Everyone is outside draping lawn reindeer in Hefty bags and applying a fresh coat of Turtle Wax to the house. The family Camaro has been taken off blocks and pushed ’round back, and the town’s three liquor stores have sold out of Wild Turkey. Yes, Daytona Party Weekend has hit rural New England, and us country folk are stoked.

Last April, I ran links to NASCAR and the Lady Huskies in the same blog, and it was clear that I swung and missed with morning readers. Well, it’s a new year and a new count, so allow me to take a strike here. You would, too, if you’ve ever been to a Daytona party.

It’s NASCAR Opening Day on Sunday, and The Back Stretch reports from the Daytona time trials, where a Connecticut town gets dissed on the infield. Pocky’s Paddock sees a thinning of the pit crowds in Daytona this year. ESPN’s Ed Hinton Blog has an interesting personal account of the seedy side of Daytona. Bump Draft says they’ll be no four-peat for Jimmy Johnson in 2009. Gone Racing has a North Haverhill tie to this year’s NASCAR Drive For Diversity program. Green-White Checker has Michael Waltrip leaving Daytona rolling in the aisles with his pulled-pork one-liners. And while you’re at it, be sure to find out why Kelly Faris is the sunshine in UConn’s women’s basketball future. Sorry, but I couldn’t resist.

Now, that wasn’t so bad. Let’s take a look at a week of lost showdowns in the Hub.

C’s & the NBA

Fernsten’s Follies has the Lakers responding to their family’s wake-up calls after they suppressed the Celtics last Thursday. On Sunday, it was San Antonio’s turn. Gray Matter has NH’s Matt Bonner sinking his teeth into a home-cooked meal, then a dagger into the C’s in the Spurs’ 105-99 win at TD Banknorth. Blame both losses on KG says Rich Levine, who thinks the big man has gone soft. On Celtics Stuff Live, Kevin Henkin is ten thoughts smarter after the C’s back-to-back meltdowns.

It was a good start to the road trip with a win in New Orleans last night. Jessica Camerato has a strong fourth quarter turned in by Leon Powe, who has emerged with the groundhog but, unlike Phil, he’s sticking around. Red’s Army says last night’s was a painful performance with too much dribbling. Lex Nihil Novi puts the Hornets sweep on top of their short list of 2009 accomplishments. Full Court Press offers five areas of concern as we play out The Green’s season. Celtics 17 pines for Brad Miller.

NBA Outsider says Michael Jordan’s front office skills are making the league forget all about Isiah Thomas. Ball Don’t Lie takes us for a peek inside Dwight Howard’s dunk war room as he plans for this weekend’s festivities.

B’s & the NHL

Whatever was going around TD Banknorth last weekend, the Bruins caught. They dropped winner-take-all regular season bragging rights to San Jose, 5-2, on Tuesday. The Bruins Report has the B’s disappearing in the third period, much the way Joe Thornton did in his Boston days. Kathryn Tappen says the Sharks’ stick is longer, Jack Edwards says the Sharks’ stick is heavier, and The Bear Cave has Thornton not even needing a stick at all to score. Cornelius Hardenbergh And The Hockey Blogging Adventure mourns the loss of Sam Adams Winter Ale and Sharks fans swarming around him. Here Come The Bruins! discounts Tuesday’s loss. And, while losing two straight is no laughing matter for most of us, Naoko Funayama discusses funny Bruins.

Stanley Cup of Chowder breaks down the B’s Corsi ratings, but only after they explain what the hell Corsi ratings are. Pucks With Haggs has Phil Kessel in the dog days of winter. Kynch’s Korner is still down about the benevolent B’s keeping the gloves on against Philly.

Sox & MLB

Red Sox Monster has the 2009 A.L. East in the bag for the Sox, this according to the geeks at Baseball Prospectus. If only they played with slide rules instead of bats. One If By Land is counting down to spring training one position at a time, and you’ll want to catch up on all the positional recaps starting with the starters last week. The Bottom Line continues with its fourth in a five-day polling of the State of the Nation with local bloggers.

Hot Stove Talk has Josh Beckett closer to 2007 than 2008 in his first bullpen session. Extra Bases reports on Brad Penny’s shoulder after his first session. Fire Brand of the American League loves J.D. Drew’s figures. Clearing The Bases dives deep into the depth chart to find catching prospect Dusty Brown. And God save the queen, but Surviving Grady is right: there is only one degree of separation between Dustin Pedroia and Sid Vicious!

Caught Off The Wall says the second word A-Rod muttered to Peter Gammons was one too many. Boston Sports Blog pegs A-Rod as a compound fraud. Touching All The Bases isn’t the least bit duped, but 38 Pitches actually thinks A-Rod “stood up.” If hiding in a closet until the light of truth forces you out, then attacking the messenger, saying everyone else was doing it, and tossing in a couple of gratuitous seasons in order to deflect attention on his Bronx years is “standing up,” then I’d hate to see Curt’s idea of crouching in a foxhole. Sister blog Toeing The Rubber rambles on and offers up some of 38’s peers that are standing up themselves – to A-Rod, that is. Have a seat on this one, Curt. Subway Squawkers marvels at how much sympathy RSN has for A-Rod.

What’s this? After ducking hit men from Pittsburgh these last few weeks, John Molori has a new guy in the rear view mirror as Media Blitz trashes Joe Torre. It took six months, but A-Blog has finally fulfilled its initial goal of seeking a better title. The renamed Full Count tosses Big Donkey under the bus now that he’s signing with the Nationals.

Pats & the NFL

New England Patriots Examiner states their case for picking up Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha. Tom Curran’s NFL Insider Report has Mel Kiper putting Matt Cassel high on the draft board – and indulges in the chances of New England selecting him.

In the You-Gotta-Be-Kidding-Me Department, First And Ten From Foxboro is breathing a sigh of relief with Brett Favre’s (apparent) retirement. In a related story, Projo Pats Blog has Favre’s latest comeback underway. Pats Pulpit says Pro Bowl MVP Larry Fitzgerald is even more impressive off the field than on.

Thanks for joining in this week. Again, if you’re a blogger with a take, let me know about it at bob02878@yahoo.com. If you want more NASCAR and Lady Huskies, you can use the same address.

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8 thoughts on “Week Log: Strike One, Called

  1. Hey Bruce….

    Your freakin’ guest blogger whose job it is evidently is to review blogs is boring us with NASCAR…can you please tell him to stop it…pitchers and catchers reported today so there is no longer any need to pretend we care about fill in sports…especially one that dumb.

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  2. I like NASCAR because unlike in real life where the fast cars go and you can’t see em no more, those cars go around in circles over and over again about a million times. Plus those big machines make up for what’s lacking in the trouser package. What’s not to like?

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  3. I agree, what we need is more links to “AROD DID ROIDS!” stories. I can’t get enough. more Roids links, please.

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  4. These remind me of the jackanapes on WEEI who flood the Whiner Line with crying whenever someone talks about hockey. If you don’t like NASCAR links, scroll by them.

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    1. I almost forgot. I hate NASCAR. I’d rather watch photosynthesis. Didn’t want that to get left out. Loud noises, horrible country music and bad “beer” is not a sporting event…

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      1. Thanks for the great NASCAR links, Bob. In an average Saturday night in New England there are more people watching motorsports than a Red Sox game. Yet there are always some people (I was gonna call them knuckledragging fu*kwads but I wont) who feel its neccessary to denigrate it.

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