The Red Sox continue to stumble in the early part of the season, falling last night 8-2 to the Oakland Athletics out in the Bay Area.

The Globe is running a “Sportstown USA” feature today showing how all four major Boston teams have a shot at winning a championship. John Powers introduces the series, and each section below has a column on the team.

Amalie Benjamin has Jon Lester getting knocked around by the A’s last night. Michael Silverman says that the mystery of the identity theft of the Red Sox continued in Oakland last night. Rob Bradford cranks out five things to take away from the loss last night.

Sean McAdam has the Red Sox hitter believing that the runs will come. Adam Kilgore has Nomar Garciaparra with nothing but fond memories of his time in Boston. As the Globe kicks off the Sportstown USA series, Tony Massarotti has a look at the Red Sox status as The Hub of the baseball world. Bob Halloran says that Boston will never get a new park like the ones in New York, and we should embrace that.

Silverman has Jed Lowrie joining Julio Lugo on the disabled list. Joe McDonald notes that the Red Sox are suddenly short at shortstop. Joe Haggerty thinks that the scheduling gods are smiling down on the Red Sox. Bradford has a look at Dustin Pedroia and his eventful homecoming.  

Chad Finn reports on the death of Mark “the bird” Fidrych. Paul Jarvey says that Fidrych made his mark with his genuine style. Abby Jordan has more on the loss of  “the bird.” McAdam says that Fidrych was one of a kind. McDonald notes that it’s been a tragic week for the baseball community. 

Benjamin’s notebook has Lowrie heading to the DL with a sore wrist. Silverman’s notebook has Dustin Pedroia making peace with his hometown.

Bruins

In the Sportstown USA article, Kevin Paul Dupont says that a Stanley Cup title is a real possibility for the Bruins.

Fluto Shinzawa has Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli expecting a tight series with Montreal. Steve Conroy has more comments from the Bruins General Manager. Mick Colageo has Chiarelli acknowledging that emotion is likely to play a role in this series.  

Dan Duggan examines some Bruins-Habs history. Bill Burt has Rick Middleton remembering the “too many men on the ice” incident from 30 years ago. Stephen Harris has a Bruins report card. Mike Loftus has the Bruins confident as the postseason begins. Shinzawa’s notebook says that changing teams has done a world of good for Michael Ryder.

Celtics

Marc J. Spears has the Celtics version of the Hometown USA series, as the injury-plagued Celtics remain confident of their chances of repeating.

Lenny Megliola has the Celtics and Bruins taking center stage for the spring. Paul Flannery has 20 questions on the eve of the playoffs. Robert Lee wonders if we should be worried about the crushing loss in Cleveland.

Frank Dell’Apa has Kevin Garnett’s return being pushed off until the playoffs.  Mike Fine says that Garnett’s injury reminds him of Larry Bird’s bad back in 1991. Mark Murphy has the Celtics keeping Garnett in a holding pattern.

Patriots

Mike Reiss has the upcoming NFL Draft making a strong contender even stronger.

On the Patriots Daily draft coverage, today the First Day Receivers are on the board.  Christopher Price looks at some of the best late-round bargains by the Patriots.  Shalise Manza Young goes over the 10 best draft picks of the Bill Belichick era. On NESN.com, Jeff Howe takes a similar look at Belichick’s best picks.

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