Week Log: From Road Runner To Coyote Across Boston Sports

Moving from season to season is becoming a bit like an episode of The Road Runner and we the fans got stuck with the part of Wile E. Coyote. First, anemic bats and a Jonathan Papelbon collapse fell on our heads like a giant boulder, causing the thin overhang of a Patriots season to dislodge and drop us onto the roadbed of football mediocrity, where the B’s and C’s are the 18-wheeler bearing down on us on their way to a spring disaster. It sure didn’t seem that long ago when we were the Road Runner, but Jerry Thornton says we’ve been stumbling around of late like Martha Coakley supporters wondering how it all went so bad so fast.

Celtics

Right now, the C’s look like the bigger wreck, going 4-8 over the last twelve after turning an 8-point halftime lead into a 6-point defeat at the hands of the Pistons last night. Celtics Green remembers a not-too-distant past when things used to be the other way around in the second half. Even before a 21-13 meltdown in Motown, Rich Levine had the tables fully turned on the C’s third quarter performances this year. ESPN Boston’s Celtics Blog has the C’s getting flustered by the Pistons’ second-half zone defense.

Celtics Town says Rajon Rondo lacked some much-needed aggression in Monday’s home loss to the Mavericks. Evans Clinchy has the C’s once again in crisis mode looking for backup for Rondo. Speaking of which, this stretch has made Red’s Army rethink their position that Nate Robinson would be a detriment to team chemistry.

LOSCY takes a pictoral look back on the underachieving 1-3 week (does that Nets win really count?) that was. Lex Nihil Novi isn’t concerned about anything that happens in the first 65 games. North Station Sports doesn’t want Kevin Garnett rushed back since there will be no banners to hang without him healthy, but Banner 18? is looking for some electricity produced by his quick return to the lineup tomorrow night. Celtics Life acknowledges KG will never be fully healed, but 85% should be good enough for a banner.

Gino’s Jungle is now choking on the words they used to describe how good Perk’s defense is . . . errrr, was. 4 Sport Boston is frustrated with Rasheed Wallace at the moment but anticipates a turnaround in their attitude by season’s end. Big Baby Davis may only be part of the problem, but CelticsBlog recounts an impressive arsenal of episodes – including last night’s heckler-bashing – that have earned him an appropriate nickname. Green Street tracks the evolution of sharpshooter Eddie House.

Bee-beep.

Bruins

Homecoming after an unopportunistic 1-1-1 California swing was less than stellar this MLK Day, as the B’s went down hard to an Ottawa Senators team they’ve owned. Hockey Independent thinks it’s shameful how the B’s and fans left Tim Thomas hanging on Monday, and advises caution to those jumping on the Tuukka Rask bandwagon. The Hub Of Hockey plays the ‘E’ card in excusing the B’s 5-1 loss to the Senators. However, ESPN Boston’s Bruins Blog is allowing for no excuses with the B’s play coming off the West Coast. Big Bad Blog says not all of this swoon can be blamed on injuries and schedule quirks. Despite flatlining on Monday, Kathryn Tappen says the Black & Gold have more positives than negatives ahead, starting with a two-week Olympics break.

There was one noteworthy accomplishment over the week, as we’ve now been able to attach a face to the B’s problems this season: it belongs to Dennis Wideman. Following his coach’s call-out yesterday, James Murphy says it’s now or never for the beleaguered defenseman to step up. Joe Haggerty calls Wideman a poster child for the B’s paralyzing inconsistency this year. Bruins Blog thinks Wideman needs to stay on the ice for some extra work.

Rink Rap debates whether Peter Chiarelli can pull the ultimate trigger and trade Wideman, who was once a centerpiece acquisition in the GM’s rebuilding program. A day after knocking Ilya Kovalchuk as a trade deadline target, Something’s Bruin says Martin St. Louis is more needed and a better bargain.

Finally, Stanley Cup Of Chowder examines the intricacies of Rask’s Winter Classic mask with its designer – right down to the shredded pinstriped jersey.

Red Sox

Despite the lack of a duck boat parade for two years now, Eric Ortiz thinks the Sox couldn’t have a better leader than Terry Francona.

We’ll start with a few early looks up and down the system. Fenway West examines the Achilles’ heels of the Sox rotation. Full Count has the Mariners’ lock-up of ace Felix Hernandez making Theo’s signing of John Lackey look even better. Boston Blood Sox has the media machine at Yawkey Way making the Jason Bay departure look even better.

Bee-friggin’-beep.

The Bottom Line considers the optimal holding period for Jonathan Papelbon. Although the fans still have a muted love for Paps, Red Sox Monster sees Daniel Bard as the shiny new car in the garage. Fire Brand Of The American League puts a price on the heads of the Sox’ top two prospects – Ryan Westmoreland and Casey Kelly. ESPN Boston’s Red Sox Blog is deep in pitching depth down on the farm.

Better Red Than Dead charts a legacy of Sox Hall-of-Famers that makes the Yankees look like pikers. That legacy now includes Andre Dawson (okay, just barely!), although Sports Central doesn’t know what took them so long.

And never mind healthcare reform, as Boston Sports Blog seems to suggest Massachusetts voters went too far in bouncing Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley for her gaff over Curt Schiling’s Yankee allegiance. Boston Dirt Dogs sees a parallel between the Coakley campaign and the Yankees . . . the 2004 Yankees. The Faster Times says Coakley has learned that messing with a Boston sports legend is much worse than messing up his name. WSJ’s The Count calls it the Curse of the Red Sox Gaffe.

The Meat

Schilling may not be aligned with the Yankees, but he apparently is to former WEEI flash guy Pete Sheppard. Surviving Grady has Curt boycotting the station until Sheppard is rehired and also taking back his 38 Pitches blog. Mass Hysteria hopes Sheppard lands on his feet somewhere . . . far from Boston. The Crowe’s Nest says yesterday’s Whiner Line was a classic send-off for Sheppard.

It’s good to bring in some fresh faces. This week, ten blogs got their inaugural linkage here on Week Log, and there’ll be more in the weeks to come as we start up a new MLB season. I could use your help in discovering new blood. E-mail me at [email protected], tweet me @BobEks, or befriend me on Facebook.

  • http://www.yahoo.com Seawall

    Fantastic! We got rid of Pete and Schilling! It’s ironic that Schilling sounds like ultra-liberal Alec Baldwin, threatening to move to Canada if Bush won a 2nd term.

    • http://www.jonvssports.blogspot.com Jon

      I’ll pay Curt’s plane fair. It’s the least I can do for 2004 and 2007.

  • yuppiescum

    Wow, Schilling finally proves himself to be a complete fraud. Back in the day he claimed he would never become “one of them”, then he starts gradually becoming more and more of a media whore, and now he is going to bad for probably the lamest, least insightful, most obnoxious, all around worst sports media figures in town?

  • yuppiescum

    going to bat*

  • Angry Old Bastard

    Sounds like Schilling is trying to make a grandstand play….having said that….I don’t care what anybody thinks, I liked Sheppard. There’s alot of other people at WEEI who I would rather see get the ax ….SUCH AS, Dennis AND Callahan, Dale Arnold, Meter, Craig Mustard, Larry Johnson.

    • http://BobEkstrom Bob Ekstrom

      A.O.B.

      I’ll second your nomination to drop Mustard & Johnson. They cater to an arrogant band of miscreants who think themselves more cosmopolitan because they like non-Boston teams and enjoy trashing the rest of us. I find it offensive that they are revered, let alone indudged.

      Callahan is like those M&J callers, only his claim for worldliness is that he – unlike the rest of us – has interests beyond sports, a trait he likes to flaunt in our faces on every friggin’ morning commute. We can’t drop Meter because of that.

      Arnold is Holly’s duller counterpart, but I can take him. However, I’ve dispensed with Mikey except when DA is on commercial break. He screws around way too much. A whole show – make that series – on renaming Lawrence to Larry? Get some material! Five hours is just too long for one host. I agree with another poster – let’s give Pete (half) that time.

      • http://BobEkstrom Bob Ekstrom

        Ooops. indudged = indulged without the Spellcheck.

      • L3s

        I think the issue is that M&J likely aren’t contracted employees (i.e., no benefits, they work cheap, they stay).
        I don’t even bother with sports radio at night. DA just ain’t got it, and Adams, well, he lost whatever he had.

        • http://BobEkstrom Bob Ekstrom

          That’s funny, because I think DA is top-notch. I don’t like it when he gets preempted by B’s games. Different strokes . . .

    • Classless

      Basically the whole staff. Do you plan on listening to static?

      • Lance

        Well static would be more enlightening than anything the Miserables in the Morning say.

    • yuppiescum

      So, basically everyone but Holley? I think we all agree Holley is the shining star of sports reason on EEI. He’s the only reason I tune in anymore. Shame they can’t pry Mike Smith to work with him full time.

  • mandb97

    So this is the second article by Jerry Thornton for WEEI.com. No wonder why he has not been on Felger and Mazz. I thought F&M might have banned Thornton because he continually made both of them sound like complete morons. That being said, a great pickup by WEEI. Thornton is a terrific writer.

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