It’s another busy weekend for sports viewing. In addition to the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, there is also the NCAA hockey tournament, which unlike the hoop version has plenty of local teams involved. (BC, BU, UMass, UNH, Maine)
There is also NBA and NHL action, as well as baseball exhibitions, NASCAR, and golf.
It was another busy week in Boston sports. To recap:
Monday: Gerry Callahan says he worked just as hard at basketball as John Stockton, he just didn’t have Stockton’s talent. Red Sox Annual reviewed.
Tuesday: We learn of the eBay auction for a grill that is supposed to belong to Manny Ramirez. Story dominates the afternoon and evening.
Wednesday: More Manny grill talk, John Dennis investigates as to whether Manny violated eBay rules. Gerry Callahan talks about his Asian neighbors. Karen Guregian and Amalie Benjamin get Manny to talk about the grill and his future in the papers.
Thursday: Guregian continues a good week by talking with Jonathan Papelbon about closing and Pedro Martinez about his time in Boston. Word comes on the ESPN telecast of the Red Sox game that the Red Sox will move Papelbon to the closers role. All hell breaks loose on WEEI.
Friday: More Papelbon talk. I should say almost ALL Papelbon talk. Oh, a little Fred&Steve’s Steakhouse talk as well. Glenn Ordway announced this afternoon that The Big Show will be traveling to Beijing, China this August when the Patriots tgo there to play the first NFL exhibition game in China on Aug. 8, 2007. He noted that the time difference is such that 2-6 PM here is 2-6 AM in Beijing.
A little revisionist history from Nick Cafardo this morning in his article about Jonathan Papelbon being moved to closer, specifically this paragraph:
What the Red Sox didn't want was a return to the bullpen-by-committee days of 2003 that was taxing, to say the least, on Grady Little. That committee ultimately led to Little's decision to keep Pedro Martínez in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. In modern-day baseball, it's imperative to have a reliable closer.
Where do I start here? “bullpen-by-committee?” All bullpens are committees. It was closer-by-committee. Second, the Red Sox had a closer by that point. It was Scott Williamson, who had saved all three games that the Red Sox had won in that ALCS. He had also pitched all five games of the Oakland series. The bullpen was solid, the closer by committee experiment was over by that point, and had nothing to do with Grady Little’s decision to stick with Pedro.
From Nick’s series wrap up after that 2003 ALCS:
The Sox bullpen, which had given up one run since the first game of the playoffs (21 2/3 innings) again was strong. Bronson Arroyo, Todd Jones, Alan Embree, Mike Timlin, and Williamson helped to slam the door on the win, setting the dramatic stage for last night's Pedro-Roger II.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to check out the Patriots Draft Rumor Inventory chart put together on the BSMW Game Day page.
Chad Finn has 10 thoughts for the week.
Tom Casale of Patriots Football Weekly rates the Inside Linebackers available in next month’s NFL draft.
Deadspin.com has their Red Sox preview post.
WEEI has a newly re-designed website. This new version is much cleaner and easier to navigate than the old one was.
Curt Schilling talks blogging to SI.com’s Alex Belth.
Eric Wilbur hates the move of Papelbon back to the closer’s role.
If the Celtics get the number one pick AND both Greg Oden and Kevin Durant come out, who should the Celtics pick? Jessica Camerato looks at the options.
Kevin Gray has a look at some of the traditions of UNH hockey.
Christopher L. Gasper has NESN throwing a curveball to the local TV stations with their now-infamous memo of last week. Bill Doyle has a look at NESN anchor Kathryn Tappen being able to follow her dream of being a sportscaster. David Scott says that NESN scored a 10 by naming Bob Ryan as host of their new Boston Globe sports show. Ron Brown says that decisions in the University of Maine sports broadcasting are confusing.
Neil Best has Billy Packer creating a buzz in the NCAA tournament for the 33rd consecutive year. Phil Mushnick looks back at the best free throw shooting in NCAA tournament history, and has a number of other items. Bob Raissman has CBS and the NCAA dancing around the issue of money and who is making it from the tournament. Pat Reichart has Ron Darling set to sign a new deal at SportsNet New York.
More East Coast
Michael Hiestand has George Michael’s Sports Machine shutting down for the final time on Sunday night. Laura Nachman has former Phillies pitcher Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams is joining the WIP morning show as a regular contributor. Chris Zelkovich says CBC isn’t totally out of the baseball business just yet. Jim Williams has ESPN’s Mike Tirico cutting loose on PTI.
Barry Jackson looks at a big weekend for TV sports viewing. He does note, however, that South Florida has lagged in the TV ratings for the NCAA tournament. Dave Darling looks at HBO’s documentary on the John Wooden dynasty at UCLA, set to air next week. David Barron has Verne Lundquist returning to his San Antonio roots for this weekend’s NCAA tourney games.
Dan Caesar looks at whether the coverage of Tony LaRussa’s arrest for suspected DUI is fact finding or media feeding frenzy. Bob Wolfley has more on the HBO documentary on UCLA basketball. Judd Zulgad has FSN North announcer Jeff Dubay coming back from being suspended for some off-the-microphone insults aimed toward a WCHA referee in late January. Teddy Greenstein has Southern Illinois fans upset that CBS cut away from the last few minutes of their school’s win over Virginia Tech in favor of a Kentucky/Kansas preview. He also has Dusty Baker ready to go in his new ESPN analyst role.
John Maffei is breathing a sigh of relief that Bill Raftery was assigned to games in the South region. He also rates the CBS announcers with a quick note on each. Larry Stewart has Dick Enberg remembering his eight year run as announcer of UCLA basketball, and how popular the games were, despite being shown only on tape delay. Tom Hoffarth has an in-depth look at the HBO special which doesn’t leave out tales of booster Sam Gilbert, whose gifts of cars, clothes and other….services were apparently well known on campus. Jim Carlisle has more on the documentary, which the more I read about it, seems to be a can’t-miss show. Joe Davidson has ESPN Radio’s Dan Patrick feeling at home with putting family first in his life. Jay Posner looks at San Diego State likely changing radio stations for next season.
Weekend TV Highlights
Friday March 23rd
6:00pm, CN8 – NCAA Hockey Tournament – Maine vs. St. Cloud State
7:00pm, CBS – Florida/Butler (HD)
7:30pm, CBS – Georgetown/Vanderbilt (HD)
7:30pm, FSN – Mavericks @ Celtics (HD)
8:30pm, CN8 – NCAA Hockey Tournament – BU vs. Michigan State
9:40pm, CBS – UNLV/Oregon (HD)
10:00pm, CBS – UNC/USC (HD)
Saturday March 24th
1:00pm, NESN – Rangers @ Bruins (HD)
1:00pm, CN8 – NCAA Hockey Tournament – UNH/Miami
1:00pm, CBS – NCAA Div II Championship (HD)
2:00pm, NBC – Golf – WGC Championship (HD)
3:00pm, ABC – NASCAR – Sharpie Mini 300 (HD)
4:30pm, CBS – NCAA Regional Finals (HD)
4:30pm, CN8 – NCAA Hockey Tournament – BC vs. St. Lawrence
7:00pm, CBS – NCAA Regional Finals (HD)
7:00pm, CN8 – NCAA Hockey Tournament (TBA)
8:00pm, ESPN2 – Indy Car – XM Satellite Radio Indy 300 (HD)
8:30pm, CN8 – NCAA Hockey Tournament (TBA)
Sunday March 25th
12:30pm, NBC – Bruins @ Penguins (HD)
1:00pm, NESN – Red Sox/Marlins
1:30pm, FOX – NASCAR: Food City 500 (HD)
2:30pm, CBS – NCAA Regional Finals (HD)
3:00pm, NBC – Golf – WGC Championship (HD)
3:30pm, ABC – Suns @ Kings (HD)
3:30pm, CN8 – NCAA Hockey Northeast Final
5:00pm, CBS – NCAA Regional Finals (HD)
6:00pm, CN8 – NCAA Hockey West Final
8:00pm, ESPN – Nuggets @ Cavs (HD)