So, the option gets picked up. If someone said that to you yesterday, you likely immediately knew who and what they were talking about. Reactions are mixed, predictably. I guess you can look at this a few different ways. One, picking up the option meant they likely could not even come close on a multi-year deal. Two, by picking up the option, don’t they immediately set the bar for 2005 at no lower than 17.5 Million? So much for the market correction. It’s my opinion however, that there will be no market correction for the market for Pedro. Its true that guys like ARod and Manny, if they were free agents this coming offseason, there’s no way they would get the same deals they have now. So in that sense, there has already been a market correction, but that does not apply to Pedro. As his agent says in Gordon Edes article today, “all it takes is one team to set the market.” I think we all know which team that would be. There would be no market correction for Pedro, as the Yankees would spend whatever it takes to land Pedro, and do so with glee. People in the media here might say the Red Sox are foolish for picking up the option. (Hello, Tony Massarotti) Those who do, would be the very first ones to knock the Red Sox if they let Pedro get away to the Yankees. In my opinion, picking up the option was only the smart thing to do, and the first small step towards keeping him here (and happy), where he belongs. Dan Shaughnessy bounces around on the topic. Pedro could be the greatest Red Sox pitcher ever, Pedro is frail, Owners are too concerned with being nice and keeping people happy, owners don’t want to build a new ballpark. David Heuschkel, Sean McAdam and Michael Silverman just report the facts, ma’am. Howard Bryant, in a premium column, tells us that the Red Sox did the right thing here. They avoided having Pedro fume throughout the season and afterwards having to face this:

The season is over, and Martinez is no longer so inclined to return to Boston. Sure, money has a way of assuaging feelings, but pride has a way of twisting logic. They thought I was going to get hurt, Martinez might think, and I didn't. They let Roger Clemens go, too, and look at him now. They intimidated Luis Tiant into leaving, and he did. There's a message from George Steinbrenner on the voice mail, and another one from John Schuerholz. Mo Vaughn said it, once, too: the price goes up every day.

Bryant does acknowledge that this can have ripple effects on Nomar and Lowe, but also says that Pedro could be the best pitcher this franchise has ever had. You do what you have to.

Elsewhere in Red Sox land, the bullpen remains the hot topic. Bob Hohler remind us that after eight games last year, the bullpen had blown three games. Two of those were courtesy of the now God-like Ugueth Urbina. Doesn’t anyone remember the hue and cry over Urbina? Does the term “heart attack closer” ring any bells? I’m not saying this bullpen is better, or even the right guys, I’m saying its early. In Michael Silverman’s piece today, Grady Little says this is the best bullpen he’s ever been associated with. There’s some snide comment just waiting to be made there. I’m not going to make it. Sean McAdam says Grady was just trying some positive reinforcement with that remark. He goes on to mull over some options to bolster the pen. David Heuschkel reports that the bullpen theory has caused certain unnamed players to “privately grumble”. Christopher Price has an interesting interview with Bill Lee, talking about his upcoming book, and stating his desire to come back and coach the Red Sox. Yes, Wayback Wasdin did pitch a AAA perfect game last night, striking out 15. Kevin Winter wonders why we can’t get players like that…

My favorite player growing up was the Chief. oh, I revered Larry, of course, but I always though Parish was a cool dude. I can’t think of anyone better than Bob Ryan to remember number 00 for us. He recalls Parish’s arrival in town, getting the nod from Dave Cowens to continue the center tradition in Boston , and the grand ’85-’86 season when Bill Walton came aboard. Steve Bulpett also weighs in on Parish. Peter May & Joe Burris weigh in on Parish’s career and Hall selection as well. Shira Springer looks at the Celtics ongoing search for a third scoring option. Could it be Waltah? (no) Steve Bulpett says the the Celtics are still trying to figure out a number of problems. Carolyn Thornton looks at Antoine and his recent shooting struggles. Jon Wallach says that true Celtics fans will follow and support the team, no matter its flaws.

Stephen Harris gives us 10 logical reasons the Bruins can, should and will defeat the Devils. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell says that the Bruins still have not settled on a goalie to start the playoffs. James Murphy says Jozef Stumpel’s level of play may increase with Samsonov back alongside him. Karen Guregian looks at the bad blood brewing between Mike O’Connell and Pat Burns. Harris’ notebook also wonders about the starting goalie, has injury updates, and gets scouts opinions on the Devils/Bruins series. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at the Bruins making it tougher on themselves with the last season slide from 6th to 7th in the standings.

Mike Reiss and Michael Felger report on the Patriots playing the waiting game, seeing if the Seahawks match their offer to Cedric Woodard. Michael Parente provides a number of Patriots notes. One correction…the late season prime time game against the Jets is on a Saturday night, not a Sunday night.

In his column on the NCAA title game last night, Bob Ryan tells us that Carmelo “Anthony has Bird/Magic-like vision when he is double-teamed”. High praise. Mike Shalin says that even with possible defections, both Syracuse and Kansas are in good shape for next year. Mark Blaudschun looks at another big game emotional loss for Roy Williams.

Bill Griffith looks at why NESN is bumping the higher rated Red Sox games to ATT3 in favor of the Bruins. My question…why should they have to put these games on ATT3 at all? Why not move them to 38 or 4? Especially the ones they knew before the season would be conflicts. Playoff games give a little cause for leeway, but there’s really no excuse for regular season conflicts. It only makes sense to put them on 38 or 4 rather than having fans try to find the game on yet another channel. (I should clarify to say that I know why the games go to ATT3…not everyone gets 38 or 4. I’m just talking about the principle of the thing…you know there’s going to be a conflict before the season, why not let the other broadcast partner take the game, and make arrangements for DirecTV to pick it up from there. I just think it seems sloppy.) Jim Baker got quotes from all Bruins announcers except Dale Arnold on the upcoming series with the Devils, and sounded like he (Baker) and Glenn Ordway are on the same page when he said “Bob Lobel, paid by the Sox as a NESN host, sounded loyal gushing over Green Monster seats in low-rated late Sunday shows. . . .” (Ordway knocked Sports Final as an “infomercial”, and deemed WBZ as “house men” yesterday afternoon.)