Thursday, April 30, 2009


The Celtics have nobody to blame but themselves for this one. No star player fouled out. The refs actually had a pretty good game (Heinsohn said so, so it's 1,000% true). The C's had chance after chance after chance to end this game and this series.

After going on a 23-3 run in the 4th, leading 99-91, the Celtics scored 2 points in the last 3:38. Rondo missed a pair of free throws. A very slow-starting Celtic offense was forced to let Tony Allen shoot to avoid shot-clock violations. On the other side of the court, the Bulls scored 10 points and forced a 101-101 tie. The C's were once again sluggish on offense, running out of shot clock before even starting their offense. And the game went to overtime.

In the 1st OT, the game was tied 109-109, and the Celtics had the ball for the last possession. Once again, like some college team or something, they took their sweet ass time to start moving on offense. Chicago only had to defend for 5 or 6 seconds, and Pierce missed a 15 footer to send the game to OT #2.

2 minutes into the 2nd OT, a Celtics shot clock violation. What, the, FUCK?

3rd OT, 123-123, 0:38 on the clock, an uncharacteristically indecisive Paul Pierce forgoes a drive down the lane, seems to think about shooting, then he was going to pass it to Scal or fake pass it? I don't know what he was trying to do. More importantly, HE didn't know what he was trying to do. Noah steals the ball, Pierce fouls him (too late), and Chicago takes a 3 point lead.

127-128, 21 seconds left, Kirk Hinrich misses a lay-up, giving the Celtics a beautiful present, and Rondo's shot with 7 seconds left is blocked.

No killer instinct.

A 51 point night from Ray Allen goes to waste. Rondo finishes with a mere 8 points. He seemed to have no edge, and no will to drive the ball after he was called for a flagrant foul (C's may have lucked out on that decision).

Regarding the Rondo/Hinrich incident, it was MORONIC of Rondo to pull thuggish crap like that right in front of the ref. But I'll also say this. Kirk Hinrich weighs 190 pounds. Rondo's no slouch, but he and his 179 pounds don't have the strength to toss Hinrich around like a rag doll. Kirk did a good job of embellishment. And Bulls like him and Brad Miller are exceptionally good at being pussies like that. Nevertheless, really dumb by Rondo, and he/the Celtics are lucky the refs didn't throw the book at him.

The Celtics were -3 when Pierce was on the court.

Only 11 points from the bench in 63 minutes of basketball. Scalabrine had 7 of those points.

The Celtics have the highest scoring starters in the playoffs, and the lowest scoring bench.

Glen Davis is having the series of his life. 10/18 shooting with 23 points and 7 boards tonight.

Game 7 Saturday night and who knows what to expect? There have been 7 overtime periods in this series. Even with the blowout in Game 3, the Celtics are only averaging 3.3 points per game more than Chicago.

I think the Celtics will win if Paul Pierce returns to his confident and decisive self in Game 6. Same goes for Rondo.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh


When do we start to worry about Josh Beckett? If his next start is a dud, then that's when we'll worry. If you remove his Opening Day start, Beckett is 1-2, with a 7.94 ERA.

Beckett and the Red Sox decided to cheer up the struggling Rays with an easy win, a 13-0 crushing that didn't see a Boston baserunner until Ellsbury reached on an infield single in the 7th.

And that was IT for the Red Sox offense. They were essentially no-hit by Matt Garza and Grant Balfour. 1 for 27 as a team, with just that single. On the bright side, they only left 2 men on base.

J-Lo also decided to pump up his ERA with 5 earned runs exchanged for 1 out. I love how people are just now realizing how much he sucks. I've been hyper-critical and spiteful of him for 3 years now. He blows and doesn't deserve to be on this team. I'd rather Theo track down Hipolito Pichardo in the sugar fields of the Dominican Republic and give him J-Lo's roster spot. Or keep Van Every out there in the pen.

Justin Masterson faces 0-3 Andy Sonnanstine Friday night at 7:38. Yeah, 7:38. Fucking Tampa Bay Rays are horrible like that, aren't they? How about the inflated attendance figure of 20,341 tonight? No way were 20,000 people there. And even if they were, that's pathetic when you have the AL Champions rematching the team they beat in the ALCS. Tampa Bay doesn't deserve a Major League team.

Man of the Game? Matt Garza, ya think?

Josh Beckett: 0.7
Dustin Pedroia: 0.1
Jason Bay: 0.1
George Kotteras: 0.1


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Fri 5/1 - Hurricanes @ Bruins - 7:30 PM
Sun 5/3 - Hurricanes @ Bruins - 7:30 PM
Wed 5/6 - Bruins @ Hurricanes - 7:30 PM
Fri 5/8 - Bruins @ Hurricanes - 7:30 PM
Sun 5/10 - Hurricanes @ Bruins - 7:30 PM
Tue 5/12 - Bruins @ Hurricanes - 7:30 PM
Thu 5/14 - Hurricanes @ Bruins - TBD

I'm pretty sure every game will be available on NESN, and I don't know what Versus will do. Versus is crazy.


Paul Pierce spent most of the game an abstract on defense and a ghost on offense. He turned it on in the 4th quarter. After ticky-tacky fouls forced Ray Allen out of the game (Heinsohn's cardiologist must have been on call after that), Pierce needed to step up, and he did.

But Rajon Rondo was the star. Another double-double, another 28 points. And when did Glen Davis get this good? He had 21, which is good because the bench only contributed 5 points.

The C's were down and out in the 4th, and finally, FINALLY, they showed that killer instinct. Like a snake cornered, they bit fast and hard. They attacked the Bulls, and now they go back to Chicago with a chance to end the series.

Game 6 is Tuesday night, and I think the Celtics are going to get up by 20 at halftime, and finish the Bulls off with relative ease.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Winslow Townson


The series will begin Friday in Boston. The Bruins were 4-0 against the Hurricanes this season. The teams have met 4 times in the playoffs (including the years the Canes were the Whalers), and the Bruins were victorious in all 4 series.

Full preview to come.


A wild game in Cleveland was literally dropped by Javier Lopez on a routine 3-1 groundout. The Sox forfeited the lead 3 times in this 9-8, 4 hour, 20 minute baseball bloodbath.

Poor defense, a horrible start from Penny, three leads blown, the Red Sox were fortunate to even be in this game.

The Man of the Game:
Ben Francisco. He went 2 for 4, with a homer and 3 RBI.

The Bitch-Goat:
Brad Penny: 0.8
Takashi Saito: 0.1
Javier Lopez: 0.1

Jon Lester vs. 1-3 Fausto Carmona Wednesday night in the rubber game.


Monday, April 27, 2009


A 0-0 pitcher's duel went nuts in the 9th inning as a pair of closers decided that there had to be offense. The Sox are now in a virtual tie with the Blue Jays atop the AL East (the Sox lead by percentage points).

Is there anyone in baseball seeing the ball better than Jason Bay? He went 3 for 4 with the game winning 3 run homer in the 9th. He hit the ball hard all 4 times at the plate. He's hitting .344, with a .506 OBP and .705 SLG. He's already walked 20 times! And he's yet to assault a team employee or slap a teammate in public!

But what's wrong with Papelbon? 3 hits allowed in the 9th, as he turned an easy 3 run save into a nail-biter. He's throwing a lot of fastballs, and I'm starting to worry that he might be hurt.

The Man of the Game goes to Cliff Lee. Yeah, I know, Bay won the game and Wakefield was superb. But Lee was the most outstanding player on the field Monday night. 8 innings, scattered 5 hits, 0 walks.

Brad Penny faces Anthony Reyes Tuesday night. It will be Penny's first career start against the Tribe.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Tony Dejak


List of players taken from New England colleges:

1st Rd, 9th overall: BJ Raji, DT, Boston College - Packers
1st Rd, 27th overall: Donald Brown, RB, UConn - Colts
2nd Rd, 40th overall: Ron Brace, DT, Boston College - Patriots
2nd Rd, 41st overall: Darius Butler, CB, UConn - Patriots
2nd Rd, 60th overall: William Beatty, OT, UConn - Giants
2nd Rd, 63rd overall: Cody Brown, OLB, UConn - Cardinals

Wow, there was a lot of talent down in Storrs last year.


I love Joe Morgan's "analysis," that stealing home should never happen with a lefty at bat. As if it's easy to do so with a righty.

Undoubtedly, that was the most exciting play of the season so far. When Ellsbury's on base, he's a terror.

How about the players the Red Sox farm system produces? Ellsbury with his two stolen bases. Justin "the TARP" Masterson with 5.1 solid innings against a tough lineup. Hunter Jones comes in and gets 2 outs. Michael Bowden pitches 2 perfect innings before returning to AAA Pawtucket.

There's a word for what the Yankees are doing: wallowing. New York always struggles out of the gate, but in this division, with teams like the Sox, Rays, and Jays, the Yanks could find themselves with an overwhelming deficit by the end of May.

The Red Sox swept their 9 game homestand, and have won 10 in a row.

The Man of the Game? I know Ellsbury made the play of the game, but I'm going to give it to Michael Bowden, who had 2 perfect innings of relief, and probably should have gotten a chance to finish the game instead of using Saito in the 9th.

The Sox play the Indians tonight, Wakefield faces 1-3 Cliff Lee.



The Patriots didn't do what the "experts" thought they would. Surprise. Surprise. I remember when the ESPN guys were convinced the Pats would take Pat White out of West Virginia. Yeah, right, sure. They forget that Bill Belichick preferred solid pocket passer Damon Huard to inconsistent yet explosive Rohan Davey.

No 1st round picks for the Pats. And I can already hear the conspiracy theorists comparing what the Jets paid for Mark Sanchez to what the Chiefs paid for Matt Cassel. Tools.

5' 11" - 212 lbs

Chung set a school record for tackles with 370. He's not known as an outstanding pass rusher, but he is a solid near-the-line safety. He's got potential to be a young Rodney Harrison. He adds to the young depth at the safety position, joining James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather. Meriweather has yet to impress, so this selection might be a direct response to that, as well as the aging of Rodney Harrison.

My uninformed projection: Chung plays running downs in 2009, along with special teams. He'll eventually develop into a solid playmaker and the NFL's dirtiest player.

6' 3" - 330 lbs

Brace was BJ Raji's linemate at BC, and the big guy from Springfield will get to play for the better team. The Pats have a habit of transforming big college DTs into D-Ends, and that might be where Brace sees a lot of time. Also, the Pats aren't a 3-4 team on every play, and Brace can add some interior size and strength. The previous DT behind Wilfork was 295 lb. Mike Wright, so Brace adds some needed depth to the position. The Pats also have some defensive line contracts expiring soon, so Brace gives them insurance, as well as depth.

My uninformed projection: Brace makes the Patriots' 4-3 formations much more viable. Red zone defense, special teams, and spelling Wilfork will be Brace's role in 2009. In 2010, who knows? He could end up as a starting end or tackle by then.

5' 10" - 183 lbs

Butler's name just sounds like an NFL player's, doesn't it? The Pats once again added to that defensive backfield. Doing so has become a bit of an obsession for Belichick these past few years. To let the ESPN experts in on a secret we know here in New England, Butler is a prototypical Patriot. He played defense, returned on special teams, and played WR on offense. He was also a QB in high school. He hits hard, he plays hard. He does what it takes to win.

My uninformed projection: Butler excels on special teams and as a #3 cornerback. Eventually, he'll be a solid #2 CB.

6' 8" - 314 lbs

The tall young man from Kaarst, Germany is a potential "just-in-case" plan if offensive linemen can't be resigned for the 2010 season. He came to Houston speaking very little English, and turned into an All-Conference lineman, so he's apparently a good learner. If he fills in that big frame a bit, he could be a decent NFL lineman.

My uninformed projection: My family's German way back so I want to see a German Patriot do really well. However, i don't think he'll be anything better than a backup tackle for the Pats. Then again, he seems versatile and intelligent, so he might find a home here.

6' 0" - 183 lbs.

Another surprise to the experts, the Patriots taking a wide receiver. But Tate has tremendous potential for a 3rd round pick. He had 1st round stuff before an MCL tear ended his senior season after only 5 games (he had more catches then teammate Hakeem Nicks in those 5 games). He also tested positive for marijuana at the combine, which is more of a sign of stupidity than a drug problem. Everyone is tested at the combine.

My uninformed projection: He'll get catches as a 4th or 5th receiver. Brady finds all his receivers. He can also contend for the kick return spot vacated by Ellis Hobbs.

6' 1.5" - 243 lbs.

McKenzie was an OLB for the Bulls, but will probably see most of his time at ILB. He adds to the options to replace the nonfactor known as Tedy Bruschi, joining Guyton. He works hard, hits hard, and is a sure tackler; which the Patriots need desperately.

My uninforned projection: He'll be part of a rotation at ILB and could make an impact some day. Yet another guy drafted with the 2010 season in mind.

6' 2" - 297 lbs.

Ohrnberger adds depth to a position that the Patriots already have, but might not have in 2010. 11 of the 14 O-linemen on the roster are free agents after the 2009 season. Ohrnberger was the 2nd or 3 offensive linemen the Pats selected.

My uninformed projection: I don't expect him to see much time at all. He's a shot in the dark. The more shots you take, the more likely you'll get a hit. That kind of thing.

6' 4" - 306 lbs.

Pretty much the same deal as above. More shots, more hits.

6' 2" - 232 lbs.
Long-snapper in Hawaii. That must rank in the top 5 for Sweetest Jobs in the World. The Pats lost veteran snapper Lonnie Paxton to the Broncos, and signed Nathan Hodel. Hodel and Ingram will compete for the job

My uninformed projection: He'll snap the ball well, Belichick will flip a coin, and either he or Hodel will make the team.

6' 0" - 319 lbs.

Pryor adds even more depth to the defensive line, a line which has some big contracts expiring soon.

My uninformed projection: He'll be a backup tackle behind Wilfork and Brace. He provides another option just in case Wilfork can't be resigned at a good cost, and Brace doesn't work out. A solid pick for the 6th round, even though the Pats didn't need much help at the position.

5' 11" - 195 lbs.

Edelman had a 118.83 QB rating his senior year at Kent State, and fell 3 yards short of 5,000 for his career. But he's no quarterback. Then again, he's athletic, which is why he was drafted as a receiver. He rushed for 1,370 yards, and had 9 career punts in school. Like most 7th rounders, he's a hit or miss, with about a 95% chance of missing.

My uninformed projection: The WR depth chart is too hard for Edelman to crack. He's athletic and versatile, so might catch on with the practice squad.

6' 2" - 303 lbs.

More insurance, for the insurance, for the insurance, just in case Vince Wilfork doesn't resign for 2010.

My uninformed projection: You won't see Richard dress in a Patriot uniform, unless you sneak into early practices or he wears his uni to the mall.

Not a bad draft, but hardly earth-shattering. I don't think the Patriots increased their current chances of winning, but they did reduce their future chances of losing. They gained some 2nd round picks for the 2010 draft, and added depth to their O-line, D-line, and defensive backfield.

Reiss's Pieces

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Championship teams have a killer instinct. When cornered, they strike hardest. When an opponent is down, they level the final blow. Thus far, the Celtics have yet to show this killer instinct.

After the blowout in Game 3, the Bulls outlasted the Celtics in double OT. The C's had a 5 point lead in the first OT, but couldn't salt away the game. Paul Pierce was a nonfactor, Glen Davis was inconsistent, Ray Allen's clutchness went to waste, and Ben Gordon was on fire.

Davis missed a few lay-ups in the 1st OT that he probably should have hit. and overall, Big Baby didn't have a great game. That being said, it's unfortunate that the Celtics NEEDED Glen Davis to have a great game in order to win. Why was this necessary? Because Paul Pierce stank up the joint.

Pierce may have had 29 points, but he was 9 of 24 shooting. That game tying 3 Gordon hit to send the game to double overtime, guess who was covering him? Paul Pierce.

Some much needed venting:

Stephon Marbury is a bust and his head tattoo is lame.

Tony Allen sucks.

Mikki Moore is completely useless. Do they just pick him up as a hitch hiker on the way to the arena every game? The C's might as well play with 4 men instead of having him in the game.

Last year, the Celtics didn't give up 4th quarter leads in the playoffs. They simply did not allow it. But Sunday afternoon in Chicago, they did. So instead of having a young team down and nearly out, with an almost unassailable 3-1 series lead. Now, a young team can taste blood. The Bulls have momentum on their side, and the series essentially starts over as a best of 3.

Game 5 is Tuesday night at 7.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh


The Pats' shipped CB/KR Ellis Hobbs to the Eagles for a pair of 5th round picks. The Pats then traded those picks for a 4th rounder and a 6th rounder (they gave up 137th and 141st and received the 123rd and 198th).

Hobbs impressed as a kickoff returner, but when your #1 CB's most impressive performances are on the kick return, it's a good indicator that something is wrong. The Pats were one of the worst teams against deep passes last year.

And to me, Ellis Hobbs will always be The Guy Who Let Plaxico By:


With a compensatory pick from losing Asante Samuel, the Pats finally took a linebacker, who played OLB in school, but will probably play inside in the NFL. South Florida's Tyrone McKenzie.

He's 6' 1" 243 lbs. He does seem to have the work ethic to play in the NFL. He once quit school to work 11pm to 7am to support his mother and sisters. Once again, it's doubtful he'll make a big impact in 2009, but he could give Bruschi some necessary plays off. He's also adds to the future potential of the position. Instead of hoping Gary Guyton works out, us Pats fans now can hope Guyton OR McKenzie work out.


In the 3rd round, the Patriots took WR Brandon Tate from North Carolina. This guy was a potential 1st rounder until he tore his MCL 5 games into his senior season. He also tested positive for marijuana at the combine, which is more of an indictment of his intelligence (every player at the combine gets tested and everyone knows that) than his character.

The Patriots don't need a receiver, which is why it's fine to wait for the 3rd round and take a shot on a guy who could wind up as a good NFL receiver. If he doesn't, no big loss.

The Pats obviously have Moss and Welker, along with Joey Galloway, Greg Lewis, and Matthew Slater. Tate could sneak in as a #4 or #5 receiver on the depth chart, and as Moss and Welker get old, Tate could be a very good receiver for the Pats' for years.

Or he could decide to get high even though the NFL substance abuse people will be watching him like a hawk, and literally piss it all away.

The Patriots also traded two of their 3rd round picks for a 7th round pick and a pair of 2nd rounders in the 2010 draft.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


27 runs, 28 hits, 2 errors, a pickoff, 6 homeruns, 385 pitches, 4 lead changes, 15 walks, 3 double plays, 8 doubles, 12 pitches, 4 hours and 21 minutes of madness.

The Red Sox had 9 RBI with 2 outs. Varitek's Grand Slam was massive. Lowell's 3 run blast in the 7th was just as big. The Yankees have no bullpen. And while the Red Sox' bullpen looked shaky, it at least got the job done.

Downside? Ortiz looks like a singles/doubles hitter, and has looked like one for 100+ games going back to last year. JD Drew seems to be in love with double plays. Beckett's had one amazing start, and other than that he's been 2008 Beckett, not 2007 Beckett. Okajima? Ugh! Papelbon vs. the Yankees? UGH!!!

Even though the Sox won, Robinson Cano is the Man of the Game, 3 for 6, 5 RBI, a double, and two homers.

Sox go for the sweep and their 10th straight win Sunday night at 8.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa


Trying to predict the Patriots' activities on draft day is like trying to predict MegaMillions. There are so many factors involved, it's simply better to sit back and watch. Some thought the Pats would trade up. Most thought they'd acquire some youth at linebacker. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The Pats ended their extensive 2nd round selections with offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer, originally from Kaarst, Germany (I like him already), Vollmer is nearly 6' 8" and 315 lbs. He's not stunning, and from what everyone is saying, he's a guy who will help the Pats more in 2010 (when they're likely to lose some free agents on the O-line) than in 2009.


Darius Butler out of UConn and Ron Brace out of BC. Butler's a super-athletic cornerback, Brace is a defensive tackle.

The Pats traded up to get the 40th pick, and they took Ron Brace. With contracts like Vince Wilfork's coming to an end very soon, the Patriots got some insurance/leverage with this selection Brace. Brace was BJ Raji's fellow tackle, so he certainly got some help. The Pats have a tendency to convert DTs into DEs in their 3-4 schemes (Seymour and Warren were both DTs, and could play DT for many NFL teams), so I wouldn't be shocked if Brace sees time when the Pats go 4-3, and also occasionally at DE on 3-4.

Then the Pats took UConn's Darius Butler, who has "Patriot" written all over him. He's versatile, playing both offense and defense. He returned kicks. He even played some QB in high school. He's only 5' 10" but he can get up there with his vertical leap.

The Pats seem to have a philosophy when it comes to their defensive backfield. Get a dozen guys with potential and hope 2 or 3 of them work out. Take a lot of shots, hope you hit something. I think this Butler kid has tons of potential. He's too athletic to not at least catch on as a special teams player.


Patrick Chung out of Oregon. A hard-hitting, close-to-the-line breed of safety. The drafting of Chung probably means the end of Rodney Harrison as a starter. Chung also joins James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather at the position.

He's a playmaker, which the Pats have desperately lacked in their defensive backfield for years. He hits hard, he picks the ball off, and he tackles. He had 9 career picks, and 370 tackles, setting a school record.

I love this pick. Chung seems like a guy who will be capable of changing a game with two or three plays, while simultaneously doing his job on all the other downs. He doesn't seem like he'll improve the pass-defense situation too much, though. And that's a concern that needs addressing.


The Pats traded their 23rd overall pick for the 26th overall pick, as well as a 5th round pick. THEN, they traded these two picks for three picks: The 41st (2nd round), 72nd, and 83rd (both 3rd rounders).

It's almost too easy.

Reiss's Pieces


It was far from pretty. In fact, it was downright hideous at times. But the Sox had their first walk-off win of the season last night against the Yanks. Jason Bay's 2 run homer tied it at 4 in the 9th, and Youkilis' solo shot in the 11th sent everyone home happy.

Let's start with the good... Lester was solid despite being dominant. He's still never lost to the Yankees. Mike Lowell was 2 for 5, and had a nice reflex catch in the field to save at least a run. Youkilis, 2/4, 2 walks, 2 runs, and a homer. Bay, 3/5, double, homer, 2 RBI. Delcarmen got out of a bases loaded jam with 0 outs relatively unscathed.

Now to the bad... Okajima, 0.0 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, wouldv'e been worse if not for Delcarmen. Javier Lopez, 1 inning, 2 walks, how did New York not add to their lead here?

Now to the ugly... 4 double plays grounded into (2 by Drew), 13 men left on base. Chamberlain gave up 9 hits and 4 walks in his 5.1 innings, and the Sox only got 2 runs off him.

But, stealing wins like this one is what a good team does. And guys like Bay, Delcarmen and Youkilis picking up teammates like Drew and Okajima, is what happens on a good team.

8 in a row now for the Sox.

AJ Burnett against Josh Beckett Saturday at 4:10.

Man of the Game: Jason Bay with his 3 hits and game tying 2 out HR off Mo.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Friday, April 24, 2009


The Bulls, to me, are a college team in NBA clothing. If they miss their first 5 shots, they're sunk. They need to shoot the lights out in order to have a chance against a solid NBA team. I can't believe they scared me so much after Game 2.

The 107-86 score doesn't do justice for how completely the Celtics dominated the Bulls. Only 58 points for Chicago after 3 quarters. Derrick Rose was 4 for 14 with 9 points. Ben "Jordan" (I can't believe people in Chicago would disrespect MJ by using his name on Ben Gordon) led the Bulls with 15 points. As a team, they shot 37.5%.

I think this series is a chance for the rest of the NBA to see and recognize just how good Rajon Rondo has become. Last year, he wasn't a scoring threat, and was inconsistent. This year, he's doing things on his own, and kick-starting the offense of stars like Ray Allen and Paul Pierce. Another double-double for Rajon, plus 6 assists and 5 steals.

Glen Davis is having the series of his life. 14 more points 9 boards, 6 assists, 6 steals, and 3 blocks for Big Baby. He's averaging 19.3 PPG this series.

Ray Allen's found his shot, 6 of 12 from the floor, 3 of 4 from three.

It was a good chance to give Marbury some extended minutes, and maybe get back some of his confidence. The C's will need him eventually in this postseason, and this blowout was a great time to give him some shots. He had 13 points off the bench.

The Bulls, who had momentum coming into this game, despite losing Game 2, have now lost whatever edge they had. They'll still be tough to beat, but I think the Celtics will take care of them in 6 games or fewer.

Game 4 is Sunday at 1.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Thursday, April 23, 2009


How many uniforms do the Red Sox have? My count is 5 so far. And none are uglier than these mint green Earth Day atrocities. I'm all for recycling and reducing carbon footprints and all that fun stuff, but these uniforms are atrocities both to baseball and fashion.

Thankfully, that's pretty much the only thing one can complain about. After starting the season 2-6, the Sox have notched 7 in a row. Suddenly 1st place is only 1.5 games away.

Brad Penny had another solid start, 6 innings, 3 runs (2 earned), only 1 walk. And apart from a hit batter, the bullpen tossed 3 PERFECT innings. To quote the manager from Major League: "things are starting to come together."

Man of the Game: Justin Morneau - 2/3, 1 HR, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI. He had 1 of everything.

I hope you like watching the same players play day in and day out, because the Red Sox only play 3 teams in the next 17 games: The Yankees, Indians, and Rays. Jon Lester vs. Joba Chamberlain Friday night.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Elise Amendola


It's been a long time since the Bruins have advanced in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, so let's have a refresher of the rules. Like the NFL and NBA, the teams are reseeded after each round. The Bruins, as the #1 seed in the East, will face the lowest seeded team that remains.

The #7 Rangers hold a 3-1 series lead over the #2 Capitals. If the Rangers win the series, they will meet the Bruins in the next round.

If the Rangers lose their series, and the #6 Hurricanes beat the #3 Devils (series tied 2-2), then the Canes will meet the Bruins in the next round. In my opinion, this would be the best matchup for the B's in the 2nd round.

If the Rangers lose their series, and the Hurricanes lose their series, the Bruins will meet the winner of the #5 Flyers/#4 Penguins series. Right now, Pittsburgh holds a 3-1 lead in this series.

There is no way the Bruins will face the #2 Capitals, or #3 Devils in the 2nd round.

So odds are it will be Bruins/Rangers in the Conference Semifinals.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Before Wednesday night, the Bruins had only swept the Canadiens twice in their 31 playoff series, One sweep came in 1992, the other came in 1929. Add sweep number three to that list.

The Habs scored on the opening shift of Game 4, but the Bruins didn't yield, didn't get nervous, didn't even get that excited. They simply played Bruins hockey, confident and strong, and eventually came out on top of a 4-1 scoreline.

Michael Ryder, what a steal he was. He had 2 goals in this game (thankfully not a 3rd, because I made a bet to get a #73 tramp stamp on my lower back (with black and gold flowers) if he got a hat trick), and was outstanding on every shift. You could tell he was on the ice simply by the way the game changed.

And I'm going to get the #73 as a temporary tramp stamp on my lower back. Weird? Maybe... who cares?

Only the 3rd time in 32 meetings that the Bruins have swept the Habs. The others were 1992 and 1929.

The Bruins utterly outplayed the Canadiens in just about every aspect of the game. The Habs certainly beat the B's in instigation and cheapness, but that's it. The Bruins were stronger, faster, smoother, cooler, better.

Now we wait about a week and a half for our next opponent.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz


The Red Sox claimed the first game of their attempted doubleheader against the Twins, behind a solid effort from Tim Wakefield, and a trio of 2 run homers. Youkilis hit a 2 run shot in the 1st, then Nick Green in the 2nd, then Mike Lowell in the 3rd. The rains came in the bottom of the 7th with the Sox up 10-1, which made the game easy to call for both teams. The Sox get a win, the Twins don't have to waste an inning+ of mop-up bullpen work.

Third time in 5 games the Sox have put up 10+ runs, 4th time in 6 games they've scored 8+.

The Man of the Game is Mike Lowell, who was 3 for 4 with a homer, a double, 3 RBI, a run, and was on 3rd base with 1 out when the game was suspended.

They'll try to get the nightcap in, but I'm not too optimistic. Francisco Liriano faces Brad Penny. This game was going to be mere intermission entertainment during the Bruins game, so I could care less.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The Red Sox were rained out tonight. The game will be played as the first part of a day-night doubleheader Thursday afternoon at 12:35.

Jed Lowrie had surgery on his wrist and is out 6 to 8 more weeks. But Julio Lugo should be coming back soon.

Rocco Baldelli's injury woes continue as he was placed on the 15 Day DL with a hamstring strain. Jeff Bailey has been summoned from AAA Pawtucket to take his roster spot.



Ray Allen's winning 3 pointer made all the highlight reels, both locally and nationally, this morning. But I for one, am losing my positivity on the Celtics' chances, even in this series.

It's hard to be negative after a 118-115 gut-wrenching, hard fought, clutch victory. But it's hard to be positive when the Bulls split in Boston, and they've put 220 points up in 2 games.

Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo had ridiculously good games. Allen with 30 points (28 after halftime), and Rondo with a triple double. Rondo is the 3rd person EVER to have a triple double and 5+ steals. The other two are Gary Payton and Magic Johnson.

But the Celtics won the 2008 Championship with defense. They won 62 games with defense. And now we hear that Leon Powe is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

The C's are going to win this series, but it won't be pretty. And it won't be fast, either. So while other fans are jubilant after last night's amazingly entertaining show, I'm not so thrilled.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Monday, April 20, 2009


There was a lot going against the Bruins Monday night. The Bell Centre in Montreal has been a house of horrors. Lucic would be out due to suspension. The Canadiens would have Cornered Animal Syndrome.

Thwe first 15 minutes, the 2009 Bruins looked a great deal like the 2004 Bruins, nervous, shaky, tentative, even shy. They only had 3 shots on goal in those 15 minutes. Montreal scored on a 3-on-2 breakaway, and things look like they were going to get complex. Then Phil Kessel simplified shit. Had to be nice for the young man from Wisconsin to score after the Canadiens fans booed America's national anthem.

Unlike a Canadien, when Kessel brought the puck up ice and had an opponent's stick hassling his advance, he didn't flop to the ice hoping for a call. He continued to skate into the offensive zone. Eventually, Komisarek made an ill-advised pass, and the punk-bitch Greg Stewart couldn't find the puck. Wideman blasted away from the point and Kessel was in great position to redirect it home. The Bruins took a 1-1 lead into the locker room, and the once raucous Bell Centre crowd quietly sipped their wine coolers and champaign smoothies in between periods... worried, nervous, scared shitless.

When Lucic got suspended, I was pissed, mostly at him. My anger lessened when I realized Byron Bitz would likely replace him on the roster. Byron didn't let me down. His physical forechecking on the 4th line, followed by a perfect pass to Shawn Thornton gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead 3:36 into the 2nd.

The Habs got it back, then Michael Ryder made it a 1 goal game again.

If someone were to write a hockey textbook about how to play with a 1 goal lead in the 3rd period of a playoff game, the Bruins' effort in the final 20 minutes would be the guideline. High percentage passes, the only penalty they took was thanks to a Carey Price dive, they stood up on their blue line, Bergeron and Savard played excellent defense and forechecking, and Kobasew's empty-netter was beautiful. Koivu committed about 3 penalties as Kobasew sailed toward the crease and tapped it in.

Speaking of Koivu, how much little shit does that little bastard get away with? Have you ever seen him chased from a faceoff circle? Nope.

The Bruins were remarkably cool in this game. After playing like crap for 15 minutes, they clamped down, and remembered how to play hockey. Montreal went up 1-0, so what? Byron Bitz was hit late by a Hab, but didn't push the envelope when he had a borderline chance to get revenge on the same shift.

The Habs pulled all their little tricks, 3 guys brushing against Shawn Thornton when he changed. Doing their own line changes just half a second earlier than other teams are allowed to do. To the credit of the referees, they didn't fall for most of the diving, and called a great game.

Fun fact: The Bruins are 11-3 vs. Montreal since Game 2 of last year's playoff series.

How much do other Bruin fans miss Glen Metropolit, because I know I do. He's slick.

The Bruins go for the sweep Wednesday night in Montreal. And Lucic will be back, so the Habs will once again turtle and shirk in fear like thousands of Japanese when Godzilla shows up.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Paul Chiasson
AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz


The Sox are finally above .500 again, and have swept the Orioles in a 4 game Fenway series for the first time since 1995. Bailout starter Justin "The TARP" Masterson received 12 runs of support and registered a respectable 5.1 innings of 1 run work. Delcarmen, Okajima, and Lopez filled in the rest, along with Hunter Jones in his MLB debut.

The Red Sox scored 30 runs in this 4 game set with Baltimore, or 7.5 runs a game. But let's not forget that the 10 run and 12 run games dramatically skew that average. But it was still nice to see some crooked numbers put on the scoreboard.

The first 4 hitters in the Sox lineup were a combined 10 for 18, with 3 doubles, a triple, 3 walks, 7 RBI, and 7 runs scored. 7 Red Sox had hits, 8 knocked in runs, 7 scored runs. Pedroia's 4 for 6 outing upped his average to .281.

In a division with Tampa Bay, New York, and Toronto all tough to beat, it's nice to have the Orioles pitching staff to at least raise some offensive self-esteems. And I'm not trying to pile on the O's, I like them and think they're heading in the right direction, but they have a tough road to travel. The AL East is a guantlet this year.

The Man of the Game is Dustin Pedroia, who was 4/6 with 3 RBI. He had an RBI single in the 1st to make it 1-0, then another one in the 6th to make it 4-1, then another one in the 7th to make it 9-1.

Tim Wakefield goes Tuesday night against the Twins, who send 0-1 Scott Baker to the hill.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lucic Suspended for 1 Game

The NHL has suspended Milan Lucic for Game 3 tomorrow night. Lucic received a match penalty late in the Bruins' 5-1 triumph Saturday night for this crap:

I love Lucic, but I'm still disappointed with his behavior there. It wasn't as bad as it looks, and as some talking heads have speculated; BUT he deserved 1 game off the ice, just for being an idiot. You're up 5-1 on the Habs, about to go 2-0 up in the series. They look flat, dying, surrendering. So then you punch someone with a stick?

Now Montreal doesn't have to worry about Lucic in Game 3. Komisarek can be Komisarek, and I can definitely see a guy like Zdeno Chara trying too hard to make up for Lucic's absence, and getting a stupid penalty, or worse. At the very least, Lucic has given a bit of a psychological lifeline to the Canadiens, when they were otherwise drowning.

Hopefully the Bruins maintain their momentum. And hopefully Lucic learns a much needed lesson.


How refreshing was it to see Lester throw 7 shutout innings and the Red Sox come out on top of a pitcher's duel? How refreshing is it to be out of last place and back to .500? How refreshing is it to win a series? Thank you, Orioles. Thank you.

Kevin Youkilis might be the hottest hitter in baseball. He was 1 for 2 this afternoon with a double and a run. Last night, he was 4 for 5 with 2 doubles, a homer, and 4 RBI.

But the real attraction Sunday afternoon was Jon Lester. 7 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts. The 2nd best outing of the season by a Red Sox starter.

He's the clear-cut Man of the Game (Youkilis gets it for last night's 6-4 victory).

Masterson makes his first start in the 11 AM Patriots' Day game tomorrow morning. He faces 1-1 Mark Hendrickson.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Winslow Townson


The following Bruins had good games:

PJ Axelsson
Zdeno Chara
Mark Recchi
Marc Savard
Aaron Ward
Shawn Thornton
Chuck Kobasew
Milan Lucic
Steve Montador
Shane Hnidy
Michael Ryder
Stephane Yelle
Patrice Bergeron
Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart
Blake Wheeler
David Krejci
Phil Kessel
Tim Thomas

The following Canadiens had good games:

Alexei Kovalev

That's it.

After Game 1, I said Marc Savard needed to improve on his performance. "He's better than that," I said. I don't know if he listened to me, or simply realized how sick of a hockey player he truly is. In Game 2 he was simply off the fucking chain.

2 goals, 2 assists, beautiful passes, and probably could've had a hat-trick if he wasn't such a committed playmaker.

The Bruins kept their cool in Game 2, and essentially showed the hockey world what Game 1 would have looked like had they stayed calm in that contest. They drew 5 power plays. Meanwhile, Montreal had 1 power play, and it was the 5 minute major at the end of the 3rd.

Any Vezina doubters watching Tim Thomas these days? 30 saves on 31 shots. Oh yeah, and an assist on that back-breaking Ryder goal at 19:57 of the 2nd. Thomas kickstarted that play like he was Martin Brodeur or something.

The biggest goal of the game was Shane Hnidy's, which made it 3-1. Savard sacrificed himself to move the play up-ice, then Axelsson made his best offensive play in 2 years, dropping the puck off for Hnidy, who replaced the hospitalized Matt Hunwick on the roster. It was a Mighty Ducks style goal, and it effectively ended the game.

One dark spot was Milan Lucic's behavior in the 3rd. The Bruins did a good job of properly retaliating when the Habs provoked them. The smackdown Patrice "Undefeated" Bergeron laid out on Gorges was a perfect example of an appropriate response.

But Lucic cross-checking Maxim Lapierre in the face was not only dumb, it was wrong. I love Lucic, but he crossed the line there. One of the things that makes hockey great is that it allows men to settle their differences with their fists. NOT THEIR STICKS!

And at the very least, Lucic's actions were stupid. He could get suspended for that crap. It's also his second misconduct penalty of the series (he was issued one after the post-game Canadien temper tantrum). He also let all the Habs know they can get under his skin.

BUT, the series is 2-0 going up North. Carey Price has been a sieve. When the Bruins keep their cool, the Canadiens simply lack the talent to do anything to stop them.

One thing that really cheesed me off was Saku Koivu getting away with a post-buzzer punch at the end of the 1st period. He shouldv'e gotten 2 minutes for hitting after the whistle and/or roughing. Instead, Montreal's cheap, cowardly, yellow antics go unpunished, and Kovalev scores a goal in the 5-on-5 at the start of the 2nd period.

The referees never lost control of this series, they apparently don't even want it.

Game 3: Monday night in Montreal, 7 PM, on NESN and Versus.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
AP Photo/Winslow Townson

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics needed the other two thirds of the P.G.A Tour to come up big. They didn't. Ray Allen was 1/12 with 4 points, and missed a possible game-tying shot at the end of overtime. Pierce did have 23 points, but he missed that free throw with 2.3 seconds left in the 4th that sent the game to OT, and was 0 for 3 shooting in the extra frame.

Is there something with Ray Allen and the playoffs? Because if he plays like he played in the early rounds of 2008, the Celtics are in serious trouble.

It's a shame that a 29 point performance from Rondo was wasted, and an 18 point afternoon from Glen Davis was also. Stephon Marbury had 0 points in his 10 minutes. Eddie House had 5, and Leon Powe had 8; but the Celtics were -9 and -10 when they were on the court, respectively.

This is starting to look a lot like the Atlanta series last year. Only without Kevin Garnett, the C's might not advance. I think, however, that they will, it will just take a long series, which will leave them exhausted for the 2nd round.

Game 2 Monday night at 7.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Elise Amendola


Those hats are a fucking travesty.

I almost forgot to write about this game, with the Celtics and Bulls playing Game 1, the Bruins and Habs playing Game 2, and the FA Cup semi-finals, and Velociraptor Awareness Day. But it was one of the best games of the season in terms of excitement. Down 7-0, the Sox roared back and won 10-8. In their last 18 innings (17 really), they've scored 18 runs. Not bad, not bad.

Brad Penny should have taken all the Sox hitters out for drinks, and the bullpen too. 6 innings of scoreless relief, even though Javier Lopez's frame was shaky to say the least.

David Ortiz continues to struggle, and now I'm getting worried. The ball simply isn't exploding off his bat, even when he makes perfect contact.

Kevin Youkilis got side-swiped by a ball to the head. His reaction to it should be distributed to all 30 MLB teams and their hitters. He got up, walked to first base, and continued playing baseball. Getting hit by pitches, and nearly getting hit by pitches is part of the game. The other hitters in baseball need to learn this.

The Man of the Game is JD Drew. He was 2 for 2 with a homer and a triple, and walked 3 times. He scored 3 runs. Jason Bay was a close 2nd.

First back-to-back wins for the Sox this season.

0-1 Adam Eaton vs. 1-1 Josh Beckett tonight. Watch it during commercials of the Bruins game on NESN+.


Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Friday, April 17, 2009


How do you say "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!" in Slovakian?

Wow, what a bunch of little crybabies the Canadiens are. Can't you just take a loss, and get off the friggin ice? Grow the fuck up, punks. Laraque, what a bush league schmuck you are. Nice try getting under Shawn Thornton's skin by spewing bullshit before the game, and good luck in your fight with the Heavyweight Champ, Zdeno Fucking Chara.

Back to hockey. The Bruins won the 1st period, and the 3rd. They lost the 2nd, badly. PJ Axelsson wasn't named one of the 3 Stars, but he deserved to be one. He got 3 "official" Hits, and they were the 3 biggest hits he's dished out in his 11 NHL seasons.

Kessel, 2 goals and an assist. Krejci, goal and assist. Lucic, 2 assists, 6 hits, and they were hard. Chara had the game winning goal, and 25 stellar minutes of defensive play.

There were leaks, however. Big leaks. And if Montreal weren't so poor at the game of hockey, they may have taken advantage. Matt Hunwick had a wretched game, giving the puck away, then failing to prevent breakaways. Good for him Tim Thomas was in net. Savard also had some errors that need to be erased. He's better than that.

The Canadiens displayed some semblance of control when they scored late in the 1st, and dominated the 2nd period. But that control, that confidence vanished with ease late in the 3rd. Will it be back in Game 2? I doubt it.

This win was bigger than just 1 game in 7. Montreal is leaning on the back of their feet, and their primed to fall.

Oh, and this guy playing keep-away with Kovalev's stick through the photographer's hole is my new hero:

Game 2, Saturday night in Boston.


Photo Credits:
AP Photo/Elise Amendola