A few notes: Looks like

A few notes:

Looks like the poll got “hacked” again. Last night it there was about 300 votes, and 80% said they were listening to WEEI less. Now there are 750 votes and it’s split almost 50/50. Today’s traffic is no higher than usual. I take this as a sign that I’ve made it here, people need to hack my little poll because they can’t stand to see what it is telling them. Someone must be pretty insecure to be doing that…

I hope to have the Mediamadness next round up tomorrow.

My job…many have asked what I did. I worked the last four years at New Hampshire Public Television. My position was eliminated due to “escalating expenses with diminishing revenues.” I worked in Information Technology. Jack of all trades, master of none. Did mostly desktop support on all versions of Windows, supported Microsoft Office products and worked on NT/2000 and Novell Servers. I was hoping to change career paths and find something related to what I’m doing here.

It appears Michael Felger was incorrect this morning in reporting Damien Woody’s salary this season as $375,000. From his NFLPA page, Woody is due to make $530,000 this year.

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Celtics put six guys (including

Celtics put six guys (including Kedrick Brown) in double figures, Pierce scores 25, Walker is a rebound and two assists shy of a triple-double, Celtics only turn the ball over 8 times…and get waxed. Six losses in a row. Peter May says the team is in a “certifiable, embarrassing, and worrisome slump”. Steve Bulpett has Paul Pierce reaching for a positive as the Celtics guard says that maybe a little adversity will be good for the team. Carolyn Thornton has the story of the game for the Projo, and Christopher Price reports for the Metro. Andy Nesbitt has more on Pierce and Walker, who stuck around to face the music and talk about what the team needs. Mark Murphy looks at Antoine Walker, once again the target of boos at the Fleet. As for Pierce, Lenny Megliola points out that he’s likely hurting as well, but the focus of his article is that the Celtics were disgraced last night. Murphy also talks war with a few Celtics, find out how they stay informed, and chats with Grant Long about his uncle who went to Vietnam, lost an arm, and received the Purple Heart. Price also looks at the remaining schedule. Into the notebooks…Thornton’s notebook says Pierce’s back is still hurting him. May’s notebook says something will happen on the Union front with Vin Baker in the next few days. In Bulpett’s notebook, Pierce thinks the team will be ready for the playoffs.

With just a few days to go to opening day, there’s still time to stir the pot and strike fear into the hearts of Red Sox fans. While Jeff Horrigan and Nick Cafardo play up the doomsday countdown scenario regarding Pedro, I prefer to go with Sean McAdam’s version, which is more positive, and hints that perhaps the Sox and Pedro might be close to getting something done. (Hint – If you don’t want to get irritated, skip the first two, and go directly to McAdam.) Even Dan Shaughnessy avoids going the doomsday rout, instead praising Pedro for his maturity. Maybe Dan really has turned a new leaf… One question from his column though, he says:

let me go on record yet again and predict an Opening Day no-hitter from Pedro Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla.

I like that. Much better than a prediction that he blows his shoulder out opening day. I haven’t kept close tabs on Dan’s appearances lately, where else did he “go on the record” and say this? A Barnicle show? The NESN Globe SportsPlus program? I’m not being cynical, I want to know where else Shaughnessy is spreading his message of cheer and goodwill. Speaking of the SportsPlus program, Gordon Edes gives us some snippets from his one-on-one interview with Sox GM Theo Epstein which will air tonight. Tony Massarotti also weighs in on the Pedro issue, urging everyone to relax. David Heuschkel looks at the Sox pitching staff taking shape, with the release of Frank Castillo yeserday. He looks at the remaining candidates and their chances at sticking. It would appear that Steve Woodard might have the best shot. An intriguing guy is Hector Almonte. Of course, 96 MPH fastballs are always intriguing and nice to have in your bullpen. Sean McAdam has more on the release of Castillo. Kevin Gray makes his first trip to spring training this year, and finds amusement in Manny, and less amused by Casey Fossum. If you’re signed up for the Herald’s columnists, you can read Steve Buckley and get Nomar’s thoughts on his pal Lou leaving town. Cafardo and Horrigan continue to be joined at the hip, as their notebooks are as similar as their articles today. Cafardo’s notebook is about Castillo’s release and Nomar is happy for Lou. Horrigan’s notebook is about Castillo, Lou and Nomar taking a shot to the head yesterday. McAdam’s notebook looks at Pedro’s performance yesterday.

Stephen Harris looks at the Bruins facing a big test tonight if they want to be considered legit. Frank Dell’Apa also notes that the Bruins will clinch a playoff spot with a win tonight. Harris’ notebook looks at Joe Thornton trying to win the scoring title.

Michael Felger reports on the Patriots getting a restructured deal done with Tom Brady to free up some space (2.1 Million) to sign their upcoming draft picks. He assesses their progress this offseason and notes that they have all their starters under contract. That includes offense, defense and special teams. And they’re under the cap by a couple million at the least. Not bad, I’d say. Ron Borges reports on the decision not to change to overtime rules, and gives Belichick praise for his proposal for solving the OT problem…simply move the kickoff spot up five yards and make the team that gets the ball first work a little harder. At the end, the article quotes the Herald as it’s source for learning about the Tom Brady contract restructure. I found that slightly curious. Mark Farinella has a look at the beginning of the offseason program, and thoughts on the Pats moving their training camp to Foxboro. Picking up my Sports Illustrated, the Scorecard by Peter King was interesting. It’s about the changes Bill Parcells is making in Dallas. I liked this bit:

Parcells's coaches -- he has five holdovers from Dave Campo's staff -- don't even chafe when he tells them that past disciples, such as defensive guru Bill Belichick, did things better. "He talks about Belichick all the time," says defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer. "You think that doesn't motivate me?"

Hector Longo compares Carmelo Anthony to Antoine Walker, gives the Patriots a “D” for their offseason moves to date, and urges fans to enjoy Nomar while you got him. Luke Meredith says goodbye to Lou and has mostly baseball related thoughts in the Unsilent Majority.

If you need a Patriots

If you need a Patriots fix, don’t forget that Patriots.com has PFW Radio on today from Noon to 1:00 PM.

For more on the Patriots being the 7th team in the playoffs last year, I got an email this morning from someone who checked with the NFL and the Elias Sports Bureau, which confirmed that the Patriots would NOT have been that 7th team. The confusion for Ron Borges, and ESPN.com, (Check the caption under the Tom Brady picture) apparently stems from an NFL press release that described the proposal to add playoff teams for next season which was being discussed during the Owners meetings. The release stated that the Patriots and Saints would’ve made the playoffs under the proposal being considered. Tells you something about the NFL tiebreaking rules when even their own PR guys can’t figure them out.

Here’s how it works, according to the rules.

Five teams with 9-7 records. (Jets, Dolphins, Pats, Browns, Broncos)

Ties are first broken within the division. Jets & Patriots win tiebreaks over Dolphins, eliminating them.

We move onto the Wild Card Tiebreaker between the Pats, Browns and Broncos. The first tie break is head to head record, but only if all teams have faced each other. They haven’t. Second tie breaker is conference record.

Browns 7-5
Pats 6-6
Broncos 5-7

Browns win tiebreaker. You might now think that the Pats win over the Broncos as well. That is NOT the case. Check out this rule:

“Only one club advances to the playoffs in any tie-breaking step. Remaining tied clubs revert to the first step of the applicable division or Wild-Card tie breakers. As an example, if two clubs remain tied in any tie-breaker step after all other clubs have been eliminated, the procedure reverts to step one of the two-club format to determine the winner. When one club wins the tie breaker, all other clubs revert to step 1 of the applicable two-club or three-club format.”

So now, the Patriots and Broncos start the Wild Card tie breakers all over again. The first one is head to head matchups. The Broncos beat the Patriots during the season, so they win that tiebreaker and eliminate the Pats.

Bob Ryan was on ESPN radio this morning to talk about the NCAAs. One of the topics they discussed was Boston College not making the tournament. Ryan feels last year BC got a break by getting into the NCAAs, and maybe that stuck in the head of someone on the committee.

Only in Boston can the

Only in Boston can the release and waiver claim of a utility infielder generate story after story. Yeah, he’s a local kid. But how many stories can we crank out on Lou Merloni? Well, let’s see, it is a slow news day… Lenny Megliola says the move to San Diego could finally give Lou a chance to shine. Before Lou left, Bob Hohler says Theo Epstein gave him some good places to go get a beer in San Diego. Jeff Horrigan says Lou is all fired up to go the National League and get a chance to play more. Sean McAdam says cult hero Lou will always have a part of himself here in Boston, and Theo promised him a spot for him to come back to when his playing days are over. Art Davidson writes that Lou appreciated how all of this was handled. David Heuschkel says Lou can no longer say the Red Sox are making a mockery of his career, and retells the story of Lou and Ben Affleck’s little spat last summer. Steve Buckley says that getting away from his hometown will help out Lou. Gotta shell out to read that one though. So there’s seven stories, not counting the papers that haven’t come out online yet. Elsewhere in Red Sox news, if you want to your five bucks, you can read Michael Gee tell you how the Red Sox plan to be luckier this season. Alex Speier talks to Todd Walker about his fielding, and the prospect of playing in Boston. Yesterday’s spring training loss to the Pirates gave reliever Steve Woodard, a bubble candidate to make the team, a chance to shine. McAdam’s notebook has more. Woodard is also the subject of Hohler’s notebook. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Woodard and a few other bullpen candidates.

Rosevelt Colvin spoke to the Boston media yesterday. You can watch part of the session on Patriots Video News. Michael Smith has a report from the Colvin press conference, with Colvin talking about how good a fit this situation seemed for him. He did his homework in asking around about the situation here. Christopher Price says Colvin has shown up ready to go to work. Tom Curran’s latest Patriots Mailbag is finally up on the web.Kevin Mannix reports from the owners meetings in Phoenix, In a media session, Bill Belichick addressed the safety situation, stressing they can have all three on the team at once. He also touches on Colvin, and the running back situation. Alan Greenberg touches on Tebucky, noting that Jones is not participating in the offseason workouts because he doesn’t want to risk injury, knowing that the Patriots are trying to trade him. Ron Borges has more on negotiations between the Saints and Patriots on Tebucky Jones. A few of you have written in, feeling that Borges has been correct in claiming the Patriots would have been the seventh playoff team, and that I’m wrong. Perhaps I’ll put in more detail later, but in boils down to a rule that “resets” the tiebreakers after the first wildcard team is determined. Once Cleveland made it in by virtue of a better conference record than the other two teams, Denver and New England would have started the tie breakers all over again, and the first tiebreaker is head-to-head, which the Broncos win because of a victory over the Patriots last year. That’s as simple as I can put it.

Shira Springer looks at the Celtics disastrous road trip and what the Celtics need to do to get back on track. Mark Murphy says that the Celtics better get their act together, this is no time to be slumping. Carolyn Thornton writes that the Celtics have no time to dwell on these losses. Christopher Price looks at the missing Tonys. Steve Bulpett looks at Tony Battie and his ailing knee.

Stephen Harris says many of the Bruins are very glad to no longer be playing for Ftorek. Kevin Paul Dupont says the team has already raised their level of play, and are a more physical squad as well. Harris’ notebook looks at Jeff Hackett’s troublesome finger.

Bob Ryan wants to give props to the Frozen Four…the other form of March Madness, especially as it relates to the Harvard team.

New and improved Bruins? After

New and improved Bruins? After three games of Mike O’Connell? That’s what Kevin Paul Dupont says. He likes what he saw last night. Stephen Harris adds that last night the Bruins confidence was higher than it had been in months. A good night for Mike Knuble, who won the seventh player award, then went out and scored the winning goal. Frank Dell’Apa, Rich Thompson and James Murphy report on the night for Knuble. Karen Guregian writes about O’Connell trying to get the players to buy into what he has to say. Dan Shaughnessy is proud of the “classy” Bruins fans. Joe McDonald writes that Mike Sullivan is the likely head coach of the Bruins next year. Thompson also writes about Steve Shields’ performance between the pipes last night. All notebooks deal with Sergei Samsonov and how far away he is from returning. Dupont’s notebook says he is “a ways” away still. Harris’ notebook adds a Hackett injury update. McDonald’s notebook has an interesting tidbit about where Joe Thornton stands during the National Anthem.

Celtics as lost five in a row for the first time under Jim O’Brien, who was especially short and curt during this postgame remarks. Shira Springer and Mark Murphy relate that the Celtics played better, they just didn’t have enough to pull out the win. Phil Miller of the Salt Lake Tribune notes that in beating the Celtics, the Jazz also broke the Celtics record of 19 straight years with a winning record. Too bad their picture with the story identifies Kedrick Brown as “Mark Brown”. Speaking of Kedrick, Jim O’Brien must be reading here (kidding) as Kedrick’s been playing again. Last night was more flashes, 6 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Part of the reason Brown has been playing though, is the absence of Tony Delk, who lost his father to a heart attack. The two missing Tony’s is the subject of Springer’s notebook. Murphy’s notebook is similar.

In a move to bolster the youngster’s confidence, Jeff Horrigan reports that Grady Little has named Casey Fossum as his fourth starter. This allows him to face the Devil Rays in his first start. David Heuschkel writes about the nasty pitcher Trot Nixon spent the winter facing. Tony Massarotti writes that it looks like the old Nomar is back. Bob Hohler reports on the battle for the utility position. I think we all know Lou is going to start the season in Pawtucket…and that’s what Horrigan reports in his notebook. Hohler’s notebook says John Burkett doesn’t mind being named the fifth starter. In Sean McAdam’s notebook, he tries to figure out the opening day lineup, which Grady Little says will contain four lefties.

This lead-in to the Red Sox discussion board on Boston.com cracked me up:

Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy is getting worried because the clock is ticking and with one week until opening day, Pedro's contract situation still has not been resolved. He thinks Pedro is not going to be happy if the season starts with this issue still in limbo.

I’m sure Dan is losing sleep at night over this. Several people have already expressed their opinion on the topic. You can as well.

Michael Felger and Tom Curran both report from the first day of the offseason conditioning program, and chat with Tedy Bruschi about Tebucky Jones and the new additions to the team. Ron Borges reports on NFL Europe going ahead with plans to play, he also again mentions that the Patriots would’ve been the 7th playoff team last year. Finally, almost in passing, he mentions the signing of Fred McCrary. Kevin Mannix reports from the owners meetings, and comments on proposals to add another playoff team and for overtime play.

Bill Griffth reports on the Spanish Beisbol Network, a rapidly growing venture. He also has various other media notes. If you want to read Jim Baker’s column about the NCAA TV ratings, you’ll have to pay your five bucks…Ron Borges fans take note, you can hear Ron do color commentary on Boxing tonight on NESN at 8:00.