Patriots Football Weekly, Draft Edition

A look at the April 4th edition of Patriots Football Weekly.

The links below require a subscription to PFW, unless noted otherwise.

This issue focuses mostly on the draft. Editor-in-Chief Fred S Kirsch leads off by praising Richard Seymour as a professional athlete who “gets it.” In the era of PacMan Jones and Chris Henry, Seymour stands out as a good example for not only other players, but for anyone.

The First Down segment looks at the cancellation of the China Bowl, Wes Welker talking about playing against the Patriots in the past, and Rosevelt Colvin gushing over Adalius Thomas.

pfwapril.jpg

Tom Casale has a look at the evolution of the NFL Draft, which used to be held during the week with very little publicity. ESPN first proposed televising the draft in 1979, but the NFL voted down their idea 28-0. The next year the league did agree, and every year since 1980 the draft, or at least a portion of it has been televised. 1984 saw Chris Berman and Mel Kiper Jr working together on the event for the first time. In 1988, the draft was moved from Tuesday morning to Sunday-Monday, then six years later it was moved to its current Saturday-Sunday slot. Now both ESPN and NFL Network provide coverage of the event, and the internet has spawned hundreds of draft “experts” and sites.

In point-counterpoint, the issue is whether safety is the most important need in the draft. Andy Hart says it is, while Casale says that linebacker is more important.

Erik Scalavino has a look at Benjamin Watson’s visit to the troops in the Middle East. This segment stands out:

Remorse evident in his strong, deep voice, Benjamin Watson recounted the conversation.

“I’m sitting there about to sign an autograph, and he’s like, ‘My best friend was a Patriots fan and he loved you guys.’ And I was like, ‘Well, where is he?'”

The Marine’s reply pierced Watson’s heart like a sniper’s bullet.

“Well, um, he died last week on patrol.”

Welcome to war, Benjamin.

Andy Hart serves up a look at new Patriots receiver Donte’ Stallworth, who chose the Patriots over the Titans and the Dolphins for the opportunity to win and play with Tom Brady. Casale has a look at the Patriots other new receiver, Kelley Washington, who comes over from the Bengals, hopeful of a new start with the Patriots.

Then it is into the draft coverage as Paul Perillo looks at the steps involved in the Patriots finding a winning combination for the draft. He looks at candidates for the top of the draft, the middle rounds and the late rounds.

The Patriots have two first round selections, and Andy Hart has a piece called Draft day Double-down which looks at how the franchise has down in this position in the past. The 1976 draft, where the Patriots had three first rounders and landed Mike Haynes, Pete Brock and Tim Fox stands out, as does the 1973 draft, where John Hannah, Sam Cunningham and Darryl Stingley were drafted by the Patriots in the first round. Those drafts really built the strong Patriots teams of the ’70’s. More recently, the 2004 draft saw the Patriots landing Vince Wilfork and Benjamin Watson with first round selections.

The publication has a Writers’ Mock Draft with a reporter who covers each NFL team making the pick for the club they watch. The PFT staff has the Patriots taking Texas Safety Michael Griffin at 24 and Central Michigan Tackle Joe Staley at 28. In the actual PFW Mock Draft has the Patriots taking the same two players, but in the reverse order.

Rob McCartney of robscouting.com handles all the positional breakdowns for the issue, which takes up 10 pages.

Perillo has another feature on nine steps to catching a draft, where he talks to Patriots director of college scouting Thomas Dimitroff about the year-round process of college scouting and preparing for the draft.

For league perspective, Howard Balzer has the Lions possibly looking at another wide receiver, Calvin Johnson with the second pick. He also has Ben Roethlisberger disputing some comments from former offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who claimed that the Steelers QB rushed back too quickly last season. Paul Domowitch has Andy Reid back on the job with the Eagles and calling his position “as good as it gets.”

Sox Finish Sweep of Angels

The rain couldn’t ruin the Boston tradition known as Patriots day, as both the Boston Marathon and the Red Sox game were both completed despite the elements.

Gordon Edes has Josh Beckett and the Red Sox remaining focused yesterday and getting the win despite the elements and numerous other distractions. Jeff Horrigan has more on the Red Sox completing a three game sweep of the Angels. Joe McDonald has Beckett not allowing yesterday’s scheduling throw off his routine. Jeff Goldberg has the Red Sox striking early and often in the victory. Mike Petraglia looks at Julio Lugo as a main cog in the win.

Dan Shaughnessy talks to Angels pitcher Joe Saunders, who went to college at Virginia Tech, and was hit hard by the tragedy there yesterday.

Sean McAdam has a look at the Boston offense still containing a few question marks despite putting up 25 runs in three games against the Angels. Steve Buckley has a look at Josh Beckett, who is off to a terrific start with the Red Sox after winning all three of his starts and posting a low ERA. Lenny Megliola has a look at the Red Sox hitting keeping hot despite the cold and rain. Matt Kalman as more on Beckett’s effective outing.

Nick Cafardo is shaking his head and wondering how much longer Julio Lugo can continue to make spectacular plays at shortstop. John Tomase has more on a busy day with the glove for Lugo. Jennifer Toland looks a Lugo getting it done both at the plate and in the field yesterday. Buckley has Dustin Pedroia recalling some encouragement he got from Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada last season. Joe Haggerty has the Red Sox reserves awaiting their chance to play.

John Tomase reports on what some felt was the most entertaining moment of the game, a fan getting hit in the face with a pizza after missing a foul ball. (Video at bottom of this post) Paul Doyle has a look at auditions for the NESN Sox Appeal show.

Edes notebook has Daisuke Matsuzaka getting ready for his start tonight in Toronto, and a look at the New Yorker article mentioned here yesterday afternoon. Horrigan’s notebook says Matsuzaka might feel at home in the dome in Toronto tonight. The Projo notebook leads with Vladimir Guerrero suffering only a wrist contusion after having to the leave the game when being struck by a Beckett pitch in the first inning. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Guerrero getting hit and the warning which was issued after it.

Marathon

Here are your marathon sections:

Celtics

Al Jefferson hit a hook shot with just 0.01 on the clock to give the Celtics a 91-89 win over the Heat in Miami. Jefferson had 20 points and 13 rebounds in the win, while Delonte West scored 28 points.

Steve Bulpett has a 1-on-1 with Celtics executive director of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

Mark Murphyhas a look at the win for the Celtics, which impressed Heat coach Pat Riley. The Globe has coverage of the game in Peter May’s notebook.

Peter May has Riley and the Heat gearing up for another playoff run.

——————————————————-
Video of pizza hitting fan after foul ball (complete with Remy’s analysis and Orsillo’s giggling):

Sox Win on Rainy Patriots Day

The Red Sox did manage to get their game in today and defeated the Angels by a score of 7-2. Josh Beckett picked up his third win of the young season, going six innings, giving up one run while striking out five.

Of course, today is also Marathon day, and Robert Cheruiyot won the men’s race for the second straight year and his third overall, while Lidiya Grigoryeva won the women’s race.

————–
The April 23rd edition of The New Yorker features an extensive feature on Manny Ramirez by Ben McGrath. The feature is eight pages long, and seems to focus mostly on the quirks and mystery of the Red Sox slugger.

Seth Mnookin offers his thoughts on the McGrath feature.

Bella English discovers what the Japanese media here to cover Dice-K think of the city of Boston.

David Borges has a look at why more African-American’s aren’t playing in the Major Leagues.

Chad Finn offers up some thoughts on Drew Bledsoe and a number of other topics.

Finn also has his Diamond musings column for Fox Sports.

Don Banks says Bledsoe is not a Hall of Famer.

Peter King has his Monday Morning Quarterback, which includes Peyton Manning talking about his visit to Fenway Park.

Tom Curran previews the top defensive ends available in the NFL draft.

Celtics forward Ryan Gomes did a bit of an about-face on some comments he made after the Celtics clinched the second-worst record in the NBA Friday night.

————————————————
Coco Crisp has been a disappointment in Boston. There’s really no getting around that fact. Whether it has been due to injury or another reason, the centerfielder has not performed as expected in his time here with the Red Sox.

But I hate stuff like this. Here’s a line from Tony Massarotti’s column today:

The season is still young, but time is starting to catch up with Coco Crisp. And soon, unless things change, we must all ask the obvious question:

What, exactly, did the Red Sox see in this guy?

What’s more, as the column goes on, Massarotti mentions a number of times that Crisp has not been what the Red Sox had expected. He concludes:

Of course, there is now the very real possibility that they were simply foolish to expect such great things in the first place.

This is just another example of why so many people distrust and dislike the media. Look at what Massarotti himself wrote when the Red Sox acquired Crisp on January 22, 2006:

In the 26-year-old Crisp, the Sox will have a switch-hitter who possesses an array of talents. Though Crisp has played left field for the Indians - Cleveland has the blossoming Grady Sizemore in center - he played center field during his minor league career. In slightly more than two full major league seasons, Crisp has 35 career home runs and 54 career steals. Last season, he batted .300 with 16 home runs, 15 steals, a .345 on-base percentage and .465 slugging percentage.

Just as important from the perspective of Sox officials, Crisp is not eligible for free agency until after the 2009 season. That made Crisp infinitely more appealing than Tampa Bay Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo [stats], who is eligible for free agency after the 2006 campaign.

Prior to intensifying talks with Cleveland, the Sox also had serious discussions with the Devil Rays about Lugo. Sox officials came to the realization during the process that either Lugo or Crisp would cost them a package including Marte. One of the primary reasons they opted for Crisp is because they can control his services for a longer period of time.

While Crisp batted second (behind Sizemore) for the majority of time last season, he will replace Damon atop the Red Sox batting order. Crisp has a .271 average as a leadoff hitter over the last three seasons, but he is just now reaching the prime years of his career.

This is the type of stuff that just drives me nuts…the 20/20 hindsight along with the snide cracks at the Red Sox organization, when Tony himself sure touted Crisp just as highly as the Red Sox did.

I’ve asked this before: Do these guys really think that everything they’ve said in the past is just gone forever and can be ignored?

The point is not that Crisp’s play shouldn’t be criticized…as I mentioned, he has been a disappointment. The issue here is that Massarotti writes “What did the Red Sox ever see in this guy” when he could’ve looked back through his own work to get the answer to that.

———————————————-
Tonight

7:00pm, ESPN – Mets @ Phillies
7:30pm, FSN – Celtics @ Heat
7:30pm, Versus – Sabres @ Islanders
8:00pm, ESPN2 – AFL – Philadelphia Soul @ Dallas Desperados
10:30pm, Versus – Predators @ Sharks

Weekend Watch – Five Years of BSMW

It’s hard to believe, but last Sunday marked the 5th Anniversary of Boston Sports Media Watch.

Yes, the site has been here for 5 full years. Looking back at the very first post, (which I never thought anyone would ever read) I see that I knocked Dan Shaughnessy and said that that WEEI was unlistenable. Man, I guess some things just never change.

It’s been a great five years in Boston sports. Since the site launched in April, 2002, We’ve had the Patriots winning Super Bowl 38 and Super Bowl 39 and the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series. Those memories will always remain.

Along with the championships, here were a few other news items from the last five years that were really huge in terms of the Boston sports media and this site:

The passing of Red Auerbach was off course huge news as well, but I was out of town when it happened, and unable to post extensively on the coverage.

Last May, I posted about the things I had learned in the first four years of BSMW, they all still hold true.

Observing the Boston sports media is a monumental task. There’s so much going on all the time, and it’s impossible for me to see, hear and read everything. But I try. I’m going to keep on doing it as long as I possibly can, as well. I get plenty of help and support from all of you, the readers. I appreciate it so much, and ask you to keep it coming!

—————————————————-
Don’t worry, I’m not going to get into the Don Imus story. I think everyone else in the entire world has already weighed in on that one, and Imus wasn’t even relevant anymore to begin with in my eyes. When I went to SI.com today and saw that the lead-in for Dr Z’s mailbag was “My thoughts on the Don Imus situation…” I knew this thing had oversaturated everything.

WEEI has been talking about it non-stop for days. WEEI is at their very worst when they attempt to discuss “real world” issues or issues that involve the media. I tune in every little while to see if they’re still on the subject, and when I hear that they are, I switch it right off.

That’s enough of that.

The Mike Felger show on ESPN Boston today was a nice diversion. Especially when they played the clip of Terry Francona announcing the changes to the pitching rotation that now has Matsuzaka pitching Tuesday, and someone close to the microphone saying “Jeesh.” Maybe you had to hear it for yourself…

—————————————————
If you’re interested in learning more about me than you possibly wanted to know, Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal conducted an interview with me earlier this week for his web site.

With the help of YouTube, Dan Lamothe looks at the Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Stupid of Drew Bledsoe’s career.

Bill Simmons unleashes a nearly-3500 word effort on the shame of the Celtics. He’s not drinking the Danny/Doc Kool Aid, and like many is amazed at the free ride those two get in Boston simply because they’re so good with the media.

Zagat has listed a dozen restaurants you can dine at that are close to the finish line of the Marathon.

Albert Breer examines the list of college players that the Patriots are known to have had visit Gillette Stadium and why the team might be interested in each of them.

Tom Curran breaks down the outside linebackers available in the draft.

Bill Barnwell on Football Outsiders has a look at the offseason movement in the AFC East.

OK, two Imus links. Here’s the Jason Whitlock AOL column everyone is talking about on the topic. He also had one in the KC Star earlier this week.

————————————————-
Here is WBZ-TV’s coverage schedule for Monday’s Boston Marathon:

5:00AM – Highlights in WBZ-TV’s morning newscast
8:00AM – Live pre race coverage begins
9:00AM – Mobility impaired race
9:25AM – Wheelchair race
9:35AM – Elite women’s race
10:00AM – Elite men’s race and wave 1 of all other runners
10:30AM – Wave 2
WBZ-TV’s continuous marathon coverage runs until 3:00PM. In addition, www.wbztv.com will have footage from live cameras along the route from 10:00AM to 3:00PM

—————————————————–
National Sports Media Columns

New England
David Scott notes that the painful “Voice of the fan” segment on NESN with Jack Welch will be brought back again this season. He also has mote on the Herald’s hiring of Rob Bradford. Susan Bickelhaupt has WBZ-TV as the only local station providing wall-to-wall marathon coverage this year. Bill Doyle looks at the major markets of Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles being missing from the NHL playoffs, and what that means for NBC and Versus, who are carrying the games. Andrew Neff has a look at Maine native Gary Thorne enjoying his new role as Baltimore Orioles’ television play-by-play announcer. Jim Baker has Tommy Heinsohn looking ahead to better times for the Boston Celtics and a few other notes. ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber urges the network to cut back on the shouting that seems to mark so many of it’s programs.

New York
Phil Mushnick weighs in on all the principals in the Don Imus situation, noting that we should just name every second week of April National Hypocrites Week. Bob Raissman says that the suits are just as guilty as Imus in how all of this went down. Neil Best looks at what’s next for WFAN as they try to replace Imus, who really helped get the station off the ground 20 years ago. He recommends that the station hire Jason Whitlock to replace Imus. Richard Sandomir has a look at sponsors lining up for the May 5 fight between Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Pat Reichart has Colin Cowherd apologizing for requesting that his listeners take down the site TheBigLead. He also has Five Questions with ESPN baseball analyst Dusty Baker.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy of USA Today debate on the changes to the ESPN Monday Night Football booth, and both weigh in on how they would improve the broadcasts. Leonard Shapiro offers up some post-Masters musings on the CBS telecasts. Laura Nachman looks at the Imus firing and reports on a new morning host on Sports Radio 950-AM. Bob Smizik has KDKA sports anchor John Steigerwald landing his own show on WTZN-FM. Chris Zelkovich has CBC streaming more and more sporting events on their website, the latest being the NHL playoffs. Jim Williams has CBC legend Don Cherry bringing his unique style to the NBC NHL playoff coverage. He also has Dusty Baker talking about Jackie Robinson.

South
Barry Jackson says that NBC 6’s deal with the Dolphins shortchanges viewers when the tough questions aren’t asked of team officials during exclusive programming. Dave Darling looks at the offbeat offerings on the weekend on Orlando sports radio. He also weighs in on the hot topics of the week, including Imus and Colin Cowherd. David Barron checks in with recovering Rockets broadcaster Jim Foley, who has been on the job 32 years, but still trails his partner, Gene Peterson, who has been calling Rockets games for 35 years.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad has Nielsen Media Research issuing a mea culpa to FSN North for ratings numbers for the Wild, Timberwolves and Gophers men’s hockey games, a week after saying the numbers were correct and there would be no adjustment. Eric Morath has FSN Detroit pulling a juggling act with the Tigers now in action and the Red Wings and Pistons both expecting deep playoff runs. Bob Wolfley has a look back at some of the memories of Jackie Robinson in Wisconsin, mostly during times when the Dodgers would play the Milwaukee Braves. Teddy Greenstein looks at Brady Quinn getting out to an early lead in the rookie marketing and merchandising race. Dan Caesar looks at viewers complaints about Channel 5’s shoddy coverage Sunday of the Cardinals’ World Series championship celebration.

West Coast
Larry Stewart notes that the Anaheim Ducks aren’t getting any love from NBC in the network’s playoff coverage. Jay Posner has ESPN’s Joe Morgan talking about the first time he met Jackie Robinson, and what he meant to him. Tom Hoffarth has more from Morgan on Robinson. John Maffei has a look at ESPN’s extensive coverage on the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color line in baseball. Jim Carlisle says that the Don Imus story reminds us that we are far from the golden era of broadcasting. The web page for the paper that Carlisle writes for has undergone a very nice (and much needed) re-design. Carlisle also has a bit on the ESPN coverage of the Robinson anniversary. Stewart’s notebook has HBO starting their four-episode reality series Sunday to help promote the May 5 Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather fight. Joe Davidson notes a few recent incidents which remind us that if you use slurs in your speech, you’re likely to lose your job.

Weekend Sports Highlights

Friday April 13th
7:00pm, NESN – Angels @ Red Sox
7:30pm, FSN – Bucks @ Celtics
7:30pm, TBS – Marlins @ Braves
8:00pm, ESPN – Pacers @ Heat
9:00pm, Versus – Stars @ Canucks
10:30pm, ESPN – Lakers @ Suns
10:30pm, Versus – Wild @ Ducks

Saturday April 14th
1:00pm, NESN – Boston College @ Maryland
3:00pm, NBC – Penguins @ Senators
3:00pm, CBS – Verizon Heritage
3:55pm, FOX – Angels @ Red Sox
7:00pm, TBS – Marlins @ Braves
7:30pm, Versus – Islanders @ Sabres
7:30pm, TV-38 – Toronto FC @ Revolution

Sunday April 15th
1:00pm, NESN – Angels @ Red Sox
1:00pm, NBC – Flames @ Red Wings
1:00pm, ABC – Bulls @ Wizards
2:00pm, FOX – NASCAR Nextel Cup – Samsung 500
3:00pm, CBS – Verizon Heritage
3:30pm, ABC – Spurs @ Mavs
6:00pm, Versus – Senators @ Penguins
6:00pm, FSN – Celtics @ Magic
8:00pm, ESPN – Padres @ Dodgers
9:30pm, Versus – Canucks @ Stars

Russell Warms Cold Day At Fenway

Gordon Edes looks at the relatively quick decision to postpone yesterday’s Red Sox/Mariners game, after letting people into the ballpark and saying they were going to do everything they could to get the game in. Karen Guregian has the Mariners having only played 5 out of 10 scheduled games, and getting frustrated. Joe McDonald has Terry Francona using the rainout as an opportunity to entertain with “war stories.” Joe Haggerty has Brendan Donnelly glad to be out of Anaheim and able to have a meaningful role with the Red Sox.

Jeff Horrigan looks at the Red Sox deciding to push Daisuke Matsuzaka back a day rather than having him pitch on Patriots day as originally scheduled. Tom Yantz has Celtics legend Bill Russell talking during the rainout yesterday about being a pallbearer at Jackie Robinson’s funeral. Ron Chimelis says that the no-hit bid by Felix Hernandez on Wednesday night tested some loyalties. Haggerty also has Dustin Pedroia proving to skeptics that he belongs in the majors.

Guregian says that it has been hard to boo J.D. Drew based on the start he’s had to this season. Jennifer Toland says that Terry Francona plans on giving Drew a rest about once every 10 days to try and keep him fresh. Terry Nau has 82-year-old PawSox owner Ben Mondor enjoying life and his baseball team.

The Globe notebook has a look at the rotation shuffles as a result of yesterday’s rainout. Horrigan’s notebook has Celtics coach Doc Rivers talking about his friendship with Terry Francona. The Projo notebook says that giving J.D. Drew an occasional rest might be the biggest step towards keeping him healthy all season.

Celtics

Bob Ryan looks back at 50 years ago today, when the Boston Celtics captured the first of the 16 NBA championships. It’s a great look back at the historic seven game championship series with the St. Louis Hawks. Steve Bulpett also has a very good look back at the 50th anniversary of that first championship.

Tony Massarotti has a piece on Bill Russell, of whom he says:

And now, with Auerbach gone, who better represents the Celtics than Russell? Who can truly silence a room, without ever raising his voice, quite like him? Who possesses the air of a dignitary, the humor of an everyman and the conviction of a cultural leader?

Very well said. Kevin McNamarahas Russell shedding light and warmth on a cold rainy day at Fenway yesterday. Michael Vega has Russell giving high marks to Ohio State center Greg Oden, who Celtics fans have been dreaming about all season as their missing link. Bulpett has Doc Rivers saying that he doesn’t like the NBA’s current weighted lottery system, he thinks all teams that miss the playoffs should get one ping pong ball. Mike Loftus says that Paul Pierce has seen enough of the 2007 season.

Patriots

Hector Longo says that the Patriots 2007 schedule “screams” a 10-6 season for the club. Michael Parente tries to figure out what direction the Patriots might go in this month’s NFL draft. Massarotti has Drew Bledsoe talking about his time in New England, and looking back to how the region accepted him as a kid out of college, and how he’s proud of the role he had in bringing the franchise to prominence.

Marathon

Both Boston papers have their extensive Boston Marathon preview sections today. Here’s the link to the Globe Marathon section and the Herald Marathon section.

Susan Bickelhaupt has WBZ-TV as the only local station providing wall-to-wall marathon coverage this year.

Misc

David Scott notes that the painful “Voice of the fan” segment on NESN with Jack Welch will be brought back again this season. He also has mote on the Herald’s hiring of Rob Bradford.

Bill Doyle looks at the major markets of Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles being missing from the NHL playoffs, and what that means for NBC and Versus, who are carrying the games.

Paul Doyle has Hartford still missing the Whalers, even as they’re out shopping for another NHL team.

Jeff Jacobs and Jim Donaldson weigh in on the Don Imus firing. In the Globe, Joanna Weiss and Carolyn Y. Johnson report on the firing by CBS radio of Imus, and in the Herald, Peter Gelzinis and Howie Carr both weigh in, and Jessica Heslam examines the impact that the firing could have on local radio.

Thursday PM Notes 04.12.07

Today’s Red Sox/Mariners game has been postponed until May 3rd.

We’ve got something a little bit different from the norm here this afternoon. This came across my desk yesterday, and with the marathon scheduled for Monday, and the passing last weekend of a friend of BSMW from a brain tumor, I thought this appropriate to post here this afternoon:

Sarah MacCarthy, 25, of Back Bay, no longer qualifies as a casual runner. On April 16th, 2007, she will run the Boston Marathon to raise money for the Brain Tumor Society in honor of her uncle, Tim MacCarthy.

In March 2005, Tim saw a doctor for a seemingly minor symptom and was diagnosed with a stage four glioblastoma, the most deadly kind of brain tumor.

Tim had always been healthy and active, and the diagnosis was a shock to his family-including his niece, Sarah, who grew up spending summers with him and his wife. Sarah and her family rallied to support him. Very upset by Tim’s diagnosis but recently accepted to the Harvard School of Public Health, Sarah wasn’t sure how she could support her DC-based uncle from so far away. Being there for her uncle is important to her. She yearned for another way to express her love and support for Tim.

“Health is more than medicine,” said Sarah, who credits her uncle’s survival not only to talented doctors and technology, but also to the strong support of family and friends. To demonstrate their support for Tim, the MacCarthy family wears a bear charm for Tim “at all times,” Sarah said. “It’s the Native American symbol for spiritual power.”

Running the Boston Marathon is Sarah’s way of taking her health and “putting it to good use” for Tim. “I’m doing this to put an end to what Tim calls ‘the monster’,” said Sarah.

She wrote a letter to family and friends asking for donations, and the response has been tremendous. Sarah has raised more than $3,500 for the Brain Tumor Society (BTS), a national not-for-profit based in Watertown, Massachusetts. BTS funds promising brain tumor research, provides free informational materials, and offers access to psychosocial support for patients, survivors and families.

Please visit www.tbts.org to see Sarah’s personal fundraising page. Click on the ‘Upcoming Benefits’ link at lower right. Sarah’s Marathon effort is listed as ‘Boston Marathon for BTS’.

————————————-
Bob Raissman suggests that Mike and the Mad Dog might be WFAN’s replacement for Don Imus if the morning show host is fired.

Bill Simmons offers up a few things while musing over the performance of Felix Hernandez last night.

David Borges has more on Daisuke Matsuzaka’s Fenway debut .

Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com has a look at 19-year-old Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, who has his degree, having entered school and played as a 16 year old freshman. Okoye projects into a high first round pick in many circles.

Scott Zolak relates his memories of Drew Bledsoe’s NFL career to Mike Reiss.

Tom Curran has a look at the top inside linebackers available in the draft. Already this week he has profiled cornerbacks and safeties.

Jessica Camerato looks at the Red Sox plans to honor Red Auerbach at Fenway today.

————————————
As part of its 16-day, multi-platform After Jackie initiative celebrating the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, ESPN will televise SportsCenter Special: Jackie Robinson tonight at 8 p.m. ET. The one-hour program will be hosted by Baseball Tonight’s Karl Ravech, who will be joined by Dusty Baker, Peter Gammons, John Kruk and Eric Young.

The program will be highlighted by a roundtable discussion with three high-profile African-American players: Carl Crawford of the Devil Rays, Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies and CC Sabathia of the Indians.

A couple of quotes from the program:

High percentage of the black players are stars
Crawford: “If you ain’t an All Star, you can’t be black in the Major Leagues…it just seems like we always have to be the best player on the team and that’s the only way we can crack the door.”

What Jackie Robinson means to you?
Sabathia: “He means everything to me. I wouldn’t be sitting here today if it wasn’t for him. I always think about all the stuff he went through to help us get here. That’s why I think we need to be addressing this right now as far as the lack of African Americans in the game, just because of what he went through alone. So I think we need to pay him that much respect just to try to get something going.”

Rollins: “To me, he’s just a man of strength, a man that goes beyond what he did breaking the color line, beyond playing baseball…I worked too hard and the people before me worked way too hard for me to be out here lolly-gagging…Now it’s my turn, so if I want to keep what Jackie did alive, I have to make sure I do my part.”

Crawford: “…he opened those doors for a person like me…I don’t think I would have been strong enough to go through things like that so I’m happy that there was someone who stood up for us…I’m just glad he stepped up for us like that.”

The program also includes an obituary by Howard Cosell, which includes segments from one of Robinson’s final interviews.

————————————-
You probably have seen their ads here, but I want to thank the good folks at Kintees.com for sending a few Viva El Papi T-shirts this way. The company is run by the three Corcoran brothers, who were all raised just south of Boston. The shirts are very distinctive and of good quality. Check them out!

————————————
Tonight

7:00pm, Versus – Flames @ Red Wings
7:35pm, TBS – Nationals @ Braves
8:15pm, TNT – Nets @ Cavs
10:30pm, Clippers @ Lakers

King Felix Outshines Dice-K

Daisuke Matsuzaka was the center of attention to start the night, as the Japanese pitcher made his Fenway Park debut in a sea of camera flashes. Unfortunately for he and his teammates, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez stole the show, giving up just one hit in a dominating complete game 3-0 Mariners victory over the Red Sox.

Jeff Horrigan looks at the brilliance of Hernandez, who nearly became the first pitcher to no-hit the Red Sox at Fenway park in 49 years. Gordon Edes says that the game lived up to the hype, just not in the way that everyone around the world expected. Steven Krasner has the heat from Hernandez cooling off the Dice-K hype at Fenway last night. Jeff Goldberg looks at Dice-K becoming a sideshow to King Felix at Fenway. Ron Chimelis says it was No Dice for Matsuzaka last night. Paul Jarvey says that Matsuzaka’s first Fenway start was almost indeed a historic moment, but not for the reasons everyone thought it would be.

Dan Shaughnessy has a look at night in which both Matsuzaka and Ichiro were outshined by Seattle’s 21-year-old Felix Hernandez. Tony Massarotti says that this game shows that Dice-K is human and still has much to learn about the big leagues. Jon Couture says that Dice-K might’ve been overshadowed last night, but he was not overmatched. Paul Kenyon says that even though he lost, Daisuke Matsuzaka showed his value in that he was able to create an even more festive occasion than usual at Fenway. Paul Doyle looks at Red Sox nation going global last night at Fenway. Lenny Megliola notes that Dice-K was relegated to second banana despite the over-the-top coverage of his first start.

Bob Ryan says that you certainly haven’t heard the last of Felix Hernandez after that performance last night. Steve Buckley says Hernandez stole the world stage with his performance last night. Jeff Jacobs also looks at Hernandez upstaging Matsuzaka’s Fenway debut. Alex Speier says it could be Hernandez, not Matsuzaka who becomes baseball’s next great pitcher.

John Tomase has the Red Sox saluting Hernandez’ ability. Michael Vega has a look at J.D. Drew’s single in the eight to break up the no-hitter.

Michael Silverman notes that Kenji Johjima had a much better night against Matsuzaka than Ichiro did. Nick Cafardo notes that with Hernandez on their side, the Mariners feel like they have a chance this season.

Buckley looks at the media swarm as 350 media credentials were issued for last night’s historic game.

Silverman has Jonathan Papelbon settling into his new locker in the Fenway clubhouse, which is the one that was once occupied by Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Carl Yastrzemski and Dwight Evans. Michael Vega has Wily Mo Pena hoping that the game is played today, as it will be his personal Opening Day.

The Herald will be running a daily look back at the 1967 season this year, today’s entry has Jeff Horrigan noting that Jim Lonborg got things started in the right direction with a 5-4 victory over the White Sox.

Curt Schilling has his latest Q&A session on 38Pitches.

Horrigan’s notebook has the nasty weather following the Mariners to Fenway for today. Edes’ notebook has Brenden Donnelly declining Jose Guillen’s invitation to step outside and settle their differences. The Projo notebook has a look at Drew breaking up the no-hitter. Goldberg’s notebook looks at the attempt to capture the moment by thousands of flashbulbs. Jarvey’s notebook has Jon Lester looking good in his second start at Single A.

Check all the coverage from Seattle on this one in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Seattle Times.

Patriots

The NFL released its 2007 schedule yesterday and the the local thinking seems to be that the Patriots have a tough slate for next season. Mike Reiss notes that there will be five night games on the schedule. John Tomase says that it is a good thing that the Patriots appear to have reloaded this offseason, as they’re going to need all of it to make it through this schedule. Ian M. Clark also says that the schedule appears to be a tough one for the Patriots. Shalise Manza Young in the Projo however, says that the schedule is favorable to the Patriots. Rich Garven has a look at the slate of games as well.

Shalise Manza Young has Ellis Hobbs looking forward to playing next season without the bulky cast on his arm. Bob Duffy in the Globe looks at Drew Bledsoe calling it a career. Too bad Ron Borges wasn’t around to write about the retirement of the man he coached up to challenge Bill Belichick.

Celtics

The Celtics led for much of the night last night at the Garden, only to fall once again, this time by the score of 102-94 to the Philadelphia 76ers. Ryan Gomes had 26 points for the Celtics, and Gerald Green added 22.

Before the game, the Celtics announced that Paul Pierce would not be suiting up for the remainder of the season. Peter May has a look at the decision, and at the game as well. Mark Murphy has more on the Celtics finally reaching the inevitable conclusion that Pierce needed to be shut down. Bill Doyle has more on the injuries ending the season for the Celtics captain.

Greg St. Martin in the Metro has Celtics legend Bill Russell talking about the state of the game.

Bradford Heading to Herald

It’s official…Rob Bradford is heading to the Boston Herald, following in John Tomase’s footsteps from the Laurence Eagle Tribune. David Scott has the news and reaction from Bradford on the change.

What this means for Bradford on Baseball remains to be seen.

———————
With all the hype about the Dice-K/Ichiro matchup tonight, it’s easy to forget that the Red Sox have been the at center of the Japanese baseball world before.

As Jerry Crasnick on ESPN.com points out, on May 2nd, 2001, all of Japan was watching as Hideo Nomo faced Ichiro for the first time in America.

That game was memorable for the fact that Nomo plunked Ichiro in the back during that game, and dropping him to his knees at the plate, sparking talk of whether there was bad blood between the two of them.

———————–
Things at NESN could be getting ugly behind the scenes as there is currently a Union Organization effort taking place at the network.

Leaders of the effort have created a website, NESNUnion.org and this is taken from the site’s “About” page:

In February of 2007 NESN employees, who were fed up with being taken advantage of by NESN management, contacted the National Association of Broadcast Employees & Technicians (NABET) to find out about organizing workers at NESN. An organizing committee was formed and an overwhelming number of employees in the Operations & Engineering Departments signed Union Authorization cards, stating that they desired that NABET represent them in collective bargaining with NESN management.

Upon learning that its employees had begun the organizing process, NESN embarked on a misinformation campaign in an effort to stamp out the Union movement. Managers have attempted discourage Union votes by spreading rumors and falsehoods about the Union. Managers have told workers that the Union would force them to strike, demand outrageous Union dues and restrict their ability to do their job and to use certain equipment. These claims are false, but NESN is hoping that employees will not have access to the truth, or be easily discouraged or intimidated.

NESN management is telling employees that they are too stupid to find the right information, and that they are also to weak to stand up for themselves. We believe that both notions are ridiculous.

The most recent post on the site states that the page has been blocked being viewed from inside NESN.

We’ll be watching this matter closely at BSMW, and would like get a clearer picture from both sides of the issue.

———————————————–
Tom Curran has a look at Matsuzaka mania hitting full steam here in Boston.

Jackie MacMullan on ESPN.com has Al Jefferson hoping to be the centerpiece of a Celtics revival.

The Media Circus is back this week with a look at the Baseball Tonight lineup among other items.

Andy Hart has another edition of the Ask PFW Mailbag posted.

The NFL released their 2007 schedule today. We got the Patriots schedule over at the BSMW Game Day site. Mike Reiss and Albert Breer offer their reactions to the Patriots schedule as well.

Don Banks looks at the can’t miss games on the NFL schedule.

Howard Wasserman on Sports Law Blog had a very good post earlier this week on the battle of New Sports Media v. Old Sports Media, specifically as it relates to the Colin Cowherd/TheBigLead.com battle.

Bill Simmons in ESPN Magazine offers a solution to the NBA’s problem of teams tanking for high lottery picks.

Mike Dunshee has an NHL Playoff preview on the BSMW Power Play site.

Michael Hiestand looks at 2009 as the launch target for the new MLB Channel.

Leonard Shapiro has some post-Masters reaction.

——————————————
Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Mariners @ Red Sox (HD) ESPN2 Nationally
7:00pm, Versus – Penguins @ Senators
7:30pm, FSN – 76ers @ Celtics (HD)
8:00pm, ESPN – Magic @ Pistons (HD)
10:00pm, Versus – Stars @ Canucks

Dice Age – Boston Sports Review in Two Minutes

A summary of the April edition of Boston Sports Review.

Kevin Callahan leads off with a look at the American women taking center stage in Monday’s Boston Marathon.
BSR%20April%20cover%20sm%282%29.jpg

This month’s Fan Focus is on diehard Red Sox can Marge Callahan, who has followed the Red Sox since the Ted Williams days. In The Ex-Files, Lenny Megliola catches up with former Red Sox infielder Rico Petrocelli. Q & A profiles local WWE wrestler Kenny Dykstra. Joe Lavin’s comedy column looks at gifts for millionaire athletes who already have it all.

David Laurila talks to Bill Nowlin about the book The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox: Pandemonium on the Field which was put together and edited by Nowlin and Dan Desrochers.

In Media Monitor, David Scott looks at reaction to the tragic passing of Hartford Courant sportswriter Alan Greenberg, Cedric Maxwell’s remark about NBA referee Violet Palmer, and Ron Borges being suspended by the Boston Globe for plagiarizing large sections of an NFL Sunday Notes column in the paper. This month’s Meet the Media sidebar with John Molori catches up with WHDH-TV sports director and anchor Joe Amorosino. Mark Schmiedel talks with Rhode Island’s Allen Bestwick, who joined ESPN’s NASCAR coverage this season.

The magazine has a pretty extensive Red Sox preview section, with the following articles:

David Scott has the magazine’s cover story on Daisuke Matsuzaka. Alex Speier says that the Red Sox starting rotation looks terrific, provided the pitchers can stay healthy all season. Lenny Megliola also examines the sky-high expectations that surround Matsuzaka. Ian Browne has a feature on new Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell. Speier also has 10 questions for the Sox. The first of which (Who will handle the ninth?) has already been answered. Bob Halloran is decidedly on the fence about the Red Sox this season.

Albert Breer has a detailed look at the Patriots wants and needs heading into this month’s NFL draft. He also has a sidebar looking at the Patriots aggressive free agent moves this offseason.

Matt Kalman has a piece on Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who it turns out has a strong environmental conscience.

Kevin Henkin has a look at second year forward Ryan Gomes of the Celtics, who hopes that the Celtics can keep their core of young players together as he feels they’re learning to play and win together. Henkin’s sidebar states that the Celtics should have a permanent tribute to Red Auerbach on their uniforms or on the parquet floor.

In the last section of the magazine, Mike Biglin looks at the New England Revolution gearing up for another MLS run, Dave Irons has Brad Faxon getting involved in golf course design and Kevin Callahan remembers Alberto Salazar’s shining moment in the 1982 Boston marathon.

David Scott closes out things with a look at Curt Schilling’s new career as a superstar blogger.

Boston Sports Review also encourages you to vote in their Boston Sports Bar poll.

The magazine also has a new radio program on ESPN Boston, Saturday mornings from 9-11 with Mike Salk and David Scott.

Beckett Dominates Opener

The Red Sox were a rousing success in their 2007 home opener, rolling to a 14-3 win over the Seattle Mariners yesterday afternoon at Fenway Park.

Gordon Edes has a look at an afternoon in which pretty much everything went the Red Sox way. Jeff Horrigan has a look at an ideal opening day for the Red Sox, despite the chilly weather. Sean McAdam says that all you need to know about the home opener is that the Red Sox batted Doug Mirabelli for David Ortiz…in the sixth inning. Jeff Goldberg has Josh Beckett looking like an ace on opening day. Garry Brown has the Red Sox opening their home schedule with a rout. Phil O’Neill has Josh Beckett and the Red Sox feeling right at home yesterday.

Dan Shaughnessy looks at an opening day that had a little bit of everything, except a close game. Tony Massarotti looks at the tremendous advantage that the Red Sox have had at Fenway Park since 2003. He also comes right out and states as a fact that Manny Ramirez “committed baseball’s answer to insurance fraud (he faked an injury).” I would ask Tony to offer some proof of this cold hard fact. Of course, Tony also believes and repeats what he reads in the Inside Track, so take all that this guy says with a grain of salt. It’s easy to make such a statement, but much harder to actually be able to prove it – either way. I suspect Massarotti threw it in there just to get the column noticed, because it has nothing to do with the rest of the text. Guess what? It worked.

Jackie MacMullan reports on a dominant performance from Josh Beckett yesterday. Steve Buckley has Beckett feasting on the Mariners yesterday. Steven Krasner says that for Beckett, a better mix on his pitches was the key to his success. Jeff Jacobs says that Beckett was a rock on a wild opening day. Art Davidson says that the early signs from Beckett are very good. Jon Couture says that mixing in the changeups and curveballs made Beckett so effective yesterday.

John Tomase has J.D. Drew giving Red Sox fans a chance to like him right away, with a home run in his first Fenway game as a member of the Red Sox. Joe McDonald has more on Drew proving to be an instant hit at Fenway. Amalie Benjamin looks at a strong home debut for Julio Lugo, who as the leadoff man, reached base four times. Rich Thompson has more on Lugo, who wants to justify his contract to the Fenway fans.

Michael Vega has Jason Varitek showing some life at the plate with a 3 hit, 3 RBI performance. Mark Murphy has more on Varitek coming alive in his first home game of 2007. McDonald also takes a look at Varitek getting back into the swing of things yesterday. Alex Speier has more on Varitek coming alive for the opener.

Sean McAdam looks at the bad blood between Brendan Donnelly and Jose Guillen which bubbled to the surface again yesterday. Tomase reports on the Donnelly-Guillen feud, which escalated yesterday after Guillen struck out on three pitches. Cafardo has more on the ill-will between the ex-Angels. Thompson has the Mariners still trying to thaw out and shake the rust off from their weekend snow job in Cleveland.

Murphy has members of the ’67 team reliving their memories of that year yesterday at Fenway. Scott MacKay says that even with all the changes at Fenway, your grandfather would still recognize the place. Bill Reynolds reminds us that the ’67 team sowed the seeds for Red Sox nation as we now know it. Paul Doyle has more on the 1967 club coming back together for yesterday’s opener. Kevin Gray says that it was a day for dreams at Fenway.

Nick Cafardo looks ahead to the main event tonight, as Daisuke Matsuzaka faces Ichiro Suzuki for the first time in six years, and the first time ever in the American major leagues. Michael Silverman also reports on this historic matchup, which will be eagerly watched by millions in Japan.

Steve Buckley notes that tonight will be one of the few times in which the second home game is more eagerly anticipated than the home opener.

Edes’ notebook looks at the success that the Red Sox have had in recent years in containing Ichiro. Horrigan’s notebook has Mike Timlin getting activated prior to the game, and glad to be a part of opening day. The Projo notebook says that there is plenty of hype already for tonight’s Dice-K/Ichiro matchup. The Courant notebook has more on the hatred between Guillen and Donnelly. O’Neill’s notebook has more on the buzz for tonight’s game and Fenway debut of Matsuzaka. Couture’s notebook has more on tonight.

Celtics

Gerald Green had a career high 33 points last night, and Leon Powe added 19, but it wasn’t enough as the Celtics dropped another one, this time to Tyronn Lue and the Atlanta Hawks by the score of 104-96 at Philips Arena.

Christopher L. Gasper notes that Paul Pierce once again sat this one out, and that the Celtics are coming to the time when a decision needs to be made about shutting Pierce down for the rest of the season (5 games) or not. Steve Bulpett has Doc Rivers saying that the Celtics still got something out of the game, as they were able to see what things would look like with Green as a go-to guy throughout the game. Green went scoreless down the stretch of the game, but seems to have been taught the lesson of needing to take the ball to the hoop in clutch time.

Peter May has a look at Kevin Durant declaring for the NBA draft, noting that one way or another, green is in the future for the freshman star. Jessica Camerato notes that the Celtics are winning by losing these games. Also on Hoopsworld, Joel Brigham says that Pau Gasol for Paul Pierce would be an ideal trade for both teams.