For a detailed first hand account of the Celtics game yesterday, check out Dave’s Sporting News. He’s lives in Philly, but has traveled up here on the train for each home playoff game.
Leapin’ Leprechauns! — That’s how ESPN.com’s front page looked after the Celtics record comeback victory over the Nets this evening. The ESPNNews postgame interview sessions were riveting. The phone lines to WWZN’s “Celtics Rewind” were jammed and animated. Host Marty Tirrell talked about when he had to leave with nine minutes to go to do his show, and how the elevators were jammed with others leaving, disgusted. The ones that stayed sure made enough noise. Jim O’Brien said in his postgame conference that the assistants had to yell in his ear for him to be able to hear. Antoine Walker talked about the hoards of NJ fans who left early in game 2 when they were down 10 with 6 minutes left, but the here the Celtics were down 21 with 12 minutes to go and almost all stayed and Antoine gave them credit for their part in the comeback. Callers to WWZN were almost babbling with joy, and for some, humiliation. One caller admitted he and his friends were among these leaving after the third. He planned on sending a written apology to the Celtics. Butch Stearns also called in on the show and asked for all Celtics fans to recognize Antoine Walker’s leadership. He said while there may be many flaws in his game, he is the spiritual and emotional leader of this franchise. Tirrell asked the callers to suggest headlines for the papers tomorrow. Some of them: “FleetCenter Fleecing”, “Colossal Comeback”, “Four Star Fourth”, “Celtic Heart”, “Leprechaun Lynching”, “Fleet Feat”, “21 – House wins”, “Down and Rout”. “The Truth Hurts”, and “Fourth Kidd-napped”. Celtics GM Chris Wallace also appeared on the show. He admitted to having turned the page on this one. He talked about the fact that the Celtics actually made two comebacks in the this game, in the first quarter, the Nets went up 15, and the Celtics cut it to six, before the Nets eventually blew the lead back up to 20 in the first half. Usually a team that makes a small comeback like the first one doesn’t have another in it. Wallace said that was very unusual.
Meanwhile, listeners to WEEI were treated to the sounds of John Meterparel calling the New England Revolution 3-2 win tonight…
FOX25 led their 10:00 PM newscast with the Celtics, and had a clip from Red Auerbach after the game, giving some huge praise to Jim O’Brien, and adding that he (Auerbach) probably would’ve gotten thrown out of that game. He added he never dreamed they could come back in this one. WB56 reporter Michael Andelman (yes, Eddie’s son) said on his report from the FleetCenter that tonight’s fourth quarter was the best in Celtics history, eclipsing the Bird/Dominique battle in ’88. Quite a bold statement.
Jerry Remy picked up on it on the very first pitch of today’s Fox25 Red Sox telecast. David Wells didn’t like the call. Neither side has been very pleased with the efforts of the home plate umpire. Remy predicts if the calls continue to be this inconsistant, someone will get thrown out of the game.
Celtics owner Paul Gaston better hope that not too many people read Jackie MacMullan’s article in the Globe today. Otherwise, should he decide to play it cheap this summer and not resign Rodney Rogers under the cover of luxury tax implications.
Dan Shaughnessy thinks that readers of the Globe must so associate him with the Red Sox and Yankees, that he cranks out two columns today. In his second column, he makes the rediculous statement that Boston fans enjoy booing Roger Clemens more than the SuperBowl. Roger is hated, but the Patriots SuperBowl victory far outweighs any feelings you could have for Clemens.
Peter King says that both Tom Brady and the Patriots would be wise to wait out a little while longer before settling on a long term deal.
Bill Simmons tells us how the Celtics rose from the dead.
The Big Show spent the afternoon talking about Roger Clemens getting away from the Red Sox and that Sox fans have no right to be angry with Roger or to boo him tonight. WWZN got some Celtics talk in wit hMike Dowling calling the Nets a “terrible” team other than Jason Kidd. That Kerry Littles shows up one every three games and Van Horn once every four games. They both showed up in game one. Borges said that the Nets don’t run they can’t win. The Celtic talk lasted until Suzyn Waldman showed up, she was a “diehard” Red Sox fan, won’t say where her heart is at now. She talked about Rickey Henderson she was around during his days with the Yankees, and he is extremely popular with his teammates. Roger has been totally accepted by the NY fans now, she says he must’ve been hurt his first year when he struggled. He’s as popular as anyone she’s seen there. Roger and David Wells are more alike than anyone would think, they’re similar, fitting in well together. Sean denied hating Roger, but said Roger wasn’t nice to him because of things his father would write about him. Suzyn talked about how wonderful Joe Torre is to deal with, he “gets it”. All the things that got him fired in St. Louis make him a great manager in NY…because he has talent with the Yankees. In response to a listener question that Jeter is a product of “NY hype”…she didn’t agree with it. He’s lucky to be in NY, but it didn’t make him. “He’s the only everyday player the Yankees cannot lose.” She ended by saying on paper this is a much better Yankee team than last year. Her grandfather watched the 1918 Red Sox World Champions. Mike Gorman was on later in the afternoon, making a point about Antoine’s maturing process. That’s he’s made such strides. The town hasn’t fully embraced them yet, noticed that even today, Pedro was on the front page of the Globe. But this resurgence has been a rebirth for him, as well. For a time he said people treated him like he had a terminal disease, he would tell them what he did and it was almost like “that’s too bad”. But now he’s been in demand because of the success of the team. As he left, he begged them to talk about the Celtics at least 10 more minutes before going back to the Red Sox talk…
Carlos Baerga was on the Big Show this afternoon, and predictably, spent alot of time talking about Manny. Manny wasn’t happy last year, but none of the guys were. Manny is an extremely hard worker, doesn’t care about all the other stuff outside baseball, he shows up early at the park, does his work in the cage, takes a nap, listens to music, gets ready for the game. He didn’t even know Carlos was signed by the Red Sox over the winter. He just does his thing, which is the games. Carlos is amazed at Manny’s talent….Manny doesn’t even know how good he can be. He’s seen him go 3-3 and say he had a bad game, or hit two home runs and say he wasn’t feeling good with how he did. For streches in Cleveland, Manny had gone up to the plate and changed something everytime and gotten hits, batting glove, no glove, black bat, regular bat, heavy bat, didn’t seem to matter.
The YES Network web site is good for some laughs. Great objective journalism on that site. Michael Kay has a story: “Boston’s pitching is not good enough to win a pennant” while his buddy John Sterling’s column is titled “Roger Clemens is one of the all time great Yankee pitchers” Sure, it’s the Yankees network, but they could try to play it straight.
Sean McAdam filled in for Dale Arnold on the WEEI midday show today, teaming with Bob Neumeier. McAdam says he feels unequivocally that there will be a strike by the MLB players in August. It is Red Sox fans biggest fear, that this very good team will not have a chance to show what it can do in the postseason.
They had Bob Dupay, the MLB President, C.O.O. and leader of the labor negotiations on the air during their program today to discuss this situation. He spouted the company line about the owners pledging no lockout this season. McAdam brought up the fear of the players union about rules being implemented after the season without players say. Dupay said there have been no discussions of that kind. He believes the biggest thing needed to change is, the competitive advantage of big market teams needs to be lessened, and for this they have proposed additional revenue sharing, the owners are united on this. They want a 50% share of local TV revenue; the players want it to be 37%. He said the owners have not gone into these negotiations proposing any form of Salary Cap or Luxury tax like other leagues do, the owners just want to even out the revenues and make a more competitive environment. Acknowledged that “some
Bob Hohler in the Globe today mentions the “bastion of Red Sox fans who bashed the club for permitting Manny Ramirez to rehab his fractured left index finger at home in Florida.” Aside from a few nitwits who fell for the bait presented by WEEI hosts, there has been NO “bastion” of fans. You get some brainwashed simpletons who get all up in arms after being instigated by talk show hosts that call in and now they make up a “bastion” (What’s a bastion, you ask? Some synonyms are: bulwark, defense, embankment, fort, fortification, rampart, wall…Not sure I can make the connection here.) Jeff Horrigan also picks up the ball, but with some wonderment: “Manny Ramirez’ decision to rehab his fractured left index finger in Miami curiously seems to have irritated countless Red Sox followers” Countless, huh. You could probably count easily the number of blowhards who are “irritated” by Manny. I think more are irritated by the press coverage of it. Always look for the negative, the thing that is going to stir up the audience and whip them into a frenzy. Horrigan at least seems puzzled by the attention it’s gotten, but he’s letting himself be fooled by the few callers of WEEI who don’t not represent the majority of fans.
In a classy move, should the Celtics make the finals, Sean Grande will step aside for a time during a radio broadcast and let Mike Gorman take a turn. That’s one of the interesting media notes presented by Bill Griffith today. WWZN chief Mike Kellog acknowledges the complaints about the poor signal after dark of his station, and Griffith gives us some details on Tommy Heinsohn’s bad back Tuesday. He also says to watch for Pedro on NESN’s postgame “Extra Innings” tonight. Jim Baker has some of the same information and some great quotes from Charles Barkley talking about playing in the old Boston Garden. He also mentions to watch for an ESPN Sportscenter “Showcase” featuring Derek Lowe tonight at 6:00 and tomorrow at 11:00 AM.
The Sox and Yankees will be on NESN tonight at 7:00 with former Sox ace and current villain Roger Clemens pitching for the Yankees against 5-0 John Burkett. Also on tonight is game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Finals, Lakers against Kings from Los Angeles at 9:00 on NBC.
WEEI had Peter Gammons this afternoon, as well as a replay of yesterday’s entertaining Pedro Martinez interview. WWZN had Yankee radio announcer Charlie Steiner in for a visit.They also had Derek Lowe on to say that the Yankees great start keeps the Red Sox on their toes, and keeps them sharp, pushes them. Larry Lucchino was also on WWZN promising to get tough on ticket scalper suppliers. A caller mentioned the ones cutting in ticket lines and purchasing mass amounts of tickets to scalp. He also mentioned their interest in Brady Anderson. The former Orioles and Indians outfielder was involved in one of Lucchino’s first player transactions back in the 1988 when he was with the Orioles and they traded Mike Boddicker to the Sox for Anderson and Curt Schilling. (!)
ESPN.com has a couple articles on the Red Sox/Yankees series this afternoon. Tim Kurkjian has a piece on Grady Little, while the moonlighting Sean McAdam looks at the two teams and continues the media trend of discrediting the Red Sox start by saying they can’t shake the Yankees. Ron Borges is also moonlighting, for Sporting News and says the Yankees are ready for a collapse… (Shabbily formatted page there)
Two threads have dominated the Patriots Usenet Newsgroup this week. Both are crossed posted among the Bills, Jets and Dolphins newsgroups, so there’s fans of four teams going at here. The threads are :”Who’s the best QB in the AFC East“? and Which team in the AFC East do your fans hate the most“?
I wonder what the fallout locally would be if it was a Boston writer that did what former NY Post columnist Wally Matthews did yesterday. The website SportsJournalists.com has the column that the Post wouldn’t run as well as the Post’s statement on the matter, and a response from Matthews on that statement. Imagine Shaughnessy or Buckley getting in a flap like this and the play it would get on radio and print here.
Red Sox/Yankees tonight from Fenway.(7:00 Fox25) Pedro Martinez on the hill, facing Ted Lilly. The only game in town. (Unless you want to watch Hurricanes/Maple Leafs at 7:00 on ESPN)
Dan Shaughnessy says “Gone are the drones who tried to suck all the joy from baseball in this town.” Note to Dan: You’re still here. Who’s bright idea was the “Curse of the Bambino?” Who’s personal e-mail address reflects his pride in creating that “curse’? Who does Pedro Martinez single out in interviews when reflecting his disgust of media members who try to stir up their readers with fear, negativity and curses?
Karen Guregian does her best to continue the media flap and hysteria about Manny getting his rehab done in Florida. Bob Neumeier also tried to make it a controversy, but as Dale Arnold pointed out, this Doctor in Florida was chosen by Dr. Morgan — The Red Sox team Physician — to do the work with Manny. Neumeier and other media windbags continue to just try to drum up trouble and say that Manny should be here, playing cheerleader. Funny how none of the media types remember that Larry Bird never sat on the bench when injured. He couldn’t stand to watch the game in person without playing.