As Dennis and Callahan pointed out this morning, despite the Celtics winning last night and playing the Lakers tonight, and the Bruins playing the Red Wings, people are going to be talking about the Bill James hiring, whether Pedro can get the Cy Young, and the Patriots. That’s reflected in the newspaper coverage. Baseball and Football rule and are on a higher plane than Basketball and Hockey. So accordingly, there are several articles on the Red Sox. Art Martone gives us some background and information on James and sabermetrics. Bob Hohler has a look at the James hiring for the Globe. Joe McDonald writes that James will be just “one voice in a chorus”. Onto Pedro and the Cy, Tony Massarotti says there should be no debate. Pedro deserves the award. Hohler does a comparison of the candidates. Massarotti reports in his notebook that the Sox have placed a call to free agent second baseman Jeff Kent. He also touches on James and possible coaching candidates. David Heuschkel has a story on Dan Duquette’s new job — as head of his sports academy. Those who will be involved with the academy, either financially or as instructors include Pedro and Ramon Martinez, Peter Gammons, Tommy Lasorda, Carl Yastrzemski and Pat Williams, a former NBA executive. Duquette had some thoughts on the GM search and possible renovation of Fenway: “”I think the dynamics of the new ownership group are coming into play in the [GM] job search,” Duquette said. “J.P. Ricciardi grew up in the shadow of the Red Sox and elected to go back to Toronto. Omar Minaya turned them down. You have to wonder about that.” He laughs at the notion that Fenway Park can be renovated, something the new owners have been examining for months. “Whatever,” Duquette says in a dismissive tone.
Ted Johnson is the hot Patriots topic among the papers. An article in every paper. Alan Greenberg has a article on Johnson proving that he still belongs. Michael Felger writes that it’s like old times for the Patriots linebacker. Nick Cafardo also rights about Johnson again having a big impact, he’s taking more of leadership role, being vocal in play calling. Tom Curran writes about the importance of team identity, and how that fits into the Bears struggles this year. Mark Murphy has a piece on Greg Robinson-Randall and his return to the starting lineup, that’s also the lead topic in Cafardo’s notebook. It’s also noted in there that the Patriots are trying again to get a new deal done with Tebucky Jones. Curran also reports that Willie McGinest will be fined by the NFL for his hit on Drew Bledsoe. Bill Reynolds has some interesting excerpts from Patriots linebackers coach Pepper Johnson’s book on the championship season. Among the tidbits is the information that had Belichick thought that Bledsoe was completely healthy when he returned, he likely would’ve gotten his job back. Murphy also has a short article on rookie tight end Daniel Graham. Another topic that was hot during the press conferences yesterday, was whether Belichick has a doghouse for players who fall out of favor. Michael Gee writes about this topic. Ted Johnson is also a topic in Curran’s notebook in the Projo. Felger’s notebook looks at the successful lineup changes, and has a note that the 45 yard Kevin Faulk TD has been reviewed and ruled a lateral, meaning it is now in the books as a rushing TD rather than a pass for Brady.
Steve Bulpett and Shira Springer file the game stories on the Celtics exacting revenge on the Bulls for the opening night loss. Bulpett writes about the mutual appreciation between Bulls rookie Jay Williams and Salem native Rick Brunson. Dan Hickling’s notebook in the Projo looks at rookie J.R. Bremer. Springer’s notebook focuses on former Uconn product Donyell Marshall fitting in nicely with the Bulls. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Antoine Walker finding the right balance in his time between Chicago and Boston. Jackie MacMullan writes about Lakers coach Phil Jackson striving to be more positive.
TNT has Celtics/Lakers at 7:30 and Pistons/Nuggets at 10:00. NESN has Bruins/Red Wings at 8:00. (ESPN2 Nationally) ESPN has Cincinnati/Louisville college football at 7:30. FSNE has New England Tailgate at 7:00. HBO has Inside the NFL at 8:00.