A mixed bag today, for sure. Lots of different topics out there without one dominating. There’s Patriots/Bills, Speculation on trading Nomar, rumors of Sean McDonough to the Mets, a scathing Gerry Callahan article on Vin Baker, Byron Dafoe’s return to the Fleet last night and the death of Roone Arledge.

We’ll start with Sean McDonough and the Red Sox, as that’s where we left of yesterday. Bill Griffith reports that it’s the Mets that will likely be McDonough’s new employer next season. Griffith likens the departure of McDonough to the many other free agent losses the Sox have had over the years. It’s all about the Benjamins, as the Big Show would say. The NY Post also has McDonough going to the Mets.

In other Red Sox news, Gordon Edes dips into the Sons of Sam Horn board to garner some fan reaction to a possible Nomar trade. Sort of a rambling column with country song titles mixed in. He even lays out some speculation from within the Sox front office itself. Theo wants to make an impact…Dodgers and Padres would make good trading partners…other front office news, David Heuschkel reports on the hiring of Josh Byrnes as assistant GM. Sean McAdam does a story on Bill Livesey, who apparently won’t be getting a job with the Sox. Heuschkel also gets word from the ever accessible Mike Port on how the Byrnes hiring effects him. Edes also reports on the hiring of Byrnes. Over at the Herald, curiously the only Red Sox article is a brief notebook by Tony Massarotti, who reports on a couple minor signings, touches on the Byrnes hiring, and mentions an honor bestowed on Pedro. Sean McAdam also has a brief notebook on player decisions looming. Back to Nomar, looks like he and Mia are gonna tie the knot…in other Red Sox dating news, word on WEEI is that “Framingham’s own” Lou Merloni has been dating Fox Sports’ (and former Patriot head cheerleader) Lisa Guerrero.

Onto Football next. Nick Cafardo takes an indepth look at Anthony Pleasant’s role on and off the field for the Patriots. Alan Greenberg examines how the loss of Tedy Bruschi this week will effect the Patriots and looks at how Larry Centers could be used more by the Bills. In addition to being a great receiver out of the backfield, Bledsoe calls him “maybe the greatest chip blocker in pass protection that ever played the game.” Tom Curran talks with Antowain Smith about players to places they previously played, and how his role will likely increase in coming week. Smith is also the lead topic for Ian Clark. Hector Longo looks at Larry Izzo. With Kevin Faulk having a down and up season, Michael Felger looks for him to have another big role in Sunday’s gameplan. Michael Gee writes about Tom Brady and the credit he has gotten, and receives now around here. Christopher Price looks at the keys to stopping Bledsoe. Larry Izzo, who will see more time at linebacker with Bruschi out is the fodder for Curran’s notebook. Felger’s notebook looks at Kenyatta Jones stepping up, Troy Brown and Bledsoe on the new stadium. Cafardo uses his notebook to chronicle a call placed to Theo Epstein by Scott Pioli. Leigh Montville places his picks for the week.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports on last night’s Bruins win despite blowing a lead over former teammate Byron Dafoe. Stephen Harris has coverage for the Herald. Jim McCabe focuses on Dafoe. Joe Gordon garners some Bruins reaction on Dafoe’s play. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at a tired Joe Thornton. Harris’ notebook looks at another game out for Samsonov.

I’m disappointed in Gerry Callahan. Sure, his column on Vin Baker is dead on. But why trot it out today? Aren’t there plenty of other topics on the table? Isn’t the subject too easy, too not enough of a challenge for Callahan? This thing has probably been written for weeks, again why bring it out today? There’s nothing new in the column, it’s all been said before. Now if Callahan wanted an interesting column, he should’ve taken the opposite tact and tried to *defend* Baker. Now that would be a challenge. Peter May says Kedrick Brown is ready to go. For the second time recently, he also compares Baker’s stats to Mark Blount’s in Denver. Yes, Pete, we got it the first time around. Gus Martins says Shammond Williams has the green light to shoot. Martins in his notebook has Jim O’Brien feeling bad for the Knicks.

Jim Baker looks at the radio voices of the Patriots and Bills, who were both calling games for their respective teams in the 1960’s. Bill Griffith and John Altavilla look at the passing of Roone Arledge.

FSNE has Celtics/Knicks at 8:00. (ESPN nationally) ESPN also has Mavs/Lakers at 10:30.ESPN2 has Cincinnati/East Carolina college football at 7:00. NESN will be showing the big Montana State/Iowa college basketball game at 9:00.

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