WEEI was the first to

WEEI was the first to report on air locally that the Yankees had reached a contract agreement with Jose Contreras, breaking the news at about 12:45 this afternoon. ESPN.com had posted the story about 15-20 minutes prior.

A couple of Rochester, NY reporters wonder which Drew Bledsoe will show up for the Bills in 2003. The MVP candidate of the first half of the season or the QB who struggled in leading to a 2-5 record thus far in the second half of the season. They get pretty harsh on Drew.

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com is reporting that the Patriots are one of three teams that are considering making a waiver claim on Deion Sanders to block him from joining the Raiders. They must do so by 4:00 if they’re going to. Hector Longo lists cornerback at the top of his critical needs for the Patriots. Bill Burt says the Patriots deserve a free pass this year. Del Jones examines the disappointing ending to the season.

Chaz Scoggins hands out the annual Mickey Kutts awards for most bizarre baseball injuries.

The Patriots report card by

The Patriots report card by Kevin Mannix isn’t quite as harsh as I thought it would be. Only two “F’s”. (receivers and DB’s.) Ron Borges crows just as much as he’s entitled to. Scolding those who chided him for being negative early. My wrist still smarts from being slapped. All worship at the altar of the almighty Borges…Tom Curran looks at the fatigue factor and admits also to being wrong and thinking this team was better than it is. Alan Greenberg notes that the team is still positive, and wonders why. Lenny Megliola says the team is done. A quote from Vinatiari saying they hope to give the Dolphins a run for their money is particularly damning. Steve Buckley presumes to speak for every man, woman and child in New England. Sorry Buck, I disagree, I think the Jets have a very good chance of beating the Packers Sunday. Bill Reynolds looks at Tom Brady struggling to keep afloat while his team sinks around him. Rich Thompson looks at a still hopeful Bill Belichick. Ian Clark looks at the offensive offense. Thompson’s notebook looks at Adrian Klemm at right tackle, while Curran’s notebook starts with the dejected Tom Brady.

Gordon Edes looks at the Red Sox pursuit of Jose Contreras. Edes’s article also takes an interesting look at the intrigue involved in signing international, and in particular, Cuban players. Yesterday talk on Red Sox on-line boards and on WEEI was hot discussing a story in a Panamanian newspaper that had Ramiro Mendoza quoted as saying he had agreed to a contract with the Red Sox and was awaiting a physical. Tony Massarotti looks at the Contreras pursuit and also examines the rumors of that Mendoza signing coming soon. David Heuschkel says once again, the Yankees are the team to beat. Edes’ notebook looks at Chad Fox, Mendoza and Timlin.

Stephen Harris and Nancy Marrapese-Burrell cover last night’s 5-2 Bruins win over the Sharks. Kevin Paul Dupont is a tad concerned over the goalkeeping and wonders if now is the time to deal Kyle McLaren for netminder. Steve Conroy looks at Ivan Huml bringing his sister in for the holidays. Marrapose-Burrell’s notebook looks at a close call for Gerry Cheevers’ son Robbie, while Harris’ notebook leads with PJ Stock.

Paul Pierce tells Mark Murphy that the NBA needs to crack down on the rough fouls. Shira Springer has Jim O’Brien looking to take advantage of some needed practice time.

Jim Baker and Bill Griffith review the weekend of NFL coverage. Griffith also looks ahead to ABC coverage of the NBA tipping off tomorrow. John Molori says that NESN might be looking to Butch Stearns to head up its “Red Sox Nation” program. Molori also has some WWZN/WEEI stuff and a look at the Mike Adams show on WWZN.

Technically I’m on vacation this

Technically I’m on vacation this week, (or should I say I’m covering a boxing assignment?) In any event I was at a friends house last night to watch the debacle, and didn’t get home in time for the postgame shows.

Quick links for today. Game stories: Tom Curran, Michael Felger, Nick Cafardo, Alan Greenberg, Del Jones and Tom King.

Columnists: Bob Ryan, Kevin Mannix, Jim Donaldson, Ron Borges, Lenny Megliola, Steve Buckley, Ron Hobson, Karen Guregian, Jackie MacMullan and Rob Bradford.

I’ll say this about Ron Borges….he can crow all he wants now. He’s been saying from the offseason that this team’s talent level wasn’t very good and have criticized the coaching as being suspect at times. Through 15 games he’s been proven correct. How he has gone about telling everyone is a different matter…Cafardo has focused more on just Brady/Bledsoe.

Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback addresses the Parcells to Dallas talk.

NESN has Bruins/Sharks at 7:00. ABC has Pittsburgh/Tampa Bay on Monday night football at 9:00.