It’s time to again give the public a chance to have their say as to the best and worst of the Boston Sports Media for the past year. The voting for the 2006 BSMW Awards begins today, and you’ll have until next Friday to have your say in the matter. Our aim is to get the largest sample possible. The recent February Boston Sports Review magazine had a “Readers Rate the Media” section, but only had 460 participants. Last year when we did this voting, we had 1500, and would like to get much more this time.

In order to be as fair as possible when it comes to the voting, we included all candidates under both the “best” and “worst” categories. You can only vote once, but please try to encourage as many others to participate as possible.

Because of the length of the survey, we broke it out into three sections. You can do one section at a time, or all at once. One thing you need to remember, however, you cannot start one section, then submit it, and then go back to finish it. Once you’ve started a section, make sure you answer all the questions in that section before submitting it.

As mentioned, the voting will be open until March 31st. Then during April I’ll be writing up recaps of the voting, and posting them in May, which will be a bit of a different month here at BSMW. (More on that another time)

Here are the three sections:

2006 BSMW User Poll – General & Radio

2006 BSMW User Poll – TV & Game Broadcast

2006 BSMW User Poll – Newspaper & Internet

One last thing to keep in mind. If you feel there is no one deserving of a particular “award” please use that option. For instance, say you believe none of the candidates deserves to be labeled the “worst” of a category, then choose the “No one deserves this award” option. If you have comments, suggestions, or write-ins for the awards, please send them to poll -at- bostonsportsmedia.com

Thank you for your help with this. On to the links for today:

The Celtics ended their disappointing four game road trip on a positive note, knocking off the Indiana Pacers 103-88 at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Celtics got balanced scoring from their available players, with Paul Pierce leading the way with 22 points. Doc Rivers did not coach the team yesterday due to the death of his father-in-law. Shira Springer looks at assistant Tony Brown filling in for Rivers and rolling the dice a bit with a very young and inexperienced lineup to start the fourth quarter. Steve Bulpett notes that the move paid off, as Tony Allen caught fire in the quarter, scoring 11 of his season high 14 points in that frame for the Celtics. Mike Wells in the Indy Star looks at the Pacers dropping their 6th game in their last 7 against a team with a losing record.

Bulpett has Larry Bird’s thoughts on the job that Danny Ainge has done in rebuilding the Celtics. Springer’s notebook says that Rivers will return to the team tonight, but could miss some more time later this week with the Celtics as he takes care of arrangements down in Florida. Bulpett’s notebook has the team dedicating yesterday’s win to their grieving coach. The second half of Well’s notebook looks at former Pacer Tony Brown coaching the Celtics in Rivers’ absence.

Bob Ryan says that no other team in college basketball’s upper echelon can match the experience that Boston College has together as a team, and it is a big reason why they find themselves in the Sweet 16, right where Ryan says they should be. Mark Murphy looks at Craig Smith really turning it on during this postseason for BC. Michael Vega has a quick look at the Eagles next opponent, old Big East rival Villanova. Murphy also has a quick look at the upcoming Big East flashback between the Eagles and Wildcats. Blaudschun also takes a look at Villanova’s win over Arizona to advance and meet BC.

Mike Anthony and Mark Blaudschun look at top ranked UConn advancing to the round of 16 with a win over Kentucky. Desmond Connor also has a look at the win for the Huskies. The Courant notebook has guard Rashad Anderson bouncing back nicely yesterday.

David Heuschkel looks at the state of the Red Sox with two week to go until opening day. Gordon Edes has Curt Schilling dreaming of what it would be like if Roger Clemens became his teammate on the Red Sox. Tony Massarotti and David Borges report on the Red Sox signing former MVP Juan Gonzalez to a minor-league deal. Massarotti’s article also notes that the team is in talks with the Reds regarding outfielder Wily Mo Pena.

Rob Bradford has Mark Loretta remembering what it was like to play baseball in the USSR back in 1989, just before the fall of Communism and the Berlin Wall. Kevin Henkin can’t understand the media’s fascination with Grady Little and his role in Red Sox history. The Red Sox are not the only team with hopes of landing Roger Clemens, Dom Amore takes a look at the Yankees hopes and efforts the land the Rocket. Bradford has Curt Schilling trying to get his heart rate at the optimal level to get the best performance on the mound.

Massarotti takes a look at Johnny Pesky, who took a foul ball off his left leg, just above the ankle, resulting in a hairline fracture. The notebooks have more in the injury to the 86 year old Sox legend. Borges’ notebook looks at the injury to Pesky, which had him bleeding heavily. Edes’ has the injury sending Pesky home for now and requiring 4-6 weeks of recovery. The notebook also reports on the signing of Gonzalez, calling it an “odd signing” and saying that “Sox GM Theo Epstein did not feel compelled to explain the move, electing not to respond to an e-mail seeking comment.” However, Massarotti’s story on the signing above includes a short quote from Epstein, obtained after the Red Sox win over the Orioles at City of Palms Park yesterday. Massarotti’s notebook looks at the Red Sox operating three pitcher-catcher batteries simultaneously yesterday. Heuschkel’s notebook has David Wells and Terry Francona clearing the air yesterday after the pitcher had referred to his manager as “an idiot” a couple days prior.

The “bravest columnist” in town, Dan Shaughnessy is siding with Communism in tonight’s WBC final. And you think I’m just being nasty to Dan. Steve Buckley (subscription only) has Ichiro Suzuki calling for MLB dugouts to be cleaned up.

Steve Conroy looks at Brian Leetch returning to Madison Square Garden as an opposing player for the first time since being traded by the Rangers over two years ago. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that with Joe Thornton and Sergei Samsonov now both traded away from the Bruins, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Stuart are the future faces of the franchise. Conroy’s notebook says that P.J. Axelsson is still a ways away from returning to game action for the Bruins.

After meeting in the Hockey East championship game on Sunday, Fluto Shinzawa says that Boston University and Boston College could meet again for the sixth time this season in the NCAA tournament. Karen Guregian looks at Boston College’s place in the tournament, while John Connolly looks at BU getting the top seed in the Northeast Regional.

David Scott has some Boston Globe stuff he needs to get off his chest.

Also, our email server switch is complete, and you can once again use the bruce -at- bostonsportsmedia.com address at the top of the page…

FSN has Celtics/Lakers at 7:30. NESN has Bruins/Rangers at 7:00. ESPN has Notre Dame/Michigan NIT action at 7:00 and then the WBC championship of Cuba/Japan at 9:00.

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