With opening day less than a week away, the Red Sox are making their final tuneups and adjustments in preparation.
Sean McAdam has David Ortiz determined to show that he can hit without Manny Ramirez behind him. Alex Speier has a feature on John Smoltz, starting his career over in a new place after 21 years with the Braves. Daniel Barbarisi has the Sox downplaying a rough spring by Jonathan Papelbon. Lenny Megliola says that the Red Sox have plenty of pitching plots to discuss.
John Tomase and Tony Massarotti have Daisuke Matsuzaka impressing with a quick, tidy and economical outing yesterday. Rob Bradford has the Sox happy that Dice-K returned from the WBC in one piece. Barbarisi says that Matsuzaka was a model of efficiency yesterday.
Steve Buckley says that Clay Buchholz is way to valuable to be trading away for help at another position (like catcher). Buckley thinks the Red Sox should remember the case of Bronson Arroyo. Barbarisi has Smoltz feeling strange to be on the other team against the Braves. Maureen Mullen looks at the decision looming on the fifth outfielder position. Joe Haggerty examines some roster battles still raging for the Sox.
Bob Ryan pitches for the ABCD “Field of Dreams.”
Tomase’s notebook has John Smoltz making the trip to Atlanta to see his old teammates and hang out with Tiger Woods. Massarotti’s notebook has Terry Francona planning on batting J.D. Drew fifth in his lineup. Barbarisi’s notebook has Rocco Baldelli getting into a groove.
Gerry Callahan echoes Glenn Ordway’s four hour lecture from the Big Show yesterday – without Kevin Garnett the Celtics have no chance. I’m so glad we have these fearless commentators around to tell us the truth about these things. Mark Murphy has Danny Ainge saying that there isn’t reason to worry regarding KG, the team is just being cautious with him.
Jim Fenton looks at the hot shooting of Eddie House and Ray Allen this season. Marc J. Spears has House close to shooting himself into Celtics history. Scott Souza has Stephon Marbury and Mikki Moore finally rounding into form for the Celtics. Mark Murphy also looks at the improvement from Moore in the last game.
Ron Hobson has the Patriots kicking off the celebration of their 50th season and that of the AFL as well. As part of that, the team announced All Decade teams for the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s yesterday. Mark Farinella looks at 10 players making multiple All-Decade teams for the Patriots. Jim Donaldson says that picking all time Patriots squads is not easy task. Christopher Price goes the other way – naming the 10 worst first round picks for the Patriots.
Glen Farley says that we shouldn’t fit them for Super Bowl rings just yet, but the Patriots have improved this offseason. Karen Guregian has James Sanders happy to be back with the Patriots, especially after a nice conversation with Bill Belichick, who told him how much he enjoys having him on the team.
John Powers has a feature on Milan Lucic, looking at “the rapid ascent of a 20-year-old wunderkind.” Stephen Harris has a slightly shorter look at Lucic. Mike Loftus says that strong play by David Krejci is a great sign for the Bruins.
Check back at noon for nominees for the worst Boston sports column in recent memory.