Somewhat abbreviated links today, just focusing on the two big stories of the day:

So is Jeremy Giambi an “on base machine” as Theo Epstein describes him, or is he just another good stick, terrible glove, slow running hitter without a true position in the field? A player the Red Sox in the past seemed to have the market cornered on. In Theo I trust. So how soon before Shaughnessy cranks out an article about the Red Sox once again getting the inferior brother in the rivalry with the Yankees, or mentions the Derek Jeter play in the playoffs a couple years back? Oh, whoops, I just looked, Dan says today that the Sox got the wrong brother. I swear, I didn’t even look at Shaughnessy’s article before now. That was my easiest call in weeks. Dan also shows his prejudice against numbers when he remarks: “Some of us find it a tad frightening that the Sox made a big deal of Giambi’s on-base percentage when announcing the deal. It’s easy to see Bill James’s fingerprints on this trade.” It’s the future Dan, welcome to it, and get used to it. Bob Hohler looks at Jeremy Giambi, addressing concerns about his glove, and his character. Sean McAdam gets thoughts from Billy Beane on Jeremy Giambi, Jeff Horrigan terms this trade a small step, with the Sox still hoping to make a bigger splash. David Heuschkel also looks at Giambi. Gordon Edes looks at other possible Red Sox moves by trader Theo. Tony Massarotti isn’t too pleased that “the Red Sox seemingly have abandoned any pretense of defense.” Massarotti also has a brief piece on the Red Sox interest in David Justice, and of course, can’t let it slip by without a gibe at Dan Duquette. The whole Grissom/Justice thing, as I understand it, stems from an incident when Grissom and Duquette were at Montreal, and Duquette decided Grissom was better off in the 9th slot in the batting order, rather than the leadoff spot. Grissom was angered by this, went to his agent, who couldn’t get Duquette to back down, and so made this clause in Grissom, and then Justice’s contracts that they couldn’t be traded to a team that employed Dan Duquette. Funny thing is, not long after, when Grissom was playing for Cleveland, he was removed from the leadoff slot and moved down to 9th. The Globe notebook by Hohler and Edes, looks at Cliff Floyd’s likely return to the Red Sox, while Horrigan’s notebook has Shea Hillenbrand as his lead topic. McAdam’s notebook looks at the possible deal with Montreal.

As for the Patriots, the good news is Nick Cafardo has picked against them on WWZN for at least the third week in a row. The bad news is, one of these days he might actually be right, and we won’t hear the end of it. When he is, expect his triumphant return to Sports Final that week…(He wasn’t on last night, either) Cafardo submits a pretty generic article today previewing the game. Kevin Mannix attempts to inject some reality into the Patriots hopes down the stretch. Mannix also has his game day preview today, in which he picks the Titans. Tom Curran looks at all the playoff scenarios, and adds it can all be moot if the Patriots win out. Karen Guregian goes behind enemy lines to cover the Titans. Alan Greenberg, Michael Smith and Guregian also look at the toughness of Steve McNair.

FSNE has Celtics/Bulls at 8:30. ABC (Channels 5 & 9 in much of New England) Has Patriots/Titans on Monday Night Football at 9:00. ESPN Classic will show NFL Films Patriots programming from 7:00 -8:00.