Dennis and Callahan were speculating this morning that Vin Baker will be sitting down with the new owners today, and they one of the things they could possibly discuss is that Baker has a heart problem and that if he can’t play anymore the Celtics could possibly get him off their books and get cap relief. Not going to happen. Idle speculation that will go nowhere. They do admit it will be a surprise if Baker turns out to have a “legitimate medical condition”. The reason for their speculation is a Steve Bulpett article this morning that explains: “A medical retirement this season still would allow Baker to be paid the remainder of his contract (nearly $44 million in the next three years) and would remove him from the Celtics salary cap after next season. Insurance would pick up the lion’s share of his remaining contract.” Peter May is critical of the Celtics and their silence in the whole Baker situation. Shira Springer has Baker saying all the right things, but in between the lines she makes it clear he won’t be playing tomorrow night and that something is up here. Bulpett’s notebook from Atlanta looks at Pierce and Walker’s limited minutes yesterday and has Walker speaking up for more time for Kedrick Brown. I love Antoine’s quotes here: “Whatever the situation is, he (O’Brien) is going to have to sacrifice some of the time from the guys who have been playing and give Kedrick the opportunity to play…we have a very, very talented guy on our bench that can play and play at a high level, and we’ve got to make sure we don’t lose him.” Amen, Antoine. Tim Weisberg handed out some midseason grades for the Celtics. As for the All Star game itself, May covers the double-OT event which, had all followed the script, should’ve ended after the first OT when Jordan hit a fallaway to put the East up 2 with 4.8 seconds to go. Bulpett covers the game for the Herald.
Gordon Edes look at Theo Esptein gearing up for his first spring training. Edes looks at GM’s from the past to comfort fans who might be uneasy about Epstein’s inexperience. From yesterday, Jeff Horrigan looks at questions being asked of each team around the American League. David Heuschkel gives us five storylines to watch in spring training. News editor John O’Neil and intern Phil DiPirro do a point-counterpoint on putting seats on the wall at Fenway. Jack O’Connell gives you an itinerary for hitting all the spring training sites.
A couple Patriots related articles from the weekend from the Providence Journal. Tom Curran looks at the likelihood of various players coming back to the Patriots next year. Among those he’s dubious of returning is Tebucky Jones. According to one media member I’ve talked to in the last week, Jones told some NFL security guy at the Pro Bowl that the only way he was coming back was if the Patriots overpaid him…by a lot. Curran seems to agree that Jones might not be here next year. Curran also had his mailbag over the weekend, and one of the topics he tackles is Ron Borges.
Jim Donaldson again exhibits his mastery at stating the obvious. Not a single insightful comment in the bunch.
NESN has the Beatpot final tonight at 8:00. ESPN2 has Sharks/Red Wings at 8:00. In College Basketball, ESPN has Syracuse/Connecticut at 7:00 and Oklahoma/Texas at 9:00.