Gordon Edes recaps yesterday’s amazing

Gordon Edes recaps yesterday’s amazing come-from-behind victory, making it seven in a row for the Sox. His notebook notes that umpire Dale Scott did not write Manny up for the “incidental contact” on Saturday, and also mentions Ramirez being on the radar of the MLB fashion police. Michael Vega says Ramiro Mendoza “didn’t hear the boos,” but still managed to turn the crowd to his side before leaving the game. Mark Blaudschun says that on the seventh day, Nomar shall rest, so he will sit out today’s game. Michael Silverman uses a similar biblical reference, starting with the opening line, “and on the seventh day, the Red Sox won again.” David Heuschkel recaps the comeback rally of the Sox, their 6th of the year. Sean McAdam says the Toronto bullpen “laid an egg.” His notebook asks “what bullpen problems?” and notes that the CBC has compiled a scoreless streak of 13 1/3 innings. Ooops. The kiss of death by mentioning it, isn’t it? You know, the feeling you got watching Pierce at the line against the Pacers on Saturday, and hoping that one of the ESPN announcers doesn’t jinx it by saying “he hasn’t missed one yet!” Good thing, it didn’t happen.

Michael Smith provides a draft preview at the linebacker position, and discusses Georgia linebacker Boss Bailey in particular. Michael Felger and Kevin Mannix focus similarly on the linebackers available in the draft.

Bob Ryan commits a bit of heresy and says, “Paul Pierce may be the greatest pure scorer the Celtics ever have had,” later going on to certify him as a “Licensed Professional Scorer.” Shira Springer writes that “there are no surprises with the Celtics,” and there’s no surprises in her article either, listing the keys to the series (pretty much serving as O’Brien’s administrative assistant here) as “stopping Indiana in transition, stopping Ron Artest in post-up situations, and continuing to limit Jermaine O’Neal.” She forgot to mention the only way they’ll win games is if they outscore the Pacers. Her notebook says Battie is still waiting to hear from the league office whether his flagrant foul will be downgraded from a type 1 from a type 2 (which earned him an automatic ejection early in Game 1). Steve Bulpett previews tonight’s Game 2. His notebook tells of the consequences of Battie’s flagrant 2 (cost him $1000, unless it’s downgraded, and another flagrant 2 earns him an automatic one game suspension). Mark Murphy says the Pacers might knock him to the floor, but “they’re not going to keep me down.” He also writes about Erick Strickland being a “good soldier” in his reduced role for the Pacers.

Check out Metro West for full coverage of the Marathon.

The Sox look to make it 8 in a row today. Catch the action on NESN, which has the annual Patriots Day game from Fenway this morning at 11. FSNE has Game 2 between the Celtics and Pacers tonight at 8:30 (nationally on NBA TV), TNT has a double-header of Suns-Spurs at 8 followed by Jazz-Kings at 10:30. ESPN2 has Game 6, Flyers at Maple Leafs at 7, and ESPN has Game 6, Colorado Avalanche trying to close out the Minnesota Wild at 7:30.

Advertisements

No Sunday night shows this

No Sunday night shows this week. I’m going to be leaving early in the morning and will be gone until Friday, most likely without access to a computer. But those of you who need your daily fix of links, fear not, I’ve recruited someone to fill in and provide links for you here. He probably won’t get them on-line as early as I do, but he’s going to shoot for midmornings. Don’t be too hard on him, I think he’ll do a good job. See you all on Friday. (No, I’m not going on some posh job interview…I wish.)

Bruce

No guest columns submitted, so

No guest columns submitted, so I’ll go with a short mailbag. Most of these aren’t questions, but instead viewpoints of readers. I’ll give a few comments to each one.

Eric writes about Dan Shaughnessy’s 4/18 Bruins column:

This is the last graf of his Bruins column. With only minor tweaking (substitute 'columnist' for 'franchise' and 'Shaughnessy' for 'Bruins.'), it is also his retirement ode.

"In the bombastic and competitive New England sports market, nothing endangers a pro franchise more than the threat of irrelevancy. The Bruins need to reverse their fortunes before the time comes when nobody cares about them anymore."

Good observation, Eric. I don’t think Dan or others like him make this connection. Sometimes I think some of these guys live in a vacuum. Next in is Len, who has a comment about Roy Williams:

I don't know if you've been following the Roy Williams saga. It's one of the best stories of the year. Many in Kansas were all over him calling him a traitor. Even a former player (Pollard) went down that path. Williams did a stand up thing in attending the end of season banquet and got a standing ovation. How many people would have had the guts to do this? Roy Williams has acted with nothing but class. Nobody will notice it. Pitino quit during a road trip in Florida. Parcells had his bags packed before the Super Bowl and avoided the team flight. Williams proved to be a standup guy. Of course, now some in Kansas believe he is trying to get his recruits to follow him to UNC. Nobody's perfect.

Some more good points. We’re still waiting for that final press conference from Pitino. There were even mumblings about the NCAA Tournament committee being hesitant to send Pitino’s Louisville squad to Boston for the early rounds. Give me a break. Parcells did come back for a press conference (the now famous “shopping for the groceries” bit was in that one, I think.) Chris wants to talk a little hockey:

Agree with you on Jackie M..having her cover hockey is not a good use of her talents..I am a huge Bruins fan, and as any hockey fan or someone who has played knows, it is more of a team game than baseball or hockey, as she compares Joe Thornton to Pedro/Nomar Pierce/Walker. I wonder if she blames Brady for lack of TD's when there are no OL or WR's? .

In other print rubbish Buckley today announces that O'Connell's move to coach is 'gutsy'. Gutsy with a 4 year contract that Jacobs will never fire him? Isn't this the same writer who slammed Dan D for being too heavy handed as GM of the Sox and led the pack to run him out of town(so he likes to think)? What a fool, he solidifies his place as #1 buffoon in the media.

I personally feel the Boston media has let O'Connell off the hook for what he has done(player moves/trade and making himself coach). Imagine Theo, Dan D, or a Kraft/Pioli/Wallace moving himself from GM to coach? In this town they would be lambasted. It seems as if they are all afraid to slam the Bruins mgmnt as they should be, I can't understand it other than apathy. It is too bad, because this is a great hockey town, Bruins aside, look at the Beanpot and Hockey East sellouts around NE.

There was some criticism this week. Shaughnessy in the above mentioned column went after O’Connell pretty good. Otherwise though, the media seems to want to blame Joe Thornton rather than the Bruins front office. As you say, hockey is more a team game, and it isn’t quite fair to put the blame on him as an individual. You didn’t see the Bruins making any adjustments for how the Devils were blanketing Jumbo Joe. Chris also makes a good point about O’Connell and his contract. Can anyone see a scenario in which Jeremy Jacobs would eat multiple years on a GM contract?

A couple of links sent in by readers this week. This first one is a few years old, but a good read anyway. After Dale Earnhardt’s death in Daytona, Gerry Callahan wrote a column about it. That column incensed NASCAR fans to the point he received some death threats. This article written on a NASCAR website is an example of the anger generated by Gerry.

Those NASCAR fans are an angry group. You probably heard this story talked about this week, of the fanatic who sent a half a million emails to the FOX network to protest Fox25’s showing of a Red Sox game instead of a NASCAR race. The guy was from Billerica. I thought people up here didn’t care about Nascar.

Turn out the lights…the party’s

Turn out the lights…the party’s over. Not that it was much of a party, anyway. Bruins eliminated. I did not watch a second of the game. Seems like a pretty good decision. Stephen Harris wraps up the game and the series, he quotes Dan McGillis, who says it’s hard to believe the season is over. I know you’re new to the team, Dan, but you might be in the minority here. Kevin Paul Dupont focuses on the Bruins failure to get any pressure on the Devils, not even coming close to mounting an offensive attack. He concludes:

They once owned the town as the Big, Bad Bruins. Now they are just Bad, with a capital spoked-B. You know the rest of the drill. Training camp opens at Wilmington, Mass., in September, when the great circle of strife begins anew.

Gee, I can hardly wait. (Wonder if I’ll have a job by then?) Dan Hickling says the Bruins came to play like there was no tomorrow. Which there wasn’t. I wonder if this is how it went in the Globe offices last night: “So Shaughnessy, do you want to write about Pedro silencing the worriers and shutting out the D-Rays, or do you prefer the Bruins getting eliminated and taking advantage of the misery of their fans?” “Oh, I’ll take the misery, please, sir.” Yes, I know, the topics were likely determined ahead of time, but it’s interesting that he’s always has to chase the story of misery, isn’t it? He focuses on Mike O’Connell, comparing him to Dan Duquette and taking him to task for his players work ethic. Not too bad of a hatchet job, I guess. Not undeserved, either. Frank Dell’Apa looks at the struggles of Glenn Murray, battling the flu, having along with all his fellow forwards, a terrible series with the Devils. Karen Guregian says Murray, along with Joe Thornton deserves criticism for disappearing in this series. Steve Conroy looks at some costly penalties from last night. Elliot Denman looks at John Madden hounding and haunting the Bruins once again. Karen Guregian assesses the predictable finish to this mediocre season for the Bruins. Steve Conroy looks at Jeff Hackett openly considering retirement. No mention of that in Dupont’s notebook, where he thinks Hackett is a good bet to return and perhaps share the time with Andrew Raycroft. Harris’ notebook looks at Joe Thornton, taking his lumps. Hickling’s notebook looks at the roller coaster season and other team notes.

Thank goodness. I was dreading the hysteria that John Dennis and Glenn Ordway were trying to drum up yesterday on WEEI by saying everytime Pedro has a bad outing it means he’s hurt. Pedro had two shutouts last night, that of the Devil Rays and another of the media after the game. His silence and the cold are the two biggest topics from last night in almost all stories. Bob Hohler looks at the game last night, two biggest items were Pedro and the cold. Steven Krasner looks at Pedro letting his performance do the talking for him. Jeff Horrigan says finding motivation was easy for Pedro last night. Tom Yantz wraps up the game last night as Pedro Hot, Tampa Cold. Alex Speier says that “it was obvious to one and all that the Dominican sheriff ruled the roost. ” Saturday never happened. Gordon Edes looks at the determination and intensity displayed without words by Pedro. Tony Massarotti says someone like Pedro is usually only silent when they want to be heard the most. Whoa. Pretty deep there, Mazz. Kevin Gray says other than the cold, all was as it should be last night. Paul Kenyon focuses on how the cold affected the hitters last night. Nick Cafardo catches up with Doug Mirabelli, finally getting his first hits of the season. Michael Gee’s pay column is also focused on Pedro, his efficiency last night, his silence and notes:

There is no better way for an athlete to draw attention to himself than refusing to speak in public. All of a sudden, Martinez turned a routinely excellent win into a cause celebre, as he had to know would happen.

Hohler’s notebook looks at Brandon Lyon, closer of the moment. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Tony Cloninger finding some flaws in Mendoza’s delivery and hopefully helping in correcting them. Krasner’s notebook says that Alan Embree will attempt to throw today for the first time since going on the DL.

Shira Springer gives Jim O’Brien a full body massage. This is almost like a infomercial for the Celtics coach. As you likely know, I’m torn on O’Brien. He’s got his good points…he’s great with the players, they play hard for him, they respect him, they play tough defense most of the time. But the downside to O’Brien is the offense. He’s limited in what he can do, given the players he has, but the team too often lives or dies on whether the threes are dropping. Last year’s playoffs saw that change a little bit, I’m hoping for more of the same this year. He needs an offensive assistant, to go with Harter on the defense. He needs to be better at developing young players. Bob Schron has perhaps the best Celtics/Pacers preview, noting the two teams facing each other goes all the way back to the Pacers’ ABA days. He looks at the matchups and closes with 7 questions that will determine the fate of the seven game series. Mark Murphy also looks at the matchup with the Pacers, noting that the Celtics face a big disadvantage on the boards. Carolyn Thornton notes that outside of Celtics camp, not many people are optimistic about the C’s chances, but the team is confident. Gerry Callahan has a strategy for beating the Pacers. Taunt Isiah. He recalls an incident in the Shaws summer league, where former BC star Mickey Curley chanted “CBA, CBA” over and over, in reference to Thomas running the league into the ground. Isiah was so bothered he charged into the stands. He suggests the Pacers are emotionally fragile, and Thomas may have lost his grip on his team. Playing mind games with the Pacers and Thomas might be effective. Jerry Trecker previews the NBA playoffs, and lists Jim O’Brien as the coach on the hot seat. Springer’s notebook looks at the Celtics playoff experience. Murphy’s notebook looks at the Pacers talking, the Celtics trying to toughen up JR Bremer for the playoffs and Erick Strickland remembering last year.

Michael Felger looks at WR prospect Kelley Washington. He notes that Washington is the potential draftee that the Patriots have spent the most time with. Nick Cafardo reports on Tom Brady feeling well enough to participate in the “Quarterback Challenge” competition, and has some assorted other notes, including draft notes and word from Antowain Smith’s agent that the running back had back problems much of last year. Michael Parente looks at whether the Patriots might move up into the top five of the draft, and the factors that go into making that decision. Someone on the board yesterday wondered if Hector Longo was Ron Borges’ intern. I thought that was pretty funny. In this article Longo looks at the Patriots need to add an impact player. Again, he’s pretty critical of the team, he compares their player acquisition strategy to that of Dan Duquette, (five nickels for a quarter) again says they should’ve signed David Boston, a player with off field troubles that the team wants no part of, and says the Dolphins and Bills have made impact moves while the Patriots haven’t. The Dolphins impact moves he lists are signing Zach Thomas long term and bringing in 34 year old Junior Seau. He even says “That’s impact”. No mention of Rosevelt Colvin or Rodney Harrison.

Jim Baker recycles some Bill Walton and Danny Ainge Celtic criticisms for his column today, which is mainly focused on the NBA playoffs. In The Week That Was, I’m looking at playoff hockey, Red Sox talk and Bill Lee’s book.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. ESPN has Capitals/Lightning at 7:00. ESPN2 has Blues/Canucks at 9:00. TBS has Phillies/Braves at 7:30.

Mike Fine writes a pretty

Mike Fine writes a pretty grim article on the Celtics playoff chances and future. He comes pretty darn close to knocking Jim O’Brien as well. Jim Fenton recalls Celtics playoff villains of the past, (Rodman, Laimbeer, Chuck Person, Ralph Sampson) and wonders if we’ll have a new one in the next couple weeks in Ron Artest. Jeff Thomas looks at the season ending victory last night. Gary Fitz has more on the Celtics gearing up for the playoffs.

Del Jones says to enjoy last night’s victory while you can, because with that bullpen, there may not be many nights where things are that smooth. Garry Brown looks at a couple of Sox slumps coming to an end. Alan Greenwood looks at the late inning magic last night. Greenwood’s notebook looks at Grady getting a little tired of the negative media.

David Pevear says no, Belichick “was not being Ari Fleischer. He probably really just does not know” who is going to be available to him the draft. Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots and their draft options. Chris Kennedy takes a further look at the choices facing the Pats. Tom King says they’re doing a pretty good job of keeping their thoughts to themselves.

Mike Loftus says the Devils may be the ones asking questions now.

After sitting up all night

After sitting up all night anxiously wondering what the scribes would have to complain about last night, I tear open the papers to find…nothing. Well, there’s always something. Gordon Edes seems to be grumbling beneath it all about all the different lineups Grady Little is putting out there. Even when it works, as it did last night with the previously frigid Ortiz and Giambi both getting big hits last night. Jeff Horrigan writes about the Sox being like the weather yesterday, extremes of hot and cold. Horrigan and Sean McAdam also think these early season comeback games may reap benefits later in the season. David Heuschkel writes that it all came together for the Sox last night. The pen, the bats, the defense, it was all there. After seemingly months of writing about indoor track, golf, and women’s college sports, (perhaps at his choosing, you never know) Bob Ryan returns to weigh in on a major league team. He witnessed a save last night and needed to go out have a drink to celebrate the first career save of young Brandon Lyon. Tony Massarotti has more on Lyon and continues to push forth his own theory that there is no commitment to CBC, the Sox are just using that as an excuse until a real closer emerges from the pack. I don’t think that’s the case, but what do I know? Why would they put themselves in ridicule and be accused of trying to “reinvent the game” if they are really just trying to find a traditional closer? Kevin McNamara completes the trilogy of Brandon Lyon articles. Mike Shalin has a couple of sidebar articles, with one on David Ortiz and the other on Jeremy Giambi. Edes also teases a one-on-one interview with Lou Piniella which will air on the Globe SportsPlus tonight. Ah, the Globe found something negative to report on, yup those Monster seats are dangerous. Surprised Shaughnessy didn’t write on this today. Edes’ notebook reports on a fan taken off on a stretcher after taking a ball in the face before the game. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Jason Shiell, fresh up from Triple-A to replace Howry. McAdam’s notebook has more on Shiell. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at the work being done with Mendoza to try to correct his struggles.

With the Bruins on tonight, the Red Sox get bumped once again to ATT3. This isn’t good news for Sox fans in the Nashua area, who I hear are unable to get the games when they’re moved to ATT3, since that channel is used for another purpose in that area. The second largest city in NH, less than an hour from Boston, and they can’t watch these games.

Jim O’Brien did give Walker and Pierce some rest last night, a wise move. The Pistons were doing the same, not even playing starter Cliff Robinson. They’ll play the Pacers, not the Sixers after all. Steve Bulpett writes about the game and a fresh start for the Celtics. Shira Springer looks at Antoine, staying in the locker room long after his teammates had departed, to watch the end of the Nets/Pacers game to see where the Celts would be going for the first round. He then weighs in on Indiana. Mark Murphy has a similar piece for the Herald. Carolyn Thornton recaps the game, and looks ahead to the Pacers. Christopher Price wraps up the game for the Metro. Jon Paul Morosi looks at the grizzled veterans on the end of the Celtic bench who hope to add experience to the Celtics playoff run. Peter May weighs in on the retirement of MJ. Price also looks at ironman Eric Williams, who played all 82 games. In Springer’s notebook, Williams is hoping that durability can get him a contract extension. Bulpett’s notebook looks a nice 125K bonus Tony Battie got last night for the Celtics winning # 44.

Is it possible to have a press conference, but not say anything? That’s what those who attended the Patriots predraft conference yesterday are wondering. Michael Smith seems to admit to an almost grudging respect for Bill Belichick’s ability to not tip his hand in which direction they’re going for the draft next weekend. Detective Michael Felger attempts to piece together the clues dropped by Belichick in an effort to figure out what direction the team is going. Michael Parente looks at the plethora of draft picks and wonders what the Patriots might do with them, be it actually using them on players, or wheeling them about in trades. He also looks at the temptation that is Willis MaGahee. For more on MaGahee, Mike Reiss looks at whether he is worth the risk, and goes over many of the other points brought out yesterday. Tom Curran writes that getting Belichick to say who they’re looking to take is as difficult as opening a new CD. Alan Greenberg also reports on the goings on in Foxboro yesterday. Christopher Price and Ian Clark also weigh in on the conference.

The media seems pretty divided on their opinion of Tebucky Jones. Hector Longo criticizes Belichick and the Patriots for going against their stated desire to get younger on defense and trading away a “budding superstar” in Tebucky, “for gridiron flotsam and jetsam” in draft picks. All in all, a pretty scathing piece by Longo. Of course, no one is surprised to read Nick Cafardo taking the same tact. He says Tebucky wanted to be traded two years ago, before the Super Bowl season, when the Pats disrespected him by platooning him with Matt Stevens. He admits it is all about the money. He wanted to get paid. On the other hand, Mark Farinella says America is great, because “where else could a team turn a flawed player like Tebucky Jones into three draft choices?” So either Tebucky is a “budding superstar” who was let go for nothing, or a “flawed player” and the Patriots were shrewd in getting as much as they did for him. Time will tell which is the right version.

Today’s Hockey articles are brought to you by the Masters of the Obvious. Kevin Paul Dupont looks ahead to tonight’s Bruins/Devils game 5. Expect the unexpected, he says. Stephen Harris says the Bruins chances tonight are much higher if they can score the first goal. (interesting theory there) Karen Guregian says to expect a much tougher Martin Brodeur tonight. (ya think?) Mark Blaudschun says the Bruins know that the odds are still stacked against them. (seriously?) Elliot Denman says Pat Burns and the Devils will be ready for anything the Bruins throw at them. (no kidding…) Bill Reynolds says Boston is no longer a hockey town. (Um, no, not since Orr retired… 25 years ago…) Dupont’s notebook updates us on Samsonov’s sore wrist.

NESN has Bruins/Devils at 7:00. ATT3 has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 6:00. ESPN2 has Oilers/Stars at 7:30.

Bruins live to skate another

Bruins live to skate another day. But as Stephen Harris notes, it doesn’t mean a thing unless somehow they follow it up with three more wins…an unlikely scenario. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the difference in the Bruins play, and the pulling of Brodeur for the first time in his playoff career. He also notes:

It felt like a hockey town again, rather than a group of disenfranchised spectators poised to call sports radio with another venting of the spleens.

A fancy way of saying “the fellowship of the miserable”. Joe McDonald says that Dan McGillis made up for the nightmare of a game three breakaway chance that he didn’t convert. Steve Conroy has more on the Bruins leading scorer of the playoffs. Michael Smith makes it a hat trick of McGillis articles. James Murphy gives us the bare basics recap of the game. Mark Blaudschun writes about the sense of desperation that drove the Bruins last night. Douglas Flynn says the only miracle to this series will likely be that Lapointe and McInnis scored in the same game. Karen Guregian and Paul Harber write that last night was a small step for Joe Thornton towards, as it was put yesterday, “salvaging his reputation”. I still can’t get over that one…Jackie MacMullan today wonders what the heck happened to Brodeur and the Devils last night, as the Bruins seemed to turn the switch on. I’ll tell you what happened, it’s hard to sweep any team, especially in their home arena, and second, it’s always nice to finish up a series at home. As was stated on one of the broadcasts last night, if you’ve got home ice, you always want to win in five games and get the extra money from an additional home game. Michael O’Connor says Brodeur wasn’t too fazed after the game last night. Nor should he be. In the other net, Conroy notes that Jeff Hackett was excellent when he had to be, namely in the first period. In his pay column, Steve Buckley chastises the fans who didn’t fill the FleetCenter last night. He writes about how the fans have “packed it in” and that those who didn’t show missed “something incredible”. Harris’ notebook looks at Bryan Berard sitting out last night with an injury. Dupont’s notebook looks at O’Connell’s coaching job last night what he still has to figure out. McDonald’s notebook tells us Brodeur is human after all.

Bob Lobel is growing increasingly dependent on the Dirt Dogs website for the headlines to his nightly sportscasts. Last night it was the three things you can count on “Death, Taxes and a bullpen collapse”. Whoops, they did it again. Mendoza couldn’t retire a single batter from the might Devil Rays lineup, and Timlin allowed those guys to score, tying up the game after a strong start by Casey Fossum. Gordon Edes says Ramiro is redefining the Mendoza line. He also notes the demotion of Bobby Howry to Pawtucket, and adds:

The best guess to replace Howry? Try Erick Almonte, the Dominican who came back from Japan and impressed the Sox this spring before being one of the last cuts.

I’m guessing Gordon means *Hector* Almonte. Erick is the shortstop the Yankees called up to replace Jeter. Jeff Horrigan has the game story for the Herald, and Steven Krasner says just call Shea Hillenbrand Mr. March. David Heuschkel reports that while Grady Little is losing faith in Mendoza, Theo says there is a flaw in his delivery that can be corrected. Christopher Price reports on the game for the Metro. Sean McAdam says these frightening endings are taking their toll, but to their credit the Sox are not in denial about the situation. Dan Shaughnessy is loving this. He says:

It wouldn't be quite as ridiculous if the Sox hadn't spent the offseason telling us how they were going to reinvent baseball. Bill James came on board, and there were lectures about the seventh inning being more important than the ninth and the lack of need for a traditional closer.

Ok, so show me the quotes where the Sox bragged that they were going to “reinvent baseball”…and in case Dan hasn’t noticed, the seventh and eighth innings *have* been more important than the ninth this year. That’s when the leads are getting blown. How would a “traditional” ninth-inning-only closer have made a difference last night? Bring him in after Mendoza loaded ’em up last night, and you’re going against the modern closer theory by making him work two innings. If the Sox had a stopper in the pen, bringing in him in that situation would be exactly playing into the CBC theory. Yes, these guys stink, but it’s not the CBC theory that is blowing the games. Tony Massarotti says don’t expect any major changes here, what you see is what you’re going to get, for a while, anyway. Michael Silverman says that Fossum’s no-decision was actually a big victory. Kevin Gray says that there is a reason that teams were so interested in Fossum during the offseason. Lenny Megliola thinks that Mendoza should be driving Howry down I-95 to Pawtucket. Krasner has another look at Rocco Baldelli, who had three more hits last night. Edes also has more on DiMaggio. I mean Baldelli. Mike Shalin looks at last night’s hero, Shea Hillenbrand. Horrigan’s notebook reports on Howry’s demotion, as does Krasner’s notebook. Edes’ notebook has fan reaction from the Monster seats. Seats that Eddie Andelman was trashing yesterday, saying they’re obstructed view, and just bad seats overall.

If you missed it yesterday, you need to check out Jim Caple and his parody of the Iraqi information minister joining the Yankees broadcast team for a matchup with Pedro and the Red Infidels, I mean, Sox. Edward Cossette actually did a version of that same theme yesterday morning before Caple’s article went up, his deals with the good minister speaking on behalf of the Red Sox.

A couple articles on Tebucky Jones’ departure. Alan Greenberg seems to disapprove of Jones’s treatment by the Pats, records a couple shots at Belichick and the organization taken by the safety and paints him as a victim. Michael Felger takes a slightly different tact, allowing Jones’ words to speak for themselves for the most part. He says he called just as many of the plays as Lawyer Milloy did, and looks forward to be being freed from having to constantly change gears for special teams. Ron Borges has a mock draft for MSNBC. He’s got them reaching for Rashean Mathis with the #19 pick. Mathis is projected to be able to make the move to free safety in the pros. Can this also be construed as a subtle shot at Belichick, saying now that he has given away Tebucky he needs to burn a first round pick to replace him? Or is my ancestral tie to Oliver Stone showing? If you caught the McDonough group yesterday, you likely heard Butch Stearns going through Belichick’s draft history, listing some mid-round picks as “indictments” against Belichick. Borges joined the show for a short time and also had fun bashing. The funny thing to me is that Stearns listed the 2000 draft as a prime failure for Belichick mentioning picks like Jeff Marriott, Dave Stachelski and David Nugent. (He also threw Jabari Holloway and Hakim Akbar in there from the 2001 draft) A caller later in the show tried to make the point that the 2000 draft was essentially run by Bobby Grier. That suggestion was dismissed by the panel. I wish Borges was still on at the time, because he’s the one who has made that assertion in the past, claiming that Belichick should not receive any credit for Greg Randall or Tom Brady because those were Grier picks. You can’t have it both ways, fellas…

Despite having the #6 seed locked in, and no chance of moving either way, Peter May reports that we’ll see all the guys, including those who should likely get some rest, will be playing their normal minutes, in hopes of gaining momentum. Let’s hope no one gets hurt. Remember Vitaly injured his ACL in a meaningless game last season, and the C’s could’ve used his toughness against the Nets. Mark Murphy looks at possible first round matchups for the Celtics, who could be playing any number of teams in the first round. Though that is possible, it’s likely they’re going to face the Sixers. Christopher Price looks at that matchup. The new Metro basketball writer, Bob Schron looks at the Celtics as they head into the postseason. Murphy’s notebook looks at Pierce taking a kid to school.

You can check out the last Michael Jordan/Mars Blackmon Nike commercial. I found it fairly amusing.

NESN has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 6:00. FSNE has Celtics/Pistons at 7:00. ESPN has Michael Jordan’s last game with Wizards/Sixers at 7:00, followed by Jazz/Kings at 10:00. ESPN2 has Avalanche/Wild at 7:30 and Red Wings/Mighty Ducks at 10:30.