Bruins Fall Again

The Bruins continued their early season division struggles, dropping a 5-4 overtime decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs by way of a shootout. Eric Lindros beat Andrew Raycroft in the shootout to give the Maple Leafs the win. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports on the power outage continuing for the Bruins. Stephen Harris writes that the Bruins once again showed that they have difficulty with team defense and protecting leads. Dan Hickling reports on another back and forth game for the Bruins. Over on the Boston Bruins Blog, it’s noted that the Bruins have yet to be outclassed from start to finish in any game this season save the Ottawa one, which could be looked at as a positive, if they can ever learn to close teams out. Even before last night’s game, Mike Loftus was saying that the Bruins could use a tighter defense. Harris looks at a few Bruins who have Olympic hopes for their home countries.

Burrell’s notebook reports that despite an injury to his eye, Captain Joe Thornton doesn’t want to wear a visor or face shield on his helmet. Harris’ notebook looks at the Bruins first experience with the new overtime shootout format. Hickling’s notebook looks at the many connections between the Bruins and Maple Leafs rosters.

Michael Felger looks at Bills safety Lawyer Milloy who patrolled the secondary so well for the Patriots for many years, and is now with Buffalo. Felger writes that Milloy isn’t the player he once was, and the Patriots don’t need him on the field, but they sure could use his mouth and some of his attitude. With the help of a player agent, Mike Reiss assesses the value of several members of the Patriots relative to their contracts. He breaks them out into Value Plus, Value and Value Minus categories. Alan Greenberg says that the Patriots biggest goal coming out of the bye week is to improve the defense. Jonathan Comey asserts that the AFC East (and a playoff berth) is there for the taking for the Patriots. Michael Parente agrees that the AFC East is the Patriots to lose, and that there is no panic or reason for panic in the hallways of Foxboro. Karen Guregian looks at Richard Seymour, who is bugged by the Patriots 3-3 record, has vowed to be back out on the field for the Buffalo game, and is ready to get started. Bob Halloran says that Tedy Bruschi’s return is a matter of faith for all involved, critics, supporters and Bruschi himself.

Michael Silverman writes this morning that should things not work out between he and the Red Sox, Theo Epstein might not have to just go out and take another GM job in baseball. The Yale graduate has plenty of opportunities, connections and interests to make a successful career outside of the game. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says that the deal has to get done, and eventually win get done. Tony Massarotti has a brief report that the Red Sox have dismissed assistant trainer Chris Correnti.

Stan Grossfeld goes down to Greenville,South Carolina for his feature on native son Shoeless Joe Jackson. He talks to the locals and looks into whether Jackson really was guilty of being part of the plan to throw the 1919 World Series. Dan Shaughnessy looks at the World Series coming to Texas for the first time ever. Tony Massarotti looks at the White Sox having their share of good luck during this series. Chris Snow and Dom Amore look at tonight’s starter for the Astros, Roy Oswalt, who has the ability to be the stopper Houston needs right now. Massarotti also has a short piece on the stopper for the Astros. Jeff Jacobs examines the manic motormouth known as Ozzie Guillen. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Astros being upset that MLB is insisting that they leave their dome open for the next few nights as long as the weather is fair. Edes’ notebook and Horrigan’s notebook each have Brad Lidge hoping for a better performance his next time out.

Steve Bulpett reports that the Celtics will probably not pick up the fourth year option on Marcus Banks, which would make the UNLV product a free agent after this season. Shalize Manza Young has a look at rookie Gerald Green, who has a lot of work and maturing to do before his time comes on the court. The youngster has worlds of potential and talent, but has a ways to go still. The older guards are working him hard in practice, teaching him lessons for the future. Mike Fine, meanwhile has a piece on Orien Greene, as the second round draft pick continues to make a name for himself in the preseason. Shira Springer looks at Brian Scalabrine, as the forward continues to attempt to carve out a role for himself on this club. Bulpett documents some allegations made against center Mark Blount in a NY court room yesterday. The person involved was a former coach of Blount, who testified that someone else took Blount’s SAT and later injected him with steroids to bulk him up. This same person had sued Blount back in 2001.

Bill Reynolds has a piece on former Providence College and Boston Celtics player Marty Conlon. Young’s notebook has coach Doc Rivers standing in support of Tony Allen and hoping that the second year forward will finally learn from his mistakes off the court. Bulpett’s notebook has more on the ups and downs of Gerald Green during camp.

John Molori’s Media Blitz has Mike Gorman talking about the upcoming Celtics season, and also talks to Jon Wallach, who is strongly pushing to become the permanent host for the WEEI evenings. John Howell looks at Donny Marshall joining the FSNE Celtics broadcasts. Bill Griffith looks at the BC Eagles getting showcased this Thursday night with a national TV game on ESPN against Virginia Tech.

FSN has Celtics/Nets at 7:30. FOX has White Sox/Astros at 8:40. OLN has Penguins/Panthers at 7:30.

Big Week Ahead for Patriots

The Patriots enjoyed the weekend off knowing that they have the toughest part of their schedule now behind them. At 3-3, they’re in first place in the AFC East, thanks to the weakness of the division. Michael Felger writes this morning that if the Patriots want to have a chance of returning to the postseason, they’ve got to take advantage of this weak division, starting this Sunday against Buffalo. Jerome Solomon takes a peek at the upcoming schedule, noting that it is now time to turn it for the Patriots should they wish to regain their place of prominence in the league. In many ways, the season begins now for the Patriots.

A few articles from yesterday worth looking at: John Tomase had a feature on Patriots QB coach Josh McDaniels, who many believe is the offensive coordinator in training for the Super Bowl champs. Amalie Benjamin had a look at linebacker/safety Don Davis, who battled back from a low point in 1998 when he nearly ended his own life, to his current position on the Patriots, where he is just as important in the lockerroom as he is on the field. Tom E Curran caught up with former Patriot cornerback Ty Law, now with the Jets, and got his thoughts on many topics, including of course, his departure from the Patriots. Joan Vennochi wrote that Tedy Bruschi might be rolling the dice with his comeback, and giving up the change to end his career on top. Someone should inform Ms. Vennochi that it wasn’t really the talk show callers that were calling Bruschi selfish, it was the highly paid, supposedly informed talk show hosts.

Gordon Edes and Jeff Horrigan report on the White Sox winning game two of the World Series on a walk off home run from Scott Podsednik. Dan Shaughnessy and Steve Buckley (subscription only) both anoint the White Sox as this year’s team of destiny. Chris Snow looks at Brad Lidge again playing the fall guy for the Astros in giving up the game winning homer last night. Horrigan looks at the White Sox continuing to get the breaks. Snow also has a look at Bobby Jenks as the 24 year old rookie is right in the middle of things here in the World Series. Horrigan says that the Astros still hold out hope that Roger Clemens could go in a possible game five. Edes’ notebook has more on Clemens, while Horrigan’s notebook looks at Andy Pettitte making history with his 34th postseason start.

Bob Hohler continues his series on Charity and Sports in Boston, today looking at the Celtics and Bruins efforts to match up with the standards set by the Red Sox and Patriots when it comes to supporting charities. Hohler also looks at how the 2002 sale of the Red Sox was a boon for local charities. Yesterday’s piece by Hohler entitled “Not Giving Their All” suggested that some athletes do not give as much to charity as they either say they will or suggest that they do. He singled out Pedro Martinez and Manny Ramirez as two guilty of this. Hohler noted that Martinez has been “fabulously generous with his personal wealth in his Dominican homeland,” but didn’t hand out as much to the children of Boston as he had promised. Another piece looked at several Boston athletes who have stepped up, including Doug Flutie, Curt Schilling, Mo Vaughn, Cam Neely and Tim Wakefield.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Roger Clemens should end his career where he began it. That’s Lenny Megliola’s theme this morning, and to me it makes zero sense. Clemens is playing near his home, his son is in the Astros organization, there is no way or reason he would come back North. I guess it’s just fun to dream about.

Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett each look at rookie point guard Orien Green, who has been turning heads in camp and the preseason with his heady play, strong defense and crisp passing. If you missed his second quarter fast break bounce pass to Al Jefferson Saturday night against the Nets, you missed something special. Bulpett also looks at Brian Scalabrine as the new Celtics forward continues to find a role for himself with the team Bulpett’s notebook looks at Justin Reed losing playing time on Saturday night because of a wardrobe malfunction. More to the point, he didn’t have his complete wardrobe on, lacking a game jersey. Zach Rocha is looking ahead to the Beijing Olympics, and already his team put together.

From yesterday, Shira Springer has Tony Allen talking about his arrest and situation for the first time. Bulpett also looked at Allen rejoining the team after his arrest. Peter May had his NBA notes, with a look at Allan Houston’s retirement, and suggesting that if Danny Ainge wants to take another run at Robert Swift, now might be a good time. Bill Reynolds weighed in on the NBA dress code.

Stephen Harris looks at the Bruins’ plans to exit the Northeast division cellar. Hohler looks at the Bruins plans to refurbish a rink in Roxbury, a plan that has yet to received state approval for the Bruins charitable foundation to begin the work. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has Brad Boyes hoping to make some noise against his home town Maple Leafs tonight. Harris’ notebook reports that Mike Sullivan and Ray Bourque have been unable to catch up to be able to talk about Bourque’s possible new role with the organization.

Jim Donaldson has a Monday morning thoughts column, leading off by noting that the day off yesterday certainly came at a good time for the Patriots.

Mike Shalin and Michael Vega each have an early look at the BC basketball team, which begins its first ACC season projected by many to finish second in the conference behind Duke. A big key for the Eagles will be whether Sophomore center Sean Williams is able to return from school suspension in time for play.

Check out the New York Sports News and Bay Area Sports pages for NFL results, World Series coverage and many other topics from the world of sports.

From the weekend, David Scott reported on the depature of long time staffer Marvin Pave from the Globe sports pages.

NESN has Bruins/Maple Leafs at 7:00. ABC has Jets/Falcons at 9:00. OLN has Red Wings/Blue Jackets at 7:00

Simmons on Boston Media Reaction to Bruschi

Bill Simmons has his NFL picks for the week, but also weighs in on how certain members of the Boston sports media are handling the Tedy Bruschi comeback:

Finally, when the Patriots announced that Tedy Bruschi was returning this week, we reached a new low in the "I don't make sports fun for fans to follow, so I'm going to play the contrarian role and just tick them off" game that has haunted the Boston sports scene for the last few years: Some media members tried to claim that Bruschi was being selfish for coming back, causing such a "major" distraction and even jeopardizing his family's future. Selfish? For being cleared medically by every doctor he had, then deciding to resume his football career? That's selfish? Also, who are they to decide what's best for Bruschi and his family?

On FSN's local TV show in Boston, I watched one of these contrarians smugly making the selfish argument with the incredulous hosts for a few minutes, followed by the guy shrugging his shoulders and saying, "Hey, you pay for me my opinion." I have this on TiVo -- even saved it. And you wonder why the sports fans in New England are crazy -- if Boston fans are like passengers on an airplane who are afraid to fly, some of these media members are like stewardesses who just walk up and down the cabin screaming, "We're all gonna die! We're all gonna die!" Then they return to their little flight attendant area, high-five each other and wait for the checks to clear. What a travesty.

Pats Break for Bye

(updated 9:50 am)

Bob Ryan is again the voice of reason on the local scene, this time in assessing the Patriots. Perhaps you might be disappointed, or frustrated at the 3-3 start. Don’t be. Ryan assures us that this is not a disaster, and that there is time for Bill Belichick and the team to turn this around. John Tomase notes that the Patriots defense isn’t a scary physically as it has been the last couple seasons, and could use a little more punch. Alan Greenberg says that Tyrone Poole isn’t walking through that door anytime soon, fans. The Patriots cornerback said that he had a “setback” in his recovery from an ankle injury. However, when asked about it yesterday on ESPN Radio Boston 890, Coach Bill Belichick didn’t really want to label it that way, as reported by Mike Reiss. The interview by the way, was quite good overall. Michael Felger has a look at Poole, who insists that he’s not frustrated at how long its taking him to come back, simply because football is not his life. As Felger notes, that might be the problem right there…

Jerome Solomon looks at the Patriots offense, which despite being the same system as in years past, has been inconsistent at times this year, leading him to wonder if there is an adjustment period going on with the loss of Charlie Weis. Kevin McNamara reports that it could be a rough bye weekend for Jarvis Green, who is going home to New Orleans to examine the damage on a first hand basis for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. Chris Kennedy looks at how Duane Starks is holding up during this rough time in his career. Ian M Clark has a look at how the Patriots rookie class is faring thus far this season. Michael Parente has Bill Belichick reminding all that everyone, all the coaches, and players are responsible for the 3-3 start to the season, and if they’re going to turn it around, it will be together as well. Eric McHugh says that a healthy Tedy Bruschi and Richard Seymour would certainly go a long way towards shoring up the defense. Christopher Price looks at how various members of the team stand as we hit the bye week, and what some of them will be doing this weekend.

Cold Hard Football Facts hits the nail on the head with the media coverage this week and last regarding Tedy Bruschi’s return to the Patriots. Many of these so-called “experts” are in no position to comment on the situation and tell Bruschi that he should not resume his football career. Especially worthy of the disgust of fans are people like Joh Dennis, Jon Meterparel and Brian Baldinger, who insist that Bruschi is simply returning out of selfish ego. As one media figure/observer told me this week after seeing Meterparel on FSN Monday night; “That was the single dumbest argument I have ever heard on a radio or TV show – we are turning into a media culture where it’s almost good for your career to go out and say the dumbest thing possible because it keeps you in the limelight for a couple of days.”

Solomon’s notebook says that Tedy Bruschi is playing catch-up with the rest of his teammates as he continues to get ready for his return to game action. Karen Guregian’s notebook says that the Pats aren’t rushing Bruschi into contact situations just yet. McNamara’s notebook has a look at Arturo Freeman hoping to make an impact in the Patriots secondary. Parente’s notebook has more on Poole, whose status appears will remain in limbo for some time to come. McHugh’s notebook has another look at Starks, who vows to overcome his rough start with the Patriots.

Jim Lazar and Jim McCabe make their weekly picks for the Herald and Globe respectively. I.M. Bettor and Double D also weigh in on the pro action this weekend. On the fantasy football end, Patrick Hanrahan has some advice this week, and Michael Salfino also weighs in with some counsel. The Globe tells us Who’s Hot and who’s not.

The Bruins finally got to play a game at the Garden last night, but the home ice didn’t give them an edge, as they fell to the Sabres 4-3. Jim McCabe has Bruins coach Mike Sullivan saying that his team is giving up too many chances to the opposition. Douglas Flynn says that the extra games against division opponents isn’t working out so well for the Bruins thus far. Mick Colageo confirms this, noting that the loss was the Bruins fifth in five division games thus far. Joe McDonald notes that the effort was there for the Bruins, they just failed in the details. Mick Colageo confirms this, noting that the loss was the Bruins fifth in five division games thus far. Steve Conroy says that Nick Boynton is still adjusting to the new NHL rules. Flynn reports that Ray Bourque’s deal with the Bruins to become a part-time assistant coach is all but finalized at this point. Conroy looks at P.J. Axelsson, one of the Bruins who appears to have benefited from the new rules. Flynn also looks at Holliston native Mike Grier playing in front of his home crowd last night.

McCabe’s notebook looks at Joe Thornton’s return to the lineup last night. The Captain tallied six shots in his return from back problems. Flynn’s notebook also reports on the return of Jumbo Joe, while McDonald’s notebook has more on Ray Bourque re-joining the Bruins.

Michael Silverman reports that tales of possible Manny trades this offseason may have life yet. Meanwhile, it appears that one season in Boston was enough for David Wells, according to Gordon Edes’s notebook, the lefty has requested a trade to the West coast. The team is expected to try and accommodate his wishes. The notebook also reports on the Theo Epstein contract talks and Manny trade talk. Gordon Edes gives us just the facts in looking at this World Series matchup. Dom Amore notes that both clubs have rather forgettable pasts. Chris Snow looks at the Astros pitching, which is a big reason why they find themselves in the Series. Silverman goes down through the Series Matchups for the clubs. Brendan McGair looks at the Houston trainer, a New England native with a history in the game.

Steve Bulpett reports that Tony Allen will be facing charges for his role in a Chicago nightclub incident in August. Roman Modrowski in the Chicago Sun Times has more, noting that Allen will be charged with a felony. In better news, Scott Souza reports on Al Jefferson getting back out on the court at practice yesterday. Mike Fine has more on the NBA dress code. Bulpett’s notebook has more on Jefferson, while Fine’s notebook looks at Doc Rivers trying to find consistency out of his young bench.

David Scott has more on Howard Bryant’s seemingly imminent departure from the Herald. He also checks out Bill Belichick’s appearance on 890 AM with Mike Felger and has a number of other items. Bill Griffith looks at how Hurricane Wilma is impacting sports coverage this weekend, breaks down some of the latest WEEI ratings numbers, and notes that the reason the Celtics preaseason games haven’t been on the radio is because officials made the assumption that the Red Sox would still be playing at least into this week. John Howell looks at UConn football broadcasts, and looks ahead to 60 Minutes on Sunday which will feature Michael Jordan and his gambling. Michael Cox in the MetroWest Daily News has a feature on Craig Mustard, who plays the dual roles of High School Teacher and Sports Talk Radio Host.

Still not enough sports? Check out the New York Sports News and Bay Area Sports pages for more reports and commentary.

FSN has Celtics/Raptors at 7:00. ESPN has Southern Miss/UAB at 8:00.

Bruschi on the Field

Tedy Bruschi was back out on the practice field yesterday, going through a full workout with his Patriots teammates. Karen Guregian reports on the part of practice that the media was allowed to see, observing that it seemed to be full steam ahead for the Patriots linebacker. Kevin McNamara says that while the workout was a success, it actually revealed little, as the team only engaged in light hitting out on the field. Alan Greenberg notes that Bruschi was relieved to get that first practice session under his belt, and feels confident that he made most of the right reads on the defense during the practice. Jerome Solomon notes Bruschi trying to get some contact out of non-contact drills. Chris Kennedy observes that the day was as much about the huge playoff like media contingent around Foxboro as it was about Bruschi, who they all came to see. Dan Pires says so much for the bye week being a week of rest and reduced activity. Michael Parente says that Bruschi is being welcomed back by a defense that needs his big play ability. Albert Breer lists out five ways in which Bruschi can have an impact on the Patriots defense.

Ron Borges teased his article for today while on WWZN yesterday, snidely promising a tale of a guy who was in the same situation as Bruschi, and things didn’t work out quite so well for him. It continued a bi-polar week for Borges, who seemingly has jumped to each side of the issue on each day this week. The piece is on Brian Mullen, brother of Joey, who played for the Islanders in the early 90’s, and suffered a minor stroke in August of ’93. He attempted to come back in March of 1994 after being cleared by all doctors, and went through practice with the club. Afterwards, he suffered a seizure. He never played in the league again. (Though he believes he could have, and wishes he did.) Karen Guregian has a shorter second piece on Bruschi, who said yesterday that part of his comeback will be to raise awareness for stroke victims. Bruschi wasn’t the only Patriot returning to practice yesterday as Richard Seymour also was active, and is targeting the Buffalo game for his return. Eric McHugh has a good piece on the biggest disappointment with the Patriots thus far this season, how their depth and defense have failed get the job done. Christopher Price looks at the toughest ever opening schedule in the NFL finally coming to a close for the Patriots. Michael Felger looks at Duane Starks stepping up to face the critics over his recent play.

Solomon’s notebook has rookie Logan Mankins explaining what happened to get him ejected at the end of the first half of Sunday’s game. Guregian’s notebook reports on Guss Scott being finished for the year. McNamara’s notebook has Starks planning on turning himself around. Parente’s notebook has more on Starks standing up for himself after getting torched on Sunday. Pires’ notebook observes that there is still time for Starks to straighten himself out.

Mark me down as one caught by surprise that WEEI could spend a full 12 hours talking about the new NBA dress code yesterday. It got to the point that by 4:00, when Michael Felger’s show came on ESPN Radio Boston, callers were thanking him for not talking about that subject, and instead talking some real topics. Shira Springer has Paul Pierce disagreeing with the rule, noting that NBA players are not businessmen. Tim Weisberg says that the dress code is not too much to ask of millionaires. Shalise Manza Young reports on last night’s loss at the Garden, which can be pinned on the reserves not getting the job done. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics’s need to get their bench and point guard spots figured out. Mike Fine looks at Delonte West, of whom it seems to be constantly said “He has a high basketball IQ”. Mark Murphy looks at the two top sixth men in the league last year apparently moving into starting roles this seaon. Paul Doyle has a look at one of those players, former UConn star Ben Gordon. Bulpett has the Celtics players and brass appreciative that they are once again playing in the Garden.

Shira Springer notes that there is a steep learning curve ahead for first round pick Gerald Green, who needs a lot of work before he’s going to see the type of playing time that Al Jefferson and Tony got last year. Bulpett’s notebook has more on Paul Pierce’s unhappiness with the dress code. Young’s notebook has more on that topic. While Bulpett’s notebook reports that Tony Allen went to Chicago last night to talk to the police about the shooting involving a member of his entourage in August, the Chicago Sun Times reports that Allen was arrested by Chicago police last night.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Joe McDonald each report that Joe Thornton could be back in the Bruins lineup as early as tonight when the Bruins play the Sabres at the Garden. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins are in a bit of an identity crisis as they seek a defining personality and style. Bill Griffith reports that some Bruins fans had a hard time finding Tuesday night’s game on OLN.

You won’t have Dale Sveum to kick around any more. The third base coach of the Red Sox left the team yesterday to accept the same job with the Milwaukee Brewers. Chris Snow says that the reason for Sveum’s departure was not the heat he took for his performance, but wanting to be with a team that trained in Arizona so he could spend extra time with his family. Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox won’t just be replacing Sveum this offseason, first base coach Lynn Jones has been demoted to the minors and will also be replaced.Sean McAdam and David Heuschkel also look at the depature of Sveum. Heuschkel also included this bit at the end of his report:

Epstein expected to sign: The Red Sox are expected to sign general manager Theo Epstein to a contract extension in the next week. His current deal expires Oct. 31.

Snow also reports on the Astros going to their first ever World Series with a 5-1 win over the Cardinals last night. Gordon Edes looks at White Sox GM Kenny Williams, who made all the right moves this season in getting his team to the World Series. Buddy Thomas has tears of joy over his White Sox.

Jim McCabe weighs in on the Michael Bamberger/Michelle Wie disqualification story, and claims it should never have become the huge story that it has.

Check the New York Sports News and Bay Area Sports pages for reports and columns from other parts of the country.

NESN has Bruins/Sabres at 7:00. ESPN has Virginia Tech/Maryland at 7:30.

Bruins Fall to the Habs

The Bruins get top billing in this morning’s links, but unfortunately, not for a win. After leading much of the night, the Bruins lost the lead and the game in the third period, falling to the Canadiens, 4-3. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has coach Mike Sullivan saying that his team was outworked and didn’t deserve to win last night. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins once again provided wonderful entertainment for the Montreal fans. Mike Loftus has a look at Brad Isbister, one of the first Bruins acquired this offseason. Harris has a short piece on Nick Boynton’s efforts to get up to speed after his holdout. Hubie McDonough in the Union Leader writes that the new rules implemented by the NHL and AHL are working out quite well thus far. Joe McDonald looks at Rhode Island native Joe Capuano, who is back in the league as an assistant with the Islanders. Burrell’s notebook reports on the possibility of Ray Bourque joining the Bruins as a consultant, not as an assistant coach. Harris’s notebook looks at Brian Leetch becoming only the seventh defenseman to reach 1000 points in a career. Loftus’ notebook has more on Boynton working his way into shape.

Both Michael Felger and Nick Cafardo look at the Patriots offseason moves from this year, noting that most of them have not worked out as well as some off-seasons of the past. Jim Donaldson tries to examine whether the Patriots glass is half empty or half full. Eric McHugh has more on Tedy Bruschi, who aims to play in the Patriots next game, October 30th against Buffalo. Cafardo’s notebook examines whether the Patriots will try to get Bruschi to sign a waiver, looks at the AFC East and what’s wrong with the defense.

Lenny Megliola looks at the point guard possibilities for the Celtics, noting that the votes are still being tabulated to determine the winner of this competition. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics have no problem with the new dress code edict handed down by David Stern this week. Peter May reports on the slow recovery of Al Jefferson, whose absence has been the “one indisputable downer of Celtics training camp”. Bulpett tabs Delonte West as the early favorite to be the starter at point guard. Mike Fine has a look at Justin Reed, who is always looking to help out others on the court and off. He studies his opponents carefully, looking at how he might be able to stop them. Elizabeth Gudrais reports on Bob Cousy speaking at the University of Rhode Island last night, and lamenting the loss of gentility and lack of humility in sports. Fine also has a piece on Marcus Banks and what his absence means for the club. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Brian Scalabrine, trying too hard to fit in with his new club.

Jon Couture says that Theo Epstein is caught in a numbers game with the Red Sox. Chris Snow looks at the Astros efforts to reach that World Series that has eluded the franchise. Snow’s notebook looks at David Eckstein.

Stan Grossfeld looks at an Ohio High School football player who gets out and around on the field despite not having legs. Bobby Martin was also featured in Sports Illustrated recently.

The New York Sports News page has the word that Joe Torre will be returning to the Yankees next season. The Bay Area Sports page has a number of stories of interest, a couple articles on Tedy Bruschi, word of Victor Conte heading to prison for a short sentence and long time A’s radio man Bill King passing way.

David Scott reports on Rob Bradford moving from the Lowell Sun over to the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune to fill the spot vacated by John Tomase. John Molori looks at NECN revamping the weekend edition of Sports Late Night with Mike Giardi.

I’ve updated some of the links in the sections to the left. If you click on the “New England Media Outlets” header, the dropdown now also contains a list of blogs run by mainstream media (MSM) outlets. The list is growing seemingly by the day.

Check below for some quotes from last night’s “Chronicle” on WCVB which profiled Sports Radio WEEI.

FSN has Celtics/Bulls at 7:30. FOX has Astros/Cardinals game 6 at 8:00.

Excerpts from “Chronicle”

“Chronicle” on WCVB channel 5 this evening hosted by Anthony Everett focused on the powerhouse that is Sports Radio 850 WEEI. Here are some quotes and excerpts from the show:

Gerry Callahan on whether he gets told from listeners to stop talking politics:

I get that all the time, but its just from liberals who say stop talking politics. They don’t want me to stop talking politics, they want me to stop talking the politics they disagree with.

Callahan on callers:

“Mere props” and “They’re there to be used and abused and bent and spindled and mutilated.” (to entertain the rest of the listening audience.)

GM Julie Kahn on lessons learned from the Metco incident:

“We learned to give our talent training. And we learned also to support the staff in that they have so much original content to put out, and there is no dead air time, and oftentimes people make mistakes, and all we can do is train people to know what is in good taste and what is acceptable and what is the community standard tolerance.”

Dale Arnold on the job:

“Rule of thumb is for every hour you’re on the air, you spend an hour preparing. And it’s a lot more than that. We’ve got to watch every game, and I’m not trying to make this sound like woe is me, I like watching games, but I’m watching five games at a time. And I’m reading four sports sections before I go on the air, and I’m on the internet reading 18 others from all around the country.”

Is his job “heavy lifting”?

“My Dad worked his rear end off his whole life to make sure us five kids had shoes and clothes and food and a roof over our heads. I’m not going to pretend this is hard work, cause it isn’t. But it takes…there’s more to it than people understand.”

Glenn Ordway on he and the station being nominated for a Marconi:

“What our success and what we’ve done here in Boston is far more well known in the industry outside of Boston. But I’m not sure the fan base totally understands it, and I’m not expecting them to totally understand it as long as they listen and apparently they’re listening and they’re listening in big numbers.”

Program Director Jason Wolfe on whether ESPN Radio or anyone else can challenge them:

“In our case this past year we were number one 9 out of 10 books in our core demographic, including four in a row with our secondary demographic adults 25-54. We were named sports station of the year for the second year in a row. In our case we feel like we own the sports format, its been proven that way over the 15 years we’ve been on the air, 14 years we’ve been on the air and we think our philosophy works.”

Also featured was “Angry Bill” Paul Costine, on his style:

I’m an old time baseball guy I guess. It BOTHERS ME when a guy doesn’t run it out when he’s making 20 Mill. I mean I’d get down fast if I was making 20 Mill. Those paychecks alone. I’d be down there in THREE SECONDS.”

On manager moves he doesn’t agree with:

“Is he doing it to irritate me? I take it personal”.

Tedy’s Back

He’s back. Linebacker Tedy Bruschi stepped before the cameras, microphones and notebooks yesterday to talk publicly about his situation and comeback. He confirmed that he will be out on the practice field tomorrow, and that he has done his everything possible to ensure that this is the correct decision. Accounts from the media session are filed by Chris Kennedy, Fluto Shinzawa, Dan Ventura, Paul Kenyon and Christopher Price. The medical risks in this situation are low, reports Scott Allen in the Globe, who notes that a full stroke recovery is not an uncommon occurrence especially for a minor stroke, which is what Bruschi suffered. Jon Brodkin also reports that because the doctors repaired the hole in his heart, Bruschi’s stroke risk should be the same as everyone else’s.

The columnists weigh in as well, with Ron Borges making the case that the Patriots organization really had no choice but to accept Bruschi back regardless of any fears that they might have. Jim Donaldson says that Bruschi understands and appreciates the concern of the fans over his well being. Lenny Megliola notes that Bruschi is entering a brave new world here. Injuries are common in the NFL. Strokes aren’t. Unlike his radio partners John Dennis and Jon Meterparel, Gerry Callahan (subscription only) doesn’t think that this is a “selfish” decision by Bruschi, it’s decision made because NFL players are tied to the game in a fashion that you and I cannot fathom. Dennis and Meterparel have disgraced themselves with their comments and accusations towards Bruschi, their claims that this is a selfish decision and one that is all about Tedy. Meterparel was on FSN last night furthering this viewpoint, and when pressed on it, stated “I get paid to give my opinion”. If only it really were your personal opinion, Jon. It’s obvious that for those two people it’s only about being a contrarian and taking the unpopular stand. Steve Buckley (subscription only) states that those who feel Bruschi should have just called it a career are certainly within their rights. He feels it’s Bruschi’s choice. I agree with that. If people are concerned with Bruschi’s health then they have a right to say what they feel. When they start vociferously calling Bruschi selfish, I have a problem. Dan Pires notes that Bruschi’s comeback speech was vintage Tedy. Dan Ventura says that the woes of the team were not a factor in Bruschi’s return.

Michael Felger has his Patriots Report Card, with several positions on the roster receiving “D” and “F” marks after the performance in Denver. Steve Grogan also has his grades on Patsfans.com. Jerome Solomon notes that many of the Patriots problems can be traced to a substandard defense. Tom E Curran states that the next 12 days will in a large part determine what the rest of the Patriots season is going to look like. Alan Greenberg says that the bye week will give the Patriots a chance to get their house in order for the stretch run. Jonathan Comey says that there is still time for a Super Bowl run, but he pinpoints five things that need to happen for that possibility to be realized.

The BSMW Game Day Rear View is up and ready for your perusal. Albert Breer looks at Tom Brady’s efforts on Sunday to bring about a miracle comeback. Bill Reynolds has a peek at the new David Halberstam on Bill Belichick “The education of a coach”, which can be pre-ordered through the link at the end of this post. Breer’s notebook looks at some disturbing patterns with the Patriots, while Kenyon’s notebook says not to expect any moves before tomorrow’s trade deadline.

As first reported last night by Jeff Goodman on FoxSports, Marcus Banks will miss at least six weeks due to a stress fracture in his left tibia. Peter May and Steve Bulpett have more on this blow to the third year point guard. Shalise Manza Young has a report on Kendrick Perkins, who aims to become a rebounding and defensive force, and to help with that aim, the third year center has dropped 53 lbs since coming into the league and lowered his body fat from 24 to 11. Bulpett says Doc Rivers wasn’t happy with the film he reviewed of the team’s play on Saturday night in Chicago. May’s notebook looks at David Stern’s new edict on what players are to wear when in public representing the league. Bulpett’s notebook looks at whether we’ll be seeing more of Ricky Davis at the point guard position. Young’s notebook has more on the injury to Banks.

Stephen Harris looks at the Bruins putting in some work on the transition game at practice. Check out the BSMW Boston Bruins Blog Power Play for some round table thoughts from the crew on the first half dozen games of the season for the Bruins. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports that Jiri Slegr will sit out of tonight’s game against the Canadiens due to a sore back. Harris’ notebook reports that the Senators player who kicked Hal Gill on Saturday night will be suspended for five games.

Chris Snow and Michael Silverman report on Trot Nixon undergoing surgery on his left knee. Gordon Edes looks at the White Sox looking to erase history and finish what they started.

Bill Griffith has a look at Hazel Mae, and does a little follow-up to John Molori’s column from last week on the NESN personality. The interview with Molori caused a buzz at NESN headquarters and prompted a meeting with Mae, after which NESN President Sean McGrail stated: ”I’m comfortable that [the interview] doesn’t reflect her core beliefs and values.” Dom Amore wonders if the White Sox in the World Series is going to have as much of a impact for FOX as having the Red Sox did last year. If you missed it yesterday, check out David Scott’s report on the possibility of Howard Bryant leaving the Herald to be the beat writer covering the Redskins for the Washington Post.

Nationally, check out the New York Sports News and Bay Area Sports page for news and headlines around the country.

OLN has Bruins/Canadiens at 7:30.

Does Duane Starks Still Have a Job?

Breaking News:(4:30 PM) David Scott reports that Howard Bryant could be leaving the Boston Herald to join the Washington Post as beat writer covering the Redskins.

The Patriots dug themselves into too deep of a hole in the second quarter yesterday in Denver, and while they made a spirited second-half comeback, it was in the end too much to overcome as they fell to the Broncos 28-20.

You can check the headlines and links on the Patriots Daily Links page.

It’s a crazy Monday here, so we’ll have to forgo the usual exhaustive links. I know this upsets some of you, who let me know your feelings via email, but until BSMW is a full time venture, occasionally there are going to be days in which it’s relegated to second place in favor of things like…my job.

Here’s some other links so you don’t feel your trip here is totally wasted. We had updates on both the Full Court Press (Celtics) and Power Play (Bruins) blogs this weekend, be sure to check them out, I think they’re coming along very nicely.

John Molori’s Media Blitz looks at Bill Romanowski’s interview on 60 Minutes last night.

Chad Finn looks at the End of the Idiots.

More Bruschi Rumblings

Steve Burton (page was down earlier) on CBS4 last night reported that sources indicate to him that Tedy Bruschi will be returning to practice with the Patriots, as early as next week, and based on how that goes, it will be determined if he’s going to return to game action. Burton says he can “guarantee” that Bruschi will be on the practice field in the next three weeks. Karen Guregian’s notebook reports on the report, adding that Robert Kraft and his lawyer might throw up a few more obstacles in Bruschi’s path, so his return is anything but a given at this point. Alan Greenberg has more on the story, noting that when asked directly about coming back this season, the most telling sign was that Bruschi didn’t deny the possibility.

Jerome Solomon has a nice report on Bethel Johnson, who seems to have grown up quite a bit, is handling new duties on special teams, and even caught a 55 yard TD pass from Tom Brady last Sunday. Tom E Curran looks at Corey Dillon, who quietly went over the 10,000 rushing yard mark for his career last weekend, but who isn’t generally acknowledged as an All-Time great NFL running back. Karen Guregian writes about Tom Brady and the awe and respect his presence inspires in opponents for his clutch play. Michael Lazarus on FoxSports.com however, developed his own “Clutch Factor” formula, and ranks Brady 10th in that category among quarterbacks, behind guys like Peyton Manning, Drew Bledsoe and Mark Brunell. I’m thinking Lazarus might need to re-think his theories. Eric McHugh thinks you can make a strong case for Brady as league MVP thus far. Guregian also has a short report on Bill Belichick acknowledging Dillon’s reaching the rushing milestone last Sunday.

Check out Greg Doyle’s BSMW Gameday for a preview of Patriots/Broncos. Michael Parente reports on Arturo Freeman joining the Patriots to add depth to the secondary. Freeman has seen plenty of the Patriots, having spent five years playing against them with the Dolphins. Chris Kennedy has a look at Daniel Graham heading home to Denver this weekend. Dan Pires also looks at the homecoming for Graham and his breakout day on offense last week. He also has a few other Patriots notes. Ian M Clark also looks at a Mile High return for Graham. Get the stories on the game from out West in the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post. Both papers have plenty on BC product Bill Romanowski, who admitted yesterday that he used steroids while with the Broncos.

Solomon’s notebook has more on Freeman as the newest Patriot settles in. Curran’s notebook has more on Freeman who it out to prove that he still belongs in this league, and isn’t finished at the age of 28. He’ll play a little of both corner and safety with the Patriots. Kennedy’s notebook looks at the plethora of ex-Browns on the line for the Broncos. Parente’s notebook looks at the Patriots finally reaching the end of this grueling five game stretch. McHugh’s notebook has the Patriots looking to string together two wins in a row for the first time this season.

Jim Lazar and Jim McCabe make their NFL picks. Double D and I.M Bettor also offer up their selections for the week.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Steve Conroy each report on the Bruins 5-2 win over the Panthers last night for their third straight victory. The Bruins also finally came to terms with defenseman Nick Boynton yesterday, agreeing on a one year contract. Chris Collins of NECN had the news first, early in the AM yesterday. Kevin Paul Dupont says that the Bruins reluctance to pay Boynton now, could have an impact in the future, when the blueliner becomes and unrestricted free agent. Joe McDonald, Mick Colageo and Conroy also each report on the signing. Nick Tavares has greeting the return of hockey with open arms. Burrell’s notebook says that Boynton was the first to blink in the standoff with the Bruins. Conroy’s notebook reports on Joe Thornton’s progress with his back injury.

Ricky Davis is the man in the spotlight today for the Celtics as we’ve got no less than four articles on the swingman. We’ll lead off of course with the BSMW Full Court Press, where Mark admits to taking his time in coming around on this whole Ricky Davis as a Celtic thing. Peter May notes that Davis is taking a leadership role with the Celtics, something his former coaches would be aghast at. Mark Murphy has a more complete piece on Davis, who is feeling at home with the Celtics…even buying a home in the area…and becoming in many ways the face of he franchise. Shalise Manza Young notes that Davis just continues to prove all the critics wrong when it comes to his game and personality. Davis is so popular he’s even inspired a blog dedicated just to him, in the Get Buckets Brigade.

The Celtics play their second preseason game tonight up in Manchester, NH. The game will mark a homecoming of sorts for former NH schoolboy star Matt Bonner, who will be in with the Toronto Raptors. Kevin Gray has a report on Bonner. Scott Souza says that the first preseason game was something of a reality check for the young Celtics. Steve Bulpett reports that Al Jefferson will not resume practice until next week at the earliest. Young’s notebook looks at the Celtics getting some work in even on the day off on Wednesday. In mentioning that the rookies sung “Happy Birthday” to Paul Pierce yesterday, Young seems a little confused in naming who the rookies were last year. Perkins and Banks were already second year players last year. Bulpett’s notebook gets it right and reports on Gerald Green lighting things up in practice.

Tony Massarotti reports that the Sox are working on getting Mike Timlin re-signed, and says there is no progress in talks with Theo Epstein. Gordon Edes also says there is a “major money gap” between the Red Sox and their young GM.

Bob Ryan looks at heroes and villains from ” The Great Third Strike Controversy of 2005″. Nick Cafardo reports on the Astros evening the series with the Cardinals at a game apiece. Jeff Horrigan notes how the White Sox always seem to capitalize on mistakes by the other team. Horrigan also looks back at the complete game for Mark Buehrle. The Cardinals might be without Reggie Sanders, who has had several big hits for them in the playoffs thus far. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the injury to the outfielder. Ryan’s notebook looks at a couple of Angels who haven’t been pulling their weight on offense. Horrigan’s notebook reports that White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski has run into the “dropped strike” play before.

The big game on the college football scene this weekend is USC/Notre Dame. Mark Blaudschun notes that the swagger is back around the Golden Dome. Ken Davis calls this a Golden opportunity for Charlie Weis and the Fighting Irish. John Tucker wonders if this could be an upset for the ages in the making this weekend. Michael Vega looks at a change for BC in the kicking game. Rich Thompson looks at Jake Ottolini, who will be stepping in for Mathias Kiwanuka this weekend for BC against Wake Forest. Vega’s notebook has Kiwanuka definitely out for tomorrow. Blaudschun’s notebook has more on the epic drama in South Bend tomorrow.

Check out the New York Sports News and Bay Area Sports for more perspective on the national sports scene.

David Scott has his Friday edition of Scott’s Shots, looking at a variety of topics, while Bill Griffith looks at the many local subplots in this weekend’s USC/Notre Game matchup.

FSN has Celtics/Raptors at 7:00. FOX has White Sox/Angels at 8:30.