My intention with this site

My intention with this site during the conflict in Iraq is to continue to keep to just sports. If sports radio can’t be a diversion for you, maybe this page can be in some small way.

The first round results for Regions one & two will be published tomorrow likely in the early afternoon, along with three and four. There are a number of factors influencing that decision. The largest is matters pressing on my time today. But then again, I might surprise you.

Earlier in the week, John Holt said during a sports flash: “The Bruins fire their coach…details in a moment.” they went to the short commercial break, and when he came back, the firing was, of course, of UCLA basketball coach Steve Lavin. The type of thing that makes you roll your eyes at the tactic to get you to hang on through a commercial. Yesterday, the Bruins coach was fired that mattered in Boston. Weeks earlier WWZN had been reporting about a top secret meeting that was taking place about the possible firing of Ftorek, a meeting that beat writers, people involved said that never happened…yesterday, at WWZN they were all patting themselves on the back for being ahead of this story. Ok. Whatever floats your boat. Meanwhile over on WEEI, Dale did some backpedaling on his steadfast proclamation that Ftorek’s job was safe for the rest of the season. Pete Sheppard took on Dale in a memorable spat that will likely serve as whiner line opening fodder for years to come. Here’s a synopsis: Pete called Dale a suck-up to Bruins management, Dale called Pete an idiot. I do expect Dale to admit his error here, as he was pretty adamant that the coach would not be canned this year, even subtly mocking those who said it was going to happen. Time to step up, Dale. (Note: Dale did come on and say “I was flat out wrong”, and apologized to Pete. Well done.)

The Original Ice Girls, Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Karen Guregian report on the firing of Ftorek. (That wasn’t meant in a snide way, it was a compliment, actually) Joe McDonald reports for the ProJo. James Murphy weighs in for the Metro. Stephen Harris says Ftorek simply ran out of chances. Joe Gordon says that after having job seemingly saved, Ftorek started doing a lot of weird things, experimenting with lineups, messing with a team that couldn’t handle it. Kevin Paul Dupont has just one question…Why now? Travis Barrett gets quotes from Providence coach Mike Sullivan, who has mixed feelings about leaving his AHL North leading P-Bruins team. Harris adds that Sullivan might be in line for the head job next year. Marrapese-Burrell says the players feel just awful, and put the blame on themselves. I thought it of note that Ftorek and Hughes said goodbye to each player as they boarded the bus. Craig Morgan also gets player reaction. Mick Colageo says this is nothing new for the Bruins. As noted on the tagboard, Dan Shaughnessy has been on a mini hot streak of columns lately. This one was right in his wheelhouse…someone gets fired, blame is assessed. Steve Buckley has a column telling us this is a typical Bruins mess. You can pay to read it, if you like.

Another ugly loss for the Celtics. And we do mean ugly. Mark Murphy and Shira Springer have the game coverage. Jim O’Brien continues to infuriate me. I bleed Celtic green. I think for the most part, O’Brien has done a terrific job with this team. (here it comes) BUT….he simply cannot develop young players. He sticks with veterans. I’m sounding like a broken record here, but Kedrick Brown can play. the treatment he’s gotten from O’Brien is just terrible. He can only log 5 minutes in a 30 point blowout? Tony Delk did not play last night, yet Brown could still not get into the game. The times he does get to play in blowouts, you’d think they’d work him on offense, get his confidence going. Instead you had Walter McCarty continuing to jack up threes in closing minutes of the game. Brown showed a little last night, a nice finish on an actual fast break, another possession, he faced up his man, and faked him, and then drained the 18 footer over him. He can be a defensive stopper, which you would think O’Brien would love, and what was supposed to be his role this year as the first guard off the bench. He sprains his ankle in preseason, and can’t get back into the lineup. When he does play, he makes a mistake and gets yanked. He had a terrific game in Milwaukee this season, 14 points 10 rebounds, great D on Ray Allen and Sam Cassell. Yet he doesn’t play now because O’Brien says he can’t shoot the three on a consistent basis. So he goes with the renowned sharp shooter Grant Long (Who I actually like a lot as a player) at small forward for long stretches. Some might counter…well O’Brien plays and starts JR Bremer, so he can’t hate all young players. Bremer is older than Brown, and his game has actually not developed under O’Brien. Bremer has the body and skill to take the ball to the hole. He’s incredibly strong for his size. Yet, the vast majority of his shots are three pointers these days. I think he’s second in the league in percentage of three point shots compared to total shots. Why? I just don’t understand why no one in the media has questioned this at all. Lets go, someone step up. Ok rant over. Springer’s notebook looks at the awful shooting, and Eric Williams foul problems. Murphy’s notebook as more on the poor shooting and on Delk’s absence.

Gordon Edes reports on Tony Cloninger’s cancer, his treatment and prognosis. David Heuschkel says the outlook is good for the Sox pitching coach. Michael Silverman says Theo is happy with what he’s seen so far in camp. Eddie Andelman and Jerry Remy both filed very negative reports from spring training yesterday on WWZN and WEEI. Andelman continues to pound at Epstein, declaring that Casey Fossum will be his Waterloo. The RemDog started pretty positive, but towards the end went negative, he doesn’t like the bullpen plan too much, (who is going to pitch after the best pitcher gets the critical out in the 7th?) nor the OBP obsession. He calls the Red Sox management and staff “bizarre”, different camps, old guys, young guys, etc. You can listen to the RemyReport in the WEEI Audio vault. A sidebar by Edes says the Sox are unlikely to trade Hillenbrand prior to opening day. Alex Speier says Hillenbrand likes the new hitting coach. Silverman’s notebook has more on Cloninger, and word on Person likely making the club and being put on the 40 man roster.

Tom Curran catches up with departing fullback Marc Edwards, who is pumped and jacked to be a Jaguar.

The brackets are pouring in.

The brackets are pouring in. You can look at the full field of 64 or see Regions one and two, or Regions three and four. You can download your own copy of the brackets, (They’re in an Excel file) and fill them out and return them via email to me. With the responses I’ve been getting, it’s looking like there will be a reader compiled version of the tourney as well as my own. The plan is to announce my picks for the winners of the first round in Regions 1 & 2 tomorrow, with Regions 3 & 4 on Friday.

Mike Fine reports on the Celtics loss from last night, being one of the few to prominently point out the 1-21 performance by the Celtics from three point land. Jeff Thomas says that Celtics/Nets is no contest. Rob Bradford gets quotes from Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson that must grate on the nerves of Celtics fans. Michael Muldoon has more on Jefferson haunting the Celtics. I assert that if Kedrick Brown had a coach interested in developing young players, and a point guard the level of the hated-but-great Jason Kidd, he would be Richard Jefferson. Speaking of Kidd, Del N. Jones looks at the options facing the Nets point guard after the season. Fine’s notebook has word on Fleetcenter security as well as Paul Pierce’s ankle. Going into tonight’s matchup with the Celtics, Mark Montieth says Indiana fans and media are getting concerned about Reggie Miller.

Michael Felger files a Patriots team report for The Sporting News. Don Banks lists the Colvin and Harrison signings as among the top of the offseason thus far. Mark Farinella weighs in on Bob Kraft’s clout, women’s basketball, Lawyer Milloy and clearly isn’t a fan of the Chris Collins brand…Garry Brown is hitting to all fields.

Bill Simmons lists 10 things he loves about March Madness. Ron Borges thinks that Louisville and Rick Pitino could be a sleeper team.

Josh Boyd of Baseball America takes a look at the Red Sox farm system, and finds some things he really likes. (Hanley Ramirez)

Did I mention I hate

Did I mention I hate the Nets? Even with a lot going on, a pretty bland bunch of links…

Steve Bulpett reports on another Nets blowout of the Celtics. Shira Springer says the most aggression the Celtics might’ve shown all night likely took place in the locker room. Gus Martins says that the Nets have the Celtics number, has the Celtics tendency to talk a lot caught up with them in this matchup? Carolyn Thornton says that turnovers and the resulting fastbreaks were the same ol story in this matchup. Christopher Price agrees that turnovers were killer. Peter May looks at the ticket price increase for next year, and indicates that the owners have plenty of things they can do with extra cash. Martins gets a sampling of fan reaction to the ticket price hike. Price also has a quick sidebar on the simmering rivalry between the Celtics & Nets. Springer’s notebook looks at Eric Williams’ recent early foul trouble, which has him frustrated and wondering. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the effect that the impending war is having on the players. Thornton’s notebook has more on that theme, with Grant Long and Bimbo Coles recalling a game they had when the first gulf war was announced.

Bruins start out the west coast swing with a tough loss in Phoenix. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks some lineup changes the Bruins made, and a pretty good effort in goal by Andrew Raycroft, but it wasn’t enough. Craig Morgan says there was no real damage in the loss last night. Bob McManaman looks at the game from the Phoenix perspective. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at a relaxed Raycroft in his return to the big club. Morgan’s notebook looks at the switch of Bryan Berard to forward.

Michael Silverman looks at another rough outing for Derek Lowe. Gordon Edes looks at Massachusetts native Matt White coming a step closer to staying with the team beyond spring training. Sean McAdam also looks at the Rule 5 draftee White. Edes’ notebook looks at Lowe’s struggles this spring. Silverman’s notebook looks at the trade of another Rule 5 draftee yesterday, while trade talks on Shea Hillenbrand, who was declared by the media to be off the trade market just a few days ago, have intensified and names are being discussed, such as Cubs pitcher Juan Cruz. Among the items in McAdam’s notebook is the bit that John Burkett won’t pitch in an empty stadium because of fear he might hurt himself. Alex Speier looks at Burkett, and his rededication this year, including his participation in the “I want to be a Cy Young” program followed by Pedro and Lowe.

Shane Donaldson reports that the Patriots have talked with the agent for 49er’s restricted free agent receiver Tai Streets. He stands 6-2 and played with Tom Brady at Michigan.

Gerry Callahan has a column about war and the NCAA’s. Saddam is surely disappointed that the tournament will go on, a sarcastic Callahan claims. My subscription hasn’t come through yet, so I don’t have more details. Bob Ryan looks at five Cinderella teams from the history of the NCAA’s. Holy Cross alum Dan Shaughnessy looks at the school’s women’s team as they head into the tournament. Leigh Montville makes his first round picks. Jim Donaldson gives a history lesson.

March Media Madness appears to

March Media Madness appears to be a hit. You can look at the full field of 64 or see Regions one and two, or Regions three and four. You can download your own copy of the brackets, (They’re in an Excel file) and fill them out and return them via email to me. With the responses I’ve been getting, it’s looking like there will be a reader compiled version of the tourney as well as my own. The plan is to annouce the winners of the first round in Regions 1 & 2 on Thursday, with Regions 3 & 4 on Friday.

No games to talk about

No games to talk about from last night, might as well lead with what a lot of people are going to talk about, that is John Molori’s interview with Mike Adams. Adams speaks harshly of 1510 GM Mike Kellogg as well as his producer on the show. A great read, for sure, and I admit to being a Mike Adams fan, I wanted his show to succeed. I still think it could have, had he gotten the proper support and people around him. A big “but” though…Adams takes zero responsibility upon himself for the failure of the show. Never once does he accept any bit of the blame. He admits to perhaps slowing down “towards the end” because he says he wasn’t getting paid and there was no promotion for the show. Maybe he did take some blame and it wasn’t interesting enough to include in the interview. This isn’t the first time that Adams has left a media outlet under ugly circumstances. He is smart enough, however, to always be in the good graces of WEEI.

If you really want to tick off Gerry Callahan tell him that you’ll need to continue to have sports in your life during a war as a “diversion” or “an escape”. If you see him at the store or in the gym, just casually mention that to him. We’ll likely have him committed by the weekend. A highlight of the morning was Dino calling Gerry “Saddam Callahan” for his diatribes this morning. Meterparel has broken out the Princeton offense in an effort to upset the # 1 seeded Callahan.

Looks like the Herald has started its practice of charging for the privilege of reading its columnists online. I plan on getting a subscription for the columns, so I will be keeping you up to date on these items in the future.

After Peter Gammons gushed about Manny’s conditioning this spring on Dale & Neumy yesterday, the silent slugger is also the focus of a couple of articles this morning. Gordon Edes reports on Manny’s souped up set of wheels, and his conditioning to match. He’s been tearing up the ball, making spectacular catches in the field, and is, dare we say…comfortable. Michael Silverman also weighs in on Manny, wondering if his vow not to speak to the media is helping him focus on his play. You get the feeling from Nomar’s quotes in the article, that he almost wistfully wishes he came up with that idea. Nomar has one quote that sort of sums up the local media pretty well:

``I've seen guys on our team go back to the city where they used to play, and they see some guy from the local media and they go over there and give them a big hug and all, and I'm like, `Huh?' That's hard for me to imagine, but then they might just have four or five guys around their team all the time and we have like 20 or something.''

Yeah, somehow I don’t picture Carl Everett coming back here and giving Shaughnessy a big hug. Sean McAdam looks at the decision making process for arriving at the final 25 man roster. Alex Speier looks at the pressure Casey Fossum will continue to operate under in this city. David Heuschkel reports on the Sox win yesterday behind Tim Wakefield, another Sox player having a terrific spring. Don Amore has a look at Roger Clemens recalling painful childhood memories. One was his father second heart attack, the second event was his brother’s draft number coming up for Vietnam. Steve Buckley looks at the 50th anniversary of the Boston Braves leaving town. Edes’ notebook looks at Casey Fossum receiving encouragement and counsel from Tony Cloninger. Silverman’s notebook has an update on the status of contract talks with Derek Lowe, McAdam’s notebook has more on Wakefield becoming the Sox designated St. Patrick’s day starter.

Jim Souhan, in an article from the end of last week, wrote an article comparing the Twins way of doing business to the way the Red Sox do business. Basically knocking and mocking the Sox, while lauding the powerhouse Twins who won one more game than the Sox last year. They love Lew Ford out there, and continue to talk about how the Twins swindled him from the Sox while continuing to tout him as a “top prospect” – despite the fact that the guy is going to turn 27 years old this season and has yet to get a sniff of the majors.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics would like to make a statement to the Nets tonight and tie up the season series. Carolyn Thornton details the areas the Celtics are working on to improve against the squad from New Jersey. Marvin Pave looks at the development of JR Bremer as a point guard. Shira Springer looks at the ticket price increase coming next year for the Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the Celtic players getting their brackets ready.

Dan Shaughnessy writes about the new Bruins Ice Girls. Steve Conroy reports that Jonathan Girard has improved the level of his game since the Bruins newest defensive acquisitions. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports that Jeff Hackett will miss the Bruins three game road trip because of the injury to his finger. An injury first reported over the weekend in the Bruins Usenet Newsgroup by an insider going by the handle of “Nice Girl” who has some sort of relationship with someone in the Bruins organization.

Back from vacation, Michael Felger says Tebucky Jones may not show for the offseason conditioning program starting next week…something most suspected…and reports on a visit to the Pats by Andy McCollum. Chad Finn looks at the Patriots moves from last week, and touches on Mark Blount and Boo Hoo Lou

Jackie MacMullan remembers the special group that was the 1973 Providence College basketball team, now 30 years later. Mike Shalin says a day of reflection has done nothing to ease the shock of the Boston College mens team. Mark Blaudshun comments on the NCAA selection process. Joe Sullivan writes about his experience traveling to MSG for the Big East Tournament. Joe Burris writes about the Vermont men team, making its first ever NCAA tournament appearance, while remembering the memory of perhaps the best player in school history Kevin Roberson, who was killed in a car accident 11 years ago. Bill Griffith reports that CBS has made plans to switch the NCAA games to ESPN if war coverage forces interruption of the telecasts.

Yes indeed, it is time

Yes indeed, it is time for March Madness. Here at BSMW, there will be our version, pitting 64 Boston sports media members against one another in NCAA tournament style brackets and seedings. It was shockingly easy to come up with 64 names from this area, I could’ve likely gone to 96 or higher. You can check out the full field of 64 or see Regions one and two, or Regions three and four. If you find yourself really into this…(why on earth would you be?) you can even download your own copy of the brackets, (They’re in an Excel file) and fill them out and return them via email to me. I may even compile them and publish your results. The plan for now is for me to pick the winners, announcing them each day games are actually played in the NCAA tournament, weekend games will be pushed to Monday & Tuesday of the following week. I’ll give short explanations for each of the picks. So if enough people turn in brackets I may end up having two versions of the tournament to publish in the end. Mine, and yours.

The Number one seeds for each of the four regions are as follows:

Region one: Bob Lobel

Region two: Bob Ryan

Region three: Gerry Callahan

Region four: Glenn Ordway

Some glaring snubs by the committee…Dave Jageler, Jon Wallach, Craig Mustard, Larry Johnson, Steve Nelson, All early favorites for the BSMW NIT…

Seedings, and ultimately victories are judged on a few factors…Profile, influence, experience, and talent. I think this is more of a power rankings type tournament than a popularity poll or talent contest. Some very talented people ended up with very low seeds, simply because they’re not “power brokers” on the sports media scene in Boston. Others with less talent, or washed up talent rank higher, simply because they still exert a lot of influence in the market.

You can check out the rest of the seedings on one of the links above. I don’t think I need the disclaimer, but yes, this is all strictly for recreational purposes.

BC not getting into the

BC not getting into the NCAA tournament leads off the Monday sports pages. Over the months of this website’s existence, many have written in wanting to scrutinize the writers in the Boston area who cover college sports. Now’s your big chance. Michael Vega looks at the disappointment of the BC mens team, who felt they had done enough to get in. Dennis and Callahan, after of course leading off with war talk, and Callahan calling those who oppose war “communists”, also focused on a quote from Troy Bell in Mike Shalin’s article, where a disappointed Bell says of the NIT: “I’m gonna play, regardless.” They also did a yearly tribute to Butch from the cape. Bob Ryan looks at the BC season, and concludes that the Eagles were not snubbed, there were simply stronger candidates out there. Mark Blaudschun looks at the field of 65 as a whole, and also has brief overviews of the East, South, Midwest and West regionals. Mark Murphy looks at the brackets for the Herald. Rich Thompson reports on Holy Cross and it’s first round matchup with Marquette. Matt Eagan looks at the UConn men fitting in as a 5 seed out in Spokane. Terry Price tells us how to win your (recreational) office pool. Dan Ventura looks at the teams coming to play in Boston at the Fleetcenter. Michael Gee also gives out tips on picking a winner.

Casey Fossum is the focus of the Red Sox media. Michael Silverman looks at the lefthander’s continued struggles, which may be more mental than physical. David Heuschkel says that Fossum is assured of a spot in the rotation, regardless. A question asked by emailer Jason…how come when someone in the media talks about how stupid the Red Sox were not to trade Fossum for Colon, they never mention that Shea Hillenbrand would’ve been a part of that trade as well, and he’s batting .500 this spring? (16 for 32) Can you imagine if they did do the trade, and Hillenbrand was hitting like that in Expos camp? They’d all be saying what a horrible trade to give up Hillenbrand for Colon, who would likely just be here for one year… Sean McAdam looks at the patience of the Sox hitters this spring, and how it is making a difference. Gordon Edes gets comments from Johnny Damon on the situation in Oakland, where they’ve announced they won’t be giving a long term deal to Tejada. Damon is rather pointed in his remarks about the MLB owners, giving the cry of collusion. Alex Speier looks at reliever Bobby Howry. George Kimball looks at a Red Sox PA announcer hopeful, a familiar voice in Carl Beane, who does work for WBZ radio among other outlets. Fossum is the focus of a couple notebooks, In Ede’s notebook, he notes the support Fossum has from Pedro. Edes also takes note that Manny made an exception of not talking to the media when an attractive female reporter who finished second runner-up in the Miss Dominican Republic competition showed up and asked for an interview. Not sure what the purpose of that information is. McAdam’s notebook looks at concern about Fossum. Silverman’s notebook looks at the teams’ “fixation” on on-base percentage and how it’s working out this spring.

Steve Bulpett looks at Chauncey Billups, who still wonders what it would be like if he had stuck around in Boston, especially had Ben Wallace been brought up here too. Peter May looks at Grant Long’s most productive statistical night as a Celtic, Saturday night in Detroit. Bulpett’s notebook says now is the time for the Celtics to start their playoff push.

Stephen Harris looks at a finger injury for Jeff Hackett. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has a look at an uncomfortable and struggling Nick Boynton. Harris’ notebook examines a possible move to forward for Bryan Berard.

Fox25 Sports Sunday led off

Fox25 Sports Sunday led off with March Madness. BC is not in the dance. Rob Nikoleski got reaction from the shocked Eagles, Troy Bell didn’t really want to talk, but felt they did enough to be in. Early season losses, such as to Northeastern really hurt the team Ted Sarandis, who looked nearly in tears, said 20 wins is what gets you in these days. Coach Skinner says they’re going to do the best they can in the NIT. Butch says this reminds him of the early 90’s when he was at Minnesota, and they missed out on the NCAA, but won the NIT. Holy Cross is in, facing Marquette on Thursday in Indy. Pitt and Syracuse will be among those teams playing at the Fleetcenter next weekend. Four local women’s teams are going to the NCAA’s. BU, BC, Holy Cross and Harvard. The tease going into the break was Butch asking Are the Patriots really going to trade Lawyer Milloy?

BU and BC men are heading to the NIT, officially. Stearns then asked, “How’s that Bartolo Colon trade looking about now?” in reaction to Casey Fossum’s rough outing today. Stearns says he would leave Fossum in the rotation and resist the temptation to panic, adding that he’ll try to not keep bringing up Colon. Robert Person had a rough outing today as well. Onto the Patriots. They must’ve heard Butch blasting them last Sunday for not making any moves. Rosevelt Colvin is a great addition; Ted Johnson is excited to have him aboard. Harrison is a bold move; he’s going to play, going to be on the field. Johnson says that signing is a strong move, doesn’t know how he’ll use him, other than it will be an innovative way. Will the Patriots trade Milloy? They both play the same position. Can’t play together? Harrison says it doesn’t matter. They’ll line up and play whatever way is needed. Stearns advocates going after Junior Seau as well.

High School hockey championships are a part of the entire package of March Madness. Levan Reid says it is the greatest sports month of the year. Looks at the stories of Holy Cross and Vermont making it to the big dance, as well as the high school championships, & HockeyEast playoffs. Last Blast was Butch being true to his school, rooting on his Stonehill woman’s basketball team who take on Bentley tomorrow night.

Sports Final didn’t have Bob Lobel for the third week in a row…ever since the infamous WWE-like media night. He did say at the time he’d need a few weeks to recover. Steve Burton and Dan Roche looked at the NCAA seedings and fates of local teams. BC takes not getting in very hard. Michael Smith and Al Skinner joined Burton and Roche at this point, Skinner is very disappointed…to finish first in the league and go to the semi’s of the tourney and not make the tournament is rough. UConn and Notre Dame have fairly high seedings, and you’d think they would be right there with those teams. The reaction in the room was initial silence, and then all started wondering why they didn’t get in. Skinner countered the contentions made by the representative of the selection committee who pointed to a couple losses that left a sour taste in their mouths. They beat UConn at their place had a quality road win at Iowa State, and finished first in a tough league. They’re also getting punished because they can’t play NIT games at home because of the NCAA coming here next weekend. The loss against the Northeastern was tough, but the team regrouped nicely, and showed a lot of character, according to Skinner. A taped conversation with Ralph Willard, coach of Holy Cross was shown, he was hoping for a 13 seed, but 14 is ok, the Marquette coach is a former assistant of his. He feels good going into this matchup, they’re hungry after the first round losses to Kentucky and Kansas the last couple years. They want to get over that hump. A win would be huge for the program. He was also shocked that BC didn’t make it in. They then went and looked at the brackets. For the number one seeds, Skinner commented there didn’t seem to be a formula to those or the rest of the field; they seemed to go a lot by feeling. Arizona losing in their tournament. Smith doesn’t think that they should be punished; they have been good all year long. Smith looks at Wagner as a possible dark horse playing Pitt in Boston. He saw them play and was impressed. Skinner says Penn/Oklahoma State could be an interesting game. He likes all the Big East teams have a good shot at going far. A look at the women’s seedings was up next.

Scott Zolak was in next along with Smith to look at the Patriots moves from this week. Burton says the Patriots are bringing in not just players, but stud players, Zolak says they’ve put themselves into first place with these moves, but he’s worried about this talk of trading Milloy. He’s one of three untouchables on the team, along with Law and Brady. Smith thinks Milloy could be a salary cap cut sometime in the future. He wouldn’t be surprised if in two years neither Jones nor Milloy are here. He then went through his stats, no interceptions, etc. They countered that he was used almost as a linebacker last year. Zolak says Harrison is a dirty player, and they need that thump back there. Can they go into the season with all three? Could, but not likely. Smith again emphasized that he thinks Jones is gone this year, and Milloy gone next year. Draft needs, Zolak wants a big receiver for Brady. Defensive lineman also mentioned. They talked about Parcells scooping up Terry Glenn. Zolak related Parcells talking about Glenn earlier in the year saying if he ever got back into coaching, Glenn was the first guy he’d be going after. Smith likes what the Cowboys are doing.

Dan Shaughnessy (in studio) and Gordon Edes (satellite) joined the show next. Casey Fossum…is there concern? Edes related that Pedro urged all not to worry, that Fossum is the real deal and he’s just getting ready for the season, and he’s going to be fine. He’s proven himself. Grady Little was a little more cautious, said he’s having some mechanical problems. Shaughnessy and Burton both said it’s nice for Pedro to support his teammate, but that he’s proved nothing at all. Edes disagreed a little, saying at times last year he had some really good mound presence. Shaughnessy asked if he is feeling the pressure of the expectations of being compared to Bartolo Colon. Edes said its human nature to have that train of thought. Cloninger; they’ll know more in a couple days as to how pervasive the cancer is. He’s said he isn’t afraid to die, but is confident he can beat it. 12 pitchers? Little won’t commit to anything on that front right now, but you’d think they would with some of the softer pitchers they have coming off injuries and a lot of games in an early stretch. Hillenbrand continues to have the hot spring. Trade rumors around still, but Edes says he might be the best first baseman on the team. Edes says you can take Giambi out of the first base mix. Millar can play outfield and first. DH will rotate around Ortiz, and Giambi. Back to Fossum, Shaughnessy says the fans are going to continue to worry about him, he’s also concerned about all the spare parts they have not finding their proper places.

On Sports Xtra Joe Amorosino hosted, and the NCAA’s were again the big topic, going over the seedings for the men and women’s teams of note. Michael Vega of the Globe was in studio to talk about BC. He said you almost had a bad feeling for BC because of all the upsets in other tournaments around the country. Some early losses hurt the team, even though they pulled a worst to first in the middle of the season. When watching the seedings unveiled, they pretty much knew they were out when they saw Alabama was in. Some mid-majors getting in also cost BC in the at-large pool. A curious pick was NC State, who BC beat head to head, and had a better ranking. A lot of people thought that there would be at least 5 teams from the Big East, and to only get 4 was really a slap in the face to the conference. For Troy Bell, he didn’t get to really show himself the Big East player of the year, some tough games late in the year. Afterwards there was a look at the woman’s teams and the Red Sox action from today.

Tony Massarotti and Michael Holley were in next to talk Patriots and Red Sox. Casey Fossum was the first topic. Tony says they haven’t played a meaningful game yet, so take that into consideration, and that he thinks he’s just trying too hard. He’s going to be ok in the long run. Holley doesn’t take spring performances into consideration. He’s also got some concerns about Colon, weight, etc. Massarotti says he would have made the trade, this nucleus is not going to be able to be kept intact, and management owes it to the core to take a shot like that. Tony says this was a business decision as much a baseball one. He’d take his chances with Pedro, Colon and Lowe against anyone. Holley says Bartolo Colon was not the only thing missing from the 2002 Red Sox. Tony says he starts with the starting rotation. He’d put those three even against Oakland. Onto Pedro, if he’s not taken care of before opening day he’s going to erupt, right? Holley says Pedro’s toned it down a lot and has been given assurances that his contract is going to get taken care of. Massarotti doesn’t think it will be a problem at all. He pitches better when he’s ticked off and has something to prove like this. Onto the Patriots and their signings of this week, can they keep all the safeties? Tony says they can, but why would they? Some sort of deal is in the works, draft pick or some other area of need. Holley says you’d got two guys in Milloy and Harrison that play the same position and neither is known as a cover guy…Jones is the cover guy…do you keep Harrison and Lawyer and try to hide them in coverage, or do you ship off Milloy? He doesn’t know. Holley thinks Milloy only made the Pro Bowl on rep…he did not have a good year last year. No interceptions. Jones didn’t have a great year either. When a team struggles against the run like the Patriots did last year, you look at the play of the safeties, San Diego was last in pass coverage, and some of that can be placed at Harrison, who didn’t have a good year either. Massarotti says the Patriots run defense was an abomination last year, and they haven’t really done anything to address that yet. Probably something they’ll look at in the draft.

Trainer Norman Stone was in next to talk about his fighter, John Ruiz…Ruiz had personal problems, stress led to him coming in 13 lbs under his normal fighting weight. He had some sort of mental breakdown in the ring, as Stone couldn’t get him to do the things they worked on leading up to the fight. It was awful. He couldn’t believe it was Johnny in there. Did the promotional aspect of it have an effect on it? Stone says it was, HBO needed him to really promote the fight, Jones wouldn’t do anything, so Johnny had to do it, dressing as a pimp, etc. About the weigh-in…he’d never seen such a mess over gloves, and felt like the Jones camp was taking them for fools. Will John box again? He needs to sit down and clear up his head and his personal problems. If he can do that, he can beat anyone, if not, he might need to hang it up.

A hat trick for Martin

A hat trick for Martin Lapointe? Against Martin Brodeur? Once again, how does that happen? Steve Conroy describes the uneven, but winning performance by the Bruins last night. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell focuses on the Lapointe hat trick, and how pleased his teammates were for him. Kevin Paul Dupont says regarding the Laptoine performance: “there are natural hat tricks and there are the supernatural.” he notes that for now, Vin Baker is alone in the “city’s sports penthouse of pain.” Lifelong Bruins fan Ian Moran made his debut last night, Joe Gordon looks at his return home. Joe McDonald hopes Lapointe’s switch can stay on for the rest of the season. Douglas Flynn says the defense was the key last night. Dupont also gives us an update on Sergei Samsonov, hoping for an April Fools return. McDonald’s notebook has more on Samsonov. Conroy’s notebook looks at the mild surprise of Bryan Berard being a healthy scratch last night with the addition of Moran. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook says while Moran played last night, the other new defenseman, Dan McGillis is at least a day away still.

Is there a team in the NBA easier to hate than the New Jersey Nets? Didn’t think so. Even as much as I hate the Lakers, the Nets are just even more unlikable. A lot of criticism of Antoine Walker on the radio this morning, but I have a hunch he might’ve injured himself early, which might have been a bigger factor than realized. Walker didn’t play in the fourth quarter, but Steve Bulpett reports that that was a part of a Jim O’Brien strategy. Shira Springer examines a possible rift between Walker and O’Brien, but Eric Williams denies any such thing. Dan Hickling says Bimbo Coles feels comfortable with his new teammates. Springer’s notebook has Williams thinking conspiracy theory. He shares the same agent as Ron Artest, which has him wondering about the quick ejection he got in the Spurs game. Bulpett has an interesting notebook as well. Rodney Rogers misses the Celtics, Vin Baker fires his agent, and Red comments on bobbleheads and the new owners firing a long time staffer.

Gerry Callahan, back on WEEI this morning after spending the last couple days on a movie set, talked today that columnists in some cases shouldn’t be in the locker room, because they’re going to get close to the athletes and lose their objectivity. He also noted that athletes generally don’t “get” sarcasm when its in print about them. Judging by some of the responses I get from media types about things said on this site, I’d say many sports media types don’t get sarcasm when it is applied to them, either. Callahan was on point early with several topics. (Did Greg Dickerson really say that “American terrorists should be targeting France”?)

Julio Zuleta finds himself the topic of a couple of articles today, the huge slugger finds himself making it difficult for the Sox to send him down. Michael Silverman looks at Zuleta and his 5 RBI day yesterday. Sean McAdam notes Zuleta’s 51 homeruns last year in AAA and winter ball and his .391 average this spring. Bob Hohler looks again at Tony Cloninger, back at work, doing the best thing he can to cope with this medical issues. David Heuschkel looks at the battle for the final utility spot between Boo hoo Lou Merloni and Damian Jackson. Dan Shaughnessy ventures over to the Yankees clubhouse to catch up with a reflective Roger Clemens. (hmmm…not a criticism of Dan…the column is good, but two days in a row, the Globe’s top columnists have done columns on the Yankees…Red Sox aren’t interesting enough?) Continuing the Yankees fascination, George Kimball looks at David Wells’ claims he was misquoted in his own book. Hohler’s notebook looks at a strong performance by Robert Person against the Yankees last night. Silverman’s notebook leads with more on Cloninger. McAdam’s notebook does likewise, as does the notebook of Heuschkel.

The Patriots buzz is slowly wearing off, and it’s down to reality. Nick Cafardo wonders which safety will the Patriots keep…Jones or Milloy? Tom Curran tries to unfold the various scenarios involving Jones and Milloy. David Pevear says all of a sudden, Bill Belichick is smart again. Mike Reiss has a very brief article but he does a good job clearing up the Franchise Tag rules.

The team could maintain a hard line, keep the "franchise" tag on Jones, and continue to negotiate with him after 4 p.m. today. There is a drawback to this, however. Should the Patriots reach an agreement with Jones anytime before July 15, the team would lose the ability to use the "franchise" tag on any player over the length of Jones' new contract.

He also goes on to say:

The team could simply keep the "franchise" tag on Jones and bring him back for the 2003 season, paying him the one-year, approximate $3-million salary. The Patriots could then continue to use the "franchise" tag on Jones in ensuing years..

Yesterday I got on Ron Borges for a comment he made on 1510 suggesting that the Patriots could essentially hold Jones hostage until June 1st, restricting his earning potential. I said the Pats needed to do something by today or they would lose the franchise tag for the length of any new deal they might sign with Jones. (Which is what Cafardo says today.) Borges and I were both half right and half wrong. I believe the statements by Reiss are the correct version. If the Patriots don’t make a deal with Jones today or trade him, any new deal made between tomorrow and July 15th would cause them to lose the franchise tag for the length of the new deal. Anything they do after that date would not cause them to lose the tag.

Jim Baker looks for contingency plans should a war interrupt CBS’s coverage of the NCAA tournament. Bill Griffith catches up with BU Hockey play by play guy Bernie Corbett.

Hoops, hoops and more hoops, that’s all you need to know for TV tonight. BC plays Pitt on ESPN at 7:00.

Due to a publishing issue

Due to a publishing issue the links needed to be put on a separate page today. You can find them here. On another note, it looks like we may have brought down another Tagboard. Looks like I might need to go big time. How I’m going to do that, I have no idea. Any corporate types interested in sponsoring this site feel free to contact me. We can have our own Colonial Chrysler Jeep of Wellesley tagboard….