Weekend Watch – NHIS in the Spotlight

New Hampshire International Speedway is the center of the NASCAR world this weekend with the LENOX Industrial Tools 300 scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 1:00pm (TNT). The race will also see the debut of the #99 Red Sox car of Roush Fenway Racing. (There’s plenty more on the weekend at NHIS below.)

Both NBA & NHL free agency periods kick off this weekend…sort of. The NBA allows teams to negotiate with free agents, but cannot actually sign them until July 10th because of the Free Agency Moratorium when “the NBA and NBPA conducts an audit that assists in the determination of the new Salary Cap figure for the following season.” The NHL does not have that moratorium, and can announce deals immediately. Last year the Bruins made a huge splash on July 1st with the signing of Zdeno Chara.

Keep up with any news on the two winter teams at Celticslinks.com and Bruinslinks.com.

The Red Sox return to Fenway Park this weekend after two trips to the West coast in the month of June and badly in need of some home cooking. The Texas Rangers provide the opposition this weekend as they invade Fenway for a four game series. Keep up with the action at RedSoxLinks.com.

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The Hartford Courant redesigned their web page this week, and at the same time made some rather unfortunate changes and cuts.

They will no longer be doing their own coverage of the New York Yankees, but instead will be running the stories that appear in New York Newsday. Since both papers are owned by the Tribune company, it was decided to save the money and not run separate coverage of the team. Reader Representative Karen Hunter explains in her blog:

Another reader called this morning to find out if The Courant had cut staff again and why AP stories were being used to report on the Yankees and Red Sox. I offered him the explanation Sports Editor Jeff Otterbein has provided: "Newsday is now covering the Yankees games stories. We have decided, since we also are a Tribune newspaper, to not duplicate efforts, thus freeing Dom [Amore] up to do many other types of stories in New York and Connecticut.”

That did not sit well with the gentleman. We discussed why it mattered whether a Newsday story or a Courant reporter covered the game as long as there was a story in the newspaper. He explained, "That is the one thing I really liked about your paper. The New Haven Register dropped its beat writers years ago and I didn't like that. That's why I started with The Courant. It's more personal. The beat writer is going to know a lot more inside information that I care about. I think it makes a difference. If you're going to do this with the NFL too, well, this is going to make me think very hard about canceling my subscription. I know it's a money thing, but sometimes you have to spend money for quality."

BSMW reader (And Red Sox fan) Tim chimes in:

But this is horrible news. The Courant has decided to run NY Newsday Yankee stories instead of having their own beat writer…removing Dom Amore, who I believe is 2nd in seniority when it comes to Yankee beat writers. I’ve long enjoyed his work; because even though he is an actual Yankee fan, he’s probably the best and most fair beat writer they have.

Later in the blog, Representative Hunter stated that “a Courant reporter would still be covering some of the Red Sox games.” (Emphasis mine)

Followup: I’m told that the Courant plans to cover all remaining Red Sox games this season, except for a 6 game West Coast road trip in August.

Here is a follow up in the Sunday Courant on dropping the Yankees coverage.

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Bill Simmons has his annual NBA draft diary column.

Chris Mannix lists the Celtics as the top winners of draft night.

Charley Rosen says the Ray Allen trade is a steal for the Celtics.

Jack McCallum loves the deal for the Celtics.

King Kaufman, not so much.

Bill Barnwell tries to figure out what Patriots fans might be able to expect in terms of production from Wes Welker this season.

Pete Prisco examines the Hall of Fame chances of 45 current NFL stars. Brady, Bruschi, Harrison, Moss and Seymour (along with Adam Vinatieri) are all discussed.

Jesse Noyes looks at the Patriots “international marketing game plan, which stresses going long in China.”

Vic Carucci lists the Patriots among his most improved teams this offseason.

Is Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs interested in buying the Buffalo Bills?

Chad Finn checks in with Nine Innings for FoxSports.

Tom Curran notes that Roger Clemens’ return to the Yankees has not gone as planned.

Tony Massarotti picks the NL All Star team.

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Sports Media Columns From Around the Country

New England
Susan Bickelhaupt has a number of media notes this week, including a look at the new ABC, ESPN and TNT television contract with the NBA. Bill Doyle in his “Tuning In” column this week, has a look at NESN’s Jayme Parker, who has been “flashing” listeners at WEEI. Tom King talks to Exeter, NH’s Jason Kosow, who pitches for the Nashua Pride, and played the role of Catfish Hunter in ESPN’s upcoming mini-series The Bronx is Burning.

New York
Phil Mushnick wonders if the Chris Benoit tragedy will finally wake up the media to the fact that Vince McMahon has been operating a death mill the past 25 years. Richard Sandomir notes that Brooklyn still has the Dodger blues, which will be stoked with HBO’s upcoming two-part documentary, Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts of Flatbush, which will be broadcast July 11. Bob Raissman wonders what will happen to the YES ratings numbers if the Yankees continue to stumble along. Neil Best might be on vacation this week, but he just keeps filling his blog with entries.

More East Coast
Leonard Shapiro has Sam Huff coming back for a 35th season of analyzing Redskins games. Michael Hiestand has David Stern talking about television of the future in discussing the NBA’s new broadcast deal with ABC, ESPN and TNT. Laura Nachman has Jimmy Kimmel promising not to hold back at the ESPY’s, and she also has some awards you won’t see on the broadcast. Bob Smizik has FSN Pittsburgh saying that they won’t show a proposed fan walkout of Saturday’s Pirates game. Jim Williams has Cal Ripken Jr expressing some confidence for the Orioles future in a TBS conference call. Williams also has more on the new NBA TV deal in his Watch This! blog. Chris Zelkovich has 18 year CFL vet Danny McManus heading to the broadcast booth.

South
Dave Darling talks to Chris “Mad Dog” Russo about his Orlando roots as part of a look at WFAN’s 20th anniversary. David Barron has a look at Calvin Murphy returning to the Houston airwaves. Barry Jackson has 790 The Ticket moving Sid Rosenberg to mornings to replace Joe Rose, who is expected to join WQAM. He also has former Miami coach Larry Coker heading to ESPNU as an analyst. Barry Horn has Fran Fraschilla talking about the draft.

Midwest
Judd Zulgad has a look at how important sourcing is on a hot topic story like the Kevin Garnett trade rumors, where several outlets might be reporting many different things. Teddy Greenstein has an update on the drama surrounding WMVP-AM’s franchise show, “Mac, Jurko & Harry.” Dan Caesar has Tim McKernan, who just left KFNS and his morning show “The Morning Grind,” weighing an offer from SportsNet New York. Bob Wolfley has ESPN’s Andy Katz getting it right with his call of Yi Jianlian being drafted by Milwaukee.

West Coast
Tom Hoffarth has a good look at WFAN marking their 20th anniversary of becoming the first radio station to go to an all-sports format. He also expands on the story even more in his blog, talking to WFAN’s Steve Somers for his thoughts on the anniversary. Jim Carlisle has Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken saying that they have no problem with putting Barry Bonds on the NL All Star team. Carlisle’s notebook looks at some changes at Wimbledon. John Maffei looks at a few announcing gigs being filled in the San Diego market.

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From TNT on this weekend’s coverage in New Hampshire:

This Sunday (July 1), TNT will provide exclusive coverage of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Racing from the New Hampshire Intl. Speedway with prerace coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET, leading up to the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET. The network’s pre-race coverage includes analyst Kyle Petty visiting the Victory Junction Gang Camp, which is located in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina, and was created in memory of his son Adam. The racing-themed camp serves children with life threatening illnesses and health issues to give them a magical experience full of adventures while maintaining a medically-safe environment. Petty will discuss the camp and its impact on the many children and families that have attended it in the three years since it was founded by he and his wife Pattie.

Also on Sunday, TNT’s Pride of NASCAR series continues with a feature on ‘Gentleman Ned Jarrett,’ a two-time NASCAR Champion with 239 career wins. TNT’s Bill Weber spent a day walking the links with Jarrett as he reminisced about his illustrious career over a round of golf. Topics discussed included Jarrett’s “early” retirement from racing at age 34 in 1966, his second career as a pioneering NASCAR broadcaster, his family (including 1999 Cup Champion son, Dale Jarrett) and his youth in rural North Carolina. Jarrett also recounted his most memorable moment in racing – calling the 1993 Daytona 500 which was won by his son. Additional Pride of NASCAR pieces featuring legends David Pearson, Benny Parsons and Junior Johnson are available to view on TNT Inside Angle on NASCAR.COM and include additional excerpts from the interviews that have not been televised.

Multi-platinum selling rock band Hinder will set the stage on Sunday as they perform a live concert at the race track in Loudon, and TNT will be on hand to air a portion of the concert prior to race. Hinder will play songs from their Extreme Behavior album, including the hits Lips of an Angel and Better than Me as well as their remake of the rock classic Born to Be Wild, which serves as the 2007 NASCAR on TNT Summer Series anthem.

Pre-race coverage will also include a segment featuring NASCAR wives, girlfriends and moms who will dish the dirt on the NASCAR men in their lives, including wives Shana Mayfield (husband is driver Jeremy Mayfield), Kim Wallace (husband is driver Kenny Wallace), Michelle Gilliland (husband is driver David Gilliland), the girlfriend of Kyle Busch, Erica Dewey, and Ryan Newman’s mother. The network will also air footage from Ralph Sheheen’s night with the drivers from Roush Racing as they headed to Fenway Park for a Boston Red Sox game. In the last year, Roush Racing and the Fenway Sports Group formed Roush Fenway Racing.

TNT’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Racing from New Hampshire begins at 1 p.m. ET with NASCAR on TNT Live! and Allstate Countdown to Green featuring TNT announcers Marc Fein (host), Bill Weber (host and play-by-play announcer), Kyle Petty (analyst), Wally Dallenbach (analyst) and Larry McReynolds (analyst/reporter). The pit reporting crew of Marty Snider, Matt Yocum, Ralph Sheheen and Lindsay Czarniak will check in throughout pre-race coverage and during the race which revs up at 2:30 p.m. ET.

From ESPN on this weekend’s coverage in New Hampshire:

ESPN on ABC’s NASCAR Countdown will have a live preview at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday of the NASCAR Busch Series Camping World 200 presented by RV.com at New Hampshire International Speedway. Brent Musburger will host NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN Pit Studio, while two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Tim Brewer will report from the ESPN Chevy Cutaway Car. Dale Jarrett, one of the founding drivers of the NASCAR Busch Series and the 1999 NASCAR Cup Series champion, will work in the ESPN booth as analyst for the telecast, joined by two-time NASCAR champion crew chief Andy Petree. Dr. Jerry Punch will handle play-by-play.

NASCAR Countdown will include segments from pit reporters Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro as the NASCAR Busch Series makes its only appearance of 2007 at the 1.058-mile New England oval.

NASCAR Countdown will originate from the ESPN Pit Studio at New Hampshire International Speedway as it sets the stage for ESPN2’s coverage of the NASCAR Busch Series race Saturday. Highlights include:

Juan Pablo Montoya: Has he arrived?
NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya won his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Race at Sonoma on June 24 – his second road course win of the season after taking the checkered flag in the NASCAR Busch Series race in March in Mexico City. ESPN pit reporter Mike Massaro will report on Montoya’s accomplishments this year and his return to the NASCAR Busch Series after a three-week break. Massaro will ask the questions, “What do these wins mean?” and “Has he ‘officially arrived’ or does he still need an ‘oval win’ to show he will be a NASCAR force?”

Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin’s win at Milwaukee
Last week’s NASCAR Busch Series come-from-behind win for the No. 20 car officially was designated as Aric Almirola’s first NASCAR Busch Series win in the record books, but NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin was behind the wheel at the finish. ESPN’s Allen Bestwick will report on Hamlin’s “unofficial win” in Milwaukee when he arrived late by helicopter to replace Almirola. Hamlin managed to come from a lap down to bring the No. 20 car to victory lane. The feature will include thoughts from Almirola on being pulled from the car even after leading a majority of the race to that point.

NASCAR driver Jon Wood Returns to Racing at Daytona
ESPN pit reporter Dave Burns will have the first sit-down interview with NASCAR Busch Series driver Jon Wood, son of legendary owner Ed Wood, who is set to return to the No. 47 car next Friday at Daytona. Wood has been absent from the NASCAR Busch Series for more than a month, after dealing with a misdiagnosis for ADD.

Companion Weekend: NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Races at New Hampshire
After three straight weeks of stand-alone NASCAR Busch Series racing, the series rejoins the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup at New Hampshire International Speedway. NASCAR Countdown reporters and analysts will report on the chances for a win for NASCAR Busch Series regulars Stephen Leicht, Steven Wallace, Jason Leffler, Marcos Ambrose and others while many of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers will pull double duty at the track, including NEXTEL Cup driver Tony Stewart, who had a win at New Hampshire in 2005.

Ray of Hope for Celtics?

The Celtics made their big deal for an veteran All Star last night, and did not give up Al Jefferson, Gerald Green or the contract of Theo Ratliff – should be a no-brainer, right? Yet the acquisition of seven time All Star and UConn alum Ray Allen was met with only a lukewarm response from many last night.

The Celtics shipped the fifth overall pick in the draft last night, (Which turned out to be Jeff Green) plus Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to Seattle last night in exchange for Allen.

Shira Springer says that the addition of Allen to go along with Paul Pierce and Jefferson could “perhaps will be a slight improvement from last season.” Steve Bulpett says that there could still be some large moves remaining for the Celtics this offseason. Tim Weisberg says that Allen is “the perfect compliment to Pierce without getting in the way of superstar-in-waiting Al Jefferson.” Mike Anthony has the Celtics turning to the former UConn guard as the answer to their efforts to maximize the career of Paul Pierce. Kevin McNamara says that the second-guessing can begin now that Danny Ainge “bypassed a high pick in one of the deepest NBA drafts in years.” Scott Souza reports on the Celtics getting the veteran player that Pierce and many of the fans wanted…just a different one from what many expected. Bill Doyle notes that Pierce got his wish, if not his demand with the trade for the veteran Allen. Dave Willis looks at the Celtics pulling off the draft night blockbuster.

Dan Shaughnessy pans the trade, saying that Ainge “caved to Paul Pierce and the howling masses,” has abandoned the youth movement (even though they still have all their young players with the exception of West and they drafted two more) and that this move feels like bringing in Dominique Wilkins in 1994. He’s also got Tom Heinsohn and Bob Cousy questioning the decision to make the deal. Lenny Megliola says that this trade is no big deal, and it is unknown as to whether it actually makes the Celtics any better. Peter May wonders if the Garnett deal might be back on the table, since Ray Allen is now a Celtic, and more importantly, Szczerbiak is not. Bulpett has Allen not coming in to take over, knowing that this is still Paul Pierce’s team.

Daniel Malloy looks at two Boston College players getting drafted in the first round – something that has never happened before. Jeff Goodman has more on the B.C. pair.

Susan Bickelhaupt has a number of media notes this week, including a look at the new ABC, ESPN and TNT television contract with the NBA.

The Herald notebook has a look at the player the Celtics passed on at #5 in Jeff Green, and also has Robert Parish talking about Al Jefferson and the current Celtics. The Globe notebook has a look at the Celtics second round selections, which were Southern Cal guard Gabe Pruitt and LSU forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis. Weisberg also has a look at the Celtics second round selections.

Red Sox
Gordon Edes says that despite the losing record on the most recent road trip for the Red Sox, there were many positives to choose from as well. Jeff Goldberg however, says that the Red Sox are in the midst of a good old fashioned June swoon. Michael Silverman looks at a couple of factors that are working against Daisuke Matsuzaka’s All Star chances. Sean McAdam notes that the upcoming schedule is certainly favorable for the Red Sox. Garry Brown says that the Red Sox are coming back to a feast at home.

Alex Speier says that something is always happening -good or bad – around Manny Ramirez. Bill Ballou has a look at Julio Lugo’s dreadful 0-31 slump. Brendan McGair has a look at Adam Stern’s return to McCoy stadium. Joe Haggerty looks at Sammy Sosa, fresh off his 600th career home run, coming to town with the Rangers. Sarah Green notes that counting your chickens before they are hatched is a baseball tradition.

Michael Vega looks at the unveiling of the #99 Red Sox car of Roush Fenway Racing, which will run this weekend at the Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Rob Bradford looks at how much Jon Lester has changed and progress as a pitcher in the course of a year. Amalie Benjamin leads off her minor league notebook with a look at Single A outfielder Bubba Bell. Jim Donaldson looks at PawSox pitcher Craig Breslow, who studied molecular biophysics at Yale and throws in the 90s.

Patriots
Bill Burt advises Asante Samuel to show up for camp on time and in the best shape of his life, have the best season of his career, and then name his price. John Tomase has a scout saying that one of Randy Moss’ biggest strengths is his ability to read defenses. He also says that Moss doesn’t need an “attitudinal” makeover.

Looking at Celtics Draft Night

Despite the immense disappointment of the May 22nd Draft Lottery, Celtics fans are still very worked up about what Danny Ainge and company are going to do with the #5 pick in the draft tonight. (ESPN, 7:30pm)

The rumors are flying fast and furious, and trying to keep up with them all will just give you a headache.

Here’s a little primer on some resources to keep you informed up to the moment during the draft tonight.

CelticsLinks.com – Your no-frills source of Celtics headlines, updated automatically. Includes feeds from the Globe, Herald, Projo, ESPN, FoxSports, Celtics.com and many Celtics focused blogs.

CelticsBlog.com – Like BSMW, CelticsBlog has had some server issues as of late. These are continuing, mainly due to the enthusiasm that Celtics fans are displaying at the site. There is even a post up today urging people to slow down a bit tonight on the site, in an effort to lighten the load on their new server. (Another move is already planned.) If you can get to the site, this is one of your best sources of information and discussion.

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As part of the CelticsBlog coverage CelticsStuffLive is going wall-to-wall with their draft night broadcast. Here are some of the guests they’ll have during the course of the night:

From the Boston media: Steve Bulpett, Mike Gorman, Sean Grande, Mike Fine, Scott Souza and Tim Weisberg.

From the non-local media: Henry Abbott (big shot ESPN blogger), Eric Weiss (Live from the Draft), Eric Pincus (Kobe rumors anyone?), and Jeff Goodman (Foxsports.com’s Sr. College Basketball writer and a local guy) .

Representing blogs: Tenacious T (Celtics 17), Elrod Enchilada (RealGM), TJ and Alex (Celtics 24/7), Fabio (Italian Celtics Pride), Red (Red’s Army) and Loyalist (Loy’s Place) .

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Over at FSN New England, Hosts Gary Tanguay and Greg Dickerson anchor FSN New England’s coverage and will update fans with the latest trade rumors and news on the Celtics potential pick beginning with a special one-hour edition of Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Celtics telecast tandem Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn will report live from Celtics draft headquarters at the TD Banknorth Garden and Foxsports.com’s Jeff Goodman will report from the draft in New York.

During the one-hour draft special, Celtics Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge, Coach Doc Rivers and Managing Partner Wyc Grousbeck will talk about the Celtics’ game plan. FSN’s in-studio analyst Donny Marshall and ESPN Radio’s Ryen Russillo will also contribute to Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight’s coverage.

On the Late Edition of Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight at 10 p.m., Tanguay and Dickerson will provide fans with a local perspective on the night’s activity. Tommy and Mike will have reaction from Ainge and Rivers, and Marshall, Russillo and Goodman will contribute their opinions.

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National Links:

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Elsewhere:

Danny The Dealer or Danny The Drafter? – Bob Ryan.

Decision time for Celts – Steve Bulpett

Ainge says Celtics likely to take the fifth – Shira Springer

Ainge says he knows who he’s going to draft – Mike Fine

Trading pick C’s quick fix – Jim Fenton

Jessica Camerato examines whether Yi or Green is a better fit for the Celtics.

Bill Simmons and Chad Ford mock draft

Andy Katz says that the Celtics have a tough choice to make at #5.

The Joys of Technology

Well, the server woes continue. Some of you can see the latest updates just fun, while others are seeing the site as it was last week, or earlier this week.

What apparently has happened was that the site was moved to a new server by my host, but they didn’t tell me, and there is a delay in propagation – telling other servers around the internet about the new address. This could take a couple more days to finally resolve. Regardless, I’m not pleased.

Another victim of this move has been email. I long ago stopped using my host to serve up my email, but doing that requires some custom settings on the server (DNS). These settings were wiped out in the move. I’ve since taken the measure of moving all those settings to my registrar – so that hopefully in the future if this should happen again, email will not be interrupted.

If you have sent me an email in the last day or two that requires a response from my, please wait another couple days, and if you don’t hear from me, please re-send it. If you have an urgent need to contact me, you can send email to admin |AT| bruceallenmedia |DOT| com.

In the future, I’m going to try to use blog.bruceallenmedia.com as a place to keep you updated on these types of things. If you ever come to Bostonsportsmedia.com and find the site down, not updated, or otherwise strange, head over to that blog to see if I’ve posted an update there.

Since I spent an hour this morning trying to sort out my email situation, in lieu of regular links I’m going to have to refer you to the dashboards. These are set up at a separate host, so if BSMW is ever down, these should still be working. At the moment I have more confidence in the host that has these than in the host that has BSMW:

CelticsLinks.com (Draft Tonight)

RedSoxLinks.com (Swept in Seattle)

PatriotsLinks.com

BruinsLinks.com (assistant GM Jeff Gorton out the door)

A few other notes:

The Hartford Courant reveals a new web site design today.

Yesterday, a post on Reiss’s Pieces announced that others besides Mike Reiss will now be able to post on the blog. While this is understandable in some aspects – believe it or not Reiss isn’t the only writer covering football at the Globe – in other ways, I don’t like it. Reiss created this “brand” and it almost seems like diluting it a little bit by allowing others to post in the blog which carries his name. Also, the stated purpose of allowing other writers to post – adding additional thoughts or reaction to an article in the paper, seems to take away from the strength of the blog, which has always been about bringing you every detail of Patriots news as it happens.

The Globe/Boston.com would be better served in setting up an additional blog rather than tinkering with the runaway success of Reiss’s Pieces.

Bill Doyle has his “Tuning In” column today, with a look at NESN’s Jayme Parker, who has been “flashing” listeners at WEEI.

Ron Chimelis says that Curt Schilling just doesn’t get it.

If the technology allows, I will attempt a quick afternoon post today. The last few days, I couldn’t even log into the site to try and do that…

Sox Sunk in Seattle Again

Note: We’ve had some server issues the last few days which have prevented afternoon updates. I’ve been assured that the problems have been addressed, though there may still be some “flakiness” going on for the next day or two.

The Red Sox battled last night after being put into a pretty deep hole by Kason Gabbard, who couldn’t find the plate in the first inning of his outing last night, eventually falling to the Mariners 8-7 in Seattle.

The late night appeared to wreck havoc with the web sites of the local papers. When I was putting together this post, the Herald had only run an AP game story of the contest (they’ve since posted Michael Silverman’s Still winless in Seattle) – but they did have a number of regular articles from Massarotti and Silverman, and the Globe online sports section was just bare bones, with just a few main sports stories listed, and not yet organized.

Gordon Edes looks at a night in which the Mariners had an answer every time the Red Sox battled back to tie the game. Sean McAdam looks at the Red Sox having to go to their bullpen early for the second night in a row, and having it cost them again.

Tony Massarotti talks to Mike Hargrove, who managed the great Cleveland team of the late 1990’s about what dangers can befall a team that has a huge lead, as the Red Sox do. McAdam says that Coco Crisp is playing the best centerfield in all of baseball.

Amalie Benjamin looks at Mike Timlin struggling to regain the form that has made him the Red Sox most reliable reliever since 2003. Michael Silverman looks at Kevin Youkilis breaking the club record for consecutive errorless games for a first baseman. Alex Speier says that Curt Schilling’s health issues might actually make him cost more to the Red Sox next season…in insurance costs.

Massarotti says that the Red Sox are out of the running for Chicago pitcher Mark Buehrle. Kevin Gray has Fisher Cats manager Bill Masse defending his comments that the ovation given to Clay Buchholz Monday night was “absolutely disgraceful.” Patrick Smith looks at the reaction by NH fans to Masse’s comments and finds the great majority of people disagree with the manager. While Buchholz may have been the center of attention on Monday, Alan Siegel looks at Sea Dogs shortstop Jed Lowrie, who generated plenty of his own discussion on WEEI the last few days as some called for him to be promoted to replace Julio Lugo.

Edes’s notebook has Seattle closer J.J. Putz endorsing Jonathan Papelbon as an All Star. Silverman’s notebook has Julio Lugo getting a night off, mired in an 0-29 slump. McAdam’s notebook has more on Youkilis setting a new standard for first base play with the Red Sox.

Celtics/Draft
Mark Murphy has a look at the Celtics draft history, which has a little bit of everything, steals, busts and tragedy. Peter May says that the Paul Pierce situation is a very tricky one indeed for the Celtics. Steve Bulpett says that Pierce and the Celtics management both want the same thing, and that Pierce could actually help the process of bringing in a veteran player rather than making the grumblings that could make players shy away from agreeing to come here. Mike Fine has Danny Ainge weighing all his options prior to the draft. Jessica Camerato looks at the Jermaine O’Neal rumor…which never was.

Bulpett says that most of what is being reported out there regarding the Celtics and potential deals is patently bogus.. The hot rumor last night was Shawn Marion (again) and Bulpett shoots that one down. Tim Weisberg looks at the five players the Celtics will likely be able to choose from at the #5 slot. Desmond Conner says that this draft might not be as deep as some people think it is, but there are some gems available. Springer has a profile of Florida State forward Al Thornton.

David Sandora has a chat with former Pistons and Dream Team coach Chuck Daly.

Patriots/Misc
Christopher L. Gasper says that the extension signed by the Bears’ Nathan Vasher – a player with a very similar career track to Asante Samuel, could hurt the Patriots cornerback’s attempts to get a Nate Clements-like deal. John Tomase looks at why finding a college linebacker to fit the Patriots system is such a hard task.

Garry Brown is hitting to all fields. Bud Collins reports from Wimbledon with Tim Henman as the reincarnation of Sir Francis Drake.

Sox Tripped Up In Seatte

David Scott has Jason Wolfe and Entercom breaking their silence (sort of) on Gerry Callahan’s health. I don’t ever want to hear people at that station criticize Bill Belichick’s injury reports as being too vague after this.

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It was an ugly night in Seattle for the Red Sox, as they were roughed up by the Mariners 9-4 as Julian Tavarez took the loss, and Jeff Weaver, who had entered the game with an ERA over 8, held the Red Sox to 1 earned run in 5 2/3rd innings.

Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox looked totally lost out on the field against the Mariners last night. Gordon Edes has more on the night falling quickly upon the Red Sox in their final stop of the high mileage road trip. Sean McAdam reports on Tavarez having his worst outing of the season since his very first one back in April in the loss.

Tony Massarotti notes that the Red Sox have been successful to this point without the usual huge slugging contributions from David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. McAdam has a few opinions and observations from this marathon road trip. Gerry Callahan says that the Red Sox don’t need Mark Buehrle and should let someone else pay the ransom needed to acquire him. Bill Reynolds says that the Red Sox do need Buehrle, but shouldn’t mortgage the future for him.

John Habib has a look at the performance of Red Sox AA ace Clay Buchholz against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats last night. Buchholz went 6 innings, giving up 4 hits, 1 run and striking out 11, a performance that earned him a standing ovation from the fans. That prompted Fisher Cats manager Bill Masse to say: “This is New Hampshire’s team, Manchester’s team and to see Clay Buchholz get a standing ovation was absolutely disgraceful.”

Silverman has a Curt Schilling update, sort of. Schilling and the Red Sox really don’t have much to say about when he might be back, or about his rehab plan. Amalie Benjamin says that the plan for Schilling’s rehab should be made soon.

Garry Brown says that Josh Beckett deserves to be the AL starter in the All Star game. Massarotti has a quick note on Music From The Mound – a new CD that is a collection of Daisuke Matsuzaka’s favorite American, English and Japanese recording artists. Joe Haggerty has a look at ‘El Guapo,’ Rich Garces having a great time with the Independent League Nashua Pride.

Silverman’s notebook says that tonight’s starter, Kason Gabbard, will be sticking around to make at least one more start for the Red Sox after this one. Edes’s notebook has more on Gabbard, who is slated to make his second start this season for the Red Sox tonight. McAdam’s notebook has Schilling taking a swipe at Theo Epstein yesterday.

Celtics/NBA

Jermaine O’Neal was the latest name attached in trade rumors to the Celtics, but Shira Spring this morning says it is extremely unlikely that O’Neal will ever play in a Boston uniform. She cites ill will between O’Neal and Danny Ainge as a hangup. Steve Bulpett says that there shouldn’t be much read into the fact that Ainge and Doc Rivers traveled to Phoenix yesterday to watch more workouts. David Scott looks at a report from Adrian Wojnarowski that has Paul Piece getting ready to demand a trade should Ainge not land him a veteran running mate.

Shira Springer notes that this year’s NBA draft contains plenty of personality in addition to talent. Peter May lists out his top 5 prospects per position.

Misc
John Tomase has Deion Branch talking about the Asante Samuel situation, as well as his own with the Patriots from last year.

Daniel Malloy has Bill Romanowski talking about his new career marketing healing supplements.

Mike Loftus has the Bruins happy with their draft selections.

Bud Collins has Roger Federer talking about the remodeled digs at Wimbledon.

Beckett Aces Peavy, Padres

The battle of the aces in San Diego yesterday went to the Red Sox, as Josh Beckett improved to 11-1 on the season, going eight innings and giving up two runs in the Red Sox 4-2 win over the Padres yesterday afternoon.

Amalie Benjamin looks at Beckett coming up Aces in his matchup against Jake Peavy and the Padres. Michael Silverman observes that the Red Sox seem like a team that cannot wait for October to roll around. Sean McAdam notes that Beckett’s margin for error was slim, but he made few mistakes on the afternoon. Sandy Burgin says that Beckett wore out the Padres and the Red Sox wore out Jake Peavy.

Tony Massarotti says that the Red Sox hold all the power in any trade discussions about White Sox left-handed starter Mark Buehrle. Yesterday, the Chicago Sun-Times said that the Red Sox were the front-runners to acquire Buehrle. Dan Shaughnessy has more on Beckett, who has become the ace of the Red Sox staff in the shadow of the attention being paid to Daisuke Matsuzaka and Curt Schilling.

Kevin Gray has a look at Red Sox AA ace Clay Buchholz, who was in Manchester this weekend to take on the Fisher Cats. John Habib has trade rumors involving Buchholz in a deal for Mark Buehrle being dismissed. Massarotti has Red Sox players remembering former teammate Rod Beck, who was found dead in his home yesterday at the age of 38. Massarotti also looks at Jason Varitek continuing his comeback at the plate, with a triple and a home run in the win yesterday.

Silverman’s notebook has Jonathan Papelbon making quick work of the Padres in the ninth inning to close out the game for the Sox. Benjamin’s notebook has more from the Red Sox on the death of Rod Beck. McAdam’s notebook has more on Beck and Buehrle. Burgin’s notebook has Kason Gabbard being tabbed to make the start tomorrow night for the Red Sox against the Mariners.

Celtics

Steve Bulpett has sources saying that a Celtics deal for Kevin Garnett isn’t dead quite yet. Ron Chimelis urges Celtics fans not to be too down, as they’re going to get a good player with the fifth pick. Peter May has a look at ex-BC center Sean Williams, who is attempting to put his life back together with the help of John Lucas before starting his NBA career. Desmond Conner looks at what the Celtics, Knicks and Nets need and could do in the draft this week.

Bruins/Misc

Stephen Harris has the Bruins adding some important building blocks for the future in this weekend’s NHL draft.

Catch up with other Bruins talk from around web and blogosphere on BruinsLinks.com

Daniel Malloy has the Revolution and MLS hitting their stride in terms of flow and popularity of the sport.

Weekend Watch – NHL Draft

The Red Sox are in San Diego for an interleague series with the Padres this weekend. The series features three pretty good pitching matchups, led off by Daisuke Matsuzaka facing off against Greg Maddux on Friday night. Saturday night is Tim Wakefield against Chris Young, and then Sunday afternoon features a beauty with Josh Beckett, (10-1, 3.14) taking on the Padres Jake Peavy (9-1, 1.98)

The NHL draft starts tonight using a model that the NFL is thinking about going to with the first round in prime time starting at 7:00 on Versus, while rounds 2-7 will be tomorrow starting at 10:00am.

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Gotta love the Big Show’s reaction to the post here Wednesday afternoon about Gerry Callahan’s condition. Rather than address or dismiss concerns about the health of the morning show co-host, Glenn Ordway attacked what was a side observation of the post and proudly exclaimed that they have indeed been making fun of Callahan, pointing out that they’ve made the sex change operation jokes almost every day! Good for them. There’s nothing like the “We’ve been making sex change operation jokes every day about him” comeback to shut up the critics…

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A reminder that my “headline dashboards” for each of the four major Boston pro teams are now finished, and you can use them at any time to check out the latest headlines from the local papers, national sites and fan blogs on the local teams.

RedSoxLinks.com (In San Diego this weekend)

BruinsLinks.com (Draft weekend)

CelticsLinks.com (Draft and Trade Rumors)

PatriotsLinks.com

Please update your bookmarks, as these are new URL’s and will be the permanent homes to these dashboards as I continue to add onto them.

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Former Globe sports staffer Dave Doyle, who couldn’t get off the high school beat at the Globe under Joe Sullivan and had left to carve out a nice role for himself over at FoxSports.com, is on the move again as he has accepted a position as Mixed Martial Arts/Boxing producer for Yahoo! Sports. In that role, he’ll be traveling around the country to the major UFC shows and boxing matches. Seems like he hasn’t done too badly for himself since deciding he wasn’t going anywhere at the Globe.

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Chris Jenkins looks at Red Sox fans invading stadiums all over the country, including this weekend in San Diego.

John Donovan of SI.com looks at the patience that the Red Sox have shown in Dustin Pedroia paying off in a big way.

Tony Massarotti looks at the risks involved in big-name free agent pitchers.

Tom Curran has Steve DeOssie leveling some harsh criticism at NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw. (Was this interview done in the WEEI hallways?)

Curran also lists the most complete safeties in the NFL. Rodney Harrison does make the list.

Sports Media Watch explains everything you ever wanted to know about the NBA television contract.

Clark Booth says that there is one standard for the NFL; another for all the other games under the sun.

Michael McCann of Sports Law Blog has an AP reporter publishing a scouting report that was found on dugout floor of the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to a recent game with the New York Yankees, which revealed how the Diamondbacks intended to pitch to the Yankees.

Josh Bacott & Pat Imig are back with another edition of the Media Circus.

Sports Law Blog also examines whether Kevin Garnett saying no to the Celtics is selfish or understandable.

Bill Simmons matches up Kevin Durant and Greg Oden.

Mike McMahon has a look at new Bruins coach Claude Julien.

Mike Loftus says that Bruins might find some Pat Burns in their new coach.

Win Bates has Providence coach Scott Gordon content for now to wait his turn for an NHL job.

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Sports Media Columns

New England/New York
Susan Bickelhaupt looks at Versus expanding its offerings and viewership. Phil Mushnick says that ESPN’s coverage of Sammy Sosa’s 600th home run was stunning for what it ignored regarding the Rangers slugger. Bob Raissman says that we can’t really blame the Mets for their over-the-top campaigning to have Paul LoDuca elected to the National League All Star team, the finger should be pointed at MLB. Richard Sandomir notes that this year’s Tour de France will be under the dark cloud of the doping scandal. He also has a look at the upcoming ESPN miniseries The Bronx Is Burning, which will debut on July 9. Neil Best has Tom Seaver getting into the wine business. Adam Reilly in The Phoenix examines why Dan Shaughnessy is the most hated man in Boston.

More East Coast
Michael McCarthy reports on ESPN tabbing Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic to lead the second game of their Monday Night Football opening night doubleheader. Laura Nachman has Philadelphia’s legendary Palestra as the subject of a documentary. Jim Williams has WUSA-TV 9 Sports Director Brett Haber garnering an Emmy over retired legend George Michael of NBC 4. He also notes that TV color analysts are becoming far more honest about the teams and the leagues that they cover. Chris Zelkovich has former Blue Jays outfielder Jesse Barfield launching a new career with CBC. Michael Hiestand has Kyle Petty serving as TNT NASCAR analyst while driving in this weekend’s Sunday’s Save Mart 350.

South
Dave Darling notes that MLB has a nightmare on its hands with Barry Bonds approaching home run 756. David Barron looks at Houston’s three sports radio stations vying for listeners. Barry Horn says that while San Antonio and the rest of Texas should be proud of the NBA champs, the rest of America doesn’t get the Spurs.

Midwest
Teddy Greenstein grades Chicago’s four baseball broadcast teams. Bob Wolfley looks at the Bucks options in next week’s NBA draft. Dan Caesar looks at KFNS’ rowdy and often bawdy morning drive-time show, “The Morning Grind,” on the verge of grinding to a halt. Judd Zulgad notes that the Gophers football team will be debuting on the new Bit Ten Network. Tom Dienhart says that the Big Ten Network will change football on TV.

West Coast
John Maffei looks at this weekend’s Padres/Red Sox series getting overlooked by FOX and ESPN. John Scheibe talks to ESPN’s Erin Andrews about the College World Series. Jay Posner has NBC already getting ready for next year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Tom Hoffarth has Shaquille O’Neal talking about his new ABC reality show. Jim Carlisle does some sports media ranting and raving. He also notes that Wimbledon goes online this year in his notebook. Joe Davidson has “Dare Dave” finding a home at ESPN.

No-Go For Garnett in Boston?

Gordon Edes has a good look at the relationship between Terry Francona and Brad Mills, which extends back to college, and how the two of them make such a strong team on the Red Sox bench. Rob Bradford has the Red Sox talking about the schedule, which has them back out on the West coast for the second time in three weeks. Sean McAdam notes that things are going so well for the Red Sox this season that even Schilling’s stint on the DL isn’t a huge deal. He leans towards Kason Gabbard getting the start in Schilling’s spot rather than Jon Lester.

Jeff Goldberg has a good look at Julian Tavarez, who has been labeled a loose cannon, who is actually much deeper and more complex than that. Jeff Horrigan examines Hideki Okajima’s All Star qualifications, as well as the apparent slim chances that he will actually be selected to the team. Garry Brown looks at the options the Red Sox have in filling Schilling’s spot in the rotation.

Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox shouldn’t push Jon Lester’s return to the majors. He says Lester’s return should be at Fenway, not at Safeco Field in Seattle. Ron Chimelis says that the clock is ticking for Julio Lugo to get on track this season. Chad Finn names his All-Time Red Sox All-Dirtbag Team.

Amalie Benjamin has a minor league notebook, and she has a look at AA shortstop Jed Lowrie, who is putting things together at the plate. Kevin Gray has a look at the Portland Sea Dogs coming into Manchester to face the Fisher Cats, with many top Red Sox prospects on display this weekend, including Clay Buchholz on Monday night.

Edes’ notebook has the Red Sox bench players talking about why they’re called the I-75’s. Horrigan’s notebook says that David Murphy will likely get the call to join the big league club this weekend with Curt Schilling on the DL and J.D. Drew nursing a sore quad.

Bruins
Fluto Shinzawa looks at Claude Julien officially taking over the Bruins yesterday and offering his initial thoughts on the team and what he hopes to do with them. Douglas Flynn has Julien noting that the trap was something that the Devils did very well, and he may use something different here. Mick Colageo says the Julien is expected to impart a “never-say-die” identity to the Bruins. Joe McDonald has GM Peter Chiarelli getting his man in Julien.

Kevin Paul Dupont says that as of 10:30 yesterday morning, the clock started ticking on Peter Chiarelli’s tenure here in Boston. Stephen Harris has the Bruins strongly interested in Minnesota Wild goalie Manny Fernandez. Rich Thompson has more on Chiarelli’s hiring of Julien.

With the draft starting tonight Flynn says that this is a vital pick for the Bruins, who have the 8th overall selection. Mike Loftus says that the Bruins expect to get a good player at # 8. Shinzawa says that the Bruins will be looking for someone great with that first round selection.

Shinzawa’s notebook says that this draft is week in terms of goaltenders.

Celtics
Mark Murphy has the agent for Kevin Garnett throwing cold water on the prospect of KG coming to the Boston. Shira Springer has more on the agent saying that a deal is not going to happen. Mike Fine says that a Garnett trade to Boston doesn’t make sense.

Gerry Callahan says that Danny Ainge is desperate to get people to pay attention to the Celtics and might make a move that reflects that. He compares a deal for Garnett to M.L. Carr bringing in Dominique Wilkins.

Murphy also has two Eastern conference officials saying that a Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett combo would be a tough one in the East.

Other
Christopher Price has an interview with Joe Theismann, who talks about the Patriots’ offseason moves, Bill Belichick’s management style, whether or not Donovan McNabb should be worried and his feelings about being replaced on the “MNF” broadcasts by Ron Jaworski.

Susan Bickelhaupt looks at Versus expanding its offerings and viewership.

Tavarez Shines Again For Sox

Adam Reilly in The Phoenix examines why Dan Shaughnessy is the most hated man in Boston. (Sorry, Borges.)

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The Red Sox made it two out of three in Atlanta last night, with Julian Tavarez again shining on the mound in an 11-0 victory which featured five home runs by the Red Sox.

Gordon Edes has a look at the Sox blasting off in Atlanta last night. Jeff Horrigan looks at the Sox providing Tavarez plenty of support to pick up his fifth win of the season. Sean McAdam looks at the Red Sox notching their biggest margin of victory since the home opener. Jeff Goldberg has the Sox beating up on Buddy Carlyle before having to face the Padres trio of Greg Maddux, Chris Young and Jake Peavy. Bill Ballou anoints Tavarez as the biggest surprise of the 2007 Red Sox.

Rob Bradfordlooks at Tavarez focusing when he gets on the mound, putting everything else to the side. Nick Cafardo has Tavarez missing his family and wishing he didn’t have to be at the park yesterday, but putting that behind him and focusing on the game. Kevin Gray has a look at former Sox cult hero Rich ‘El Guapo’ Garces trying to work his way back to the majors while dominating with the Nashua Pride. Garces owns a 2-0 record, 0.64 ERA and league-best eight saves with the Pride.

Edes says that Curt Schilling was given a cortisone shot and will be placed on the DL. Bradford also reports that the Sox will be placing Schilling on the 15-day disabled list, probably tomorrow. Goldberg has the tests revealing no structural damage, but the making the move to place Schilling on the DL anyway. He notes that they’ll likely summon a hitter for the NL weekend before calling up a pitcher to replace Schilling in the rotation. Bradford has Dr. Craig Morgan, who twice performed surgery on Schilling’s shoulder talking about the pitcher’s drop in velocity, without feeling pain. Jeff Howe also reports on Schilling.

Joe Haggerty says that the Red Sox aren’t big fans of interleague play, despite their success. Horrigan has J.D. Drew taking a seat last night following a homer and double after feeling tightness in his quad. Sarah Green reflects on the weekend that Barry Bonds spent in Boston. Greg St. Martin has a talk with Wade Boggs about the game of baseball and the 2007 Red Sox.

Bob Ryan has a look at the DVD set “Impossible To Forget. The Story of the ’67 Boston Red Sox.” The set is produced by The Sports Museum of New England, along with NESN and is deemed spectacular by Ryan. I might need to get my hands on this…

Horrigan’s notebook says that Jon Lester could make his return to the majors next week as a replacement for Schilling in the rotation. Edes’s notebook has more on Drew having to leave the game last night. He also reports that message board posters in Japan are upset with Daisuke Matsuzaka for his intentional walk of Barry Bonds over the weekend. McAdam’s notebook has more on Schilling’s trip to the disabled list. Goldberg’s notebook has Brendan Donnelly playing a little catch as he tries to work his way back. Ballou’s notebook has more on Schilling being placed on the DL.

Celtics
Steve Bulpett reports that the Celtics are getting closer to making a deal with Minnesota for Kevin Garnett. He says the deal would include both Al Jefferson and the #5 pick.

Mark Murphy says that Tony Allen could be ready to go by the start of training camp.

Bruins
Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins set to name Claude Julien as head coach in a press conference this morning. Douglas Flynn has more on the Bruins breaking their silence in their decision to bring on a new head coach. Mike Loftus says that Peter Chiarelli needs to get this one right.

Kevin Paul Dupont has a look at Billerica’s Maxim Gratchev, who has come a long way in pursuit of his NHL dream. Stephen Harris profiles Westminster School (Conn.) defenseman Tommy Cross, who is likely to be the first New Englander selected in the draft.

Other
Buddy Thomas tells us about his trip to PNC park in Pittsburgh.

Christopher Price has a sports doctor commenting on the concussion issue in the NFL.

Carol Beggy & Mark Shanahan have an item in the Globe about the apology WEEI is running to the Doyle family.