Baseball season doesn’t really start until the first Red Sox/Yankees series, does it?
Here’s the current matchups for the series – tonight at 7:00pm on NESN Andy Pettitte (1-0, 1.50) pitches against Curt Schilling (2-1, 2.84), Saturday at 3:55pm on FOX, Jeff Karstens (no record) goes against Josh Beckett (3-0, 1.50), and Sunday at 8:00pm on ESPN, Chase Wright (1-0, 5.40) faces Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-2, 2.70).
Outside of the Red Sox/Yankees, the weekend features a little bit of everything, with the exception of NFL stuff, (next weekend will make up for that) as there is plenty of NBA and NHL playoffs on tap. Golf and NASCAR are also on the schedule. Here in New England, the weather is finally supposed to be decent, so a lot of the daytime stuff is likely to be missed, but the evenings provide enough to keep fans occupied.
In addition to the local papers, you can get the NY perspective on the New York Sports Pages.
Here’s some information on the ESPN/ABC NBA playoffs broadcasts:
Mike Breen will call the ABC Saturday broadcast with analyst Jon Barry and reporter Michele Tafoya. ESPN commentator teams for Saturday’s games: Dave Pasch, Tom Tolbert and Doris Burke for Nets/Raptors; Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and Lisa Salters for Magic/Pistons; and Mark Jones, Bill Walton and Jim Gray for Jazz/Rockets.
ABC’s Sunday NBA Playoff telecast – the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant at the Phoenix Suns and Steve Nash at 3 p.m. – will be called by Breen, analyst Mark Jackson and reporter Tafoya. ABC’s GMC NBA Countdown pre-game show, with host Dan Patrick and analysts Barry and Michael Wilbon, will be on the road back-to-back days this weekend – Saturday (in Chicago to preview the Heat/Bulls game) and Sunday (in Phoenix to preview the Lakers/Suns contest) at 2:30 p.m. All NBA Playoff games and studio shows on ESPN networks will be available in high definition.
For TNT their coverage starts on Sunday with a split tripleheader beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. as the Cleveland Cavaliers will host the Washington Wizards in the first game of the series. Courtside announcing will be Matt Devlin (play-by-play), game analyst (TBD) and Marty Snider (reporter). At 6:00 p.m. ET the studio crew of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson convene to give an hour-long preview of the NBA Playoffs during the NBA Tip-Off presented by AutoTrader.com.
Then, the Denver Nuggets face off against the San Antonio Spurs at 7 p.m. ET, as Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and Dei Lynam (reporter) call the action. Concluding the night’s playoff coverage, the Golden State Warriors travel to Dallas for their first playoff game in 12 years against the defending NBA Western Conference Champions, Dallas Mavericks. Dick Stockton (play-by-play), Mike Fratello (analyst) and Pam Oliver (reporter) will announce the game live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX.
Saturday night April 21 at 7:00pm on WCVB-TV there will be a pre-draft edition of Patriots All Access. Among the highlights:
- An inside look at the information gathering process of draft eligible prospects with Patriots director of college scouting Thomas Dimitroff. He takes us through the year long-plus process, including how they write scouting reports, and a look at the clubs data base system.
- A one-on-one conversation with head coach Bill Belichick.
- Former # 1 pick Vince Wilfork will tell us about a draft day party Patriots fans can attend to benefit a great cause.
- Interviews with two of the newest Patriots, Adalius Thomas and Wes Welker.
- Draft day memories with current members of the team.
We’ve got a big week planned over at the BSMW Patriots Game Day page in preparation for next weekend’s NFL draft. Here is a schedule of what’s planned for the next week:
Sat 4/21 – Last individual profile – player TBD
Sun 4/22 – 2nd day offensive player possibilities
Mon 4/22 – 2nd day defensive players possibilities
Tue 4/23 – Player Profile Inventory and Links
Wed 4/24 – Final Rumor Inventory
Thur 4/25 – Final Mock Board
Fri 4/26 – Roundtable
Sat 4/27 & Sun 4/28 – Draft Blog
You’ve probably heard about the new David Ortiz book, as told to Tony Massarotti. (No conflict of interest there!) The book – Big Papi: My Story of Big Dreams and Big Hits is now available and described as a “unique memoir by a charismatic man who appeals to young and old, on the baseball field or off.”
The Michael Holley/Tedy Bruschi book Never Give Up can also be pre-ordered now through the BSMW Amazon store.
Gordon Edes has this week’s edition of the Ask Edes Mailbag.
Chad Finn has his national nine innings column for Fox Sports.
Bill Simmons has the evidence that the 1985 NBA lottery was fixed in favor of the Knicks.
Sean McAdam says on ESPN.com that the Red Sox rotation has come a long way since the five game sweep at the hands of the Yankees last summer.
Clark Booth says that many of the original heroes were overshadowed in the tributes to Jackie Robinson.
The Media Circus weighs in on Keith Olbermann and Tiki Barber among others this week.
Steve Bulpett has a final report card for the 2006-07 Celtics.
I really don’t think there will ever be a Sebastian Telfair night at the Garden.
Sports Media Columns From Around The Country
David Scott has a few interesting items this morning, from the Globe sports department looking to shift a few people around, to Ron Borges attempting to work the back channels to get “his side” of things out there (he’s innocent, of course) and another rumored landing sport for Dennis & Callahan. Bill Doyle looks at NESN’s constant shuffling of analysts. Susan Bickelhaupt also looks at this topic, with two more baseball personalities being added to the mix this week in Ken Macha and Naoko Funayama.
Phil Mushnick says that ESPN is taking all the fun out of criticizing them. It’s just become too easy. He cites a recent graphic on the network noting that Mariano Rivera had given up four “walk-off” home runs in his career, and that all four “have come on the road.” As Mushnick points out, “How’s that for a coincidence!” Neil Best says that Mike and the Mad Dog’s cameo in the mornings on WFAN was “an interesting diversion, and provides potentially relevant fodder as WFAN ponders its pivotal next move.” Pat Reichart has five questions for Yankees analyst Bobby Murcer. Richard Sandomir has NBC loading up on Barbaro material for their Kentucky Derby coverage in the coming weeks. Bob Raissman has early season baseball ratings outdoing NHL playoff ratings in New York.
More East Coast
Michael Hiestand has TNT going all-out for their NBA playoff coverage, including a MySpace networking page. Chris Zelkovich has Rogers Sportsnet’s Sportsnet Connected benefiting in the ratings from a few simple changes to the look. Michael McCarthy has ESPN looking to provide some better debate in the mornings on Cold Pizza. Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post looks at the Orioles playing hardball with WNST’s Nestor “Nasty” Aparicio, who has been critical of owner Peter Angelos and Orioles management. Laura Nachman has a look at the new broadcast pairings for the Phillies and the reasons behind them. Bob Smizik looks at KDKA not renewing the contract of longtime sports anchor John Steigerwald. Jim Williams has a few thoughts about Hokie Nation.
Barry Jackson notes that Heat radio voice Mike Inglis is all emotion and honesty in his calls of the club’s games, praising effusively when appropriate and pulling no punches when criticism is warranted. Dave Darling has Orlando gearing up for NBA playoff coverage after nearly four years without postseason action for the Magic. David Barron notes that former Rockets now covering the NBA for ESPN and TNT “are not inclined to cut their former team much slack as the NBA playoffs begin.” Barry Horn has a look at former NBA star Brad Daugherty making a name for himself with his work as a NASCAR analyst on ESPN2.
Ed Sherman has the newly created Big Ten Network looking for fans to put some pressure on cable operators to carry the network. Bob Wolfley has a look at TNT ramping up their coverage for the NBA playoffs. Judd Zulgad has former Vikings linebacker and assistant coach Pete Bercich returning to the team as a game analyst on KFAN. Dan Caesar has a look at KSDK putting the onus on NBC to resolve the schedule logjam created by the local station’s broadcasts of Cardinals games.
Larry Stewart has the national analysts not giving the Lakers much love. Jay Posner notes that the Lakers are in ABC’s featured game this weekend simply because of their mystique. Mike Bresnahan looks at a new book on the Suns from Jack McCallum that takes some shots at the Lakers. Tom Hoffarth says that the Lakers still generate plenty of TV buzz. Jim Carlisle says that fun is the name of the game at TNT during the playoffs. Joe Davidson says that Charles Barkley is the chief jester for the TNT crew. John Maffei has some criticism for ESPN’s Jackie Robinson Day coverage of the Padres/Dodgers game and a few other items.
Weekend Sports Highlights
Friday April 20th
7:00pm, NESN – Yankees @ Red Sox
7:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Mets
7:00pm, Versus – Islanders @ Sabres
9:30pm, Versus – Sharks @ Predators
Saturday April 21st
12:30pm, ESPN – Nets @ Raptors
3:00pm, ABC – Heat @ Bulls
3:00pm, NBC – Flames @ Red Wings
3:00pm, CBS – Zurich Classic of New Orleans
3:30pm, FOX – Yankees @ Red Sox
7:00pm, ESPN – Magic @ Pistons
8:00pm, Versus – Canucks @ Stars
8:25pm, FOX – NASCAR Nextel Cup – Subway Fresh 500
9:30pm, ESPN – Jazz @ Rockets
Sunday April 22nd
12:30pm, TNT – Wizards @ Cavs
1:00pm, TBS – Braves @ Mets
3:00pm, ABC – Lakers @ Suns
3:00pm, CBS – Zurich Classic of New Orleans
7:00pm, TNT – Nuggets @ Spurs
7:00pm, Versus – Sabres @ Islanders (if necessary)
8:00pm, ESPN – Yankees @ Red Sox
9:30pm, TNT – Warriors @ Mavericks
10:00pm, Versus – Predators @ Sharks (if necessary)