We’ll try to keep this a Sopranos-free zone here today, though I can’t guarantee that the content of the links won’t have references to last night’s show (which was a huge topic on Boston sports radio all day today.) on HBO.
ESPN continued to add to its stable of web sites by announcing today that they had acquired Cricket supersite Cricinfo from The Wisden Group.
The ESPN release notes that “Cricket lends itself perfectly to online coverage: the length of matches and the statistics-rich nature of the game combine to drive high global usage and build loyalty.”
Throughout July, SportsCenter will air “Who’s Now,” a daily series in which fans and ESPN.com users will help SportsCenter determine the “Ultimate Sports Star” by considering both on-field success and off-field prominence.
Thirty-two active athletes, selected by ESPN Research based on fan nominations, will face-off in a bracket-like format to become SportsCenter’s “Who’s Now” athlete. June’s nominating process to select the final 32, and July’s daily single-elimination results, will be based on criteria including individual performance and team success, as well as marketability, endorsements, popularity and celebrity status.
Eric Wilbur has Manny Ramirez on camera talking to NESN’s Tina Cervasio about his hairstylist. Wilbur also examines just how dreadful Julio Lugo has been in the leadoff spot. (David Scott also has commentary on the Manny segment.)
Shira Springer reports on the Celtics workouts of Florida forward Joakim Noah and North Carolina forward Brandan Wright.
Peter King has a lot of Patriots mini-camp stuff in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.
Jerry Magee says that new surroundings won’t change Randy Moss’ ‘divisive influence.’
USA Today lists the Red Sox 2004 World Series victory as the biggest sports story of the last 25 years.
Chad Finn checks in with his national Nine Innings column for FoxSports.
He also has his Touching All the Bases edition.
Mark Craig in the Minneapolis Star Tribune has the heart breaking story of 34-year-old former Vikings free safety Orlando Thomas, who is in the advanced stages of Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Rick Bozich has the story of a newspaper sports reporter being ejected from a college baseball game for blogging during the game for what the NCAA alleged was a violation of its policies prohibiting live Internet updates from its championship events.
Bill Simmons had a marathon chat on ESPN.com this afternoon. (Lots of Sopranos, but also some Celtics and Red Sox.)
Roger Brown of the Northern Ohio-based News-Herald goes after Simmons.
Kevin Hench makes the accusation that Roger Clemens must’ve used something to fuel his late career revival.
Richard Sandomir looks at the sports media being moved further and further from the action, in favor of luxury boxes.
Bob Raismann says that WFAN should just bring back Don Imus.
Here are the latest ESPN MLB Player Ratings. Ortiz ranks 6th, Youkilis 12.
7:00pm, ESPN – White Sox @ Phillies
7:00pm, NESN – Ottawa @ Pawtucket
10:00pm, ESPN2 – AFL – Los Angeles Avengers @ Arizona Rattlers