Onto the City of Brotherly Love

We’ve got Red Sox stories from the off day yesterday as they prepare to take on the Phillies tonight in their new ballpark. The NBA Finals concluded last night with the Spurs winning their third championship. There are a few more NBA draft preview articles, a look at the Celtics move to WRKO, and David Scott weighs in on John Tomase.

With the Red Sox off last night, there is a mixed bag of baseball articles this morning. Adam Kilgore has a feature on John Olerud, who has a daughter with tri-some 2p, 5p-, a unique condition which has caused Olerud and his wife to have to provide almost constant care for five years now. A moving story. Michael Silverman has Johnny Damon saying that if he doesn’t re-sign with the Red Sox this offseason, he may try to convince some of his teammates here who are also free agents to join him wherever he ends up. David Heuschkel has a look at Damon, who is having a fantastic season despite an assortment of nagging injuries and the prospect of being a free agent at the end of the season. Steven Krasner has a look at Mark Bellhorn, who many view as the weak link in the Red Sox lineup. Terry Francona views him as a strength for the things he can do for the team. Dan Shaughnessy looks at the origins of the word “walkoff”, a term which Dennis Eckersley claims to have originated.

Alex Speier has a piece on Jason Varitek, and how 2003 was in many ways a changing point in his career; he found his stroke at the plate, and really entered the prime of his playing days. Yesterday, Mark Shanahan in the Globe had a piece on Eric Van, a “statistical savant” who has gained fame on first USENET and now Sons of Sam Horn for his analysis and projections. Van is now employed by the Red Sox on a stats-based project. I’ve been familiar with Van’s stuff going back to about 1997 on USENET, and he truly is amazing with numbers. Jeff Horrigan looks at Terry Francona’s return to Philadelphia this weekend, a place that did not treat him well while he was there, yet you’ll never hear him complain about it. Chris Snow’s notebook has more on Francona’s return to Philly. Snow also has a minor league notebook in which he looks at Pawtucket first baseman Roberto Petagine, who has an “out” in his contract for next Thursday which he could possibly exercise.

Peter May looks at the San Antonio Spurs winning their third title since 1999 with a 81-74 win over the Detroit Pistons in game 7 of the NBA finals last night. May’s notebook is again about Larry Brown and Gregg Popovich and their 30 year friendship. Mark Murphy says that any number of good players could be available to the Celtics at pick #18 in next week’s draft, as much about this draft is uncertain. Shira Springer looks at the contingent from the University of North Carolina that will be available in this draft, four likely first round selections in the group. Murphy also previews the small forwards available in this draft. Don’t forget to also review Part III of the BSMW Full Court Press Draft Preview, which focuses on big men that might be available at pick number 18.

The Celtics move to WRKO on the radio dial is the subject of a few articles this morning. Lenny Megliola provides a brief overview of the move. Tim Weisberg has a longer look at the deal, and what it means for WWZN, WEEI and Celtics fans. It is also the main subject of Bill Griffith’s Friday Sportview column. Griffith provides some analysis of what options were available to the Celtics, the positives of the deal, and some additional factors.

Tom E Curran yesterday looked at the Patriots signing of Chad Morton.

Jeff Jacobs files sort of a “random thoughts” column, looking at items from around the world of sports and New England. Nick Tavares lists out eight things to be thankful for when Hockey finally does return. I still can’t believe the NBA came to a labor agreement before the NHL did, they even spotted hockey a year.

David Scott looks at the NBA Finals, John Tomase’s venture into the spotlight and Pete Sheppard’s move to the Shores of Hull, among other things, in this Friday edition of Scott’s Shots.

Get more stories on the NBA Championship, the Yankees’ struggles and Pedro Martinez returning to the House that Ruth built, taking the mound tonight at The Stadium, over at the New York Sports News page.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Phillies at 7:00. ESPN has Mets/Yankees at 7:00. (Pedro vs. Yankees) TBS has Braves/Orioles at 7:30.

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