Sorry, no links today, business to attend to this morning. There are two major items of discussion among Boston fans and media today, Ted Williams tribute and the Celtics trade with Vin Baker, which is a done deal, with Seattle announcing the deal this afternoon and the Celtics tomorrow at noon.
NESN will carry the Ted Williams life celebration starting at 5:00 with a special tribute hosted by Bob Rodgers and Jim Corsi. WEEI will also carry the programming, starting at 6:00. The coverage from NESN will also be available nationwide as a bonus program for subscribers to Major League Baseball’s ”Extra Innings” package on DirecTV and iN DEMAND cable programming. The programming is expected to be aired without commercial interuption. WB56 is also expected to pick up at least a portion of the NESN feed with commentary from Eddie Andelman and Mike Ratte, they will also halve their ten o’clock news program to allow half-hour wrap up of the program at 10:30. Channel 5 will also devote it’s “Chronicle” time slot to the event, from 7:00 -8:00.
You will be hard-pressed to find to a Celtics fan or commentator who thinks the Anderson for Baker trade is a good one. Some fans in fact, call it the worst trade in Celtics history. All over bulletin boards, Newsgroups and websites you see fans panning the deal and openly mocking Chris Wallace. Glen Ordway says he has “no idea” what the Celtics are thinking with this. If you look at the situation, you can at least see the thinking of the Celtics. When Anderson’s contract runs out next year, the Celtics lose that salary slot. They would not have been able to use Anderson’s money on a free agent, as they would still be over the cap. This way, they preserve the slot by filling it with Baker, who at first glance fills a need for the Celtics, but needs to have his head on straight and be giving his best effort on both ends for this deal to work. Baker is an east coast guy, perhaps he’ll be rejuvenated playing near home and for a team that could go far in the weak east. Baker has said his favorite player to emulate was Kevin McHale. I don’t like losing Forte, but likely Gaston wanted to lose his salary too. The Celtics need a big man, and if Baker can deliver like he did in Milwaukee and in his first year in Seattle, this could be the type of bold move that puts the team in the finals. Preserving the slot on the salary cap could also pay dividends down the road depending on the team’s cap situation when the contract expires. Dennis Johnson came to the Celtics as a possible “cancer” and on the downside of his career. Kenny was previously thought to be bad for a team’s chemistry, and had a rep for not giving a good effort on “D”, but this coaching staff was able to reach him. Perhaps they’ll do the same with Baker. Most fans have this deal killing the Celtics, knocking them out of the playoffs altogether, or ruining them for the future. NBA “experts” are scratching their heads. We’ll just have to wait and see…of course, now the gaping hole is at the point guard, but with the system the Celtics have, do they just want a Delk-type defender at the point? Let Antoine run the offense? Who knows.
TBS has Braves/Marlins at 7:00. ESPN has Cardinals/Giants at 10:00.