Michael Felger has his Patriots report card this morning, and the grades are a mixed bag across the board, no position scores an “A”, while the secondary is at the bottom of the class with a “D.” Ian Clark also offers up his own version of the Patriots weekly report card. We should also have a Second Look column up on the BSMW Game Day page after a film review.
Mike Reiss reports on the Patriots placing safety Eugene Wilson on IR and signing defensive back Ray Mickens to take his place on the active roster. John Tomase also briefly reports on the move of Wilson to IR, ending his season.
John Tomase examines a number of un-Patriots like plays the last few weeks and tries to get an explanation for them. Shalise Manza Young on the newly re-designed Projo.com writes that the Patriots need to fix their turnover problems. Amalie Benjamin has a look at Ty Warren, who despite his improved personal play, is still looking for ways to make his team better. Alan Siegel writes about Reche Caldwell enjoying his best season in the NFL, and his college and Patriots teammate Jabar Gaffney says he’s back to having fun playing football. Christopher Price also has a bit on Caldwell, as does Bob Stern.
Rich Garven has a nice piece on Mike Wright, as the reserve defensive lineman is driven to improve and succeed. Steve Buckley is thankful that we’re well past the day of only moral victories down in Foxboro. Showing his usual restrained manner, Alan Greenberg tells us that the Patriots will be in “deep doo-doo” if Laurence Maroney is sidelined for any length of time. Albert Breer has Ellis Hobbs recounting his road to the NFL for a group of high school students at an awards banquet. Michael Parente has a look at Hobbs’ partner at corner, Asante Samuel, who is enjoying the season of his career thus far. Hector Longo says it looks like the Patriots are headed for a first round wild card game at home in the playoffs. Tom King reminds us that style points don’t count in the NFL, victories do.
Tomase’s notebook has a look at the great season being out forth from Ty Warren. Young’s notebook has more on the roster moves yesterday with Wilson being placed on IR. She also has Belichick praising Otis Smith for his work with the coaching staff this season. Parente’s notebook also reports on the roster moves.
Things were ugly in the windy city last night for the Celtics as they fell behind early and stayed there, getting routed by the Chicago Bulls, 100-82. Already playing without Wally Szczerbiak (ankle) the Celtics only got 8 points from an obviously hampered Paul Pierce (elbow) in the loss.
After weeks of being positive and saying that his team was “close”, Shira Springer has Doc Rivers changing his tune after his team failed to compete last night. Steve Bulpett wonders why the Celtics bothered to even show up last night, only to deliver an uninspired and disconcerted performance. While this game wasn’t close, Mike Petraglia notes that the Celtics have been having problems late in games this season, a trend that needs correction.
With two of their three centers already sidelined, the Celtics may also lose Kendrick Perkins, according to Springer’s notebook. The training staff is considering whether they should rest Perkins and allow his plantar fasciitis a chance to heal. Bulpett’s notebook has Perkins placing the blame for the Celtics poor play and struggles solely on the players and not at all on Rivers. You can get these links, a little commentary and Mike Gorman’s Mailbag on the FSN Nothing But Net blog.
The Bruins and Canadiens have played many wild and crazy games over the years, most of those matches have ended in favor of Montreal. Last night, it was the Bruins who came out on top for a change, as they outlasted the Canadiens 6-5 in Montreal.
Fluto Shinzawa notes that Bruins coach Dave Lewis doesn’t quite understand how his team ended on top in this one, but he’ll take it. Stephen Harris says this was another good one for the rivalry, and for once, the Montreal ghosts didn’t get the job done.
Shinzawa’s notebook has Brad Stuart as the unlikely hero, as the defenseman scored two third period goals to help the Bruins to the win. Harris’ notebook has many legends from both teams taking place in ceremonies that lead up to the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Canadiens franchise in three years. The legends recounted some of the historic battles between the clubs through the years.
Sean McAdam has Theo Epstein saying that the club will only shop Manny Ramirez through tomorrow and then will focus elsewhere. They will still listen to offers after then, but will only be “shopping” him until then. Michael Silverman has more on the deadline imposed by the club.
Gordon Edes and Nick Cafardo report that the Red Sox are clearly focusing on trying to obtain relief pitching, particularly a closer in their efforts to trade Manny. Tony Massarotti says that the Red Sox want “fair value” for Ramirez, and wonders if the club is just doing what is necessary to keep Manny in Boston. Jon Couture says that the entire baseball world is waiting for Theo Epstein and the Red Sox to make a move and get things rolling. Nick Cafardo says that baseball is waiting for the Red Sox to start the domino effect. Jeff Goldberg has more on the Manny trade discussions and their search for a closer in return. Joe Haggerty says that a closer clearly tops Theo’s shopping list.
Gerry Callahan is usually a very good columnist. Today he is horrible, and not just because it’s anti-Manny column. It’s over-the-top nasty. His premise is that Manny hates you all, spits on you and makes more money that Yaz, Rice and Clemens ever did. It’s a column that just makes you cringe as you read it because of the hate that is evident in it. Not hate from Manny, but hate from Callahan towards Manny. Dan Shaughnessy pines for the days when the winter meetings used to be fun. After reading Callahan’s pile of bile, this effort from Shaughnessy was downright refreshing.
The Globe notebook has a source reporting that Jon Lester’s cancer appears to be in remission and that he should be at spring training in February. Silverman’s notebook reports that the Red Sox are considering moving Dustin Pedroia back to shortstop should they be unable to find one in a trade or free agency. McAdam’s notebook has more on the Red Sox search for a closer.
John Molori examines an “utterly asinine column” by AP writer Tim Dahlberg bashing Mark McGwire.
Versus has Blackhawks/Wild at 8:00. ESPN has a college basketball double header from the Jimmy V classic with Oklahoma St./Syracuse at 7:00 and Arizona/Louisville at 9:00.