Sunday Quicklinks

Just a few links following the Celtics dominating 94-71 win over the Orlando Magic in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics now hold a 3-0 lead in the series. Get the full links at CelticsLinks.com.

How the Celtics are demoralizing their opponents Paul Flannery looks at how the Celtics have sucked the will out of their opponents.

Saturday night slaughter – Scott Souza with a look at a win for the ages.

Night to treasure – Steve Bulpett says that this blowout had it all.

Glen Davis’ desire helps fuel Boston Celtics’ dominance – Chris Forsberg with a look at the big-time effort from Glen Davis last night.

Pierce shows he’s not all talk – Julian Benbow’s notebook has the Captain backing up his talk from earlier in the week.

Daisuke Matsuzaka took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in Philadelphia last night as the Red Sox beat the Phillies 5-0. Get the full links at RedSoxLinks.com.

The Friday Night Megalinks

Usually Friday is a day to look forward, but it became a nightmare for me this morning after I got into an accident on the way to work. It certainly effects your entire day and I’m feeling some discomfort in my left side where my car was hit, but it’s not enough to prevent me from blogging. I’ll do the megalinks now.

You can find the Sports and Primetime TV viewing for the weekend right here.

Now to our links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says Chad Ochocinco continues his reality TV tour this summer.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with the reporters assigned to cover LeBron James 24/7.

Milton Kent of Fanhouse says Fox Sports’ Chris Myers has issued an apology for comments he made about Hurricane Katrina victims while guest hosting on the Dan Patrick Show earlier this week. 

Media Matters has the exchange of letters between the Mayor of New Orleans and Myers. 

Subbing for CNBC’s Darren Rovell, Maury Brown from the Biz of Sports Network writes that the NFL will have a huge war chest thanks to TV rights fees if the league decides to lock the players out in 2011.

The Associated Press reports that ESPN will use Cisco technology to conduct video conference interviews during the World Cup. 

Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable says CBS and ESPN were among those honored Thursday by Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily.

Michael K. Ozanian of Forbes.com says sports programming is giving media stocks a big boost. 

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says Univision hashed out a deal this week to carry Mexican National Soccer team games, beating out previous rights holder Telemundo.

Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine writes that advertisers can reach male college students through the College World Series which is gaining popularity which each passing year.

Ryan Berenz of Channel Guide Magazine looks at Fox Sports carrying its first ever soccer match in the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday.

David Goeztl of Mediapost says Turner Sports isn’t saying much about having the NCAA Tournament on its networks, but is expecting the property to be a money maker. 

The Sports Media Watch speaks with two Turner Sports executives about developing new technologies for the network’s sports properties. SMW continues that conversation here.

SMW says the NHL Conference Finals are getting off to a slow start in the ratings, but the postseason numbers are still way up overall.

SMW says the NBA Conference Finals are also down.

The SMW notes that the Preakness Stakes experienced its lowest ratings in ten years.

And SMW says NASCAR on Fox hit an extreme low note on Sunday.

Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the NHL Conference Final ratings through Tuesday.

Ken Campbell of The Hockey News feels the NHL is treating CBC like dirt while kowtowing to NBC which doesn’t pay the league a rights fee.

Gail Sideman writing in Sports Networker talks about sports and politics mixing as in the fray over the new Arizona immigration law.

Deadspin looks at one of the oddest and saddest lawsuits against ESPN. 

Robert Littal of Black Sports Online couldn’t be happier to have Screamin’ Gus Johnson as the new play-by-play voice of the Madden ’11 NFL video game.

Dave Kohl of Major League Programs notes that Chicago sports anchor Mike Adamle identified and then mis-identified the same person in the same sportscast.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Pawtucket Red Sox radio voice Dan Hoard writes in his MLBlog that a Red Sox prospect has been leaving tickets for ESPN’s Erin Andrews in hopes of meeting her (scroll down).

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with former Red Sox infielder and current WEEI and Comcast SportsNet commentator Lou Merloni.

Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News says having LeBron James sign with the New Jersey Nets would become a big get not only for the team, but for the YES Network.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post tries to equate Red Sox DH David Ortiz with Florida Marlins malcontent Hanley Ramirez. That’s a big stretch, Phil.

John Koblin and Irina Aleksander of the New York Observer chronicle how a recent journalism graduate got a major sitdown interview with New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokorov.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union speaks with area native Ari Wolfe who has been quite busy traveling the country doing gigs for various networks.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner has Fox Sports President David Hill predicting a high viewership for the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday.

And Jim speaks with Food Network’s Paula Deen who loves her baseball.

South

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the LeBron James saga is getting to the ridiculous stage.

Ilana Limon of the Orlando Sentinel says Conference USA is hoping to see some flexibility between its TV partners, ESPN and CBS College Sports in the next rights deal.

Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun Sentinel says the Florida Panthers plan to reduce seating at its arena next season.

Eric Smith of the Memphis Daily News recaps a local appearance made by ESPN/CBS college basketball analyst Jay Bilas. 

David Barron in the Houston Chronicle says ESPN’s 30 for 30 series will look back at the period when Southern Methodist University became the first and only school to receive the NCAA’s death penalty.

David adds that Univision nabbed a big property for its soccer programming.

In the Daily Oklahoman, Mel Bracht says the local ABC affiliate is defending its decision to pre-empt the start of last Sunday’s NBA Eastern Conference Final game in favor of storm coverage.

Mel recaps Dan Patrick’s interview of disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy.

Midwest

Michael Zuidema in the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with former Fox Sports NFL analyst Ray Bentley about his return to local sports radio.

Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is enjoying ESPN’s and TNT’s “A” announcing teams on the NBA Conference Finals.

Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.

Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the White Sox may be looking for an FM outlet to carry its games after this season and beyond. 

To the Rochester Post-Bulletin where Paul Christian writes that Saturday is becoming a prime viewing night for sports.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that there are plenty of changes coming to all three of the city’s sports radio stations.

Dan also notes that former St. Louis Rams QB Kurt Warner is making his first foray into the broadcast booth.

Blair Kerkhoff at the Kansas City Star explores the Big Ten Network and what Missouri could gain from the channel if it joined the Big Ten Conference.

West

Scott D. Pierce in the Deseret (UT) News says Salt Lake City and Utah for that matter is not an attractive TV market for Pac 10 or Big 12 expansion.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune is mildly surprised to see the NBA Playoffs being the Padres in the local ratings.

John Maffei of the North County Times says soccer is proving to be a ratings winner in the US.

Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star feels Versus is giving short shrift to the Tour of California.

Jim says ESPN’s Chris Berman doesn’t deserve a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says the Dodgers are running a contest for a fan to call an inning of a game on the internet.

Tom profiles TNT’s Reggie Miller in his weekly media column.

Tom has more with Reggie and adds his extensive media notes in his blog.

Canada

James Mirtle of the Toronto Globe and Mail feels Don Cherry goes too far in his criticism of European players.

Bruce Dowbiggin in the Globe and Mail rates Canada’s NHL panel discussions on the three major rightsholders.

CBC says Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean will be writing his autobiography.

TSN announces that it and TSN2 will carry plenty of coverage of the French Open.

Etan Vlessing of the Hollywood Reporter writes that TSN and Rogers Sportsnet will split coverage of the English Premier League for three seasons.

And that will conclude the megalinks. Thanks for your patience.

Lester is Complete in 6-2 Win Over Twins

Jon Lester went the distance last night, giving up just one earned run while striking out nine. Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Beltre homered for the Red Sox, who posted a 6-2win over the Minnesota Twins to sweep the quick game series at Fenway Park. Get the complete coverage from last night at RedSoxLinks.com.

Merloni is still a fan favorite – Chad Finn’s media column in the Globe focuses on CSN and WEEI personality Lou Merloni, who has remained a fan favorite even after his playing days.

‘I’m not paying attention to any of [the media's] crap anymore’ – Transcript of David Ortiz’s interview on WEEI yesterday afternoon.

Lester goes distance in 6-2 Sox win – Bill Ballou notes that complete games have gone the way of the Buffalo.

Sox have found their winning blueprint – Joe Haggerty says that the Red Sox seem to have dusted off that old Epstein baseball blueprint with these last two wins.

Ellsbury set to punctuate key week for Red Sox – Alex Speier says that the return of Jacoby Ellsbury could provide a boost for the Red Sox.

Beckett’s back will take time to heal – The ProJo Red Sox Journal picks up many of the remaining pieces.

The Red Sox have the right man for the job – Rob Bradford says that this stretch should remind us of the value of Terry Francona.

Doubront on the up and up – Peter Abraham’s Minor League notebook has Felix Doubront taking a step forward.

The Celtics will wait another day before resuming their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Orlando Magic tomorrow night at the TD Garden. Down in Orlando, columnists are trying to rally the fans (as heard on D&C this morning) and tell them that the series is not over, pointing to the Bruins collapse against the Flyers.

Kryptonite Kendrick – Michael Muldoon looks at the job Kendrick Perkins has done on opposing centers.

Celts’ defense shutting down Magic’s 3-point shooting – Scott Souza examines how the Celtics defense has come alive in the postseason.

Paul Pierce has always talked the talk – Steve Bulpett notes that the Celtics Captain was a talker even when the team wasn’t any good.

Pierce’s fire has been lit – Chris Forsberg says that the Magic’s decision to have Vince Carter “defend” Pierce seems to have lit a fire under the Captain.

Celtics should raise Kevin Garnett’s No. 5 to the rafters – A little early for this, Ron Chimelis?

Doc Rivers tries to keep focus – Dan Duggan’s Celtics notebook has the coach trying to preach humility to his team.

Julian Edelman talked to reporters at Gillette yesterday, as the second-year receiver prepares for a larger role in the Patriots offense in ’10.

Big task awaits Patriots’ Edelman in 2010 – Glen Farley has Edelman better able to focus on getting better this offseason.

Edelman wants more in second season – Mike Reiss says that Edelman will need to take a giant step forward this season.

Edelman looks to build on a rookie season for the ages – Christopher Price notes that Edelman accomplished quite a bit last season, and is looking for more.

Boston soccer’s (low-key) version of Becks and Posh – Frank Dell’Apa has a look at Revolution defender Cory Gibbs and his pop-star wife Zena McNally, who have kept a pretty low profile in Boston.

Today’s non-link is Steve Buckley’s column, which is basically a re-write of the WEEI appearance yesterday (linked above) of which Buckley was a part. Did he write it in the studio while he was on the air?  The transcript is softened up a bit in terms of the questions, as Buckley had a “tone” in some of his questions as if he was trying to challenge Ortiz or get him mad, it was pretty annoying, in fact. (You can also listen to the interview on WEEI.com as well – though fair warning, Mike Adams hosted the Big Show yesterday.) 

Toucher and Rich went after Ortiz this morning as well, saying he should leave the public eye if he doesn’t want to be criticized by the media. They claim that the media “created” Ortiz, so he can’t really be mad at them. That type of self-important reference is not something that T&R usually do, so it was a bit disappointing to hear it come from that show.

Meanwhile, Mike Lowell speaks out the day after a devastating loss, saying he has to play, and instead of getting any criticism, gets a warm fuzzy from Gerry Callahan in print yesterday. Ortiz has been crushing the ball this month – .358 batting average, 7 home runs, 17 RBI, 1.171 OPS (Last 7 days – .417, 4, 10, 1.379) – yet the talk from the media is still that he is “done” and that Lowell needs to be in the lineup.  

Why the difference in coverage?

Kevin Millar to Join NESN as Studio Analyst

Not to be outdone by the CSN announcement of Connecticut Sun broadcasts, NESN announced today former Red Sox first baseman and “Cowboy Up” sloganmaster Kevin Millar has been added to their rotation of studio analysts for Red Sox broadcasts.

Millar will make his NESN debut on Thursday, May 27th at 6:00 PM on Olympia Sports presents The Boston Globe Red Sox GameDay Livebefore the Red Sox host the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. He will join host Tom Caron and Jim Rice on the NESN Yawkey Way stage.

“We are thrilled to have Kevin join our team of outstanding studio analysts,” said Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer. “Kevin is a fan favorite and he brings first-hand knowledge of the game. He has never been shy about sharing his opinions and our fans will enjoy the added dimension he will bring to our Red Sox programming.”

Millar will join Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley, Jim Rice and Peter Gammons in the rotation. Millar also recently joined MLB Network as a studio analyst.

Mike Gorman and Rebecca Lobo To Call CT Sun Games on CSN

Comcast SportsNet announced today that they will broadcast seven games of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun this season, all in High Definition. Longtime Boston Celtics TV voice Mike Gorman will call the games alongside UConn and WNBA legend Rebecca Lobo.

Comcast SportsNet’s Sun schedule includes a matchup with the defending WNBA Champion Phoenix Mercury and former UConn great Diana Taurasi on Friday, June 25. The schedule also includes Candace Parker (wife of Celtics reserve forward Sheldon Williams) and the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday, July 24 as well as former Sun star Lindsay Whalen and the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday, August 3.

Comcast SportsNet’s full high definition Sun schedule features:

  • Fri, May 21 @ Atlanta Dream – 7 pm
  • Fri, June 11 vs. Indiana Fever – 7:30 pm
  • Fri, June 25 vs. Phoenix Mercury – 7:30 pm
  • Sun, June 27 @ NY Liberty – 4 pm
  • Sat, July 24 vs. LA Sparks – 7 pm
  • Tue, August 3 @ Minnesota Lynx – 8 pm
  • Tue, August 17 vs. Tulsa Shock – 7:30 pm

Week Log: Lightning Crashes

A mixed bag this week. The Celtics’ angel has opened their eyes and brought them the postseason they’ve been wating for, while the confusion still belongs to the Red Sox down the hall. For the Bruins . . . well, an old mother dies.

Celtics

Having unceremoniously dispensed the Cleveland Cavaliers last Thursday, the Celtics are now up two games over the Orlando Magic. North Station Sports starts things off with their belief that playoff success comes down to mental acumen, and while the C’s have mental lapses the Magic are not steel-minded enough to push through the hits they’re taking from Boston.

Celtics Life sees the return of Ubuntu and a hunger for an 18th banner after the opening win against the Magic on Sunday. Tuesday night’s Game 2 was all about Paul Pierce and CelticsBlog says no one personifies the will to win more than him. Celtics Hub points to Game 2 as evidence of why Vince Carter is not up there with Pierce among the best of the Class of 1998. If an idiot like Red’s Army could see Carter is not a clutch player, why couldn’t the Orlando Magic braintrust? LOSCY offers a graphical analysis of how Carter choked at the line. Green Street warns that the C’s cannot rely on missed free throws down the stretch again, as the fourth quarter has been prime time for the Magic in these first two games.

With tens of millions of dollars of payroll at risk and a bevy of ball boys, Celtics Green wonders why Amway Arena can’t pick up a few mops to keep the court dry. From screaming PA fools to cheer sticks to bouncing balls, And Another Thing . . . says it doesn’t get more bush than Orlando. Gino’s Jungle tests the theory that ref Bill Kennedy hates Doc Rivers and the C’s, but the conclusion after Game 2’s performance is that the whole crew was equally egregious to both teams.

Celtics Stuff Live warns the botoxed morons who fill Staples Center with chants of “We Want Boston” that the C’s would be the worst possible matchup for the Lakers. Mocking Mike Mayock lists ten reasons the C’s will win a title this year, and facing the Lakers is among them.

Red Sox

After dropping the last two in Detroit over the weekend, the Sox opened the work week with an improbable split in the Bronx after trailing, 5-0, in both games. Red Sox Monster had Monday’s game poised as one of the great wins of the season . . . until Jonathan Papelbon happened. With the Yankees victory, Subway Squawkers observed how the tables have turned, as the Pinstripers are acting more like the Idiot-era Sox and Boston like Kevin Brown-era cranks.

For Toeing The Rubber, it was almost more painful to watch the Sox win on Tuesday than lose on Monday. The Joy Of Sox recounts the last at bat on Tuesday, with Papelbon on the threshhold of another major meltdown and everything having the desperation of mid-October. Nonetheless, Michael Hurley maintains there is no such thing as a must-win in May. Fenway Pastoral suggests Papelbon may be tipping his pitches; it seems like every time he cocks his arm, he delivers a low-90s fastball with little to no movement on it. Confessions of a She-Fan finds it takes seven Yankees to screw up a ball game.

After last night’s performance against the Minnesota Twins, Boston Dirt Dogs is ready to appoint Clay Buchholz next year’s ace. ESPN Boston’s Red Sox Blog has Buchholz in command of four pitches last night.

Given Mike Lowell’s complaints over his situation on the heels of a bad Sox loss on Monday, Hit And Run With Dan Roche tells him in the same breath to get out of town and to sit tight. No wonder the poor guy doesn’t know whether he is coming or going. NESN‘s Peter Gammons counts as many as nine teams interested in Lowell, including the Florida Marlins. Hey, do you think they’d take Josh Beckett back, too? BoSox Injection welcomes back Big Papi.

Bruins

Do we really have to? Since 2004, I’ve had a phobia of seeing any Boston team gain a 3-0 series advantage because I didn’t want to be the city that let New York off the hook. Now that it’s happened, my fears seem justified. This is a suckiness beyond anything my neurotic tendencies could have imagined. Black & Gold says the B’s may not have wanted to be involved in the worst collapse in NHL history, but they didn’t want to avoid it enough either. In the face of adversity this season, Hockey Independent could always hear the echo when the B’s tapped their empty chests.

The Old Bruins Fan says that, like last year’s second-rounder against the Hurricanes, this series was lost not in Game 7 but in one much earlier. Barstool Sports wonders what made the B’s pull a Cavaliers act and just quit. Jerry Thornton says there’s a time in defeat for handling oneself with class and a calm demeanor, but the aftermath of Game 7 was not one.

Masshole Sports thinks the B’s didn’t lose this series so much as the Flyers just won it. Something’s Bruin says this should have been expected, given the B’s have reeled us in for three straight postseasons, only to throw a series away in the end. Tea Party Throwdown expected elimination much earlier this postseason, and she finds this unexpected playoff run a silver lining.

Tuesday was Break-Up Day, as GM Peter Chiarelli – in his best Duquettian straight face – noted the B’s have spent more days in the second round than all but four teams over the last two years. Stanley Cup of Chowder brings us a Chairelli / Julien tap-dancing act at Break-Up Day. Boston Then And Now has Tuesday’s performance showcasing how a loser mentality on the ice starts with the front office. Kathryn Tappen thinks piecing together a new team better keep the front office off the links this summer.

The Hub of Hockey kicks off its player-by-player final grades by going soft on defenseman Dennis Wideman. As Wideman goes, so go the B’s says Big Bad Blog, but for a good stretch of this past season, Wideman wasn’t going. Rink Rap has Tuukka Rask showing a genuine humility that is a prerequisite for hockey’s most important position. Bruins 2010 Draft Watch doesn’t see the Edmonton Oilers being swayed from Taylor Hall, so B’s fans should get ready for Tyler Seguin next season.

Odds & Sods

. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston sports world

In the wake of the B’s epic choke (I know, you can’t get away from it!), The Crowe’s Nest offers up their top five most disappointing Boston losses, and all four major teams are covered.

Extra Points has our New England Patriots cracking Forbes‘ list of the ten most valuable sports brands globally. Bingo Bar Blog wants to see NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell slice the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints with the same badge of justice he used to cut up Bill Belichick and the Patriots.

Six States, One Blog has the Revolution getting an ideal opportunity to test three trial players in an exhibition against Portugal league champion Benfica. Corner Kicks has the Portugese squad depleted, but coming up with a victory last night before a patriotic crowd at Gillette. New England Revolution Blog has a sparse distribution of the ball hindering efforts to evaluate the trial players last night.

B’s bloggers: get out the sunscreen, get some rest, and be ready for another great run at the second round next year. We’ll pop in on you from time to time during the summer. As always, you can pop in on me on Twitter or Facebook any time.

Buchholz, Ortiz Power Sox Over Twins

Clay Buchholz gave up two runs in eight plus innings last night, and David Ortiz hit his 8th home run of the season as the Red Sox managed a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park last night. Get the complete coverage over at RedSoxLinks.com.

Sports Radio Host Has High-Tech Home – Electronic House magazine recently did an article on Glenn Ordway’s home theater setup at his Hanover home. The article has Ordway talking about why the setup is important for his job, and details the various pieces of equipment (110-inch Stewart Filmscreen with Sony VPL-VW85 1080p projector, 7-inch Control4 tablet controller, 7.1 Klipsch speaker system, etc).

10 reasons not to give up on the Red Sox – The Red Sox may be 8.5 games out of first in the AL East, and 4.5 games out of the Wild Card (and it’s not even June yet), Bill Burt says we shouldn’t give up on them just yet.

Buchholz is a fixture, not a chip – Alex Speier explains why we should expect to see Buchholz here in Boston for a while.

Handy Bill Hall answers the call for Red Sox at shortstop – Ron Chimelis has Bill Hall filling in at shortstop last night.

Papi powering up and settling down – Maureen Mullen looks at David Ortiz getting back into “Big Papi” form.

Schoeneweis released by Red Sox – Joe Haggerty’s notebook wraps up some other items.

Trash talk on Twitter may not be the Truth – Chad Finn looks into the Paul Pierce Twitter hack a little more.

Improved Celtics may be better than ’08 – Steve Bulpett is slowly coming to this conclusion.

Celtics taking a different route in playoffs this season – Jim Fenton looks at how the Celtics have done things the total opposite of 2008.

Rested Development for the C’s –  A. Sherrod Blakely looks at how four days of rest will impact the Celtics, and has a couple of other items from the series.

All the numbers favor Celtics after historic road sweep – Bill Doyle looks at how things are stacked in favor of the Celtics right now.

Trade Thomas? Not so fast – Graig Woodburn isn’t so sure that trading Tim Thomas is the right move for the Bruins this offseason.

Patriots Focused on Adding Quality Character Guys During 2010 Offseason – Jeff Howe with a look at what has been the Patriots aim this offseason in player additions.

On the downside, isn’t Gerry Callahan’s column today a bit too late? David Ortiz is hitting again, and Lowell, as Chad Finn points out, made a “passive/aggressive statement in which he says he might consider asking for his release — coming a day after an absolutely devastating loss in which the club really doesn’t need petty distractions” – Callahan continued to hold of Lowell as the good soldier and leader on this show this morning, but Lowell’s words the other day seem to go against that characterization. I like Lowell a lot, and would like to see him in there against some of the tougher lefties, but Callahan’s defense of Lowell seems a bit late. If it had been written two weeks ago, it would’ve carried much more weight.

I haven’t been a fan of the ESPN/ABC team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, and Mark Jackson, mostly because of their tendancy to wander off-topic, or to spend an entire game focused on LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. I have to say that in this series, with no Kobe or LeBron to fawn over, they’ve been very good. You would never know that Van Gundy’s brother is coaching one of the teams, and they’ve been both critical and supportive of officials calls when warranted.

Celtics Go Up 2-0, Sox Hang On This Time

It was an eventful night for Paul Pierce, who scored 28 points in the Celtics 95-92 game two victory over the Magic, and also had his @paulpierce34 twitter account hacked.

Get all the Celtics stories this morning over at CelticsLinks.com.

Road warriors – Paul Flannery has a look at the unfazed Celtics pulling out a fourth straight playoff win on the road and fifth straight overall.

Pierce’s old school newly appreciated – A very good column from Bob Ryan on Paul Pierce, and how his game, which sometimes seems like it came from the 1950’s, is really as complete a scoring repertoire as there is in the league.

Garnett took his best shots on defense – Julian Benbow’s notebook in the Globe is the best of the bunch.

Celtics’ hockey style a hit – Steve Bulpett says that if the Bruins played hockey as well as the Celtics did last night, they’d still be playing.

After up-and-down season, Davis finds his niche – Robert Lee has Glen Davis once again playing a huge role for the Celtics in the postseason.

Ten Thoughts from Game 2: A cure for Vinsanity – Kirk Minihane offers up ten items from last night.

Red Sox

It was downright nauseating hearing and seeing Glenn Ordway and Dan Shaughnessy on WEEI and NESN respectively be downright giddy yesterday over the supposed clubhouse issues with the Red Sox and Mike Lowell’s unhappiness with his role. Shaughnessy could barely contain a full grin as he talked during the Red Sox rain delay last night about all the unhappy veterans in the Red Sox clubhouse. It must’ve brought back memories of the gravy days for Dan…

The Red Sox once again appeared dead in the water last night in New York, trailing 5-0 in the sixth and 5-1 in the eight, Boston made spirited comeback for the second straight night, handing Jonathan Papelbon a two run lead at 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth. Papelbon gave up a run, but managed to hang on and get the save for the Red Sox in the 7-6 win at Yankee stadium. Get all the coverage at RedSoxLinks.com and NYYankeesLinks.com.

Sox Rally After Trying Day – Jeff Jacobs has the Red Sox getting a big win during very fragile times for the club.

From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs – Sean McAdam has the Red Sox picking up an “empowering” win.

How Should Managers Deal With Media Regarding Controversy? – Evan Brunell touches on a topic appropriate of this page.

Lowell voices displeasure about his role – Amalie Benjamin’s notebook gives you the details comments without turning them into the apocolypse.

Red Sox bats take offense – Michael Silverman has the offense coming through when the pitching and defense didn’t.  

Misc

Changes are coming for a needy Bruins team – Joe Haggerty says that the Bruins will be a different team next season, and goes through who might be leaving this offseason.

Locking up Dennis Seidenberg an offseason priority – Steve Conroy says that the Bruins really would like the bring the defenseman back this fall.

Bruins missing right mix – Rich Garven also examines possible changes this offseason.

Tyrone McKenzie’s Battle Scars to Serve Him Well in Foxboro – Jeff Howe has the second-year linebacker looking forward to fighting Brandon Spikes for a starting role. Mike Reiss sees a little Ted Johnson in McKenzie.

Springs released by Patriots – Tom E Curran examines the release of the veteran CB, recalling an incident during the season when Springs joked with Adalius Thomas, seemingly about being late for practice and getting sent home.

I disagree with Kevin Paul Dupont’s assertion this morning that Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien needed to apologize to the fan base yesterday. What good would it do? The only way to make amendsis to make the team better and advance further next season. It’s fair to say it’s a huge offseason coming up for Chiarelli.

Papelbon Gives It Up To The Yankees

On the cusp of their best win of the season – coming back from a 5-0 deficit in Yankee Stadium against Phil Hughes, and coming back again from 7-6 down – the Red Sox entered the bottom of the ninth inning up 9-7 with Jonathan Papelbon on to close things out.

Two two-run home runs later (by Alex Rodriguez and Marcus Thames) the Red Sox were saddled with an 11-9 loss, perhaps their worst of a horrid season thus far. Papelbon threw 19 pitches in the inning, and they were all fastballs.

If you want all the coverage you can head to RedSoxLinks.com. If you’re a masochist (or a Yankees fan) you can go to NYYankeesLinks.com and see what they’re saying down there.

Sox hit low point of a disappointing season – Sean McAdam says that this one stung.

His fight with Father Time leaves scars – Howard Bryant with a must-read feature on David Ortiz’s ongoing struggle with baseball mortality, and how the Red Sox and MLB Players Association supported him last season.

Problem starts with Josh Beckett – Michael Silverman claims that the Red Sox woes this season can be traced to Beckett and his 7.46 ERA.

Red Sox failure to pitch in getting tired – Jon Couture says that the entire starting rotation is to blame.

Lowell’s ‘frustration’ continues to mount – Rob Bradford gets Mike Lowell to talk about his frustrations with his part-time role. (Is it wrong to point out here that Bradford wrote a book with Lowell?)

Celtics

The Celtics will look to go up 2-0 in their series with the Magic with a game tonight in Orlando. (ESPN, 8:30 PM) CelticsLinks.com has all the coverage heading into tonight.

 Celtics’ Defense In Good Hands With New Britain’s Thibodeau – via the Orlando Sentinel, the Hartford Courant has a piece on the Celtics “defensive coordinator.”

What to watch for in Tuesday’s Game 2 – Paul Flannery looks at what we can expect tonight.

Defensive rotation comes full circle – Julien Benbow has the Celtics finally coming together as a unit in the playoffs, despite still having individual disagreements.

Slight improvement – Frank Dell’Apa’s notebook has Kevin Garnett talking about the improvement in his team.

Bruins

These Bruins have that old familiar feel – Michael Felger goes after Jeremy Jacobs as the reason for the Bruins never getting over the hump.

Sifting through the rubble – Fluto Shinzawa ends his analysis of the Bruins with the following statement: “When you’re lacking in character, you give up 3-0 series leads and 3-0 Game 7 advantages.”  I wonder if he’ll be able to expand on that in the following days. Sounds an awful lot like the media reports coming out of Gillette following the Patriots loss to the Ravens in the playoffs.

Bruins’ Playoff Report Card – Stephen Harris hands out the postseason grades.

Bruins should keep Julien – Mike Loftus says that firing the coach isn’t the answer.

Patriots

Biggest questions still facing the Patriots – Christopher Price has some things that still need to be settled with this Patriots team.

Familiarity With College Coaches Helps Bill Belichick Mine Proper Talent for Patriots – Jeff Howe looks at how many players that the Patriots have drafted over the years that come from programs where the coach has ties to Bill Belichick.

McKenzie and top Pats competitions – Mike Reiss looks at areas of competition on the Patriots roster.

On the downside this morning…well, you could pretty much predict Shaughnessy today. Right in his wheelhouse. A BSMW messageboard poster described the column thusly: “Towering laziness. Self-pitying (pre-2002/2004) New England sports fan-centric. Bruin collapse cross-references. Not a scintilla of any original reportage. My God, people, Ray Fitz’s space in The Globe is being taken by this utter fraud? The horror.”

Game 7 Garners 13.2 Rating on NESN

Friday night’s game was a disaster for everyone in Boston except for NESN, it would seem.

NESN garnered a 13.2 household rating in the Boston DMA for Friday night’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Philadelphia Flyers. The program was the #1 rated show in the Boston DMA and the second highest Bruins game rating in NESN’s 26 year history covering the team behind only last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinal Game 7 (14.2).

NESN’s Game 7 coverage also earned the honor of being the top rated program in the Boston DMA in every measurable demographic category including Men 18-34 (14.1), Men 25-54 (12.6), Adults 18-49 (10.4), and Women 25-54 (7.1).