Weekend Watch – Shaughnessy Contest Edition

The readers have spoken. We’ll do this Win, Place Show style:

The winner of the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest is Chris Kyle for his Touching ‘Em All column submission. Chris took home nearly 1/3 of the couple hundred votes.

A strong second was “The Return of Pedro” by Brad Danielson.

Coming in third is Selective Memory for Returning Diva submitted by James Sanders. (Not the Patriots safety)

Many of the other entries were outstanding as well, with some getting off some killer Shaughnessy-like lines. Thanks to all who contributed entries as well as those who voted. This was a fun contest and I’ll be trying to incorporate more of this type of stuff in the future.

Pedro vs Roger, revisited.

This week was dominated by the return of Pedro Martinez to Fenway Park. It was quite different from the return of Roger Clemens, who for many years was treated like the Antichrist by fans and media alike here in Boston. (I include myself in that grouping.)

Why such different receptions for all time greats who both left the Red Sox to sign elsewhere?

There’s a few reasons, one of which has to be the fact that Pedro won a World Series here in Boston. The biggest difference in my mind has to be how each pitcher acted after leaving Boston. I don’t think either player wanted to leave Boston, but when Roger left, it seemed that Boston was dead to him. He never acknowledged the fans that had supported him for so many years, he didn’t seem to want to talk about his time with the Red Sox, other than to take (perhaps deserved) shots at Dan Duquette and Red Sox management. After having a few sub-par seasons in the Won-Loss department for the Red Sox during which he was more injury prone than he had ever been, suddenly in Toronto, Clemens was once again the durable, dominant pitcher that he had been earlier in his career. Then he engineered a trade to the Yankees. All of this seemed like slap after slap to the face of the Boston fans. It took until his final season with the Yankees, when it appeared he might retire, that he seemed to soften ever so slightly and talked fondly about Boston, Fenway Park and the Red Sox fans.

Pedro, on the other hand, did also take a few shots at the Boston front office, but always attempted to keep the fans on his side. He talked glowingly about them. He talked about his heart being in Boston. We also got the sense that we had seen the best of Pedro while he was here in Boston, and that this New York Mets version was truly on the downside of his career. Pedro didn’t really have a giant resurgence with the Mets. He’s doing just fine in the National League, but he’s not the dominant Pedro of 1998-2000. Regardless of his performance, Pedro did the smart thing by attempting to reach out to the fans of Boston and ensure them that he was appreciative of their support during his time there. Had Clemens just made a similar gesture, I believe he would’ve been treated much differently…at least until he became a Yankee.

Boo

After just having written all of that, is there a more ponderous topic for sports radio than the “Will (insert name of former Boston athlete here) be booed or cheered when he comes back to Boston?”

It’s the Boston sports radio theme of 2006. We’ve seen it with Johnny Damon and Pedro, and to a lesser extent, Antoine Walker. If you think we’re past the worst of it, just wait until Adam Vinatieri and the Indianapolis Colts come into town this fall. Sure, it might be interesting for a moment to consider the reception that each athlete is going to receive. But as with most things, sports radio and the sports media in general here make it a theme that permeates everything for days and weeks on end. I can understand talking about it for a few minutes, but please, move on and give us some talk about the actual games and teams. What’s worse is when media members and quasi-media members take it upon themselves to tell the fans how they should react.

Here’s a look at the local media columns, plus a few other other items of interest:

Andrew Neff has a look at NESN’s new “What If” program series, which looks at how Boston sports would be different if some big moments had just happened a little bit differently.

Jim Baker has a look at the weekend ahead, with the red hot Red Sox, World Cup soccer and Wimbledon tennis all on the docket.

Susan Bickelhaupt reports on Wendi Nix leaving channel 7 for ESPN, news first reported by John Molori earlier this week.

Get your Red Sox/Marlins news this weekend on the Red Sox Daily Links page and from the Miami Herald.

Kevin Baxter of the Miami Herald has a piece on Mike Lowell, a Miami native, looking at his turnaround this season in Boston after being traded from the Marlins with Josh Beckett last winter.

A Boston College sports blog did an email interview with Bob Ryan this week, in which the Globe columnist gave his thoughts on not only BC Sports, but also on sports coverage and the impact that the Internet has had on it. His comments regarding Boston.com are particularly interesting. Part OnePart Two.

Sports Media Columns From Around the Country

George Solomon, ESPN Ombudsman – Despite complaints, ESPN’s Cup coverage on the ball.

Phil Mushnick, New York Post – Dolan Insists Media Play His Shill Game.

Andrew Marchand, New York Post – Care You Spare A (Joe) Buck?

Richard Sandomir, New York Times – ESPN Rises Above the Rim.

Bob Raissman, New York Daily News – Yanks do A-Rod an in-Justice.
(Reports that YES studio host was ordered by higher-ups to be critical of Alex Rodriguez.)

Michael Hiestand, USA Today – Visser liked football early.

Chris Zelkovich, Toronto Star – Cup ratings continue to soar.

Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune – Longtime Sox fan describes story of a lifetime.

Dave Darling, Orlando Sentinel – ESPN2 is keeping it wild.

Barry Jackson, Miami Herald – Broadcasting moves coming.

David Barron, Houston Chronicle – Houston soccer fans are tuning in to World Cup.

Judd Zilgad, Minneapolis Star-Tribune – After 46 years, it could be splitsville for Twins, WCCO.

Bob Wolfley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – NBA draft provides eclectic show.

Tom Hoffarth, Los Angeles Daily News – Lance-less France OK for OLN.

Jay Posner, San Diego Union Tribune – O’Brien taking soccer hits, but fans watching.

John Maffei, North County Times – Padres play two; only one is on TV.

Big Papi’s Power Hitting Clinics

Big Papi

Sox Make It 12

After dominating the Mets in the first two games of this series, the Red Sox found themselves in a much tighter game last night. No problem. After a textbook example of manufacturing a run in the seventh, Coco Crisp saved a run with a spectacular catch in the outfield and David Ortiz added an insurance run with his 23rd homer of the season in the eighth inning. This gave the Red Sox a 4-2 victory and their 12th in row overall. It also moved Curt Schilling to 10-2 on the season.

How good of a game was it last night? Michael Silverman calls it one of the “most picture-perfect baseball games any team could wish to play.” Gordon Edes focuses on Coco Crisp’s late inning heroics on the basepaths and the field, which should make some start to forget that guy who he replaced in centerfield. Steven Krasner also focuses on Crisp, who took a star turn with his play in the late innings last night. Jeff Goldberg has more on a memorable night at Fenway park for all. Brendan McGair looks at the Red Sox doing all the little things needed to win. Bill Ballou says that the Red Sox should go ahead and start printing their playoff tickets now.

Dan Shaughnessy’s entry is short and sweet today, but then again, there’s really nothing to complain about around Fenway these days is there? Lenny Megliola looks at Crisp and the Red Sox catching magic. Garry Brown says that good teams find ways to win and that is what the Red Sox did last night. Rob Bradford breaks down the Red Sox 12 game winning streak.

John Connolly has Tom Glavine hoping he gets another chance to pitch at Fenway Park before his career comes to an end. Check out the coverage of the night from the enemy perspective on the New York Sports Pages.

Amalie Benjamin looks at the record setting infield defense of the Red Sox, which should give sinkerball pitcher Jason Johnson some piece of mind as he prepares to make his first start for the team tonight in Florida. Tony Massarotti says we should start referring to them as the “Rd Sox” because they play in a world without E’s. Speaking of defense, Benjamin also devotes an entire article to Coco Crisp’s catch which was the best many can remember seeing around Fenway in…decades. Alex Speier looks at Manny’s catch as just the latest in a series of web gems for the Red Sox defense. Krasner looks at Manny dealing with a sore right knee.

With the Marlins on the schedule next, it means the Red Sox first look at Hanley Ramirez. Silverman says the Florida shortstop has no bitterness towards the Red Sox and is glad for the chance to play everyday in the majors. Connolly looks at the ex-Marlin’s on the Red Sox making their first trip back to Florida this weekend.

Edes’ notebook has the agent for Manny Ramirez declaring that his client is happy in Boston and that there will be no further trade demands coming from his camp. Goldberg’s notebook also looks at this story. Silverman’s notebook has Terry Francona hoping that Ramirez can skip the All Star game to rest his knee, which has been bothering the Red Sox slugger since May. Krasner’s notebook looks at Curt Schilling winning the pitching duel last night with Glavine. Brown’s notebook has more on Manny wishing to stay put in Boston. Ballou’s notebook has more on Manny’s sore knee. Bradford’s notebook has Pedro upset that the Red Sox fired Dr Bill Morgan after the 2004 season.

With the Red Sox top pitching prospects now on the major league roster, Chris Snow takes a look at the Top 10 minor league prospects for the Red Sox in his minor league notebook. Rich Thompson has a look at Pawtucket All Star reliever Craig Breslow.

Geoff Edgers of the Globe talked to Peter Gammons last week about his debut CD. The Herald offers up a fantasy baseball column from Paul Gaeta.

Steve Bulpett remains at the forefront of the Allen Iverson trade rumors as he writes this morning that a trade for the Sixers superstar would put the Boston Celtics back on the NBA map. Jackie MacMullan however, disagrees. She urges the Celtics not to make any deals for Iverson, saying he is not The Answer to their problems. Tim Weisberg also takes a look at the Iverson scenario.

Shira Springer looks at the Celtics introducing Rajon Rondo, and then speculating on what is next for Danny Ainge this summer. Mark Murphy says that both Rondo and Sebastian Telfair impressed Ainge a long time ago, when he saw them both play in high school. An article in the Projo says that the Celtics could play two point guards at once often in the upcoming season. Scott Souza has Ainge praising his new guards. Kevin Henkin writes that the Celtics came up big on draft day. The Herald notebook says that the price has to be right for the Celtics in any trade they make this summer for a veteran.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at new Bruins coach Dave Lewis, who is a big believer in “Show me” when it comes to play on the ice. Stephen Harris wonders if the ex-Red Wings coach can win without superstar players. Joe McDonald notes that there will be a lot of getting-to-know-you going on with Lewis and the Bruins in the coming weeks. Douglas Flynn has the Bruins hoping that Lewis can impart some Red Wings magic to their floundering franchise. Bud Barth says Mike Sullivan should be an easier act to follow than Scotty Bowman was for Lewis. Mick Colageo says Lewis will need to work to show the Bruins fans that he is for real as a coach. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that common objectives help Peter Chiarelli make the decision to hire Lewis.

Check out a little roundtable discussion from the BSMW Power Play blog on the hiring of Lewis. Flynn says that Lewis has already put his new club on notice that things are going to be different. Harris’ notebook says that the Bruins have some money to spend and targets in mind for free agency, which opens tomorrow. Burrell has Andrew Raycroft looking forward to a fresh start in Toronto. Dupont’s notebook reports that at least two Bruins will be bought out, and that Hal Gill and Brian Leetch will not be offered new contracts by the team.

Check back later for the results of the Shaughnessy contest and a look ahead to the weekend.

Pedro Fizzles

It was the best of both worlds for Red Sox fans. They got to cheer Pedro Martinez and acknowledge his seven great years with the club, and then they watched their club take him apart and rout the Mets 10-2 last night at Fenway Park.

Michael Silverman looks at Pedro pitching his worst game as a Met after getting a warm and generous ovation from the fans. Gordon Edes has the game story in the Globe as the Red Sox jumped on Martinez right out of the gate. Art Martone reports on the Red Sox romping through another National League East ace. David Heuschkel looks at Pedro being touched by the ovation from the fans and then touched up by the Red Sox lineup. David Borges and Phil O’Neill also have coverage of Pedro’s rough return to Fenway Park.

Dan Shaughnessy finally submits his long-awaited column on Pedro, but it only focuses on his performance last night, no looks back at the career of Pedro, no Dominican diva or Mango tree references. Since we’re not sure what the Globe has done with the real Shaughnessy, we’re still going ahead our contest for the best impression of the Globe columnist. Go to the Dan Shaughnessy Contest Page and submit your vote. The contest has generated a lot of interest, as evidenced by the over 6000 that have hit the contest page thus far. The voting will be open all day today. I’ll announce a winner tomorrow.

Sean McAdam notes that what was supposed to have been Pedro’s homecoming instead turned into a mere cameo appearance. Rob Bradford says that this was clearly not the same Pedro that Red Sox fans witnessed in his prime. John Tomase takes a look at the dark side of Martinez, whom he says was at the very least disingenuous in his press conference on Tuesday. Tomase draws from information in Seth Mnookin’s blog about revisionist history regarding Pedro. Tony Massarotti notes that once the cheers died down, the Red Sox treated Martinez like just another pitcher. Silverman and Dave Wedge look at Pedro reflecting on a “beautiful” friend who lost her battle with cancer last summer. Lenny Megliola admits to being a bit let down in the evening last night. Alex Speier notes that there might’ve been a changing of the guard at Fenway last night. Jon Couture says that the Red Sox showed Pedro who his daddy really is last night.

On a night when all the hype and focus was on Pedro Martinez, Josh Beckett took the mound for the Red Sox and stole the evening. Nick Cafardo looks at the night for Beckett, and notes there was likely a changing of the guard and allegiances last night at Fenway as the fans saluted their past and gave their present a standing ovation as he left the game. Tomase also looks at Beckett, who wasn’t fazed in facing Martinez. Steven Krasner’s Inside the Game looks at Pedro getting himself in trouble with his indecision in the first inning. Massarotti has a piece on Alex Gonzalez, who homered for the second straight night and is opening eyes with his bat now as well as his glove. Garry Brown looks at Curt Schilling again preparing to take on the opposition’s top starter.

Chris Snow chats with native son Tommy Glavine, who is enjoying a rebirth this season with the Mets and reflects on never getting the chance to play for the Red Sox. Glavine pitches tonight against Curt Schilling in what should be a genuine pitchers duel. Cafardo also has a piece on the amazing Julio Franco, who at 48, continues to play the game he loves and shows no signs of slowing down. Snow looks at Lastings Milledge, who again had an adventure in the outfield for the Mets.

Get the stories and coverage from New York on the New York Sports Pages.

Edes’ notebook has Wily Mo Pena looking forward to getting some at bats against live pitching in the minors, as well as some time at first base. Silverman’s notebook looks at Curt Schilling once again drawing a tough assignment in facing the opposition’s best pitcher. Krasner’s notebook says that Schilling has done quite well for himself in those matchups. Heuschkel’s notebook Beckett reminding fans of the old Martinez with his performance last night. Borges’ notebook and O’Neill’s notebook each have more on Schilling’s matchup with Glavine tonight. Couture’s notebook looks at the Sox defense setting a record.

Celtics Get To The Point

Danny Ainge was wheeling and dealing once again on draft night, and came away from the evening with two young point guards, an aging center and a second round forward. Peter May believes the night was a success for the Celtics. To be honest, I’m not sure whether to be pleased or terrified that May approves of the moves… Bill Reynolds has always been very critical of Danny Ainge, and that trend continues this morning, as he mocks the Celtics ADD (Ainge Deficit Disorder) and gives Boston’s boss a C+ for his moves last night. Scott Souza looks at the Celtics adding a bolt of electricity to their backcourt with their moves last night. Michael Muldoon seems high on Ainge’s draft night moves as well. Paul Doyle has more on the Celtics focus on the point guard position.

Steve Bulpett examines what the Celtics believe they have in Sebastian Telfair. Shira Springer examines the players that the Celtics acquired in Rajon Rondo, Telfair and Theo Ratliff. Bill Doyle looks at the Celtics scoring two points last night. Mark Murphy has Telfair very happy to be heading East to the Celtics. Shalise Manza Young has more on the night for the Celtics. Tim Weisberg concludes his look at the moves by saying that the Celtics have put together some attractive pieces for a bigger deal perhaps involving Allen Iverson.

Julian Benbow looks at Rudy Gay leading a parade of UConn players selected in the draft. Murphy’s notebook looks at Gay dealing with his disappointment in slipping down in the draft. Matt Eagan has more on the Huskies going a little lower than anticipated.

Bulpett’s notebook says that the potential Allen Iverson trade is still alive. Springer’s notebook looks at the Raptors selecting Andrea Bargnani first overall amidst a flurry of trades. Zach Rocha’s notebook observes that the Celtics passed up big to go small, to their benefit.

Bruins To Hire Lewis

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the Bruins choosing once again to hire outside their organization to bring in former Red Wings coach Dave Lewis. Traditionally, the Bruins have usually made hires of ones who had some sort of previous connection to the club. Stephen Harris notes that Lewis does have one connection to the Bruins – “It was he whose low, clean check wrecked the knee of 20-year-old defenseman Gord Kluzak during a 1984 preseason game in Portland, Me., altering the career of a No. 1 overall pick whom many believed would become one of the all-time greats.” Douglas Flynn hopes that Lewis has some of the right answers for the public today. Bud Barth and Mick Colageo have more on the Scotty Bowman disciple who will be introduced at a 1:00 PM press conference today. Harris has Andrew Raycroft hoping to bounce back big with the Maple Leafs.

Mike Reiss picks up a New Orleans newspaper report that new Patriots D-lineman Johnathan Sullivan was arrested this past weekend for “possession of marijuana, a seat belt violation, running two stop signs and playing loud music.”

NESN has Mets/Red Sox at 7:00

Dan Shaughnessy Contest Entries

Gammons Update: Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan has details of a statement released by Peter Gammons wife Gloria, who reports that her husband is now resting comfortably and listed in “good” condition.

OK, so I’ve compiled up what I think are the top entries in the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest. Of course, the Globe decided not to cooperate with us and had Bob Ryan write the column on Pedro before his start tonight. I call that a victory. I’m not arrogant enough to suggest that this contest had anything to do with Ryan getting the call over Dan for this column, but it certainly is curious. Of course it could be nothing more than Ryan was scheduled to work last night and Shaughnessy wasn’t. But you’d think Dan would want this one…

Anytime there has been a “big” Red Sox story over the last few years, Shaughnessy has gotten the call. It has been Shaughnessy that writes the front page game stories in the playoffs, it was Shaughnessy that wrote a column on April 30th of this year, prior to the return of Johnny Damon, (However, Ryan did have one also that day)speculating about what type of reception the former Red Sox centerfielder would get from the Fenway crowd. When a topic concerning “Red Sox Nation” needs to be addressed, be it front office intrigue, the club using the paper to promote their travel club, or the team letting fans sit in the rain for hours and spend money on concessions before finally canceling the game, it was Shaughnessy who wrote it.

With Pedro, it figured to get personal, and that’s why we all expected to wake up this morning and read a column from Shaughnessy. He’s had his clashes with Pedro, calling him the Dominican Diva and many other names over the years. Pedro even singled out Shaughnessy by name in yesterday’s press conference. But when we went to the Globe today…

Nothing.

Not even another column about the 1986 club. (On another note, how ballsy is it that for 20 years Dan has told us about the curse that settled on Buckner, Gedman, Stanley, et al, and how they were losers, and then this week Dan tells us that they are the most under-appreciated team in baseball history?)

Of course, I’m still thinking Dan will appear in tomorrow’s paper. After Pedro’s appearance, and will weigh in on the outing by Martinez and the ovation that he will receive. He’ll talk about it bringing back memories and how these starts were always events back in Pedro’s prime with the Sox.

However, since Shaughnessy didn’t write today…we’ll have to go to the contest entries to do it for him. To that end, I’ve compiled the top 17 entries, (Wanted to do 15, but these were good) and placed them on this Dan Shaughnessy Contest Page. I had a number of other entries that I didn’t put up…some were just unsuitable for publication. (Still very funny though.) As it is, there might be one or two “borderline” ones in the list.

The instructions for voting are at the bottom of that page. Have fun going through the entries and selecting a winner.

Ten in a row for Sox

The Red Sox extended their winning streak to 10 games last night, defeating the New York Mets 9-4 last night at Fenway Park. Jon Lester moved to 3-0 with the win, and the Red Sox currently sit 3.5 games ahead of the Yankees in the AL East.

Gordon Edes looks at the hot bats of the Red Sox helping them to yet another win on an event filled evening at Fenway. Jeff Horrigan has more on the Red Sox winning streak reaching 10 games. Shalise Manza Young notes that the best that the NL has to offer still wasn’t enough to stop the red hot Red Sox last night. David Heuschkel looks at a gutsy outing from Lester as a key to the win for the Red Sox. David Borges observes that if this was a World Series preview, then the Red Sox could be prepared to 86 some more ghosts. Bill Ballou looks at the Red Sox giving Jon Lester plenty of help en route to their 10th straight win.

Sean McAdam says that the Red Sox can’t get enough of this interleague play, which sadly comes to an end this weekend. Chris Snow looks at how the middle innings proved the Mets undoing last night. Silverman has the Mets giving respect to Jon Lester for his stuff and potential. Tony Massarotti has Lester giving credit to Jason Varitek for guiding him through his start. Steven Krasner’s Inside the Game notes that Alex Gonzalez’s bat is starting to catch up with his glove. The Red Sox shortstop had two more hits last night, including a two-run homer, to boost his average to .267 on the season – the same as David Ortiz. Garry Brown notes that both the Red Sox and Mets rely heavily on youth on their rosters.

Joan Vennochi has an appreciation for David Ortiz, who she says “makes it possible to think about the sunnier side of America’s classic pastime,” rather than the ugliness of the Brett Myers and Ozzie Guillen situations. Horrigan has a update on Peter Gammons, whose friends and family remain cautiously optimistic for a recovery from the aneurysm the legendary baseball analyst suffered yesterday. McAdam also has a brief report on Gammons.

Bob Ryan writes the Globe column on Pedro Martinez prior to his start tonight. If I were given the choice, I would’ve wanted Ryan to write this column, and it seems for once the Globe made the right call here. I suspect Shaughnessy will have something tomorrow about Pedro, (likely criticizing anyone who boos Martinez) but this column from Ryan is the one I wanted to see written. He did it right. Later this morning I will present to you the top entries in the Shaughnessy contest and we’ll have fun looking them over and judging a winner.

Perhaps the Globe should’ve had Chad Finn do the Pedro piece for them. Lenny Megliola also has a detailed piece on Pedro and his comments to the media yesterday afternoon. Gerry Callahan isn’t quite so euphorias in praise for Pedro, but agrees that Martinez doesn’t deserve to be treated the way Brett Myers deserved to be treated by the Boston fans. Michael Silverman looks at Pedro feeling the love from the Boston fans last night. Jeff Jacobs says that if you want to make things harder for your Red Sox tonight, go ahead and boo Pedro when he takes the mound. Tony Massarotti misses Pedro, and has a look at the comments from the Mets pitcher prior to last night’s game. Jon Couture opens his Pedro piece with some mild criticism of his fellow scribes for wasting questions on drivel. Shalise Manza Young has more on Pedro’s comments, which made it clear that Pedro still loves Boston and vice versa. Garry Brown reports that Pedro felt plenty of love in his return to Boston. Alex Speier also has a look at the return of Pedro Martinez. Rob Bradford takes a look at Pedro’s stroll down memory lane with the press yesterday. David Borges has more on Pedro being welcomed back to Boston. Mike Fine writes perhaps the only critical article on Pedro that you’ll read this week, as the acknowledges the greatness of Pedro’s pitching, but says the club rid themselves of a headache by not re-signing him. Dave Wedge in the Herald has a touching story on Pedro’s friendship with a cancer patient who eventually passed away from the disease.

Nick Cafardo has a very nice piece with Bruce Hurst giving his thoughts an observations on Jon Lester, who is the most impressive lefty starter to come up to the Red Sox since Hurst himself. Snow also has the 1986 team members appreciative of the crowd for cheering Bill Buckner’s name when it scrolled by on the scoreboard.

Check out coverage of the night’s activities and more Pedro articles on the New York Sports Pages.

Borges’ notebook has Manny Delcarmen telling of the time that Pedro pulled him aside in 2003 to offer encouragement after the the minor league prospect needed to undergo Tommy John surgery. Edes’ notebook has another update on Peter Gammons, who remains in a Boston area ICU after surgery for a brain aneurysm. Horrigan’s notebook looks at cheers for Bill Buckner at Fenway Park last night. The Projo notebook looks at the recovery of pitching coach Dave Wallace, who was in the Red Sox clubhouse yesterday. Ballou’s notebook reports that no one is even close to David Ortiz on the Red Sox when it comes to game winning hits.

Salsa Talcott has a look at Entercom hoping to recoup some of its massive investment in the Red Sox radio rights by selling naming rights to the broadcasts.

NBA Draft Tonight

In addition to the Pedro start tonight at Fenway, there is also the NBA draft going on, and the Celtics sit at #7, but rumors continue to swirl around possible moves Danny Ainge could make. Steve Bulpett reports that the Celtics are indeed trying talk the Philadelphia 76ers into trading Allen Iverson, but a holdup could be getting other teams into the mix. Tim Weisberg says to pay no attention to the internet rumors surrounding Iverson, he wouldn’t fit on this team, and looks at what Ainge could do instead. Shira Springer notes Ainge’s disdain for mock drafts, choosing instead to rank players, and what his thinking is as the organization does this.

Mark Murphy notes that a lot of mysteries will be cleared up tonight. Peter May observes that this is the first time in a long time where the number one pick and all that follow are nearly impossible to peg. Mike Anthony has various draft prospects speaking about the event tonight. Mike Fine says that getting a point guard seems to be at the top of Ainge’s wish list. Desmond Connor says Marcus Williams isn’t worried about the concerns about his work ethic. Dave Kraska looks at the sad tale of former super prospect Lenny Cooke.

Your first stop of draft coverage should of course be the BSMW Full Court Press, where they have their mock up of the first 15 picks of the draft. If Boston has a pick, than Cedric Simmons is their choice at #7. CelticsBlog will also has wall-to-wall coverage of every rumor and move. The Herald has Bulpett’s mock draft, where he says the Celtics are hoping they don’t have the #7 pick, but if they do, he has them selecting Rudy Gay. In the Globe, Peter May’s mock draft has the Celtics picking Randy Foye of Villanova – again if they keep the pick. Scott Souza’s mock draft also has the Celtics taking Foye, and he looks at what teams at the top are thinking regarding their picks.

Bruins Send Sully Packing

The Bruins finally let Mike Sullivan know his future last night, and it doesn’t include coaching the Bruins. Douglas Flynn says that the decision may have been the right one, but the process was very wrong. Stephen Harris says that the Rick Bowness firing by the Bruins after making the third round of the playoffs 14 years ago “was remembered by many as the one of the most unfair, shameless and low-class acts by the Bruins in decades. Until yesterday”. Kevin Paul Dupont also weighs in on the firing, and says that the Bruins could name a successor as early as today or tomorrow, with former Red Wings coach Dave Lewis being a likely candidate. Mike Colageo says that it is no real surprise that Sullivan is gone. He add that only an (assistant GM) Jeff “Gorton firing would surpass the bizarre treatment that Sullivan has endured throughout a process that mercifully ended for him yesterday.” Joe McDonald also has coverage of the dismissal. Flynn’s notebook has Bruins players disappointed with the news of Sullivan’s firing.

The BSMW Power Play Bruins blog looks at the holes in the current roster and possible names to fill them.

NESN has Red Sox/Mets at 7:00 (ESPN2 Nationally) ESPN has the NBA Draft at 7:00.

Gammons Suffers aneurysm

Our thoughts are with Peter Gammons, the legendary Boston Globe baseball writer and current ESPN analyst who suffered an aneurysm in his brain earlier this morning and is undergoing surgery in a Boston-area hospital.

Bob Ryan has a report on his former colleague, and ESPN.com also has the news.

Again, our thoughts are with Mr. Gammons, who means so much to baseball and the local media and fans here in Boston.

Papi. Again.

The magical ride at Fenway continued yesterday as the Red Sox, despite blowing a 6-0 lead, managed to send the fans home happy after David Ortiz (who else) drove in the winning run to give the Red Sox an 8-7 victory over the Phillies.

Many people were probably in their cars driving home from work listening to the end of the game, and heard the over-the-top call from Jerry Trupiano which contained Superman references and screaming about how the Phillies did not have the kryptonite to stop Ortiz. It was impossible to know what actually happened, as all we knew was the the hit was to left center and than “Ortiz has done it again!” Listeners were left to wonder what exactly did Ortiz do? Hit a home run? It took almost a full minute for them to tell us how Ortiz won the game for the Sox. Following the post game show was a 20 minute edition of Mustard and Johnson, which had LJ repeatedly making reference to “Bill James and the stat geeks” in reference to Ortiz’s clutch hitting.

The Phillies had already twice escaped Ortiz with the game on the line, and had even taken a 7-6 lead in the top of the twelfth inning. However, Kevin Youkilis drove in Coco Crisp, Mark Loretta walked, and that set the stage for Big Papi. Amalie Benjamin notes that even the first base umpire was wondering what the Phillies should do with the extraordinary Ortiz. Jeff Horrigan has Ortiz’s teammates gushing about him, with Youkilis proclaiming Papi “probably the clutchest player ever to play the game.” Steven Krasner looks at yet another special delivery from Ortiz. Jeff Goldberg says: Yes. Again. As Ortiz comes through yet one more time with the game on the line. David Borges and Bill Ballou have more coverage from Fenway Park.

John Tomase wonders when the rest of baseball will get the hint and start walking Ortiz and pitching to Manny. Lenny Megliola looks at Ortiz once again doing the impossible, but expected. The Projo lists out all 13 of Ortiz’s walk off hits in his 3-plus season with the Red Sox. Alex Speier examines the Red Sox huge advantage at Fenway Park. Horrigan looks at Jonathan Papelbon proving to be mortal. Tomase also has a look at Coco Crisp, in the midst of a slump, but able to go 3-5 on the afternoon and lead off the 12th with a ground rule double to start the rally. Rob Bradford looks at Crisp as a work in progress. In the Metro, Dave Kraska has a quick interview with Bronson Arroyo on life after Boston. Joe Haggerty has more on Ortiz’s heroics.

Nick Cafardo says the upcoming Mets/Red Sox matchup could be a World Series preview, noting that it would all fit nicely as this is the 20th anniversary of the 1986 World Series matchup between the clubs. Michael Silverman says that thanks to 2004, the 1986 Red Sox can have a happy reunion with the fans of Boston. The Herald also has a “Where are they now” page on the 1986 team. The only person they couldn’t track down was Sammy Stewart. Krasner has more on the reunion of the 1986 Sox, many of whom were at the park for yesterday’s game. Goldberg reports on how many of the former Red Sox celebrated in 2004 as Boston won the World Series. Ron Chimelis believes that the 1986 Sox are the most under appreciated club in baseball history. However Bill Ballou says 1986 is still painful to many of them.

Dan Shaughnessy writes about the Red Sox saluting the 1986 edition of their club. Could Dan actually go without writing about Pedro this week? It seems it will be tomorrow, or never. Because the column today was not about Pedro, the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest has been extended one more day. If Dan happens to skip writing about Pedro before his start, or chooses to write after it instead, we’ll still judge the entries and award a winner. Dan has stated on recent TV appearances that he believes Pedro will get an enormous and extended ovation from the fans, which might give you an indication of which way his column will go.

Michael Silverman serves up a feature on Pedro, who was the first piece and catalyst for the Mets current success. Ever the contrarian and aligning himself firmly in the Dirt Dogs camp, Bob Halloran says if Johnny Damon was booed, then so should Pedro.

Benjamin’s notebook looks at Jonathan Papelbon’s second blown save of the season, after he gave up a homer off Pesky’s Pole to tie the game in the ninth. Horrigan’s notebook has an update on Wily Mo Pena, who will begin his rehab assignment shortly and hopefully get in some work at first base. Krasner’s notebook has more on Papelbon’s blown save. Borges’ notebook looks at the set being set for Pedro’s return. Ballou’s notebook says there really is no correct call with Ortiz up with the game on the line.

The Bruins continued their makeover yesterday by trading defenseman Nick Boynton to the Phoenix Coyotes for defenseman Paul Mara. Kevin Paul Dupont reports on the acquisition of the former Belmont Hill standout. Stephen Harris notes that with Boynton’s departure, the last piece of the Bruins young veteran core has been traded. Joe McDonald notes perhaps half-jokingly that the Bruins might be trading all the players who were close to Joe Thornton. Douglas Flynn and Mick Colageo also have good coverage on the deal, which appears to be a good fit for both clubs. Mike Loftus says that the trade of Andrew Raycroft solved a problem for the Bruins. Harris’ notebook has Mike Sullivan still waiting to hear from the Bruins about his future. This situation is getting rediculous…

Be sure to check out a very thorough edition of the BSMW Power Play for a look at the Bruins makeover thus far, and what other moves the team could make in the offseason.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics may try to deal the seventh pick in the draft for an established veteran player. Bill Doyle seconds the notion. Scott Souza says that whether they trade the pick or not, the Celtics expect a busy night on the phones. Peter May chimes in with a quick note that the Celtics are happy with their pick…for now. Shira Springer has a profile of UConn’s Marcus Williams, who has a lot to prove about his character and his play on the court. Mark Murphy profiles the big guards available in the draft. Desmond Connor looks at the small forwards.

Mike Reiss catches up with Asante Samuel, who is taking a different approach to his offseason workouts, training with Jevon Kearse twice a week.

NESN has Red Sox/Mets at 7:00.

Rainout # 6

With the rainout yesterday, we’ll just look at a few select links from today and the weekend.

With no Pedro column from Shaughnessy today, the deadline has been extended. You can still submit entries today for the contest.

Right now, I’m thinking I’m going put about the top 20 columns online somewhere and then let the readers decide the winner.

Check out another fantastic edition of the BSMW Full Court Press, which is looking at some of the other top prospects in the NBA draft. This is a followup to last week’s column which looked at the top six players.

Speaking of Dan, he was pretty much the only local media guy to touch the Brett Myers situation over the weekend. Tony Massarotti gingerly approached the topic, but to his credit Shaughnessy went after it fully.

Bob Ryan writes about Big Papi David Ortiz, who extended his legend even further in Boston, with yet another walk-off home run. Steven Krasner looks at the special qualities that make Ortiz who he is. Jeff Goldberg looks at how Curt Schilling handled an apology from Manny Delcarmen after the younger pitcher gave up the lead and cost Schilling a win on Saturday.

Gordon Edes’ Baseball Notes leads with Pedro Martinez’s happiness with the Mets and their transformation into a contender, and he follows that with a number of other interesting items. Tony Massarotti’s Covering All Bases, also looked at Martinez, who he calls the “single most fascinating player to write about and talk about” during his 15 years writing about baseball.

Michael Felger asserted on Sunday that if the Patriots are to be Super Bowl contenders, rookies and veterans who have been disappointments in the past are going to have to step up and produce. Jerome Solomon believes things aren’t looking too promising in the Deion Branch/Patriots negotiations. Albert Breer has a look at the Patriots offensive line, which looks to be in much better shape that the crew that took the field in Denver to end the season.

Peter May looked at a lean 20 years for the Boston Celtics. Mark Murphy’s NBA notes looks at Danny Ainge needing to hit a home run with this draft, and how Antoine Walker demonstrated that he really hasn’t matured all that much after all.

Seve Conroy has the Bruins pleased with their draft. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins turnaround is going to take some time. Kevin Paul Dupont weighs in on the Bruins top pick, Phil Kessel. Mick Colageo says that the Bruins had no choice but to grab Kessel. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says the Bruins are thrilled with Kessel and with goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask, whom they acquired from the Maple Leafs for Andrew Raycroft. Dupont has more on Rask.

NESN has Red Sox/Phillies at 1:00 and Ottawa/PawSox at 7:00. ESPN2 has Braves/Yankees at 7:00. ESPN has the College World Series – Oregon St/North Carolina at 7:00.

Weekend Watch – June 23rd Edition

With the NBA and NHL finals now over, we’re heading into a quieter time for professional team sports, and fewer options for TV viewing. Which, when the weather is nice, is probably a good thing. This weekend…we’ll see how the weather goes here in New England.

For the weekend, check in with the Red Sox on the Red Sox Daily Links Page.

A reminder about participating in the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest – try to get the columns to me before Monday. I’ve gotten a number of top-notch ones thus far, and it’s going to be a tough call to pick a winner.

Callahan on Mariotti

Gerry Callahan has been dead-on-target with his comments and criticism towards Jay Mariotti and Rick Morrissey yesterday and today. Callahan showed that he knows the role of a columnist and what the responsibilities are. He called Mariotti “pathetic” for making the story yesterday about himself. He called out Morrissey for suggesting that Mariotti needed to go down to the clubhouse and confront Ozzie Guillen and take the manager’s wrath for the column. Callahan shared something his former sports editor at the Herald once told him – that he didn’t want Callahan hanging around the clubhouses because he wanted him to remain separate and not form some friendships or relationships that would taint his opinion. The point Callahan made several times was that the columnist’s main responsibility is to the reader.

I’ve always held that Callahan the sports writer and columnist is a much different personality than Callahan the radio host. Gerry was outstanding the last two days in his commentary on the situation involving Mariotti. The wish here is that we heard more of Callahan the sports guy.

Mariotti is a clown and we in Boston should be glad we don’t have him here.

In the same discussion, Greg Dickerson, subbing for John Dennis this morning, lauded Dan Shaughnessy as the ultimate example of someone who can both dish it out and take it.

Move On People

I enjoyed Bronson Arroyo when he was with the Red Sox, and I’m rooting for him to do well with the Reds. However, I grew tired of the constant lament, updates and tongue baths towards the former Red Sox hurler being tossed by the local media long ago. This morning, we had an article in both the Globe and Herald, breathlessly giving us the latest on Bronson, and how he’s not mad at the Red Sox for trading him and how much he still loves Boston. Last night on Fox 25 they had a full segment on Arroyo, with a reporter talking to as many Red Sox players as he could about whether they miss Bronson, and whether the team would be better with him, and other such inane questions. It’s time to move on. Sure, Arroyo would look good in the rotation, but he’s gone. The team is in first place, and doing pretty well. No amount of pining away is going to get him back here this season. Wish him well and focus on the players that are actually here.

For those who really want Arroyo here, consider this comparison of numbers put up last season. (Thanks to “Feejis” for the stats.)

Arroyo.png

Who is “Pitcher X”? Scroll down to the end to find out.

Local Media/Blogs/Items

David Scott relates his experience with the Boston Globe Magazine roundtable which he attended last week, and has some criticism of the magazines State of Boston’s four teams report from last Sunday.

In other local sports media columns, Susan Bickelhaupt notes that while we may be going into the dog days of professional teams sports with the NBA and NHL seasons over and only MLB in season, things for ESPN are really heating up as they are entering one of the busiest periods of time for them. She also notes that Jerry Remy and Ron Darling will exchange spots in the Red Sox and Mets TV booths for a few innings during next week’s series between the clubs. Jim Baker talks to NESN

More Thoughts on Crawford, ‘roids.

I received a number of outstanding entries in the “Be Dan Shaughnessy” contest yesterday. It’s amazing how well some of you have his style down pat. If you’re planning on entering (You don’t have a do a complete column, 3-4 paragraphs will do), please get your entry to me by the end of the weekend. As mentioned, we’ll have a nice prize or two for the winner.

John Tomase talks to a number of players who were on the Red Sox during the time Paxton Crawford was around, including Mike Stanley, John Valentin and Jeff Frye, all deny that steroids were being used by members of the team and claim that Crawford is making stuff up, that he wasn’t around the big league clubhouse long enough to know what the veterans were doing. Jim Fennell talks to a couple members of the Nashua Pride, whom Crawford pitched for in 2003, who aren’t really surprised at his admissions. Art Martone notes that baseball has a long history of cheating, and includes a quote from 1969’s Ball Four, which would seem to sum up the feeling of players even today. The subject of Paxton Crawford and steroids is also the topic of a Boston Globe Editorial this morning.

Gordon Edes and Michael Silverman each have stories on Bronson Arroyo, whose manager on the Reds says it’s an “automatic” that he’ll start the All Star game for the NL and is a potential Cy Young candidate. Arroyo says he has no bitterness against Boston and would like to pitch for the Red Sox again some day.

Jeff Horrigan reports on Kevin Youkilis, who is making the most of finally being an everyday major league player. David Heuschkel also focuses on Youkilis, who is often the subject of ribbing from his teammates, including Manny Ramirez. Phil O’Neill has more on Youkilis, who has been better than anticipated in almost every facet of the game. Tomase has a look at Trot Nixon putting up big numbers in his (surprise) contract year. Ron Chimelis examines the Red Sox success in interleague play this season. Mike Fine has a look at Jon Lester, and another at David Ortiz. Chimelis also has an interesting article on sidearm pitchers, of which Josh Papelbon is one.

Bob Ryan reports on Roger Clemens’ first game since coming off his three month sabbatical.

Chris Snow’s notebook looks at how and why the Red Sox are feasting on National League competition. (Reasons which could also explain Arroyo’s success.) Horrigan’s notebook reports on the Red Sox signing their top draft pick, high school outfielder Jason Place. The 18-year-old says he models his hitting style after Albert Pujols and his fielding after Andruw Jones and Jim Edmonds.

Snow’s minor league notebook has a look at AA pitcher Chris Smith, who seems to be overlooked when talking about the Red Sox pitching prospects. Rich Thompson’s minor league notebook has a look at the potent Pawtucket double play combination of Alejandro Machado and Dustin Pedroia.

Steve Conroy looks at Joe Thornton winning the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP. That one hurts. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that all signs point to Mike Sullivan being out as Bruins head coach. Mike Loftus has more on Sullivan waiting to hear his fate. Joe McDonald also looks at Sullivan’s wait. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at one of the potential Bruins selections in Phil Kessel. Stephen Harris looks at Waltham’s Brian Strait, who should be the first New Englander picked in the NHL draft. Christopher Hurley looks at another local, Joey Ryan, who should also be selected. Conroy’s notebook reports on the Bruins likely losing their director of Pro scouting to the Los Angeles Kings.

Steve Bulpett tries to figure out which direction Danny Ainge is going to go with the #7 pick in next week’s NBA draft. Scott Souza also has a look at what Ainge might be trying to do with his top selection.

Albert Breer says that the Patriots were not present at workouts for Virginia linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who will be available in a July 13th supplemental draft. Yesterday, Breer had a good profile of Brooks, who had been thrown off the Virginia squad by head coach Al Groh. We’ll have more from Breer this afternoon…