What if Jeter isn’t the only one with gift baskets?

Thank heavens for the New York Post. Without them, how would he know that Derek Jeter sends his single-serving ladyfriends away with gift baskets?

*not actually a true story

He used to give out t-shirts. True story.

But hey, trends spread like wildfire in baseball. By now, stars all around the game are in the post-booty gift basket game. Step into my office; I’ll show you the baskets I’ve been able to unearth so far.
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Keep it classy, Boston.

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Francona at his last news conference with the Sox: classy to the end.

Like any true Yankee fan, I quietly snickered when the Red Sox essentially pissed away the month of September, playing crummy ball and falling out of playoff contention. It’s nice to have a little ammo for the next time someone makes a snide comment about the Yankees “buying championships”. Yes, because Carl Crawford came so cheap.

Then I read this feature today by Bob Hohler and…honestly, Sox fans, I don’t know why you haven’t taken the pitchforks and torches down Yawkey Way. Lackey, Beckett, Ortiz…I could go down the list of selfish bums but why bother. It will only make you angrier. And far be it for me to comment on selfish ball players (*cough*Rafael Soriano*cough*)

Selfish athletes can be found throughout the league, and baseball history is full of douchebag moves by douchebag owners and managers. This situation is, for the most part, no different. But…this crap about Terry Francona popping pills? REPREHENSIBLE. The man brought your organization two World Championships, slayed a supposed 86-year-old demon, dealt with effing Manny and this is how you thank him for his time in Boston? Dragging Francona’s personal issues out in public when the real problem is that you have $15 million pitchers who don’t have the decency and maturity to put down that bucket of KFC in the locker room and go support their teammates and stand by their manager when he obviously needed them most? Real classy, Henry, Werner and Co. Here’s a tip: when a staff member is dealing with personal issues – say, a crumbling marriage – try support and empathy you a-holes.

Here’s how awful this is to Sox fans: one good friend of mine is shunning the team he has supported his entire life on account of this.

And now that Theo heading to Chicago, this is likely Ben Cherington’s mess to clean up. Thankfully, he has a bright spot in Dustin Pedroia, who still cares…until he has an opportunity to leave town. Could you blame him?

Red Sox fans, you have given me hell over the years, but you don’t deserve this. Watching a team choke in September is bad enough, but that’s baseball. Watching the smearing of a beloved manager’s name is simply disgusting. And for that, I feel terrible for you guys.

Every. Game. Counts. (A Regular Season Wrap Up and Playoff Preview)

Let’s just put aside the fact that I had an actual rooting interest last night — everything that happened in baseball over the last 24 hours makes my brain scream this song:

As someone who has spent the last two weeks watching the Cardinals wait until the last inning to win or lose what seemed like 95% of their games, one of the most surreal things about last night was that St. Louis was the only team that got their game settled right out of the gate, batting around in the first inning and scoring five runs before recording a single out.  Which left me free to enjoy the one day MLB.tv subscription I paid 3.99 for Tuesday night as a mostly impartial fan (possibly the best 4 bucks I’ve ever spent, even if I couldn’t get the Rays-Yankees because of blackout restrictions, and had to switch to the Phillies-Braves radio feeds for the latter innings because of too much traffic on the video feed (and my crappy bandwidth).  At one point, I had three GTalk conversations going and was on the phone to my parents; 99.5 % of the discussion revolved around baseball (I did manage to discuss Christmas arrangements with my folks.  I’m not totally obsessed.)

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Ladies… Links: Something To Read So You Can Ignore Don Cherry

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The Bruins Saturday night in Vancouver. Boston will try to get back into the Stanley Cup Final series tonight with Game 3 at home. (Photo: Getty Images)

Just a quick hit to give you something to read between periods tonight.

Know how I always talk about the East Coast’s love for all things Boston? Here’s an article from the Globe and Mail that backs up my point, but only to a certain extent. See, what I got out of this was a) Bruins fans in the Maritimes consist of old guys who are missing their own teeth and b) the Maritimes consist solely of Nova Scotia…oh, wait, they threw PEI a bone. So this story drove me crazy all day. Yeah, I know it’s customary for Canadians in my part of the country to kvetch about how the rest of Canada views us. When national publications talk East Coast, they’re really just talking about Halifax (so we think). And the national CBC is even worse, as when they talk about the East, it seems to end at the Quebec border. Grrr.

So here’s a footnote to that Globe article. New Brunswick is home to two Bruins greats: Don Sweeney, who spent the better part of 15 seasons with Boston, and Willie O’Ree, who broke the NHL colour barrier. For the record, I know far more Bruins fans out here than actual Canucks fans (apologies to those cheering them on because they’re the last Canadian team standing).

And many of them are women.

Here’s something to make you smile, speaking of Boston: one kid honouring his uncle’s memory with an assist from the Red Sox. I can’t hate on them when they agree to do stuff like this.

This is from a few days ago, but Star Wars fans will enjoy this tale from our pal Andrew Bucholtz at Sporting Madness.

And now back to some seriousness: keep Nathan Horton in your thoughts, OK? God, I hate seeing anyone being carried off on a stretcher.

Mr. Mondays (yes, we have three!)

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See? The Red Sox still remember how to smile. (AP Photo)

It’s the Monday of a four-day work week for me. Don’t those Mondays seem like the very longest of Mondays? Ugh. And for that reason, I wish I had this post up for you sooner. Forgive me. How about I make it up to you with not one, but three Mr. Mondays!

Let’s start with a belated Happy Patriots’ Day to the good residents of my geographical neighbours in Maine, and further on in Massachusetts. The Red Sox celebrated the day by beating up on the Toronto Blue Jays 9-1. It was like the War of 1812 except, um, not really. At all.

But hey, how about Jed Lowrie who had four hits including a two-run homer! I haven’t done the research, but at .516/.545/.774, is it safe to say that Jed is off to his Best Start Ever? It’s just a shame he’s Scutaro’s backup. The win is Boston’s third in a row, so maybe we’re finally seeing the team we were warned about all along.

See who else made our Monday after the jump.

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Hit and Run: With Spring in our Step

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Here's Marquette, whose victory over Syracuse last night made me cry. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s Monday. How are your brackets looking? Like hell? Thought so.

First of all, a warm welcome to our special guest Ladies… Bracket Brawl participants: Melissa_thistle, Courknee35, Big10Bias and fellow Canuck/friend of the blog Andrew Bucholtz (you will go read his blog The 55-Yard Line now, won’t you?) Our current leader isn’t in our Ladies… group – due to technical difficulties, we had to create another group on ESPN.com so one gal could get her picks in. That gal is Buffalita, leading the pack with 460 points and picking Ohio State to win it all. CuteSports and Raven round out the Top 3 at 440 and 430 points respectively. Any hopes I had of repeating last year’s surprise success have been flushed down the proverbial toilet. I blame Butler.

Best of luck heading into Thursday! Sweet Sixteen will be hopefully be sweet for some of you.

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