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Boston Globe Staff Photo / Matthew J. Lee

Boston Globe Staff Photo / Matthew J. Lee

The angle of the head is a little off, but perhaps LJ just got a photo a few frames off from this one…or maybe he actually drew Ellsbury’s head. In any event, he made sure to include the fan with the outstretched arms in the background…

Sox Make It 11 Straight

So somewhere in between the Bruins sweeping the Canadiens, the Celtics embroiled in a tight series with the Bulls and the Patriots wheeling and dealing on draft weekend, the Boston Red Sox have managed to quietly win 11 straight games.

Last night, Jason Bay was the offense as he hit a three run home run off Kerry Wood that gave the Red Sox a 3-1 victory in Cleveland over the Indians. Amalie Benjamin has Bay the difference in a pitching duel between Tim Wakefield and Cliff Lee. John Tomase has the Sox moving into first place in the AL East with the win. Kevin McNamara notes the contrast in pitching styles last night.

Michael Silverman has Tim Wakefield on one of his patented rolls. Kirk Minihane looks at how Wakefield has made himself into a Boston sports legend. McNamara notes that Mike Lowell’s recovery has been a hit thus far. Nick Cafardo has Bay carving out his own niche here in Boston. Dan Lamothe asks Who is this masked man?

Silverman has Jacoby Ellsbury making a huge impact on the Red Sox since he’s starting getting on base more frequently. Bill Reynolds makes the observation that speed doesn’t show up in the box score. Adam Smartschan examines what is real and what is fake about the Red Sox hot start.

Benjamin’s notebook has Julio Lugo being activated yesterday. Tomase’s notebook has Mike Lowell taking some teasing from his teammates over his triple last night. McNamara’s Journal has J.D. Drew sitting out again for precautionary measures. Bradford’s Five Things has the Sox making a slight change to the road uniform last night.

Celtics

Bob Ryan will lead us in the transition from Red Sox to Celtics, as he compares the styles of Rajon Rondo and Jacoby Ellsbury.

Gerry Callahan wants to know why the Celtics are even bothering to play since they have zero chance of winning the championship.

Steve Bulpett has the Celtics unhappy that they are in a tie series. Marc J. Spears examines how the postseason has brought out the best in Rondo. Mark Murphy has Kendrick Perkins saying that the officials are picking on the Celtics. Bill Doyle says that Perkins’ reputation hurts him with the referees. Scott Souza says that nothing is going to come easy for this team this spring. Robert Lee says that the Celtics knew their bench was thin, but not this thin. Jeff Howe previews the crucial game five tonight. Mike Fine has the Celtics trying to relax on their off day.

Frank Dell’Apa has the Celtics throwing a little switch into their defense. Murphy’s notebook has Rondo focused on defense. Lee’s Journal has Doc Rivers trying to look at the positive.

Bruins

The Bruins still don’t know who they will face in the next round. They could find out as early as tonight, if the Rangers can manage to beat the Capitals.

Mike Loftus has the Bruins looking forward to putting an end to their waiting game. Nick Cammarota‘s chart in the Metro looks at the potential second round foes.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Steve Conroy have Tim Thomas being named a Vezina Trophy finalist.

Loftus has some Practice notes from yesterday. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook has Matt Hunwick on the recovery trail. Conroy’s notebook has more on Hunwick’s progress.

Patriots

Christopher Price looks at what sort of impact we should expect from this rookie class. Mike Reiss has a number of leftover thoughts from the draft. Ron Borges praises Bill Belichick for practicing cost effectiveness and smart business during the draft. That’s not a typo.

Karen Guregian explores the claims made by Ellis Hobbs that players will no longer take a hometown discount to stay with the Patriots.Gureigan says that seventh round pick Julian Edelman could develop into a “Wildcat” threat on offense. Shalise Manza Young reviews the picks as they prepare for rookie camp at the end of this week.

Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-04-27

CSN’s Celtics Telecast Nominated for Emmy for 17 Consecutive Year

Comcast SportsNet, New England’s original sports network, earned 10 Emmy nominations from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Boston/New England Chapter, including a 17th consecutive nomination for its Boston Celtics telecasts. Comcast SportsNet’s Celtics telecasts took home the Emmy in the Sporting Event category in 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2008.

Comcast SportsNet’s 10 nominations include:

Sporting Event/Game-live/Unedited

Boston Celtics – Paul Lucey, producer; Steve Reagan, executive producer; Jim Burgoyne, director of production; Andy Levine, associate producer; Jeff Grice, editor; Mike Gorman, play-by-play; Tommy Heinsohn, analyst; Greg Dickerson, reporter; Donny Marshall, analyst; Barry Alley, videographer and Jim Edmonds, director.

Sports Series (2)

Celtics Now – Kevin Miller, coordinating producer; Steve Reagan, executive producer; Nate Long, producer; Joe Rolfe, editor; Donny Marshall, host and Laura Behnke, host.

Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight – Kevin Miller, coordinating producer; Steve Reagan, executive producer; Jim Burgoyne, director of production; Jim Aberdale, producer; Koom Lam, producer; Lucy St. Pierre, director; Gary Tanguay, host and Mike Felger, host.

Sports One-Time Special (2)

Manny Being Manny: The Final Days in Boston - Kevin Miller, coordinating producer; William Bridgen, executive producer; Steve Reagan, executive producer; Torey Champagne, producer/editor; TJ Powers, graphics/editor and Tom Guilmette, videographer.

Drive for 17: Championship Season – Paul Lucey, producer; Steve Reagan, executive producer; Jim Burgoyne, director of production; Andy Levine, associate producer; Mike Gorman, host and Jeff Grice, editor.

Promotion Program-Campaign

The Network of Champions – Steve Ratner, Executive Producer

Editor Program

2008 NBA Playoffs – Andy Levine

Editor Short Form (Promos/PSA/Commercials)

Comcast SportsNet promos – TJ Powers

Graphics Arts Program

Comcast SportsNet promos – TJ Powers

Graphic Arts Short Turnaround

2008 NBA Playoffs/Celtics Graphics package – TJ Powers

“I commend all our nominees for their hard work and devotion. We are extremely fortunate that the Boston sports scene has been running at full tilt year after year, and these nominations represent hours of work preparing the region’s best coverage,” Bill Bridgen, Comcast SportsNet executive vice president and general manager.

Related: Red Sox Productions Nominated for 7 New England Emmys

Patriots Have Reporters All a Twitter

Cold Hard Football Facts has an interesting tidbit from the Patriots draft:

In fact, there was something of a mini dust-up in the press box at Gillette Saturday night with reporters pissed by the fact that the Patriots were posting their picks on Twitter before announcing them to the media. Essentially, the NFL, and individual teams like the Patriots, are eliminating the middle man called the traditional reporter – and reporters are not happy.

So after getting beat again by Twitter, one reporter blew up at Patriots staffers, yelling that “these guys own everything” (apparently referring to the organization), while pointing out the press box window, and said that they’re “killing” him.

Another reporter lamented: “We are now totally useless.”

First thoughts (and Facts!) on the draft (CHFF)

More From The LJ Files

Today’s WEEI.com cartoon:

Last night was a home game, But LJ didn’t bother to replace “Boston” with “Red Sox” on the jersey.

Rush To Judgment

This is a guest column submitted by Roy Reiss. He is a former  Sports Broadcaster at Channel 7 Boston-WHDH TV and is also the father of Mike Reiss, of “Reiss’ Pieces” fame.

Today’s sports media is quick to “rush to judgment” on teams, personalities, coaches, managers, and just about anyone associated with professional or collegiate sports. According to the media, this is what the public wants and why they purchase newspapers, tune in to TV shows, search the internet, or listen to talk radio.

Strangely the media loves to hold the sporting world they cover accountable for everything, yet when they become the object of such scrutiny and accountability they react as if they should never be held accountable for anything said or written. They can say, write, or do just about anything and please don’t ever ask them to apologize for any misstep.

One of the great examples of this lack of accountability in the media is the phenomena created annually with the NFL draft. Just about everyone knows which teams should take which players; they have opinions on every move, and rarely ever revisit those “rush to judgment” statements.

You want instant analysis and opinion, you got it! Let’s give grades out immediately following the selections. Let’s find out who won and lost before ever playing a game. After all this is really what the public wants!!

The draft has perpetrated this type of journalism and rarely if ever is anyone accountable for anything said or written. We don’t want insightful reporting or information that takes time and energy. We don’t want to wait to see how someone may develop over time. We need instant answers, instant successes and failures; anything to keep the general public’s attention.

So let’s go back to 2006 and see what a few of the so called football experts were saying after that draft 3 years ago. It’s an interesting exercise.

Mel Kiper

GRADE: B Arizona
I give them an A for the first day and a C for the second day. The Cardinals’ QB of the future, Matt Leinart, fell into their lap at No. 10 (I had Leinart as the third best player in the draft).

GRADE: C Indianapolis
First-round pick Joseph Addai (at No. 30) is a good blocking running back, but he is not all that dynamic running the ball.

GRADE: C+ NY Giants
DE Mathias Kiwanuka was a reach late in the first round, but he will get a chance to learn from Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. Getting WR Sinorice Moss in the second round was one of the best picks in the draft;

GRADE: B NE Patriots
Laurence Maroney, selected at No. 21, gives the Patriots a security blanket at running back. WR Chad Jackson was a nice pick in the second round and could have gone in the middle of the first. TE Dave Thomas has excellent hands, while Garret Mills might be more of a fullback. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski was a reach in the fourth round (I didn’t think any kickers would get drafted).

Next, Also from ESPN is John Clayton:

John Clayton

Winners

2. Arizona Cardinals: Normally, the Cardinals are the bad luck team. Twice this off-season they struck gold. They headed into free agency without the intention of paying big money for a running back. But with a surprising $17.5 million increase in the salary cap, the Cardinals were able to sign Edgerrin James. Then, Matt Leinart was gift-wrapped for them at No. 10. Arizona coach Dennis Green rated Leinart among the top five players in the draft. He said the selection was similar to 1999 when Green was with the Vikings and selected Daunte Culpepper, whom he rated as the No. 1 quarterback in that draft. “We really had him ranked as one of the top five players,” Green said.

3. San Francisco 49ers: Acquiring Maryland tight end Vernon Davis was a bigger break for the 49ers than you would expect. Davis is a 254-pound tight end who can run a 4.38. Because quarterback Alex Smith doesn’t have the strongest arm, Davis should help Smith as much as Alge Crumpler helps Michael Vick and Tony Gonzalez helps Trent Green. Davis can work the seams, providing easier, more accurate throws for Smith. He could add three to five percent points to Smith’s completion numbers.

5. Tennessee Titans: Give Floyd Reese some credit. He was in a tough situation. His coaches wanted Leinart. His owner wanted him to draft Young. It was a debate that carried into Saturday morning. Reese found a way to satisfy everyone. In Young he got a quarterback back whom he believes will be better than Leinart in two or three years. Young might not do much during his first season, so Reese gave the coaching staff White, a big, bruising running back who can help immediately.

From Sports Illustrated:

Don Banks

Winners

NEW ORLEANS
The draft’s marquee player — USC running back Reggie Bush — lands in the Saints’ lap, thanks to Houston’s inability to seal the deal with the Heisman Trophy winner. No, the New Orleans running game wasn’t a pressing concern. But some teams are born to greatness. Others have it thrust upon them.

ARIZONA CARDINALS
Dennis Green’s club somehow came away with a Heisman-winning quarterback at the ridiculously affordable price of a No. 10 pick in Leinart and one of the draft’s top guard prospects in Taitusi Lutui. In a related development, the Cardinals franchise is changing its name once again, this time to USC East.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
The 49ers have won an NFL-low six games in the past two seasons, but they took a couple big steps toward being more than the league’s favorite homecoming opponent with Saturday’s development. Maryland tight end Vernon Davis will enter the league as this season’s favorite for NFL offensive rookie of the year honor and San Francisco with its second first-rounder landed a potential impact rush-linebacker in N.C. State’s Manny Lawson.

Anybody want to wager that Lawson will wind up his rookie season with more sacks than his former collegiate teammate and fellow defensive end, Mario Williams?

Also from SI:

Paul Zimmerman

A

BRONCOS: Two years ago Javon Walker caught 89 balls for the Packers. He wanted a long-term deal. Instead he got a torn ACL in his right knee. But wait, the story has a happy ending, because on draft day this year he was traded to Shanahan U., which also moved up to draft QB Jay Cutler, rated by some as the best of the Big Three. And how are these for extra weapons in the receiving game — Tony Scheffler, a swift TE, Brandon Marshall, an oversized wideout? I mean there’s going to be more firepower in the air over Denver than the RAF threw at the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain.

SAINTS: Congratulations for not blowing the Reggie Bush pick. You sent light into a city darkened by gloom. That gets you the A. The rest of the draft? Well, you’d better put some linemen in front of this dazzling runner, or it’ll be another Dalton Hilliard story. The first time I saw Bush run I thought of two players he reminded me of, when they were in college: Marshall Faulk and Dalton Hilliard. Same rapid cuts and quick bursts. Scintillating runners. Faulk is headed for the Hall of Fame. Hilliard, believe me, a wonderful little back, had an eight-year career with the Saints, playing behind some miserable lines. His lifetime average per carry was 3.7, and he was only in the 4.0 range twice. So during the draft this time the Saints picked up a veteran center from Cleveland, Jeff Faine. That’s good. The highest-drafted O-lineman they got was tackle Jahri Evans in the fourth round. Raw talent, everyone says. Would you prefer cooked talent?

CARDINALS: A day after the draft I got an e-mail from the Cardinals. One thousand, five hundred season tickets sold over the weekend to come watch this dynamic team in brand-new Cardinals Stadium, with its retractable roof and fully retractable grass playing surface. “How about retractable players?” says my hopelessly cynical wife, but those days are gone, because now they’ve got Matt Leinart and a really terrific stud guard from the USC offensive machine, Deuce Lutui, and Leonard Pope, a gigantic 6-7 1/2 TE who can really motor.

Interesting stuff. These so called reporters, journalists, columnists, experts are doing their job. They’re giving the public instant analysis. It’s much the same on the local level as everyone gets away with this sort of so called analysis under the guise of “this is what the public wants”.

Maybe it’s time to stop and ask the public what they really want. My guess is what the public and the knowledgeable football fan really wants are insight, hard work and digging for ground breaking stories that do more than just give us a surface and superficial look at how teams fare in the draft before ever playing a game. We deserve better!

Celtics Fall Again in OT To Bulls

So depending on how you look at things, the Celtics could’ve finished off a four game sweep yesterday, or found themselves in a 1-3 hole. Three of the four games of this series have gone right down to the wire, and could’ve been taken by either team. Yesterday it was Ben Gordon once again coming up huge for the Bulls, hitting a three pointer in OT to force a second OT, where the Bulls finally hung on for the 121-118 series-tying victory.

Frank Dell’Apa has Doc Rivers blaming poor execution down the stretch for the loss. Mark Murphy has the coaches from both sides feeling their teams could play a lot better.

Marc J. Spears says that the Celtics really did not want to come back to Chicago, but they will have to now. Steve Bulpett has a closer look at the lack of execution and focus by the Celtics yesterday. Paul Flannery has five things we learned the hard way from yesterday’s loss. Jeremy Gottlieb on the BSMW Full Court Press weighs in on a classic game on a hot Sunday afternoon.

Bulpett has Rajon Rondo once again putting on a show, notching his second triple-double of the series. Jessica Camerato says that the Celtics had no one to turn to on their bench yesterday, which severely hampered their play.

Daniel I. Dorfman has a look at Gordon’s efforts to keep his team alive yesterday.

Dell’Apa’s notebook has things getting physical between the two teams. Murphy’s notebook has Brad Miller avoiding an ejection and suspension, and noting the following: 

At least one member of the Celtics entourage was taken aback at the sight of the officiating crew exiting the United Center. Two of the three members of the group, which consisted of Danny Crawford, Bill Kennedy and Marc Davis, were spotted with their families decked out in Bulls gear.

Kennedy ejected Celtics coach Doc Rivers from a game in Chicago on March 17, and two days later was fined (as was Rivers) for his actions.

Couldn’t the NBA even just try to avoid the appearance of impropriety in these things?

Red Sox

The Red Sox finished off a weekend sweep of the New York Yankees last night, with a fifth inning straight steal of home by Jacoby Ellsbury being the highlight.

John Tomase says that this series will be remembered for Ellsbury steal. Amalie Benjamin has plenty more on the first straight steal of home in 15 years for the Red Sox. Dom Amore has the Red Sox completing the sweep of the Yankees. Mike Fine has the Sox wrapping up a 9-0 homestand, helped by Ellsbury’s steal. Bill Ballou notes that now the Red Sox have even beaten the Yankees with their feet. Ron Chimelis has the Sox finishing off a series that had a little bit of everything.

Sean McAdam says that Red Sox/Yankees games are more like tests of endurance rather than baseball games. Bill Burt says that we learned a lot about the Red Sox and Yankees this weekend. Lenny Megliola chimes in with a number of observations from the weekend.

Nick Cafardo loves the daring by Ellsbury. Steve Buckley says that this becomes a dash into Red Sox folklore. Bill Burt says that Ellsbury will be reminded of this for the rest of his life. Alex Speier says that we’ve learned not to blink when Ellsbury is on base. Dan Lamothe gives us the Anatomy of Jacoby Ellsbury’s steal with video.

Adam Kilgore has youngsters Hunter Jones and Michael Bowden combining for eight outs from the Red Sox bullpen last night. McAdam has more on the efforts from the two unlikely contributors.  Buckley is impressed by a 99 mph pitch from Manny Delcarmen Saturday night. McDonald has Delcarmen returning to his Little League roots on Saturday.  Brian MacPherson says that the weekend was a tale of two bullpens.

Daniel Barbarisi has Justin Masterson lauding Andy Pettitte’s character. Sarah Green says that the Yankees early problems are real.

Benjamin’s notebook examines the trend that has taking Jonathan Papelbon more pitches to get the job done this season. The ProJo notebook has more on the effort from the Bullpen. Jim Fenton’s notebook has Masterson putting together another quality fill-in start. Ballou’s notebook has Michael Bowden pitching in for the Sox bullpen. Chimelis’ notebook has more on Bowden’s effort out of the bullpen.

Patriots

Far too many Patriots draft stories to link to here, but I’ll try to give you a taste, and some of the highlights of the coverage.

Over at Patriots Daily, check out the post-draft rundowns from Scott Benson and Chris Warner.

The Patriots wheeled and dealed all weekend, moving around in the draft, picking up two more second round picks next year, and dealing Ellis Hobbs to the Eagles for a pair of late round picks.

Mike Reiss notes that the Patriots don’t appear to be in a rush to address the outside linebacker position. Ron Borges says that the never-ending search at cornerback continues. Mark Farinella has the Patriots continuing their weekend swap meet. Hector Longo is glad Ellis Hobbs is out of town.

Christopher Price has the best and the worst of the draft weekend, while Jim Donaldson has Bill Belichick going for quantity over quality. Michael Holley may be in mourning, but Michael Felger says that the Patriots will be just fine without Ellis Hobbs. Rich Garven has Hobbs shocked by the trade. Brian MacPherson says that once the Patriots drafted Darius Butler, Hobbs was expendable.

Check the rest of the Patriots stories at PatriotsLinks.com.

The Bruins continue to wait and see who they’re going to play in the second round. Check BruinsLinks.com for the latest.

Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-04-26

Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-04-25