Update: If you’re looking for the Adam Vinatieri article that Dale Arnold read at around 12:15 today, it can be found at the web site of the Orlando Sentinel.
Update 2: Glenn Ordway says that the Patriots will have to cut Willie McGinest today. He also stated that he believes that David Givens will be signed by the Cleveland Browns during free agency.
The Celtics once again put forth a gallant effort, but it wasn’t enough against Shaq, Antoine Walker and the rest of the Miami Heat last night, as Boston went down 103-96 at TD Banknorth Garden. Shira Springer has the game story in the Globe, where she focuses on another stellar performance from Paul Pierce (38 points) and the clutch play of the Heat down the stretch, where they made huge shots when they needed to. Mark Murphy looks at former Celtics captain Antoine Walker getting some shots in at the green, both on the court and off, as he engaged in some friendly trash talk with Pierce. Shalise Manza Young notes that a minimal contribution from the bench was a big part of what did the Celtics in last night. Israel Gutierrez in the Miami Herald and Ira Winderman in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel also report on the game, and focus on Walker’s return to Boston as a member of the Heat.
Lenny Megliola has more on Antoine coming back to haunt his former club in the fourth quarter after a rough first three. Dan Shaughnessy also pursues this angle. Steve Bulpett notes that the Celtics, without Kendrick Perkins, simply didn’t have the size and strength to compete fully with the Heat down low last night. Peter May examines how Pat Riley’s return to the coaching sidelines has gone this season since taking over for Stan Van Gundy. Mike Fine has a look at how Ryan Gomes has made the most of his opportunity to play since Perkins and Al Jefferson went down.
Young’s notebook takes a look at Jefferson returning to the court last night for Boston. Springer’s notebook also looks at Jefferson fighting through weakness, not pain in his ankle upon his return to active duty. Murphy’s notebook has Antoine grousing about not being wanted by Danny Ainge here in Boston.
The Bruins also fell short last night, losing to the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in their first game after the Olympic break. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell looks at the Bruins losing two leads last night, and falling at a time in which every point is critical to their postseason hopes. Steve Conroy notes there are no more moral victories for the Bruins at this stage, even against the Eastern Conference-leading Hurricanes. Burrell’s notebook looks at an already weary P.J. Axelsson getting a little banged up last night. Conroy’s notebook has more on Axelsson.
Manny’s arrival at spring training is front page news in both Boston papers this morning. Nick Cafardo looks at Manny showing up and vowing to help the Red Sox win. He notes that Jon Miller of WBZ radio was staked out waiting for Manny since 5:15 AM. Jeff Horrigan says that Manny showed a rarely seen side of himself in his meeting with the media after his arrival in Fort Myers yesterday. There are differing opinions as to Manny’s state of mind yesterday. Steven Krasner says that Manny seemed happy upon getting to camp, a viewpoint you would find hard to believe listening to talk radio yesterday and this morning. David Heuschkel disputes Cafardo’s account of who was the first media member in place waiting for Manny. He says it was Dan Roche of WBZ-TV, who was there at precisely 6:22 AM. Details…details…these are the things Red Sox nation wants to know. (Yes, there is a touch of sarcasm there.) Heuschkel’s observation is that Manny didn’t seem overly happy to be there. David Borges is in the “Manny looked happy” camp, as also reports on the slugger’s arrival to spring training.
Tony Massarotti says that it is clear the Manny does not want to be here, but he has little choice if he wants to collect his roughly $20 million salary. Gordon Edes also examines Manny’s arrival, and what his agent had to say, which contradicted much of what was reported and taken as fact over the course of the winter. Are you confused yet as to whether Manny is a happy camper or disgruntled malcontent? The Herald can’t even make up their mind internally, with stories claiming both. Rob Duca says yesterday was another bizarre day in the life of someone covering Manny. Massarotti garners comments from Ramirez’s teammates about his arrival and how he looks. Horrigan has more on Manny’s agent and what he had to say regarding his client. He says exploring a trade was the club’s idea, not Manny’s.
Borges’ notebook has more on Manny’s agent claiming that it was the Red Sox who wanted to pursue a trade. Buddy Thomas goes through his old baseball cards. Cafardo’s notebook has a look at interim pitching coach Al Nipper, who appears to be good at spotting flaws in his pitchers’ delivery. Horrigan’s notebook has a look at David Wells refusing to talk about his trade requests. Krasner’s notebook says there are still a lot of questions that have not been answered regarding this Red Sox team. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at Keith Foulke, whose knees are still of concern to the team, although he says his arm feels ‘incredible’.
Tom E Curran says that the Patriots will not need to release any players today in order to get under the salary cap. Ron Borges reports on the NFL labor situation, saying that union chief Gene Upshaw is not optimistic that anything will be resolved today. It’s been disappointing that the Herald has has nothing on the labor situation the last few days. Whether that is due to budget issues, or Michael Felger being busy with his radio show or John Tomase still being new to the football beat, there has been a void in that area this week on this important topic. Borges has been pretty good on this topic for the Globe, even if it is clear which side of the issue he supports. Mark Farinella threw it out there yesterday that he got a call from a “little birdie” the other day who was adamant that Adam Vinatieri will return to the Patriots next season. Mike Reiss checks in with Rodney Harrison, who says his rehab is on track. Harrison will appear on FSN’s Sports Tonight program at 10:00 tonight.
Felger has been talking about the NFL labor situation on ESPN Boston some, but the story hasn’t been getting a lot of coverage in general in Boston this week. At least three times this week on WEEI, on three different shows, I’ve heard the hosts something along the lines of “this story isn’t sexy” or “fans aren’t interested in talking about millionaires fighting over money”. I disagree. I’ve specifically tuned out WEEI and gone over to ESPN Radio (Local or national) to try to get updates and information on this topic. This is a big deal. Dennis and Callahan did spend some time talking about it this morning, and are probably the best ones at the station to talk about it.
NESN has Thrashers/Bruins at 7:00. TNT has Cavs/Bulls at 7:00 and Mavs/Spurs at 9:30. ESPN has Wisconsin/Michigan State at 7:00 and Syracuse/Depaul at 9:00. ESPN2 has Div II CIAA Quarterfinal action at 1:00, 3:00 and 7:00 and Memphis/UAB at 9:00. FSN has UCLA/Cal at 10:30. CN8 has UNH/BC college hockey at 7:30.