Updates on Terry Francona and Curt Schilling, as well as news of the Patriots newest middle linebacker and wide receiver make up today’s top stories. There are also some Celtics stories and some Masters and media columns.
We’ll lead off with a number of updates on Terry Francona. Nick Cafardo and Stephen Smith report in the Globe on the tests done on the Red Sox manager thus far. There is a curious note at the end that has Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi saying his thoughts and prayers are with Terry. Michael Silverman says there was no heart attack and has pieces from Lenny Megliola’s conversation with Terry’s father, Tito. Sean McAdam, David Heuschkel and David Borges also have reports. Steve Buckley (subscription only) says that the call by Francona to go to the hospital and get himself checked out was the smartest move he’s made since becoming manager of the Red Sox.
The other baseball story from yesterday was Curt Schilling making a minor-league start in preparation for a return to the Red Sox rotation next week. Karen Guregian and Chris Snow report on Schilling getting lit up in Indy, but still feeling good and looking forward to joining the big league club. Dan Hickling also has a report on Schilling for the Projo. Jeff Horrigan looks at tonight’s starter, Bronson Arroyo, who is looking to build on his 2004 season. Jim Donaldson does his version of the “thoughts” column, and as usual, they’re all jumbled.
Did anyone else find it amusing that Trot Nixon, who had been so critical at the start of spring training of Alex Rodriguez and his offseason workout regimen, was on the bench Opening Night with overpowering lefty Randy Johnson on the mound for the Bronx Bombers? Say what you want about A-Rod, but he doesn't ride the pine when a dominating righty is pitching.
Um, yeah, ARod’s got that going for him alright. Did that paragraph even make a modicum of sense? John Tomase looks at Mariano Rivera’s Blown Identity. Nick Tavares says that baseball has returned just in time. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) writes that we should expect a lot next Monday at Fenway for the opening day and ring ceremonies. We should also expect that someone on the Red Sox is going down in retaliation to Mike Timlin hitting Jeter this week. Callahan also refers to Pedro as “The arrogant SOB”. Callahan will be making another appearance on ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters” this Sunday. Snow’s notebook leads off with word that Derek Lowe will be in town for the ring ceremony on Monday. Horrigan’s notebook has Keith Foulke saying that while he doesn’t feel bad for Rivera, he does understand what he’s going through.
While all the other football writers have stories on David Terrell’s conference call with the media yesterday, Mike Reiss reports on the Patriots agreeing to terms with free agent middle linebacker Monty Beisel last night. Reiss’ blog has a bit more on Beisel. As mentioned, David Terrell is the subject of all the other football articles this morning. Jerome Solomon says that the receiver is looking for a rebirth in New England. Kevin Mannix wonders if this signing can be the equal of th Rodney Harrison or Corey Dillon signings of previous offseasons. Tom E Curran says that Terrell “has swaggered like a superstar but produced like a glorified scrub” but is looking to turn things around. Matt Eagan says that the prospect of working with Tom Brady again was the factor that swung Terrell over to the Patriots. Michael Parente says that Terrell is ready to put his checkered past behind him. Christopher Price says that Terrell, like Corey Dillon before him, is ready to come in, shut his mouth and go to work. Tom King writes that Terrell will settle for any role with this team, and is glad to be with World Champs and his college QB.
Steve Bulpett has Danny Ainge declaring that he wants to be here in Boston and finish the job he has started with the Celtics. His contract runs through the end of next season and Ainge had previously turned down an offer from ownership for a two year extension. Shira Springer looks at the Celtics push for home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, they have a 1/2 game lead on Indiana, and play the next three games on the road. Michael Parente looks at Delonte West stepping up and working with the Rhode Island Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Bill Griffith looks at the tradition of CBS and the Masters, and has a number of other media notes including Andy Gresh doing an overnight shift at WFAN. John Howell also looks at CBS and the Masters. Jim Baker looks at the media over-saturation of the Red Sox.
I usually enjoy many of the WEEI parody skits that appear during the Big Show and other programs, however yesterday around 4:45, they had a skit that I found totally offensive and disgusting. It was a parody of Fever Pitch, but instead called “Beaver Itch”. It crossed the line of good taste by a large margin. I was totally shocked that the skit made it on the air in its entirety. It wasn’t like it was a on-line only bit…the promos during commercial breaks of the Internet stream constantly tell us that the online promos are not regulated by the FCC so they “can use foul language, describe naked lesbians and encourage midgets to feel up porn stars” a reference to the Howard Stern show, but the Beaver Itch skit was over the air, not an online thing. The ending where they said the girl had a pet beaver in her purse and asked “What did you think we meant?” doesn’t let them off the hook for such a crass skit. As I said, I usually enjoy the very talented “announcer boy”, but this was just too much.
UPN38 has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. ESPN has Pistons/Magic at 7:00 and Nuggets/Timberwolves at 9:30.