Karen Guregian has a look at Jon Lester, as the young lefty continues to work his way back from cancer. Lester is just trying to get things back to normal for himself, but that’s not always easy with the prospect of getting retested every few months. Amalie Benjamin has Manny Delcarmen still hoping to achieve his goal of making the big club out of spring training, but one shaky outing may have derailed his plans.

Sean McAdam looks back on the first anniversary of the Wily Mo Pena/Bronson Arroyo deal, and notes the impact that the trade had on the Red Sox pitching staff the rest of the way. He says that the results of that trade are a big reason why the Sox will likely hang onto Kyle Snyder this spring. Jeff Horrigan has a look at closer-of-the-future Bryce Cox who has made a dramatic turnaround in his effectiveness since changing his delivery last May in college.

Horrigan’s notebook has Craig Hansen taking himself out of the running for the closer role with an inconsistent spring as he tries to adjust to a new delivery spot on the mound. Benjamin’s notebook has more on Cox’s shortened delivery making all the difference in the world for the young reliever.

Celtics

Two nights after a win in San Antonio that some felt might turn the fortunes of the Celtics around, the green went and scuffled to a 106-88 loss to the Hornets in Oklahoma City.

Steve Bulpett suggests that the Celtics were both a little tired and a little full of themselves after beating the Spurs on Saturday night. Peter May labels this one a flat-out stink bomb by the Celtics.

Tim Weisberg has a look at Danny Ainge’s costly chat with Kevin Durant’s mother. Bulpett’s notebook has Paul Piece not looking for ways to get out of practice, just the opposite in fact. He also notes that the team sent tapes of Al Jefferson to the league to show officials that he wasn’t traveling as much as the referees were calling it. It seems to have worked. May’s notebook has more on Jefferson, pointing out that avoiding foul trouble has been another reason that the third year big man has been able to pile up the double-doubles this season.

Bruins

Fluto Shinzawa has GM Peter Chiarelli not ready to throw in the towel on this season just yet, despite the horrific 7-0 loss to the Rangers over the weekend. Stephen Harris suggests that facing a charged up arena and team in Montreal tonight might be just what the Bruins need. Shinzawa’s notebook has an update on the health of Shean Donovan and P.J. Axelsson.

Patriots

Albert Breer has the Patriots getting started on their offseason workouts without Asante Samuel, but the cornerback usually works out on his own anyway. Mike Reiss has a quick bit on the signing of free agent cornerback/special teamer Eddie Jackson, who is coming off of a torn ACL, suffered on Christmas day.

College

Jackie MacMullan has a piece on former Duke lacrosse coach Mike Pressler, now coaching at Bryant, and viewed by some as a scapegoat for what went on at Duke.

Mark Blaudschun gives props to the NCAA selection committee for the matchups they made in this tournament. Bill Reynolds offers five notes on the NCAA tournament, starting off by saying that the Georgetown Hoyas have a long way to go to live up to the great Georgetown teams of the 1980’s. Marc Thaler looks at a couple of NH kids in the NCAA tournament. Zach Roca is happy about his brackets, and says good-bye to a number of college seniors who played their final games this past weekend. Mike Anthony looks at the lack of upsets in the tourney thus far. Michael Vega has UNC forward Tyler Hansbrough adjusting to playing with a facemask.

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