NBC wrapped up its NBA

NBC wrapped up its NBA contract last night, and as a conclusion played a highlights package from their years of broadcasting the NBA. As you might expect, there was quite a lot of Michael Jordan. The only Celtics highlight in the bunch was the end of the comeback win in game three of this years Nets series.

Jackie MacMullan cranks out two columns today. One is on life behind the scoreboard at Fenway…something she was always curious about. She also writes about the Sports Museum’s 25th Anniversary tonight. (Tickets still available) Having MacMullan back with the Globe is a lifesaver for them.

Michael Gee says that Red Sox fans “need to get out more” and should stop being so miserable. Maybe if we didn’t have the most miserable sportswriters in the country things would be a bit more positive around here.

Bill Reynolds tells us that Roger Clemens has made himself “smaller than life” by talking like an idiot.

WEEI had Red Sox manager Grady Little on this morning with D&C. Started off talking about the role players, Little says the key to having them ready is to communicate with them up front, by the end of Spring Training, they had been let know what their roles would be. Baerga has done a great job, when Mirabelli gets in there he making something happen, (John Dennis said he could be starting elsewhere) and Lou Merloni has stepped up and will likely be in there another two or three weeks. It’s important to treat individual players individually. He mentioned Merloni has plans to do something when the team is in L.A.and he went to Grady to tell him what was up. (My guess is Affleck made good on his promise to set him up with a supermodel) Little said the biggest difference between managing in the minors and majors is that he has less time to spend with the players, working with them on things. He leaves that sort of thing more to the coaches. Stanley, Cloninger. Stanley is a good man and he has a good future as a manager. They’re still trying to get Tony Clark work, put him in good situations, but it seems the more he works, the deeper the hole. Hinted that when Manny is back, Tony may not be playing much as “we’re going to put our best lineup on the field”. Little says he likes Juan Diaz. Grady isn’t a high tech guy, makes 80% of his decisions on gut instinct. Biggest surprise this season…Shea and Lowe…biggest disappointment has been Clark…but there’s alot of time left.
They’ve started keeping an eye on Lowe’s pitch counts, just a little, they want him pitching in late October. Trot Nixon is having a bit of a hard time, but at the end of the season he’ll be there with 20 Homers and 75-80 RBI. He doesn’t care what happens to Roger Clemens this weekend, but he will be watching to see if MLB treats Yankees players the same way they treated ours. Sounded a bit concerned about that. Team Chemistry is a a product of winning, he deferred praise for it, saying it’s come from the top down. He’d like to pick up some bullpen help before the trading deadline. As far as Pedro…they’d be crazy not to be concerned..but Grady is convinced that he will be totally back to normal.

Pete Sheppard will be happy. Pat Burns was just named coach of the NJ Devils. Look for this to be a topic on The Big Show this afternoon.

With the Red Sox on an off-day before heading out on the road again, it’s a rather slow sports night locally. You can catch Manny Ramirez doing his rehab stint for the Pawtucket Red Sox tonight at 7:00 on NESN. ABC has game five of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight at 8:00. ESPN will have coverage of the U.S. Open starting at 11:00 AM.

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