Approval Ratings – Mike Gorman

Mike GormanToday we’re going to rate Celtics TV announcer Mike Gorman.

Gorman has been calling Celtics games since 1981, and during that time has seen it all with regards to the NBA, from the great days of the Bird era, to the lows of the M.L. Carr and Rick Pitino eras. Through it all, Gorman has been there, steady as always, be it with SportsChannel, FSN New England or now Comcast SportsNet.

He and Tom Heinsohn make up TV’s longest lasting sports broadcasting duo.

For many years Gorman also did quite a bit of college basketball, and has been a regular guest on sports radio WEEI. He was won five Emmy awards and was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004.

(Stepping outside of the neutral “narrative” voice here, Gorman is also one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet in your life.)

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{democracy:32}
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Sox Walk Off With Win

The Red Sox got back into the win column after Kevin Youkilis singled in David Ortiz from second in the bottom of the ninth off Roy Halladay to score the one and only run of the ballgame last night. Jon Lester pitched eight shutout innings, but didn’t get the win, as Jonathan Papelbon came in for the top of the ninth.

Jeff Horrigan has the Sox managing to put an end to their slide, even if the offense hasn’t returned yet. Amalie Benjamin looks at the decision to send Ortiz for the winning run, and at the performance of Lester. Jeff Goldberg looks at an old-fashioned pitching duel at Fenway last night. Paul Kenyon says that great defense in the top of the ninth and clutch hitting in the bottom of the ninth meant a win for the Red Sox. Bob Stern has the losing streak getting stopped in style with the walk-off win. Ron Chimelis has the Sox pitching trying to hold the fort until the heavy lumber awakens. Paul Jarvey notes that we saw the Jon Lester that the Red Sox have been waiting for last night. Joe Haggerty has more on the Sox shutout win at Fenway.

Bill Burt says that Jon Lester passed a huge test with his performance last night. Steve Buckley looks at the gem thrown by Lester last night exactly when the Sox needed it. Lenny Megliola looks at Lester and the Sox rescuing Boston fans from a streak of losing misery. Sean McAdam looks at Halladay, who is a throw-back pitcher, finishing what he starts on the mound. Last night was his fourth straight complete game for the Blue Jays. Jon Couture has the Sox happy that this rough stretch is over for now.

Gordon Edes writes about the ups and downs of the life of Bryan Corey, who was designated for assignment again yesterday to make room for the return of Mike Lowell. Steven Krasner examines the decision not to pinch-run for a hobbled David Ortiz in the ninth inning last night. Alex Speier says that the Sox have needed to be resilient already in this young season. Buckley looks at Jacoby Ellsbury sitting out last night with a aggravated groin. Sarah Green says that the AL East is officially bizarro land now.

It took a lot for Nick Cafardo to write his article criticizing Roger Clemens this morning, I’m sure. Cafardo says Clemens has badly mishandled things since the Mitchell Report was released and could’ve avoided a lot of the negative publicity that keeps coming.

The Globe notebook has Kevin Youkilis praising Roy Halladay. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the return of Lowell to the Red Sox lineup. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the return of Ortiz and Lowell to the Red Sox lineup. The ProJo notebook has Corey having to go into limbo again with the return of Lowell. Chimelis’ notebook also focuses on the return of Lowell. Jarvey’s notebook has the Sox dropping down to 12 pitchers with Corey’s release. Stern’s notebook has more praise for Halladay from Youkilis.

Celtics

It would appear that the honeymoon is over for the Celtics. When Dan Shaughnessy and Gerry Callahan come after you on the morning of a playoff game, you can say that the team has officially arrived on the Boston sports landscape. Callahan in particular is harsh, talking about this being “the worst collapse in Boston sports history.” Tony Massarotti also wonders if the Celtics are just a collection of front-runners, rather than true champions.

On the BSMW Full Court Press, Kevin Henkin says that the Celtics are just Another Team in Search of Its Soul.

Marc J. Spears reports that there will be no suspensions for Monday’s night activities between the two clubs. Bill Doyle also reports on that topic. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics need to get back to what worked in the regular season. Scott Souza has the Celtics keeping cool, but almost sounding overconfident heading into tonight’s game. Tim Weisberg says that the Celtics need to show some poise the rest of the way and not get drawn into skirmishes with the Hawks.

Shira Springer feeds the obsession with the Paul Pierce gang sign.

Peter May assures us that Tony Allen is not the cure-all on guarding Joe Johnson moving forward. Mark Murphy says that the entire Celtics team needs to tighten up their defense, not just whomever is guarding Johnson or Josh Smith. Mike Szostak has the Celtics recognizing that their defense is the problem here. Mike Fine has the Celtics happy to be out of Atlanta.

Sarah Meinecke has the confident Hawks not at all surprised by their success. Jim Fenton has the Hawks handing the Celtics a major dose of adversity.

Spears’ notebook has Doc Rivers saying that his team needs more than just the home crowd to fuel them on tonight. Massarotti’s notebook has more on Garnett avoiding punishment from the league for his run-in with Zaza Pachulia. Szostak’s notebook also reports on the Celtics escaping any suspensions. Fenton’s notebook has more on the teams avoiding punishment.

Misc

Shaughnessy pays tribute to Bob Lobel, who signed off on his last Channel 4 sportscast last night.

David Scott has a few thoughts on HBO’s special edition of Costas Now, which focused on sports and the media. I hope to have something on this show when I get a chance to see more. Right now it’s on my DVR. In the short bit that I saw, I witnessed Mike Tirico say something along the lines of “The fans might just want to know about what’s happening in the game, but if we don’t explore every possible storyline and angle, we’re not being true to our journalistic callings and integrity…” That was enough for me to disgustedly turn away for the night.

Dave Heuschkel looks at entertainment value coming to Foxboro with Patriot Place.

Mark Farinella thinks that Bill Belichick might be doing some planning for the future, as well as building some insurance with the drafting of QB Kevin O’Connell.

Approval Ratings – Jackie MacMullan

Jackie MacMullanToday is your chance to vote on Jackie MacMullan of the (for now) Boston Globe.

This is another vote while you can, as MacMullan is among the latest round of buyouts at the Globe. It is also rumored that ESPN has been courting her aggressively – but what her role would be is unknown, as she was said to be agreeable to the Globe buyout because she wanted to spend more time with her family.

MacMullan is a UNH graduate, and played four years of basketball at the school. She joined the Globe in 1982, and remained there until 1995 as a general sports reporter with a focus on the Celtics and the NBA. She moved on to Sports Illustrated from  1996 to 2000 before rejoining the Globe as a sports columnist.

She is very visible on various NESN and ESPN programs. She is author of several books, such as Bird Watching : On Playing and Coaching the Game I Love with Larry Bird, Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection with Geno Auriemma and Magic & Bird: Basketball’s Awed Couple.

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{democracy:31}

Celtics Swamped By Atlanta Once Again

Doc Rivers and the Celtics have some work to do.

Atlanta evened up the first round series at two games apiece with their 97-92 win over Boston last night. Joe Johnson was absolutely unstoppable in the fourth quarter last night, scoring 20 of his 35 points in the period to bring the Hawks back from a 10 point deficit to stun the Celtics. CSN analyst Donny Marshall made a salient point last night when he noted that sometimes the first round is the toughest. It made me think of those first round battles with the old Washington Bullets back in the 1980’s.

Marc J. Spears assesses the grim situation and notes that Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins might end up getting suspended for game five tomorrow night because of their roles in a second quarter skirmish. Mark Murphy has the unthinkable on the mind of the Celtics following the game. Bill Doyle has the Celtics with reason to be concerned after last night’s loss. Jessica Camerato says that the Hawks have gotten into the heads of the Celtics. Kevin McNamara looks at Joe Johnson stealing the show from the more celebrated Celtics last night.

On the BSMW Full Court Press, Shirley Coshatt looks at the Celtics stumbling once again in Atlanta.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics need to get back to playing their style of basketball. Peter May looks at how the Celtics may now have their confidence shaken, while the young Hawks are soaring. Bill Burt says that the Celtics have not faced such dire straits since the ping pong balls all went the wrong way last May. May checks in with commissioner David Stern, who weighs in on the Saturday night antics between the two clubs, as well as a number of other league items. Bulpett has more on Pierce and the hand gesture for which he was fined last night. Ben Larsen tries to figure out what people think Pierce’s hand gesture meant in gang language. McNamara has more on the supposedly gang-related sign.

Ray Glier looks at the monster game from Joe Johnson. Sarah Meinecke also looks at Johnson simply taking over in the fourth quarter. Larson would like to know why Tony Allen hasn’t gotten a shot at defending Johnson yet. Meinecke also reports on Rajon Rondo coming in fourth in the NBA’s Most Improved Player voting.

Spears’ notebook has Paul Pierce being fined $25,000 for a “menacing” hand gesture on Saturday night. Murphy’s notebook has the clubs acting up again last night, right in front of the commissioner this time. Doyle’s notebook has more on the fine for Pierce. McNamara’s notebook has the momentum of this series swinging Atlanta’s way right now.

Patriots

A couple of pieces from Chris Warner on Patriots Daily, there’s one with thumbnails of the undrafted free agents signed by the Patriots yesterday, and another is a reaction to the draft after some had a hard time figuring out the Patriots plans.

Shalise Manza Young talks to the high school coach of first round pick Jerod Mayo, and has him raving about the linebacker’s character. Mike Reiss talks to a former coach of second round pick Terrence Wheatley, who similarly raves about the player. John Tomase looks at whether the rookie corners drafted by the Patriots can have an immediate impact. Glen Farley looks at late round selections Matt Slater and Bo Ruud, who may both benefit from NFL bloodlines.

Eric McHugh goes around the AFC to see which teams have improved themselves the most and thus could be a threat to the Patriots in ’08. Young has former BC safety Jamie Silva signing with the Colts. McHugh checks in with Quincy High coach Jim Connor, whose brother Dan was drafted by the Panthers in the third round.

Red Sox

Gordon Edes looks at Manny Ramirez’s quest for his 500th career home run. Rob Bradford looks at how off-season workouts have really benefited Ramirez. Garry Brown has the Sox keeping things together during this losing streak. Lenny Megliola insists that better days are ahead for these Red Sox. Jeff Goldberg has the Sox enjoying a rare day off yesterday.

Rob Bradford examines how Jonathan Papelbon is able to get so many batters to swing and miss at his pitches. Alex Speier provides a minor league report of the Red Sox system, including a look at pitcher Nick Hagadone, who is likely facing Tommy John surgery. Michael Silverman has Dustin Pedroia starting out his sophomore season in the big leagues just like his first season finished up. Joe McDonald has Carl Crawford saying that the Red Sox should give Jacoby Ellsbury the green light on the basepaths.

Silverman’s notebook says that thus far, the 2008 pitching staff is doing a poor imitation of the 2007 edition. The Globe notebook has Jon Lester hoping to get his act together for his start tonight, and also has a look at Brandon Moss, who should be headed back to Pawtucket to make room for the return of Mike Lowell.

HBO’s Costas Now Plans “Town Hall” Style Sports Media Show

HBO SportsTomorrow night, HBO will present a special 90-minute edition of Costas Now, which will focus on sports and the media. HBO Sports President Russ Greenberg says “On April 29 we’re going to take stock of the sports media landscape.” The format will be a Town Hall style discussion. At the end of the ninety minute broadcast, the media is expected to blame bloggers, and then fans in general, for any problems identified by the panels. The show will air at 10:00pm (ET) tomorrow night, and will consist of the following five segments:

Segment One: Sports Talk Radio. Video package interviews: Chicago radio host Mike North, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti, WFAN radio hosts Mike & The Mad Dog. Live Panel: NY Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, best selling author and radio host Mitch Albom and WFAN radio host Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.

Segment Two: The Internet and Impact of Bloggers. Video package interviews: deadspin.com editor Will Leitch, TV writer and media critic Michael Schur and Washington Post columnist and PTI host Michael Wilbon. Live panel: Pulitzer Prize winning author Buzz Bissinger, Will Leitch and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards.

Segment Three: Sports Television. Video package interviews: NBC Sports broadcaster Al Michaels, former ABC and NBC executive and producer Don Ohlmeyer, syndicated columnist Norman Chad. Live panel: Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck, ESPN broadcaster Mike Tirico and Sports Illustrated’s Dan Patrick.

Segment Four: Athletes and the Media: A Complicated Marriage. Video package interviews: Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, Miami Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor, Former NBA star and Turner Sports analyst Charles Barkley, Chicago columnist Sam Smith and NBC Sports broadcaster Al Michaels. Live panel: NBC’s Tiki Barber, Sports Illustrated columnist Selena Roberts and former tennis star and current tennis analyst John McEnroe.

Segment Five: A Discussion on Race. Video package interviews: Washington Post columnist and PTI host Michael Wilbon, former NFL star Kellen Winslow, Sr., espn.com editor-in-chief Rob King. Live Panel: former NFL star and current ESPN commentator Cris Carter and Kansas City Star columnist Jason Whitlock.

Approval Ratings – John Dennis

WEEI’sJohn Dennis John Dennis is today’s feature.

Dennis has a long history in the Boston sports media market, having joined WHDH-TV in 1977 and remaining there until 1997, where he went from weekend sports anchor to sports director during his tenure.

Dennis left WHDH in 1997 and began hosting the Dennis and Callahan show on WEEI alongside Gerry Callahan. The show was originally a two hour program starting at 10:00am, but in 1999, the show moved to 6:00 to 10:00am and became a morning drive fixture on the Boston radio airwaves.

Dennis is very good at keeping the program moving, and guiding it in and out of the many commercial breaks. However, his voicemail run-in with Ryen Russillo, and participation in the infamous Metco incident are not among his high points at the station.

Thanks to the Farrelly brothers, Dennis and Callahan have made cameos in a number of movies as well.

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{democracy:30}

Patriots Get Defensive

The NFL draft wrapped up last evening, and the Patriots walked away seemingly having addressed a couple of of their most pressing needs: youth at the linebacker and cornerback positions. New England grabbed three linebackers and two defensive backs in the draft, along with a project quarterback and a special teams ace. Perhaps not the most sexy of hauls, but it seems they knew what they wanted and went after it.

Now that the Patriots are Off The Clock, head on over to Patriots Daily for a wrap on what the Patriots did this weekend.

You’ll read plenty of “draft grades” from media types over the next few days, but if history has taught us anything regarding the draft, it is that you cannot accurately judge how well or poor a team did for at least a year, if not more. That won’t stop the proclamation of whether a team was a winner or loser this past weekend, but it should temper reaction to such articles.

Michael Felger (remember him?) asserts that the Patriots changed tact this weekend and drafted for need rather than the best available player. Mike Reiss says that the slogan “younger and faster,” especially on defense, is something that the Patriots clearly had on their minds with this draft. Mark Farinella has the Patriots filling some needs (LB, CB) aggressively, while leaving others (TE, DL) out. Douglas Flynn says that this draft represents a break from tradition for the Patriots. Ian M. Clark has the Patriots taking care of business this weekend, filling holes while still looking to the future. Shalise Manza Young notes that the Patriots defense is suddenly much younger in just one weekend. David Heuschkel looks at the Patriots changing things up this weekend. I’m officially scared now. Hector Longo gives the Patriots an A+ for this draft because Bill Belichick finally changed his stubborn ways which have led to failure after failure in the draft ever has resulted in his best draft since 2000. I wish I were joking. (Note:Hector is more positive than I originally gave him credit for here.)

Karen Guregian examines Michigan linebacker Shawn Crable, drafted in the third round by the Patriots yesterday and who was raised by his foster mom growing up, someone who was very proud to see what he has accomplished thus far and is happy to see him land in New England. Farinella notes that it was a long, hard road to NFL for Crable. Robert Lee says that Crable is proof that dreams can come true.

Christopher L. Gasper and John Tomase analyze New England’s selection of San Diego State quarterback Kevin O’Connell in the third round yesterday. Farinella adds that the selection might mean its time for Matt Cassel or Matt Gutierrez to be pondering alternatives, though Tom Brady’s job is probably safe. Jennifer Toland has more on the selection of O’Connell, which raised a few eyebrows. Glen Farley has O’Connell looking forward to learning from Tom Brady. Dan Pires says that drafting O’Connell was a shocker.

Tomase also has a look at fifth round pick Matthew Slater – a special teams ace from UCLA, and son of Hall of Famer Jackie Slater. Farinella says that the Patriots are a prime destination that many college players hope to go to, including Slater and Crable. Lee says that the Patriots chose to focus on team needs in the later rounds rather than going for the best available players. Ron Chimelis wants to know why the Patriots didn’t’ draft a kicker, since Bill Belichick obviously has no faith in Stephen Gostkowski. Christopher Price says that this weekend’s draft is not a change from the Patriots usual team building approach. Pires also says that Junior Seau wants to come back, and that the Patriots are interested.

Allen Lessels has UNH quarterback Ricky Santos heading to Kansas City as an undrafted free agent. Jim Donaldson has East Providence’s Matt Sherry getting drafted by the Bengals.

The extensive Globe notebook has more on Slater, Crable and other draft notes. Guregian’s notebook looks at the Patriots finally having some young linebackers to work with. Young’s notebook says that O’Connell could push Matt Cassel out the door. Flynn’s notebook has the Patriots last two picks coming from NFL rootstock. Rich Garven’s notebook looks at the unique special teams talents of Slater. Pires’ notebook has the Patriots continuing their defensive push in day two.

Celtics

The Celtics suddenly find themselves in a series after a high spirited effort from the Hawks on Saturday night overwhelmed the Celtics and put Atlanta in a situation to even the best of seven series with a win tonight. (Butch, is that you?)

Marc J. Spears has the Celtics going through their longest film session of the season yesterday, going over Saturday night’s game in excruciating detail. Steve Bulpett has the Celtic realizing they need to regain their defensive mentality for tonight. Bill Doyle has the Celtics looking past comments from Joe Johnson, who says that they quit in the fourth quarter Saturday night. Tim Weisberg says that the Celtics need to regain their sharing mindset. Kevin McNamara has the Celtics taking a long look at themselves yesterday.

Bulpett also looks at Doc Rivers apparently changing up his substitution pattern on Saturday night, as Leon Powe is apparently out of the rotation for now. Over in the Metro, it’s noted that it is now Celtics time to get their turn in the media spotlight. Peter May has Al Horford and the Hawks finding their voice in game three, and using it at every opportunity. Mark Murphy says that the rookie big men on both sides of this series are already playoff tested.

Spears’ notebook has the Hawks continuing to brashly trash-talk the Celtics. Murphy’s notebook has the Celtics knowing exactly where they need to improve for tonight. McNamara’s notebook has the Hawks still patting themselves on the back for their performance on Saturday.

Red Sox

Don’t look now, but the Red Sox have lost five games in a row, and are coming off a weekend sweep at the hands of the Rays.

Gordon Edes has James Shields shutting out the Red Sox and ruining a terrific performance from Josh Beckett yesterday. Michael Silverman has Tampa rubbing it in to the Red Sox and Boston following the game. Joe McDonald has more on the suddenly punchless Sox dropping another in Tampa. Jeff Goldberg has the Sox looking like a tired team at the plate. Bill Ballou has the Sox as a dead team right now.

Amalie Benjamin notes that this has been a dizzying week in more ways than one for the Sox. Rob Bradford says that there are a number of things that the Sox need to start figuring out. Bradford looks at Manny Ramirez getting his first stolen base in three years yesterday.

Edes’ notebook has David Ortiz sitting out again yesterday, and likely looking forward to the end of April. Silverman’s notebook has the Sox getting their first off-day in 21 days today. McDonald’s notebook has Beckett fuming about the Sox having to play 20 days without an off day. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Manny’s steal. Ballou’s notebook has the Sox off-day coming at the right time.

David Scott looks at a tough Sunday for the Globe sports section.