Pedro Martinez appeared on “The Big Show” this afternoon. He mentioned the huge difference between this year and previous years. Jimy was “rough” to play for at times. There could be no joking around and having a good time. He was told not to wear Rich Garces’ pants anymore because he was embarrassing the balllcub. He was pressured to pitch last year at 70 or 80 percent, which wasn’t right. Carl Everett was not the big problem on the team last year, injuries were. Grady Little is wonderful to play for, this team is loose, has fun together, goes out to dinner as a group. He talked about people who come in and only want to ask about the negatives….what about the Yankees…they’re only 1 game behind….Ordway said “that was a pretty good Shaughnessy impression”…Pedro laughed and said “How did you know who that was?” He said the power of the pen is too much power, a player might not want to talk one day, and he gets ripped by the media. Some reporters will not give up, just will push and push and push…he said the media did that to Carl Everett. Ordway asked “Are you really saying the media was responsible for his actions…he headbutted an umpire!” Pedro said some of it was. Headbutting the umpire was wrong, but Carl got upset because he cared about that at-bat. The media would come in and press his buttons. (imagine that) Pedro said all year is going to be a test for him, for learning about his shoulder and protecting it and keep healthy. He doesn’t want any “downtime” this summer. He’d like to fade back so that the media’s attention isn’t focused on analysing every pitch, every inning, every game…is Pedro ok…is he hurting…He likes that Derek Lowe is taking attention from him. He was funny when Ordway presented him with the expensive noise blocking headset that Big Show guests receive. He said he would put them on “when Shaughnessy or Johnny Miller come up” to him….”unless they come up as friends” he added.
An excruciating final three minutes of the Celtics game last night made for great drama. Tommy Heinsohn made it through the game with his bad back, and then they had to drive a car up to the arena entrance so Tommy could get to the bus. The FSNE season farewell broadcast was a memorable one, with Gary Tanguay, Mike, Tommy, and Greg Dickerson making the presentation informative and entertaining. The postgame segments featured analysis from Mike, coverage of the press conferences as well as locker room interviews with Eric Williams, Rodney Rogers and Walter McCarty. TNT had Antoine Walker immediately following the game with Cheryl Miller and then Paul Pierce joined the “Inside the NBA” postgame crew. Charles Barkley donned a Jason Kidd Nets jersey and a Bill Walton Tie-dye shirt during the course of the night as the show’s luggage was late arriving.
The other day the question was asked here if there was a worse segment on radio than D&C’s “Headlines”…well there is, and it also belongs to the same show, no, believe it or not, it’s not Meterparel singing, it’s the meant-to-be-funny-but-isn’t-even-close-and-makes-you-turn-the-station segments with “Bryce”, the gay parody. A truly dreadful and embarrassing skit.
If you’ve been waiting for the new Patriots DVD “Three games to Glory”, according to Debbi Rogers at the Patriots Pro Shop, the video is due to be released on Saturday, May 25th. If you pre-ordered the video through Patriots.com, your credit card has likely been charged already, something more than a few Pats fans online in Usenet Groups and on bulletin boards are a little peeved about.
Bob Ryan must’ve had a bet with someone that he couldn’t slip the name of Kim Hughes into one of his columns. How may of you out there know Hughes was a backup center for the Nuggets and Cavs in the late 70’s -early 80’s?
Gordon Eades says in his column about the Mike Hampton talk “Originally, it was floated as a possible Hampton-for-Manny Ramirez swap, and since then, it has taken on a life of its own, gaining momentum on radio talk shows, in newspaper notes columns, and on Internet chat boards” Peter Gammons started this one weeks and weeks ago, a total fabrication. It’s amazing how things can just take off.
Did you know that the perfect Jim Donaldson has never told a lie in his life? It’s incredible. Hope that soapbox doesn’t collapse under you, Jim. PS..You’re a little late on this story… Another note…two days in a row now, the ProJo web site has crashed my IE browser, and thus my OS. You have been warned. Need some Patriots talk…Tom Curran with a nice article on Bill Belichick today.
No NBA games until Friday. The Red Sox finish a three game set with the White Sox tonight at 7:00 on NESN. (It’s on ESPN2 nationally) ESPN has a Wednesday Matinee game with the Yankees and Blue Jays at 1:00.
Some pretty good interviews going on WEEI and WWZN at the same time. WEEI had Derek Lowe, who talked about his success and giving so much credit to Jason Varitek, who notices so many little things for all the pitchers, where their feet should be, what pitch to call, etc. The confidence of the Red Sox is high right now, they feel they are a very talented team. Grady Little trusts the pitchers to stay in the game longer. Something not allowed under the previous managers and pitching coaches.
On WWZN , Cedric Maxwell previewed game 2 tonight with the Nets. He was asked who he would take if he could take one player for the rest of the playoffs, Jason Kidd or Paul Pierce. Max said he would take Kidd, as he means more to his team, does more on the court and is in his prime. Pierce has alot more growing to do, and the two guards basically only have to score and play defense, while the point guard has so much more to do. Maxwell does expect a much better performance tonight from the Celtics.
Glen Ordway actually tried to lead his show in talking some Celtics this afternoon rather than Mike Hampton talk. Ordway says the Celtics should try to make Kidd score more, taking him out of the other things he can do. Try to slow down the game, making it a halfcourt slower paced game. Then they quickly moved onto Red Sox talk. Hampton, Derek Lowe, and the 30-11 start were the topics. Manny’s finger is also a mystery. There are suddenly all sorts of reports that he might need surgery, when the Red Sox haven’t even examined him a second time. Michael Felger showed his baseball ignorance by basically stating that Manny’s contract is worse than Hampton’s. Not even close, Felger. While they were talking about the finger, Pete Shepperd broke in and said “the medical term they used was ‘mitigate'” The word was actually “migrate” the doctors were concerned that the fracture might migrate…or spread further. He was quickly corrected and ridiculed.
Eddie Andleman on WWZN along with Nick Cafardo spent more time talking about the Celtics; he had Rod Thorn on at 2:30 and told him about remembering him play against the Celtics back in the 1960’s. Thorn talked about the many ways that Jason Kidd has helped out the Nets. Their biggest weaknesses were defense and rebounding, and Thorn said he is exceptional at both. Eddie asked him about coming in and facing the Red Auerbach Celtics and their home court advantage. Thorn talked about a time he was with the St. Louis Hawks, and they were dressing in the “locker room” and it was an open room with people walking by and looking in, and all they had was a nail in the wall to hang their clothes on as they dressed for the game.
FSNE’s Mike Gorman appeared on the WEEI midday show today, though disappointed that tonight is the last game for FSNE, he’s glad to say goodbye for the year with the Celtics still alive. He says “There was very little effort on the part of the C’s Sunday” This is so different from how the team has been all year long. He’s not sure NJ can play any better than they did Sunday, and with the proper intensity, they can take this one. The Celtics have shown they can beat Kidd and NJ in a close game during the season. The Celtics have been at the top of the league in fewest points allowed in the paint, and they should return to that form. Dale Arnold questioned Jim O’Brien’s habit of taking out players with 2 fouls in the first half, and Gorman commented that players need to learn to play in foul trouble. He said Paul still doesn’t get the calls that McGrady, Kobe and Kidd get, but that next year he won’t get those called on him. “I thought the game was decided when Pierce picked up his fourth foul and had to sit down and Jason Kidd took over the game.” said Gorman. He went on to add: “I think if the Celtics score 94 points tonight, they win this game” with the improvement in defense that should be shown. He noted the changearound in the NY press, before the series they were picking the Celtics, and saying that well, it’d still be a great season if they lose this series…but after game one, they’re all on the Net’s wagon. Gorman says he thinks the Nets cannot win in Boston. He “wouldn’t be surprised to see Walter McCarty in the ballgame tonight” not because he can guard Kidd, but to just try to keep him off the boards. Not let him get those boards and run. He doesn’t think the supporting players on NJ can play as well as they did Sunday. The biggest adjustment has to be on MacCulloch, and making sure he isn’t scoring layups down low. The Celtcs supporting cast has to play to the level they’ve been playing to during the playoffs, as only Pierce and Walker did anything in that game. He also mentioned that Tommy Heinsohn is layed up with a bad back and is “questionable” for tonight’s game. They think he’ll “gut it out” tonight.
Here’s hoping for another month of Red Sox/Celtics doubleheaders. That will take us deep into June, and then it will only be a month until Patriots Training camp. Meanwhile this is a great time for the sports media of New England. There’s never a shortage of topics to write and talk about, but now the quality is much higher.
That being said, D&C on WEEI spent most of their last two hours talking about drugs, the dangers of pot versus cocaine and meth. This morphed from the earlier talk of the Red Sox spring training clubhouse man using youngsters to procure drugs for himself and players. Callahan was taking the stand that pot isn’t bad, and that Dennis Eckersley shouldn’t be judged too harshly for his use of pot back then. I wonder what the reaction among D&C and callers would be if it had been Jim Rice instead of the Eck who was implicated in this.
There has also been talk on the airwaves in recent days of the Red Sox looking into acquiring Mike Hampton from the Rockies. A non-story, as the new owners will not be taking on huge contracts like Hampton’s, especially with the awful numbers Hampton has put up the last two years. Still, it’s a topic of conversation because Hampton is a lefty who has had some good years.
Nice article by Jackie MacMullan in the Globe today about Antoine Walker handing over the #1 spot on the team to Paul Pierce and enjoying it. Michael Holley reassures us that Sunday was just one game, no need to panic.
John Henry appeared on Red Sox “Extra Innings” on NESN tonight after the game, and started out with a joking “Yankees ____” He didn’t say the second word, just pretended to. He called Grady Little the unsung hero of the team, and gave credit to the coaches for the Sox leading the league in pitching and hitting. He said there should be a decision in the next month or so about whether the structure at Fenway can support a renovation. Henry then took calls from viewers. He deferred on player personnel questions, he said in the meetings he mostly just asks questions. Henry said that while he was with the Marlins the fans the team complained about the most was Red Sox fans, not in a bad way, but because they were everywhere. He also gave credit to Dan Duquette for going after and signing Johnny Damon.