Not to go all Jim Carrey on you this fine Friday morning, but Bucky Dent’s homer did put the Sox in a 2-3 hole, and Bill Buckner couldn’t come up with #1′s bouncer, allowing #22 to score the winning run. The Patriots’ perfect season ended back on 2/3, and, going into last night, neither of the two previous teams in Boston Celtics history that started 20-2 survived their 23rd game. I’m not superstitious, but facing the Washington Wizards (the alliteration does begin with the 23rd letter) on 12/11 didn’t sit well.
Well, this year’s squad has broken the hex with a resounding 122-88 victory over those Wizards down at the Verizon Center, as Paul Pierce and Ray Allen contributed 22 points apiece. Marc J. Spears provides the details on the Green’s largest blowout of the season. Steve Bulpett says the C’s are no longer on Macy Gray’s level. Yeah, that one woke me up, too.
In his Celtics Notebook, Spears has Ray Allen taking on the issue of selecting All-stars by popular vote, a system that’s dissing both Garnett and Rondo. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has ESPN’s Hubie Brown extolling Garnett’s contributions to the team.
Bulpett’s Celtics Notebook has the C’s keeping basketball in perspective with a trip to the Holocaust Memorial yesterday. Spears has James Posey receiving his ring tonight when the Hornets come to town.
If Theo Epstein had any success in Las Vegas this week, it must’ve been at the tables. Amalie Benjamin recaps what appears to be an uneventful trip but suggests appearances can be deceptive. Joe Haggerty has an “aggressive” Theo extending offers to three free agents while in Vegas; we just don’t know who. Michael Silverman has a patient Theo keeping cool and citing progress. In her Red Sox Notebook, Benjamin does acknowledge some accomplishment with three Rule 5 signings.
Bob Ryan is disturbed by the escalating costs to sign free agents in light of C.C. Sabathia’s 7-year, $161 million deal (don’t look now but that’s $23 million per). And Red Sox coverage can’t be complete without some weigh-in on the new uniform look unveiled yesterday.
Guregian’s Patriots Notebook has Matt Cassel back from his father’s wake. Christopher L. Gasper and Rich Garven each have Cassel’s teammates offering their support. Shalise Manza Young recalls the elder Cassel’s excitement upon learning his son would finally get his chance to play. Glen Farley says Cassel’s return marks the opening of Crunch Time.
In Gasper’s Patriots Notebook, Vince Wilfork tells us something Belichick won’t: he’s in for Sunday. Manza Young says it’s good to see both Wilfork and Ty Warren back in practice. So, who else is hurt out there in San Jose? Here’s a quick look in at yesterday’s practice participation.
Manza Young also has rookie phenom Jerod Mayo missing Tedy Bruschi, but don’t figure it to slow him down. Ron Borges may think it sucks to be JaMarcus Russell right about now, but he is the anti-Cassel: money and no on-field success.
Mike Reiss brings us final returns from the fan portion of this year’s Pro Bowl vote and, if they hold, we won’t be seeing three offensive linemen again this February.
So, where in the world is Bruce Allen this rainy New England day? Let’s just say it’s not exactly God’s Country.
James Murphy commits the ultimate sacrilege this morning by poking a couple of pins in our Bruins’ bubble.
No link here, but did anyone else catch Glenn Ordway’s Big Show sign-off last night? Although it’s not his first lengthy vacation, this one could be longer than most. His contract is expiring, and the air time presented the perfect opportunity for him to review his accomplishments in 21 years behind the mike.
In another shameless ploy, Ken Davidoff has Manny Ramirez contemplating retirement if more offers don’t start pouring in. This may be the first time ‘Manny’ and ‘quit’ have ever been linked in the same story.
Thanks for starting your day with us, and be sure to come back for Ken Fang’s national links later this afternoon. I’ll be joining you again on Monday morning with all the reaction to the Patriots-Raiders game. See you then, and have a great weekend.