Trying to catch-up, as vacation time is upon us.


* The Red Sox should appeal to the league to always get Tampa Bay on the schedule for every series immediately following the Yankees.

* This one is for Gallagher: I played Kashmir by ledzep in the inning when the Red Sox broke out against Scott Kazmir. Coincidence? Hmmm.

* Really, the Wells-DiNardo spot only has to last this season, as Jonathan Papelbon should return to the rotation next year, Jon Lester should be in the rotation, and Craig Hansen should be closing.

* Two linedrives back to the mound in the last three days, and idiots out there still want major leaguers to use aluminum bats.

* I love the 3-4 defense the Rays deploy against Big Papi. Too bad it does not do much to stop him.

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Here is an interesting snippet from ESPN.com football writer, Len Pascquarelli (simply the hardest working football writer not named Mike Reiss):

New England coaches have been impressed with the work of linebackers Jeremy Mincey, a sixth-round pick from Florida, and Freddie Roach, an undrafted free agent from Alabama. Mincey is a 263-pounder who played primarily at defensive end for the Gators, but projects nicely as the kind of hybrid performer the Pats love for their 3-4 alignment. …(http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insider/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2458925&CMP=ILC-INHEAD")

Of course, other than getting the news nationally, Reiss

Reiss, the highly regarded Boston Globe Patriots writer, chipped in with a profile of New England ILB Monty Beisel. Here is a piece of his analysis that holds out hope for his return as a major contributor:

One of the biggest adjustments for Beisel was slowing down. In Kansas City, he was trained to shoot gaps quickly in a 4-3 defense. In New England's 3-4, it was more important for him to read the play, then react. By the end of the 2005 season, when he filled in as a starter in a 28-3 wild-card playoff victory over the Jaguars, Beisel felt more comfortable with the change. (http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2006/05/27/becoming_better_patriot_chief_among_his_goals/)

Reiss also has an interview with the other inside linebacker hope, Ryan Claridge, a round five pick last season who spent the season on DL and is expected to be a big contributor this season. It can be found at his Patriots blog on the boston.com website at http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/reiss_pieces/

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