Wednesday Wrap – 01.31.07

The Globe has a little egg on their face today after running the story this morning that Theo Epstein got married at a Nathan’s Hot Dog stand.

From TheBostonChannel.com (Website of WVCB Channel 5)

The Boston Globe had reported in Wednesday editions that Epstein's father, Leslie Epstein, confirmed his son married Marie Whitney in New York at the original Nathan's Famous hot dog stand, built in 1916.

However, the Globe later posted a correction on its Web site to say the wedding did not take place at Coney Island. It did not give any other details.

"Leslie Epstein meant it as a joke and we took it as being straightforward," said Globe Sports Editor Joe Sullivan.

To the paper’s credit, they made the correction in the on-line article, and noted the correction at the bottom of the page – something I haven’t seen them do before.

Gordon Edes – who wrote the original story, has a follow up on the Extra Bases blog where he says the “the tone of sincerity masked the gag.”

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Adrian Wojnarowski goes hard after Danny Ainge and the Celtics:

Three years ago this week, Jim O'Brien quit as the Boston Celtics' head coach. He was tired of watching Ainge disassemble a playoff team, replacing them with suspect young players and misfit parts. The Celtics president himself said that maybe the resignation was for the best because O'Brien and his staff "came in with a design to win every single basketball game."

The nerve, huh?

Amazingly, O'Brien didn't want to give minutes to the Celtics' genius No. 1 draft pick point guard, Marcus Banks. For some reason, O'Brien wasn't sold. And as Ainge himself said, maybe it was best to drop into the draft lottery than make the playoffs. After all, Dwight Howard was waiting there.

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I just got around to reading the Mike Reiss column on Bill Belichick from Saturday.

Belichick talks about his situation, how the Krafts have been so supportive, that he likes his staff, his players, and he likes the challenge of short offseasons (because of longer playoff runs). He then says:

"When you have those things, it's hard not to feel good about what you're doing, and it's not hard to keep doing it. I love football and I love the area. The players, the organization, the support we get. I have a great relationship with the two [people] most important to me, Mr. Kraft and [vice president of player personnel] Scott Pioli. I think all the way around, all three of us have a good relationship with each other, very workable, respectfully and complementary. It starts there."

If you’re a Patriots fan, you’ve got to be encouraged by this. The media – nationally mostly, but Felger and Borges as well – has had a field day in recent weeks trying to attach Belichick’s name to future job openings with the Giants, and even the Texans. There has been speculation that the Krafts were uncomfortable with some of the headlines that have been generated around the coach and this could shorten his stay here. Some said that the Giants were Belichick’s “dream job” based seemingly on nothing more than the fact that he had served as the defensive coordinator there during the 1980’s.

I would like to think that the statements in this article would put an end to the speculation, at least for now, but we all know better. Since the contract details are not known for sure, the media will justify their continued rampant speculation on the future of the most successful coach in franchise history. But at least fans can take some comfort in the fact that the coach doesn’t appear to be in a rush to go anywhere.

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Bill Simmons reports from Radio Row at the Super Bowl.

Joe Sportsfan has their Super Bowl week edition of The Media Circus

The New York Times Co. said today that it has wrote down the value of the Boston Globe and Worcester Telegram & Gazette by $814 million.

Adam Kennedy of the Phoenix weighs in on the announcement.

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Tonight

7:00pm, ESPN – Miami @ North Carolina (HD)
7:00pm, ESPN2 – Ohio St @ Purdue
7:00pm, NESN – Hartford @ Boston College
7:30pm, FSN – Lakers @ Celtics (HD)
9:00pm, ESPN – Spurs @ Jazz
9:00pm, ESPN2 – Texas @ Texas Tech
9:00pm, NESN – N.C. State @ Virginia Tech
11:00pm, FSN – Gonzaga @ Stanford

Winter of Discontent

The Celtics losing streak hit a dirty dozen last night with a 103-96 loss to the Indiana Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Celtics made a late rally to close the game to within single digits, but it wasn’t nearly enough. Again. Al Jefferson once again led the Celtics with 15 points and 17 rebounds, while Gerald Green added 14 points.

Shira Springer wonders why the Celtics don’t seem to feel the sense of urgency until it is too late in games such as last night. Mark Murphy notes that heart doesn’t count for as much as it should in these games.

Springer’s notebook and Murphy’s notebook each reports on Delonte West, whose bout with the flu kept him out of the second half of last night’s game.

Bruins

The Boston winter sports embarrassment continued with the Bruins last night as well, who were once again smacked around, this time 7-1 at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. While it’s hard to tell which situation is worse, the Celtics have seemed to keep playing with some heart and effort, and the Bruins, while having perhaps a bit more talent on their roster, have seemed to just lay down recently. The Celtics have the prospect of a possible franchise player in the draft looming ahead, but what do the Bruins have? All of this certainly doesn’t encourage the local media to give these two teams more than just token coverage. Boston is a two team town right now simply because the winter teams are so dreadful.

Kevin Paul Dupont says that the Bruins are now the official sacrificial meal for the rest of the league, home or away. Steve Conroy notes that every time the Bruins think that they’ve hit rock bottom, they find a way to hit a new low. Douglas Flynn on his Bruins Insider blog offers his thoughts on the game and lists out a number of the ongoing slumps being endured by key Bruins.

Mike Loftus says that the Bruins cannot place blame for their failures on mere bad luck. Conroy’s notebook has rookie David Krejci receiving a rough welcome to the NHL, having to leave in the first period with a concussion. Dupont’s notebook says that Milan Jurcina, along with Brad Stuart, are the two players that GM Peter Chiarelli is most likely trying move as part of a trade.

Red Sox

Dan Shaughnessy plays it straight today and has a conversation with Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, who would’ve turned 88 today. Sharon is in town for the Red Sox fifth annual celebration of her father’s life today at Fenway Park. Steve Buckley has a piece on Manny Delcarmen, the local boy who loves playing for the Red Sox. Delcarmen’s name has come up in offseason trade talks the last two seasons, but the young pitcher handles the rumors with maturity. Mike Fine weighs in on Curt Schilling changing his mind about retirement. Jon Couture says that talk and all, Schilling is worth an extension from the Red Sox.

Jeff Horrigan’s notebook has Daisuke Matsuzaka getting set to meet with the US media for only the second time today out in Southern California. Gordon Edes reports on Red Sox GM Theo Epstein giving the media the slip and going off and getting married to Marie Whitney, keeping the ceremony and their honeymoon a secret.

Patriots/Super Bowl

Michael Felger collects the thoughts of several Colts on he topic of how they came back to beat the Patriots in the AFC Title game. Mike Reiss has a look at Bill Polian, who now appears to be trying to play the role of gracious winner in talking about the Patriots. John Tomase has Brian Urlacher talking about his missed tackle on Tom Brady earlier this season. He also has Bears kicker Robbie Gould talking about his five months and training camp with the Patriots.

Lenny Megliola chooses to ignore what happened in the second half against the Colts and write his Patriots/Bears Super Bowl story anyway. Felger’s notebook has former Patriot Dan Klecko insisting that he hasn’t gained wight since joining the Colts. Bob Ryan has Tank Johnson talking about his legal issues and feeling conflicted about being at the Super Bowl with everything else going on. The Globe notebook has Peyton Manning enjoying his Super Bowl experience.

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A common Dan Shaughnessy tag line in email responses to critics is “I’m sure you’re at the top of your profession.”

Well, apparently some feel that Shaughnessy is at the top of his profession:

From Jeanette DeForge in yesterday’s edition of The Republican:

HOLYOKE – A sportswriter who has authored 11 books will lead this year’s St. Patrick’s Parade as its top award winner.

The parade committee yesterday announced Dan Shaughnessy, a columnist and associate editor of the Boston Globe, is this year’s recipient of the John F. Kennedy Award. The honor is given to someone of Irish descent who has distinguished himself or herself in their profession.

Someone needs to talk to that committee.

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The Bruins were the main topic of conversation on WEEI today, with Dale Arnold and Michael Holley giving the struggles of the team plenty of air time on their show, and Arnold suggesting a few times that a trade could be made as soon as today.

On the Big Show, Pete Sheppard filled in for a sick Glenn Ordway, and picked up on the hockey talk, going into one of his patented screaming Bruins rants that he unleashes once or twice a season.

Also on the Big Show, Steve Buckley and Paul Perillo took turns tweaking Sheppard on the Patriots. Perillo also seemed to paint with a very broad brush when in came to Patriots fan, lumping them in such statements as “Patriots fans think that this is the only place where players can come to and win” and that “Patriots fans” thought that the loss of Edgerrin James was really going to hurt the Colts because they can’t accept that it was the system and Peyton Manning that made James so good.

It seems to be common practice now for the co-hosts to go after Sheppard on the Patriots whenever Ordway isn’t around. Sometimes it’s amusing. Most times not.

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Cold Hard Football Facts wonders if it is a coincidence that Ron Borges wrote a story on the 50’s Cleveland Browns when they had done a number of such articles.

Mike Reiss has former Patriot Dan Klecko basking over playing in another Super Bowl while his former team is home. Klecko feels that if he was used at one position, he would’ve had a better chance at sticking in New England.

ESPN.com Page2 has ranked the 80 Super Bowl teams prior to this season.

The 2006-07 season has been a rough one for the Celtics. How was the 1996-97 season? How about the 1986-87 season? The 1976-77 season? I take a quick look back in time on the FSN Nothing But Net blog.

Tom Verducci looks at why the Red Sox don’t need a top closer to compete in 2007.

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Tonight:

7:00pm, FSN – Celtics @ Pacers
7:00pm, NESN – Bruins @ Sabres (HD)
7:00pm, ESPN – Mississippi St. @ Mississippi
7:00pm, ESPN2 – Wichita St. @ Northern Iowa
8:00pm, Versus – Nashville @ Colorado (HD on INHD)
9:00pm, ESPN – Michigan St. @ Illinois (HD)