Tough night at the Fleet

Another Monday is here. The Celtics lost a tough one last night, and the Red Sox gear up for the first meeting of the exhibition schedule with the New York Yankees. That’s about it for the sports news of the day. In the links today we’ll have the coverage of those two happenings, a surprising number of articles from Bill Burt’s crew up in Lawrence, and another edition of Media Blitz.

The Celtics lost a heartbreaker to Kevin McHale’s Timberwolves last night at home. Latrell Sprewell hit a baseline runner with under a second left to give Minnesota a 99-97 victory over Boston. The details are provided by Peter May, Steve Bulpett and Carolyn Thornton in the game stories. One of the major subplots to the evening was the debut in Boston of Kevin McHale as coach of the T-wolves. This was his ninth game since taking over the bench job, and he is now 5-4. Mark Murphy and Lenny Megliola have pretty similar article, but Dan Shaughnessy’s piece is the best of the trio. I can say that whenever he writes about someone involved with the 1980’s Celtics, I usually enjoy it. He was around the team as a beat writer, and in my only conversation with him, reflected fondly on that era. Murphy also reports on Paul Pierce losing the ball with 26 seconds left and the score tied. A couple good pieces from the weekend suburban papers, Bill Burt talked to Atlanta Hawks announcer Steve Holman about the maturation of Antoine Walker, and what he was like with Atlanta. Mike Fine had a piece on Celtics rookie Delonte West. May’s notebook looks at former Pitino-era Celtic John Thomas, who is back in the NBA with Minnesota and scored 12 points last night. Bulpett’s notebook has word that Al Jefferson was benched for the second half last night because of a lack of defense. Thornton’s notebook has more on coach Kevin McHale.

Is tonight’s Red Sox/Yankees exhibition baseball game really a big deal? Gordon Edes says the arrival of the Yankees provides a little extra excitement to the early schedule. Steven Krasner and David Borges have more on the first meeting of the two organizations since October. David Heuschkel says that this one matters to the fans, while Paul Doyle chronicles all that has happened since game 7. Chris Snow also takes a look at what this “game” means to the fans.

Now that those are out of the way, Tony Massarotti says that Terry Francona is a happy man this spring, and not feeling the pressure that he did last year. Alex Speier says that Byung-Hyun Kim needs a big spring to emerge with a job with the Red Sox. David Borges looks at minor league pitcher Barry Hertzler, an East Providence native. Christopher Price looks at the Sox most impressive minor leaguer, Hanley Ramirez, who had a triple play yesterday, something also mentioned by Massarotti. John Tomase looks at what finally winning a World Series will mean for Red Sox fans going forward. Dean Christopher Chiungos wrote yesterday that ERA could be a statistic on its way to extinction. Snow’s notebook has more on the younger Ramirez. Krasner’s notebook and Borges’ notebook both have more on Kim. Massarotti’s notebook says that tonight’s exhibition with the Yankees has “less than zero at stake”.

Yesterday ( a very good sports page for the Eagle-Tribune) Russ Conway had a detailed question and answer session with Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. It’s only 13 questions, but he covers a lot of ground in those questions.

John Molori’s Media Blitz looks at the future of WWZN now that it is no longer for sale.

NESN has Red Sox/Yankees at 7:00. ESPN continues Championship Week with the title games of the Colonial Athletic Association: VCU vs. Old Dominion at 7:00 and the Missouri Valley Conference: Southwest Missouri State vs. Creighton at 9:00. ESPN2 has the Metro Atlantic Conference Championship: Rider vs. Niagara at 9:00.

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