Flutie Comes Home?

ESPN is reporting that the Patriots are close to signing Doug Flutie. Mike Reiss has a brief note as well in his Reiss’ Pieces blog.

WEEI’s Pete Sheppard confirmed at 3:55 that Flutie has signed a one year deal with the Patriots.

Wrong Kind of Fight

A rough night for the Celtics in Indy. Wade Miller appears almost ready for a spot in the Red Sox rotation, Logan Mankins meets the press, and a number of other items make up today’s links.

In another note, I’m taking my first week-long vacation in nearly 15 years next week. I will have limited Internet access if any at all. I will not be posting the daily links, Bryan (One of the weekend guys) will try to post a few updates during the week, but it likely won’t be at the regular morning times. I plan on spending some of the time brainstorming for the future of BSMW. We will have a three day mini-fund-drive sometime in May.

Thanks for all who wrote in about the Belichick article earlier this week. My mailbox was overwhelmed with the encouraging letters. I’ve tried to respond to as many as I can, but I’m sure I missed a few.

The Celtics were thumped in Indianapolis last night 99-76, falling behind in the best of seven series 2-1. If you’re a Celtics fan, you can only hope that last night will serve as a wake up call similar to the on the Pacers got in game one. “Frustrating” seems to be the word to describe the night, as described by Shira Springer in her game story. Steve Bulpett says the Celtics showed the wrong kind of fight last night, and not enough of the right kind. Jason L Young chips in a game story for the ProJo. Jackie MacMullan focuses most of her column today on the incident involving Antoine Walker and Jermaine O’Neil, which the Celtics hope will not lead to a suspension for Walker. The perception is that the Celtics were going after O’Neal’s injured shoulder last night, Mark Murphy has the Pacers center accepting that as part of the game. Hank Lowenkron has O’Neil saying the shoulder is getting better. Howard Bryant (subscription only) writes that the Celtics have made this series a whole lot harder for themselves.

MacMullan also writes a piece on Mark Blount, who has been the center of Celtics fans frustration, after signing a big contract last summer. Michael Vega looks at Doc Rivers, frustrated over his team’s lack of fire. Murphy’s Pacers notebook looks at another huge night for Reggie Miller. Young’s notebook has the Celtics looking for leadership from a variety of sources. Springer’s notebook reports that the Celtics are hopeful that Walker will be able to play game four tomorrow night. Bulpett’s notebook has a few interesting items, after looking at the Celtics quest for leadership, he reports on video of Rivers as a player getting Miller in a chokehold, and has Rick Carlisle saying that working the officials through the media as Rivers is doing doesn’t work.

Wade Miller made his second-to-last planned rehab start as he continues to get ready to jump into the Red Sox rotation. Chris Snow says Miller felt great, and wouldn’t mind skipping the last rehab start and go directly to the Majors. Isn’t going to happen. Rich Thompson and Jon Baker also have reports on Miller’s start, which has to be encouraging to the team, 5 innings, 5 hits 2 walks, 3 K’s and no runs. John Tomase examines how the Red Sox rotation has gone from crowded to empty. David Heuschkel also looks at this issue and a number of other topics. Garry Brown says that Tim Wakefield will have to step into the role of Sox ace. Jeff Horrigan previews this weekend’s series against the Rangers, the first non-AL East opponent of the season for the Red Sox.

Gerry Callahan (subscription only) writes what appears to be an answer to Tony Massarotti’s assertion yesterday that the Red Sox cheaped out in now re-signing Pedro. He says the team never had a chance of keeping him. Jim Donaldson writes a defense of fat guys. No, not the Big Show personalities, but several portly baseball players over the years who have done pretty good. Maybe Michael Gee (subscription only) was listening to WEEI yesterday, as he writes about a topic that was big on the station…Curt Schilling and his willingness to talk on any subject, and whether people like him or hate him for this. He’s talking in this instance about the Tampa Bay incident and public sparring with Lou Piniella. Snow’s notebook looks at the Red Sox calling up reliever Tim Bausher from Pawtucket.

First round pick Logan Mankins met the media yesterday. Jerome Solomon reports that Mankins needed to make a trip to Men’s Warehouse before meeting with the press. Michael Felger says that Mankins is not your typical rookie. Alan Greenberg has a pretty extensive piece on the real-life cowboy. Chris Kennedy says that Mankins hopes to make himself a good fit with the Patriots. Michael Parente has Mankins saying he doesn’t care where he plays, he’s just going to go hard. Patriots.com has the transcript of the session. Mike Reiss reports that Doug Flutie recently worked out for Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants.

The emails have been coming in…WHERE ARE ALL THE REVOLUTION LINKS. Ok. Are you sure you want this? I got a similar cry for Boston College Basketball links, and as I started posting them, the team went downhill…you’re sure? Frank Dell’Apa has a look at Revolution midfielder Clint Dempsey, who has been the target of the opposition’s rough tactics this season. Gus Martins reports on Taylor Twellman getting his 50th regular season goal in his MLS career on Wednesday night.

John Ruiz may be the quiet man, but his trainer is anything but. Ron Borges has a look at Norman Stone.

John Connolly has Bruins coach Mike Sullivan hopeful that there will be NHL hockey next winter.

Jim Baker talks with Bob Cousy about the Celtics, looks at the NBA Playoffs on TNT, and has a few other short takes. Scott’s Shots has a new look, and today he takes a look at Joe Sullivan’s one year anniversary as sports editor, who it was that Antoine was sniping at in the media session after the game, and Everquest. If you missed John Molori’s Media Blitz earlier this week, he takes a look at the draft coverage, and also has a new look to the page.

UPN-38 has Red Sox/Rangers at 8:00. ESPN has Pistons/Sixers at 8:00 and Sonics/Kings at 10:30. ESPN2 has Grizzlies/Suns at 9:00.

Schilling’s Ankle, 2005 Version

A bit late today, but there’s a lot to go through. The Red Sox rotation is hurting, Howard Bryant is a target, the Celtics try to rebound from a tough game two loss and a few football articles make up the links today.

Curt Schilling’s ankle is once again the focus of Red Sox fan’s attention, as the team ace is headed to the disabled list with what is called a “mild bone bruise” on his right ankle. Jeff Horrigan concludes his report with the comment that the time off will be good for Schilling, as he needs to drop a few pounds. Chris Snow looks at what the Red Sox plan to do in the absence of Schilling and David Wells. Kevin McNamara looks at the announcement coming at the same time as the unveiling of the Schilling “Bobble Ankle” doll. David Heuschkel reports on Schilling getting the boot once again. Garry Brown, David Borges and Christopher Price conclude the reports on Schilling. Lenny Megliola discusses what happens now for the Red Sox pitching staff. Tony Massarotti writes that the Red Sox took the cheap way out this winter, and are now paying the price. He plays the role of the knee-jerk reactionary caller to WEEI who complains that the Red Sox should’ve given Pedro and Lowe anything they wanted over the winter. I won’t stoop to calling Massarotti a “sphincter” as John Dennis did this morning, but Tony is off his rocker on this one – Pedro wasn’t coming back here regardless, and Lowe had already turned down a good offer and was statistically among the worst starters in the league last year.

Steven Krasner feels that we shouldn’t really be all that surprised that a couple of aging pitchers with weight issues have developed injuries. Michael O’Connor has a piece on Bronson Arroyo, who just last week was thought to be quickly headed to the bullpen with all the starters The irony of Nick Cafardo saying that he chooses to be the voice of reason with others panicking about the Red Sox is too good to let pass. It’s great that he takes a reasoned approach to the situation now at hand with the Red Sox. We need that. However, you know darn well that if this was the Patriots. Nick’s hand would be all over the panic button. Speaking of panic, another well reasoned man, Buddy Thomas wonders if we’ll remember April 26 as the night that the 2005 Red Sox died. Further, Steve Buckley (subscription only) reflects that this injury will likely hurt Schilling’s Hall of Fame chances. Jon Couture isn’t quite ready to panic yet, but he could be starting down that path. Michael Gee (subscription only) says that Tim Wakefield must now pitch like the ace of the staff.

Bill Reynolds looks at what the Yankees are getting for their $200 million payroll. John Tomase talks to Sammy Sosa and Mike Port about how close the slugger actually came (twice) to becoming a member of the Red Sox, and what that would’ve been like. Kevin Gray looks at former Red Sox outfielder Darren Bragg, trying to get another shot at the majors by playing with the Nashua Pride. Bob Halloran looks at a couple of the new ballparks out West. Heuschkel’s looks at Schilling’s spat with Lou Piniella. Steve Conroy says the Orioles know that they have sent a message to the Red Sox. Snow’s notebook and Horrigan’s notebook have more on Schilling vs. Piniella. Krasner’s notebook examines how the rotation will now be juggled. Heuschkel’s notebook says the Sox rotation could be further strapped if/when Bronson Arroyo is suspended for his actions in Tampa.

One of the biggest stories on the air yesterday was WEEI hosts going after Howard Bryant for his Boston Uncommon column yesterday in which he made a couple of controversial assertions. Bryant’s column was a “subscription only” and because of that many people did not get to read it, but instead are having their opinions formed entirely by WEEI. For the record, here are a couple of excerpts that were objected to:

The Red Sox are part of the growing synergistic cartel that maintains addresses at Yawkey Way, Morrissey Boulevard and Brookline Avenue (where NESN is headquartered). The New York Times Company owns the Boston Globe, and a piece of the Red Sox, which owns NESN. The Red Sox are also business partners with WEEI, the most influential sports radio station in the region. That means that the cartel not only has the means, but a financial interest in controlling information. That includes history. Boston has always been known for its insularity, but such naked consolidation is all a little too cozy to be acceptable.

That was followed a few paragraphs later by the following statement.

The story of Earl Wilson cannot be sanitized, either. Yet when Wilson died, another partner in The Cartel, the Globe, did not even mention his defining experience with the Red Sox, an omission too glaring to be coincidence. In 1966, Wilson walked into the Cloud 9 bar in Winter Haven, Fla., with two white teammates and was not served because he was black. It was not mentioned that the Sox told Wilson explicitly not to discuss the incident. They told Wilson, a proud man from Louisiana who endured the slights of southern racism from the day he was born, to swallow yet another humiliation.

The Globe did mention the Winter Haven incident, but included it in Wilson’s obituary, written by Paul Harber and contained in another section of the Globe. Bryant’s point, and he tried to explain this on a call in to Dale & Holley, was that he didn’t feel that the incident should be separated from Wilson, as it was in the Globe. Kevin Paul Dupont’s story didn’t mention the incident at all, which I agree is indeed curious and don’t understand. Bryant was the object of much scorn yesterday and this morning on WEEI, the hosts have latched onto the word “Cartel” and have used it ad nauseum. While there is some ammunition here, I have a feeling much of the vitriol on the station towards Bryant can be traced back to his outspokenness during the “Metco” incident.

The Celtics play game three of their playoff series with the Pacers tonight, Jackie MacMullan has a piece on Gary Payton stepping forward and dispensing advice and wisdom about the NBA playoffs to his younger teammates. Jackie also does something of a mea culpa regarding Payton at the end of the article. Carolyn Thornton says that Payton has accepted and is enjoying his role with the Celtics. Steve Bulpett’s notebook also looks at Payton taking the leadership role. Shira Springer writes that the Celtics must avoid getting overwhelmed by the Indiana crowd in the next two games. Steve Bulpett opines that Doc Rivers needs to play the kids…they provide energy and a spark to the team. Tim Weisberg says that Rivers let the team down on Monday night.

Michael Muldoon writes that the Celtics need to up the pace in order to take control of the series. Mark Murphy has Jermaine O’Neal complimenting Al Jefferson, noting that “He’ll become one of those guys I have to circle on the calendar, so I know when he’s coming up”. Hank Lowenkron looks at the Pacers hoping to keep getting better despite being banged up and shorthanded. Bulpett has Rivers worried about Reggie Miller’s antics and if the officials are going to continue to fall for them. Springer’s notebook says that Al Jefferson will pass tonight if he is double-teamed rather than forcing the shot. Murphy’s notebook has Stephen Jackson ready to play for the Pacers, despite sitting out practice yesterday.

Michael Felger has a look at Patriots draftee Ryan Claridge, a linebacker whose college coach, John Robinson, feels “has huge potential as an edge rusher”. He also is willing to do anything the Patriots ask of him, including flipping pancakes. Mike Reiss has a piece on receiver/kick returner Tim Dwight, what brought him to New England, and what he sees for himself here. Felger also has a very brief note saying that Troy Brown’s status with the Patriots could be resolved soon. New guy Jerome Solomon gets his first BSMW “minus” for this line that appeared in his story on the Chad Scott signing yesterday: “The Patriots did not draft a cornerback last weekend” The team of course drafted cornerback Ellis Hobbs on the first day of the draft, in the third round. Shouldn’t he know this? Shouldn’t his editor have caught this? Still on the Globe and their coverage of the Patriots, the chat transcript from the other day with Nick Cafardo talking about the Patriots contains many head-scratchers, mostly among the questions that made it through.

Bob Hohler and Stan Grossfeld have steroid articles in the Globe. Grossfeld’s feature looks at former sprinter Ben Johnson and the effect steroids have had on his life.

Ron Borges has a boxing column on James Toney.

The latest ratings book is out, and while WEEI’s numbers are down, they’re still dominant. Here’s a look at how WEEI makes the claim of being the “Highest rated sports radio station in the country”.

(For some reason the image may not be showing up in Mozilla/Firefox browsers if that is the case, you can click here)

FSN has Celtics/Pacers at 8:30. TNT has Heat/Nets at 7:00 and Rockets/Mavericks at 9:30.