The Red Sox continue to

The Red Sox continue to struggle with the Patriots for top headline billing. Today they get the coverage as they name Terry Francona their new manager this afternoon. Forget the press conference, Lenny Megliola can’t wait for spring to come. Michael Silverman says the naming of Francona is just another piece in this offseason puzzle for the Sox in their quest for that elusive World Series title. David Heuschkel looks at the pressure that Francona will face in this job. Bob Hohler looks at the worst kept secret in recent days, and what the new skipper’s staff might look like. Chaz Scoggins says the Red Sox pair of aces will be tough to beat. Silverman’s notebook looks at the ongoing arms race between the Red Sox and Yankees.

There is plenty of talking going on, most of it by the Dolphins, who believe the Patriots are nothing more than lucky. Tom Curran looks at the words coming out of the Miami locker room, noting that while they may not come out and say directly that the Pats have been lucky, reading between the lines, you sure get the impression that they feel that way. Michael Felger has more on this, pointing to Larry Chester and Randy McMichael as two guys who are very dismissive of the Patriots. Mike Reiss has more on the bad blood between the teams. Alan Greenberg looks at the new punter and also examines what kind of cold weather team the Patriots might be. Mike Reiss looks at the heat thrown at Offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, which Reiss feels is undeserved. He looks at what Weis has accomplished and what he brings to the team. Eric McHugh looks at the flaws of the 10-2 Patriots. Bill Reynolds has more on the Patriots flaws and if they’re going to come back to haunt them. Ted Washington made a rare appearance before the media yesterday, Steve Solloway and Jackie MacMullan take a look at the Big Fella, who is a little sensitive about being known just for his size, he would also like his considerable talents and intelligence to be recognized as well. Michael Parente says that while Daniel Graham didn’t have any catches on Sunday, he still had a big game and will need another like it this Sunday against Miami. Dan Shaughnessy welcomes the new punter to town, and spends a few minutes looking at other athletes named Brooks. Jim Baker also has a look at Brooks Barnard. Felger’s notebook looks at Richard Seymour and his PR machine. Joe Burris’ notebook looks at the Harrison/McMichael war of words. Curran’s notebook has more of the same. Reiss’ notebook looks at the new punter.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Steve Conroy look at the Bruins 6-4 win over the Thrashers last night. The notebooks have a similar theme as both the Globe and Herald look at the increased role for Rob Zamuner with the injury to P.J. Axelsson.

The Toronto Raptors made 17 of 24 three point shots in beating the Celtics 105-95 last night. All the links are over at Fox Sports Net New England.

Ron Borges has a piece on John Ruiz, returning to his old neighborhood to prepare for his December 13th match with Hasim Rahman.

NESN has Bruins/Maple Leafs at 7:00. TNT has Bulls/Sixers at 7:00 and Lakers/Mavs at 9:30.

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