Very slow day in the papers today. The Red Sox might actually be the hot story of the day with the kidnap plot …was it real or not? Hot Stove talk and the like. Michael Silverman writes about the plot to kidnap the father of Pedro Martinez. Gordon Edes has a little more information, and says the story might not be as real as Pedro and others thought it was. It’s also interesting to note that for the second time in a week, Edes is responding in his article to quotes that appear in the Herald today. He did it Saturday with the Buckley piece, and now is doing it today. Either the Herald is putting its papers out or website online way too early and giving the Globe time to counter the stories, or there’s a leak somewhere. Edes also provides a number of other interesting items. Manny is working hard in his training, Lee Thomas is staying on, (reported first on WEEI yesterday) and some other free agent speculation and news. Silverman also has a second article in the Herald, which deals with quotes from Larry Lucchino in a Dominican newspaper saying that he wants Pedro and Manny to finish their careers in Boston, and that they’ll talk to Pedro soon about that. Pedro reacts to the quotes, and, as always, has some interesting things to say. Pedro might be one of the few people in Boston pining for the days of Dan Duquette, as he does in this article. John Tomase says that it’s time to get tough with Manny. The Red Sox should no longer do things to make Manny comfortable or give him special treatment. Some harsh words in this piece. Jim Baker has more on the Sean McDonough situation. This is just my guess, not based on any inside information, but I’m thinking he’s going to end up staying.

An age old theme for the Bruins last Bruins team on a roll gets shut down by a sliding Montreal team and its hot goalie. So says Jim McCabe. The Bruins should hope hard that they don’t face this Canadiens team in the postseason, writes Steve Harris. Goalie Jeff Hackett is the subject of a Steve Conroy article. Dan Shaughnessy looks at Robbie Ftorek and his love of and use of sports cliches. Frank Dell’Appa looks at B’s goalie John Grahame’s performance last night. In his notebook, Harris writes of the Canadiens anger at Joe Thornton for a spearing incident. McCabe’s notebook looks at PJ Stock.

By the way, according to WWZN yesterday afternoon, Ron Borges was in Vegas on Sunday. Michael Felger looks at the revival of Otis Smith and the rest of the Patriot graybeards. Bob Ryan weighs in on the Patriots with a look at the earlier struggles by the Patriots and how they’re following the blueprint that got them far last year. Lenny Megliola reports that Doug Flutie is trying to convince his coaches in San Diego to let him get into some games as a wide receiver. Megliola gets the thoughts of Doug’s brother Darren in this story. Hector Longo looks at the respect Eric Moulds has for Ty Law. Felger’s notebook looks at Patriots charity work and scripting of plays early in the game. The Globe provides an early look at the Playoff picture.

With the Suns coming in tonight, Steve Bulpett gets some thoughts on Joe Johnson from a few members of the Celtics. Paul Pierce forgot he was on the team, and Jim O’Brien didn’t want to talk about him. Bulpett also has a look at Rich Pond and how he’ll be missed around the Celtics organization. Rob Bradford gets Vin Baker to speak out a little on his performance and the boos that are starting to pile up. Shira Springer’s notebook looks at Battie’s suspension, Baker and Paul Pierce. Bulpett’s notebook also looks at Battie and O’Brien has praise for Baker in here. Something that has gone under the radar here: Yesterday in the NY Post, Peter Vecsey commented that the Bob Johnson group is now the favorite to land the expansion Charlotte NBA franchise. Johnson, who founded BET, meets three critical criteria the league is looking for, he’s a minority, he’s got a ton of cash and owns TV stations. How is this relevant to Boston? If the Johnson group is in, it means the Belkin/Bird group is out, freeing Belkin to invest in the C’s if he wishes, and more importantly, the new owners of the Celtics could score a huge PR coup by bring Bird back to the organization. The situation is set to be resolved within a week, and this bears watching.

FSNE has Celtics/Suns at 7:00. ESPN has Blazers/Nets at 7:00 and Mavericks/Spurs at 9:30. ESPN2 has Blackhawks/Rangers.