The Patriots open up their preseason slate tonight in Tampa. At Patriots Daily, we’re told that this must more than an exhibition game, since the columnist have come out to tell us what tonight really means…

Christopher L. Gasper has Matt Cassel hoping to show that he is ready to take over for Tom Brady if needed. John Tomase examines the popularity of this year’s Patriots training camp, where newcomers such as Randy Moss have attracted huge crowds. Albert Breer notes that many players will be fighting for their jobs and even careers as they take the field tonight in Tampa. Rich Garven looks at the Patriots opening up the preseason tonight against the Bucs. Michael Parente says that Bill Belichick will be looking for hidden gems in tonight’s game. Jeff Howe talks to Randy Cross about the Patriots, and also the passing of his former coach, Bill Walsh.

Mike Reiss has 10 things to look for in tonight’s preseason opener. Shalise Manza Young also provides a list of things to look for on the field tonight. David Heuschkel says that tonight is a chance for some players to make an impression. Ian M. Clark has 10 players and positions to keep an eye on tonight. David Brown says there really isn’t too much to look for in tonight’s opener. Mark Farinella says that tonight is simply a game, and after two weeks of training camp it’s being welcomed by the players .

Bob Ryan says that the Patriots potential and expectations are both rightfully very high, but does note some areas of concern for the team. Steve Buckley says that tonight is a test run for TV remote controls as fans will likely be flipping between the Red Sox and Patriots.

Tomase’s notebook has the Patriots eager to hit someone other than each other tonight.

Red Sox
Tony Massarotti is worried about the back end of the Red Sox starting rotation. Gordon Edes looks at the baffling absence of power and clutch hitting from David Ortiz this season. Tom Yantz has the Red Sox coming East feeling OK about going 3-3 on the West coast. Bill Ballou has the Red Sox trying to end the trip on a high note in Baltimore.

Rob Bradford looks at the Red Sox bullpen as a source of real relief for the team. Lenny Megliola touches on a number of Red Sox items for the stretch run and beyond. Garry Brown looks at the Red Sox trying to hold on over the final 48 games. Joe Haggerty says that there could still be more moves by the Red Sox front office before the end of this month.

Heuschkel has a feature on Jimmie Foxx, one of the strongest players to pick up a bat in the majors.

Bradford’s notebook has Wily Mo Pena’s agent denying a Globe report that he wants to be traded. Edes’ notebook has Brandon Moss being sent back to Pawtucket as Eric Hinske returns to the club tonight.

Maureen Mullen has a look at PawSox pitcher Lincoln Holdzkom. Michael Silverman has a look at the “Futures at Fenway” event tomorrow, in which both the Lowell Spinners and the Portland Sea Dogs will play regular season games at Fenway. Ken Fratus in the Globe has a look at some players to watch in those games. Amalie Benjamin has a minor league notebook that leads off with Chad Spann, who isn’t down after being demoted from Pawtucket to Portland recently.

David Scott looks at the D&C mystery, and 890 ESPN being on the market. Susan Bickelhaupt talks to Red Sox announcer Dave O’Brien, who made the calls of Barry Bonds’ record tying and breaking home runs in the last week for ESPN.

Mark Murphy looks at Eddie House and Scot Pollard being introduced as the newest Celtics yesterday. Jessica Camerato has House and Pollard bringing enthusiasm and humor to Boston.

Fluto Shinzawa looks at David Beckham coming to Foxboro with the Galaxy on Sunday. Rich Thompson says that the Revolution aren’t getting caught up in the Beckham circus.

Jim McCabe looks at John Daly as a surprise leader after the first round of the PGA Championship.