Manny shows up on time, but he’s not talking. As Nomar found out this week, Manny’s approach might be the best one. The media will still write nasty things about him, make fun of his hair, and generally attack him any chance they get, but at least they’re not going to dice up something he says. Naturally the writers aren’t happy with this development, even if it means they get to talk to Pedro more. Gerry Callahan, Bob Hohler, and David Heuschkel write about Manny’s arrival and have word from his spokesman, Pedro. Each of them also bring up the Tampa incident. Hohler claims that “Ramirez might have defused the issue had he publicly addressed it” Raise your hand if you believe that. Didn’t think so. Manny would’ve shyly tried to brush it off, and say it wasn’t a big deal, and he would’ve been hammered even more. At least the three articles all appreciate his skills. They still don’t get that their view of Manny is not the general view of the fans. This was a topic on WWZN yesterday, as Bob Halloran – who hasn’t been jaded too much yet – was talking about the fact that the media is not the voice of the fans, though they might think they are. Jeff Horrigan looks at Johnny Damon…healthy and ready to get going. Steven Krasner looks at the depth of this team and notes that Grady Little is excited at the prospect of using everyone. Tony Massarotti makes the first prediction of the spring: The Red Sox will win the AL East. Of course, in that article he continues the disturbing Boston media trend of categorizing the fans as a miserable, negative lot:

While many fans have since come to mock the Sox for signing Ramirez, many of the same people chastised the team this winter for failing to make a headline acquisition. Such a response only reaffirmed that the Sox are in a no-win situation among the fellowship of the miserable, damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Massaroti’s basic premise is right, but likely applies to his colleagues in the media more than it does the general fan population. Alex Speier tells the Red Sox to pick up that option before the end of spring training. No not Pedro’s, Grady Little’s. Karen Guregian finds another former Red Sox player…David Cone. Hohler’s notebook reports Pedro feeling great after his first throwing session of the spring. Horrigan’s notebook leads with word of a tryout of one of Pedro’s buddies. Krasner’s notebook also reports on Pedro feeling great.

Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett report on last night’s Celtics loss in Sacramento. Bulpett also writes that while the Celtics got bigger with their trade yesterday, this deal doesn’t mean good things for Vin Baker. Springer also looks at the deal and focuses on Mark Blount’s return to green. Bob Ryan remembers Kobe Bryant’s dad, Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant. He wasn’t shy about hoisting up the shots, either, but his son as many times more the player that he ever could’ve dreamed to be. Tim Weisberg says the trade was nothing for nothing. Springer’s notebook has a quote from Jim O’Brien that irritates me a little bit. When asked about Kedrick Brown’s (lack of) playing time, O’Brien says: ”I’m putting players that can knock down the three on a consistent basis.” What happened to defense? Previously O’Brien has said that players who play D are the ones that are going to get into the game. In the preseason, that was the whole focus for Brown, that he would be a defensive player and not have to worry about his offense. Now the coach says he won’t play him because he can’t hit a three? What defines “consistent basis”? Does Antoine Walker make threes on a “consistent basis”? How about Eric Williams? Does Walter McCarty? The next lines in the notebook go on to talk about O’Brien’s concern about the defense. Brown is likely the team’s best man on man defender. He’s capable of stopping someone. But the kid can’t get into the game. Bulpett’s notebook brings attention to the fact that the Celtics also received a 2 million dollar trade exception in the deal, giving them a little more freedom to make a trade in the next year.

So Tebucky isn’t wild about being “franchised” but he’s hopeful a deal can be worked out. He wants to be paid among the top safeties in the league, and to give up his special teams duties. Tom Curran looks at the reasoning behind making this designation and what it means to Jones and the Patriots. Jones tells Nick Cafardo that he was injured much of the second half of the season and it limited him speed severely. Michael Felger also reports on Jones, but also targets the Bears’ Marcus Robinson, a likely salary cap casualty as a potential “big receiver” candidate for the Patriots. Robinson’s agent says that his client “loves Boston”. Felger also reports from the combine, where this draft appears to be deep in the position the Patriots might need the most; defensive line. Michael Parente also weighs in on Jones, Hayes and Orlando Brown.

Michael Smith does a feature on troubled former Burke High and Providence College phenom Elaine McCants. Michael Gee looks at the possibility of landlocked Switzerland winning the America’s Cup. Ray Duckler says Iron Mike is following the path of Sonny Liston.

Bill Griffith has a look at NESN analyst Rick Middleton. Jim Baker has a peek at the College Sports Television network, and in his last line hints at Patriots Weekly’s Paul Perillo being a possible candidate in the mix for a WWZN morning show. Had enough Steve Buckley talk, well then you might want to skip the first segment of The Week that Was…But I think there’s a few other items in interest in there, including possible reasons for the yanking of the Mike Adam’s morning show.

ESPN has Rockets/Mavs at 8:00 and in a very interesting matchup, Bucks/Sonics at 10:30, Gary Payton and Ray Allen face their former teams the day after being traded for each other.