Doc’s House

The Celtics got back into the win column last night, with a blowout of Doc Rivers’ former club, the Magic in Orlando. This one was never really close as the Celtics took charge just about from the start. Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett have the game stories from the TD Waterhouse Centre. Bob Halloran says Paul Pierce doesn’t have a good record with buzzerbeaters. Marcus Banks had a big night with 20 points off the bench, getting his chance to play again after rookie Delonte West was sidelined with a broken hand suffered Sunday night in Miami. WWZN was the first to report on West’s injury midway through yesterday afternoon. The notebooks deal with the injury to West, with Springer’s notebook looking at possible roster moves, and Bulpett’s notebook has a couple other notes including rookie Al Jefferson not backing down to an attempt at intimidation from Kelvin Cato.

Kevin Mannix hands out a “C” to Tom Brady and a “D” to Special Teams in this week’s edition of his Patriots Report Card. Steve Grogan passes “A’s” across the board in his commentary on the Pats this week. Tom E Curran looks at Brady establishing himself as one of the greats in the game. Nick Cafardo and Mike Reiss each have stories on Ted Johnson, who has enjoyed a late career renaissance with the Patriots.

Rich Thompson and Ron Borges each write about punters and kickers and their place in the game and the Hall of Fame. Alan Greenberg has an interesting article on the transformation of Don Davis from linebacker to safety. Chris Kennedy notes that the Patriots remaining schedule is loaded with lightweights with the exception of a trip to NY to face the Jets. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) notes that the Patriots have accomplished perhaps the most impressive feat of all – they’ve all but silenced the critics in the local sports media.

Mannix misses giving out F's like Shelley misses Cheers, and he is not the only nattering nabob with a void in his life. The grand tradition of constructive criticism and thoughtful analysis that followed each Patriots game for four decades has been eliminated like a nativity scene in front of City Hall. The professional cynic on the Pats beat has gone the way of the cobbler, the milkman and Dan Rather.

The writers, the TV guys, even the cheap shot-lobbing radio talk show hosts have been all but emasculated by the Patriots, transformed into pom-pom-waving eunuchs who can only look on in awe at this flawless football machine. That might be more impressive than 25-of-26.

Maybe Gerry just feels that the Globe doesn’t exist anymore. Can’t really blame him in some aspects. Steve Buckley (subscription only) files a column on the always steady Adam Vinatieri, who can be counted on no matter the conditions…weather or game-wise. Curran’s notebook has Josh Miller annoyed at himself for his kicking on Sunday. Thompson’s notebook looks at the importance of the running game. Reiss’ notebook says the Patriots can finally get a mini-breather after last week’s crazy schedule. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli heading back to Cleveland for this Sunday.

Bob Hohler was the first with the news on Doug Mirabelli re-signing with the Red Sox, and he has the story in this morning’s Globe. David Heuschkel also reports on the Sox getting their backup catcher for two more years. Michael Silverman reports that the Mets have offered Pedro Martinez a guaranteed three year deal with an option for a fourth year. Jon Couture has a look at the World Series DVD. Silverman’s notebook has more on Mirabelli’s deal, and notes the Sox interest in Jose Valentin.

Bill Griffith notes the Patriots ratings success, and also reports on the quick demise of the Morning Sports Brawl on WWZN. What’s interesting about it is the Red Sox role in getting the plug pulled on the show. So when Ordway and the boys claim that they are not at all influenced by the Red Sox on their programming in the summer, this incident at the very least gives you pause for thought. John Molori’s Media Blitz has a number of Thanksgiving Leftovers from the world of sports media, including shots at Gerry Callahan, Joe Buck, and crazy fans.

11.29.04 Afternoon

A few items for the afternoon:

Did John Dennis really quote this parody story from TheBrushback.com this morning as his “buzzerbeater”, believing it to be a REAL, factual story? He even used the Zach Thomas “quotes”.

Last Thursday the LA Daily News published an article on the top dozen turkeys in the world of sports media. Making the list was Ron Borges and his confrontation with Michael Katz:

WHEN BOXING WRITERS ATTACK The culprits: Ron Borges and Michael Katz.

The crime: Borges, of the Boston Globe, and Katz, of maxboxing.com, were part of the media covering the Oscar De la Hoya-Bernard Hopkins bout in June at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Then, Borges and Katz became the undercard.

Katz, who wears a neck brace and walks with a cane, accused Borges of being a "toadie" for fight promoter Don King. Borges retaliated by slapping Katz and knocking off his beret.

"You schmuck, how can you hit a cripple?" Katz said.

"You've been getting away with that (infirmity) for years," Borges answered.

That caused Katz to start poking Borges with his cane, setting off a melee. One person landed on promoter Bob Arum, knocking him down.

The aftermath: Katz would only call the incident "embarrassing." Borges wouldn't comment. The judges scored it an ugly draw.

Mike Reiss files a report from Foxboro today where he says that Matt Light “looked fine” walking through the locker room today. He also reports on some other goings on around the stadium this morning.

Some links from the later papers. Game stories for yesterday from David PevearEric McHughMike LoweGlen Farley and Tom King. Also, Ron Borges looks at the AFC playoff picture for MSNBC. Ron Hobson and Win Bates look at the terrific afternoon for Corey Dillon. Steve Solloway says that watching the Patriots is better than any reality series on TV. Hector Longo says that Tedy Bruschi needs to be sent to his first Pro Bowl this year. King’s notebook has more on Dillon, while Lowe’s notebook looks at the Patriots preparation for days like yesterday.

Mark Farinella writes about the High School football playoffs…and still manages a major dig at Bill Belichick.

The folks who run Gillette Stadium have given absolutely no thought to playing host to the playoffs, nor will they as long as there is a grass surface in the stadium, or as long as Bill Belichick is head coach.

Belichick would never agree to having his field chewed up by high school football players -- even though, last year, he offered no objections whatsoever to the damage wrought to the grass field by his own team until the NFL intervened as the playoffs began, and forced the Kraft organization to re-sod the surface before the game against Tennessee.

Belichick wanted to play on a chewed-up field last year because his team was the one that chewed it up, and the groundskeepers managed the damage to his liking. Playing as many as four high school games on the Saturday before an NFL game would cause ruts and holes that couldn't be repaired to Belichick's specifications quickly.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Be sure to tune in next week when Farinella provides irrefutable evidence that Bill Belichick is solely responsible for Global Warming. That’s all this afternoon from the BSMW Ivory Tower…

Patriots Move to 10-1

After a somewhat mistake prone first half, The Patriots turned in another dominating performance yesterday afternoon in Foxboro during the third and fourth quarters, humiliating the Ravens 24-3. Despite the last two minutes of the first half, there was a lot to like in this one, with Corey Dillon repeatedly running over the likes of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Game stories for this one are provided by Nick CafardoMichael FelgerTom E CurranAlan GreenbergMichael ParenteChris KennedyChristopher Price and of course BSMW’s own Scott A Benson, who provides this week’s edition of Patriots Rear View. Michael Smith covers the game for ESPN.com. Why can’t the Globe get writers like that? Lenny Megliola says that the Patriots are not going to lose another game this season. Ron Borges looks at the depleted secondary, which looks exploitable by opponents…until they take the field. Borges praises the work of Romeo Crennel and Eric Mangini in how the secondary is coping, conspicuously absent is the word “Belichick” anywhere in the article. Kevin Mannix says forget Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, Tedy Bruschi should be the MVP.

Bob Ryan says that we need to truly appreciate what we’re seeing with this Patriots team. Jim Donaldson says that New England sports fans -the fellowship of the miserable- don’t appreciate the Patriots and basically indicates that they’re not worthy of having this team. He trots out the tired line that New England fans are only happy when they’re miserable, and are more concerned right now with the breaking up of the Red Sox than with anything that is happening in Foxboro. The only miserable people in New England right now are sports columnists who might have to find a new angle to pursue in future articles because there isn’t anything to be negative about…the only ones talking about the subjects Donaldson attributes to the fans are WEEI hosts, “celebrity callers” and flashguys.

Mike Reiss and Kevin McNamara have the Ravens tipping their caps to the Patriots team effort. Ian M Clark looks at the Patriots making the halftime adjustments to enable them to reel off 21 unanswered points in the second half. Tim Weisberg looks at the Patriots defense adjusting to what personnel was available to them and getting the job done. Again. Jim McCabe also examines all the movable parts in the secondary being able to once again find a way to shut down an opponent. Michael Gee (subscription only) looks at the Patriots being proponents of the theory of evolution in football, constantly adapting to their circumstances and environments, ensuring survival. Karen Guregian looks at the defense totally overwhelming young Kyle Boller. Rich Thompson says the Patriots defense proved it is the equal of any unit in the league.

Corey Dillon continued his amazing season for the Patriots yesterday, wracking up 123 yards against the vaunted Baltimore defense. Paul Harber writes that getting Dillon was certainly an early Christmas gift for the Patriots. Mike Reiss says that getting Dillon for a second round pick certainly looks like a one sided trade at this point. Ted Ribeiro looks at Dillon once again putting on a show in the second half for the Patriots. Steve Buckley (subscription only) writes about Dillon emphasizing after the game that he does not care about the numbers. He’s only interested in winning games. Buckley writes that Dillon appears to have totally bought into the Patriots way of doing things, something that comes as a surprise to many people who objected to the trade when it happened. Alan Greenberg has more on Dillon, who has been everything the Patriots have hoped for, and more. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated looks at how Dillon just got better as the conditions got worse yesterday.

Dan Pires writes that once again Adam Vinatieri proved why he’s the best in the game. Frank Dell’Apa says that Vinatieri could’ve made an even longer field goal yesterday as his longest still had yards to spare. Michael O’Connor notes that the conditions were no big deal for the Patriots kicker. Dell’Apa also looks at Tom Brady, who despite the horrible field conditions, still got the job done. George Kimball (subscription only) has a very similar article, looking at how Brady handled the atrocious conditions. Dan Ventura looks at Jarvis Green executing the “scoop and score” technique that the Patriots practice each week. Steve Conroy has Ray Lewis hoping for another shot at the Patriots down the line.

After yesterday’s Tom Curran article getting Scott Pioli to talk about his future, Felger’s notebook adds to that, with Pioli taking his name off the market for this offseason vowing to stay with the team at the very least through the length of his contract. This makes some of the “experts” who never talked to Pioli on the matter look very foolish. In fact, in his mailbag last week, Nick Cafardo stated that Pioli very much wants to run a team on his own, and essentially that anything he says to the contrary is a lie. Cafardo stated this never having spoken to Pioli. Curiously, while all the other notebooks today (except the Projo, which had the story yesterday.) have some mention of Pioli’s statements, Nick’s notebook has not a word on the topic. The ProJo notebook has more on the Gillette Stadium field conditions. The Standard Times notebook has more on the big day for Corey Dillon. Parente’s notebook looks at the Patriots improvement on run defense.

The Celtics early season struggles continue, losing another close one last night, this time in Miami to Shaq and the Heat, 104-102. Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer have the game stories from last night. The Celtics fell behind, and made a strong comeback, with rookies playing a big role. 19 year old Al Jefferson spent quite a bit of time guarding Shaquille O’Neal, doing a credible job against the big man, while Tony Allen and Delonte West also provided sparks for the green. BSMW’s Full Court Press also has a look back at last night’s loss. Bulpett’s notebook has Shaq commenting on Paul Pierce, while Springer’s notebook has a look at Shaq’s Miami sidekick, Dwayne Wade.

Michael Silverman files a Red Sox notebook today with word that Orlando Cabrera wants a 4-5 year deal, which would pretty much put him out of the team’s plans for the future. The Red Sox as a team were selected SI Sportsmen of the Year yesterday.

FSN has Celtics/Magic at 7:00. ABC has Rams/Packers at 9:00.