I feel bad for Tigers

I feel bad for Tigers fans. Detroit used to be a great baseball town. The fans there were as passionate and knowledgeable as in Boston or St. Louis. The team has been bad for more than a decade, and now they’re challenging the ’62 Mets for worst team of all time. If you’ve read “Five Seasons” by Roger Angell, you get a glimpse of the Tigers fans during some glory days. It’s in the early 70’s, and three lifelong friends and diehard middleaged Tiger fans are profiled. They get together for games, go to games, keep stats, remember players as far back as the 1930’s. They hang on every word of Ernie Harwell. When Harwell was retiring last year, I wondered about the three fans from Angell’s book. Were they still alive? Were they still into the Tigers as much as they were 30 years ago? What did they think of the hard fall of the team? Oh well, that’s just me.

Jason Varitek was the hands down star of the game last night. He showed all facets of his game. Steven Krasner says Varitek used it all, bat, hands, arm, leg. Gordon Edes wonders if Pedro will pitch a no-hitter this afternoon. Jeff Horrigan acknowledges the effort of John Burkett, who had another strong outing. Kevin Gray also looks at Burkett’s turn in the rotation. Christopher Price looks at the Sox teaching the young Tigers another lesson. Matt Kalman notes that at least one Tiger has had some success against Pedro. Alex Speier looks at “a perfect night for a catcher.” Aaron Harlan looks at Varitek’s contributions last night. Kalman also looks at Varitek’s key play at the plate. Steve Buckley’s pay column today lauds John Burkett, saying he is not a problem in the rotation, but rather a solution. Joe Burris also has a look at Burkett. Price looks at how David Ortiz beating out an infield hit helped spark the nine rally with two out in the eighth inning last night. Harlan says that coming back to Fenway has rejuvenated the offense. Burris also says that Derek Lowe has finally hit his stride. Jeff Goldberg looks at how different media coverage of the Red Sox was just 25 years ago. Horrigan’s notebook says Gabe Kapler could be with the Red Sox as soon as Sunday. Edes’ notebook looks at Freddy Sanchez adjusting to life in the majors. Krasner’s notebook says Wakefield might not miss his turn in the rotation.

Laura Meade Kirk has a look at the festivities that take place outside of Fenway, on Yawkey Way.

Jackie MacMullan looks at Danny Ainge, who finally gets to call the draft day shots for a team, something he’s done in private for many years. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics are hoping someone slides to them, and gives out some possible names to look for. Peter May provides his Mock Draft, and has the Celtics taking Marcus Banks and high schooler Kendrick Perkins. May says about Banks:

Maybe there is no ''deal,'' but don't you think it's pretty convenient that Banks shut it down after working out for the Celtics?

I don’t think that’s true. Reports have Banks working out for at least two teams recently, including Orlando last week. Tim Weisberg says a new era starts tonight, and the Celtics are like a kid in a candy store…with just a few pennies in their pocket. Michael Muldoon says the Celtics want a point guard, or best available player…Shira Springer says that after the top three, the rest is anyone’s guess. Mark Murphy has a similar opinion. Carolyn Thornton looks at some possibilities for the Celtics. Ray Duckler wonders if Matt Bonner could be headed to the Celtics. Jim Baker and MacMullan look at Bob Cousy being honored with an annual award in his name. Springer’s notebook reports that Chris Wallace is no longer a GM candidate in Portland.

What a mess BC finds itself in. Bob Ryan says the Big East is now the Big Least. He confuses me with one paragraph:

The ACC did not invite either BC or Syracuse to its league. The ACC will take the Big East's place as a BCS league and BC is left behind in a football conference that has some big-time poseurs but no real runway models.

Isn’t the ACC already a BCS Conference? Michael Vega reports on the official invite of Miami and Virginia Tech. Bill Reynolds says there will be some huge fallout from this mess. Mike Shalin says that Miami might be hesitant to leap now. Here is the official statement from BC on the matter. Mike Grimala gets reaction on-campus.

Luke Meredith looks at the Nomah Rules.

Bill Griffith looks at Lisa Guerrero joining Monday Night Football.

NESN has Red Sox/Tigers at 1:00. ESPN has the NBA Draft at 7:00. TBS has Braves/Phillies at 7:30.

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Just in case you missed

Just in case you missed the resolution of the big teaser that D&C had this morning, which they hyped up as a national network story, and just cannot get any work done until you find out what it was, the news was that Lisa Guerrero has joined Monday Night Football as a sideline reporter. They had her on as a guest.

Lots of ACC/Big East talk on both WEEI and WWZN, with a little Celtics talk going on WWZN as well. Jim O’Brien was on with Eddie Andelman, and part of the conversation involved Kedrick Brown, who O’Brien says they expect big things of next year. He’s a very hard worker, great person and high basketball IQ. O’Brien admitted that he’s a guy who goes with veterans and tries to win everygame, and that Brown would’ve likely developed much quicker on a team that put him out there for 15-20 every game during his first two years.

Tony Massarotti admitted that Grady Little is not in the upper echelon of managers in the Major Leagues. He said he doesn’t think he’s that good of an in-game manager.

Dale thinks the Big East is D.O.A. with the defection of Miami and Virginia Tech.

Bill Simmons pumps up Luke Walton. (By the way, did anyone else hear Gerry Callahan say “I will now light myself on fire” this morning?) Mike Fine previews the NBA Draft for the Celtics. Part one looks at the mindset of Ainge and the Celtics going in. He lists out his Busts and Booms from Celtics drafts of their history. In the part two of his preview, he looks at some possible picks for the Celtics. Jim Fenton looks Danny Ainge’s own experience with the draft and what he is facing now. Rob Bradford also looks ahead to the draft. Scott Van Voorhis says the Celtics are looking for more investors…but it’s not about the money.

Del Jones looks at how critical Derek Lowe is to the Sox success. Bob Stern says the sleeping giant was awoken last night. Alan Greenwood says the Tiger’s downfall started on the first pitch of the night.

If there was any doubt

If there was any doubt that the early season struggles of Nomar and Lowe are over, David Heuschkel says they should be totally erased now. Bob Hohler adds Kevin Millar into that mix as the bats got hot once again last night. Jeff Horrigan says the effortless dominance of Lowe was the story of the game. Steven Krasner says the Tiger are proving the perfect tonic for the Sox. Brian Fleming provides the Metro Cliff Notes game story. Aaron Harlan says the outfielders might as well sit down when Lowe is pitching well. Tony Massarotti makes the case for Nomar remaining in Boston for his whole career…the park is made for him, the fans appreciate unique talents. Gordon Edes has an interesting article in which he looks at the minor leaguers that have been traded since last year, and how they’re faring elsewhere. Most have struggled, Edes uses these as examples of what Theo will be looking at when he makes a deal in the coming weeks, which will most likely include some of his best prospects. Theo and the Sox have done a good job the last couple years of not giving away phenoms in deals. Michael Silverman looks at Kevin Millar, who continues to pile up the numbers. Millar gets praised now, but does anyone remember the furor over the Sox claiming him over the winter? Eddie Andelman was declaring that Theo could be causing an international incident…and he was serious…baseball experts said Millar was a nice platoon player, but not an everyday type, nor anything special. Harlan also has a bit on Steve Avery, clinging to life in the Majors. Kevin Gray reports on Sox ownership visiting Manchester, NH to announce New Hampshire Day at Fenway. Owner John Henry also addressed many topics concerning the club, including his belief that Nomar, Pedro and Manny will all be here in 2005. Other topics included a trade in the next month, and that the team is looking to add seating at Fenway at the roof box level. Dan Shaughnessy weighs in on the idea of the Bruce Springsteen concert at Fenway, and attempts to connect passages in songs to Boston events and places. Of course, he uses his last line to tell us that the Sox will be out of it in September:

And chances are that by Sept. 6 it'll be time for Bruce to tell us that ''summer's long, but I guess it ain't very sweet around here anymore.''

Silverman looks at preparations being made to protect the Fenway field during that concert. As the Big O calls him, The Hard Hitting Michael Gee says the Tigers are made to face teams in slumps. Krasner’s notebook says that Wakefield might be able to make his next turn in the rotation. Hohler’s notebook looks at the addition of Gabe Kapler. Horrigan’s notebook also reports on Kapler and updates the other injured Sox. Heuschkel’s notebook has similar items.

The NBA draft is tomorrow night and the intrigue continues. Danny Ainge met with the media yesterday Peter May looks at what Ainge and the Celtics could be looking at with picks 16 & 20. I guess Peter doesn’t feel as strongly about anyone this year yet as he did about Tony Parker. Steve Bulpett says no on the roster is untouchable in terms of a trade, including Pierce. Christopher Price reports on Ainge’s session with the media yesterday. Lenny Megliola looks at the Celtics needs, which is just about everything. Mark Murphy runs through a few of the big men the Celtics might be looking at. Bulpett’s notebook has Vin Baker set to play in some games around the country this summer. Shira Springer has Ainge just hoping things fall into place.

Dale & Neumy did talk about the HBO Real Sports segment last night that dealt with Ted Williams and the battle over his remains. Dale got a little mixed up though, when he said the video that showed Ted saying he wanted his ashes scattered with those of his dog Slugger scattered over the Keys was dated six months after the note produced by John Henry and Claudia Williams which said they with their dad wanted to be frozen, in actuality the video came six months after Ted’s appearance at the All Star game at Fenway in ’99. The date of the video was December 20, 1999. The note was dated November 2, 2000. He did correctly mention the caretakers of Ted who said one of them was with Ted for 24 hours a day during the time that the note was supposedly signed by Ted, as he was in the hospital, and that he most definitely did not sign anything during that time…

NESN has Red Sox/Tigers at 7:00. ESPN has Reds/Cardinals at 7:00. ESPN2 has Phillies/Braves at 7:00

Greg Dickerson filled in for

Greg Dickerson filled in for Dale today, and teamed up with Bob Neumeier to interview former major league player Billy Bean, who came out of the closet after his undistinguished major league career ended. Bean talked about the difficulty of being a closeted gay baseball player. He was married, and didn’t realize his sexuality until his late 20’s, and keeping that quiet was a huge burden upon him. A partner of his, who he dearly loved, died before a game, and Bean had to act like nothing had happened, and go to the game and play. Dickerson asked him if he ever felt attraction to any of his teammates, and Bean answered that he had not, because he was able to keep his professionalism and not look at his teammates in that way. He compared it to the radio hosts running after every hot woman walks through the station. Dickerson said he obviously didn’t know their station, because it happens there all the time. Bean still seems uncomfortable about his situation, and would change it all if he could. Bean is not well thought of in some gay circles, as this article from Outsports.com would attest. They do not approve of having him as their “spokesman”.

Eddie Andelman’s expert draft analysis to Danny Ainge: Take a “big high school kid”. That concludes the Eddie Andelman segment of BSMW for today…

Mike Fine says the Red Sox are facing the pressure right now, with tough times upon them. Steve Britt says its time to cut Grady some slack. Alan Greenwood says that Wakefield’s injury just gives the Sox one more thing to worry about. Rob Bradford says that Kevin Millar hasn’t bought into the “sky is falling” mentality.

Michael Parente and Eric McHugh cover the signing of Mike Cloud. Andy Hart of Patriots.com posts some Patriots and NFL notes.

Mike Loftus says that Mike Sullivan had better be prepared for anything. Tom King hopes Sullivan gets a real chance to run the team. Loftus also says that Sullivan is aiming high with this team. Carmine Frongillo says good luck, coach.

I should also mention that yesterday set a BSMW record for page views in a day. Essentially tripling the previous record.

A huge series against the

A huge series against the Tigers? If you listen to sports radio, you know that’s the word. The Big O told us the Sox must sweep the Tigers, or the season is essentially over. Bob Hohler agrees that these games with the lowly Tigers are critical. Paul Doyle says despite some seat squirming in the ninth, the Tigers were what the Sox needed. Joe McDonald says the Sox did what they needed to do, and got the homestand off to a good start. Jeff Horrigan rightly focuses on the injury to Tim Wakefield, who suffered a lower back strain, as the story of the game. Christopher Price gives us the quick and dirty rundown of the game. Lenny Megliola says that at this point, the Sox will take the wins they can get. Tony Massarotti says there is still a lot of work to do. There’s a difference between winning and playing well, he says, last night the Sox just won. With the recent turmoil surrounding the Sox, you’d think it would all be right in Dan Shaughnessy’s wheelhouse, well, he resists the urge, and instead focuses on someone having an even more miserable time, Tiger’s manager Alan Trammell. He throws a little nostalgia in there as well. Michael Silverman looks at the man who replaced Roger Clemens here in Boston, Steve Avery. Alex Speier has a look at Carlos Pena, still full of promise and trying to get his big league stroke working. He is currently rehabbing at Triple A Toledo. Michael Vega looks at Kevin Millar, who rebounded from a rough first couple at bats to have a couple big hits. Mike Shalin has a similar piece on Millar. Silverman also has a piece on the effort of the bullpen last night, which had its usual up and down evening. Joe Sullivan provides some off the wall observations, mostly Red Sox related. Three out of four notebooks agree that Wakefield’s injury was the top entry. Hohler’s notebook asks if he’ll recover as quickly as he did from the last injury. McDonald’s notebook is rather extensive after the initial bit on Wakefield. Doyle’s notebook has Wakefield at day-today and also reports on the Springsteen concert at Fenway later this year. Horrigan’s notebook focuses on Tigers manager Trammell.

The Bruins finally got around to holding that press conference to introduce their new coach yesterday. Though he’ll be the youngest coach in the NHL, Stephen Harris says the team will be looking to him for stability. Douglas Flynn says that while Sullivan is young and relatively inexperienced, he has what it takes to make himself a success. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the appointment. Joe McDonald says that the players know that Sullivan will be able to relate to them. Frank Dell’Apa says that will be a change from the Ftorek days, when many of the players weren’t happy about their relationship with the coach. Michael O’Connor looks at Sullivan’s teaching skills, which he says will make him a success as a coach. Jackie MacMullan says that Sullivan’s late season stint with the big club made an impression with the players and other coaches. Harris gets a little player reaction to the appointment. Flynn also says that defense will be the focus of Sullivan’s team. Dupont’s notebook looks at the B’s management holding a cookout for the season ticket holders.

Dennis and Callahan spent much of their morning discussing one of their favorite topics…scumbags who beat their wives. The target today was Sean Burke, pretty much sealing the fact that the Bruins will not trade for the goaltender. Is this an example of the power of the media? For good or bad…I’m not knocking this, so don’t take this as Bruce hating the media again, because frankly, I don’t want the Bruins to deal for Burke, and if this helps make up their minds, then great. But this is an example of the power that the media can have, after a day of trashing a guy all over the airwaves…you know the topic will spill over to other shows…will the Bruins be a bit hesitant to pull the trigger? I think so.

Steve Bulpett says that Chris Wallace may not be a lock to head to Portland after all, and looks at the trade of Darius Songaila to Sacramento for two second picks. Shira Springer looks at the influx of European players into the NBA. In the article, Danny Ainge says he is not caught up in the Euro craze. Mark Murphy has a tiny look at a couple of wing players the Celtics could be interested in. Jon Wallach wonders who most of these guys in the draft are…In the Globe account of the Songaila trade, I had to laugh at this paragraph:

It was the first trade of the Danny Ainge era, and Songaila's agent, Mark Bartelstein, complimented Ainge on facilitating a deal that would allow the forward a better chance at playing in the NBA. The Celtics' roster probably would have been too tight to afford Songaila a spot next season.

Ok, so the Celtics roster will be too tight to fit the player next season, but the Kings won’t be?

Michael Smith and Christopher Price look at the signing on Mike Cloud by the Patriots yesterday.

Jim Baker looks at tonight’s HBO “Real Sports” episode which has a segment on Ted Williams and has a video of Ted stating he wanted his ashes spread in the Florida Keys. Bill Griffith also looks at the HBO production and has a look at the weekend and other media related notes. In Baker’s pay column, he has Greg Anthony talking about fellow UNLV product Marcus Banks, of whom he says is “the best point guard in the draft and one who’ll be a tremendous impact player” Anthony goes on to say that Banks is “a leader who’s strong, cocky and explosive and who could be the steal of the draft.” John Molori talks with a sports media agent, and also looks at HBO’s boxing coverage.

NESN has Red Sox/Tigers at 7:00

Bob Hohler says the Sox

Bob Hohler says the Sox bats are in a collective slump. Jeff Horrigan looks at the unhappy crew as they wrap up their 2-4 road trip. Steven Krasner says that perhaps the silence of the bats yesterday was predictable. David Heuschkel says the Sox have a lot of work to do starting on their homestand tonight. Tony Massarotti says that it simply looked liked a lot of the Sox just took the day off yesterday. Bob Ryan says that while they’re not hitting, the real problem remains the bullpen. Krasner notes that Saturday’s debacle carried its poison over to yesterday. Massarotti catches up with Pedro Martinez, who isn’t going to lash out at the relievers, at least publicly. Hohler’s notebook says its pretty sad when your pitcher is your best looking hitter. Horrigan’s notebook says second guessing by Grady isn’t going to do any good. Krasner’s notebook says that Kim deserved a better fate yesterday. Heuschkel’s notebook has Theo calling out his team a bit.

The Bruins will trot out Mike Sullivan this morning to introduce him as the new head coach. Kevin Paul Dupont says everyone who knows Sullivan seems to have a high opinion of him and his abilities. Stephen Harris notes that instead of filling the major hole they had coming into the weekend, the Bruins added a new hole instead with the trade of Jozef Stumpel. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at what the Bruins picked up over the weekend in the draft. James Murphy likes the selection of Mark Stuart as the Bruins first round draft pick. Harris’ notebook has some other draft weekend notes, including a hometown kid being drafted by the Bruins.

Shira Springer looks at Jim O’Brien’s thoughts on developing young players. The coach and Danny Ainge seem to have slight differences in opinion when it comes to that topic, but it doesn’t seem to be a big issue. The article also looks at what the Celtics might be looking at in the draft. Mark Murphy looks at some playmakers that the Celtics seem to have their eyes on.

Mike Reiss yesterday said that perhaps the Patriots should part ways with Charlie Weis, if he’s so intent on becoming a head coach, and bring in Tom Coughlin to run the offense for a year.

Howard Bryant’s Boston Uncommon article today (pay access only) looks at the questionable ticket-selling practices used by teams such as the Cubs and the Red Sox. In both cases the practice involves the re-selling of tickets for far above their original value. In the Red Sox case it’s the “SmartFan” Program, used by a number of teams around the league. The killer is the 20% “transaction fee”. He also looks at the simmering rivalry and bad blood between the Red Sox and A’s. Seems the Sox had their eyes on the A’s pitching coach to fill in, and as he is an east coast guy, he was hoping the A’s would allow him to interview. Permission was denied. This adds to the series of incidents between the clubs in recent years. He also honors Larry Doby.

NESN has Red Sox/Tigers at 7:00. ESPN2 has A’s/Rangers at 7:00.