Week Log: Draft Days of Summer

Lots of action in the blogosphere this first week of summer, with the C’s drafting tonight, the B’s tomorrow, the U.S. taking on Guana in World Cup action Saturday, and the Sox looking for something positive on any or all of those days. We left you on the threshhold of Game 7 of the NBA Finals last week, so let’s pick up the pieces of our shattered dreams with the C’s first.

Celtics

Just a few eulogies for the C’s, then it’s time to move on. Banner 18?, whose name won’t be changing next season, brings us a Celtics fan appreciation video. Touching All The Bases wonders if disappointment will be the parting memory of a three-year ride that was a hell of a lot of fun. Celtics Stuff Live thinks the C’s need reinforcements from several sources, as running the same crew out there next year will not produce any better results.

The rebuilding begins tonight with the NBA Draft, as the C’s select 19th overall. Green Street recounts the last 25 Number 19 picks. Red’s Army looks at Danny Ainge’s legacy of strong drafts over the last seven years. Boston Sports Then And Now thinks that, with all the uncertainty over the C’s future, Ainge will again have to think outside the box this offseaason as he did in 2007. Celtics Green is looking to fill five roster slots in this year’s draft.

A little more video to close, as The Crowe’s Nest can’t make sense of Lakers fans’ air of entitlement to violence after their team won the NBA Finals.

Bruins

I must confess to not being over the devastation the B’s dumped on our doorsteps in May. I’m not ready to let them back in my life yet but better fans are, and the healing process continues tomorrow night with the second selection in the NHL Entry Draft. Michael Hurley looks back on the top ten Number 2 draft picks in NHL history. Hey, there’s really not much difference between the B’s and the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks when 4SportBoston thinks about it, as they assess some offseason needs that can get partially filled tomorrow night.

Bruins 2010 Draft Watch goes back in time to relive the hype on newly acquired forward Nathan Horton, who was drafted third overall in 2003. Bruins Insider thinks that throwing in the 15th overall pick this year was hard for GM Peter Chiarelli since the draft figures to be a deep one. Blog Of Ice calls it an expensive deal, but that’s the price of unloading Dennis Wideman. Rink Rap has Chiarelli putting his money where his mouth is by looking outside the organization for solutions to player performance “variances.”

Something’s Bruin looks at some interesting international matchups coming the B’s way in the upcoming preseason, while Stanley Cup Of Chowder breaks down the B’s 2010-2011 schedule, which was just released this week.

Red Sox

The Sox went west this week carrying a MLB-best 24-8 record since May 17, as well as a 10-2 interleague record, to Colorado on Tuesday. Surviving Grady thanks interleague play for helping the Sox to move on up. On The Soxaholix, fictional Doug is happy this run has gotten the Sox to within spitting distance of the Yankees.

Looks like the Sox will have to hock a powerful one, as they’ve slipped two games in the first two nights in Colorado, leaving Jerry Remy new and innovative ways to use the word “frustrating” in sentences. Sox & Dawgs says Tuesday night’s low-scoring affair came one game earlier than expected, as Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin was virtually unhittable. Toeing The Rubber dislikes losing the first game of a series more than anything. The Sox stopped a shut-out with a run in thee ninth, but ageless ageing Mike Lowell left the tying run on when he couldn’t beat out a grounder deep in the hole. Better Red Than Dead clocked Lowell’s time to first base as dangerously close to the bezerk barrier, while Boston Dirt Dogs has Lowell with grandmother-class speed.

Over The Monster has last night’s loss marking the end of this run of ten consecutive series either won or split. The Joy Of Sox has Lackey putting the Sox in a four-run hole with his arm, then leading the comeback with his stick. The baseball gods only give out so many gifts like last night’s four-run 6th against the best pitcher in baseball, and when they do you don’t tell them, ‘thanks but no thanks.’ Well, Jonathan Papelbon did, surrendering the lead on two pitches, then the game three batters later. Fenway West has this as Papelbon’s worst outing of the season as he was unable to save one for a mediocre Lackey.

Notwithstanding last night, Red Sox Reality Check notes the improvement of Sox pitching over each month of this season. With the success of Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester this year, Boston Sports Blog tells you the last time the Sox produced two homegrown 20-game winners. Red Sox Monster has math precluding every good Bosox performer from making this year’s All-Star Game. So much for the bridge year says Keep Your Sox On, as they have the Sox leading the Majors in a plethora of offensive categories.

Sean McAdam has something the Josh Beckett front has seen precious little of so far this year: good news. More good news from Full Count, as they report on the pretty amazing comeback of prospect Ryan Westmoreland. Jessica Isner has Lars Anderson knowing what it’s like to struggle, and also knowing he can rebound, too.

SoxSpace News loves Dustin Pedroia’s candor with the media. Fire Brand Of The American League reflects back on the experience of watching Manny Ramirez.

FIFA World Cup

In a week filled with drama and intrigue, perhaps nothing can top the U.S. win over Algeria yesterday, as they scored the match’s only goal in stoppage time to advance into the knockout stages. ESPN Boston’s New England Revolution Blog has Landon Donovan’s goal forgiving and forgetting all the wrongs during the U.S.’s Group Stage. We’re Just Saying sees the U.S. catching up with the rest of the soccer world, and sooner or later the unthinkable is going to happen.

Over the first 90 minutes of play yesterday, Corner Kicks was slowly losing faith in humanity. No matter the winner, Masshole Sports says 1-0 soccer games have all the thrill of watching water boil. NESN’s World Cup blog has Algerian soccer player Rafik Saifi breaking down in the class department after his team’s loss. Jerry Thornton shows enormous self-restraint in not bashing the prissy, humorless world of international soccer.

Odds & Sods
. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston sports world

Six States, One Blog loves the idea of a soccer-specific stadium in New England but doesn’t figure to see the Revs moving out of Gillette any time soon.

Despite putting personal scandals behind themselves, Tom E. Curran says folks will never see past the stained reputations of either Kobe Bryant or Tiger Woods.

Auto Racing Blog has Danica Patrick excited about Indy cars coming to New Hampshire next year.

Looking forward to a couple of draft nights ahead. Check back next Thursday for bloggers’ takes on both the B’s and C’s selections.

Week Log: Firing On One Cylinder

Welcome to Thursday, and the question everyone wants answered tonight: how many starters will show up against the Lakers in a must-win Game 4 at TD Garden? Be it bad shooting, good Lakers defense, or ridiculously zealous zebras, the C’s are getting big-time play from only one of the Big Three each game, so let’s jump right in and get bloggers’ takes here first.

Celtics

Celtics Green has the constancy of the Big Three running aground against the reef of time. Howard Bryant has KG returning from non-factor status for Game 3 on a night when Ray Allen suffered miserably. Celtics Life can’t remember a bigger drop-off in the history of sports than Allen’s from Sunday to Tuesday. Red’s Army says Ray won’t be this cold again, but wishes everyone could get going at the same time. CelticsBlog is looking for the perfect storm in which the starters are firing on all cylinders and Rajon Rondo is moving the ball.

Banner 18? said the C’s needed more shots to fall on Tuesday night. Without Allen’s oh-fer and the officials’ dominance, Jade McCarthy questions where the Lakers would be right now. Touching All The Bases calls it a frustrating game, as the C’s cut a 17-point deficit to one but couldn’t get over the hump. Courtside View laments that if the C’s could have taken advantage of even one of numerous blown opportunities, the Lakers may have cracked like they did in 2008. Mass Hysteria wishes the C’s had treated the Lakers the way they would have treated any robber breaking into their house. Masshole Sports wants to know why Derek Fisher was crying like a baby in his post-game interview.

Gino’s Jungle dismisses the Lakers’ beef over horrible officiating in Game 2, which they blame for their only loss, while Green Street has Doc Rivers not wanting to hear it either. Jerry Thornton says middle-aged fat guys wearing grey T-shirts are dominating this series with their blatant disregard for the game as it’s meant to be played. North Station Sports brings us ex-ref Tim Donaghy’s catalog of blown calls . . . just from Game 3. Bingo Bar Blog is upset that the officiating is taking away from what should have been a classic series. Evans Clinchy has Rivers frustrated that the refs took Paul Pierce out of Tuesday night’s game.

Boston Blood Sox is miffed at Pierce’s arrogance and thinks he better pray this series does get back to LA.

Red Sox

Stretches like this 14-gamer against bad ball clubs that concludes against the Indians tonight seem to decide the A.L. East every year. While the Yankees dial up sweeps against the dregs of baseball like it was room service, the Sox are continually unable to close the deal. It happened against the A’s last Wednesday, and in Baltimore on Sunday, then again last night in Cleveland.

Full Count says the biggest thing that went wrong for the Sox last night was Justin Masterson on the mound for the Indians, as he turned in the best start of his career. And to think Surviving Grady didn’t see a reversal of Masterson’s cruel fate changing any time soon. If this triggers success for the remainder of his season, Toeing The Rubber may eventually be pleased for Justin, but not right now. Tony Lee has Masterson turning the table on former mound mate Clay Buchholz by out-dueling him last night.

Things were going well enough in Cleveland before Wednesday. Fenway West would settle for Daisuke Matsuzaka pitching half as good as he did Monday night if he could do that in every start for the rest of the season. SoxSpace News says that, after this one, Victor Martinez has put to rest any further discussion of Jason Varitek as Dice-K’s personal catcher. Bosox Injection has Tim Wakefield reaching an innings pitched milestone in Tuesday’s win over the Indians. Fire Brand Of The American League says Wake’s record is testament to his loyalty, selflessness, and love of the game. Better Red Than Dead takes a long look back at all the backstops who have caught Wakefield over 16 seasons.

Joe Haggerty has more rest in Jacoby Ellsbury’s future. Fenway Pastoral has Greater Boston swept away by the Marco Scutaro phenomenon. Boston Dirt Dogs berates the Nation for our lack of a grassroots effort to get more Sox in this year’s All-Star Game.

Odds & Sods
. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston sports world

Wes Welker is in Foxborough participating in OTAs this week and Boston Sports Then And Now is not shocked by his determination and pure will to compete. Mike Reiss considers whether Bill Parcells or Bill Belichick is the greater coach.

Six States, One Blog admits midfielder Steve Ralston is old, but it’s better for everyone now that the Revs have re-signed him. Boston Sports Blog helps us through the World Cup by analogizing each country to an American team we’ll know a whole lot better.

And finally, College Sports Blog has three BC Eagles taken in Tuesday’s first ten rounds of the MLB Draft.

May your weekend be filled with Green success, and we’ll see you back here next Thursday.

Week Log: It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

There was once a day when a 3-0 lead in a best-of-seven series was considered commanding. This season, the B’s and C’s have made it anything but. In a one-month stretch, can one city beget two of the five most colossal chokes in the history of professional sports? After the Celtics’ Game 5 drubbing at the hands of the Magic last night in Orlando it’s no longer so far-fetched, so let’s start there.

Celtics

Banner 18? is worried after the dramatic change in this series. CelticsBlog says momentum is big in basketball, and the Magic grabbed it all back last night. On the contrary, Red’s Army thinks that momentum dies once the lights go out and a player hits the pillow.

Last night’s was a physical game and the C’s came up short. Gino’s Jungle has trainer Ed Lacerte getting way too much face time on national television. Evans Clinchy has Doc Rivers looking as if he, too, took an elbow from Dwight Howard after this one. Green Street says the C’s now have a whole lot more to overcome than Orlando’s pick-and-roll if they are going to win this series. ESPN Boston Celtics Blog has the C’s oozing quiet confidence in the face of mounting adversity. CSNNE’s Celtic Notes has the Magic rediscovering an old, familiar friend.

Celtics Life calls Kendrick Perkins’ second quarter ejection a disgrace to basketball, while Celtics Hub presents the argument that it was within Perk’s control to prevent his DQ. Kirk Minihane wants to see NBA refs own up to potentially series-altering mistakes like the one made by Ed F. Rush last night. Perk Is A Beast says anything less than overturning Perk’s technicals and allowing him to play in Game 6 would be uncivilized. As it happens, Celtics Blog has reported that the NBA front office, in an act of civility, just rescinded the second of Perk’s Ts.

And Another Thing . . . tells you why there’s a huge difference between Rajon Rondo’s big Game 3 play and the Dave Cowens play of 1974 to which it is frequently compared. Rondo is among North Station Sports‘ nine players still remaining in this postseason whose legacy would be most affected by an NBA championship.

Red Sox

I have to admit to liking the Sox’s unusually slow start. When you’re fourth in your division, up is pretty much the only direction to go, and the role of chaser is . . . refreshing? It’s a strange year for A Very Simple Game, which is accustomed to racing through the league until Memorial Day, then fighting to stay in the playoff hunt. For Tony Lee, the question of whether the Sox could keep their heads above water over this 19-game stretch has changed to one of how long they can stay the hottest team in baseball. Toeing The Rubber says going 8-2 against the Yankees, Twins, Phillies, and Rays is only the beginning of one heck of a ride this summer.

Starting pitching has been key. Boston Dirt Dogs says anything is possible now after back-to-back gems by Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield in Philadelphia over the weekend. Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester kept it going in Tampa Bay. Better Red Than Dead has it almost an afterthought that Tuesday was Lester’s seventh start in which he’s allowed two or fewer hits. Fenway West hopes that Theo’s hard work in drafting and developing talent like Lester and Buchholz continues to translate into on-field success. 4SportBoston looks back on the non-trade for Johan Santana that could have cost the Sox both Lester and Buchholz. Forget about all Theo’s mumbo jumbo says Boston Blood Sox, as the only thing that truly prevents runs is good pitching. Surviving Grady says the starters have become atomic-powered in the blink of an eye. Even John Lackey has joined the party, although The Joy Of Sox says his outing last night was the very definition of winning ugly.

BoSox Injection can’t tell if this is a Rays disaster or a Sox hot streak talking. SoxSpace News says not so fast to those who set it in stone that the Rays are a better ball club. With Tampa Bay drawing so poorly in Florida and Boston missing a second team for the last 58 years, Boston Sports Blog pines for bringing the Rays to the Hub.

Fenway Pastoral thinks Lackey is in bad need of a J.D. Drew grand slam moment to defibrillate his big-contract status. Speaking of Drew, Red Sox Monster comes to his defense after a media poll declares him the most overrated player in the Majors. Fenway Nation calls the decision to put Jacoby Ellsbury back in center sound. Keep Your Sox On has Ellsbury with some work to do before his stroke reappears. Fire Brand of the American League wants to land Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta before his body goes bad and his power fizzles.

Odds & Sods
. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston sports world

Extra Points says it’s all about the young guys at the Patriots’ OTAs in Foxborough this week. Tom E. Curran has the veterans dispelling any fears of a lack of leadership this season. It Is What It Is has the Krafts installing high-def video scoreboards in each end zone at Gillette.

With the Revolution enjoying the week off, Six States, One Blog has the return of team captain Shalrie Joseph not enough to get some biscuits in the basket, as the Revs were again shut out, 1-0, in Toronto over the weekend. Boston Sports Then And Now cautions disgruntled Bruins fans rallying for a Tim Thomas tade to be careful what you ask for, as history suggests this won’t bode well for Tuukka. Fenway Fruitgirl reports on the first annual Run For Home Base 9K last Sunday, where attendees got to stroll around Fenway Park after the race.

No Week Log next week due to some scheduling conflicts. We’ll see you in a fortnight, with the C’s hopefully well-occupied by The Finals.

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.

Week Log: On the Threshhold of Ignominy

To those of you not familiar with Week Log, Thursdays on Boston Sports Media Watch bring our weekly tour of the blogs in and around Boston. It’s coming to you a little earlier today as Bruce enjoys his belated vaca, so sit back and check out some great takes along this off-Broadway of Boston sports. We start with hockey.

Bruins

A week ago, it was money that the on-again-off-again B’s season would extend beyond last year’s magical ride. Back on Friday night, when Mark Recchi netted the tying goal with 32 seconds left in Game 4 and the B’s already up three games to none, I told my son that that was it. The Philadelphia Flyers were officially demoralized and would be laying down in OT. The only problem is that no Bruin scored for the next 134 minutes, and that fortress of an advantage has now been officially squandered. Big Bad Blog has the Flyers only the sixth team in NHL history to force a decisive game after being down 3-0, as the B’s cannot figure out their sudden scoring woes. And Kathryn Tappen is now asking questions that weren’t even relevant last week.

Today is one of those days when loyal fans are supposed to rally and remind each other it’s not over yet. Unfortunately, some of us have been around too long to under-estimate the effect of momentum, nor overlook the fact that the Flyers look entirely like the better team. Remember our confidence going into Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, that just-throw-out-the-first-pitch-because-this-one’s-over air of supremacy we all had? I now have a please-don’t-drop-the-damn-puck-because-this-one’s-over dread of tomorrow night. So does Mike Felger, but then again he’ll settle for the infamy of blowing a 3-0 lead rather than losing to the Canadiens in the conference finals.

All right, time to turn it over to those better able to deal with the stress of day-to-day Bruins coverage.

Ghosts of the Garden is back and has this ugly mess starting in Game 4 when Tim Thomas was not in net and Tuukka Rask was on his knees five times. Masshole Sports thinks the return of Simon Gagne, who got the Game 4 sudden death winner, may have propelled the Flyers to an historic comeback.

After Monday night’s pathetic affair that let the Flyers back in this series, Rink Rap looked at some notorious Game 5 eggs laid by the Black & Gold. Monday’s stinker quickly reminded Boston Sports Blog of this winter’s 10-game losing streak. Something’s Bruin can’t excuse the mess of a hockey team that played with no passion in Game 5.

The consensus is that the Bruins’ effort was better last night, but despite a 31-27 shots on goal advantage, Black & Gold says the B’s perimeter shooting did little to pressure Flyer goalie Michael Leighton. ESPN Boston Bruins Blog has the Flyers shutting down the B’s blueline attack by blocking 30 shots. Stanley Cup of Chowder says last night looked like the regular season B’s we all came to know and loathe. Joe Haggerty has this playoff experience morphing into something bordering nightmarish.

And Here We Go Bruins! offers an interesting feature on traumatic brain injury, a condition that has felled the Flyers’ Ian Laperriere after he took a puck in the face during the first round.

Celtics

Much better news on the shamrock side of town as the Celtics took Sunday’s Game 4 and Tuesday’s Game 5, and it could get even better tonight.

Celtics Central is confident that the ruthless guile meted out by Rajon Rondo in Sunday’s triple double for the ages has never been witnessed before. CelticsBlog has the high tide of Rondo’s game lifting Ray Allen’s boat.

Banner 18? says Tuesday’s win was all about the D and the bench holding the lead. Celtics Hub says Cavs coach Mike Brown must explain why he didn’t keep LeBron James on Rondo for the full 48 on Tuesday night after having success with the strategy in the first half. There’s only so much Lebron and a lot more Pierce to go around, so Red’s Army tells Brown to pick his poison. LOSCY hates LeBrick more than he hates Kobe.

Boston Blood Sox sees two incontrovertible axioms at play in explaining Tuesday’s blowout win in Cleveland. Celtics Stuff Live sees no benefits of short-term memory in trying to figure this series out. Perk Is A Beast sees no reason to have to go back to Cleveland until October. Celtics Green‘s Comments From The Other Side paint a thoroughly beaten city of Cleveland after Tuesday’s humbling loss.

Bingo Bar Blog has ex-ref Tim Donaghy giving the C’s no chance against the Cavs in this economic downturn when the league needs its two biggest names in The Finals. North Station Sports has Donaghy dropping the F-bomb on the NBA’s front office, even going so far as to suggest Commissioner Stern helped the C’s tank a few games during their low-water mark.

Celtics Life issues an apology to Tony Allen but warns that if he re-ups in Boston and resumes his loafish tendenies, he’s free game for future attack. And with assistant coach Tom Thibodeau garnering interest around the league, Green Street says the C’s will have a large hole to fill if he breaks into the head coaching ranks.

Red Sox

The Sox just closed out a 7-3 homestand, which is acceptable in every way other than the two football scores the Yankees dropped on them last Friday and Saturday, but the Sox returned the favor with a football score of their own on Sunday. Confessions of a She-Fan says the series finale was about the starting pitchers; the Sox’ was sterling, the Yanks’ breakable. Subway Squawkers is astounded how we Sox fans want to talk more about A-Rod than our salvaging win.

Toeing The Rubber thoroughly enjoyed some ugly baseball in the opener against Toronto Monday night. The Bottom Line can’t tell if Matsuzaka’s new game plan of challenging hitters is working based on Tuesday’s win against the free-swinging Blue Jays, but Better Red Than Dead says Toronto’s is one lineup for which Daisuke’s nibbling ways could be excused.

The Mighty Quinn Media Machine says the state of home plate umpiring sucks across MLB and it may have cost the Sox a win yesterday afternoon. Tony Lee has the Sox forced to accept a difficult ending to an otherwise positive homestand on account of home plate umpire Dale Scott. Extra Bases offers a graphical analysis of Scott’s calls yesterday, but the most damning evidence yet is his unwillingness to toss David Ortiz after Papi’s demonstrative ninth inning strikeout yesterday.

Seeing both sides of all these blowouts and sweeps makes this a maddenly inconsistrent season for A Very Simple Game, while 4SportBoston calls it a serious identity crisis.

Sox Tea Party can’t remember the last time someone hit one further than Jason Varitek’s bomb on Tuesday. Speaking of which . . . no self-respecting blog can let Mayor Menino off the hook this week, so we offer Boston Dirt Dogs‘ comical image of Tek splitting the Superdome uprights.

Red Sox Monster questions Theo’s thought process in putting the team’s biggest defensive liability right out there behind the plate.

Fire Brand Of The American League gives odds on the next number to be retired at Fenway Park, and they’ve got only one slam dunk in their lot.

Odds & Sods

. . . an unstructured wandering through the world of Boston sports

With all this ordinary schmuck talk from Tom Brady about balancing time with his family, Jerry Thornton is deeply concerned he’ll be playing third fiddle behind the two Brady boys.

Nothing wrong with a little casual PED abuse among friends, right? Tom E. Curran quotes himself in justifying his reaffirmation of Brian Cushing as Defensive Rookie of the Year.

NESN‘s staff has compiled their Sweet Sixteen of legendary moments from Boston’s greatest sports legends.

And lastly, the Bruins did not have a monopoly on bad news last night as New England Revolution Blog has the injury-riddled Revs getting ousted from U.S. Open Cup competition.

That’s a wrap for today but don’t forget, Week Log is here every Thursday afternoon. And if you’re in the vacinity of TD Garden any time over the next two nights, I know two teams that could sure use your support. Go get ‘em, C’s and B’s!

Week Log: Blogapalooza!

No one knew what would happen if the Boston community of sports bloggers and podcasters made themselves an easy target by self-assembling. Like the President’s Cabinet in a time of war, this group may be one that is better left ungathered. The fallout from some calamitous occurrence is unthinkable: a major market returned as the sole domain of mainstream journalists! But if you know Joe Gill, you know he is one to push the envelope a little. And so began Blogapalooza.

Granted, such an off-Broadway collection as ours would be more likely taken out by a glass of bad Boston tap water than an air strike, but on Sunday Gill wasn’t risking either. He brought us down into the cellar of The Baseball Tavern where he served free beer to keep everyone away from the water. And for a blogger, the only thing more homey than spending a sunny day in a dark basement drinking other people’s beer is if mom herself were there to pour it into the mug. So, for all his efforts, Joe gets lead-off honors today on Boston Sports Then And Now, where he recounts how Blogapalooza did what it set out to do by uniting the blogging community.

Okay, moving beyond the basement, it couldn’t be a better week for the home teams. Toeing The Rubber called Monday a magical night where good things came in threes, while Boston Sports Blog had Monday’s B’s, C’s, and Sox results looking like an internet address. Since Palooza, the C’s have won their only game, the Sox have taken three straight, and the B’s are on the threshhold of their first conference finals since 1992. We gotta do this more often!

Seems like a lot to pick from, but Bingo Bar Blog tells you that, while an agenda-laced NBA is more about the ratings during its postseason, the pure-driven NHL remains all about the good of the game. All right then, let’s get to some hockey.

Bruins

Get the brooms ready, because the B’s may need them Friday after their 4-1 victory at the Wachovia Center last night put them in command of the Philadelphia Flyers, three games to none.

Saturday’s series-opening sudden-death win on the heels of blown 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2 leads caused Here We Go Bruins to observe these B’s make better chasers than leaders. In what has now become an ironic twist, The Hockey Blog Adventure extols the virtues of having David Krejci in the lineup after his dirty-like-the-morning-shower goal in Game One.

View From 311 can’t resist another Satan pun after Miroslav netted another goal in Monday’s game that was marked by Marc Savard’s alleged biting incident. Masshole Sports thinks that if Daniel Carcillo doesn’t want his finger bitten, maybe he should keep his hands out of the face of a guy coming off a concussion. And if you thought there was any class still left in Philly, Joe Haggerty will sweep it away in his account of the growing animosity between the B’s and Flyers.

Big Bad Blog has Satan getting the game-winner last night on a play that started with Flyer Michael Richards’ over-aggressive hit on Krejci. Blog Of Ice has it a clean hit, but finishing Krejci for the game. Black & Gold has the hit finishing Krejci for the season. Throw in the first period loss of defenseman Adam McQuaid, and Barstool Sports says the B’s simply manned up when under-manned for two two-thirds of last night’s game. Rink Rap calls it a case of Philly throwing the kitchen sink at Boston and coming up with nothing, while Stanley Cup Of Chowder calls it another rock solid performance in net by Tuukka Rask. Something’s Bruin has Rask crushing all Flyers hope.

In certainly the headiest take of the week, Jerry Thornton employs quantum mechanics to explain how one atom proved the difference between playoff outsiders and heirs-apparent to the Eastern Conference finals for the B’s. Bruins Blog conducts an interesting team-building exercise across three Bruins GMs.

Celtics

After seeing the Celtics squanter an 11-point lead in Game One, a split against the Cavaliers in Cleveland never looked so good. Celtics Stuff Live has the 2010 team way ahead of their 2008 NBA champion counterparts in terms of being able to win playoff games on the road.

Celtics Central calls Monday night’s win in Quicken Loans Arena the first shovel of dirt burying the excuses and accusations of the season. And maybe a little on the poor excuse that has been Rasheed Wallace. CelticsBlog reminds us that they called for Sheed to make a positive impact on the Cavs series based on – get this – his compelling need to compete. Celtics Life says Sheed’s only consistency is that he’s consistently disappointing with a penchant for the occasional surprise like Monday night. Nor was Sheed the only contributor. Gino’s Jungle says it’s nice to see Danny Ainge doing whatever he can to help his team win. And with the Cavaliers playing uninspired ball, LOSCY has this now the Celtics’ series to lose.

Celtics Green has the officials living down to expectations of fans who believed the C’s would have to beat five Cavs and three zebras all night. But don’t blame the refs for the disparity in foul calls says Red’s Army, who contends the C’s are intentionally fouling in order to gain some control over the refs.

Celtics Town says that, with his selection onto the NBA’s First Team All-Defense, Rajon Rondo is now officially the C’s best player on both sides of the ball.

Red Sox

The win-three-lose-three-win-three-again Boston Red Sox may be trying to regain our favor, having taken six of the last nine games. One problem: their three losses came on Blogapalooza weekend, and Jonathan Papelbon’s tenth inning meltdown was the only show in town during Happy Hour.

Like the rest of us last Sunday afternoon, 4SportBoston envies Orioles fans, whose team is in a much better position than the Red Sox. I’m Jut Sayin’ slams Josh Beckett for not going the distance on Sunday, thereby leaving the door open for Papelbon . . . to remove it from its hinges. After being swept in Baltimore, A Very Simple Game is looking forward to summer when Theo will be a seller, and to the offseason when he blows the team up.

Better Red Than Dead slams David Ortiz for stranding seven runners on Tuesday night, when the Sox almost lost on account of Big Papi failing to do his only job. If you haven’t checked out Nuggetpalooza‘s weekly The Factors Report yet, there’s some interesting stats and so far, an awful lot of awful on the part of the Sox. Touching All The Bases says this team has been mistake-prone and uninteresting since bidding farewell to Ft. Myers.

BoSox Injection is beginning to come around on Marco Scutaro, who has it all together on the team mentality front. Now if he could just work on that run-prevention thing. Speaking of shortstops, on the eve of Nomar Garciaparra’s retirement party last night in The Fens, Boston Dirt Dogs reminisces through 15 years of No. 5 memories and one theme keeps popping up. Evan Brunell remembers the better times when Nomar was still hitting lasers.

Fenway Pastoral wants to return baseball’s masculinity by replacing pitchers with hitting tees. Maybe Theo could put the extra positional player somewhere in the outfield to help out with run prevention. Sorry, Theo. Six out of nine ain’t cutting it. Sweep the Yankees and we’ll talk next week.

Odds & Sods

. . . an unstructuring wandering through the Boston sports world

And Another Thing . . . feels like going out and taking a called third strike in honor of announcing great Ernie Harwell, who passed away at the age of 92 on Tuesday. Jack Edwards barely knew Harwell, but he’ll miss him just the same.

Jessica Isner tells us how the Boston Patriots jump-started the career of legendary baseball writer Peter Gammons, who was inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame on Monday.

And like the sinking ship’s captain, I’ll be the last one off this week when I look at life on the twilight side of the hill for the hundreds of free agents not scooped up in this year’s NFL draft on Sports Central.

On behalf of Hub bloggers everywhere, I’d like to extend thanks to Joe Gill, The Baseball Tavern, and the many sponsors of Blogapalooza for a well-planned good time. See you a little earlier next Thursday, as Bruce will be away for the week.

Week Log: B’s the Talk of the Town

No surprise as to which team gets lead-off honors this week. For the third straight game, the Bruins reversed an early deficit to beat the Buffalo Sabres last night at TD Garden and take a commanding 3-1 lead in their opening-round playoff series. They are officially the talk of the town today.

Bruins, baby!

ESPN Boston Bruins Blog has last night a repeat of Game Two’s third period comeback. Black & Gold is impressed with all this late drama but wants the B’s to start stronger next time, while Here We Go Bruins! no longer worries about the B’s falling behind.

Barstool Sports has Tuukka Rask and Ryan Miller adding immensely to TD Garden’s future legacy with their work in goal last night. Boston Sports Blog says B’s fans haven’t had the pleasure of watching a game-changing netminder of Rask’s quality in a very long time. The Bruins Blog has Miroslav Satan last night’s hero after being stonewalled by Miller on bids to win this in regulation and again in the first overtime.

Stanley Cup of Chowder has Satan making the Sabres pay for having too many men on the ice. James Murphy sees the irony in winning this one due to a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty. Rink Rap has Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff complaining about the tide-turning penalty calls on his Sabres. Tea Party Throwdown brings in Cam Neeley to give Ruff a tide-turning beatdown.

Kathryn Tappen reports all systems are go with Marc Savard, but if he has to wait another week so be it.

Celtics

We look now to the C’s to keep the line moving, as they held serve on Sunday and Tuesday in their first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat.

Red’s Army credits Doc Rivers with two ballsy calls that won these games, the first coming Sunday when he left Tony Allen on the court. CelticsBlog analyzes the emergence of “Good Tony” but in the end concludes he’s a phenomenon fueled more by fan perception than reality. Doc then started Glen Davis over Rasheed Wallace on Tuesday, when Rivers and Davis teamed to make North Station Sports look like a chump for the full 48. For Celtics Life, Davis stepping up big in KG’s absence was reminiscient of the 2009 ployoffs. Bingo Bar Blog is now bidding adieu to the Heat, who aren’t expected back in town until sometime next year.

LOSCY thanks Quentin Richardson for helping the C’s flip on the switch this postseason. Celtics Town says Q-Rich’s continuous provocation of Paul Pierce speak to a far darker reality lurking within. However, Ball Don’t Lie says tossing an elbow at Richardson is the latest illustration of how Kevin Garnett has become an ass during his days in Boston. Celtics Blog doesn’t see a lot of love coming KG’s way down in Miami this weekend.

Green Street has the C’s stepping into a frenzy in Miami, where their regular season road success will be tested starting tomorrow night. A. Sherrod Blakely has the Heat hoping to regain some mental toughness back home.

Patriots / NFL Draft

Leading up to this weekend’s NFL Draft, Joe Posnanski muses that all the fun seems to be in the picking, with little regard for how the player turns out. And Another Thing . . . is loving the pre-Draft analysis by the national treasure that is Jon Gruden.

Here in New England, Jerry Thornton pleads with Beli-Claus to blow him away with some immediate gratification this weekend. Patriots Daily thinks it likely that more than a couple of picks will come from the list of significant contacts Bill Belichick has established over the last few weeks. Mike Reiss sees an end to Foxborough’s courtship of Tim Tebow after Belichick tipped his cap by referring to him as – of all things – a quarterback. Pats Pulpit pokes holes in the case for drafting Penn State DE Jared Odrick with the Pats’ first-round pick, while Extra Points extols Texas LB Sergio Kindle’s versatility.

NE Patriots Draft thinks Tuesday ‘s signing of Torry Holt will allow the Pats the flexibility to draft a WR as late as Friday. Rap Sheet suggests Jason Taylor’s signing with the Jets might give Belichick the opportunity to dump Adalius Thomas once and for all.

Blaug has the NY Jets kicking Patriot butt on paper this offseason. With Tuesday’s release of the 2010 NFL schedule, Pats Chowder has the Pats’ opponents look pretty tough on paper in the upcoming season. Boston Sports Then And Now sees no wiggle room for blown fourth quarter leads this year.

Red Sox

There’s even some good news over at Fenway, although back-to-back walk-off wins are not going to be enough to keep the Sox out of the Week Log cellar, at least not this week. Michael Hurley has the Sox getting a big lift from the Bruins success in their win last night.

Full Count Blog has Darnell McDonald making contributions in the field and at the plate in his first two games. Finding McDonald may be like finding a $20 bill in Masshole Sports‘ pockets, but the first installment on Theo’s run prevention mortgage is coming due and $20 isn’t going to make a dent in it. Fenway Fruitgirl notes that all the underperforming managers and players victimized by Theo’s recent vitriol have something in common – they were all selected by Theo.

Thoughts From Press Row throws hitting coach Dave Magadan under the bus for another woeful Big Papi spring. Projo Sports Blog says never mind Ortiz, as the results have been ugly with J.D. Drew at the plate.

Odds & Sods

. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston sports world

It Is What It Is tells us of Conte Cuttino, a Stony Brook standout that may well market himself right into the NFL this weekend.

Bloggers, we’re only two weeks away from the greatest collection of minds on the Boston sports scene as the first-ever Boston Sports Blogapalooza hits the Baseball Tavern on May 2.

And closing on a fun note, Marathon Blog brings us sights and sounds from the Boston Marathon finish line Monday afternoon. To all who crossed and those that tried, a job well done!

Tonight will find me sitting with a glass of champagne in one hand ready to toast the 22nd pick of this year’s draft, and two aspirin in the other in case that pick gets dealt for three on Saturday. Let’s hope for the best, and we’ll talk about it all next Thursday.

Week Log: The Ugly, The Bad, And Then The Good

After a week of filling out tax returns – mom’s, family friends’, kids’, mine – everything is still flowing like a Form 1040 to me. That is to say, backwards. So, in honor of Tax Day, let’s do things backward. We’ll start with our most taxing problems, then deduct from them until we’re left with something good to take into the weekend.

Celtics

All right, you work hard all year, maybe even a little OT, pouring into it everything you’ve got, then – very much like Uncle Sam – these 2010 C’s reach into your chest and take a pound of flesh come spring.

Take last night, where Green Street has the C’s honoring Fan Appreciation Night by sitting four starters en route to a 106-95 drubbing by the Bucks that culminated a dismal 24-17 home season. However, 30 minutes from Brian Scalabrine tells Celtics Life how meaningless this game was. North Station Sports fell into a Sheed-Trap, thinking the Bucks game an opportunity for Wallace to get his head together before something called the ‘Rasheed Season’ begins. Bingo Bar Blog goes so far as to tell us why they would have preferred Antoine Walker rather than Sheed coming off the C’s bench this year.

Lex Nihil Novi says that, at the end of the day, this team was never a team and that doesn’t bode well going into the postseason. Celtics Green runs through all apologies for the underachieving C’s and looks to 1969 for playoff inspiration. LOSCY has divested of all his angry stocks and – win or lose in the first round – he still likes this team.

Celtics Blog previews the opening round against the Miami Heat, who, unlike the C’s, are a team that takes good care of the ball. Celtics Hub takes note of the C’s recent cutback in turnovers but wonders if it’s enough to offset the deterioration in defensive efficiency heading into the playoffs.

ESPN Boston Celtics Blog has Doc Rivers calling reports of his potential retirement old news. Not C’s related, but Perk Is A Beast offers an interesting take on a perceived double-standard involving old friend Delonte West.

Patriots

The Pats are in that section where you declare what you didn’t realize you had, then watch it drift away just the same. Take Antonio Cromartie or Santonio Holmes, who were, in hindsight, there for the taking. Pats Chowder says their addition in New York makes Rexy’s crew look formidable on paper, although Mike Reiss says it’s going to take more than a few splashy, headline-grabbing moves in April for him to put the Jets in the Super Bowl come February. And with Brandon Marshall’s trade to the Dolphins yesterday, Boston Sports Blog says Foxborough has been about as active as the closed Circuit City store at Patriots Place.

Jade McCarthy reports all quiet along the Foxborough front, but suspects that will change next week. Tom E. Curran has Bill Belichick acknowledging the probability of picks being traded before the NFL Draft starting next Thursday.

The Masters

Okay, we’re at the bottom of the front page where the bad starts to turn to good. That would be Augusta National. Michael Felger thanks The Masters’ field for not allowing Tiger Woods to walk in with all that stuff floating around in his head and win a major. Joe Posnanski says Tiger should be bound by the same rules of sportsmanship as any 10-year-old kid. Hey, does Sportress Of Blogitude have someone to entertain Woods until his next tournament!

Woods’ tabloid act, alongside Phil Mickelson’s victory, make Sports Central question the legitimacy of golf’s status as a true sport, but We’re Just Saying has last Sunday’s final round upholding the Augusta National tradition of providing a slew of golf drama. Waggle Room has been won over by Mickelson, who embodies all that golf needs. Devil Ball Golf thinks Lefty won The Masters because Augusta National is molded for left-handed success.

Red Sox

Maybe you shelled out a lot of cash this offseason on things you really didn’t want to pay for – your mortgage, braces for the kids, Adrian Beltre. Well, now you get to itemize them and have a little of that pain lessened in the spring. That’s right: the Sox, for all that salary, are back to .500 at 4-4!

April showers bring . . . well, how about a flat Jon Lester? Touching All The Bases says not to worry, as he’ll be the best pitcher in the AL by September.

. . . or how about a punchless David Ortiz? Caught Off The Wall wonders if Big Papi’s decline is just as much a thunderbolt as his ascension was, while Toeing The Rubber feels he’s entitled to a honeymoon from the press while he gets his rhythm back.

. . . and how about a few pleasant surprises? Boston Dirt Dogs pines for Jeremy Hermida to stay in the lineup and Ortiz to stay on the pine, while Fenway Nation proposes a DH platoon of Hermida and Mike Lowell. Hit And Run With Dan Roche thinks Hermida got a wake-up call with his trade to Boston. Michael Hurley has the Sox not missing a beat with Marco Scutaro leading off. Nuggetpalooza has things going well so far when opponents hit the ball into the ground.

Fenway Pastoral is looking for a whole lot more reward for Jordan’s Furniture customers in the microscopically-probable event that a Sox slugger can actually hit that tiny billboard in the centerfield bleachers. Masshole Sports tells the Bronx its time to end this Weekend at Bernies charade and lay George Steinbrenner to rest already.

Bruins

Now the best part. Finding that your hockey team took the sixth seed and best possible first-round matchup when a month ago you didn’t think they’d make the playoffs is like getting some obscure tax credit you didn’t think you were eligible for. The Hub of Hockey has history on the B’s side as they start their 40th postseason series against the Sabres tonight in Buffalo. Kathryn Tappen has the B’s playing their best hockey of the season at just the right time. Danny Picard has ex-Sabre Daniel Paille a key to keeping Buffalo in check, while Barstool Sports assesses the rest of the playoff competition.

Boston Sports Then And Now applauds the B’s, who have found reasons to rally over the past month. James Murphy has Patrice Bergeron a key force in cutting through the frustration and adversity the B’s have experienced this season.

And the news gets better. Something’s Bruin felt a rush of relief when the ugly Panthers card was drawn at the No. 3 spot in this year’s 2010 NHL draft, thereby assuring the B’s of a top-two selection. With either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin in the bag, Bruins Draft Watch 2010 says the Kessel trade is finally vindicated. Black & Gold Blog thinks leftovers will never taste as good as those the Edmonton Oilers will leave for Boston on draft night.

Odds & Sods

. . . a random collection of tidbits like those little boxes where you’re asked to contribute to the Presidential Election Fund.

The BC Blog has hockey coach Jerry York grateful for senior Ben Smith, who led the Eagles to the school’s fourth NCAA men’s ice hockey national championship after beating Wisconsin Saturday night. BC Interruption advises us to sit back and enjoy this because a national championship is damned hard to come by, even with a coach like York.

Marathon Blog has Tom Petty’s words ringing true this week as they endure the hardest part of the Boston Marathon – the wait before Pasta Night. It’s all hard for Jerry Thornton, who thinks the Boston Marathon sucks.

Hey, don’t forget to sign those returns and attach but not staple your check. And bloggers, don’t forget that we’re two weeks away from Blogapalooza 2010 at The Baseball Tavern right in the heart of Red Sox Nation! See you next week.

Week Log: April Fools-Free Day

Last year, bloggers had a field day at my expense, enticing me into clicks where one April Fool’s story after another awaited. This year, I will spare you the same fate. Pumping out your basements all week has been torture enough. So let’s start off a fools-free Week Log with some baseball.

Red Sox

March has gone out more like a duck, and it feels a little hard to believe the Red Sox and Yankees are going to kick things off this Sunday night. We’re Just Saying bemoans the loss of the New England tradition of the Sox opening on a weekday afternoon, but Red Sox Monster thinks altered tradition is a small tradeoff for our team being hailed as global icons. Over on Sports Central, I thank both MLB and ESPN for going Sox-Yankees to open the 2010 season, thereby killing any springtime buzz for the rest of America who thinks they might have a shot at something this year. Confessions Of A She-Fan needs to stop acting like a wuss, so she’s just going to imagine the worst for her Yanks and get it over with already. Masshole Sports thinks Opening Night will suck if Jonathan Papelbon and 30-degree temperatures join forces.

Despite his newly-acknowledged fondness for them, Evan Brunell still manages to find ten reasons to hate the Yankees. It’s About The Money Stupid counters with ten reasons to hate the Sox, while Hardball Talk piles on with an eleventh.

NESN’s Boston Red Sox blog believes a Sox World Series requires 30 starts apiece from its three big arms. Boston Dirt Dogs brings us Maple Street Press‘s far-fetched theory that the Sox offense may not have gotten significantly weaker over the winter. ESPN Boston Red Sox Blog has Theo still in hot pursuit of Adrian Gonzalez. And with a Josh Beckett contract extension not even announced yet, Fire Brand Of The American League turns its attention to extending VMart.

A Red Sox Fan From Pinstripe Country gets sufficiently worked up about accurate springback chair counts to suggest reporters covering Fenway Park should . . . well, really go to Fenway Park.

Final / Frozen Four

New England teams have been or will be involved in three Final Fours, the one notable exception being NCAA Men’s Basketball, so we’re just gonna skip right over that one.

Starting with NCAA hockey, College Sports Blog has records falling and lamp lights burning out in BC’s 9-7 win over Yale on Sunday that advanced them to their third Frozen Four in the last four years. NESN University has eight players that will shape this year’s Frozen Four, including BC’s Chris Kreider and Cam Atkinson.

In spite of coach Geno Auriemma’s indifference, the Courant’s UConn Women’s Basketball wanted the Lady Huskies paired with Tennessee in women’s NCAA Final Four action this weekend at the Alamodome. Your CT theorizes that if only four Lady Huskies were to take the court, their margin of victory against Baylor could drop into single digits.

In NIT action, The Dagger says the URI Rams could have averted some horrid officiating on Tuesday by simply hitting one of four free throws down the stretch against North Carolina.

Bruins

A mixed week for the B’s as they faced two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. However, the win in New Jersey wasn’t enough to offset outrage from a bad loss to Buffalo on Monday after Claude Julien started Tim Thomas over Tuukka Rask.

Boston Sports Then And Now thinks Julien’s mistakes have sailed the B’s into rough waters this year. Something’s Bruin says Julien needs to be axed for his utterly pathetic decision-making. Boston Sports Blog says the controversial decision to start Thomas against Buffalo was all Rask’s fault anyway.

View From 311 saw all three Sabres goals against Thomas as soft-looking, while Stanley Cup Of Chowder has Rask relatively unchallenged but sharp when he had to be the next night against the Devils.

The Bear Necessities prefers the B’s aim for seventh in the Eastern Conference to face an overhyped Pittsburgh Penguins squad rather than the feared Sabres. Bruins 2010 Draft Watch has all the numbers on what it will take for the Maple Leafs to get the B’s into one of the top . . . errrr, bottom two spots on Draft Night.

Celtics

Just last week, everyone was optimistic the Celtics were finally putting things together with wins in six of eight games, including their last four at home. Today, all the old, dirty laundry is back after two straight TD Garden losses. Where Sunday’s blowout loss to the Spurs was a stinker, North Station Sports calls last night’s loss to Oklahoma City entertaining. Green Street says these are not your mother’s Oklahoma City Thunder. Celtics Hub says last night was everything an NBA fan could want. Red’s Army feels justified in bitching about the officiating.

When it comes to discussing the C’s these days, Celtics Stuff Live thinks we’re all sounding like broken records. A. Sherrod Blakely has the C’s bandwagon up and down all season.

Gino’s Jungle says that, sooner or later in the playoffs, the C’s will have to get things squared away in day games, where the D has often been missing.

LOSCY indulges a basketball shoe fetish as he guides us on a tour of Celtics feet.

Odds & Sods

. . . an unstructured stroll through the world of Boston sports

The BC Blog interprets AD Gene DeFilippo’s real motivations following his dismissal of basketball coach Al Skinner. The Sporting Blog figures DeFilippo for a Dirty Harry fan given the way he likes to blow his coaches’ heads clean off. On Campus considers which BC Eagles may transfer in the aftermath of Skinner’s firing. BC Draft is compiling its list of ten candidates for DeFilippo, and Duke’s Coach K is not on it. BC Interruption sees the Bruce Pearl bandwagon growing legs on its way to The Heights. Eagle In Atlanta has gotta have more flex with Skinner’s replacement.

Tom E. Curran hopes all Belichick’s sniffing around Tim Tebow’s hindquarters is a bad April Fool’s joke. Mike Reiss speculates that such over-the-top PDA is draft gamesmanship on the part of Belichick. It Is What It Is reminds us we’ve officially hit the halfway point in the Patriots’ offseason now that the preseason schedule is out.

Jade McCarthy laughs every time she sees the now-classic Jim Playfair blow-up, but admits there’s a serious side to the onslaught of such rage. Jerry Thornton thinks it’s going to take generations of tearing at it before Boston can rid itself of the scarlet ‘R’ on our chests.

And finally, mainstream journalists better run for cover as Boston-area bloggers are getting together for the first-ever Blogapalooza on May 2. Check out all the details here. Should be a great day of fun at The Baseball Tavern, which, hopefully, has sufficient ladies room amenities for Toeing The Rubber.

That’s a wrap for now. May your basements be dry and the Sox be undefeated the next time we meet. Have a great week!

Week Log: The Tide Is Rising Again

Maybe the Bruins’ wimpy effort last Thursday against the Penguins was the low-water mark in Boaston’s underachieving winter. Since then, the B’s have beaten out the competition for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the C’s have continued on their own renaissance, and hope is rising like the crocuses in my backyard. Well start with the best of the good news.

Celtics

The C’s made it four straight at home with last night’s win over the Denver Nuggets. That’s six of their last eight since hitting their own low-water mark in a 20-point home loss to the Grizzlies on March 10.

Evans Clinchy has the C’s looking more composed now than when they last faced Denver a month ago, and they let the Nuggets know it last night. Gino’s Jungle sees some good things on the court that weren’t there a month and a half ago.

Celtics Stuff Live cites some unexpected play from Tony Allen as a key contributor in last night’s win. The Three-Pointer has Boston’s bench stepping up big as of late. Hardwood Houdini says it may be five months late, but the bench we expected in October has finally arrived in March.

It’s going to take a few more wins against playoff contenders to move any discussion of the C’s legitimacy from Sports Talk Blog‘s heart to their head. With the next six games at home, SportsCenter 5 Overtime says this will be a good test of the C’s ability to hold home court in the playoffs. However, Celtics Blog has Rajon Rondo thinking it’s too late to instill fear in the hearts of visitors coming into TD Garden this spring. ESPN Boston Celtics Blog has Rondo snapping out of his funk and making a triple-double look easy last night.

Remember last year when the Bulls beat Boston on St. Patty’s Day dressed essentially in Celtics uniforms? So does North Station Sports, who warns us that this growing trend of jersey theft can lead fans to accidentally rooting for the wrong teams.

Red Sox

Big Shots starts us off with a pictoral blend of spring and spring training, but down in Fort Myers spring is not in full bloom for everyone. Fenway Fruitgirl is perplexed by Boston’s poor Grapefruit League showing and could use a few wins to please her brain and shut up ESPN. Toeing The Rubber pooh-poohed the whole underwhelming Spring Training affair . . . until Josh Beckett was lights out on the mound yesterday.

The Bottom Line wonders how the Sox can extend both Beckett and Victor Martinez now that the latter has become the top potential free agent catcher in next year’s market. Boston Sports Then And Now brings us the dilemma posed by Joe Mauer’s extension in Minnesota. The Mighty Quinn Media Machine is glad Mauer is staying put.

Mike Lowell is another guy that appears to be staying put, as Clubhouse Insider has his lack of mobility on stage for every scout to see. Full Count brings us Clay Buchholz being plagued by his old nemesis, the baserunner, in a disappointing spring thus far. Keep Your Sox On has Buchholz aging a little in his singing debut. On Subway Squawkers, Lisa claims a hatred of Sweet Caroline even as you know she was singing the chorus while logging her venomous thoughts. So good, so good! Masshole Sports tells Johnny Damon to pick a side already in the Good vs. Evil Empire war being waged within his head.

Fire Brand Of The American League learns the hard way that if you want to cheer in the press box, your pass better be made of cardboard. Sox ownership is fading fast in the estimation of Bingo Bar Blog, which finds the Krafts and Wyc Grousbeck more appealing. Funny, they didn’t mention Jeremy Jacobs. And with the regular season quickly approaching, Surviving Grady says nobody wins with a clean-shaven Kevin Youkilis in the lineup but that appears to be the voters’ choice for Youk’s Opening Night do.

NCAAM

Thoughts From Press Row promises us some excitement tonight and tomorrow in Sweet Sixteen matchups. Jade McCarthy is willing to sacrifice her bracket in the spirit of true March madness.

Down in Kingston, cows aplenty woke up on their backs this morning as fans celebrated URI’s comeback victory at Virginia Tech last night. Rhody is going to the NIT Final Four, and Ram’s Journal says they’ll be right at home in Madison Square Garden. UConn Men’s Basketball bemoans a lost opportunity to travel to Rhode Island as the Huskies dropped 10 of their final 14 games, the last coming Monday in their NIT quarterfinal at Virginia Tech.

Patriots

One thing you won’t see coming out of this year’s NCAA tournament is the Pats’ next corner as Tom E. Curran has Bill Belichick less than wowed by basketball’s foot speed. Extra Points is just as confused as the rest of us while Belichick, in classic Dickensian style, discusses the importance of participation in his offseason training program. The Rap Sheet has Ron Brace working it this offseason, as he looks to fill the void left by Jarvis Green.

The Crowe’s Nest doesn’t think the new rules fully solve the overtime problem, so they shouldn’t solve it at all. On New England Patriots Blog, Mike Reiss has seven NE-related observations from the NFL owners meetings, including the Pats’ award of four compensatory draft picks come April. Pro Football Talk thinks Belichick would do well to extend former compensatory pick Tom Brady before Peyton Manning gets a new contract in Indy.

Bruins

Even after outright wins against both the Rangers and Thrashers this week that have lifted the B’s playoff hopes, the punch in the guts taken by fans last Thursday has tempered enthusiasm. For instance, Jerry Thornton says last week’s no-heart effort against the Penguins smelled of dead woodchuck under the porch, making B’s fans have to decide how long we’ll put up with the smells until someone goes down there to clean it up. ESPN Boston Bruins says the B’s defense is in flux and the Andrew Ference extension leaves them little wiggle room for maneuvering. Rink Rap was surprised by the extension, given Ference’s history of injuries and questionable NHLPA politicking.

If you thought getting a national health bill through Congress was complicated, Kathryn Tappen takes you through the maze in getting some no-brainer legislation enacted in the NHL. Bruins Blog reports the NHLPA hurdle was cleared this morning, making headhunting a punishable offense starting tonight.

Tea Party Throwdown much prefers Tuukka Rask’s calming presence between the pipes to the heart-attack style of Tim Thomas.

Odds & Sods

. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston sports world

With Boston College getting a top seed in the NCAA Men’s Hockey tournament, BC Interruption asks whether the Eagles are better served with success in hockey or in basketball. JSilver’s UConn Blog gives us the skinny on UConn’s Pro Day. If you watched much Huskies football last fall, you know their lineup was filled with some interesting skills positions.

The Inside Track hears of a new NESN program in development that explores the top MLB cities Sox fans travel to. Joe Posnanski looks back on an eternally long four months in the life of Tiger Woods.

And finally, The Joy Of Sox is livid that 60-something Mick Jagger has gone into the studio to enhance tracks for the Stones’ remastered Exile On Main Street. Kind of like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson going back into the ESPN Classics studio to enhance some missing footage from the 1984 NBA Finals.

Sorry for the late delivery, but I had some computer issues this afternoon. Have a great spring weekend, and we’ll see you next week. In the meantime, I’m on Twitter and Facebook these days.