Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-06-24

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Sox Erupt Late To Take Down Nationals

In a tight 3-3 battle heading into the seventh inning, the Red Sox erupted for eight runs in the final three innings, including six runs in the eighth to post an 11-3 win over the Washington Nationals.

Adam Kilgore has Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Bay and Jason Varitek standing out as the stars of this win. John Tomase says that last night’s game actually hinged on two defensive plays. Joe McDonald has the Red Sox successful in their first visit to Nationals Park.

Michael Silverman says that the Nationals are simply a disaster. Brian MacPherson is talking hitting with Chipper Jones. Alex Speier says that Jason Bay is a run-producing monster. Joe Haggerty has Kevin Youkilis going through a bit of a rough patch at the plate. Speier also has a Day in the Life of the Red Sox Draft.

Nick Cafardo says that we just need to wait and see what kind of player Jacoby Ellsbury is going to be, rather than placing high expectations on him. Silverman has hitting coach Dave Magadan still keeping a close eye on David Ortiz at the plate. McDonald has Dusty Brown making his Major League debut. He also looks at another big night for Jason Bay.

Adam Kilgore’s notebook has Mike Lowell benefiting from his weekend rest. Tomase’s notebook has Jason Bay saying that he will not participate in the Home Run Derby. McDonald’s Red Sox journal has the team giving a thumps up to Nationals Park.

Celtics

You can’t turn around these days without hearing a Rajon Rondo trade rumor. Danny Ainge has been doing his best to defuse such talk, but it persists. Frank Dell’Apa has Ainge saying that while no one is untradeable, he likes the lineup he has right now. Mark Murphy has Ainge reaffirming his love of Rondo. Scott Souza also has Ainge downplaying any trade rumors.

Jim Fenton notes that the Celtics will have a long wait before they pick in tomorrow night’s draft. Paul Flannery has five things we know about this year’s NBA draft. Kirk Minihane rates the best and worst of Celtics drafts. Murphy’s notebook has Ainge reporting that KG’s rehab is going well.

Dan Duggan and Ron Chimelis have UMass forward Tony Gaffney hoping to hear his name called on draft night.

Bruins/Misc

Steve Conroy has Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins looking to make a move up in this week’s NHL draft. Kevin Paul Dupont says that the Bruins have targeted a player and may have to move up to get him. DJ Bean has a couple of ideas as to who that player might be.

The Tradition is tonight, and there are a trio of articles in the papers this morning on the events and honorees:

Lenny Megliola has a look at the event, John Connolly has a piece on Ken Hodge getting recognized for his contributions to the Big Bad Bruins, and Dan Shaughnessy checks in with ice queen Nancy Kerrigan.

Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-06-23

Leigh Montville Tidbits

This post is part of the effort to select The Best All-Time Boston Sports Columnists

Browsing the Sports Illustrated Vault, I noted a couple of publisher’s notes from the magazine which give us a glimpse into the writer that Leigh Montville is.

From the April 20, 1987 issue:

Eighteen years of writing for the Boston globe and living in Newton, Mass., has given columnist Leigh Montville a special perspective on the Boston Marathon. Not only has he written about Heartbreak Hill, he has frequently driven over and around it. So when the idea came up to have him describe the residents and merchants along the storied marathon course (page 94), he had an assignment close to both heart and home.

“Most of the people I talked to have the feeling they’re involved in something special,” says Montville, 43. “Each of the places I went, people didn’t have to think very deeply for stories.”

In addition to writing for us—his two previous contributions were stories on the Boston Garden (May 19, 1986) and the inventor of the Zamboni machine (March 30, 1987)—and for other magazines, he turns out four sports columns a week and the random essay for the Globe’s Sunday magazine. Seeking inspiration, he often turns to a mystical—to him—rubber-coated baseball the late Globe columnist Ray Fitzgerald also favored. “Ray developed the notion that if he held on to the ball, War and Peace would come into his head,” Montville says. “Michael Madden, his successor, uses it, too. It’s surprising how many times you need it.”

Montville’s stories generally reflect a fresh point of view. “Everyone else looks at things from the ground floor,” says SI senior writer Peter Gammons, a former Globe colleague. “Leigh writes like he’s got his own hot-air balloon.” Globe sports editor Vince Doria says, “Leigh’s not a hard-opinion guy. He sees a lot of gray in everything.” And it’s usually funny. To which Montville says, “I think that’s one part of writing columns they don’t mention in journalism school—entertainment. There’s as much Woody Allen in it as Woodward and Bernstein.”

Montville is easy to spot in a press box. He’s the rumpled guy with a toothpick in his mouth and a Coke in his hand. When he isn’t working, he reads Anne Tyler and John Gregory Dunne, vacations in Maine, goes full court at the Newton Y and slugs down junk food.

And then the September 25, 1989 issue:

The first time Leigh Montville entered the time-life Building in New York City, in 1965, he was a callow youth newly graduated from the University of Connecticut. His objective then was to be what he is today—an SI writer. But perhaps he was a tad naive.

“I put on my little suit and gathered my little college newspaper clips and showed up unannounced at the personnel office, where there were two other guys—who were waiting to interview for a maintenance job—and me,” says Montville. “We all saw the same woman and we all heard the same speech, ‘Get some experience and then come see us again.’ ”

Montville has been collecting experience bulk rate ever since. He took a job at his hometown paper, the New Haven Journal-Courier, and three years later moved on to The Boston Globe, where he became a columnist in 1970. Several thousand deadline stories later, he longed for the luxury of time to reflect on his stories. “Doing a daily column is usually more typing than it is writing,” he says. “It’s like being a contestant on Beat the Clock.” That was why when SI asked him to do a piece on the Boston Garden, in ’86, his first question was, “When’s the deadline?” Told it was in four weeks, he accepted the assignment with relish.

Be sure to check out this 1986 SI column by Montville on the old Boston Garden: And They All Say, ‘this Is It?’

Excerpt on Dave Egan

This post is part of the effort to select The Best All-Time Boston Sports Columnists

This is from Leigh Montville’s book Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero, in a part noting the death of noted Williams critic Dave Egan. It might give you a little glimpse into the man, as we consider his place among Boston columnists:

Egan left a complicated legacy. He was the only writer in Boston who had complained loudly about the Red Sox racist outlook under Yawkey, the only one who saw the shame in a forced, half-baked, no-chance tryout in 1945 for Negro League stars Jackie Robinson, Sam Jethroe and Marvin Williams. He was often credited or derided as one of the major forces in the Boston Braves’ decision in 1953 to leave town. He was a different voice at all times, making fun of the powerful and successful, siding with the unpowerful and unsuccessful. . . and, of course, there were his “accounts” at the racetracks and boxing rings.

His columns about Williams were remembered more than any others. He had been a defender of Williams in personal situations — the controversy surrounding the birth of Bobby-Jo, for instance — but a constant critic on all other matters. No one attacked Williams more often.

Later on it was noted that honorary pallbearers at Egan’s funeral included Walter Brown, Bob Cousy, Milt Schmidt, boxers Tommy Collins and Tony DeMarco, race track owner B. A. Dario and Joe Cronin. Egan’s space in the Record the next day was taken by Larry Claflin.

We’ve discussed Egan on this site before: Infamous Moments in Boston Sports Media History

More Off Day Musings

To start things off this Tuesday morning, David Scott is calling it quits over at Scott’s Shots. I’d like to thank David, who has been here at BSMW almost from the beginning, and who certainly brought a lot of eyeballs over to the site with some of his posts and commentary on the local media happenings. He’s fleshing out details of a new gig, which he’s not ready to fully announce just yet, but he’s going to be missed here.

Bob Ryan says that we should all agree that Daisuke Matsuzaka has not been worth $102 million. He will not argue this. Michael Silverman says that the Red Sox need Dice-K to get on a shoulder program. Ron Chimelis says that Matsuzaka is willing to listen to the Red Sox for advice on his shoulder.

Amalie Benjamin looks at John Smoltz set to enter a Brave new world with the Red Sox. Dom Amore says that a competitive spirit has kept Smoltz going. Lenny Megliola says that Smoltz’s debut on Thursday will be must-see TV.

Bill Burt thinks that Brad Penny has found a home in Boston, and rather than looking to trade him, perhaps Theo Epstein should be offering him an extension. Daniel Barbarisi looks at several promising catchers in the Red Sox organization. Mike Fine says that Jason Bay has been easy to manage for Terry Francona. Adam Smartschan looks at whether Nick Green’s homer on Sunday was the best of the year for the Red Sox.

Adam Kilgore has a look at the next team up on the Red Sox schedule, the hapless Washington Nationals, who are flirting with the 1962 New York Mets modern day record for worst record. Brian MacPherson has a great opportunity facing the Red Sox as they prepare to face three teams with losing records on this trip.

Nick Cafardo has Donald Fehr retiring as executive director of the baseball players union. Steve Buckley says that Fehr’s legacy will face scrutiny. Bob Halloran is tired of people avoiding the phrase “no-hitter” while one is in progress.

Benjamin’s notebook has David Ortiz finally starting to look like his old self. Silverman’s notebook says that Dice-K’s star hasn’t dimmed in Japan, where they view the WBC as more important that MLB and the Red Sox.

U.S. Open

Michael Whitmer has Lucas Glover taking home the U.S. Open title. Ron Borges has Phil Mickelson coming up short, but aware of what truly matters. Whitmer says that Mickelson will now shift focus to his wife and her cancer treatment. Borges has David Duval getting back into the game.

Whitmer’s notebook has Duval feeling like he belongs among the best. Borges’ notebook has a poor start and putting woes doing in Tiger Woods.

Misc

Mike Reiss has Tedy Bruschi leaving his options open beyond this season. Christopher Price has Joe Theismann talking about Tom Brady’s recovery.

Jim Fenton says that the Rajon Rondo trade rumors are absurd.

Mark Murphy has UConn’s Jeff Adrien working out for the Celtics. Dan Duggan has BC’s Tyrese Rice hoping that the NBA recognizes the sacrifices he made in putting his team first in his senior season.

Jeff Howe reports that it appears that Boston College will play in the winter classic at Fenway Park as part of a doubleheader with the Bruins.

Michael Felger has five assorted thoughts on the Boston sports scene.

Um, I don’t have the words.

Twitter Updates for BSMW on 2009-06-22