Bob Ryan leads us off today with one of the periodic ” Emptying Out the Desk Drawer of the Sports Mind” columns. He opens with the only way he can conceive of that Grady Little could come back next year. Full page ads in the Globe and Herald, signed by all his players, endorsing him. I’m not sure even that would fly. Michael Silverman says it appears certain that the Sox will not pick up Grady’s option, with an official announcement coming as soon as Monday. Kevin Gray looks at Grady’s preemptive strike and some possible replacements. Michael Holley says that knowing he was gone gave Grady the courage to speak out as he did. David Heuschkel and Sean McAdam also look at the fate of Grady after his having spoken out to the Boston Globe. Lenny Megliola looks at the waiting game we’re all playing when it comes to Grady and the Sox. (Warning: Aaron Boone references contained within that article.) Steve Buckley looks at Mo Vaughn, who appears to be preparing for retirement.

Bruins return from the West coast and drop a disappointing 2-0 decision to the Hurricanes. One of those “first game back from the long road trip” struggles that seems to apply to all sports, or is it just a myth? Some statistician will have to research that. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell recaps the loss. Stephen Harris looks at the B’s falling into the “trap game”. James Murphy and Joe McDonald round out the game coverage. Steve Conroy looks at the Hurricanes snapping a streak of 16 games without a win at the expense of the Bruins. Kevin Paul Dupont tells us the Bruins are going to need more than just a fast start to convince their skeptics. Karen Guregian writes the same article. Douglas Flynn says maybe it would’ve just been better for the Bruins to stay on the road. Joe Gordon looks at the first loss of the year for Andrew Raycroft. Harris’ notebook looks at Sergei Zinovjev. McDonald’s notebook looks at the Bruins goalie tandem. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook reports on an early return for Rob Zamuner.

Last night on the Globe Sports Plus, Bob Lobel, Bob Ryan and Nick Cafardo were gushing over Bill Belichick. Cafardo had as much praise for the Patriots coach as I’ve ever seen him. He called him “incredible” and they talked about how technically advanced over everyone else in the league he must be. They said the impressive thing with that is that he is able to then communicate that to the players. Cafardo did say however, that he feared that the Patriots were peaking too soon and that the rookies would soon hit the infamous rookie “wall”. If you missed “Ask Nick” yesterday, it is a must read. To steal a phrase, the UCF is off the charts. At one point he calls the departed Dennis Brolin “the Michael Vick of groundskeepers.” He’s sure to mention that it was a dispute with Belichick that led to such a talented guy leaving the organization. Michael Felger looks at the Patriots paying a price – literally – for their hard hitting style of play. Michael Smith looks at Ty Law, eager to get back on the field after discovering that his post playing career is not going to be as a coach. Alan Greenberg has a mini-feature on Eugene Wilson, who isn’t your average rookie. Joe Haggerty looks at second year receiver Deion Branch. Tom Curran takes a look at some misleading statistics. Ian M. Clark looks at who the Browns will start at QB this Sunday. Christopher Price examines the Patriots home field advantage. Michael S. Rosenwald has an update on the Kenyatta Jones arrest. Perhaps a little more information in there than I needed to know. Felger’s notebook looks at Ty Law shedding his cast. Smith’s notebook has more on Kenyatta Jones’ place on the team. Curran’s notebook looks at the production of Deion Branch.

All afternoon on 1510 the Zone Ryen Rusillo was pumping a trade rumor he had from a source. The trade would’ve sent Eric Williams and Tony Battie to the Rockets for Eddie Griffin, Cuttino Mobley and Bostjan Nachbar. The trade quickly made the rounds on the Internet and was reported on radio stations as far West as San Francisco. Rusillo initially said the trade had a 75% chance of happening, but before his show ended in the early evening, he had backed off a bit, saying that the trade would not happen last night, but still had a “good chance” of being made. Shira Springer has an article looking at Vin Baker being named a starter for opening night, and what the rest of the starting lineup might be. At the end of the article, she mentions the above rumor, and Danny Ainge is quoted as saying that the rumor was “100 percent make-believe.” The Rockets also denied the rumor, through the agent for Williams. Steve Bulpett says that without Antoine Walker, the Celtics are looking to become a much more balanced team. Bulpett’s notebook also knocks down the trade rumor, marking it as a casualty of the so-called information age. One of his points against it is that he says the numbers will not work. RealGM however, says that the numbers work out just fine. Christopher Price says the Celtics are coming together nicely, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Bill Griffith looks at Bob Neumeier, prepping for the Breeder’s Cup. Jim Baker (Who I hear is close to accepting a buyout from the Herald.) has a pay column today looking at the same event.