Vin Baker remains the hot topic of the Boston sports scene. It seems an interesting contrast here between the fans and many of the media. Many of the people you hear calling shows, or even talking in the office or bars about it are saying Baker is a bum, he isn’t trying, he’s out of shape, there is some real venom and hatred being displayed. The Boston sports media, for the most part, has been slow to jump on Vin’s case. They might question his remaining skills, but not his desire, or effort. For the most part, they’re being cautious in attacking him. Which seems a bit odd, and a reversal of the normal. The Barret Robbins case has made them cautious to be too judgmental of any person’s mental makeup. Or is it the fact that Vin is considered by all to be a nice guy? Does he get an easier ride because of that? Is it easier for them to critically hammer a guy like Manny, because he doesn’t speak to the media all that much? Baker generally talks to the media, he’s well spoken, he is liked by many. That cuts him some slack in the media. Manny, on the other hand, produces at a prodigious rate, but when he does mess up, he’s hammered unmercifully, because the media members don’t know him as a person. Baker will be criticized, but they will let others do it…be prepared for an endless string of Seattle and NBA personalities, they will be the ones to go after Baker. Gerry Callahan doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already knew. Dan Shaughnessy though, shows unusual restraint and even insight in his column today. He even urges caution in leaping to conclusions about Baker. Weird. If this was Manny who had lightheadedness, you know Danny would be trotting out the “bow-wow” phrases and imploring management to “get him gone”. Mark Murphy and Shira Springer lay out the situation, the past, and have comments from people involved with Baker, past and present. Lenny Megliola also expresses concern for Baker. Peter May looks at how Chris Wallace has placed himself squarely on the hotseat. He not only looks at the Baker trade, but also his draft picks and other decisions. Can the cries for Larry Bird’s return to the Celtics in the GM role be far behind?
Oh yeah, there was actually a game at the Fleet last night. Nothing like a 92 point swing in two home games, Steve Bulpett observes. He also comments that the Celtics seemed to play like they had a weight lifted off their shoulders without Baker. Carolyn Thornton says a lot of things came together well for the Celtics last night. Peter May boils the victory down to good shooting by the Celtics and poor defense by Seattle. I think Jim O’Brien has done a fine job in getting results from this team since the departure of Rick Pitino. He also continues to leave me scratching my head at times. He clearly didn’t and doesn’t want Baker, his comments yesterday, as Shaughnessy points out show he was so disgusted he wouldn’t even talk about Baker. He’s really made no effort to get him involved in the offense. I don’t understand why Tony Battie, who can’t even practice, was still in the game with six minutes to go and a 30+ point lead. Pierce and Walker were still in at that point as well. Kedrick Brown is buried again, and when he does get into the game, doesn’t get developed on the offensive end. I don’t know, now I’m sounding like an overly critical (negative) Boston media member. Gary Fitz wishes Vin Baker was leaving town with the Sonics, and laments the moves the Celtics front office has made. Murphy also reports on Walker bringing a youngster whose father, was recently sent to Afghanistan by the Army, to the All star game, along with Brown. I like that Antoine is bringing Kedrick along. Christopher Price catches up with Kenny Anderson. Bulpett’s notebook has Kenny believing he could’ve made a difference for the Celtics. Springer’s very brief notebook is similar.
John Tomase gives his thoughts on the Red Sox owners, the roster and Pythagorean wins. Gordon Edes gives us the daily Kevin Millar update, as does Tony Massarotti, who talks about the whole process involved and continues his disapproval of Theo by noting that “The Marlins privately have expressed annoyance with the Red Sox for claiming Millar.” Now why would the Marlins care at all that the Red Sox made the claim? They received their compensation from the Japanese club…once they put him on waivers, and took the compensation, their part of the transaction was over. They were harmed in no way. The Japanese club is the one who have the right to be upset, and not really at the Red Sox either, but with Millar. David Heuschkel thinks that Millar will have to be made available to other MLB clubs, not just the Red Sox. The Projo has a “staff report” on the Millar situation.
Bill Griffith has a look at a new weekly NESN show that will be hosted by Bob Lobel, “‘The Boston Globe SportsPlus”.
NESN has Bruins/Canadiens at 7:00. TNT has Lakers/Knicks at 7:30 and Spurs/Nuggets at 10:00. ESPN has Avalanche/Red Wings at 8:00. ESPN2 has NC State/Wake Forest at 7:00 and Virginia/Maryland at 9:00. FSNE has Arizona/Washington at 10:30.