40 More Days

(Monday links by [email protected])

In one of the most exciting Daytona 500 finishes ever, Jeff Gordon … just kidding, no one cares. At least most New Englanders don’t. For those who do, Michael Vega was there for the Globe. Just to let you know how important NASCAR is around these parts, the Herald didn’t even send anyone. Nor did the Hartford Courant or the Providence Journal. That says it all.

Not quite sure what Red Sox beat writers are going to write for the 40 days between today and Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. The Alex Rodriguez bashing has to get old sooner rather than later, right? Kevin Millar made his debut at camp yesterday, some 15-20 pounds heavier than last year, and in between taking shots at A-Rod, discussed the Jack Daniels controversy with Dan Shaughnessy. The Courant’s David Heuschkel has a trio of Sox bashing A-Rod, while Steven Krasner has more with Millar. Krasner also has a notebook looking at the Sox bullpen.

Gordon Edes spent the day with his old friend, A-Rod, at Yankees camp in Tampa. Don Amore was also there.

The Herald’s beat man Jeff Horrigan has a feature on veteran reliever Mike Timlin, while colleague Karen Guregian has more on the trash talk.

Chris Snow has the day’s best feature, a look at Sox hopeful George Lombard.

Really not much else. Shira Springer has the NBA All-Star Game, with Allen Iverson winning the game’s MVP. And Peter King has lots on Drew Bledsoe and the Patriots in his Monday Morning Quarterback.

A College Hoops Town

Has Teddy Sarandis been hosed off yet? Has he even fallen asleep?

Since Doug Flutie left the Heights some two decades ago, attention toward the local collegiate sports scene has been scattered at best. There was the UMass hoops team Final Four run with John Calipari, a few upset wins by BC over Notre Dame, especially the David Gordon game in 1993, and of course, there’s the Beanpot and BC hockey won a national championship in 2001.

For the most part, any support garnered outside of the alum is bandwagon in its purest form. Who could actually name a UMass player on this year’s team?
Well, for those not already on board, the bandwagon train is officially leaving the station, as BC defeated Syracuse, 65-60, Saturday at Conte Forum. It was easily the most-important win of the season and was also nationally televised.

Mark Blaudschun has the game story for the Globe. BC alum Bob Ryan was also there and writes that it was “the most anticipated BC home game in 38 years.”

Really don’t have a problem with Ryan covering the Eagles, despite being a diehard fan and supporter. Morally speaking, unlike many of his co-workers at the Globe, Ryan ranks in the top one percent ethically in the country. Heck, Michael Vega’s wife use to work at Boston College and may still. He has been the BC beat writer at the Globe for around 10 years.

Mike Shalin has the BC story for the Herald. He also has a notebook with Eagles coach Al Skinner touting Craig Smith for Big East Player of the Year.

After this win, Skinner should have National Coach of the Year sealed up, meaning other higher-profile programs will likely be looking at him come season’s end. However, with the Eagles moving to the ACC next season, there aren’t many programs in better shape. However, there are programs that pay their coaches more money.

Moving on, we have lots of Red Sox stories. Dan Shaughnessy looks at Bronson Arroyo and Alex Rodriguez being linked. Dano didn’t actually mail this one in, so his Red Sox book on last season must be finished. Or maybe he just ran out of stamps. Chris Snow says the Sox will issue 500 World Series rings, while Snow and Gordon Edes team up on a notebook that includes a Wade Miller update and some fluff comments from Terry Francona on Byung Hyun Kim, who alas, is back for another year at more than $5 million.

Edes also has his weekly notes leading off with Jose Canseco and another piece in today’s Globe focusing on Edgar Renteria. The ProJo’s Steven Krasner also writes about Renteria, as does David Heuschkel.

The Herald has several Sox stories, too. Karen Guregian has a Jason Varitek feature, while Jeff Horrigan has another Renteria story. Tony Massarotti also leads off his weekly notes with Canseco.

The ProJo’s Jim Donaldson has a column on Adam Vinatieri talking with a Marine stationed in Iraq moments after the Patriots received the Super Bowl trophy. Perhaps the day’s best read here.

On 1510 the Zone, Scott Gilefsky and David Frank have an interesting show tonight at 6 p.m., with Doug Ames, who actually isn’t Canseco’s agent but has been traveling with him during the promotion of his book, and a parent who wasn’t allowed into their son’s hockey game last week stemming from the altercation at the Northeast/Malden and Shawsheen Regional Tech. game a few days earlier.
Gilefsky and Frank are lawyers and will take the legal angle on these stories and others.

Interesting note on that high school brawl. The Herald ran the story on the front page, while despite knowing about it before the Herald did, the Globe didn’t write anything on it. The powers-to-be were not pleased about this and more than one person was chewed out.

And finally, if anyone still cares, Kevin Paul Dupont checks in with the NHL and the nitwits that be.

Bruschi Goes Home

Tedy Bruschi returned home from the hospital late yesterday afternoon. Nick Cafardo, Michael Felger, and Tom Curran all have the story. All three contain quotes from medical experts speculating about Bruschi’s future. In the Globe, Stephen Smith writes about the possibility of returning to a normal life after suffering a stroke.

Cafardo also has a brief notebook with items about the Patriots’ assistant strength coach leaving for a promotion with the Jets, minor surgeries for two members of the defense and the next steps in negotiations with Adam Vinatieri. Yesterday, in his Tip Sheet on ESPN.com, Len Pasquarelli wrote about the increased role that Bill Belichick will likely play in the Patriots’ offense next year. Pasquarelli wrote that Belichick has played a larger role in the offense than has previously been reported. I’m continually amazed at how much better the information on the Patriots seems to be from national writers than the local scribes.

Hockey may not be done yet. Kevin Paul Dupont has the story of talks back on between the players and owners. In a story on ESPN.com, EJ Hradek cites sources saying a deal could be imminent that would un-cancel the season.

Matt Clement is one theme in Red Sox coverage today. Jeff Horrigan and Chris Snow both have Clement stating he is ready for the pressure of pitching in Boston.

Horrigan also has the Red Sox not adding any fuel to the fire, but also not backing down from previous comments about Alex Rodriguez. Does anyone else feel like his addition has added a little bit of hatred between the teams that just wasn’t there before? Maybe it’s just me.

Dan Shaughnessy writes about New York’s new obsession with the Red Sox. Krasner has fans savoring last year’s championship, but still thirsting for more. Dave Heuschkel writes about the value of Jason Varitek to the Red Sox.

Lots of news tidbits in Horrigan’s, Krasner’s, and Snow’s notebooks including the continuing saga of ring-gate. Will the Sox hand out their championship rings in front of the Yankees or not?

Finally, in the first edition of the Power Rankings on ESPN.com, Buster Olney has the Sox ranked at number two behind the Yankees.

Not a lot of Celtics news this morning with the All Star game tomorrow. Shira Springer files an All-Star notebook which has Paul Pierce wanting the opportunity to win a championship rather than pile up All-Star appearances. Springer also writes about Tony Allen’s and Al Jefferson’s appearance in last night’s Rookie Challenge. Steve Bulpett has Pierce happy with the direction of the Celtics. Bulpett also writes about the strong performances of Jefferson and Allen in the Rookie Challenge.

I apologize that this was not posted earlier today. This was my first time compiling the links. I’ll try to get this posted earlier on future weekends. I have a newfound respect for the incredible job Bruce does with this site. If you see anything I missed or want to make any comments, feel free to send me an email at [email protected]