Opening night for the Celtics, and as announced yesterday, you can get all your Celtic links over at Fox Sports Net New England’s website, they will usually be published no later than 9:00 AM. As today is the first day, there may be a slight delay.
Having finished their first offseason move in not renewing the contract of Grady Little, the Sox have a lot of other work to be done. Bob Hohler lights the hot stove with a number of team related business matters that must be addressed. Michael Silverman reports that the search for the new manager will initially be a three horse race. Terry Francona, Glenn Hoffman and Bud Black are the candidates, and the Sox are keeping an eye on what happens in Oakland. David Heuschkel says the Sox will take their time making this decision. Howard Bryant’s Boston Uncommon pay column today makes sure there is no doubt remaining that John Henry was unhappy with the performance of Grady Little throughout the season. He says:
This is dangerous territory, but Henry and his lieutenants banked a season's worth of Little's mistakes to make a case not to renew him -- the braintrust is still fuming over the June, Jim Thome game in Philadelphia -- but in doing so also inflated the Red Sox' abilities as a club. Little was not a great game manager, but neither were these Red Sox anything more than a very good, but flawed team in a league full of them.
Steve Buckley has a pay column in which Rick Burleson throws his name into the ring for the job of Red Sox manager. Rob Bradford talks with the only person ever to fire Grady Little. No it is not Theo Epstein, or Larry Lucchino or John Henry. Nick Cafardo looks at the release of two veteran scouts by the Red Sox.
The Bruins pick up another road win, with Felix Potvin notching a shutout. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Stephen Harris and Dan Hickling have the highlights from Montreal. James Murphy looks at the Bruins keeping level heads during this fast start, a good idea considering what happened last year. Rookie Patrice Bergeron had one of the Bruins goals last night, in front of his hometown. He is the major topic of Harris’ notebook. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at Sergei Zinovjev. Hickling’s notebook has more on Bergeron.
Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider gives the nod to Rodney Harrison as the team’s first half MVP. He also looks at the highlights from a memorable (for those who were watching) first eight games to the season. He adds by looking at the status of eight former Patriots who are playing elsewhere. Nick Cafardo is on the positive juice, turning around the notion that the Patriots appear to be struggling to score touchdowns and instead looks at the progress made by the offensive line. Eric McHugh has a Patriots midseason report card. (likely only available until noon.) Mike Giardi is on board with this Patriots squad. Michael Parente looks at the next opponent for the Patriots, the Broncos, who are struggling after Jake Plummer injured himself. Jonathan Comey ranks the Pats fourth in his NFL power rankings. Mike Reiss takes a look at former BC coach Jack Bicknell, who is moving on to another NFL Europe coaching job after spending 11 years in Barcelona. Parente’s notebook says the Patriots are in no hurry to fill Kenyatta Jones’ roster slot.
FSNE has Celtics/Heat at 7:00. ESPN has Magic/Knicks at 8:00 and Cavs/Kings at 10:30. ESPN2 has Blues/Red Wings at 7:30.