Slowly Winding Down

David Scott has a look at the Celtics coverage this week, along with a few other media notes, including old friend Albert Breer moving onto a national gig.

Over on Patriots Daily, Scott Benson salutes the Celtics for A Job Well Done.

The BSMW Full Court Press thanks the readers for a great season.

Parade coverage is a team sport, with reporters stationed along the route. The Globe has a report from Michael Levenson and Andrew Ryan on the Celtics celebration, while the Herald has Jessica Fargen, Mike Underwood and Laurel J. Sweet giving us the details on the parade. Tim Weisberg has the Celtics joining the ranks of the Duck Boat championship squads.

Steve Bulpett writes that for Paul Pierce, this title was 10 years in the making. Mike Szostak says that the new big three played with a sense of urgency all season long. Marc J. Spears says that the Celtics are in relatively good health heading into the offseason, with no majors surgeries planned for any of the players. Mark Murphy explores what the future holds for each member of the Celtics roster.

Steve Buckley says that Boston is hated all across the country because of our athletic success. Leave it to the 17% Globe to remind us that Boston remains a baseball town. Up in Lawrence, Alan Siegel makes perhaps the first ever comparison between Kevin Garnett and Dan Jansen.

Red Sox

Phil O’Neill says that the Celtics will be honored at Fenway Park tonight prior to the Red Sox/Cardinals game. Jeff Goldberg has Terry Francona and the Red Sox embracing the title run by the Celtics.

Amalie Benjamin has a feature on why it is so hard to find catching prospects these days. She also looks at the value of Jason Varitek to the Red Sox.

Jeff Horrigan has a look at Jacoby Ellsbury, who has brought a brand of baseball to Boston that we’re not used to seeing. Steven Krasner has a look at the dramatic improvement by Manny Delcarmen as of late. Gordon Edes has Manny Ramirez impressed with teammate J.D. Drew. Rob Bradford has the Red Sox buying into the power of Phiten, the titanium necklace made popular by Daisuke Matsuzaka. Jim Donaldson says that interleague play is hazardous to the health of AL pitchers.

Benjamin’s Minor League notebook leads with a look at Michael Bowden, who is 5-1 with a 1.40 ERA in his last 10 starts for AA Portland. Michael Silverman also has a look at Bowden, who is on the verge of moving up to AAA.

Horrigan’s notebook has injury updates for the Cardinals and Red Sox.


The NHL draft is tomorrow, and Fluto Shinzawa has Cam Neely getting much more involved in the process for the Bruins this year. Steve Conroy has a look at some of the hot rumors floating around the draft. Douglas Flynn says that the Bruins would love to see left wing/center Kyle Beach fall to them at pick number 16. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has a look at BU freshman center Colin Wilson, who will see what happens tomorrow and weigh his options.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has a look at ESPN2’s new Wimbledon coverage, and also notes that Leon Powe will have a busy day at ESPN on Monday.


Approval Ratings – Dennis Eckersley

Dennis EckersleyThe Eck is up today…

After a Hall of Fame playing careerwith the Indians, Red Sox, Cubs, A’s and Cardinals, Dennis Eckersley began his broadcast career as a color analyst for the A’s TV broadcasts in 1999.

For the last several years Eckersley has been in the rotation of studio analysts for the Red Sox telecasts on NESN, and has consistently proven himself to be the most candid,  and also insightful of the group. On occasion he has also filled in during the game in the booth, either in place of Jerry Remy on the TV telecasts, and even a few times in the radio booth.

He’s developed his own unique lingo over the years, referring to pitches with “hair” or throwing “cheese.” He is not limited to just commenting on pitching however, as his knowledge of the game allows him to speak to all parts of the game.



Phoenix Explores Old vs New in Sports Media

Adam Reilly of the Boston Phoenix examines the animosity between old-media sportswriters and their new-media counterparts.

Plenty of quotes in this article from Bill Simmons, Buzz Bissinger and Tony Massarotti, who sounds somewhat confused that he’s been labeled an internet basher.

Reilly wonders why the antipathy between traditional sportswriters and their new-media peers is so toxic, and lists these factors:

  • Sportswriters are old-fashioned.
  • Sportswriters are used to getting sand kicked in their face.
  • Despite impassioned protests from the traditionalists, old-school sportswriting really isn’t all that different than blogging.
  • Nothing hangs in the balance.
  • Sportswriters think their profession is in jeopardy — and they might be right.

Each point is explored in more detail in the article.

He ends on a positive note:

The best reason for optimism, though, may be the relentless convergence of old and new media. That aforementioned Ryan piece? The one that criticized Bill Simmons’s take on the Celtics and Lakers? It appeared — wait for it — on Ryan’s blog, And Another Thing . . . (Incidentally, Leitch was just named a contributing editor at New York magazine.) Five years from now, every sportswriter lucky enough to have a paying job will be blogging, too. And if they have complaints about the work their lesser-known colleagues are doing, they’ll have to focus on the merits of the content, not on the mode of delivery. Which is exactly how it should be.

Another Parade Day

It’s another parade day here in Boston. These days just don’t get old, do they?

The parade will start at 11:00am at the TD Banknorth Garden and roll past City Hall and Boston Common before ending at Copley Square.

Somehow, the Boston Globe let Bob Ryan get the front cover of the paper today. I thought that was space exclusively reserved for Shaughnessy? Ryan examines where this Celtics team ranks in comparison to all the great teams in the history of the franchise. You might be surprised where he puts them. Steve Bulpett says that Danny Ainge’s vision for this team proved to be right. Bill Burt offers up 17 thoughts, comments and observations on the latest championship season for the Celtics. Bill Reynolds gives us five things we can learn from the World Champs.

It’s curious as to why the papers picked two of the more negative, miserable guys in town, Dan Shaughnessy and Tony Massarotti to tell the fans just how good we all have it here in Boston right now. Maybe it’s for their own good. Even though Gerry Callahan can’t resist taking a shot at Bill Belichick, his article on Doc Rivers today is top notch. I actually got some chills on the line from Remember The Titans. Lenny Megliola says that this championship is full of private joys for those involved.

Bulpett explores what the Celtics will do with James Posey and his contract option, Christopher L. Gasper has Larry Bird offering his congratulations to the Celtics and the fans of Boston. Jessica Camerato looks at how things have changed since she started covering the team last season.

Get all the rest of the stories from this morning on

J.D. Drew continued his red-hot hitting for the Red Sox as they beat the Phillies yesterday afternoon. Check all the coverage on

Game Six a Winner for ABC, Too


ABC’s NBA Finals Deliver Highest Viewership for Game 6 Since 2000
Finals up 51% From 2007
All Six Finals Telecasts Enable ABC to “Win the Night” Among All Networks

Game 6 of the NBA Finals on ABC – the Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers to win the championship – last night, Tuesday, June 18, was the highest-rated and most-viewed Finals Game 6 since 2000. This year’s Game 6 averaged 16,878,000 viewers (P2+), 12,085,000 households and delivered a 10.7 rating, compared to Game 6 in 2000 (Pacers/Lakers), which averaged 22,396,000 viewers (P2+), 14,854,000 households and a 14.7 rating.

The 2008 Game 6 outperformed Game 6 in 2006 (there was no Game 6 last year), which averaged 15,710,000 viewers for Dallas at Miami, an increase of seven percent.

ABC marked its top-rated Tuesday in nearly seven months among adults 18-49 since November 27, 2007. The network posted its strongest Tuesday across each of the key men demographics in two and a half years — since January 3, 2006, men 18-34 (5.6), men 18-49 (5.7) and men 25-54 (5.9)

ABC’s 2008 NBA Finals Game 6 overshadowed its primetime competition, ranking as Tuesday’s No. 1 TV program in viewers and across each of the key adult demographics: adults 18-34 (6.9), adults 18-49 (6.9) and adults 25-54 (7.1). For the sixth consecutive broadcast, the NBA Finals sparked ABC to “win the night” among all television networks. The NBA Finals averaged more homes and viewers than any other show, with ABC winning primetime overall among all networks.

The six Finals broadcasts averaged a 9.3 rating, up 51 percent over the four-game series last year (6.2). The 2008 Finals ranks as the highest-rated and most-viewed Finals since 2004 (Lakers/Detroit, 11.4).

Moreover, ABC ranked #1 during the week of June across each of the key adult demographics (adults 18-34/adults18-49/adults 25-54). Leading the week by 14 percent in Adults 18-49, ABC snapped Fox’s 22-week winning streak — beginning in early January. In addition, the Finals on ABC also registered as the Top 3 most-watched programs overall for the week .

Approval Ratings – Tommy Heinsohn

Tommy HeinsohnTime for a Tommy Point?

For over a quarter of a century, Tom Heinsohn has been next to Mike Gorman on Celtics broadcasts. He has picked up the mantle from Johnny Most as the unabashed homer in the broadcast booth, screaming at the officials and making villains of the opponents. In the 1980’s Heinsohn was alongside Dick Stockton on the CBS national telecasts, and try as he could, he never quite managed to avoid looking at the games through the green tinted lenses.

For an older generation, Heinsohn is remembered for his Hall of Fame playing career, first at Holy Cross, and then with the Celtics. He retired as a player at the age of 30, and then at the age of 35 became the Celtics coach, leading them out of the Bill Russell era and back to championship glory in 1974 and 1976.

In between his playing and coaching career, he got started in the broadcast booth, doing the play-by-play for WKBG (Now WLVI Channel 56) from 1966 -1969.

Due to advancing age and health, Heinsohn has started to scale back his workload the last two seasons, avoiding the longer road trips, and instead serving as studio analyst for those games.




Lest We Forget

ESPN Expert Picks

How sweet is THAT?

A few random, rambling thoughts:

The Kevin Garnett/Bill Russell exchange following the game had me tearing up even while chills were running down my spine. Quite a weird sensation, but it’s one I wouldn’t mind having a few more times in my lifetime.

Garnett’s hanging in the air, one handed line drive shot while getting knocked to the ground is a play that will live on in highlights for years to come. In my mind, it was like the play in the 1991 Finals were Michael Jordan switched hands on a drive down the throat of the Lakers defense. “A Spectacular Move” is how Marv Albert described Jordan, Garnett’s might’ve been even more impressive.

I can’t think of a Boston athlete I could be happier for than Paul Pierce. This guy has seen rock bottom in Celtics history and now has his own legacy of greatness. The legends of the Celtics have always accepted Pierce, but now he is truly a member of their club.

It would’ve been great to see Larry Bird in the house. I know he’s happy for the fans of Boston this morning…

Brian Scalabrine (Video in the right sidebar) talking trash to the media after the game was amusing to watch. I was surprised he wasn’t joined by Scot Pollard up there…

Ray Allen. Wow. Revealing after the game that his son was diagnosed with diabetes over the weekend, he really hasn’t slept at all the last five days or so, and he was just lights out…especially in the second half. The guy was amazing, and hopefully the talk that he is done is done.

Kendrick Perkins – stat line doesn’t jump out at you, but the guy couldn’t even lift one of his hands over his head, yet the put a body on Pau Gasol and that was all he had to do. It’s hard to believe that he’s been around since the last year of the Jim O’Brien era, but he’s put in the work and is a invaluable piece to the Celtics defense.

Has Rajon Rondo stopped running yet? He was a blur, yet in contrast to some nights, he was a controlled blur. Everytime you turned around it seemed he was disrupting something. His two handed strip on Lamar Odom reminded me of Tedy Bruschi stripping Dominic Rhodes in the 2005 playoffs.

Can we get James Posey a new three year contract right now? Please?

I’m tempted to bring back P.J. Brown for another run as well. He doesn’t need to play much – 10 to 15 minutes tops – but he certainly was the piece that the Celtics needed to add late in the season. He added the veteran guile that was needed in the Celtics front court.

Doc Rivers

Yeah, I know he’s been here for four seasons now, but I’m still having a hard time believing that the same Doc Rivers who drove me crazy as Dominique Wilkins’ sidekick in the 80’s is the guy who was on the Celtics sideline when they clinched banner 17.

He did a tremendous job this season, and even more so in the postseason, and the finals, where he was a step ahead of the “Zen master” at every turn.

In the “Wired” segments that ABC showed at the start of the games and halftime, it seemed Doc was always saying the right thing. In contrast, Phil Jackson was so laid back most of the time, you could almost translate that out to the performance of his players in long stretched of time.

My faith in humanity was restored last night following the game when Stuart Scott and David Stern were heartily booed on the championship stand. Stern, you recall seemed to do everything he could to keep the Celtics down, even giving the team no cap relief after Reggie Lewis died. A few years later when Alonzo Mourning was thought to be lost for the season for the Heat, he granted the Heat space enough to sign an impact player, and then Mourning returned before the end of the season. I’ve never forgotten that. It seems that the fans haven’t either.

Sorry Bob. I couldn’t resist.

I’ll fully acknowledge that Ryan’s column was written before James Posey and PJ Brown were added to the mix and without those guys, I’m not sure we’ve got Banner 17 today.  But this paragraph from Ryan sure stands out now:

So tell me what’s so enticing about this roster. If Danny had kept Ryan Gomes, I’d be far more optimistic. And why did Danny have to relinquish two No. 1 draft picks? Am I the only one who thinks this stuff matters? There is nothing to suggest the Celtics won’t once again be a horrible defensive team. There is no guarantee Rondo can run a team and keep order among the star trio. There is no guarantee, for that matter, that Ray Allen will play 70 games, or even 60.

It’s also worth noting that the Celtics hadn’t yet hired Tom Thibodeau either, but it sure is fun to look back and see the pining for Ryan Gomes in August.

After hearing for two weeks that Kobe Bryant was the best player on the planet, I just don’t see it. LeBron was a much stiffer challenge to the Celtics, even as he struggled with his shooting. It seems we can also put to rest the “Kobe is better than Jordan” talk. Kobe has now lost two NBA Finals, something Jordan never did, and a Jordan team would never have gone out like the Lakers did last night.

I was thrilled for Mike Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn last night as well. Watching CSN after the game, I was almost as emotional for them as for the players. These guys have truly seen all the bad times this franchise has been through over the last 22 years. To have their loyalty final rewarded with another title is most satisfying indeed.

Enjoy this one, folks. Boston in the 21st century continues to be the place to be for sports fans…