Week Log: Draft Days of Summer

Lots of action in the blogosphere this first week of summer, with the C’s drafting tonight, the B’s tomorrow, the U.S. taking on Guana in World Cup action Saturday, and the Sox looking for something positive on any or all of those days. We left you on the threshhold of Game 7 of the NBA Finals last week, so let’s pick up the pieces of our shattered dreams with the C’s first.


Just a few eulogies for the C’s, then it’s time to move on. Banner 18?, whose name won’t be changing next season, brings us a Celtics fan appreciation video. Touching All The Bases wonders if disappointment will be the parting memory of a three-year ride that was a hell of a lot of fun. Celtics Stuff Live thinks the C’s need reinforcements from several sources, as running the same crew out there next year will not produce any better results.

The rebuilding begins tonight with the NBA Draft, as the C’s select 19th overall. Green Street recounts the last 25 Number 19 picks. Red’s Army looks at Danny Ainge’s legacy of strong drafts over the last seven years. Boston Sports Then And Now thinks that, with all the uncertainty over the C’s future, Ainge will again have to think outside the box this offseaason as he did in 2007. Celtics Green is looking to fill five roster slots in this year’s draft.

A little more video to close, as The Crowe’s Nest can’t make sense of Lakers fans’ air of entitlement to violence after their team won the NBA Finals.


I must confess to not being over the devastation the B’s dumped on our doorsteps in May. I’m not ready to let them back in my life yet but better fans are, and the healing process continues tomorrow night with the second selection in the NHL Entry Draft. Michael Hurley looks back on the top ten Number 2 draft picks in NHL history. Hey, there’s really not much difference between the B’s and the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks when 4SportBoston thinks about it, as they assess some offseason needs that can get partially filled tomorrow night.

Bruins 2010 Draft Watch goes back in time to relive the hype on newly acquired forward Nathan Horton, who was drafted third overall in 2003. Bruins Insider thinks that throwing in the 15th overall pick this year was hard for GM Peter Chiarelli since the draft figures to be a deep one. Blog Of Ice calls it an expensive deal, but that’s the price of unloading Dennis Wideman. Rink Rap has Chiarelli putting his money where his mouth is by looking outside the organization for solutions to player performance “variances.”

Something’s Bruin looks at some interesting international matchups coming the B’s way in the upcoming preseason, while Stanley Cup Of Chowder breaks down the B’s 2010-2011 schedule, which was just released this week.

Red Sox

The Sox went west this week carrying a MLB-best 24-8 record since May 17, as well as a 10-2 interleague record, to Colorado on Tuesday. Surviving Grady thanks interleague play for helping the Sox to move on up. On The Soxaholix, fictional Doug is happy this run has gotten the Sox to within spitting distance of the Yankees.

Looks like the Sox will have to hock a powerful one, as they’ve slipped two games in the first two nights in Colorado, leaving Jerry Remy new and innovative ways to use the word “frustrating” in sentences. Sox & Dawgs says Tuesday night’s low-scoring affair came one game earlier than expected, as Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin was virtually unhittable. Toeing The Rubber dislikes losing the first game of a series more than anything. The Sox stopped a shut-out with a run in thee ninth, but ageless ageing Mike Lowell left the tying run on when he couldn’t beat out a grounder deep in the hole. Better Red Than Dead clocked Lowell’s time to first base as dangerously close to the bezerk barrier, while Boston Dirt Dogs has Lowell with grandmother-class speed.

Over The Monster has last night’s loss marking the end of this run of ten consecutive series either won or split. The Joy Of Sox has Lackey putting the Sox in a four-run hole with his arm, then leading the comeback with his stick. The baseball gods only give out so many gifts like last night’s four-run 6th against the best pitcher in baseball, and when they do you don’t tell them, ‘thanks but no thanks.’ Well, Jonathan Papelbon did, surrendering the lead on two pitches, then the game three batters later. Fenway West has this as Papelbon’s worst outing of the season as he was unable to save one for a mediocre Lackey.

Notwithstanding last night, Red Sox Reality Check notes the improvement of Sox pitching over each month of this season. With the success of Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester this year, Boston Sports Blog tells you the last time the Sox produced two homegrown 20-game winners. Red Sox Monster has math precluding every good Bosox performer from making this year’s All-Star Game. So much for the bridge year says Keep Your Sox On, as they have the Sox leading the Majors in a plethora of offensive categories.

Sean McAdam has something the Josh Beckett front has seen precious little of so far this year: good news. More good news from Full Count, as they report on the pretty amazing comeback of prospect Ryan Westmoreland. Jessica Isner has Lars Anderson knowing what it’s like to struggle, and also knowing he can rebound, too.

SoxSpace News loves Dustin Pedroia’s candor with the media. Fire Brand Of The American League reflects back on the experience of watching Manny Ramirez.

FIFA World Cup

In a week filled with drama and intrigue, perhaps nothing can top the U.S. win over Algeria yesterday, as they scored the match’s only goal in stoppage time to advance into the knockout stages. ESPN Boston’s New England Revolution Blog has Landon Donovan’s goal forgiving and forgetting all the wrongs during the U.S.’s Group Stage. We’re Just Saying sees the U.S. catching up with the rest of the soccer world, and sooner or later the unthinkable is going to happen.

Over the first 90 minutes of play yesterday, Corner Kicks was slowly losing faith in humanity. No matter the winner, Masshole Sports says 1-0 soccer games have all the thrill of watching water boil. NESN’s World Cup blog has Algerian soccer player Rafik Saifi breaking down in the class department after his team’s loss. Jerry Thornton shows enormous self-restraint in not bashing the prissy, humorless world of international soccer.

Odds & Sods
. . . an unstructured wandering through the Boston sports world

Six States, One Blog loves the idea of a soccer-specific stadium in New England but doesn’t figure to see the Revs moving out of Gillette any time soon.

Despite putting personal scandals behind themselves, Tom E. Curran says folks will never see past the stained reputations of either Kobe Bryant or Tiger Woods.

Auto Racing Blog has Danica Patrick excited about Indy cars coming to New Hampshire next year.

Looking forward to a couple of draft nights ahead. Check back next Thursday for bloggers’ takes on both the B’s and C’s selections.


Papelbon Can’t Close Out Giambi, Rockies

The Red Sox had a golden opportunity for a huge win last night, after knocking out Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez, after 5 2/3 innings, scoring six runs off him in that span. Darnell McDonald finished off Jimenez with a two run homer that gave the Sox a 6-5. That score held until the bottom of the ninth, when Jonathan Papelbon first surrendered a game-tying home run to the first batter of the inning, Ian Stewart, then after giving up a single and a sacrifice bunt, Papelbon faced pinch-hitter Jason Giambi, who hit a two-run homer to give the Rockies a 8-6 win over the Red Sox.

Amalie Benjamin has a despondent Papelbon at a loss for words after the game. (Almost all the articles on this game start the same way.)  Scott Lauber has the game recap in the Herald. Daniel Barbarisi has Papelbon undoing all the good work his teammates had done for nine innings. Sean McAdam has Papelbon reeling after the game from the events of the ninth.  

Nick Cafardo says that the Red Sox have a number of needs to be addressed, but whether they can fill them may come down to timing. Barbarisi has Rhode Island’s Chris Iannetta trying to prove himself again.

Michael Silverman has Josh Beckett looking to get completely healthy so that he can help the Red Sox when he does return. Jeremy Lundblad has the stats to show that the outfield instability is not hurting the Red Sox.

Gordon Edes looks at just eight pitches to wipe out the “glorious improbability of Ubaldo Jimenez, the best pitcher in the National League, being knocked around by a kid who plays like every day might be his last in the big leagues…” Silverman has Papelbon dealing with the two crushing blows he gave up last night.

Jessica Isner has Lars Anderson still focused on making it to the Majors. Lenny Megliola looks at Ryan Westmoreland as a miracle in the making.  Brian MacPherson serves up a good Minor League Notebook.

Lauber’s notebook looks at the rare rally against Ubaldo Jimenez.  Benjamin’s notebook has Ryan Westmoreland eager to resume his career. Barbarisi’s Red Sox Journal examines a sweet homecoming for McDonald. McAdam’s notebook has a pair of call-ups doing the most damage to Jimenez.


The Celtics begin the work of building their 2010-11 team tonight as the NBA draft is held. The Celtics currently have the 19th pick, and there are rumors of all kind out there, some that the Celtics want to move up, move down, or trade the pick for an established player. A. Sherrod Blakely has his mock draft, where he has the Celtics taking Kentucky C Daniel Orton at 19.

Scott Souza examines what the Celtics have in front of them at the moment. Howard Bryant says that Danny Ainge has performed offseason magic before, and it’s time to do it again. Mark Murphy notes some of the Celtics workouts this week, and how this pick tonight could easily become a fluid piece. Jeff Goodman says that Ainge’s drafting prowess will be tested tonight.

Acting as if he expects Ainge to keep the 19th pick, Gary Washburn says that the Celtics need to land a winner tonight. Peter May expects the team to trade the pick, hoping to land a veteran player to aid a final run for a title. Jim Fenton says that the Celtics will target immediate help. Even Buddy Thomas can see that this draft is a big one for the Celtics.

Steve Bulpett says that there a lot of people’s futures tied up in Doc Rivers’ decision to come back or not. Fenton revisits Ainge’s appearance on WEEI yesterday. Jessica Camerato looks back at all the Celtics draft picks of the last five years.


Kevin Paul Dupont has a feature on Taylor Hall, who it appears will be the top pick in tomorrow night’s NHL draft. Mike Loftus says that the Bruins appear poised to make Tyler Seguin their pick at #2. Joe McDonald says that both of these players appear to be the real deal. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins can deal from strength this offseason.

Fluto Shinzawa says that the Bruins will be making more moves. Rich Garven says that the Bruins future starts tomorrow. Loftus says that the Bruins may look at trades to close a new hole on defense opened by the trade of Dennis Wideman. Joe Haggerty agrees that the Bruins now need to look for offense on defense.

Haggerty’s notebook has Bruins assistant Craig Ramsey reportedly set to be named the head coach in Atlanta. Steve Conroy and Stephen Harris also have the news and a few notes.


Bob Ryan has a thoughts column.

Ian R. Rapoport examines whether we can learn from history when it comes to Logan Mankins’ agent.

John Powers looks at the huge win for the U.S. to advance in the World Cup yesterday. Ron Borges says that the win still means nothing to the majority of America’s sports fans.

Bud Collins looks at the epic John Isner/Nicolas Mahut match at Wimbledon.


Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett will hold his fourth-annual Beckett Bowl on July 29. The event is presented by Foxwoods Resort Casino, and will be held at Lucky Strike Lanes in Boston. 

The evening will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a celebrity red carpet event. The celebrity bowling tournament will kick-off at 7:15 p.m. and festivities will conclude with a concert by country music sensation Jason Aldean at the Absolut Beckett Bowl Concert presented by MGM Grand at Foxwoods at the House of Blues Boston. 

A limited number of tickets for both the bowling tournament and after party concert will be on sale through www.ticketmaster.com this Saturday, June 5th at 10 am. Tickets to attend the bowling event and concert are $250 and tickets for the concert only are $40. Fans can purchase a VIP concert ticket for $125 which includes a meet & greet with Jason Aldean and a reserved seat at the House of Blues. 

Local companies and individuals are invited to sponsor four-person bowling teams for the event. Each team will be joined by a celebrity teammate and will compete for unique prize packages. For information on sponsoring a team, companies and individuals can call 617-338-2766 or visit www.beckettbowl.com


Celtics’ Head Coach and Ultimate Escapes Member Doc Rivers is once again partnering with leading destination club Ultimate Escapes to host his 10th annual Celebrity Golf Invitational at the Reunion Resort and Club Wyndham Grand Resort in Orlando. Coach Rivers and Ultimate Escapes, Inc are teaming up to raise money for Shepherd’s Hope, a non-profit organization of volunteers that provides access to healthcare for the uninsured using an all-volunteer staff. The tournament will include a celebrity pairings party on the evening of July 22, in which each foursome will be paired with a participating celebrity, such as NBA basketball superstar Anthony “Spud” Webb and sportscaster Craig Sager. Past celebrity participants include NBA star Julius Erving, commonly known as Dr. J, founding member of The Commodores Thomas McClary, and NBA pro Bo Outlaw. The evening will also include the Ultimate Escapes auction and raffle, where attendees will have the chance to win a variety of luxury vacation experiences. The tournament will take place on the morning of July 23

For more information about the Doc Rivers Celebrity Golf Invitational and Shepherd’s Hope, visit www.shepherdshope.org. For more information about Ultimate Escapes, visit www.ultimateescapes.com.

Red Sox Offense Shut Down At Coors

The Red Sox offense had been on fire coming into last night, and the thin air of Coors Field figured to only help the Boston bats. Instead, Jhoulys Chacin shut out the Red Sox for 6 2/3 innings, and the Red Sox didn’t score their single run until the ninth inning, as the Colorado Rockies beat the Red Sox 2-1.

Daniel Barbarisi has an extended feature on the recovery of Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland, who is optimistic about his future in baseball.

Amalie Benjamin has Mike Lowell unable to come through as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. Scott Lauber has the Herald recap on a Rocky Mountain low. Barbarisi has the Red Sox win streak coming to an end in Colorado. Sean McAdam says that this was a tough loss to swallow for the Sox.

Nick Cafardo talks to Don Baylor about Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez, and how he reminds him of Roger Clemens in 1986. Michael Silverman also has a look at Jimenez and talks to Pedro Martinez about his fellow countryman.

Silverman has the Sox griping about NL ball forcing them to take Jon Lester out of the game early. Brian MacPherson has some of the Red Sox recent draftees getting their first taste of pro ball.

Rob Bradford says that last night was another reminder of why the Red Sox should just let Mike Lowell move on. Gordon Edes says that Lowell is just doomed to fail as an occasional player.

Benjamin’s notebook has Josh Reddick getting the emergency call-up yesterday with J.D. Drew needing another day to heal. Lauber’s notebook has Lowell without much to say following his first at-bat in nine days. Barbarisi’s Red Sox Journal has more on Reddick getting the call yesterday. McAdam’s notebook has Lester suffering his first loss since April.


Fluto Shinzawa has a feature on Tyler Seguin, who seems likely to hear his name called by the Bruins on Friday night.

Joe Haggerty says that yesterday’s trade of Dennis Wideman for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell is likely just the first of many moves coming for the Bruins. Steve Conroy has the trade aimed at making the Bruins better now. Shinzawa agrees that this move was made to boost the NHL’s worst offense right away. DJ Bean says that the Bruins must see something in Horton beyond his stats.

Mick Colageo has Peter Chiarelli admitting to a mistake with the trading of Wideman. Mike Loftus agrees that the price to obtain Horton was somewhat steep. Danny Picard has Horton happy to be coming to Boston. Joe McDonald thinks that Horton will be a good fit for the Bruins.


Julian Benbow says that what the Celtics do tomorrow night should give us the first clues as to their offseason plans. Steve Bulpett says that though we may think this team needs a major overhaul, they had an NBA title in their hands last week, and just let it get away. Dan Duggan looks at some draft possibilities for the Celtics. Jim Fenton says that Rivers’ draft history is solid.

Rich Levine wraps up a three-part look at the Celtics offseason questions. Here are Part one and Part Two.

Kirk Minihane says that it is time for Doc Rivers to go.


With the Patriots announcing yesterday that they will wear 1985 throwbacks in two games this season, Mark Farinella looks back at some of the uniform changes of the franchise.

Paul Kenyon has a look at Bryan Morry’s career transformation from Patriots writer, to sports radio host, to his current gig as executive director of the Hall at Patriot Place.

Mike Reiss has a Patriots mailbag. Jeff Howe looks at why rotations will be key to the Patriots pass rush in 2010.

Sox Heading Out On The Road, Look To Stay Hot

The Red Sox begin a six game road trip in Colorado and San Francisco tonight as they face the Rockies.

John Tomase looks at the recent seven week stretch that saved the Red Sox season, and has five reasons why they’ve become the hottest team in baseball. Jeff Goldberg has a quick note about why the Red Sox have Randy Winn to thank for their hot streak. Gordon Edes has 10 reasons why you should believe in the Red Sox. Maureen Mullen has the Sox looking to take their winning streak on the road.

Peter Abraham has a frustrated Mike Cameron hoping to be able to show Boston what he is capable of. Mike Fine has more on Cameron, who doesn’t want to talk about his injury any more. Brian MacPherson notes that the fill-ins in the Red Sox outfield this season have come up big.

Rob Bradford notes that at one time Victor Martinez wanted to quit hitting right-handed, but is now on a historic pace against lefties.

David Willis has a look at Red Sox draftee Bryce Brentz’s debut with the Lowell Spinners on opening night.

Abraham’s notebook has several Red Sox looking forward to a return to Coors Field, where they clinched the 2007 World Series. Tomase’s notebook looks at some of the talented pitchers the Red Sox will be facing on this trip. MacPherson’s Red Sox Journal notes that the Red Sox could again have two All Stars in their starting rotation. Fine’s notebook has the Sox preparing to face Ubaldo Jimenez, who is an amazing 13-1 with a 1.15 ERA.

Gerry Callahan has a lot of hate for Manny Ramirez and Tiger Woods. Hmmm. I know he’s knocked Roger Clemens in the past, but I don’t think it’s been anything like this. I wonder why. Clemens is a combination of the worst of Ramirez and Tiger;  he’s a philandering steroid user, but Gerry harshest wrath is reserved for Manny and Tiger. Got it.


Mark Murphy has a look at what directions the Celtics might be looking at in the draft and free agency. Jessica Camerato gives us five Celtics storylines to watch this summer. Chris Forsberg says that the Celtics late season slide to fourth in the East might actually be a stroke of luck in the draft. Jim Fenton says that the Celtics need to have a better offseason than they did last summer.

Julian Benbow has Doc Rivers telling WEEI that he’s leaning one way, but not flat out saying which way that is. Peter May looks at why Rivers should stay, and what might happen if he leaves. (Mike Brown? Cmon.) Dan Duggan has Rivers still undecided. Teddy Panos says that a lack of urgency ultimately did in the Celtics this season.

Bob Ryan remembers Manute Bol the basketball player, and more importantly, the man.


Steve Conroy says that this might be the most important week of Peter Chiarelli’s career. Mike Loftus says that the Bruins have a lot of options heading into the draft. DJ Bean looks at what moves are out there for Chiarelli and the Bruins to make. Joe McDonald says that the Bruins win with either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin, but they do have one guy they prefer over the other. James Murphy thinks  that defenseman Jarred Tinordi could be an immediate contributor at pick #15. Fluto Shinzawa says that the Bruins aren’t revealing which player they prefer.

Stephen Harris has the Bruins set to make a stop in Northern Ireland during this fall’s exhibition season.

Ian R. Rapoport has five Patriots questions to ponder between now and the start of training camp. Jeff Howe talks with Patriots receivers coach Chad O’Shea.

Manny’s Return – A Big Yawn

Manny Ramirez returned to Boston this past weekend, and no one cared.

The fact that the Celtics had just dropped game seven of the NBA Finals probably contributed to the lack of talk about Manny’s return, but even this weekend, when the focus could be squarely on the events at Fenway Park, there didn’t seem to be much interest in Manny from a media perspective.

I didn’t really listen to sports radio this weekend, so I’m not sure how much of a topic Ramirez was, but the upset of the weekend for me was the absence of a Boston Globe/Boston.com column from Dan Shaughnessy or Tony Massarotti (or anyone else, for that matter) rehashing all the Manny episodes over the years and sentencing the slugger to eternal damnation. The Boston Herald was likewise tame, with the harshest column being from Steve Buckley this morning, a column that was as weird as Manny, which was perhaps the point. I know he’s all the rage on Twitter  these days, but an Old Hoss Radbourn reference? Really?  (@OldHossRadbourn ) What was Buckley’s larger point? That Manny didn’t tip his cap, so he quit on the Fenway fans all over again? Buckley gets to be on The Big Show this afternoon to talk all about his column, so maybe we’ll find out.

ESPN had Curt Schilling on the broadcast last night to talk Manny, and he didn’t go off on his former teammate like you might’ve expected, except to say that in the end, Manny’s teammates wanted him gone, which should tell you just how bad things were.


Ramirez has been a fairly hot topic on sports radio this morning, checks on each station have found Manny being discussed, though there was still plenty of Celtics talk as well. I’m sure Mikey Adams will be treat to listen to tonight as he spews Manny hate for five straight hours with no Red Sox game. There were a number of callers today with anger in their voices  as they recalled why they hated Manny so much.

Which I really don’t understand.

In my mind, Manny is no different from the multi-millionaire rock star or movie star who is difficult to work with on the set, or shows up when they feel like it, or drunk/on drugs, or checks into rehab when they need a break from things.  

Do these same callers boycott the latest movie or concert from these superstars?  Do they have the same moral outrage?

Manny did some atrocious things here, and it’s best for all involved that he’s no longer here. He went too far in his final season. He quit on the team. But he’s gone. I don’t need to talk about him or listen to others talk about him anymore. He’s not our problem any more. I’m glad to see that the media reaction to Manny’s return has been rather underwhelming.

Hopefully we’re close to closing the Manny Ramirez in Boston chapter for good.

Sox Sweep Dodgers, Clay Gets 10th Win

The Red Sox finally have the spotlight all to themselves…

After a shaky (but scoreless) first inning, Clay Buchholz settled down nicely last night, shutting out the Los Angeles Dodgers for 6 2/3 innings improving to 10-4 on the season while lowering his ERA to 2.47 in the Red Sox 2-0win over the Dodgers at Fenway Park. The win gave the Red Sox a sweep over LA this weekend.

Believe it or not, after their shaky start, and the media driven scorn and panic over the “run prevention” mantra, the Red Sox have the best record in the Majors since that rocky start, and have now tied the Tampa Rays in the standings, just one game behind the Yankees in the AL East. Something many experts thought impossible, given the start that the Rays got off to.

Peter Abraham has making a case to be an All Star this year with another strong performance. Brian MacPherson notes that for the second straight game, the pitching line didn’t tell the whole story for Buchholz, but also for the second straight game, it didn’t matter. John Tomase has the Red Sox crushing this homestand. Maureen Mullen has Buchholz settling in after a rough first inning. Mike Fine has Buchholz relaxing before the game by playing with the young sons of David Ortiz and Victor Martinez.

Bill Ballou says that Theo Epstein and the Red Sox deserve credit for not giving up on Buchholz.   Joe McDonald has Buchholz rewarding the Red Sox patience in him. Ron Chimelis notes that Buchholz could make a run at the Cy Young award if he keeps up this pace. Speier has a look at how the Dodgers missed outon Buchholz.

Nick Cafardo wraps up a strange weekend with Manny’s quiet return and expressing regret over how he handled things at the end of his run here, and Roger Clemens sitting in the Monster seats on Friday night (unknown to the Red Sox). MacPherson has Kevin Youkilis talking about what he learned over the years from watching Manny Ramirez hit. Steve Buckley takes his predictable, tired shots at Manny Ramirez.

Lenny Megliola has the Red Sox resurgence coming as a sweet surprise now that they are once again the focus of our attentions. Steve Buckley has Mike Cameron a quiet contributor to the Red Sox run since his return. McDonald has a piece on the benefits of player-son bonding at the ballpark.

Danny Picard has a heads-up base-running move from Dustin Pedroia proving to be the difference in this one, as he made the Dodgers pay for their shift on David Ortiz. Alex Speier has Pedroia’s teammates marveling at the picture perfect play. Robert Mays has Pedroia putting on a show last night, at the plate and on the basepaths.

Laurel J. Sweet has a must-read piece about the horrific genetic disorder that has plagued former Sox outfielder Dwight Evans’ two sons – something that was going on during his playing days, but of which he never spoke a word about to anyone involved with the Red Sox.

Fine’s notebook has Terry Francona remembering his time as a kid in his dad’s locker room. Picard’s notebook has Pedroia and Adrian Beltre extending their 10 game hitting streaks. Ballou’s notebook has Buchholz on pace for 20 wins this season. MacPherson’s Red Sox Journal has more Francona memories on being the little guy in the clubhouse. Abraham’s notebook has Buchholz getting some help behind him in this one. Tomase’s notebook has more on Pedroia’s heads-up baserunning.


Mark Murphy has the Celtics needing to get right back to business with the draft and free agency looming. Paul Flannery provides a primer on what awaits the Celtics this summer. Steve Bulpett has a detailed look at the Celtics roster and what could happen with each player.

Christopher Price looks what the Patriots’ rookies have experienced to this point, and what’s ahead for them. Mark Farinella blasts the “Patriots’ sycophantic fan base that refuses to acknowledge that the team that won three Super Bowls (and should have won a fourth) had finally grown too old and too deficient at several key positions to assert itself in the postseason.” Ho Hum.

The word sycophant is a favorite among sports writers. They LOVE to use it, tossing it around frequently, usually with the intent of trying to rile up their audience. The term actually means a “servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.”

So what favor exactly are the fans trying win from the Patriots, and how are they being a “servile self-seeker” as a group in this process? Please, explain.

Postmortem Links

I’ll try to keep the more painful and annoying pieces away from you…and believe me, there’s a lot out there.

These Celtics deserve our respect and affection – Tom E Curran says that you should not be crushed, crestfallen or irritated with this Celtics team.

Rivers’ faith in Celtics never wavered – Chris Forsberg has the Celtics coach nearly willing his team to the title.

Is this the end for these Celtics? – Paul Flannery looks at the uncertainty going forward.

Rasheed Wallace valiant in possible NBA finale – Steve Bulpett has Wallace potentially riding off into the sunset after last night. (Which would actually be a great thing for the Celtics.)

Celtics’ surprising run through the NBA playoffs ends one win short – Jim Fenton has a potentially great and satisfying championship slipping away from the Celtics.

What comes next anyone’s guess – Julian Benbow looks at what’s ahead.

Garnett takes loss hard, says teammates are ‘brothers for life’ – Kevin McNamara hs KG reflecting on the game, season and team afterwards.

Even in absence of final title, these Celtics were worth it – Tony Massarotti? Yeah.

There’s not much else out there on the Celtics that won’t make your stomach turn.

This time, ‘baseball guy’ gets to enjoy the pitch – Chad Finn’s media column talks to Dave O’Brien about the World Cup, and has WEEI vs. 98.5 ratings numbers. Felger and Massarotti beat The Big Show in the coveted 25-54 males audience, and Toucher and Rich beat Dennis and Callahan in the 18-49 males demographic (Though D&C beat them in the 25-54 dem0.)

That’s a bit of good news this morning, no?

No debate: Manny is one of a kind – Gordon Edes has the best article on Manny Ramirez’s return to Boston this weekend. It’s got both sides of the issue, without being nasty.

Reddick still seen as not quite ready – Peter Abraham files a solid Red Sox minor league notebook.

He seems to fit the bill – Shalise Manza Young says that Bill O’Brien sure seems to fit the role of offensive coordinator.

Pats have plenty of help until Welker ready to go – Robert Lee with a good look at the wide receiver position, and comments from position coach Chad O’Shea.