When the Red Sox and Rays finally get the ALCS started tomorrow night, it will be Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound for the Red Sox, as the Japanese lefty (where did that come from?) pitcher got the game one nod from manager Terry Francona yesterday.

Adam Kilgore reports on the decision by the manager, as well as the rotation for the rest of the series. Sean McAdam says that a key for the Red Sox is for David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia to return to form in this series. Daniel Barbarisi has more on the rotation for the Sox. Jeff Goldberg says that Pedroia has been coming up big all season for the Red Sox. Mike Fine says that the decision about the rotation was actually pretty simple for Francona. Paul Jarvey has the Sox still getting their top three starters potentially two starts each in the series. Joe Haggerty has more on the rotation.

Bob Ryan notes that the fans in Tampa are finally starting to realize they have a pretty good team and are actually showing up at the games. Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox will be view nationally as the bad guys in this series. Bill Reynolds says that the Red Sox are now the Yankees. Jeff Jacobs looks at the budding rivalry between the Rays and Red Sox. Rob Bradford and Alex Speier debate the Red Sox/Rays series.

Michael Silverman explores whether there are any lingering hard feelings between the two teams. Kenyon has the Sox hoping to win without a fight against the Rays. John Tomase looks at Tim Wakefield getting the call for game four. He also has a look at this year’s rookie duo of Lowrie and Masterson who are playing a big role in the postseason. Rich Thompson has Javier Lopez just focusing on lefties for now. Paul Kenyon has Gil Velazquez enjoying his major league experience. Barbarisi has Timlin and Lugo hoping to be a part of the ALCS roster.

Jon Couture has the Rays bullpen as a big part of their turnaround this year. Gerry Fraley has Rays manager Joe Maddon talking about what his team expects to see from Matsuzaka in game one. McAdam offers up a Scouting Report on the Rays. Joe McDonald has Rocco Baldelli as the spirit of the Rays. Kevin McNamara has a look at former Pilgrim High pitcher Dan Wheeler.  McDonald’s notebook has the Rays becoming a family.

Kilgore’s notebook has the Red Sox downplaying any hard feelings with the Rays dating back to the June brawl between the two clubs. Silverman’s notebook has more on the decision to go with Dice-K in game one.  The Projo notebook has Paul Byrd OK with hanging out in the bullpen. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the rotation. Jarvey’s notebook has Crisp with no hard feelings against the Rays. Fine’s notebook has the Sox downplaying any hard feelings.


Be sure to check out Tyler Carter‘s piece on the similar “Air Coryell” offenses run by the 49ers and the Chargers, as well as how the Patriots will likely plan to stop San Diego.

Christopher Price has the Patriots renewing their rivalry with the Chargers. Christopher L. Gasper has more on the latest installment of what has become a grudge match. Karen Guregian says that LaDainian Tomlinson has not quite been himself this season. Mark Farinella has LT OK with the Patriots style of play. Glen Farley has more on the bitter rivalry.

Rich Garven has the Patriots four-headed ground attack getting into gear. Shalise Manza Young has Deltha O’Neal enjoying his chance to finally play alongside Rodney Harrison.

Michael Felger has his Patriots Mailbag. Kerry J. Byrne and his Cold Hard Football Facts are now also on WEEI.com, and he looks at how the Patrots defense is not up to snuff this season.

Gasper’s notebook has Matt Cassel gaining confidence with each week. Guregian’s notebook has Richard Seymour dismissing the “dirty player” talk from the Chargers after last season’s AFC title game. Farinella’s notebook has a battle of Purdue bragging rights shaping up for Sunday. Garven’s notebook has more on the feisty on and off-field rivalry with the Chargers. Young’s notebook has Tedy Bruschi getting a chance to catch up with his college coach this week.


Kevin Henkin on the BSMW Full Court Press has a look at last night’s preseason opener for the Celtics.

Bill Doyle has rookie Bill Walker looking pretty good in last night’s exhibition opener for the Celtics. Steve Bulpett has Darius Miles ahead of where even he thought he would be after playing in last night’s game. Mark Murphy has J.R. Giddens soaking up all he can from Ray Allen and company.

Ron Chimelis has another report on the game last night. Frank Dell’Apa has Doc Rivers missing the game to attend to family business. Murphy’s notebook has more on the game last night.

For the sake of time I’ll have to refer you to BruinsLinks.com for hockey stories.