This is one of the mornings where I’m glad I couldn’t listen to WEEI in the morning. I blissfully missed out on all the Butch from the Cape retrospectives on Dennis & Callahan. For a pair who loves to liberally use the word “scumbag” in their vocabulary when describing people, their devotion and praise of the late Tommy Speers is nothing short of hypocritically nauseating. For those who don’t remember, the Hartford Courant on October 18, 2001 ran a piece by Edmund H. Mahony, which chronicled Speers’ history of shady and illegal activities. The article is now in the archives, but here is a snippet from that piece:

During a number of interviews in the 1980s, Speers said he was hired by the newspaper in Waterbury to collate sports scores delivered to the newsroom by wire services. He was fired when the editors discovered he was doctoring the scores to cover bets he made with local bookies.

Tossed out of the news business, Speers embarked on a career that terrorized bookmakers and sports bettors in Connecticut for more than two decades. This is how he said it worked: He would assume a false identity. A favorite was "Terry Conlon,'' a banker new to the state. Then he set out to ingratiate himself with a bartender or bookmaker or anyone else who looked willing to take a bet.

He bet small to begin with, paying when he lost and collecting when he won. But as his credit increased with whoever was taking the bets, Speers raised the limit. Eventually, the bet was $5,000 or $10,000, a big sum in the 1960s and '70s. If Speers won, he collected. If he lost, he disappeared. It wasn't long before a lot of people in a lot of saloons were looking for Terry Conlon, a bespectacled banker in a conservative suit.

That’s just a little bit. There’s plenty more good reading if you’re inclined to plunk down $2.50 to purchase the article from the Courant archives. Good guy for D&C to honor each year on St. Patrick’s Day. So next time you hear John and Gerry rail on and make judgments against someone just keep in mind that these two characters themselves: 1) Were suspended for making racially insensitive remarks, and 2) Annually honor someone who had a background and history worse than many of the people they pass judgment on during their “headlines” segment.

The Bruins came up with a huge road win last night in Toronto, clinching a playoff berth in the process. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Steve Conroy and Dan Hickling provide the details. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at progress made by Andy Hilbert. Conroy’s notebook looks at the huge game (both Bruins’ goals) by Travis Green. Hickling’s notebook has a look at PC Alum Tom Fitzgerald.

John Lynch will be visiting the Patriots tomorrow. Mike Reiss and Tom Curran look at what could be an intriguing player to the Patriots. Of course, the possibility is there that the Patriots are trying to drive up the price for the Jets, who are also rumored to be in the hunt. Speaking of the Jets, they have imposed a media silence upon themselves, especially Herm Edwards and Terry Bradway. It seems a feeling among the Jets organization is that they’ve spent too much chatting it up with the media, and not enough time on strategy. They’re also feeling a bit burned by the press. Another example of the Patriots style being emulated? Will there be fallout in NY from this? Michael Felger also has a pretty good notebook today, looking at the challenges facing Romeo Crennel and the defense, and publishing some very interesting quotes from Rodney Harrison, who takes a different stance then Ty Law when it comes to what he is looking for in goals and salary.

Nick Cafardo has a look at how Terry Francona is settling into his job as Sox manager. Michael Silverman says that with Trot Nixon still recovering, the Sox are thinking of putting Manny into right field, at least until Nixon is fully recovered. Bob Hohler takes a look at Anastacio Martinez, who seems to have a pretty decent shot at coming north with the big club, due to a couple injuries to other bullpen pitchers. Sean McAdam looks further at injuries plaguing the Sox and what they’re doing to patch holes. David Heuschkel looks at comments by Curt Schilling and Johnny Damon regarding steroids, breaking the gag order issued by Bud Selig. David Borges looks at whether David Ortiz can follow up last year with an encore performance. Tony Massarotti looks at Barry Larkin, who has never filed for free agency during his 18 year career. He’s all about the laundry. Jeff Jacobs spouts about “false prophets” who talk about wanting to bring the Expos to Connecticut. Hohler’s notebook looks at the possible move of Manny to right. Silverman’s notebook says that Bronson Arroyo might be the pitcher for the Fenway opener. McAdam’s notebook follows the same theme.

Things got a little “spirited” in practice for the Celtics yesterday. The links are over at Fox Sports Net.

FSN has Celtics/Nuggets at 7:00. ESPN has Blazers/Pacers at 7:00 followed by NIT action at 9:30 with LSU/Oklahoma. ESPN2 has NIT action with Purdue/Notre Dame. NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 1:00 and Hockey East playoffs at 5:00 with BU/Maine and 8:00 with UNH/UMass.