College Blog
WEEI.com Blog Network

10 Questions with Nick Green

04.22.09 at 6:02 pm ET
By   |   Comments

(By Drew Scott)

10 Questions with the Red Sox SS Nick Green following his team’s 10-1 victory over the Twins, Wednesday at Fenway Park:

1.  You’€™ve been playing every day for over a week now, are you settling in and feeling more comfortable? 

Green: I feel good, obviously I get frustrated at myself for making dumb errors, but other than that I feel good.  Obviously the more you play the better you feel at the plate, so you just like to play every day if you can.

2.  What does one do during rain delays to pass the time?

Green:  Umm’€¦sit and avoid y’€™all (media). No, different guys do different things watch TV, do crosswords, play on the internet. No one wants to just sit around and just do nothing.

3.  When you arrived at Spring Training this year, what role did you see yourself filling on this Red Sox team?

Green: I thought that it would be an opportunity, and maybe if someone went down I could fill in wherever they need me.  I was prepared to do whatever they wanted me to do.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Nick Green,

You want rainouts, we’ve got rainouts

04.22.09 at 3:00 pm ET
By   |   Comments

(By Drew Scott)

Would you like to impress your friends with your knowledge of which games are in rain delay across the country?  Then check out the legendary http://rainout.blogspot.com/ or if that isn’€™t updated regularly enough for you then sign up for their Twitter page http://twitter.com/Rainoutblog .

Where else can you discover the ramifications of a Washington Nationals rainout or how rain affects Tiger Woods routine? Well the rainout blog is your one stop shop for all of these interesting tidbits.

The word on the street is that the Nat’€™s may have experienced the driest ran delay ever yesterday playing in front of the smallest crowd in the stadiums short history: 12,473.

http://www.federalbaseball.com/2009/4/21/847357/driest-rain-delay-ever

I should also report on an often times forgotten rain delay that took place in the SportsCenter studio of the World Wide Leader. As we can see from the video below even ESPN can succumb to the powers of Mother Nature.

 

Even some movies have been based around the idea of the rain delay’€¦well sort of.  You may have heard of the film ‘€œRain Man’€ starring Dustin Hopper and Tom Cruise, but not many have heard of the famed short film ‘€œRain Delay Man’€.  In this riveting performance, a man donning what appears to be a Yale baseball cap recites some historical baseball facts while doing his best Ray Babbit impression from Rain Man.

 

Rain Delay ManFunny bloopers R us

Athletes who are negative about the negativity of Boston

04.21.09 at 1:18 pm ET
By   |   Comments

BY DREW SCOTT

As the Orioles left Boston with their respective tails between their legs, news started to surface that Luke Scott had his feelings hurt by the Fenway faithful.

‘€œGlad to get out of here with negative people,’€ Scott said. ‘€œJust a lot of trash talking, a lot of vulgarity. It just takes away from the game.’€

Maybe Scott’€™s psyche would have been in better shape if his team had managed to win a game, but I’€™m sure that I speak for the rest of Red Sox Nation when I extend a half-hearted apology to Mr. Scott.

Speaking of classless fans, the throngs that filled the Bell Centre last night were thoughtful enough to boo the United States National Anthem. Since one need not pay much attention to fans of a hockey team that is about to be swept, let’€™s take a look back at some of the athletes and coaches that have found it necessary to talk smack about Bean Town and its sports fans.

David Wells

Well at least David Wells doesn’€™t hate Boston, but he certainly hates Fenway Park quite a bit.  Also if you have been missing those legendary Wells words of wisdom, fear not, because last week he was announced as part of the TBS broadcast team.

Here is what Wells had to say about Fenway during the 2003 ALCS between the Sox and Yankees: ‘€œMy record against Boston, it’s not very good. It’s just that. I would like to say it’s a great city, I wish it was as wide open out there as it is here. It’s just something that I’ve always had difficulties, and like I said, whenever they are ready to get rid of this place, let me push the button, get another stadium; I think they deserve it. It’s great history. It’s great for the fans to come out and see a ballpark like this. I admire it in certain ways than others, but like I said, I’ve got to block that stuff out and just go out and pitch my game.’€

Although I’€™m sure there are some fans in Boston that might secretly agree with David Wells, you just don’€™t say such things about America’€™s Most Beloved ballpark. Of course, after he became a member of the Red Sox, Wells decided that he loved Fenway but hated Boston.

Mike Bibby

The crowd at the Garden let Mike Bibby know what they thought about his ‘€œbandwagon’€ fans comments during last year’€™s playoffs.

Here’€™s what Bibby had to say about the crowds that started to fill the Garden after the arrival of the Big 3, ‘€œbandwagon jumpers trying to get on this now. I played here last year, too, and I didn’€™t see three-fourths of them. They’€™re for the team now and they might get a little rowdy, but that’€™s about it.’€

When Bibby was asked if he thought Boston had fair-weather fans, his response was, ‘€œ’€œYou could say that’€¦I remember them having bags on their heads. It’€™s a different look. I guess that’€™s what happens when you win.’€

The response that Bibby received from the Boston fans? Just an endless amount of boos and ‘€œRon-do’€™s be-tter’€ chants, as well as a ticket back to Atlanta once the Celtics sent the Hawks packing after Game 7.

Barry Bonds

Despite any of the rumors that were floating around last season, there was a time when Barry Bonds had absolutely no desire to play baseball in the city of Boston.  When he was interviewed in 2004, apparently he didn’€™t feel the city had grown much from its racially charged past.

Bonds said, ‘€œBoston is too racist for me’€¦I couldn’€™t play there.’€

Apparently this opinion was based on information that he received from other players and no experience that he himself had been through. He went on to explain what he based this opinion on, ‘€œOnly what guys have said’€¦but that’s been going on ever since my dad [Bobby] was playing baseball. I can’t play like that. That’s not for me, brother.’€

Well Barry, we’€™re sorry to hear that you have some ill feelings towards the city, but something tells me that the majority of Boston fans would prefer to see your large cranium and bad attitude squeezed into just about any cap except for one with a ‘B’ on it.

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino would probably be happy to know that since he left Boston, the negativity in this town has certainly been scaled back quite a bit.  I mean three Super Bowl Championships, two World Series titles, one NBA title, and a Sport Stacking Championship can certainly help to turn that mindset around, but nonetheless times have been better in the city after Pitino’€™s famous tirade.

This legendary press conference moment really needs no introduction:

‘€œLarry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through that door, they’re going to be gray and old. What we are is young, exciting, hard-working, and we’re going to improve. People don’t realize that, and as soon as they realize those three guys are not coming through that door, the better this town will be for all of us because there are young guys in that (locker) room playing their asses off. I wish we had $90 million under the salary cap. I wish we could buy the world. We can’t; the only thing we can do is work hard, and all the negativity that’s in this town sucks. I’ve been around when Jim Rice was booed. I’ve been around when Yastrzemski was booed. And it stinks. It makes the greatest town, greatest city in the world, lousy. The only thing that will turn this around is being upbeat and positive like we are in that locker room… and if you think I’m going to succumb to negativity, you’re wrong. You’ve got the wrong guy leading this team.’€

Sports, Leadership & Life

04.17.09 at 3:55 pm ET
By   |   Comments

With Henry Louis

WEEI.com’€™s ‘€œSports, Leadership & Life’€ page is a new column highlighting sports beyond the statistics and final scores.  Its goal is to explore and bring to light the lessons that sports offer us every day.  The columns are written by various individuals from the New England area who are leaders in their fields of business, culture, sports, and politics.  You get a chance to hear from sports legends such as the Boston Bruins‘€™ Cam Neely, local business owners such as Legal Seafood’€™s Roger Berkowitz, and celebrities such as Yes Dear’€™s Mike O’€™Malley. The page acts as a glance beyond what the flashy sports culture of the primetime might give us every day.  It allows us to look thoughtfully at issues such as hard work, perseverance, community building, and teamwork, an issue highlighted in a recent column written by John Jacobs.

John Jacobs, along with his brother Bert, is the founder of the Life Is Good clothing and apparel brand.  The smiley faces and feel-good sayings of the company are iconic in the New England area and can be purchased and seen worldwide.  John wrote an article highlighting the importance and use of teamwork and community on the ‘€œSports, Leadership & Life’€ column.  He starts the article talking about his personal experiences in Pop Warner football, looking nostalgically at what his past days of childhood football gave him in terms of life values.  But quickly after his look at the past, John really begins to write in a way that reflects the essence of the column.  Community becomes his main focus in the article, saying that sports give us practice for things such as inter-office teamwork, family based connections, and even just chatting with friends.  The article begins to sound like the scene from Hoosiers, where Gene Hackman gives his team that famous motivational speech (yeah, the same one played at the beginning of every Celtics game). 

              The article is breath of fresh air.  It really makes you think of how the people you work with or the friends you associate with are on your team, and how you work together to accomplish all kinds of things.  John’€™s article makes me think of the cliché idea that life is a game, and that everyone around me is on my team.

           He goes on to mention how various Boston sports teams have united together in past experiences, such as when the Patriots chose to be introduced as a team in their Super Bowl wins of the recent dynasty. 

              The necessity for teamwork and community can be applied to this Celtics postseason.  With the injury to KG and heart attack suffered by Danny Ainge (we all hope that you have a quick and healthy recovery), the Celtics could benefit from a look at John’€™s column.  John writes that we can’€™t truly achieve anything alone and the Celtics need to realize that amidst this adversity that they are facing, they need to, now more than ever, come together as a team, on the court, but more importantly, off the court.  John’€™s article gives us a glance at what the WEEI.com ‘€œSports, Leadership & Life’€ column is all about.  The importance of sports beyond the sport itself.

And then BOOM! Madden Retires

04.16.09 at 3:49 pm ET
By   |   Comments

By Drew Scott

Before John Madden became the butt of an endless number of Frank Caliendo impressions, he was a heck of a head coach in the NFL and at the very least a very entertaining color analyst on seemingly every television network ever created.

Of all the sports broadcasters on television, none has ever utilized the Telestrator more effectively than John Madden. I have seen him use that famous yellow line to show the audience at home how to cut his favorite Thanksgiving meal, Turducken, and there are many examples on YouTube of Madden drawing some fairly inappropriate symbols on the screen. Oh and for those of you unfamiliar with Turducken, according to Wikipedia it is ‘€œa dish consisting of a partially de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken.’€

I’€™m sure we can all see what John Madden loves so much about it.

In order to truly celebrate the career of this great man, I thought that I should collect some of John Madden’€™s most inspiring quotes (Thanks to ThinkExist.com):

‘€œHey, the offensive linemen are the biggest guys on the field, they’re bigger than everybody else, and that’s what makes them the biggest guys on the field.’€

‘€œCoaches have to watch for what they don’t want to see and listen to what they don’t want to hear.’€

‘€œA team should never practice on a field that is not lined. Your players have to become aware of the field’s boundaries.’€

‘€œThe road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.’€

For a little more serious take on Madden’€™s career check out this piece by Peter King.

Ken Murray from the Baltimore Sun discusses how Madden may have overstayed his welcome on television.

And as the producers of Frank TV begin to weep, I leave you with one more impersonation of Mr. Madden:

Read More: john madden, turducken,

A Gift for Garnett’s Hometown

04.16.09 at 1:18 pm ET
By   |   Comments

By Drew Scott

When the Bulls got pounded by the Toronto Raptors last night 109-98, they assumed that their punishment for such a pathetic performance would be to face last year’€™s NBA champions instead of the Orlando Magic. However when the residents of Chicago awoke this morning, it seemed like Christmas had come early for Da Bulls. The Boston Celtics may technically be the defending champs, but are they really as scary without their best player on the court?

Doc Rivers discussed Kevin Garnett‘€™s health today on the Dennis & Callahan morning show and said, ‘€œIf he can’€™t get through biking and working out without swelling and stiffness and his leg locking up, I don’€™t see how he can play in the playoffs.’€ (The transcript for the interview is available here.)

When I read this quote, I envision Kevin Garnett screaming like he does at the end of the Jumbotron video intro that the Celtics came out to all of last year. Missing regular season games is hard enough for KG, but not rejoining his teammates for the playoffs? That must be just unbearable for the big man.

Just in case you weren’€™t depressed enough already after hearing about the Garnett injury, here are a few more journalists who have written the Celtics’ eulogy before the playoffs have even started.

Lynn Zinser from the Times lets us know why there is ‘€œa little less to cheer about in Boston.’€

Bruce Jenkins from the San Franciso Chronicle informs us that without Garnett, the Celtics are doomed.

Hmm…

With the Bulls now in the proverbial bull’s-eye, it seemed appropriate to include a Derrick Rose highlight reel.

But surely the Celtics’ weakness won’t be exposed in a series against the Bulls. Right?

Farewell to a legend

04.14.09 at 2:44 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Compiled by Drew Scott

Monday, Major League Baseball lost a man whose voice had been heard over the airwaves of Philadelphia since 1971. Harry Kalas called six no-hitters and every single one of Mike Schmidt‘€™s 548 career home runs. He was inducted into the broadcaster’€™s wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002, and was named Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year eighteen times.

En route to the playoffs in 1993 and in 2008 Kalas helped to rally the Phillies fans with his rousing rendition of the song ‘€œHigh Hopes.’€ He also got to see his Fightin’€™ Phils capture the 2008 World Series as he provided play-by-play when Brad Lidge recorded the final out.

Some of the best players of this generation have come out and described what a great professional and a great human being Harry Kalas was as part of the Phillies family.

Curt Schilling blogs on Kalas on 38Pitches, while Jon Kruk discusses how Kalas was a, ‘€œveritable walking baseball dictionary.’€

The broadcasting world has also been shook by Kalas’€™ passing, as legendary broadcaster Bob Uecker expresses his sadness.

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090413&content_id=4254852&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

This whole tragedy should remind us to appreciate and cherish the men and women that bring the game on the diamond to life over the radio and on our television screens. So in honor of Harry Kalas, I will take a look at some of the best active broadcasters in baseball today.

Vin Scully, Los Angeles Dodgers: Scully gets a Doctorate from Pepperdine and speaks at their 2008 commencement:

Bob Uecker, Milwaukee Brewers: Uecker joins Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show:

Jon Miller, San Francisco Giants: The video is ridiculous, but the call is legendary:

Jerry Remy, Red Sox: Any Boston fan who watched the game last week when Remy was sick understands how lucky we are to have him:

A Look Back at Mark Fidrych

04.13.09 at 7:45 pm ET
By   |   Comments

There may never have been a flash-in-the-pan like Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The Northborough, Mass., native, who was found dead on his farm on Monday as a result of an apparent accident while working on a dump truck, enjoyed a singularly sensational and eccentric burst onto the scene.

The right-hander was named Rookie of the Year in 1976, going 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA and 24 complete games as a 21-year-old in 1976. He made an otherwise terrible Tigers team a must-see appointment every time he took the mound, where he engaged in histrionics that one rarely encounters on the field.

He appeared to speak animatedly to the ball (though Fidrych later clarified that he was just talking to himself), jumped over foul lines, threw gum at opponents who scored against him and spoke with an untrained candor that endeared him to the country (and that, according to this Peter Gammons piece in Sports Illustrated, left him facing an endless succession of interview requests). After games, Jerry Green of Sports Illustrated wrote during his 1976 magic carpet ride, Fidrych would drink a milk followed by four beers.

His movement around the field earned him the nickname “The Bird,” which in turn earned him one of the great Sports Illustrated covers of the ’70s. Fidrych was a phenom in the most literal sense. Annie Leibovitz photographed him for a cover of Rolling Stone.

His explosion onto the scene came at the perfect time, Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press wrote back in 2006. But it was just that: an explosion, with nothing sustainable behind it.

Fidrych missed most of the first two months of the 1977 season while recovering from a knee injury, then pitched for fewer than seven weeks before injuring his rotator cuff. At the time, there was no option of Tommy John surgery available, and so Fidrych was left to try to comeback without benefit of the prized right arm that earned him 15 months of fame.

In a way, it made sense that Fidrych would follow a career path unlike any other. There have been 16 pitchers who won 19 or more games in a single season played primarily at the age of 21 or younger. Fidrych, who would go on to win just 10 more games, is the only one without benefit of another double-digit season in his major-league career.

Despite the brevity of his major-league career, his impact on the game was such that he is still remembered as one of the signature players of the 1970s. He was 54.

In this interview from 1985, Fidrych revisits his breath-taking but brief career.

Who wants the Green Jacket?

04.09.09 at 12:46 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Compiled by Drew Scott

The Masters kicked off today, with Arnold Palmer hitting a ceremonial drive to start the proceedings. As much drama as their often is at Augusta National, you have to admit some of the advertising spots that ESPN puts together to build the hype are a little ridiculous.

Are you feeling that maybe you are a little bit too excited about the Masters? Well, maybe the theme music will settle you down a little bit ‘€¦ or put you to sleep:

The PGA universe seems to have returned to its natural order, as all of the talk leading up to the Masters circles around Tiger Woods. Some even hypothesize Woods could help turn the economy around.

Since we know that you can’€™t wait until 1:52 PM to watch Tiger tee off. Let’€™s take a look back at some of his most memorable shots at Augusta:

Number 5
Somehow even when Tiger breaks a club, his shot still looks better than any ball I’€™ve ever hit.

Number 4
The putt, the fist pump, it’€™s all there as Tiger wins the 2005 Masters.

Number 3
Apparently Tiger helped the grounds crew at Augusta deal with a small gopher problem ‘€¦ well, sort of.

(Which reminds me, I think any golf-related blog post should be required to have a link to Bill Murray’€™s ‘€œCinderella story’€ scene from “Caddyshack.”)

Number 2
This doesn’€™t really constitute a great shot, but I do think it is effective in making anyone who plays golf realize how far off their game is from Tiger’€™s.

Number 1
Words cannot describe this shot. When the ball sits at the lip of the hole, it almost looks like the Earth starts spinning a little faster so that Tiger can earn himself a green jacket.

Calipari’s Kentucky Conundrum and The Best NCAA Basketball Coach Tirades

03.31.09 at 1:55 pm ET
By   |   Comments

Compiled by Drew Scott

I was somewhat surprised to hear that Billy Gillespie had been let go by the Kentucky Wildcats, especially after I took a look at the riveting PSA that he put together for the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety:

But let’€™s be serious here ‘€” Gillespie is by no means the most interesting character in the soap opera that is unfolding in Lexington. It just so happens that the man who made basketball relevant again at the University of Massachusetts by taking the school to the Final Four in 1996 is apparently on the verge of taking one of the most high profile jobs in college basketball. Just in case you forgot how ‘€œcommitted’€ John Calipari was to the academic well being and success of his students, feel free to watch this nauseating video from his time at Memphis:

Is this the same Coach Calipari, whose basketball squad was stripped of that Final Four banner after Marcus Camby admitted to taking cash, clothes, and prostitutes from sports agents?

Wait, was Calipari talking about how much he stresses academics at Memphis? That’€™s interesting, because in 1994 The Boston Globe released a story that showed seven players on that UMass team were on academic probation.

To Coach Cal’€™s credit, during his tenure with Memphis he has actually had a better graduation rate over the last six years at 55 percent than the University of Kentucky has had at 38 percent. Still, during his time with the Tigers, Calipari has recruited a number of questionable players, including Sean Banks who was later arrested for using a cigarette to imprint a gang sign on a woman’€™s leg.

For more information on some Calipari’€™s questionable recruiting techniques and demeanor check out this article by Andrew Wolfson from the Louisville Courier-Journal:

Calipari just needs to understand that the spotlight shines brightly in Lexington. If the boosters, alumni, and student body start breathing down your neck, that dream job can quickly turn into a nightmare. Just ask Billy Gillespie.

As long as Coach Cal realizes that what works in Memphis and Amherst, doesn’€™t fly at Kentucky, he might be just the guy for the job. But I have this strange feeling that he is going to wish he stayed in Tennessee.

Top Coach Tirades of All Time (In no particular order)
So let’€™s start up the list of the best coach tirades with one that involves the aforementioned Calipari, John Chaney actually hated the man so much that he had a burning desire to kill him during this press conference:

Bobby Knight obviously needs a few spots on this list’€¦So I will start with the prerequisite chair throwing incident and move on from there:

Bobby can actually see the future when looking through a ‘€œcheap piece of crystal’€ at a press conference:

Jim Calhoun was apparently a little disappointed that he didn’€™t get Ryan Gomes to play for UConn. He also enjoys dropping F Bombs. So if your in the mood for a curse-filled tirade click here. (Extremely NSFW)

And if you haven’€™t seen it enough times already on ESPN, feel free to watch Calhoun offer his ‘€œbest advice’€ to reporter Ken Krayeske:

Coach Roy Williams just really wants journalists to start being nicer people:

And of course the granddaddy of them all, Dennis Green when he was coaching for’€¦ oh, wait. Dennis Green never coached college basketball. I think we can all look past that minor fact so we can watch one of the best freakouts in sports history:

Read More: John Calipari,