|10.27.09 at 10:22 pm ET|
Much has taken place since May 17th, 2009, including trade talk, contract negotiations and drafts, just to name a few standard offseason activities for the Celtics. However, let’s not forget the not-so-standard offseason activities. With the 2009-10 NBA season kicking off, let’s take a look back at some of the best and worst stories to come out about the Big Green in the last five months.
9. Marbury loses it on the Internet
What started as a 24-hour look into his personal world turned into a summer-long escapade of bizarre behavior over the Internet. Stephon Marbury’s streaming video kept basketball fans entertained, confused, and slightly disturbed during the offseason. After turning down a one-year offer from the Celtics, Marbury professed his greatness in the NBA while eating Vaseline and having emotional breakdowns along the way. In the end, the guard ended up isolating himself and failing to secure a job this season.
8. Celtics draft … who?
Second-round draft picks, let alone the 58th overall selection, are hardly guaranteed to pan out. But the Celtics hope to have found a sleeper in the University of Tennessee-Martin’s Lester Hudson. The relatively unknown combo guard broke on to the college basketball scene when he recorded the first quadruple-double in NCAA history. Hudson had a bumpy road to the NBA and is embracing his opportunity in the pros by playing aggressive basketball. Will he one day join Ryan Gomes and Leon Powe as another one of Danny Ainge’s late-draft sleepers?
7. Leon Powe signs with Cavs
Leon Powe wanted to stay and he was under the impression the feeling was mutual. This summer, however, a blown knee came in between the C’s and the dedicated bench player. The Celtics reportedly told Powe they could not afford to wait for his recovery and declined the option on his contract. In turn, Powe gave his word to the Cavaliers and kept it when the C’s made him a late offer. Instead of jeering Powe for signing with the Celtics rivals, many noted his hard work and felt it was the Celtics, not Powe, who made the wrong decision.
6. Big Baby re-signs (and gets injured)
Glen Davis re-signed with the Celtics in August before a supposed bidding war could begin. In fact, the only real fanfare about the deal was a reported string of tweets from Davis’ twitter account complaining about the lack of progress on his contract. Of course, those turned out to be fake. If that weren’t enough attention for Davis, the recent altercation, which left him with a broken thumb and out of commission for 6 -8 weeks, won’t raise his stock in Waltham, especially in the “no non-sense” system the Cs maintain.
5. Marquis Daniels signs
The addition of Daniels directly benefits Paul Pierce. Not only does Daniels allow Piece to play fewer minutes and therefore be fresher down the stretch, his size also means he can defend or even play small forward. He can effectively fill the a role that was missing when James Posey left. Plus he can rap.
4. Is this Ray Allen’s last season with the C’s?
That is a sub-question under the larger question of whether or not this is the end for the “Big Three.” While each player is at a different stage in his individual contract, the fact that the players’ collective window for winning championships is closing is obvious. With Allen, his contract ends after this season. Of course, there are rumors about a contract extension and there isn’t anyone who would mind seeing Jesus Shuttlesworth throw on that green number 20. However, with the amount of young talent on the Celtics bench, the time might come after this season for Allen to step aside.
3. Rasheed Wallace joins the Celtics
Kevin Garnett’s injury at the end of the season, last year, showed the lack of depth in the Celtics front court. The addition of Rasheed Wallace changes all of that. Wallace brings an excellent outside shot as well as a big body who can also spell Garnett. Moreover, you have to love the way the Celtics pursued Wallace. Danny Ainge, Doc Rivers and the the Big Three all went to Detroit to sell him on joing the C’s. How could anyone say no to that? As Garnett said, “It’s a perfect fit.”
2. The Rajon Rondo Contract and Trade Saga
This has the makings of an epic serial movie. Picture this: A young point guard with raw talent. He is thrust into a starting position on a pro team making a run at the championship. He performs admirably as the team goes all the way and wins everything. But, the success goes to his head. He breaks some team rules like being on time for meetings. Then there are the trade rumors, and he can’t understand why the team would want to ship him elsewhere. Then there is the contract dispute. Will he sign before the season starts? What happens if he goes to free agency? Stay tuned to find out!
1. KG’s road to recovery
It’s been a long five months for Kevin Garnett, during which he was on the sidelines watching the C’s lose to the Magic in seven games, which was followed by surgery and months of rehab. Now, exactly five months to the day of his surgery, Garnett gets to play in games that count. He’s expressed fatigue with the questions about his knee and excitement at the prospect of playing with Wallace and other players who joined the team this year. He’s even adjusted to a later practice schedule. All that being said, we learned from the preseason that he is ready. So let’s get to it.
|10.27.09 at 6:18 am ET|
Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
The Celtics open the season tonight in Cleveland. We’ve got plenty of coverage, leading off with 25 questions facing the team and the league for 2009-10. Find a list of all our coverage at the Green Street blog. Checking out reports from Cleveland, it seems the Cavaliers aren’t as excited about tonight’s opener, as they would prefer more time to get ready.
The Eagles handed the Redskins, 27-17, on Monday Night Football. The Cowboys signed linebacker DeMarcus Ware to a six-year, $78 million deal. Jets running back Leon Washington is out for the season with a broken leg. Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards was charged with assault stemming from an incident in Cleveland when he played for the Browns. Chiefs running back Larry Johnson continues to offend with his poor choice of words.
BASEBALL: Jason Bay’s agent discusses his client’s free agent possibilities and says Bay’s defense is not as bad as some have been making it seem. The Red Sox front office congratulated Jed Hoyer on being named Padres general manager. Mark McGwire joined Tony La Russa’s coaching staff in St. Louis.
Ally Mielnicki looks back at the Red Sox’ 2004 World Series championship, which was clinched five years ago tonight.
BASKETBALL: The Celtics will be without Glen Davis for 6-8 weeks after Big Baby broke his hand in an off-court incident. Rajon Rondo and the team talked about a contract extension but don’t sound close to completing a deal. Gary Marbry offers up a statistical look at the C’s.
No. 1 draft pick Blake Griffin has a broken kneecap, and the Clippers forward could miss six weeks. The Heat will retire Tim Hardaway’s jersey Wednesday night. Cavs guard Delonte West is having some domestic issues with his wife. Ally Mielnicki recaps LeBron James’ interesting offseason.
HOCKEY: Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk will miss 3-5 weeks with a broken foot. The Devils lost defenseman Paul Martin and forward Jay Pandolfo for 4-6 weeks due to injuries. Coyotes owner Jerry Moyes agreed to sell his bankrupt franchise to the league.
HISTORIVIA: On Oct. 27, 2004, the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years, finishing a sweep of the Cardinals in St. Louis. Which Sox pitcher completed the trifecta of picking up wins in the closing games of the ALDS, ALCS and World Series?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s up to Mark how he wants to handle it. What we want him to do is coach our hitters, and if he does that well, we’re going to be happy.” — Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on how new hitting coach Mark McGwire will address questions about steroid use
STAT OF THE DAY: 16 — Consecutive games between the Celtics and Cavaliers that have been won by the home team
‘NET RESULTS: Here’s a video a guy took walking through Davis Square in Somerville five years ago tonight. For some reason, there were a lot of people hanging out in the street celebrating.
HISTORIVIA ANSWER: Derek Lowe
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Simon Le Bon, lead singer of Duran Duran, is 51 today.
|10.26.09 at 7:00 pm ET|
LeBron James had quite an momentous offseason. He wanted thunder to go along with his lightning on the court, and his wish was granted in the form of Shaquille O’Neal. He yearned to share his words of wisdom with a struggling youth and Terrelle Pryor came knocking on his door. He had a bone to pick with Braylon Edwards and soon the wide receiver was given a one-way ticket to New York. He sought movie stardom and watched the documentary chronicling his pursuit of fame premiere on the big screen.
Perhaps the only dream that went unfulfilled for Lebron this offseason was his passionate desire to dunk on former President George W. Bush’s behind, as he said in an interview with Maxim magazine. Even so, perhaps one day soon James will be able to purchase the right to do just that — with free agency on the horizon, there could be a contract that exceeds the treasure of all kings (and Bushes?) combined in the not-so-distant future.
James’ offseason was anything but uneventful. After losing to the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron knew he needed a reinforcement. Contrary to popular belief, he was not a one-man show who could single-handedly defeat the Superman known as Dwight Howard and his Magic to deliver a championship to Cleveland. LeBron sought help and his request was granted.
On June 25, the Cavaliers sent Ben Wallace, Sasha Pavlovic, a 2nd-round pick, and $500,000 to the Phoenix Suns for O’Neal — arguably the most dominant center in NBA history. It was a trade that was fit for a King. To be partnered with one of the best of all-time was exactly what James had ordered. He faced Shaq multiple times throughout his career and now he was one-half of the dynamic duo. Hey, he doesn’t even have to dance off against him anymore:
That would only be the beginning of LeBron’s frenzied offseason activites. Although the next saga of his summer proved more amusing to others than it did to James.
On July 6, during a night session at the Nike LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio, Xavier‘s Jordan Crawford did the unthinkable and dunked on the King himself. A freelance photographer named Ryan Miller caught the two-handed jam by the college basketball player on the NBA MVP on tape, then watched as Nike officials confiscated the film. Whether it was an attempt to shield James from the embarassment of having an amateur dunk on His Highness or cover up any sign that the King has a kryptonite, Nike attempted to hide the video before the report was eventually released.
However, Crawford wasn’t the only one to challenge King James. In the early morning hours on Oct. 5, former Browns‘ wide receiver Braylon Edwards angered LeBron when he reportedly took a swipe at his friend, Edward Givens, in a Cleveland night club. Calling Edwards “childish” for his actions, LeBron suggested that some jealously existed between Edwards and his friends. In the days that followed, Edwards was traded from Cleveland to the Jets … although head coach Eric Mangini claimed it had nothing to do with the alleged punch.
If anyone happened to watch Ohio State‘s Terrelle Pryor throw for 239 yards with two touchdowns and rush for 104 and a touchdown in the Buckeyes’ win over Minnesota, then they may want to applaud LeBron (unless they are Michigan fans) for his remarkable mentoring skills. James took the young quarterback under his wing after suffering through a sophomore slump. Guiding Pryor on how to deal with balancing a celebrity lifestyle with on-the-field performance, LeBron made may have given Pryor the confidence he needs to excel going forward into the season.
Yet LeBron’s call to inspire did not cease there. Playing in a theater near you, “More than a Game” is a documentary narrating the story of LeBron James and his “Fab Five” in their improbable journey to claim a high school championship. Through all sorts of obstacles, James was able to rise from rags-to-riches and sit atop of the basketball world as “The Chosen One.” (For the trailer, if you so desire, click here.)
When Lebron squares off against the Celtics in the 2009-2010 season opener on his home court on Tuesday, all of the memorable offseason affairs and events that surrounded him will be pushed aside. When he opposes the Big Three and sees the shadow of a 2008 Championship glistening in the eyes of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, his entire focus will center on delivering his first championship trophy to the city of Cleveland.
LeBron has seemingly gotten everything else he’s wanted since the end of the last basketball season. Will the Larry O’Brien Trophy be next?
|10.26.09 at 6:17 am ET|
Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
In case you are wondering how Sunday’s Patriots game went over with the locals in London, check out this London Times article here. The author, Nick Szczepanik, says he doesn’t think the league won over many converts. He also points out that the NFL’s new international website has a formula to help fans pick teams for which to root. You answer some questions and then the site suggests a team. Try it here, to make sure your allegiance is correctly placed.
FOOTBALL: To no one’s surprise, the Patriots routed the Buccaneers, 35-7, in London. Chris Price has Ten Things We Learned, leading off with the steady Wes Welker. Kirk Minihane says the blowouts are nice, but the real tests await after next week’s bye. Check the It Is What It Is blog for more notes and quotes from the Patriots.
Elsewhere in the NFL, the Cardinals knocked off the Giants at the Meadowlands, the unbeaten Saints rallied from an early 21-point deficit to beat the Dolphins by 12. The Steelers scored two defensive touchdowns and handed the Vikings their first loss of the year. Peyton Manning did not pass for 300 yards for a record-tying sixth straight game because he didn’t need to in the Colts’ rout of the Rams.
D.J. Bean has his fantasy football realizations from Week 7.
In college news, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford will have season-ending shoulder surgery and then plans to enter the NFL draft. Florida regained the top spot in the AP Top 25. Dan Rowinski has Five Things We Learned from Boston College’s tough loss at Notre Dame. The funeral for UConn cornerback Jasper Howard is today in Miami.
BASEBALL: The Yankees closed out the Angels in the ALCS for their 40th league title.
In other Yankees news, there’s an investigation into why the concrete in the ramps at the new Yankee Stadium is cracking.
The Phillies said Cliff Lee will start Game 1 of the World Series. The Indians named Manny Acta manager. Acta was fired by the Nationals in July. Japanese 18-year-old pitcher Yusei Kikuchi decided to stay in his home country after meeting with the Red Sox and seven other MLB teams.
BASKETBALL: Paul Flannery wonders if this is the last shot for the Celtics’ Big Three. Ray Allen received five stitches above his left eye after being accidentally elbowed by Kendrick Perkins at practice on Saturday.
The ACC held its media day Sunday, and North Carolina and Duke were named co-favorites. Boston College was tabbed ninth of the 12 ACC teams.
Michael Jordan’s son Marcus, a freshman guard at the University of Central Florida, is making some waves by refusing to wear adidas sneakers despite the school’s contract. Jordan wants to wear his father’s signature Air Jordans.
SOCCER: The Revolution earned a playoff spot Sunday night, as Jeff Larentowicz scored in the 79th minute for a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew in the MLS regular-season finale.
HISTORIVIA: On Oct. 26, 1980, the Bruins tied the Winnipeg Jets, 7-7. Which Bruin scored a pair of goals, including the 200th of his career (which was spent entirely in Boston)?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I think it’s a privilege to come over here and get to enjoy this type of experience. It will probably never happen again for us, so we’ll retire 1-0 internationally.” — Tom Brady, after the Patriots’ victory over the Bucs in London
STAT OF THE DAY: 11 — Consecutive losses by the Buccaneers, their worst streak since the franchise started with 26 consecutive losses in 1976 and ’77.
‘NET RESULTS: Here’s a collection of top 10 plays from the NBA preseason, with former Celtic Mikki Moore getting posterized at No. 1.
HISTORIVIA ANSWER: Don Marcotte, who finished with 230 career goals, which currently ranks 10th on the Bruins’ all-time list
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Natalie Merchant is 46 today.
|10.23.09 at 6:38 am ET|
Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
Isiah Thomas, showing the grace, maturity and professionalism that allowed him to be so successful as coach of the New York Knicks (that’s sarcasm, in case you don’t recognize it), ripped Magic Johnson yesterday. Thomas did his best to drive a wedge between Magic and Larry Bird, who co-wrote a forthcoming book with Jackie MacMullan. In the book, Magic criticizes Isiah. There are a couple of new allegations — such as Isiah questioning Magic’s sexuality after the Lakers star contracted the HIV virus — but a lot of it’s been reported before. What’s interesting is we haven’t heard it before from Magic, who was one of Isiah’s best friends — and one of his few friends, based on the apparent widespread dislike of Isiah by other NBA stars.
Here’s part of Isiah’s response from an interview with Sports Illustrated.
“Let’s be real. I’m not going to say the things Magic said in private about Larry, but I do know the public stance he’s taken [in becoming Bird's friend],” Thomas told SI.com. “I know that’s not how he felt about Larry Bird. Magic hated Larry, and he tried to make other people hate Larry. Magic was no friend of Larry Bird’s during that time. And his Laker teammates will tell you that. And I’m sure they’ve got to be disgusted with the way he’s carried on with this whole me-and-Larry bull.”
Isiah now will return to focusing on his current job, setting an example for the basketball players at Florida International University as coach.
BASEBALL: The Yankees were not able to close out the Angels, dropping a 7-6 decision and sending the ALCS back to New York for Game 6 Saturday night. Yankees starter A.J. Burnett feels he let down his team.
Finally, Major League Baseball has responded to complaints about umpiring, with an announcement that it will use only veteran umpires in the World Series.
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein’s comments on Dennis & Callahan yesterday morning have been drawing a lot of interest. He’s taking some heat for his defense of J.D. Drew, insisting Drew has been a good value. Alex Speier further explains what Epstein was saying and shows how the stats back up the GM’s argument.
Dodgers owner Frank McCourt fired his estranged wife, Jamie, as CEO of the team.
FOOTBALL: The Patriots spoke before departing for London, where they will face the Buccaneers on Sunday. Chris Price has his Five Things to Watch For Sunday.
Raiders coach Tom Cable will not face charges for breaking the jaw of assistant coach Randy Hanson. A Nevada judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was accused of raping a woman at a Lake Tahoe hotel.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill allowing the construction of a 75,000-seat stadium that developers hope will lure an NFL team back to the Los Angeles area.
The University of Minnesota apologized for its mascot making fun of a Penn State player who was praying in the end zone prior to Saturday’s game. Here’s the video, in case you’re bored. Not much to it.
Mark Recchi was named to a four-player committee that will conduct an investigation of the NHLPA’s internal operations.
Ducks forward Evgeny Artyukhin was suspended three games by the NHL for a slew-footing incident in Wednesday night’s game against the Stars.
The Kingston Frontenacs, a junior team in Ontario, normally wear uniforms that are similar to the Bruins’, as the original Frontenacs franchise used to be affiliated with the B’s a half-century ago. On Wednesday, as part of Military Appreciation Night, the team paid tribute to former Bruins coach and legendary television analyst Don Cherry with uniforms that honored Cherry’s taste for loud sport coats. Take a look. And you can purchase one of the jerseys as part of a charity auction.
BASKETBALL: Paul Flannery takes a look at Five Things We Learned from the Celtics preseason.
According to a report, the Celtics are unlikely to offer Michael Sweetney a guaranteed contract.
Hawks forward Al Horford followed up his Tuesday radio interview — when he accused Paul Pierce of reneging on a $10,000 wager on the 2008 playoffs — by Tweeting that it was a joke. Ha ha.
SOCCER: The Revolution are one of a few teams fighting for an MLS playoff spot as they head into the final weekend of the season.
MISC.: Dan Guttenplan says Deadspin went too far in its attacks on ESPN following the Steve Phillips suspension.
HISTORIVIA: Game 1 of the 2004 World Series was played five years ago today. The Red Sox took a 7-2 lead, but the Cardinals rallied to tie the game at 9 in the eighth. Which Red Sox player hit the game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth for the 11-9 victory?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “From a straight objective standpoint, what he contributes offensively and what he contributes defensively, and add in baserunning so it’s the total value of the player, on a rate basis he was outstanding and there aren’t too many outfielders who compare to what he did.” — Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein on the Dennis & Callahan show, talking about J.D. Drew
STAT OF THE DAY: 1 — Longest winning streak this season for the Bruins, who dropped to 4-4-1 with last night’s shootout loss to the Flyers
‘NET RESULTS: Here’s an inside look at London’s Wembley Stadium, where the Patriots will play the Buccaneers on Sunday.
HISTORIVIA ANSWER: Mark Bellhorn, hitting against reliever Julian Tavarez, homered off the Pesky Pole.
SOOTHING SOUNDS: What are the chances the fans will break into the soccer anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at Sunday’s Patriots game? One can only hope. Here’s Gerry and the Pacemakers performing the song at Wembley.
|10.22.09 at 7:24 pm ET|
Look out London, the Patriots are coming. No, George Washington is not the commander in chief. John Adams is not leading the protests. Paul Revere is not embarking on his Midnight Ride. Ben Franklin is not securing an alliance with the French.
Instead, it will be Tom Brady & Co. who will take to the field at Wembley Stadium to engage in a physically aggressive, hard-hitting, vigorously dynamic game of football. No, not futbol, but the great American sport itself. And the Patriots will not be opposing Peter Griffin’s London Silly Nannies, either.
For the third consecutive year, London will host a regular-season football contest with a matchup of the Patriots and the Buccaneers. With a sold-out crowd already guaranteed, who knows what London has in store for both professional clubs.
When the NFL made its regular-season London debut in 2007, the New York Giants and the Miami Dolphins had no idea what they would be getting themselves into. Playing in front of a crowd of excessively passionate, wild, and enthusiastic British fans, the Giants defeated the Dolphins 13-10. However, they were not the only entertaining contributors to the international affair. At the beginning of the second half, Mark Roberts, a legendary British streaker, stormed the field with nothing but a football concealing his privates. Stripping down from a referee uniform and leaving on a hat and knee socks, Roberts paraded the field fiddling his feet to an Irish jig before being removed by security.
That was quite the welcoming party, but not the first instance of Roberts’ British invasion in American sports. At Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, where the Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29, Roberts successfully performed his first North American streak when he kicked off the second half by running to midfield barely covering his genitals with a g-string.
It was Patriots linebacker Matt Chatham who eventually leveled Roberts before he was carried off the field by security. Roberts, who is considered by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most recognized streaker, was later fined but received no jail times for his outrageous actions. It was a Super “Bowel” no one will forget. (Roberts was overshadowed by Janet Jackson’s halftime wardrobe malfunction that occurred just minutes prior to the streaking).
In January 2007, the MLS’ Los Angeles Galaxy announced that America would have a front-row to watch David “Bend it like” Beckham. Instead of signing an extension with Real Madrid, Beckham agreed to a $250 million, five-year deal with the Galaxy, bringing his wife Victoria “Posh Spice” with him. That’s some couple competition for Tom and Gisele (at least now that there is no more Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson).
Although game shows do not fall in the same category as contact sports, “The Weakest Link” was an instant hit when host Anne Robinson debuted the English television program in the United States. And it did not take long for the English quizmistress to become acquainted with the sports world when she appeared on “The Tonight Show” with NBA great Shaquille O’Neal on April 11, 2001. Never shy about embarrassing dumbfounded participants on her show, Robinson became notorious for her sarcastic and witty remarks going along with the infamous phrase “You are the weakest link, goodbye!” (Just like the Tennessee Titans this past week.)
When the Beatles stole the hearts of rock fans of all ages around the country, the British Invasion did not limit itself to concerts, TV guest appearances, and on-stage performances. Even though only half of the members of the beloved Liverpool band survive (Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr), the rock sensations are now featured in their own video game entitled “The Beatles: Rock Band” which was released on Sept. 9.
Ah, London. So much to see, so little time for the Patriots. Hey, maybe in their spare time they can play some cricket, watch an intense rowing competition, or have a morning jog with Mark Roberts.
|10.22.09 at 6:04 am ET|
Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
While Major League Baseball continues to stick its head in the sand regarding mistakes by its umpires, at least one college football conference is being proactive. The Southeastern Conference yesterday suspended an officiating crew following two horrendous calls this month. The most recent blunder was a personal foul (a late hit) that set up a Florida touchdown in the Gators’ 23-20 victory over Arkansas Saturday. We linked to the video on Tuesday, and here it is again.
It’s time for baseball to get the message as well.
Manny Ramirez is taking some heat for not sticking around in the dugout and supporting his Dodgers teammates after he was lifted in the ninth inning of Game 4. Peter Gammons appeared on The Big Show yesterday and talked about Manny, A-Rod and the playoffs.
The Padres reportedly are set to give their general manager job to Red Sox assistant GM Jed Hoyer.
Alex Speier writes about how David Ortiz turned around his season with the help of hitting coach Dave Magadan. Magadan will be on a WEEI chat today at noon. Check the Full Count blog for more information.
Steve Phillips was suspended from ESPN for his role in a sex scandal.
FOOTBALL: Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas stepped in front of the microphones and offered a little insight into his situation. Mike Petraglia writes about the Patriots’ maiden voyage to England for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers. Tom Brady was reminded that he did play a football game in London — at least, a cartoon version of him did in an episode of “Family Guy.” Chris Price writes about receivers Brandon Tate and Terrence Nunn, who have a chance to contribute now that Joey Galloway is gone and Julian Edelman is hurt.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher is defending himself after giving a speech at a fundraiser in Indianapolis while wearing a Peyton Manning Colts jersey — lighten up, it was a joke (he was introducing former Colts coach Tony Dungy). Bengals running back Cedric Benson says his former team, the Bears, tried to blackball him.
Dan Guttenplan makes his Week 7 NFL picks.
The Trail Blazers are reportedly close to signing LaMarcus Aldridge to a five-year contract extension.
HOCKEY: First, the bad news: Bruins forward Marc Savard will be out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot. Now, the good: The B’s edged the lowly Predators, 3-2. Joe Haggerty has some thoughts about the much-needed win. And here’s what the Bruins had to say about it. Former Boston University star and Nashville rookie Colin Wilson scored his first NHL goal.
HISTORIVIA: On Oct. 22, 1975, the Red Sox and Reds finished up one of the best World Series ever with an exciting Game 7. Joe Morgan broke a 3-3 tie by singling in Ken Griffey with the game-winning run in the ninth inning. Which Red Sox reliever took the loss?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Bill makes the decision. It is what it is. Whether you like it or not, that’s what it is. I live with it. I’m a professional. I come here, do my job and then go home. That’s basically it.” — Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas, commenting on coach Bill Belichick’s decision to make him inactive for Sunday’s win over the Titans
STAT OF THE DAY: 25 — Consecutive postseason games reaching base for the Phillies’ Chase Utley, who walked last night to tie Boog Powell’s MLB record.
‘NET RESULTS: Patriots offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer is getting recognition for his solid play in place of Matt Light. Here’s an early sign that the Pats were on to something with the rookie from Germany (via the University of Houston). He catches a punt at the end of a training camp practice to allow the team to avoid extra conditioning.
HISTORIVIA ANSWER: Rookie left-hander Jim Burton
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Leslie West of Mountain is 64 today.
Lastly, a warm welcome to Boston’s newest sports fan, Lily Burke.
|10.21.09 at 7:20 am ET|
Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
In the odd story of the day, a couple of Atlanta Hawks accused Celtics captain Paul Pierce of failing to pay off a $10,000 bet Pierce allegedly initiated during the team’s 2008 playoff series.
Al Horford alleged Pierce followed up some on-court trash-talking with the bet, but he didn’t pay off after the Hawks pushed the series to the full seven games.
FOOTBALL: Chris Price breaks down the strange week for Patriots linebackers, leading with Tully Banta-Cain’s release and re-signing. Price also has the Patriots moving on without receiver Joey Galloway. Fellow receiver Julian Edelman reportedly broke his arm during Sunday’s game. Bill Belichick discusses the team’s recent moves and says that linebacker Eric Alexander was never released, despite reports to the contrary. Special teams ace Sam Aiken signed a contract extension.
Steve DeOssie has his Week 6 Patriots report card, and to no one’s surprise, the team grades out well across the board. Kerry Byrne dissects the information supporting Tom Brady’s dominance in wintry-weather games.
Even Rolling Stone magazine is critical of Browns coach Eric Mangini.
UConn held its first practice since the weekend stabbing death of cornerback Jasper Howard.
BASEBALL: The Yankees closed in on another World Series appearance by routing the Angels, 10-1. The umpires had another tough night. Meanwhile, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is denying accusations that he spit on the baseball in Game 3, after a video clip made it appear so.
Ned Colletti agreed to a long-term extension as general manager of the Dodgers.
Jessica Camerato write about how music is a driving force for new Celtic Marquis Daniels.
The NBA and its regular referees are apparently close to ending their dispute.
HISTORIVIA: On Oct. 21, 1975, the Red Sox beat the Reds, 7-6, in an epic Game 6 of the World Series. The game was best remembered for Carlton Fisk’s game-winning home run off the foul pole in left field in the 12th inning. The other dramatic Red Sox home run came off the bat of pinch-hitter Bernie Carbo, a game-tying three-run shot with two outs in the eighth-inning. Tough question: For whom was Carbo pinch-hitting?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I don’t think it’s anybody’s fault or anything you can just pinpoint. It’s just one of those things that just didn’t work out. Anytime you sign a player, you expect he’ll come in and be a productive player for you.” — Patriots coach Bill Belichick on receiver Joey Galloway, who was released yesterday
STAT OF THE DAY: 14 — Number of times Tom Brady has been named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, including two this season after this week’s honor.
‘NET RESULTS: Here’s a gem from the summer that only recently showed up on the web. An entertainer named Durwood Fincher, who goes by the alias “Mr. Doubletalk” when conducting fake interviews, got some Red Sox in front of the camera when they were in Atlanta and had some fun with the unsuspecting players. The video is 8 minutes, 32 seconds long, but it’s worth it. Especially the parts where the interviewer repeatedly refers to Jonathan Papelbon as “Bobby” until Papelbon threatens to hit him.
HISTORIVIA ANSWER: Roger Moret, who pitched the eighth inning in relief of starter Luis Tiant
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Manfred Mann is 69 today.
|10.19.09 at 9:56 pm ET|
Welcome to Tuesday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
FOOTBALL: Tully Banta-Cain is apparently out but soon to be back in with the Patriots. Bill Belichick says linebacker Adalius Thomas still is a key part of this team despite being inactive Sunday. Thomas told Deion Sanders that he’s upset but will “work it out with his coach.” Amid swirling trade rumors, Belichick denies he’s up to something. Tom Brady talked about Sunday’s big win on WEEI yesterday, as did Belichick. Ty Warren shared some interesting stories about his youth when he visited with Dale & Holley.
Joe Zarbano has his weekly NFL power rankings, and the Patriots have jumped to No. 6.
Eddie Royal returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns, and the Broncos remained undefeated with a 34-23 victory over the Chargers. Jets nose tackle Kris Jenkins is out for the season with a torn ACL. Jim Zorn lost play-calling responsibilities with the Redskins, as Sherm Lewis will take over.
UConn wide receiver Brandon Parker also was stabbed in the fight that led to the stabbing death of cornerback Jasper Howard, according to sources on campus. Meanwhile, arrests are imminent.
BASEBALL: The Yankees finally lost, although the Angels tried their best to blow this one before finally winning in the 11th inning on Jeff Mathis’ two-out double. In the NLCS, Jimmy Rollins hit a two-out, two-run double in the ninth inning to give the Phillies a 5-4 win over the Dodgers and get them one win away from the World Series.
Takashi Saito is a free agent, but he may consider re-signing with the Red Sox.
The Rangers’ seven-game winning streak is over, courtesy of the Sharks.
HISTORIVIA: Five years ago today, the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 10-3, in Game 7 of the ALCS to cap a comeback from a three-game deficit. Derek Lowe started and got the win for the Sox. Who started for the Yankees?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Man, that was one of the craziest games. It was an emotional roller coaster, man. We were up, we were down. I’ve got a headache right now, but it was a lot of fun.” — Torii Hunter, after his Angels beat the Yankees, 5-4, in 11 innings in Game 3 of the ALCS
STAT OF THE DAY: 8 — Consecutive postseason games with an RBI by the Phillies’ Ryan Howard, tying Lou Gehrig’s MLB record.
‘NET RESULTS: OK, Patriots fans, you thought that unsportsmanlike penalty on Brandon Meriweather in the Broncos game was bad? Check out this call from Saturday’s Arkansas-Florida game.
HISTORIVIA ANSWER: Kevin Brown, who was pulled in the second inning
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Tom Petty is 51 today.
|10.19.09 at 7:03 am ET|
Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup, where we’ll get you caught up on what’s going on in the sports world and beyond.
FOOTBALL: Chris Price has 10 Things We Learned from the Patriots’ record-setting rout of the Titans. Kirk Minihane says to remember this game when things aren’t going so well for the Pats. Joe Zarbano has cornerback Darius Butler talking about playing the same day he learned of the death of his former teammate at UConn, Jasper Howard. For more Patriots coverage, check our It Is What It Is blog.
Elsewhere in the NFL, with the Bills beating the Jets in overtime, the Patriots have reclaimed first place in the AFC East. In Sunday’s showdown of undefeated teams, the Saints dominated the Giants. In Minnesota, the Vikings remained undefeated after some more Brett Favre last-minute heroics and a missed field goal in the final seconds by the Ravens. The Raiders surprised the Eagles. And Kansas City won its first game by beating the Redskins in a game that featured zero touchdowns on either side.
D.J. Bean writes about the day in fantasy football.
BASEBALL: The Phillies routed the Dodgers, 11-0, to take a 2-1 lead in the NLDS. In New York, the Yankees are reveling in another clutch hit from Alex Rodriguez as they prepare to meet the Angels today in Game 3 of the ALCS.
HOCKEY: After falling to 3-4 over the weekend, the Bruins made a trade Sunday, shipping forward Chuck Kobasew to the Minnesota Wild for minor league forward Craig Weller, the rights to Harvard freshman Alexander Fallstrom and a 2011 second-round draft pick. Milan Lucic is out indefinitely with a broken finger.
In Thursday night’s Avalanche-Canadiens game, the Habs could not score the equalizer in the final seconds despite having a 7-on-4 advantage. Yes, 7-on-4. With Colorado short-handed, Montreal pulled its goalie, and apparently defenseman Hal Gill did not leave the ice when he was supposed to, so the Canadiens had seven skaters. I guess only the Bruins can get penalized for too many men on the ice in Montreal.
BASKETBALL: Ray Allen regained his touch and the Celtics crushed the Raptors, 101-82, Sunday in Toronto. It was the Celtics’ fifth straight win, and Paul Flannery examines what we learned. Ray Allen says he would consider politics when he’s finished playing.
Strange scene in New York yesterday. The Knicks beat Maccabi Tel Aviv, 106-91, and the Israeli team’s coach, Pini Gershon, was ejected for arguing with the refs. After a foul was called FOR his team. And then he wouldn’t leave. And then a rabbi intervened, trying to convince the (replacement) referees to “forgive him.” Finally, after an eight-minute delay, Gershon departed.
HISTORIVIA: On Oct. 19, 1986, the Red Sox won Game 2 of the World Series, 9-3. The game was billed as a showdown between two heralded young pitchers, but one was shelled and the other couldn’t last five innings for the win. Who were the starters?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I have been playing sports since I was 8 and never in any sport have I experienced anything like this.” — Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck after the Patriots’ 59-0 domination
STAT OF THE DAY: 619 — Total yards for the Patriots Sunday, setting a franchise record
‘NET RESULTS: From an English soccer game, Sunderland beat Liverpool 1-0 when a ball bounced off a balloon and into the goal. UPDATE: The video has been removed from YouTube, but you can see it here.
HISTORIVIA ANSWER: Rogers Clemens and Dwight Gooden
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Keith Reid of Procul Harem turns 64 today.
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