Sox win, Sox win, Sox win.

But not without a little squirming involved. I’ll take it though. God only knows the maelstrom that would’ve been the media had that one been blown last night as well. Finally, we get opening day at Fenway…the sun will be shining, the weather will be warm, and a Pedro will be on the mound. I’ll settle for one out of three, and we may not even get that. You can tell Dan Shaughnessy put at least some thought into his work today. Yeah, he’s negative. But he’s very careful about his wording of what he says about Pedro. He blasts the Sox ace, but does so carefully, as if he’s conscious of the potential backlash he’d get if he treated him like Carl Everett or Jose Offerman. (Mike from Southie points out however, the distasteful line from Dan where he insinuates Pedro should take less money because he comes from the “dirt-poor Dominican Republic”) He ends the column by saying:

Weather permitting, Pedro gets the ball today at 2:05. Let there be no more distasteful contract talk this season. Time to play ball.

I agree. We’re also going to hold you to that. I have a feeling though, every time you mention Pedro this year, the contract will be mentioned as well.

Gordon Edes has the account of the game from last night, noting that this team has offensive power, scoring runs at a pace not seen since the ’01 Sox. 1901, that is. Michael Silverman says that Mike Timlin picked “up his fellow relievers by the scruff of their necks last night.” Timlin tells David Heuschkel that he doesn’t want to hear anything negative around the club, and feels that if everyone would just think positive, the club will use that energy for good. Okay. Howard Bryant says that John Burkett deserves credit as a #5 starter dueling the other teams’ ace to a draw. Bob Hohler looks at the preparations made for today’s opening. Bill Dedman (name is appropriate for this article) looks at the risks the Sox are taking in putting fans so close to the action, noting the odds are increasing that a fan is going to get killed at a ballgame. Keeping on the negative theme, Steve Buckley in a pay column, gives a thumbs down to the changes around Fenway, and the “ballpark experience”. Paul Doyle looks at the Monster seats, and wonders when the owners are going to decide on the long term fate of Fenway. Edes also catches up with Tony Cloninger, who is hoping to be able to contribute soon. He’s been very weak from blood loss. An interesting bit is that one of the players who has called him, twice a week, is former Sox pitcher Rolando Arrojo. Howard Bryant has a pay column in which he notes that in the next tight spot, Grady Little will likely be turning to:

The same 24-year-old Brandon Lyon who failed to live up to the expectations of the Blue Jays, prompting a club desperate for live pitching arms to give up on him? The same Lyon who in 26 career major league games owns an ERA of 5.40, has won 6-of-14 career decisions, and doesn't have a save to his name?

The Sox came up with another revenue stream by reaching an agreement with “Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center that will give the hospital exclusive advertising rights in Fenway Park but will not place the team’s players under the center’s care.” huh? Kevin Gray looks at the changes fans can expect at Fenway. Rob Mueller of the Augusta Chronicle has a feature on the Red Sox other minor league phenom, Hanley Ramirez. Sean McAdam’s notebook looks at who is going to be used from the ‘pen these days in tight situations. (on another note…I’m taking a stand…I will no longer link to Projo articles that omit the author’s name. Not gonna do it…It’s not too much to ask, and I’ve taken grief from assuming an article was written by someone, and it turns out it was someone else’s work. Today I could assume the Sox game story was written by McAdam, but there’s no name, so no link.) Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Kevin Millar looking forward to being a home player at Fenway. Silverman’s notebook looks at the offense, hopefully starting to come around. Edes’ notebook looks at Trot Nixon finally getting on the RBI stat sheet.

Yes, the Celtics game last night could be compared to passing a kidney stone. But rather than blame Walker or Pierce, which some seem to want to do, why isn’t anyone getting on Jim O’Brien for his failure to coach offense? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. O’Brien has done a good job overall. He gets these guys to play hard, they play defense most nights, but they have no offense. Pierce & Walker are not the problem, they’re the only ones who can create any sort of offense on their own on a regular basis. Steve Bulpett, Shira Springer and Carolyn Thornton report on yet another embarrassment on National TV. That’s another thing…has any team ever played as consistently bad on national TV as this squad? Rich Thompson looks at Paul Pierce setting a Celtics record for most free throws made in a season. Paul Harber looks at a tough Philly squad led by Iverson. The Celtics also announced that they will retire Cedric Maxwell’s number 31 sometime early next season. This is the topic of all the notebooks out there. Christopher Price notes that having Red Auerbach sign off on this move was big to Max. Springer’s notebook also has some injury updates and a look at Larry Brown and UNC. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Tony Battie in addition to Maxwell, and Thornton’s notebook gets Danny Ainge’s thoughts on the Eastern Conference. He doesn’t think much of the Celtics.

Stephen Harris says game one of the Devils series seemed to be a microcosm of the entire season for the Bruins. Kevin Paul Dupont says the Bruins effort in game one was good, but they need more in a must win situation tonight. Dan Hickling says the Bruins remain confident that they can get the job done against the Devils. Steve Conroy looks at John Madden, who has been assigned to be Joe Thornton’s shadow in this series. Karen Guregian says Jumbo Joe needs to step up, bring it, and carry this team in the postseason. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at Mike Knuble, who has had his role mixed a little with the return of Samonsov and needs to find a comfort level. The Herald notebook reports that Samonov is still not fully up to speed coming off his injured wrist. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at a remorse Michal Grosek, who made the ill fated pass that led to the Devils’ second goal on Wednesday night.

Tom Curran continues his look at NFL draft prospects, today he has a look at Tennessee receiver Kelley Washington. Michael Smith looks at the ongoing Tebucky Jones trade talk and rumors. He solicits opinion from around the league on Jones, his value and his level of play. Michael Parente notes the match by the Seahawks of the offer tendered to Woodard by the Pats, and catches us up on a few other Pats items. does have a little further snippet on the Konrad story, noting that they’ve heard from a league source that the Pats did express an interest in Konrad at the start of free agency, but that that news doesn’t really clarify anything.

Bob Ryan looks at the Rangoon open…err, the Masters. Chris Snow looks at UNH’s victory in the Frozen Four yesterday, advancing them to the NCAA Championship game. Jeff Jacobs looks at the Hall of Fame’s decision to cancel a ceremony honoring the 15th anniversary of Bull Durham, due to the political views of a couple of the stars. A letter of protest was sent by one of those stars, Tim Robbins.

Bill Griffith reports that the Patriots have dropped Jerry Glanville from their preseason TV crew and replaced him with Randy Cross. He also looks at the Master’s coverage. John Howell looks at Connecticut’s WPOP 1410 sports radio’s new afternoon show with former ESPN staffer Jason Jackson. In The Week That Was, I look at the hot topics on TV and Radio.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Orioles at 2:00. NESN has Bruins/Devils at 7:00. ESPN has Magic/Pacers at 8:00 and Warriors/Suns at 10:30. ESPN2 has Maple Leafs/Flyers at 7:00, followed by Oilers/Stars immediately after. ESPN Classic is showing a Celtics/Bullets playoff game from 1982 at 9:00.