It turned out to be a busy and successful weekend for the local pro sports teams, on and off the playing field/court/ice.
The Celtics extended their modest winning streak to four games with a 124-117 double overtime win over old friends Ricky Davis, Mark Blount and the rest of the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Garden yesterday.
Peter May reports on an eventful afternoon at the Garden for the two teams, as there were multiple lead changes all afternoon and as has come to be expected between these teams, plenty of trash talk. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics “fought tooth and nail and epithet all the way to the dressing rooms.” Bill Doyle says that the Celtics simply got lucky yesterday afternoon.
Tony Massarotti says that if the Celtics keep this up, they’re going to blow their chances at the number one pick. Tim Weisberg however, disagrees, saying that winning a few games isn’t such a bad thing. Mike Fine had a column over the weekend on Celtics courtside fan Mike Rotondi, who has become a fixture at the games during the 40 years that he’s been attending the games.
May’s notebook has Wolves coach Randy Wittman fuming after the game over a reversed call late in the first overtime. Bulpett’s notebook has Doc Rivers not pleased with all the trash talking being done by his team yesterday afternoon. Doyle’s notebook has the Celtics taking motivation from the last time these teams met, and having a picture in their locker room to remind them of that game.
Not too long ago, the Bruins appeared to be a team headed anywhere but the playoffs. Now, after weekend wins over the Canadiens and Devils, they’re right back in the playoff hunt, just four points out of the final spot in the Eastern Conference.
Stephen Harris and Kevin Paul Dupont each look at the Bruins beating the Devils last night at their own grinding, nearly mistake-free style of play. Dan Hickling says that there just might be hope for the Bruins yet.
Mick Colageo feels that Peter Chiarelli is following the Mike O’Connell GM handbook a little to closely. Mike Dunshee has an in-depth “sabermetric” look at every NHL trade deadline deal on the BSMW Power Play.
Harris’ notebook and Dupont’s notebook each look at the terrific debut performance of goaltender Joey MacDonald, who gave Tim Thomas some much-need rest while shutting down the Devils and outdueling Martin Brodeur.
John Tomase says that Randy Moss to the Patriots isn’t such a far fetched idea, as sources say that Patriots coach Bill Belichick has always been intrigued by the Raiders wide receiver.
Mike Reiss has Dolphins receiver Wes Welker coming to Foxboro to meet with the team and coaching staff. John Tomase says that a contract offer to Welker may very well be laden with a “poison pill” that would make it impossible for the Dolphins to match the offer.
I’ve gotten a lot of emails yesterday and this morning regarding Ron Borges’ football notes yesterday essentially being lifted from another paper. I’ll say right now that nothing will come of it. Borges and the Globe are covered by their disclaimer that runs in these columns, and if we’ve learned nothing else over the last six years, it is that Ron Borges is bulletproof at the Globe.
Cold Hard Football Facts has a look at Borges’ article and the article from the Tacoma Tribune from which much of the opening segment of yesterday’s Football Notes were taken.
Rob Bradford has the story of how a Marlins minor league catcher guided Manny Ramirez down unfamiliar offseason path – working on his hitting for the first time in the offseason. Bob Ryan looks at the Twins, who always seem to have plenty of talent despite not having the payroll power to match the Red Sox and Yankees.
Sean McAdam has Curt Schilling making adjustments as he gets older, one of which is a changeup that he hopes to add to his repertoire of pitches. Jeff Goldberg has more on Curt’s new pitch. Steve Buckley Curt Schilling believing that he can be the best pitcher in the league this season, and not wanting to talk anymore about money. Michael Silverman has Schilling working on introducing and using his changeup more.
Jon Couture looks at a critical spring for Manny Delcarmen, who has some things to work on, yet feels he has things in control. Michael Silverman has Julio Lugo working on his stance when he throws the ball, as he tries to get better balance on his deliveries to first from shortstop. Joe Haggerty has Josh Beckett looking forward to a new year. Buckley also has a piece on George Kottaras, as the young catcher tries to learn as much as he can from Jason Varitek.
Cafardo’s notebook has Schilling and Lugo each using the spring to work on something with their game. Silverman’s notebook says the Red Sox are not getting any answers in their search for a closer. McAdam’s notebook has Lugo providing plenty of excitement – good and bad – for the Red Sox yesterday.