The Bruins bandwagon continues to steam on, picking up fans as it goes along. Last night they upended the Senators 4-2. Stephen Harris says that this team is clearly forging an identity. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell notes that the team followed the urging of its coach and went right after the Senators from the beginning. Douglas Flynn writes that all the pieces are falling into place for the Bruins. Joe McDonald says that the Bruins appear to be poised to make a run at the Cup. Ron Indrisano examines the return of Patrice Bergeron to the ice for the B’s. Steve Conroy looks at P.J. Axelsson, who though not scoring as of late is contributing to the Bruins success in other ways. Steve Buckley has a pay column looking at the quiet confidence of 23 year old Andrew Raycroft as he prepares for the challenge of playoff hockey. Conroy also writes about Glen Murray, who notched his 30th goal of the season last night. James Murphy wonders if this is the year for the Bruins. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at Brian Rolston, who has had his scoring opportunities lessened as his role has changed. Harris’ notebook also looks at the return of Bergeron. McDonald’s notebook has more on the 18 year old Bergeron.
Michael Silverman says that Pedro is “happy” with how talks between himself and the Red Sox went yesterday. Howard Bryant has a pay column in which he says that Nomar now has all the leverage in talks with the Sox, who misjudged the market price for Miguel Tejada. He also looks more at the steroid issue and how Johnny Damon got himself in a little hot water for his comments. Nick Cafardo and Jeff Horrigan look at how Gabe Kapler is adjusting to learning how to play third base. Gordon Edes has the obligatory steroid article for the day. Sean McAdam and David Borges write about Rhode Island’s own Rocco Baldelli, looking to follow up his strong rookie year. David Heuschkel has a look at Keith Foulke, getting himself up to speed and into form. Tony Massarotti says tonight’s Red Sox/Yankees spring matchup will have a bit less hype than the first one. Christopher Young does his best to inject some negativity into a pretty positive spring. Horrigan looks at the progress of Dave McCarty. Borges also looks at Derek Lowe breezing through his start yesterday. Cafardo’s notebook has a look at the talks between the Red Sox and Nomar. Horrigan’s notebook and McAdam’s notebook also look at the start by Lowe yesterday. Borges’ notebook has Lou Piniella speaking about the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry.
Michael Felger reports on the Patriots bringing in 340 lb Keith Traylor for a meeting and physical yesterday. Traylor would not be a replacement for Ted Washington, but could possibly add some girth to the defensive line. Ron Borges may mock the Herald as “Patriots Daily”, but I didn’t see this reported in his paper.
Celtics links including a couple pieces by Jackie MacMullan, can be found over at Fox Sports Net.
NESN has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00. ESPN has Mavs/Pacers at 8:00 and Kings/Lakers at 10:30. ESPN2 has the NIT at 7:00 and 9:00. ESPN Classic is commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Larry Bird/Magic Johnson 1979 NCAA Final with the Final Four games of Michigan State/Penn at 5:00 and Indiana State/DePaul at 7:00, followed by the final of Michigan State/Indiana State at 9:00. Then they are showing the Larry Bird “SportsCentury” at 11:00.
Michael Holley addresses the Ty Law situation, noting how Law is just getting himself in deeper and deeper and looking worse each time he opens his mouth. He debunks a few claims made by Law about what is happening here and manages not to throw colleague Michael Smith under the bus in the process. Gerry Callahan has a pay column about the same situation, noting that:
Law has been on his "Get Rich Or Die Trying'' Tour for a few weeks now, and most Patriots fans are wondering when he'll start making sense. He has no real leverage. He is making $8 million a year, more than the franchise tag number for cornerbacks. He still probably has some of the staggering $14 million bonus he got five years ago. He is coming off a great season, but this is the first time in years that he would not be classified as dramatically overpaid. At this point, Uncle Junior seems to be thinking more clearly and acting more sensibly than Law.
Callahan says that his scheme might work, but the bottom line is that Law isn’t going to get his money here. I find it somewhat amusing when Law mentions the Eagles as a team he’d like to go to. Their acquisitions of Jevon Kearse and Terrell Owens aside, that is the franchise that might just be the most like the Patriots in the NFL. They’re let players go over the years rather than give out big contracts, and they keep winning each year. The Patriots also announced their opponents for the 2004 Preseason yesterday. Michael Felger has a Patriots notebook looking at the schedule and a couple other items.
Sean McAdam says today could be a critical day in contract talks between the Red Sox and Pedro Martinez. There are concerns from the Sox about Pedro’s velocity this spring, but it’s mentioned that Pedro might be holding back because talks aren’t going well and he doesn’t want to risk injury. Michael Silverman looks at a regular season style performance from Curt Schilling yesterday. David Borges says a team with Schilling is never dull. Nick Cafardo looks at Brian Daubach and Kevin Millar, still outsiders from the players union after all these years. Tony Massarotti says that Nomar would look great in Dodger blue. David Heuschkel looks at the spring performance of Bobby M. Jones for the Sox. The Projo Notebook looks at a stellar performance by Odalis Perez against the Sox yesterday. Silverman’s notebook says that Ramiro Mendoza’s spring debut has been pushed back again. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the high number of pitches thrown by Schilling.
Steve Conroy looks at Travis Green picking things up lately after a slow start. Marvin Pave has Patrice Bergeron anxious to get out and starting playing again. He tested his injured shoulder by pounding it up against the glass in practice and also asked one of his teammates to rough him up a little. Conroy’s notebook has more on the Bruins’ rookie.
A couple of Celtics links are over at Fox Sports Net.
Bill Griffith looks at WEEI’s expansion plans. Boston Radio Watch also reports on the purchase by Entercom of 103.7 FM. I’ve gotten a number of emails from last night and this morning wondering about further expansion. All corners of New England are interested in expansion. A Vermont emailer noted there are rumors of a couple Burlington based stations with very wide coverage available for sale. Another emailer noted the lack of signal in extreme Western MA, near Springfield. He said that the WEEI slogan of “from Watertown to Worcester to Wilbraham” isn’t all the accurate as he can rarely bring in either WEEI or WVEI from Wilbraham.
Bob Ryan looks at the NCAA tourney thus far.
NESN has Bruins/Senators at 7:00.
WEEI announced today that they will be extending their programming to the Providence market with the purchase by Entercom of 103.7 FM WWRX. The plan is for all WEEI talk shows to be broadcast on that frequency starting in the first week of May.
Why Providence? There are probably a number of reasons, one being the WEEI signal doesn’t travel all that well south and west. Second, Providence is the home of The Score sports radio, which has both an AM and FM signal and is probably a bigger competitor to WEEI than WWZN is. This is like a hostile takeover of the airwaves of their competition. Third, it extends the signal closer to the borders of WFAN in New York City.
I would hope to hear an announcement shortly from WEEI about additional purchases in middle and northern Maine, NH and VT. Even better would be the announcement of Internet streaming, which as noted last Friday, is something that is supposed to be on the way as well.
BC’s run in the NCAA tournament ended in the second round yesterday, dropping a very winnable game to Georgia Tech. Michael Vega and Mike Shalin wrap up the game for us, a 57-54 loss out in Milwaukee. The Eagles had the ball, down one with 12 seconds left and turned it over. Bob Ryan says this wasn’t the best BC hoops team he’s ever seen, but it could play with any of them. Michael Gee looks at Craig Smith assuming responsibility for the season ending loss.
As we come into the final two weeks of spring training, roster spots are still up for grabs. Sean McAdam looks at those who have all but guaranteed themselves a spot on the final roster. Michael Silverman looks at the open utility and bullpen spot that are still being contested. Nick Cafardo looks at those who will be going all out over the next two weeks to earn a spot. David Heuschkel and Tony Massarotti look at lefty Frank Brooks, who made his Sox debut yesterday. John F.J. Sullivan says that the “curse” is a self-fulfilling prophecy. David Borges says that when Trot Nixon is ready to play, he’ll likely start the season in Pawtucket. Massarotti says that Sox have some good prospects. Cafardo’s notebook looks at a sharp performance by Bronson Arroyo yesterday. McAdam’s notebook and Silverman’s notebook follow a similar theme.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that the Bruins have made great strides this season, in great contrast to last year’s squad. Steve Conroy says that the Bruins are ready to take on a challenging stretch of the season. Russ Conway takes a look at the games teams play with injury reports at this time of the year.
No Celtics games until Friday. However, links will continue each day over at Fox Sports Net.
David Scott wraps up NCAA coverage, Sunday night sports shows and Bob Ryan’s seemingly incurable foot in mouth disease. Rudy Martzke says that Ryan received a slap on the wrist for his comments on ESPN Radio last week.
From last week, The Hardball Times’ Alex Belth has an interview with the Herald’s Howard Bryant.
Joe Sullivan reports on Bethel Johnson and Ty Warren showing off the Lombardi Trophy in Manchester yesterday.
ESPN and ESPN2 are carrying the NCAA women’s tournament tonight. ESPN2 mixes in NIT coverage with Oklahoma and Michigan at 9:00.
Sunday Evening Links from Len
David Scott has a Sunday version of Scott’s Shots.
It appears that Bob Ryan is at it again with his tasteless remarks. Mike Organ of The Tennessean has the story of Ryan’s Wednesday’s performance on ESPN Radio’s Tony Kornheiser Show where old Bob claims that Vanderbilt “has too many white guys” to beat Western Michigan. One would think that Ryan would learn from making these idiotic politically incorrect statements on the air. Would The Globe editors let this stuff get through? In any case, does Ryan even realize that European teams are winning gold medals in the Olympics these days? By the way, Vanderbilt is in the Sweet 16 and Ryan is just fortunate that he’s going to get away with this one.
CBS-4 actually showed two different games at the same time without splitting the screen. They switched the analog broadcast from the Kansas-Pacific game to the Pittsburgh-Wisconsin game and left the Kansas-Pacific game on its high definition broadcast.
Sunday Links from Len
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell explains how the Bruins came back from 3-0 to beat Tampa Bay 5-4. Kevin Paul Dupont compares Michael Nylander to Adam Oates. Stephen Harris also has a look at Nylander who has missed most of the season with an injury and is just now trying to find his groove. Steve Conroy has a Bruins Notebook with a look at the slumping Brian Rolston who finally found the net yesterday and the hard hitting Nick Boynton.
Tony Massarotti contrasts Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez. We learn that Schilling doesn’t train “wicked hahd” during the off-season. Tony Maz also has a feature on David Ortiz, who is all business and looking great at the plate going into a contract year. Gordon Edes also has a look at Ortiz with favorable comparisons to Mo Vaughn. Perhaps the Red Sox should worry about keeping the very productive David in Boston rather than being so concerned with players with more marquee value. Michael Silverman has a Red Sox Notebook with a look at BH Kim who will begin the season on the DL and Keith Foulke who was roughed up in his second inning yesterday. Bob Hohler has the Globe’s Red Sox Notebook with the news that Bronson Arroyo will be starting the Fenway home opener and that active union members of the Mets are quite upset with Schilling’s statements about wanting steroid testing in baseball. Glavine and others will learn the same thing Red Sox fans are learning about Curt Schilling. That is that Schilling loves baseball and he loves to articulate his views on all aspects of the games to the fans. Gordon Edes has an excellent Notebook today with a more in depth look at Schilling, amontg other topics.
Ron Borges has an NFL Notebook focusing on Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, and some ex-Patriots. Michael Smith tells us that John Lynch, who was not offered a contract by the Patriots, may not wind up with the Jets either. He could be headed to Denver. Michael Felger provides an analytical look at the value of Ty Law today with quotes from NFL personnel guys who don’t rank Law as the best cornerback out there. Felger also believes that the organization hasn’t forgotten about the incident in which Law embarrassed the organization in which he was detained at the Canadian border with the drug ecstasy in December 2000. By the way, today’s stops on the Hungry Man Tour are with Stephen A Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer and ESPN’s Sportscenter with a featured interview which will be shown more than once today. This could be a new reality show for FOX – My Big Fat Obnoxious Cornerback. Vic Stellino has another outstanding edition of his NFL Confidential column for the Jacksonville Times-Union.
John Powers reports on the heartbreaking triple overtime 2-1 loss for UMass to Maine in the Hockey East Championship at the Fleet Center last night. March Madness finally produced some big upsets yesterday as we hit the second round. BC takes on Georgia Tech at 2:15 on CBS-4. Bob Ryan has a look at BC coach Al Skinner. Skinner has done an incredible, if unrecognized job at BC.
The Celtics continue their expected troubles on their Texas road trip. They were blown out by San Antonio last night. Shira Springer has a game story. Springer also has a Notebook with Paul Pierce hoping the Celtics bring Dennis Johnson back home to coach the team.
UPN-38 has the Red Sox-Orioles game at 1 PM. CBS-4 has March Madness all day. FOX-25 has NASCAR at 1 PM.
Bonus NFL Links from Len
Barry Jackson reports that David Boston could be damaged goods and that Adewale Ogunleye may hold out.
Bob Glauber explains that John Lynch could be a Jet very soon.
Jeff Legwold says that the Falcons are tired of waiting and have withdrawn their offer to Billy Volek. That leaves the Bills as the lone suitor for Volek. Let the Bledsoe-Volek quarterback controversy begin in Buffalo.
Vito Stellino writes a very good NFL Sunday column for the Jacksonville Times-Union. In explaining the Tampa Bay situation with John Lynch a little more honestly than Ron Borges, he provides the following:
Naturally, the decision of former Raiders coach Jon Gruden and front office executive Bruce Allen to send Lynch packing didn’t go over well. A Tampa Tribune columnist wrote: “Sure, football is a business. But this was brutal. With all the delicacy of a Sopranos whacking, Raiders East stuck one of its growing collection of long knives in Lynch’s back. The Shock and Awe campaign rolls on.” Here
Saturday Links From Len
BC, led by Craig Smith, beat Utah 58-51 to advance in the NCAA tournament. Next up is Georgia Tech on Sunday. Michael Vega and Mike Shalin have game stories. Bob Ryan writes about Jermaine Watson of the Eagles who plays with a lot of heart and is just a very good athlete. PC lost to Pacific. While it may be considered to be an upset, PC has been in a three-week slump and ending the season on a four game losing streak. Kevin McNamara has the game story.
Bob Hohler has a look at injuries to Nomar Garciaparra and Trot Nixon and the effect they will have on the Red Sox lineup. Pedro Martinez had another uneven performance but finished strong in his outing yesterday. Hohler has a look at Pedro, Gabe Kapler, and some cuts in his Notebook. Nick Cafardo has in depth look at injuries and points out that injuries to some provide opportunities for others like they did for . . . . . (shhhhh!!!) Tom Brady.
The Celtics were crushed at Dallas 120-104. Shira Springer has the game story.
Tom Curran provided the best analytical look at the Ty Law situation yesterday. It was a pretty measured response to the provocative Ron Borges column. But Curran points out that the biggest loss here just may be the loss of dignity for Law. Curran calls the current Law tour of interviews to be the “Hungry Man Tour” in light of Law’s statement about honoring his current contract, “Everyone’s gotta eat.” By the way, Borges would do better to bolster his credibility if he got the facts right. According to Ron, the Bucs offered John Lynch a paycut. Well, that’s kind of backwards. Lynch offered to take a paycut. The team refused and just cut him. Borges tried to compare this to the case of Lawyer Milloy. The Patriots did not want to cut Milloy. They continued negotiating with him and even thought they had a deal. The cases of Lynch and Milloy are apples and oranges. That is a foolish comparison by Borges.
NESN has the Bruins hosting Tampa Bay at Noon. FSN has the Celtics at San Antonio at 8:30 PM. CBS-4 has NCAA hoops beginning at Noon. NESN has the Hockey East Championship Game at 7 PM and that is UMASS in the game and not BC. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No links this morning due to technical difficulties. Hoping to make up for it this afternoon by passing along some items of note in the sports radio world.
First, indications are that WEEI will most definitely be streaming on-line again, at some point. That actually should be sooner rather than later, but stay tuned for that. It may initially only be The Big Show, as I’m told that Glenn Ordway has a specific clause in his contract that calls for his show to be streamed/networked. If it doesn’t happen, there are penalties involved. They’re hoping to stream all the local programming, but it will probably start with the Big Show.
During times that the Red Sox or other games take the Internet stream down, they’re looking to fill the stream with Interviews and “Instant replay” type material.
Streaming is the first priority for WEEI, but there are number of other initiatives that the station is working on. After they get the streaming going they’ll focus on some other projects. These include syndicating (networking) the Big Show to other stations around New England. Another possibility, though not right on the front burner, is working something with FSN to get the Big Show televised like Mike and Mad Dog do on the YES network.
Some people have emailed and noted that the Whiner Line has seemed a bit more “tame” in recent weeks. Well, let’s just say that Howard Stern isn’t alone in struggling with the FCC. I’m guessing that WEEI is self-policing itself in this area, not wanting to provoke the wrath of the Feds, and have not actually been censored in any way…
As for WWZN, the new shows that are being added are not because the station is spending more money to improve programming. What the station is doing is selling, or even giving airtime to personalities (or producers or salesmen) and allowing them to sell advertising and try to make a few bucks off the endeavor. Not a sound strategy for long term success, but then again, the Celtics contract is about the only thing keep WWZN afloat these days. But who knows, they might even come across a discovery or two in the process.
While Ty Law continues to attempt to shoot his way out of town, he’s being ably assisted by his personal newspaper, the Boston Globe. You know, I could just go off on this again…but what’s the point? Pointing out inconsistencies and hypocrisy in Ron Borges columns is easier than shooting fish in a barrel. Today’s column by Foxboro Ron – Minister of Misinformation – has more holes than a Dunkin Donuts store. I’ll admit though, it takes some stones to say in the same article that reckless spending doomed the franchise in the late 90’s, and then say that not writing the exorbitant checks for Law, Woody, Washington, etc now will cause the downfall of the franchise this decade. You know what? I’ve wasted enough bandwidth on this subject already. Just ignore him. By the way, if you’re into viewing car wrecks on the side of the highway, here is a transcript of Law’s interview with James Brown. How bad is it for Borges? Heck even Buddy Thomas gets it. Michael Felger has a look at Mike Vrabel taking home a well-deserved honor from his teammates. Ian M. Clark has a look at Troy Brown visiting Manchester, where he didn’t really want to talk about Ty Law. He indicated that when his time comes, he’s going to go out with his head up and a smile on his face. Tom Curran has a quick bit noting that it appears that David Patten is still in the plans for the Patriots. Apparently the franchise didn’t try to cheat him out of his roster bonus. Borges’ notebook has a look at the visit to Foxboro by John Lynch.
By the way, after blasting D&C yesterday for the Butchie thing, they were enjoyable this morning in taking on Borges.
Tony Massarotti looks at Curt Schilling adding a cut fastball to his repertoire. Nick Cafardo says any Schilling outing on the mound is an event. Dan Shaughnessy is discouraged by his job today. It’s no fun reading about and reporting on the steroid scandal involving Major League Baseball. Sean McAdam has Red Sox reaction to Selig’s plan for steroid testing. The Herald also looks at the Red Sox skepticism to the proposed plan. David Heuschkel and David Borges say that Curt Schilling and Jason Varitek have met their match in each other when it comes to game preparation. Massarotti also looks at Lou Merloni, trying to make the Indians opening day roster. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the recovery process for Trot Nixon. Michael Silverman’s notebook says that there is a slot open in the Red Sox bullpen for someone to step in and claim. McAdam’s notebook has more on the outing by Schilling.
Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the outstanding play of the Bruins “rookie” goaltender, Andrew Raycroft. Karen Guregian looks at the play of the second line as a key to the Bruins’ success. Dupont’s notebook says Sergei Samsonov is itching to play tonight, Guregian’s notebook says that Patrice Bergeron might not be far behind.
Celtics came up with a win against Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets last night. The links and details are over at Fox Sports Net.
ESPN has Bruins/Wild at 7:30. TNT has Pistons/Nets at 7:00 and Timberwolves/Spurs at 9:30. CBS tips off coverage of the NCAA tournament at Noon.