Fox25 Sports Sunday led off with March Madness. BC is not in the dance. Rob Nikoleski got reaction from the shocked Eagles, Troy Bell didn’t really want to talk, but felt they did enough to be in. Early season losses, such as to Northeastern really hurt the team Ted Sarandis, who looked nearly in tears, said 20 wins is what gets you in these days. Coach Skinner says they’re going to do the best they can in the NIT. Butch says this reminds him of the early 90’s when he was at Minnesota, and they missed out on the NCAA, but won the NIT. Holy Cross is in, facing Marquette on Thursday in Indy. Pitt and Syracuse will be among those teams playing at the Fleetcenter next weekend. Four local women’s teams are going to the NCAA’s. BU, BC, Holy Cross and Harvard. The tease going into the break was Butch asking Are the Patriots really going to trade Lawyer Milloy?
BU and BC men are heading to the NIT, officially. Stearns then asked, “How’s that Bartolo Colon trade looking about now?” in reaction to Casey Fossum’s rough outing today. Stearns says he would leave Fossum in the rotation and resist the temptation to panic, adding that he’ll try to not keep bringing up Colon. Robert Person had a rough outing today as well. Onto the Patriots. They must’ve heard Butch blasting them last Sunday for not making any moves. Rosevelt Colvin is a great addition; Ted Johnson is excited to have him aboard. Harrison is a bold move; he’s going to play, going to be on the field. Johnson says that signing is a strong move, doesn’t know how he’ll use him, other than it will be an innovative way. Will the Patriots trade Milloy? They both play the same position. Can’t play together? Harrison says it doesn’t matter. They’ll line up and play whatever way is needed. Stearns advocates going after Junior Seau as well.
High School hockey championships are a part of the entire package of March Madness. Levan Reid says it is the greatest sports month of the year. Looks at the stories of Holy Cross and Vermont making it to the big dance, as well as the high school championships, & HockeyEast playoffs. Last Blast was Butch being true to his school, rooting on his Stonehill woman’s basketball team who take on Bentley tomorrow night.
Sports Final didn’t have Bob Lobel for the third week in a row…ever since the infamous WWE-like media night. He did say at the time he’d need a few weeks to recover. Steve Burton and Dan Roche looked at the NCAA seedings and fates of local teams. BC takes not getting in very hard. Michael Smith and Al Skinner joined Burton and Roche at this point, Skinner is very disappointed…to finish first in the league and go to the semi’s of the tourney and not make the tournament is rough. UConn and Notre Dame have fairly high seedings, and you’d think they would be right there with those teams. The reaction in the room was initial silence, and then all started wondering why they didn’t get in. Skinner countered the contentions made by the representative of the selection committee who pointed to a couple losses that left a sour taste in their mouths. They beat UConn at their place had a quality road win at Iowa State, and finished first in a tough league. They’re also getting punished because they can’t play NIT games at home because of the NCAA coming here next weekend. The loss against the Northeastern was tough, but the team regrouped nicely, and showed a lot of character, according to Skinner. A taped conversation with Ralph Willard, coach of Holy Cross was shown, he was hoping for a 13 seed, but 14 is ok, the Marquette coach is a former assistant of his. He feels good going into this matchup, they’re hungry after the first round losses to Kentucky and Kansas the last couple years. They want to get over that hump. A win would be huge for the program. He was also shocked that BC didn’t make it in. They then went and looked at the brackets. For the number one seeds, Skinner commented there didn’t seem to be a formula to those or the rest of the field; they seemed to go a lot by feeling. Arizona losing in their tournament. Smith doesn’t think that they should be punished; they have been good all year long. Smith looks at Wagner as a possible dark horse playing Pitt in Boston. He saw them play and was impressed. Skinner says Penn/Oklahoma State could be an interesting game. He likes all the Big East teams have a good shot at going far. A look at the women’s seedings was up next.
Scott Zolak was in next along with Smith to look at the Patriots moves from this week. Burton says the Patriots are bringing in not just players, but stud players, Zolak says they’ve put themselves into first place with these moves, but he’s worried about this talk of trading Milloy. He’s one of three untouchables on the team, along with Law and Brady. Smith thinks Milloy could be a salary cap cut sometime in the future. He wouldn’t be surprised if in two years neither Jones nor Milloy are here. He then went through his stats, no interceptions, etc. They countered that he was used almost as a linebacker last year. Zolak says Harrison is a dirty player, and they need that thump back there. Can they go into the season with all three? Could, but not likely. Smith again emphasized that he thinks Jones is gone this year, and Milloy gone next year. Draft needs, Zolak wants a big receiver for Brady. Defensive lineman also mentioned. They talked about Parcells scooping up Terry Glenn. Zolak related Parcells talking about Glenn earlier in the year saying if he ever got back into coaching, Glenn was the first guy he’d be going after. Smith likes what the Cowboys are doing.
Dan Shaughnessy (in studio) and Gordon Edes (satellite) joined the show next. Casey Fossum…is there concern? Edes related that Pedro urged all not to worry, that Fossum is the real deal and he’s just getting ready for the season, and he’s going to be fine. He’s proven himself. Grady Little was a little more cautious, said he’s having some mechanical problems. Shaughnessy and Burton both said it’s nice for Pedro to support his teammate, but that he’s proved nothing at all. Edes disagreed a little, saying at times last year he had some really good mound presence. Shaughnessy asked if he is feeling the pressure of the expectations of being compared to Bartolo Colon. Edes said its human nature to have that train of thought. Cloninger; they’ll know more in a couple days as to how pervasive the cancer is. He’s said he isn’t afraid to die, but is confident he can beat it. 12 pitchers? Little won’t commit to anything on that front right now, but you’d think they would with some of the softer pitchers they have coming off injuries and a lot of games in an early stretch. Hillenbrand continues to have the hot spring. Trade rumors around still, but Edes says he might be the best first baseman on the team. Edes says you can take Giambi out of the first base mix. Millar can play outfield and first. DH will rotate around Ortiz, and Giambi. Back to Fossum, Shaughnessy says the fans are going to continue to worry about him, he’s also concerned about all the spare parts they have not finding their proper places.
On Sports Xtra Joe Amorosino hosted, and the NCAA’s were again the big topic, going over the seedings for the men and women’s teams of note. Michael Vega of the Globe was in studio to talk about BC. He said you almost had a bad feeling for BC because of all the upsets in other tournaments around the country. Some early losses hurt the team, even though they pulled a worst to first in the middle of the season. When watching the seedings unveiled, they pretty much knew they were out when they saw Alabama was in. Some mid-majors getting in also cost BC in the at-large pool. A curious pick was NC State, who BC beat head to head, and had a better ranking. A lot of people thought that there would be at least 5 teams from the Big East, and to only get 4 was really a slap in the face to the conference. For Troy Bell, he didn’t get to really show himself the Big East player of the year, some tough games late in the year. Afterwards there was a look at the woman’s teams and the Red Sox action from today.
Tony Massarotti and Michael Holley were in next to talk Patriots and Red Sox. Casey Fossum was the first topic. Tony says they haven’t played a meaningful game yet, so take that into consideration, and that he thinks he’s just trying too hard. He’s going to be ok in the long run. Holley doesn’t take spring performances into consideration. He’s also got some concerns about Colon, weight, etc. Massarotti says he would have made the trade, this nucleus is not going to be able to be kept intact, and management owes it to the core to take a shot like that. Tony says this was a business decision as much a baseball one. He’d take his chances with Pedro, Colon and Lowe against anyone. Holley says Bartolo Colon was not the only thing missing from the 2002 Red Sox. Tony says he starts with the starting rotation. He’d put those three even against Oakland. Onto Pedro, if he’s not taken care of before opening day he’s going to erupt, right? Holley says Pedro’s toned it down a lot and has been given assurances that his contract is going to get taken care of. Massarotti doesn’t think it will be a problem at all. He pitches better when he’s ticked off and has something to prove like this. Onto the Patriots and their signings of this week, can they keep all the safeties? Tony says they can, but why would they? Some sort of deal is in the works, draft pick or some other area of need. Holley says you’d got two guys in Milloy and Harrison that play the same position and neither is known as a cover guy…Jones is the cover guy…do you keep Harrison and Lawyer and try to hide them in coverage, or do you ship off Milloy? He doesn’t know. Holley thinks Milloy only made the Pro Bowl on rep…he did not have a good year last year. No interceptions. Jones didn’t have a great year either. When a team struggles against the run like the Patriots did last year, you look at the play of the safeties, San Diego was last in pass coverage, and some of that can be placed at Harrison, who didn’t have a good year either. Massarotti says the Patriots run defense was an abomination last year, and they haven’t really done anything to address that yet. Probably something they’ll look at in the draft.
Trainer Norman Stone was in next to talk about his fighter, John Ruiz…Ruiz had personal problems, stress led to him coming in 13 lbs under his normal fighting weight. He had some sort of mental breakdown in the ring, as Stone couldn’t get him to do the things they worked on leading up to the fight. It was awful. He couldn’t believe it was Johnny in there. Did the promotional aspect of it have an effect on it? Stone says it was, HBO needed him to really promote the fight, Jones wouldn’t do anything, so Johnny had to do it, dressing as a pimp, etc. About the weigh-in…he’d never seen such a mess over gloves, and felt like the Jones camp was taking them for fools. Will John box again? He needs to sit down and clear up his head and his personal problems. If he can do that, he can beat anyone, if not, he might need to hang it up.