Saturday, May 31, 2008


In the spring of 1987, Rajon Rondo had just turned 1 year old, and the Boston Celtics were in the NBA Finals. Now, 21 years later, Rondo and his teammates are going back to The Promised Land.

What's ironic about the Celtics 6 game triumph over Detroit in the Conference Finals is that they clinched on the road, where they had yet to win a playoff game before this series. The so-called experts predicted that the Celtics would struggle mightily in Auburn Hills. After all, if they couldn't win in Atlanta or Cleveland, how on Earth could they win in one of the toughest arenas for a visiting team to play in?

Here's how...

Paul Pierce once again came up huge. He had 27 points, and 8 rebounds. He led the team in both categories. Kevin Garnett started slow, with only 4 points in the 1st half. But he was clutch down the stretch, going 5 for his last 6, and winding up with 16 points. Ray Allen cooled off a bit toward the end, but still had 17 points. Rondo finished with 11. James Posey had a great night off the bench, with 4 big rebounds, a huge 3 pointer, and a pair of steals.

But the Celtics won with defense. They held Detroit to 13 points in the 4th quarter. 13 points! KG kept Rasheed in check, holding him to 4 points and 2 of 12 shooting. The Pistons shot 42.0%, and if it weren't for the obscene amount of foul shots they had early on, the game wouldn't have been as close.

And now, it's a date with the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals. How fitting.

BEAT L.A.!!!!!!


Photo Credits:
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
AP Photo/Paul Sancya


The MRI on Daisuke Matsuzaka's right shoulder showed a mild strain, which convinced the Red Sox to place him on the 15 Day disabled list. The move is more out of caution than anything else. The Red Sox will need Daisuke to be at his best in September, and hopefully October.

He'll most likely be replaced by Justin Masterson in the rotation. They've already shifted things around in AAA Pawtucket to put Masterson in line to pitch on Matsuzaka's scheduled day (Tuesday).

Speaking of cautionary placement on the DL, Clay Buchholz made another rehab start. Pitching for AAA Pawtucket, he went 4 innings, allowed 3 runs, 4 walks, and 5 strikeouts. He threw 76 pitches, only 41 were strikes. He also threw a wild pitch. With Colon up, and Masterson replacing Matsuzaka, the Red Sox will take their time with Buchholz. He might even be optioned back to AAA Pawtucket.

AP via
Providence Journal


The Sox game last night started about 90 minutes before the Celtics' game began. And it ended about an hour after. But after 4 hours and 49 minutes of baseball, the Red Sox were on top 5-2.

Beckett pitched decently, going 6 innings, allowing 2 earned, and striking out 10. But I'm still waiting for him to look like the Ace he was in '07. Beckett allowed a solo homer in the 4th, the 11th he's given up on the season. That's the 2nd most allowed in the AL. Only Paul Byrd has allowed more.

But the bullpen was sensational. Okajima, Delcarmen, Lopez, Hansen, Timlin, and Papelbon combined for 7 innings, 4 hits, 4 walks, 7 strikeouts and 0 runs. Although Timlin did struggle to get out of his inning, leaving the bases loaded.

The offense wasn't much to be proud of. In total, the Sox went 10 for 48 (.208). Jacoby had a great night, going 3 for 7 with a pair of doubles and 3 stolen bases. Mike Lowell also had a solid evening, going 3 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI. One of those RBI turned out to be the game winning run in the 13th.

But apart from a few nice individual performances, the Sox lineup simply looked bad last night. The 7-8-9 hitters combined went 0 for 12 (0 for 13 if you count Jeff bailey's pinch hitting for Alex Cora). Potential All-Star Jason Varitek's average is now .259.

But after what's been happening the last week, I'm more than happy to accept this weak hitting, exhaustive win.

Jon Lester faces Garrett Olson tonight.


Photo Credits:
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
AP Photo/Gail Burton

Thursday, May 29, 2008


The Celtics made this one more difficult than it should have been in the 4th quarter. But we'll get to that later. First, I would like to officially welcome Ray Allen back to the NBA and the Boston Celtics. Ray-Ray was 9 for 15 (5 of 6 from 3) from the field, and finished with 29 points. Finally having a reliable outside threat in Ray Allen allows the Celtics offense to be more flexible, and to exploit gaps created down low when Allen gets attention.

The rest of the starting 5 had great nights. Pierce ended up with 16 points and 6 assists. Kendrick Perkins had the game of his life, knocking down 18 points, and collecting 16 rebounds. Rajon Rondo only had 7 points, but he also had 13 assists, 4 steals and 6 rebounds. Kevin Garnett led the team in scoring with 33.

But the Celtics' performance in the 4th quarter was a problem. They led 84-71 after 3, but things became entirely too interesting. With about 9 minutes left on the clock, the Celtics offense melted away. They lost both their aggression and their poise. It was almost as if they felt victory coming, and focused too much on not letting it slip away, instead of pulling it closer. From 9:15 to 4:26, a stretch of nearly 5 minutes, the Celtics had 1 point (from a technical free throw) and no field goals.

The Celtics played great in the last minute. Ray Allen hit that 20 foot jumper to put the C's ahead 102-99. And all the important free throws down the stretch went in. But they shouldn't have been in that position.

This team lacks a killer instinct. When up by a good amount, but not a blowout amount, the Celtics seem to get nervous. Teams like the Hawks might fade away when they're down in the 4th quarter, but teams like Detroit don't. Here are just a few things the Celtics need to do in the 4th:

1. Drive to the hole and draw fouls.

2. Shoot the friggin' ball!!! This one goes especially to Garnett, who seems to always pass to players covered more heavily than he is.

3. Play tight defense. The Celtics did this well last night, but they have to keep doing this. All those open looks Wallace and Billups got for 3 kept this game close down the stretch.

4. Make Ray Allen an outlet. If they're covering the paint tightly, then find Allen on the outside and he'll make it rain. Three pointers down the stretch are extremely demoralizing to an opponent.

And Rasheed, stop bitching about the officials. There have been some pretty bad calls in this series on both teams. Grow up.

Tedy, does The Coach know you're doing this?

I guess he does.

Nice cougar, Coach.

Game 6: Friday night in Auburn Hills.


Photo Credits:
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
AP Photo/Winslow Townson


A brilliant start by Wakefield was wasted last night as the Red Sox fell 1-0 to the Mariners. Wake went 8 innings, allowed 5 hits, 0 walks, struck out 8, and yielded a solo homerun. But the Red Sox offense was only able to muster 2 singles off Erik Bedard. The Sox never even got a man to 3rd base.

Only Mike Lowell and Manny Ramirez were able to get hits. The Sox did work 6 walks, but couldn't string anything together. Their biggest threat was in the top of the 9th when they had runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs, but Coco Crisp grounded out up the middle to end the game.

The Sox are now 1-5 on their road trip, which came on the heels of a 7-0 homestand. Their inconsistency, and their inability to win on the road continues to boggle the mind.

Still no official word on Matsuzaka's shoulder. He flew back to Boston today and will have an MRI tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Sox have an off-day before beginning a 4 game series in Baltimore. Josh Beckett faces Daniel Cabrera. The Sox are 0-2 against the Orioles this season.

Hartford Courant

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/John Froschauer

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


When Cal Ripken Jr would make All-Star Games late in his career, it wasn't because he was the best third baseman in the AL, it was because the fans wanted to see him play. But when Jason Varitek is the leading vote-getter among AL catchers, it's a different, much sadder story.

I'm a Red Sox fan, and have been for as long as I can remember. I stuffed the ballot box in '99 to get Nomar the start at short-stop. I wrote in David Ortiz when he wasn't on the ballot. But when it comes to the All-Star Game, I don't want to see the Red Sox take on the National League, I want to see the American League All-Stars. I want to see players we don't get many opportunities to see. Vladimir Guerrero, Joe Mauer, Ichiro, et cetera. With the unbalanced schedule, us Sox fans don't see much of the AL West and Central. So why do we want more of that by only voting for AL East players?

Here is what the AL All-Star starters look like as of now:

C - Jason Varitek - BOS
1B - Kevin Youkilis - BOS
2B - Dustin Pedroia - BOS
3B - Alex Rodriguez - NYY
SS - Derek Jeter - NYY
OF - Manny Ramirez - BOS
OF - Vladimir Guerrero - LAA
OF - Ichiro Suzuki - SEA
DH - David Ortiz - BOS

I can understand Ortiz, Youkilis, and Manny. Even Pedroia isn't that bad. But Jason Varitek is hitting .268. There's a guy on the Twins who also plays catcher, but he's hitting .329. His name is Joe Mauer, and somehow he's 3rd in the American League in hitting, and 3rd in All-Star votes for catchers. Mauer also dates former Miss USA Chelsea Cooley.

Looking even deeper at the All-Star voting, a baseball fan grows more and more disturbed. Julio Lugo is 4th at short-stop? 130,139 people voted for Julio Lugo TO START an All-Star Game?????????? JD Drew is hitting .282 with 4 homeruns and is 11th in outfield voting. 185,673 people voted for him. Who are these people?

As a Red Sox fan, I implore my fellow Sox fans out there to stop voting for Varitek, Lugo, and Drew. Vote for Manny, Ortiz, and Youkilis all you'd like. Because Manny and Ortiz are truly Stars, and Youkilis is having a great season. But Varitek is neither a star, nor is he having a great year.

Think about this, the All-Star Game determines home field advantage in the World Series. Wouldn't you rather have Joe Mauer batting in a big situation instead of Jason Varitek?

And think about this, don't you want to give Varitek a few days off, so he's well rested and able to help the Red Sox win games?

So be a homer, but be a smart homer, okay folks?



Just when it seemed like the rotation would be improving with the return of Bartolo Colon, the Red Sox may lose Daisuke Matsuzaka. He left the game just before the bottom of the 5th with "fatigue" in his right shoulder. There is no word yet on whether he'll miss any time.

Manny Ramirez's 499th homerun tied the game at 3-3 in the 6th, giving the Sox a chance to steal a road win, something they desperately need. But the bats fell silent for the Sox. And in the bottom of the 9th, Mike Timlin walked a man, and gave up two hits, including the game winning single, to give Seattle a 4-3 victory.

The Red Sox are now 1-4 on this West Coast swing, after winning 7 straight at home. Their 11-18 road record is the 9th worst in baseball. And once again, Tampa Bay is in first place by half a game.

The rubber game in Seattle is tonight at 10:10. Tim Wakefield looks to have a good start after struggling in his last 3 outings. He faces former Oriole Erik Bedard.

Hartford Courant

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/John Froschauer

Friday, May 23, 2008


The Celtics have been under pressure to go on the road and play the way they've played at home. They did the opposite Thursday night. Sluggish defense down the stretch, absolutely retarded fouls, nobody wanting to step up and take the big shot, confused plays in the paint, and so on.

Rajon Rondo had a great night statistically, and that's about it. He had 10 points, 9 boards, and 8 assists. But he looked confused. He seemed afraid to take a shot when given an open look. Other times, he'd drive to the hoop, only to make a low percentage pass back to the outside. And could someone PLEASE spend a day with him and teach him the proper (and smooth) way to lay the ball up?

With Rondo's confusion, Sam Cassell's shoot first ask questions later mentality, and Eddie House's inability to get the ball past half-court, this team is sorely lacking dependability at the point guard position. And that's a major concern.

Pierce and KG were great, and if it weren't for them, this game would have been a walk for Detroit. Pierce had 26, KG had 24, to go with 13 rebounds. Jesus Shuttlesworth finally resurrected as Ray Allen shot 9 of 16 (2 of 4 for 3), and finished with 25 points.

But scoring points wasn't the problem. As the game unfolded, so did the Celtics' defense. Even when they played well for 20 seconds on defense, all a Detroit shooter had to do was make an up-fake, and he'd get an open shot. And the lack of hustle down the stretch was infuriating.

But this isn't the end of the world. The Celtics won in Auburn Hills earlier in the season, they can do it again. Ray Allen is back. And if the C's can stop committing dumb fouls at half court, and being so gullible for the upfake, they'll win one or two in Detroit.

Game 3 is Saturday night.


Photo Credits:
Elsa/Getty Images
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Aided by a pair of Grand Slams, the Red Sox completed their 4 game sweep of the Royals, and 7-0 homestand Thursday afternoon. JD Drew hit the first Grand Slam in the 2nd, putting the Sox ahead 4-1. Mike Lowell capped a 6 run 6th with his, giving his team an 11-3 lead.

But it was an ugly win, as the 11-8 score suggests. Matszuaka only went 5.2 innings, allowing 6 hits and 6 walks. His 118 pitches translates into 21 pitches per inning, which has been a major problem for him this year.

The bullpen made things entirely too interesting. Hansen gave up 2 runs in the 7th, boosting his already obese ERA to 7.56. Aardsma had his first major struggles in awhile, giving up 3 in the 8th. All of this caused the Red Sox to use Papelbon to get the last 3 outs.

Maybe I'm just being paranoid, or maybe it's just the Red Sox pessimism that still festers in my heart, but with all the use Papelbon is getting, I can see a repeat of 2006 in September. And no Papelbon means no World Series, folks.

But as I've said a few dozen times already this year, a win is a win. The Sox have the best record in baseball, and are 21-5 in Fenway. But now they have to go on the road. Far on the road. The Sox take on the A's Friday night. Tim Wakefield goes against Rich Harden.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Steven Senne


Bartolo Colon made his Sox debut last night, going 5 innings and only allowing 2 earned runs. He scattered 6 hits and 2 walks. Now begins the waiting game. How will he recover from his start?

But for now, the news out of The Fens is good. The Red Sox seemed to have grabbed another decent starter in Colon. But 5 innings and 2 runs is not much to write home about. If not for a 4 run 5th for the Sox, we might not be so optimistic about Colon.

Manny's struggles continue with an 0 for 3 night. He's now hitting .287. He was hitting .370 on April 25th, and he hasn't hit a homerun since May 12th. Hopefully this is just a slump, but every day it continues, the more and more it worries me.

Daisuke looks for win #8, and the 4 game sweep Thursday afternoon. He faces Brian Bannister, who sounds like he's some lawyer in a 1940s crime drama.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Why were some national media "experts" so certain that Detroit would win this series? Was it because the Celtics took 2 of 3 from Detroit in the regular season? Was it because the Celtics have Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce? Was it because nobody but the C's can win in the Garden?

Remember when a certain Irish-American curly-haired Boston Globe columnist delivered these words of wisdom?:

"As for Garnett, I have only two words of warning: Alex Rodriguez."

More like David Ortiz, Shaughnessy. KG shot 11 of 17 from the field, ending up with 26 points and 9 rebounds. Pierce continued to play out of his mind, netting 22 points, with 6 rebounds, and 6 steals. He also did a great job of running the offense when Rondo was sitting. Rajon had one of his best defensive performances of the year, racking up 5 steals. He also had 11 points and 7 rebounds.

The Celtics played superbly on the defensive side of the ball. They forced turnovers, and made Detroit take low percentage shots on the outside. Had the Celtics shot better from 3 (2 of 9), this game would have been over much sooner than it was.

Speaking of shooting from 3, the C's tried to get Ray Allen involved in the offense early on, but it was to no avail. Allen's shots were all off. Halfway through the 1st, it was clear that he was psychologically affected by his struggles. He passed up open shots for difficult drives through traffic. Thankfully, his problems were only on one half of the court, defensively he had a great game.

Game 2 is Thursday night, same time, same place, and hopefully same result.


Photo Credits:
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images/Elsa


During the off-season, Justin Masterson was seen by most Sox fans as a throw-in to get Johan Santana. He was a prospect, just an obscure collection of minor league statistics. But he's looked pretty sharp in his two starts in The Show. And this time, he collected Major League win #1.

Hideki Okajima almost blew it. Coming off a sore wrist, he surrended a leadoff double in the 8th, then walked 2 batters to load the bases with 2 outs. Papelbon came in and got the 4 out save, striking out 3.

I hate it when Papelbon has to come in and get more than 3 outs. In 2006, he was overused and ran out of gas down the stretch. Last year, the Sox protected him. He only went more than 1 inning 4 times in 2007. Tuesday night was the 5th time the Sox used him to get more than 3 outs.

But it all ended well, and the Red Sox have won 5 straight. Bartolo Colon makes his Sox debut Wednesday night, facing Brett Tomko.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer


You just never know what's gonna happen in this game.

In the 139 year history of professional baseball, only 255 times had a team ended a full 9 inning game with 0 hits. Last night, the Kansas City Royals became team #256, as Jon Lester threw 9 no-hit innings in a 7-0 Red Sox victory.

Lester threw a career high 130 pitches, 86 of which were strikes. He got ahead in the count, and finished the Kansas City batters with a devastating curve, and a potent fastball. His stuff was electric, and the way he and Varitek changed things up - high to low, inside and outside, fast and off-speed - was like watching two bullies playing Keep Away with a small child.

This was Lester's first career complete game, and obviously his first career shutout. He's the first Red Sox lefty to toss a no-no since Mel Parnell blanked the White Sox in 1956.

An assist goes to the Red Sox defense. Jacoby Ellsbury made a sensational diving grab in the 4th to rob Jose Guillen of a 2 out single. He also stole 2 more bases.

Even Julio Lugo looked good in the field. The only sloppy defensive play came from Lester himself, throwing away a pickoff attempt.

The last no-hitter thrown in the Majors was, of course, Clay Buchholz's in September of '07. The last time a team has had two no-hitters in a row like this was when Nolan Ryan tossed no-hitter #3 in 1974, and #4 in 1975; both for the California Angels.

In the young 21st century, there have been 12 no-hitters thrown. Four of those have been by Red Sox pitchers. The Marlins are the only other team with multiple no-hitters in this century with 2.

And how about Jason Varitek? He becomes the first man in baseball history to catch 4 no-hitters. The fact that he's caught no-hitters from 4 different pitchers speaks volumes about his strategic value as a game caller. He also had a great night at the plate, going 2 for 3 with a 2 run homer.

It's just a nice story. Only 20 months ago, Lester's career and his life were in jeopardy. And now, he's made history.

Justin Masterson faces Gil Meche Tuesday night.


Photo Credits:
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Monday, May 19, 2008


I was born in 1984, so I pretty much missed the heyday of the Boston Celtics and their countless classic game 7 victories. But now, I've seen it. And it is good.

LeBron James had the game of his life, but so did Paul Pierce. Throw in the unlikely hero in PJ Brown, and a double-double from KG, and you've got a 97-92 victory.

Not enough can be said of Paul Pierce's game 7 performance. He had 41 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. He shot 13 of 23 from the field, 4 of 6 for 3, and 11 of 12 from the line. For the first three quarters, he didn't turn the ball over. He drained the big shots down the stretch, made the work-of-art passes, and even got down and dirty with the hustle plays. He'll go down in Celtics history for what he did Sunday afternoon, which is saying something.

A few months ago, PJ Brown was semi-retired. But after a conversation with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, he decided to join the Celtics. And now he'll go down in history with the likes of Havlicek, Bird, and the aforementioned Paul Pierce. Brown netted a season high 10 points, 4 of which came with less than 3 minutes in the 4th. In his 20 minutes, he hit every shot he took, and hauled in 6 rebounds.

But now, it's on to new business, as the Detroit Pistons come to town. The Celtics don't get much rest, whereas Detroit will have had an entire week off. Here is the schedule for the Eastern Conference Finals. All games are at 8:30 PM Eastern.

Game 1 - Tuesday May 20th - vs. Detroit
Game 2 - Thursday May 22nd - vs. Detroit
Game 3 - Saturday May 24th - @ Detroit
Game 4 - Monday May 26th - @ Detroit
Game 5 - Wednesday May 28th - vs. Detroit
Game 6 - Friday May 30th - @ Detroit
Game 7 - Sunday June 1st - vs. Detroit

The Celtics beat the Pistons 2 times out of 3 in the regular season. BUT, Detroit had their sole victory in Boston. BUT, it was an 87-85 victory, won at the last second by free throws.

It should be a classic series. These two are historic rivals. The names and faces may change from year to year, but the intensity is still there.

I bet Sunday night was the best night in this young lady's life:

And imagine how traumatizing it could have been had she been stuck next to these guys:


Photo Credits:
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
AP Photo/Charles Krupa


David Ortiz went 3 for 5 with 2 homeruns, a double, and 4 RBI. Kevin Youkilis also went 3 for 5 with a homerun and 2 RBI. Dustin Pedroia was 3 for 4 with a homer and 2 RBI. The Sox had 15 hits, hit 4 homeruns, and walked 5 times.

That was the good news.

The not so good news was that Jacoby Ellsbury got caught stealing 2nd in the 4th inning. But 25 in a row ain't so bad, is it?

The kind of bad news was that Beckett continued to not look like Josh Beckett. He went 7 innings, struck out 9 and only allowed 6 hits. But 4 of those hits were homeruns. Beckett's ERA is at 4.76, and if he doesn't return to form, this team has NO shot to do anything significant in October.

But it's still May. The Sox are back in first. And New York is in last. HAHAHAHA

Kansas City comes to town for a 4 game series. Jon Lester faces Luke Hochevar Monday night.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Sunday, May 18, 2008


If game 1 had been played by itself, I probably would have complained about Daisuke giving up too many hits, the Red Sox leaving too many men on, Papelbon giving up a homer, et cetera. But compared to the sloppiness of the night-cap, game 1 was a clinically precise display of quality baseball.

But what matters most is that the Sox won both games. They took game 1 by out-hitting and out-pitching the Brewers. They took game 2 because the Brewers out-errored and out-squandered them.

The lack of bullpen depth on this team was brutally exposed in the night game. Okajima was unavailable with a sore wrist, Papelbon and Delcarmen worked in the early game, and there really wasn't anyone reliable left. Aardsma allowed some inherited runners to score, Hansen gave up 3 unearned runs, Lopez escaped thanks to a nifty double-play, and Mike Timlin was brought in to get a save in a 7-6 game.

A few fun facts:

Mike Timlin recorded his first save since May 2nd of 2007, and his first 1-run save since September 29th, 2006. Despite never being the official closer of the team, Timlin has recorded a save every season he's been with the Red Sox.

In game 1, Kevin Youkilis made an error for the first time in 94 games. BUT, it was made while playing third base. This means his errorless streak at first base is now at 222 games.

In game 2, Kevin Cash didn't get a hit or a walk. It's the first time he hasn't reached base safely since April 15th. Douggie who?

Jacoby Ellsbury stole his 16th base of the season, and 25th of his career. He still hasn't been caught. The record for most stolen bases made without getting caught to start of a player's career is 27, held by Tim Raines.

Beckett goes Sunday afternoon against Carlos Villanueva, which in Spanish means Charlie Villanueva.


Photo Credits:
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Friday, May 16, 2008


This post-season, the Celtics have been two different teams. At home, they shoot well, defend well, don't make mistakes, and they win. On the road, they shoot poorly, make big mistakes, and they lose.

Kevin Garnett had a good night with 25 points and 8 rebounds. Pierce added 16 points. But after that, the Celtics had next to no offense in this game. Ray Allen was 3 for 8 from the field 0 for 3 from beyond the arc, and only had 9 points. After a career night in game 5, Rondo only had 2 points to go along with 3 turnovers. The bench could only muster 12 points. Glen Davis (2 for 8 shooting) looked horribly awkward and clumsy in the 4th, missing shots down low, and fumbling rebounds.

The officiating didn't help much. An insanely incorrect charging call on Pierce with 0:49 left zapped any momentum the Celtics might have had. LeBron James slid into Pierce's path, and was knocked down with his feet still moving. Cleveland drained 21 seconds of clock with their ensuing possession. And with 0:14 left, Joe Smith appeared to travel after receiving an inbound pass. Instead, a foul was called on Rondo, and Smith's free throws essentially ended the game.

BUT, the Celtics should have taken care of business on their own. Defensively they had a phenomenal game, holding Cleveland under 75, and to 32.9% from the field; but offensively they just couldn't get right. They went on some big runs to make it close, but could never quite get over the top.

Now it's time for another game 7 in Boston. Hopefully the Celtics we know and love will show up. 3:35 PM, Sunday afternoon.

Apparently the bleach blond, spray-on-tan Tara Reid look is popular in Cleveland.


Photo Credits:
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images
AP Photo/Tony Dejak


5. The obvious reason: the series would be over and the Celtics would advance to the Eastern Conference final.

4. All the "experts" on ESPN would no longer be able to drone on and on about how the Celtics haven't won a road game in the playoffs.

3. Another game 7 means another opportunity for Dan Shaughnessy to write a column about how ashamed the Celtics should be for not winning a series in less than 7 games.

2. The very vocal, and very small number of Doc Rivers bashers won't have any solid material to spew when they're out drinking Friday and Saturday.

And #1...

No more LeBron James ball-washing!!!

Take a look at this clip:

The day after Mother's Day, LeBron berates his mother for trying to protect him, and all the announcers can talk about is how wonderful LeBron is for talking to Paul Pierce after the play. Everything LeBron does is some magical, beautiful experience for the national sports media. Pretty soon, ESPN will break the story that LeBron's shit actually doesn't stink.

Prediction: Celtics 92, Cavaliers 87

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The C's may be winless on the road this post-season, but they've turned the Garden into a fortress. And if they do figure out how to win outside of Suffolk County, the rest of the NBA has no chance.

Cleveland busted out to a 14 point lead in the 2nd quarter, but the Celtics went on a tear to make it a 46-43 game and a 3 point deficit at the break. A dominating 3rd quarter, and a solid 4th sealed the deal, and a 96-89 Celtics victory.

Paul Pierce exploded for 29 points and 7 rebounds. Kevin "A-Rod" Garnett had 26 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 assists. Rajon Rondo had the game of his life with 20 points and 13 assists. He was finally given an overwhelming majority of playing time at point guard.

My favorite stat of the night: 5, as in the number of minutes Sam Cassell played.

Game 6 is Friday night in Cleveland. If there is a game 7, it will be on Sunday, time to be determined. Let's hope that they don't have to determine it. Otherwise, we'll all have to suffer through another evening of hearing about how amazing LeBron is.


Photo Credits:
AFP/Getty Images/File/Elsa
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images


The Red Sox placed Clay Buchholz on the 15 day DL with a torn fingernail on his pitching hand. But if JD Drew and Coco Crisp hadn't left the Sox lineup Tuesday night, this move would not have happened. Buchholz will be fine, and could use the off time to let his finger heel. And replacing him on the 25 man roster is outfielder Jonathan van Every. Van Every was hitting .287 in AAA Pawtucket and made his Major League debut (after 7+ minor league seasons) last night in Baltimore, going 1 for 3.



Despite Manny Ramirez's impressive and funny catch, a couple of homers by Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek, and a solid start from Lester; the Red Sox found themselves on the wrong side of a 6-3 score. The inconsistent Sox have now lost 4 in a row, and 5 of their last 6.

Once again, the Orioles did their damage with 2 outs. Lester was pulled after 6, and Javier Lopez got the first 2 men he faced in the 7th. After an infield single, Craig Hansen came in and sucked, giving up a walk and a basehit to load the bases. Then Okajima was brought in. Okajima must hate every other Red Sox pitcher, because he seems to love inflating his teammate's ERAs by allowing inherited runners to score. He gave up the Grand Slam that put Baltimore on top 6-3. Hideki has inherited 11 runners this season, and 8 of them have scored. He only let 4 inherited runners score on him in 2007.

The Sox have a 10-14 record on the road, and an 8-11 record against divisional opponents. This is the third series that an AL East team has swept from the Red Sox.

But the club has a much needed day off, and will begin Interleague Play on Friday. Daisuke Matsuzaka goes against old friend Jeff Suppan of the Brewers.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Nick Wass


The Boston Herald first "broke" the story about the Patriots taping the St. Louis Rams' walkthrough before Super Bowl XXXVI. And now, they're admitting that they were wrong. They based their report on a "credible" source, that has proven to be incredibly NOT credible. This is the latest example of a sensationalist newspaper hearing a juicy piece of gossip (one that cannot be confirmed), and deciding to run with the story. This is what blogs are accused of doing.

Here is the apology. Unfortunately, like most media retractions and apologies, it won't get nearly as much attention as the initial story.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I'm running out of headlines that basically say "That was a frustrating experience." After going up 3-0 in the 1st, the Red Sox fell behind 5-3 in the 3rd, and that was about it. A Sox run in the 8th made it a 5-4 Oriole win.

Another point of frustration was the way guys wearing Red Sox uniforms dropped like flies out of this game. Francona didn't manage (although his absence was due to his mother-in-law dying, so that's not frustrating), JD Drew sprained his wrist in the 3rd inning. Coco Crisp left with a tummy ache in the 6th, and Ortiz was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the 9th.

Beckett had an uncharacteristically poor outing, giving up 11 hits and 4 runs in 5.2 innings. The big hit was a 3 run Luke Scott homerun with 2 outs in the 3rd. In fact, every Oriole run came with 2 outs.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox had trouble delivering with 2 outs. Mike Lowell was 0 for 5, and left 3 men in scoring position with 2 outs. As a team, the Sox left 10 men on base.

But on the bright side, Delcarmen pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings, and Aardsma tossed a perfect 8th, so things aren't all gloom and doom from this irritating defeat.

Jon Lester goes against Daniel Cabrera Wednesday night. This might be a tough one as Cabrera is 3-1 with a 3.54 ERA


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Nick Wass

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Alliteration can cheer anyone up.

The Celtics were down 68-65 going into the 4th; a reasonable deficit, especially on the road. But the C's shot 5 of 13 in the final quarter, scoring 12 points. Meanwhile, Cleveland put up 20 to win game 4 88-77.

KG started hot, but cooled down, shooting 6 of 13 from the field. Pierce only had 13 points. Ray Allen and Rondo also had 15 points. The bench wasn't much help either. PJ Brown contributed 8 points, But Cassell, Posey, and Powe combined for a mere 9.

There's only one player on this Celtics team that I don't like, and that's Sam Cassell. Ever since the C's picked him up, he has yet to impress me. And in the post-season, he's done nothing but irritate me. He looks to take the shot far too often for a point guard, especially when guys like KG, Paul Pierce, and Jesus Shuttlesworth are on the floor. He takes some of the dumbest shots with plenty of time on the clock, and he loses his temper at the drop of a hat. Cassell was 0 for 5 from the field, including an infuriating 0 for 3 in the 4th.

As a team, the Celtics shot 38.6% from the field, and 3 of 14 from 3. It seems like on the road, this team has found a new way to lose every night. While at home, they find a new way to win.

But Cleveland isn't Atlanta. Cleveland can actually win a game in Boston. And if they do, the Celtics might be in big time trouble.

You can just hear the wheels spinning in Dan Shaughnessy's head, and hear his pen scribble on paper as he jots down a few notes for his new book: The Curse of Delonte


Photo Credits:
David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images


It's funny that the day the Sox let go of Julian Tavarez, they really could have used a long reliever to go 3+ innings. Wait, it's not funny, it's frustrating.

Buchholz once again had a poor outing. He has yet to prove that he can be a consistent Major League pitcher. And if the Red Sox didn't have such a lack of depth in the rotation at the moment, I'd want to see Buchholz pitching in AAA for two or three more months.

The offense came out with a bang with a 3 run third, but failed to do anything after that. Manny hit homer #498. The Red Sox got 8 hits after the 1st, but failed to knock in any more runs, leaving 10 men on base in total.

I guess the silver lining is that the bullpen pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.

The Red Sox have a short 2 game series in Baltimore starting Tuesday night. Beckett goes against Jeremy Guthrie.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Jim Mone

Monday, May 12, 2008


In order to make room for Sean Casey, who came off the DL today, the Red Sox designated Julian Tavarez for assignment, essentially releasing the utility pitcher. Tavarez was a big part of the '07 Championship team, but this season he was a massive failure.

Tavarez will go down in Red Sox history as the guy who started a fight in a spring training game with Tampa, the guy who gave pitching advice to Daisuke Matsuzaka, and the air traffic controller of the infield.


Photo Credit:

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Five days after pitching 8 shutout innings in Detroit, Tim Wakefield threw 2.2 innings and allowed 7 runs in Minnesota. Wakefield let up homers to Craig Monroe and Adam Everett. He left the Sox with a 7-1 deficit.

But give credit to the club. They made a game out of it. The bullpen did a decent job of keeping the Twins from pulling too far ahead (although Timlin gave up another Monroe homer).

The offense did their part. Coco had a triple and a homer. Kevin Cash was 2 for 4. Alex Cora was 3 for 4, lowering his average to .857. Drew, Youkilis, and Ortiz each had 2 hits.

But the hole was simply too big for the Sox to dig out of.

Buchholz goes against Livan Hernandez Monday night.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Jim Mone

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Bryan Corey, who struggled mightily with the Red Sox, has been traded to San Diego for a player to be named later and/or cash considerations. Corey had a 10.50 ERA with the Sox in 7 appearances. He'll go down in Red Sox history, as the guy in between Wil Cordero and Rheal Cormier in the Encyclopedia.

Alex Cora was also activated off the disabled list. Jed Lowrie was sent down to AAA Pawtucket, and Cora will be starting tonight as Julio Lugo is still suffering from a mild concussion.

Hartforc Courant

Saturday, May 10, 2008


This is becoming an unnerving tendency of the Celtics. Then again, perhaps the 108-84 loss in game 3 is just an aberration, made to seem worse by the 3 road losses in the Atlanta series. After all, the C's were 35-10 on the road during the regular season, so it isn't as if this is a team that got here by only winning at home.

Unlike the losses in Atlanta, the Celtics didn't lose simply on defense. Offensively, they were off. KG had 17, but Ray Allen only had 10. Allen was 4 of 12 from the field and 0 for 5 from behind the arc. Sam Cassell only contributed 1 point off the bench. Rajon Rondo had a dismal night, shooting 3 of 10, with no assists.

Meanwhile, the hawks, I mean Cavs, were shooting lights out on offense. As a team, they were 53.6& from the field, and 10 of 19 from beyond the arc. Cleveland also out-rebounded (37 to 33), out-stole (6 to 5), and out-blocked (7 to 3) the Celtics. LeBron didn't shoot that well, but had 21 points.

The most disgusting moment of the night was when the announcers commented on how LeBron's "athleticism" allowed him to drive to the hole and draw fouls, whereas other players would simply get knocked down and turn the ball over with no whistle. Right, that's how LeBron draws so many fouls. It's some rare form of athleticism. And nothing more.

Game 4 is Monday night, and I have a feeling the Celtics will win in a close contest. And finally, all the haters will be silenced.


Photo Credits:
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images