David Ortiz did it yet again, hitting an 11th inning home run to put the Red Sox ahead, allowing Jonathan Papelbon to pick up his first major league win, and to do it while throwing three impressive, no hit, shutout innings after the veteran relievers had given up an earlier lead. Chris Snow notes that the legend of David Ortiz just continues to grow, while Michael Silverman observes that we might’ve seen the start of the legend of Jonathan Papelbon. Sean McAdam looks at Ortiz living up to his Superman belt buckle. David Heuschkel notes that Ortiz and Papelbon saved what could’ve been a very ugly night for the Red Sox. David Borges also looks at the big night for the duo.
Gordon Edes examines how Papelbon ended up playing such a huge role last night, and whether the youngster might be seeing more of that type of end-of-game duty here with the club in the closing weeks. Tony Massarotti though, notes that last night saw the return of one of the uglier notions in Red Sox history, that of closer by committee. John Tomase takes a look back at the incredible performances and contrasts that we saw on the mound Sunday afternoon in Yankee stadium between Randy Johnson and Tim Wakefield. The only run in that game was a home run from Jason Giambi, and Gerry Callahan (subscription only) is suspicious of Giambi, wondering just what is responsible for his incredible and sudden turnaround this season. He notes that the steroids Giambi took previously were ones designed to try and beat steroid tests, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise if he’s using another substance that doesn’t come up on tests.
Edes has a look at a recent Red Sox signee, Cuban defector Michel Abreu a power hitting first baseman who hasn’t played since March of 2004. Bill Reynolds looks at Curt Schilling who came up huge over the weekend with the spotlight squarely on him, which is how he likes it. Silverman and Massarotti team up for a report on Johnny Damon’s ailing shoulder, for which he will have an MRI this morning in Boston on. Steve Buckley (subscription only) writes this morning about the final weekend of the season and the possibilities it holds. It’s basically all speculation and ‘what ifs’ regarding how players will be used, if only one team has something to play for, etc. It all seems a tad premature since we really don’t know what the situation will be for that series. Jon Couture says that it will be hard to figure this race. Massarotti also has a brief item about Kevin Millar being ticked off at Randy Johnson, who was staring down Red Sox batters on Sunday.
Snow’s notebook has more on Damon, as does McAdam’s notebook, Heuschkel’s notebook and Borges’ notebook. In the Herald, Silverman’s notebook leads with an update on Craig Hansen, who may just be pitching at Fenway yet this season. The other notebooks also have information on Hansen.
Jonathan Comey goes around the NFL, looking at the big winners and losers from Sunday and providing some notes from around the league. Michael Parente says that the banged up Panthers are still going to pose a formidable threat to the Patriots this Sunday. Christopher Price says that the Panthers are going to be looking to regroup against the Patriots after their loss to the emotional Saints. Tom E Curran notes that the Panthers offense will dictate whether the Patriots use a 3-4 or 4-3 defense this week.
Karen Guregian talks to Steve Grogan who approves of Tom Brady’s vocal sideline manner when it comes to teammates, such as was the case Thursday night with he and Corey Dillon. The Globe deigns to give us some Patriots coverage today, as Jerome Solomon looks at the Patriots receivers, who shared the load on Thursday night. A post on the PatsFans.com messageboard claims to have a response from Globe sports editor Joe Sullivan to an inquiry about the lack of Patriots coverage in the Globe. The response, if genuine sheds some light on the attitude the Globe is taking towards the Patriots. Yesterday wasn’t their day, so they didn’t get any coverage. Alan Greenberg looks at Josh Miller, who knows that the Panthers strong special teams will be coming after him on Sunday. Chris Kennedy notes the focus on special teams during the Patriots preparation for this game. Parente has more on the special teams work. Guregian also talks to Rodney Harrison, who is wary of Steve Smith and the Panthers this week. Solomon’s notebook looks at the Panthers losing their top player for the season, defensive lineman Kris Jenkins.
Douglas Flynn looks at the Bruins starting a new era…which looks a bit like the old one with a couple of holdouts. Kevin Paul Dupont says that the holdouts of Andrew Raycroft and Nick Boynton are just a couple of the hot topics for the Bruins as they begin training camp. Stephen Harris notes the high expectations for the Bruins heading into this season. Joe McDonald reports that there was a buzz on the ice yesterday as the post-lockout era finally began.
Mick Colageo says that if Raycroft’s holdout turns out to be longer than expected, the Bruins have a capable backup in Hannu Toivonen. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell reports on the status of the two holdouts, noting that the club is a bit closer to signing Boynton than it is to Raycroft. Steve Conroy looks at Joe Thornton, who is eager to make things happen for the Bruins on the ice. Conroy also files a report on Jonathan Girard, who is making his return from a “horrific” auto accident. McDonald also has short story on the defenseman, who is happy to be back in action for the Bruins. Harris has a few observations from Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who was at the press luncheon yesterday.
Flynn’s notebook looks at the holdouts as well as a number of other items. Colageo’s notebook looks at Thornton hoping to continue the winning roll he got on during the lockout. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook has more on the Bruins captain. Harris’ notebook looks at Toivonen getting ready in the absence of Raycroft.
Bill Griffith remembers Chris Schenkel this morning, and also has a few other items, including the debut of ESPN Radio Boston’s local programming with Michael Felger.
The New York papers are busy with the retirement of Mark Messier, as well as coverage of the Jets, Giants, Yankees and Mets. Check out the stories at the New York Sports page. Get the coverage of Barry Bonds return to the lineup for the San Francisco Giants on the Bay Area Sports page.
NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00.