03.23.06 Afternoon

Tom Curran mentioned in his notebook this morning that the Patriots were close to re-signing both Troy Brown and Stephen Neal. Michael Holley on WEEI today reports that Troy Brown will re-sign with the Patriots.

A few afternoon links, Dale and Holley referred to a couple of online articles. Here is the article from Cold Hard Football Facts that looks at why the Patriots were right to move on from Adam Vinatieri and not give him the contract he wanted. They also referred to the section on the Football Outsiders website which makes the same case. It was written prior to free agency and the section regarding Vinatieri is down in the Patriots section. Tom King says that the departure of Vinatieri marks the end of an era for the Patriots.

Mike Reiss has some of Vinatieri’s comments from his introductory press conference in Indianapolis. Update: Reiss reports that Tom Ashworth has signed with the Seahawks.

Apparently I missed out on Mike Barnicle, Dan Shaughnessy and Ron Borges talking about Bill Belichick’s many “character flaws” on the 96.9 FM airwaves this morning. Quite a topic for that esteemed trio to be talking about. I’m told that it was also brought up by Borges that “People don’t realize that limited short term success, just like limited failure, is sometimes based on luck”. Good stuff if true.

Rob Bradford says that there is hope on the Celtics horizon. Mike Fine looks at how the Celtics have suffered with the injury to Al Jefferson. Win Bates looks at the Celtics win over the Raptors last night. Fine also looks at active offense of the Celtics leading them to the win. Bradford also talks to Ryan Gomes and Charlie Villanueva about the pro prospects of Boston College’s Craig Smith.

SI.com has a Q&A session with Bill Simmons.

Boston Radio Watch reports that ESPN Boston is bringing in a new program director, Len Weiner:

Weiner replaces Doug Tribou who was with the new sports talker since its launch last July. Weiner arrives from Chicago where he had been program director for WGN-AM since June 2005, and, prior to that, ESPN Radio-owned ESPN 1000 (2003-2005).

In Chicago, Weiner helped ESPN 1000 grow into the city's top rated sports radio station, overseeing a 41% ratings increase in the key men 25-54 demo during his tenure.

Celtics Finish Strong

Another reminder: If you haven’t already, please go and vote in the 2006 BSMW Awards. We’ve had a great turnout thus far and are looking to get the largest possible sample size. Here are the sections of the balloting:

2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

The Celtics capped off their 110-96 win over the Raptors at TD Banknorth Garden last night in style, with Gerald Green taking a pass off the backboard from Tony Allen and converting a ridiculously athletic one handed jam. The likes of which these eyes have not seen from a Celtics player…ever. Shira Springer says the dunk might stick out to the Raptors as well, who may recall it to memory next week when the two clubs meet up north of the border. At times last night, the Celtics put on a ball movement clinic. Steve Bulpett notes the ball movement was most evident down the stretch of the ballgame as the Celtics put away the Raptors. Shalise Manza Young says that the ball movement and defense of the Celtics was so successful last night that they might want to consider trying to those things again sometime. Bill Doyle notes that the Celtics have been very successful against teams in their own division this season, especially at home. Doug Smith of the Toronto Star has coach Sam Mitchell upset at his team’s inability to control Paul Pierce.

Frank Dell’Apa says that the Celtics made a statement with their passing last night, he talks with Delonte West, who says that the C’s “simplified the game to its basic principles”. Bulpett has Larry Bird weighing on on Tommy Heinsohn’s comments that Paul Pierce could be the greatest offensive player in Celtics history. The Legend is characteristically sharp with his wit, noting that he played nine months a year, while Pierce has usually only played six. Good job by Bulpett calling Bird up and getting his reaction. Scott Souza looks at the Celtics getting the win to remain within possible striking distance of the final playoff spot.

Springer’s notebook has the Celtics shutting down Al Jefferson and his balky ankle for at least the next three games in an attempt to try to get it to heal up. Bulpett’s notebook has more on Jefferson being forced to rest his ankle. Young’s notebook also looks at Jefferson, who is disgusted by his inability to move on the floor and admits it hurts his already shaky defense. Souza’s notebook also looks at ankle sprains, leading with those of Paul Pierce and Kendrick Perkins instead, both of which are much less severe than Big Al’s. Doyle’s notebook has more on Jefferson.

With all the hand-wringing over the departure of Patriots players this offseason, Tom E Curran notes the following:

Since 2001, the Patriots haven't been wrong about letting a player go. Despite much hand-wringing that they would be.

That may end in 2006. But the Patriots track record to date makes that a risky bet to make.

That’s quite a track record, and Curran is in sharp contrast to many members of the media in the region who are resorting to hysterics over the losses of Givens, McGinest, Vinatieri, et al. It seems that most of them simply are not capable of understanding how the Patriots carry out their business, nor are they even interested finding out. Case in point one: Nick Cafardo. The longtime Globe scribe who has made his reputation on getting close to players…too close it would seem as he is incapable of separating feelings from business. For Nick, it’s about the touchy-feeling stuff, such as contacting Vinatieri’s father as he does in this morning’s Globe, no doubt trying to get him to rip the Patriots. The hysterics that have been on the airwaves this week, on FSN and WEEI have been nothing short of embarrassing. John Tomase says that Vinatieri’s new agent, Gary Uberstine appears to have been central in directing the kicker to the Colts. Bill Reynolds says that we saw two examples this week that the relationship between players and teams these days is strictly business.

Michael Felger says that adding Mike Vanderjagt to replace Vinatieri would be a bad, bad move. Tim Weisberg says he is off of the Bill Belichick bandwagon after the decision to let Vinatieri go. Michael Parente reminds the panicked that there is still time this offseason to build the Patriots roster with quality players. Tomase’s notebook has Vinatieri saying goodbye to New England. Curran’s notebook looks at the Patriots re-signing CB Chad Scott.

The Red Sox and Yankees renewed acquaintances last night, and got things off to a testy start, as pitchers from each side took turns drilling batters. Chris Snow looks at the players getting acclimated to the rivalry and there is plenty of Johnny Damon in the mix as you might imagine. Jeff Horrigan looks at warnings being tossed and tempers flaring last night in Tampa. Dom Amore also looks at the one and only spring meeting between the teams. Sean McAdam notes that the Red Sox have a couple of spare parts on their roster at the moment, namely Tony Graffanino and Dustan Mohr, and will need to work out something to address the situation.

Tony Massarotti looks at the Yankees thin rotation which has got to worry Joe Torre, even if he won’t admit it. Horrigan looks at Jonathan Papelbon, who is willing to pitch wherever the team needs him. Massarotti looks at Manny Ramirez, who asked to make the trip and be put into the lineup so he could get some practice batting under the lights. Horrigan has more from Johnny Damon, who continues to be perfectly willing to tell anyone who will listen that the Red Sox pushed him into signing with the Yankees. David Borges also looks at Damon, who is happy to be in pinstripes.

There’s plenty more Red Sox/Yankees coverage as well as stories on Gary Sheffield’s alleged steroid use as documented in the book “Game of Shadows” on the New York Sports Pages.

Snow’s notebook is quite extensive, leading off with a look at Jonathan Papelbon who may start getting ready to work out of the bullpen. He also gives a Juan Gonzalez update and a look at Manny Ramirez’s spring thus far. In the Gonzalez section, Snow quotes the agent for Gonzalez as dismissing rumors that the former MVP had decided to sign with the A’s instead. He says Gonzalez is under contract to the Red Sox. Horrigan’s notebook reports that Gonzalez has signed with the A’s. Who to believe? McAdam’s notebook has Damon toning down the negative remarks toward his former club. Borges’ notebook has more on Papelbon.

Bob Ryan looks at the 16 teams remaining in the NCAA men’s tournament and the makeup of those teams. Zach Roca takes a look at the matchups for this coming weekend. Mark Blaudschun also has a look at the 16 remaining teams, which feature a high number of mid-major schools. Michael Vega looks at the Boston College bench, which has provided a spark in getting the Eagles to the Sweet 16. Mark Murphy looks at BC’s flex offense, which is gathering attention around the country.

Steve Conroy says that the Bruins failures this season can be boiled down to an inability to hold on to leads and finish out teams. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that the clock is ticking for the frustrated Bruins.

CBS has Duke/LSU at 7:00 and UCLA/Gonzaga at 9:50.

03.22.06 Afternoon

More fallout from Adam Vinatieri bolting the Patriots for the Colts…

Eric McHugh talks to Gino Cappelletti about the loss of Vinatieri. Apparently Gino hadn’t heard the news yet and McHugh had to convince him that he really was gone when he called Cappelletti for comment on it. Mike Reiss has his latest Ask Reiss Mailbag and he tries to answer fans who just don’t understand what is going on down in Foxboro. The Ask PFW mailbag is full of similar outcries of panic. Glen Farley also looks at Adam leaving for Indy. Bill Burt says that Bill Belichick and the Patriots only pay for future performance, not what you’ve done in the past. McHugh wonders if anyone will want the job of following Vinatieri in Patriots history. Hector Longo says that Adam Vinatieri goes to the Indianapolis as the greatest player in New England Patriots history. (!)

Mark Farinella looks at the impact Paul Tagliabue had during his tenure as NFL commissioner.

Mike Fine looks at the encouraging play of Tony Allen as of late. Christopher Young wonders if the Celtics can or should make the playoffs.

Mike Loftus looks at another weak finish spelling doom for the Bruins. Loftus’ notebook has Mariusz Czerkawski getting more comfortable with his new team.

Thanks for the Memories…

A reminder: If you haven’t already, please go and vote in the 2006 BSMW Awards. We’ve had a great turnout thus far and are looking to get the largest possible sample size. Here are the sections of the balloting:

2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

Yes, it’s true. Adam Vinatieri will be leaving the Patriots and signing with the Indianapolis Colts, of all teams. Michael Holley was the first in the nation with the scoop yesterday, which he gave to WEEI on a call to the Big Show yesterday afternoon. As you might expect, there is a lot of doom and gloom in the papers this morning. A little overwrought for my taste. Tom E Curran has perhaps the most level-headed look at the departure of the kicker, whom he says was boiling beneath the surface at his plight with the Patriots. Albert Breer has a very interesting article this morning, where he looks at how the Colts as the “mystery team” swooped in on Vinatieri, leaving smoke screens behind, he also looks at evidence that perhaps the Patriots confidence in Vinatieri was wavering a bit and points to a pooch punt in the Jacksonville playoff game as evidence.

Most of the rest of the articles are of “the sky is falling”, the “apocalypse is upon us” variety. Nick Cafardo says that the bad times just continue to roll for the Patriots. Michael Felger says that Patriots fans felt like “projectile vomiting” when hearing the news last night. Alan Greenberg says that Vinatieri’s departure was in large part due to the fact that he felt that the Patriots took him for granted. John Tomase says that the Patriots offseason is officially a disaster. Yes. In March. Without seeing who they draft, who they sign, who they trade for. Patriots shouldn’t even show up next season. It’s over. Michael Parente also looks at the departure of Adam.

Ron Borges has a predictable look at the situation, lauding Vinatieri, saying the Patriots have a right to conduct business as they wish, and closes with a comment about Bill Belichick watching spring baseball while his roster defects. Lenny Megliola looks at Vinatieri as simply a winner, a guy who was a cold hearted killer on the field and a “sweetheart” off the field. Jim Donaldson says that this one hurts a lot more than the losses of David Givens or Willie McGinest. They’re celebrating in Indy, as Mike Chappell reports on the Colts acquiring the three time Super Bowl champ.

Tomase looks at who might be out there as a replacement for Vinatieri, with former Viking and Bear Paul Edinger seeming like a strong candidate. Curran’s notebook has more on kicking options. With the departure of Vinatieri, Christopher Price looks at the Top Ten Exits from Boston by star athletes.

Chris Snow looks at Wily Mo Pena’s debut with the Red Sox, and an impressive debut it was, both in batting practice and in the game. Jeff Horrigan says that Pena’s first impression with the Red Sox was certainly a hit. Sean McAdam says that Pena’s arrival will mean less time, perhaps even no time on the field for Dustan Mohr. Mike Fine writes that in Pena, the Red Sox got themselves a player with plenty of potential. In exchange, they gave up a deceptively tough pitcher. Jon Couture notes that Pena is raw, but he is certainly worth taking a chance on. David Borges has more on the debut of Pena.

Jef Horrigan has a disappointed Bronson Arroyo dealing with his exit from Boston. Gordon Edes has more on Arroyo expressing his sadness at leaving Boston. David Heuschkel also looks at Arroyo coming to terms with having to leave Boston behind. Kevin Gray looks at the Nashua Pride’s pursuit of Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd.

The notebooks all lead with David Wells. Snow’s notebook has David Wells seemingly resigned to his fate of being skipped in the early season rotation. Horrigan’s notebook has Wells setting a goal of 20 wins for himself this season. McAdam’s notebook has Wells holding his tongue. For a day anyway. Heuschkel’s notebook has Wells feeling good about his knee and his outing yesterday despite poor results on the scoreboard. Borges’ notebook has Wells deciding to grin and bear it as far as being skipped in the early season rotation.

Dan Shaughnessy is still milking the WBC, expressing shame that the U.S. lost at its own game in the event.

Joe McDonald looks at the Bruins displeasure with the officials after their 5-4 shootout loss to the Atlanta Thrashers last night. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that last night’s game should never have reached the shootout phase, as the Bruins twice blew two-goal leads. Steve Conroy says this might have been the most exasperating loss of a frustrating season for the Bruins. Douglas Flynn says it looks there will be no postseason for the Bruins, which is fine as this team seems to quit early anyhow.

McDonald’s notebook has Hannu Toivonen still hoping to make it back before the end of the season. Burrell’s notebook has coach Mike Sullivan moving Mariusz Czerkawski to right wing and seeing the move pay off with a goal. Conroy’s notebook has more on Czerkawski’s switch and goal.

Michael Muldoon says that in the Kobe vs. Pierce argument, he’ll take Pierce as he has shown himself to be much more of a team-oriented guy. Peter May looks at Tony Allen busting out for his best game of the season Monday night against the Lakers, and updates his criminal case, which appears ready to go to trial this summer. Shalise Manza Young also looks at the second year guard, who seems to have found his game and his role in the past week. Steve Bulpett has Tommy Heinsohn gushing, not for the first time, that Paul Pierce could be the greatest offensive player in the history of the storied franchise. Keith Reed looks at Verizon going to court for the right to be able to broadcast FSN Celtics games on their new FiOS TV service.

Mark Murphy has a look at BC point guard Louis Hinnant, who is proving to be a driving force among his teammates. Michael Vega looks at season ticket prices jumping for BC after their successful first season in the ACC. William Maloney blogs as a BC supporter living in Atlanta. Murphy’s notebook says that Jared Dudley could be up for a big game against Villanova.

David Scott weighs in with a pair of new posts, one on women’s NCAA hoops and another on NESN and the Red Sox going for more sex appeal. John Molori’s Media Blitz reports that Doug Tribou could be out at ESPN Boston, which would be a surprise move.

FSN has Raptors/Celtics at 7:30. NESN has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00. ESPN has Pistons/Heat at 8:00 and Spurs/Nuggets at 10:30. ESPN2 has NIT action.

Vinatieri Signs with Colts

Michael Holley called into The Big Show on WEEI this afternoon to report that Adam Vinatieri has signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

Michael Felger made some phone calls and said that he has not been able to confirm that report. ESPN and the other national sites do not have this information as of yet. Kevin Winter said he talked to Michael Smith (a buddy of Holley) who knew nothing about it.

They said they called Len Pasquarelli as well, who hadn’t heard anything, but mentioned the 5 day waiting period after changing agents, which Vinatieri did this week, which might prevent any deal from being made official right now.

Update: National reports are coming in that the deal has been agreed to “in principle” and could become official later tonight.

FoxSports

Kobe Too Much for Celtics

Note: If you haven’t already, please go and vote in the 2006 BSMW Awards. We had a great turnout yesterday and are looking to get the largest possible sample size. Here are the sections of the balloting:

2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

Check out yesterday’s post for more guidelines for the voting. As expected, I did forget a few here and there, a couple of people mentioned the absence of Dan Roche in the television categories. Any oversights such as that one were unintentional. You can submit a “write in” vote for any category by emailing it to poll -at- bostonsportsmedia.com

The Los Angeles Lakers extracted a little bit of revenge on their long time cross country rival, avenging a loss a few weeks again out West by defeating the Celtics last night 105-97 at TD Banknorth Garden. Kobe Bryant had 43 points to pace the Lakers to the win, as they led throughout. Shira Springer notes that a first quarter ankle sprain slowed down Paul Pierce, and likely the Celtics chances at getting the win last night. Steve Bulpett observes that once again the Celtics dug themselves a hole that they could not climb out of. Shalise Manza Young says that there was just too much Kobe Bryant for the Celtics to handle last night. Bill Doyle looks at another blow to the Celtics fading playoff hopes. Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times says that Kobe made every shot count last night as he got his revenge on the Celtics. Ross Siler of the LA Daily News has more on Kobe carrying the Lakers to victory.

Peter May looks at Bryant and coach Phil Jackson, who remain supremely confident in their own abilities and what they could do in the first round of the playoffs. May also appears to have compared notes with Bresnahan above as they used the same opening and made reference to “V for Vendetta”. Rich Thompson looks at Kobe getting the better of his matchup with Paul Pierce last night. Scott Souza says that Pierce is more concerned with wins and losses rather than any showdown with Kobe, and is looking to help the younger guys on the team build their confidence.

Bulpett’s notebook looks at the continued fine play of Tony Allen, who had 18 points last night and appears to be finding his groove. Springer’s notebook says that Doc Rivers doesn’t expect to miss any more games this week because of the death of his father-in-law, hoping to work funeral arrangements around the team schedule. Doyle’s notebook looks at the creation of the “Red Auerbach Award” which will be given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of what it means to be a Celtic. Young’s notebook says that the Celtics/Lakers rivalry isn’t just a thing of the 60’s and 80’s, it’s alive and well to this day. Bresnahan’s notebook has Phil Jackson talking about the officials.

The Red Sox made a move yesterday, trading Bronson Arroyo to the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Wily Mo Pena. Tony Massarotti had mentioned it as a possibility yesterday and it came about, good scoop by him. His article today proclaims the deal a perfect fit for both sides. Chris Snow looks at the deal, and what Pena will bring to the Red Sox. Sean McAdam says that this was a deal about supply and demand for the two sides. David Heuschkel says Epstein and Arroyo’s agent both said yesterday that the Red Sox never told the pitcher that they wouldn’t trade him, but it was a hard parting regardless for the two sides. David Borges has Arroyo’s thoughts on the deal, which left him shocked. He explains what the Red Sox told him when he signed his contract. Alex Speier says the deal was made because Arroyo was redundant, and that this could be a master stroke for the Sox.

Gordon Edes says that this is the type of move that will make the Yankees nervous, especially since Pena was originally their property. He cautions patience however, as Pena still has a ways to go to become a complete player. Bill Ballou says the deal is a bit of a risk since you can never have enough starting pitching. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) torches the Red Sox for the “grave injustice” they committed towards Arroyo and says the club committed to the entire baseball world what is close to the “unpardonable sin”. A little hyperbole, Gerry? Art Martone says that Pena is a project, and dips into the Baseball Prospectus world for some comparisons. Dom Amore has Johnny Damon criticizing Red Sox management for trading Arroyo and their lack of loyalty. He again brings up his own contract negotiations.

Snow’s notebook has David Ortiz saying that too much time was wasted at the WBC, and now needs to play catch-up to get ready for the opener. Massarotti’s notebook looks at the pitching needs of the Reds, which led them to deal for Arroyo. Borges’ notebook says that Pena is an investment in the future for the Red Sox.

Dan Shaughnessy reports on Japan’s 10-6 win over Cuba in the finals of the World Baseball Classic. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says the games were a success internationally.

Ron Borges and Alan Greenberg report on NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue announcing that he is retiring from his post in July.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Stephen Harris and Dan Hickling report on the Bruins losing 5-2 to the Rangers last night. Burrell’s notebook and Harris’ notebook each look at a difficult homecoming for Brian Leetch.

NESN has Bruins/Thrashers at 7:00. ESPN has NIT action at 7:00 and 9:00. TNT has Rockets/Mavs at 8:00 and Suns/Jazz at 10:30.

2006 BSMW Reader Media Awards

It’s time to again give the public a chance to have their say as to the best and worst of the Boston Sports Media for the past year. The voting for the 2006 BSMW Awards begins today, and you’ll have until next Friday to have your say in the matter. Our aim is to get the largest sample possible. The recent February Boston Sports Review magazine had a “Readers Rate the Media” section, but only had 460 participants. Last year when we did this voting, we had 1500, and would like to get much more this time.

In order to be as fair as possible when it comes to the voting, we included all candidates under both the “best” and “worst” categories. You can only vote once, but please try to encourage as many others to participate as possible.

Because of the length of the survey, we broke it out into three sections. You can do one section at a time, or all at once. One thing you need to remember, however, you cannot start one section, then submit it, and then go back to finish it. Once you’ve started a section, make sure you answer all the questions in that section before submitting it.

As mentioned, the voting will be open until March 31st. Then during April I’ll be writing up recaps of the voting, and posting them in May, which will be a bit of a different month here at BSMW. (More on that another time)

Here are the three sections:

2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

One last thing to keep in mind. If you feel there is no one deserving of a particular “award” please use that option. For instance, say you believe none of the candidates deserves to be labeled the “worst” of a category, then choose the “No one deserves this award” option. If you have comments, suggestions, or write-ins for the awards, please send them to poll -at- bostonsportsmedia.com

Thank you for your help with this. On to the links for today:

The Celtics ended their disappointing four game road trip on a positive note, knocking off the Indiana Pacers 103-88 at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Celtics got balanced scoring from their available players, with Paul Pierce leading the way with 22 points. Doc Rivers did not coach the team yesterday due to the death of his father-in-law. Shira Springer looks at assistant Tony Brown filling in for Rivers and rolling the dice a bit with a very young and inexperienced lineup to start the fourth quarter. Steve Bulpett notes that the move paid off, as Tony Allen caught fire in the quarter, scoring 11 of his season high 14 points in that frame for the Celtics. Mike Wells in the Indy Star looks at the Pacers dropping their 6th game in their last 7 against a team with a losing record.

Bulpett has Larry Bird’s thoughts on the job that Danny Ainge has done in rebuilding the Celtics. Springer’s notebook says that Rivers will return to the team tonight, but could miss some more time later this week with the Celtics as he takes care of arrangements down in Florida. Bulpett’s notebook has the team dedicating yesterday’s win to their grieving coach. The second half of Well’s notebook looks at former Pacer Tony Brown coaching the Celtics in Rivers’ absence.

Bob Ryan says that no other team in college basketball’s upper echelon can match the experience that Boston College has together as a team, and it is a big reason why they find themselves in the Sweet 16, right where Ryan says they should be. Mark Murphy looks at Craig Smith really turning it on during this postseason for BC. Michael Vega has a quick look at the Eagles next opponent, old Big East rival Villanova. Murphy also has a quick look at the upcoming Big East flashback between the Eagles and Wildcats. Blaudschun also takes a look at Villanova’s win over Arizona to advance and meet BC.

Mike Anthony and Mark Blaudschun look at top ranked UConn advancing to the round of 16 with a win over Kentucky. Desmond Connor also has a look at the win for the Huskies. The Courant notebook has guard Rashad Anderson bouncing back nicely yesterday.

David Heuschkel looks at the state of the Red Sox with two week to go until opening day. Gordon Edes has Curt Schilling dreaming of what it would be like if Roger Clemens became his teammate on the Red Sox. Tony Massarotti and David Borges report on the Red Sox signing former MVP Juan Gonzalez to a minor-league deal. Massarotti’s article also notes that the team is in talks with the Reds regarding outfielder Wily Mo Pena.

Rob Bradford has Mark Loretta remembering what it was like to play baseball in the USSR back in 1989, just before the fall of Communism and the Berlin Wall. Kevin Henkin can’t understand the media’s fascination with Grady Little and his role in Red Sox history. The Red Sox are not the only team with hopes of landing Roger Clemens, Dom Amore takes a look at the Yankees hopes and efforts the land the Rocket. Bradford has Curt Schilling trying to get his heart rate at the optimal level to get the best performance on the mound.

Massarotti takes a look at Johnny Pesky, who took a foul ball off his left leg, just above the ankle, resulting in a hairline fracture. The notebooks have more in the injury to the 86 year old Sox legend. Borges’ notebook looks at the injury to Pesky, which had him bleeding heavily. Edes’ has the injury sending Pesky home for now and requiring 4-6 weeks of recovery. The notebook also reports on the signing of Gonzalez, calling it an “odd signing” and saying that “Sox GM Theo Epstein did not feel compelled to explain the move, electing not to respond to an e-mail seeking comment.” However, Massarotti’s story on the signing above includes a short quote from Epstein, obtained after the Red Sox win over the Orioles at City of Palms Park yesterday. Massarotti’s notebook looks at the Red Sox operating three pitcher-catcher batteries simultaneously yesterday. Heuschkel’s notebook has David Wells and Terry Francona clearing the air yesterday after the pitcher had referred to his manager as “an idiot” a couple days prior.

The “bravest columnist” in town, Dan Shaughnessy is siding with Communism in tonight’s WBC final. And you think I’m just being nasty to Dan. Steve Buckley (subscription only) has Ichiro Suzuki calling for MLB dugouts to be cleaned up.

Steve Conroy looks at Brian Leetch returning to Madison Square Garden as an opposing player for the first time since being traded by the Rangers over two years ago. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that with Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov now both traded away from the Bruins, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Stuart are the future faces of the franchise. Conroy’s notebook says that P.J. Axelsson is still a ways away from returning to game action for the Bruins.

After meeting in the Hockey East championship game on Sunday, Fluto Shinzawa says that Boston University and Boston College could meet again for the sixth time this season in the NCAA tournament. Karen Guregian looks at Boston College’s place in the tournament, while John Connolly looks at BU getting the top seed in the Northeast Regional.

David Scott has some Boston Globe stuff he needs to get off his chest.

Also, our email server switch is complete, and you can once again use the bruce -at- bostonsportsmedia.com address at the top of the page…

FSN has Celtics/Lakers at 7:30. NESN has Bruins/Rangers at 7:00. ESPN has Notre Dame/Michigan NIT action at 7:00 and then the WBC championship of Cuba/Japan at 9:00.

SporTView

A reminder – I’m making some changes to my email servers, so my usual email address above may not work today. In the meantime, you can reach me if needed at the alternative address of bruceallenmedia -AT- gmail.com.

The NCAA Tournament dominates the sports weekend as we count down the days until the Red Sox open their season in Texas. There is also college hockey playoffs in the Hockey East conference tonight and tomorrow on NESN.

Here are some weekend links:

David Scott will be blogging the NCAA Tournament.

Mike Reiss and the Patriots Daily Links page will keep you updates on any Patriots news.

The Red Sox Daily Links page will give the latest from Florida.

The New York Sports Pages will be entertaining as always.

Notes From the Week:

*Today is St Patrick’s day, which of course means that listeners were subjected to another “Butch from the Cape” tribute by Dennis and Callahan this morning shortly after the 8:00 break. The tribute included Larry Johnson gushing that Butch “taught WEEI how to do talk radio”. I still don’t get the adulation that this guy engenders. He was a degenerate, scumbag criminal that cheated people out of their money. He was the type of guy that if he wasn’t a sports talk caller, he would be castigated on the D&C program. Instead, he is deified. I’ve mentioned this in the past, and you can look at this blog posting for more on a Hartford Courant article from 2001 which told you exactly who Tommy Spears aka Butch from the Cape really was.

031706SporTView.png

*Mike Reiss continues to tear it up on providing up to the moment Patriots news as it happens. Grabbing him and allowing him to keep his blog going was the smartest move Boston.com has made in some time. During this first week of free agency, Reiss has had every nugget of information that has been out there on the Patriots.

*Eddie Andelman will hold his 17th annual Hot Dog Safari on June 6th at Suffolk Downs. Andelman will begin broadcasting on WTTK 96.9 FM on Sunday nights from 7:00 to 10:00 PM with his revamped “Sports Huddle” program on April 2nd. Greater Media Boston, which owns 96.9 is his partner in the Safari this year.

*Despite his avowed hatred for all things internet, I’m coming to like it when Pete Sheppard fills in for Glen Ordway on The Big Show. He brings a passion for sports that others on the station lack, and I think unlike many of them, actually watches and gets into the games. His show on Monday about the NCAA tournament was something that never would’ve happened if Ordway was in the Big Chair. Pete also doesn’t bother with a lot of the nonsense drama and “role playing” when he’s leading the show as well. He still flubs up way too many sports flashes, but he’s gotten alot better at the hosting role.

*The Masters is rapidly approaching and a NH man along with his cousin are making the most out of a trip down there. Here’s what they say about their venture:

A couple of duffers at best, writing about our "Once in a lifetime" adventure to the hallowed grounds of "The National" - we are the common man's men, the Cinderella men, the Danny Noonans, the crazy greenskeepers, the weekend golfers that only dream of such an opportunity - we are bringing the emotions of thousands of "I wish I could go to the Masters" golfers to the Masters - and we want to do it right. Follow the preparation, the trip itself and live updates from the Masters on our website, www.livefromaugusta.com. The site has interviews with pro golfers, (yes, they returned emails) updated photos, lies, stories and half truths

Eagles Tread Pacific

I’m making some changes to my email servers, so my usual email address above may not work today. In the meantime, you can reach me if needed at the alternative address of bruceallenmedia -AT- gmail.com.

A busy day for links today as we’ve got all four major sports covered today as well as college hoops…

The Boston College Eagles had to rally from six points down to Pacific in OT in order to finally survive and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament. The Eagles went on a run in OT to tie the game and then blew the doors open in the second OT to win the game 88-76. Michael Vega and Mark Murphy have the game stories from Salt Lake City. Bob Ryan says that what this BC team was able to do in coming back in OT shows that this is a special group, capable of big things. Murphy has a look at BC freshman guard Tyrese Rice, who hit a big three-pointer after getting off to a bit of a rough start. He also has Pacific coach Bob Thomason talking about one of his former players, current Celtics short-timer Michael Olowokandi. Up next for the Eagles is Montana, which upset 12th seeded Nevada yesterday. Vega’s roundup on the bracket looks at the win for Montana. Murphy’s notebook has Louis Hinnant rallying his teammates when they found themselves trailing in overtime.

David Scott will be blogging the NCAA’s again today, starting around noon.

The Celtics stormed out the gate against the Heat last night, running out to a 25 point first half lead. You knew that Dwayne Wade and Shaquille O’Neal and company would make a run in the second half, and a run they made, coming all the way back to beat the Celtics, 107-104 in Miami. Shira Springer says that earlier in the season, this game would’ve been chalked up as a learning experience for the young Celtics. They’ve moved past that phase, and now this is just a collapse that severely hurts their fading playoff chances. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics still need to show that they can hang with the big boys and prove they belong. Down south, the rally resulted in relief for the Heat and their fans, Israel Gutierrez notes. Ira Winderman says that the Heat gave their fans another thrill ride, testing the limits of their comeback ability after falling behind by 25 points.

Springer’s notebook reveals that Paul Pierce was battling an upset stomach last night in addition to Dwayne Wade. In case you’ve been wondering what Bill Belichick has been up to during this week of free agency, he’s apparently still in Florida, (It was reported earlier this week that that was working out some players down there.) as Springer reports he was at the game last night. Bulpett’s notebook has Shaq offering some advice to Paul Pierce on taking the next step of team leadership – making the team a winner

The Bruins scored a franchise first last night, and unlike much of this season, it wasn’t a negative. They got their first ever shootout victory on a Patrice Bergeron goal following a scoreless overtime. It gave the Bruins a 32 win over the Ottawa Senators. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Steve Conroy have the highlights from TD Banknorth Garden. Joe McDonald also has a report on the game. Douglas Flynn says that it is too bad the Bruins won’t be sneaking into the playoffs, because one thing they have proved this season is that they can beat Ottawa. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at Tim Thomas putting an end to the Bruins 0-fer in shootouts, but notes that they should never have reached that point as the Bruins blew three absolute gimmes in the first two periods.

Stephen Harris says that Mark Stuart, who he says was probably the second best player on the ice last night during only his third NHL game, and the rest of the Bruins young defensemen give the franchise hope for the future. Nick Boynton is the subject of all the notebooks. Burrell’s notebook has Mike Sullivan sitting down Boynton for a talk about controlling his emotions on the ice better. Conroy’s notebook has Boynton apologizing for losing control of his emotions. McDonald’s notebook also has more on Boynton and his outbursts. Bud Barth’s notes says that Boynton likely will not be with the Bruins next season.

David Wells is at it again. After his first time taking the mound this spring yesterday, he pronounced himself fit to start the season in the rotation, and suggested that if the Red Sox don’t trot him out there the first week, he might need to renew his trade demands. Chris Snow has a look at Wells’ session and his comments afterwards. Jeff Horrigan notes that Wells is likely slotted as the fifth starter at the moment, and the Red Sox likely would not need a fifth starter until April 15th because of their schedule. Wells feels he should be in the top four. Sean McAdam says that as usual, what Wells said yesterday was just as newsworthy as what he did. David Borges also looks at Wells’ mound debut yesterday. David Heuschkel has more on Wells, not about his mound session, but following up about his comments about Bud Selig last week.

Josh Beckett looked sharp for the Red Sox yesterday as the righthander displayed his blazing fastball in his outing against the Twins. Snow’s notebook says that Beckett has a bit of an edge and that this is most certainly a good thing. McAdam’s notebook has Beckett hitting as high as 96 mph on the radar gun yesterday. Borges’ notebook has Terry Francona happy that Beckett is on their side this season. Horrigan’s notebook has Mike Lowell appearing to break out of his spring slump with a nice performance at the plate yesterday.

Nick Cafardo looks at the U.S. being eliminated from the WBC by Mexico, thanks to a 2-1 victory by our neighbors to the south. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that last night would be an unlikely finish to the career of Roger Clemens should he indeed call it a career. Buckley has another subscription column, suggesting that Buck Martinez deserves another chance as a big league manager after his work here at the WBC. Buckley stumping for a guy named Buck? Who woulda thunk it?

There’s plenty more WBC coverage in the New York Sports Pages.

Mike Reiss reports on Adam Vinatieri getting ready to visit the Packers today, and looks at the players that the Patriots brought into Foxboro yesterday. John Tomase says that Troy Brown is “miffed at the lack of respect” that the Patriots have shown him and will not repeat his offseason of last year. Tom E Curran and Alan Greenberg look at the Patriots cutting ties with cornerback Tyrone Poole yesterday.

Check back later today for another edition of BSMW SporTView…

03.16.06 Afternoon

Just a few, very quick afternoon links…

David Scott is blogging like crazy this afternoon…

Mike Reiss has a mailbag for a tumultuous week for Patriots fans. He promises another, longer edition next week as well.

Hector Longo says that put-up-or-shut-up time is rapidly approaching for Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli and company. And no, he’s not joking. Eric McHugh says we should hope that the Patriots talent evaluators are as good at their jobs as Willie McGinest and David Givens were at theirs. Glen Farley has more on the departure of McGinest.

Mike Loftus offers some thoughts on the Bruins as the season winds down.