Eddie was back on today

Eddie was back on today after having yesterday off and waited only 9 minutes to start ripping the Sox for letting it rain on Friday. OK…not quite, but he may as well have. Eddie claimed to have personally called all the meteorologists in town to ask how the weather would be opening day, and said they all told him there was no way they’d get the game in. Jags then told Eddie that the forecasts he saw all said there was a pretty decent shot the game would get played, as did the forecasts I saw. Eddie had no answer for that, so then along with Nick Cafardo moved on to knocking the Patriots for getting nothing for Tebucky Jones. He was a first round pick and they could only get a few late picks for him. That’s one way to look at it. Another way is that Jones wasn’t coming back here unless the Patriots severely overpaid him, and stated so to an NFL security guy at the Pro Bowl. Instead of just losing him for nothing, the Patriots slapped the franchise tag on him, and waited until someone would give them something for him so they wouldn’t let him get away for nothing. Which would have happened. An emailer asked Nick about his negative view on the Pats and about the Zone’s interview with Ron Konrad last week, they claimed to have had Konrad on to talk about the division, the problem is, no one can remember them talking about the division at all. Nick was clearly steamed by the email as he addressed it on both ends of a commercial break. Always fun to show how thin-skinned these guys really are.

They also had Bill Lee on for an hour to pitch his new book.

On The Big Show, Sean McAdam continued to defend his stance that Pedro’s comments after the option got picked up have been blown out of proportion, he seemed to target Gordon Edes as having taken the comments the furthest, somewhat surprising since Edes at times is a voice of reason. McAdam also made a dig towards Shaughnessy for his comments about Pedro coming from a dirt-poor country, insinuating that it should have an effect on Pedro’s contract demands. Interestingly, Ordway, who was so nasty and vociferous last week regarding Pedro, didn’t really challenge McAdam all that much. The other big event of the show was Pete Sheppard’s “exclusive” with Pat Burns, which was hyped, but ended up so underwhelming, I can’t recall a single thing from it.

John Tomase says the Red Sox fans are not the best in the country, in fact they’re among the worst. He outlines several incidents that are “symptomatic of a more pervasive nastiness that has intensified in recent seasons at Unfriendly Fenway.”

Some of you have asked how the job search is going…well, it’s not. The market is just horrific, and nothing the least bit promising has appeared. I remain unemployed, but in no immediate danger of fulfilling the dreams of Ordway and Shaughnessy and having to move into my parents basement…

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Where have you gone, Jumbo

Where have you gone, Jumbo Joe? Bruins nation turns its lonely eyes to you…The Bruins young captain finds himself facing the question of whether he can step it up in the playoffs. Jackie MacMullan says Joe has possibly just one last chance tonight to step forward and at least “salvage his reputation as the leader of this hockey team. I agree that Joe needs to show us something, but “salvage his reputation”? Isn’t that stretching it just a tad? The kid is 23 years old. He’s going to get better. Steve Conroy also focuses on Thornton, noting his frustration, but also showing that his teammates know he can handle the load and the pressure. Joe McDonald doesn’t think things look too good for the Bruins tonight, as evidenced by a lackluster practice yesterday. In the other locker room, Mark Blaudschun reports that the Devils are simply preparing for the game tonight in their usual workmanlike fashion. Douglas Flynn says the Bruins just need to be simply in survival mode right now. James Murphy records a moment from practice yesterday that could’ve been taken from the movie “Slapshot”, and wonders where enforcers like PJ Stock have been in this series, to help get the Devils off Thornton’s back. Rich Thompson says that Jamie Langenbrunner and the Devils learned from last season’s first round exit at the hands of the Hurricanes. Marvin Pave looks at the preparations the Bruins are attempting to make to stave of elimination. Jon Wallach says that the Bruins troubles are much bigger than just being in danger of being swept out of the first round. Steve Buckley’s pay column this morning is a look at Mike O’Connell’s game in putting himself behind the bench, in the line of fire, when he must’ve known there was a good chance the B’s would be facing Pat Burns and the Devils. Conroy’s notebook looks at the protection Martin Brodeur appears to get from the referees, at least from the Bruins perspective. Pave’s notebook looks at Jeff Hackett attempting to keep the Bruins alive tonight.

Sox get back in action tonight with Casey Fossum taking the mound. Michael Silverman says a sign that things are getting better for Fossum after a terrible spring is that its now safe to joke about him. Bob Hohler notes that Fossum learned a big lesson from his last time out, against the Blue Jays. Paul Doyle also submits a piece on the Sox young lefty. Steven Krasner has an extensive look at local son Rocco Baldelli making his Fenway debut tonight. Bill Reynolds recalls his first time meeting Baldelli. Lenny Megliola has a very simple message for Pedro: “Pitch, don’t bitch.” Gerry Callahan’s column today says that Pedro’s encounter with the infamous booing fan behind the dugout is just another example of Pedro finding something to use as motivation. Hohler’s notebook looks at Mike Cubbage’s scare Saturday night in his own words. Silverman’s notebook says Robert Person is keen on the idea of becoming the go-to guy in the Sox bullpen.

Nick Cafardo weighs in on the Tebucky Jones trade, hoping that the Patriots use the money they saved to sign up his pal Damien Woody. Michael Felger looks at the Defensive Linemen the Pats might be looking to package picks to trade up and get. Tom Curran says the Patriots don’t have a safety to play in coverage now that Jones is gone, and doesn’t see any in the draft to replace him, either. Cafardo has a profile of probably the top safety in the draft, Troy Polamalu, who played for Pete Carroll at USC. Michael Parente looks at the safety position, and where things might end up.

Steve Bulpett chats with Bob Cousy, who isn’t optimistic about the Celtics chances of going deep in this years playoffs. If you’re looking for profound answers to how the Celtics can succeed in the playoffs, Shira Springer’s article isn’t going to provide them. Terms like good fourth quarter play, making the extra pass, getting a good shot every time down, and solid on defense abound throughout the piece.

Peter May reports on a forum in which representatives of the ownership of the four major league sports teams in Boston discussed marketing opportunities and ideas. Among the things discussed, selling the naming rights to Fenway Park. WEEI is running an on-line poll in which you can vote on their war coverage. Apparently you can vote as many times as you want which will pretty much invalidate the results. Bill Griffith tells us where to look for the Sox game tonight, looks at ESPN’s new deal with Wimbledon, and has Masters numbers. Jim Baker also gives us the numbers of the Masters, and adds this note in his Short Takes section:

A clarification: Sunday's commentary on the glut of low-rated TV-radio sports gab did not include WEEI numbers, which will be out with the Arbitron book next Tuesday. Arbitrends have not included the period in which WEEI has aired war commentary.

I’m not exactly sure what that means, but this is what Baker wrote on Sunday that apparently needs clarification:

WEEI's repeated war critiques by sports hosts passing themselves off as combat strategists have one thing in common with the glut of TV sports gab: They're a waste of time. They cry out to be ignored - and multitudes of test cases are doing just that, judging by rancid recent ratings that have to make sponsors wonder why they're supporting such an endeavor.

Roy Williams announcement last night that he was leaving Kansas for his Alma Mater of UNC no doubt left new WWZN morning co-host Holden Kushner a bit red faced. His “scoop” of last week turned out to only be half right, and after a dime was dropped to me, it turns out the half he got right wasn’t much of a scoop, either. Last Tuesday’s Kansas City Star had an article by Jason King with the title: “Source: Roy likely stays if Hadl or Konzem is A.D.” Apparently Dale & Neumy on WEEI had read from that article Tuesday morning, the day before Kushner went on with his “scoop’.

NESN has Bruins/Devils at 7:00.(ESPN Nationally) If you’re in the Boston market, Red Sox/Devil Rays will be on UPN38. If you’re outside the market, it will be on the alternate channel lineup, which would include whichever version of ATT3 that you have. Who knew this stuff was so complicated? ESPN2 has Lightning/Capitals at 7:00 and Stars/Oilers at 10:00.

OK…I finally have the results

OK…I finally have the results of the Mediamadness fan brackets that were sent in. I originally expected to get maybe 10-15 brackets from hard core readers. But with very little encouragement from me, you sent in about 70. Here are the compiled results. The screen is huge, so be prepared to do a lot of scrolling across the page. Beside each winner are the vote totals for that matchup. You might notice differing vote totals across the rounds, not everyone filled out every matchup. Some quit two rounds in. Quite a few picked the final matchup, but didn’t pick a winner. But the results are accurate.

A quick overview:

All four #1 seeds (Lobel, Ryan, Callahan & Ordway) advanced to the Final Four. Looks my seedings there were pretty good.

Bob Ryan beat Bob Lobel 28-19 in one Semi-final matchup, while Glenn Ordway knocked off Gerry Callahan 28-9 in the other.

Ryan then beat Ordway 18-11 in the Finals.

Others who got votes as winners of the tournament:
Bob Lobel (11)
Gerry Callahan (5)
Bill Simmons (2)
Sean McDonough (2)
Gary Tanguay/Greg Dickerson (2) No winner was picked on either ballot, both of which had those two meeting in the finals, and were sent from FSNE email.
Eddie Andelman (1)
Sean McAdam (1)
Tony Massarotti (1)
Ted Sarandis (1)

I don’t generally watch much

I don’t generally watch much Hockey on TV. I’ve made a concerted effort to watch this Bruins playoff series though, and have come away incredibly frustrated. The Bruins always seem to run into a hot goalie come playoff time. I don’t know a whole lot about the intricacies of the game, but just from watching it always seems the B’s aren’t putting themselves in any positions to get a break. The Devils capitalize on their chances. I’ll now take off my Don Cherry cap and look and see what the experts have to say here locally. Kevin Paul Dupont wraps up the series thusly:

Game 4 of what has become a dispiriting and lopsided series for the Bruins will be back on FleetStreet tomorrow night. There may be a way - even a legal one - for them to beat Brodeur and the Devils, and longtime fans are encouraged to e-mail in those bright ideas. At the moment, it's obvious the Bruins don't have a clue.

Maybe I’ve missed it, but I’m waiting for Bob Lobel to trot out “Why can’t we get coaches like that?” in a nod to Pat Burns. Stephen Harris says Brodeur would be the MVP of this series, but this isn’t a one man show here. Douglas Flynn and Joe McDonald round out the local game stories. Before the series we were told that John Madden would be Joe Thornton’s full time shadow. Well, he’s done that and more, Mark Blaudschun looks at his contributions to the series. Karen Guregian wonders if Mike O’Connell is finally figuring out that the team he assembled here just isn’t that good. Paul Harber looks at just how effective the shadowing of Thornton has been. Rich Thompson says Martin Brodeur just continues to build his Hall of Fame resume. According to Jackie MacMullan Brodeur has totally deflated the fans and decimated the ‘second season’ of the Bruins. Steve Conroy and Marvin Pave look at the performance of Jeff Hackett yesterday. It was more of the same, good effort, but not good enough. Thompson also looks at local kid Jay Pandolfo, who had a goal yesterday, and who enjoys beating the team he cheered for as a kid. Steve Buckley’s pay column today notes how the Bruins are such a second fiddle that an early season Red Sox game overshadows a Bruins playoff game. Dupont’s notebook looks at a couple of examples of Brodeur’s greatness. Harris’ notebook looks at how the Devils have kept the Bruins out of prime scoring space. McDonald’s notebook has more on Brodeur outdueling Hackett.

During the Red Sox telecast yesterday, analyst Jerry Remy noted that if Tim Wakefield came on and did well that there would be a cry for him to remain in the bullpen and stabilize that group. Well, there isn’t exactly an uprising for that notion, but Dan Shaughnessy does write about Wakefield becoming a Committee of one. Sean McAdam has a similar article, noting that Wakefield didn’t exactly seem eager to embrace the idea of returning to the bullpen. In a pay column, Michael Gee says that Wakefield’s performance yesterday was the first time the CBC worked the way it was supposed. Bob Hohler, in the game story, notes how a videotape session helped Derek Lowe get back on track. David Heuschkel has more on Lowe getting back in control. Michael Silverman says the Sox now need to figure out how to duplicate the performance of yesterday. Steven Krasner has more on the ‘video detective work’ done by Lowe and a couple of the coaches. Continuing the theme, Michael Vega looks at the adjustments as well. Mike Shalin cranks out an entire article on how Nomar’s Home run in the first inning yesterday didn’t make it to the fans in the Monster seats. He also looks at Hillenbrand making his ‘first start‘. Howard Bryant in a pay column looks at the importance of Lowe’s performance yesterday, noting that the Sox need him to repeat his record of a year ago if they hope to achieve success. Alex Speier weighs in on the “Bull Durham” Hall of Fame controversy. He also has a few other baseball notes. Hohler’s notebook looks at Hillenbrand’s comfort level playing at first base. Silverman’s notebook makes mention of the fact that with the win yesterday, Grady Little becomes the third-fastest manager to reach 100 wins. Heuschkel’s notebook has Little saying that Wakefield’s turn in the bullpen is only temporary. Krasner’s notebook leads with Shea at first and has a number of other items, including word from Mendoza on his struggles, and updates on Cloninger and Cubbage.

Onto the Celtics…Steve Bulpett openly wonders if the Heat are tanking it down the stretch, hoping for a better chance in the Lebron/Carmelo sweepstakes. He notes that the normally animated Pat Riley was silent on the sideline and that he played little used rookies for most of the game. Despite that, the Celtics needed to withstand a fourth quarter charge by the Heat and hang on for the win. Shira Springer says that while this edition of the Celtics has struggled to the finish line, this win coupled with perhaps another against Detroit on Wednesday could bring them into the playoffs on a high note. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the fact that several of the assistant coaches will have their contracts expire at the end of the season, and seems to be pushing for them to be taken care of. Could this be a harbinger of changes after the season? Springer’s notebook says that O’Brien will not be resting his starters on Wednesday night, they’ll play their usual minutes.

Patriots also in the news…first, some props to Michael Smith, who used connections in his hometown of New Orleans to get the details first on the Tebucky Jones trade to the Saints yesterday. The Globe breaks some news. Of course it wasn’t be either of their top two football writers who did it, but it was from their young third writer. The other papers have the story today, with Michael Felger making the point at the end of the article that the Patriots did play this one right, for had they not franchised Jones, he would’ve just left in free agency, now they’ve gotten three draft picks for him. Tom Curran wonders who is going to replace Jones, but acknowledges that he is not worth the money that the Saints are going to pay him. He also adds this as the reason for his Special Teams play:

There's a reason Jones, a first-round pick in 1998, is one of the best special teams players in football. It's because he took so long to become a trustworthy regular-down player. So for most of his first three seasons, Jones -- a rare physical talent -- was playing special teams so that the Pats got something from him. Running around against late-round picks and street free agents? Jones better dominate.

Elsewhere, Alan Greenberg seems somewhat mystified that the Patriots and Jones are parting ways. Michael Parente also weighs in on the trade. WWZN’s Morning Press Box had Nick Cafardo on this morning, and they talked NFL draft. Nick said if he were the Patriots we would not take MaGahee. He then amended that to say he wouldn’t take him in the first two rounds, the third round at the earliest. He says MaGahee is not going to play this year. It’d be a miracle if he did. With the Patriots, if they mess up a couple of draft picks and they’re cooked especially with Tom Donahue in the division who always makes fantastic picks. Is there a more hyped GM than Tom Donahue? His Steelers were always competitive, and always able to restock after losing big free agents each year, but how many Super Bowls did they win? Isn’t that what it comes down to? Donahue is very shrewd with the media and knows how to promote himself so they’ll write and say glowing things about him. A glaring omission on the WWZN interview; they had Cafardo on there, and didn’t ask him about the Tebucky trade. I’m sitting there waiting to hear how Nick will spin it, and they didn’t even bring it up.

Rioting at UNH after the NCAA Championship loss Saturday night. Gary Dennis reports on the 87 people arrested in riots on the Durham campus. Vin Sylvia looks at another disappointment for the Wildcats, and how with each failed appearance the burden increases.

John Molori chats with Michael Andelman about the new 1510 morning show, looks at the TNT crew ripping on the Celtics, tees off on WBZ’s Alan Segal, and toots his own horn on Cedric Maxwell’s number being retired a month after he said it should happen. All in all, a busy column for Molori.

ESPN has Flyers/Maple Leafs at 8:00. ESPN2 has Avalanche/Wild at 7:30 and Red Wings/Mighty Ducks at 10:30. ESPN also has Astros/Giants at 10:00. NESN has AA Sox/Yankees with the Portland Seadogs vs. the Trenton Thunder at 6:00

Sox win, Sox win, Sox

Sox win, Sox win, Sox win.

But not without a little squirming involved. I’ll take it though. God only knows the maelstrom that would’ve been the media had that one been blown last night as well. Finally, we get opening day at Fenway…the sun will be shining, the weather will be warm, and a Pedro will be on the mound. I’ll settle for one out of three, and we may not even get that. You can tell Dan Shaughnessy put at least some thought into his work today. Yeah, he’s negative. But he’s very careful about his wording of what he says about Pedro. He blasts the Sox ace, but does so carefully, as if he’s conscious of the potential backlash he’d get if he treated him like Carl Everett or Jose Offerman. (Mike from Southie points out however, the distasteful line from Dan where he insinuates Pedro should take less money because he comes from the “dirt-poor Dominican Republic”) He ends the column by saying:

Weather permitting, Pedro gets the ball today at 2:05. Let there be no more distasteful contract talk this season. Time to play ball.

I agree. We’re also going to hold you to that. I have a feeling though, every time you mention Pedro this year, the contract will be mentioned as well.

Gordon Edes has the account of the game from last night, noting that this team has offensive power, scoring runs at a pace not seen since the ’01 Sox. 1901, that is. Michael Silverman says that Mike Timlin picked “up his fellow relievers by the scruff of their necks last night.” Timlin tells David Heuschkel that he doesn’t want to hear anything negative around the club, and feels that if everyone would just think positive, the club will use that energy for good. Okay. Howard Bryant says that John Burkett deserves credit as a #5 starter dueling the other teams’ ace to a draw. Bob Hohler looks at the preparations made for today’s opening. Bill Dedman (name is appropriate for this article) looks at the risks the Sox are taking in putting fans so close to the action, noting the odds are increasing that a fan is going to get killed at a ballgame. Keeping on the negative theme, Steve Buckley in a pay column, gives a thumbs down to the changes around Fenway, and the “ballpark experience”. Paul Doyle looks at the Monster seats, and wonders when the owners are going to decide on the long term fate of Fenway. Edes also catches up with Tony Cloninger, who is hoping to be able to contribute soon. He’s been very weak from blood loss. An interesting bit is that one of the players who has called him, twice a week, is former Sox pitcher Rolando Arrojo. Howard Bryant has a pay column in which he notes that in the next tight spot, Grady Little will likely be turning to:

The same 24-year-old Brandon Lyon who failed to live up to the expectations of the Blue Jays, prompting a club desperate for live pitching arms to give up on him? The same Lyon who in 26 career major league games owns an ERA of 5.40, has won 6-of-14 career decisions, and doesn't have a save to his name?

The Sox came up with another revenue stream by reaching an agreement with “Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center that will give the hospital exclusive advertising rights in Fenway Park but will not place the team’s players under the center’s care.” huh? Kevin Gray looks at the changes fans can expect at Fenway. Rob Mueller of the Augusta Chronicle has a feature on the Red Sox other minor league phenom, Hanley Ramirez. Sean McAdam’s notebook looks at who is going to be used from the ‘pen these days in tight situations. (on another note…I’m taking a stand…I will no longer link to Projo articles that omit the author’s name. Not gonna do it…It’s not too much to ask, and I’ve taken grief from assuming an article was written by someone, and it turns out it was someone else’s work. Today I could assume the Sox game story was written by McAdam, but there’s no name, so no link.) Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Kevin Millar looking forward to being a home player at Fenway. Silverman’s notebook looks at the offense, hopefully starting to come around. Edes’ notebook looks at Trot Nixon finally getting on the RBI stat sheet.

Yes, the Celtics game last night could be compared to passing a kidney stone. But rather than blame Walker or Pierce, which some seem to want to do, why isn’t anyone getting on Jim O’Brien for his failure to coach offense? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. O’Brien has done a good job overall. He gets these guys to play hard, they play defense most nights, but they have no offense. Pierce & Walker are not the problem, they’re the only ones who can create any sort of offense on their own on a regular basis. Steve Bulpett, Shira Springer and Carolyn Thornton report on yet another embarrassment on National TV. That’s another thing…has any team ever played as consistently bad on national TV as this squad? Rich Thompson looks at Paul Pierce setting a Celtics record for most free throws made in a season. Paul Harber looks at a tough Philly squad led by Iverson. The Celtics also announced that they will retire Cedric Maxwell’s number 31 sometime early next season. This is the topic of all the notebooks out there. Christopher Price notes that having Red Auerbach sign off on this move was big to Max. Springer’s notebook also has some injury updates and a look at Larry Brown and UNC. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Tony Battie in addition to Maxwell, and Thornton’s notebook gets Danny Ainge’s thoughts on the Eastern Conference. He doesn’t think much of the Celtics.

Stephen Harris says game one of the Devils series seemed to be a microcosm of the entire season for the Bruins. Kevin Paul Dupont says the Bruins effort in game one was good, but they need more in a must win situation tonight. Dan Hickling says the Bruins remain confident that they can get the job done against the Devils. Steve Conroy looks at John Madden, who has been assigned to be Joe Thornton’s shadow in this series. Karen Guregian says Jumbo Joe needs to step up, bring it, and carry this team in the postseason. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at Mike Knuble, who has had his role mixed a little with the return of Samonsov and needs to find a comfort level. The Herald notebook reports that Samonov is still not fully up to speed coming off his injured wrist. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at a remorse Michal Grosek, who made the ill fated pass that led to the Devils’ second goal on Wednesday night.

Tom Curran continues his look at NFL draft prospects, today he has a look at Tennessee receiver Kelley Washington. Michael Smith looks at the ongoing Tebucky Jones trade talk and rumors. He solicits opinion from around the league on Jones, his value and his level of play. Michael Parente notes the match by the Seahawks of the offer tendered to Woodard by the Pats, and catches us up on a few other Pats items. Profootballtalk.com does have a little further snippet on the Konrad story, noting that they’ve heard from a league source that the Pats did express an interest in Konrad at the start of free agency, but that that news doesn’t really clarify anything.

Bob Ryan looks at the Rangoon open…err, the Masters. Chris Snow looks at UNH’s victory in the Frozen Four yesterday, advancing them to the NCAA Championship game. Jeff Jacobs looks at the Hall of Fame’s decision to cancel a ceremony honoring the 15th anniversary of Bull Durham, due to the political views of a couple of the stars. A letter of protest was sent by one of those stars, Tim Robbins.

Bill Griffith reports that the Patriots have dropped Jerry Glanville from their preseason TV crew and replaced him with Randy Cross. He also looks at the Master’s coverage. John Howell looks at Connecticut’s WPOP 1410 sports radio’s new afternoon show with former ESPN staffer Jason Jackson. In The Week That Was, I look at the hot topics on TV and Radio.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Orioles at 2:00. NESN has Bruins/Devils at 7:00. ESPN has Magic/Pacers at 8:00 and Warriors/Suns at 10:30. ESPN2 has Maple Leafs/Flyers at 7:00, followed by Oilers/Stars immediately after. ESPN Classic is showing a Celtics/Bullets playoff game from 1982 at 9:00.

Hmmm, a sign of the

Hmmm, a sign of the apocalypse? A column by Steven Goldman on the YES Network website defending the CBC concept. He notes:

Like the army, baseball is hostile to change. Ironically, there is nothing terribly revolutionary about the Epstein/James headless bullpen concept. It merely asks baseball to recognize that, despite Harold Reynolds' insistence on Sunday's "Baseball Tonight," that the last three outs of the ballgame are not necessarily the hardest. Sometimes the crucible comes in the seventh or eighth. Leo Durocher said, "You don't save a pitcher for tomorrow. Tomorrow it may rain." Similarly, there's no reason to save your best weapon for the ninth when you might not get the lead to the ninth.

(Thanks to John Bakum for the link. I don’t regularly hang out at the YES website…)