Y’all ready for a week

Y’all ready for a week of Pedro contract talk? That topic should dominate sports radio this week. Thankfully there’s only one article on that topic today, and it’s by none other than Steve Buckley, who saves his thoughts on the subject for Monday, rather than going with this on Sunday, like most others did. Buckley like most of the rest of the media pack in Boston says don’t give in to Pedro. Of course, if they don’t pick up the option, and then Pedro refuses to negotiate an extension, and holds the grudge that he’s very capable of doing and then leaves as a free agent, (Yankees or not) these same guys will be all over management. They will track Pedro’s progress with his new team just like they do Clemens, with biting comments each time a milestone is reached, or he beats the Red Sox. Can’t you just see it? They’ll all be asking…”Why didn’t the Red Sox take care of this when they had the chance?” John Dennis made this point this morning, countering Gerry Callahan’s viewpoint. I’m not saying to cave into Pedro’s demands, but there must be something they can do to assure the guy.

I’m sure we’ll hear enough of this in the weeks to come, (can’t even imagine the angry rant Eddie is going to go on) so we’ll move onto the other Sox stories. Gordon Edes looks at last years whipping boy, John Burkett, who still doesn’t understand why his comments last year about the strike were harped on so much. Tony Massarotti feels that the newcomers to the Sox will add some flavor to the clubhouse and that this team could become a real bunch of Dirt Dogs. (That’s a good thing). David Heuschkel looks at the arrival of the guy who could become the lead Dirt Dog, Kevin Millar. Bob Hohler, Jeff Horrigan, and Steven Krasner also write about Millar. Tony Massarotti also has a brief side article on Mike Timlin, who is buying into the bullpen strategy. Karen Guregian continues her tour of any camp not belonging to the Red Sox, after filling a column yesterday about the fact that Joe Kerrigan wouldn’t talk to her, today she goes to visit Cliff Floyd, who speaks in glowing terms about Kevin Millar. Horrigan’s notebook looks at the Sox signing of 18 year old Cuban defector Gary Galvez. Krasner’s notebook has more on Galvez and some injury reports. (infected armpit boil?) Hohler’s notebook leads with the tryouts of Robert Person and Donovan Osborne

The most interesting thing about Dan Shaughnessy’s column today is not about moving the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame to Boston….an idea he discussed on Sports Final last night, but the interesting thing to me is, that now that Ted is gone, Dan is free to rip on John Henry Williams with just as much nastiness as he would anyone else (“The universally loathed John Henry Williams“). Was that not predictable. Way to go Dan. Way to be loyal to someone who gave you access to Ted. Dan used John Henry and now has discarded him with disdain. Not that I’m defending John Henry here, but Shaughnessy’s actions are typical of the media who only tolerates you if they can get something out of you.

Bob Ryan goes back to his roots and submits the game story for the Celtics loss in Phoenix last night. Steve Bulpett and Jim O’Brien concur that poor shot selection did in the Celts last night. Bulpett’s notebook has word that forgotten bench player Ruben Wolkowyski tried to make a deal with a European club recently. Ryan’s notebook gives us a Battie update and has more praise for the Sun’s rookie sensation Amare Stoudemire.

Michael Felger and Tom Curran report that the Patriots will cut Donald Hayes this week, at the receivers request, after attempts to renegotiate down his contract were unsuccessful. Something you won’t read in the Globe…the last blurb in Bill Burt’s Saturday column:

Lazarus House got an impressive food server at the Lawrence homeless shelter and food kitchen on Wednesday night.

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick stopped by with his son and served food at dinner time.

How humorous was it to read Ron Borges singing the praises of Pete Carroll yesterday? Borges also wrote that the Patriots showed “no interest” in Priest Holmes when he was available. A March 31st 2000 article by Nick Cafardo indicating the Patriots interest suggests otherwise. So either Ron is wrong, or he’s saying Nick doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Steve Conroy doesn’t expect Rob Zamuner back for a bit longer. Mick Colageo expects big things from Jeff Jillson. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at a contrite Mike Knuble. Russ Conway wonders what’s up with how the Bruins are (mis)using Jozef Stumpel.

NESN has Bruins/Predators at 7:30. ESPN has Raptors/Wizards at 1:30, Pitt/Georgetown at 7:00, Texas Tech/Texas at 9:00, and Utah/Wyoming at midnight. ESPN2 has Sharks/Kings at 10:00


On Sports Sunday, Butch Stearns

On Sports Sunday, Butch Stearns led off asking about Pedro’s ultimatum…how will it be handled…and other items from Red Sox camp. Stearns advocates signing Pedro NOW…not waiting, not risking having another Clemens incident. Then clips of Pedro’s comments yesterday were shown along with his credentials. Clips of Roger Clemens talking about being excited about winning 300 for the Yankees were shown to remind us of what we could lose. Pedro wants to stay here. Stearns again urged the Red Sox to give him an extension. Jeff Horrigan then joined the program from Florida, and wondered if this is a motivational ploy by Pedro, but noted that he does hold grudges, like he still does against Tommy Lasorda. Horrigan feels that these PR savvy owners will pick up the option during this spring training and not wait. They then talked about the rumors out of NY about interest in Shea Hillenbrand from the Mets, the Sox are now dealing from a position of strength. Stearns noted the teams depth, and that Derek Lowe thinks that these guys are mostly young, they won’t be grousing about playing time a la Dante Bichette. Horrigan said all these guys are used to being part time players, and likely won’t be a problem. If one steps up to take a full time role, that will be great. Alan Embree will be the guy to get the final out if they needed to today. Ramiro Medonza will be used as he was by the Yankees, middle and late relief and spot starter.

Daytona 500 highlights were shown including the obligatory crashes, that was followed by highlights from tonight’s Celtics loss in Phoenix. Levan Reid’s weekly segment was about Darren Hollis, who is a sports memorabilia collector. Included in his collection is a vial of water from the ice of the last hockey game at the Boston Garden. He has dirt from Lambeau field and a piece of Larry Bird’s high school basketball floor. He also has some items from movies Next segment was highlights of Tiger Woods’ win today, which led into Annika Sorenstam’s chances when she plays against the men this summer. Rob Nikoleski narrated this segment, which has quotes from Phil Mikelson and Tiger Woods…Tiger says it’s only good for women’s golf is she plays well… A local woman’s champ feels she has a good chance, people say she doesn’t hit as long as the men, but she hasn’t had to on the woman courses. Some of the men don’t hit that long or well either. Last Blast was against those who think Steinbrenner’s recent tirades are good for the Red Sox…Butch doesn’t think so, George is putting the pressure on Jeter, Giambi and Torre, and those guys can respond.

NECNs Sports LateNight had Chris Collins down in Florida and he had a chat with Derek Lowe who is now confident that the bullpen strategy can work. The Red Sox had gotten guys for every situation, and they all have good arms and using it the way they plan to can definitely work. Collins said that from the start of time there has always been starters, setup men and closers, and now this 29 year old GM is changing it all around. Lowe said alot of it comes from Bill James who has a lot of stats which prove that this approach can work. Lowe is looking for consistency this season. He went through the same workout program as last year, and is looking forward to another strong year. He touched on his scare with skin cancer, which was a result of his “ignorance” and not using sunscreen…he hopes to educate others on that. Some of the guys have given him a bit of a hard time about the nose…after of course making sure he was ok. Looking ahead to this year…Lowe feels Theo did a tremendous job this offseason getting guys to play the way they wanted. On base percentage guys, bullpen guys…he’s hoping this is the year. Jeremy Giambi was also on with Collins…I missed that segment.

Bob Lobel was in Fort Meyers for Sports Final, Dan Roche had the first segment, a look at the weekend in Florida and Pedro’s comments, Kevin Millar’s arrival and opening comments, speaking glowingly of playing for Boston, and in front of the passionate fans. He’s aware of the media overkill up here, and hopes that the fans don’t hate him for it. Gordon Edes and Dan Shaughnessy were on first with Roche and Lobel. Lobel asked if the reporters goaded Pedro into saying all those things yesterday. Edes talked about Pedro meeting with the new owners before the incident, a difference from the past owners. Shaughnessy called this lunacy…he has a contract, he should just be quiet, the Red Sox should just wait until November to decide on the option. Roche said Pedro has earned the right to ask for more. Shaughnessy disagrees, Edes notes that Pedro said he is happy with his contract, and just wants to end his career here. Roche feels the agents and owners will work on something before November.

They showed clips from the Ted Williams hitters hall of fame ceremonies…speeches from Nomar, talking about how Ted touched him and others, how lucky he was to talk to Ted, to have breakfast with him, to be his friend. He missed Ted, he’s more than an American hero or a baseball hero, he’s a hero period. We’re all going to miss him but will always remember him. Wade Boggs also spoke and started crying thinking about Ted. Ted was an innovator, made hitting into a science, recalled reading Ted’s book on hitting while in the seventh grade. He remembered the last time he was associated with Ted when he and Curt Gowdy got to lay a wreath at Ted’s favorite fishing spot. Boggs broke down into tears again after that.

The next segment was a replay of an interview done with Claudia Williams. Losing her Dad was the hardest thing she ever had to go through and it was made worse by the press. She knows now why her dad did not like the press. The public and the press don’t like or understand things that are different. The press is all about glamorizing events and always trying to be shocking….the song “Kick ’em when they’re up, Kick ’em when they’re down” sticks with her as how the media treated them. What happened after his death would’ve made him even more angry. He would “curse the sky” at the media right now. About her brother, she asked how many of you really know him? You can chose to believe what you read in the papers, or you can know the person she knows. Yes, he’s made mistakes, all of us have. Ted hated funerals and didn’t want anything done, but the ceremony at Fenway was well done for the fans of Boston. The media frenzy really caused them to suspend their grief and they’re just now coming to terms with it all. Asked if there is now an “uneasy trust” among the family now, Claudia declined comment, noting that it really isn’t anyone’s business outside the family. She’s had to share Ted Williams her whole life, but only a few persons have ever known her “dad”. She hoped that in his final days he would’ve been just their dad and not “Ted Williams”. She’s going to run the Boston Marathon this year in remembrance of her dad. It’s her way of thanking the fans of Boston, the Jimmy Fund and at the same time saying goodbye to her Dad. Her way of coping has been running.

Back to Shaughnessy with Lobel, and Dan thinks she’ll be well received by running the marathon for the Jimmy Fund. This creates her own image and personality, separate from her brother. The Museum should be moved to Fenway, Dan thinks, it’s in a horrible location, it should be brought right outside the wall where Ted played. Lobel asked Edes what the biggest challenge facing Grady Little is, Edes thinks he needs to get off to a good start because they haven’t picked up his option yet. Roche says his biggest challenge will be balancing all the egos on the team. Asked if the spotlight has come off of Theo now, they said he done a pretty good job of staying in the background, but the Millar thing has kept the attention on him, and this roster has a lot of new players so there will be interest to see how they pan out. Lobel ended the show with the joke that everyone will be doing a lot of shoveling this week. New England will be shoveling snow, while they (media) will do their own shoveling.

Sports Xtra scrolled up a list of those gone and forgotten, 14 players gone from last year’s team, many of the pitchers. Sorting through all the pitchers is a big task for Varitek and the coaching staff. Lavanchy says that not being expected to win this year might be good for the team, not having that pressure. They then went into the Millar resolution and his happiness at being here. Very excited about playing for such a tradition rich franchise, his whole life is baseball. A quick look at Yankee camp, where the Boss is tightening the reigns on the club. His comments about Jeter and Torre were discussed briefly.

The next segment led off with Pedro’s comments from yesterday. Pedro appreciates the fans of Boston, people come up to him and tell him they’re praying for him. He wants to be part of the team that brings the World Series title to Boston. He wants to end the 1918 talk. The contract thing is a matter of trust and respect, he’s not just another player on the pile, he wants to stay in Boston. He had some good years in Montreal, but he is a Red Sox, and wants to be here.

Gerry Callahan and Tony Massarotti were in next to talk Pedro and the Red Sox. Tony says you wait until November before you pick up the option. You see how the season goes, and then if you want to extend him, you do it then. If Pedro wants to stay like he says he does, he’ll sign. Callahan agrees. He says, quoting Archie Bunker, that Respect is for the dead, the living want dough. Pedro is getting paid an enormous amount of money in this huge contract, and the Red Sox should just wait before picking up the option. He is getting his. The Sox should either say sorry nicely, or negotiate an extension. Tony says if he pitches fine, he’ll get his money. The days of paying for past performance are over. There is no reason to pick up this option or give him any “respect’. It would just be bad business to reward Pedro for this. The worst case scenario says Callahan is that Pedro goes to free agency and then you offer him more than any one else. Is he going to say no to that? Is he going to say you offended me so I’m not signing? Tony said he agrees 100% with Callahan. Lavanchy picked up on that “offended” comment and noted that Massarotti told him about still being offended at Tommy Lasorda 10 years later. Callahan says no one is going to pay him except the Yankees. There won’t be a huge market out there. He brought up that when Pedro was first traded here he said he was going to test the free agent waters, but then 10 days later signed the huge deal. This current situation is just a ploy by Pedro to use for motivation. The fact that he is talking like this is a good sign for his health. If he was worried, he’d be talking about his shoulder. He makes up challenges for himself, to make himself better. Callahan says you’ve got him locked up for two years, play them and then worry about the contract. If he was a free agent today, he would not be getting the 17.5 million that he is getting this season. Massarotti says you play this year, then approach him about getting an extension instead of just picking up the option. Gerry says no way. Go through the two years, don’t give him any special treatment. Tony says if Pedro wants to be here, they can find a way to get it done. Lowe, Nomar and Pedro are all coming up, Gerry doesn’t see them keeping all three. Millar arrived today (like the queen of England said Tony) is the roster logjam going to be a problem? Tony said it won’t, because all the guys they brought in have been part timers, and so it won’t be an issue like it was with Bichette and Lansing. Callahan loves the idea that there are a lot of “tryouts” going on and competition for positions. The segment closed with Lavanchy plugging Callahan’s WEEI show, and Gerry remembering the days when Tony used to be on the radio and asked him why he isn’t on anywhere.

Our pal Steve Buckley was

Our pal Steve Buckley was a guest on WFAN this weekend, and a SOSH member heard the segment and posted a summary of Buckshot’s conversation with host Suzyn Waldman:

In a twenty minute conversation on The FAN this afternoon, guest Steve Buckley and host Suzyn Waldman:

1. Took jabs at Theo Epstein's resume
2. Made fun of the new Red Sox warm-up shirts
3. Laughed at Bill James and "the stat mentality that is now ruining the game"
4. Critisized the Red Sox for not pulling the trigger as the Yankees always seem to do
5. Claimed that OPS is overrated ("You can't measure heart, an intangible that the Red Sox have been in short supply of since I left Boston")
6. Clapped their hands with glee when Buck figured that Roger's 300th victory might come at Fenway Park ("That would be perfect," said Dulcinea)
7. Joked that Pedro would leave like Roger because the Red Sox would mishandle him (Waldman: "Maybe he will go to the Evil Empire?")
8. Mocked the bullpen-by-committee mentality because they "don't have a closer"
9. Stated that David Ortiz, Bill Mueller, Kevin Millar, and Todd Walker are all mediocre players who "are on Bill James' Rotisserie League team"
10. Claimed that the best thing that Red Sox fans do is whine
11. And said the team's motto this year would be, "Pedro and Lowe and pray for snow"

No guest column this weekend.

No guest column this weekend. The candidates I had were either redundant, or way too short. I have no life, so I figure I’ll give you guys a few links to chew on.

Tom Curran has another edition of his weekly mailbag. A couple of draft questions, a peek into Bill Belichick’s personality and a Stanley Morgan question are among the entries. Nick Cafardo also addresses some Patriots issues, including the contracts of Ted Johnson and Willie McGinest.

Karen Guregian writes about Ramiro Mendoza, how he ended up here, and his thoughts on the Yankees. Tony Massarotti says a healthy Jason Varitek has a lot to prove to himself. Gordon Edes and Massarotti report that the Kevin Millar soap opera appears to be resolved, one of the things Millar has to do is make a public apology to the Japanese club. Jeff Horrigan says Tim Wakefield is happy with his role coming into camp. Steven Krasner and David Heuschkel look at Derek Lowe and how he will use his cancer scare to educate others.

Do I have to relate

Do I have to relate the things Eddie talked about today? Just look at any entry since October and you’ll get the idea. Knocking the Red Sox, making fun of Theo Epstein, (he mentioned countless times today that the Globe referenced Theo Epstein 36 times today.) and promoting his Yao Ming event at the Kowloon. His big guest interview was with George Wyner. A close runner up was the interview with the funeral director from Fort Myers. Riveting. The good news is that Eddie taking Monday off for President’s day. On WEEI, Dale & Neumy marked Neumeier’s one year anniversary alongside Dale. Michael Felger and “Govnah” Bill Burt were on the big show. Butch Stearns was with Sean McDonough on WWZN, where Sorenstam was an early topic.

John Tomase caught up with Shea Hillenbrand, who is happy to still be in Boston, and looks forward to getting a chance to prove his worth. (The Eagle-Tribune owns the Salem News, so that’s why this story is there.) Chad Finn examines the challenges facing Grady Little as he figures out how to use this bullpen. Chaz Scoggins looks at the problem of the # 5 hitter and other issues heading into spring training. Mel Antonen looks at the Bill James effect on the Red Sox thinking and makeup.

Mike Fine has a nice feature on Satch Sanders, who is a great example of an athlete doing something with his life after his playing career.

Adam Proteau of The Hockey News writes a fairly harsh article on Jeremy Jacobs. A must read for Bruins fans, but I suppose nothing you didn’t already know. One section begins with the “real” reason the Bruins signed Martin Lapointe:

“Jacobs signed Lapointe — who scored more than 20 goals exactly once in his career — to a four-year, $20-million contract simply to spite Red Wings owner Mike Illitch after a heated argument between the two. According to published reports, Jacobs told Illitch he should curb his free-spending ways. After Illitch put away his three Stanley Cup rings, he told his advisor what he could do with his advice, and Jacobs high-balled Lapointe all the way to an untradeable right winger on course for a 4-goal, 13-point finish this season. That’s what us hockey experts call a colossal boo-boo. But remember, Jacobs had fans’ best interests in mind when he did it. In other words, it’s your fault. Shame on you. Wait, it gets better: Jacobs decided paying $35 million for concession rights to the Buffalo Sabres — arguably Boston’s chief rival in recent years — was more important than re-investing in his own players. But he balks at paying even one of his stars market value. That’s right, Jacobs doesn’t mind shelling out for soda syrup and animal afterthoughts, but when the tenderized meat talks back and has an agent to protect his interests, the cupboard becomes bare. Whatta guy.”

The Celtics get off to

The Celtics get off to a 2-0 start on the west coast, but the coverage of the first day of spring training garners perhaps five times as much ink, so that’s where we’ll start. The Red Sox GM is featured in a couple of articles marking the beginning of his first season. Bob Hohler profiles Theo Epstein setting up camp in a cheap apartment down there, no luxury suite for this ownership group. Johnny Pesky, who as Hohler notes has seen every GM since 1942, has some particularly kind words for Epstein. Tony Massarotti looks at the odd couple duo of Epstein and Grady Little, wondering if they can overcome the lack of experience between them. Steve Buckley gets smart and figures out that Roger Clemens might just get his 300th win at Fenway. I read this somewhere else weeks ago. I’m thinking Buckley wasn’t clever enough to come up with all of this on his own. Jeff Horrigan looks at the happy-to-be-here Casey Fossum. Gordon Edes takes the first look at the crowded first base situation, but focuses in on Jeremy Giambi, likely because he’s the only one there right now. Steve Britt claims to be able to tell you all you need to know about the Sox heading into Spring Training. He considers seven areas of discussion. Tony Mazz also catches up with Alan Embree, who weighs in on the bullpen strategy and talks about his friendship with Randy Myers, who was part of a similar situation with the “Nasty Boys” in Cincinnati. Alex Speier looks at Dan Duquette’s first spring without heading to Florida in some time. We knew Pedro’s contract would be a hot topic, and these guys waste no time in making it an issue. Michael Gee says the Sox are taking a gamble in not extending Pedro, but ends by saying Martinez has no leverage. Pedro is also the lead in Hohler’s notebook, which also looks at some early arrivals. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Theo’s arrival and a minor league injury.

Dennis and Callahan were talking Celtics this morning, but predictably it was alot of Baker talk, and they wanted to know who was guarding Rasheed Wallace (30 points) a more relevant question might be who was guarding Paul Pierce and his sore groin, after getting loose with a 360 dunk in pregame warmups, Pierce went for 20 in the first quarter and helped the Celtics to a big early lead. He ended up with 36 on the night, and though the Celtics lost the lead, they roared back in the final minutes to steal the win. Steve Bulpett recounts the game and Jim O’Brien “went Tommy Heinsohn on the refs” and earned himself an ejection. Shira Springer also reports on the game. The west coast time difference and the need to file stories quickly causes the end results to suffer. Both aforementioned stories are rather brief and shy on details. Not really a criticism here, just a fact of tight deadlines. Bob Ryan laments the death of the American-born true center in the NBA today. He pines for the good ol’ days of Sam Lacey. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Tony Battie’s illness, and that Chris Wallace is reluctant to part with the two first round draft picks they have in any deal at the trading deadline. That’s good, because you know they’ve done such a sterling job with past draft picks…Springer’s notebook looks at Pierce overcoming his strained groin to have a big night.

The Red Sox aren’t the only Boston team enjoying the Florida weather. The Bruins are also down there, and Steve Conroy reports that yesterday, the inmates ran the asylum. The notebook in the Globe also looks at the coachless practice. Conroy’s notebook is an injury update.

Gerry Callahan applauds Annika Sorenstam for pushing herself and playing with the men on their turf. Jim Donaldson though, doesn’t see the point. He says its nothing more than a show. Jim McCabe says Sorenstam has no agenda. File under “Dog bites man”: George Kimball says that Bill Walsh was pulling all the strings in the 49ers coaching search. Michael Vega gives us some nice restrictor-plate talk, while looking at Robby Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Jacobs looks at the upcoming wedding of SI writer Steve Rushin and WNBA star Rebecca Lobo.

After hearing the media crucify Manny Ramirez for the entire season last year, and then having all these same guys take it easy on Vin Baker, I decided to take at look at why. The result can be found in The Week That Was. Y’all pumped and jacked for the Daytona 500? I shouldn’t tease too much, as my Dad will be watching. The only sports he ever allowed to be on TV when he was in the house when I was growing up was auto racing. Bill Griffith has a peek at the coverage and has Bob Lobel filling the shoes of Will McDonough on a local show. Jim Baker leads with the Red Sox coverage that will being to saturate the airwaves starting tonight.

NESN has Bruins/Panthers at 7:30. ESPN has Magic/Sixers at 8:00 and Spurs/Lakers at 10:30.

Howard Bryant gives us the

Howard Bryant gives us the most detailed look at the new Celtics ownership to date, while he focuses on Wyc Grousbeck, he does peek a some of the supporting cast. Some of the items discussed in here, the group’s desire to own a sports franchise, to build a new arena, and that they will spend money. No specifics plans are really given in this piece, but you do get the idea that this group will do more than ‘Thanksdad’ Gaston ever did. Paul Pierce and his strained groin is the other Celtics story of the day. I actually think he shouldn’t play tonight. You need this guy down the stretch, don’t risk getting hurt more. Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett report on Pierce, and both end with the same quote from Jim O’Brien thinking out loud about what he is going to do about replacing Pierce in the lineup if need be. This is where not having developed Kedrick Brown more will hurt O’Brien. He can’t play the mini-me combo of Delk-Bremer and Shammond Williams for 48 minutes. They’ll get killed in the post. If Battie isn’t back, (he’s expected to be there tonight) they’re going to need McCarty up front. Speaking of Walter, Bulpett’s notebook looks at the forward seeking a new contract from the Celtics. Peter May notes just how far Baker has fallen that a 9 point performance is almost “Canyon of Heroes stuff.”

Tony Massarotti takes a look at Haywood Sullivan, who passed away yesterday. Bob Hohler pens (types?) an obituary for the former Red Sox player and part owner. Peter Gammons also contributes a piece to the Globe on Sullivan. Where’s Shaughnessy? Shouldn’t he be tying Sullivan to the curse somehow? Shouldn’t Buckley be writing somewhere about this being another sign that the Sox should retire Tony C’s number? You know, the incident where Buddy LeRoux tried to take over the Red Sox (and oust the floundering Sullivan) that happened on the night the Sox were honoring Tony C? Somehow that can be tied in, right Buck? Would it surprise anyone if Buckley has a book in the works on the life of Tony C? Michael Gee weighs in as well, recalling the time Sullivan told him about the “unlimited opportunities for casual sex” when he was playing in the minor leagues. The Providence Journal looks at the Sullivan legacy, which mostly consists of losing players and off field controversies. From the old to the new, Massarotti also looks at current majority owner John Henry as he arrived in Florida, eager to start the new season. Gordon Edes reports that the Sox and Marlins might just have a deal in place to get Millar to the Sox for nothing more than cash. Jeff Horrigan looks at Ryan Rupe, hoping hard feelings don’t linger in the Red Sox clubhouse as he tries to make the team. In a story straight out of Patriots training camp world, Hohler’s notebook reports that Dave Nilsson has decided to retire. That is also the topic of Horrigan’s notebook, who adds a look at Ramiro Mendoza, who would like a shot at closing if its offered to him. Don Amore reports on Roger Clemens holding court in Yankee camp, sharing his views on the world according to Roger, including his visits to troops overseas where he toured former al Qaeda camps “where that bin Laden cat had been”.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at how the Bruins need to improve to make their road trip a success. Stephen Harris reports that they’re viewing this trip as a chance for a fresh start.

Jackie MacMullan looks at Annika Sorenstam as she accepts the invitation to play in a mens tournament. Bill Reynolds looks at the close relationship between Dave Gavitt and the late Bill Parrillo. Ron Borges catches up with Roy Jones Jr in Florida, preparing for his upcoming bout with the much bigger John Ruiz.

FSNE has Celtics/Blazers at 10:00. (TNT nationally) TNT also has Magic/Pistons at 7:30. ESPN has Flyers/Blues at 8:00. ESPN2 has Duke/Wake Forest at 7:00 and Tulane/Memphis at 9:00.

John Dennis feels last night’s

John Dennis feels last night’s Vin Baker performance (9 points, 3 rebounds) is cause for celebration, because Vinny “tried” and was “fired up” and “aggressive”. The papers focus on different storylines from the game. Shira Springer writes about the Celtics managing to barely hang on after building a 23 point third quarter lead. She mentions almost casually that “Boston managed to pull out the victory despite…losing Paul Pierce (14 points in 16 minutes) to a mild right groin strain at the end of the second quarter.” Steve Bulpett, however focuses on Pierce’s injury, noting that he is doubtful for the next game on the trip, in Portland. As for Baker, Peter May notes that he was not a distraction to the team last night, and includes some snippy quotes from Walker directed at reporters at the end. Bulpett looks at some of the reactions Bakers return elicited in Seattle, from ads on radios stations, to parodies for the “Vin Baker Lack of Energy Bar”. Hopefully that bonehead from Seattle that was on WWZN last week did in fact go into shock at seeing Baker appear. Seattle may be laughing at the Celtics for the trade, but the Celtics have pretty much laughed at the Sonics on the court in two meetings this season. Springer also gets some thoughts from the Boston lockerroom on Bakers’ performance. Bulpett’s notebook has Pierce and Walker pretty steamed over their benching in the All Star game.

The Bruins didn’t start out their trip so well. They got stonewalled by the guy who replaced Jeff Hackett as Montreal’s backup goalie. Stephen Harris looks at the lack of scoring at the reason for the B’s loss and recent slide. Kevin Paul Dupont says the effort was there, and the Bruins did a lot of things well…except win. Dan Hickling says the Bruins simply didn’t know enough about Mathieu Garon to do anything with him. Harris’ notebook looks Garon, the Montreal goalie, whereas Dupont’s notebook looks at Hackett finally being able to move on, and Joe Thornton coming up early to get his green card. Hickling’s notebook looks at some bad feelings between the Bruins and Canadiens.

It’s time for the annual “Questions heading into Spring training” articles. Tony Massarotti addresses nine questions going in, he’s positive at some times, skeptical at others. (How many of these are really “burning” questions though?) John Tomase puts forth five questions, while noting that Sox do need another starter. Gordon Edes profiles the Red Sox Aussie contingent, led by assistant GM Craig Shipley, and roster hopeful Dave Nilsson. Jeff Horigan catches up with Jeremy Giambi, who arrived at camp yesterday and started work immediately. He says all the right things, and it’s possible the guy could have a breakout year. Horrigan’s notebook has Pedro set to arrive on time, and to Steve Buckley’s chagrin, Giambi has been given uniform number 25. (Tony C’s number) Who has odds on when Buck writes that Giambi is a disgrace to that number? Edes’ notebook looks at a possible resolution in the Millar drama, and some pitching notes. Dave Dyer looks at Haverhill’s Carlos Pena, hoping to make an impact with the Tigers this year.

Alan Greenberg looks at Belichick and company holed up in the bunker, looking to improve the team. Greenberg notes Belichick’s “mediocre” draft record and says the Pats will likely be saying goodbye to Willie McGinest. Michael Felger disagrees, noting that the Patriots and McGinest are already talking about a new deal to keep in him New England for the rest of his career. McGinest wants to stay, and the team is trying to put it together. Nick Cafardo is pushing for the Pats to draft a couple D-lineman and has an update on Tebucky Jones and a couple other sundry items. Gerry Callahan thinks the whole minority interviewing mandate from the NFL is a joke. Teams get labeled as insensitive racially, when they hire the best coach out there, as Dallas and Detroit did, but teams that go through the charade of interviewing minority candidates and then hire a retread from the good ol’ boys network, like the 49ers did, get praised for their interviews of Crennel, Cottrell and Blache. Callahan asserts that there is no racism in the NFL, teams will hire who they think gives them the best chance to win. The black coaches are being used as shields in the interviewing process.

Bill Griffth and Jim Baker look at announcements made by the TV networks yesterday.

NESN has Boston CollegeProvidence hoops at 7:00. ESPN has Virginia/North Carolina at 7:00 and Mavs/Bucks at 9:00. ESPN2 has Maple Leafs/Blackhawks at 8:00.