Gearing up for Sox-Yankees, ESPN.com’s Tom Candiotti (yes, the former knuckleballer) has a scouting report on Manny Ramirez.
Sean McAdam says “Let’s get it on” As McAdam closes the column: “Welcome to the real opening day.”
We’re not huge on numbers here, but some things need to be brought out by the media. Both Michael Smith and Jeff Horrigan talk at length today about Darren Oliver’s success against the Yankees. (5-1 lifetime, 2-0, 1.39 ERA last year) Well, there’s an Oliver twist to this story. This year’s Yankee’s lineup is almost totally different from one that Oliver might’ve faced in the past. Namely, the presence of Jason Giambi and Ron Coomer in the Yankee lineup. Check out these stats lifetime against Oliver:
In 36 plate appearance Giambi is hitting .581 with a 1.413 OPS
In 32 plate appearances Bernie Williams is hitting .440 with a 1.483 OPS
In 24 plate appearance Ron Coomer is hitting .348 with a 1.071 OPS
Ouch. The good news is, those are the only 3 that have had success against Oliver in the past. But to leave those out of the above articles is curious.
While you’re watching the Red Sox telecast on NESN tonight (6:05PM) don’t be surprised if you see them trying to find former Sox and Yankee Pitcher David Cone in the bleachers. Cone sat in the Yankee Stadium Bleachers last week, and according the the NY Times, he will do the same tonight at fenway.
You can also catch the Celtics against New York, tonight at 7:30 on Fox Sports Net. (7:30PM)
Eddie Andleman had Celtics coach Jim O’Brien on WWZN 1510 this afternoon, and painfully subjected him and the listeners to some really silly questions. To wit: “Do you have a preference as to which team you play in the first round, Charlotte or Philadelphia?” Has ANY coach or player *ever* answered a question like that? The second question from Eddie was along the lines of “Will you still use the strategy of shooting 3’s in the playoffs?” to which O’Brien could scarcely hide his disdain for, replying that they’ve used the same strategy for 90 games now, why in the world would they change it for the playoffs. Eddie almost seemed a little hurt that O’Brien found these questions to be a bit absurd….
If you’re looking for another sound to Sports Talk radio, be sure to check out “WildChats” on WUNH 91.3 FM tonight from 6-8. Scheduled topics include: wrapping up UNH hockey, discussion of the Masters, NBA, MLB, and NHL
In another change from the closed door policy of the past, the Red Sox are going to be featured on ESPN’s “The life” series. This is a behind-the-scenes show that was shot during spring training. The web site for the show gives some interesting facts and quotes. The showtimes are varied, and mostly at off hours, so it might be best to set your VCR for this one:
Friday, 12 12:30 AM ESPN
Saturday, 13 3:00 AM ESPN
Tuesday, 16 4:30 PM ESPN
Friday, 19 12:30 AM ESPN
Saturday, 20 3:00 AM ESPN
Saturday, 20 10:30 PM ESPN2
Saturday, 20 11:00 PM ESPN2
Saturday, 20 11:30 PM ESPN2
Tuesday, 23 1:30 PM ESPN
Friday, 26 12:30 AM ESPN
Saturday, 27 3:00 AM ESPN
WEEI had a sit down talk with Bill Belichick this afternoon following his press conference on the draft, Arnold and Neumeier attempted to draw him out about the Bledsoe situation, but Belichick would not go for it.He also took the high road in questions about Brian Cox and Bill Parcells.
If you were looking forward to booing Roger Clemens tomorrow at Fenway, you’ll be disappointed. El Duque was scratched from his start today, and Clemens is taking his spot, meaning he’ll miss the weekend series between the Yankees and Red Sox.
An ugly win by the Celtics last night, and an even uglier show put on by the TNT commentators, Marv Albert and Mike Fratello. While these two have always had a contentious relationship on the air going back to their days on NBC, but they took it to new heights last night. The hostility was very heavy at times. While I always thought it was an act they did, last night seemed a bit more personal. It was even a topic of discussion in the Celtics IGTC mailing list forum last night and this morning.
ESPN.com had an on-line chat with Chris Mortensen yesterday, and he had some interesting comments on Tom Brady, and then Drew Bledsoe. On Brady, Mort feels that Tom is the “real deal”, and that as he grows and the talent around him increases, “watch out”. He also said that Bledsoe “has sent some very cool signals to Buffalo and Cincinnati” and is “reluctantly receptive” to returning to the Pats, even though he’s not attending the offseason conditioning program.
We think that Bledsoe just continues to make it difficult for the fans of New England to have any sympathy for him.
Yesterday, I half-jokingly suggested that because of Tom Brady’s cover appearance on SI, maybe the Pats should consider keeping Bledsoe. Well, Kevin Mannix has taken that premise and spun a column out of it.
Watching the Red Sox on NESN last night, they clearly showed Royals starter Paul Byrd spitting into his pitching hand several times, as far as I saw, no comment was made about it. It seemed a bit strange to me. The Sox are on NESN once again tonight at 6:05. The Bruins are on UPN 38 at 7:00, taking on Ottawa.
The Patriots will have a Pre-draft press conference today at noon. You can tune into it on Patriots.com.
Ron Borges was on WWZN 1510 yesterday, and when asked about the Pats signing DT Steve Martin, he said the Patriots “way” overpaid for him. When word of the signing originally broke, the rumor was it was a 1 year 1.75 million dollar deal. Which would be high. But since then Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com has reported that the contact is actually for 1 to 1.2 million. Much more reasonable for a guy who was misused by the Jets last year, and should thrive in the role he’ll have here, which will be to just plug up the middle and allow Richard Seymour to move a bit more.
WEEI has actually had some diverse topics recently. With all four teams in town at least competitive, people are talking about the Bruins and Celtics. Just for the record, Pete Shepperd and Michael Felger say today in the usual bombastic style that the Celtics will not win a single playoff game. Keep that in mind. Glen Ordway exposes their NBA ignorance here. They say the NBA defense gets tougher in the playoffs and the C’s won’t be able to “shoot all those 3’s”. Well, as Ordway pointed out the defense *does* get tougher, but on the *inside*. It’s tougher in the paint in the playoffs. The C’s will be able to take all the 3’s they want to, and if they hit a hot streak could go all the way to the finals.
That being said, we really don’t like how the C’s match up with Philly, Charlotte or Milwaukee. The three most likely first round opponents for the Celtics.
In another effort by a media outlet to publize itself under the guise of breaking the so-called “Curse of the Bambino” WHEB-FM (100.3) Portsmouth will be conducting an exorcism of sorts on Friday April 12th. They plan to have a car covered with Yankee logos parked outside their office, where a “Monster” truck will run over it and crush it to a pulp.
Butch Sterns on Fox25 at 10:00 last night reported that the Bills have offered the Patriots 3 draft picks for Drew Bledsoe…none of which are first rounders. Sterns also commented on the upcoming Sports Illustrated on which Tom Brady is the cover feature, Shirtless, naturally. The title? “The Natural”. Sterns attempted to whip up the usual frenzy around an SI cover appearance by showing Nomar on SI last year shirtless, and Pedro the year before. Both years in which the Sox failed the make the playoffs, and last year Nomar missed all but 21 games. Maybe the Pats should hang onto Bledsoe though, just in case…
Peter Gammons mentioned yesterday that Ted Lilly is the #11 pitcher on the Yankees staff, but he would be the #3 on the Red Sox. That’s absurd. To me, many times Gammons goes out of his way to put down the Red Sox and elevate the Yankees, just so that no one can accuse him of being a Red Sox “homer”. Of course he could also just be trying to fan the flames as Sterns did above. Trying to get people to talk about him and his columns. Who would fall for such an underhanded trick?
Tim Kurkjian of ESPN the Magazine was on WEEI’s “Dale and Neumy” this morning, and casually dropped that he thinks there’s a good chance the MLB players association will strike in Spetember. MLB is messed up. If they do shut it down, I think there’s a great chance there will be no Baseball in 2003. It will take at least a year maybe more to demolish the system and do it right. By that time, will America even care about Baseball anymore?
Well, who of you out there can say you didn’t see that loss to the Bulls coming? There will be no 50 win season for the Celtics this year.
Bill Griffith gives us a preview of Masters coverage, has some Patriot-like Red Sox TV numbers from the weekend, and reminds us that tonights Sox game will be on AT&T3 starting at 6:00 instead of NESN or Fox25. The Bruins are on NESN at 7:00. The Boston Globe has an article on Shea Hillenbrand, as does ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer, a Hillenbrand critic, who notes that it appears Hillenbrand is attempting to improve his hitting.
The Boston Herald online sports page has been tinkering with its format, putting articles related to the Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins each on their onwn “coverage” pages. While the idea is a good one, for me, it was easier when they just listed the articles by sport in order of the date published. With the new pages, you might have some trouble knowing which articles you’ve read already and which ones you haven’t.
- Good to see Pedro sending the baseball from the win yesterday to our friend Shank Shaughnessey, who proclaimed that Pedro would never again win a game in the majors after Pedro’s comments last year about digging up the bambino and drilling him.
- Celtics with a huge win last night. Tommy has finally resigned himself to the fact that the “3” is a huge part of today’s NBA game. Especially after the Nets closed to within 1 and then the C’s hit three 3’s in the last 3 minutes of the game to put the game away.
- Dave D’Alessandro says Dick Harter is the top defensive mind in he game.
- Some action this weekend on the Bledsoe trade front. Looks like the Bills and Bengals might actually BOTH want Bledsoe, as incredible as it might seem.
- You can catch the Celtics tonight at 8:30 on Fox Sports Net.
- Thank goodness the Sox and C’s did well over the weekend. WEEI last week was impossible to listen to.