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.