If I thought Tommy Heinsohn was chippy on Monday, it was nothing compared to last night. With good reason. Tommy berated the officials on…and off the air last night. Even yelling at them as they walked off the court. How many teams have announcers that will get on the officials? On the FSNE postgame Tanguay and Dickerson tried to kid Tommy about it, but he would have none of it. He was still clearly steamed at the non-call when Paul Pierce was knocked to the ground, stopping the fall with his face, chipping two teeth and cutting open his nose. Tanguay and Dickerson tried to get Tommy to rant more, but Mike Gorman stepped in, and said “Let’s move on before this gets any uglier” …and did so. Class act, Mike Gorman is. It’s ironic that in the pregame they were talking about officials and about a time Tommy was fined by the league, “for acting like a maniac” except whoever it was that handed him fine, spelled maniac wrong, so Tommy refused to pay the fine until the official learned how to spell. Good stuff. Wonder if Tommy will end up getting fined for last night…as the officials walked off the court, according to Peter May and Mark Murphy, Tommy yelled: “You guys were awful tonight. Absolutely terrible”. I’m sure that was among the milder things he had to say. A 33-9 free throw difference in the favor of the road team is a head scratcher, especially when the team with 9 attempts has their star have to be taken off for x-rays.
Peter May files a game story around the scary incident of Paul Pierce getting knocked to the ground on his face. While Mark Murphy’s story looks at the wide array of Suns contributors last night, Gus Martins hones in on former Celtic Joe Johnson, who was terrific last night. Carolyn Thornton notes that the free throw difference was really a second half thing as in the third and fourth quarter, the Suns went to the line 23 times to the Celtics 3. Bob Ryan weighs in on Phoenix rookie Amare Stoudemire. Ryan was busy, also composing an article on the Suns franchise, specifically owner Jerry Colangelo. May’s notebook looks at the maddening officiating. Eric Williams speaks out on the calls in Murphy’s notebook. Thornton’s notebook looks at the end results of the Johnson trade last year.
My hunch was correct. Jim Baker reports that Sean McDonough is going to stay here in Boston, do the reduced schedule and continue his WWZN show. I like McDonough, I’m glad he’s staying. Maybe doing this column each day for a number of months is turning me into a cynic, I’m trying hard to repress the side of me that wants to say McDonough once again negotiated in the media. He did attempt to quell talk of his situation on WWZN, and granted, how could his personal situation not be a topic on the show? But couldn’t all of this have stayed private? Perhaps if it was kept under wraps the Red Sox offer would’ve never increased. Maybe going to his pal Gordon Edes who broke the story last week was a desperate last resort that paid off. I guess that’s business these days. Sean did what he had to do to get what he wanted. Who wouldn’t have done the same? Bottom line, I’m glad Sean’s going to continue doing some Sox games, I wish he had gotten more games, but maybe something will happen. The Sox had to have come way up in their offer. He was saying last week they were offering something like 80% less per game, now it’s either just about the same as last year or the same, depending on who you ask. That’s quite a jump. In any event, it’s a win-win. WWZN has to be happy because Sean will be here more during the Sox season and available to do his show. McDonough gets to keep doing some Sox games, and the fans will come to regard Friday night games on UPN and WBZ as McDonough games.
A few Sox and baseball stories in the papers today, Gordon Edes reports that the kidnapping plot never existed. Michael Silverman says the Red Sox are not going to allow Pedro to dictate negotiations. Edes also reports on Cuban defector Jose Contreras, who filed for free agency yesterday and is hoping to be available to teams by the weekend. On the Pete Rose issue, the Globe has its columnists give their opinions and Michael Gee says it’s all about money, on all sides. Nomar tops Bill Reynolds list of the top ten Boston Athletes.
Michael Felger looks at Tom Brady’s season and the adjustments he’s made through it. Alan Greenberg looks at the tough schedule ahead, and wonders if the Patriots can repeat last years season ending streak. Tom Curran looks at the mirror image matchup of the Patriots and Titans. Nick Cafardo looks at the importance of coaching during December stretch runs. Mike Reiss looks at the crowded AFC standings. Christopher Price says the Pats D is getting greedy again. The notebooks all deal with the return of Jevon Kearse. Felger’s notebook says Kenyatta Jones isn’t fearful of Kearse, old-school rap fan Curran’s notebook looks at Kearse as well as Steve McNair. Cafardo’s notebook looks at Kearse and Donald Hayes.
NESN has Bruins/Senators at 7:00. ESPN has Penguins/Sharks at 9:00. TNT has Pistons/Bulls at 7:30 and Hornets/Jazz at 10:00.ESPN Classic will be showing the 1997 NCAA basketball tournament matchup between Boston College and St Joseph’s. FSNE has NE Tailgate at 7:00.