Afternoon Notes

A couple of notes from today:

The Beanpot is coming up over the next two Monday nights, and once again NESN has the complete coverage.

Coverage begins with Beanpot Hockey Tournament presented by SBLI beginning on Monday, February 1st.  The first game pits Boston College against Harvard at 5:00 PM followed by Boston University battling Northeastern University at 8:00 PM from the TD Garden. NESN’s coverage of the Beanpot championship game on Monday, February 8th will begin with Prelude to A Championship, a live, half-hour pre-game show starting at 7:30 PM.

Tom Caron and Andy Brickley will call all three games for NESN.

The championship game will also be available to 4.5 million homes in Canada on TSN2, which will rebroadcast the game in HD at 6:00 PM on February 9.

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Pete Sheppard might’ve been the most high-profile radio guy to be laid off recently, but he’s not the only one. Yesterday WGAM Manchester/Nashua announced that producer P.J. Huot, who had been with the station since 2002, along with morning sports anchor Darrin Root and a traffic/production guy David Kimball had all been let go due to the economic conditions.

In addition, there is talk that the afternoon drive show with Mike Mutnansky could be cut back from 3-6PM to 4-6PM starting next week, though that is not set in stone just yet.

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The biggest interview on Boston sports radio today was Vince Wilfork talking with Michael Holley and Lou Merloni on WEEI this morning, where the nose tackle voice his displeasure at his contract situation and that he does not want to be franchised.

Meanwhile on Patriots Daily, the question is asked: Should The Patriots Re-Sign Vince Wilfork?

Still Reviewing A Patriotic Decade

With the 2009 season coming to a close on Sunday Bowl Sunday, and thus putting the wraps on another decade of football, there is still quite a lot of looking back over the last 10 years by the media.

Today, Ron Borges names his all-decade NFL team, with former Patriot players Ty Law, Adam Vinatieri and Larry Izzo on the team, which would be coached by Bill Belichick. You’ll notice Tom Brady wasn’t on that list, and Borges explains why Peyton Manning is his QB of the decade in a separate column. He admits it was a very close, difficult decision, and he would be happy with either quarterback on his team. Kerry Byrne takes a look at the top 10 moments of the Patriots dynasty.

Ian R. Rapoport looks at Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel reuniting with Scott Pioli out in Kansas City. Tom E. Curran takes a look at the defensive line, while Christopher Price looks at the defensive backs. Mike Reiss has his Patriots mailbag.

You’ll be hearing this a lot this offseason: Jeff Howe says the Jets are going to be very good for years to come. Michael Felger says that both the Jets and Colts are miles ahead of the Patriots. Monique Walker has the Colts saying they’re happy to take a Super Bowl berth over a 16-0 regular season.

Mike Reiss did it last week, and today Albert R. Breer also talks to UMass offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse, a native of Haiti.

Karen Guregian and Adam Kilgore has Matt Light talking about his dislocated kneecap that he suffered in the Denver game this season. Rapoport’s notebook says that Wes Welker’s ACL surgery still has not been scheduled.

Celtics

A. Sherrod Blakely has the Celtics headed into their biggest three-game stretch of the season, with the Magic, Hawks and Lakers on tap between now and Sunday. Julian Benbow has more on this stretch of potential statement games.

Scott Souza has Ray Allen hoping to remain with the Celtics after his contract expires this summer. Mark Murphy also has Allen looking to stay here, and remaining unfazed by trade rumors.

Robert Lee looks at the All Star hopes for Celtics other than Kevin Garnett, who was voted in as a starter. Evans Clinchy says that the Celtics have felt the loss of Marquis Daniels, and look forward to his return.

Red Sox

John Tomase has Tim Wakefield once again in the position of having to prove himself. Art Martone has Wakefield planning on being in the starting rotation.

Michael Silverman and Amalie Benjamin have the Red Sox and Jeremy Hermida agreeing on a one-year contract.

Mike Fine says that the Red Sox like their organizational depth at the catcher position. Joe McDonald says that the Red Sox are expecting big things from prospect Ryan Westmoreland this season, at whichever level he ends up at.

Bruins/Misc

Steve Conroy has Milan Lucic still trying to return to top form. Joe Haggerty says that center Steve Begin hopes to return this weekend. Kathryn Tappen says that the Bruins players are the only ones capable of turning this team around. Fluto Shinzawa has Tuukka Rask struggling when called upon to relieve Tim Thomas in the middle of a game.

Bob Ryan offers a number of thoughts on the sports world.

NESN Announces Red Sox Spring Training Plans

We’re just a few weeks away from the start of spring training, and this afternoon, NESN announced their plans for expanded Red Sox spring training coverage which will begin with an evening edition of Red Sox Spring Break LIVE on February 18th at 7:00pm.

The show will be hosted by Tom Caron and Peter Gammons.

Here is the schedule for Red Sox Spring Break LIVE in February:

DATE PROGRAM TIME
Thu, February 18 Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 7:00 – 8:00 PM
Replay 10:30 – 11:30 PM
Sat, February 20 Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 9:00 AM – NOON
Replay 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Sun, February 21 Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 10:00 AM – NOON
Replay 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Wed, February 24 Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 10:00 AM – NOON
Replay 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Replay 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Fri, February 26 Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Replay 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Sat, February 27 Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 9:00 AM – NOON
Replay 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Sun, February 28 Red Sox Spring Break LIVE 10:00 AM – NOON
Replay 1:00 – 3:00 PM

NESN will also broadcast nine Red Sox spring training games, starting with the annual game with Boston College on March 3rd. Here is the full slate of games:

NESN’s 2010 Spring Training Game Broadcast Schedule

DATE PROGRAM TIME
Wed, March 3 Boston College at Fort Myers 6:00 PM
Sun, March 7 Baltimore at Sarasota 1:00 PM
Sat, March 13 Pittsburgh at Fort Myers 1:00 PM
Sun, March 14 Minnesota at Hammond Stadium 1:00 PM
Wed, March 17 New York Mets at Fort Myers 1:00 PM
Sat, March 20 Baltimore at Fort Myers 1:00 PM
Sun, March 21 Houston at Fort Myers 1:00 PM
Sun, March 28 Minnesota at Fort Myers 1:00 PM
Mon, March 29 Tampa Bay at Fort Myers 7:00 PM

Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy will team up for their tenth season together in the NESN broadcast booth with Red Sox reporter Heidi Watney joining them for her third season with the network.