SporTView – Daytona 500 Weekend

We’re in probably the least eventful sports viewing weekend of the winter. (Though I haven’t looked, but next weekend could be worse.) I should probably rephrase that. There are several big “events” happening over the next few days, but the overall schedule is fairly sparse. Your viewing choices for the next few days essentially boil down to the Winter Olympics, College basketball and the Daytona 500. The NBA has their All Star game on Sunday night, and a couple of All Star Weekend events, but that’s all.

The Turin Winter Olympics continue this weekend, and Men’s Hockey will be among the events that are featured on the broadcasts the next few days. On the NBC Olympics Page, you can get an overview of events, and by clicking on the TV Listings tab, you can enter your zip code, choose your cable provider and get the listings for your area. I find the simple Olympics TV Listings on MSNBC easier to navigate and find what is on at a certain time. If you’re looking for what events from Turin are going to be shown in HD, as well as any sports events in HD, I highly recommend the HD Sports Guide webpage. It’s a great resource for any sports fan with an High Definition TV.

TNT has the NBA All Star game coverage for the weekend, with events each evening. The network even has provided a 25 page PDF All Star viewer’s guide that can be downloaded from their website.

The 48th annual Daytona 500 will be broadcast on NBC at 1:30 Sunday afternoon. Jeff Burton has the pole for the race, which will be shown in high definition for NBC’s final showing of the event before it moves exclusively to FOX next year under the terms of NASCAR’s new television contract. For more information on the Daytona 500, you can check out Nascar.com, ESPN’s Nascar Page, CNN/SI’s Racing Page, or the DIS Page.

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Picked Up Bits From the Week

WEEI announced this week that they will soon be broadcasting in the Western part of Massachusetts on newly acquired FM signal 105.5, which is currently WBEC. Dale Arnold announced the news Thursday morning, noting that he expects the Springfield station to convert to WEEI programming sometime in the next couple months.

Plenty of Roger Clemens talk this week on the radio and TV airwaves. It made for good talk show fodder during an otherwise slow sports talk week. My only question about Clemens’ possible return is whether the Herald will resurrect the sidebar feature The World According to Roger should #21 return to the hub.

Steve Burton Claims He Knows of Hockey Players Betting on Hockey

Last Sunday night on Sports Final, Steve Burton, after prompting from Bob Lobel, claimed to have knowledge of hockey players betting on hockey games. He didn’t elaborate further on the topic, but affirmed that he was certain of this information. It did not get followed up on, and while it was mentioned on the Dale & Holley show on Monday, it still wasn’t made too big an issue of. On Wednesday Glenn Ordway asked Burton to explain what happened, and Burton explained as follows:

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Shootout at the TD Corral

There will not be regular links tomorrow morning, as I am going to be out of town starting tonight, and not getting back until Tuesday morning. There will be a SporTView column tomorrow, with a look at the weekend’s events on television, Steve Burton’s claims about knowing about hockey players betting on hockey and a mini-interview with Borges. David Borges. That column should be up at 8:00 tomorrow morning.

Despite a career high 50 points from Paul Pierce, the Celtics still couldn’t pull things out in the end, and fell before LeBron James and Cleveland Cavaliers, 113-109 in a Double Overtime affair at the TD Banknorth Garden. James had 43 points of his own, making this a shootout for the ages. Shira Springer notes that despite the heroics of Pierce, this was the type of loss that has typified the season for the Celtics. Close, but just not enough in the end. Steve Bulpett says that this was still a night to savor for the undermanned and undersized Celtics. Shalise Manza Young also looks at the Celtics bowing before King James, despite the first 50 point game by a Celtic since Larry Bird. You can check out the coverage from Cleveland on the pages of the Plain Dealer.

Jackie MacMullan has a look at LeBron, who is still a work in progress, as was seen on the defensive end last night, where Pierce pretty much had his way with the youngster. She notes that if this is not the finished product of James, then just imagine what the finished product will look like. Lenny Megliola says that the things that LeBron has to work on make for a short list. Mark Murphy examines last night’s duel between the two All Star forwards, with Pierce pulling everything he had in his bag of tricks in the losing effort. Murphy also looks at how LeBron has carried the load for the Cavs with the injuries to his would-be running mate, Larry Hughes. There has been a lot of talk recently about what direction the Celtics are heading in. Bill Reynolds wrote the piece critical of Ainge the other day, and Mike Fine gives Ainge a chance to defend himself and give his side of story as to what he is building here in Boston.

The notebooks are all about Wally. Springer’s notebook looks at how Szczerbiak was able to get on the court and play through his discomfort last night. Young’s notebook says that the spirit was willing for Wally, but the flesh was weak and his shot was off. Bulpett’s notebook has Szczerbiak looking forward to the All Star break to rest his knee and get his family settled in Boston. Fine’s notebook has more on the forward’s transition to Boston while coping with the knee.

Michael Silverman looks at how the Red Sox and John Henry are dealing with being one of the few teams that have to concern themselves with revenue sharing and luxury tax issues. Henry says that he is not in baseball to make money, but is galled by the current arrangements which he feels are unfair. Silverman also looks at how Henry is involved with the club on a daily basis, and how he has been involved in the push to improve the TV broadcasts, making sure they are shown in true 1080i high definition. Chris Snow has a look at Kevin Youkilis, who is ready to start the season with the big club and stay with it, unlike previous seasons which saw him as a member of the Pawtucket shuttle. Mike Fine says you’re going to need a scorecard to keep up with all the changes on the Red Sox roster this winter. He’s got a position-by-position look at the roster as it stands now, and what possible positional battles remain.

You can get your Olympic coverage from the Globe Olympic Section, the Herald Olympic Section, as well as in the New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages.

NESN has Miami/Boston College at 7:00. TNT has Sixers/Bulls at 7:30 and Rockets/Suns at 10:00. ESPN2 has Tennessee/Georgia at 8:00 and San Diego State/UNLV at 10:00. ESPN has Marquette/Georgetown at 9:00. FSN has Arizona/Cal at 10:30.

Calm Before the Storm

Mike Reiss has an exhaustive mailbag to kick off the Patriots offseason. He looks ahead to free agency, including listing out some players that he thinks that the Patriots might be interested in. According to Reiss, the plan is to make the mailbag a monthly feature during the offseason, a nice development for Patriots fans. Albert Breer reports on Mass native Mike Sherman accepting an assistant coach position with the Houston Texans.

Gordon Edes takes an interesting look at the Red Sox this morning, with a number of topics explored. Does Curt Schilling have a chance of pitching 200 innings and winning 20 games? How do Coco Crisp and Josh Beckett compare to Johnny Damon and Roger Clemens at similar ages? How is the infield defense? The bullpen? Tony Massarotti says that with all the chaos in the Red Sox front office this offseason, we’re really going to have no idea who to blame if things fall apart. Joe McDonald has a look at Dustin Pedroia, who worked extra hard in the offseason to give himself the best shot possible at cracking the major league lineup this year. Chris Snow’s notebook looks at Mike Timlin getting the call to work out of the bullpen for the US in the World Baseball Classic. Michael Silverman’s notebook looks at the Lowell Spinners’ campaign to get sports teams across the country with the name Yankees to change their names.

Steve Bulpett reports on Wally Szczerbiak’s sore knee, which could keep him out of tonight’s game with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Shira Springer has more on the balky knee of Szczerbiak. Scott Souza looks at the Celtics again getting great shooting, and hoping that it translates into more wins. Bulpett’s notebook has Danny Ainge saying that he doesn’t anticipate any more trades before the trading deadline. He also speaks a little bit about why Marcus Banks and Ricky Davis were traded.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at Wayne Gretzky sticking to his story about not being involved in the NHL gambling scandal, despite being constantly asked about it. Mike Loftus has a look at Bruins coach Mike Sullivan settling into his role as US assistant coach.

You can get your Olympic coverage from the Globe Olympic Section, the Herald Olympic Section, as well as in the New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages.

Chad Finn weighs in on Roger Clemens, and promises more soon. Bill Simmons rates the NBA from worst to first.

FSN has Celtics/Cavs at 7:30. ESPN has Georgia Tech/North Carolina at 7:00 and Wizards/Mavs at 9:00. ESPN2 has Cincinnati/Syracuse at 7:30 and Oklahoma/Colorado at 9:30. NESN has Maine/Vermont at 7:00.

BU Reigns Again

Fluto Shinzawa and John Connolly report on Boston University winning their 27th Beanpot title with a 3-2 win over Boston College last night. Sophomore Peter MacArthur scored the winning goal for BU with 7:18 left in the third period, just a minute after BC had tied the game at 2. Tony Massarotti says that the outcome may have been predictable, but the Beanpot is still purely Boston, an event that cannot be missed. Jim McCabe looks at a woman with a unique tie to both BU and BC last night.

Rich Thompson reports that MacArthur called the goal before it happened. Frank Dell’Apa looks at BC’s Brian Boyle, who was key in the crucial sequence of the game last night. Bob Monahan has a piece on BU goalie John Curry. Shinzawa’s notebook has Boston University looking ahead to bigger things the rest of the season. Connolly’s notebook has BC coach Jerry York praising the BU squad as the best of the last five years.

Dan Ventura reports on the Boston College basketball team avoiding a trap and doing just enough to defeat lowly Stony Brook, 59-47 last night at Conte Forum. Mark Blaudschun says that this rescheduled game could’ve ended up disastrous, but BC managed to get the job done in the end. Lenny Megliola reports on the Eagles overcoming a sluggish start to defeat the now 4-19 Seawolves.

Gordon Edes talks with Trot Nixon about all the changes to the Red Sox roster this offseason. Nixon is sad to see some of his friends gone, but at the same time believes that the club filled its holes very nicely. Tony Massarotti chats with Terry Francona, who battled a number of health issues last season, but comes into his third year with the team with a renewed optimism and hope. He discusses Manny and David Wells, as well as Keith Foulke and Jonathan Papelbon. He also hopes to remain here beyond this season. Right now, he is in the last year of his contract, though the club has an option for next season. David Borges has a look at the 2006 class of the Red Sox Hall of Fame, which includes TV analyst Jerry Remy as well as Vern Stephens, Ellis Kinder, George Scott, Joe Morgan, Dick Williams and Dick Bresciani. Michael Silverman reports that David Wells will report for Spring Training and not be a disturbance, though he still hopes to be traded to the West coast. Barry Scanlon says that bringing Roger Clemens to Boston would be a bad move for the Red Sox, because all the perks they would have to allow him would cause problems with team chemistry.

Bill Reynolds takes apart Danny Ainge in his column today, saying that Ainge is simply a guy who loves to make trades and moves and is doing nothing to make the Celtics a better team. Instead, he is making them steadily worse, and headed nowhere. Rob Bradford thinks that perhaps the only way for the Celtics to get that number two star to put behind Paul Pierce and ahead of Wally Szczerbiak is to keep losing and get into the upper half of the draft lottery. The only problem is that from all accounts this is shaping up to be a weak draft. Steve Bulpett however, says that the Celtics are focused on making a run for the postseason, and find that learning to trust one another is their biggest challenge.

Mike Fine has a look at Ryan Gomes, who is making the most of the opportunity that he has received since the trade of Ricky Davis and Justin Reed – players who were ahead of him on the depth chart and taking minutes. In fact, the deal was made in part to free up minutes for Gomes as well, and he has responded. Shira Springer has more on Gomes, who has shown himself to be exceedingly thoughtful and well-spoken as well as a good example of what can happen when you make the most of practice time. Jim Fenton notes that the Celtics are starting to put their pieces together and form a unit that no longer looks totally confused on offense, as they did immediately following the trade with Minnesota. Fine’s notebook and Fenton’s notebook each look at Delonte West having a change of plans for All Star Weekend.

Mike Loftus says that the Olympic break came at the right time for the Bruins. Win Bates has more on the Bruins welcoming the timing of this down period of activity. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has Kevin Stevens angry at how the scope of the NHL Gambling ring is being portrayed. He says that it is only five or six players involved, but if you listen to the reports you would think there were hundreds involved. Kevin Paul Dupont says that Wayne Gretzky hasn’t been able to avoid the spotlight and questions about the scandal over in Turin. Karen Guregian has more on Gretzky being under fire in Turin.

Joe Sullivan of the Union Leader says goodbye after 33 years of writing for the newspaper.

Ron Borges and Robert Lee report on Peter Manfredo Jr. defeating Scott Pemberton in a super middleweight fight at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.

You can get your Olympic coverage from the Globe Olympic Section, the Herald Olympic Section, as well as in the New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages. Jim Fennell looks at Katia Pashkevich of the Russian woman’s hockey team, who also plays football for the Manchester Freedom in the Independent Women’s Football League. Jamie Hagerman of the US women’s hockey team has a diary in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune.

ESPN has Alabama/South Carolina at 7:00 and Michigan St/Iowa at 9:00. ESPN2 has St. Joseph’s/ Temple at 7:30. CN8 has Princeton/Penn at 8:00.

Digging Out

The Celtics rewarded those fans who made the trip in through the blizzard of ’06 with a 102-94 victory over the Orlando Magic at TD Banknorth Garden last evening. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest of victories, but it was the second in a row for the green after having dropped six straight previously. Steve Bulpett looks at Paul Pierce leading the way with another 30 point game, his 31 points last night was the fifth time in six games that the captain has gone for more than 30 points. Shira Springer looks at Doc Rivers keeping things simple for his team last night, with a shortened rotation and a cut play list. Shalise Manza Young looks at rookie forward Ryan Gomes being a key to victory as the Providence college product contributed 14 points and 9 rebounds (leading the team) in victory. Scott Souza has more on Gomes, who got big minutes for the second straight game and made the most of them. Mark Murphy also looks at Gomes, who despite being only 6-foot-7, is clearly more suited to play the power forward spot and showed that he can hold his own against bigger opponents.

Dan Shaughnessy fires off a quick column about the hardy souls who made the trip into Boston for the game last night, and takes the opportunity to reminisce about the blizzard of ’78. Tim Weisberg wonders if we’re seeing the last days of Paul Pierce in a Celtics uniform as published trade rumors persist surrounding the Celtics captain. You can get the Floridian perspective on last night’s game in the pages of the Orlando Sentinel. Murphy also takes a look at Delonte West, who will be heading to All Star Weekend after all, he will participate on the sophomore team of the rookie challenge after his college teammate Jameer Nelson went down with an injury. Springer’s notebook has more on West getting the call, as does Young’s notebook. For more on the snow, and the effect it had on players (and officials) getting to the game, Bulpett’s notebook has details.

Check Jobaloo.com for tips on landing that dream gig.

You will no doubt hear a lot about the Red Sox equipment truck leaving for Fort Myers today, probably moreso because of blizzard from yesterday. Tony Massarotti kicks off spring training with nine questions surrounding the team heading into the beginning of camp. He concludes that the Red Sox are just as capable of winning a championship as they are of missing the playoffs altogether. David Heuschkel also plays the question game, asking and answering five items surrounding the 2006 Red Sox. David Borges narrows his focus down to just three major issues surrounding the Red Sox to open spring training. Garry Brown notes that this edition of the Red Sox will be filled with new faces.

Rob Bradford says that if Roger Clemens does pitch for the Red Sox this season, it isn’t likely to be until after the July trading deadline. If you missed it yesterday, Gordon Edes had a nice feature on the Red Sox new centerfielder, Coco Crisp. Dom Amore has a look at the Yankees with their new centerfielder, Johnny Damon as they prepare for camp.

Mick Colageo looks at the Bruins as they break for the Olympics, standing at .500 after having traded their franchise player earlier in the season. Matt Kalman looks at what some of the Bruins are doing with their time off this week.

The snow made Jim Donaldson think of the Patriots and how some of the most vivid moments in their franchise history have taken place in snow. Lenny Megliola looks at a Boston sports bar in Naples, Florida. NH native Matt Bonner of the Toronto Raptors made his weekly visit with WTPL this weekend, and shared his thoughts on a variety of subjects, including gambling in professional sports. Boston Sports Review published their complete media poll results from their recently media edition. I would also be interested in learning the number of voters involved in that survey. Jeff Goodman notes that Al Skinner is just two wins away from becoming the winningest coach in Boston College history. The Inside Track reports that Jason Wolfe will be taking over as Vice President of Operations for WRKO beginning this week, in addition to his WEEI duties.

You can get your Olympic coverage from the Globe Olympic Section, the Herald Olympic Section, as well as in the New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages.

NESN has the Beanpot Championship at 8:00. ESPN has UConn/Villanova at 7:00 and Kansas/Oklahoma St at 9:00.

SporTView – Winter Olympics in Turin

The Winter Olympics open up this weekend, with the opening ceremonies airing tonight on NBC from 8:00 PM to Midnight.

NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol on WFAN yesterday afternoon promised that the ceremonies tonight would include a “rare appearance” by an instantly recognizable rock musician who is an “icon”. He also talked about opera star Luciano Pavarotti, who will perform, however Ebersol expressed some concern over the health of the 70-year-old Pavarotti, whom he described as alternating between a slow walk and using a walker.

I didn’t include the Olympics in the TV schedule to the right, but you can get your listings on the MSNBC Winter Olympics TV Schedule. If will likely be a challenge to follow everything, as events are spread across NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, USA and Universal HD.


Create polls and vote for free. dPolls.com

(If you’re using Firefox and the above question doesn’t scroll, the question is: Will you be reading local coverage of the winter Olympics?)

A few local links to check in with. (If you are reading the local coverage.) There is the Boston Globe and Boston Herald Turin Olympic pages. There is the Globe Olympic Blog, the ProJo Olympic Blog and the Hartford Courant Olympic page. On a national level there is the ESPN Olympic page.

The New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages also have Olympic coverage and other national stories.

Wondering what Universal HD is? Comcast announced that the network will be available through the end of February on channel 846:

Just in time for the Olympics, Comcast has added Universal HD to its extensive high-definition (HD) lineup through the end of February, delivering sports fans a front row seat to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy to cheer on New England natives and watch other US athletes as they go for the gold.

Beginning immediately, Comcast customers with at least the Digital Classic or Digital Sports package can tune into Universal HD on Channel 846 in HD format, a new television standard with a dramatically improved, highly-detailed picture, improved audio quality (including surround sound) and a wide-screen, theater-like display. This latest addition to Comcast

Bruins Settle For A Point. Again.

The Bruins had to once again settle for a single point in the standings last night as they fell to the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in overtime. Steve Conroy has the details of the Bruins with another “moral” victory, of which the Bruins are getting too many of lately, as opposed to the real kind. Jim McCabe has the game story for the Globe, as Brian Gionta scored the game winner in OT for the Devils after the Bruins had tied things up in the third period. Joe McDonald says that the Bruins will find themselves where they aimed to be as the Olympic break arrives – in playoff contention. Douglas Flynn notes that the Bruins now find themselves just one point out of the final playoff spot.

Mike Loftus has a look at new Bruin Brian Eklund, a Braintree native excited to be joining his hometown team. Marvin Pave has a look at Wayne Primeau, who scored the game tying goal in the third period against Martin Brodeur, and has produced much more than the Bruins could’ve expected when they acquired him as the third man in the Joe Thornton trade. Steve Buckley has Tim Thomas frustrated with how the game turned out for the Bruins and himself. McDonald says that the Bruins aren’t talking about the gambling scandal. McDonald’s notebook says that Tim Thomas’ continued strong play could prompt a trade of Andrew Raycroft. Conroy’s notebook looks at Hall Gill packing his bags for Turin. McCabe’s notebook has more on Gill joining the US Olympic Hockey team’s taxi squad.

Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett report on Paul Pierce being named to his fifth All Star team last night. Mike Fine says that the Celtics are remaining positive despite being mired in a six game losing streak.
Scott Souza has a look at Al Jefferson, who is determined to get back in the Celtics lineup as soon as possible. Michael Muldoon takes a look at the rash of injuries that have crippled the Celtics as of late, which has been the last thing this young team has needed. Bulpett’s notebook has more from Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson on their injuries, while Springer’s notebook has Doc Rivers pulling people out of the front office so that he can hold practice with enough bodies.

Nick Cafardo looks at the Red Sox silence over their reported courtship of Roger Clemens, and looks at the other possible landing spots for the Rocket. He says though that Boston is the best story line, and after all, we know that that is what is really important here. Jeff Horrigan talks to Red Sox manager Terry Francona about the WBC and about players on his roster who will be participating.

Ron Borges has his boxing notes, with Fernando Vargas obsessing over Oscar De La Hoya.

There’s plenty of Olympic coverage from the Boston Globe and Boston Herald Turin Olympic pages.

The New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages also have Olympic coverage and other national stories.

Check back this afternoon for Olympic coverage, media columns, TV listings and commentary from the week in Boston sports media.

Bruins Avoid Distraction

Despite the distraction of the NHL gambling scandal, in which one of their own was named, the Bruins went out on the road and defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1. Fluto Shinzawa and Steve Conroy have the game stories from the Steel city. Mike Loftus has a look at Tim Thomas, who has really helped turn the season around for the Bruins. Conroy has Travis Green and the Bruins being tight lipped about Green being named in the investigation. Bill Reynolds says that this scandal is coming at the worst possible time for the NHL. Shinzawa’s notebook has more on Green being named in the probe. Conroy’s notebook looks at Brian Leetch getting back into the lineup for the Bruins last night.

Steve Bulpett has Paul Pierce hoping that the Celtics can keep their core nucleus of himself, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, Al Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins together through the trade deadline and well beyond then. Shalise Manza Young reports on Kendrick Perkins colliding with Brian Scalabrine at practice yesterday and separating his shoulder. It is hoped that the injury isn’t too severe, but it seems likely that it will keep the third year big man sidelined until after the February 19th All Star game. Marvin Pave and Shira Springer also report on the injury to Perkins. Bulpett’s notebook has more on the injury as well as an update on Wally Szczerbiak’s knee and Gerald Green’s development.

Paul Doyle looks at the Red Sox ownership creating a new Fenway Park, little by little. Jeff Horrigan reports that this offseason’s projects are just about halfway complete, but are expected to be finished in time for the home opener. Joe McDonald also reports on the Fenway makeover. Steve Buckley approves of the alterations. Nick Cafardo reports on Red Sox pitching coach Dave Wallace being hospitalized with a hip infection that could keep him out of spring training and part of the regular season. Horrigan’s notebook looks at newly signed Red Sox shortstop Alex Gonzalez’s stellar performance in the Caribbean World Series.

Tom E Curran talks to Brad Blank, the agent for Patriots receiver David Givens, who says that the free agent to be would like to remain with the Patriots. Lenny Megliola says there is a decent chance that Doug Flutie could be back for another go-around with the Patriots.

Michael Vega and Mark Murphy report on freshman point guard Tyrese Rice leading Boston College to a 72-66 win over Wake Forest.

Kevin Paul Dupont has a profile on US Olympic Hockey coach Peter Laviolette. Bob Ryan takes a look at what some of the top stories for the US will be in these games. Get more Olympic coverage from the Boston Globe and Boston Herald Turin Olympic pages.

The New York Sports Pages are also filled with NHL gambling coverage and Olympic news.

NESN has Devils/Bruins at 7:00. TNT has Heat/Mavs at 8:00 and Bulls/Kings at 10:30. ESPN has Ohio St/Michigan at 7:00 and West Virginia/Pitt at 9:00. ESPN2 has St John’s/Georgetown at 9:00 and Cal State-Fullerton/Pacific at 11:00. FSN has UCLA/Washington St at 8:30 and Stanford/Cal at 10:30.

More Rocket Talk

Nick Cafardo has more on the Red Sox courting Roger Clemens, and says there is a shot of it happening. Jeff Horrigan however, says that it is more likely that Clemens just stays put in Houston, and that David Wells might end up being the only 40+ pitcher at Fenway this year. (I guess he only means starters, as Mike Timlin will turn 40 next month.) Rob Bradford examines Theo Epstein’s string of avoiding arbitration hearings with players, a streak that has continued through this offseason. Jim Donaldson thinks that the Red Sox lineup is pretty weak in spots and that the team hasn’t really improved over last season.

Stan Grossfeld has a feature in the Globe examining whether new construction in the Fenway neighborhood could effect the number of home runs hit in the ballpark this season. He ends with the warning: “fewer home runs could lead to swirling winds of discontent across Red Sox Nation.” He also has a brief look at the offseason renovations to Fenway itself and there is a slideshow on the changes as well.

Three articles on the Celtics this morning, one positive, the other two, not so much. Shalise Manza Young has a look at “PerkandAl” as the Celtics’ young twin tower combo is known as these days and how the two youngsters are learning and helping each other out during these tough first few NBA seasons. Shira Springer notes that the Celtics have not been sniping at each other during these tough times, and while on the surface that might seem like a good thing, in reality they might benefit from the spark of an outburst. Mark Murphy looks at the struggles of Wally Szczerbiak since the trade, and how after the initial win over Sacramento, things haven’t quite worked out for the Celtics.

Jim Lazar and Jennifer Moroz look at Phoenix Coyotes assistant coach (and former Bruins player) Rick Tocchet being implicated in a nationwide gambling ring that also named Jeremy Roenick and Wayne Gretzky’s wife Janet Jones. Dale and Holley this morning also reported that the Bruins’ Travis Green is also named in the investigation.

Matt Kalman looks at Glenn Murray moving to the Bruins top line with Brad Boyes and Patrice Bergeron. This move is due to the injury to Marco Sturm, as Frank Dell’Apa notes, which will keep Sturm out of the lineup possibly until after the Olympic break. Kalman’s notebook has more on Sturm.

Mike Reiss reports that backup linebacker Don Davis has signed a new deal to return to the Patriots next season. Lenny Megliola says that Tom Brady will need 6-8 weeks to recovery from his upcoming hernia surgery. Albert Breer looks at a couple of New England natives getting NFL jobs.

Mark Blaudschun reports that Boston College will play a hockey game outdoors at Fenway park next December.

With the winter Olympics starting up on Friday, The Boston Globe and Boston Herald have their Olympic sections up and ready to go.

You can get more on the NHL betting scandal and on the Jets changing their general manager on the New York Sports Pages.

ESPN has announced that Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser will make up their new Monday Night Football broadcasting team.

NESN has Bruins/Penguins at 7:30. ESPN2 has Boston College/Wake Forest at 7:30 and Bulls/Nuggets at 9:30. ESPN has Indiana/Wisconsin at 7:00 and Syracuse/UConn at 9:00.

Courting Roger?

I’m feeling a bit under the weather (was yesterday, too) so I’m going to have abbreviated links today.

Gerry Callahan (subscription only) reports today in his column that the Red Sox, led by Tom Werner are preparing a DVD video to present to Roger Clemens in hopes of convincing the Rocket, who will be 44 in August, to come back to Boston for one final, glorious season. Callahan concludes:

Give the Sox credit for trying: They don