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.