Playing without the suspended Kevin Garnett last night, the Celtics had to hang on in the fourth quarter, but thanks in part to a late Brian Scalabrine three-pointer, they were able to come out of last night with a 110-101 win over the New York Knicks.
Frank Dell’Apa says that the Celtics, especially the reserves, made a loud statement with their play last night. Robert Lee has the Celtics proving they can win a big game without Garnett. Steve Bulpett has KG’s teammates stepping up big in his absence. Scott Souza has Scalabrine stepping into Garnett’s spot in the starting lineup for the win. Bill Doyle has the Celtics grabbing a season high 110 points in the win. Jim Fenton has Leon Powe and Kendrick Perkins making their presence felt last night.
Ron Borges has a look at Brian Scalabrine, who has attained the title of “cult hero in residence.” Barbara Matson has new folk hero Scalabrine just happy the Celtics got the win. Paul Flannery has Scalabrine offering reminders of why he is so valuable to the Celtics. Lee has the Celtics unhappy with the Garnett suspension. Borges has more from the Celtics on the suspension.
Dell’Apa’s notebook has Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge irked by the Garnett suspension. Bulpett’s notebook has the Knicks with plenty to say after this one. Doyle’s notebook has some strong words from Doc Rivers on the suspension of his star. Fenton’s notebook has more on Rivers.
Pedroia is AL MVP
Amalie Benjamin has Dustin Pedroia adding the AL MVP to his already impressive trophy collection. Sean McAdam says that success won’t ruin Pedroia. Joe Haggerty has Kevin Youkilis coming in third in the voting with Pedroia the winner. Jon Couture says that Pedroia has made proving people wrong a way of life. Dan Barbarisi has Pedroia proving that big things can come to the little guy. Jeff Goldberg notes that Pedroia didn’t even have a bonus in his contract for winning the MVP. Paul Jarvey has Pedroia capping off one of the best seasons ever by a second baseman. Alex Speier has Pedroia saying So long, skeptics.
Rob Bradford says that Pedroia is history in the making with the start that his career has gotten off to. Dan Shaughnessy says that this “is simply one of the amazing sports stories of our time.” He also calls him the “most unlikely man to win this award in the history of major league baseball.” (Zoilo Versalles anyone?) Joe McDonald says that the Red Sox feel that the best is still yet to come from Pedroia. Lenny Megliola recalls the spring of 2007 when all the fans wanted Alex Cora playing second base instead of Pedroia. Brian MacPherson has Pedroia always finding a way to get an edge. Mike Fine has Pedroia needing that edge to drive him further and further.
Tell me this wasn’t the single most predictable column this morning. If you had to guess yesterday about one column being written today – wouldn’t you have guessed that Nick Cafardo would write about Pedroia now being able to cash in with a big contract? Nick doesn’t disappoint, providing exactly what we knew he would do.
BSMW Guest Blogger Bob Ekstrom wanted to pass along his thoughts with the following passage:
As happy as we are with Pedroia’s selection, we’re as equally confounded by his exclusion off the ballot of Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant. Yesterday on WEEI’s The Big Show, Grant was grilled on his omission of Pedroia, and he defended himself weakly to say the least. In some later damage control, he now credits himself for over-analyzing MVP selection criteria in shunning Pedroia. As recently as September 20, he had Dustin fourth on his MVP ballot. So what happened after that? Well, Pedroia hit .391 for the balance of the season and carried the Sox into the playoffs, while Grant was obviously the one who shut it down.
Grant certainly was grilled on WEEI yesterday, and the station is pretty proud of it, having even issued a partial transcript of the interview on their website. Dan Lamothe has more on the sportswriter who snubbed Pedroia. The Rangers might find themselves angry at Grant next season, as Pedroia has been known to hold a grudge. However, Steve Buckley assures us that the MVP voting is still in good hands.
Alex Speier looks at how the Red Sox young stars will build on this season. Dan Duggan had Kevin Youkilis very happy for his teammate. Bill Burt has Sean Casey gushing over Pedroia. Lamothe also looks at a New York report that says that the Red Sox will be major players for A.J. Burnett in free agency. Sarah Green loves the hot stove.
McAdam’s notebook has more on Evan Grant leaving Pedroia off his ballot.
Joey Porter Won’t Shut Up. Doesn’t Have To.
Christopher L. Gasper has Joey Porter running his mouth and the Patriots ceding the floor to him. Mark Farinella has the Patriots focusing on Miami, not just Porter. Karen Guregian says that these have not been your typical Patriots this season, beating themselves on several occasions. She also takes a closer look at some of those missed plays or miscues that cost the team. Eric McHugh says that the Patriots are no strangers to trickery of their own – even against the Dolphins.
Jim Donaldson tells us what we knew already – the Patriots need to win this game. Mike Petraglia tells us why the media loves Joey Porter. The Telegram & Gazette has a look at the Pats roadmap ahead to the postseason. Ben Swasey says that it is gut-check time for the Patriots.
John Tomase has Stephen Neal and UFC Champion Brock Lesnar recalling their 1999 NCAA wrestling Tournament matchup, which Neal won.
Gasper’s notebook has Jabar Gaffney as a potential big contributor on Sunday. Guregian’s notebook has the Patriots choosing not to return Porter’s trash talk. Shalise Manza Young has Scott Pioli not interested in other GM opportunities around the league.