Bangor, Maine native Gary Thorne (and Erin Andrews) apparently broke the news on the ESPN telecast of the Red Sox/Phillies game this afternoon that Jonathan Papelbon will in fact be named the Red Sox closer, with an official announcement coming soon. Curt Schilling “reports” it in a post on his blog today, which might be a first. A player reporting the news about another player and his team on his own website

Rob Bradford has a post about it on his blog, and the Extra Bases and Clubhouse Insider blogs are sure to follow.

Prepare yourself for the endless “Steve Burton called this months ago” tributes.

We also get Glenn Ordway yelling that “THE RED SOX LIED TO US!!!” The show spends weeks pounding the Red Sox to make Papelbon the closer, they finally do, and Ordway needs to find something else to scream about. He LOVES this move, but the team LIED. He accused the Red Sox of having a “chicken little” mentality. Back and forth. Back and forth.

Tony Massarotti and Rob Bradford tried to call Ordway for talking out of both sides of his mouth, but unfortunately several exchanges went exactly like this:

You’re talking out of both sides of your mouth!

No I’m not!

Yes you are!

No I’m not!

Yes you are!

No I’m not!

Yes you are!

Great radio. *click*

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Gary Tanguay cracked me up last night. It was on Sports Tonight, following the Celtics game, and Andy Gresh was with him on the show. Gresh was going off on how even if the Celtics get Durant or Oden, are all the other Celtics suddenly going to learn how to win, and are they going to suddenly play with “gumption.” This rant went on for about a minute or so, during which time Tanguay stood staring off into the distance, eyes slightly rolled. As Gresh went on, Tanguay threw his hands in the air and exasperated, exclaimed something about “contrived arguments.” Trust me, it was both ironic and hilarious at the same time. Having both of them standing side-by-side with Gresh looking twice as big as Tanguay in height and width only added to the hilarity.

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Metro Boston sent over the following press release this afternoon:

Publishers of Metro Boston, the City of Boston’s largest circulated daily newspaper, announced today an innovative partnership with the Boston Red Sox to produce the official free game day publication of the Boston Red Sox – Metro GameDay.

Metro will manage content and production of this 12 page free tabloid paper that will be made up of fresh content every game. Metro GameDay will be distributed at all 81 home games and postseason home games for the Red Sox season. 15,000 copies will be distributed throughout the Kenmore Square and Fenway areas, including on Yawkey Way.

Metro GameDay provides a great opportunity for the team to communicate directly with its loyal fan base. Through the publication fans will learn about events of the day including game and player stats, who is throwing out the first pitch and singing the national anthem, Red Sox community activities and fan programs. Each Metro GameDay will also include a scorecard and Kcard for additional fan participation.

“As a child in Baltimore, I remember going to the ballpark with my dad and receiving a page of notes and stats that had been run off on a mimeograph machine,” said Dr. Charles Steinberg, Executive Vice President/Public Affairs. “It was included in the program. Metro GameDay will restore part of that experience for visitors and fans at Fenway Park. In addition, Red Sox Magazine will still be available inside the park with full color photos and more timeless literary features.”

Metro GameDay extends Metro’s reach within Boston by becoming the official game day publication of Red Sox Nation. Metro Boston is the fastest growing newspaper in the City of Boston and has a growing daily readership of more than 235,000.

“The Red Sox are the biggest brand in all of New England. We are honored to partner with them on Metro GameDay and excited to contribute to the fan experience at Fenway,” said Stuart Layne, publisher of Metro Boston. “Metro GameDay will be groundbreaking communication for major league baseball and all sports.”

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The Metro Toronto is reporting that NESN Sports Desk anchor Hazel Mae is engaged to Kevin Barker, who is a non-roster infielder currently in the Blue Jays camp. (Glenn Ordway says his reliable sources say this is not true.)

Reid Laymance has a look at Bob Ryan being named host of the the new Globe/NESN show “The Globe 10.0,” presented by Verizon. David Scott also weighs in on the announcement.

The Media Circus notes that Peter King in baseball spring training means twice as much name dropping.

Bill Simmons has a Oden/Durant/Tanking update and some housecleaning.

Erik Scalavino has a look at the Patriots wide receivers.

Curt Schilling has another massive Q∓A session on 38Pitches. Some harsh words for Bob Tewksbury there. Does he know that Tewksbury is employed by the Red Sox?

Clark Booth endorses Bowie Kuhn for the Hall of Fame.

Jessica Camerato has Doc Rivers teaching his team a lesson last night.

Richard Sandomir looks at cable operators calling MLB’s bluff on the Extra Innings package, but MLB turning them down anyway.

Michael Hiestand looks at how you can watch each individual game of the women’s NCAA tournament, but that most of the men’s games overlap each other.

Bob Raissman looks at Rudy Giuliani getting free airtime from the YES network to promote his Presidential campaign.

Could the NHL go back to Hartford? The blog Too Much Sports examines the possibility.

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ESPN will present all Major League Soccer matches in high definition beginning with the Saturday, April 7 season-opener – D.C. United at Colorado Rapids – on ABC HD at 3:30 p.m. ET; and the first telecast of ESPN2’s new MLS Primetime Thursday April 12 at 10 p.m. featuring FC Dallas at the Los Angeles Galaxy. This will mark the first season in ESPN’s Major League Soccer (MLS) history that all matches will be presented in high definition.

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Tonight

Note: CBS has the NCAA tournament coverage, with games at 7:00 and 9:30. As they will likely switch back and forth between games, the early matchups are S. Illinois/Kansas and Memphis/Texas A&M. The late games are UCLA/Pitt and Ohio State/Tennessee.

7:00pm, ESPN2 – AFL – Colorado Crush @ Philadelphia Soul
7:30pm, NESN – Canadiens @ Bruins

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