Bruschi, Blank & Borges

A number of Patriots articles this morning, as well as the news of the Red Sox deciding to call Fenway Park home for a long time to come. Barry Bond has a public meltdown, and the Celtics get back in action tonight in New York.

After representing himself for the last few years, Tedy Bruschi has hired agent Brad Blank. Ron Borges has the story, which should really come as no surprise, since Blank as been Borges’ agent in the past, and I assume that he still serves in that capacity. Borges speculates that Bruschi might sit out the upcoming season in order to make sure of his health situation. It could be that since Blank represents many media types in town, Bruschi could be looking for some advice in that area. Tom E Curran also has the story, however his is pretty much the same as Borges’ story, and in fact, a note at the bottom of the story says that “The Boston Globe contributed to this report.” Probably a way of Blank protecting his client, Borges, and making sure he gets the credits on this story. I say that because Mike Reiss has a note on the story, and in his account, Blank “refused comment when contacted”. If writers raise questions about Bill Belichick and Adam Vinatieri sharing the same agent…isn’t it fair to raise questions when writers share the same agent with players?

Borges has a second piece this morning, one that has Bill Belichick speaking about the release of Troy Brown, (“I love Troy Brown” the coach says.) who still could be back with the team later this summer. Belichick also talks about the coaching staff, and that they’re dividing the duties on offense and it’s not a given that he himself will be in charge of that side of the ball. Kevin Mannix reports on Scott Pioli winning the the George Young NFL Executive of the Year for the second year in a row. Mannix, quick to point out how Pioli can do better, says that the Patriots vice president of player personnel has some work to do.

They've always been deliberate and very selective in free agency, but this year they've stayed on the sidelines while other teams made moves and signed players. Championships are won in the fall and winter. Teams that win championships are built in the spring - through free agency and the draft.

I’m sure Pioli will take that reminder to heart, Kevin. Mannix also declares the 2004 draft a bust. Curran’s notebook also looks at Pioli receiving the award and looks at a number of other Patriots items, including the rumor that Ty Law has an offer to return to the Patriots. Curran’s line here regarding Law’s agent is good: “Perhaps Poston misunderstood.” Borges also mentions this rumor in an NFL Notebook he publishes from the NFL Meetings. Jonathan Comey looks at five questions around the Patriots at this time, and suggests that Ted Sarandis should be banned from the airwaves.

A major topic yesterday was the Red Sox commitment to stay at Fenway for the foreseeable future. Sean McAdam says that many of the players are happy with this decision. Jeff Horrigan also gets player reaction. Dan Shaughnessy looks at the decision, and makes reference to the “bag-job sale” of the Sox to the current ownership group, saying that when they took over, we couldn’t have imagined that we’d be here today knowing that Fenway would be around for a long time. This is a hit to Dan, who had mocked the “Save Fenway” crowd in the past. Paul Doyle also looks at the decision to stay in Fenway. Not everyone is happy with this decision. Eddie Andelman spent most of his WWZN show yesterday railing against the ownership and their decision to stay at Fenway. When a caller pointed out that Eddie would have been part of a rival group that wanted to own the team and that his bitterness could stem from that, Eddie acknowledged that he would’ve been involved, and that they would’ve built a new park. He then hung up on the caller. He made some strong statements about the situation, including a rant about the bathrooms, and how people just accept what they’re given by the ownership. He said:

People are starting to be like sheep. They’re starting to listen to how…this is how Jim Jones got people to commit suicide, this is how Hitler got people to do things, they have great public relations, they make speeches, but they’re empty speeches…clean up the bathrooms! You know something…I want Larry the Lobster to go to the bathroom there in the 7th inning. I want him to have two boiled cabbages and go down there. (Other voice: “I have a feeling he doesn’t need use those bathrooms”, then back to Eddie) Yeah, and then he tries to pass himself off as an owner…that fraud.

I’m not sure if comparing the owners of the Red Sox to Jim Jones and Adolph Hitler is exactly PC, but probably not enough people heard it to make it a public outrage. Just so there is no confusion, that is a word-for-word transcript. Speaking of ballparks, Kevin Gray has a look at the new home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the new stadium in Manchester, appropriately called Fisher Cats Ballpark. It looks like its going to be a great place to watch a game. The other story of yesterday was Barry Bonds. Gordon Edes and Tony Massarotti report on Bonds announcing he’ll be out until at least midseason, and perhaps he won’t ever come back. He blames the media for wearing him down. John Tomase says that winning it all has made the Red Sox very boring to cover this spring. Howard Bryant (subscription only) says that the Red Sox should get a honeymoon season after ending the 86-year drought, but it isn’t likely to happen. David Heuschkel and David Borges look at Johnny Damon returning to the lineup…clean shaven. Horrigan’s notebook has Curt Schilling looking to push up his return date…not to opening day though. McAdam’s notebook has more on Damon. Heuschkel’s notebook and Chris Snow’s notebook looks at the improvement in the health of pitcher Wade Miller. Borges’ notebook has more on Schilling.

Peter May wonders if Antoine Walker can finish in the top five in the voting for NBA MVP. Gabe Kahn feels that Celtics fans need to get a grip. This team isn’t winning the NBA title or even the Eastern Conference. He acknowledges they have become one of the top teams, but they’re not better than Miami. Steve Bulpett has a few Celtics players commenting on the struggles of Jim O’Brien and the Philadelphia 76ers. May’s notebook says that Gary Payton should be good to go for tonight. Bulpett’s notebook raises the real possibility of the Celtics introducing an “alternative” jersey for next season, which would include some black and a “more updated look.”

Top Five Links from Yesterday

1) Kevin Mannix (Patriots opener)
2) David Heuschkel (Theo Epstein’s trade of Dave Roberts)
3) Jeff Horrigan’s notebook (Francona not condoning Kim bashing)
4) Ron Borges (Patriots can chuck this hope)
5) Jeff Horrigan (Mirabelli’s comments on Kim)

FSN has Celtics/Knicks at 7:30. ESPN has Pistons/76ers at 8:00 and Mavericks/Warriors at 10:30. ESPN2 has NIT coverage.

Schill on the Hill

The Ace of the Red Sox pitching staff took to the hill yesterday, The Patriots season opener is announced, and comments by Ted Sarandis on Tedy Bruschi are examined. The Celtics have another night off before going for their eighth win in a row tomorrow night. Also, today is the last day of public voting for the 2005 BSMW Awards, make sure you get your vote in.

Curt Schilling took to the mound and threw against live competition for the first time since last fall yesterday, and came away pleased with the results. As with anything Schilling does, a crowd of media was there to witness his performance. Dan Shaughnessy has the account of Schilling’s work in the intersquad minor league game. Howard Bryant also has coverage of the outing, a session that Schilling came away from saying that he “felt very good”. Sean McAdam, David Heuschkel and David Borges all also report on Schilling, Heuschkel’s piece has Schilling saying he’s done talking about steroids, even stealing a phrase from Mark McGwire in declaring that he’s not going to talk about the past. Borges’ article tells us that Schilling’s ankle tendon split six inches during game six of the ALCS. Chris Snow and Jeff Horrigan have stories about the Red Sox facing former teammate Derek Lowe for the first time, and Lowe is still wistful about how his time in Boston came to an end. Horrigan’s notebook has Terry Francona not condoning the comments made by Doug Mirabelli regarding Byung-Hyun Kim. Snow’s notebook has a look at Red Sox prospect Dustin Pedroia.

Kevin Mannix looks at the Patriots hosting the Raiders to open the season, and also looks at the compensatory picks the Patriots will receive in next month’s draft. Bill Griffith has a quick report on the opener as well. Ron Borges reports from the NFL meetings in Hawaii, where the Patriots were hoping to get a proposal passed to limit the power of the competition committee. David Scott reports on a disturbing segment of the Ted Sarandis show on WEEI last night, where Sarandis seemed to insinuate that he felt that it was least a possibility that Tedy Bruschi’s stroke could’ve been a result of some sort of drug use. He based his claims on wording in Kevin Mannix’s column from Sunday. Sarandis was immediately besieged with angry calls and backed off the statement. What gets me about this is that Sarandis had no problem making this insinuation, when last month, when the Ken Powers story broke, Sarandis urged everyone not to rush to judgment, tried to make excuses for Powers, despite overwhelming evidence of what had taken place. He was in fact, very defensive and harsh against anyone who even brought up the Powers situation.

Overall though, I have to commend the sports media of Boston for how they’ve handled the Bruschi situation. The sports media has for the most part been understanding and respectful of the privacy of the Bruschi family. They’ve expressed their desire to know more about the situation, but they have not taken the step of invading the family’s privacy. This contrasts with the paparazzi-like coverage engaged in by WHDH TV Channel 7. By staking out the Bruschi home and keeping cameras there for any movement in the house, they’ve clearly crossed a line. Greg Dickerson and Mike Adams had a good conversation on this topic this morning while filling in for Dennis & Callahan. Dickerson observed that it could be a factor that the sports media knows Bruschi and likes him, and would want to respect his privacy, while the news media doesn’t have that relationship, and just coldly looks at it as a story. It doesn’t excuse their behavior though, and Dickerson was emphatic in pointing out that he wasn’t condoning the coverage.

Steve Bulpett looks at how Antoine Walker is enjoying his second tour with the Boston Celtics. Shira Springer looks at the deep and improved Celtics bench, which is now a strength of the club. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Gary Payton sitting out practice yesterday with a sore back, he also has Doc Rivers speaking on the firing of Paul Silas in Cleveland. Springer’s notebook has more on Payton.

Bob Ryan takes a look at the NCAA tournament to this point. Matt Eagan looks at what the future holds for the UConn mens basketball squad after the disappointing end to their season. Rich Thompson looks at the future of Taylor Coppenrath, who hopes to play in the NBA. His coach, Tom Brennan feels that Coppenrath was “born to be a Celtic”. Brendan McGair looks at the future of Coppenrath’s teammate, T.J. Sorrentine. Mark Blaudschun and Ron Chimelis look at the coaching candidates for UMass.

Frank Dell’Apa has an interesting feature on Soccer legend Alberto Spencer Herrera, who in his day was a rival to Pele.

Speaking of soccer, John Molori’s Media Blitz leads off with a look at 10 years of Revolution soccer in Foxboro. He then goes on to criticize Glenn Ordway and the Big Show for homophobic behavior during the “Queer eye” maelstrom last week. Molori is a bit misdirected in this piece, I believe, as the statements and behavior of the Dennis & Callahan show last week were much more inflammatory then anything that appeared on the Big Show.

Top 5 Links from Yesterday

1) David Heuschkel (Theo Epstein’s trade of Dave Roberts)
2) Jeff Horrigan (Doug Mirabelli’s comments about Byung-Hyun Kim)
3) Nick Cafardo (NFL Sunday notes)
4) Sean McAdam (more on Kim)
5) Alex Speier (Hanley Ramirez story)

NESN has Red Sox/Reds at 6:00. TNT has Cavs/Pistons at 7:00 and Heat/Rockets at 9:30. ESPN has an NIT doubleheader at 7:00 and ESPN2 has the NCAA Women’s Tournament at 7:00.

More Locals Exit

The NCAA field is down to 16, the Red Sox and Byung-Hyun Kim are having some issues, the Celtics just continue to roll on, and we’re recapping a few items from the weekend. Also, today and tomorrow are the last days that the voting for the 2005 BSMW Awards will be open. Make sure to get your vote heard.

Two more New England teams met their end in the NCAA tournament yesterday, as Vermont and Connecticut both fell in the second round. Bob Hohler, Rich Thompson, Kevin McNamara and Tom Yantz all have coverage of Vermont falling to Michigan State yesterday 72-61. Bill Reynolds looks at the end of the college career of Vermont guard (and R.I. native) T.J. Sorrentine. Lenny Megliola looks at the glass slipper falling off the Catamounts. Jackie MacMullan says that even though Vermont’s run is over, the players will have the memories to last a lifetime. Dave Doyle looks at Michigan State feeling good about moving on to the round of 16.

Matt Eagan, Dan Ventura and Jerome Solomon have the story of UConn losing to North Carolina State yesterday. Jim Donaldson says Jim Calhoun is making excuses for his team’s poor showing. Jeff Jacobs looks at UConn’s excuse that they were running on fumes at this point. Paul Harbor also says that a rough season eventually took its toll on UConn. The Globe also has a notebook for items around the teams competing in Worcester. Mark Blaudschun looks at the rash of upsets over the weekend. Michael Vega and Mike Shalin each have looks at Boston College looking to the future, a future the coaching staff believes is bright and exciting with their move to the ACC.

Byung-Hyun Kim is the topic in the Red Sox stories this morning. Sean McAdam says that Kim’s stuff is better this spring, but his attitude might not be. Jeff Horrigan has Doug Mirabelli taking some shots at Kim. Gordon Edes says that because of his salary, Kim will likely be with the Red Sox to start the season. This story also has a scout saying that Kim’s stuff is still nowhere near what it was in Arizona. David Heuschkel has a good story on what could be a steal of a deal for Theo Epstein…the Dave Roberts to the Padres trade. The players the Red Sox received back could prove to be key contributors this year. Alex Speier has a piece on phenom Hanley Ramirez, who keeps impressing people and players at the big league level. David Borges has a piece on former Sox prospect Freddy Sanchez, who is starting to feel comfortable with the Pirates. Horrigan’s notebook looks at a rough outing for John Halama yesterday. McAdam’s notebook says that Adam Hyzdu still has a chance to make the Red Sox as a fifth outfielder. Borges’ notebook has more on Kim.

The Celtics have won 11 out of their last 12 games, and are still pretty much flying under the local sports media radar. Shira Springer says that the green are concerned right now with keeping their focus down the stretch. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics have a postseason checklist that they’re working on. Michael Muldoon looks at the job done by Doc Rivers this season. Rob Bradford says that since the return of Antoine, the Celtics have again captured the attention of fans and media.

A few stories left over from yesterday. Nick Cafardo’s NFL notes has a look at linebackers available in the draft and a number of Patriots items, including a section where he attempts to give credence to colleague Ron Borges’ claim last week on WWZN that Charlie Weis was fired by Bill Belichick last spring, but was forced to take him back by the Kraft family. Kevin Mannix and Bill Griffith each took a look at the media scrutiny around Tedy Bruschi as the press and fans try to get an idea of the future for the Patriots linebacker. Channel 7 has been under fire, deservedly so, for their paparazzi-like coverage, staking out Bruschi’s home, trying to get a glimpse of him. Tom E Curran takes a look at the NFL labor situation.

Russ Conway says that for the NHL to move forward, Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow need to be replaced.

If you missed it over the weekend, be sure to go to the WFAN home page and click on the first link in the Mike and Mad Dog section for the interview Friday with Congressman Chris Shays of Connecticut. Contrast that to what you heard with Shays on WEEI.

Speaking of WEEI, the link is not on their website yet, but their streaming is up and running in what must be a “beta” phase since last week. The link is mms://wmc1.liquidviewer.net/WEEI It should play for you in Windows Media Player.

The Womens NCAA Tournament and Men’s NIT make up the night’s programming on ESPN and ESPN2 tonight.

Eagles Erased

(Links by [email protected])

After defeating West Virginia on Feb. 1, BC was sitting at 19-0. On the other hand, the Mountaineers had lost seven of eight and were considered a NIT team at best. Four days later, the Eagles rolled past Seton Hall and became the first Big East team to ever start a season 20-0.

What happened?

While West Virginia bounced Wake Forest last night and advanced to the Sweet 16, Boston College was soundly defeated by Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 83-75, and ended its season of expectations with a mundane 5-5 record down the stretch.

In the end, Teddy’s boys were nothing more than a fluke.

The Globe’s Michael Vega leads off our game stories from Cleveland. Just one quick word here for Wisconsin-Milwaukee coach Bruce Pearl:

At no time, not even for a millisecond, were the Eagles the best team in the country this year. His quote in Vega’s story is not only absurd but borders on insane.

Moving on, other game stories were filed by the Herald’s Mike Shalin and for another perspective, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Dan Manoyan.

Vega talks to Craig Smith in his notebook, while Shalin’s notebook has Smith saying he expects to return for his senior campaign.

And to wrap up the BC coverage this season, alum Bob Ryan states the Eagles had to win yesterday’s game to validate their season. As usual, Ryan couldn’t be more on target.

Elsewhere in the college hoops world, Jackie MacMullan writes about Vermont’s Germain Mopa Njila. She doesn’t explain why his name sounds like a new Starbucks offering, but a good read nonetheless.

And the Courant’s Matt Eagan previews UConn-North Carolina State.

Celtics Cruise

The magical carpet ride continued for the Celtics last night in New Orleans. While it appeared a classic letdown game, after the Houston win a night earlier, either Boston playing that well right now or the Hornets just stink. Having seen them in person two weeks ago in Dallas, we can vouch for the fact that New Orleans is horrid. Maybe one of the 10 worst NBA teams in the last 20 years. However, take nothing away from the Celtics who are playing their best ball since the 2002 playoffs.

Game stories are in the offering from the Globe’s Shira Springer and the Herald’s Steve Bulpett.

Each also have notebooks, with Springer writing about Delonte West and Bulpett chatting with Hornets coach Byron Scott.

Peter May wraps up the NBA coverage this morning with his Sunday notes package.

Wells Named Opener Starter

Gordon Edes, Jeff Horrigan, and Sean McAdam report on Wells being named Opening Day starting pitcher.

In other Sox news, Curt Schilling talked about his visit to Congress, with Dan Shaughnessy, McAdam on double duty and David Borges each reporting.

This and That

Make sure to read some of Dave Scott’s blog from the last three days of the NCAA tournament. There was some really good stuff in there and the effort was just beyond comprehension. Compared to Bill Simmons’ half-hearted “live” blog on Thursday and Friday, it was like comparing a tuxedo to a pair of those white athletic socks with the colored strips.

VT in a Stunnah

A busy, busy night for hoops fans. Everyone’s Cinderella, Vermont, pulls off the upset, downing Syracuse in overtime. Out in Houston, the Celtics thoroughly dominated the Rockets in a performance that has got to have fans of that squad feeling excited about the future for the green. In the Baseball section, be sure to check out the link to WFAN and listen to the interview mentioned with CT Congressman Chris Shays.

The Vermont win is all over the papers, as Mark Blaudschun, Rich Thompson, Ken Davis, Lenny Megliola and Jeff Pinkham of the Burlington (VT) Press Press have the stories of the victory for the 13th seeded Catamounts. Bill Reynolds looks at the huge 30 footer from T.J. Sorrentine that essentially proved to be the game winner for Vermont. Jackie MacMullan looks at Vermont coach Tom Brennan saving his best season with Vermont for his last. Jerome Solomon looks at Germain Mopa Njila making up for his miscue of stepping out of bounds with just under four seconds left in regulation.

Michael Vega and Mike Shalin look ahead to Boston College’s matchup today with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Vega’s notebook has the keys to the game for BC today. Shalin’s notebook has Coach Al Skinner keeping an eye on one of his former assistants, Tim O’Shea, who coached Ohio against Florida yesterday. Matt Eagan, Dan Ventura and Mark Blaudschun look at UConn holding on to beat Central Florida in an unimpressive fashion yesterday. Bob Ryan looks at the “mid-majors” more than holding their own.

Don’t forget to keep checking Dave Scott’s Shots throughout the day as he continues his blogging on the tournament. It’s been entertaining thus far, and certainly up to the running dairies kept on ESPN Page2. As mentioned, if you have a Newsreader, you may want to sign up for the RSS or XML feeds to get notified when updates are published. (You can do the same on this page and all other BSMW pages as well)

Celtics topple Rockets

Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett have the accounts of the Celtics making a major statement down in Houston that they intend to be a team to be reckoned with going into the postseason. The Celtics dominated the previously hot Rockets, 103-92 in one of those games where the final score is much closer than the game ever was. Down in Houston, Jonathan Feigen has an extensive look at the game from the Texas perspective. Megan Manfull looks at what the return of Antoine Walker has meant to the Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook has the Rockets impressed with the “new” Walker. Springer’s notebook looks at the recent dip in the play of Delonte West.

Baseball

Down in Spring Training, the talk is still steroids. Sean McAdam has a number of Red Sox speaking out against Thursday’s Congressional hearings. David Heuschkel has more on this, focusing on David Wells, who called Bud Selig “an idiot” and painted Jose Canseco as a traitor. Jeff Horrigan has more on the Sox speaking out, as does David Borges. The headline of John Tomase’s article on the hearings pretty much says it all. “Major League Embarrassment.” Dan Shaughnessy takes a sad look back at the summer of 1998 when Mark McGwire had the country fooled. A must-listen interview from yesterday was when Mike and Mad Dog interviewed CT Congressman Chris Shays. They took him apart at times. I heard this in the car yesterday afternoon and it was a much different tone than what you heard on other interviews. Go to the WFAN home page and click on the first link under Mike and the Mad Dog to listen to this interview. You won’t be disappointed. I wanted to compare it to WEEI’s interview of Shays, but their isn’t in the WEEI Audio Vault yet. Bob Hohler has a story on Rep. Stephen Lynch preparing a bill to protect baseball whistle-blowers on the steroid issue.

The notebooks pretty much all look at David Wells and the likelihood of him pitching the season opener in Yankee Stadium. Shaughnessy’s notebook looks at Wells’ performance yesterday, where he threw 69 pitches. Horrigan’s notebook says at the opening night starter is still up in the air. (An AP report just released says that Schilling will officially miss opening day.) McAdam’s notebook and Borges’ notebook also both look at Wells.

Top 5 Links from Yesterday:

1) Boston Radio Watch
2) Mike Reiss’ Blog (A look at linebackers available in the draft)
3) Dan Shaughnessy (McGwire is a bashed brother)
4) Sean McAdam (Few decisions remain on 25 man roster)
5) Dan Shaughnessy (Plenty of rain, but no games)

What’s on Today:

UPN38 has Red Sox/Orioles at 1:00, CBS has NCAA Tournament action starting at Noon, and Boston College plays Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 5:30. FSN hasCeltics/Hornets at 8:00 NESN also has the Hockey East final: BC/UNH at 7:00

McGwire – You’re out, Son.

A busy morning of links and stories. We have coverage of the Congressional hearing on steroids, Red Sox notes, NCAA tourney coverage, the Celtics prepared to face the equally hot Houston Rockets tonight, and several media columns. Also, the polls are still open for the 2005 BSMW Awards. We’ve had over 1000 responses so far.

It was obvious to anyone who watched the Congressional Hearings on steroids yesterday who the biggest loser of the day was. Mark McGwire. The former slugger’s strategy of not answering practically any questions totally backfired on him. Dan Shaughnessy and Howard Bryant each look at the damage done to McGwire’s legacy. As for the hearings themselves, Peter S. Canellos of the Globe says it was all about spin yesterday. Andrew Miga of the Herald and Bob Hohler have full coverage of the hearings. John E Mulligan and Dom Amore also report on the proceedings yesterday. Bill Reynolds says there is a high price to be paid for McGwire and Sammy Sosa, once considered the saviors of the game. Jeff Jacobs says that this national exposure should help the problem at the local levels.

Gordon Edes, Michael O’Connor and Christopher Price have more on the passing of Dick “The Monster” Radatz. Jeff Horrigan has a piece on outfielder Adam Hyzdu, hoping to make the squad and get some stability. Sean McAdam takes a look at what the final 25 man roster is likely to look like, and Hyzdu looks to be a longshot. Lots of notebook style columns today as the game with the Marlins was rained out yesterday. David Borges looks at the progress of Bill Mueller. David Heuschkel looks at the rainout being made up today, but the game is optional for many of the players. Michael Silverman also looks at the rainout and has a number of other notes. McAdam’s notebook fills us in on volunteers to play today. Dan Shaughnessy was also on the beat for the day and files a report, complete with a mini dig at Manny. Speaking of Shaughnessy, it appears some congratulations are in order, as he won second place in the Associated Press Sports Editors’ contest for his story of the Red Sox World Series clinching game four.

BC moves on, Vermont/Syracuse today

Michael Vega reports on Boston College beating Penn in the first round of the NCAA tournament yesterday, 85-65. Mike Shalin looks ahead to the next opponent, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, coached by former BC Assistant and school alum Bruce Pearl. Shalin’s notebook also looks at Pearl and comments form the Penn coach on BC. Bob Ryan is encouraged by the signs that where shown in yesterday’s performance by his alma mater. Michael Gee looks at Jermaine Watson putting last weekend behind him. Vega’s notebook has more on Watson.

Jackie MacMullan looks at the obstacles that UConn has faced this season, but the squad is now ready for the real season to begin. The game a lot of people want to see today is Syracuse vs Vermont. Jim Donaldson looks at Vermont’s dynamic duo, Taylor Coppenrath and T.J. Sorrentine. Peter May also has a piece on Sorrentine. Tom Yantz looks at Vermont forward Germain Mopa Njila, playing a long way from his native Cameroon. Rich Thompson says Vermont plans to give Syracuse all they can handle. Mark Blaudschun looks at Syracuse guard Gerry McNamara. The Courant notebook has more on this game.

Be sure to check in as Dave Scott blogs during the tourney.

C’s in Houston tonight

Shira Springer looks at Antoine Walker’s role in the rejuvenated Celtics. Mark Murphy looks at the Celtics recognizing the need to improve their defense. The Celtics face a tough opponent tonight in Houston. Michael Muldoon takes another look at Matt Bonner’s return to New England Wednesday night. Murphy’s notebook has Doc Rivers’ reaction to his friend Johnny Davis getting fired by the Magic yesterday.

Media Columns

Bill Griffith looks at Tom Caron preparing to announce the Hockey East playoffs for NESN. He also looks at UPN38 and Comcast trying to come to an agreement to broadcast the Red Sox/Yankees opener in HD locally. John Howell has a few media related items around the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments. Andrew Neff notes there will be no TV for fans of the University of Maine women’s team, which is playing in the NIT. Neff also reports on Bangor channel 7 TV sports director Ted Lombardi taking the unusual career move of leaving a TV gig to start work for a new sports Web site – backpageboston.com. Lombardi also hopes to teach High School journalism.

Top 5 Links from Yesterday

1) Boston Radio Watch (ESPN Radio coming to Boston)
2) Mike Reiss’ Blog (Vince Wilfork Q&A)
3) Steve Buckley (The passing of Dick Radatz)
4) Gordon Edes (The passing of Dick Radatz)
5) Eric McHugh (Patriots notes)

FSN has Celtics/Rockets at 8:30. CBS has wall to wall coverage of the NCAA tournament. ESPN2 will have Lakers/Pacers at 7:30. NESN will have the Hockey East playoffs at 5:00 with Maine/BC and at 8:00 with UNH/BU

Shots updates

David Scott of Scott’s Shots will be blogging during the first four days of the NCAA tournament. There are RSS and XML feeds available so that you can subscribe and automatically be notified when he updates.

Also, Scott will be a guest on the O’Reilly Factor tonight on Fox News to talk about the steroid issue.

Mike Fine, Jim Fenton and Rob Bradford all have accounts of last night’s Celtics/Raptors game.

Eric McHugh has a look at the Patriots preseason opponents, as well as an update on the Patriots restricted free agents. Mike Reiss has a Q&A session with Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork on his blog.

Bill Abramson remembers Dick Radatz.

Green Win Again

A busy day for links today. Details of a Celtics win, some more opinion on Tedy Bruschi (though no new details really), the passing of a Boston legend, Curt Schilling’s throwing session from yesterday and his testimony before congress today and of course the NCAA tournament which taps off this afternoon. Also, if you haven’t done so already, please take a few moments to make your opinion heard in the 2005 BSMW Awards.

The Celtics squeaked out their fifth win in a row, downing the Toronto Raptors, 110-109. Rookie Tony Allen hit two shots in the final two minutes to help the Celtics escape. “Escape” is a word used in the title of both Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett’s game stories. Lenny Megliola notes that despite the win, the Celtics were “upset” and “frustrated” with how they played. Carolyn Thornton also observes that the Celtics did not play their best, but managed to win anyway. Christopher Price also has a game story from the Fleet. Mark Murphy looks at Tony Allen, who despite getting two big buckets down the stretch, is worried about hearing about a blown defensive assignment during practice today. Kevin Gray looks at NH native Matt Bonner, who has gotten himself a role…and quite a following…with the Raptors. When Danny Ainge reacquired Antoine Walker, Mike Fine (and many others) thought that the Celtics boss had lost his mind. Fine has changed his mind at this point. Murphy also looks at a frustrated Eric Williams in Toronto. Thornton’s notebook also looks at Williams’ frustrations, while Springer’s notebook looks at the former Celtic getting a warm welcome last night. Bulpett’s notebook has Antoine Walker accepting the role and style of play that Doc Rivers wants from him. This would seem to indicate that Walker has in fact changed his game to adapt to this team’s style of play, something that Glenn Ordway adamantly insisted for days was impossible.

Stephen Smith and Michael O’Connor look at the possibility of Tedy Bruschi having a hole in his heart. If this turns out to be true, both articles are actually hopeful that there is at least a possibility that the Patriots linebacker could resume his career. Ian M Clark also looks at the situation and acknowledges the desire we all have to find out what the future holds for Bruschi. Tom E Curran looks at a major source of college talent, not to mention an intellectual resource drying up for Bill Belichick with Nick Saban now in the NFL. Kevin Mannix reports on no deal for Adam Vinatieri and the preseason opponents being announced. Jerome Solomon tackles the same subjects, but in reverse order. Hector Longo looks at North Andover’s own Rob Konrad being out of work after his release from the Dolphins.

Steve Buckley and Gordon Edes each look at the sudden and tragic passing of former Red Sox reliever and WEEI personality Dick “The Monster” Radatz.

Curt Schilling’s throwing session yesterday is the major on-field baseball topic of the day. Michael Silverman, Chris Snow, Sean McAdam, David Heuschkel and David Borges all look at the performance of Schilling during a 63 pitch simulated game. The outing was deemed positive by those involved, though the possibility of Schilling pitching on opening day is still unlikely. The next step for Schilling is to get some time in a spring training game, possibly next week sometime. The notebooks all lead with Johnny Damon being sidelined with cellulitis. Snow’s notebook says the skin infection was a scary sight for Damon. Silverman’s notebook also looks at a sharp outing from Tim Wakefield. McAdam’s notebook follows a similar theme, as does Heuschkel’s notebook. Borges’ notebook also has details of Damon, Wakefield and the win over the Cardinals yesterday. There is also the obligatory “Queer Eye” update from the Inside Track.

In case you didn’t hear, the Steroid hearings before Congress are today. Bob Hohler looks at Congress criticizing baseball’s steroid policy. Howard Bryant (subscription only) also has a look today at the loophole in the policy which allows the commissioner to either hand a 10 game suspension to a first time offender, or fine him $10,000 and not name him at all. Tony Massarotti says today is an instance of sports and reality colliding. John E Mulligan looks at how the chairman of the committee, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III is a baseball fan, having spent a lot of time at Fenway park back in the 1960’s. Dan Shaughnessy has Tony LaRussa continuing to defend Mark McGwire.

The Hartford Courant has a preview section of the men’s and women’s NCAA tournament. Kevin McNamara provides a quick preview of the tournament for the ProJo. Jackie MacMullan has a good feature on Boston College head coach Al Skinner. Mike Shalin has Skinner saying that BC must perform well for him to be satisfied with how far they go and the season. Bob Ryan has a piece on former BC assistant Bruce Pearl, now the head man at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. One night as a BC assistant, he had to fill in as the mascot. Michael Vega says that entering the tournament with a low profile might actually benefit BC. Shalin’s notebook has BC being careful not to overlook Ivy League opponent Penn. Vega’s notebook has Jermaine Watson pronouncing himself ready to play, but the coach reserving judgment on that score.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the decision facing college hockey players, who have no NHL right now to move on to.

Top 5 Links from Yesterday

1) Boston Radio Watch
2) Mike Reiss’ Blog
3) Tom E Curran
4) Tony Massarotti
5) Gordon Edes

CBS has the NCAA tournament all day and evening. TNT has Lakers/Heat at 8:00 and Kings/Warriors at 10:30.

Bruschi back in the Hospital?

Some news has been leaking out on Tedy Bruschi, the Red Sox decide on a 3-4 lineup, the Celtics continue to roll along since the return of Antoine, and plenty of NCAA articles highlight this morning. A reminder that if you have not yet done so, please vote in the 2005 BSMW Awards. Please only attempt to vote once. Multiple votes from the same IP address will be rejected.

Yesterday morning on 790 AM The Score in Providence, the station reported that Tedy Bruschi was going to undergo a procedure to repair his heart. This news seemed to actually under-reported until the late night newscasts, when all the stations went big with the story. The report seems to have originated on an Arizona TV station, KOLD in Tucson. This morning there are several reports, Scott Thurston in the Globe and Laura Crimaldi and O’Ryan Johnson in the Herald. There still isn’t a whole lot that is clear about this situation, and Patriots fans and reporters are eager to know what the future holds for Bruschi. Tom E Curran discusses this morning the frustration and uncertainty of the situation, and the balance between giving Bruschi the person time and space to work this out, but at the same time needing information to report on Bruschi the football player. Unrelated to the Bruschi situation, Kevin Mannix reports on a deadline today to reach a contract with Adam Vinatieri, if the Patriots don’t make a deal today, it will likely have to wait until after July 15.

Gordon Edes has a feature on Cubs shortstop Nomar Garciaparra, who professes to be happy in Chicago, and holding no bitterness towards Boston. David Heuschkel looks at a busy two days for Curt Schilling, who is scheduled to pitch a three inning simulated game today and testify before congress tomorrow. Michael Silverman looks at Bronson Arroyo, who is working this spring on his control on the inner half of the plate. Sean McAdam looks at Terry Francona’s tentative lineup, which has Manny Ramirez hitting third and David Ortiz fourth. Tony Massarotti weighs in on the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” episode featuring the Red Sox, and repeats many of the points made on Dennis & Callahan, namely, what would Bill Belichick think of this, and if the Sox struggle early this is going to be made a big deal of. David Borges’ notebook looks at the batting order, as does Chris Snow’s notebook and Silverman’s notebook. Heuschkel’s notebook leads with Johnny Pesky arriving in camp. McAdam’s notebook has an update on Rhode Island’s own Rocco Baldelli.

Steve Bulpett says that while the Celtics are winning, they still have plenty of work and improvement to make before they can be considered serious contenders in the East. Peter May seems to be slowly coming onboard the Ricky Davis bandwagon, looking at the swingman’s chances to wrap up the Sixth Man of the year award. May still brings up the trade that brought Davis here in uncertain terms, noting that “right now” Danny Ainge has to like what he sees. May in the past has referred to the trade as “The day the music died” because it spelled the end for May favorite Jim O’Brien’s tenure here. New England native Jeff Goodman files an article on the Celtics for USA Today, which looks at the return of Antoine Walker, what it has meant for the club, and what the future holds. Walker insists that he will not take a “hometown discount” to stay with the Celtics. John Habib looks at NH native Matt Bonner returning to New England to face the Celtics with Toronto tonight.

Mark Blaudschun and Tommy Hine each have articles on UConn coach Jim Calhoun. Jeff Jacobs looks at Calhoun suspending Antonio Kellogg for the rest of the season, a move seemingly out of character for Calhoun. John Powers has an interesting piece on how commodities traders get into the NCAA tournament. Jim Donaldson is being driven crazy by brackets. I was driven crazy reading that thing. Lenny Megliola looks at March Madness, Division II style. Mike Shalin says that Boston College is hopeful that Jermaine Watson will be ready to play tomorrow. Michael Vega’s notebook says the BC comes into the Tournament with something to prove. Shalin’s notebook says that the Eagles are going to embrace the underdog role.

Yesterday’s Top 5 Links (excluding the BSMW Awards items)

1) Mike Reiss’ Blog
2) Christopher Price, Boston Metro
3) Sean McAdam, Providence Journal
4) John Tomase, Eagle-Tribune
5) Nick Cafardo, Boston Globe

It’s been mentioned in a few places here and there, but Boston Radio Watch has more on ESPN Radio coming to Boston.

FSN has Celtics/Raptors at 7:00. ESPN has Timberwolves/Spurs at 9:00. ESPN2 has Indiana/Vanderbilt in NIT action at 8:00. NESN has SportsPlus at 6:30 with Jackie MacMullan and Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan joining Tom Caron to talk about the NCAA tournament.

2005 BSMW Awards

A couple years ago, I did a bracket-style tournament of Boston sports media members. That was a very popular feature, though extremely time-consuming on my end. This year, thanks to the help of Greg in putting the ballot together and to Pam, who spent time proofreading the results and comments, we’ve been able to come up with a straightforward poll-style vote for the best and worst in the past year of Boston Sports Media.

Voting was held initially to BSMW members, as sort of a test group. The results of their voting, as well as comments on the results by various BSMW members and readers can be found on the Readers page. Check it out, and decide if you agree or disagree with what was decided and commented on. Please note that some of the fields and categories have changed since the time of the members-only voting. For instance, since there are so many good beat writers in the area, we had to break them out by sport, so that all could be included.

Once you’ve done that, proceed to the Public Voting Page and make your vote count. The voting will be open for one week, then the results will be tallied and reported here.

You can also submit write-in candidates and comments to [email protected]