Lottery Leftovers

I don’t think my email in-box has ever been as dead as it has been this morning.

I know I’m a hypocrite, but for a brief moment last night I was hoping for a venomous Dan Shaughnessy column this morning about the whole NBA Draft lottery and the state of the Celtics.

That feeling quickly passed.

The Red Sox and Yankees play the rubber game of their three game series in the Bronx tonight. It’s a pretty good pitching matchup, with Curt Schilling taking on Andy Pettitte.

Roger Clemens continues his minor league assignments tonight, but with a twist. He’ll be pitching against the Red Sox AA affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs. Pitching for Portland will be one of the Red Sox top prospects, Clay Buchholz. The game starts at 7:00 and can be seen for free on MLB.com and MiLB.com. ESPN2 is going to be showing at least some of the game, though probably only when Clemens in on the mound. If you’re a Sox fan who wants to get a look at Buchholz, going on the web is probably your best bet.

Keyshawn Johnson is retiring from the NFL and joining ESPN as an NFL Analyst. He will be appearing weekly on Sunday NFL Countdown (11 a.m. -1 p.m. ET) and Monday Night Countdown (7-8:30 p.m.). The 11-year NFL veteran will also contribute weekly columns to ESPN.com and appear on ESPN Radio’s new NFL show hosted by Chris Mortensen and Bill Parcells during the season (Fridays, 7 p.m.)

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Welcome to the next decade of discontent (Bill Simmons)

Eric Wilbur says that the Celtics got their just rewards last night.

Well, We Suppose This Ruins Pitino’s Master Plan (Deadspin)

Vindication or Unfairness in Last Night’s NBA Draft Lottery? (Sports Law Blog)

What the Lottery Results Mean for Boston (Jessica Camerato, HoopsWorld)

Andy Katz looks at the worst possible scenario coming true for the Celtics.

Do you have any idea of what Ian Thomsen is saying here? Is he saying that if Brandon Roy had been a Celtic and Sebastian Telfair remained a Blazer, that the Celtics would’ve had a better chance at getting the number one pick? I think that’s what he’s saying.

Marty Burns says that the Celtics and Grizzlies have a a legit beef with the lottery process.

Fire Joe Morgan goes after Newsday’s Wallace Matthews for his “bizarre ad hominem attack on Tim Wakefield.”

JoeSportsFan is back with another edition of The Media Circus.

Richard Sandomir looks at Mike and Mike in the Morning beating WFAN in the key 25-54 demo in New York.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees (ESPN National)
7:30pm, TBS – Mets @ Braves

Storied Past No Help For Celtics

For the Celtics, one thing is clear, if they’re going to come back and again become one of the league’s elite franchises, they’re not going to be handed the biggest piece to the puzzle.

Boston received the lowest pick that it could get under the rules, ending up with the fifth overall pick and losing out on franchise players Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, who will start their pro careers in Portland and Seattle.

Shira Springer goes behind the scenes with Wyc Grousbeck as the lottery unfolded. Mark Murphy says that the Celtics can now only put on a brave face as they prepare for the future. Kevin McNamara has more on the latest kick in the teeth to the once-fabled Celtics franchise. Scott Souza looks at the Celtics falling as far as they could in the lottery. Christopher Price calls it “a sickening case of deja vu for Celtics fans.”

Bob Ryan notes that the unnamed curse continued last night, as the streak of incredibly bad fortune that has haunted the Celtics since 1986 struck again. Steve Bulpett has Danny Ainge trying to stay positive while acknowledging that the team will consider trading that fifth pick. Jeff Jacobs calls this “one of the great punches to the gut in New England basketball history.” Lenny Megliola says that “last night was all about for Celtics’ fans was hope and belief” – which was promptly shattered.

Tony Massarotti has the worst case scenario coming true for the Celtics, as the system failed them once again. Desmond Conner wonders “if this was a case of a message being sent on tanking.” Bill Doyle says that the jobs of Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge just got a whole lot tougher this year. Tim Weisberg says “Just like everything else this season, the Ping-Pong balls didn’t fall their way, either.”

Jeff Goodman looks at the leftovers…which players after Oden and Durant could help the Celtics the most. Bulpett says that this wasn’t the result that Doc Rivers had dream of in recent nights. Murphy has Tom Heinsohn giving his reaction to the night’s events.

From the world of blogging, Mike McMahon looks at the Celtics steak of bad luck marching on. Celtics Blog is still reeling from the stomach punch they received around 8:45 last night.

Red Sox
The Red Sox pushed their lead over the Yankees back up to 10.5 games last night with a 7-3 win over New York. Julian Tavarez got the win, while Manny Ramirez got the Red Sox off to a good start with a three run homer off of Mike Mussina in the first inning.

Gordon Edes has Tavarez and buddies Ramirez and David Ortiz leading the Red Sox to victory. Jeff Horrigan notes that at least the ball bounced right for one of the Boston teams last night. Sean McAdam has Tavarez and the Red Sox pushing the Yankees back down. Dom Amore has the Yankees getting back to damage control after a couple nights of hope. Bill Ballou has Tavarez continuing his remarkable transformation from this time a year ago.

Ton Massarotti looks at the job done by Julian Tavarez last night against the Yankees star-studded lineup. Dan Shaughnessy has more on Tavarez, who was saying all the right things after the game. John Altavilla has the Red Sox avoiding any talk that the AL East race is over, despite the media’s best efforts to get them to say so. Alex Speier has the decision on Curt Schilling’s future becoming more complicated by the day.

Steve Buckley says that it is clear that Manny Ramirez loves to hit in Yankee Stadium. Michael Silverman looks at the performance of the bullpen last night, with Javier Lopez emerging as the star of the night, while Okajima and Papelbon had their struggles. Kevin Gray has Bob Tewksbury giving kids in NH a pep talk.
Buckley says that Curt Schilling is just ahead of the curve on this blogging thing, soon many more athletes are going to be doing it. Horrigan has Dustin Pedroia upset with ARod for a cheap shot during a slide into second base. (MLB.com Video)

Nick Cafardo notes that Mike Mussina is a mess, and that the Yankees really need Roger Clemens right now. Silverman has Johnny Damon happy to be with the Yankees, regardless of where they currently are in the standings.

Check the reaction in NY with the New York Sports Pages.

Horrigan’s notebook has J.D. Drew trying not to over-analyze his own swing as he tries to break out the slump that he has been in all month. Edes’ notebook has Josh Beckett on pace to rejoin the rotation next Tuesday against the Indians. McAdam’s notebook has more on the ARod cheap shot on Pedroia. John Altavilla’s notebook has more on Drew’s slump. Ballou’s notebook has the Red Sox 10.5 lead the largest division lead in baseball.

Patriots
Jim Donaldson says that Junior Seau must be thinking the same thing as Patriots fans, and wants to be along for the ride. Karen Guregian says that another football senior citizen, Vinny Testaverde, also wants to be along for the Patriots ride. Mark Farinella wonders if the proposed new Patriots Place is out of place in Foxboro.

Celtics Get Worst Possible Pick

The curse of David Stern continued tonight as the Celtics got the worst possible pick they could get under the circumstances, finishing 5th.

Somehow this just seemed too predictable.

Let the radio and TV blackout commence.

Will The Leprechaun Return?

Just a nerve-wracking day for all Celtics fans. This is worse than the day of game 7 in 2004 against the Yankees. Worse than a Super Bowl Sunday involving the Patriots.

The lottery tonight will be the focus of attention for even casual Celtics fans. Even with Red Sox/Yankees going on at the same time, fans are going to be waiting anxiously between 8:30 and 9:00 for the results of the ping pong balls.

On the 10:00pm edition of Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight on FSN, Mike Gorman will have a one-on-one with Celtics Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. Tom Heinsohn will report on the lottery results from NBA Entertainment. Tanguay and Dickerson will analyze the Green’s next move in-studio with Ryen Russillo of ESPN Radio.

As an indication of how the national media realizes how much this lottery means to the Celtics, ESPN’s Andy Katz will be reporting live from the Celtics’ facility.

Bill Simmons says that the Sonics have the most Karma built up to win the lottery. (He has the Celtics getting the 2nd pick.)

After listening to Glenn Ordway spout for the better part of two decades that the only way the Celtics can rebuild is by bottoming out and getting a franchise player at number one or two in the draft, it was amusing to hear him yesterday saying that if the Celtics get the number two pick and land Kevin Durant, they should strongly consider trading him for a “veteran all star.”

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Bookmark last night’s blog entry by Rob Bradford. You’re going to need it at some point this summer. He talks to the Red Sox’s Director of Baseball Operations, Brian O’Halloran,”whose job it is to know all the ins and outs of big league baseball’s rules and regulations.” This includes all the ins and outs of the waiver process, which has changed this season, rules and procedures related to designating a player for assignment, post-season roster eligibility, the Rule 5 draft, and a host of other complex baseball items.

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Bob Raissman speculates that a feud between Peter Gammons and Yankees President Randy Levine might be behind the rumor from Gammons that Levine is looking to get Joe Torre fired. He also looks at a confrontation between Chris (Mad Dog) Russo and Suzyn Waldman over his mocking of her reaction to Roger Clemens’ announcement that he was returning to the Yankees.

Barry Horn has a look at Waldman as a pioneer for women in sports broadcasting.

Michael Hiestand looks at the issues FOX and ESPN have trying to coordinate coverage for when Barry Bonds does break the all time home run record.

Neil Best looks at the NHL’s version of the “Heidi game” which happened this weekend when NBC left a Sabres/Senators playoff game headed for overtime to cover the Preakness.

Richard Sandomir has more on the NBC/NHL mess.

Chad Finn has a Boston based edition of Nine Innings.

Todd Jones of the Columbus Dispatch has Greg Oden’s former AAU coach saying that the big man “has mentioned in the past that he would like to play for Boston because of the franchise’s rich tradition.”

Jesse Nunes on the Boston.com Green Room can’t live through another lottery like 1997.

Marty Burns looks at the teams with the most to lose (and gain) from tonight’s lottery.

The Masochistic Duncan Myth – Adam Kennedy.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees
7:30pm, TBS – Mets @ Braves
8:30pm, ESPN – NBA Draft Lottery
9:00pm, ESPN – Jazz @ Spurs
9:00pm, Versus – Red Wings @ Ducks

Sox Left Stranded in NY

The Red Sox certainly had their chances against Chien-Ming Wang and the Yankees last night, but couldn’t come up with the key hits when they needed them, and missed out on an opportunity to increase their AL East lead, losing 6-2 at Yankee Stadium. Tim Wakefield had his worst outing of the season, but didn’t get any help from his offense, either.

Jeff Horrigan looks at a night of wasted opportunities for the Red Sox. Gordon Edes has the Yankees serving notice that the rest of the season will in fact be played. Sean McAdam has Tim Wakefield unable to get a good feel for the knuckleball, while Wang was able to get out of the jams he faced. Paul Doyle has the Red Sox missing out on too many chances last night. Bill Ballou has Wakefield struggling in the Bronx.

Dan Shaughnessy notes that fighting for their lives, and perhaps their jobs, the Yankees showed some hunger last night. Tony Massarotti says that these games mean much more to the Yankees than they do to the Red Sox, and it showed last night. Bob Ryan has Kevin Youkilis continuing his hitting hot streak, and refusing to give away even a single at bat. Michael Silverman has Wakefield leaving his early season success behind him, unable to get comfortable all night. We’ve heard a lot about how well Wakefield pitches against the Yankees, but as Silverman points out, he’s just 1-7 against them in his last nine starts.

Jeff Jacobs notes that with Wakefield, you just don’t know what you’re going to get. Buckley has Julian Tavarez winning over the Boston fans in his second season with the Red Sox with his performance on the field and his daffy personality. Massarotti has Manny Delcarmen back with the big club and ready for anything. Jeff Howe has Devern Hansack and Kason Gabbard riding the I-95 shuttle between Pawtucket and Boston. Matt Kalman looks at the life of a Red Sox fan living in New York.

Nick Cafardo has the Yankees finally showing a glimpse of the team they’re supposed to be. Dom Amore has ARod and Giambi each hitting homers in the win over the Red Sox. Steve Buckley has Johnny Damon giving the Yankees a lift with three hits, two stolen bases and a run scored.

Silverman has Joe Torre doing his best to weather the storm in NY. Amore’s notebook has Damon looking like a catalyst at the top of the order again.

Check the view from NY in the New York Sports Pages.

Horrigan’s notebook has Daisuke Matsuzaka being named the AL Player of the Week for May 14-20. Edes’s notebook has a look at the continued struggles at the plate by Manny Ramirez and J.D. Drew. McAdam’s notebook has more on Delcarmen’s return to the big club. Doyle’s notebook has Delcarmen pitching a perfect seventh inning his his return. Ballou’s notebook has Youkilis continuing his hot streak.

Celtics
Tonight is the night. Sometime between 8:30 and 9:00 tonight we’ll have a pretty good idea whether the Celtics are on the road back to respectability or if they’re going to be mired in mediocrity for the foreseeable future. The NBA Draft lottery starts at 8:30 tonight and will air on ESPN. FSN New England will have plenty of coverage and reaction throughout the night as well.

For my part, I refuse to believe that David Stern will ever allow anything good to happen to the Celtics on his watch.

Shira Springer looks at the huge night ahead for the future of the Boston Celtics. As if we needed any reminders, Mark Murphy charts the paths taken by the Spurs and Celtics since the fateful night 10 years ago when San Antonio won the draft lottery and won the rights to Tim Duncan. Bill Reynolds looks at the Celtics’ future riding on the ping pong balls. Steve Bulpett has Jeff Twiss remembering that painful night in Secaucus. Tim Weisberg consults a psychic, who sees the Phoenix Suns winning the lottery. Desmond Conner says Greg Oden is the hands down prize of the lottery. Bulpett looks at how the failure of that ’97 lottery messed things up for Rick Pitino.

Patriots
The Patriots officially brought back Junior Seau yesterday for a second season with the club, and 18th in the NFL.Mike Reiss reports on Seau staying in school for another year. Shalise Manza Young has more on Seau, who gives the Patriots much-needed depth in the middle of their linebacker corps. Mark Farinella and Karen Guregian also report on the future Hall of Famer returning to the Patriots.

Losing Gerry

There’s a new movie that is filming in New Hampshire this year, titled “Losing Jerry” (Article in The Hippo)

WEEI might consider renaming their morning show “Losing Gerry.”

This morning had Jon Meterparel slipping into Gerry Callahan’s chair alongside John Dennis as the station started another week without their morning show headliner. Meterparel strictly played the foil role this morning, arguing against each point Dennis was making at the moment, just as the formula calls for.

The Big Show embraced the idea of Ron Borges coming onto their show and airwaves. Pete Sheppard called out Borges for being wrong about so many things regarding the Patriots, almost daring Borges to call in now that he is no longer a Globe employee and thus subject to the “Globe ban” on WEEI.

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Dan Kennedy offers up his thoughts on the Ron Borges “retirement.”

Gordon Edes serves up a special Monday edition of the Ask Edes Mailbag.

Dan Lamothe wonders if this could be the first 100-win Sox team in 61 years.

The Big Lead has a look at local guy/college hoops junkie Jeff Goodman. He’s a good guy who has worked his way up from the bottom to become one of the top college basketball writers in the country.

Jessica Camerato has part two of her Life After the Second Pick series on players the Celtics could focus on should they miss out on one of the top two picks.

Peter King has his weekly filing of Monday Morning Quarterback. It contains praise for Ron Borges and lists a Dan Shaughnessy line from draft weekend as one of his quotes of the week.

Patriots re-sign LB Junior Seau (Patriots.com)

With the re-signing, Mike Reiss offers some Seau analysis. Over at the Herald, Albert Breer has more analysis.

Bill Barnwell has a look at the offseason moves of the teams in the AFC East.

Is This Necessary? (BostonsportZ)

Chad Finn leads off his national Nine Innings column with some love for the Rockies’ Matt Holliday.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees
7:30pm, ESPN2 – AFL – New Orleans Voodoo @ Philadelphia Soul
8:00pm, TNT – Cavs @ Pistons

Gabbard Braves Spot Start for Sox

The Red Sox sat through another rainy afternoon yesterday, but eventually were able to get the game in and defeated the Atlanta Braves 6-3 at Fenway Park. Kason Gabbard picked up the win for Boston with 5+ innings of fairly impressive pitching.

Michael Silverman notes that this was three series in a row that the Red Sox won on this 10 game homestand. Amalie Benjamin has the Red Sox preaching the one-game-at-a-time mantra after the game in anticipation of the series with the Yankees that starts tonight. Paul Kenyon has Gabbard dealing with a roller-coaster afternoon of emotions in picking up the win. David Heuschkel says that the Red Sox appear to be a team without many worries after the win and heading into a series with the Yankees. Ron Chimelis has the Red Sox rolling along after their latest win. Phil O’Neill has Gabbard coming up for a spot start and out-pitching Tim Hudson for the win. Jeff Howe as Gabbard and the Sox rolling over the Braves.

Gerry Callahan (remember him?) says that the Red Sox should keep Mike Lowell next season and not pursue ARod in the offseason. He says that is a sign of how bad things have gotten for the Yankees. Bob Ryan examines the Yankees struggles, and after acknowledging the theory that a New York Post writer put forth – Joe Torre isn’t the same without Don Zimmer on the bench next to him – Ryan notes that the players aren’t the same, either. Steve Buckley complains that this latest Red Sox/Yankees series lacks the usual “pizzazz.” Lenny Megliola has the Red Sox downplaying this series with the Yankees. Karen Guregian has the Red Sox focusing on themselves and not what any other team (the Yankees) is doing. Chimelis has a look at the family clause for Clemens causing a little stir among the Yankee clubhouse, but noting that the Yankees are “far from out of it” still.

Rob Bradford says that a good part of Kevin Youkilis’ success this season can be attributed to the fact that his foot is finally healthy. The Red Sox first baseman had suffered from plantar fasciitis last season, and even dating back to the end of 2005. Alex Speier looks at life on Planet Papelbon. Joe Haggertyhas Jason Varitek’s triple powering the Red Sox offense yesterday. Christopher L. Gasper has a look at the one-and-done performance of Kason Gabbard, who pitched very well in his one start before being sent back to Pawtucket. Bradford has Braves’ Jarrod Saltalamacchia talking about his childhood and high school teammate, Kason Gabbard, who picked up the win for the Red Sox yesterday.

Silverman’s notebook has Manny Delcarmen getting called up from Pawtucket following the game, with Gabbard getting sent back down. Benjamin’s notebook has more on Delcarmen getting the call from the minors, having turned things around since a disastrous outing not too long ago. The Projo notebook has Gabbard being rewarded for his start with a return to Pawtucket. Heuschkel’s notebook has the Red Sox on guard heading into this series with the Yankees. Chimelis’ notebook has the Red Sox declining to show any bravado prior to their series with New York. O’Neill’s notebook has the Yankees searching for some mojo heading into their series with the Red Sox.

Celtics
Peter May kindly reminds us all of what happened in the NBA draft lottery 10 years ago when Tim Duncan was the prize and the Celtics had the best odds of landing him. Steve Bulpett has Tommy Heinsohn hoping to bring the Celtics some good fortune as he represents the club at the draft lottery tomorrow night. Jim Donaldson says that the Celtics could use a little luck tomorrow night. Tim Weisberg looks at the top three picks of the NBA draft in each of the last 10 years, and the huge gap between the first and third picks.

Misc
David Scott parses the Globe press release from Friday night that announced Ron Borges’ “retirement” from the paper.

Shalise Manza Young has Randy Moss making a good first impression with the Patriots.

Ron Borges “Retires” From Globe

Wow. So I’m out at an anniversary party last night that some of my friends threw for my wife and I, completely shut out from the broadcast outlets, and I miss the news that Ron Borges has suddenly decided to “retire” from the Boston Globe.

Since when is Borges the retiring type?

This whole thing smells and certainly makes the Boston Globe look even worse.

Boston Magazine Illustration by Tim Tomkinson.

The early Friday night release of the news is an old trick…get the news out there quietly and let it simmer down over the weekend, the absence of any quotes from the publisher or editor of the paper (beyond sports editor Joe Sullivan), plus the suddenness of the decision, with Borges having written just one article (A Raiders-eye view of Randy Moss) since his return from his plagiarism-induced two month suspension.

When on with Michael Felger on 890 ESPN Boston, Borges made reference to an upcoming hearing with the newspaper guild, and several snide references about the truth being told at that time. Was Borges either so disgusted with how the Globe handled things that he walked out, or was he becoming aware that the exoneration that he was anticipating was not going to play out as he had planned?

In any event, this is a loss in the short term for the Boston Globe. Despite his ridiculous anti-Patriots/Belichick bias, Borges was still a well-connected and capable NFL writer. (When he wasn’t lifting passages from Seattle beat writers, that is.) The Globe has some shuffling to do. However, in the long run, they could be better off for it.

I’m confident however, that Boston and Patriots fans have not seen and heard the last of Borges. This move actually gives him more freedom to appear on outlets around town. Glenn Ordway has long said that he would love to have Borges on the Big Show during football season, and unless Borges decides to stick with Felger out of loyalty to a guy who gave him a weekly radio slot for the last year or so, a move to WEEI seems logical.

He will also find an outlet for his writing. While it is possible that he might decide to just stick with boxing and even get into the business side of that sport, he will likely find many websites and print outlets out there that are willing to overlook his transgressions and give him a forum to write on football.

Related Links

All Along the Watchtower – Cold Hard Football Facts.

Borges Leaves After Plagiarism Scandal – Jessica Heslam, Boston Herald

Dan Kennedy offers up his thoughts on the Ron Borges “retirement.”

David Scott continues the BSMW coverage on Borges with another piece on the “retirement” today.

Scott also parses the Globe press release from Friday night that announced Ron Borges’ “retirement” from the paper.

Controversial Sports Writer Retires From Globe – The Boston Channel.

John Gonzalez November 2006 Boston Magazine feature on Borges.

Wikipedia entry on Borges.

Ron Borges Retires From Boston Globe (AOL Sports)

Both A Disappointment And An Inspiration (Bob George)

Weekly Media Columns – 5/18/07

It’s been a busy week here, and the late afternoon/evening postings have suffered. This one will as well.

Here’s just a few links and the weekly media columns:

Albert Breer has Al Groh talking about linebacking in the Belichick system.

Football Outsiders has an issue with Gil Brandt apparently using their research on NFL.com without giving them credit.

Bill Simmons has a few thoughts on the state of the NBA playoffs and a few links.

Paul Perillo has another offseason edition of Ask PFW.

Clark Booth offers up a number of thoughts and observations on the sports scene.

Curt Schilling analyzes his most recent start against Detroit on his blog.

Jordan Ellenberg on Slate examines whether Roger Clemens is going to be worth what the Yankees are paying him.

Sports Media Columns from Around the Country

New England
David Scott says that Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy really didn’t challenge MLB commissioner Bud Selig in his appearance in the NESN booth last night. Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at ESPN’s announcement earlier in the week about new programming for the network. Bill Doyle has Worcester Sharks announcer Jamie Smock hoping for a shot at an NHL job. Shawn Courchesne looks at a new TV deal for UConn.

New York
Phil Mushnick says the NBA got it right with their suspensions in the Spurs/Suns series. Richard Sandomir notes that Mets/Yankees is the king of the interleague matchups. Neil Best has a look at Lee Mazzilli’s foray into television this season with SNY. Bob Raissman says that this weekend’s Mets/Yankees is of great importance to the Yankees, who can’t afford to fall further behind the Red Sox.

More East Coast
Michael Hiestand notes that sports history has an odd way of finding Craig Sager, from Hank Aaron’s record setting home run, to Larry Bird’s 1979 NCAA tournament run with Indiana State, to a number of other interesting moments. Chris Zelkovich has CBC Sports rising from the grave with a new deal with the Blue Jays. Laura Nachman looks a number of announcers lining up for MLB jobs. Leonard Shapiro looks at Gold Channel’s search for the perfect pairing with Nick Faldo. Jim Williams looks at the Preakness coverage this weekend, and also has a look at the Nationals/Orioles interleague matchup.

South
Barry Jackson has a look at the amazing Jack Ramsay, who is 82 years old, battling lung and brain cancer, caring for his wife who has Alzheimer’s disease, swims in the Gulf of Mexico each in addition to his daily routine of 60 push-ups and 135 sit-ups and still analyzed 35 games this year for ESPN Radio. Looking ahead to next weekend, Dave Darling looks at the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, listing the top ten moments in the rivalry. David Barron has Jeff Van Gundy ready to call it as he sees it in his role as ESPN analyst for the playoffs.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein has Cubs announcer Ron Santo red-faced after his comments about the pink bats used last Sunday to raise awareness of breast cancer on Mother’s Day. Judd Zulgad has the Vikings dividing up their team TV programming among three different stations. Bob Wolfley says that the debate between Dan Patrick and David Stern this week on ESPN radio made for a great listen.

West Coast
Tom Hoffarth has NBC getting ready to cover the Preakness without making too many references and mentions of last year. Larry Stewart also has a look at NBC’s plans for coverage of the race. Jay Posner has Padres announcer Matt Vasgersian calling it “ignorant” and a “disservice” to viewers to suggest that announcers shouldn’t mention a no-hitter in progress after a recent 5 1/3 inning no hit stint by Greg Maddox. John Maffei has baseball setting itself up for some cold weather games this fall. Jim Carlisle looks at ESPN’s coverage of sports the network has a stake in. Rhiannon Potkey looks at softball star Jessica Mendoza working the NCAA softball telecasts for ESPN. Joe Davidson has the NFL thinking about speeding up the draft a bit.

Red Sox Play Two, Take Two

There were a few questions raised in yesterday’s papers about how this edition of the Red Sox would handle a little adversity. If yesterday is any indication, they might have things under control, as they swept a day-night doubleheader from the Detroit Tigers by the scores of 2-1 and 4-2.

Michael Silverman has the Red Sox relying on the end of their rotation in the first win and the end of their bench in the second. Gordon Edes looks at the Red Sox hitting the quarter mark of the season and threatening to run away with the division. Jeff Goldberg has the fifth start and fifth outfielder adding up to a nearly 10 game lead in the division. Garry Brown reports on a day-night delight at Fenway Park. Bill Ballou has the Red Sox getting contributions from unlikely sources.

Jackie MacMullan has a piece on reliever Hideki Okajima, who pitched in both games yesterday, picking up the save in the second game, and who continues to be untouchable. Alex Speier also has a piece on Okajima. Tony Massarotti has a nice look at how the supporting cast of this Red Sox team has delivered thus far, and that they will need to continue to do so. Jeff Jacobs says it cannot possibly be this easy all season for the Red Sox.

Steven Krasner has a look at Eric Hinske having a huge role in the second game. Rob Bradford has more on Hinske, who was the hero of the second game, with an outstanding catch and a two run homer. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell provides a look at Julian Tavarez’s impressive outing in the first game. Steve Krasner‘s game notes has the wind both helping and hurting Curt Schilling last night. Joe Haggerty has hitting coach Dave Magaden fixing a head tilt that Dustin Pedroia had developed at the plate, and the results are good thus far.

Massarotti has a look at the bullpen’s performance, with the focus on yesterday, but noting that they’ve been outstanding all season long. Dan Lamothe offers some doubleheader observations and video of Jerry Remy’s air guitar performance. Eric McHugh remembers that Johnny Pesky was once a Tiger. Mike Petraglia has the Sox getting ready for a brief taste of interleague play with the Braves in town tonight.

Bradford has baseball commissioner Bud Selig stopping by Fenway, but not wanting to reveal his plans for when Barry Bonds breaks the home run record. MacMullan has Selig evasive on Bonds when the subject was raised. Carolyn Thornton has more from Selig. Speier has Selig among those talking about interleague play with the Braves coming in.

Jeff Horrigan has a look at the minors, and notes that the Red Sox not having a first round pick this year doesn’t seem to be a big deal. Amalie Benjamin also has a minor league notebook, and she looks at the pitchers who will be getting a shot with the Red Sox over the next few days.

Silverman’s notebook has Josh Beckett heading to the 15 day DL and missing two starts to give his finger time to heal. Edes’ notebook has more on Beckett, and Devern Hansack getting the call for tonight’s game. The Projo notebook has more on Hansack getting the call. Goldberg’s notebook also reports on Hansack preparing to face the Braves tonight. Ballou“>Ballou’s notebook touches on Hansack, Okajima, Selig and Bonds.

Patriots
John Tomase runs through what appears to be a well-stocked roster for the Patriots. Mike Reiss has Benjamin Watson looking forward to playing with Randy Moss, and willing to negotiate his number 84 with Moss. Tomase’s notebook has Moss in town to check in with the offseason workout program.

Media
David Scott says that Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy really didn’t challenge MLB commissioner Bud Selig in his appearance in the NESN booth last night. Susan Bickelhaupt has a look at ESPN’s announcement earlier in the week about new programming for the network.