Book Review – Game Six

Sure, yesterday was a big anniversary in Red Sox history, but today is another one.

What were you doing 34 years ago tonight?

If you can remember that far, (I can’t) no doubt you were engrossed in a little baseball game that was taking place over at Fenway Park. The date was October 21st, 1975  and after a three days of rain delays, the Red Sox were set to play the Cincinnati Reds in game six of the World Series.

It turned out to be perhaps the most memorable game in World Series history, ending on the famous Carlton Fisk home run off the foul pole in the 12th inning which gave the Red Sox the win, and tied the series at three games apiece. Beyond Fisk, there were too many heroes to name – for both sides.

Writer Mark Frost has spent two years reading, digging, exploring and talking to players, managers, broadcasters and spectators from that historic night. He made numerous visits to Fenway Park, to the Hall of Fame, talked with as many people involved as he possibly could in order to weave all their stories together into a story that actually ends up encompassing a hundred years of baseball history within the confines of a single game.

The result is Game Six: Cincinnati, Boston, and the 1975 World Series: The Triumph of America’s Pastime.

At most, I’m what you would call a casual golf fan. However, I had read Frost’s books The Greatest Game Ever Played and The Grand Slam and couldn’t put either one down. So I was particularly enthused when I learned about this book and that it was Frost that had written it.

It doesn’t disappoint. If you read the two books mentioned in the previous paragraph, you are aware of Frost’s attention to detail and gift of narration. They are on full display once again here in this work. With eight Hall of Famers prominent in this game, Frost tells their stories as well as those of sportscasters such as Dick Stockton – you learn for instance that he had quite the rep as a “ladies man” back in the day, and that he got the phone number of future wife Lesley Visser in the press box prior to this game.

It’s not just the stars that get detailed however, the bit players, the network execs, the cameramen, the umpires, groundskeepers, and fans all have the night chronicled from their perspective, along with how they got to that night, and what it all meant for them at that time in their lives.

Asked about his favorite discovery that he unearthed in the course of his research, Frost says:  “Many discoveries: the story of Luis Tiant’s moving reunion with his parents, who’d been caught and left behind in Cuba after Castro came to power; the rise and fall and rise of Bernie Carbo; the remarkable relationship between Sparky Anderson and his quartet of superstar players. This is my favorite era in baseball, because I followed the game much more closely then, and to revisit it through the personal experience of the people involved brought it all back in vivid and memorable ways. Every player in this game has a story, and they are all, in one way or another, remarkable.

The book spends a fair amount of time focusing on what baseball was like before free agency. When asked how the game has changed since then, Frost responds: “Games Six and Seven of the ’75 World Series are the last baseball games played before the advent of free agency. The rules of the game off the field, for better or worse (certainly worse for the players), had remained unchanged for 100 years; within a year that structure had been dynamited, and all of sports — and its increasing obsession with the dollar — hasn’t been the same since. You couldn’t invent a more revealing time capsule to show us where we were in 1975 and where we’ve traveled since.”

It really is a time capsule, giving you the most complete picture you can imagine some 34 years after this game was played. The two golf books mentioned took place in 1913 and 1930 respectively, and Frost made those time periods come to life in living detail. To bring 1975 back, then, is a piece of cake.

If you hadn’t guessed, I really enjoyed this book.

Game Six: Cincinnati, Boston, and the 1975 World Series: The Triumph of America’s Pastime

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Patriots Shuffling Linebackers

It’s been an interesting year for the Patriots linebacking corps. Mike Vrabel was traded in the offseason, Derrick Burgess was acquired via trade, Tedy Bruschi retired in preseason. Jerod Mayo was injured in the season opener, leaving Gary Guyton as the main contributor on that unit. Mayo returned, and then Junior Seau was re-signed. On Sunday, Adalius Thomas, a free agent prize of 2007 was left inactive for the game against the Titans, leaving his future with the club up in the air. Then last night, Tully Banta-Cain, re-signed during the offseason, was released, though it appears he may be coming right back.

So what’s next?

Monique Walker writes in the Globe today that the mystery around Thomas didn’t get any clearer yesterday. Bill Burt says that Bill Belichick is serving Thomas (and himself) some humble pie. Karen Guregian says that it was the right move to bench Thomas.

Ian R. Rapoport has Belichick with little to say about the benching of Thomas. Christopher Price has Belichick saying that he believes Thomas will help the team at some point this season. Rich Garven wonders if something might be up on the trade front for the Patriots. Glen Farley looks at another Patriots linebacker, Rob Ninkovich, who will be playing a game in London for the second time in his career.

Only two report cards posted today, there’s Jeremy Gottlieb on Patriots Daily and Ron Borges in the Herald.

Tim Weisberg has Laurence Maroney giving us another glimpse of what he can be.  Robert Lee has Maroney finally turning in the big game we’ve been waiting for. Jeff Howe wonders if Brandon Tate is going to shake up the depth chart at wide receiver. Brian MacPherson has a look at Sebastian Vollmer, who filled in ably for Matt Light on Sunday. Mike Reiss wonders if the Patriots could be interested in Deion Branch.

Rapoport’s notebook also suggests that Banta-Cain may be back. The Globe notebook has no such suggestion. Farley’s notebook says that there will be some new faces on the practice field this week for the Patriots. Lee’s Patriots Journal has more on the benching of Thomas.

Celtics

Steve Bulpett has the “Other Two” Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins assuming a greater role with the Celtics. Frank Dell’Apa says that Marquis Daniels will bring a lot to the second unit for the Celtics.  Jim Fenton has the Celtics closing out the preseason with back-to-back road games the next two nights.

Dan Duggan has the Celtics lauding the benefits of Kinesio wrapping tape.

Gary Washburn has former UMass star Tony Gaffney with a chance to make the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Bruins/Misc

Mike Loftus has the Bruins hoping for a burst of energy from their recent roster shakeup. Rich Thompson has Patrice Bergeron waiting for a new right winger for his line. Brendan Hall says that the trade of Chuck Kobasew wa a result of the Bruins slow start.

Jon Couture says that success in 2010 for the Red Sox depends on how well they do in the trade market this winter.

Sean McAdam has Red Sox coaches Brad Mills and Tim Bogar interviewing for the Houston Astros yesterday. Amalie Benjamin has more on the interviews.

Lenny Megliola has a number of assorted thoughts.

I’d like to send out a “get well soon” to my friend and Patriots Daily co-founder Scott Benson, who is recovering from a heart attack suffered Sunday night. He’s going to be OK, but will be in the hospital for a few days and likely be out of commission for a little while after that. We’ll do our best to keep PD running in the meantime…

If you’d like to send Scott well-wishes, they can be sent to scott@patriotdaily.com.

Purcell: Herald To Charge For Online Content

Back in August, I had a post about the Boston Globe planning to charge for online content sometime in the near future.

It looks like the Boston Herald has similar plans.

Purcell: Herald, other papers will soon charge for online content

Earlier this decade, the Herald had a policy where access to columnists and feature writers was the only content that you had to pay for. It didn’t work. As Herald owner and publisher Pat Purcell acknowledges in that article, the paper received many complaints about that policy.   If they put all their content (including sports coverage) under paid subscriptions, I think that sports fans are simply going to go elsewhere for their sports information.

Sites like ESPNBoston.com, WEEI.com and CSNNE.com will see their numbers jump up should the Globe and Herald go the pay route.

Purcell disagrees: “There are people who really love the Herald and will pay for it, the way they pay for cable and satellite radio.”

Would you pay to read the Herald online?

Titan-ic Annihilation By Patriots

Nothing like an 0-5, Southern football team coming into the snow at Gillette to make the Patriots look good, huh?

Tom Brady and the Patriots had a record breaking day at Gillette Stadium, as they set records for points, margin of victory, and TD passes in a 59-0 annihilation of the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium yesterday.

On Patriots Daily, Chris Warner has the Gut Check reactions to yesterday.

Ian R. Rapoport notes that even coach Bill Belichick was in wonderment at what his club had done. Mike Reiss has Tom Brady getting his groove back in the record-setting performance. Michael Vega has the Patriots improving to 11-0 in snow games at Foxborough with the win. Brian MacPherson has the Patriots offense snowballing in the second quarter. Shalise Manza Young has the Patriots celebrating a snow day at Foxborough. Mark Farinella says that it is possible that the Patriots could’ve put on this performance against any opponent. Andy Vogt wonders if the Titans developed a case of chionophobia at kickoff. Jennifer Toland says that it was almost like 2007 all over again. Glen Farley has strange things happening at Gillette yesterday.

Even while the game was going on, I was wondering, 1) is it possible to nitpick and find things to be negative about this game, and 2) which chuckleheads will be the ones doing it? The answer to 1 is a resounding “yes”,  and the answer to 2 is “the usual suspects” with Comcast SportsNet last night focusing on Adalius Thomas being inactive (making it yet another personnel failure by Belichick) and the Patriots starting Butler and Wilhite at the corners instead of Bodden and Springs – another implication that this team has problems – rather than the record-setting win.

Today, Bob Ryan tells us that we shouldn’t get too excited over a 59-0 win, because it came over a winless team in bizarre conditions. Ron Borges, who wouldn’t put into print half the things he says on the air, says that Brady’s record-setting day didn’t come against an NFL team, but that isn’t the QB’s fault. (Must be Belichick’s.) Rich Garven acknowledges the total effort from the Patriots, but says that they need to show more. You could tell from his press conference questions that Jim Donaldson was going to write a story on the Patriots success in the snow, and that’s exactly what he did. Jonathan Comey can’t stop looking at the box score. Christopher Price has the 10 Things We Learned Yesterday.

Christopher L. Gasper says that the rekindling of the Brady-Moss magic was a sight to see. Robert Lee has the Patriots finally able to connect on big plays. Farinella has the offense getting straightened out yesterday. Eric McHugh wonders if this is the start of something great, or just another tease from the ’09 Patriots. Tim Weisberg has the Patriots finally able to channel 2007. Kirk Minihane says that we need to remember this day.

Karen Guregian has Laurence Maroney finally answering the call when opportunity knocked. Monique Walker has Maroney silencing his critics, for one game anyway. Chris Forsberg has Maroney finally breaking through. Farinella has the offense operating well above optimum levels yesterday. Brendan Hall has Sebastian Vollmer looking impressive in filling in for Matt Light.

Walker has rookie Darius Butler playing with a heavy heart after college teammate Jasper Howard was stabbed to death  on the UConn campus hours after the Huskies beat Louisville. Jeff Jacobs looks at a terrible day at UConn. Dan Duggan has Butler playing well dispute the tragedy. Lee has Butler playing with a heavy heart yesterday.

Dan Ventura has the Titans saying they didn’t quit yesterday. Peter Gobis has the Titans not blaming the weather.

Borges lists out the best and worst from yesterday. Ventura and Duggan round up some quotes of the game. Lee provides game analysis. McHugh has who was hot, who was not – I was wondering if reporters would be able to pick anyone who wasn’t “hot” yesterday…I guess they could. The Metro looks at what went right & wrong.

The Globe notebook has a look at Thomas being deemed a healthy scratch yesterday, and a look at some firsts for Patriots rookies and young players. Rapoport’s notebook has more on the Thomas benching. Young’s Patriots journal says that Belichick may not be happy with Thomas. Gobis’ notebook suggests that perhaps Maroney just likes playing in the cold. Vogt’s notebook looks at a day of mourning for Butler. Toland’s notebook has Titan turnovers helping the Patriots cause. Farley’s notebook has more on Butler. Weisberg’s notebook has records falling all over Foxborough yesterday.

A Rainy Friday Megalinks

It’s raining here in Southern New England and with a washout expected for the entire weekend, why not give you the megalinks so you can peruse any time while you look for something to keep you busy.

You can check out the Weekend Viewing Picks for the major sporting events of the weekend and it contains the College Football Viewing Picks, NFL Viewing Picks and primetime viewing picks as well. In addition, you can check the ALCS/NLCS schedule for games over spanning over the next few days.

Let’s do the links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that the networks are going high-tech for their MLB Postseason coverage.

Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable writes that HBO Sports is expanding its 24/7 brand to NASCAR.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the League Championship Series is filled with big market teams.

Mike adds that the Chicago Blackhawks set a ratings records on Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek reports that out-of-home viewing of the League Division Series for TBS spiked last week.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered to talk about the scheduling of MLB Postseason games.

Sports Business Daily has the final sports ratings for the week ending October 11.

Robert Seidman from TV by the Numbers says no matter who’s in this year’s World Series, it’ll draw a much better rating for Fox than last year’s.

Josh Alper from Pro Football Talk says Jacksonville will be blacked out again this week as the Jaguars failed to sell out in time.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the new Richmond minor league baseball team did not choose his network’s name submission.

Vanessa Voltolina of FolioMag.com says ESPN The Magazine’s Body issue has boosted ESPN.com Insider subscriptions.

Maury Brown from the Biz of Baseball says the most viewed MLB games on Fox involved either the Red Sox or Yankees.

Chris Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media tries to explain the NFL Broadcast Rules.

The Sports Media Watch says Game 1 of the NLCS got off to a good start on TBS.

Joe Favorito talks how the military is an excellent brand for sports.

TV Technology looks at ESPN’s new Innovation Lab.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with CBS’ Phil Simms who tells Patriots fans to be patient.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette praises MLB and Fox for pushing back the start times of the ALCS.

Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant discusses ESPNU covering Midnight Madness at 9 schools including UConn tonight.

Neil Best of Newsday talks with Fox’s Tim McCarver about how catchers make for good managers.

Neil has a few more sports media tidbits.

Neil has a classic moment from Celebrity Jeopardy where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar forgets his great line from “Airplane!”

Neil reviews ESPN’s upcoming “30 for 30” documentary, “Who Killed The USFL?”

Neil has the video of 30 Rock’s “Tennis Night in America”.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post gets on the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson for seeing racism where they see fit.

Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News seems to take glee in the bad weather expected for the first two games of Yankees-Angels ALCS.

Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union says a media basketball practice at the University of Albany earlier this week looked rather ugly.

Pete points out that Chip Caray is overmatched calling the NLCS on TBS.

Pete writes that the 1989 Bay Area Earthquake during the World Series helped to establish ESPN’s journalism reputation.

Rick Scarcella of the Reading (PA) Eagle writes that ESPN/ABC football analyst Matt Millen gets a homecoming to Penn State this weekend.

Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes in Press Box that the Orioles actually outrate the Nationals in the DC market.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN college basketball analyst Adrian Branch about tonight’s Midnight Madness coverage.

West

Scott D. Pierce from the Deseret (UT) News says the Mountain West’s efforts to bolster its schedule are hurt by its TV contracts with the mtn. and Versus.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune talks with ESPN’s Jon Gruden who will always have a soft spot for the Stadium formerly known as San Diego Jack Murphy.

John Maffei in the North County Times says Gruden has become a good addition to ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

The Los Angeles Times’ Diane Pucin critiqued TBS’ presentation of NLCS Game 1.

In her regular Friday column, Diane asks baseball announcers to avoid using cliches.

Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News gets the particulars on what TBS is using to air the NLCS.

Tom reports that the Dodgers will have billboards with the updated NLCS score placed throughout SoCal.

Tom looks at the ESPN documentary on the USFL that airs on Tuesday.

Tom has more on the documentary in his extensive media notes.

Tom has Dennis Eckersley’s comments on TBS regarding Randy Wolf not being ready to pinch run during last night’s NLCS Game 1.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer says Miami’s (OH) hockey team gets some games aired on local cable TV this season.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says a local minor league hockey team gets a boost by picking up an FM all-sports station.

Fang’s Bites fave Trenni Kusnierek of MLB Network writes a blog post for OnMilwaukee about life on the road.

Bob Wolfley from the Milwuakee Journal Sentinel says the Brewers got lower ratings this season.

Tim Cary from the ChicagoNow blog talks with another Fang’s Bites fave, Charissa Thompson of Big Ten Network and Fox Sports about the injury that is keeping her off the sidelines.

Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers in sports business and media.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that Dish Network subscribers in the Gateway City won’t be able to watch almost half of the Blues’ remaining games due to dispute with Fox Sports Midwest.

Dan adds that Joe Buck is grateful over Peyton Manning’s mention of him on NBC last Sunday.

South

Dallas Morning News NHL beat writer Michael Heika says Dish Network is also in a dispute with Fox Sports Southwest over 20 Stars games.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle points out that ESPN has replaced its Big 12 Big Monday announcing crew.

Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman says ESPN’s Lee Corso has for the most part, come back from the stroke that debilitated him earlier this year.

Mel writes about ESPN putting Bob Knight on Big Monday.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail goes inside the CFL on TSN booth.

Chris Zelkovich’s blog at the Toronto Star is misbehaving for me, but the two top stories on the blog are the ones I want you to read.

And that will do it for the megalinks.

Patriots Look To Get Back on Track

As the Patriots prepare to face the 0-5 Titans this Sunday, Chris Warner is still a Worry Wart. Also on Patriots Daily, the Titans Tracker gives us some insight on the struggles of the team thus far.

Ron Borges says that the slow start by Tom Brady is no reason for Patriots fans to panic. Christopher Price talks with Brady’s longtime throwing guru Tom Martinez, who says that Brady’s struggles are repairable. Mike Reiss says that the Patriots are still close to the top of the pack in the AFC. Monique Walker says that Sammy Morris is a jack-of-all-trades at running back for the Patriots.

Ian R. Rapoport has Vince Wilfork saying that his team needs to start playing Patriot football. Jim Fenton has Wilfork focused on improving the defense. Mark Farinella has Wilfork and the defense expecting a challenge on Sunday. Rapoport has Brandon Meriweather saying that he’s going to keep doing what he’s been doing. Buckley has Junior Seau feeling good about his first practice back with the Patriots. Price talks to Clay Matthews, who knows what it is like to be a 40-year-old linebacker.

Steve Buckley notes that the Patriots are wary of the 0-5 Titans, knowing that the team is better than their record indicates. Jennifer Toland says that running back Chris Johnson is a speeding bullet heading towards the Patriots. Shalise Manza Young has the Patriots on high alert in their preparations for the Titans. Tedy Bruschi and Mike Reiss break down the Patriots/Titans matchup on ESPNBoston.

Chad Finn has Phil Simms preaching patience to Patriots fans. Jim Donaldson chats with Pat Patriot about making a comeback. He’s only 10 years older than Junior Seau, after all.

Michael Vega’s notebook has Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton expressing their respect for Junior Seau. Rapoport’s notebook suggests that the Patriots may go back to more 3-4 fronts on defense with Seau back. Young’s Patriots journal has the offense focused on their lack of big plays thus far this season. Toland’s notebook has the defense looking to get off the field quickly against the Titans. Farinella’s notebook has Seau getting his #55 back.

Misc

Julian Benbow and Mark Murphy have second year swingman J.R. Giddens working on trying to be part of the Celtics rotation.

Kevin Paul Dupont has the struggling Bruins hoping to regroup as they head out on the road. Rich Thompson has Michael Ryder hoping to provide a finishing presence to the top line. Mike Loftus has the Bruins hitting Dallas for their first road game. Matt Kalman says that David Krejci’s quick recovery from hip surgery giving him a better shot at the Czech Olympic team. Dupont looks at the internet sensation that 9-year-old Oliver Wahlstrom has become.

Mike Fine says that the Red Sox need to make a decision on what to do with the shortstop position. Bill Doyle has MLB moving back the start times of postseason games.

Mark Blaudschun looks at the reunion between Tom O’Brien and Frank Spaziani when N.C. State comes in to play Boston College tomorrow. Steve Conroy has BC looking to pass the ball tomorrow. Blaudschun’s notebook has Dave Shinskie getting the start tomorrow, but it is uncertain how much he will play in all.

Week Log: Silver Lining To Black Sunday

Last Sunday’s Sox-Pats double-implosion has put everyone in a tizzy all week, and the media looking for clever ways to introduce ‘Black Sunday’ into Hub lexicon. Bleacher Report attributes the phrase to Gary Tanguay even as they insist all hope is not lost. Now, after several days of reflection, Tanguay appears to have found a silver lining in the cloud he named. Thanks For Playing lists ten cities in which Black Sunday would still be Dream Sunday. And sometimes you need an outsider like Michael Kay’s Successors to give you perspective.

Onto the Red Sox, whose season was the week’s only fatality.

Red Sox

Toeing The Rubber has the Sox going where death could not, even at a funeral. Fire Brand Of The American League told us so on this year’s failure – well, they would have if they could have accepted it themselves. Red Sox Dad looks back on his favorite 2009 memories.

The Faster Times suggests the Sox tactlessly tempted fate in the ALDS – and lost. Now that they’ve paid the Sox back, Year of the Sox says the Los Angeles Angels should find motivation in depriving one particular Yankee the opportunity to wear a ring.

Utility Lou looks through his rose-colored glasses and sees the Sox as an A.L. favorite again in 2010, even with no changes. Maybe you need a stronger lens prescription there, Lou. With or without glasses, 2009 looked a lot like 2005 to Red Sox Monster, which wonders if 2006 can be far behind. Boston Sports Blog thinks this group isn’t good enough anymore. Boston Dirt Dogs cuts the blame cake and there’s a slice for everyone. 38 Pitches says forget about wholesale changes and just start throwing some strikes.

Over The Monster tells us who should stay and who should go on the Sox pitching staff. Hacks With Haggs is sure that a no-longer indestructible Jonathan Papelbon will return more determined than ever next spring. Exploring a Papelbon trade is among Mazz‘s suggestions to improve next year’s club. Better Red Than Dead is intrigued by the possibility of trading Papelbon. I’m Just Sayin’ wants Paps in Boston for years to come, but would ship Clay Buchholz out this winter for a bat for the future.

Touching All The Bases has this anemic offense ready to redraw the Mendoza Line. Surviving Grady no longer believes those TNT impotence ads were directed at him but rather, at the Boston bats.

Full Count jump starts the Hot Stove League by reporting the Sox are looking at Japanese pitching phenom Yusei Kikuchi. Circling The Bases speculates that John Farrell may be Tito Francona’s heir-apparent after withdrawing from yet another managerial opportunity. Hit And Run guarantees Farrell will still be the Sox pitching coach next year.

Patriots

Patriots Daily is chatting with a Tennesse Titans blog about Sunday’s game.

Michael Felger is good with the Pats’ devastating OT loss in Denver on Sunday, and with Tom Brady gagging on the lay-up that should have been the game-winning drive near the end of regulation time. The Boston Score says Brady’s trademark accuracy is just not there, particularly on the long ball.

It Is What It Is has Bill Belichick plenty ascared of the 0-5 Tennessee Titans, who come into Foxborough this Sunday. Patriots Daily wonders whether the Titans, who went 3-4 to close out 2008, are really that good. First And Ten From Foxborough has the Pats without four key starters this week.

Meet the new No. 55, which, as NESN’s New England Patriots points out, is the same as the old No. 55. Pats Pulpit tries to figure out why Junior Seau is back in New England, but The Patriot Act says it’s for more 3-4. Pro Football Talk finds it remarkable that Seau can step off a surfboard and into a playoff chase so seamlessly. One If By Land thinks Seau’s return will open up the pass-rushing skills of Adalius Thomas, who crossed the scrimmage line less than Laurence Maroney last week.

AFC East Blog lists the Patriots as buyers before next Tuesday’s trading deadline. And Extra Points has Belichick looking forward to some fish & chips – and Brady some anonymity – next week in London.

Bruins

The B’s have started a little flatter this year, opening the season with a 2-3 homestand after Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Mary Paoletti says a roller-coaster start doesn’t jive with Title Town expectations. Kathryn Tappen thinks hitting the road will be a good thing for the B’s. Naoko Funayama blames a grueling preseason for this tiresome start.

Big Bad Blog has Marco Sturm headlining some tweaks to the B’s top two lines. Stanley Cup of Chowder points to lethargic special teams play as a bigger problem.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun has Peter Chiarelli looking at a lottery pick given the Maple Leafs’ 0-5-1 start. Puck Daddy says this 9-year old created hockey magic in the TD Bank Mini 1-on-1 series that will run during Bruins intermissions this year.

Celtics

As the C’s get ready to open their 73-win campaign next Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Fernsten’s Follies wonders what has become of their humility. The Cavs may be printing up NBA Finals tickets, but NESN’s Boston Celtics says it is the C’s that pack the best starting five in the NBA. Celtics Central was first to bring us Rasheed Wallace’s well-aired 2009-10 predictions, while CelticsBlog analyzes the chances for a 73-9 season, only to throw in the towel.

Loy’s Place loves seeing KG get above the rim again, as Rondo-to-Garnett hit on three alley oops against the Raptors last night. Now, if we can only get that old Brady-to-Moss mojo revived up. Green Street has Paul Pierce cutting back on summer BBQs and returning to camp in a 20-year old’s body. Red’s Army speculates the C’s may not want an aging Truth around for three more years.

We’ll see you next week, but in the meantime, drop me a line at bob02878@yahoo.com if you have or know of any good Hub blogs we don’t visit.