The scary story this morning is of course the condition of Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who was rushed to the hospital yesterday suffering from severe headaches that left him with blurred vision and according to Steve Burton on WBZ last night, partial paralysis. There still isn’t a whole lot of information out there at the moment, Laura Crimaldi in the Herald has the most information of any of the stories, and also in the Herald, Kristen Munson reports the sobering news that strokes can happen at any age, and this could be what happened to Bruschi. With so little information available, it seems foolhardy to rush to any sort of medical conclusion. The only mention from the Globe is essentially a short AP re-hash from Nick Cafardo. Gerry Callahan castigated the Globe for not having the story on their front page today, yet the same story didn’t even lead their own 8:00 AM sports flash. Go figure. Kevin Mannix writes that Bruschi is the heart and soul of the Patriots and what happened to him last night should be certainly cause for concern among Patriots fans.
Cafardo does have a longer article on Drew Bledsoe, who will be released by the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday. Bledsoe steadfastly contends that he will never be a backup. He also says he’ll be a Bills fan going forward. Michael Felger also has the story, noting that the Bills were forced to release Bledsoe because there was not enough interest on the trade market. We can all still remember Tom Donahoe gloating that he got Bledsoe from the Patriots for only a first round pick, and insinuated after the fact that he would’ve paid even more. Michael Gee (subscription only) says that the Bills really had no choice but to release Bledsoe, who would not serve as a backup. He goes on to state that Drew has always lacked “baraka” during his career. He describes that as an Arabian term meaning a “mixture of luck and predetermined destiny”. Tom E Curran has an article on the Patriots free agents and how the face of the team could change with any of them departing.
Celtics escape mauling
The Celtics survived a late run from the Grizzlies and won the game last night 90-88 on a 15 foot jumper from Ricky Davis with just under four seconds to go. Accounts of the game are provided by Peter May, Steve Bulpett and Carolyn Thornton. The win pushed the Celtics once again over the .500 mark and also puts them in first place in the Atlantic division for the All Star break. Frank Dell’Apa reports on the winning shot from Davis, while Mark Murphy has coach Doc Rivers looking at the play of rookie Tony Allen, who had 15 points, 7 rebounds, a couple steals…and a couple blown defensive assignments. All part of the package you get from a young developing player. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the return of Al Jefferson last night, as the rookie big man got in for three minutes after missing 10 games with a sprained ankle. Buddy Thomas decides to weigh in on the Celtics and he declares that they will not be major players at the trade deadline. May’s notebook and Thornton’s notebook each have Mike Fratello talking about his former player Doc Rivers and how he knew he was coaching material right from the start.
The NHL closed up shop for the year yesterday, canceling the entire season. Bob Hohler reports on the unprecedented action of a sports league canceling an entire season. Stephen Harris blames the players for making a bad error in judgment during this process, a position that Kevin Paul Dupont also takes. Harris has Gary Bettman vowing that the league will return and be improved. John Altavilla also reports on the cancellation of the season. Douglas Flynn says there is no logic to this entire situation. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that the NHL has snubbed the most loyal fans in all of sports. Steve Conroy gets reaction from Bruins coach Mike Sullivan, while Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has reaction from other members of the Bruins organization. Conroy also got reaction from Harry Sinden. Fan reaction has been pretty harsh, as Zach Hosseini reports as well.
Keith Foulke wanted the ball too. Jeff Horrigan and David Heuschkel report that the Red Sox closer asked for the ball used for the final pitch in the 2004 World Series from former teammate Doug Mientkiewicz, and was rebuffed. Karen Guregian has Mike Greenwell claiming that the 1988 AL MVP award should be his. Greenwell was on Dennis & Callahan this morning and stated that he was aware that Jose Canseco was doing steroids during the time that they were teammates on the Red Sox. He says Canseco offered to help him get stronger, but Greenwell declined. (as also reported in the Guregian article) He also stated that he suspects Mark McGwire did use steroids as well, but doesn’t have proof. Guregian also says that baseball has a lot of sorting out to do when it comes to the record books and what has happened the last decade or so.
Chris Snow looks at an area in which the Red Sox appear to have upgraded themselves during the offseason – the bullpen. Howard Bryant (subscription only) writes about Randy Johnson, who was fired up on his first day in Yankee camp. Dom Amore also has a look at Johnson’s first day. Snow’s notebook has more on Foulke’s denied request for the ball, while Horrigan’s notebook says that the Red Sox are trying to plan their ring ceremony so as not to appear to be rubbing it in the faces of the Yankees.
So how many times will WEEI replay the Jose Canseco interview today? They’ve also made the claim several times (Glenn Ordway and Gerry Callahan have each said it) that besides 60 Minutes, they’ve had the only Canseco on air interview this week. Wrong. Canseco appeared on Fox Sports Radio’s “The Drive” with Chris Myers and Mark Gubicza on Monday afternoon as well as on Tuesday (before he went on WEEI) with Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy on the first day of broadcasting for XM Satellite Radio’s MLB Home Plate channel. (Press Release) The WEEI interview was played twice yesterday afternoon, and I wouldn’t put it past them to fill another hour of programming with it today. Kudos to Tony Massarotti who yesterday on the Big Show went after Ordway’s credibility in relation to the interview. (Because of Burton’s relationship with Canseco.) Tony Mazz is one of the few who will actually challenge the great and powerful Big O. Gerry Callahan also defended the interview and Burton this morning, and called anyone who claims to have turned off the interview a “jealous liar”.
Another interesting note came in a veiled reference by Eddie Andelman yesterday that a Viacom owned station was considering going to an all sports format. Of course, anything said by Andelman needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but with the Red Sox radio rights coming up for bid, a station could make a big splash by stealing them away from WEEI. One Viacom station is WBCN, which owns the Patriots rights…could WBCN be planning on making a run at the Red Sox as well, and possibly converting to an FM all sports format? The idea is intriguing. A well run FM station that would have the rights to the two biggest sports teams in the area, would certainly be a big challenge to WEEI’s much ballyhooed ratings numbers. They could use the Globe staffers on the air, and hey, Bob Neumeier is available. Maybe Neumy knew something… In any case, this is pretty much all speculation at this point, and currently all signs point to WEEI retaining the broadcast rights to the Red Sox. It’s curious for Andelman to mention it at all given that his excitement over the idea shows his resignation that WWZN is never going to challenge in the ratings.
TNT has Cavs/T-Wolves at 8:00 and Mavs/Suns at 10:30. ESPN2 has Duke/Virgina Tech at 9:00.