Cervasio Lands on MSG Network

Former NESN anchor and Red Sox field reporter Tina Cervasio has landed a new gig in New York with the MSG Network.

From the network’s press release:

MSG announced today that the network has signed Tina Cervasio as a host and reporter for MSG and MSG Plus (formerly FSN New York). Cervasio will serve as a co-host for MSG’s nightly sports and entertainment program “MSG, NY.” In addition, she will contribute feature reports for MSG and MSG Plus as well as serve as a sideline reporter for the MLS New York Red Bulls coverage on MSG. Cervasio will begin appearing on-air toward the end of March.

This announcement comes after MSG increased its signature show “MSG, NY” from five to seven days a week and expanded the show to a one-hour format. “MSG, NY” includes highlights, in-depth features and analysis on the top sports and entertainment news in the New York metropolitan area. ChevyOffers.com is the presenting sponsor for the program.

“We are excited that Tina is joining MSG and MSG Plus, and look forward to the fresh approach, energetic personality and knowledge she brings to complement our sports and entertainment programming,” said Lydia Murphy-Stephans, executive vice president, programming and production for MSG Media. “Tina’s strong background in sports broadcasting, combined with the fact that she is a tri-state area native, make her a great fit for our networks as we continue to bring viewers the top stories in New York sports and entertainment.”

Cervasio will share hosting duties on “MSG, NY” with Jason Horowitz and Jonathan Coachman. Contributing reporters for the show include Scott Lasky, Jill Martin and Eddie Trunk, along with special appearances by Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier, Stan Fischler, and Dave Maloney. On New York Red Bulls broadcasts, Cervasio will join analyst Shep Messing and play-by-play announcer Steve Cangialosi.

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Ordway Back On The Job

With no games for the locals last night, we’ll just cover a few quick items:

Glenn Ordway returned to the WEEI airwaves yesterday, following the most “frightening experience” of his life. Jessica Heslam in the Herald has a report on the return of the Big O.

David Scott has a quick non-update on NESN’s search for a replacement for Tina Cervasio, and a couple of other items.

After delaying their final Grapefruit league game for almost an hour, the Red Sox reached an agreement with MLB for getting their coaches compensated for the trip to Japan. Check the coverage on RedSoxLinks.com.

The Celtics hit Dallas tonight, while the Bruins have a home game with the Canadiens.

The Patriots met with Ohio State’s Vernon Gholston in a private workout yesterday.

The NCAA tournament tips off this afternoon. You can watch the games live online at NCAA.com.

Finally, I thought I’d pass along a report from our BSMW correspondent in China:

Hey Bruce,

I am in Shenzhen right now a small city of 9 million people on the Hong Kong/China border. I’m here for a furniture expo, and I’ve been visiting vendors at the show all week. Yesterday at 9:20am I went to one of the vendor’s booths and sat for 2 hours and watched the Celtics beat the Rockets on the 70″ plasma they had set up. The vendor makes stadium seats and their display was designed to look like a stadium. I actually watched from the “club seats” with the owner of the factory…a rabid Rockets fan. He knew I was from Boston and actually sent me an email inviting me to watch the game with him during the show. During the two hours probably 4000 people stopped by to watch parts of the game with about 200 staying for the whole game. It was crowded, but then again it was China. There was only one Celtics fan in attendance…me. But to give the Chinese credit, most who talked to me, and the owner kept introducing me to his customers who stopped the booth, knew Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen. They knew how good the Celtics were this year. They also knew the Lakers, Detroit, San Antonio, Phoenix and Orlando pretty well. They knew the players that is, the game they did not understand so well. I explained the defenses the teams played, some of the offensive plays, explained about position and we had a long talk about Yi Jianlin and what he needs to do to get better.

Anyway, China is NBA mad. Were the NBA to truly understand global marketing and branding, China would be a bigger market for them than the USA is within 2 years. It is hard to find licensed materials other than Yao shirts and those only in some of the more expensive stores. Several guys asked me to send them NBA stuff, which I will do when I get home. There is no NBA licensed product in Chinese language that I have seen and I have been in 4 major cities, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen.

The NBA is on their TV live, but not rebroadcast at night. With the lack of programing in China in general, this makes no sense to me considering the time zone differential. If the NBA was smart they would open a chain of NBA stores in China, complete with TV’s showing the NBATV and giving that network broadcast and rebroadcast rights to games in China. They might have an area in
the stores for people to sit and have tea/coffee and they would open them as fast as humanly possible…they only have another 8 to 10 years of Yao.

I hope all is well. I come back to the USA on Saturday. BSMW has kept me sane. Thanks for keeping it going.

As Seen and Heard on TNT Last Night…

Some quotes and comments from last night’s TNT telecast of the Celtics/Rockets game:

Charles Barkley in response to Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor making comments that former Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett tanked the last five game of last season: “Glen Taylor has got a lot of money and doesn’t know anything about basketball…If you ever watch Kevin Garnett play, you can’t ever say he tanked a game. As much as KG has done for the Timberwolves and the trash they put around him, when they got Sam Cassell and Latrell Sprewell they got to the Western Conference Finals.”

Doug Collins on Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett setting the tone for the team: “(Kevin Garnett) came in and brought tremendous energy and an MVP kind of talent (to the Celtics). Their defense and everything they do everyday in practice, he sets the tone for everything they do and everybody else follows.”

Collins on Celtics coach Doc Rivers having a better season: “It’s amazing what a great coach Doc (Rivers) is with great players, I think they lost 18 straight at one point last year.”

David Aldridge interviewed Celtics head coach Doc Rivers after the first half.

Rivers on playing a new offense in Houston: “We’re trying to play an offense we haven’t seen before, so we’ll settle down, get some sets and some extra juice and I think we’ll be fine.”

Barkley on the shoving that occurred between Rajon Rondo and Rafer Alston at game tip: “That’s the perfect example of two guys (Rajon Rondo and Rafer Alston) that can’t fight just pushing each other. They should kiss next time, it would be more aggressive.”

Collins on the Celtics gaining control in the second half of the game: “Boston has done what Doc Rivers asked them to do, they’ve settled down and they are playing at a much better rhythm on the offensive end. They were very frenetic in that first half.”

Collins on the Celtics allowing head coach Doc Rivers to keep his position: “I’m so happy for Doc Rivers that he was able to stick around. (GM) Danny Ainge recognized that there is no way that Doc Rivers could win with that team last year, he gave him a chance to coach this year and I think it’s great.”

Collins on the comments by Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor that Kevin Garnett tanked games last season: “Especially for a guy who gave his heart and soul for that organization, and not only that, but every single night if there is a guy who has played hard in this league it’s Kevin Garnett. I like that he didn’t respond, there is no response necessary. His body of work speaks for itself. Kevin, keep doing what you’re doing and let people respect what you do on that floor.”

Aldridge interviewed Celtics forward Kevin Garnett after the Celtics win over the Rockets.

Garnett on breaking the winning streak: “The Rockets have been playing some unbelievable basketball, 22 wins in any sport is hard to do. This (Celtics) team has a lot of depth, people don’t give our bench a lot of credit. We are a team in progress, but it’s good to have a consistency to what we’re doing, it feels good.”

Garnett on the comments made by Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor: “I’m in Boston. I (could) care less what Glen Taylor thinks of Kevin Garnett, that’s nonsense. I don’t know why he would bring that up, but it shows the taste of some people.”

Barkley on Garnett’s comments about Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor: “I like what (Kevin Garnett) said about Glen Taylor, he let that go…That’s the difference between me and Kevin Garnett, I can never take the high road.”

Much of the pre and post game programming was focused on the Rockets. You can understand why, with the 22 game winning streak and all. TNT approached the matter as the Rockets being the story of the moment, whereas the Celtics have been a story for the entire season, and will continue to be a big story as we move towards the playoffs.

Rockets No Match For Celtics

The Houston Rockets had won 22 straight games coming into last night, the second longest streak in NBA history. That streak is over, thanks to a dominating second-half performance from the Celtics, who cruised to a 94-74 win over the Rockets, thanks to 22 points from Kevin Garnett, 21 points from Leon Powe and 20 from Paul Pierce.

Steve Bulpett notes that the Celtics “evidently don’t have the best record in the league for nothing.” Marc J. Spears has Tracy McGrady praising the Celtics defense as the best he has seen in his 10 years in the NBA. You can check the Houston Chronicle for more coverage of the Celtics putting an end to the historic run by the Rockets.

Spears has Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor saying before last night’s game that KG tanked it at the end of last season. Bulpett has more on the comments from Taylor, which just reek of sour grapes. Bulpett also has a piece on Rockets GM Daryl Morey, who spent three years here in Boston working under Danny Ainge.

Spears’ notebook has TNT analyst Kenny Smith talking at length about his former teammate Sam Cassell, whom he mentored during the latter’s first two seasons in the league, and who is glad to see Cassell taking a similar role with Rajon Rondo and the Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook has Paul Pierce saying that former teammate Gerald Green, now out of the league after being cut by the Rockets, simply didn’t want to work hard enough.

Red Sox

Jackie MacMullan has David Ortiz getting ready for the trip to Japan, while still trying to get fully comfortable in his recovery from offseason knee surgery. Rob Bradford has Terry Francona taking pains to protect his health, although he knows that once the season begins, personal issues won’t be high on his list of priorities. Joe McDonald and Sean McAdam report on the developing news that coaching staffs of the A’s and Red Sox may not be getting paid to make the trip to Japan. They say that players and managers are getting $50,00 each for the trip, while the coaches are getting nothing.

Michael Silverman examines the decisions that need to go into putting together the roster for the trip to Japan. Jeff Goldberg has Jed Lowrie impressing the Red Sox this spring, so much so that he is being included on the 30 man roster going to Japan. Mike Fine observes that while the Red Sox have some notable veteran pitchers, their young arms are really the core of the pitching staff. Joe Haggerty has Kevin Youkilis hoping to get even better while coming off his best-ever season.

Silverman has Coco Crisp happy to be making the trip to Japan with the Red Sox. Joe McDonald has more on Crisp and Bobby Kielty being informed that they will be on the roster for the trip to Japan.

MacMullan’s notebook has more on Crisp and Kielty getting the call to come along and contribute on the Japan trip. The Herald notebook has more on the news that the coaching staffs of the A’s and Red Sox may not be getting paid to make the long trip to the far East. This report says that the managers are included in the group that might not get paid. This report also has the figure at $40,000 for the players. Goldberg’s notebook has Crisp looking forward to experiencing a little bit of the Mr Baseball life while out in Japan

Patriots/NFL

Yesterday was Pro Day over at Boston College, with NFL scouts and executives from all over the league descending upon Boston to watch some players with Boston College and local ties work out. Eagles Quarterback Matt Ryan was the center of attention for most of the time. Steve Conroy has staff from the Dolphins, Falcons, Ravens and Chiefs paying special attention to Ryan. Mike Reiss has Chiefs coach Herm Edwards spending extra time with Ryan at the workouts. Eric Avidon has more on Ryan as the star of the show yesterday.

Shalise Manza Young has a look at Jamie Silva hoping to impress scouts with his football skills, rather than his (relative lack of) physical abilities. Lenny Megliola has former Bentley lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau hoping to get an NFL shot. Conroy’s notebook has BC offensive lineman Gosder Cherilus garnering quite a bit of attention as well, many have him pegged as a late first round selection.

You can search for more Patriots related items on PatriotsLinks.com.

Bruins/Misc

Barbara Matson has Zdeno Chara continuing to make improvement, but already sick of talking about getting better. Stephen Harris has the Bruins well are of their futility against the Canadiens this season. Mike Loftus has Marc Savard hoping to be the spark that ignites the dormant Bruins offense.

Get more Bruins news at BruinsLinks.com

Marty Dobrow has UMass moving on in the NIT with an 80-60 win over Stephen F. Austin last night. Mark Murphy and Craig Larson have 33-0 Bentley moving on to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Division 2 tournament.

Mark Farinella has another installment of Ask Fearless.

Celtics/Rockets Biggest Game of NBA Season

The BSMW Messageboard has been down all day…we’re unsure when it will be back up, though it shouldn’t be all that long. In the meantime feel free to post in the comments section here at the bottom of this and each post here on BSMW.

Tonight’s Celtics/Rockets game could easily be the biggest game in the NBA this season. The Rockets of course, have won 22 straight games – the second longest streak in NBA history, and the Celtics come in with the best record in the NBA.

TNT has tonight’s game, with the action tapping off around 9:40pm. They’ll have a 10 minute pregame show starting at 9:30. Calling the action will be Kevin Harlan (play-by-play), Doug Collins (analyst) and David Aldridge (reporter). The night will conclude with the Emmy® award-winning studio show Inside the NBA with Ernie Johnson (host), Charles Barkley (analyst) and Kenny Smith (analyst).

ESPN’s Daily Dime has a Celtics focus today.

Dennis Dillon says that the 2008 draft is boom-or-bust time for the Patriots.

Peter King has MMQB, Tuesday edition, with a look at what Bill Parcells might be thinking of doing with the #1 pick.

ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber is pleased with some changes she’s seen on Sportscenter.

From Comcast this afternoon:

COMCAST SHOOTS AND SCORES!

March Madness Mania Delivers College Basketball Fans Thousands of On Demand Options

MANCHESTER, NH – (March 18, 2008) – As college basketball fans from around the country prepare to tune into the first round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, Comcast today announced special NCAA® March Madness® programming features, ranging from game highlights in high definition to historical tournament moments to sports-themed specials and movies.

“With game highlights available in HD On Demand, fans of March Madness don’t need to worry about missing the action while at work. It’s one more example of the power of On Demand, this time for sports enthusiasts,” said Steve Hackley, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Northern New England Region. “Whether you love great movies, TV shows or sports, Comcast always offers more to watch, on your schedule.”

Comcast’s NCAA March Madness Memories and Highlights, as well as additional offerings, are outlined below:

NCAA March Madness Memories and Highlights Available Now – ALL IN HD and At No Additional Cost to Digital Cable Subscribers

Comcast On Demand will have NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship memories and highlights available to its digital cable subscribers at no additional cost. This programming, which can be found through the On Demand menu under the Sports & Fitness category and then the NCAA March Madness folder, includes:

*Highlights from the 63 2008 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship games beginning with the first round starting on Thursday, March 20 through the Championship game on April 7

*Historical moments from past tournaments, including exciting buzzer beaters and shooting stars, such as:

  • Laettner (Duke) vs. Kentucky (1992)
  • Bill Walton (UCLA) vs. Memphis State (1973)
  • George Mason’s run to the Men’s Final Four (2006)
  • Villanova over Georgetown (1985)
  • NC State and Jimmy Valvano (1983)

*Post-tournament recap show

Sport-Themed Movie Highlights Available Now – ALL In HD

Comcast presents a variety of sports-themed movie viewing options available On Demand, including Hoosiers, Rocky, Raging Bull, Bull Durham, Blue Crush, Slap Shot, Field of Dreams, Days of Thunder, Major league, Glory Road, Remember the Titans and more.

Comeback As Big As Texas For Celts

Both Rajon Rondo and the Celtics would rather forget how last night’s game against the Spurs began. Trailing by 17 points at the end of the first quarter, and as much as 22 during the first half, Rondo and the Celtics looked overmatched against the defending champion Spurs. But then a funny thing happened – they did forget about the huge deficit and the start of the game, and starting playing their game. By the third quarter, the Celtics had taken the lead, and while things went back and forth the rest of the way, the Celtics took the lead for good on a huge three-pointer from Sam Cassell (17 points) with 47 seconds left. The end result was a 93-91 Celtics victory, and Rondo, after getting torched by Tony Parker earlier in the game was one of three Celtics to finish with 20 or more points on the night. Kevin Garnett (21) and Paul Pierce (22) were the others.

Marc J. Spears has Cassell adding another clutch shot to his NBA resume, as he helps push the Celtics over the World Champs. Steve Bulpett has a recap of the night for the Celtics, who needed the luck of the Irish on St Patrick’s day to storm back on the Spurs. In San Antonio, they’re wondering what’s wrong with the Spurs.

Bill Reynolds says that the arrival of Garnett accelerated the Celtics transformation back to contenders. Bulpett has the Celtics weighing in on Bruce Bowen, with Doc Rivers counting himself as a fan, while Ray Allen and Paul Pierce hate to play against him, with Allen calling him a dirty player. On the BSMW Full Court Press, Kevin Henkin answers a few “fan” letters that have trickled in.

Bulpett’s notebook has the Celtics looking forward to the challenge of facing the Rockets tonight on national TV. Spears’s notebook has the Celtics going into tonight in a rare position this season – they’re not the ones with the target on their backs.

Red Sox

Rob Bradford has the birth of his child opening up the way for Daisuke Matsuzaka to pitch the opener for the Red Sox in Japan. Nick Cafardo has the Red Sox trying to temper expectations by reminding us that Jacoby Ellsbury has a lot he can improve in his game. Bob Stern has part one of a nine part series leading up to the start of the season for the Red Sox, and in the opener, says that injuries are the one thing that could derail this team. Joe McDonald says that even in spring training, the Red Sox and Yankees play for real.

Jackie MacMullan says that even though he got roughed up yesterday, Bartolo Colon remains one of the most intriguing stories of the spring for the Red Sox. Michael Silverman has more on Colon, who struggled with his command, but did finish the outing pain-free, which has to be counted as a plus. Jeff Goldberg has a look at Colon’s performance against the Yankees yesterday, while Andy Pettitte was solid on the other side for New York.

Bradford has a look at what Josh Beckett will be doing in Florida while his teammates are in Japan. Joe Haggerty has J.D. Drew hoping that an offseason of bowling will keep his back in good shape this season. Bradford and Silverman report that Jon Lester will be taking a later flight to Japan so that he can get another minor league start here on Thursday before getting ready to play game two against the A’s. Bradford has Coco Crisp getting back into action yesterday.

Cafardo’s notebook has more on the Sox naming Matsuzaka as their opening day starter. The Herald notebook has Andy Pettitte sending a message by pitching inside to David Ortiz, and has Johnny Damon still yapping about how much the Red Sox miss him. They missed you so much they won the World Series last year, Johnny. McDonald’s notebook has more on the Sox naming Matsuzaka their opening day starter. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the Sox giving Dice-K and Lester the nod for the two games in Japan.

Pats/Bruins/Misc

Karen Guregian and Christopher L. Gasper report on Troy Brown visiting and working out for Eric Mangini and the Jets yesterday.

Stephen Harris has Zdeno Chara hoping for a fast return to action for the Bruins. Fluto Shinzawa has Chara hoping for continued improvement in both his health and his team.

Mark Blaudschun has a look at North Carolina star Tyler Hansbrough.

Jim McCabe tries to put into perspective exactly what Tiger Woods in accomplishing right now.

3.17.08 Afternoon

Congratulations to Chad Finn for having Boston.com pick up his excellent “Touching All The Bases” blog. Rather than just having a link, the blog will be hosted there full-time sometime before opening day.

Ian Thomsen says that the Celtics will be tested on this 4 game trip to the midwest.

In San Antonio, Jeff McDonald has Manu Ginobili and the Spurs a bit beat up heading into tonight’s game with the Celtics.

FireJoeMorgan goes after Kevin Hench for questioning Rocco Baldelli’s potentially career-ending condition.

After seeing Semi-Pro, Bill Simmons isn’t high on the future of sports movies. He also has an updated edition of this week’s links.

Peter King’s Monday Morning QB has a look at Matt Ryan, who has to show that he’s worthy being picked at the top of the draft.

Tom Curran agrees that tomorrow is a make-or-break day for Ryan.

Silliest suggestion heard from the Boston sports media this weekend…that the Patriots should trade the #7 pick in the draft to Miami for Jason Taylor. (From Burton/Lobel on Sports Final)