Note to Sox: They’re laughing

Note to Sox: They’re laughing at you.

From Bob Lobel parading a gas can onto his sports segment last night, to the DirtDogs site figuring out acronyms for SARS, the Sox are the butt of jokes everywhere.

And to think, they haven’t even played a home game yet. Interesting how a Sox game at the beginning of April can overshadow a Bruins playoff game, and a game in which the Celtics clinch a playoff spot. Yet, that’s how it is in Boston.

Gordon Edes looks at the implosion by Ramiro Mendoza and the rest of the bullpen. Michael Silverman says the blame can be split between Fossum and the pen. Sean McAdam notes however, that Fossum was pretty much brilliant over the first 4 2/3 innings. He looked terrific. David Heuschkel has more on that theme, and adds at the end that Derek Lowe won’t mind if if his option isn’t picked up for next year. (It’s “only” for 5 million) Howard Bryant in a premium column today ends his piece by predicting that by the all star break, Robert Person will be the closer and the other guys will settle in and fall in place behind him. Bill Reynolds says Pedro is following in the grand tradition of Mo Vaughn and Roger Clemens. It’s always about the money. Steve DeOssie agrees, and also blasts fans who complain about the exorbitant salaries given to athletes today. Heuschkel also looks at Charlie Zink, a knuckleball project the Sox are working on. Lenny Megliola looks at Carl Beane, making his debut as the Sox PA announcer tomorrow. If you missed John Henry’s call-in to the Big Show yesterday, Dirt Dogs has a transcipt of it. Steve Buckley has a pretty fair premium column looking at the role of statistical analysis in baseball, noting it is not a new thing, as Branch Rickey and Earl Weaver both relied heavily on stats, and noting that the Sox are by no means only using stats to analyze players. Alan Miller has a portion of a One-on-one interview with Janet Marie Smith, vice president/planning and development for the Red Sox. The full interview will be on the Globe SportsPlus tonight on NESN. In Silverman’s notebook, he says Derek Lowe has spotted a flaw in his delivery that he hopes corrected, will straighten out the problems he’s been having. Edes’ notebook looks at contingency plans should the rain wipe out tomorrow’s home opener. McAdam’s notebook has more on the same.

With the home opener slated for tomorrow, The Herald also has a preview section for the Sox. I’ll try to recap these articles later.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Stephen Harris recap last night’s Bruins playoff game. Dan Hickling has the game for the ProJo. Kevin Paul Dupont says that the Bruins forwards, though very talented, really need to step it up in these playoffs. Karen Guregian notes that the Devils did what they wanted last night, which was to shut down Thornton and the other Bruins forwards. Jackie MacMullan (writing hockey? again? who’s calling the shots over there?) and Steve Conroy look at the solid job Steve Shields did in net for the B’s last night. Elliot Denman looks at the performance of Jamie Langenbrunner, who tallied both Devils goals last night. Conroy has a couple other short articles, taking a peek at Martin Brodeur, playing his usual playoff type hockey. Dupont previews and predicts four other first round series. He also looks at former Devil Brian Rolston, who at one time thought he’d spend his whole career in New Jersey. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook and Harris’ notebook both look at the early hit on Bryan Berard, and give updates on Sean O’Donnell. Hickling’s notebook looks at Lee Goren.

Errr, ok, maybe Jim O’Brien had it right in sending JR Bremer to the bench to start the game. The Celtics rookie started the game 7-7 and scored 20 points off the bench last night to help the Celtics clinch a playoff berth. I think O’Brien also mentioned something along the lines of that Bremer was going to win a game for the Celtics down the stretch sometime. Mark Murphy has the story of the game. Shira Springer says the Celtics are now in full playoff mode, serious, no big celebrations at merely securing a slot in the postseason. Murphy’s notebook has more on Bremer, and a few other items, Springer’s notebook says MJ isn’t ruling out a return to the Bulls…in the front office.

Tom Curran looks at another possibility for the Patriots through the Nick Saban pipeline, linebacker Bradie James. Michael Smith reports on a visit tomorrow from Georgia running back Musa Smith, a possible second round selection. Michael Felger says the Patriots interest in Willis McGahee sure seems to be for real. Michael Parente seems to think Oronde Gadsden would be a really nice fit for the Patriots. Economical, too.

Jim Donaldson says Arnold Palmer should be allowed to play in the Masters as long as he wants, but at the very least this year and next, to give him a total of 50 Masters. George Kimball also weighs in on the lifetime exemption policy. Bob Ryan notes the importance of being able to hit the long ball at the Masters. Jim McCabe looks at Tiger attempting to continue his mastery at Augusta.

Luke Meredith looks at the Bruins, Johnny Wasdin’s perfect game, and the chronic count in the Unsilent Majority.

NESN has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. TNT has Celtics/Sixers at 7:30 and Kings/Lakers at 10:00. ESPN has Mighty Ducks/Red Wings at 7:00. ESPN2 has Wild/Avalanche at 9:00.