Bruins Take Game One, Sox Rally In Ninth

It was a good night for the locals, as the Bruins beat the Rangers in overtime to take the first game of their conference semifinal series, and the Red Sox rallied from a two-run deficit in the ninth inning to beat the Tampa Rays.

Brad Marchand goal lifts Bruins past Rangers in OT – Steve Conroy has the Bruins doing a good job turning the page from their electrifying game seven win over Toronto.

Marchand finally looks himself with Game 1 goal – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins winger getting himself back to form last night.

Young blueliners don’t look green – With the Bruins down three veteran defensemen, Joe McDonald looks at the fine performance by the trio of Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton last night. Kevin Paul Dupont has more on the young trio.

Nobody bigger than Zdeno Chara – Mark Daniels has the Bruins stalwart playing an immense 38 minutes last night.

Bruins fans made CSN studio scary – Chad Finn’s media column looks back at the scene in the Comcast SportsNet studio outside TD Garden after the historic game 7 win over the Maple Leafs.

So, let me get this straight, Mike Felger was scared, not of bodily harm, but about the quality of the broadcast? That’s why they called 911? Also, since when has Felger been worried about the quality of any broadcast?

Finn also mentions the Entercom employee satisfaction survey.

Jack Edwards’ winning Bruins call gains notice – Bill Doyle’s media column has Jack Edwards talking about his call of the winning goal in game seven.

The Red Sox were down 3-1 in the ninth inning, and the Rays had their closer on the mound to start the inning. The same closer who had struck out the side on Tuesday night. The Sox loaded the bases, and with two outs and two strikes, Will Middlebrooks emptied the bases, giving Boston a 4-3 lead which they held for the win.

Red Sox rally on Will Middlebrooks’ bat – Scott Lauber looks at the important win for the Sox.

Shane Victorino toughing it out for Red Sox – Nick Cafardo look at how important the outfielder has become to the Red Sox.

Bard’s control issues big concern in Double A – Sean McAdam looks at the struggles for the formerly dominant reliever.

Red Sox steal drama trick from Bruins – John Tomase looks at this one as a win that the Red Sox can build on.

Just how ridiculous (and transparent) is Mike Florio?

Patriots’ decision to cut Love looks like disability discrimination

Jaguars help Patriots, in a roundabout way

From the latter:

The Patriots’ apologists suddenly have gotten very quiet.

OK, so no one is defending the team any more. Then:

The team has not responded to a PFT request for comment, and no amount of off-the-record spin being espoused by writers covering the team regarding concerns such as Love’s performance slipping in 2012 and the addition of other players who may be better than Love changes the fact that the Pats cut Love not because of his performance or his competition but because of a medical condition.  We know this because the team released Love in the immediate aftermath of his diagnosis with the “non-football illness” designation.

So are the apologists quiet, or are the apologist writers covering the team actually making excuses for them?

While the Patriots may suffer no consequence or reprimand for a fairly blatant violation of Love’s human rights (because, you know, they’re the Patriots), the Jaguars deserve to be praised for ignoring a condition that can be treated and controlled. Many people operate successfully with diabetes, and every diabetic should be a fan of the Jaguars moving forward.

Excuse me, Mr Florio, but your slip is showing. What does this even mean? Is he saying they won’t be punished because the league looks the other way on the Patriots, or is he saying the Patriots make a routine habit of violating of the human rights of their employees?

On the matter of spin coming from the local media, I’m not seeing it. Tom E Curran wrote about it – More to Pats’ release of Love than meets the eye but Florio’s line seems to be more about retaliating for being called out than actually debunking anything Curran says. I’m not seeing other Patriots media rush to the defense of the team as Florio indicates is happening.

Then Florio runs this last night:

Krafts catch flak for favoring Patriots over Revolution

Included is this paragraph:

Still, a Sports Illustrated poll of anonymous players pegged the Krafts as the worst owners in the MLS, and players like Thierry Henry and David Beckham have balked at playing on the FieldTurf at Gillette Stadium.

Seriously?

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Entercom Looking To Survey “employee engagement and workplace satisfaction” Today

You may have heard John Dennis and Gerry Callahan talking this morning about the survey the company is having them take today.

Here is the email sent to employees earlier this week:

Sent: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 10:52 PM
To: BOSTON USERS
Cc: Jeff Brown; Carmela M***; Mike K****

Subject: Employee Opinion Survey

Entercom Boston Employees,  As you are aware, we have conducted employee opinion surveys in our markets in the past. Weezie Kramer, who was recently promoted to Station Group President, has requested that we do a company-wide survey.

The survey consists of questions that measure employee engagement and workplace satisfaction, that you will score on a scale between 1-7. We also have a few questions about what you like best/least about your job, along with what is going well overall and suggestions for improvement.

To expedite the process, I’ve asked Carmela M*** to facilitate the survey. You will be receiving an email from Jeff about the meeting schedule. The meetings will begin with a video message from Weezie, followed by a video message from me. Carmela will then hand out the survey and we ask that you complete it at the meeting and place it in a Fed Ex box that will be in the front of the room. The surveys will be sent overnight directly to my office.

I want to assure you that your feedback will be protected. Carmela has promised that no one will read your survey locally. She will make sure that the completed surveys stay in the Fed Ex box until I receive them. All of the feedback will be compiled into a report and therefore your feedback will be anonymous.

Thanks in advance for taking the survey and we look forward to receiving your feedback.

Corporate surveys are not all that uncommon. Companies do them all the time to gauge the morale of employees. My buddy Andy at WEEI says they’ve done them at WEEI before. The email above says so too. That’s not what Dennis and Callahan said this morning, as they said it was the first time they have ever done something like this in their 15/16 years at the station.

They also questioned why the company felt the need to do it at this point in time. Given the amount of recent departures from the station, both voluntary and involuntary, it seems obvious, which was the very point they were making. Interesting that the company is calling everyone to these meetings and having them take the survey under supervision. While this is a company-wide survey, you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to guess that it is aimed specifically at the Boston market.

Another email set the times for these meetings, as management went in at 9:00 am today, and there are all-employee sessions scheduled for 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.

Mike Felger Has A Little Fanboy In Him

I thought this was great, actually. Michael Felger’s reactions as the Bruins tie, and win game 7:

http://player.theplatform.com/p/FZZQDC/5TBrYeY0OIIQ/embed/select/CpK5zJC2fDRq?autoPlay=false&params=zone%3Dboston_bruins

Also:

Miracle On Causeway Street

Facing their own ghosts of the past, the Bruins just gave up last night, meekly submitting to the Toronto Maple Leafs as Boston completed its collapse from a 3-1 series lead. Appropriately enough, the Bruins were done in by Phil Kessel, as the former first round pick of the Bruins scored to make it 3-1 two minutes into the third period and then assisted on the final Toronto goal three minutes later which made it 4-1. The Bruins had no energy, could not generate scoring chances and at times appeared disinterested. Look for coach Claude Julien to pay for this epic collapse with his job.

How many columns with sentiments similar to the above do you figure were in the process of being written during the third period last night?

The Bruins instead pulled off a historic comeback, scoring three times in the third period, including twice in the final 90 seconds to force overtime and then won on Patrice Bergeron’s wrist shot in the extra period (Dave Goucher audio) to take the series four games to three and move on to face the New York Rangers.

It’s hard to imagine two more different scenes than the one right after the fourth Toronto goal, and immediately following the game. Dirt was being shoveled onto the Bruins grave, and then fans had Mike Felger calling for backup and fearing for his safety in the studio across the street from the Garden. There was also an F-bomb dropped on the air coming in from a break as they wondered if the window was going to be broken.

Bruins Win Overtime Thriller, Toronto Left Staring Into Nothingness  – Deadspin has the NBC video, the NESN video and reaction from the Toronto crowd. For some reason they also do a finger wag at NESN (New England Sports Net Switches To Toronto Feed In Ultimate Dick Move) for briefly showing the Toronto crowd. What Deadspin seems to miss is that NESN was showing those Toronto crowd shots all night long, especially after Maple Leaf goals. Many complained on Twitter after the game winner that NESN didn’t show enough of the Toronto crowd after things went bad for them.

Hope Was Lost Until The Bruins Restored It – Kevin Paul Dupont compares this game to Carlton Fisk’s home run in the 1975 World Series. (Except here, Patrice Bergeron  played the role of both Bernie Carbo and Fisk.)

Bruins display heart of champions in comeback – Joe Haggerty looks at the unlikeliest of game seven comebacks.

Bruins pull off epic turnaround – Joe McDonald has the Bruins making history again.

Bergeron delivers in face of mounting criticism – Stephen Harris has Bergeron delivering after his line had been criticized all series.

Leafs endure heartbreaking collapse in Game 7 overtime loss to Bruins – From North of the border, Bruce Arthur is as good as they come.

Bruins Pushed To The Brink By Leafs

A snide comment from Kevin Paul Dupont last week suddenly looks prescient as the Bruins, once up 3-1 in this opening round series, find themselves fighting for their playoff lives tonight in game seven against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bruins have lost wiggle room – Joe McDonald says that the formula for the Bruins is simple, they need more shots, more traffic, more players in front of the net to cause havoc.

B’s flaunting inconsistency to the end – Joe Haggerty says that based on this season, we have no idea which version of the Bruins will show up tonight. Haggs also notes that this band of Bruins are familiar with the pressure of a game 7.

Tuukka Rask hopes for best – Stephen Harris has the Bruins goaltender putting the 2010 playoffs out of his mind as he readies for tonight.

Undying loyalty to Seguin, Marchand might lead to Bruins’ early demise – Matt Kalman thinks that Claude Julien’s loyalty to his young duo might end up costing him his job.

Toronto got the better of Boston twice yesterday, as the Blue Jays pounded Ryan Dempster and the Red Sox 12-4 at Fenway Park. Boston has now lost eight of ten.

The Red Sox’ reality: The lineup’s problems, and potential solutions – Rob Bradford looks at how the Red Sox can turn things around as they now face a nine-game road trip through Tampa, Minnesota and Chicago.

May has brought lots of problems – Tony Lee notes that since the calendar switched from April to May, it’s been all bad for the Sox.

It’s getting to be a grind for scuffling Sox – Ron Borges looks at how things have faltered for the Sox as of late,  suggests they take  a lesson from the Mayans, and has a new nickname for Dan Shaughnessy.

David Ortiz is 1-for-17 since The Cooler asked him to defend himself because apparently 40 allegedly negative drug tests for performance enhancers weren’t good enough.

How much longer Ortiz struggles is anyone’s guess, but you don’t have to know much about baseball to understand he wasn’t going to continue to hit .450, because if he did, The Cooler wouldn’t be the only guy asking him questions about how that was happening.

Not bad, not bad. Whenever things are going well, we can count on Dan Shaughnessy going in to insert himself into the equation and foul things up however he can.

Of course, “the Cooler” is a phrase that Shaughnessy himself had some fondness for, as he used it in at least three different columns as a nickname for Adrian Gonzalez.

Unkind Reactions To Shaughnessy Column on Ortiz

While Dan Shaughnessy gets lionized among local media for his David Ortiz column from the other day, especially among sports radio hosts, a few people displaced from the local scene see the column for what it really was: garbage.

The worst baseball writing of the month -Rob Neyer says that the column takes muckraking to a whole different place.

You know what’s really a shame? I mean, aside from the fact that Shaughnessy gets paid a great deal of money to compose this drivel, year after year? He might have spared himself this particular embarrassment if he weren’t so bloody afraid of statistics that his grandpappy didn’t teach him.

And more.

Nowhere in the column does Shaughnessy offer even the tiniest shred of evidence, not one, that Ortiz’s bat speed is higher now than when he was 34. Nothing from an Internet database, no quote from some grizzled (and anonymous) scout. Just the argument that Ortiz’s bat speed must be higher because hey look! .426!

From Deadspin: Dan Shaughnessy Invents Some David Ortiz PED Rumors

Except, this isn’t a column accusing David Ortiz of PED usage. It’s a column about David Ortiz denying accusations of PED usage. Except there are no active accusations, so Shaughnessy has to create them, confront Ortiz with them, and then run his denials. The truly incredible part is that at some point, this logic ran through Shaughnessy’s brain and he decided it would be a good idea for a column.

He concludes:

The Red Sox have been in first place for most of a season in which they’re supposed to finish last. If there’s not enough there for a local sports columnist without having to resort to sorry-I’m-not-sorry defamation after a month, I feel for Dan Shaughnessy’s shriveled black writer’s soul. But Boston’s lost three in a row, seven of 10, and Ortiz is hitless in his last 13 at-bats. Shank can happily go back to blasting the team for being bad, which is a lot easier and more straightforward than this tortured bit of “I’m just asking questions.”

Bird’s Rookie Year — Game 1 vs. the 76ers

Celtics (0-0) vs. Philadelphia (0-0)
April 18, 1980
The Boston Garden

The Celtics began the  Eastern Conference Finals at the friendly confines of the Boston Garden against the Philadelphia 76ers.  The two teams split the six regular season meetings, with each team winning their home games.  Rumors that Philly could not win in Boston proved premature as the 76ers dominated the game’s third quarter and stole the opening game of the series, 96-93. Continue reading Bird’s Rookie Year — Game 1 vs. the 76ers