The Ace of the Red Sox pitching staff took to the hill yesterday, The Patriots season opener is announced, and comments by Ted Sarandis on Tedy Bruschi are examined. The Celtics have another night off before going for their eighth win in a row tomorrow night. Also, today is the last day of public voting for the 2005 BSMW Awards, make sure you get your vote in.

Curt Schilling took to the mound and threw against live competition for the first time since last fall yesterday, and came away pleased with the results. As with anything Schilling does, a crowd of media was there to witness his performance. Dan Shaughnessy has the account of Schilling’s work in the intersquad minor league game. Howard Bryant also has coverage of the outing, a session that Schilling came away from saying that he “felt very good”. Sean McAdam, David Heuschkel and David Borges all also report on Schilling, Heuschkel’s piece has Schilling saying he’s done talking about steroids, even stealing a phrase from Mark McGwire in declaring that he’s not going to talk about the past. Borges’ article tells us that Schilling’s ankle tendon split six inches during game six of the ALCS. Chris Snow and Jeff Horrigan have stories about the Red Sox facing former teammate Derek Lowe for the first time, and Lowe is still wistful about how his time in Boston came to an end. Horrigan’s notebook has Terry Francona not condoning the comments made by Doug Mirabelli regarding Byung-Hyun Kim. Snow’s notebook has a look at Red Sox prospect Dustin Pedroia.

Kevin Mannix looks at the Patriots hosting the Raiders to open the season, and also looks at the compensatory picks the Patriots will receive in next month’s draft. Bill Griffith has a quick report on the opener as well. Ron Borges reports from the NFL meetings in Hawaii, where the Patriots were hoping to get a proposal passed to limit the power of the competition committee. David Scott reports on a disturbing segment of the Ted Sarandis show on WEEI last night, where Sarandis seemed to insinuate that he felt that it was least a possibility that Tedy Bruschi’s stroke could’ve been a result of some sort of drug use. He based his claims on wording in Kevin Mannix’s column from Sunday. Sarandis was immediately besieged with angry calls and backed off the statement. What gets me about this is that Sarandis had no problem making this insinuation, when last month, when the Ken Powers story broke, Sarandis urged everyone not to rush to judgment, tried to make excuses for Powers, despite overwhelming evidence of what had taken place. He was in fact, very defensive and harsh against anyone who even brought up the Powers situation.

Overall though, I have to commend the sports media of Boston for how they’ve handled the Bruschi situation. The sports media has for the most part been understanding and respectful of the privacy of the Bruschi family. They’ve expressed their desire to know more about the situation, but they have not taken the step of invading the family’s privacy. This contrasts with the paparazzi-like coverage engaged in by WHDH TV Channel 7. By staking out the Bruschi home and keeping cameras there for any movement in the house, they’ve clearly crossed a line. Greg Dickerson and Mike Adams had a good conversation on this topic this morning while filling in for Dennis & Callahan. Dickerson observed that it could be a factor that the sports media knows Bruschi and likes him, and would want to respect his privacy, while the news media doesn’t have that relationship, and just coldly looks at it as a story. It doesn’t excuse their behavior though, and Dickerson was emphatic in pointing out that he wasn’t condoning the coverage.

Steve Bulpett looks at how Antoine Walker is enjoying his second tour with the Boston Celtics. Shira Springer looks at the deep and improved Celtics bench, which is now a strength of the club. Bulpett’s notebook looks at Gary Payton sitting out practice yesterday with a sore back, he also has Doc Rivers speaking on the firing of Paul Silas in Cleveland. Springer’s notebook has more on Payton.

Bob Ryan takes a look at the NCAA tournament to this point. Matt Eagan looks at what the future holds for the UConn mens basketball squad after the disappointing end to their season. Rich Thompson looks at the future of Taylor Coppenrath, who hopes to play in the NBA. His coach, Tom Brennan feels that Coppenrath was “born to be a Celtic”. Brendan McGair looks at the future of Coppenrath’s teammate, T.J. Sorrentine. Mark Blaudschun and Ron Chimelis look at the coaching candidates for UMass.

Frank Dell’Apa has an interesting feature on Soccer legend Alberto Spencer Herrera, who in his day was a rival to Pele.

Speaking of soccer, John Molori’s Media Blitz leads off with a look at 10 years of Revolution soccer in Foxboro. He then goes on to criticize Glenn Ordway and the Big Show for homophobic behavior during the “Queer eye” maelstrom last week. Molori is a bit misdirected in this piece, I believe, as the statements and behavior of the Dennis & Callahan show last week were much more inflammatory then anything that appeared on the Big Show.

Top 5 Links from Yesterday

1) David Heuschkel (Theo Epstein’s trade of Dave Roberts)
2) Jeff Horrigan (Doug Mirabelli’s comments about Byung-Hyun Kim)
3) Nick Cafardo (NFL Sunday notes)
4) Sean McAdam (more on Kim)
5) Alex Speier (Hanley Ramirez story)

NESN has Red Sox/Reds at 6:00. TNT has Cavs/Pistons at 7:00 and Heat/Rockets at 9:30. ESPN has an NIT doubleheader at 7:00 and ESPN2 has the NCAA Women’s Tournament at 7:00.