The longest three days in the sports calendar come to a close tonight as the Red Sox get back at it in Anaheim. There continues to be a Randy Johnson buzz everywhere, and as usual with these types of things the speculation and coverage is everywhere you turn. You can’t get away from it. Tony Massarotti says there are five teams in the hunt for Johnson. Nick Cafardo talked with Johnson’s agent, who says that it will pretty much be up the Johnson where he lands for the stretch run of the season. Art Martone’s sources tell him that a deal isn’t likely to happen soon, if at all. Paul Doyle breaks down the race for Johnson by looking at the Red Sox, Yankees and Angels and what they each have to offer to make a deal work. David Heuschkel says that the Red Sox are not shopping Nomar Garciaparra.

Dan Shaughnessy has an “owner’s meeting” with Tom Werner to discuss the state of the Red Sox, the second half of the season and the future of Fenway and the Sox. Jeff Horrigan says the Sox hope their surge from last week carries over into the second half of the season. Gordon Edes says the Sox have a “healthy outlook” going into the post All Star game portion of the season. Karen Guregian has a feature-style article on Curt Schilling, and what he has brought to the Red Sox. David Heuschkel wants to set a few things straight about the Red Sox.

Start with some perception: Nomar Garciaparra hates playing in Boston. Pedro Martinez comes and goes as he pleases. Curt Schilling pitches as long as he wants. Derek Lowe's head needs to be examined. It's the Curse.

Now for a dose of reality: Garciaparra wants to finish his career with the Red Sox. The team is more concerned with Martinez staying healthy than his daily planner. Schilling is a horse. Lowe has stunk, plain and simple. Anybody who believes the Bambino is haunting the Red Sox needs to have their head examined.

Dan Ventura has David Ortiz, still basking in his All Star moment. Jack O’Connell has hits and missed from this baseball season. Steve Buckley (subscription only) looks at the enigma that is Manny. Nothing really new there. Just how much fun Manny had at the All Star break and how he’s hard to figure, but a great hitter. You know, the usual. Steve Britt says the light is getting brighter for the Red Sox. Jeff Sullivan is still overwhelmed at the luncheon honoring Dominic DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky and Bobby Doerr yesterday afternoon. A really nice piece. These three are a tie to Red Sox history that perhaps no other team can match.

Christopher Price talks to Mark Blount, who officially signed his new contract with the Celtics yesterday. Shira Springer and Steve Bulpett each have articles on how Paul Pierce is feeling about the Celtics these days. He thought about asking for a trade after the season, but after talking with Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge, he is feeling good about the future of the team and where it is heading and what he sees in the young players the Celtics have brought in. Peter May has a look the trade of Shaquille O’Neal to the Heat and what the future holds for the big fella and the Eastern Conference. Bulpett also takes a look at Shaq heading to the Heat.

Steve Conroy says that midnight tonight is the deadline for three Bruins players, Joe Thornton, Sergei Gonchar and Sergei Samsonov on if they’re going to file for arbitration. If there is a season next fall, the Globe has the Bruins Schedule for the 2004-2005 Season.

I didn’t think ESPN really covered itself with glory with the Pedro Martinez Sports Century last night. Stuff that actually involved Pedro and his own words were very interesting. But the overall theme at times almost seemed like a borderline hatchet job by the usual suspects – Shaughnessy, Edes, Callahan, Buckley et al, who threw around ideas such as that Pedro ruined his legacy in the Yankees series last fall and Boston fans hold it against him. There was a lot of emphasis on Pedro being a headhunter. Right at the beginning of the show was the incident with Don Zimmer from game three of last year’s ALCS. This is how they choose to open a program on the most dominating pitcher of the last seven years? There is a strong Globe influence at ESPN, and it seems that it has permeated the perception of any ESPN programming having to do with Boston. That’s not a good thing.

NESN has Red Sox/Angels at 10:00. ESPN has Orioles/Devil Rays at 6:00. ESPN Classic has the Ted Williams Sports Century at 9:00 and 11:00. Shira Springer will be among the guests on CN8’s Sports Pulse at 10:00. Tony Massarotti and Michael Holley will be on FSN at 6:30 and Steve Buckley on the 10:00 edition.

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