The Sox managed to finally end the Royals home winning streak, preventing them from matching the all time record for consecutive home wins to start the season. Bob Hohler looks at the combination of Fossum and Mirabelli who were probably the biggest factors in the game. Jeff Horrigan says that Fossum sent a bigger message to the Royals with this performance than he did with his message pitch the last time he faced them. Sean McAdam notes that Fossum didn’t even feel he had his best stuff last night and was able to pitch well. David Heuschkel focuses on Mirabelli as the star of the game, with his teammates teasing that he’s going to be sore from running the bases so much more than he’s used to last night. George Kimball also focuses on Mirabelli’s performance and has a decent line about preserving the honor of the 1912 Tigers to open the article. Kimball also submits a pay column today in which he looks at Derek Lowe’s struggles and how it does appear that Lowe is pretty messed up right now. Kimball notes:

We're less disturbed here by what has happened on the mound than by Lowe's explanation for it. At various times in what he probably considered an introspective moment, he alluded to ``a repeating pattern'' in his career, in which his 2000 and 2002 All-Star seasons were followed by more ordinary ones.

Kimball thinks Lowe might be more in need of a couch then a coach these days, but also notes that he’s only 3-2, whereas his record last year at this point was 4-1. So record-wise anyway, he’s not all that far off. Out in KC, Jeffrey Flanagan looks at the boos that Johnny Damon is hearing during each at bat. (That’s a column? Look at it and you’ll suddenly feel grateful for the Michael Gees of the world.) Bob Dutton’s game story is similarly bare-boned. Gordon Edes has the weekly NESN cross-promotional teaser with excerpts from a 1-1 interview with David Eckstein. Back here, the notebooks are a split decision. Hohler’s notebook looks at the versatile Damian Jackson, Horrigan’s notebook also leads with Jackson, but ends with news of Jose Offerman signing with the Bridgeport Bluefish. The other two notebooks lead with Wakefield being used in the closer role again. McAdam’s notebook says sometimes between starts Wakefield can be used in that role, othertimes not. Heuschkel’s notebook also looks at Wakefield.

The pressure is still on the Nets for one more game, until the series shifts back here. What can the Celtics do better than they did on Monday night? Steve Bulpett says the Celtics would like to be more physical and stop the fast break of the Nets. Jerry Trecker says the Celtics get an A for effort, but need another letter more, namely a W. Jackie MacMullan, who will have to anchor the Globe’s basketball coverage during the playoffs in the absence of Ryan, says that Pierce keeps taking the hits, and the hits will keep coming. Mark Murphy looks at Antoine, keeping himself positive and confident. Lenny Megliola notes that the Celtics are still peeved over the game one loss and could, as usual, use another scoring option. Shira Springer says the Celtics have a plan, the tough part is going to be making it work. Carolyn Thornton has Jim O’Brien reflecting on the fact that the Celtics, in his words, “played a bad basketball game” Monday night. There is much room for improvement. Rich Thompson chats with JR Bremer about limiting Jason Kidd. Mark Blaudschun writes about Byron Scott remembering when the Celtics tried to court him as a free agent, and he would have no part of it. This was in an article somewhere yesterday, and Blaudschun has taken and expanded it. Megliola has a second article of the day, look at Antoine seeking redemption for his game one performance. Murphy’s second article of the day looks at the need to get Pierce some scoring help in the series. Michael Gee’s pay column says Pierce needs to turn into Michael Jordan for the Celtics to win the series. Springer’s notebook looks at Pierce being named All-NBA third team. Bulpett’s notebook also looks at the honor given to Pierce. Blaudschun’s notebook has the Nets looking at ways they can improve. Thornton’s notebook looks at Antoine, never questioning himself for an instant.

The Bob Ryan suspension is and will likely remain a huge topic for the rest of the playoffs and is a national story as well. I’ve had my say on the matter, which is in the post below this one. Here is the official Globe statement. Liz Robbins of the Globe’s parent, the NY Times looks at the issue. Interestingly I agree a lot with what Gerry Callahan has to say on the matter, in his pay column today. He also notes that Ryan’s suspension was greater than Jason’s. He goes after the Globe:

The Boston Globe and Byron Scott, on the other hand, were not so forgiving. Yesterday Ryan's primary employer dragged its most acclaimed employee home from New Jersey and suspended him without pay for a month. When confronted by the forces of political correctness, the Globe generally fights like the Iraqi air force. The only surprise was that Thomas Oliphant didn't promise to write a favorable column about Joumana Kidd as part of the deal.

I don’t think Kidd was actually suspended though…didn’t he just miss those games of his own accord, while dealing with the legal aspects of the case? If you recall, his first game back, ironically, was right here in Boston. Callahan goes after Byron Scott, who suggested Ryan should be fired:

So let's get this straight, Byron. The man who said he would like to smack Joumana should be fired, but the man who actually smacked her - the man who punched her in the face, made her bleed, spit food on her and chased her into the bathroom where she called 911 - is your main man? You love him, right coach? You don't just defend his right to keep his job - you will beg him to stay on your team and pay him $20 million a year to hang around.

Right on. Now some might just say this is an example of the media defending their own. Normally I might agree. You just know if a player or person employed by a franchise here in Boston had made those remarks the media would be calling for his emasculation. Are they taking it easy on Ryan because he’s one of them? They are, but I also think they’re right to be on his side in this case. The PC police have gone way overboard, and the Globe has reacted to them, instead of defending their own. Jim Baker isn’t taking it easy on Ryan, his glee is almost palpable here. Baker also indicates that the Nets are using this as a rallying cry, (Fred Kreber has more.)which if true, exposes them as the worst sort of hypocrites. The most shameful thing about this situation could be that Jason Kidd could be turned into some sort of victim or sympathetic character in this whole charade.

As always, take advantage of the National Sports Links page, where you can browse the NY & NJ sports sections for more on this and the Celtics/Nets series.

Michael Felger looks at the Patriots getting weary of injury prone wide receivers.