Red Sox Radio Announcement

The Red Sox have announced a 2:00 p.m. Conference Call to announce the team’s new radio broadcast team. It is expected that ESPN’s Dave O’Brien will be introduced at that time, as the partner for Joe Castiglione.

Scott’s Shots will live-blog the call, which will feature Entercom’s Jason Wolfe and Sox COO, Mike Dee

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Signed, Sealed and Delivered

Gordon Edes has a good look into the final 48 hours of the negotiations, including the point on Wednesday when Epstein and Lucchino were getting ready to head to the airport, seemingly without Matsuzaka. Edes also looks at some of the details of the contract, which includes a number of side benefits. Michael Silverman concurs that these negotiations really did go right down to the wire, with the Red Sox ready to leave California without the star pitcher. One of the incentives included in the contract was a no-trade clause, something that the Red Sox have said they do not give out, but created a special conditional clause for future contracts to meet if they are seeking a no-trade.

Jeff Goldberg describes yesterday’s press conference as an event befitting a pop icon. Jeff Horrigan has a look at the press conference/coronation yesterday at Fenway Park. Joe McDonald has more on the phenom touring Fenway Park for the first time. Jeff Jacobs says that if the press conference is any indication, then we’re in for a wild year at Fenway. Lenny Megliola had a few dilemmas facing him as he prepared to cover the Matsuzaka welcome. Jon Couture has a look at the Red Sox rolling out the welcome “mat.”

John Powers gives us a profile of Matsuzaka, how he is viewed in Japan and what is in store for him here in the US. Art Martone looks at Red Sox nation expanding into Japan. Jackie MacMullan notes that the biggest adjustment for Matsuzaka is likely to be cultural. She also notes the struggles that the interpreter seemed to have yesterday in correctly translating between the pitcher and the media. David Borges reports on the “Monster” reaching his long time goal of being a Major League pitcher. Paul Jarvey has more on the signing of a “National Treasure.” Joe Haggerty has more on Daisuke’s Day.

Alex Speier looks at the $103 million gamble the Red Sox have just taken. Karen Guregian examines what Matsuzaka is going to add to an already good looking Red Sox starting rotation. Jon Couture says that D-Mat has all the makings of an ace for the Red Sox. Guregian has a look at Craig Shipley, who really kick-started the Red Sox pursuit of Matsuzaka. Speier has more on the changes in store for Matsuzaka.

Jesse Noyes notes that the Red Sox are going to need to make room for the swarm of Japanese media this summer at Fenway Park. Raja Mishra looks at some of the Japanese media who will be staying in Boston to cover Matsuzaka full time.

Even before the Red Sox gave Matsuzaka number 18, (which he had always worn in Japan) Johnny Damon had something to say about the Red Sox and how happy he is in New York.

Horrigan’s notebook says that this is the start of a big relationship between the Red Sox and Japanese baseball.

Patriots

John Tomase talks to Tedy Bruschi on a number of topics, as the Patriots linebacker weighs in on Tom Brady’s comments from the other day, his wrist, Terry Francona, and a number of other items.

Amalie Benjamin has Mike Wright ready to fill the gap left by Vince Wilfork this weekend. Shalise Manza Young has more on Wright as the undrafted second year lineman from Cincinnati prepares for an increased role. Alan Greenberg has more on the Patriots preparing to play without Wilfork for the first time since he became the starter. Rich Garven has James Sanders making improvements in his play since stepping in as a starter at safety.

Albert Breer has a quick look at the Denver-style offense that Gary Kubiak and the Texans bring to town. Michael Parente looks at David Carr finally getting some love…but from the Patriots. Bill Barnwell has a look at Carr on the Patriots Game Day. Ian Clark looks at the Patriots hoping to bounce back strong this weekend against Houston. Dan Pires has Brady’s message getting through to his teammates.

Susan Bickelhaupt has FOX defending their sixth listed (out of six) broadcast team of Matt Vasgersian and J.C. Pearson, who called the Patriots/Lions game two weeks ago.

Tomase’s notebook has Bill Belichick standing by Brady’s comments from the other day. Benjamin’s notebook has Bruschi speaking about his wrist and the adjustments he’s had to make this season playing with it. Garven’s notebook has more on Wright prepping to step in for Wilfork. Eric McHugh’s notebook has Rodney Harrison inching closer to duty. Parente’s notebook has Jabar Gaffney getting a different view of things with the Patriots after four seasons with the Texans. Young’s notebook has Belichick backing the comments made by his quarterback earlier in the week.

Other

Mark Murphy and Steve Bulpett report that the Celtics are falling out of the Allen Iverson sweepstakes and may have never really been in them. Shira Springer says that you can attribute the Celtics three game winning streak to defense.

Fluto Shinzawa and Stephen Harris report on the Bruins 5-3 win over the Devils last night.

All Matsuzaka…All The Time

Daisuke Matsuzaka is still the dominant topic on sports radio today.

While most pundits felt sure that since the brilliant Scott Boras is a genius, he had the upper hand on the Red Sox in these negotiations (as evidenced by this “cartoon“) it turned out that the Red Sox seemed to have come out just fine in the end.

Dennis & Callahan did a turnabout this morning, saying that Larry Lucchino must’ve taken control of these negotiations and taught Boras a thing or two. There were stories and speculation that Lucchino had made an arrangement with the Seibu Lions that he could tell Boras and Matsuzaka that if they didn’t agree to a deal that the Lions would send Matsuzaka to the minors, where he would lose service time and that they would not post him next year.

That’s the great thing about sports radio, what you say today is forgotten tomorrow.

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The crossover between Dale & Holley and the Big Show was marked by a confrontation between Steve Burton and Dale Arnold. Apparently this had to be done on air and not in private. In any event the anger seemed to be real with Burton upset that Dale had been critical of him for reporting that Phil Kessel had testicular cancer when the family had reportedly asked that the matter be kept private.

Burton kept saying it was his job to report the news. When asked he said he would’ve understood if someone had been reporting that his dad was dying of cancer even though he asked them not to.

What I think Burton is missing here is this: Perhaps he had the “right” to report the news, even against the wishes of the family. But it doesn’t mean he had an “obligation” to do so or that he’s less of a jerk if he did it against the wishes of the family. He seemed to imply that even though the family publicly stated that they wanted privacy, that “maybe” they gave him the ok to report the story so that it would clear up any misconceptions out there. Dale tried to press him on it, but Burton wouldn’t confirm.

Neither guy covered himself in glory in this episode which was just another example of the media making themselves the story – something that WEEI does all the time. More time was spent on Gerry Callahan’s conduct in his interview with Julio Lugo than on what Lugo said or his press conference.

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David Scott is going to be doing a live blog of the Matsuzaka press conference and coverage. Sounds like the event has the potential to be a full fledged circus.

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Nothing new on the Allen Iverson front. The latest rumors have the Nuggets (who are in town here tomorrow night) as the latest favorites. Of course that is after the Magic, Pacers, Clippers, Celtics, Warriors and Trail Blazers had all been rumored to have been favorites at one point or another in the past few days.

Sox Get It Done

I confess.

I got caught up in the whole “last minute negotiations” and “track the plane” hype from yesterday. I don’t feel good about it, especially when I realize that no matter how the negotiations went early THIS was the ending that was scripted. It’s the Red Sox. It’s also Scott Boras. Both parties love the drama. The down-to-wire contract talks followed by a cross country flight and race to Mass General for the physical and eventual contract signing were just all too predictable. Yup, quite a number of people said this was going to go right down to the last minute, and they were right. We shouldn’t have expected anything less.

David Scott has a roundup of all the Daisuke Matsuzaka coverage from yesterday, a day he says changed the way that the Boston sports media reports news and how they will do so going forward. Scott also reported yesterday that ESPN’s Dave O’Brien is the favorite to replace Jerry Trupiano in the Red Sox radio booth.

Gordon Edes says that the sides are just awaiting the results of the physical. Jeff Horrigan and Michael Silverman report however, that the contract was signed at the hospital after Matsuzaka passed the physical. Jeff Goldberg says that with no leverage, Boras was forced to take a deal much more in line with what the Red Sox initially offered. Alex Speier takes a look at a busy day around the Red Sox yesterday. David Borges says that the Red Sox won this round with Boras.

Nick Cafardo says that the Red Sox won this round with Boras, and talks to former major leaguer Mike Pagliarulo, who runs an international scouting service these days. Gotta laugh though, Nick simply cannot make it through an article without bringing up the subject of a possible Roger Clemens return to Boston. Tony Massarotti is pleased that the Red Sox front office is no longer fighting each other, but is instead taking on the baseball world and knocking out the likes of Scott Boras. He too works in a possible Clemens return. Joe McDonald says that the deal could be a watershed moment for the Sox. Paul Doyle says that this deal will give the Red Sox much greater exposure in the far East which could pay dividends down the road. Jon Couture looks at the Sox getting their man. In the end it boiled down to two things…the Red Sox wanted Matsuzaka to pitch for them, and he really wanted to pitch in America. Joe Haggerty looks at the legend of Matsuzaka in Japan.

How long ago do you think Dan Shaughnessy typed up this “Open letter to Daisuke Matsuzaka” advising him on what to do and not do in Boston? It’s actually not as bad as I feared, but this is Shaughnessy we’re talking about. Steve Buckley says that we won’t know is Matsuzaka is worth it until we see if the guy can actually pitch. Old man Bill Reynolds is sick of hearing about money all the time with modern day athletes such as Matsuzaka. Lenny Megliola says now we get to see if Matsuzaka can live up to all the hype that has been generated around him the last two months. Karen Guregian has a look at the stakeout that members of the Japanese media were on yesterday awaiting the news of a deal. At least one of them says that the people of Japan were not pleased with Scott Boras.

Bob Duffy has a look at Julio Lugo, who was introduced at Fenway Park yesterday. He received, I trust, a kinder reception than he got on WEEI yesterday morning. Guregian says David Ortiz is a big fan of Lugo and showed it by crashing the press conference yesterday. Joe McDonald has Lugo overjoyed to be playing in front of the Boston fans this season. Mike Fine has Gabe Kapler convinced he made the right choice in retiring as a player and becoming a minor league manager.

There’s plenty of coverage of the Matsuzaka deal in the New York Sports Pages as well.

The Herald notebook reports on Doug Mirabelli returning to the Red Sox for another season as Tim Wakefield’s catcher. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Lugo and Mirabelli.

Patriots

Amidst the Matsuzaka insanity, the Patriots continue to get ready for this weekend’s matchup with the Texans. Yesterday Tom Brady called out his teammates, saying that they need to listen to the coaches more and work harder. John Tomase has a looks at the measures taken by Brady and the rest of the team in an effort to turn things around. Mike Reiss has more on Brady calling for his team to have better focus on what they’re being told to do. Mark Farinella also reports on the quarterback calling out his teammates. Shalise Manza Young says that depending on how the rest of the season goes, yesterday could prove to be a big day in the 2006 season for the Patriots. Alan Greenberg has the team needing to be more consistent on offense. Tom King has more on Brady’s message to his team.

Albert Breer says that covert ops, such as stealing calls at the line, is nothing new in the NFL. Rich Garven has Brady rebutting the claim that the Dolphins’ stealing signals resulted in the loss for the Patriots. Christopher Price has Brady calling the notion a “crock of you-know-what.” Michael Parente has Bill Belichick sending the message that no one’s job is safe at this time of the year. Eric McHugh has a report card from the Miami game. Glen Farley writes that it is time for the Patriots to be making up their playoff plans.

Reiss’ notebook reports on the Patriots bringing in veteran tight end OJ Santiago with the uncertain status of Benjamin Watson. Tomase’s notebook says that Vince Wilfork is unlikely to play this Sunday. Young’s notebook has more on the Patriots tweaking the end of their roster. Garven’s notebook has more on Brady’s comments aimed at his teammates. Parente’s notebook has the Patriots dismissing the notion that Miami had an edge in last weeks game gained by the play calls. Farinella’s notebook has more on that same topic.

Celtics

The Celtics finished off a three game road sweep of Atlantic Division foes New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia last night with a 101-81 win over the Iverson-less Sixers.

Shira Springer looks at the Celtics extending their winning streak to three with the 20 point over the 76ers. Mark Murphy notes that only Iverson in a Celtics uniform could’ve filled the Wachovia Center last night, as the small crowd was quiet and the Celtics took control.

Jackie MacMullan is no fan of the Celtics acquiring Allen Iverson, but she admits that the possibility is still there and alive, mostly because the Celtics possess the three things the Sixers are seeking – an expiring contract, young talent and a first round draft pick. Murphy says that the Celtics and other clubs are still seeking an Answer to Iverson’s trade demand.

You can get coverage of the game and keep up with the Iverson rumors on the Philly.com sports page.

Springer’s notebook has Danny Ainge saying that a deal would be unlikely. Murphy’s notebook has Tony Allen and Gerald Green doing a good job defensively on Kyle Korver.

Bruins/Misc

Fluto Shinzawa looks at the Devils top checking line, which presents problems for the Bruins. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins are preaching patience against the Devils. Harris also has Phil Kessel’s youth hockey coach, former US Olympian Bob Suter offer support to the Bruins rookie and his family.

Buddy Thomas says there are just a lot of things about sports that just don’t make any sense. It’s perhaps one of Buddy’s better efforts.

NESN has Bruins/Devils at 7:00. TNT has Magic/Bobcats at 7:15 and Spurs/Hornets at 9:30. NFL Network has Seahawks/49ers at 8:00.

Deal…or No Deal….?

Glenn Ordway is adamant that no deal has been stuck between the Red Sox and Scott Boras, but Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated is reporting that that the sides have come to a 6 year, $52 million deal with incentives that can bring it to $60 million.

Even acknowledging that article, Ordway says there is no agreement in place.

3:12 PM John Henry on WEEI says they are close, but no deal yet.

There has also been a lot of talk about D&C’s interview with Julio Lugo this morning (MP3 File- You may want to right-click the link and save it) where Gerry Callahan treated the new Red Sox shortstop pretty harshly, telling him he’ll never be as good defensively as Alex Gonzalez and pushing the issue regarding Lugo’s departure from the Astros after his then wife had accused him of hitting her.

No doubt about it, Gerry was a jerk in this interview. Even before it came to the incident with his ex-wife. Remember, she recanted shortly afterwards and he was found innocent at trial. The stuff about Gonzalez was just over the top.

Doug Mirabelli is back for another year with the Sox.

In the middle of all the Matsuzaka talk, David Scott reports that ESPN’s Dave O’Brien seems to be the likely choice to replace Jerry Trupiano in the Red Sox radio booth.

Tom Brady had some pretty harsh words for his teammates today. Albert Breer on The Point After has a link to former Globie Jerome Solomon’s blog (“King Solomon’s Mind“) in Houston, where he quotes an unidentified Patriot as having some tough words for the Texans.

The Media Circus has a look at at another distinguished week in the world of sports media.

Still nothing on anything Iverson-related…

D-Mat Flying to Boston

Michael Silverman in the Clubhouse Insider blog says that a day has not yet been struck, but that the sides are close enough that Scott Boras and Matsuzaka are flying to Boston on John Henry’s private jet along with the Red Sox brain trust.

The traffic to the Herald website seems to have pretty much crushed the server. Getting to the Red Sox blog is either incredibly slow or impossible right now.

12:36 PM – Gordon Edes also has the news on the Extra Bases blog. His source says “You can assume that a deal is done or close.”

If you’re really bored and want to track the flight, you can do it at that link.

In other news, Allen Iverson has not been traded yet and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

Bill Simmons weighs in on Iverson.

D-Day for D-Mat

The Red Sox continued their discussions with Scott Boras about Daisuke Matsuzaka well into the night as several of the blog postings from the Globe and Herald will tell you. Michael Silverman’s final entry of the night…posted at 4:00 AM eastern time, tells us that the Red Sox are offering $8 million a season over six years, while the Matsuzaka side is asking for $11 million over six years. That really doesn’t sound unreasonable, given the money that has been thrown around to the likes of Gil Meche. Divide up the $51.1 million over six years and add it to $11 million and you come up with a little over $19 million a year for six years – but Matsuzaka only gets $11 million. Things need to be wrapped up sometime this morning, but the Red Sox will be publicly flogged if these numbers are correct and they still can’t do a deal.

Gordon Edes reports on the lack of progress in the talks last night. Michael Silverman and Jeff Horrigan also have a report on the negotiations, which will come to an end sometime this morning. Jeff Goldberg also reports on the talks, using information from the Globe and Herald in his story. Alex Speier looks at the talks reaching the critical hour with decisions needing to be made.

Bob Ryan says that if a deal doesn’t get done, blame the Red Sox, because they knew what they were getting into with Scott Boras. Tony Massarotti says that the tail is wagging the dog in this situation, as the Red Sox do not have to prove themselves to Matsuzaka. Massarotti says that if Boras doesn’t come down (He cites $15 million as what Boras is asking for.) than the Red Sox should walk away from the situation. Jon Couture still believes that Matsuzaka will sign, but says if he doesn’t, it’s because Boras has convinced him to be the modern-day Curt Flood.

Joe McDonald talks with David Murphy, who may be on the outside looking in when it comes to the Red Sox outfield situation with the signing of J.D. Drew. David Borges talks to a few Red Sox who were making a goodwill tour across New England. Julian Tavarez wouldn’t mind a chance at closing for the Red Sox, and he believes that Manny Ramirez will be staying in Boston this season.

Edes’ notebook reports on Gabe Kapler retiring as a player and accepting the job as manager of the Red Sox Single A affiliate in Greenville. Horrigan’s notebook has more on Kapler’s new bench role. McDonald’s notebook has a quick update on the negotiations and a couple of team notes.

Patriots

Greg Doyle takes a second look at the film of the Patriots/Dolphins game on the BSMW Game Day page.

Michael Felger looks at the release of Doug Gabriel, saying it is just another example of how badly the Patriots have mismanaged the wide receiver position since the end of last season. Felger makes some valid points regarding the receivers, then moves on to next spring’s free agency, noting that the Patriots will have plenty to spend, but argues that since they didn’t spend to the cap this year, why should we believe they’ll do so next season? That’s some poor reasoning there, as Felger makes that statement even after admitting that the Patriots had spent to the cap in every year of the Belichick era prior to this season. So Felger now says that happened in one offseason is now what will hold true going forward and the previous track record is apparently irrelevant.

Mike Reiss examines how the Dolphins may have gained an edge on Sunday by listening to Tom Brady’s calls at the line of scrimmage. The people he talks to note that this sort of thing really isn’t all that uncommon in the NFL these days. Michael Parente has the Texans coming into town hoping to play the role of spoiler against the Patriots. Christopher Price looks at how Otis Smith is working out as a member of the Patriots coaching staff, working with the team’s defensive backs. Eric McHugh says that Rodney Harrison could be ready to return soon, and examines the club’s other injuries as well. Glen Farley has the Patriots attempting to regroup and move on after their worst loss in some time.

Albert Breer looks a Gabriel’s move from the doghouse to the outhouse with the Patriots. Shalise Manza Young says that the release of Gabriel will certainly prompt more questions than it will answer. Reiss also reports on the release of Gabriel, which caught many by surprise. Alan Greenberg feels the timing of the move is curious, especially with the uncertain status of Ben Watson.

Reiss’ notebook has Robert Kraft feeling positive about where his team is right now. He also confirms that it would be incorrect to represent this year as being the last year of Bill Belichick’s contract. (maybe he won’t be going to the Texans after all, Ron.) McHugh’s notebook has more on the Dolphins’ stealing the Patriots plays by listening to Brady.

Celtics

Shira Springer has the Iverson trade talk lighting a fire under Al Jefferson, who was one of several names listed a possible trade bait. Mark Murphy has the Celtics preparing to take on the 76ers without Allen Iverson, noting that the team has shown great energy without their leading scorer.

Jim Donaldson demands to know what the Celtics are going with all this AI talk.

Springer’s notebook has Wally Szczerbiak hoping to be back on the floor for the Celtics tonight. Murphy’s notebook has more on Wally hoping to contribute tonight for Boston.

Bruins

Fluto Shinzawa has a report on the Canadiens beating Hannu Toivonen and the Bruins 4-3 in Montreal last night. Steve Conroy has Montreal taking advantage of a non-call to beat the Bruins. Dan Hickling looks at old friend Sergei Samsonov burning the Bruins last night.

Shinzawa has more on Phil Kessel undergoing successful “cancer related” surgery. Conroy reports that Kessel is resting after his surgery. Jessica Fargen says that testicular cancer is one of the most common and curable cancers in young men.

Shinzawa’s notebook looks at the sympathy for Canadiens GM Bob Gainey, whose daughter was swept out to sea last Friday off of Cape Cod and has not been found. Conroy’s notebook has more on the tragedy. Hickling’s notebook has more on Gainey and Kessel.

Michael Vega has Mark Whipple as the favorite to become the next head coach for Boston College football.

FSN has Celtics/Sixers at 7:00. NESN has UMass/Louisville at 7:00. ESPN has Suns/Heat at 7:00 and Lakers/Mavs at 9:30.