Pats Make it Two in a Row

Thanks to everyone who helped out in the 2005 BSMW Fall Fund Drive. I’ll be selecting the prize winners over the next couple days and notifying the winners.

Just a few items this morning as it’s another busy Monday here.

You can get a lot of your Patriots coverage on the Patriots Daily Links page, with all the headlines from the Globe, Herald, Projo, Reiss’ Pieces and Topix.net stories from yesterday’s win over New Orleans. The Bob Ryan piece on Bill Belichick and his dad is top notch. Michael Felger also did a good job on this. Rob Bradford had a very good article with Belichick recalling the strike of 1987 when he had to piece together a team of replacement players.

Scott’s Shots weighs in with a monster edition from the weekend, including some WFAN/WEEI comparisons, some Deadspin observations, Sunday night sports shows recaps and a number of other items.

John Molori’s Media Blitz talks with Ted Sarandis about BC Basketball and his departure from WEEI, Talks with Dan Shaughnessy about being the villain in the Theo Epstein departure and Bill Griffith’s plans at the Globe.

On the other BSMW Blogs, check out the Patriots Game Day Rear View, Celtics Full Court Press and Bruins Power Play, all of which were updated in the last day.

As noted by Ben yesterday, this piece from Murray Chass in the New York Times yesterday is certainly suspicious and curious. Chass defends Larry Lucchino, talking to the candidates who turned down the Red Sox, noting that they were sure to say that it was for family reasons, not Lucchino that they turned down the club. The suspicious part is of course that the Times is part owners of the Red Sox and appears to have been used as another PR outlet for the club to do some damage control.

You can also check out the NY Sports News and Bay Area Sports for NFL roundups from around the league yesterday and coverage on the Rangers extended the Bruins losing streak.

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Sunday Morning Alert

The Artist formerly known as the Boston Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, crosses into the mainstream with today’s feature by Warren St. John in the New York Times Fashion & Style section. In Scott’s Shots, Dave Scott has a brief comment on the topic.

While you’re over at the New York Times, Murray Chass, in the role of the late Johnie Cochrane, continues his defense of Larry Lucchino. I’d like to avoid any references to any type of cartel, and its likely just a relationship between the two, but, either way, I found it a little unusual to have a column like this in a New York paper. The rough equivalent would be a column from Gordon Edes defending George Steinbrenner’s, or even Randy Levine’s, handling of Joe Torre. Certainly, I could picture Edes providing a synopsis of the goings on in New York but to dig this deep into the topic (including interviewing the candidates who declined the opportunity) in order to make sure everyone is clear that it had nothing to do with Lucchino fuels further questions regarding the Sox administration’s overall emphasis on “spin control” (which, if I’ve correctly digested all the ink spilled on the topic, was the underlying reason behind Theo Epstein’s departure).

A few other notable links from today: (from Bruce)

Tony Massarotti reports that the Red Sox are bidding against the Rangers for Marlins ace Josh Beckett.

BSMW Game Day previews today’s Saints/Patriots game. Check in with Mike Reiss for updates throughout the day. Jim McCabe has a look at the season of turmoil for the Saints. Tom E Curran has a profile of Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.

CBS4 WILL show the Colts/Bengals game at 4:00 after all. They just announced it on the Patriots Gameday Show at 11:30.

Mark Murphy has a good profile of Celtics guard Delonte West this morning. Check the BSMW Full Court Press for recent Celtics commentary.

The BSMW Power Play has thoughts on the recent Bruins trade of Dave Scatchard.

Check the New York Sports News and Bay Area Sports for newspaper coverage from those areas.

Celts Pull One Out

As the Boston Sports Media Watch Fund Drive winds to a close, you can never forget the best nation in the world, the do-nation. Never too late to donate.

The Celtics picked up their fourth win against five losses last night at home against the winless Toronto Raptors. The 0-9 Raptors have some talent but enough weaknesses that a Celts team with weaknesses of their own could scratch out a win. Paul Pierce, Ricky Davis and Mark Blount were relatively consistent in leading the C

BSMW Fall Fund Drive – Final Chance

Here we are for the final weekday of the BSMW Fall Fund Drive. At present we’re about $1200 short of the stated goal for the drive. I’m still extremely impressed by the contributions made and from people’s comments about the site. If you are able today and have not done so yet, please consider sending a donation to the drive. It’s a large part of what keeps this site going and allows me to justify the early mornings and late nights that go into it. Please go to the fund drive home page linked above and check out the prizes. This is the largest number of prizes that we’ve had for a drive, and we might even be able add a few more, the publisher of the book “Mind Game” which looks at the methods and formula used by the Red Sox to win the World Series last year has offered up a few copies of the book as prizes.

Thanks again for your participation and generosity. Prize winners should be notified sometime next week.

The messageboard will be down this morning as we are experiencing some MYSQL errors.

Ron Borges has an outstanding article this morning on Richard Seymour. It’s not so much about the Seymour the player, but Seymour the man. A great glimpse into who he is and what motivates him. Michael Parente has a look at safety Michael Stone, who is not only wearing Ty Law’s old #24, but he’s also filling his shoes…literally. Alan Greenberg looks at Stone and Hank Poteat, two players picked up by the Patriots during this season, who have kept working at making a living in the NFL. Chris Kennedy has a look at Antowain Smith, back in town to face his old mates.

John Tomase looks at the task faced by the Patriots short cornerbacks when it comes to defending taller receivers. Jerome Solomon looks at one of those short DB’s, Ellis Hobbs, who is trying to follow up his first impressive start with another this weekend against the Saints. Ian M Clark notes that this weekend the Patriots should have the same pair of cornerbacks starting the game as they had last week…the first time that has happened all season. Dan Pires looks at Heath Evans, ready to answer the call once again if needed.

Tom E Curran says that the Patriots will spend Sunday looking for the Saints to make a mistake, and then to take advantage of it. Steve Maniaci and Christopher Price write that the Patriots are looking to build some consistency starting this weekend against the Saints. Tomase has an update on Matt Light’s ankle injury (complete with photo). Eric McHugh has more from Tom Brady about life without Dan Koppen.

Solomon’s notebook looks at linebacker Chad Brown, who was used in situational pass rushing last week against Miami and felt comfortable doing it. Tomase’s notebook looks at Daniel Graham, who has been practicing this week, after missing last week’s game with the Dolphins. Curran’s notebook has more on Michael Stone attempting to fill the number and shoes of Ty Law. Parente’s notebook reports on the progress Matt Light is making from his injured ankle.

Jim Lazar and Jim McCabe make their NFL picks for this weekend. Double D and I.M. Bettor also give us their thoughts on some of the weekend action. Patrick Hanrahan and Steve Britt have fantasy updates, and the Globe tells us who’s hot and who’s not.

Rob Bradford looks at the wheels continuing to go round and round on the Red Sox GM search. Michael Silverman reports that Jim Bowden will also get a second interview with the Red Sox, joining Jim Beattie in that category. Chris Snow also reports on that item. Dan Shaughnessy tries to show he isn’t a mere mouthpiece for the ownership, but still comes across as one.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports on the Bruins losing another game in which they were tied in the final period, this time 4-1 to the Maple Leafs. Douglas Flynn and Joe McDonald also report on the loss, which had the Bruins lacking the three P’s in the final period. (Passion, Purpose and Process) James Murphy also has a report on the Bruins suffering another lackluster loss.

Karen Guregian reports that Mike O’Connell is ready to go out and start making some changes to his club, while Mick Colageo says that the GM is content to let thing play out for a little while longer. Frank Dell’Apa looks at the frustration continuing to mount for the Bruins. Flynn has O’Connell extending no guarantees to his players or coach that they will be here the whole season. Joe Haggerty says that it is the familiar woes that keep coming back to bite the Bruins. Guregian has Ray Bourque giving Joe Thornton a thumbs up for his role as captain of the club.

Burrell’s notebook has more on the patience of O’Connell. Flynn’s notebook has rookie defenseman Andrew Alberts making the highlight reel with a crushing hit. McDonald’s notebook has more from O’Connell on his team’s poor start.

Steve Bulpett looks at the Celtics needing to buckle down on defense, an area with has coach Doc Rivers concerned, as his players seem to have let their effort slide on that end of the game. Shira Springer looks at one guy who never lets down on defense, Justin Reed, who enjoys that aspect of the game. Mike Fine notes that the young Celtics bench has been putting a burden on the starters. Springer looks at Tony Allen hoping to test out his surgically repaired knee in practice sometime in the next week or so. Bulpett’s notebook has more on Allen, and the news that Celtic Hall of Famer Frank Ramsey lost his home and nearly all of his basketball memorabilia when a tornado destroyed his home on Tuesday. The 74 year old Ramsey survived the Tornado by taking shelter in a closet next the fireplace.

Bill Griffith looks at how much sports is driving the development of wireless technology. John Howell looks at ESPN’s wall-to-wall coverage of Terrell Owens.

FSN has Celtics/Raptors at 7:30. ESPN has Magic/Cavs at 7:00 and Pistons/Rockets at 9:30. NESN and ESPN2 both are carrying college basketball doubleheaders.

Sonic Boom Lowered on Celtics

We’re onto the last two days of the BSMW Fall Fund Drive and currently sitting 2/3rds of the way towards the goal. Here are some of the benefits the site provides which might be worth a donation from you:

  • Stories from most of the New England papers all in one place.
  • Exposure to different writers, such as ones at smaller papers around the region.
  • When I format the links, I have them point at the full page version of the stories, you don’t have to click multiple times in the same article just to finish reading it. For many people this is another convenience and timesaver that they’ve noted and appreciated.
  • As time permits, there are often transcripts and exact quotes from curious and controversial segments on radio and TV, brought to you, word for word so there is no mistaking what was said.
  • Two other media columns are published on the site each week, (Scott’s Shots and Media Blitz) and we’re looking to add more.
  • The individual team blogs (Patriots Game Day, Celtics Full Court Press and Bruins Power Play) offer an alternative perspective to your local teams and provide some analysis you perhaps hadn’t seen elsewhere.
  • As time permits, columns and commentary on some of the things happening in the Boston sports media. These are designed to give you a better idea of the motivations and intentions behind many of the columns, shows and outright acts that we see in the area today.

These are just a few of the benefits that come from the site. I’m looking to grow the site and make it even better going forward. If you haven’t done so already, please consider helping out the future of the site.

The Celtics came out flat on the second night of a back-to-back and got routed by the Seattle SuperSonics, 113-100 in a game that was nowhere near as close as the final score would indicate. Shira Springer observes that the Celtics were beaten in every phase of the game by Seattle. Mark Murphy notes that even though the Celtics shot 52% from the field, they could not get stops against the Sonics, especially Ray Allen, who had the answer whenever the Celtics started a modest run. Peter May has more on the Seattle running away from Boston on a night where all the signs pointed to a Celtics victory. Scott Souza also has coverage of the Sonic rout.

Steve Bulpett has the story of former Providence College star and short time Celtic Marvin Barnes claiming that he did cocaine while seated on the Celtics bench back during the ’78-’79 season. Murphy looks at the Celtics showing concern over the Tony Allen case, where the second year player was indicted yesterday on three counts of aggravated battery to cause serious bodily harm. Celtics ownership is keeping their option open regarding Allen. Springer’s notebook has more on Allen’s case. Murphy’s notebook looks at the Celtics failure to get the ball inside to their big men.

Russ Hochstein was in the spotlight yesterday at Patriots practice as the lineman will fill in for injured center Dan Koppen for the rest of the season. Jerome Solomon has a look at Hochstein as he prepares for his new role. Alan Greenberg says that Hochstein will now get his wish of being the “director”, a role he wanted in the credit commercial he appears in with his fellow Patriots linemen. Karen Guregian has more on Hochstein. Michael Parente also looks at Hochstein putting in extra work this week to prepare for his center spotlight role on Sunday. Guregian also looks at what losing Koppen means to the entire line. Tom E Curran says that the unit will face a stern test this Sunday against a “mean” defensive line of the Saints.

Bob Ryan looks at Bill Belichick describing the Saints as the best 2-7 team of all time. John Tomase looks at how all the injuries for the Patriots leave Tom Brady with very little margin for error. Jim Donaldson notes that all the injuries are threatening Brady’s well being. Michael Felger says that the Patriots defensive backs are in the process of transforming themselves into a more physical, hard hitting unit. Eric McHugh notes that Ellis Hobbs may be small, but he can play must taller and bigger than his size would lead you to believe. Chris Kennedy looks at the Patriots filling as many gaps as they can with street free agents. Felger has Belichick remaining in the one game at a time mode in dealing with the injuries and setbacks.

Tomase looks at former Patriot Antowain Smith who gets a chance to wear his “big boy” pants in the lead role this Sunday. Christopher Price has more on all the replacement players brought in by the Patriots to fill holes. Tomase’s notebook says that Mike Cloud may see more carries on Sunday. Curran’s notebook has more on Antowain Smith as he prepares to face his former team this Sunday. Solomon’s notebook has the Patriots hoping to win two in a row for the first time this season. McHugh’s notebook says that we should probably assume the worst with many of the injuries, and looks at who is left in the secondary.

Gordon Edes & Chris Snow report on Jim Beattie getting a second look as a Red Sox GM candidate. Michael Silverman also looks at this development. David Heuschkel notes the lack of interest in the position, to the point that the club is having a hard time just finding candidates. The ProJo looks at the Red Sox struggles in finding a replacement.

NESN has Bruins/Maple Leafs at 7:00. TNT has Wizards/Timberwolves at 7:00 and Rockets/Spurs at 9:30. ESPN and ESPN2 have college basketball doubleheaders.

More Injuries, Fewer GM Candidates

We’re coming down the home stretch of the BSMW Fall Fund Drive, and had a pretty decent day yesterday. We’re still well behind pace to meet the goal, but I’m extremely grateful for all the support shown thus far. Three days to go, if you haven’t had to chance to participate yet and get your name in the drawing for the prizes, why not make today your day to show your support for the site.

For much of the game in Auburn Hills Michigan last night, the Celtics showed that they can indeed play with the elite of the league on the road. However it fell apart for Boston in the fourth quarter as the unbeaten Pistons put it together and ran past the Celtics 115-100. Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett have the game stories. Check the stories from Detroit in the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. Bulpett looks at the big minutes being put in by the Celtics stars early on in the season. Springer’s notebook has the Pistons taking their early season success in stride. Bulpett’s notebook has Chauncey Billups speaking about Delonte West and that he can be a very good player in the NBA.

Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider examines one area of the defense that has been missing and causing issues for everything else on that side of the ball…the lack of a pass rush. Nick Cafardo examines the rash of injuries that have decimated the Patriots this season, probing for possible explanations. He gets the plug in there for media friendly former strength coach Johnny Parker as well. Tom E Curran, Chris Kennedy and Alan Greenberg report on two more Patriots being added to the IR list and thus being lost for the season in Randall Gay and Dan Koppen. Felger also reports on the disabled pair of Patriots. Chris Kennedy has a note that the Patriots game will likely not be carried on FOX 61 out of Hartford on Sunday, as the Giants/Eagles game will air instead.

While the Patriots have endured their share of tough luck this season, it’s nothing compared to what the Saints, this weekend’s opponent have been through. Michael Parente looks at a nightmare season thus far for the Saints. Gerry Callahan (subscription only) says that it is time for fans to alter their expectations of this Patriots team. He says we need to get used to the idea that they will not be in Detroit playing for the Super Bowl. He says they can still make us proud however, by going out and winning the division and playing tough for the rest of the season. Lenny Megliola however, is still holding out hope for a Bill vs. Bill, Brady vs. Bledsoe, Patriots vs. Cowboys Super Bowl matchup. Christopher Price has more on the loss of Dan Koppen. Kennedy’s notebook has more on Heath Evans, who carried the load for the Patriots on Sunday. Parente’s notebook has more on the Patriots mounting injury report. Cafardo’s notebook has Duane Starks speaking about those who have trashed him this season, noting that they haven’t had all the facts. Nick is clearly happy that he’s got a Patriot willing to talk to him about these things, though he muddles this one up. Nick says: “Because of the Patriots’ policy on not disclosing the extent of injuries, Starks had to take the criticism while not being able to reveal how hurt he was.” With that shot at the people in charge, Nick basically says that the Patriots hung Starks out to dry. However, the record says otherwise. Looking through Bill Belichick’s press conferences, you find he was about the only one defending Starks, even saying last month that “I think Duane has done a pretty good job”. It’s been outsiders that have made Starks the scapegoat. It almost seems that in Nick’s world, there should be always be an explanation given for poor play…was it injuries, or mistakes on the field? That sort of individual thinking doesn’t fit with how the Patriots have conducted business.

Yesterday Rob Bradford broke the news (and got himself a WEEI appearance) of the top candidate for the Red Sox GM position, Dayton Moore, telling the club that he was removing himself as a candidate. Gordon Edes & Chris Snow have more on Moore removing himself from the running and also give us an update on manager Terry Francona having his knee replacement delayed for 10 days. Tony Massarotti pulls no punches in examining why and how the Red Sox have totally bungled this offseason, and because of their own doing, it appears that no one wants to come and work for them. I enjoyed this incarnation of Evil Tony. Michael Silverman also reports on Dayton Moore pulling out of the running for the GM job. Massarotti also reports on Theo Epstein turning down the Dodgers offer. David Borges examines why Manny Ramirez didn’t get more widespread consideration for the MVP award, despite his fourth place finish.

Lots of baseball talk on WEEI yesterday, and not even that much of the newsworthy items above. Concern was expressed about the starting rotation…in November! Bill Burt said (twice at least) that Matt Clement could go 5-15 next season. I don’t get it. If you’re going to talk baseball, talk about the GM search, talk about potential free agents. Better yet, talk about the teams that are actually playing. If you’re looking for a reason as to why WEEI is slamming the constant Red Sox talk down our throats look no further than the fact that the broadcast rights are coming up for renewal. The station is showing the Red Sox it can keep up constant talk about the team, and put it above all the other teams, even in the offseason, making itself the most attractive suitor for the club to put its games on for the future. People are calling up the station on certain shows wishing to talk about the Patriots, and are being told that they are only talking baseball. And they try to slam the Globe for uneven coverage of the teams…

Bob Hohler reports on baseball passing a new, tougher steroid policy which will go into effect starting next season. Michael Silverman and Dom Amore also have a look at the new deal. Amphetamines were among the substances targeted in the agreement, Chris Snow has a look at that angle. Bob Ryan acknowledges the huge role played by Senator Jim Bunning, himself a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Jeff Jacobs says chalk up a victory for the commissioner on this one.

Karen Guregian talks with Jumbo Joe Thornton about the struggles of the Bruins, his role as captain and his desire to succeed in Boston. Guregian also has Harry Sinden expressing concern over the team’s poor start this season. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has coach Mike Sullivan putting his team through some extra conditioning in hopes of halting their trend of fading in games and giving up leads. Mick Colageo says that these Bruins simply aren’t built to win, and won’t be until they get some better defensemen. Guregian’s notebook has more on Sullivan putting his club through the paces at practice.

The New York Sports News and Bay Area Sports pages have a lot of MLB and NFL stories from those areas.

FSN has Celtics/Sonics at 7:30. ESPN has Knicks/Lakers at 10:00. OLN has Penguins/Flyers at 7:00.

11.15.05 Afternoon

Today has been a pretty decent day thus far for the Fall Fund Drive, we’ve made up a little, but are still lagging behind the pace to reach the drive goal. Thanks again to those who have participated thus far.

Here is the latest graduate from the Ron Borges school of journalism; Richard Tenorio. (Or is it Tenoria? His own paper can’t get it right.) The sports copy editor for the Lynn Item says that Bill Belichick is being exposed this season, and that he owes all his past success to Romeo Crennel and Charlie Weis.

Movie buffs out there might remember the pivotal scene in The Wizard of Oz, when Toto yanks down the curtain to show Dorothy and the gang that Oz the Great and Powerful is actually an elderly gentleman fiddling around with gadgets.

A similar situation is playing out in Foxborough. Follow, follow, follow, follow, follow the Gray Asphalt Road and you will find a sorcerer whose reputation is as exaggerated as that of the occupant of the Emerald City. His name is Bill Belichick, and he coaches the New England Patriots.

I’m in a catch-22 once again here. This guy is obviously screaming to be noticed and by putting his words here, he’s getting what he wants. On the other hand, they’re so stupendously asinine that they can’t be ignored either.

Elsewhere, Mike Reiss had a Boston.com chat at lunchtime about the Patriots. There is also Reiss’ Mailbag to check out as well. Eric McHugh looks at the new passion leader for the Patriots, Troy Brown. Tom King says that it is time for the Patriots to put together back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Glen Farley writes that everything is week-to-week for the banged up Patriots. Farley also looks at the Patriots reserves answering the call on Sunday against the Dolphins. McHugh’s notebook looks at Dan Koppen’s injury.

Mike Fine says that ARod may have won the MVP, but he would still trade that for David Ortiz’s 2004 World Series Title. Chaz Scoggins says that both players were deserving. Bob Stern observes that defense has never been a key ingredient for the MVP award…until this season. Alan Greenwood says the only comfort we can take in Ortiz losing was that Mariano Rivera got shafted even more than Big Papi.

Mike Loftus says that Mike Sullivan has about had it with his Bruins squad. While the Red Sox and Patriots are recent champions, Christopher Young looks at the near misses at Championships for some other regional clubs. Jim Byers looks at former Celtic Eric Williams launching a line of retro sportswear for a Negro Basketball League that never existed.