Clay Getting Some Play

There will be no afternoon/weekend post today, as I will be “off grid” for a couple of days.

This weekend, keep up with the Red Sox news on the newly re-designed (again) BSMW Red Sox mashup.

Check Patriots news on the BSMW Patriots News Mashup.

Rob Bradford has a mini-feature on Sox pitching prospect Clay Buchholz, who went against Roger Clemens the other night and had scouts more impressed with him than Clemens. Bradford points out a few things about Buchholz, such as the fact that he was drafted with the compensatory pick the Sox received when Pedro Martinez signed with the New York Mets, and that he was available with that pick because of an incident in college where he showed extremely poor judgment. Jeff Horrigan notes that in addition to his .347 average, Kevin Youkilis has also “quietly fortified a reputation as one of the most adept-fielding first basemen in the American league.”

Sean McAdam looks at three areas of concern for the Red Sox despite their 9.5 game lead over the Yankees. David Heuschkel has Terry Francona managing a fair amount of stress these days in addition to his ballclub. Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox don’t need to worry about beating the Yankees as long as they beat everybody else. Lenny Megliola looks at the struggles of J.D. Drew and the stress of Francona.

Bill Ballou, who was the target of Francona’s wrath this week in New York, looks at the manager’s patience with struggling players, and how for the most part, this approach has paid off. Gordon Edes looks at the job of the official scorer, a role often filled by newspaper reporters.

Horrigan’s notebook as Daisuke Matsuzaka unsatisfied with his changeup, and working extensively on it during a bullpen session on Tuesday. Edes’s notebook has a look at Jon Lester’s rehab start last night for Pawtucket. A Projo note has Alex Rodriguez apologizing to Dustin Pedroia for his hard slide into second base on Tuesday night.

Maureen Mullen has Lester putting together a solid start for AAA Pawtucket in his rehab assignment.

Michael Silverman has a look at the Red Sox other AA pitching prospect that people paying attention, Michael Bowden. Amalie Benjamin catches up with Lancaster (Single A) first baseman Aaron Bates, who hit four home runs in a game earlier this month, the first time a Red Sox minor leaguer had done that since 1949.

Patriots
Gerry Callahan notes that the day is coming when Tom Brady is going to have to answer questions about impending fatherhood, Gisele, and of course, Randy Moss.

Randall Gay is officially back in the fold, having signed his one year tender offer. While it is a minor move, Karen Guregian has Gay and his agent hoping to stick with the Patriots for a while longer. Christopher L. Gasper and Shalise Manza Young have more on what Gay can bring to the Patriots, namely depth in the secondary, and perhaps more if he can stay healthy and recapture the form of his rookie season.

Celtics
Jackie MacMullan says that it is time for the Celtics to start making their own luck. She points to the Phoenix Suns as a team that has done the job of building a contender despite never having a really high draft pick.

Shira Springer has the Celtics shifting their focus to who will be available with the 5th pick in the draft.

More Celtics news on the BSMW Celtics News Mashup.

Misc
David Scott looks at how the Globe has no problem speaking out against Bernard McGuirk’s proposed tryout at WRKO, but won’t give a statement on their own problems with Ron Borges. He also looks at Bob Ryan’s new blogging adventure and a few other items.

Susan Bickelhaupt looks at NBC’s switching off an NHL overtime playoff game in favor of horseracing last weekend.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at former Bruin Brian Leetch calling it a career.

Frank Dell’Apa leads a Globe series examining British soccer.

Dan Duggan looks at Ultimate Fighting getting big time exposure these days, as a look at the cover of Sports Illustrated this week will confirm.

Michael Vega looks at defending Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr, while David Exum has Kasey Kahne trying to turn his season around.

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Curt Outing For Schilling

Curt Schilling struggled mightily last night while Andy Pettitte shut down the Boston bats leading the way to a 8-3 Yankees victory over the Red Sox in New York.

Jeff Horrigan says Schilling didn’t have any of his pitches working last night. Gordon Edes says Schilling may need a “thesaurus to come up with words to describe the beating he absorbed last night” when he goes to write his blog entry. (By the way, Schilling does have a pretty brief entry up on 38 Pitches about the tough outing.) Sean McAdam has the Red Sox absorbing their first series loss in a month with the loss last night. Dom Amore has the Yankees offense getting it together with 12 hits off of Schilling. Bill Ballou has more on the Yankees taking the rubber match of the series.

The New York Sports Pages have plenty of coverage from last night as well as stories on Roger Clemens’ start at the AA level last night.

Tony Massarotti says we shouldn’t “keep piling on Alex Rodriguez simply because that is what we have done in the past.” Dan Shaughnessy has ARod right in the middle of another dustup involving the Red Sox. David Heuschkel has the Yankees making Schilling pay early and often for his struggles last night. Steve Buckley notes that the Yankees really didn’t accomplish what they wanted to in this series.

Horrigan has Dustin Pedroia talking tough about ARod slide into second on Tuesday night. Jeff Howe has Gary DiSarcina getting ready to lead the Lowell Spinners. Massarotti has a look at Coco Crisp hitting his first home run of the season. Joe Haggerty looks at how Manny Delcarmen perseveres through problems he’s had this spring. Buckley has Kevin Youkilis keeping the threat of Pawtucket fresh in his mind as motivation to keep going strong.

Rob Bradford has Sox prospect Clay Buchholz outshining Roger Clemens in their start last night, impressing scouts in attendance. Rich Fisher has more on the Clemens start. Jeff Jacobs notes that with Clemens, nothing is routine.

Michael Silverman has Jason Giambi hesitant to talk about his meeting with the commissioner’s office. Nick Cafardo has more on Giambi’s sudden silence. Silverman has the Yankees trying to view their series win here as a springboard to getting their season in order. Cafardo has Andy Pettitte doing what he does…shut down the Red Sox. Amore’s notebook has more on Giambi.

Bill Reynolds notes that Buster Olney appeared to be right on the money with his book The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty

Ballou’s notebook has Josh Beckett taking another step towards a return to the rotation. Horrigan’s notebook has J.D. Drew getting a “mental health” day yesterday. Edes’s notebook has a look at a Schilling streak coming to an end last night. McAdam’s notebook has Pedroia sticking to his guns in the ARod slide. Heuschkel’s notebook leads with more on the same topic.

Celtics
If misery loves company, <a href="Mark Murphy says that at least the Celtics have the Memphis Grizzlies to cry with. Peter May says that the Celtics simply fell in with the odds on Tuesday night. Bill Burt says that God has to be behind this steak of bad luck by the Celtics. Mike Fine says that the Celtics may need to shop that 5th pick. Bill Doyle agrees, saying that the Celtics need talent and experience, not another prospect.

Steve Bulpett has Doc Rivers planning on winning more games next season – without Oden or Durant. Doyle has Greg Anthony saying that the Celtics will continue to be mired in mediocrity.Bulpett also has a look at what No. 5 can buy you in the draft.

Tommy Hine has a look at the planned Patriots Hall of Fame and Museum.

Lottery Leftovers

I don’t think my email in-box has ever been as dead as it has been this morning.

I know I’m a hypocrite, but for a brief moment last night I was hoping for a venomous Dan Shaughnessy column this morning about the whole NBA Draft lottery and the state of the Celtics.

That feeling quickly passed.

The Red Sox and Yankees play the rubber game of their three game series in the Bronx tonight. It’s a pretty good pitching matchup, with Curt Schilling taking on Andy Pettitte.

Roger Clemens continues his minor league assignments tonight, but with a twist. He’ll be pitching against the Red Sox AA affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs. Pitching for Portland will be one of the Red Sox top prospects, Clay Buchholz. The game starts at 7:00 and can be seen for free on MLB.com and MiLB.com. ESPN2 is going to be showing at least some of the game, though probably only when Clemens in on the mound. If you’re a Sox fan who wants to get a look at Buchholz, going on the web is probably your best bet.

Keyshawn Johnson is retiring from the NFL and joining ESPN as an NFL Analyst. He will be appearing weekly on Sunday NFL Countdown (11 a.m. -1 p.m. ET) and Monday Night Countdown (7-8:30 p.m.). The 11-year NFL veteran will also contribute weekly columns to ESPN.com and appear on ESPN Radio’s new NFL show hosted by Chris Mortensen and Bill Parcells during the season (Fridays, 7 p.m.)

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Welcome to the next decade of discontent (Bill Simmons)

Eric Wilbur says that the Celtics got their just rewards last night.

Well, We Suppose This Ruins Pitino’s Master Plan (Deadspin)

Vindication or Unfairness in Last Night’s NBA Draft Lottery? (Sports Law Blog)

What the Lottery Results Mean for Boston (Jessica Camerato, HoopsWorld)

Andy Katz looks at the worst possible scenario coming true for the Celtics.

Do you have any idea of what Ian Thomsen is saying here? Is he saying that if Brandon Roy had been a Celtic and Sebastian Telfair remained a Blazer, that the Celtics would’ve had a better chance at getting the number one pick? I think that’s what he’s saying.

Marty Burns says that the Celtics and Grizzlies have a a legit beef with the lottery process.

Fire Joe Morgan goes after Newsday’s Wallace Matthews for his “bizarre ad hominem attack on Tim Wakefield.”

JoeSportsFan is back with another edition of The Media Circus.

Richard Sandomir looks at Mike and Mike in the Morning beating WFAN in the key 25-54 demo in New York.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees (ESPN National)
7:30pm, TBS – Mets @ Braves

Storied Past No Help For Celtics

For the Celtics, one thing is clear, if they’re going to come back and again become one of the league’s elite franchises, they’re not going to be handed the biggest piece to the puzzle.

Boston received the lowest pick that it could get under the rules, ending up with the fifth overall pick and losing out on franchise players Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, who will start their pro careers in Portland and Seattle.

Shira Springer goes behind the scenes with Wyc Grousbeck as the lottery unfolded. Mark Murphy says that the Celtics can now only put on a brave face as they prepare for the future. Kevin McNamara has more on the latest kick in the teeth to the once-fabled Celtics franchise. Scott Souza looks at the Celtics falling as far as they could in the lottery. Christopher Price calls it “a sickening case of deja vu for Celtics fans.”

Bob Ryan notes that the unnamed curse continued last night, as the streak of incredibly bad fortune that has haunted the Celtics since 1986 struck again. Steve Bulpett has Danny Ainge trying to stay positive while acknowledging that the team will consider trading that fifth pick. Jeff Jacobs calls this “one of the great punches to the gut in New England basketball history.” Lenny Megliola says that “last night was all about for Celtics’ fans was hope and belief” – which was promptly shattered.

Tony Massarotti has the worst case scenario coming true for the Celtics, as the system failed them once again. Desmond Conner wonders “if this was a case of a message being sent on tanking.” Bill Doyle says that the jobs of Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge just got a whole lot tougher this year. Tim Weisberg says “Just like everything else this season, the Ping-Pong balls didn’t fall their way, either.”

Jeff Goodman looks at the leftovers…which players after Oden and Durant could help the Celtics the most. Bulpett says that this wasn’t the result that Doc Rivers had dream of in recent nights. Murphy has Tom Heinsohn giving his reaction to the night’s events.

From the world of blogging, Mike McMahon looks at the Celtics steak of bad luck marching on. Celtics Blog is still reeling from the stomach punch they received around 8:45 last night.

Red Sox
The Red Sox pushed their lead over the Yankees back up to 10.5 games last night with a 7-3 win over New York. Julian Tavarez got the win, while Manny Ramirez got the Red Sox off to a good start with a three run homer off of Mike Mussina in the first inning.

Gordon Edes has Tavarez and buddies Ramirez and David Ortiz leading the Red Sox to victory. Jeff Horrigan notes that at least the ball bounced right for one of the Boston teams last night. Sean McAdam has Tavarez and the Red Sox pushing the Yankees back down. Dom Amore has the Yankees getting back to damage control after a couple nights of hope. Bill Ballou has Tavarez continuing his remarkable transformation from this time a year ago.

Ton Massarotti looks at the job done by Julian Tavarez last night against the Yankees star-studded lineup. Dan Shaughnessy has more on Tavarez, who was saying all the right things after the game. John Altavilla has the Red Sox avoiding any talk that the AL East race is over, despite the media’s best efforts to get them to say so. Alex Speier has the decision on Curt Schilling’s future becoming more complicated by the day.

Steve Buckley says that it is clear that Manny Ramirez loves to hit in Yankee Stadium. Michael Silverman looks at the performance of the bullpen last night, with Javier Lopez emerging as the star of the night, while Okajima and Papelbon had their struggles. Kevin Gray has Bob Tewksbury giving kids in NH a pep talk.
Buckley says that Curt Schilling is just ahead of the curve on this blogging thing, soon many more athletes are going to be doing it. Horrigan has Dustin Pedroia upset with ARod for a cheap shot during a slide into second base. (MLB.com Video)

Nick Cafardo notes that Mike Mussina is a mess, and that the Yankees really need Roger Clemens right now. Silverman has Johnny Damon happy to be with the Yankees, regardless of where they currently are in the standings.

Check the reaction in NY with the New York Sports Pages.

Horrigan’s notebook has J.D. Drew trying not to over-analyze his own swing as he tries to break out the slump that he has been in all month. Edes’ notebook has Josh Beckett on pace to rejoin the rotation next Tuesday against the Indians. McAdam’s notebook has more on the ARod cheap shot on Pedroia. John Altavilla’s notebook has more on Drew’s slump. Ballou’s notebook has the Red Sox 10.5 lead the largest division lead in baseball.

Patriots
Jim Donaldson says that Junior Seau must be thinking the same thing as Patriots fans, and wants to be along for the ride. Karen Guregian says that another football senior citizen, Vinny Testaverde, also wants to be along for the Patriots ride. Mark Farinella wonders if the proposed new Patriots Place is out of place in Foxboro.

Will The Leprechaun Return?

Just a nerve-wracking day for all Celtics fans. This is worse than the day of game 7 in 2004 against the Yankees. Worse than a Super Bowl Sunday involving the Patriots.

The lottery tonight will be the focus of attention for even casual Celtics fans. Even with Red Sox/Yankees going on at the same time, fans are going to be waiting anxiously between 8:30 and 9:00 for the results of the ping pong balls.

On the 10:00pm edition of Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight on FSN, Mike Gorman will have a one-on-one with Celtics Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. Tom Heinsohn will report on the lottery results from NBA Entertainment. Tanguay and Dickerson will analyze the Green’s next move in-studio with Ryen Russillo of ESPN Radio.

As an indication of how the national media realizes how much this lottery means to the Celtics, ESPN’s Andy Katz will be reporting live from the Celtics’ facility.

Bill Simmons says that the Sonics have the most Karma built up to win the lottery. (He has the Celtics getting the 2nd pick.)

After listening to Glenn Ordway spout for the better part of two decades that the only way the Celtics can rebuild is by bottoming out and getting a franchise player at number one or two in the draft, it was amusing to hear him yesterday saying that if the Celtics get the number two pick and land Kevin Durant, they should strongly consider trading him for a “veteran all star.”

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Bookmark last night’s blog entry by Rob Bradford. You’re going to need it at some point this summer. He talks to the Red Sox’s Director of Baseball Operations, Brian O’Halloran,”whose job it is to know all the ins and outs of big league baseball’s rules and regulations.” This includes all the ins and outs of the waiver process, which has changed this season, rules and procedures related to designating a player for assignment, post-season roster eligibility, the Rule 5 draft, and a host of other complex baseball items.

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Bob Raissman speculates that a feud between Peter Gammons and Yankees President Randy Levine might be behind the rumor from Gammons that Levine is looking to get Joe Torre fired. He also looks at a confrontation between Chris (Mad Dog) Russo and Suzyn Waldman over his mocking of her reaction to Roger Clemens’ announcement that he was returning to the Yankees.

Barry Horn has a look at Waldman as a pioneer for women in sports broadcasting.

Michael Hiestand looks at the issues FOX and ESPN have trying to coordinate coverage for when Barry Bonds does break the all time home run record.

Neil Best looks at the NHL’s version of the “Heidi game” which happened this weekend when NBC left a Sabres/Senators playoff game headed for overtime to cover the Preakness.

Richard Sandomir has more on the NBC/NHL mess.

Chad Finn has a Boston based edition of Nine Innings.

Todd Jones of the Columbus Dispatch has Greg Oden’s former AAU coach saying that the big man “has mentioned in the past that he would like to play for Boston because of the franchise’s rich tradition.”

Jesse Nunes on the Boston.com Green Room can’t live through another lottery like 1997.

Marty Burns looks at the teams with the most to lose (and gain) from tonight’s lottery.

The Masochistic Duncan Myth – Adam Kennedy.

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Tonight

7:00pm, NESN – Red Sox @ Yankees
7:30pm, TBS – Mets @ Braves
8:30pm, ESPN – NBA Draft Lottery
9:00pm, ESPN – Jazz @ Spurs
9:00pm, Versus – Red Wings @ Ducks