For Tom Brady and Lawyer Milloy Thursday afternoon offered a peek into what might have been. Brady, a Montreal Expos 18th round pick as a catcher in the 1995 Major League Baseball draft, and Milloy, a Detroit Tigers 19th round pick in the same draft, got a chance to flash their baseball skills by taking batting practice with the Red Sox at Fenway Park prior to last night's game with the St. Louis Cardinals.
And while there is no question that both Pro Bowl players are elite professional athletes, neither was eager to trade in his shoulder pads and helmet for a bat and glove.
"We were just taking batting practice and I'm spent," Milloy told the Boston Globe. "I'm going home, take a shower and go to bed."
In the end, each player was also able to do enough in the cage to save some of his own competitive pride. The right handed hitting Milloy was able to knock a ball off of Fenway's famed Green Monster, while the left handed hitting Brady connected solidly enough to put one ball in the right field stands.
But Milloy downplayed Brady's batting practice home run, ringing it up to Fenway's unique dimensions.
"Tommy got a cheap one around, what is it, Husky's alley or something," the former Washington Husky told the Globe referring the Brady's use of Fenway's short right field foul pole known as Pesky's Pole.
Following the afternoon activities Brady and Milloy watched the Red Sox game from the owner's seats next to the Boston dugout.
In a side note to the batting practice session, Milloy's University of Washington team actually played against a Georgia Tech team in the 1995 College World Series that included current Red Sox Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek. In fact in one game Milloy stole third base on Varitek.
CBSSportsline.com recently polled 19 of the 32 NFL head coaches, asking who was the most underrated NFL player. And while a variety of different names came up, including Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson who received a poll-high three votes, one Patriots player did get a vote.
Each coach probably assigned different criteria to the search for the league's most underrated player, but for Baltimore Ravens Head Coach Brian Billick that guy is Adam Vinatieri. Billick and Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome actually talked the issue over before coming up with the name of New England's Super Bowl winning kicker.
The pair of football minds called Vinatieri "the Mariano Rivera of the NFL, the game's greatest postseason closer."
But that isn't news to Patriots fans, people around New England have known Vinatieri's true value for some time now.
Former Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan was one of the honorees of The Legacy Awards given out by The Sports Museum last night at the Fleetcenter. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of The Sports Museum's Lifetime Achievement Award to Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach. … Gillette Stadium was one of six sites chosen on Thursday to play host to the Women's World Cup soccer tournament to be played this fall. The 16-team tournament begins on Sept. 20-21, but details of exact games and matchups were not announced. … A Patriots roster note, as of Friday morning the team had 90 players on the roster, although the ten draft picks have yet to officially sign with the team. Considering the NFL's 80-man roster limit and including the team's seven NFL Europe roster exemptions, the Patriots will have to cut three players to get down to the limit when it finally signs all its draft picks later this summer. … The Houston Texans released former Patriots tight end Rod Rutledge earlier this week. A former 1998 second-round pick by New England, Rutledge played in just seven games last season in Houston and finished the year on injured reserve. He has 27 receptions for 204 yards and one touchdown in his five-year career, although he was used mostly as a blocker with Houston and did not catch a pass in 2002.