Doubleheader Sweep

Note: Some of the links from the Boston Herald seem to be going “funky” today. When the links were posted this morning, they were correct, now the same links are opening other stories.

Will Doc Rivers be the man to lead the Celtics back to the top? Jackie MacMullan says that the first thing that Rivers and the Celtics need to do is provide Paul Pierce with support. Mark Murphy looks at what lured Rivers to the Green. Shira Springer notes that Ainge and Rivers share the same vision for the future of the Celtics. Kevin McNamara says that Rivers simply couldn’t say no to the prospect of coaching the Boston Celtics. Lenny Megliola writes that Doc is determined to find a cure for what ails the Celtics. Steve Bulpett says the similarities and common thinking between Rivers and Ainge is notable. Peter May is suspicious of all the agreement and perceived bliss between Ainge and Rivers. Michael Gee has a pay column saying that it is going to take more than the friendship between River and Ainge to turn around the Celtics. Tim Weisberg and Christopher Price also weigh in on the hiring. Tom Yantz looks at the challenges facing Rivers. Murphy looks at Red Auerbach giving his blessing to the hiring of Rivers. Bulpett gets player reaction, mostly from Walter McCarty. Springer’s notebook has Mark Blount saying that the hiring of Rivers doesn’t change a thing as far as his future with the Celtics.

Sox take two from Tampa. Coverage of the games is provided by Gordon EdesJeff HorriganPaul Doyle and Steven Krasner. Even though he was out on the field yesterday between games working out, Tony Massarotti says that Nomar will likely not be back until June. Marvin Pave looks at a warm reception for Byung Hyun Kim at Fenway yesterday. Michael O’Connor looks at Derek Lowe getting a big lift from the offense. (again) Paul Harbor looks at Lowe winning despite not having his best stuff. Joe Haggerty looks at the end of the scoreless streak for Red Sox pitching. There wasn’t enough happening in the two games, so Michael Vega writes an entire article about a play made by the ball boy on the left field line in the first inning. Okay, so it’s a feel-good story. I guess it can stand. Massarotti also looks at the performance of Kim and the reception from the fans. Edes’ notebook looks at Sox management coming up with an idea to allow fans to sit in the centerfield bleachers during day games. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the hitting of David Ortiz. Krasner’s notebook also looks at the centerfield seats. Doyle’s notebook has more on the delayed return for Nomar.

Patriots rookies will be in the spotlight this weekend, with the rookie orientation/camp scheduled in Foxboro. Kevin Mannix, Michael Parente and Tom Curran have articles on Benjamin Watson, who by all accounts appears to be an extremely impressive individual, both physically and in character. Michael Felger and Parente also look at Vince Wilfork. Alan Greenberg has a look at both first round picks. Pro Football Weekly has a nice review of the new “Three Games to Glory II” DVD set. More amusing stuff from Buffalo is found at ProFootball Talk. (Scroll down to the “Buffalo’s New Era is Short Lived” section.) All this would never have happened if Ralph Wilson were still alive. While Donahoe may seem to get a pass nationally, he does have his share of critics in Buffalo. Jerry Sullivan says that the gap between the Bills and Patriots is very wide. It’s laughable to read that article and then consider some of the articles about Donahoe and the Bills that have appeared in say, The Boston Globe the last couple years.

David Scott has a Friday edition of Scott’s Shots. Bill Griffith looks at the Kentucky Derby and WEEI ratings numbers. John Howell also has a bit on the Derby and some other media notes.

UPN38 has Sox/Rangers at 8:00. ESPN has Heat/Hornets at 7:00 and Nuggets/T-Wolves at 9:30. ESPN2 has Flyers/Maple Leafs at 7:00.

The Doc is IN

The Celtics will be naming Doc Rivers head coach at a press conference later today. The swiftness of the move has media types scratching their heads. Peter May used to think that Rivers was a great coach, until the Celtics got him. Now he must have something wrong with him, and doesn’t know how to coach defense. Steve Bulpett however, says that the lure of working for the Celtics is what brought Rivers to the Green. Bob Ryan sounds on the verge of excitement that Rivers is coming here, and notes:

I'm not going to guarantee he'll be a great coach here, but I will be very surprised if he isn't a success, and I can assure you he is a terrific person who will represent the Boston Celtics with class and dignity.

I’ll take Ryan’s opinion over that of Peter “Captain Hindsight” May any day. Mark Murphy says that it is going to be a challenge for Ainge to step back and let Rivers call all the shots on the court. Shira Springer looks at the qualities that Rivers will bring to the Celtics, and who his assistants are likely to be. Murphy also looks at signs that Rivers is restless and eager to get back into the coaching game. Walter “Buddy” Thomas gives his opinion of what moves might be upcoming for Ainge and the Celtics. Michael Gee also has a pay column wondering why Rivers would want to come to Boston and coach the Celtics.

The Sox got to play last night, and Curt Schilling atoned for his last performance in Toronto by hurling 7 1/3 shutout innings at the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Game stories provided by Bob HohlerJeff HorriganJoe McDonaldPaul Doyle and David Borges. The Red Sox pitching has been stellar thus far. Tony Massarotti looks at the strength of the starters and relievers. Lenny Megliola takes a look at the bounce-back performance of Schilling. Michael Vega takes a look at Schilling moving forward from his last start. Michael O’Connor and Nick Cafardo and Robert Lee have a look at the play of Jason Varitek last night, who in addition to his home run and three RBI, also called a terrific game behind the plate according to Schilling. Bill Reynolds says that the big story in baseball this year is the struggles of the Yankees. Vega and O’Connor also have pieces on Tampa Bay centerfielder Rocco Baldelli. Steve Buckley has a pay column saying that the Devil Rays have hope. Ain’t that sweet. The notebooks are all Byung Hyun Kim, all the time. HohlerHorriganMcDonaldDoyleBorges.

Michael Felger has a piece on the dynamic Bethel Johnson, who is hoping to build upon a rookie year filled with some dramatic highlights, but also some down points including a benching against Jacksonville. Mike Reiss says that rookie tight end Ben Watson already needs a new agent.

NESN has Sox/D-Rays at 1:00 and 7:00. TNT has Pistons/Bucks at 8:00 and Kings/Mavs at 10:30. ESPN has Lightning/Canadiens at 7:00. ESPN2 has Red Wings/Flames at 10:00.

No Game

With the Sox rained out last night it was another slow night on the Boston sports scene. A few rainout style articles to offer up today. Bob Ryan takes a look at the most valuable .185 hitter in baseball, Mark Bellhorn. Tony Massarotti writes about Tim Wakefield taking one for the team, being skipped in the rotation and available for bullpen duty during the doubleheader tomorrow. Lenny Megliola notes the value and versatility of Wakefield. Jeff Horrigan and Joe McDonald look at the return of Byung-Hyun Kim to the rotation, a bit earlier than expected. Curt Schilling will take the mound tonight, and according to Michael O’Connor, he is hoping to avoid the same kind of trouble he ran into in his last start against the Blue Jays. David Heuschkel, Michael Vega and McDonald look at the return of Brian Daubach to the big league roster. David Borges and McDonald write about Rocco Baldelli, the Rhode Island native now in his second year with the D-Rays. Laura Meade Kirk has a look at the food and service in the new rooftop section at Fenway. Horrigan has a look at the Dodger eying David McCarty for an executive position. Karen Guregian has a piece on Don Zimmer’s return to Fenway, this time in the uniform of the D-Rays. Nick Cafardo’s notebook looks at Kim’s return to the rotation tomorrow. Horrigan’s notebook has more on the return of Daubach. McDonald’s notebook (busy guy today) looks at Ellis Burks missing six weeks due to knee surgery. Heuschkel’s notebook touches on the return of Kim.

Michael Felger has a look at Rohan Davey, who is tearing up NFL Europe. Some have even called him the best QB to come through that league. Jonathan Comey says that the Patriots draft should seal their position as favorites to win it all again next year. Eric McHugh gives us the best and the worst of the NFL draft. Matt Kalman looks at the Patriots signing A Bentley college player as an undrafted free agent. Drew Bledsoe restructured his contract yesterday with the Bills. It seems that Bledsoe may have even taken a pay cut in some areas. Wonder what guys like Lawyer Milloy think of that…

Peter May says that John Carroll is lucky to get away from the Celtics, who he says are in worse shape right now than they were in the mid 1990’s. Michael Muldoon says there are hard times ahead for the Celtics. Mike Fine looks at the search for a new coach. Steve Bulpett says that Dennis Johnson could be a candidate to join the Celtics, though no necessarily as the head man. Shira Springer looks at the Celtics players clearing out their lockers yesterday and gets some comments from the outgoing players. Mark Murphy says that Carroll hopes that lessons learned from this experience can help him going forward. Springer’s notebook looks at candidate Lionel Hollins, who seems to fit what Ainge is looking for.

NESN has Sox/D-Rays at 7:00. ESPN has A’s/Yankees at 7:00 and Sharks/Avalanche at 10:00. ESPN2 has Flyers/Maple Leafs at 7:00 and Braves/Giants at 10:00. TNT has Rockets/Lakers at 10:00.