane for most of his career, but him being benched for Geno Smith? I'm mad at the Giants, but like most fans, there's not a whole lot I can do about it.

Nov. 20, 2017
On Stanton's Opt-Out and the Comeback-Kid Celtics
One more big reason not to want Giancarlo Stanton, and a handful of little reasons that the Celtics winning streak is ridiculous.

Nov. 13, 2017
Stanton Isn't Worth Price for Red Sox
Why would a team that’s close, and that has concrete needs elsewhere, spend prospects and financial flexibility for a superstar that only sorta fits when they could better target resources elsewhere for better value?

Nov. 7, 2017
Red Sox Banking on Cora's Connection to the Clubhouse
Four big-market teams hired four first-time MLB managers this winter. Four teams chasing that missing something, because where they are, something’s just not quite right. Some guys fit better in certain spots, though, as was clear at Alex Cora's unveiling.

Oct. 30, 2017
Can Baseball Sustain Record Statistics?
The only runs getting scored in this World Series are via home runs. Home runs are rampant in the game. How long can that keep happening with them holding the same captivating sway?

Oct. 23, 2017
Red Sox Make Bold Move By Picking Alex Cora
It's a bold play to put your neck out on something untested, no matter how good the bones look, no matter how smart you look to the experts in the moment. Dave Dombrowski’s been doing it with these Red Sox for more than two years, and he did again on Sunday afternoon.

Oct. 16, 2017
Cora Should Be The Call
Let's talk the managerial search for a minute. The Red Sox interviewed Houston bench coach Alex Cora on Sunday, the off day of the American League Championship Series. They should hire him. OK, that probably wasn’t a minute.

Oct. 12, 2017
'It's Time For A Change'
Reaction to the firing of John Farrell via a 34-minute presser in which perhaps eight interesting words were said.

Oct. 10, 2017
Dombrowski's Job Just Beginning After Sox Squander Late Lead
BOSTON -- It was a four-hour game that didn’t have you looking at your watch, the sort that makes knowing there are no more until spring sting all the more. Ultimately, though, the conclusion was simple. As with the rest of the series, the Red Sox got their best in position, and their best failed them.

Oct. 5, 2017
Why The Red Sox Will Win (vs. the Astros)
It'd be an upset, but not a stretch. Part of our Red Sox playoff preview, with Nick Friar writing the counterpoint.

Oct. 2, 2017
Sox Surely Made Some of Us Eat Crow
It really is different in Boston, with its constant need to question and second guess, often for attention and filling time, and the hyper focus on the day-to-day, often losing that seasons are long-term things as much about personality balance as picking the right reliever. Is it better this way? I suppose that depends.

Sept. 25, 2017
Red Sox Primed for October
After months of needless difficulty, of off-the-field stuff obscuring what’s between the lines, of running into outs and squandering games, the 2017 Red Sox played like the 2017 Red Sox we expected.

Sept. 19, 2017
Which Red Sox Will Be on Playoff Roster?
Basically five spots left each for pitchers and position players, and my thoughts on them mght surprise you. (Or not. I don't know you that well.)

Sept. 11, 2017
Football Braces For Change
Football participation is down in Massachusetts, down to its lowest point in at least a decade. The sport's not going extinct, though, so what happens next?

Sept. 4, 2017
Enjoy Our Labor Day PGA Stop, Because Things Can Change
We celebrate so many “only in Boston” events that, honestly, lack punch. Our Labor Day turn in golf’s big spotlight almost never has. Even if you’ve enjoyed it for years now, enjoy it doubly so today and in 2018, after which ... who knows?

Aug. 28, 2017
Mayweather-McGregor Was Better Than Expected
If you paid $100, you left happier than you did the night you paid it for the Manny Pacquiao fight. If you saw it for $30 at a drive-in, $10 at a buddy’s house or $0 on the dark web, all the better. Sometimes, that's all that matters.

Aug. 21, 2017
Win Over Yankees Was Great, but Could Have Been Even Better
This was, in so many ways, a game for the sales brochure. And yet, among all the things it was an advertisement for, the most memorable might be the pitch clock.

Aug. 15, 2017
Benintendi, Judge in Rookie of the Year Battle
There's no question Aaron Judge has a big lead on the preseason favorite, but this could get interesting depending on the voting bloc at year's end.

Aug. 8, 2017
Sox Struggles Aren't As Bad As They Seem
Know how many positions are outperforming their 2016 counterparts offensively by OPS this year? Two. And yet, the plan — replace David Ortiz’s bat with pitching — has worked.

July 31, 2017
Beltre Had Greatest 'One and Done' Season in Red Sox History
I quantified with numbers the thing I already believed to be true, then got to reminisce about Nick Esasky's 1989. That's a full column.

July 24, 2017
Personality Just Start of What These Sox Lack
The 2013 Red Sox that thrilled us were more than the sum of their parts. The 2017 Red Sox are not, for whatever reason, so change must be coming.

July 17, 2017
'Hard-Luck' Porcello Needs to Start Pitching Better
Let’s not overstate things. His ground-ball rate is down from last year. Hard contact is well up. Porcello has allowed 156 hits in 20 starts. The second-most in baseball is 142.

July 10, 2017
Red Sox, All-Star Game Need Tweaks, Not Fixes
Baseball's is the only All-Star affair that even remotely resembles a genuine game, but it does not come close to showing the game at its best. Let those best play, and leave the lineup card Tetris in the dust.

July 4, 2017
Red Sox Are Good, But Being Good Isn't Good Enough
The 2017 Red Sox are good, but not especially interesting. It wasn't always that way, and the way we today rank our four teams regionally wasn't either.

June 26, 2017
Sports Thinking Needs Some Smart Change
Coming to you live from a Rhode Island cottage we rented with friends for the wedding of other friends, musing on the ways our sports would be different if we started them over from scratch.

June 19, 2017
TV is Blocking My View
When Fox's graphics-heavy coverage of the U.S. Open coincides with one of the great ideas in broadcasting history, the NESN sidebar, we ask simply: Does it enhance, or does it distract?

June 12, 2017
Best Thing For Price is to Just Pitch
One of life’s great lessons is not to make things harder than they have to be. From the moment David Price bolted from his last minor-league rehab without even a platitude, Price has almost pathologically made things harder than they have to be.

June 5, 2017
Talented Red Sox Due for Breakout
Two months of Red Sox baseball this season have me entirely unsure exactly what this team is, but there’s too much talent on this team for a breakout not to be coming.

May 29, 2017
Having David Price Back Key for Red Sox
I don’t like David Price getting installed back in the majors so soon, but I get it. They need him, if not now, soon.

May 22, 2017
Eduardo Rodriguez Stepping Up for Red Sox
Drew Pomeranz isn't pitching with much confidence, but there's another guy in the latter half of the rotation who is.

May 15, 2017
Can The Red Sox Solve Third Base?
On great teams being able to survive one bad position, old arenas (as we say goodbye to White Hart Lane) and hot pink pinstripes.

May 8, 2017
Farrell Makes Right Decision With Kimbrel
Farrell lucked into looking like a genius a little bit, using his closer outside the ninth inning, but he looked it all the same. Plus some Machado and NBA dominance thoughts.

May 1, 2017
Will Xander Bogaerts End Up Like Nomar?
As in elsewhere once free agency closes in. Not necessarily with a torn groin.

April 24, 2017
The Two Biggest Red Sox Surprises So Far
Mitch Moreland and Marco Hernandez. Sorry. I spoiled the surprise.

April 10, 2017
Questionable Decisions in Sox Early Going
"He's not 100 percent after the amount of vomiting that went on yesterday" is an early quote of the year, plus thoughts on Craig Kimbrel's usage and Pawtucket's goofy continuation of a "let's make every ballpark Fenway" plan.

April 3, 2017
Red Sox Preview: Not Necessarily Better Than Last Year
The Red Sox of April 3, 2017, are worse than the Red Sox of Oct. 10, 2016. ... I'm also pretty sure that doesn't change that this is a playoff team. That this is a team whose place among the World Series betting favorites is well earned.

April 2, 2017
Red Sox Preview: Don't Sleep on The Yankees
I have higher hopes, or perhpas more accurately a higher potential ceiling, for the Yankees than even their broadcasters, apparently.

March 27, 2017
Teams and Players Change, But Memories Remain
The Whalers announced they were leaving Hartford 20 years ago Sunday, and thus, a column about remembering the names that mattered to you (in all sports) long ago.

March 20, 2017
World Baseball Classic Action is Pleasant Surprise
I think we’re best to enjoy this year's World Baseball Classic for what it has been: Found money. The rare pleasant surprise in a world full of overhyped, overblown events.

March 13, 2017
Confident Umpires Can Improve Baseball's Pace Issues
That is what this sport needs. Not pitch clocks. Not no-pitch walks or extra-inning gimmicks. Empower the next Doug Harvey. And take the banal stuff, the stuff technology can handle, off his plate to help it happen.

March 6, 2017
Red Sox Will Need 10 Pitchers
In the wake of the David Price injury news, some numbers. Namely, "the past five seasons, MLB teams averaged 10.5 starting pitchers used per season. ... Those rotations averaged 946.2 innings."

Feb. 27, 2017
David Ortiz Could Do Anything and We'd Love It
A happier spin on Donald Trump boasting about shooting people on Fifth Avenue. (Actually not about that at all! It's a look at how iconic teams and players moved on after retirement. Brooks Robinson, Willie Stargell, Al Kaline, Tony Gwynn, etc.)

Feb. 20, 2017
Three Things That Could Go Wrong for Red Sox This Season
I’m cautiously optimistic in the winter’s rebuild like everyone else, but consider Chris Sale's transition, the leadership void and the potential for disaster in the bullpen.

Feb. 13, 2017
Javier Lopez Hung On Forever (and Other Thoughts)
Discussing everyone's favorite lefty specialist after his retirement, plus what I like about the "start with baserunners on in extra innings" proposal.

Feb. 6, 2017
New England Sports Nation is Plenty's 'Villain’
Written pre-Super Bowl, I note "The lack of buzz these past two weeks because our region has no real invective with Atlanta got me thinking, though. Man, we’re hated a lot of different places, because we’ve ruined a ton of people’s days."

Jan. 30, 2017
Professional Sports Are Getting Offensive
We spent last week talking about the Atlanta defense. ... Sunday’s game, however, will be about offense. Much like every other sport seems to be at the moment.

Jan. 24, 2017
406 A Number Falcons’ Defense is Looking Past
Jon talks football, specifically the underrated Atlanta defense and Super Bowl LI. Everyone to your storm cellars.

Jan. 16, 2017
Why Fans Don't Care About Morality in Sports
Big-time sports aren’t idle fun, not when this kind of money is involved. But that doesn’t change what draws people to them, and it’s high time we remembered that when hectoring fans about how to watch them.

Jan. 9, 2017
Curt Schilling is Overselling The Drama
Schilling The Salesman, the talk-radio host, can’t sell just coming up short because he took too long to put it together, too long to maximize his talent. Not the way he can sell. There’s money in martyrdom.

Jan. 2, 2017
Boston Sports Scene Still Lacks True Revolution
The Revs play in a football stadium they failed last season to fill even 30 percent of. The book on the team is they don’t spend money and don't innovate. And it’s a shame.

Dec. 28, 2016
Will the Red Sox regret dumping Clay Buchholz?
Thoughts on Mr. Buchholz, Edwin Encarnacion's terrible trip through free agency, and there being more to Curt Schilling's Hall of Fame problems than meets the eye.

Dec. 19, 2016
Red Sox Enjoying Sustained Excellence Under John Henry
What if, on Dec. 20, 2001, John Harrington and the Red Sox limited partners chose Charles Dolan over John Henry? Reaction would've been warmer, for one, stupid as that makes plenty look.

Dec. 12, 2016
Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Rising Again
Had this feeling immediately after Chris Sale, before Aroldis Chapman. Would've seemed a little more prescient had it been published before the latter.

Dec. 5, 2016
Analyzing Baseball's CBA, Making Sense of College Football Playoffs
Probably should've just gone the whole way with the first note, given "How much bleeping money did the MLBPA just leave on the table?!" is a valid full-piece argument.

Nov. 28, 2016
Losing Teaches Lessons
Ralph Branca, one of the greatest losers any of us will ever see.

Nov. 21, 2016
Rick Porcello's Cy Young Could Come Back to Haunt
In the sense that it's gonna be right up there with award votes involving the Red Sox that look kinda bonkers down the road.

Nov. 14, 2016
Sports Can Provide Needed Connection
The first post-election column had to feature some sort of reference to politics, but it's not so hard to find a tie to sports in there.

Nov. 7, 2016
Cubs Journey Feels Familiar to Red Sox Fans
As baseball Octobers go, this one is tough to top.

Nov. 1, 2016
Is Terry Francona Ushering In New Way to Play Baseball?
"You can't build the Empire State Building out of Legos," and other things that are much less memorable than what Jeff Brantley said about Tito back in 2000.

Oct. 24, 2016
Red Sox Connected to World Series
BREAKING NEWS: There are a lot of former Red Sox still playing baseball at this point in time. Here are 10 of them, ranked, because that's how the Internet does things.

Oct. 17, 2016
Not Letting Sorrow Blot Out Great Postseason
A super brief Red Sox postmortem, because the rest of the playoffs have been bonkers good. Plus, Mike Hazen, Torey Lovullo, and spare me the Jon Lester-Andrew Miller historical rehash.

Oct. 12, 2016
Goodbye Papi: Saying Farewell to the Man Who Brought Hope Back
BOSTON -- Everyone wrote farewells to David Ortiz. Heck, I wrote about four through the years. This one, though, is the best one. (I am not biased in any way.)

Oct. 10, 2016
Rainout Lets Red Sox Hit Reset Button
BOSTON -- After Game 3 went washout, giving Boston a tomorrow (and a win, in a sense) without having to put its season on the line.

Oct. 9, 2016
Red Sox Have to Find Themselves
BOSTON -- "The Red Sox, who for a decade were never unprepared for the big stage, who always executed when it counted, who we could be assured would keep their heads no matter the spot, ceased to be long ago. It took time to build that. Maybe this is that time."

Oct. 6, 2016
ALDS Preview: Francona, Farrell's Bullpen Management Could Decide Series
There's no pick in here, but the pick was Indians in 4. Close enough.

Oct. 3, 2016
Meaningful Baseball in October is David Ortiz's Final Gift to Boston
BOSTON -- A report from Game No. 162, in a year that will finally again have a Game No. 163.

Sept. 26, 2016
Enjoy The 2016 Red Sox
"Get too deep in thought and it can be easy to forget the point. Four of the last five summers here have provided terrible baseball, unlikable teams, Patriots autumns. OK, we're not shaking the last one. Few teams, however, have been as enjoyable to watch beginning to end as the 2016 Red Sox."

Sept. 5, 2016
Red Sox On Path to Playoffs
The rotating carousel at third base has never gotten the play the one at shortstop did, and a genuine first guess of John Farrell's bullpen usage.

Aug. 29, 2016
Time For Sox to Strike, Plus Some Tiger Thoughts
A deep dive into the PGA Tour money list on the 20th anniversary of Tiger's pro coming-out party, on top of the usual Red Sox silliness.

Aug. 22, 2016
Wins That Slipped Away Will Loom Large
Too many late losses and given-away games when the division race is going to come down to the wire.

Aug. 15, 2016
Why Signing Jonathan Papelbon is Not a Bad Idea
If handled correctly, low risk and short leash. Plus, he's no bigger of a jerk than Hope Solo is.

Aug. 8, 2016
Yankees Getting Ready to Break Out, Be Relevant Again
One of many in a series on this theme, as it turns out.

Aug. 2, 2016
After Non-Waiver Deadline, Sox Projected to Make Playoffs
Trade deadline redux, noting Baseball Prospectus had Cleveland, Texas, Toronto the Red Sox and Baltimore as your likely five AL playoff teams.

July 25, 2016
Red Sox Squander Opportunity in Split with Minnesota
Two tough losses in the face of a brutal schedule coming in, plus thoughts on MLB relief usage and whether this generation lacks a Ken Griffey Jr.

July 17, 2016
Let's Enjoy It as Sox Go All-In
Four trades in eight days speak to a wide-open American League, and that there's something to be won out there right now.

July 10, 2016
Why's Everyone Trying to Fix the All-Star Game?
Think about the NBA All-Star Game? Think about the Pro Bowl. Then tell me baseball has a problem. (Plus: A tepid defense of "this time, it counts!")

July 3, 2016
Is It Time to Let Clay Buchholz Go?
Clay Buchholz has been here longer than you probably think, and hasn't been as good. So, how will we remember him?

June 20, 2016
Thoughts of a Trade, Title
Some musings on the Mets as a trade partner, plus Cleveland and memories of 2007

June 13, 2016
There's More to Life Than Sports & Tragedy
Trying to spin the never-ending rumors about David Ortiz into some thoughts about the Orlando shootings. There were some things I had to get off my chest, and I had a space in the sports section to do it.

June 8, 2016
4.25 Could Be Magic Number for Sox Pitchers
Thoughts on where the Red Sox starters might end up for the year, more stadium inanity in Atlanta and remembering the Nick Punto trade.

May 29, 2016
Red Sox Need to Beef it Up Against AL East
A little bit on division play, a little bit on the company the young core is keeping, a little bit on Hanley's baserunning.

May 22, 2016
On Keeping JBJ and Watching Ortiz Assault Old-Age Record Books
The first of hopefully many post-Noah columns, with Jackie Bradley Jr. in the midst of a 27-game hitting streak.

May 8, 2016
On Orsillo, Price and Bartolo
Featuring casual abuse of Steve Lyons, an interesting thought about looking strikeouts and "one of the greatest moments in the history of baseball."

May 1, 2016
Confidence, Sinkers Key to Porcello's Early-Season Success
A thought about pitchers and confidence as I deep dive into the numbers for the rolling Rick Porcello and the wrecked Clay Buchholz. (People liked this one.)

April 24, 2016
How Instant Replay Became An Unfixable Mess, and How to Fix It
Year of the Balk! I was among those who failed to realize that being "right" matters a lot less than we thought. (Inspired by hockey, though baseball certainly hasn't helped.)

April 17, 2016
Red Sox Living in the Short Term
A column built around numbers, as opposed to all my other columns built around numbers.

April 11, 2016
Don't Blow Sox Blown Opportunity Out of Perspective
BOSTON -- Live from Opening Day, where it was a day without pomp and, ultimately, a feel-good win from the new big-money pitchers.

April 10, 2016
Mixed Feelings Entering Monday's Home Opener
One week in, the 2016 Red Sox are clearly resilient and perhaps a whole lot more.

April 3, 2016
Farrell, Sox and a Lack of Slack
My 2016 season preview focuses on Farrell's short leash perhaps pushing against Boston's longstanding philosophy to protect its future.

March 27, 2016
There's A Little Red Sox in Just About Everyone
Fun, fun piece. As we begin the 2016 season, 29 of the 30 teams have a tangible connection to the Olde Towne Team, which is of course the only way we're capable of relating to baseball.

March 20, 2016
Farrell Facing Key Lineup Decisions
On possibly platooning Pablo Sandoval, making more peace with Jon Lester's departure and Adam LaRoche's Family Matters. (Not as good as actual Family Matters.)

March 14, 2016
Patriots, Red Sox Contrast is Striking
"The Red Sox always 'pay attention.' The Patriots mostly 'ignore.' I don't think that has much to do with their relative sucesses and failures, but the juxtaposition is striking."

March 6, 2016
Poor Defense at First Base Not a Major Concern
As we worry about Hanley Ramirez, you will be shocked to learn the number of recent playoff teams who had pretty bad defensive first basemen. Shocked, I say.

Feb. 28, 2016
The Rise of Specialization
Given defensive shifts and platoons and one-inning relievers and everything else, how much longer is the everyday player really going to be a thing?

Feb. 21, 2016
Embracing The Optimism That Comes With Spring Training
John Farrell's willingness to pull the rip cord faster is a major shift, and should be treated as such.

Feb. 14, 2016
Annual Tease by Red Sox Awaits
I tab Hanley Ramirez, Rick Porcello and Carson Smith as critical pieces should the 2016 Red Sox be any good. Because predictions are totally something I'm awesome at.

Feb. 8, 2016
Broncos' Defense Leads to 'Super' Dud
The Super Bowl reaction column is one of the great "well, I don't have to worry about a topic this week" staples for the weekly columnist.

Jan. 31, 2016
Logical As It Would Be, I Can't Root for Cam
"Honestly, (Peyton Manning)'s a lot like me — in his 30s, a spirited pizza enthusiast and unable to throw a football all that well."

Jan. 24, 2016
Expanding Designated Hitter a 'Logical Step'
Football grew past two-way players. NASCAR grew past beach racing. Hockey's growing past fighting. Baseball needs to grow past viewing the DH as a sideshow.

Jan. 17, 2016
Weekend Discoveries about NFL, Stephen Cooper and the AL East
To review, it wasn't a dirty hit, Wareham's NFLer is remembered for his dirtiness and the AL East appears it'll be dirty ... in a good way!

Jan. 11, 2016
Watching Ken Griffey Jr. Play Well Worth It
"There are many things that 14-year-old Jon Couture believed that 35-year-old Jon Couture finds very silly. However, there is at least one thing we remain consistent on. Chicken pox was not a valid reason to miss seeing Ken Griffey Jr. play baseball."

Jan. 3, 2016
If He's Gone, Tom Coughlin Left Worthwhile Legacy
Twelve years in New York, 12 years helming my team to a couple titles. Pardon me if I want to salute that, even deep in Patriots country.

Dec. 28, 2015
'What If's Not Enough to Retire 25
The great Tony Conigliaro debate, not one I have much trouble picking a side on.

Dec. 22, 2015
Leagues Should Make All-Star Games More Fun
The story of John Scott, Rory Fitzpatrick and the NHL screwing up something it looked like they were getting right.

Dec. 15, 2015
NFL's Most Consistent Skill is Dumb Luck
The amazement at our relative calmness at two really crappy teams making the NFL playoffs in one year.

Dec. 7, 2015
Price Contract Will Pay Off, Somehow
Have I mentioned I love the David Price contract because of the opt-out yet? Because I really love that opt-out.

Nov. 30, 2015
Any Price Apparently Right for Pitching-Starved Red Sox
Some UMass football attendance numbers after a David Price/pitching market thought. Because why not?

Nov. 23, 2015
Regulation Makes Daily Fantasy Safer Bet
Wherein I teach you something about the Montana Lottery and why it's important.

Nov. 16, 2015
Teams Like The Red Sox Need To Take Risks
Also known as "The Reaction to the Craig Kimbrel Trade" column.

Nov. 10, 2015
On Grantland, Deadspin and Search for High-Minded Sports Writing
And we begin with a WWE reference because I'm mad with power.

Nov. 2, 2015
Why It's Not Always Smart to Feast on Free Agency
Hard to miss that the 2014-15 baseball offseason was a minefield. To the point we shouldn't forget entering 2015-16.

Oct. 26, 2015
Shorter Season Better for Major League Baseball
And other thoughts about the sport's revival in Kansas City and John Farrell.

Oct. 19, 2015
Easy to Root for Any of MLB's Final Four
Even the Mets, for goodness sake. THE METS.

Oct. 12, 2015
Fair is Fair Game These Days
The NL Wild Card game was the latest reminder that the debate between fair and unfair is never as easy as it seems.

Oct. 5, 2015
Recent Baseball History Kind to Strong Finishers
Like, say, a Red Sox team that closed 28-20.

Sept. 21, 2015
Will 2015 Be Greatest MLB Playoffs Ever?
The bad-blood dripping signs certainly look good, even if the Red Sox aren't 17 miles near the thing.

Sept. 14, 2015
David Ortiz Changed Everything
On the occasion of his 500th home run, a not-quite-storybook salute to Boston's not-quite-storybook superstar.

Sept. 7, 2015
Will Sox Bid Adieu to OF?
The Jackie Bradley Jr.-Mookie Betts-Rusney Castillo outfield could be both really great and really fleeting.

Aug. 31, 2015
On Orsillo's Final Days, PawSox Move and Joe Kelly
It's a thoughts column, which is rare for me. Far more rare than my writing the words "NESN's general incompetence."

Aug. 25, 2015
Sox In Rush To Move Forward With Dombrowski
"Dave Dombrowski is what panic looks like."

Aug. 17, 2015
Farrell's Cancer Announcement Not About 'Perspective'
Soapbox time, in my lifelong campaign for people to stop being so trite and cavalier with words.

Aug. 4, 2015
Don't Give Up on 2016 Just Yet
After burying the guy's moves last week, campaigning for Ben Cherington to get one more winter to fix this.

July 27, 2015
Sox Are Stuck in Neutral
Running through Ben Cherington's biggest multi-year contracts as GM makes it pretty easy to see what's going wrong here.

July 17, 2015
Midseason Report, Part 2: How The Red Sox Can Make The Playoffs
If this works out, and it probably won't, here's how it'll probably go down.

July 15, 2015
Midseason Report, Part 1: Hope, Faith
"There is promise here, but it's promise that may not fully manifest itself until 2016."

July 6, 2015
Where Did You Go, Mike Napoli?
What's the problem with the beloved first baseman? Fastballs, mostly.

June 29, 2015
Star Treatment: Who's The Red Sox Choice?
With Dustin Pedroia hurt, I look to four guys ... and really think it can be just one of two.

June 22, 2015
Let's Do Something About MLB Fan Safety
The NHL got it right more than a decade ago by putting up nets. Hopefully baseball can get there without someone having to die first.

June 15, 2015
In Defense of John Farrell
The numbers show why it's rarely worth it to fire a manager mid-season, even if he deserves it. (Which I don't think John Farrell does.)

June 8, 2015
Red Sox Can Pounce on Wide-Open AL East
Games within the division represent opportunity for a team that, well, doesn't really deserve it.

June 3, 2015
Struggling Red Sox Have a Lot to Prove
The Red Sox are the Mets, and that's not a good thing.

May 25, 2015
Big Papi Shows Signs of Decline
Annually, the most dangerous column to write in New England sports.

May 18, 2015
Red Sox Offense Shockingly Shoddy
What to make of baseball's potential best offense being unable to hit.

May 11, 2015
Patriots Fans, What Would Pedro Have Done?
Marrying the new Pedro autobiography with the story of the day. Well, the month. Well, many months.

May 4, 2015
Mayweather-Pacquiao Was The Fight We All Deserved
The latest in my "Just Put Your Wallet Away" series.

April 27, 2015
Holt Hot Off The Bench
The latest in a line of utility player heroes that'll get you some nice fan cred down the road. Well, unless he's something more ...

April 20, 2015
Different Ramirez, Same Results
BOSTON -- Hanley's sure got a lot of Manny in him. Let's see if we're smart enough to enjoy it this time while we can, OK?

April 14, 2015
A Moment To Savor
BOSTON -- If great defense usually beats great offense -- as Super Bowl 25 taught us -- what the heck happened at the home opener?

April 6, 2015
Prognosticators Looking at Sox with Rose-Colored Glasses
The 2015 Sox might not be as good as people think they'll be, but I look forward to watching them try to get there.

March 30, 2015
A Trip Around the Major Leagues
You wouldn't think you could cover 30 teams in a column the size of mine. You're right about that.

March 24, 2015
Koji Uehara: Gamble, or Better With Age?
Two years to a 40-year-old closer feels like one of those bad ideas that could seem obvious later.

March 16, 2015
Championships Won on Field, Not in Offseason
NFL free agency makes for a nice reason to call everyone stupid.

March 9, 2015
Seeing is Believing For Pedroia
The loudest guy in the lineup was average last season, and it's not the first time.

March 2, 2015
Two Different Deals, Two Different Stories
Calming down about the new owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox and David Ortiz's latest soundoff.

Feb. 23, 2015
Victorino Fits Best in Utility Role
Shane Victorino shouldn't be the starting right fielder for the Red Sox, even if that happening will probably result in some Jay Payton-type pouting.

Feb. 16, 2015
The Merciful End of All-Star Season
The next time you're ready to complain about the MLB All-Star Game, remember how bad the other three are. (By the way, first column I've ever written while marooned in Boston because of snow.)

Feb. 9, 2015
Sox, Yanks Could Roar Again in AL East
If the Yankees are terrible in 2015, and hoo boy they might be, do me a favor and forget I ever wrote this.

Feb. 4, 2015
Butler Delivers Lasting Memory from Super Bowl XLIX
Some Super Bowl musings, primarily about how long I've been watching Bill Belichick and how quickly history can turn.

Jan. 26, 2015
Inflating Footballs? Nah, Let's Talk Baseball
Talking about commissioner transitions is more fun than talking about inflation pressure in footballs. Barely.

Jan. 19, 2015
To Fix Baseball, Eliminate Games, Not Minutes
Tighten up the nightly MLB product? Absolutely. But while you're at it, stop pretending a 162-game season makes sense anymore.

Jan. 12, 2015
2024 Olympics Must Be Our Games
We probably shouldn't be holding the Summer Olympics in Boston. If we do, though, it's got to be with the will of the people behind it.

Jan. 5, 2015
Concussions: A Lot of Hand-Wringing, Not a Lot of Action
On Saturday night, the Steelers showed we really don't care much about concussions after all. High time we admit it.

Dec. 29, 2014
Time for Baseball Hall of Fame to Switch Gears
The interminable, aggravating din that passes for Baseball Hall of Fame debate can't be finished soon enough, because it's ceased to be about the only reason the Hall exists: to celebrate players.

Dec. 22, 2014
In Ben We Trust? Not a Bad Mantra
You mad at Ben Cherington? At least he's not Ruben Amaro with the Phillies.

Dec. 15, 2014
Losing Lester Hurts, but Plan B is a Good One
Be mad the Red Sox squandered their homegrown ace, but getting three starters for the price of one? It could be a lot worse.

Dec. 8, 2014
Sox Aren't Only East Team Making Improvements
Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez are signed, and the rest of the AL East ... yeah.

Nov. 26, 2014
Moves Not Making Sense? They're Stockpiling Offensive Talent
BOSTON -- The Red Sox are playing big-market baseball. Get all the talent, hold it, and hope it falls together. Just so happens almost all theirs is offensive at the moment.

Nov. 24, 2014
BU Freshman Jack Eichel, a.k.a. The Next Big Thing
Well, this was inevitable.

Nov. 17, 2014
Signed or Not, Stanton's Future a Mystery
Congrats to Giancarlo Stanton for getting paid. It'll be interesting which blows up first: His value, or his team.

Nov. 10, 2014
In Pros, Game Time is Commercial Time
I'm not happy the NHL is talking about ads on its jerseys, but let's not pretend anyone's going to boycott watching because of them.

Nov. 3, 2014
This Time, Cherington is Rebuilding His Core
This isn't your basic rebuild for the Red Sox ... this time, they need a new core. And the discussion starts with Pablo Sandoval and Chase Headley.

Oct. 27, 2014
Lost Cause for One Team, Lost Rivalry for Two
Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon leaving Tampa Bay not only guts that franchise, but takes all the starch out of the Sox-Rays rivalry ... the best both had going.

Oct. 20, 2014
Royals Filling Air With a Familiar Magic
Ten years after 2004, the Royals are doing a heck of a job recapturing those feelings of, "Finally, it's our turn."

Oct. 13, 2014
Playoffs Mask Some Truths
Some idle musing on how, in the time of advanced stats gaining acceptance, we still settle things with the dreaded small sample size.

Oct. 6, 2014
'Classic' Misused, Patience Abused
An 18-inning, six-hour game where basically nothing happened gets me digging deep into baseball's offense problem. Not going to lie, I thought I did well.

Sept. 22, 2014
Yankees Chose Their Fate in 2014
To begin the final week of the Derek Jeter Farewell Tour, noting how strange it is that the win-at-all-costs Yankees chose honoring No. 2 over trying to chase a championship.

Sept. 15, 2014
Fans Also Have A Say
Hard not to be bothered by all the bad news coming out of the NFL, hard not to see how easily this could happen to any sport, and hard not to be amazed that so many fans don't realize the power they have to stop it.

Sept. 8, 2014
Busy Winter Has Its Bright Spots
Three Red Sox thoughts, just as the Patriots mercifully relieve them of their place in the New England sports spotlight for the year.

Sept. 1, 2014
UMass Football Hitting Potholes on Road to Big Time
The "Jesus, Minutemen" column that's been 2.5 years in the making.

Aug. 25, 2014
Back to the Drawing Board for Cherington, Red Sox
Blow it up, win World Series, blow it up is not the general path one often sees from their professional baseball franchise, but here we are.

Aug. 18, 2014
Replay Still Leaves Communication Gaps
BOSTON -- What Xander Bogaerts making a stupid mistake at second base shows about the weaknesses in the developing replay system. No, really!

Aug. 11, 2014
Fame No Longer Part of Fortune in 500
Eighty-five years after Babe became No. 1, musing on what the dropping offensive numbers mean for a milestone that supposedly lost its value a couple years back.

Aug. 5, 2014
Three Reasons to Keep Watching These Red Sox
Had to play this card eventually. At least I'm playing it without mentioning "the kids" ... saving graces.

July 28, 2014
Focused on the Future
Celebrating the Atlantic League's efforts to speed baseball's pace of play. Because there's getting to be a whole lot of waiting and not a whole lot of hitting.

July 21, 2014
Sox Are Streaking ... But Is That A Good Thing?
BOSTON -- Winning seven of eight in a weak AL year is just the kind of thing that could mess up some potential gains for the future.

July 14, 2014
Lester Winning Wage War
One man's read on the Jon Lester contract situation from a hotel room in Philadelphia. Because that's how this works.

July 7, 2014
Confused By Sox? Look To Offense For Answers
BOSTON -- This will be the new normal unless Ben Cherington works some offseason magic. And, since this is the Internet, the David Ortiz stat that will shock you!

June 30, 2014
Tune In The Game, Tune Out The Trollers
The return of the weekly column, now going on Mondays. About soccer, but about more than soccer as well.

April 22, 2014
Loss Doesn't Drain Optimism On Proud Boston Day
BOSTON -- Skipped the Patriots Day game in 2013. Could not skip the 2014 game.

April 5, 2014
Friday's Ceremonies Were Unenjoyable, Unforgettable
BOSTON -- Ring Day number three. With a bit heavier emotions behind it, thanks to real life.

March 30, 2014
This Year's Sox Poised For Great Things
What passed for my baseball preview in 2014. I'll say this ... the workload was a heck of a lot easier than it was about a decade ago.

January 28, 2014
Ortiz Draws From Familiar Well
The great "David Ortiz is leaving town" blip in the 2014 radar. But that's not what compelled me to write this.

Nov. 13, 2013
Farrell's The Total Package
Reaction to Terry Francona nipping John Farrell for AL Manager of the Year. The greatest article I've ever written on a cell phone in a gas station parking lot. (That's not entirely true, but it's close enough to just print the legend.)

Oct. 31, 2013
Another Unforgettable Sox Title
BOSTON -- The ultimate story, written for the third time.

Oct. 30, 2013
Behind Lackey, Sox Can Win it All
The ultimate redemption story. No, really, I'm not forcing that this time.

Oct. 25, 2013
Lester's Glove Raises Questions
BOSTON -- A short story on Boogergate, which is sadly not a term I used in said short story.

Oct. 25, 2013
Early Lead, Series Edge Disappear
BOSTON -- Oh, so there's the resilient Cardinals we've been hearing about!

Oct. 24, 2013
All Eyes on Cardinals' Wacha in Game 2
BOSTON -- The phenom set to arrive.

Oct. 24, 2013
Boston Makes St. Louis Pay for Mistakes
BOSTON -- It was over quick.

Oct. 23, 2013
Two Best Set to Battle It Out
In which the Cardinals are picked in six games. Hey, nobody's perfect.

Oct. 19, 2013
Scrappers Have Red Sox on Brink of Pennant
On the off day between Games 5 and 6, story number 6 million on the sum being greater than the parts.

Oct. 13, 2013
Scherzer Will Rely on Short Memory
BOSTON -- Game 1 of the ALCS ended too late for the print edition, so did a preview pitchers story for Game 2.

Oct. 12, 2013
Sox, Tigers Bring Big Bats to ALCS
Story never made it online, so here's an image of the layout. Sox in 6, just as predicted.

Oct. 5, 2013
Red Sox Opener An Extension of Charmed Season
BOSTON -- Execution, grit and team were the watchwords of the day.

Oct. 4, 2013
Red Sox-Rays Series Breakdown
In which the Red Sox are picked in five games. Close enough.

Oct. 3, 2013
Six-Inning Scrimmage Just Part of the Process
BOSTON -- How to keep your team ready during a playoff layoff.

Oct. 1, 2013
Bumpy Road Back To A Good Place
Adapted from the blog, all the teams that the Red Sox could've been in the regular season, but weren't.

Sept. 3, 2013
Another Rocky Road That Defies Explanation
The puzzle and sadness of Daniel Bard's downfall.

Aug. 27, 2013
Farrell Commanding Respect
Assessing the manager, above and beyond the success his players have allowed him to have. Or, at least trying to.

July 25, 2013
Sox Show Belief in Pedroia
On the occasion of the second baseman officially becoming the face of the franchise.

July 19, 2013
Red Sox Better Than Just Likable ...
Coming out of the All-Star break. This is no longer a "win us back" Red Sox team unlike many we've seen of late. This is, like all the others, a "win it all" Red Sox team. Expectations, and the mixed bag they bring.

July 14, 2013
Ortiz Continues to Defy Odds
In celebration of No. 34 on the occasion of him moving to the top of the hit list for DHs.

June 26, 2013
2007 Memories Show Success is Fleeting
With the Rockies coming to town for the first time since 2007, a look back to the (relatively speaking) forgotten champions and an incredibly fun October.

April 29, 2013
Savor The Sox Early Season Success
Coming off a 69-win season, best record in the majors coming out of April. That'll do.

April 9, 2013
Red Sox Start Roller-Coaster Ride Right
BOSTON -- They're up, they're down, they're up, they're down. From the home opener.

March 31, 2013
The Evolution of the Red Sox Starts Monday
The 2013 season preview column. Stressing a lot of new faces and a lot of flawed teams in the AL East.

Feb. 1, 2013
Francona Book An Entertaining Look
Deserving kind words for an entertaining read, though certainly not one without flaws.

Jan. 25, 2013
Adding Pedro Martinez Creates Much-Deserved Buzz
Brief on Red Sox addition of Pedro Martinez as a front-office something.

Jan. 9, 2013
One Hockey Fan Puts His Money Where His Mouth Is
Goodbye, NHL. Not a column I enjoyed writing, but a column I couldn't shake the feeling I had to write.

Dec. 8, 2012
Red Sox Ahead of Schedule
Hardly blown away by what the Red Sox have been up to, but they didn't have to do much to improve on 2012. That should count for something.

Nov. 27, 2012
Not Much Buzz for Red Sox
It's going to be a long rebuild, but we're basically still waiting for it to start.

Oct. 24, 2012
Tall Task Ahead For Farrell
Not live from Boston, nor all that sold on the idea that a manager is going to be what ultimately saves this franchise. (Yeah, it's a little obvious.)

Sept. 25, 2012
Three Long Years
Looking at this season's five major turnaround teams, and whether the Red Sox have a similar quick rise in them. In the first of a series, it's all Ben Cherington.

Aug. 28, 2012
Red Sox Back to the Good, Old Days
BOSTON -- Forty-eight hours after the megadeal, I'm done celebrating it. It's already time to start hoping the second half of the fix doesn't ruin the first, and we're past the point where things working out can be assumed.

Aug. 25, 2012
A Season's Worth of New Lows
Adapted from the blog post following Boston's 14-13 loss to Los Anaheim. My idea of fun is examining bottoming-out points, apparently.

July 13, 2012
Statement Time for Struggling Sox
With a 23-game stretch against quality competition, most of which to start post-Break play, there's not going to be much question what they are.

July 4, 2012
Are The Sox The Real Deal?
Midseason awards, on the occasion of the 81st game. Puts a nice sort of a bow on the first half, in so much as a team this schizophrenic can be summarized.

June 28, 2012
Jury Out, But Sox Are Contenders
BOSTON -- Live, from the final game of a 7-2 homestand that again seems like the start of something big. Though we've heard that before.

June 26, 2012
Youkilis Still An Underdog At Heart
On the occasion of Kevin Youkilis' trade to the White Sox. Not like Nomar in how it ended, but like it in how it feels his potential was never fully realized. Repackaged from the Sox blog.

June 15, 2012
Epstein On Long Road To Chicago Success
A reunion at the old yard in Chicago. Not crazy about the headline ... really was more focused on the problems dogging the Cubs, and how the Sox seem to want to adopt some of them.

April 20, 2012
Behind Parties And Profits, The Real Star: Fenway Park
For the day of the 100th anniversary game. Struggled with it, but ultimately, just went with my gut. And finished writing it sitting in the back of my car in the Seaport. That's a first.

April 17, 2012
New Day For Red Sox
BOSTON -- The lazy Monday morning game on Patriots Day, hijacked by Bobby Valentine's mouth. An all-too-rare column off the game.

April 13, 2012
Good Times of Yesteryear Never Seemed So Good
The darkest home opener preview column I can ever remember writing.

April 5, 2012
Long Winter Makes Baseball's Return That Much Sweeter
Lead-in piece to Opening Day, which has not been able to get here fast enough. Even more than normal.

March 16, 2012
How To Describe Valentine Thus Far? Exhausting.
Written from afar. I can only imagine the daily machinations, though the contact genius one must pick up has to help the coping.

March 5, 2012
Jason Varitek's Legacy Isn't So Easy to Define
Trying to put The Captain in perspective. Yes, I'm pretty sure it's officially capitalized in New England.

Feb. 18, 2012
Supporting Star: Wakefield Part of All The Success
Retirement piece No. 1 of the winter. Well, at least I assume it's No. 1.

Jan. 20, 2012
Bleak Time For Red Sox
Not optimism. Blame the weather.

Dec. 2, 2011
Love Him or Hate Him, Valentine Makes Teams Better
For a little while, at least. The result of a whole lot of mining through 2001-02 New York Times articles.

Nov. 14, 2011
Papelbon Decision Makes Sense, But He'll Be Missed
I don't know that I totally said it makes sense, but I guess I kind of did. Had some numbers left on the cutting-room floor on this one.

Oct. 26, 2011
Ben Cherington Moving Forward With Theo's Foundation
BOSTON -- The new guard introduced. "New guard" being used despite said guard having been here since before the old guard arrived.

Oct. 13, 2011
Empty Feeling Inside Fenway
Theo Epstein, Globe expose fallout. It's not a pretty time.

Oct. 2, 2011
A Crazy Finish, and An Odd Future
Terry Francona got Grady Little'd. Going to take a bit of time for my head to get wrapped around that one.

Sept. 30, 2011
Red Sox Collapse Boggles The Mind
Piece in the aftermath of the actual season.

Sept. 23, 2011
Sox Have To Pull it Together
Written while at a Sunday game, attempting to overview a whole lot of weeks where I didn't write anything for the print edition. It works well enough.

Sept. 15, 2011
Shallow Pitching Has Sox Treading Water
BOSTON -- The Sept. 14 game against Toronto, in which Daniel Bard blew a lead in a game the Sox needed, ended up being the last I saw live during the 2011 season. Can't remember ... did anything interesting happen the rest of the way?

Aug. 31, 2011
Sox Living Up To Dream-Team Tag
Look at that published date. I literally could not have written this any closer to when the season went off the rails. I'm either a tremendous jinx or an unheralded genius. You make the call!

June 6, 2011
Big Tests Ahead For Sox
Written while at a Sunday game, attempting to overview a whole lot of weeks where I didn't write anything for the print edition. It works well enough.

April 19, 2011
Daisuke, Sox Rise To Challenge
Increasingly rare write-up off a game. Thanks, 11 a.m. Patriots' Day start!

April 17, 2011
Reaction To Manny is Just Baseball Being Baseball
If you're going to be a Manny apologist, the least you can do is own it.

April 10, 2011
Overpaid? Sure, But Not In Big Picture
Written earlier in the week and held until the weekend. Probably should have been held until after Beckett's exemplary start, but that wasn't really the point of the piece.

April 8, 2011
Home Sweet Home: Good Showing Can Erase Early Woes
For once, I'm glad the Yankees are in town for the opener.

March 28, 2011
O's Aren't Zeroes Anymore
Lost in all the outrage at Buck Showalter and his blaspheming at the Red Sox? He's probably going to make the Orioles into something pretty good not far down the line.

March 7, 2011
Expect Big Things From Papelbon
Me predicting things almost never ends well. And yet, here we go again.

Feb. 15, 2011
Eight Spring Things To Keep An Eye On
Ten was the plan. Nine's always a good baseball number. Eight is what you write when you run out of time while aiming for those other numbers.

Dec. 12, 2010
A Method To Red Sox Madness
Not live from the Carl Crawford press conference!

Dec. 7, 2010
Gonzalez Helps Red Sox Now -- And Later
Went to the press conference on my own, just wanting to be there for it. Mentioned it in passing to my old boss. He knew me well enough to ask if I wanted to write, and the new boss said yes. Thus ended my radio silence.
Sept. 13, 2010
Another Defining Offseason Approaching For Theo Epstein
Jumping ahead, because it's the last "Inside Baseball" and my last piece as an S-T staffer. As close to a goodbye column as I'm going to write.

Sept. 3, 2010
Tiger Woods Saga Reaching Critical Stage For Game
NORTON -- Sadly ended up the only story I wrote off this year's Deutsche Bank Championship. (That's a story in itself.) At least it was a good one.

Sept. 1, 2010
Drew's Failure Flies Under Radar
All those years getting bashed, and I just don't think people have the starch left to really get on him when he deserves it most.

Aug. 29, 2010
Actions Overshadow Words With Damon
A very solid Stat in Inside Baseball and an ... odd ... topper column. Sadly, I know which part I had a bigger part in creating.

Aug. 27, 2010
This Time at Tropicana, It's All or Nothing
Finally jumping on the "sweep or shut up" idea. Given I've thought they didn't have it for weeks, I'm proud I made it this long.

Aug. 19, 2010
Bad Breaks Hardly Whole Story of 2010 Red Sox
BOSTON -- Noting the bullpen's largely forgotten role in whatever sad ending this season's probably going to be capped by.

Aug. 8, 2010
Ellsbury Quiets Critics in Return From Injury
Inside Baseball with a weak attempt at some bigger statement from Ellsbury, plus some sundries.

Aug. 6, 2010
2010 Red Sox Season on the Brink, But Hardly Lost
To me, this is the weekend where the playoff dreams actually die. Even if they do, though, they've move than earned their keep this season.

Aug. 1, 2010
Red Sox Rationalize, But Keep On Managing to Keep Hope Alive
This started as a burial piece after a rightly quiet trade deadline. Then I went down to watch the last inning and a half of Saturday's game with the family. My ears were ringing from the echoed cheers off the grandstand roof.

July 30, 2010
After West Coast Trip, Time of Essence for Red Sox
They're not dead yet. Well, they might be, but they've done just enough to make me think they're not quite dead yet.

July 25, 2010
Soccer Game Provides Another Winning Moment for Team Fenway
First true Inside Baseball in a little bit, with a stack o' baseball notes after what'll stand as my production from "Football at Fenway" -- another blog expanded to newspaper column.

July 21, 2010
Still Plenty of Value in Jonathan Papelbon
Another column inspired by the blog (and the Sox being on the West Coast). I feel like sometimes people get so caught up in the details, an obvious big-picture statement like that headline gets a little too lost.

July 18, 2010
Sox Will Need More Than 'Plan L' For October
Another state-of-the-team piece. Stradding that line of it not being pessimism so much as realism.

July 14, 2010
The Boss Drove Baseball, Even in Boston
Tribute to George Steinbrenner, who only doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame if we're kicking out all the non-players.

July 11, 2010
For Fernandes, Cathcart, Chasing Baseball Dream All About Grind
Not bad for a day washed out by some almost Biblical rains.

July 6, 2010
Boston's Ballot Power Ain't What It Used to Be
Column spawned from a blog post looking at a decline in Red Sox fan-balloting power. Kevin Youkilis ended up losing the Final Vote to Yankee Nick Swisher, which I didn't so much predict as infer would probably happen.

July 4, 2010
J.D. Drew, Face of the 2010 Red Sox?
Inside Baseball evolves from a J.D. Drew column spawned from sports radio into a half-point stock taking.

July 1, 2010
Pedroia, Red Sox Soldier On
BOSTON -- Who likes swearing? Dustin Pedroia likes swearing.

June 27, 2010
Mike Lowell Story Grows Uglier By The Day
Inside Baseball goes single issue with Mike Lowell going on the disabled list. He may never come off.

June 20, 2010
Big Guns Haven't Much Humbled Boston's Bottom Line
Inside Baseball tackles how Boston's offense has performed against the league's best pitchers. Plus, a local item extravaganza.

June 19, 2010
Fitting Tribute For Manny in Return
BOSTON -- In my head, the ideas this were based on were a lot better. Disappointing on all counts.

June 10, 2010
Red Sox Tab Mattapoisett Native on Draft's Final Day
Short story, but got him on the phone. We'd just done a big feature involving him in the week's prior for reasons only tangentially related to baseball.

June 7, 2010
Bay Sox Face Same Challenges in 2010
NEW BEDFORD -- Column off opening night, which will not be getting shipped to Cooperstown any time soon. (The game, though the column's not going anywhere either. Especially since I didn't talk to the mayor about his meeting with Slamu, The Slugger Whale.)

June 6, 2010
28-Year-Old Ricker Running The Bay Sox Show
Feature on the summer's manager, who oddly enough isn't even the youngest in the league. Believe the guy running things in Vermont is only 26 or 27, though I'm pretty sure he doesn't follow me on Twitter like Ray does.

May 31, 2010
Bay Sox Set For Second Season
Kicking off coverage of another year of summer baseball and chuckling at announced attendance numbers. There's a lot worse ways to spend $5 on a summer night than watching young Div. I college baseball talent.

May 30, 2010
Full Circle: Westport's Allen Levrault Back Where It All Started
I give one of SouthCoast's few former major leaguers the career wrap he never got. He had a lot to say, which around a writer who always has a lot to say results in something about as long as you'd expect.

May 23, 2010
Old Ballplayers Don't Retire, They Just Fade Away
Inside Baseball's salute to the sage Tom Henke, who managed to avoid the almost unavoidable kvetching that's rampant among the veterans in the 2010 Red Sox clubhouse. The spectacles must have given him great wisdom.

May 18, 2010
Red Sox Failure To Pitch In Getting Tired
When history looks back, I hope it smiles on the time I threatened myself with a harpoon because John Lackey's been terrible. A legitimate starting pitching rant, but in a rational sense.

May 16, 2010
Padres Merely Latest Surprise To Break Strong From The Gate
Inside Baseball remembers the other teams of recent vintage to surprise early in the year. That I wrote a whole article about whether Toronto was for real at the beginning of last May is almost as fun as this being the same weekend the Globe wrote about the Padres.

May 9, 2010
Scouting SouthCoast's Boys of Summer
Inside Baseball has the second (and probably final) edition of an in-season runthrough of future Bay Sox and Gatemen players. Also, the fun rundown of teams to be no-hit twice in the same season.

May 4, 2010
Still Waiting For Real Sox To Emerge
BOSTON -- Trying to make sense of the rare Baltimore sweep / thrashing of the Angels double. Even if I called the latter, it was unexpected.

April 25, 2010
Are Running Games Stealing Boston's Edge?
Inside Baseball gets eaten whole by my stolen base study, which ended up being everything I hoped for ... except the conclusion was one I kind of already figured. Regardless, multiple spreadsheets were made in the making of this episode.

April 22, 2010
Struggling Ortiz Takes Back Seat to Lowell
BOSTON -- Time/space necessitated a notebook, but then the first part got out of hand, then things changed ... this worked for what was needed.

April 19, 2010
April Slump Has Different Feel
BOSTON -- The difference? Your irrational hate for pitching and defense! Yes, you! (Not really.)

April 15, 2010
Hermida Making Good First Impression
MINNEAPOLIS -- Michael Bishop reference alert! Michael Bishop reference alert!

April 13, 2010
Loss Aside, A Beautiful Day for Baseball in Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS -- I tend to get caught up in the home-team fervor on the road. Only time I can think of it not happening was in Tampa Bay, where they play in a dome and ring friggin' cowbells.

April 11, 2010
These Sox Should Be Built Road Tough
The first Inside Baseball of the season, looking ahead to Minnesota and serving as an homage to BU 4, Miami (Ohio) 3. Somehow.

April 7, 2010
Another Marathon, With More to Come
BOSTON -- Proof that it's a lot easier to file a column in the sixth inning on Opening Night than ... you get the point. The piece about the defense pretty much fell apart right when I decided to write it.

April 5, 2010
There's Nothing Quite Like The Feeling of an Opener
BOSTON -- It's a lot easier to file a column in the sixth inning on Opening Night than it is to do it on July 8. Trust me on this one.

April 4, 2010
2010 SOX PREVIEW: Winning Tradition Starts From Within
Building around the idea the big-money Red Sox have a roster where their own draft picks make up almost a third, and what it could mean for the future. Kind of found its way while I was writing it, thus the original starting five paragraphs being rightly cast off by the boss.

April 4, 2010
2010 SOX PREVIEW: Nine Key Questions
The 2009 version is going to be tough to top in its prescience, but I had to try.

March 28, 2010
Our Boys of Summer Spring Into Action
Sunday column cobbles together the numbers of some future SouthCoasters to be. Not a bad thing to touch on every couple weeks, I think.

March 21, 2010
Millar Still Plugging Away
Inside Baseball ... a bit on the non-descript side, but not bad for working five desk shifts a week, I suppose.

March 14, 2010
Top Prospects Impress At Spring Training
Deft editing by the desk to work in the breaking Ryan Westmoreland news. Someone has Inside Baseball's back, which is nice.

March 11, 2010
Sox, Nomar Ended It Right
A column the morning after finding out I was a top-10 finisher in the APSE national contest for column writing in my circulation group. This feels up to that snuff.

March 7, 2010
Ellsbury's Offense Key To Sox Success in 2010
Crafting an Inside Baseball lead from a New York City hotel room in the 90 minutes before checkout isn't the best long-term strategy.

March 2, 2010
Strong Statement for Bishop Stang Hockey Team
BUZZARDS BAY -- Late-game substitution on another high school playoff game. Believe this makes four games in almost eight years.

March 2, 2010
Family Tie Brings Joy of Sport Home
This is what I get for letting the boss know I was excited about my sister-in-law's college basketball career.

Feb. 28, 2010
Five Things to Watch at Sox Spring Training
First Inside Baseball of the season, in which I apparently try to make up for the length I didn't write during the winter.

Feb. 12, 2010
Red Sox Have Trucked A Long Way
Trying to make something warm out of perhaps the Red Sox most egregious overblown event.

Jan. 25, 2010
In Seattle, Sox Can See Their New Plan in Action
Inside Baseball visits how the Mariners scored less and won more. Not that I'd recommend it, but apparently it can work.

Jan. 13, 2010
Mark McGwire Only Part of the Steroid Story
Built off a blog post from earlier in the day.

Jan. 10, 2010
Gatemen, Bay Sox Scheduled To Meet June 9
Broken out from Inside Baseball, the scheduled showdown of our summer baseball squads. The stuff forgettable dreams are made of.

Jan. 10, 2010
New Bedford's Russell Souza Out to Craft Hit, Hitters
Interviewed the guy in October. Story ran in January. There's really no reason for this other than my own lack of professionalism.

Jan. 6, 2010
No Pause in Theo's Plan, However It Works
I'll admit that the highlight of the whole thing was the shot at Rod Gilbert, though I've been a bad assessor of my own work before.

Jan. 5, 2010
Bruins' Year Needs to Be About More Than Jan. 1
The column I thought I'd be writing the day of the Winter Classic. That the Bruins went in the tank regarding injuries as soon as it was written -- Patrice Bergeron may have broken his thumb during the waning paragraphs -- did not help.

Jan. 2, 2010
Tim Thomas' Long Wait is Over
BOSTON -- Continuing my odd tradition of only covering highly desirable hockey games, a sidebar off the Winter Classic.

Dec. 31, 2009
The Year in SouthCoast Sports
Annual package I put together, from design to story selection to writing. FInally got smart enough to spread it out across the whole month of December, as not to drive myself crazy trying to read 360-something sports sections in two days.

Dec. 27, 2009
The 10 Worst Sox of the Decade
My contribution to the end-of-the-decade pro sports roundup. The top 10 went on the blog.

Dec. 20, 2009
Ellsbury's Defensive Reputation Up For Debate
The best 'Inside Baseball' in weeks, starting off with trying to figure out just what Boston's heart-throb center fielder really is capable of.!

Dec. 11, 2009
Red Sox 'Bridge' Should Be Plenty Troubling
Wasn't going to rip the offseason until, well, the GM opened season on it. (And yes, I did actually need the help.)!

Dec. 6, 2009
Epstein Off to Winter Meetings With Tons Left To Do
Building off my "well, I guess I don't hate Marco Scutaro" blog post, plus a few other nuggets.

Dec. 1, 2009
Mark Frost's "Game Six" Shows How Baseball's Changed
A book review 'Inside Baseball,' and on a Tuesday no less. With special blog extra!

Nov. 26, 2009
Northeastern's Football Decision Puts Wareham's Laperriere at Crossroads
Localizing the bigger-than-the-region story. Oh, the foundation pieces of journalism.

Nov. 17, 2009
Lesson in Indy About More Than One Play
Truly great games still get me all fired up about football.

Nov. 15, 2009
Still Stories Among BBWAA Awards
My third-annual ballot column, which officially makes it the longest I've done anything I bothered to call "annual."

Nov. 10, 2009
Sub's Goal Lifts New Bedford
NEW BEDFORD -- First round of the South Sectional boys soccer playoffs ... I have reams of notes that were useless as soon as I sat down to write. Only doing this every six years doesn't make for the best quality.

Oct. 27, 2009
Five Years Later, Impact of '04 Title Remains
Ah, memories.

Oct. 20, 2009
Success for 2010 Riding on the Trade Winds
The supposed start/return of my Tuesday column for the offseason. We'll see if I can stick to it for a change.

Oct. 13, 2009
It's Already Next Year for Sox Brass
BOSTON -- From the Red Sox breakup day, after Theo Epstein gave his yearly assessments and Terry Francona sat there as hangdog as ever. Let there be no doubt the man still loves his job.

Oct. 12, 2009
Red Sox Finish Not That Far-Fetched
BOSTON -- As I said to the boss, I feel like I've got a pretty good track record on season-ending pieces. Don't think I've ever written a bad one, though the day game helped big here.

Oct. 11, 2009
Counting on Clay for Game 3 Heroics
BOSTON -- Looking at what we can learn, if anything, from 0-2 comebacks past. Took 10 minutes too long to write to make BU's banner-raising ceremony down the road.

Oct. 8, 2009
Now's The Time For Sox
Was going to be an attempt to figure out just what this Sox team really is, until it occurred to me that only the future matters at this point. A point I best made by referring to the past. Yeah, this is what happens when they don't pay for me to go anywhere. Major hat tip to WBZ's Jonny Miller for the unprompted sending of audio from California.

Oct. 8, 2009
Jon Couture's Sox-Angels Breakdown
Everyone's favorite ... position-by-position. You know, just the way the game is scored and played? Angels in 4 despite losing more categories.

Oct. 7, 2009
Angels Have What it Takes ... On Paper
My way of painting the opponents as world beaters. I don't think anyone really thought that Boston would win solely on history ... least I like to think that, even though I know it's not true.

Sept. 30, 2009
Sox Are In, But What a Confusing Bunch
A little more on the rambling side than I like to be, but the points are all still good. Given all the good stuff happened after deadline, hard to complain.

Sept. 20, 2009
John Henry's Blanket Statement Needs Some Folding
Inside Baseball comes out swinging at Sox owner John Henry, but gets more attention for noting something about Babe Ruth.

Sept. 16, 2009
Dice-K, Staff Returning to Intended Form
Live from Fenway with everyone's favorite pitcher who routinely makes the press wait 20 minutes for an interest-free press conference.

Sept. 13, 2009
A Different Kind of Boston Marathon Awaits Sox
Inside Baseball builds on one of the more pertinent scheduling quirks that appeared when the thing first came out. Also, Ed Kranepool?

Sept. 7, 2009
Brad Penny Shows Other Side, But Why?
Inside Baseball casts aspersions about the catcher, and offers up more Pirates statistics than anyone ever knew they wanted. Plus, I ruin a Royals fan's day.

Aug. 23, 2009
Dominating Win Flashback to Better Days
One day later. Still standing strong on my "this team isn't that good" stance, but that might not last.

Aug. 22, 2009
With Sox, Seeing is Believing
It wasn't until after I was done that I realized I'd essentially buried a team that, at the time of writing, was in a playoff position. This is one of those that could come back to haunt me ... well, if anyone cared much about what I write.

Aug. 21, 2009
Serious Series for Sox, Yankees
A pretty pedestrian preview column. As I often say, you can't win a Pulitzer every day.

Aug. 14, 2009
For Sox, What Happens Next Matters Most
I think I really did notice the Justin Verlander 100-mph fastball on pitch No. 123 before most people. Fat lot of good that's done me.

Aug. 11, 2009
After Lost Weekend, Sox Face New Reality
Making sense of an 0-6 week at the critical juncture of the season. Less "all is well" than I've come to expect from myself.

Aug. 9, 2009
Growing Pains For The Home Team in First Season
My self-assigned epic on the inaugural year of the New Bedford Bay Sox, semi heavily reworked by the boss on deadline. I'd like to think we'll share the Pulitzer.

Aug. 9, 2009
Influence of the Media, Steroids on the Hall of Fame
Inside Baseball is centered around a couple of book reviews, something that's a lot easier to do when the books are good.

Aug. 2, 2009
Winter's Low-Cost Pickups Have Delivered What Sox Paid For
A Sunday column with an idea that may not have gone as far as I thought it would have before I started looking up numbers. I'm still on the "Rocco Baldelli has been kind of a waste" bandwagon, but I'm hanging closer to the edge now.

July 31, 2009
There's Nothing Tainted About How Papi Made Us Feel
Somehow, I manage again to not plagiarize myself despite writing the same story for the umpteenth time.

July 26, 2009
Score One For New Bedford's Souza, Sarasota
Inside Baseball on the local tie to Baltimore moving its spring training across Florida, plus way too many details about quality starts.

July 25, 2009
Facing Orioles Just What The Red Sox Needed
Trying to combine some offensive struggles and some player moves all in one neat package.

July 20, 2009
Tom Watson's Finish An All-Too-Common One for Cinderella
I think it's fair to say every time a 59-year-old man almost wins a major championship, I'm going to have something to say about it.

July 19, 2009
Lugo's Farewell Was A Matter of Time
Inside Baseball starts with a repackaged blog post on top of all the usual frivolity.

July 12, 2009
B.J. Ryan's Story Cautionary One Before Closer Shopping
Inside Baseball had no idea about Ryan Franklin's majestic goatee before including him in the column. I feel like it would have changed something if I'd known.

July 5, 2009
Manny's Return Fresh, But Rule-Skirting Stories Sure Aren't
I always get concerned when Inside Baseball defends Manny in even the slightest way and no e-mails roll in. Not the sign of an active readership.

July 4, 2009
Bay's Timing Problems Take Another Hit From Hernandez
The lede got tweaked a bit by the desk ... apparently, buring the name of your subject five paragraphs down doesn't always work in the printed medium.

July 3, 2009
'Halfway' Home, Boston Could Scarcely Be in Better Spot
And in saying that, here's a bunch of theories about how it could all fall apart. Ah, the negative media.

June 21, 2009
All-Star Game No Sure Thing for Wakefield
Inside Baseball gives a deep look to the knuckler's All-Star chances, which would be great if these things frequently used logic. I like it regardless.

June 19, 2009
Rain Won't Dampen Reality
Written around a downpour. Well, more through it, but there was one possible scenario that made me keep things up in the air for press time.

June 14, 2009
Timing is Everything in Sox-Yanks Series
Inside Baseball points to something else unearthed on the blog. Oh, the blog.

June 11, 2009
Price is right with Green
My inevitable Nick Green story ... his path to 2009 is just too good to ignore.

June 9, 2009
Theo Epstein's Focus Always on the Future
Inside Baseball makes a rare Tuesday appearance to preview the 2009 MLB/Sox Draft. More of a look into the process than anything else.

June 7, 2009
Life After A Legend in Wareham
The giant Sunday story I wrote that didn't get chewed up and imploded by the office computer system.

June 1, 2009
Community Embraces Bay Sox
News-side story built around the remnants of that 45-minute interview. It was about 24 hours after this that my brain went into Bay Sox overload and ceased to work.

May 31, 2009
Hurdle's Exit Shows How Quickly Salad Days Can End
Inside Baseball pays homage to a long-distance crush, which leads an Arizona resident reader originally from New Bedford to tell me long distance really is the only way anyone should love Clint Hurdle.

May 31, 2009
Baseball In Her Blood: Bay Sox CEO is Building A Foundation
The first of two long features on the brains behind our sudden glut of summer collegiate baseball teams. One of the few times I've received a thank-you phone call from a subject after something runs, for what that's worth.

May 24, 2009
Ellsbury Still A Work in Progress
Inside Baseball would have been better with Jacoby Ellsbury quotes, but because they're only Ellsbury quotes, it wouldn't have been that much better.

May 23, 2009
Santana Worth The Price of Admission
Struck me as a perfectly apt topic before the game, then he went out and was only sort of dominant. I made it work.

May 21, 2009
From Wareham to Toronto, Aaron Hill is Still A Hit
Nurturing the SouthCoast tie to a guy who's got to be among the MVP favorites two months into the season ... for whatever that's worth. Far more successful than some of my previous forays into the visitor's clubhouse.

May 17, 2009
Ortiz, By The Numbers
Inside Baseball builds off a blog post ... and one of the worst days David Ortiz will ever have.

May 15, 2009
There's Nothing Quite Like A Game 7
Another hockey foray via an ultimate game, though this time, I had to file in the period between the third and overtime. That's not generally a formula for overwhelming success.

May 10, 2009
Luckless Lester Hanging Tough
Inside Baseball gets a live lead off a debacle of a Sox game. Debacle being the key word if the Sons of Sam Horn message board actually gets close to getting Lastings Milledge elected to the All-Star Game.

May 9, 2009
Red Sox Trying To Slow Down Rays
On Boston's struggles allowing stolen bases to the Rays, which has been both everyone's problem with the Rays and really not that big of a deal.

May 8, 2009
Suspension Further Taints Manny's Image
You spend all day telling people to remember how many blowhards there are out there, then you remember you're one and the cursor's blinking on an empty page. On the plus side, an ensuing radio interview on the subject I did with ESPN Radio in Toronto might have been the best I've ever done.

May 3, 2009
Should We Take Toronto Seriously?
In classic Inside Baseball fashion, the answer is no ... unless it's yes.

April 26, 2009
Comebacks A Confidence Boost For Sox
They do seem to be developing a knack of winning games they have no business winning, don't they?

April 25, 2009
Sox-Yankees Still Delivers The Thrills
And this is how we get around the game not being over by the time I've filed. Using a spreadsheet to do so is just a touch of overkill.

April 21, 2009
Families of Fallen Servicemen Honored Before Patriots Day Game
Sometimes, the best way to tell a story is just to get the hell out of its way.

April 19, 2009
No Need For Panic, But Sox Have Issues
Inside Baseball digs through some always valuable two-week-in stats to make valid points. At least, I think they're valid.

April 12, 2009
Opening Day Up Close ... and Uncomfortable
It's never great when I think the best part of 'Inside Baseball' is the stat at the end. Though, I did have a national championship winning hockey team to watch later in the day ... I couldn't fuss forever.

April 10, 2009
Sox in Search of Right Relief Mix
BOSTON -- Featuring Manny Delcarmen, who is unfailingly a beacon of optimism. That's a good thing.

April 9, 2009
Baldelli's Back, But Now What?
BOSTON -- An underwhelming day for both of us. Sadly, I have far less of an excuse.

April 8, 2009
Worth The Wait
BOSTON -- Very much not the best day, despite the quality of the game. But certainly beat out my other story for today, which might be the first ever I'm only half-linking based on suckage.

April 7, 2009
For Chris Carter, Two Opening Days Better Than One
BOSTON -- It was going to get written one of these days, so why not when the rains came?

April 6, 2009
Opening Day A Rare Treat at Fenway
Love this ... digging through the past to find some of the more notable times the Sox opened a season at home. It's as rare as it should be when the average April temperature in Boston is about 17 degrees.

April 5, 2009
'09 SOX PREVIEW: So Have Right Mix of Depth and Firepower
The mainbar, focusing mainly on the depth-building.

April 5, 2009
'09 SOX PREVIEW: Nine Questions
Asked and answered by the author. I'm my own judge and jury.

April 2, 2009
Despite His Flaws, Calipari Still Worthy of Respect
As the wife pointed out, in no way did this turn out going down the path I thought it was going down when I started writing. Funny how that happens.

March 29, 2009
Schilling Was Worth The Price
The best 'Inside Baseball' ever written quickly because I had to get myself to Manchester for the NCAA ice hockey regionals.

March 24, 2009
Not Always Well Received, Schilling Always Gave All
I'll never forget the time I used "Everquest bender" in a Schilling column. Someone e-mailed me complaining they had to look up what it meant, and really, I'm not even sure what it meant.

March 22, 2009
Dice-K Last Sox Standing in WBC
Inside Baseball delivers ... once you get past that opening item.

March 15, 2009
Classic is Baseball's Best Ambassador To World
Back to the full-on Inside Baseballs of my youth. Oh, the good times we had.

March 11, 2009
A-Rod Blunder Simply Yankees Latest Gaffe
I can only hope the withering evisceration from a Q-list columnist doesn't make Brian Cashman cry.

March 8, 2009
Seeking Uniqueness With The Marketing Dollar
Inside Baseball's favorite ticket promotions of the preseason. Way more fun that that might make it seem.

March 1, 2009
Price of Playing in WBC Could Be High
Inside Baseball informs the world that the sky is falling.

Feb. 24, 2009
Gatemen, Bay Sox Meeting Will Have To Wait
A little cheapie picked up when filling out the outstanding reaction piece to John Wylde's death.

Feb. 22, 2009
'Yankee Years' Captures Era
Second straight shortened 'Inside Baseball,' though at least I had a vacation I could blame this one on.

Feb. 8, 2009
A-Rod News The Latest In A Rough Winter
It was a Manny Ramirez column before news broke and my desk got their hands on it.

Jan. 18, 2009
Next Challenge For Sox? Keeping Papelbon
That's not entirely true, but Inside Baseball clears that up.

Jan. 15, 2009
Catching Up With The Next Big Thing: Lars Anderson
Not to be confused with wrestling's next big thing, who isn't very good at hitting baseballs, I bet.

Jan. 11, 2009
In or Out, Rice Got A Fair Shake
Inside Baseball goes pre-emptive on the Rice issue, thus saving me a potential plate of crow. (There were other, actually valid reasons for this as well.)

Jan. 5, 2009
Wylde Gives Bay Sox His Best
Region's baseball institution offers Whale City a thumbs-up. And oh yeah, he may be over cancer.

Jan. 1, 2009
The Top 10 Local Stories of 2008
Blurbs to go with the top 10 package I put together every year.

Dec. 25, 2008
Teixeira A Rare Miss For Sox
Merry Christmas! You're all doomed!

Dec. 20, 2008
Field of Dreams?
Handicapping the Bay Sox' chances of success. Very good, if I do say so myself.

Dec. 18, 2008
Bay Sox Success Starts With GM
The New Bedford Bay Sox jersey is ugly. This has nothing to do with that.

Dec. 18, 2008
Lang Happy To Have Team, No Matter The League
Short chat with the mayor. Well, part of a short chat, thus it seeming even shorter.

Dec. 11, 2008
Sabathia Signing More Than Meets The Eye
My writing gimmick is definitely allusions to the past. Sixty percent of my stuff must start that way.

Dec. 8, 2008
Tazawa Signing Stresses MLB-Japan Relationship
Like the first Inside Baseball about Junichi Tazawa, this one didn't feel real good at the end.

Dec. 4, 2008
Signing Has Parallels To The Past
Dustin, Nomar. Nomar, Dustin. May not never meet again, by the grace of God.

Nov. 20, 2008
Crisp Never Lived Up To Lofty Expectations
I didn't use the word "failure" here, but I think I did on the blog.

Nov. 19, 2008
Proving 'Em Wrong A Way of Life
Pedroia wins the MVP, and I have exclusive quotes ... from April 2007.

Nov. 16, 2008
Just What Is The Value of Jason Varitek?
An attempt to explain why he's coming back. Not in those words, but that's really where we ended up.

Nov. 9, 2008
Debate Rages As Year-End Awards Arrive
My second annual "ballots for my own amusement." Who knows what extreme I'll hit on this year?

Nov. 2, 2008
Sox Opt For Fort Myers, Sign New 30-Year Deal
A bit of a misnomer, because the new stadium probably won't actually be in Fort Myers. Ease of headline use for a Massachusetts audience, I say.

Oct. 29, 2008
Sarasota's Sox Hopes Take Big Hit
My first byline as "Standard-Times sports editor." Thanks to the local tie, I'm one of the few reporters up here writing this story as it happens.

Oct. 21, 2008
Ortiz Couldn't Fill Hero's Role This Time
On roughly 45 minutes sleep, with quotes I transcribed sitting in the Tampa airport at 6-something a.m. How cosmopolitan of me.

Oct. 20, 2008
Rays Saw Opportunity and Took It
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- My fourth ALCS Game 7 in six years. The Sox have won two, the home team has won three.

Oct. 20, 2008
Beckett Did His Job in Game 6
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Breaking cowbell news in the notebook.

Oct. 19, 2008
Heat-Treated Sox Handling Rays Best
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Strangely disorganized. I blame it on the perfect atmospheric conditions and eating too many cookies.

Oct. 19, 2008
Trop's Become Rays' Trap
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It's my first game at stadium No. 16. Of course I have to offer a pocket review that's not really a review.

Oct. 19, 2008
Lester Boston's Best Bet For Game 7
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Written pregame, fully aware it might never be needed. Glad it was.

Oct. 18, 2008
Sox Counting On Beckett To Carry Momentum
Next day's pitchers and last day's emotions all rolled into one.

Oct. 17, 2008
Sox Not Letting Go Of This Series
One of the greatest comebacks I think I'll ever see. The end of a very strange day.

Oct. 17, 2008
Sox Battered Like A Broken Record
The desk ended up having to flip the notebook after the comeback, after I'd flipped it to include all the Tampa homer records. The headline never got changed, it appears.

Oct. 16, 2008
Papi, Boston Bats Not What They Used To Be
A castigation of No. 34, who doesn't seem to believe he deserves as much. Stupid facts getting in the way.

Oct. 16, 2008
Tampa Elevates Kazmir To Face Daisuke
Off-day notebook, but mostly just a next day's pitchers story.

Oct. 15, 2008
Magic Shoe On The Other Foot
It's over, except it isn't. At least not until it's actually over. Yogi Berra has nothing on me.

Oct. 15, 2008
Lowell To Have Surgery Monday
Well, what do you know? I was right all along.

Oct. 15, 2008
Sox Spring Move To Sarasota Not Dead Yet
Of all the places for this semi-breaking news to appear in these parts, The Standard-Times could not have been among the favorites.

Oct. 14, 2008
Lester's Wobbles Leave Sox in Trouble
I can't almost hear Terry Francona, tearing into us for having the audacity for epecting Jon Lester never to give up a run again. Though that's more a Daisuke 2007 thing.

Oct. 14, 2008
Ortiz Can't Cash in Key Chances
The day's notebook, helped by the afternoon start, what with time to write about actual game happenings.

Oct. 14, 2008
Wakefield's Postseason Struggles Confounding as Knuckler
Preview of the Game 4 pitchers, though I'm annoyed I wasn't there to ask him how he felt about all this bad history.

Oct. 13, 2008
Lester Is Boston's Sudden Stopper
Previewing Game 3 via the off day.

Oct. 13, 2008
Notebook: Beckett Bemused By ...
Didn't get a Web headline, but that's with what we're dealing.

Oct. 10, 2008
Fight Night? Not Quite.
The main story from the ALCS preview, written mainly so I could design this

Oct. 10, 2008
Jon Couture's Sox-Rays Match-up
Taking the Red Sox in seven games. We're all doomed.

Oct. 9, 2008
Rays Bullpen Playing Catch Up
Literally, the worst in history last year. I love getting to use literally properly.

Oct. 8, 2008
Varitek's Complete Contributions Can't Be Overlooked
An ode to his Game 4, though not built on the same premise as everyone else's.

Oct. 7, 2008
Red Sox Moving On To ALCS
They own the moment.

Oct. 7, 2008
Lowell Likely Done For Season
The day's notebook with a significant topper, though I may have jumped the gun on the surgery part.

Oct. 6, 2008
Not Just Yet
As a 7:29 first pitch slowly became insufficient, this kept evolving and growing. See if you can make out the parts that were staples of the "Sox win" version.

Oct. 6, 2008
Back-to-Back Too Much For Drew
There's only so much I can do when the notebook has to be mostly filed before the game starts. Realities of the business.

Oct. 5, 2008
Iron Will
Already one of my favorites. Cooch meets SouthCoast's Crocodile Hunter on his way to the Ironman in Hawaii.

Oct. 1, 2008
Their Time: Pedroia, Youkilis Lead Sox Into Playoffs
This year's big playoff preview feature. Last year's won an award, so it'll need to be the proverbial hero in the dark.

Oct. 1, 2008
Jon Couture's Sox-Angels Matchup
Position-by-position breakdown, leading to ... Angels in 4. A weary region holds its breath to mock me.

Sept. 30, 2008
Sox Can Win Without Beckett, But It Won't Be Easy
Heavy conjecture about the topic of the day. Just looking to add to the discussion.

Sept. 30, 2008
[[ inside baseball celebrates the rays ]]
Still to be posted.

Sept. 28, 2008
Francona Has Big Decisions To Make
Discussing the postseason roster on a rainy, Sox-Yankees lacking Saturday afternoon.

Sept. 27, 2008
Retiring Pesky's Number Just Feels Wrong
Not really said by anyone else, but I'd like to think I explained myself well enough.

Sept. 25, 2008
Boston Welcomes Second Preseason
A long night that, mercifully, wasn't actually a long night.

Sept. 25, 2008
Tito Not Sweating The Small Stuff
Excessive explanation, probably. But I wanted to save the good stuff.

Sept. 23, 2008
Will Magic of '07 Return in Time?
Forced metaphors don't feel as forced when you're open about it.

Sept. 23, 2008
Lowell, Drew Still Healing
In fact, they are. That means notebook.

Sept. 21, 2008
Pedroia Stands Tall in MVP Race
This week's Inside Baseball seemed better in my head, but still stands pretty damn tall in the end, I think.

Sept. 17, 2008
NB's Souza Serious About Sox in Sarasota
Talking to the city native who equates opera and baseball, and is behind "Citizens for Sox."

Sept. 14, 2008
Gold Rush Coming Sooner Rather Than Later
This week's Inside Baseball will not go in the packet for the Pulitzer committee.

Sept. 11, 2008
Sox Need 'Pen To Write Happy Ending
Held up rather well for a game that ended a half-hour after I had to actually file this.

Sept. 9, 2008
Sox Pack Fenway With Record Sellout
Notebook's all personnel moves and executive quotes.

Sept. 9, 2008
September Sox Better Than Momentum
Start of the Tampa series, and ... I don't know what they headline means. The column's better than I thought, though.

Sept. 7, 2008
Milestone Monday Was Matter of Time
Inside Baseball talks about the sellout streak, though in the context of what the only longer runs infer the future of Boston's is.

Sept. 3, 2008
Beckett, Lowell Expected Back Friday
First notebook in a while, and it's all injury updates. And yet the team's won 20 of 29.

Sept. 3, 2008
Sox Doing Little Things Right
My 200th game as a member of the media was a complete slopfest, over by the fifth inning. Proud moment.

Sept. 2, 2008
Again, Weir Fades From Contention
NORTON -- Written after following the Deutsche Bank's final group for 17 holes. Sweaty, sunny day, but good day.

August 31, 2008
Deutsche Bank Last Chance To Impress Ryder Captain
NORTON -- The first half of the Norton-Boston double, featuring our new favorite non-SouthCoast SouthCoaster, D.J. Trahan.

August 31, 2008
Sox Finding Right Mix
Second half of the double. The Michael Bowden debut, not unlike all the other debuts.

August 31, 2008
Players Against Replay Should Be Reviewed
Third half (?) of the double, though really it should be the first since it got written before the others.

August 30, 2008
Good News on Beckett Just What Sox Need
Building around Josh Beckett's trip to Alabama (which apparently was actually Pensacola, Fla.)

August 26, 2008
Forget Nostalgia, Rivalry ... Sox Need Wins
How can there be romance when there's a steamrolling by the Angels to be earned?

August 24, 2008
Healthy Jays May Have Soared With Rays
This week's Inside Baseball proposes the team I picked to finish fourth, and who is finishing fourth, shouldn't be finishing fourth.

August 17, 2008
Lugo's Return May Not Unseat Lowrie
This week's Inside Baseball writes what everyone else wrote, but with way more numbers than anyone else. My calling card.

August 16, 2008
Rest Ordered Up For Buchholz
Notebook from a rainout.

August 13, 2008
Byrd Lands At Fenway
Pretty straightforward. The next day, the AP stole my lead, so at least I noticed it first.

August 13, 2008
Looking For Spark From Explosion
The column that the middle was cut from in the print edition. To top it off? No readers e-mailed about it.

August 10, 2008
Papi Being Papi Without Manny
Inside Baseball goes deep in game logs and makes another spreadsheet. It's my idea of a leisurely afternoon.

August 3, 2008
Still Time For 'Pen To Write Chapter
This week's Inside Baseball leads with what the Sox didn't do at the deadline. Shorter than normal, but only because Fernandes got broken out.

August 3, 2008
Dropping Down Elevates Kyle Fernandes' Game
The latest update from SouthCoast's only MLB prospect, who just made High-A and took seven minutes to tell me he almost quit the game earlier this year.

August 2, 2008
Dropped Into Playoff Race, Bay Couldn't Be Happier
Flows smoothly for having to rewrite because the triple he hit in the 12th inning essentially won the game.

August 2, 2008
Great Debut Doesn't Solve All of Sox Problems
Because it's always a good idea to work shredded mix tapes into the lede of your column after a Hall of Famer gets traded.

August 1, 2008
Rid of Ramirez, It's Time For The Sox to Move On
In the time waiting for a conference call that never came, I also produced this Manny timeline for his Red Sox years.

July 31, 2008
Once Again, We Await Word on Manny
He has a way of dominating the headlines, doesn't he?

July 30, 2008
Angels of Not, Sox Reeling
John Lackey comes within two outs of a no-hitter, hours after L.A. gets the best bat of the trade deadline. That's pretty close to a perfect storm, I think.

July 30, 2008
Astros GM Denies Sox Interest in Tejada
Perhaps the shortest notebook I've ever written, and it's still like 15 inches.

July 29, 2008
No Tiger, But Plenty of Excitement Expected at Deutsche Bank Championship
NORTON -- At TPC Boston. Plus, the story's good and I inexplicably parred six of seven holes in one stretch.

July 27, 2008
Salesmanship Stops With Sox Brass
Inside Baseball had no lede item, but was done. So, I cranked one item up above where it belonged, and closed my eyes.

July 27, 2008
Old Times Not Good Times in This Rivalry
Despite this headline, this makes no reference to the really old times. As in, 26 rings and all I got is this T-shirt with pictures of them all.

July 26, 2008
Joba, Youkilis Go To Round Three
Shuffled far more times than the usual Red Sox notebook, even if I still can't believe he'd throw at a leadoff guy in a 1-0 game.

July 26, 2008
Yanks Command Attention From Sox
I'd like to think I wasn't the only one who'd just kind of forgotten about the Yankees. (Especially in a relative sense.)

July 23, 2008
No Reason To Save This Stat
Building on the death of a legendary journalist, I discover the frightening similarity between David Aardsma and Francisco Rodriguez. Not bad for throwing something together after a round of bad golf.

July 20, 2008
Playing All-Stars Longer Key To Avoiding Late-Night Scare
Inside Baseball says the obvious, and explains why Brian Wilson can actually fly.

July 18, 2008
Sizing Up The Sox Second Half
As it says. Getting used to doing these, though apparently it came across as negative.

July 17, 2008
Longoria, Kazmir Rays of Light
NEW YORK --Some rather extreme neglect of Dioner Navarro in my Rays feature going into the second half.

July 16, 2008
Drew's Finish Better Than His Start
NEW YORK --Red Sox recap from the Game, written before Drew won the MVP or announced he nearly pitched.

July 16, 2008
Legends of Then, Now Open Game in Stirring Fashion
NEW YORK --In-game column. Rather cobbled together, but it works well enough. I'll do better next All-Star Game.

July 15, 2008
Drew Finally Gets His All-Star Due
NEW YORK --Live, from the press conference cluster. Talk about a little prescience, huh?!

July 15, 2008
Boston, New York Share All-Star Spotlight
NEW YORK --For the front page. Not prescient, given how generally terrible they all were.

July 13, 2008
Beane Deals Still Mystify Oakland
Inside Baseball salutes the man who nearly became Theo Epstein, and kept him from becoming "Theo Epstein."

July 12, 2008
Buchholz Still Just Potential In Waiting
Well, shucks. If I had walked five guys, I'd have been pretty good!

July 9, 2008
Even In Perfect Spot, Bonds Not Worth It
A lot easier column to write when I'd deluded myself he was a notoriously slow starter.

July 8, 2008
Sox Show Why They're Still A Playoff Team
First Sox game as a married man, after the 3-7 road trip.

July 8, 2008
Masterson Sent Down, With Eye on Bullpen
Two story notebook.

July 6, 2008
The 2008 Ideal All-Stars
What I'd have to presume is the start of an annual feature.

July 6, 2008
Magic of Cooperstown? A Lot of It's Missing
Inside Baseball announces the wedding, in its own way.

June 15, 2008
Lugo Miscues In The Past ... Well, Almost
Inside Baseball digs into the actual damage of Julio's errors. So many errors.

June 12, 2008
Dice-K Working At Team's Pace
Notebook, with updates on the various and sundry. Like that's ever not true.

June 12, 2008
It's Been An Ugly Path To The Top
Everything is wonderful, even thought it isn't. (And yet, it is.) Make sense?

June 8, 2008
Rice: 2007 Sox No Match For '75
Inside Baseball needed a lede. Jim Rice came to the rescue.

June 5, 2008
A Method To Epstein's Madness in MLB Draft
A Web exclusive story on the draft. Aren't we just on technology's cutting edge? (No. I refused to cram the Stanley Cup clincher in agate. Almost the same thing.)

June 4, 2008
Ortiz Hopes Two Weeks Will Do Trick
Obligatory Big Papi wrist sheath update.

June 4, 2008
Sox Better Equipped To Produce Without Papi
The speed story I almost wrote the night Jon Lester threw a no-hitter instead. I think I wove it into current events pretty well.

June 1, 2008
No Second Thoughts On Taking Second Look
Inside Baseball visits the replay issue, and says a lot of what everyone else already has. I mean, it's about replay. It's a literary device.

May 25, 2008
San Diego's Crash Largely About Lacking Foundation
Inside Baseball's mostly about the Red Sox. Nice, for once.

May 22, 2008
Sox Hope Ex-Ace Proves To Be Bargain
Bartolo Colon a go go. Sent in early so my desk could go to a midnight showing of 'Indiana Jones.'

May 22, 2008
Manny Slumping, But Not Pressing
Brandon Moss like cookies and ice cream. That's not in this notebook, but you should know that.

May 21, 2008
Masterson Stymies Royals For First Win
Another game story, though this one took a lot longer than it should have.

May 20, 2008
Lester Caps 'Long Road Back' With No-Hitter
It could have been a better story, definitely. But now I can say I saw one, forever.

May 19, 2008
Sox Win Slugfest
Souped-up gamer on my off day. I just can't sit still.

May 18, 2008
Stars Shine in Surprising Places
What this has to do with this week's Inside Baseball, I remain largely unsure. Though, I mean, I did write about the All-Star Game

May 18, 2008
As Manny Heads For History, What Does It Mean?
It's not good when all of your research has to stand in for all the quotes you didn't get.

May 17, 2008
Gabe Still Has Game, On and Off Field
The obligatory "Gabe Kapler's back" story. Perfect for a rainout.

May 11, 2008
A's Rank As Surprising West Contender
With special hat tip to West Coast correspondent Matt Bruce. Also, the Stat that became a trivia question at my Jack and Jill.

May 5, 2008
Inconsistency Holding Back Delcarmen
Some semi-deep number study, which may or may not be a good thing. Sadly, no quotes from the two most compelling parties.

May 4, 2008
Prospects (May) Always Be Measured Against Santana
This week's Inside Baseball, featuring fun with the transaction wire. Also, no dumping on the Giants.

April 30, 2008
Sox Happy Rough Stretch is Over
The story I tried to do last week, showing it would have been better last week.

April 30, 2008
Halladay's Best Isn't Good Enough
Is it still a Red Sox notebook if it leads with Jays stuff?

April 27, 2008
Arizona Assault Now Takes Many Forms
Inside Baseball, poorly formatted but featuring a love note to the desert and the lowest scoring teams ever.

April 25, 2008
Masterson Provides Glimpse of Future
Written later than the main column, but somehow probably written better.

April 25, 2008
Sox Bats Can't Overcome Bullpen
More big picture than that head would seem.

April 22, 2008
Canadiens' Price Right All Night
MONTREAL -- My first hockey game ... logically, at Bell Centre with 21,000-plus in rapture over a Game 7. Overwhelming, to put it lightly.

April 21, 2008
Lowrie Making Most of Chance
Sadly, I was three-quarters of the way through this story when I remembered I wrote it last week.

April 20, 2008
Longoria Takes The Early Money
I tried to spin Inside Baseball into a big picture story, though I don't think it totally worked. But hey, more Kyle Fernandes news!

April 16, 2008
Lowrie Wastes Little Time
Let's pretend I sat on this story for a couple days because I knew he'd have three RBIs in his debut.

April 13, 2008
New Book Dissects 'Greatest Game,' Era
Inside Baseball trolls the book review side of the street, and with good reason.

April 12, 2008
Buchholz Takes To Big Stage
Could not have worked out better. He wasn't even mentioned in the early gamer we ran.

April 12, 2008
Timlin Struggles in First Outing
Friday's notebook had a lot better lede if Timlin could have just pitched nondescriptly.

April 11, 2008
Sox Beat Tigers, Lose Lowell To Thumb Injury
My new plan of writing "gamer notebooks" on days off ... long day off, it was. 1:30 to 1:30, I believe is accurate.

April 9, 2008
Notebook: Youkilis Hitting Stride Early
Short and sweet and full of hawk jokes.

April 9, 2008
A Forgiving Buckner Puts The Nightmare Behind Him
I'd like to think the digging I did unearthed some worthwhile nuggets.

April 8, 2008
Sox Anxious to Ring In Home Opener
Shockingly, Monday at Fenway Park appeared sparsely attended by players.

April 6, 2008
Hard To Read Much From First Week, But ...
Does it still count as breaking a story if it's the High-A prospect that no one may care more about than you and his family?

March 30, 2008
AL East Unlikely For Change At The Top
Inside Baseball stands as the local MLB preview, complete with season predictions.

March 27, 2008
One Loss in Land Far Away Means Nothing
After the second Japanese game, the Sox-specific (and largely secondary) picture.

March 26, 2008
For Good and Bad, Opener The Price of Success
After the first Japanese game, the bigger-than-the-Sox picture.

March 23, 2008
'08 SOX PREVIEW: Youth, Veterans Fit Perfectly
The centerpiece of the preview, talking about team chemistry.

March 23, 2008
'08 SOX PREVIEW: Parts In Place, But Repeating No Easy Task
The second story of the preview, talking about ... you know.

March 23, 2008
'08 SOX PREVIEW: Jon Couture's Starting Nine
The inside of the preview: nine talking points.

March 16, 2008
Fernandes Looks To Rebound
Inside Baseball's semi-annual visit with SouthCoast's one professional prospect. To be continued, should he get back to Portland.

March 14, 2008
Sox Cut Mirabelli, To Go With Cash
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Thursday's lone story, probably reworked since I had to go catch a plane midway through the game.

March 13, 2008
Delcarmen Has Finally Grown Up
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A spring after writing about his immaturity, we go full circle.

March 13, 2008
Buchholz Still Seeking Sharpness
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Wednesday's notebook, written from the condo. Hammond Stadium is still awful.

March 12, 2008
Greenwell Pulls No Punches
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Steroid banter with my childhood hero. I left that part out almost entirely.

March 12, 2008
Beckett Will Miss Japan Trip, Report Says
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Tuesday's notebook. Suffice to say, reworked a couple times.

March 11, 2008
Ellsbury, Sox Next Big Thing, Living In The Moment
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- And yet, not living in the moment. My favorite of the spring.

March 11, 2008
Sox Not Worried About The One That Got Away
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Monday's notebook. Santana-riffic, especially because my computer wasn't smashed by that foul ball.

March 10, 2008
Dodgers Shutting Down 'Baseball Heaven'
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Everyone else seems to like this more than I do. And they didn't even get to hear Vin Scully.

March 10, 2008
Boston Will Be Patient With Beckett's Back
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Sunday's notebook, no worse for wear after a 40-mile wrong turn.

March 9, 2008
Pragmatic Sox Set For Tough Opening Stretch
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A lot of people seem to have not gotten this. Regardless, there's no way they're .500 through April. OK, maybe a very little way.

March 9, 2008
Beckett Pulled With Sore Back
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Saturday's notebook. Suffice to say, the day very quickly ceased being a lazy Saturday.

March 8, 2008
Kottaras Catching On
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Held together pretty well despite Theo Epstein declaring the organization doesn't have its 'catcher of the future.'

March 8, 2008
Closer Hopes He Opened Up Market
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- I really wish I'd been able to ask where Papelbon's sense of contractual honor sprang from.

March 7, 2008
What's The Story With Torre?
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- This would have been much better as a notebook lede.

March 7, 2008
Papelbon Settles For Modest Raise
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Thursday's notebook. I gotta figure out how to get salary figures.

March 6, 2008
Sox Need More From Lester
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Where Spring Training stats aren't overvalued, but used to prove a point.

March 6, 2008
Rival Friendlier Than Advertised
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Wednesday's notebook, leading with the impending Francona-Torre love-in.

March 5, 2008
Subtle Change Could Make Difference For Dice-K
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The editors do love Dice-K over Daisuke, I've noticed.

March 5, 2008
Papelbon Looks For Fair Deal
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Tuesday's notebook, basically led by another whole story. That doesn't happen enough.

February 17, 2008
Few Issues For Sox This Spring
This week's Inside Baseball finds the nothing in a nothing Spring Training.

February 14, 2008
Sleaze Lurks Around Every Corner
This seemed much more insightful while I was writing it, for some reason. But hey, what says Valentine's Day like Congress recaps!

February 10, 2008
O No, Baltimore A Mess
The season's first Inside Baseball begins the long, thorough process of burying the Orioles.

January 16, 2008
This Buch's Gaining Value
CHESTNUT HILL -- Live from the Sox Rookie Development Camp, I show my maturity by leaving out gratuitous slams at Boston College.

January 8, 2008
Rice Denied Again, And It's The Right Call
All I forgot were the comparisons to Albert Belle. Bring on the hate mail.

January 1, 2008
All The Success Hasn't Made It Less Sweet
Last story of the year, wraps the year.

December 20, 2007
1972 Dolphins Perfectly Phull of It
I am such a wicked fanboi, dood.

December 14, 2007
Selig's Legacy Hinges on Cleaning Up Game
Spend all day watching old white people and reading PDFs, apparently.

December 2, 2007
Plenty of Big Names Could Be On The Move
The start of the Winter Meetings gets an Inside Baseball. One bereft of insight, but one nonetheless.

November 20, 2007
Sox Get Lowell Without Giving Ground
So many things I don't have to write about now.

November 14, 2007
Sox World Keeps Spinning
Hey! Smash a bunch of stuff together!

November 12, 2007
Awards Time Upon Us Again
There was no Pats this week, so Inside Baseball returns! With ballots!

November 7, 2007
Better Than Outspending? Not Having To
Schilling returns! 38Pitches.com commenters rejoice!

October 30, 2007
Sox Questions Start With Lowell
DENVER -- Adapted from a season's over three questions written 10 days prior, when Cleveland led 3-1.

October 29, 2007
Sox Time Is Now
DENVER -- For the second time, I'm writing a "Sox win the World Series" column on location. I can't believe it either.

October 29, 2007
Francona Pleased By Daisuke's Offense
DENVER -- Game 4 notebook.

October 28, 2007
Red Sox Ready To Repeat History
DENVER -- After Game 3, a sort of preview to the Sox win column. Much better than Game 3 three years ago, which some people didn't get.

October 28, 2007
Francona's Helpers Lend Major Assist
DENVER -- Game 3 notebook, referencing Brad Mills calling the pickoff that helped win Game 2.

October 28, 2007
Cook, Lester Put Trying Times Behind
DENVER -- Game 4 preview.

October 28, 2007
Offense Pacing Postseason Run
DENVER -- Thrown together when it became clear that the game wouldn't end by East Coast deadline. Perhaps the fastest I've ever written as a pro.

October 27, 2007
Sox Try To Minimize The Coors Field Effect
Off-day story, written before I spent like 36 hours in Denver with a pretty nasty headache. Yeah, this altitude stuff is all bull.

October 26, 2007
Sox Grind It Out For Hard-Fought Win
Game 2 column, and the last for the S-T front page. Decision had little to do with me, or logic.

October 26, 2007
Crisp Will Get More Series Chances
Game 2 notebook.

October 25, 2007
Sox Let Bats, Beckett Do The Talking
Front-page column, which I oddly struggled with for a game so one-sided. Don't like it.

October 25, 2007
Young Jimenez Up For Challenge
Ubaldo has 19 career appearances. Tonight is Curt Schilling's 19th postseason start.

October 25, 2007
Snyder Best Rounds Out Staff
Notebook. I guess Francona's still to meet Claude Julien.

October 24, 2007
No Worries About Layoff
In a span of about 10 minutes, I fell in love with Clint Hurdle. Even if his bullpen usage confuses me.

October 24, 2007
Wakefield Left Off World Series Roster
It really kind of felt like he was either going to cry or immediately announce his retirement. Neither happened.

October 24, 2007
Jon Couture's World Series Matchup
In which, after an internal debate, I pick the Rockies in 6. Well, at least I have a legacy as a writer now.

October 23, 2007
Papelbon Takes To Postseason Stage
In some alternate universe, Ryan Garko's fly ball tied the game at 5. I'd like to at least know how it finished there.

October 23, 2007
Rockies 101
World Series opponent primer. It didn't exactly reproduce very well on the Internet.

October 22, 2007
Seventh Heaven
How have I covered three ALCS Game 7s in five years? And all of them dramatic in their own way?

October 22, 2007
Fans 'Cowboy Up' With Familiar Face
ALCS Game 7 notebook. Like he would have missed this, Orioles or not.

October 21, 2007
Sox Were Made For This Moment
My finding a beautiful wife is the only thing that was less likely than J.D. Drew hitting a pivotal playoff grand slam.

October 21, 2007
Mueller Returns To Scene of Shining Moment
ALCS Game 6 notebook, featuring everyone's favorite forgettable batting champion.

October 21, 2007
Dice-K Gets One More Shot To Prove Worth
Matsuzaka cramming it up Cleveland's collective would be my highlight of the year. (He didn't, but it still would have been cool.)

October 20, 2007
Signs of Life From Pedroia, Drew
Sleep-deprived off-day story, but did they end up showing some life in the final two games or what?

October 20, 2007
It's All on Schilling's Shoulders Tonight
With special Nexis digging from 1993! As though I ever need an excuse.

October 19, 2007
It's Never Easy in October
CLEVELAND -- Post Game 5 column. Seems to be the favorite of a lot of people.

October 19, 2007
Nameless Game 5 Notebook
CLEVELAND -- You're thinking cliche about "our objective is to win today," and man, does Terry Francona just deliver.

October 18, 2007
Sabathia is Playoffs' Polar Opposite of Beckett
CLEVELAND -- Game 5 preview. And no, nothing in here makes a joke about Sabathia's size.

October 18, 2007
Francona Sticks By His Plan, His Players
CLEVELAND -- Off-day column on ... the guy in the headline.

October 17, 2007
Red Sox in New Territory
CLEVELAND -- Post Game 4, from the snuck seat in the press box. Panic low because, well, I did predict seven games.

October 17, 2007
Sox Marvel At Rockies' Run
CLEVELAND -- Hey, wouldn't it be cool if I got to see a Sox-Rockies World Series?

October 16, 2007
Sox Need To Get Back In The Zone
CLEVELAND -- Post Game 3, out in the Pronkville seats. So wait, you mean it's not going to be easy? (The column makes the headline non-cliche, which is nice.)

October 16, 2007
Kielty Could Get Second Start Tonight
CLEVELAND -- Game 3 notebook. I'm really hoping they spelled 'Kielty' right elsewhere.

October 16, 2007
Will Slow or Slower Win Tonight's Race?
CLEVELAND -- Paul Byrd vs. Tim Wakefield. The winner? Gravity. (And HGH sellers, as we later found out.)

October 15, 2007
Game 3 Presents New Stakes For Dice-K
CLEVELAND -- Game 3 pitching preview. The Sox beat the Game 3 "jinx."

October 15, 2007
Dirt Dog Coming Back to Haunt
CLEVELAND -- Off-day notebook. It's Trot Nixon. He's back. We're all thrilled, for him and for us.

October 14, 2007
Francona Enters Postseason of Errors
After Eric Gagne and Game 2, but before the hi-larious race to the airport for a far-too-early flight.

October 14, 2007
Nameless Game 2 Notebook
The lead is Boston's success driving in runs with the bases loaded. It's harder than it sounds.

October 13, 2007
Leave The Predictions To The Pros
It's about Ortiz, Manny and the offense. Not that you'd know it from the headline.

October 13, 2007
Carmona Not Sure He's The Favorite
Game 2 preview. I'm sure enough for both of us.

October 13, 2007
Kielty Delivers On Success
Not a bad notebook for needing to be done before the game ended.

October 12, 2007
Farrell Elevates Sox After Building Indians
Through stumbling across my lede, one of the better stories of my season. Even if no one wants to read about the pitching coach.

October 12, 2007
Aces Up
Bold prediction: Friday night is going to be awesome. (And it was, no thanks to C.C. Sabathia.)

October 11, 2007
Role Players Keep Rolling Along
Any time you can build around Alex Cora, you're doing something good.

October 9, 2007
Pedroia Ends Slow ALDS On A High Note
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Futzed with this throughout my extra day in Anaheim. Did not end my trip on a high note.

October 8, 2007
Ortiz, Manny Bring The Power
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- I quite like this one. Has that "written covered in champagne and beer spray" feel.

October 8, 2007
New Schilling At His Postseason Best
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Headline encapsulates story. Really needs nothing else.

October 8, 2007
Sox, Angels A Postseason Mismatch
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- ALDS Game 3 notebook, leading with various playoff numbers. In no way a Stat That Time Forgot.

October 6, 2007
Angels Prove They Belong in Postseason
The classic "written before Game 2 is over" column. It still works ... L.A. still pissed it away, and did they give my father and brother something to see.

October 5, 2007
Game 2 Starters Found Groove Just In Time
Game 2 preview. Daisuke Matsuzaka makes his playoff debut, OMG.

October 4, 2007
Red Sox Ace Made Pitches, And History
How often does one get to make references to Mordecai 'Three Finger' Brown?

October 4, 2007
It's Manny's Time of Year
Jerk couldn't even hit a home run to make things more relevant. What a hollow .800-something average.

October 4, 2007
Wakefield Will Have To Wait
Pre-game notebook. Can't believe I'd forgotten clubhouses are closed in the playoffs ... I've covered friggin four of them.

October 3, 2007
Bring It On: Papelbon Ready For Spotlight
The preview centerpiece, and honestly, I think I've outdone myself.

October 3, 2007
Aces Thrive on Big Stage
ALDS Game 1 preview.

October 3, 2007
Angels 101
Meet the first playoff roadbump, same as the first playoff roadbump three years ago.

October 2, 2007
Youth Group Inspires Confidence
The playoff preview stoires roll on. See what happens when I try!

October 2, 2007
A Hot September Offers No Guarantees
Stats everywhere! Isn't it weird the games starting will actually feel like less work?

Sept. 30, 2007
Surprise! Ortiz Still Among Baseball's Best
Inside Baseball, led with the story I'd written Friday night before the clinch.

Sept. 29, 2007
Division Win Fuels Fans' Happiness
Little to do with fans, but for 30 minutes, I'll take it.

Sept. 29, 2007
Buch Stops Here: Rookie Shut Down For Season
Like a notebook, but he's the only story.

Sept. 28, 2007
Nothing To Worry About
Does uncreative headline equal uncreative story?

Sept. 27, 2007
Lowell Leads Sox Attack
Game story. I was there anyway, and I can't stand not doing anything.

Sept. 26, 2007
No Appeal To Sox Off The Field
Is it a great rant column, or simply a rant? America, decide!

Sept. 23, 2007
Best Record More About Home Field Than Format
This week's Inside Baseball isn't my best effort. That Stat, though, is superb.

Sept. 19, 2007
Sizing Up Sox For Early October
Man, timing is everything.

Sept. 17, 2007
Durable Youkilis Stuck in an Unlikely Position
Sunday's notebook, which could've used the time afterward, but couldn't.

Sept. 17, 2007
Sox Surviving Manny's Absence
Sunday's story, written too quick given they actually did what things up well before deadline.

Sept. 16, 2007
Rebuilding Begins Anew For Twins
Inside Baseball. Can't be bad when a player from 1904 gets referenced.

Sept. 16, 2007
Beckett's Evolution Shines Through in Win
Saturday's MVP performance was from John Farrell, Sox pitching coach.

Sept. 15, 2007
Ramirez Still Not Ready To Return
Friday's Sox-Yankees Notebook

Sept. 15, 2007
Dice-K Remains Mystery
Friday, written quick to avoid the crunch of high school football.

Sept. 14, 2007
No Finality From The Finale Series
Sox-Yankees. For the gabillionth time.

Sept. 9, 2007
Sizing Up The AL Rookie Race
This week's Inside Baseball secretly replaces normal stat analysis with VORP and Folgers crystals! And insults Twins middle reliever Pat Neshek!

Sept. 4, 2007
Wakefield Should Be Ready To Go Thursday
I referenced a butterly flapping its wings and spawning a no-hitter. I'm a poet!

Sept. 4, 2007
Dice-K Shows All His Ups and Downs
Apparently, no one told Daisuke that it was not acceptable to suck.

Sept. 2, 2007
Buchholz An Important Part of Boston's Future
Live, from Chicopee Falls, I write about a no-hitter semi-drunk. And we weren't even done with our game of Uno.

Sept. 2, 2007
Roster Expansions Give Some Final Shot at Glory
Please note the correction within Inside Baseball, which has actually spawned a pretty nice exchange.

August 31, 2007
Francona Fumed (About) Fashion Police
NEW YORK -- Oh, baseball. You're so funny sometimes.

August 31, 2007
Three Close Calls, But Three Losses
NEW YORK -- I resisted the urge to work in Boston's similar three-game sweep from 1999.

August 30, 2007
Banged-Up Manny Sits Out
NEW YORK -- This was actually the spot where I learned the concept of "cheating" on a pitcher.

August 30, 2007
Clemens Gets His Man; Beckett Doesn't
NEW YORK -- From the basement, he looked really hittable is what I'm saying.

August 29, 2007
Manny Serves Up Another Bronx Blast
NEW YORK -- How often does the chance to start a notebook with Nine Inch Nails come along?

August 29, 2007
Baby Bombers Sprout Hope For Yankees
NEW YORK -- It just so happened that in the first game, Joba Chamberlain fulfilled my pre-written stuff perfectly.

August 28, 2007
Ready To Rumble
Pre Sox-Yanks series hype column.

August 26, 2007
Sizing Up The Best of The Rest
A few more predictions I'm sure I'll regret weeks from now. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Not mentioned anywhere? Colorado!]

August 23, 2007
Four Foes Not To Be Forgotten
It would be really nice is these teams aren't all out by the LCSes. [EDITOR'S NOTE: One actually made the playoffs!]

August 20, 2007
Gagne Shows Best Stuff in Losing Cause
Notebook. It always makes me smile to hear Eric Gagne's stronger-than-you-thought accent.

August 20, 2007
Sox Aren't Ready To Panic Yet
Aaaand here come the backhanded swings at J.D. Drew!

August 19, 2007
Pena's Plight Reflects Failing Method
Sunday's Inside Baseball. Need I say more?

August 14, 2007
Sox Have Made Their Own Bed
Sunday was the first time this year I've actually been mad at the Red Sox. It was eventually going to happen.

August 14, 2007
Francona Plans To Stick With Gagne
The notebook. Desperately needed Gagne quotes, but he wasn't around. Must have been off not shaving.

August 13, 2007
Show Will Play On After Beckham
Somehow not damaged by my writing on laptop battery power, unsure whether the computer would shut down at any moment.

August 12, 2007
Ankiel Having A Blast In His Return To The Bigs
Borderline chill-inducing stuff in Inside Baseball. Stuff you probably knew, but hopefully you didn't.

August 9, 2007
Baseball Bigger Than One Tainted Record
This is revision number three. Ultimately, the one extra day probably didn't affect the story much, but did make me feel better about it.

August 8, 2007
Even in Decline, Schilling Can Still Deliver
A requested folo, since the only West Coast baseball we get in the paper is home run records.

August 6, 2007
IB: Santana Can't Mask His Disappointment
This week's Inside Baseball avoids the "rank the deadline" idea, instead letting the Stat shine.

August 1, 2007
Epstein Pulls Trigger On Difference Maker
The column on the Eric Gagne trade, written after I found myself a working laptop.

August 1, 2007
Sox Don't See Ortiz ...
The notebook on trade deadline day, written after I found myself ... see above.

July 29, 2007
IB: Not Much Excitement Blowing in the Trade Winds
This week's Inside Baseball is not exactly an advertisement for my deserving a larger stage. Well, outside of The Stat That Time Forgot, as always.

July 25, 2007
Boston Bench Has Some Building Blocks
Based on weekend interviews, would have been much better if I'd done more weekend interviews.

July 23, 2007
Lester's Call-Up Sign of Strength
On the announcement Jon Lester will return on Monday in Cleveland. Half news, half column.

July 23, 2007
Ortiz Out Again, But No Real Worry
Notebook, leading with his shoulder injury and continues sitting out.

July 22, 2007
IB: Westport's Fernandes Takes Another Step Up
Inside Baseball. SouthCoast's Sox prospect now in the High-A California League pinball machine. Plus, Book Corner!

July 20, 2007
A Long Night of Missed Chances
It's a lot easier to write a game story when you can spend the whole game doing it.

July 20, 2007
Hamstring Sends Drew to Bench
The notebook, written entirely during an unexpectedly free hour and 56 minutes. Thanks, rain!

July 20, 2007
'Experience of a Lifetime' for Mattapoisett Girl
Strictly mop-up work and editing on a Sox-skewed news story about a local blind girl who threw out the first pitch. The EMC Club is very nice.

July 19, 2007
Surreal Moments Bring Out The Fan in Everyone
The weekly column, spinning off the British Open. Way off the British Open.

July 17, 2007
Sox Need Schilling, But No Hurry
Written around No. 38's side session, and an apparent panic among the lunatic fringes. Already, more credit than they deserve to get.

July 17, 2007
Sox Finding Their Power Strokes
The notebook, Gabbard-free since he was going to dominate the AP gamer. The nuggets at the end about the famed Leo Nunez honestly made my entire drive home happy.

July 12, 2007
Playoffs Seem Certain, But Causes For Concern
"Large divisional leads have a way of skewing perspective, but the 2007 Red Sox have literally done nothing their ancestors from 2002 and 2006 didn't also do on their way to missing the playoffs." I'm just all sunshine, aren't I?

July 10, 2007
Lowell's Star Burning Brightly
The annual All-Star feature, this time on everyone favorite thrid baseman who wants Fidel Castro dead.

July 4, 2007
Time To Tweak The Midsummer Classic
Three ideas to make the All-Star Game, and picking the teams for it, better. Whatever that means.

July 3, 2007
Sox Not Worried About Struggling Middle
A story sadly deficient in mentions of the night's highlight: Jacoby Ellsbury going second-to-home on a passed ball.

July 1, 2007
IB: Feeling Loney At First, Dodgers Send Nomar To Third
Inside Baseball cranks through a little Gameday Audio, and features private e-mail in-jokes.

June 24, 2007
IB: Youk's Snub Not Biggest All-Star Sob Story
This week's Inside Baseball digs deeped into the voting than, and I guarantee this, anyone who's voted.

June 20, 2007
Despite Slump, Schilling Still A Bargain
The eternal question: Does Whale City understand the concept of BABIP?

June 17, 2007
IB: Bonding With Giants Fans at Fenway
Inside Baseball meets some delightful San Franciscans and crazy kids from Nova Scotia.

June 16, 2007
A S*d Tale
The best headline on any column of mine I can remember. Bonds related, obviously.

June 16, 2007
Roberts Steals A Place in Sox History
A Sox-Giants notebook plum full of joyous memories.

June 13, 2007
Lugo No Longer Leading Man
A beefy notebook, which is always nice.

June 5, 2007
Pedroia Looks Like He Belongs
Rain cancelled all our high school games, so we needed copy. Fortunately, that plucky little bastard has started swinging.

June 4, 2007
Sox Fall On A-Rod Homer In Ninth
The most rushed gamer you'll read today. You name it, I forgot to put it in. To me, there's nothing harder to write than game stories in mid-stream.

June 4, 2007
Francona Not One For Arguing Antics
Sunday's notebook, which fortunately had the part updated that needed to be updated.

June 3, 2007
IB: Epstein Focuses On Impact As Draft Approaches
Intrascrotal hematoma. Welcome to this week's Inside Baseball.

June 3, 2007
Clemens Delays Return
Pure news, thanks in large part to my somehow ending up in the front of the Brian Cashman postgame scrum.

June 2, 2007
With Giambi Out, Yanks Juggle DHs
Notebook from Saturday. As much Yankee news as Red Sox, because Joe Torre just seems more forthcoming sometimes.

May 29, 2007
Nixon Well Received in Boston Return
I resisted the urge to talk to fans. Ultimately, it would have ended up poorly for everyone involved.

May 29, 2007
Youk Steals Trot's Thunder
Hassle-free notebook.

May 27, 2007
IB: It's Not His Body, But Use That's Hurting Bonds
Inside Baseball attempts to get 'Perlozzo's Boner' in the baseball lexicon. It's going to be a long road.

May 20, 2007
IB: Cust's Comeback Means He's No Longer Majors' Fall Guy
Inside Baseball salutes Jack Cust, the man seveal Standard-Times staffers screamed at during a previous 12:30 p.m. PawSox game. Yeah, I left that part out.

May 16, 2007
Red-Hot Start Reminds of Five Years Ago
The 2002 Red Sox ... the best team that sucked. (History will show I was right about this. At least enough for our purposes.)

May 15, 2007
Watching Dice-K A National Fixation
The shame in this is I'll apparently never get to see the video footage of one of my greatest moments: the Nippon TV interview with the plastic signs.

May 15, 2007
Beckett's Finger On The Mend
The notebook, which could not be more cut avulsion and dry. Wokka wokka wokka.

May 13, 2007
IB: By Comparison, Pena's Chances May Be Fleeting
Sunday's Inside Baseball, brought to you by walks. Many, many walks.

May 12, 2007
A Night For Burres, Not Wily
End the nominations. Worst game of the year has been decided. Fortunately, I saved my worst for it.

May 9, 2007
A Different Kind of Clemens Closure
The Jon Couture Clemens story, complete with personal anecdote. Join us next time, when I tell the story of why I liked Hideki Okajima before you did.

May 7, 2007
Fast Acting Doesn't Make Clemens Quick Fix
My boss called me twice this afternoon. Both calls added far more work to my pile than I'd had previously. To me credit, I think, I kept picking up.

May 4, 2007
Wild Dice-K Cause For Concern
I'd really like to know if tracking his pitches is getting me anywhere. Though on a night where the quotes were sparse, it helped immensely.

May 3, 2007
Beckett Hangs Tough For Sixth Win
Definitely did not end up the perfect game I was hoping I'd see four innings in.

May 3, 2007
Francona Fosters Communication Without Translation
Another short notebook that actually isn't that short.

May 2, 2007
Epstein's Dream Team Shining So Far
It's always good to pen a love sonnet about something right before they blow a save.

April 29, 2007
IB: Yankees Have Heard Bronx Cheers Before
Comparing the 2007 Yankees to their 2005 counterparts, for whom things worked out. Columns are better when you have an actual topic.

April 23, 2007
Pedroia Takes It One At-Bat At A Time
Sometimes, the timing of your pre-game interviews couldn't be much better. (And that's before considering he'd make a run at Rookie of the Year.)

April 23, 2007
Lester Making Strides Toward Return
Of more interest to me, enclosed is the answer to the "consecutive bunt hits" question from the day previous.

April 22, 2007
Beckett Battles Through A Challenge
I really hope people are actually getting something out of the pitch data stuff I've been trying to pepper in lately, because it really makes it hard to do a whole lot else during the game.

April 22, 2007
IB: Losses Put Torre's Feet to the Fire
I dare say Inside Baseball can't believe he wasn't fired.

April 21, 2007
Cora Nation: Sox Use Five-Run Eighth ...
When the rally made everyone blow up their Alex Rodriguez stories, suddenly making my other story a gamer made a whole lot sense. So much sense, I wouldn't have thought of it had it not been suggested to me.

April 21, 2007
A-Bombs Remind Us Of A-Rod's Talent
Originally the notebook lead until it couldn't just be in the notebook, and then the notebook was ditched all together.

April 15, 2007
Ortiz To Wear Appreciation On His Back
Originally the lead to Inside Baseball, broken out as its own story.

April 15, 2007
IB: Yanks Stretching To Find Source of Injuries
Everything else, which is more than 'everything else' usually entails.

April 12, 2007
It's Dice-K Night at Fenway Park
This was the news-side scene story, which featured meeting these guys on the street. I'm gonna guess 100,000 sales is out of reach.

April 12, 2007
Overshadowed, But Not Overmatched
The sports-side sports story, which you might imagine I enjoyed about 40 times more.

April 11, 2007
Beckett Shines in Opening Day Spotlight
Probably not worth having tracked his pitches all afternoon, but I had the extra time. Using it made sense.

April 11, 2007
Start of Dice-K ERA Steals Spotlight
So did the game being over in the second inning, but who's counting.

April 8, 2007
IB: Rice Comments Lend Insight Into Reality
This week's Inside Baseball, drawing upon the two Tampa Bay Devil Rays games I've watched this season. Also, the source of a two-page handwritten hate letter! (Read the April 15 update for details.)

April 4, 2007
Wamsutta To Open New Baseball-Themed Club
I mingle with the idle rich again, and enjoy a sneak peek at their new club. Apparently, I really am the target demographic.

April 3, 2007
No Way This Role Reversal Lasts
Good for Kansas City. They can look back on this fondly when Gil Meche is 16-11 at the end of the year.

April 2, 2007
On The Doorstep of a New Season
Written for the front, front page, and guest edited by Cooch HOF member Jonathan Comey!

April 1, 2007
'07 SOX PREVIEW: A New World: Dice-K Fits Right In
One-half of the centerpiece for the baseball preview, on Daisuke's adjustments to America.

April 1, 2007
'07 SOX PREVIEW: Tinker Boys: Sox Spent Spring Tweaking Repertoire
One-half of the centerpiece for the baseball preview, on how all the starters spent spring training working on stuff. That's a poor explanation, really.

March 25, 2007
IB: Tavarez Can Hold The Fort
This week's Inside Baseball, which had the added advantage of being done at 10:15 a.m.

March 23, 2007
Papelbon Move Works Only if Setup Men Do Too
Whoops. Goodbye, day off. Though that's always an inevitable story of the season.

March 21, 2007
Gyro's Mystery is Mind over Matter
This, and every other story like it, will do nothing to shut people up about the gyroball.

March 15, 2007
Heat's Off Drew
J.D. Drew talks a lot, and I'm pretty sure he actually says something when he does it.

March 15, 2007
Varitek's Hitting Woes Continue
This might be the first notebook I wrote all spring trip that didn't lead with a pitcher.

March 14, 2007
Crisp Playing His Own Game
Coco Crisp changed his hair style, and at no point called me 'useless.' Apparently, everyone's moved on.

March 14, 2007
Snyder Will Experience Variety
The notebook, on Kyle Snyder genuinely being just happy to be here. Washing out of Kansas City will do that.

March 13, 2007
Sox, Yanks Special For Crowd
Apparently, the girl I saw sitting at the ticket window at 5:30 p.m. the night before goes every year. Doubly glad I left her to her own insanity.

March 13, 2007
Papelbon Looking For Feel of Curve
Hopefully this doesn't read as disjointed as it felt. (Even if it did all end up a lie, since he became a closer again.)

March 12, 2007
[[Dice-K, Fans OK With Speed Bumps]]
Yeah, he was bad. Oh wait, he wasn't trying. So why are we televising this again?

March 12, 2007
Lester Sets A Northern Goal
Added bonus being that while watching him pitch, the dugout roof saved me from being killed by a BP home run.

March 11, 2007
Tigers Introduce Okajima to American-Style Hardball
It's the rumble in Lakeland that wasn't. Though it was at least exciting. Timo Perez ... apparently a calming force when players rush the field.

March 11, 2007
IB: Fernandes Heeds Advice of Clemens
This week's Inside Baseball catches up with SouthCoast's lone prospect, who's at least Red Sox property. Every small paper has the local player in the majors story, if they're lucky.

March 10, 2007
Tender Back Puts Timlin on Hold
Philly's park is lovely, but the day wasn't much for extra notebooky stuff.

March 9, 2007
Pineiro Angling For Closer's Role
No he's not. "Pineiro Angling For Good Impression" would be better, given the story makes two references to that. But really, I also wouldn't have eaten an entire bag of Ritz Toasted Chips tonight if we're giving out do-overs.

March 9, 2007
Schilling Keeps Working on Changeup
I have nothing needlessly rotten to say about this headline. And plus, they did, you know, send me a new computer to work on, which is nice.

March 8, 2007
Sox Bullpen Remains Question Mark
Having planned to write this halfway through my trip before it began, it probably ended up being the best possible day for it anyway.

March 8, 2007
Papelbon Strong in 50-Pitch Effort
Five innings, one hit. Yes, it doesn't matter, but let's pretend it does. More fun.

March 6, 2007
Lester Makes Another Step To Normalcy
Not even one pitch for every minute it took to drive over there from City of Palms. And no turkey legs for sale.

March 6, 2007
Beckett ... Blister Woes
I did not mention the Nomar "press conference" in this notebook because I didn't see it, but no way it could have topped last year's in Vero.

March 5, 2007
Delcarmen Has Grip on Situation
Story features no actual mention of his oft-mentioned hair highlights.

March 5, 2007
Schilling Hopes Changeup Becomes Work of Art
After the mad dash down Metro Parkway. After his start, Schilling immediately left, meaning we all had to go cross-town before the game was over to talk to him.

March 4, 2007
Papelbon Holds Lofty Standard
He was pretty damn awesome, I have to say. Even if this did still feel like a relief appearance.

March 4, 2007
Old Face Fields a New Question
Had to write about Wakefield, so why not here. Plus, a hint at the 600-page '07 Sox Media Guide.

March 3, 2007
An Other-Worldly Night at City of Palms Park
I suppose technically I wrote the headline.

March 3, 2007
Silver Lining in Manny's Slow Start
With plenty left over for my long-awaited Kyle Snyder feature.

March 2, 2007
New Bedford's Chin Has Blast Against Sox
Sometimes stories just work out. Like, "Oh, hey. Our local player on Northeastern's mom is standing on the concourse, wearing his jersey."

March 2, 2007
Beckett ... Curve ... Leadership ... Next Level
As the notebook should be, it's everything else.

March 1, 2007
A Good Start For Schill
There is nothing more fitting than a spring game ending in a tie. Trust me.

March 1, 2007
Ellsbury Shows Glimpse of Talent
Far more enjoyable. Least that's what I think.

February 25, 2007
IB: AL East's Other Three Remain Just That
So you're not surprised when you read it, I wrote this from the bottom up. Keep note of quality.

February 23, 2007
Is Curt's Weight Why Theo's Waiting?
I don't know why I remembered Schilling talking about his weight last spring, but I did. Where I learn the valuable journalistic lesson that you can't throw out stuff like "EverQuest bender" and expect people to know what you're talking about.

February 18, 2007
Inside Baseball: Q & A With John Farrell
The now-annual season-opening series meets the new pitching coach.

February 14, 2007
Nine Non-Closer Sox Stories to Nosh On
Apparently, I did this to myself. I guess massive page layout crashes have a way of affecting work, above and beyond blowing storm-related deadline.

February 7, 2007
Next Stop? Sox, Springtime
When all else fails, let them know you really like baseball. It might even help when they later decide they hate you.

Jan. 31, 2007 - Sports Page One
Schilling, Talk and All, Worth The Extension
I'm not sure I actually believe that. I'm pretty sure I've grudgingly convinced myself, though. I'm also sure I'm miffed other people who wrote this days later got more attention.

Jan. 29, 2007 - SportsMonday Page Three
Helton Works, But Only At The Right Price
Never did I think I'd even for a moment worry about trading Julian Tavarez, and somehow be glad when it all didn't happen.

Jan. 27, 2007 - Sports Page One
J.D. Drew Ready To Shoulder The Load
News of his official signing off a conference call. Unlike the last time this happened on a game day, I actually managed to write and still be on time.

Jan. 24, 2007 - Sports Page One
No Closer to Closer? That's Fine
My semi-analysis of the closer situation, at least until Baseball Prospectus writes something about it and completely changes my mind.

Jan. 10, 2007 - Sports Page One
History Again Muddies Hall Call
As I was saying at work, I'm pretty sure every two months, I write at least one story/column based around calling a peer an idiot. This should serve me well in the future.

Jan. 7, 2007 - Sports Page One
[[Don't Make Boise's Run About Missing OSU Matchup]]
Definitely didn't see this coming up as a topic a couple of days prior. That's the kind of thing that makes it so damn fun.

Dec. 24, 2006 - Sports Page 10
Local Sports Story of the Year: Nos. 2-10

Dec. 21, 2006 - Sports Page One
Constant Roster Shuffle Simply Part of Today's Sox
About halfway through the column, I decided that I didn't really like the idea I'd started the column with. Unfortunately, I was already halfway through the column and had no actual idea to replace it with. Proud moment.

Dec. 15, 2006 - S-T Front Page
Boston Rolls Out The Welcome 'Mat'
I have to admit, this one is far better than the story in the sports section. Given the day was about scene, not baseball, that's hardly shocking.

Dec. 15, 2006 - Sports Page One
D-Mat Has All Makings of an Ace
The sports story, which has a couple strong quotes in it, but really isn't fleshed out to be much of anything. Hopefully you feel differently.

Dec. 14, 2006 - Sports Page One
Red Sox Get Their Man
I was told it was 'very, very' good, which is nice, since I futzed with it for in excess of three hours.

Dec. 13, 2006 - Sports Page One
Matsuzaka's Coming, But If He Doesn't ...
Another one of those ideas that just came to me rather innocuously. Indirectly thanks to 'Cold Pizza,' but they shouldn't be proud of it. Or anything, for that matter.

Dec. 11, 2006 - Web-Only Story
Sox Brass in Calif. With 'Record' Offer
Filed somewhere in the vicinity of 2 a.m., probably right after Scott Medeiros got done shooting up the Foxy Lady. At least as good as anything else you'll read this morning. I even broke tradition and lowered the saturation of smarm!

Dec. 7, 2006 - Sports Page One
Sox See Drew As A Part, Not The Whole
How would you rather spend an afternoon other than poring through 207 L.A. Times stories that mention J.D. Drew?

Dec. 5, 2006 - Sports Page One
World Still Waits For Sox First Move
I have also been waiting, but eventually, I had to write. I've been told the J.D. Drew section is really good.

Nov. 29, 2006 - Sports Page One
This Time, Manny Talk Seems Real
I'm apparently saving the screaming about how stupid it is for when it actually happens. Given my ballot seems to disagree with my argument, I suppose it works out that I'm not better known for once.

Nov. 22, 2006 - Sports Page One
Morneau One Of Many Who Fill '06 MVP Bill
I wrote the headline. I can have no complaints. Though apparently, writing the column makes me part of the downfall of American journalism.

Nov. 21, 2006 - Sports Page One
Voc-Tech Looks To Start Rivalry With A Win
You write a story about two 0-10 teams playing on Thanksgiving. Even Agawam vs. West Springfield has never had that happen, and believe me, they've tried.

Nov. 20, 2006 - Sports Page One
Lombardo's A Leader, Through and Through
Is this too cliche? Part of me is concerned, the other part of me thinks it's fine.

Nov. 15, 2006 - Sports Page One
Sox Bid Worth Every Penny
The crux is generally that I'm glad the Sox are throwing their weight around again, a la Manny Ramirez. Especially since they'll make that bid money up at the expense of my sanity in 2007.

Nov. 11, 2006 - Sports Page One
Hot Stove Heats Up In A Hurry
In so much as it can heat up without anything having officially happened, that is. That's part of the charm.

Nov. 8, 2006 - Sports Page One
Epstein Ready For A Busy Hot-Stove Season
The Revs column idea has been passed on, given I had actual Red Sox news to write about. In so much as there not being any news is news.

Nov. 1, 2006 - Sports Page One
Finally, Pats are 'Red' Hot
This definitely falls in the 'making lemonade' category, since it capitalizes on my complete inability to pick football games properly in 2006. Well, it doesn't really, but I need to start feeling better about that.

Oct. 25, 2006 - Sports Page One
History Buff Wants To Bring Old-Time Base Ball Back
He wants to start a vintage team, complete with unis and no gloves. He probably won't be happy I pointed out the "broken fingers" part.

   NOTE - Not only did I get a letter from a Tabor Academy professor who wants me to speak to his "Baseball in American Society" class, I was linked to on the Baseball Primer Newsblog for the second time.

Oct. 24, 2006 - Sports Page One
Oldham Leads ORR Through Golf Sectionals
Technically, nothing more than me on the desk culling together all the day's high school golf sectionals action. Since it let me relive the worst day of my organized athletics life, though, I at least got mylsef a byline out of it.

Oct. 21, 2006 - Sports Page One
Sox Tab Magadan As Next Hitting Coach
Hockey Homecoming got a late start tonight, thanks to the Red Sox making their latest move just early enough that I couldn't pretend I was already on the road. Well, I probably could have, but I would have felt a little guilty about it.

Oct. 18, 2006 - Sports Page One
Fans Get Cheated By A Case of Dry Mouth
I honestly have no idea what this headline means -- it's about how it's easier for announcers to try to be funny than intelligent -- though people have helped me understand it a little more. This ended up being a very popular column, which is always a nice surprise.

Oct. 17, 2006 - Sports Page One
Sox Bring in Farrell As Pitching Coach
Being a baseball writer sometimes means news stories. Wordy, 'why can't I cut this stupid thing shorter' news stories, but ones that definitely get their point across.

Oct. 15, 2006 - Sports Inside
Coaching Moves Kick Off Offseason Makeover
Inside Baseball returns to its regular form, somehow not treading on the blog with analysis of the two men who actually would take over the vacated coaching positions.

Oct. 12, 2006
Remembering Gastall's Tragedy
A small local blurb brought about thanks to Cory Lidle's death.

Oct. 11, 2006 - Sports Page One
Let's Not Make Too Much of Managers
In the face of the Joe Torre saga, my Wednesday column is back. Though in saying that, I was the one that stopped writing the thing all along. Regardless, I missed it.

Oct. 8, 2006 - Sports Inside
[[ the statbox inside baseball ]]
Inside Baseball graded the entire Sox roster with the stats alongside ... a compromise on a day when I needed the time to do other things. Highlights included, and kind of ended with, Jason Johnson receiving a ZZ-.

Oct. 3, 2006 - Sports Page One
Heads Already Rolling At Fenway
Column as we found out the fates of both Dave Wallace and Ron Jackson. Not exactly my finest effort, for reasons I never really was sure about.

Oct. 1, 2006 - Sports Page One
Today, Trot Says Goodbye
This week's Inside Baseball is all Red Sox, but sadly Stat-free. There's enough little recalled stuffed in the Nixon piece to kill weaker men, and that's with piles left mercifully on the cutting room floor.

Sept. 30, 2006 - Sports Page One
Papelbon Needs To Get A Shot To Start
Columny, but with the nugget of news that I've been shouting about quietly since April. If you can, really, shout quietly.

Sept. 28, 2006 - Sports Page One
Rough Finish For Beckett
Another pseudo-gamer, though I never really felt like I had this one all together. On the plus side, though, we all learned Josh Beckett's favorite swear word.

Sept. 28, 2006 - Sports Inside
Clement Could Miss 2007
Sometimes, these notebooks are about as straightforward as you're going to get.

Sept. 24, 2006 - Sports Inside
So, Who's Up For Another Moronic 'Trade Manny!' Offseason?
For this week's Inside Baseball, I wrote my own headline. Can you tell?

Sept. 21, 2006 - Sports Page One
Foxx Worthy
Cramped for space, they had me write a gamer on the night David Ortiz hit his 50th home run of the season. As such, the end got cut off, and I don't care. Like I've said in the past, it's fun when I only have to do it every once in a while.

Sept. 17, 2006 - Sports Inside
Everyone Made Out on Pedro Deal
This week's Inside Baseball celebrates the Mets, and the unbridled joy that was the Carl Everett Era. I've heard so much about it of late, I feel like I missed something.

Sept. 10, 2006 - Sports Inside
Sox Still Bring Smiles
The first official Inside Baseball in many weeks seems even better after the Sox lost in 12 to the Royals. That would be the 54-89 Royals, who have beaten $120 million Boston five times in a row.

Sept. 6, 2006 - Sports Page One
Papelbon Has 'Dead Arm,' Not Tear
An unfinished column scrapped when news happened, and I got to finally learn what Dr. Gill looks like. Combine this with the notebook, and you could get the impression I know what I'm doing.

Sept. 6, 2006 - Sports Inside
Tavarez To Stay In Rotation
A notebook it took three attempts to get through the system. Somehow, not all of them were due to my idiocy. Some were due to George Kottaras.

Sept. 1, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[At Times Like These, Tito Shows His Value]]
Space issues (sort of) killed the notebook, but this column got the proverbial 'critical praise' from two co-workers before it even made it to print. That's rare, and for once, brings me genuine excitement.

August 27, 2006 - Sports Page One
Kyle Fernandes: A Work in Progress
A Sunday centerpiece look at one of Westport's own, trying to make his way up from 2005 draft pick and Low-A Greenville. Came out excellent, thanks to some help from an awful lot of people.

August 22, 2006 - Sports Inside
Hansen Gets Chance To Regroup
Probably the best notebook I've ever written, just chock full of extra statistical nuggets. Course, it's still a notebook.

August 22, 2006 - Sports Page One
Not Much Left In Sox Drawer
On day after my laptop craps out, it's an honest assessment of where the Red Sox are after the five-game sweep. Suffice to say, it's all about letting the facts speak for themselves.

August 20, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Hang 'Em Up: These Sox Hopes Are Worn Out]]
On August 20, I bury the 2006 Red Sox. In a delightful turn of events, I then leave the game, go directly to the paper and lay out the cover which buries the 2006 Red Sox. A true jack of all trades, I am.

August 20, 2006 - Sports Inside
Seanez Squeezed Off Of Staff
Notebook from Burial Day

August 19, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Junk Ball: Pitchers Make It A Long, Ugly Day]]
The doubleheader, which years from now, will somehow be enough to identify this. After all, Game 2 was the LONGEST NINE-INNING GAME IN MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY.

Amazingly, even though the game ended 90 minutes plus after my deadline, this somehow holds up. I am, apparently, a genius.

August 19, 2006 - Sports Inside
Happy Hinske Off To Hot Start
The Notebook to The doubleheader, which didn't sustain as well as the column. Contrary to David Letterman's assertions, apparently, my genius switch has an off position.

August 17, 2006 - Sports Page One
The Hard Side of Softball
The story which inspired the Jonathan Darling "Isotopes Playoff Media Guide" Photoshop. It's interesting, but it would be more interesting if you could actually hear the delivery of 'Hawk' Medeiros's quotes.

August 15, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[To Be Better Than Good, Aces Need To Step Up]]
I spent half this game with a stomachache, debating whether I could go home if I actually got sick. I'd like to think the column holds up regardless of this fact.

August 15, 2006 - Sports Inside
Lefty Breslow Recalled To Bolster Overworked Bullpen
I doubt Craig Breslow would remember me from having giving him my boss's phone number in Spring Training, and really, I don't want to find out.

August 13, 2006 - Sports Inside
Dombrowski's Vision Brought Roar Back To Tigers
This week's Inside Baseball, written and assembled in a semi panic since I neglected it forever. It, however, is more awesome than normal.

August 13, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Sox Reclaim Their Winning Formula]]
Words on a page, friends. So many words on a page. Yet it had such highre hopes at the start, though I suppose this is the flip side to how many columns I save somewhere in the middle.

August 12, 2006 - Sports Page One
Lowell Shines On A Weird Night
It was all enough to make you forget he's still not hitting much better than .200 since the All-Star break and still went 1-for-5.

August 12, 2006 - Sports Inside
Foulke's Tale More Of The Same
The notebook led with Keith Foulke not being activated, which succeeds in existing and little else.

August 9, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Epstein Bowed To Panic In Bard Deal]]
Looking back, I really wish I'd made more a stink about this when it actually happened. I just didn't, which makes this look a little worse.

   NOTE - These people tend to think I'm an idiot.

August 6, 2006 - Sports Inside
[[Boston Bashers United On One Slugging Team]]
One of my favorite Inside Baseballs ever, I spent multiple days digging up stats on performances against Red Sox and formed the 'Sox Killers' side since 2003. That, and a Stat Nick remarked was 'one of the better Stats in a while.'

August 4, 2006 - Sports Inside
Red Sox Acquire Catcher Lopez
It's a notebook with a newsy lead. Not bad for another night off.

August 2, 2006 - Sports Page One
Sox Crouching Into An Uncomfortable Position
The notebook, which features a funny, smiling Mike Lowell story that seemed incredibly less fun when he fouled a ball off his foot and limped around like a doomed horse.

August 2, 2006 - Sports Page One
Varitek To Have Surgery
I get newsy, panicky and rational all in the same 20 inches. Plus, any time there's quotes from Doug Mirabelli, you know it's got to be good.

August 1, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[No Move Was Sox Best Move]]
On a night where David Ortiz makes me question whether I'm in an alternate universe, I ignore it all together. It's not quite that simple, but in the end, I suppose that's where we get to.

August 1, 2006 - Sports Page One
Eight Too Much In Wells' Return
Good to see the old man is sticking to his silent, silent guns thanks to some of my peers.

July 30, 2006 - Sports Page One
Big Star Big Papi Had Stuff To Do
A largely nonsensical headline to another walk-off, though that's the fun of writing in a one-column hole. Not that I did it, mind you. Just explaining the story.

July 30, 2006 - Sports Inside
[[Francona Says Sox Are Sound At Deadline]]
Inside Baseball predicts no Sox trades. Also, I debate whether it would have made sense for me to, out of the blue, go talk to Alfredo Griffin.

July 29, 2006 - Sports Web-Only
Sox Tumble Thanks To Six-Run Seventh
It's a Web-exclusive game story, not weighed down by an actual headline or Jon Lester winning.

July 29, 2006 - Sports Inside
Wells Gets Chance To Rewrite Ending
The notebook, which seemed like the best thing to put in the paper when the game started at 10 past nine.

July 26, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Pitching Not Only Need At Deadline]]
Analysis of the AL contender's deadline needs. I always like an idea flows so well, I have to go back to the beginning and lop off fluff. Because, well, it's fluff.

July 23, 2006 - Sports Inside
Despite Curt's Comments, Rotation Has Big Rift
Inside Baseball begins to rise again, but this might have worked better if I'd printed all the stats I calculated.

July 21, 2006 - Sports Page One
Sox Have To Keep Up Scrappy Play
Sure do. Elaborate, isn't it? Especially since it would be more true than ever a couple of weeks later.

July 21, 2006 - Sports, Somewhere
Wakefield Could Miss Month
No one has analyzed the upcoming month for Doug Mirabelli this deeply. I'm sure of that. And it was edited down to this!

July 19, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Rookie Pitcher Starts To Piece It Together]]
On Jon Lester's one-hitter. What my boss called the greatest column I've written in the time he's been at the paper, and I'm inclined to agree with the sentiment.

July 19, 2006 - Sports Inside
Health Would Be Big Acquisition
The notebook, written under my new personally mandated length policy. If resumes don't need to be longer than one page ...

July 17, 2006 - SportsMonday Page Two
[[Strong Finish Saves Mnookin's 'Monster']]
The Sunday column on Monday, with an ode to Sam Horn. Clearly, I enjoy The Stat That Time Forgot too much.

July 16, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Stopper Shows Up In Time Of Need]]
Much easier to write than I had thought it would be, since I'm now paranoid that being interesting during the average regular-season game is impossible. An overflowing fountain of optimism, I am.

July 16, 2006 - Sports Inside
Boomer Eyes Return
The notebook, with late attempts to edit it quashed in the interests of deadline and sanity.

July 13, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Halfway Home, Sox Look To October]]
The apparently annual "Looking To The Second Half" piece. I remember last year not wanting to write this, writing it and then being really glad I did. The give and take of the newspaper business.

July 11, 2006 - Sports Page One
Shooting Star
My Jonathan Papelbon feature for the All-Star break. It, like most interview I do, fell victim to that transcribing truth -- the answers to the questions seemed a lot better before I actually typed out what they were.

July 9, 2006 - Sports Inside
All-Star Game Has More Problems ...
Inside Baseball, written without the benefit of air conditioning because my parents apparently chose not to go that route today, but with an argument I'm pretty sure I've gone into before.

July 2, 2006 - Sports Inside
[[AL Dominating Lackluster NL, But Why?]]
Inside Baseball. You know the drill by now.

June 29, 2006 - Sports Inside
Sox Defense Sets Record
A packed notebook, though not packed with Wily Mo Pena reporting to Lowell on Friday for a two-game rehab assignment. So consider this an addendum.

June 29, 2006 - S-T Front Page
Emotional Pedro Wins Hearts, Loses Start
The Pedro column that brought out that cup-spiking feeling of 'Wow. I really nailed it.' again.

June 28, 2006 - S-T Front Page
Strikes and Smiles: Pedro's Back
The biggest problem with this? There's really no way to include everything quoteworthy Pedro said. Also, I always get better headlines when I go on the front page. And that includes when I write my own headlines.

June 25, 2006 - Sports Inside
Fans Doing OK With The All-Stars
Inside Baseball looks at the All-Star voting, but is hurt by my refusal to leave the house. Though I did have a very good reason.

June 23, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Low Expectations Were Too High For U.S.]]
In the face to U.S.'s (expected) loss, this is as close to actual soccer analysis as the paper has had since we let our soccer writer go. Take that it's coming from me, uninformed guy, for what you will.

June 21, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Slinging Shuffle For Sox]]
The notebook from a night most notable because I almost lost my scoresheet, and went back to the concourse to find it sitting next to a trash can as I was leaving.

The main story from the game never made it on the Web. More joy.

June 16, 2006
Bonds A Sad, Not Tragic, Figure
Barry's visit to Boston, fueled up with all the things you'd expect.

June 11, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[First Start Not A Sign of Future]]
Jon Lester's debut. I'm going to refrain from discussing the nearly five-hour rain delay that submarined me covering my first-ever doubleheader. Rest assured, there's plenty of other writers who were there who'll bitch for all of us.

June 11, 2006 - Sports Inside
Future Looks Bright Down on the Farm
The soccer story from earlier in the week killed Inside Baseball, since it ate up the time I planned to spend, you know, talking to actual people. I'll take the tradeoff.

June 9, 2006 - Sports Page One
Fans' Allegiances Divided
This was supposed to be on the front page until al-Zarqawi died. All the better, since I don't think it was what they were looking for anyway.

I feel a little guilty that Frank Dell'Apa of the Globe wrote the story they really wanted, but I kinda like mine too.

June 4, 2006 - Sports Inside
[[Bandwagon Fans Becoming A Touchy Subject]]
This week's Inside Baseball. A vivisection of a fellow writer, a review of a book, a sort-of mistatement about Freddy Sanchez and a celebration of my own big day. Plus, ten cent beer!

June 2, 2006
Viewing A-Rod A Matter of Perspective
Alex Rodriguez cheated on his wife. Or something.

May 28, 2006 - Sports Inside
[[Pena Has Made The Most of His Opportunities]]
This week's Inside Baseball. His going on the DL makes me even more disappointed I didn't get to talk to him for this, since it really works even better than it would have had Coco Crisp just come back.

May 28, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Moment To Cherish For Schill]]
Emotion! And I think I got in all 800 people he mentioned after the game.

The notebook written for this game never made the Web site. But it's a notebook, so that's life.

May 27, 2006 - Sports Page One
Liner May Spell Unfortunate End
Probably slightly more fatalistic than the moment called for, but watching David Wells crumble like a skyscraper will do that.

May 27, 2006 - Sports Inside
Schilling Doen't Feel The Hype of 200
This could be bulletin-board material ... if baseball worked like that. And if I was important.

May 25, 2006 - Sports Page One
Yankees Find Way To Put Together Win
Clearly, the writing Gods enjoy me saying what I said yesterday, then creating an evening where the column is far better. I would be smart to stop with the trifling.

May 25, 2006 - Sports Inside
Crisp Will Be Back On Top
Notebook. Most of the statistics even made it through the game unscathed. Most.

May 24, 2006 - Sports Inside
[[Sox Fail To Cash In]]
You know I respect you guys, so I'll be honest. This column sucks. I tried real hard, but just never came up with anything compelling I could work with. Read it, but crank your expectations down to high school journalism levels.

May 24, 2006 - Sports Inside
MainHead / Pena Trying To Push Through Injury
I'm not sure what this says about me as a journalist, but I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to enjoy writing the harder news notebooks as much as I enjoy the columns off the game. Newswriting being my kryptonite and all.

May 23, 2006 - Sports Page One
With Modicum of Pitches, Ace Proves Self
And here I thought I would be the only person on staff ever to use "modicum." At least I've still got "fete," "kiosk" and other 50 centers below the "Ivy League Word of the Day."

May 23, 2006 - Sports Inside
Crisp, Kapler Get Back In Swing
The usual battle to make a 14-inch notebook a 20-inch notebook. I don't want to see if I won.

May 21, 2006 - Sports Page One
Interleague Play Here To Stay, Needs Some Tweaking
Sunday's Inside Baseball takes shots at Oakland, sort of, but not before coming up with an interleague solution that's far too easy.

May 21, 2006 - Sports Page One
Club's, City's Baseball Past is Rich
This would have been a much better time if, like had been hinted at, Henry Aaron showed up at the baseball dinner at the Wamsutta Club. When he didn't, it was like I was back at college again, trying to make something out of what my editors thought was nothing.

May 14, 2006 - Sports Inside
Yankees Are Dealing With An Unfamiliar Health Crisis
Sunday's Inside Baseball benefits from being a little shorter than normal and from analyzing a point deemed both intriguing and compelling by critics: that the Yankees are cooked, or at least well on the road to cooked.

May 10, 2006 - Sports Page One
For Young, 50-Game Punishment Fits Crime
Much of this was actually in a Sunday column back after the incident, the removal of which was mentioned in passing sometime this afternoon. Because, you know, I don't deserve to know these things. It's only my work.

May 9, 2006 - Sports Page One
Sox-Yanks All About The Arms
Did you ever wonder what it would look like if 20 inches worth of words were just strung together with a modicum of effort? This isn't it, but it's far closer than I'm sure my boss was hoping for.

May 7, 2006 - Sports Inside
Bats, Not Arms Powering Blue Jays
Inside Baseball finishes what snuck up on me as an eight-articles-in-seven-days stretch. The Stat was cut this week because, well, it wasn't very good. The rant, however, stayed.

May 6, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Millar Brings Back The Memories]]
It's hard to combine a notebook and a game column into one thing. They come out crappy.

May 5, 2006 - Sports Inside
Injured Riske, Wells Show Signs of Improvement
Generic notebook. Written so I could validate sitting in the front row (with the window open) with my conscience. It all worked out.

May 4, 2006 - Sports Page One
[[Only Time Will Tell On Pena]]
Another one of my favorites: the story on the day off. Course, it was a lot better before they lost the game and Jonathan Papelbon became the story, but deadline being deadline ...

May 3, 2006 - Sports Page One
Papelbon Taking Success In Stride
The notebook from a game that never happened. Had I not been so tired, I might even have been more industrious ... not that you'd have known that until just now.

May 2, 2006 - S-T Front Page
With Damon's Return, Rivalry Can Get Back To Baseball
Whereupon I almost see Johnny Damon as smarter than all of us, until I realize that goes against most everything I've ever believed.

May 2, 2006 - Sports Inside
Look Who (Else) Is Back at Fenway
I hope the utter lunacy of the Doug Mirabelli uber-ovation is conveyed here.

May 2, 2006
The Arizona Assault Now Takes Many Forms
This week's Inside Baseball.

May 1, 2006 - Sports Inside
Damon's Story Soon To Be Superceded
It's the sort of story I hate to write, turned into the sort of story I'm happy with because I didn't really write the story I hate to write. Somehow, that works out.

April 30, 2006 - Sports Inside
Time For The Rocket Sweepstakes To Begin
This week's Inside Baseball.

April 26, 2006 - Sports Page One
Bumbling B's Rapidly Becoming Region's Biggest Joke
I literally sat down and thought, 'Wow. I'm really pissed off at the Bruins right now. Like, really pissed off.' This ought to have just been called, 'Get The Rage Out.'

   NOTE - As if sensing my feelings and proving I can convey emotion, this link has one blogger saying, "It's, umm, not exactly coherent, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he wrote it that way because he was so irate with the way the Bruins have just been flushed down the toilet." That's about right!

April 23, 2006 - Sports Inside
Sox Better Off With Foulke At The End
This week's Inside Baseball. If, on the morning I left for Florida, you told me I'd be leading the Keith Foulke bandwagon before May 1, I'd probably have laughed at you. And told you to move, because I was late to leave for the airport.

April 21, 2006 - Sports Page One
Sox Need Bats To Get Going
True that, though even know, it's hard to imagine there would be a time when anyone had to say that about the greatest offensive team in the history of Earth.

April 21, 2006 - Sports Inside
Sox Demote Stern, Bring Up Harris
Once more, with feeling.

April 20, 2006 - Coastin'/Living Center Spread
Take Me Out To The Ballgame
The spilling of what were actually referred to as "insider secrets." You know, the good stuff, like "Don't pay $90 to park your car."

   It wasn't my idea, but I was more than happy to write it given the amount of time I spend up there. Plus I spent an hour on Opening Day surreptitiously walking around the concourse writing down concession prices, as though someone was going to notice and call security.

   NOTE - It's the story that launched a thousand media appearances! Well, two radio appearances on different WSAR shows. They're in Fall River. I'm sure someone listens to them.

April 18, 2006 - Sports Page One
Sox Show This Is A Different Team
It's a non-Ortiz walkoff! I can definitely say I enjoyed this game more because my father and brother were downstairs in attendance, because it felt good to know they saw the best of the season thusfar.

April 18, 2006 - Sports Page Three
Nixon Makes Strong Return To Lineup
The notebook, which does not include that while a good number of people were in the clubhouse, someone played Adam Sandler's 'At A Medium Pace.' Don't know it? Read the lyrics, then scream them as loud as you can for effect.

April 16, 2006 - Sports Page Four
Leadoff: An Open, Shut and Reopened Case
This week's Inside Baseball, with 100 percent more Alex Cora quotes than any other newspaper. And no, I never did slip up and refer to him as Joey.

April 15, 2006 - Sports Page One
A Thrill To See Schill Back At His Best
I really enjoy working on my days off far too much.

April 14, 2006 - Sports Page One
Little Things Add Up Against Sox
In a game where I spent most of the night unsure of what to write, for some reason, the Sox near comeback in the ninth would have screwed me up. Not quite sure how that works, though I'm just glad this had nothing to do with Grady Little.

April 12, 2006 - S-T Front Page
New Additions Delight Fans At Fenway Opening
This ran on the front page, so I'm told, which just made the juxtaposition ... well, it made me think I could get away with words like juxtaposition. As though it's ever stopped me before.

April 12, 2006 - Sports Page Three
Lineup Goes Cuckoo For Coco's Injury
Now that's a cute way to christen the season's first notebook.

April 11, 2006 - Sports Page One
Papi Stamped As Face of the Franchise
Ortiz gets his money, because he needs it given the jewels he already has. By the way? The Fenway improvements are awesome, and that's based on taking about two minutes to go look them over before yesterday's affairs. If they thought I was odd because I sometimes bring a camera to the game before ...

April 9, 2006 - Sports Page Three
IB: Papelbon Still Short-Term Solution In Bullpen
His saving a game tonight was merely a happy coincidence, and really, so was the headline. But the 'Stat'? Pure gold. Also featuring attendance talk, plus the great 'Enter Sandman' debate that wouldn't be the centerpiece of my time capsule.

April 5, 2006 - Sports Page One
Barry's Hardly Baseball's Only Story
Ignore the fact the Web headline for the column is "COUTURE:" This is what happens when I sort of try too hard ... if I actually tried to hard, things would work right.

April 4, 2006 - Sports Page One
It Can't Start Much Better Than This
While I was watching with my chicken sandwich, I was legitimately confused at the prospects the Sox could win. Like, when it was 5-0, I was taken aback for a moment. I have no idea why that happened.

April 2, 2006 - Sports Page One
Making It All Fit Together
The Red Sox breakdown from Sunday ... and now's as good a time as any to say I can't remember being so amped for the baseball season.

April 2, 2006 - Sports Page Three
Breaking Down The AL East
Last year, I wrote figuring I'd pick the Red Sox, then picked the Yankees and was validated. You'll never guess what happened this year.

April 2, 2006 - Sports Page One
Under Pressure
The centerpiece of our baseball preview, which could have been better if I'd actually gotten Sox psychologist Bob Tewksbury on the phone. But I like it anyway.

March 26, 2006 - Sports Page Four
Players To Keep An Eye On ...
... outside the AL East, if by that I mean including Toronto and not including Florida. Fortunately, our Web site now makes everything almost unreadable, so no one will notice.

March 22, 2006 - Sports Page Five
Pena's Raw, But Also Worth A Try
The column from Tuesday's paper, which makes it seem like nothing different happen. If Josh doesn't know I intended to write two pieces, Josh doesn't need to know I intended to write two pieces.

March 15, 2006
Not Everyone Caught Up In March Madness
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Inexplicably, a weekly column about the tournament that features my 1,700th headline complaint, since the point of the column could have been better explained with "March Madness" replaced with "Bracketology."

March 15, 2006
Notebook: Arroyo Unshaken By Shaky Start
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- I'll give him credit in being far less despondent after this start, and more snarky. Though that could have been the reality that he hadn't just made a cross-state drive that featured a bus breakdown. I'll look back on this last time we had together fondly.

March 15, 2006 - Sports Page One
Flushed With Success
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It's never good when, after reading the headline, I can't remember that the story was about Terry Francona's new contract. Though maybe with the pictures and everything, it's better in the paper version.

March 14, 2006
Notebook: Gonzalez Shows Off His Glove
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In the same way this day made me a believer in Alex Gonzalez, whose value I didn't really understand all offseason, every Red Sox fan will get there sometime in mid-April. It'll be a very happy time, I assure you.

March 14, 2006 - Sports Page One
Getting A Rise Out of A Sinker
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- When I would bury Bronson Arroyo a few days later, it was because -- in a shocking turn of events -- I've elevated Matt Clement past "toolsy pitcher who's never done anything." I really hope there's more than my Arroyo musical dislike at work.

March 13, 2006
Notebook: Papelbon Done With Camping Spirit
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Not featured in the text is Jonathan Papelbon's classic quote about his journalistic ignorance: "I didn't even know the (Boston) Globe had a magazine." It was far more funnier to the Globe people, I assure you. Kind of like how it's funny to me the Globe writers seem to think my name is Joe.

March 13, 2006 - Sports Page One
Prospects Need Time Before Phone Rings
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Something that could have been something more if it hadn't been so thrown together, though also something more if Dustin Pedroia was more of an openly chatty guy. I'm guessing that's not something anyone else cares about.

March 12, 2006
Notebook: Pain-Free, Curt Finding His Stride In First Start
BRADENTON, Fla. -- The one who wasn't pain free? Chris Duffy, the Pirates player who took an inside pitch with his helmet, then got chastised for not getting out of the way. Well, not exactly, but that's sure how the Pirates felt about it.

March 12, 2006 - Sports Page One
Graffanino Bides Time
BRADENTON, Fla. -- The last road trip of the road trip, the fervor was such that it looked like Graffanino would be traded very soon. That would have been too good a break, as it would have been if anyone really read this. As opposed to, say, all the other stories written on him prior.

March 11, 2006
Notebook: Bard Gets His Grip on Wakefield
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Oh yeah, they did play an actual game today. And it did matter more than finding out which of Josh Bard's three gloves got broken in enough in time for first pitch ... and first wild pitch.

March 11, 2006 - Sports Page One
Foulke A-OK With Progress
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Live from the back field dugout, I marvel at how some of the other writers are able to identify pitches as they're thrown, especially since that means they should probably still be playing baseball.

March 10, 2006
Notebook: Arroyo Won't Dismiss This One
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- In what proved to be one of Bronson Arroyo's final appearances as a Red Sox heartthrob, the bricks start falling into place. Also, Bill Mueller was so non-controversial, he barely (if at all) made the notebook.

March 10, 2006 - Sports Page One
Little Different For Grady In L.A.
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- The know still knows how to quip, and looking back from the other side on 2003, he finally sees it the way everybody else does. It just took him a few minutes longer than everybody else.

March 9, 2006
Notebook: Bard Catches On To Extra Duty Behind Plate
JUPITER, Fla. -- The prime beneficiary to John Flaherty's retirement speaks to two of us, given four people made the drive to the game. This continues what would later become a comic obsession with backup catching.

March 9, 2006 - Sports Page One
Lowell Ready To Earn His Money
JUPITER, Fla. -- Day Two of the reminiscing trip, now we're reminiscing with Marlins fans about the days when no one had to worry whether Mike Lowell would hit .250.

March 8, 2006
Notebook: Flaherty's Retirement Leaves Sox In A Pinch
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- On an extremely busy first day, we pseudo-break something on the trip blog, then follow in the next day's paper. It's journalism in the 21st century, which shouldn't be confused with jouramlism in the 22nd century -- that'll have more telepathy.

March 8, 2006 - Sports Page One
Old 'Idiot' Pays Friends A Visit
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Kevin Millar returns with Baltimore, and his black warm-up offers a slimming effect the red just wouldn't have.

March 1, 2006 - Sports Page One
For All Bode Miller's Antics, (At) Least He Was Honest
I wrote the headline this time, so when I'm bitching later about the word 'antics,' remind me of that.

   NOTE - The cavalcade of initial letters -- cavalcade meaning five -- this sparked are in the March 1, 2006, update. They continued throughout the month. Also, among stories on the newspaper's Web site, this was the most popular sports story and in the top dozen overall.

Feb. 27, 2006 - SportsMonday Page Five
IB: Pedro's Ailment Spells Relief For Red Sox
No "Stat That Time Forgot," but "By The Numbers" is a more than passing stand-in. Until then, the always popular look at former Sox players will have to do.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says Pedro Martinez's ailing toe is making the Red Sox decision not to re-sign him look wiser by the day." Also, in the inaugural public revelation of some Web specifics on S-T.com, this was bost the day's most popular sports story and 13th most read overall.

Feb. 26, 2006 - Sports Page One
Family Affair At Finish Line
NEW BEDFORD -- A story we've written before, but never this thoroughly ... New Bedford High's legendary basketball coach, stewarding his senior son as they try for a state title -- they've got an outside shot to do it, and it would be their first in a dozen years. I like it, though I'm biased.

Feb. 22, 2006 - Sports Page One
Manny's Delay No Big Deal
Apparently, 'contrivoversy' translates to 'controversy' when you don't read notes about changing my made-up words.

Remember: If you can't say anything nice, don't tell the editor in chief you have a Web site.

Feb. 19, 2006 - Sports Page One
IB: Touching All The Bases
The 2006 edition of Inside Baseball kicks off with a question and answer with Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

Honest to God. I still can't really believe it either, nor can I believe it was buried behind the state track meet. Fortunately, no one reads these yet.

Feb. 18, 2006 - Sports Page Two
Baseball's Spring Stories Begin Anew
A little review of some spring stories that have nothing to do with the Sox. And, much as I've never written the column before, I'm pretty sure that headline isn't feeling the freshness.

Feb. 1, 2006 - Sports Page One
After Busy Winter, Sox Sticking To Story
In the end, the "presentiation" this needed was a big, red question mark with the Sox logo in the place of the period. It looks a lot more impressive in person, I assure you.

Jan. 27, 2006 - Sports Page Three
New Bedford Pair Set Mat Marks In Victory
I happen to think it's a rather well-rounded story for one done over the phone on the fly. At least we reconfirmed that I'm weird, because I enjoy the small stuff as much as the big.

No one should enjoy taking high school phone calls as much as I do.

Jan. 26, 2006 - S-T Front Page
[[Around The Bases And Back For Sox, Theo]]
I drove 120 miles for this, and it's far better than the one from yesterday.

Jan. 25, 2006 - S-T Front Page
[[Theo's Return Marks New Chapter In Sox Soap Opera]]
Thanks, self-explanatory front page title.

Jan. 20, 2006 - Sports Page One
Power Play
I have to say, I'm not enjoying the new "Cooch hates the Red Sox all offseason" way of life, but I'm not exactly planning on shaking it up any time soon.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that Theo's return shows that this episode was simply about power."

Jan. 18, 2006 - Sports Page One
Classic Might Be Just That
One of those headlines written to fit a space ... I love those. And here when I sat down, I thought I was going to rip the WBC.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that we all might end up watching the World Baseball Classic...simply because there won't be anything else on at that time."

Jan. 11, 2006 - Sports Page One
Jim Ed Still Not Worthy of Hall
References to the chance of comedy in 2016/2017? None.

Jan. 6, 2006 - Sports Page One
Texas Ready To Take The Title
I actually feel a modicum of pressure, given I was so vocal about the predicted outcome. Thankfully, the odds of me getting any letter about it is low enough to laugh at.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture thinks that Texas is poised to break through and beat Southern Cal tonight."

Dec. 28, 2005 - Sports Page One
Sox Could Do Worse Than Appease Deal-Thirsty Mob
One of those that seemed a lot better at the end than it did at the beginning.

Dec. 25, 2005 - Sports Page One
UNPOSTED: Tom Pina, Kidney Transplant Bodybuilder
At some point, I will attempt to rectify this.

Dec. 22, 2005 - Sports Page One
Bottom Line: This Is A Huge Loss
You have my word ... the entire column is not that obvious. I mean, you had no idea Bronson Arroyo was a left-handed pitcher, did you?

Dec. 13, 2005 - Sports Page One
Two Heads Won't Outshine The One
Still available, World Series everything! SALE! SALE! SALE! Look at us! We've made a decision! Buy some grass!

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that two heads might not be better than one, and also seems a little tired of the continual Red Sox soap operas."

   Yeah, you could say that.

Dec. 11, 2005 - Sports Page One
Manny-Tejada Swap Short On Reality
This would be far more exciting than when the Montreal Expos were supposedly moving to Boston, but ultimately is probably ending the exact same way.

Dec. 9, 2005 - Sports Page One
Now The Sox Have Really Blown Things Up
Second straight day with a column, second straight day my headline starts with 'now.' I suppose putting the word 'Stupid' that big in the paper might agitate some people.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that the team has shown they're not afraid to shake things up, and they're really done that this offseason."

Dec. 8, 2005 - Sports Page One
Now Grady Has Real Chance To Prove Himself
You didn't think I could really just let this slide by, did you?

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at Grady Little getting second chance to prove himself as a big league manager."

Nov. 23, 2005 - Sports Page One
Strongman Won't Let Injuries Stop Him
Also known as, "What I Did On My Monday Vacation." It was fun when, watching tonight's Celtics game, I got to see the team's trainer and go, "I talked to that guy!" like a four year old.

Nov. 23, 2005 - Sports Page One
Kelliher's Return One of Few Laker Bright Spots
The second of two high school football features that took me way too long. You'd be amazed how much faster these things work when you have the right phone number for the kid you're trying to talk to.

That headline is going to get me in trouble ... I have no doubt.

Nov. 22, 2005 - Sports Page One
Trade Just What The Sox Need
Sixty-four minutes, and it doesn't seem terrible. It's amazing what happens when you sit down and realize that the trade you've been mixed about all that is worthy of a 'Yes, this is a really good idea.'

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture writes that even Theo couldn't have written this up any better, and that this deal could be exactly what the Red Sox needed."

Nov. 22, 2005 - Sports Page One
He Does It All
The first of two high school football features that I've been working on far too long.

Just a piece of advice. When a coach tells you a kid is soft-spoken, he's usually not kidding. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but just go in with a few more questions than you might normally. Makes for fewer "um" moments.

Nov. 15, 2005 - Sports Page One
In A Final Vote Between Worthy Men, The Better Year Won
As soon as A-Rod was announced the AL MVP winner, I began to hope against hope I wouldn't really have to write because I had absolutely nothing new to add to what I'd already said. All things considered, this did come out far better than nothing.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says in a race between two worthy candidates the better year won."

Nov. 8, 2005 - Sports Page One
'Red' Stove Will Be Heating Before Too Long
This is what happens when your boss wants you to write an offseason preview column, but there's really nothing that's gone on to warrant such a column. Though really, if Hector Carrasco comes to Boston, I'm going to feel very vindicated.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that the Red Sox hot stove will be boiling over fairly soon. He looks at some of the likely issues."

Nov. 3, 2005 - Sports Page One
Epstein Sees Big Picture Of Life
One of those columns I really hope came out right, because I walked out of Fenway with a smile on my face because I knew exactly what I was going to write. Just seems like something that could be hard to follow, which is sad if you think about it.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that Theo sees the big picture in life and thus is able to move on."

Nov. 1, 2005 - Sports Page One
Three And Out: Money Can't Buy Theo's Love
One of those megalomanaical nights where I got to lay out a front page prominently featuring my own column. Some day, I can hopefully figure out a way to show said covers off here.

Oct. 19, 2005 - Sports Page One
Theo's Caught In A Numbers Game
You know, I bet John Schuerholz wouldn't care if America knew what he made per year. So why doesn't the Internet know? The Internet knows everything!

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that Theo Epstein is caught in a numbers game with the Red Sox."

Oct. 12, 2005 - Sports Page One
There Are Still Some Sox To Root For
Remember when I was winning awards for my weekly column because the New England AP folks thought I was funny? Reading this, I don't ... I'm just trying to remember if I deluded myself so much, I actually faded out of reality.

Oct. 9, 2005 - Sports Page One
Change On Horizon For Sox
I think if I'd wanted to, I oculd have done two stories today given the information presented. But this works just fine, and allowed me to sleep by 12:30 in the morning.

Oct. 8, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Wait Till Last Year
It offers a nice beacon of hope, which is what I felt outside given how everything ended.

Oct. 8, 2005 - Sports Page One
'El Duque' Saved It In The Sixth
I write some long sentences sometimes. More so in the other story, but I'm just thinking about it now.

Oct. 7, 2005 - Sports Page One
Red Sox Bats Have To Come Back To Life
Not exactly blowout worthy, but a nice day off. Though given it's October, "day off" translates to flying across the country and working. I love my job.

Oct. 6, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Sox Blow 4-Run Lead, Drop Game 2
CHICAGO -- Oh yeah. They did have a 4-run lead, didn't they?

Oct. 6, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Wrigley, Comiskey Are Worlds Apart
CHICAGO -- Exactly the kind of story that got me this job in the first place ... actually not having to write three in a day allowed me to do it. I'd like to think people noticed.

Oct. 5, 2005 - S-T Front Page
In Game 1, White Leaves Red With A Black Eye
CHICAGO -- You'd have thought this would have been easier than it was. But upon reading it, the couple real flat zingers show I was clearly straining. I thank you for your patience.

Oct. 5, 2005 - Sports Page One
Believe It Or Not, This One Could Have Been A Lot Different
CHICAGO -- I'd have to say my favorite story of the postseason thusfar. It just came to me during the game, then came together really well. Got it done in not time flat, which for me and my style is an excellent sign.

Oct. 5, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Skip Goes With Field Flexibility Over Extra Arms
CHICAGO -- The notebook, which ended up a real nice blend of live and pregame. Apparently I'm a much better writer when there's baseball to cover.

Oct. 4, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Francona Holds Off On Playoff Roster
CHICAGO -- Not the greatest notebook in the world since I skipped all the White Sox stuff, but in the context of the deliriousness previously mentioned, it could have been worse.

Oct. 4, 2005 - Sports Page One
Boston's Big Boys
CHICAGO -- I may well have been delirious when I wrote this, which isn't good considering it has been in the works for months. But nevertheless, I'm happier with it than the outcome of Monday Night Football.

Oct. 4, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Boston Arrives In Chicago Wary of 'Devastating' Pitching
CHICAGO -- The story I got filed from the field. It'll take me at least a day to get used to every reference here to the "Sox" meaning the Chicago variety.

Oct. 3, 2005 - Sports Page Four
Clincher Came Early, Courtesy of White Sox
It was nice to count the 46 names in the box score. Since it felt like at least 42, it was real good to confirm it down at 11 p.m. after I'd driven back to Whale City on my own recognisance.

Oct. 3, 2005 - Sports Page Four
Curt Delivers Wild Card, Quietly
Well played on the title side by the new guy. Well played.

Oct. 3, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Sox Take Wild Card; Now Everybody's Even
The way the scoreboard posters put Boston and top of New York, despite them having won the division title, would be charming if it weren't so stupid.

Oct. 2, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Sox Lose Battle For First ...
While in the car, I actually realized an error I'd made and drove to work to get it changed. It then was fixed for the print paper, but ran online wrong. This is what happens when you've embraced technology to the fullest.

Oct. 2, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Clement Ready For Short-Rest Playoff
In a sad turnaround, today, the notebook is probably the best thing I did because I had time to be thorough. All that's missing is New York's decision to rest Mike Mussina after they won their playoff berth.

Oct. 2, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Rotation's Rock Didn't Have It
After I was done, I found another great quote elsewhere on my recorder that I wanted to use. I had no idea writing could make one so tired.

Oct. 1, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Confident Sox Brush Off Pressure, Yanks
Um, somewhere in the middle. Written for the front page, it feels like a definite jack of all trades, master of none. But it's better than if I slammed my head into the wall 14 times ... now that's a sale!

Oct. 1, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Different View For Embree
Story of the day, but not as good as it could have been because I couldn't get Mark Bellhorn. Stupid Yankees not opening the clubhouse at a usable time.

Oct. 1, 2005 - Sports Page Three
What Could Have Been For Ortiz, A-Rod
I have to figure this is the worst notebook I've ever written. I actually hope it is, because I pretty much completely washed my hands of it the second it was done. I'm glad what's there is right more than everything else.

Sept. 30, 2005 - Sports Page One
Sox-Yankees: That Has To Be The Plan
The classic two-column night. I'd just sent my "Sox lose" version and was on the phone with my boss when Ortiz tied the game. Fortunately, it was a relatively quick rework ... I just hope it doesn't read like one.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture agrees with Johnny Damon that Red Sox/Yankees must be part of the divine plan." Yeah, because it's not like the third sentence starts with "I'm more inclined to agree with Terry Francona's take" or anything.

Sept. 25, 2005 - Sports Page One
September All About Getting To October
This story would have been so much better if I had ever gotten through to Dom DiMaggio for comment, since then it would be more than me showing that I'm able to pore through numbers and assemble them into coherent thoughts. I hope he was doing something important.

Sept. 23, 2005 - Sports Page One
Sox Set To Wait Until Next Year
The headline better not be terrible ... I laid out the cover tonight, and thus wrote it. Though at least it may be as terrible as the rest of the piece, which has the distinct feel of waiting a little too long to get to the point until editing got involved.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that Sox should already be looking ahead to next year." Well, no ... I'm saying they already are looking ahead to next year. But I suppose I can see the confusion.

Sept. 18, 2005 - Sports Page Three
IB: Sox Not Terrible Against First-Time Pitchers
This week's Inside Baseball involved me digging through career splits and yearly numbers for something like three hours. I wish I had ideas this good every week, because it was fun in the way that a really, really hard workout is fun.

Not that I would know anything about working out anymore. I did eat Chinese food tonight.

Sept. 17, 2005 - Sports Page Seven
Kapler Leaves For Surgery, Promises Playoff Return
Notebook written well before game. Yawn. The postseason ticket lottery was broken out, so it's not here.

Sept. 17, 2005 - Sports Page One
10-Inning Win A Hit For Manny
It used to be you'd be impressed if I said I'd called David Ortiz's home run to right on the pitch he hit it. Now, the whole damned ballpark is calling these things. Though it is more believeable.

Altogether not terrible, considering I had about three minutes after the game ended to file the thing.

Sept. 16, 2005 - Sports Page One
Sox Lead Cut By A Game
A game story from this wondrous gem, which would have had quotes had the rain not pushed things back 43 minutes. And, probably, had the Sox just officially laid down after the second inning.

Sept. 16, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Kapler Will Remain A Sox Leader
Game notebook, where I consciously opted not to talk to Jay Payton regarding his return to Boston. Course, he was then booed rather voraciously, which might be a word I just made up.

Sept. 16, 2005 - Sports Page One
A-Rod Brings Total Package To The Field
My half of a point-counterpoint, saying Alex Rodriguez is the MVP of the American League. I will now duck, as to allow your thrown stapler to fly harmlessly over my head.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "The Standard Times engages in a on-line version of the MVP debate, with Jon Couture playing the devils advocate and promoting ARod, since he plays in the field, and Nick Tavares picks David Ortiz." I don't actually think it's devils advocate, because I believe what I'm saying, but so be it.

Sept. 13, 2005 - Sports Page One
Good Luck Figuring Out This Race
You have no idea how hard it is to just randomly find something that cost $30 million. If you don't know one off the top of your head, even Google fights to find a proper solution.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that it will be hard to figure this race."

Sept. 11, 2005 - Sports Page Three
IB: Wins Will Cost Clemens The Prize
In the final act of last week's Inside Baseball, it actually did run, contrary to what the editor who was running the desk thought. Thus this being so short, since it had the old column tacked onto the end rather nicely. Whatever.

You'll just have to find out on your own about the 1994 Texas Rangers.

Sept. 7, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Help Coming From Pawtucket
The notebook no one knew was coming ... I made two rather egregious professional errors in one night, but somehow, tomorrow is still payday.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Couture's notebook looks at relief coming from Pawtucket to help the regulars get a little rest now and then."

Sept. 7, 2005 - Sports Page One
Ortiz Clutch As They Come
There's a good chance my waiting on quotes caused the whole paper to blow deadline, but to be honest, it really felt like one of those times when it's warranted. That doesn't make it right, but it did allow me to fall asleep on my couch watching poker.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture records a nice conversation between Tim Wakefield and Manny Ramirez, the knuckleball pitcher told Ramirez that Manny was going to win the game for them. Ramirez replied that Ortiz had already staked that claim. We know what happened next."

Sept. 6, 2005 - Sports Page One
Progress, But Still Work To Do
A story that really came together. Once I ditched the "I'm gonna drive to Norton!" idea, I had the option of waiting until the end and actually writing around the quotes. That's a real nice luxury to have.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, leading a paragraph with "Jon Couture writes that Schilling made some progress yesterday, but he and the Red Sox still have work to do."

Sept. 5, 2005 - SportsMonday
Early Risers Sink Putts
NORTON -- After I was done, the tournament-produced notes had a stat that "players who teed off before noon were a combined 35 under par. The later starters were a combined 41 over par." The AP ended up using it, so I'm glad I didn't.

Sept. 5, 2005 - SportsMonday
Labor Day Weekend Presents Possibilities For Future
NORTON -- What, a press conference with the sponsor's CEO and the tournament director? Can you say notebook?

The second note is actually what used to be the end of the sidebar, replacing some BS public relations piece I threw in because I felt like I should. I have to say the new boss impressed me with that one.

Sept. 3, 2005 - Sports Page One
All Of A Sudden, Andrade Finds It
NORTON -- Really happy guy. Which I suppose I'd be too if I'd just shot a 66 at anywhere other than a par-3 course.

Sept. 3, 2005 - Sports Page Five
Mass. Native Petrovic Can't Sustain Hot Start
NORTON -- The notebook, which doesn't include the 'New England Roundup' I put together and got broken out. Basically, it's a stat geek's heaven to write and a reader's joy to, well, read. At least that's what I tell myself.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "The Standard Times' Jon Couture focuses on Northampton native Tim Petrovic while Jim Donaldson and the Globe's Jackie MacMullen follow Rhode Island's Billy Andrade." The link poster gave me the Petrovic link because it was different from the other two, which works.

Sept. 2, 2005 - Sports Page One
Olerud's Bat Buoys Red Sox
A gamer by request since the paper was too tight for two full Red Sox stories. Not much else to say, though they won.

Sept. 2, 2005 - Sports Page Four
Foulke Back In The Game
A cute little notebook -- on a day where little was stressed -- which you or anyone else may or may not read.

Aug. 31, 2005 - Sports Page One
Nothing Sure With Schilling
I actually found myself slightly more optimistic about the whole pitching thing after hearing the man speak, which I suppose means I'm a homer. However, I allowed myself to pin it on his new platinum blonde hair, which looks much less goofy than it did when Bill Parcells did it.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that nothing is certain about Schilling right now, except that he's going to work at getting better."

Aug. 31, 2005 - Sports Page One
Injury Gives Damon A Chance To Rest ... Sort Of
Those of you who watched said game will note Damon didn't actually rest ... he came within a few feet of winning said game. Yeah, let's not talk about that. After all, it wasn't the people back in the office who look like an idiot.

Aug. 28, 2005 - Sports Page Three
IB: Red Sox Will Be Adding Some New Faces
This week's Inside Baseball actually gets it right. On a night the Red Sox blow a 6-0 lead to the friggin' Tigers, I talk about how they blow leads. And the Stat That Time Forgot actually came up in conversation later that night. What a magical age.

Aug. 28, 2005 - Sports Page One
Bigger Than The Game
The vaunted feature that sent me to Hartford, I somehow managed to work it in. College didn't teach me the ability to BS ... it taught me the great importance of using my ability to BS. For the forces of good, of course.

Aug. 21, 2005 - Sports Page Three
IB: As Baseball Bucks Go, Ortiz, Jeter Not In Same Game
This week's Inside Baseball comes across the stunning revelation that Derek Jeter isn't worth $19.6 million. If only the numbers made more of a case for it, we might have gotten somewhere beyond where we got.

Also, see sly allusions to my current tiff regarding the merchandising industry.

Aug. 16, 2005 - Sports Page One
This Division Race Soon To Be Sealed
Well, maybe no one will read it and figure I mean they'll lose the division. Or maybe they'll actually do what I say they'll do and everyone can be happy.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says the Red Sox are their way to their Division title since 1995." So much for the aforementioned Plan A.

Aug. 15, 2005 - SportsMonday Page Three
Another Stern Reminder Of Fate's Surprises
Because this game never happened, there should be no quality threshhold I have to meet, right? I am essentially writing about things that don't exist.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture has an article on Adam Stern, with a couple notes on Johnny Damon and Mike Remlinger tossed in there."

Aug. 14, 2005 - Sports Page Three
IB: Delcarmen Among League's Young Guns
This week's Inside Baseball actually talks to another human being and quotes him. However, I've not yet reached the point where I refer to Inside Baseball as a person/thing yet, as is done with my friend Mick's 'Rink Rap' column. You know, "Is this true? Inside Baseball thinks so."

Aug. 14, 2005 - Sports Page One
Sox Bats Make Chicago Aces Look Like Jokers
Now, delightful as this piece is, it would have been a lot better if I had not sat where I sat in the press box. Choosing the seat where I sat put me next to the press-box favorite: the Web columnist who not only smells, but who enjoys talking and doesn't seem to fathom the guy he's talking to is on deadline.

Aug. 11, 2005 - Sports Page One
Rogers' Sideshow Can't Slow Down Sox
Not going to lie ... I did not want to write about this, I wanted to write about Bronson Arroyo. But apparently, because people vehemently booed Kenny Rogers, that's what people want to read about. Just wish I would have thought about that before the game, so I could have collected stuff.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that Rogers' appearance did not slow down the Red Sox last night."

Aug. 10, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Pitching Carousel Goes Round And Round
You want to talk about white knuckling it ... they made a stockpile of moves on the day BEFORE Kenny Rogers comes back. Makes me glad I don't lug around a TV camera ... at least if he comes after me, I can run.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that the pitching carousel for the Red Sox continues to spin as the team brings guys in and out."

Aug. 9, 2005 - Sports Page One
It's Kids Night Out -- Thankfully
NEW BEDFORD -- It's a rare local column ... spun off one of my other local columns. Feel free to read these for background.

Aug. 7, 2005 - Sports Page Three
IB: Now It's The Rotation That Might Need Schilling
This week's Inside Baseball marks the grand return of The Stat, and seemed a lot better to me until I went into the office and the new boss started talking about the topic. Whatever that means. I'm not even sure.

Aug. 5, 2005 - Sports Page One
Through All The Ugliness, Everything Is Beautiful
No notebook, so some of the more pertinent items are rolled into here. Not my best stuff, but well, I wasn't exactly given a whole lot to work with.

Aug. 4, 2005 - Sports Page One
'It's Time To Pitch Again' For Clement
Some semblance of a notebook ... or at least it was when I sent it in. Knowing the length of it, I honestly don't want to look at what it looked like in the newspaper. If I get no complaint letters for errors I didn't make, I'll call it a winning night.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture notes the Clement is eager to get back out on the mound and get to work, and that the only concerns he has are physical and not mental, as he wonders about his stamina after having the time off. Couture has a couple other items in that article, including a look at the situations of Keith Foulke and Curt Schilling, as well as Manny Ramirez's production." Sounds like it all got in.

Aug. 2, 2005 - Sports Page One
Palmeiro Needs To Tell The Truth
So cosmically, there was a reason I didn't finish my Monday column on Sunday night. Here I thought it had been just because I was tired of writing for one day.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture writes that Palmeiro needs to come out and tell us the whole truth."

Aug. 1, 2005 - SportsMonday Page Two
Papelbon Debut Anything But Quiet
Someday, I hope I can tell people I was at his first start and have them care. Part of an in-game notebook.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Couture's notebook is similar, featuring Papelbon and some injury notes."

Aug. 1, 2005 - SportsMonday Page Four
IB: In The End, October Mattered Most
Written off the game, with all the pertinent trade talk tucked inside.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture notes that the Red Sox focus on October is part of what kept Manny a member of the hometown nine."

July 24, 2005 - Sports Page One
IB: A Reminder Of A Need For A Change
Inside Baseball hits the front page thanks to the new regime. Even if the new regime keeps feeling the need to play style cop, because my affinity for cleverness isn't as clever as I think it is.

July 20, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Embree Couldn't Find His Stuff Fast Enough
A notebook that grew pretty much out of control when the teams started making deals all over the map. This is one of those days where I couldn't allow myself to not write ... I enjoy it too much, even in seven-day stretches.

July 19, 2005 - Sports Page One
O's Are In It For The Long Haul
One of the better plain old Tuesday columns I've done in a while, I think, and I'm not just saying that because it allowed me to sit back and watch the game without having to write. Though rest assured that is part of it.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture tells us that the Orioles are in this race for the long haul."

July 18, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Sore Thumb Strikes Bellhorn From Lineup
I also did a super short Sox notebook built around Bellhorn's fourth-inning thumb injury. Not bad for a night off.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Couture's notebook looks at Bellhorn's injury, Kapler's road back to Fenway and a couple other items."

July 18, 2005 - Sports Page Five
Cause For Concern, But Not Panic
Losing three out of four to the Yankees? Well, it is. Even if I did get a phone call encouraging something else.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that this weekend has definitely given cause for concern regarding the Red Sox, but not panic."

July 17, 2005 - Sports Page Four
IB: Yanks Still In The Thick Of Things
Inside Baseball, on a day where the material I had was a lot less impressive than I thought it was. Course, heaven forbid I write anything longer than this ... the readers might mutiny.

July 16, 2005 - Sports Page Five
Sox Lefty Faces Six-Game Suspension
A short pregame notebook highlighted by David Wells' six-game suspension.

July 16, 2005 - Sports Page One
Sox Need Wells To Be This Good In October
With the Wells suspension stuff elsewhere, all I can wish is that he'd made a big deal about trying to throw a complete game. Though I do thank both John Halama and Jeremi Gonzalez for holding that precarious 17-1 lead ... storylines are always fun.

And yes, it is two straight days with similar headlines. Don't look at me.

July 15, 2005 - Sports Page One
Schilling Has To Answer Call For Sox To Win
Even without a headshot, it's the first Sox sidebar under the new regime. I shudder to read if it got cut up in the editing process ... it feels like I'm back in college again, or at least it will for a few weeks.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that the Sox need Schilling to perform in order to win the division."

July 14, 2005 - Sports Page One
Hold On For Sox' Wild Ride
As assigned by the new boss, a second-half preview of sorts. Though we're still trying to figure each other out, it came out better than I thought it would. That's always nice.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture writes that we should be prepared to hold on for a wild ride in the second half of the season."

July 11, 2005 - SportsMonday Page Two
IB: AL Proves A Puzzling Blend
Inside Baseball, Part Two. Know how the first half was written as though I thought I was way off on my picks? Yeah, all the mistakes were in the half I'm supposed to know more about. Heartwarming.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture revisits his preseason predictions." So they hit the whiffs side ... that seems more than a bit ironic, if not oddly accurate.

July 10, 2005 - Sports Page Four
IB: First Half of NL Season Somewhat Predictable
As a method of keeping myself accountable and getting to write a little bit about all the teams I never get to, this week's Inside Baseball revisits my divisional predictions made in spring training. I've been quietly taking pride in choosing the Padres all year ... now I can share it with the world!

July 5, 2005 - Sports Page One
All-Stars A Mess, But Fun
Well, no. They're not a mess. The AL picks are pretty much spot on, with the NL bordering on a little funny when Morgan Ensberg doesn't even make the Final Vote. But I can see how the feeling might have construed that way ... it was another one of those columns that kept changing while I wrote it.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at the All Star selection process, noting that while it is a mess, it certainly does create "buzz" for the game and is not an easy process for the manager."

July 4, 2005 - SportsMonday Page Eight
These Sox Still Tough To Figure
I have a very bad feeling about these next seven games, even if they might help the "This team is not very good" statement look a little more right.

June 30, 2005 - Sports Page One
Mirabelli Just What The Doctor Ordered
I had no intention of writing much when the day began, but when you go up and eat two bowls of ice cream, plus a slice of pizza, pasta salad, some various types of cut peppers and these chicken things that were dead ringers for old-school Chicken McNuggets, you feel like giving something back.

June 28, 2005 - Sports Page One
Indians Turn The Tables On Sox
It's the game story from the clear snoozer of my 21 Sox games so far. And yes, I am keeping track.

June 28, 2005 - Sports Page One
Another Anonymous Winner In An Anonymous Sport
• Ahh! It's women's golf! Run for your lives! Well don't, but I'm a realist at heart. I understand women's golf is never exactly going to grab the public's consciousness, though really, that's exactly what the column is about. I just wish I'd worked it that Birdie Kim is ranked about 141st in sand saves.

June 26, 2005 - Sports Page Three
IB: Bullpen Lift Needed For Run At Repeat
• This week's Inside Baseball, which was written (and run) before today's near debacle made it all the more obvious.

June 21, 2005 - Sports Page One
Too Much Of A Good Thing?
For all my whining about headlines, this is a better one than I probably would have come up with. That's all I'll say for now ... I'm interested to see how this column goes over.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture wonders if the Red Sox have gone too far by trotting the World Series Trophy to every town in Massachusetts, renaming the left field foul pole after Carlton Fisk, giving rings to former players and even raffling off three rings to fans."

June 19, 2005 - Sports Page One
Offense Let Wakefield Down
The aforementioned story, in which I managed to play celebrity watcher as well as baseball writer. In hindsight, I'm not quite sure the ending really works, but it seemed at least a passable idea a couple of hours ago.

June 19, 2005 - Sports Page Three
IB: Scioscia Could Learn Something From Robinson
This week's Inside Baseball, which I'm listing first because it's one of the better ones I've done in weeks. Having live information always helps, as does having the time on a Saturday to do it justice. Plus, my favorite managerial whipping boy makes a positive, and negative, appearance.

June 14, 2005 - Sports Page One
Tyson Does Us All A Favor
I always wonder what went wrong when a headline feels misplaced on one of my writings ... it's probably my fault, but I can never really pin down why. Regardless, just know I cut out some of the better quotes solely to keep from getting reprimanded.

June 7, 2005 - Sports Page One
Millar Or Olerud? The Debate Rages
Well, it really doesn't, though the fact that's the point of the story doesn't really go with the way the story was assigned. But in the grand headline pantheon, it could have been worse. The story could have been too, and that's always nice.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at the ongoing debate of Millar vs. Olerud."

June 5, 2005 - Sports Page One
This One Was Bad, To Say The Least
The headline appears to be an offshoot of my conversation with Steve ... no hello to open, simply "Look at it this way. No matter how bad the story is, it couldn't be any worse than the game."

June 4, 2005 - Sports Page One
Damon Takes The Hero Role
Back to the game story route, which is always useful for games that can't figure out what the hell they want to be until their last trimester. And here before the game, I thought I'd have no use for Johnny Damon material ... makes me wish I hadn't stood there with my recorder in my pocket.

June 3, 2005 - Sports Page One
How Long Can A Slump Last With Papi Around?
There have been three walkoff home runs so far this year, and I have been lucky enough to see them all. Back to the usual sidebar today, which is good, since this was really one of those games where I could go off. Sadly, however, I can fit in no reference about Ortiz's U.S. Championship belt.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that slumps just can't last with Big Papi around. He makes the point that while the Minnesota Twins had David Ortiz, they never had Big Papi."

June 2, 2005 - Sports Page One
Monster Beating For Wakefield
I'm game story crazy, so much so I wrote for too long and didn't have a chance to give this a true final read before I sent it. So I already know of a couple clean-ups I'd have done in a perfect world. This "perfect world" of course being somewhere that doesn't actually exist, or would disappear instantly if I ever found it.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, included with the game stories.

May 31, 2005 - Sports Page One
Unhappy Homecoming For Red Sox
Little different today, as I wrote a straight game story for the Sox-Orioles game. I haven't done one ever for Boston, or much at all since I covered the high school hoops in February. Nice change of pace.

May 31, 2005 - Sports Page One
Will Patrick Story Have Legs?
Because when you're after readers for your regular weekly column, the topics of open wheel racing, professional bowling and women's golf are just what the people are clamoring for. They just don't know it.

May 29, 2005 - Sports Page Four
IB: Running Down The Sox So Far
Headlines, piz ... oh wait, I wrote my own and laid out my own page. The original plan wasn't to stop short of assessing the pitchers, but inch counts made it pretty clear that was a good idea. Means I've got some good topics on the burner for next week, which is exactly half the battle.

May 24, 2005 - Sports Page One
Even I Care About These NBA Games
I step out and make the bold proclamation I've been won over by NBA basketball ... even if it's only for a week. Let this be the sign that the games will immediately cease to be entertaining and the two series will be lopsided.

That's just how things happen around here, I think.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that the NBA playoffs have gotten his attention."

May 22, 2005 - Sports Page Four
IB: Interleague Play Rears Its Familiar Face
This week's Inside Baseball returns in its non-awful form, with news about my plan to save Interleague Play and the Hall of Fame Game. And there's a quote from George Steinbrenner, which is always fun. Least I think so, and really, isn't that all that matters?

May 22, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Tough Night For Sox
They played Atlanta on a rainy night where baseball looked like an impossibility, and it didn't go real well. This is what got come up with ... I swear I've seen it before. You know what they say about The Standard-Times ... ten creative headlines, or your pizza's free.

May 21, 2005 - Sports Page One
Miller All We Had Hoped For
Were I still just a fan, Wade Miller would have entered the "consider dropping $140 because I can't wear the No. 5 jersey to the ballpark anymore. I almost bought a Varitek one last season despite this, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I'd probably go with the red, white numbers, name on the back. They're nice.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that we saw the Wade Miller we had hoped for last night."

May 15, 2005 - Sports Page Four
IB: Could Manny Be Fading To Mediocrity?
This week's Inside Baseball, which is itself an advertisement as to why I should never work Saturdays. It was so rushed, the stat that time forgot turned into the quote that time forgot, which itself forgot to be exciting. I'm such a perfectionist, even if I've decided "Inside Baseball" is rapidly becoming the best thing I've ever created.

May 12, 2005 - Sports Page One
The Enigma That Is Barry Zito
Bit of a different route today, as I look at a former local Cape Leaguer that I'm assuming has some stronger local following because of it. Of course, actually speaking to him would have made the story a lot better, but things like that are probably slightly harder than you think.

May 11, 2005 - Sports Page One
All Hands On Deck
The contributions, they're coming from everywhere. Even from the first baseman who had no home runs two days prior ... how'd George Peppard always put it? I love it when a plan comes together?

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at the Red Sox using all hands on deck to keep themselves winning."

May 11, 2005 - Sports Page One
Damon Leading Sox Offense
I'd like to thank the man from Oakland who felt the need to ask Damon twenty minutes worth of fluffy questions pregame, just enough to ensure I had to wait until afterward to talk to him.

No, really sir. I'm glad you got everything you needed, and in the future, remind me to spear you in the kneecaps.

May 10, 2005 - Sports Page One
Our Thoughts Again Turn To 'Toine
Written from Fenway Park, no less, it's the latest Celtics debate made by someone who tries hard to follow them. Someone who is constantly caught up in how not enjoyable they are to watch.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at the enigma that is Antoine Walker...should he stay or should he go?"

May 9, 2005 - SportsMonday Page Three
IB: New Beginnings On An Ugly Day
BOSTON -- It's Inside Baseball, it's a column from Fenway Park, it's the result of what happens when I spend most of the game coughing and being glad I'm not outside. If I'd had tickets to Game 2, let's just say I wouldn't have seen the end.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, leading what I call the Others Receiving Votes category with "Jon Couture looks at a day of new beginnings at Fenway and has several baseball related notes as well. Among the things he mentions is the death of clubhouse assistant Bernie Logue, who apparently fell to his death from the sixth floor of a parking garage following the Celtics game on Saturday night."

May 3, 2005 - Sports Page One
Serious Steroids Policy Still Awaits
This reminds me ... it's NEAPNEA time again. Anyone who has any major suggestions on what I should enter, feel free to send them my way. I've done a few good features this year, even if the columns have been a little weak.

Oh, and because you hate reading about the steroid policy, you can have a pass.

May 2, 2005 - S-T Front Page / SportsMonday Pages 10-14
Bodybuilding Part Two: The Payoff
So, do they win the competition, and what comes next? I know, and now you, dear reader, can too.

May 1, 2005 - S-T Front Page / Sports Pages One, Six and Seven
Bodybuilding Part One: Fiercely Determined
Meet the Resendes, and see why supermarket bread delivery will never be looked at the same way again.

April 28, 2005 - Sports Page One
Heads Bobble In Red Sox Nation
I really thought I'd be the only one to notice the Bobble Ankle doll ... then AP ran with it. Jerks.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture isn't quite ready to panic yet, but he could be starting down that path." And here I'd hoped no one would notice this.

April 28, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Line Drive Shakes Up Bride-To-Be At Fenway
Because I was back in the office due to the rainout, this ended up on my desk. I was so just being polite when I said I'd do it if needed.

There is a photo, however, I'd tend to think being hit in the face with a ball would cause a little more swelling. Good to know for my future unathletic endeavors.

April 26, 2005 - Sports Page One
Baltimore Finally Puts The 'O' In O's
For a game that was so cut and dry, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what exactly to write. Somehow, I blame having to wait an hour for my credential at the press window. In the end, I suppose it's a lesson: You really do have to hassle people, even if you don't really want to.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at the Orioles "O" finally waking up against the Red Sox."

April 25, 2005 - SportsMonday Page Four
IB: Back-To-Back Shutouts Boost Hopes
Inside Baseball was delayed a day, but here it is. We're dealing with season starts this week, and the pitching performances of David Wells and Matt Clement. Plus, I remember my all-time favorite baseball streak.

And I take shots at the Dodgers, which I fear will be something I get to do a lot more of as the season goes on.

April 19, 2005 - Sports Page One
Manny's Day In The Sun
How nice it was to cover a game that wasn't Sox-Yankees can't be understated. I could see the field, I could think, I could write, I could talk to people. Also, they served breakfast.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that yesterday was a holiday from regular baseball and instead fans were treated to the full Manny Ramirez experience." Mentioned before this Gordon Edes piece, I have no idea if that means anything.

April 17, 2005 - Sports Page Five
IB: An In-Depth, First-Hand Look At ... The Pirates?
PITTSBURGH -- I suppose this is what passes for Inside Baseball. When I was done with this, I wondered what exactly they would do with it. Even the looking back at Kevin Romine was more relative. However, I'm attempting to expand the reader's world view, and Pirates-Cubs games do just that.

At least that's what I tell myself.

April 14, 2005 - Sports Page One
Sox Squandered A Decent Outing
On the ride home, I stopped to think about just how quickly I have to churn out a story after a night game. For example, this one ended at 10:18 p.m., and I filed at 11:30 after about a half hour downstairs. Fortunately, the initial ideas about the new ace getting a very Pedro-like offensive performance held up.

Whether it's better than this similar piece is an exercise for the reader.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture writes that it was a decent outing for the Red Sox ace, but that his offense did nothing to pick him up."

April 12, 2005 - S-T Front Page
New Champs ... Vintage Performance
Even if I didn't know it was for the front page, that's where it ended up. It's the early season for everyone, and I really feel like I have to work back into midseason form ... though that will be a lot easier when there's not 147 media members in a space fit for far fewer.

That is the best headline I've seen one one of my stories in a while.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at a vintage performance by Tim Wakefield and the World Champions."

April 10, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Red Sox Nation Is Ready To Savor The Moment
For the front page, this is the last story I have to write that prominently talks about last year and events well past happening. You probably don't understand how happy I am about that.

Well, you do if you notice this story is all filler.

April 10, 2005 - Sports Page Five
IB: Sox Owning Rivera? Wishful Thinking.
This week's Inside Baseball is all about closers sucking. Though the headline isn't wrong, it's not exactly right either. That said, I'm not sure how I would have topped it, though "Rivera Domination More Than Merely Head Games" works.

Maybe I'll start writing my own headlines.

April 5, 2005 - Sports Page One
One Bad Night For Sox
A follow-up for my regular weekly column, with quotes and general clubhouse insanity. Now let's never speak of the opener again, because I'm pretty sure after all that, you're getting repeat material.

Unless you don't know the David Ortiz "pink shirt" story.

April 4, 2005 - SportsMonday Page Twelve
Yanks' First-Day Domination Not New
NEW YORK -- The opener notebook for sports, with some pregame items, some in-game items and a general mix of things you might find interesting. I'm going to enjoy doing these this year, I think ... never had to before.

April 4, 2005 - S-T Front Page
A Red Sox-Yankees Rivalry Redux
NEW YORK -- The front page story for the opener. Written pregame, the goal was to make you think it wasn't. Please don't tell anyone, as these sorts of insider secrets are better served for an NBC special exposing us all as frauds.

April 3, 2005 - Sports Page Seven
IB: Keeping Tabs On Sox Of Memories Past
NEW YORK -- This week's Inside Baseball in the midst of so much other baseball, previewing the AL West and giving you all the Dave Roberts news you could ever want. This week's state that time forgot? I forgot it.

April 3, 2005 - Sports Page Six
It's A Brand New Ballgame In The Bronx
NEW YORK -- The Pope's death pushed this "live from New York" off the front page and inside the sports section. Imagine my joy on finding this out after trudging around a saturated Manhattan all day to do it ... though I'd have to say I agree with the editorial decision.

April 3, 2005 - Sports Page Five
AL East Is A Two-Man Race ... Again
'05 BASEBALL PREVIEW -- An extended preview of the AL East, in the vein of those I've been doing in Inside Baseball. I think this is the first year in at least five I'm picking the Yankees to win the division, even if the writing of this actually had me questioning the decision.

April 3, 2005 - Sports Pages Two & Three
25 Men, One Dream: Meet Your 2005 Boston Red Sox
'05 BASEBALL PREVIEW -- In my mind, the core of the baseball preview -- capsules of every player on the active roster. Twenty-eight guys, all of which I can now name cold ... even Ramon Vasquez.

Really, not something I should be bragging about, since it should be common knowledge by this point I've written so much.

April 3, 2005 - Sports Page One
Everyone's Happy ... But Will There Be Joy In October?
'05 BASEBALL PREVIEW -- The visual lead in the print edition. This was the last thing I wrote before going to New York, and it kept me up late because I spent most of Friday watching "Seinfeld" reruns to clear the TiVo out. Yeah, some of these have nothing to do with the actual stories.

April 2, 2005 - Sports Page One
Farm Fresh: Sox Are Building A System
'05 BASEBALL PREVIEW -- Originally written for the preview, it ran the day before. Just a slightly more than cursory overview of the growing Red Sox farm system ... I never did make the fact box I wanted to put with it.

March 29, 2005 - Sports Page One
Ford A Fitting Savior For UMass
More for one of two files: Either the "Things I Think Are Interesting Stories" or "Things I'm Saying You Should Care About," depending on your perspective. Odds of my receiving good-natured guff about this column from a higher-up opened 3-to-2 at the Stardust in Las Vegas.

March 27, 2005 - Sports Page Six
IB: Bonds's Absence A Giant Problem In San Francisco
This week's Inside Baseball is 100% indignance free, and includes 300% more useless statistical knowledge. Useless, but entertaining!

March 22, 2005 - Sports Page One
Prepare To Be Bowled Over By Hockey
It was just fun to write ... felt like the columns I sent in that won me third in NEAPNEA what feels like seven years ago. Got in some shots, cracked some jokes and made a case for NCAA hockey that no one will probably care about. Too bad a reader's letter will probably take me down a peg sometime Tuesday.

March 20, 2005 - Sports Page Six
IB: Fans Hold The Key To Baseball's Steroid Dilemma
That's not really the point at all, and I'm pretty sure is a recycled headline, but this is this week's Inside Baseball. In fact, that headline is totally not the point at all. It's all new material, I swear. About how baseball got away with their steroid choices.

Just kind of fits with everything else from today, when you come down to it. Right down to the spending the night eating semi-burned food and not watching a high school basketball classic.

March 18, 2005 - S-T Front Page
It All Comes Down To Forward Thinking
Everyone else who wrote columns on this seems to be going on Mark McGwire's refusal to answer questions. Which is fine, though it isn't exactly shocking if you read Canseco's book.

March 13, 2005 - Sports Page Four
IB: Baseball's Power Brokers Are All Over The Map
This week's Inside Baseball, with the aforementioned power brokers and more than you ever wanted to know about the NL West. Well, unless you're Matt Bruce ... in which case, you know far more baseball than I ever will.

Just writing it makes me want to get a Padres jersey.

March 8, 2005 - Sports Page One
Madness Has Already Begun
Let it be known I watched exactly zero of the Red Sox-Yankees exhibition game live (it was taped for work reasons) and instead opted for the entirety of Championship Week action. Well, at least until the Gonzaga-St. Marys game got boring at the end.

March 8, 2005 - Sports Page Six
IB: Spring Means Nothing ... And Everything
Clearing up the debate on just how I feel about springtime baseball.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture hits on a number of baseball subjects, but also looks at the BostonDirtDogs situation. The story is still news out there, especially in the blogging world, despite the silence coming from Boston.com." Though the story ran Sunday but was only put on the Web on Tuesday, it was the most-clicked story of the day by more than a 2-to-1 margin -- 471 hits to no more than 235 for anyone else.

March 1, 2005 - Sports Page One
Celtics Haven't Stayed The Same
It's about Antoine Walker. I know I usually describe more than that here, but I have a 9:30 a.m. appointment to be told how my wisdom teeth are going to be hacked out of my skull. The energy is low.

The next day, the AP runs a news story about essentially the exact same idea as this column, proving I do have my ear down to what the press is doing.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that the Celtics are changing right before our eyes."

Feb. 27, 2005 - Sports Page Four
IB: Finally, The Talk Turns To Actual Baseball
If you squint while reading this, you might think I enjoy exhibition baseball games.

Feb. 22, 2005 - Sports Page One
Hockey Lives On Without NHL
One of those classic columns where the thing I thought I was writing about at the start isn't the thing I'm writing about at the finish. The best part about these columns? They take about four hours to write.

Though I did learn more than I ever wanted to know about NBA attendance figures.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that hockey is alive without the NHL."

Feb. 20, 2005 - Sports Page Four
IB: It's Magic Hour For Invitees
More than you ever wanted to know about Josias Manzanillo. Why? Because given I'm not in Florida, I have to hit with something you're not getting anywhere else.

Feb. 17, 2005 - Sports Page One
Some Answers Should Start Trickling In
In honor of pitchers and catchers, the S-T's "Red Sox preview" in the loosest sense of the word. The third straight day with a column, which I'm sure would be some kind of extremely unimpressive record if I cared to look it up.

Of course, this page would be where I look it up, so in scanning down ... it's not, really. Maybe for non-on-the-road coverage.

Feb. 16, 2005 - Sports Page One
Story Of 'Juiced' One Well Worth Telling
I bought it, read it in a day and here you are. I'll say it right now ... it's better than you probably think it is, and depending on your financial situation, it might even be worth the $20. Or you could just ask for my copy on loan.

He makes a heck of an argument, and the beauty of it is it's an argument he has little to do with.

Feb. 15, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Sox Championship Icon Takes On Life Of Its Own
DART, MAT, ACUSH, FAIR, NB -- Many datelines, many people, one duck in a jester hat.

I'll be honest ... I'm not exactly pleased with how this came out. Covering what was essentially five different events, there's a lot of very good stuff that got left out simply because of the limited space I had. It's probably still fine, but I'd definitely go another route if I had it to do all over again.

Feb. 13, 2005 - Sports Page One
(The First) Inside Baseball: Whirlwind: It's Been A Busy Offseason For The Sox
Welcome to my yet-to-be-named Sunday baseball column. Please note it's equal to a six-page essay, and it's not all Red Sox -- each week, it'll be a Sox header, with "other" to follow.

Today, the Tigers go to the shed ... by the end of the season, I'll surely have enemies in every baseball town in the land ... plus Pawtucket!

Feb. 11, 2005 - Sports Page One
Old Colony Girls Get Even With Tri-County
ROCHESTER -- An excellent high school basketball game, with the home team (12-4, 10-1) beating a Tri-County (15-1, 10-1) side they'd fallen to earlier in the season. The excitement in a 45-41 game is just as strong as in one with more scoring ... that's what you say when you grew up watching 50-47 UMass vs. Temple barnburners.

Feb. 8, 2005 - Sports Page One
We Remember How Philly Feels -- Barely
After I finished writing this, I put together a statbox of absurd numbers from this four-year run -- something like 1.3 million people have watched a Patriot game in Foxboro since their last home loss, which was 779 days ago. Perhaps the most fun discovery was the Revolution haven't screwed up the "last New England pro team to miss the playoffs."

For that reason, I guess I should be glad the Whalers left.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that it wasn't too long ago that Boston fans were a lot more like Philly fans in terms of being championship starved." It's good to know S-T stories can still get a mention if they're not the 'big column' featured on the paper's Web page.

Feb. 6, 2005 - Sports Page One
This Matchup Is No Fluke
I'm not sure exactly what this is, but it at least started out as a bit of a mea culpa regarding Tuesday. It didn't so much end up that way, but honestly, I'm kinda starting to worry about being a baseball writer now. Not getting sent to the Super Bowl will make that happen.

Feb. 1, 2005 - Sports Page One
Philadelphia Faithful Often Fly Too Far
Given how many people I know from the Philly area, and Pennsylvania in general, I probably haven't properly explained how irrationally I'm digusted by the masses of the city's fans. Suffice to say, that's no longer the case.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that Philadelphia fans often go too far."

Jan. 25, 2005 - Sports Page One
Another Amazing, Predictable Win For Pats
PITTSBURGH -- The Tuesday follow-up, since we'd had to file right at game's end the previous night. I feel like this one really ties up my whole weekend of coverage, and of the four, it's probably my favorite. Not that I thought any of them stunk.

Honestly, this was one of those that I finished, read it over again, and said "Wow. That's really good." Sometimes, everything just falls together right.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks back at yet another amazing, yet predictable win for the Patriots."

Jan. 24, 2005 - SportsMonday Page Four
Pittsburgh Fans Left Waiting
PITTSBURGH -- The post-game column, written with a Steelers angle because, honestly, the reaction of their fans and their constant failures was much more interesting to the writer in me than another New England blowout.

As the columnist, I think it's my job to take what I feel is the most compelling angle and expand upon it. Especially when I'm flying blind. You be the judge.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at Pittsburgh fans, disappointed again by the Patriots."

Jan. 23, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Steelers Usually Fall Short
PITTSBURGH -- For Sunday's front page, after we couldn't get into Heinz to take pictures of the playing surface, what I felt anyway was a nice marriage of all things preview. Others, as it turned out, didn't feel that way.

Perhaps the nicest part about this story was getting to hang out by PNC Park again, to the point of where I took a picture I'd taken going on four years prior again. Oh, how things have changed since then ...

Jan. 22, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Steelers Notebook: Steelers Have Plenty Of History ...
PITTSBURGH -- A simple notebook on the other team cobbled from research, press conferences and the like. Nothing much to read after the fact, really.

Jan. 22, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Pittsburgh Fans Steel For Battle
PITTSBURGH -- For Saturday's front page, photographer Mike Valeri and I covered the official Steelers pep rally. I can't say enough how much I now understand why Ben Roethlisberger had the top-selling jersey in the NFL this season.

Before writing this, I did a radio interview with a former S-T employee where I picked the Steelers to win. The party did not, in fact, freeze my brain.

Jan. 18, 2005 - Sports Page One
Rematch Will Be A Battle ... Seriously
Three columns in three days, which may in fact be leading to a "Good News/Bad News" in the coming days. For now, simply bask in my ability to create more wordplay per square inch than ever before.

It's an art form that replaces the high school days where I try to work names like Martha Stewart into columns just to see how far I could stretch the term "context."

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture asserts that the game will be a serious battle."

Jan. 17, 2005 - S-T Front Page
Peyton Who?
FOXBORO -- Even though the column has little to do with Manning, it gets the "Front Page of the Paper" headline treatment. It's still there, however, and that counts for something.

First one filed from the road in a while, which is something I really enjoy. Not just because I feel totally qualified to do it now, but more because it's always nice to get a seat placard with a name on it for the collection.

Jan. 16, 2005 - Sports Page Three
Pressure Is On Peyton
If the Manning family has a Christmas card list, I'll now not ever be on it.

It's disturbing to note just how ineffective Manning has been when it matters. It almost makes you feel bad he's been made the second coming of Dan Marino, until you realize he is the second comeing of Dan Marino.

Jan. 11, 2005 - Sports Page One
Talk Is Cheap, But Game Won't Be
Now is probably a good time to apologize to Patriots fans everywhere. Given I'm covering Sunday's Pats-Colts game, Indy is pretty much a Lock of The Week to win. Sorry about the dynasty and all.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that most talk and hype leading up to big games is empty, but this matchup Sunday will be well worth waiting for."

Jan. 4, 2005 - Sports Page One
Maybe No. 1 Isn't As Important As We Think
I'm very honest with you all here, and as such, I feel it's just fair to say ... I've written better than this. Not that I don't stand by my work, but let's just say there was some rushing done.

And Pete Carroll has a way of discrediting such stuff with pumped and jacked-itude.

Dec. 28, 2004 - Sports Page One
Twelve Months Worth Recalling
At the end of 2002, I submitted an awful recap column written in the hours before I went to Disneyland. In 2004, I think I more than made up the difference.

Anytime I can squeeze out even a few more inches about mini golf, I consider it a success.

Dec. 25, 2004 - Sports Page Two
Sox' Celebration Will Live Forever
Part of the paper Christmas package, where each person on the staff wrote about their greatest sports memory. I was the only one to pick the Red Sox, although part of that was by design.

Apparently, a fellow member at my gym loved it. That's good enough for me.

Dec. 21, 2004 - Sports Page One
It's Not About The Money ... Riiiiight
C.R.E.A.M. If you don't get it, look into it.

Though really, I'm just happy to get to make a Chappelle's Show reference after a week of going, "Yeah! / OK! / What?!" because of VH1.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture notes that being a fan is more and more about rooting for the uniforms. He looks at the derision being directed towards Pedro for wanting money and Ricky Williams for giving up money."

Dec. 14, 2004 - Sports Page One
Farewell Goodwill? Martinez Earned It
Not an underrated writeup for netting me angry letters, but only because this is crying out for people to tell me I'm a shill for rich assholes. Come on, punks. Don't make me bait you any more openly.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture insists that Pedro has earned the goodwill of Red Sox fans as he says farewell to Boston."

Dec. 7, 2004 - Sports Page One
The Goal Is Still To Score, Right?
This seems an underrated choice for 'column that gets me a whole bunch of angry letters.' After all, it does sort of generally spit in the face of sportsmanship and come out in realistic support of the BCS. Citizens, to your keyboards!

Nov. 30, 2004 - Sports Page One
DVD Is Great, But The Memories Were Greater
Before anyone brings it up, the fact that I call the production scattershod, then write a column in somewhat the same way is not by accident. It's called "overemphasizing the point."

Also, this is the latest in my "Captain Obvious" line of columns. Next week, I boldly state, "The NHL should shut up and play."

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture has a look at the World Series DVD."

Nov. 23, 2004 - Sports Page One
Can't We All Just Get Back To Sports
I hate the headline, since I'm pretty sure it's a repeat of a previous column. The piece isn't, but it does fall under of my general category of thinking other people are stupid.

However, I really think the headline makes it worse. I am impossible to craft such things for.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture just wants to get back to sports. Enough of towels and brawls. He also takes ESPN's Sunday Night football telecast to task for incompetence." Gross incompetence.

Nov. 16, 2004 - Sports Page One
Labor Pains Seem To Be Avoidable
Since the day I was hired, I've always dreamed of this moment ... the day I could get the name of Samuel Gompers into the sports section.

What could be the classic case of the well-written Couture column that doesn't really say anything. Hey, I don't think so, but I'm just looking out for the viewpoints of others.

Nov. 9, 2004 - Sports Page One
Lights, Camera, Red Sox
Making my grand return to the weekly column, a story on a local filmmaker whose thesis at Columbia film school is a hell of a piece involving the Red Sox. Read it if you like film, or me, or the Red Sox, or ... just read it.

That's what we call "reaching out to the masses."

Oct. 29, 2004 - Sports Page One
Saving Their Best For Last
ST. LOUIS -- The story from the field, in between the moments of people just leaping around like idiots and pouring beer on each other.

And everything else.

Oct. 28, 2004 - Sports Page One
Francona's Faith Paid Off
ST. LOUIS -- Written before Game 7, the story of Francona's rise during these playoffs is almost as impressive as the team's general comeback. He did nothing less than top three of the best managers in the game.

Oct. 28, 2004 - S-T Front Page
It's Finally Over
ST. LOUIS -- Here it is. The story every New England writer has waited their whole career to pen.

And mine went on the front page of the newspaper.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that many things are finally over, but he doesn't want this morning to be one of them."

Oct. 27, 2004 - News Page Seven
Meet Me In St. Louis -- It's Nice Here
ST. LOUIS -- The story wasn't bad ... the headline just makes it seem that way.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that St. Louis is a nice place."

Oct. 27, 2004 - S-T Front Page
Martinez Makes Most Of His Moment
ST. LOUIS -- They told me at the paper the story would have made more sense had I just stuck to Pedro.

I think Manny winning the MVP means I'm right ... if you keep track of such things.

Oct. 26, 2004 - S-T Front Page
A Tale Of Two Baseball Cities
ST. LOUIS -- The city is such a good baseball town, I got two stories out of it. That's a lot of milking.

And a whole lot of fan chatter.

Oct. 25, 2004 - SportsMonday Page Five
Fighting The ALCS Hangover
The pregame story, it is far less sucky than yesterday's pregame story because I seem to have a point. As a writer, having a point is always a pretty good thing to have going for you.

Oct. 25, 2004 - S-T Front Page
Curt Schilling Is Absolutely The Real Deal
No, that's really the headline. Totally serious ... look it up yourself! Yeah, I'm thinking they were just desperate to fill space near deadline. They've been working hard too.

I can only hope if he reads it, he isn't immediately offended.

Oct. 24, 2004 - Sports Page Two
Dramatic? Yes. Fast-Moving? Not So Much.
Clearly this was a better idea in my head, though the wireless Internet deciding to conk out certainly didn't make things any easier.

Had the game not decided to speed up, then slow down post-deadline? Yeah, maybe that too.

Oct. 24, 2004 - S-T Front Page
At World Series, Everybody Is On Stage
It was so surreal that they were actually playing the World Series at Fenway Park, though the surreality ended when the press line to get in was 45 minutes long.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Down on the South Coast, Jon Couture of the Standard Times has the common fans' take with $$$ signs attached."

Oct. 23, 2004 - S-T Front Page
Players Focus On Baseball's Top Prize
The off-day story is always interesting for me, because so many seem fascinated that I have to work on a day there's no game. If they only knew we didn't even get fed for free on those days, they might actually feel bad for me.

Oct. 22, 2004 - S-T Front Page
Players Celebrate Victory, As A Team
The story of the clubhouse celebration, of which I hope someday I can look back on and truly appreciate. I couldn't help while I was in there, in the moments I wasn't hustling to collect material, wishing that no press were there and it was just the players' moment. And I'm completely serious.

Oct. 21, 2004 - S-T Front Page
World-Class Comeback
NEW YORK -- The Game 7 gamer, which we will also call "The Money Shot." I don't know if it's as good as what I filed after last year's Game 7 collapse, but I do know it was much easier to write not feeling like I was going to black out at any second.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture writes that 'collapse' has a new spelling this morning."

Oct. 21, 2004 - Sports Page One
Boston No Longer Feeling Inferior
NEW YORK -- The Game 7 pregame piece. They asked the both of us to file some sort of story that could stand up even after the game result was known, and I was left to write something good, but not use too much of the stuff I'd collected for the postgame story.

On the plus side, um, they didn't want it very long.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that after last night, Boston has no reason to feel inferior to the Yankees."

Oct. 20, 2004 - Sports Page One
A Big Performance On The Biggest Stage
NEW YORK -- The Game 6 gamer. About all the non-baseball fan has to know about Curt Schilling is the procedure he underwent just so he could pitch in this game had never been done before, and thus had to be tested on a cadaver. That's pretty much Sox vs. Yankees in a nutshell.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture writes that the stage doesn't get any bigger than the one that Schilling step up onto last night."

Oct. 19, 2004 - S-T Front Page
Back To New York
No matter what happens from here on out, I have been witness to even more baseball history. I'd like to think some of my fellow press members will grow to accept that viewpoint as time passes, but I have waning faith that is the case.

Really, a loss in Game 6 just wouldn't hurt as badly now.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with both "Jon Couture looks at what is turning into an amazing series," and a pullout quote of my conclusion. I dare say that's never happened.

Oct. 18, 2004 - S-T Front Page
Red Sox Nation Still Believes
In the ninth, I filed a story written as though the Red Sox lost. I then wrote this from it, filing in the 11th when I was beyond sure the Red Sox would win, forcing us all to comeback and do this all over again.

I hate them so much.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that Red Sox nation still believes." They do, and you know what? We're all poor, poor suckers.

Oct. 17, 2004 - Sports Page Three
A Big Crowd, But Nothing To Cheer For
This is what gets written when your deadline hits in the seventh inning. Which is a shame, because not including that this was the one-year anniversary of Game 7 is a mighty crime.

The only reason this series goes back to New York is because fate doesn't want me to have an eye appointment ever.

Oct. 15, 2004 - Sports Page One
Things Look Different From The Other Side
On the train ride back from New York's Penn Station, I was sitting next to a man who watched both DVD episodes of Married: With Children and ripped episodes of Family Guy. Looking at him, he did not look like the type who would enjoy either of these programs.

Not being prejudiced is very important.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at the attitude and atmosphere of New York." I'm just glad it wasn't "Jon Couture writes a column about the series after he takes a nap," though that would have been cool too.

Oct. 14, 2004 - S-T Front Page
No Support For Pedro As Sox Fall
NEW YORK -- The name "Steve Trachsel" was in this until I realized that I was the only person still bitter about Pedro losing to him 1-0 on Patriots' Day 2000.

If this series ultimately kills me, it is this game that will have been the beginning of the end.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says Pedro was once again a victim of no run support."

Oct. 13, 2004 - S-T Front Page
Too Little, Too Late For Red Sox
NEW YORK -- At various points during this game, I had what ended up my conclusion as my lead, wrote suggested headlines all including a play on "Curt Shelling," and stopped until Mike Mussina actually lost his perfect game. I also timed the singing of 'God Bless America' at 1:07.

These things need to be tracked.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture writes that game one certainly lived up to the hype, perhaps not in the pitching of Schilling, but in the rest of the game." I suppose it is kind of a game story, though it's a pretty crap at being that.

Oct. 12, 2004 - S-T Front Page
More Than Just Baseball
NEW YORK -- Painting the picture of the rivalry for a front-page audience. This is of course easier than painting it for a sports audience, since I don't have to cite thirty-seven pages of stats to prove what I'm saying.

It was just nice to actually get a seat in the "Print Media Only" work room for a change, even if the Yankees don't apparently make enough as an organization to fire up a little wireless Internet for the writers.

Oct. 11, 2004 - Sports Page One
It's All Coming Together For Francona
Ah, the classic off-day piece. I'll be saving the back story of its writing, including how I got sidetracked by an episode of "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" when I'm featured on the upcoming show, "Inside The Writer's Studio."

Course, that just made me remember I was in Feeding Hills tonight. I forget about these things sometimes.

Oct. 9, 2004 - S-T Front Page
Sox Sweep With Style
It was the 16th Red Sox game I've seen this year, and yet the ending was the same as the first -- David Ortiz, extra innings. Course, after 4:11, my first instinct was "Thank God. I'll still have a couple hours to write."

Honestly, if that's not a sign I'm maturing, I don't know what is.

Oct. 8, 2004 - Sports Page One
The Calm Before The Storm
This was supposed to go on the front page of the whole newspaper, but was moved back to the sports section because "it didn't have it."

Personally I really like it, though that could just be because I was standing right next to David Eckstein and noted, "Wow. I'm taller than you."

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Lenny Megliola and Jon Couture look at the buzz and booming business around Fenway." Lenny interviewed at the bars around Fenway, but sadly, he probably didn't watch the game there.

Oct. 5, 2004 - Sports Page One
Sox Hope Pedro's Still Pedro
I'm not exactly confident about one former ace pitching in these playoffs. The knowledge he may be on the way out doesn't help either, not that I'm the binding force behind anything anyway.

I'm just amazed there are so many still assuming he'll just be the man.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says the Sox hope Pedro can show glimpses of the old Pedro this month." That is what the quotes say, but ... I suppose that's not exactly what I say.

Oct. 5, 2004 - S-T Front Page
It's A Clean Slate At The Plate
It's always a good day when you can see my headshot in a newspaper box selling the S-T. Especially since the words and process "dumbed down" got thrown with this one at least three times.

They just didn't want a lot of stats, which is knew but could only delived so much. I'm not yet at the place in my career where I can make outlandish statements and not back them with evidence.

Oct. 4, 2004 - SportsMonday Page 3
Numbers Don't Lie -- Sox Can Hit
This was a pretty tough one to write, since the most compelling facts to back the offense levels are just that -- the numerical facts.

Fifty time batting around in an inning just seems like a damn lot to me. Probably because I was only on Little League teams that did it two or three times.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that these Red Sox can hit a little bit." Given how number heavy it was, that more or less says it all right there.

Sept. 28, 2004 - Sports Page One
Francona's Foibles Less Than Advertised
On a day where I essentially laid out the entire sports section by myself, my Francona annoyance was lessened by the fundamental truth that mediocre managers have their fair share of World Series rings.

This of course sets me up to do a complete 180 in the playoffs, but since the point last year was ignoring a red hot Red Sox bullpen, and they likely will not have one in '04. I guess this means I can keep my "Francona Apologist" card after all.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at Terry Francona's shortcomings, real or perceived, but says they're not really the reason the Sox will win or lose. His biggest contribution might've been swinging the scales so Curt Schilling would come here." That's more than the gist.

Sept. 26, 2004 - Sports Page One
Even When It's Bad, It's Not That Bad
Sort of from Boston, a Red Sox-Yankees mood piece. Of course, mood makes it sound poetic and beautiful, and there's definite references to vomit and bathroom stench right in the middle of it.

They never tell you why Fenway is "America's Most Beloved Ballpark," technically.

Sept. 21, 2004 - Sports Page One
No Scapegoat For This Ryder Flop
It's a golf column. It's a good golf column, one that reaches beyond the scope of the sport and could be enjoyed by non-golfers, but it remains what it is.

I almost played the race card in comparing the Ryder Cuppers to the Dream Team, but really, that just seems something better left for those who enjoy playing the race card.

Sept. 14, 2004 - Sports Page One
Where Did These Sox Come From?
Combining the practicality of the Yankees coming to town and the outright wackiness of a Caribbean cruise.

If you speak to me at any point from here until Oct. 3 about baseball, expect to hear the name "Brad Halsey" mentioned once, if not several, times.

Sept. 1, 2004 - Sports Page One
A Strong Run Of Success For Cardoza
An update on SouthCoast's strongman, who placed fourth at the recent pro nationals in Texas.

Someday, maybe I'll actually meet him in person. He can shake my hand, break a few carpals ... we'll have a grand time.

August 24, 2004 - Sports Page One
Delusions Of Grandeur Better Than Nothing At All
The more I think about it, the title just doesn't make any sense. Though the column itself may only make slightly more sense than that on it's own.

Though it's always good to get a "Yankees Suck" reference right up top -- after touting it weeks ago -- then mock it. Consistency is not the key.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at the hopes raised by the Red Sox six game winning streak." I'm back on the Bruce bandwagon, by the way.

August 17, 2004 - Sports Page One
In The Olympics, The Stranger The Better
I enjoyed the site entry I wrote about this so much, I decided to turn it into my weekly column. Just struck me as the kind of conversation starter that everyone can enjoy batting around.

Of course, I'll probably just get letter from people thinking I'm making fun of field hockey. I'm used to that by now though ... insert "lowest common denominator" talk here.

August 16, 2004 - SportsMonday Page Two
Another Cursed Day In Red Sox Nation
OK, the curse reference is probably a little much. Didn't come from my pen though ... and I'm sticking to that.

I was told after filing this that "This is what we're looking for" when we send people to Fenway. So that's nice, though also means apparently everything else I've done wasn't.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that the Sox aren't getting the breaks this year." After last week, this reeks of having being read.

August 10, 2004 - Sports Page One
The Sox, From A West Coast Perspective
This column has to be better than the one I began writing at 7:30 a.m. Sunday in my hotel room at The Venetian ... after having played poker for three hours and not slept at all.

Any time I can build a column around allusions to the Dodgers, I'm pleased.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture gets a west coast perspective of the Red Sox." It reeks of Bruce having not read it, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

July 25, 2004 - S-T Front Page
The Question: Is He Ever Going To Lose?
A foray out of sports full of sports analogies thanks to the fine quotables of one Craig Barker. I get to touch of quiz bowl, and use the cliche involving a bookcase falling on people.

It's been called a solid column, and really, that's all I need to be content.

July 24, 2004 - Sports Page One
Reality Setting In At Fenway
Ain't no one going to be calling me a Sox apologist after tonight.

My first instinct was that this story was awful, and yet upon reflection, the only thing that's been awful in July here is the Boston Red Sox.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "The Standard Times Jon Couture talks about the atmosphere at the game last night." I believe this is the first time I've made the weekend links, which is nice.

July 20, 2004 - Sports Page One
Assuming The Worst A Proud Sox Tradition
I believe I wrote this exact same column sometime last season, but without it being this good and because I was asked. I could go look, but I'm not really trying to identify whether I've run out of ideas.

Regardless of that, I like this. There's a Meg story, and more word plays that should be legal under Massachusetts law.

July 11, 2004 - Sports Page One
Soul of the Sox
There may be other things you want to know about Jason Varitek after reading this story, but I assure you, they're probably dirty things and you sicken me.

It seems a lot more impressive to say it was six weeks in the making without including the part where several of those weeks were spent just waiting for callbacks.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, featured the day after with "An excellent story from the weekend is a feature-style piece by Jon Couture on Jason Varitek."

July 7, 2004 - Sports Page One
Sox Turning It Around ... Is That So Crazy?
Please note the eye for consistency. Craaaaazy always featured five 'a's.

Just file this one under the 'optomism' tab. May as well stick to my guns while the sticking is good.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here with "Jon Couture looks at the pieces being put in place for the Sox to turn things around."

July 4, 2004 - Sports Page One
Scenes From A Major
SOUTH HADLEY -- This is essentially three columns in one, which in my mind explains why it took me like five hours to write. That seems a better reason than "I was eating ice cream bars" or "The Unisys live stat system was too much fun."

I only wished I could have worked in items about these two things, but after 87 inches of actual copy, anymore seemed overkill.

June 29, 2004 - Sports Page One
A Turning Point, For Better Or Worse
This is more one of those columns that needed to be written, and as history as shown, that's rarely if ever a good thing.

You know me ... seasons don't end in June, no matter what anyone says or thinks.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here with "Jon Couture also has a bit on Youkilis." Granted it's the same bit that everyone else has, but it's still nice to be noticed.

June 28, 2004 - SportsMonday Page Two
Big Day With Bats Finally Factors In
Does this count as being critical? Does it matter since I worked in talk of the guy who delivered Chinese food to the office Saturday night?

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here with "Jon Couture looks at a big day with the bats getting the Sox a series win."

June 22, 2004 - Sports Page One
Terry Talk Is Mostly Hot Air
Is it more than a column based on a goofy photo I used in the update. Yes, but by just how much is an exercise I leave up to the reader.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, part of a pair of articles on Terry.

June 15, 2004 - Sports Page One
Choosing Sides Isn't Easy Sometimes
I'm pretty sure a previous column I wrote got a title almost identical to this, though I'm pretty sure that one didn't feature a pathetic, direct plea to get back on TV again designed as a witty ending.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, featured prominently in the day's update. I dare say this is the most I've been discussed in there since the day I swore at Bruce Allen on the main page, and he proceeded to link to it.

   That was a fun day, but sadly, I never got any mail about it.

June 9, 2004 - Sports Page One
A Special Night For The Ace
It wasn't supposed to be anything special when I originally sent in the credential request for Tuesday, Then it was Nomar's return night, not Nomar's return night, and Pedro's return night all rolled up into one six hour period.

Baseball's funny, sometimes.

June 1, 2004 - Sports Page One
Sox Are Showing Some Real Smarts
Considering I've already come out as saying Derek Lowe is at least looking over the edge of the cliff, it was nice to be sitting in his press conference thinking, "You're a nice guy. I'm not even going to mention you today."

Course, then the manager blew up my column idea, but so be it.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here with "Jon Couture tells us that despite yesterday's pounding, the Sox are in good shape and showing the stuff of champions."

May 30, 2004 - Sports Page One
Not Your Average Teen? That's Safe To Say
FOXBORO -- Live from the laptop, it's a relatively awful soccer match! Even if I'd seen the game's only tally, it wouldn't have been any better ... between the own goal and Adu coming out after an hour, some hack somewhere is going write a rip column on this one.

May 30, 2004 - Sports Page Six
A League Of Their Own
Local trio playing for fledgling women's soccer team, says the drophed.

These are the people who, in a press release, are encouraging fans to come to their July 11 game against the California Storm. At that game, you can see California's Brandi Chastain, "who once removed her shirt after a game." I wish I was kidding.

May 24, 2004 - SportsMonday Page Two
Wakefield Leaves Jays Green With Envy
How I got through a whole column referencing Vermont without swearing or taking pot shots may be proof I can make it in this business yet.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here in a collection of stories about Tim Wakefield's outing. At least I picked a popular topic, though going up against Bob Ryan probably isn't the wisest call I've ever made.

May 17, 2004 - Sports Page One
A Raw Deal For The NBA
After looking over all my columns from the past year for the NEAPNEA contest, I've decided I'm straying from my roots a little too much. An air of professionalism hasn't exactly served me well ... we'll be shooting for just a whisper in the future.

I feel like this could have been better, and yet stands as it is anyway. I clearly need to lower my standards again.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture takes Jim Donaldson to task for bragging about not watching the NBA, but still having an opinion on it. He says the NBA is getting a raw deal."

May 16, 2004 - Sports Page One
As Movies Go, 'Still We Believe' Isn't Too Believable
Usually when I write something, I'll see the feelings calm down after I get my thoughts out. Yet the more I think about this movie, the less I like it.

It's just not good at all. Not a good subject, not well done, not good.

May 11, 2004 - Sports Page One
Lowe Down Could Be Tough To Take
Could Derek Lowe inexplicably turn it around and have a year like he did in 2002? In theory, though it may just be time to admit Boston's "Big Three" are really just a "Big Two."

This, of course, means he'll throw a no hitter the next time out. And really, I'm OK if I'm wrong like that.

May 9, 2004 - Sports Page One
Strongman Cardoza Very Close To The Big Show
The not-online pictures really make this story -- you just can't imagine what it look like to see a man walking with 600 pounds in his hands. And he's the nicest guy you'd ever want to talk to.

It's rather fortunate he liked the story, as it's never good to anger people who could physically throw you across a room.

May 4, 2004 - Sports Page One
Who Is That Man In Left Field And What Has He Done With Manny Ramirez?
I got "the phone call" asking for a Manny piece, and here we go. Though really, when athletes start offering up millions of dollars to pay other athletes, I shouldn't need to get a phone call.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture wants to know who that guy playing left for the Sox is, and what has he done with Manny Ramirez?"

May 2, 2004 - Sports Page Three
Brilliant Bullpen Is Boston's Backbone
Really, I wish I could get Vegas lines on things like "The bullpen's scoreless innings streak will end sometime between when you write this story and in runs in the paper." I'd be able to retire by age 30.

April 27, 2004 - Sports Page One
April Games Count Too
If nothing else, the Sox can go .250 from here out against the Yankees and still "split" the season series. Granted that split isn't what will ultimately decide anything, but it's still nice to think about.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that games in April count as much as games later in the season."

April 20, 2004 - Sports Page One
Pats Trade For Dillon
The S-T's news story on the Patriots' pickup of Cincy running back Corey Dillon. Listening in to the conference call, I'll give him that he's plenty excited.

Course, I would be too coming to a two-time Super Bowl champ from the Cincinnati Bengals.

April 13, 2004 - Sports Page One
Lefty Offers Lesson For Everyone
When you're writing about "a story," the tendency is to try and say something that no one else is saying while still producing something that actually makes sense. It's a fine line, and well, I think I managed to keep at least one foot on it.

Another one that got "critical acclaim" around the office, for what that's worth beyond making me beam with pride.

April 12, 2004 - SportsMonday Page Two
This Time, They Picked Up Schilling
BOSTON --In the same way that going to Patriots camp without a tape recorder led me to buy one, today will finally push me over the edge to buy a laptop. I could have been writing my piece in extra innings, rather than having to wait until driving back to New Bedford.

The actual story felt a little thrown together, and I didn't exactly break new ground culling for information, but this is my first of probably double-digit game features from Fenway. There's always room for improvement.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at the Sox picking up Schilling this time around."

April 6, 2004 - Sports Page One
Minigolf Goes Major
This is the longest story you will ever read about miniature golf. To be quite honest though, it is also the best. As columns go, this one was right in the wheelhouse.

The whole minigolf circuit strikes me as a lot like quizbowl -- not really well known, but yet very healthy and solid under the radar. Suppose that's why I'm not surprised there's overlap between the two.

April 4, 2004 - Sports Page One
Sox Will Be Good -- But Good Enough?
I say yes, but then again, I always say yes. Though in the past few years, I actually seem to believe it.

This is what passes for a Red Sox preview around these parts, though Steve Britt wrote this piece, which focuses on the current injuries in a lot more depth. He and I really do have a ying-yang thing going, given he couldn't resist cracking out Buckner, Dent and Little within the first five paragraphs.

March 30, 2004 - Sports Page One
No Victory In Defeat
It's not a good vibe when your Managing Editor reads your column and says, "You were busy this weekend, weren't you?" Regardless, I haven't had a good indignant piece in a while.

The fact that I stumbled across 'Only a Game' while driving back to New Bedford on Saturday just proves this was meant to be.

March 23, 2004 - Sports Page One
Picking Up The Pieces
Know that upside to writing a column each and every week without fail? This is the downside.

This is what happens when I have an idea about a column, but it never really goes anywhere because I don't so much realize it's not worth writing about until it's too late.

March 16, 2004 - Sports Page One
Forgetting Past Sport's Severe Flaw
Looking at the lead, it's not what you think.

Looking at the headline ... well, it might be what you think then.

March 9, 2004 - Sports Page One
We All Need That Real Reason to Root
The weekly madness begins again with a piece that's probably closer to my heart than it is anyone else's. But hey, over the course of 52 weeks, there's going to be a couple of those.

Some would call it "ego." I just call it "humoring myself."

February 28, 2004 - Sports Page One
Memories Make Disc Worth It
I really feel like I should be writing more columns as of late, but in a few weeks, that feeling will wash away nicely with the onset of Red Sox angst season.

I wasn't exactly bowled over by the Pats DVD, but let's just say there are worse things one could spend $20 on in the long run. Like, say, more than a dozen containers of McDonald's french fries.

February 17, 2004 - Sports Page One
Deal Proves A Sport's Sad Commentary
It isn't exactly my fastball, but it basically nails what I'm trying to say -- I'd give a much bigger crap about this trade if I hadn't given up on baseball solving it's problems a long time ago.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that the Red Sox aren't the real losers in this deal." Sitting right ahead of one Jim Donaldson to boot.

February 4, 2004 - S-T Front Page
A Sporting Moment For The Ages
It was cold, it was crowded and there's a good chance I could have been crushed by masses again. Though went I went in 2001, I didn't exactly think I'd be working another two years later.

February 3, 2004 - Sports Page One
This Team Was The Best Ever
Quite simply, I believe there is not a team in the Super Bowl era that the 2003 Patriots wouldn't beat. Not the '72 Dolphins, not the '85 Bears, none of them. And here's why.

January 27, 2004 - Sports Page One
From Sub-Par To Sublime: The Pats Through The Ages
In the paper, this was 2/3rds of the day's front page, not the unappealing visual you see on the Net. That said, I'll reitterate that there's a reason it was easy to sell me on the N.Y. Giants in the late 1980's.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture looks at the Patriots decade-by-decade."

January 16, 2004 - Sports Page One
Pats Have Gone From A Fluke To A Favorite
It's not so much analysis as observation. But then again, I'm not so much a writer as I am a sassy, young punk who believes he's invincible. Even with that said, the comparisons to 2001 as a whole, though muddled, are incredibly striking.

January 9, 2004 - Sports Page One
Loose Lips Sink Ships
FOXBORO -- We learn, amazingly, that people within the Patriots and in the NFL don't really want to talk about Bill Belichick. The irony of this, of course, being the Globe ran a Belichick piece on the same day that had, gasp, actual access. But what can I do.

   NOTE - Linked to by NESN's Erik Wilbur here. My column link led a little discussion of Belichick as a coach and actually got listed before Michael Holley's excellent Boston Globe piece that ran the same day.

January 9, 2004 - S-T Front Page
Sox or Pats: Who Rules The Roost?
A front page story that I ended up crafting into an all-out column instead, mainly because I felt I had more to say than the people I'd find at the local sports bar. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong. Still doesn't change what it is.

January 6, 2004 - Sports Page One
Charlie Hustler: Rose Comes Clean, But Who Cares?
Please ignore the grammar error in the opening sentence ... such is what happens when a column has to be heavily tweaked after it's written.

Granted, I was asked for a "Pete Rose is a jerk" column. I just enjoy using reason in my writing and creating anecdote leads about 100 words too long.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture wonders if anyone cares that Pete Rose supposedly came clean." At least I'm not dead to the BSMW, though I think my Patriots stuff of late has been a bit more interesting.

January 3, 2004 - Sports Page One
Eyes On The Prize: Tom Brady Has Come A Long Way
FOXBORO -- Ever wonder what it would look like if someone wrote a Tom Brady feature during a week he wasn't available to the press? Wonder no more! The story is still strong, but there's that obvious gap.

December 30, 2003 - Sports Page One
Fourteen And Counting
Cherish what New England has already accomplished, he writes. Because they're essentially begging to be screwed over, he implies.

December 27, 2003 - Sports Page One
Many Happy Returns
First I was going to write this, then I was going to not do it, then I rushed home to do it and it came out OK. If nothing else, it's the first time I've hit a pre-set word count since the Red Sox were in the playoffs.

December 26, 2003 - Sports Page One
Money Can't Buy A-Rod Love
I wrote this for the original 72-hour deadline way way back, but it's only running now. I think it needs more anger, but it's hard to muster a lot of vitriol during the holidays.

I remember when I worked in news, and would get cussed out for writing headlines based on song titles. It's as if they didn't understand all my knowledge is based on trivia competitions.

December 19, 2003 - Sports Page One
'Automatic Otto' Dead
It's pretty self-explanatory considering it was written and researched in just more than an hour. I was in the office as the emergency reporter in case a late sports story broke, a late sports story broke, and I wrote about it. It's as though we know what we're doing.

December 9, 2003 - Sports Page One
Yet Another Reason Not To Like College Football
Catchy title, isn't it? Never mind that I don't even think it fits the point of the piece, it just feels like "Blah Blah Don't Read This" was already taken.

It's rare that I'm actually more angry when I'm done with a column that I was when I started, so I guess that result here means I really do like college football after all. Odd, yet somehow not heartwarming at the same time.

December 7, 2003 - Sports Page One
Formidable Five: Consistent O-Line Has Pats Thinking Big
FOXBORO -- My editor said he thought I played it a little too straight. And here I thought I was writing it just like a news story because there were quotes involved.

Also, let it be noted that not only did I go out of my way to avoid the horde and talk to Tom Brady by myself, in just my second question ever asked of Bill Belichick, I got the sly/snide comment I used near the end. This definitely amuses me far more than it does you.

December 5, 2003 - Sports Page One
Let The Terry Francona Era Begin
When he ever said that he had no problem with second-guessing, do you think Grady Little just started screaming at the North Carolina sky for no apparent reason?

The was the beginning and end of the S-T's hard-hitting hiring day coverage. I would have actually gone to the press conference, but given how short staffed we are, the paper wouldn't have actually made it to press if I had.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture weighs on on the beginning of the Francona era." I like the idea that I've now been around long enough to "weigh in" on things ... I'm seriously going to start using this phrase more in my daily life. Maybe then I can be on Sports Pulse again!

December 2, 2003 - Sports Page One
Schilling Already Has His First Win
This whole 'bear vs. shark' argument I reference that Schilling took part in, viewable here, means I will now have to put a new No. 38 jersey on the Christmas list.

I just hope they let me wear it in the press box.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says Curt Schilling already has his first win for the Sox." Not exactly detracting from the belief he doesn't actually read my columns, but whatever.

November 25, 2003 - Sports Page One
Will Soccer Finally Get A Kick Start?
And narrowly beating out the column about the Presidents Cup and golf ... it's the column about the MLS Cup and soccer! Be careful what you wish for.

About a week late to get in with the rush of 'Freddy Adu Saves Soccer' columns that came out, but that's kind of how I like it. Ignore the brunt, and try to say something halfway intelligent.

   NOTE - I got a fan letter about this column, readable in the 11/30/03 update.

November 18, 2003 - Sports Page One
Fans Hold The Power To Make MLB Change
A return to the regular column with an indictment of the new MLB steroid policy. I assure you, it was easier than me taking steroids and seeing if I could start hitting home runs.

Though that would have been awesome, even with the going sterile part.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that if fans care about steroid use in baseball, they do have the power to make a change."

   It was also linked to by NESN's Erik Wilbur here. He writes, "Jon Couture of the Standard Times says that this entire issue boils down to one question: 'Do you care if the stars of Major League Baseball are on steroids?' The answer should be yes, just in case you were torn. The real question is, whether Major League Baseball will answer the same way."

November 17, 2003 - SportsMonday Page 14
A Shining Season For Voc-Tech Cheerleaders
The GNB Voc-Tech cheerleaders won their first-ever conference championship this year. I called them and wrote a story about it. That's journalism.

November 16, 2003 - Sports Page One
Just Another Game? Not A Chance
FOXBORO -- Technically, this gets the place stamp because I went up to Foxboro on Thursday. This is really something I should do more, though "asking questions" is also something I should do more, and that just probably isn't going to happen for a while.

November 2, 2003 - Sunday S-T 'Looking Back,' Page A2
Red Sox Still In The Spotlight
Written for the News Department as a recap of the week's events -- Grady and Manny, mainly -- there's no quotes, no new information and no real insight here. Just a review of the facts.

I guess it's alright. I mean, I still wrote it.

October 28, 2003 - Sports Page One
Next Decision Will Be Bigger Than Game 7
Read the title. That's all there is to say.

October 18, 2003 - Sports Page One
There's No Defense For Grady's Decision
Not a loss.

A betrayal.

October 17, 2003 - S-T Front Page
Sox Hopes Crushed In 11th Inning
NEW YORK -- Quite simply, the best thing I have ever written. What else is there to say?

October 16, 2003 - S-T Front Page
Pedro, Roger Head To An Epic
NEW YORK -- It was supposed to be the ultimate matchup, and it was.

It just wasn't like everyone thought.

October 15, 2003 - S-T Front Page
A Tale Of Wasted Chances ... So Far
What is perhaps most enfuriating about this ALCS is that Boston may legitimately be a better team than New York this season. Not just because they fattened up on the AL's worst teams during the regular season, but that they may really have more talent than a side whose payroll is $60 million more than theirs.

Yet they still can't win because they aren't producing when they need to, putting up asanine home run totals, but not when it matters.

And now I have to go to New York and possibly watch a Yankee crowd celebrate another clinch. I'm overjoyed.

October 14, 2003 - Sports Page One
Win Or Lose, We've All Cowboyed Up
This came one day before I made the official decision that I was sick of "Cowboy Up," mentally declaring it a tool for the weak and an excuse for Bostonians to dress up like cowboys and cowgirls. It's quite possible my opinion on this would change if the Red Sox were ahead in the series, but considering Boston won this game, I highly doubt it.

Honestly, this story probably marks the beginning of burnout ... not having any real days off for a full week and a half will do that to a person.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says win or lose, we as fans have all cowboyed up." Thank goodness Bruce pays attention and links to my stinkers ... I might get regular readers otherwise.

October 13, 2003 - S-T Front Page
Unscheduled Day Off Came Just In Time
It's amazing what one can do when they don't even play a baseball game. If I'd hiked across the park to the press buffet, it could have officially been a full night.

October 10, 2003 - Sports Page One
Frustrated Sox Will Take The Split
NEW YORK -- When I started writing both of my game stories, I thought I was hitting on an insightful point of view that a lot of people would miss. Instead, it turned out I was hitting all the points all of the other main writers were hitting.

This would be both a plus and a minus, I suppose.

October 10, 2003 - S-T Front Page
U.N. Fails To Tackle Big Issue
NEW YORK -- In hindsight, I can't believe I wasn't shot or kicked out of the U.N. while trying to do this story.

If nothing else, at least I earned a nickname -- apparently the original idea had been to send me to Washington Heights, Manny Ramirez's old neighborhood, but the managing ed didn't think it a good idea to send me into the mean streets.

October 9, 2003 - Sports Page One
Pitcher-Perfect Performance
NEW YORK -- Note to public address system operators at Yankee Stadium: It is NOT, I repeat, NOT necessary to play "New York, New York" four consecutive times after a loss. It kind of defeats the purpose of piping the press conference from way down in the belly of the stadium out to the auxiliary boxes, since we CAN'T HEAR IT.

October 9, 2003 - S-T Front Page
In Bronx, Sox Fans Tread With Caution
NEW YORK -- Prior to Game Two, there were a lot more 'B' hats floating around and many fewer '1918' signs getting hung from the rafters. So I think there's at least a mental block with wearing the red into Yankee Stadium, but it's certainly a little less advisable than the barkeep across the street would have had me believe.

Not to say the barkeep wasn't a nice guy, but to say chants of "Asshole! Asshole!" weren't exactly getting everyone ejected.

October 8, 2003 - Sports Page One
History Is History, But Mystique Is A Myth
This was even before I discovered Yankee Stadium is only slightly less dingy than Fenway Park.

The point was that the Red Sox have a chance to beat the Yankees, and have nothing to fear. It's not really a column that needed to be written, since this Boston team clearly believes in itself, but really when has anything I've written needed to be said?

October 6, 2003 - SportsMonday Page Two
A Fine Day ... In And Out Of The Park
So wait. I have to go to the playoff game, but rather than sit in the press box and have to pretend to be impartial and not emotionally attached, I have to go to a bunch of Fenway bars and be loud and obnoxious like I probably would have done anyway?

Kids, this is why you should go to college.

October 4, 2003 - Sports Page Two
Bulldogs Crush Case
SWANSEA -- Your average high school football mismatch. That's about all there is to say ... though I imagine it gets much harder to do in the cold, as writing is difficult when one has to wear mittens.

Case High School, by the way, is selling ThunderSticks as a fund-raiser. Do your part, whatever that may mean.

October 3, 2003 - Sports Page One
Youth Served At Foxboro, World Cup
FOXBORO -- If you stop reading about halfway through, it just looks like I'm ripping on little girls again. So of course, a good portion of the reading audience will do that, and they won't see my point at the end. They'll instead ensure I can add "soccer moms" to the group of SouthCoasters who want to hit me with their cars.

Seriously though, I really like this story. So read it, even if it is about women's soccer.

October 1, 2003 - Sports Page One
Buckle Up, It's Going To Get Bumpy
Each playoff year, Red Sox fans beat themselves up until the collapse comes. Then they spend the next week being depressed, hating themselves, yelling at their kids and being generally grumpy until they snap at the wrong person.

I'm just encouraging them to enjoy it before that, because you never know. We might never get to be that irrational again.

September 25, 2003 - Sports Page Three
Millar For Sox MVP: It's His Spirit, Not The Stats
Reading the paper this morning, I looked at the headline on my piece of the S-T's "Who's The Sox MVP?" package and cringed. It just looked so fruity, so weird, so flaky. I raged about it for moments.

Then I remembered I was the one who'd written it.

   NOTE - Our whole feature of potential MVP candidates was mentioned on Boston.com's Boston Sports Blog, where Eric Wilbur, um, questioned our thought process. "The players mentioned, Jason Varitek, Bill Mueller, Ortiz, Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra, and Kevin Millar are all fine choices. But the sad part is, not one of the writers chose to nominate Manny Ramirez. If we took their view of the voting, Manny would get as many votes as Chad Fox, and that’s just plain stupid."

   It sure is, Eric. It sure is.

September 21, 2003 - Sports Page Six
Will Sox Fans Find Relief In October?
A full on analysis piece of the Red Sox bullpen, with the goal being to choose just which pitchers should find their way on the postseason roster. It's at a time like this, when there's no BSMW on weekends and when I'm buried on the S-T Sports Web page, when I wonder whether the article is being read by more people than the number of hours I spent writing it.

And no, don't answer that.

September 16, 2003 - Sports Page One
I Second That Emotion
It's easy to jump to conclusions in the Boston sports scene, given the sky has continually been falling almost every day for the past 80 years. Every so often though , the bluff gets called, and we all look really stupid.

Sunday was one of those days.

September 9, 2003 - Sports Page One
Numbers Lie, But This Team Is Truly Special
A column all about numbers, ended with an attempt to invalidate all of them. Well, not so much invalidate as try to show that there's more to the game that statistics. And note, I did say "try."

[This column never made it online.]

September 5, 2003 - Sports Page Three
Pats Face Tough Road
Chronicling the Patriots schedule by looking at their non-divisional opponents. An idea that came out ats 55 inches, but got printed as 36. It's all about fitting the hole ... and not writing the column assignment you've had for a week in the last two available hours to get it done.

September 1, 2003 - SportsMonday Page Two
Rocket Soared Back Into Fenway Fans Memories
Considering I bought the tickets to this game in February, to have some of the best seats in the bleachers while watching Roger Clemens make his final regular season start at Fenway Park was an excellent way for it to work out.

Course considering I've now seen the Sox go 0-3 in '03, losing by a combined 29-19, pardon me if I seem somewhat bitter.

August 26, 2003 - Sports Page One
Relax? It's Not So Easy
This was going to be a Pete Sampras column, then I realized my golf columns cornered the market on my self indulgencements. I wish I'd done more with it really ... whether or not that more is actually sending it to Kevin Millar is dependent on how strong Google can be in searching out player e-mail addresses.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture tries to explain to Kevin Millar the mentality of the fan base here in New England."

August 22, 2003 - Sports Page One
Pedro Isn't The Only One Feeling Sick
I was called into work to write was termed a "Fire Grady" piece, but was working out to be less about that are more about there was just this general malaise around the team that looked like it shouldn't have been enough to derail them.

Then the Pedro news wafted in.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Gordon Edes says criticism of Pedro for missing last night's start is way out of line. Jon Couture disagrees, saying plenty of athletes have played sick. (Apparently NL MVP candidate Albert Pujols isn't one of them. He's been out of the lineup all week because of a high fever and flu-like symptoms.)" All I'm saying is that with past Red Sox teams, namely ones led by a certain hated ex-Number 21, you never had to wonder if the ace was actually going to make it to the park for his big start ... or the team picture.

   I also got a deluge of mail on both sides, all of which is chronicled in the 8/22/03 update.

August 19, 2003 - Sports Page One
Can We Get Back To Basics?
I sat down at 12:30 p.m., and said I needed a column topic by 1. Then I needed one by 1:30, by 2, by 3 and by 3:15. Only one it hit about 4 did I start to say anything worth reading.

   NOTE - Amazingly, was on the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture wishes to get back to the basics of enjoying sports, before ESPN ruined everything." I really wish I'd had the time to chop the front end of the column off and try to redo it, but c'est la vie.

August 16, 2003 - Sports Page One
Looking For A Break-Through
And to think when the Breakers started, back on May 5, 2001, with a 1-0 loss to the Atlanta Beat, I was a student who made his way down to West Campus not for the game, and not for the subsequent BU student riot, but to drink disgusting alcohol and watch the craptacular TV that airs after Saturday Night Live finishes up on NBC.

Ah, memories of college!!!11

August 12, 2003 - Sports Page One
Riding The Shock Wave
I have now officially been referred to, in large print, as a "self-respecting New York Giants fan." No good can ever come of this.

I mean it's true, but it can be explained for what it really is ...

August 9, 2003 - Sports Page One
For A First Impression, Klecko's Was No Small Wonder
FOXBORO -- I've written two Patriots pieces thusfar, and in both I've found myself quite enamored with Dan Klecko. This has the potential to either be really good or really bad, given my neck is now officially "out." Course, I very much think I'm fine, and that he's got a long career ahead of him.

Thanks on this piece of also due for Rick McGowan of the Newport Daily News, my neighbor in the press box who allowed me use of some of his quotes and was just generally friendly and helpful.

August 6, 2003 - Sports Page One
Even Rebuilt Red Sox Don't Frighten New York
I'd never been inspired to write a column by the side of the New York Port Authority before, and really, it was but the initial seed here. Still, I remain disappointed that I couldn't work in what was the oddest "news" story I've read in a while -- The Daily News' piece on what deli has the tallest pastrami on rye.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says that no matter what the Red Sox do, Yankee fans feel it's their God-given right to win the division and World Series." He read the quotes, you read the background. The judgment can be whatever you want it to be.

August 1, 2003 - Sports Page One
More Than A Game
NEW BEDFORD -- When I was brought into the sports department, I was told I probably wouldn't cover any local sports because we already had more than enough people from the area and who enjoyed doing it very much.

After going to this game though, they can send me to any local event they damn well want. In my mind, there's nothing better than getting out and seeing what really makes this city tick on a cool Wednesday night in the summertime. I hope I conveyed that well enough.

July 29, 2003 - Sports Page One
Is It Too Early To Believe Our Eyes?
The first column I'll be paid for ... and it's not about golf!

It seemed necessary to write this after screaming "All For Nothing!" after the last Yankees series. And I really am ready to admit that this team is giving me "that feeling."

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture wonders if it's too early to hitch ourselves to this Red Sox wagon." Yup.

July 25, 2003 - Sports Page One
Camp Brings Big Buildup ... And A Little Letdown
FOXBORO -- It was my first-ever trip to a Patriots Training Camp, be it as a fan or as a reporter, and it was a little imposing before I getting there. But arriving, it's definitely not as difficult as I thought ... big thanks go to our Pats writer Dan Pires for introducing me around and showing me the ropes.

The actual story isn't much, but it definitely proved the advantages of having a mini tape recorder for interviews. Makes me wonder how I made do in college.

July 22, 2003 - Sports Page One
British Open Breeds Cinderellas
Reading this over in print, it tends to read too much like Thomas Bjorn lost the tournament, rather than Ben Cutis won it. Given he was 6-under through 11 holes, that's nothing to be sneezed at. But I still just see Cutis going the way of Paul Lawrie, rather than that of Curtis Strange.

July 8, 2003 - Sports Page One
All For Nothing
There were so many potential good storylines from this Red Sox-Yankees series, you'd have to think one of them would win out. But in the end, all that was proven is that our beloved Red Sox will always just be our beloved Red Sox.

July 1, 2003 - Sports Page One
Unwritten Rules Cloud Playing Field
Honestly, there are some unwritten rules of sports I can buy into ... like a soccer team voluntarily giving the ball back to the other team if they'd lost it due to an injury or something. But on the whole, I'm the kind of guy who'd drag bunt to break up a no-hitter, who'd pass for the lead under a caution flag, and who'd keep scoring runs, touchdowns or goals until I was blue in the face.

To paraphrase The Simpsons, don't think for one second that a cow wouldn't eat you and everyone you care about if it got the chance.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture writes about the unwritten rules in baseball and the honor of the game. He disagrees with the opinions of Buckley and Massarotti over the weekend about the Sox shaming themselves." I tried tying in the NASCAR angle just because it was topical and was also something that ticked me off, but it is mainly a baseball piece.

June 17, 2003 - Sports Page One
Greatness Is Great, But Exciting Sells
This worked out so much better than the compare-contrast of Emmitt Smith and Barry Bonds. Maybe finding two athletes that share common bonds just has that effect.

Some have said to me they liked the column up until the parts mentioning Roger Clemens. That just comes with the territory living in New England.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture contrasts David Robinson with Roger Clemens, noting that is sad that Robinson's legacy will likely fade over the years, due to his personality type, while Roger's will continue to grow." I'd feel a lot prouder about it if the ending had been all my own creation, but so be it.

Also, I got a nice letter from Justin Gorman on the column, though the fact that I know him means he's biased. Regardless, the letter is in the 6/18/03 update.

June 10, 2003 - Sports Page One
Grady Could Learn From His Old Boss
When I wrote this, I was pretty sure the Sox would bring in a new pitching coach soon. Course, I didn't think it'd be in the time between when I finished writing and the time the thing was edited.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture says Grady Little could learn a few things from his old boss later this week ... Jimy Williams." Given it was the title, I have no complaints.

June 3, 2003 - Sports Page Three
Kim Under The Microscope In Red Sox Nation
When Byung-Hyun Kim pitched Sunday, giving up two runs in an inning, I was a little concerned, since my whole column plan had been built around his Tuesday night debut as a starter in Pittsburgh. It didn't take much writing around though.

I love it when I don't even use all the stuff I planned on using when I started writing ... because in the process of creating the column, I come up with stuff that's even better.

May 27, 2003 - Sports Page One
Anaheim, We Turn Our Lonely Eyes To You
With the Stanley Cup on the way, Anaheim will return to its role as proxy team for the Boston sporting universe. It's a role they've been good with, even if they are the epicenter of America's fascination with ThunderStix.

But don't let me ever hear you blaspheme the Rally Monkey. I'll cut you, jerkoff.

May 20, 2003 - Sports Page One
Walking On Both Sides Of Hate Street
Because of how good a title it is, regarding the love-hate relationship people are walking with Roger Clemens, I'm willing to overlook that the correct grammatical usage would be spelling out "Street," because no actual address is given.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here as part of a bevy of people weighing in on Clemens. "Jon Couture says that some Red Sox fans walk a fine line when it comes to Clemens." I do say that.

May 13, 2003 - Sports Page One
A Rivalry Needs Two Combatants
What I thought was a pretty good idea got undercut in the Web version, as the first two paragraphs were oddly missing. That killed any hope of syndication for a piece that I thought might have been worthy of it.

This might also be the week that I start writing my columns to my own length, as opposed to holding myself to the word count. We'll see how long that lasts.

   NOTE - I swapped two e-mails about this piece with a young New Bedford girl named Martha, who was worried about the Celtics trading away Antoine Walker. I did my best to calm her fears, and she wrote back again, telling me "I love your articles! Keep writing them. Please."

   And I hadn't even started sending her thank you checks yet!

May 6, 2003 - Sports Page One
Wrestling With MLB's Starry Eyes
Baseball is doing so well as a sport, I compared it to professional wrestling in five minutes time. I mean, it didn't make any sense, but it was printed in a newspaper so it has to be true. Right?

April 29, 2003 - Sports Page One
McGahee Pick Baffling At Best
With the NFL Draft being correctly termed an "information coma," how a team who just resigned a 1,700 total yard runner, signed an additional back in the offseason, and has a mediocre-at-its-finest defense can spent its first round pick on an injured running back leaves me well able to use 650 words for rant.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, my column rounds out the NFL Draft coverage with "Jon Couture thinks the Bills selection of McGahee is ridiculous."

   Darn tootin.

April 22, 2003 - Sports Page One
Eyes of a Nation Turn to Boston
When your editor encourages you to write a column like you would write a Web site posting, there's the danger of going to the game, having nothing interesting happen and needing to make up all of your material. You have no idea how much I wish I was making this stuff up.

It was a column so good, I ran more than 200 words over my count and they ran it all anyway.

   NOTE - For the first time since the Toni Smith fiasco, the column ended up on the Boston Sports Media Watch here. Granted, all it said was "Jon Couture logs his Patriots Day entry," and it was smushed in with the Boston Marathon coverage, but I'll take whatever press I can get.

April 15, 2003 - Sports Page One
An Odd Week At Augusta
There really doesn't seem to be a whole lot of analysis here, beyond the fact that a lot of weird things seemed to surround a golf tournament that looked like it'd play second banana to the protests surrounding its home's admission practices. And you know what?

There's not.

April 8, 2003 - Sports Page One
Role Players Do The Job For Sox
Going against my urges to attack children openly, and violently, on a Whale City playground, I do an analysis piece on just who the Sox are playing where in their platoon infield. My discovery was basically that things have been pretty easy so far, given both Jeremy Giambi and David Ortiz pretty much both have batting averages that start with a decimal point and a zero.

Regardless, I've never enjoyed math and fact-finding as much as I did calculating the numbers for this.

April 1, 2003 - Sports Page One
A Message To Young Golfer: Grow Up!
For the second time in the last five years, a 13-year-old girl has contended for the title of a women's professional golf major. Damn little bitches ought to know their place ... on the playground!

March 18, 2003 - Sports Page One
Bracket Busted
Nothing gets a sports fan cussing at the television set like NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

March 11, 2003 - Sports Page One
The Finer Points Of The Game
What happens when you want to talk about the disasters of college basketball and ESPN's penchant for bad segments, but can't come up with a uniform way to meld them.

March 4, 2003 - Sports Page One
Taking A Stand Is Something To Be Admired
With a little trepadation, I start dancing on the line between sports and politics. So much has already been said about Toni Smith and her "turning her back on the flag" protests, but after seeing video of people dragging the flag on the ground as they yelled at for defacing it ... I had to say something.

And I finally get my chance to publicly call out the idiots who let tattered flags flap on their cars to this day. It's called flag etiquette, idiots. Learn it.

   NOTE - As I feared, there's some people who spun the wrong way off what I said. The column ended up leading the day's Boston Sports Blog on Boston.com and was blasted on the Boston Sports Media Watch here.

   A thorough reaction to what they had to say is featured in the 3/4/03 update.

February 25, 2003 - Sports Page One
Golf Becomes A Different Kind Of Battlefield
I like writing about golf. Most don't like reading about golf. This would normally create a problem, except that no one reads my column anyway.

February 18, 2003 - Sports Page One
Spring Belongs To Pedro
In my continuing effort to put a little creative spin on everything, for better or for worse, the necessary "What to do with Pedro" piece turns into more praise for the new front office.

Without really intending to, I seem to have become quite the vocal supporter of the team. But really, I suppose it's not that shocking after all.

   NOTE - "Jon Couture tries to keep an open mind about Sabremetrics while musing over spring traditions," says the Boston Sports Media Watch, here.

February 11, 2003 - Sports Page One
Sports-tainment Isn't Really Too Entertaining
Jon Comey had asked me if I wanted to move my column up to running Monday this week, so I could do a piece on the Beanpot. I declined, both due to a lack of time to write a 'Pot piece and because I can't fault people not alumni of the schools involved for being unenthused about the tournament.

Unfortunately, that left me with just an overarching thought, and not really a good column topic, to write about.

   NOTE - My inclusion on the Boston Sports Media Watch (here) this week makes me happy only in that I seem to be getting on there with a modicum of regularity now, and not just when I make a particularly good point. Bruce Allen writes "Jon Couture thinks there is too much extra entertainment around sporting events." Same rationale with a link from Boston.com's Boston Sports Blog. Under the headline "Not Music To His Ears" ...

   "Jon Couture of the Standard Times is sick and tired of crooners at sporting events. Save U2's halftime performance of last year's Super Bowl, I could live without seeing SmashMouth at an All-Star Game singing their crutch hymn, or watching Celine Dion tell us that, 'No, no, I really DO love America.' Except for the spectacle that Rene Rancourt puts on during the holidays from the Bruins bench. I will not allow you to discontinue that treasure."

   I couldn't agree more.

February 4, 2003 - Sports Page One
Sox Owners Trying To Find Even Ground
If the new Red Sox owners have a fault, it's that they're spending too much time trying to please everybody and respond to every fan's concern. And making those horrific alternate all-red jerseys ... too bad I couldn't work talk to those into this.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, Bruce Allen writes "Jon Couture looks at the Sox owners still trying to find their way around the city and the fans." Additionally, Boston.com's Boston Sports Blog mentioned it. Under the headline "That Old College Try" ...

   "Even though Jon Couture says, 'When Chairman Werner assured us that 'nobody likes watching a ball go into a net' in the New York Times, I launched into a rant worthy of Bucky (bleeping) Dent,' he writes in the Standard Times that the Red Sox owners are trying to reach out to their strong followers. This is true, but for many over the age of 10, it is going to be the product on the field for which they are judged."

   Seems to me the ending would clearly state that.

January 28, 2003 - Sports Page One
And Now We Turn Our Eyes To Baseball
The Super Bowl's barely inked in the books, and I've shifted to baseball. Drawing a comparison I've seen no one else make, Theo Epstein has the chance to do what Jon Gruden had just completed: take a good team and in just one season push them over the top.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, Bruce Allen writes "One of the few media members younger than Theo Epstein, Jon Couture says that Theo needs to pull a John [sic] Gruden with the Red Sox. A few tweaks here and there to an already established team. I think he's a week early in his Spring Training schedule though." My count was when the first teams would report, not specifically the Red Sox.

   Additionally, talk about my article led Boston.com's Boston Sports Blog for Tuesday. Eric Wilbur talks of the excitement after the Patriots championship, how much bigger a Red Sox celebration would be, and how he'd have been mocked if, after the '99 ALCS, he said the Pats, Bucs and Anaheim Angels would all win titles before the BoSox.

   Full text of the BSB write-up is in the 1/28/03 update.

January 21, 2003 - Sports Page One
It's The Best vs. The Best
With this year's Super Bowl pitting the league's best offense against the league's best defense, I looked back to see the history of when the best play in the big game. Consensus seems to be the defense wins, but there have been several exceptions.

Regardless, my pick is Tampa.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, Bruce Allen writes "While Borges drools over the Raiders unstoppable offense, Jon Couture provides a history lesson to the effect that the better defense usually wins these games." Jon Couture, in same sentence as Ron Borges. Thank you, and good night.

January 14, 2003 - Sports Page One
As Long As The Jets Are Out
There may have been nothing more disturbing in the media this past week than the New York Jets becoming the choice du jour of pundits across the region. Seeing them thrashed would have been entertaining for that alone if the game hadn't been so dreadfully boring.

A column that takes more of an update feel. Whether anyone else notices that is open to debate.

   NOTE - On the Boston Sports Media Watch here, Bruce Allen writes "Jon Couture feels the same as I do about the Jets. Scary." I really have no response for this.

January 7, 2003 - Sports Page One
Flaws Were On Parade In NFL Playoffs
I say my piece on Wild Card Weekend, avoiding talk about the Giants almost as much as I did on the Web site. I also veil my predictions for the Divisionals in enough verbiage as to seem like a professional columnist.

For once, I actually like my finished product.

December 31, 2002 - Sports Page One
2002 Wasn't Perfect, But It Was Darn Good
I toast the year that was while on the way to Disneyland.

Really, how often do you get to say that?

December 24, 2002 - Sports Page One
Cinderella's Shoe is Officially Empty
With the New England Patriots clearly going nowhere this postseason, I asked myself, "So, who's going to be this year's New England Patriots?"

Is it really that surprising I picked the Giants as one of my choices? Nope ... the only shocker is I wrote a personal ad for a trophy and expect people to take me seriously.

December 17, 2002 - Sports Page One
Voices Of New England Are The Best
Let's just say if you had heard Celtics announcer Tommy Heinsohn go off during the C's-Suns game last week, you'd know it was the kind of thing that deserved a tribute.

   NOTE - Snuck back onto the Boston Sports Media Watch here, with "Jon Couture enjoys the broadcasters in Boston and feels lucky to have the ones that have been here for so long. Especially Tommy."

   Additionally, the column was the basis of an entry on Boston.com's Boston Sports Blog (about memories that author had hearing Gil Santos call a Dave Meggett punt return that clinched the AFC East in 1996), and I received a letter from a reader who urged me not to forget truly the greatest Boston announcer of all time, Johnny Most.

   Full texts of the letter and blog entry are in the 12/20/2002 update.

December 10, 2002 - Sports Page One
Same Old Sox Taking Shape
From the "Things You'll Regret Saying Later" Department, I advocate trading Nomar Garciaparra for Vladimir Guerrero and say the 2003 Sox will probably look exactly like the 2002 edition. Please bear in mind I also picked the St. Louis Rams to contend for the NFC title this season.

December 3, 2002 - Sports Page One
Working Overtime For A Solution
If I were a news columnist, or I had a shiny new sociology degree hanging on my wall, I would have written a column about why five seasons ago, when there were tie games played in consecutive weeks, there was no huge backlash about the overtime policy. How we've become a society quick to decry something as "unfair."

Instead, I come up with a policy I'm not asking get adopted, I'm demanding it get adopted.

November 26, 2002 - Sports Page One
It's Not About Funny Shoes Anymore
My editor called me on Monday afternoon to ask if I could write about the Red Sox hiring 28-year-old Theo Epstein as their new GM. The words, "I don't really have much to say about that, plus I already started writing about pro bowling for this week," actually left my mouth and traveled through the air.

Now that's classic.

November 19, 2002 - Sports Page One
What's Really Important? Real Life.
Really, this column was bound to happen before too long. The "sports needs to be put in perspective" piece where I start quoting news Web sites.

On the whole, it went better than it could have.

November 12, 2002 - Sports Page One
Sox Don't Have To Look Far For GM
If you ask twelve girls to the prom, and they all tell you no, don't you have to reach the point where you consider going with the fallback best friend? Hell, sometimes it even works out better in the end.

   NOTE - The Boston Sports Media Watch points out my lack of creativity here, mocking with "Jon Couture has an original thought....give the job to Mike Port." Least I think it's mocking.

   Hey, it's what I feel. I'm not trying to compete with the staff of the Herald ... yet.

November 5, 2002 - Sports Page One
Figuring Out Patriots Is No Easy Task
I can honestly say that the Patriots beating the Bills 38-7 never struck me as ever remotely feasible. This column wasn't written while backpedaling ... we're talking full out sprinting away from zoo creatures.

   NOTE - Column gets mentioned on the Boston Sports Media Watch in this entry, as "Jon Couture just can't figure out the Patriots." Yeah, I guess you could say that, if you thought Kristallnacht was "an unfortunate skirmish."

November 1, 2002 - Sports Page One
Pats Missed Their Chance / Vote Bledsoe!
Another special extra -- myself and a former Buffalonian wrote short pieces on why Bledsoe should be the Patriots QB, while sports ed. Jon Comey and a Pats fan wrote pieces supporting Brady. The entire package, in run-up to the first "Bledsoe Bowl," dominated the sports cover.

What can I say? I like Brady, I like the title he won, I just don't think he was the answer. It's one of those things I'd like to be wrong about.

October 29, 2002 - Sports Page One
Stars Don't Always Shine The Same Way
It's less about being pro-Bonds or anti-Smith than it is about finding a connection in the two big stories that don't involve the New England Patriots. After staring at a blank screen for the better part of three hours, it became obvious if I had the answers to their slide, I'd have gone into coaching.

October 22, 2002 - Sports Page One
Pining For Drew Doesn't Do Much Good
It's been seven months. The Bledsoe-Brady pissing contest has officialy lapped being overdone.

   NOTE - The column again gets mentioned on the Boston Sports Media Watch in this entry, as "Jon Couture is a Bledsoe guy." The fact that this quote completely defeats the entire point of the column, meaning our media watchdog hasn't ever read the thing, is not lost on me.

October 15, 2002 - Sports Page One
Patriots Dealing With New Reality
Editing issue ... in my version, Tony Eason's not identified until the fourth paragraph, to leave the reader to think I'm talking about Tom Brady. Thus making the comparison stronger, rather than it looking like I'm just flinging crap at the screen to see what sticks. So it goes.

   NOTE - This is the first of my columns I've noticed getting mentioned on the Boston Sports Media Watch, namely in this entry. Dan Pires, the S-T Patriots writer, e-mailed all the columnists to say it's well read inside the Rte. 128 Beltway.

   As the archive is down, I can't tell if any of the prior articles were so mentioned. I do know the Oct. 8 Angels piece was not, which is funny, because it was probably better than this.

October 8, 2002 - Sports Page One
Adorable Angels Worth Rooting For
I really don't like the title, but stop me if you've heard the Disney jokes before. A lot of this is really a personal recount of part of the Coast to Coast trip, but the new Managing Edior of the paper told me he liked it. So really, that's a victory.

October 1, 2002 - Sports Page One
Strange Lesson In Ryder Cup Defeat
There's always those moments as fans where we scream out, "How can you call that play?!" or "It's going to be a pass!" Everyone's an armchair quarterback, and I hate to say it, but I called the U.S. loss on Saturday night.

September 24, 2002 - Sports Page One
The Upside Of Becoming A Revs Fan
A long time ago, those of us who watch soccer gave up on converting America to it for real. If a quarterfinal showing in the World Cup isn't going to do it, nothing ever will.

I just proposed we cut our losses.

   NOTE - This column was featured on the Big Soccer website, which led "Matt from San Diego" to write me the nice letter I featured in the 9/26/02 update. In a reply message, he told me, "I guarantee you hundreds of people from all over the US read your article, as BigSoccer is VERY popular."

   "The Magpie" from Cambridge posted on the boards there, "Had a good laugh at that last one. Nice to see someone jumping on the bandwagon who can still take the good-nature piss out of us." Guess I hid my soccer fandom a little too well...

   Thanks to Matt and all the guys who enjoyed the piece!

September 17, 2002 - Sports Page One
Win or Lose, Rams Do It Their Way
Far be it for me to try and help the St. Louis Rams, but Mike Martz's coaching has gone far beyond the line of 'asanine.' Always nice when Frank Sinatra gets a mention in the sports pages that doesn't involve "New York, New York" or "Chicago."

September 13, 2002 - Sports Page One
Time For Fans To Play The Blame Game
Really, no Red Sox season can end until we the fans have picked which player cost us a World Series title this time. No one ever criticizes a champion ... thus why New England is so good at it.

September 10, 2002 - Sports Page One
A Fight Not Worth Waging
The National Council of Women's Organizations just figured out after 69 years, there's no female members at Augusta National Golf Club. Nice to see the news stream occasionally passes through the Beltway thinktanks.

If nothing else, be amazed I make it 700 words attacking a feminist's opinion without calling anyone a pushy lesbian dyke once. Considering it's a column about golf, double points for me!

September 3, 2002 - Sports Page One
Football Is King, Whether Games Count Or Not
This week, I had three solid ideas: your run-of-the-mill stathead NFL preview, commemorate the tenth anniversary of '92 New England Patriots (giving all the Pats fans witch complexes a slap in the face) or, if I wanted an issue, discussion why women's basketball just can't take off in this country even when the product is good.

When I didn't have enough stats for the first, enough background for the second or enough argument for the third, this is what you get.

August 27, 2002 - Sports Page One
All Signs Point To A Troubled Game
With baseball's ninth work stoppage seemingly less than a week away, I expand the strike argument I'd made on Cooch's World just a few days prior. Packaged with the paper's Red Sox analyst Steve Britt also slinging doom, it made a hell of a nice photo package.

   NOTE - This column was featured on the Baseball Primer website, dubbed "Baseball for the thinking fan." Writer Jim Furtado prefaced it with "You don't often see articles like this in small town rags," and reader comments included "Why are some people beginning to see the light and that the baseball owners are short sighted weasals? Who cares, wish more writers in large papers would write this to [sic]."

   Thanks to Matt Bruce for the submission!