A busy day for links today. Details of a Celtics win, some more opinion on Tedy Bruschi (though no new details really), the passing of a Boston legend, Curt Schilling’s throwing session from yesterday and his testimony before congress today and of course the NCAA tournament which taps off this afternoon. Also, if you haven’t done so already, please take a few moments to make your opinion heard in the 2005 BSMW Awards.
The Celtics squeaked out their fifth win in a row, downing the Toronto Raptors, 110-109. Rookie Tony Allen hit two shots in the final two minutes to help the Celtics escape. “Escape” is a word used in the title of both Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett’s game stories. Lenny Megliola notes that despite the win, the Celtics were “upset” and “frustrated” with how they played. Carolyn Thornton also observes that the Celtics did not play their best, but managed to win anyway. Christopher Price also has a game story from the Fleet. Mark Murphy looks at Tony Allen, who despite getting two big buckets down the stretch, is worried about hearing about a blown defensive assignment during practice today. Kevin Gray looks at NH native Matt Bonner, who has gotten himself a role…and quite a following…with the Raptors. When Danny Ainge reacquired Antoine Walker, Mike Fine (and many others) thought that the Celtics boss had lost his mind. Fine has changed his mind at this point. Murphy also looks at a frustrated Eric Williams in Toronto. Thornton’s notebook also looks at Williams’ frustrations, while Springer’s notebook looks at the former Celtic getting a warm welcome last night. Bulpett’s notebook has Antoine Walker accepting the role and style of play that Doc Rivers wants from him. This would seem to indicate that Walker has in fact changed his game to adapt to this team’s style of play, something that Glenn Ordway adamantly insisted for days was impossible.
Stephen Smith and Michael O’Connor look at the possibility of Tedy Bruschi having a hole in his heart. If this turns out to be true, both articles are actually hopeful that there is at least a possibility that the Patriots linebacker could resume his career. Ian M Clark also looks at the situation and acknowledges the desire we all have to find out what the future holds for Bruschi. Tom E Curran looks at a major source of college talent, not to mention an intellectual resource drying up for Bill Belichick with Nick Saban now in the NFL. Kevin Mannix reports on no deal for Adam Vinatieri and the preseason opponents being announced. Jerome Solomon tackles the same subjects, but in reverse order. Hector Longo looks at North Andover’s own Rob Konrad being out of work after his release from the Dolphins.
Curt Schilling’s throwing session yesterday is the major on-field baseball topic of the day. Michael Silverman, Chris Snow, Sean McAdam, David Heuschkel and David Borges all look at the performance of Schilling during a 63 pitch simulated game. The outing was deemed positive by those involved, though the possibility of Schilling pitching on opening day is still unlikely. The next step for Schilling is to get some time in a spring training game, possibly next week sometime. The notebooks all lead with Johnny Damon being sidelined with cellulitis. Snow’s notebook says the skin infection was a scary sight for Damon. Silverman’s notebook also looks at a sharp outing from Tim Wakefield. McAdam’s notebook follows a similar theme, as does Heuschkel’s notebook. Borges’ notebook also has details of Damon, Wakefield and the win over the Cardinals yesterday. There is also the obligatory “Queer Eye” update from the Inside Track.
In case you didn’t hear, the Steroid hearings before Congress are today. Bob Hohler looks at Congress criticizing baseball’s steroid policy. Howard Bryant (subscription only) also has a look today at the loophole in the policy which allows the commissioner to either hand a 10 game suspension to a first time offender, or fine him $10,000 and not name him at all. Tony Massarotti says today is an instance of sports and reality colliding. John E Mulligan looks at how the chairman of the committee, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III is a baseball fan, having spent a lot of time at Fenway park back in the 1960’s. Dan Shaughnessy has Tony LaRussa continuing to defend Mark McGwire.
The Hartford Courant has a preview section of the men’s and women’s NCAA tournament. Kevin McNamara provides a quick preview of the tournament for the ProJo. Jackie MacMullan has a good feature on Boston College head coach Al Skinner. Mike Shalin has Skinner saying that BC must perform well for him to be satisfied with how far they go and the season. Bob Ryan has a piece on former BC assistant Bruce Pearl, now the head man at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. One night as a BC assistant, he had to fill in as the mascot. Michael Vega says that entering the tournament with a low profile might actually benefit BC. Shalin’s notebook has BC being careful not to overlook Ivy League opponent Penn. Vega’s notebook has Jermaine Watson pronouncing himself ready to play, but the coach reserving judgment on that score.
Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the decision facing college hockey players, who have no NHL right now to move on to.
Top 5 Links from Yesterday
CBS has the NCAA tournament all day and evening. TNT has Lakers/Heat at 8:00 and Kings/Warriors at 10:30.