|04.12.10 at 7:05 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Red Sox at Twins, 4:10 p.m. (NESN/WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle writes about home run king Barry Bonds, who made an appearance at the Giants’ ballpark Sunday for a team reunion and hinted that he wanted to get into coaching, while not ruling out a comeback. Asked about Mark McGwire, Bonds said: “I have a really good friendship with Mark McGwire and I’m proud of him.”
♦ Jeff Miller in The Orange County Register writes that the Los Angeles Lakers’ arrogance is playoff-ready. Writes Miller: Personally, we don’t hate this team. But we do find the Lakers to sometimes be as embraceable as a bonfire.
♦ Rick Reilly on ESPN.com writes that Phil Mickelson’s win at the Masters was a victory for women.
♦ Drew Sharp in the Detroit Free Press writes about the Frozen Four’s impact on the area and Boston College’s national title.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 12, 1994, which Red Sox infielder hit for the cycle in a 22-11 rout of the Kansas City Royals?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Overreacted? The guy punches me with the blocker five times in the face and doesn’t take his mask off. It’s called stupidity, not overreacting.” — Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera, after being told Bruins goalie Tim Thomas admitted to overreacting by punching Chimera after the Capitals player was bumped into him in the first period of Sunday’s game
STAT OF THE DAY: 9 — Strikeouts for Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz in 19 at-bats this season, after four whiffs Sunday against the Royals
‘NET RESULTS: Penguins villain Matt Cooke was knocked out by a punch from Atlanta’s Evander Kane on Saturday night.
Texas Stadium, former home of the Dallas Cowboys, was demolished Sunday.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Scott Cooper
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Herbie Hancock is 70 today.
|04.09.10 at 10:44 am ET|
Brad Faxon checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk about the first round of the Masters. Faxon said the most surprising story from Thursday’s first round was seeing Tom Watson’s name up near the top of the leaderboard.
“You really haven’t seen much from Tom Watson other than his great British Open last year,” Faxon said of Watson. “He did win his first Champions Tour event but you don’t see his name as often, and you don’t expect a 60-year-old guy with a new hip to be leading a major championship.”
Tiger Woods also had himself a productive first day on the course, firing a 4-under 68, and Faxon said it was probably nice for Tiger to just get out and focus on golf.
“I have to believe that first tee shot was one of the most comforting things he’s done in a long time,” he said. “He gets up there and the crowd was appreciative. They were not too loud, but where you want them to be, and he hit a perfect little fade tee shot that traditionally has given him a lot of trouble.”
Read the transcript below. To listen to the interview, click here.
Without a doubt Tom Watson’s 67, without a doubt. It’s kind of like having Butler in the [NCAA basketball] pool.
Who are you rooting for: Watson, Couples or Phil Mickelson?
I don’t know if you believe or not but my prediction at the beginning of the week was Mickelson. I’ve said it for about a week that something was going to happen and it would be good for Phil. Mickelson’s comments were, “Hey, Fred Couples, who has been doing so well on the Champions Tour with his three wins and his only non-win was a second place finish to Tom Watson, that winning breeds winning,” and Couples would be a guy he would look to see at the top of the leaderboard. Read the rest of this entry »
|04.09.10 at 8:05 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Wizards at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE/WRKO)
Red Sox at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (NESN/WEEI)
Hurricanes at Bruins, 1 p.m. (NESN)
Red Sox at Royals, 7:10 p.m. (NESN/WEEI)
Toronto FC at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE alternate channels)
Celtics at Bucks, 8:30 p.m. (CSNNE/WRKO)
Bruins at Capitals, noon (NBC)
Red Sox at Royals, 2:10 p.m. (NESN/WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
After a four-year battle, the University of North Dakota will drop Fighting Sioux as its nickname for sports teams.
Christine Brennan in USA Today writes that Tiger Woods may have softened his demeanor, but his game still is sharp.
Nick Canepa in the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that new Jets running back LaDanian Tomlinson should think twice before criticizing his former team.
Jerry Sullivan in The Buffalo News writes that the city has to be thankful for the Sabres’ great season, although he questions whether the team has enough for a long postseason run. That would be good news for the Bruins, who could draw the Sabres in the opening round.
Bob Kravitz in The Indianapolis Star writes that Brad Stevens signing a long-term contract to remain at Butler makes the feel-good story feel that much better.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 9, 1976, which future Hall of Fame pitcher made his debut for the Red Sox on Opening Day and was the hard-luck loser in a 1-0 loss to Jim Palmer and the Orioles?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He’s had some tough times. His teammates and the coaching staff certainly support him. There’s obviously some frustration and he has stuck with it. He was a valuable asset to our team [Thursday night].” — Bruins coach Claude Julien, on defenseman Dennis Wideman, who scored a goal in Thursday’s win over the Sabres
STAT OF THE DAY: 6 — Consecutive games without a power-play goal for the Bruins
‘NET RESULTS: Bizarre sequence from Wednesday night’s NBA game in Oklahoma City. Denver’s Carmelo Anthony lays on the floor while play goes on around him. He eventually makes a miraculous recovery and returns.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Ferguson Jenkins
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Carl Perkins, who died in 1998, was born on this day in 1932.
|04.08.10 at 2:53 pm ET|
Pro golfer Brad Faxon made an appearance Thursday morning on the Dennis & Callahan show to talk about Tiger Woods’ return to golf at the Masters and his new Nike commercial (view it here) in which he stares at the camera while advice from his late father is played.
Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, click here.
You did a great piece in Sports Illustrated on the fact that it’s OK for Tiger to move on, OK to end the marriage — and I commend you for it.
Well thanks, Gerry, that’s the nicest thing you’ve ever said. It’s interesting; everything’s interesting right now, when Tiger gave his first press conference a few weeks ago, the world watched at TPC in Sawgrass, he made it seem like he might play golf again this year, and then all of a sudden a few weeks later he’s committing to play in the Masters. It’s hard to believe that wasn’t part of his plan altogether. And if any of you saw the press conference Monday in Augusta, and he kind of mentioned snippets about his father and then had this ad air, man, this is staged.
It’s such a good point — he was setting it up. It’s become a new challenge for him.
It could be a new Tiger Woods — that remains to be seen. But this is a rebirth of Tiger, and it’s very similar to when he came out in 1997 with his “Hello world” Nike ad which was talking about how people of color couldn’t play the courses where he played or he tried to play. And I think this is kind of one of those ads you look and go, “Did I just see that?” You don’t really know what it’s all about and I think it’s bringing a lot of attention to Tiger, his dad and Nike, trying to figure out, what are they really talking about here? And how did they get all those old snippets of Earl? Read the rest of this entry »
|04.08.10 at 7:41 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Sabres at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN)
AROUND THE WEB:
Here’s the Tiger Woods commercial that’s creeping everybody out. Writes Richard Sandomir in The New York Times: “Nike could not wait to package the contrition of Tiger Woods in a 30-second ad.” Meanwhile, Dan Wetzel at Yahoo!Sports writes that anything can happen this weekend at Augusta National.
John Harper in the New York Daily News has the Yankees’ perspective of the series at Fenway.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 8, 1991, which veteran slugger made his Red Sox debut and hit a grand slam to give Roger Clemens and the Sox a 6-2 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I felt really good tonight, but it was a classic situation where you make one mistake and you pay for it. — Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, after Wednesday night’s loss to the Yankees
STAT OF THE DAY: 8 — Consecutive victories for the Celtics over the Raptors (spanning two full seasons), following Wednesday’s 115-104 win in Toronto
‘NET RESULTS: Keith Ballard of the Florida Panthers accidentally throws the puck in his own goal vs. the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
One too many fakes on this indoor soccer penalty kick.
Butler coach Brad Stevens gets interviewed by David Letterman.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Jack Clark
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Peggy Lennon of the Lennon Sisters is 69 today.
|04.07.10 at 8:24 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
Celtics at Raptors, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, WRKO)
AROUND THE WEB:
You may recall Kevin Garnett’s comments last week about Thunder star Kevin Durant getting foul calls like he was “Michael [expletive] Jordan” in Oklahoma City’s win over the Celtics. On Tuesday night, Durant did not get the benefit of the doubt on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer in a memorable 140-139 overtime loss at Utah, and he was none too pleased.
Ron Sirak of Golf Digest writes that Tiger Woods looks relaxed and ready to win at the Masters after getting past Monday’s press conference.
Cornell senior guard Jon Jaques has a piece on FoxSports.com in which he gives his thoughts about coach Steve Donahue departing for Boston College.
Jeff Jacobs in the Hartford Courant celebrates the UConn women’s basketball team’s 78-game winning streak that includes Tuesday night’s championship game victory over Stanford.
Tim Kawakami in the San Jose Mercury News writes that Warriors coach Don Nelson is about to set the NBA career wins record, but he won’t have many friends to celebrate with, noting: “If you’ve been around the league for a while, there’s a large chance that you feel like you’ve been burned by Don Nelson, at least once.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 7, 1986, which Red Sox player opened the season with a home run on the first pitch from Tigers ace Jack Morris?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I just made a bad throw. That’s it. I don’t really have an excuse. It’s always hard when you make an error that cost you the game.” — Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro, after Tuesday night’s 6-4 loss to the Yankees
STAT OF THE DAY: 18 — Consecutive shots missed by the UConn women’s basketball team in the first half of Tuesday night’s 53-47 victory over Stanford in the national championship game
‘NET RESULTS: Raptors star Chris Bosh suffered a broken bone in his face on this accidental elbow from Cleveland’s Antawn Jamison that initially doesn’t look so bad.
Maybe new Boston College coach Steve Donahue can sign this kid.
In case you missed it, there’s been an uproar over CBS’ version of “One Shining Moment” following Monday night’s championship game. Too much Jennifer Hudson, not enough basketball, the critics say. Here’s the 2010 version.
And here’s one someone tweaked, editing out Jennifer Hudson and using the Luther Vandross version of the song.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Dwight Evans
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Hall & Oates guitarist John Oates is 61 today.
|04.06.10 at 7:50 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Yankees at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN/WEEI)
Celtics at Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE/WRKO)
Tiger Woods’ press conference wasn’t so well-received by most, including Bill Plaschke of The Los Angeles Times, but Jason Whitlock of The Kansas City Star writes that we should take it as the best we’re going to get. Steve Politi at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey wonders if the “new” Tiger can be as successful as the old one. Meanwhile, alleged mistress Joslyn James says Tiger is “a big fat liar,” and Woods’ kindergarten teacher wants an apology, saying the golfer made up a story about being the victim of a racial attack by classmates.
Mark Bradley in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes about the memorable debut of heralded Braves rookie Jason Heyward, who hit a three-run home run in his first at-bat. Bradley calls the 20-year-old Heyward’s homer “the greatest Opening Day moment in Turner Field history.”
Bob Kravitz in the Indianapolis Star writes about the unhappy ending to Butler’s NCAA tournament run.
Rachel Blount in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune writes that America should embrace the UConn women’s basketball team, which shoots for its second straight perfect season in the national title game tonight vs. Stanford.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 6, 1973, the first designated hitter was used in a game at Fenway Park when the Red Sox hosted the Yankees. Who was the DH for the Yankees, and which future Hall of Famer was the DH in his debut for the Red Sox?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I know I’m going to have a chance to win here every year. For me, I look at it more as what I gained than what I potentially lost.” — Josh Beckett, at Monday’s press conference announcing his four-year contract extension
STAT OF THE DAY: 4 — National championships for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, tying him with Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp for second place all-time
‘NET RESULTS: President Obama, wearing a White Sox hat and a Nationals jacket, was a little off the mark with his first pitch at the Nationals game Monday.
Check out this fantastic play from White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle.
This soccer sideline reporter had a tough day.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Ron Blomberg (Yankees) and Orlando Cepeda (Red Sox)
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Merle Haggard is 73 today.
|04.05.10 at 10:35 pm ET|
Here is the complete transcript of Tiger Woods’ press conference on Monday at Augusta National.
Today I got a chance to play with Freddy [Couples}, and Jim [Furyk] joined us on the 13th hole and it was just a great day today. I didn’t know what to expect with regards to reception and I tell you what, the galleries couldn’t be nicer, it was just incredible. The encouragement I got blew me away, to be honest with you it really did. The people here over the years have treated me respectful, but today was just something that really touched my heart pretty good. I’d also like to make another comment before we start. I know that the players over the past few months have been bombarded by questions by all of you and the public as well. To all the players hopefully after asking questions at this press conference the players can be left alone to focus on the Masters and focus on their game. Not only for this week but going forward as we. I apologize to them for having to endure what they’ve had to endure over the past few months. A lot has happened in my life over the past five months. I’m here at the Masters to play and compete and I’m really excited about doing that. I missed the competition. I missed the guys out there, a lot of my friends I haven’t seen in a while. It was great to play with Freddy and Jim, two of my best friends out here. I played with Mark [O’Meara] yesterday for nine holes and I plan on playing with him tomorrow, as well as Steve Stricker. It’s been an incredible experience here at the Masters.
What injuries sent you to the hospital?
I had a busted up lip and a pretty sore neck, and that was it. I took five stitches in my lip.
Why didn’t you speak to the media that has covered you year round?
I did everything to the letter of the law. My lawyers gave me advice and I followed that advice and again I did everything to the letter of the law. I did talk to my sponsors and people who I was close to in the various companies, but mainly I spent a lot of time with my family.
What’s been the most difficult thing the past few months?
Probably two things, one being having to look at myself in a light that I never wanted to look at myself in. That was difficult. How far astray I got from my core fundamentals and core values that my mom and dad taught me. Having to break all that down with all the denial and rationalization, to cut through that and really take a hard look at myself and that’s where I started finding strength and peace. The other difficult part over the past few months has been the constant harassment to my family. My wife and kids being photographed everywhere they go, being badgered, that’s tough. That’s tough because it’s real hard for us to heal and try and get through this as best we can. Read the rest of this entry »
|04.05.10 at 7:49 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Bruins at Capitals, 7 p.m. (VERSUS)
NCAA championship, Butler vs. Duke, 9:21 p.m. (CBS)
AROUND THE WEB:
For those captivated by Joshua Sacco’s “Miracle” speech Sunday night at Fenway Park, here’s the background on the 5-year-old. He’s from Tennessee, but his parents are New Englanders, and all of them are Red Sox fans. He memorized the speech after watching Kurt Russell’s portrayal of 1980 Team USA hockey coach Herb Brooks in the movie “Miracle,” and his YouTube video has more than 2.7 million hits. He was invited to deliver the speech to Team USA at the Vancouver Olympics the night before the Americans played Canada in round-robin play (the game Team USA won, 5-3). Here’s the video from Sunday night.
And here’s the video of his original “Miracle” speech that became a YouTube sensation:
Here are opinions on the Donovan McNabb trade from papers in Philadelphia (the Inquirer’s Phil Sheridan) and Washington (the Post’s Michael Wilbon). Both imply that the Redskins made out better by obtaining the veteran quarterback.
Ken Tysiask of the Charlotte News Observer writes that Duke center Brian Zoubek is the key as the Blue Devils try to put an unhappy ending to Butler’s underdog run.
Dave George in the Palm Beach Post writes that Tiger Woods’ comeback is anything but “courageous.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 5, 1971, the St. Louis Cardinals returned which Rule 5 draft pick to the Red Sox, a player who would go on to have a solid major league career, although most of it was spent outside of Boston?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We don’t like them. They don’t like us. So I wasn’t surprised at all.” — Cavaliers star LeBron James, commenting on the six technical fouls called in Sunday’s Celtics victory despite James’ 42 points
STAT OF THE DAY: 5-for-9 — The stats for the three newcomers in the Red Sox lineup Sunday night (Adrian Beltre, Mike Cameron and Marco Scutaro)
‘NET RESULTS: A pitcher from Vanderbilt took a line drive that shattered his kneecap, but still he managed to fling the ball to first base to get the runner.
The basketball trick-shot specialists from Dude Perfect have hit the big time, hanging with Sacramento Kings rookie Tyreke Evans and showing off more amazing shots. Here’s one:
And one more:
TRIVIA ANSWER: Cecil Cooper
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Allan Clarke, former lead singer of the Hollies, is 68 today.
|04.02.10 at 10:48 pm ET|
Spring finally is in the air, and that mean one thing to baseball fans: Opening Day. After months of waiting and agonizing weeks of spring training speculation, the Red Sox roster is set and the regular season opens Sunday night. And the opponent is a familiar one — the defending World Series champion New York Yankees.
It is the second straight year that the Sox have faced the defending AL champs in their home opener, after they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 last season. That was a memorable opener, with Josh Beckett helping the Red Sox get revenge after their defeat at the hands of the Rays in the playoffs the season before by dealing seven innings of two-hit ball. Beckett will be back on the hill Sunday night vs. Yankees ace CC Sabathia as the Sox try to keep their five-game home opening win streak alive. But before you focus on that, here are some of the memorable opening day moments in the past 30 years of Red Sox history.
The Red Sox and A’s opened the Major League schedule in 2008, but the game wasn’t played at Fenway or the Coliseum in Oakland. Instead, the Sox headed to Japan to play at the Tokyo Dome the year after winning their second World Series of the decade. It was the earliest opener ever, and it allowed Daisuke Matsuzaka to pitch in his home country. While Dice-K could only get a no-decision after struggling early, Manny Ramirez delivered the game-winning two-run double in the 10th inning to give the Sox a 6-5 victory.
Just in case Yankees fans had somehow recovered from the Sox’ astounding comeback after being down 3-0 in the ALCS, there was a little salt to rub in their wounds in the 2005 home opener. The teams opened the season in New York on April 3 (a 9-2 New York win), and eight days later, the Sox opened their home slate vs. the Yankees and received their World Series rings from 2004.
If the fans weren’t delirious enough, they certainly were after the Sox emerged with an 8-1 win. Here is a gallery from the memorable day.
The first game of the Terry Francona era was also the last Opening Day start in a Sox uniform for Pedro Martinez. Pedro had a forgettable day, giving up seven hits and three runs in his six innings in an ugly 7-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. Maybe he didn’t have his lucky charm with him that day.
Red Sox fans would prefer to forget the disastrous closer-by-committee idea. It was one that was doomed from the start, as the Sox let up five runs in the ninth to blow a 3-1 lead and lose the opener, 6-3. Despite a gem from Pedro, who let up one unearned on just three hits, Alan Embree and Chad Fox couldn’t hold the lead. Embree let up a two-run homer to journeyman Terry Shumpert and Fox gave up the game-winning three-run shot to Carl Crawford as the Sox fell.
The Sox entered the ninth inning down 5-2 to the Anaheim Angels but unleashed a furious comeback off of one of the best closers in the game, Troy Percival. The Sox rallied for four runs in the inning and earned a dramatic 6-5 win, thanks in large part to Percival imploding, walking three guys and letting up the four in just two-thirds of an inning to start off the year with an astounding 54.00 earned run average. That probably was enough to make Percival let out a few obscenities.
Roger Clemens delivered a gem at Fenway Park, but he was matched by Tigers ace Jack Morris. Both starters went nine innings and let up three runs and the game entered extra innings. Sox manager John McNamara brought in closer Lee Smith to take Clemens’ place, but that was a disastrous decision. Smith gave up a two-run bomb with two outs to Tigers shortstop Alan Trammell, giving the Tigers the 5-3 victory. And that is why you don’t bring a closer in when the game is tied.
The Sox held a precarious 1-0 lead over the Angels thanks to a solid performance from lefty Bruce Hurst. But the Angels rallied in the last inning and loaded the bases after an intentional walk with two outs. With Bob Stanley on in relief, Jackie Gutierrez, who had come in to play short after starter Glenn Hoffman was lifted for a pinch-hitter, committed an error that let two runs in, losing the game in shocking fashion.
This was a memorable opener for one reason: the return of Carlton Fisk to Boston in a White Sox uniform. Fisk signed as a free agent with Chicago in the offseason after spending his first 11 seasons in a Red Sox uniform. In the familiar surroundings of Fenway Park in his first game with the other Sox, Fisk smacked a three-run home run to give his new team a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning. The White Sox went on to win the game 5-3.
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