Bob Hohler recaps the Sox

Bob Hohler recaps the Sox lack of offensive firepower in their rain-delayed-by-nearly-90-minutes 6-1 loss to the Rangers. In his notebook, he reveals Pedro’s unique “western” attire. Jeff Horrigan’s notebook thinks “closer-by-committee” has now been reduced to “closer-by-a-couple.” Steve Krasner’s notebook also looks at Grady Little narrowing down his closer options as well. Tony Massarotti says Big Brother is watching MLB umpires, as he discusses details of a system used to grade the accuracy of their ball-and-strike calls. David Heuschkel says when it rains, it pours. Literally.

Peter May says don’t hold your breath waiting for Ron to go Artest on somebody and do something stupid in this series. Shira Springer has Antoine Walker calling Reggie “a big flopper.” Hank Lowenkron looks at former Providence College star Austin Croshere returning to New England. He also notes that the Pacers made the (rather strange) decision to “commute” to Boston for this series, as they will be leaving after tonight’s game and then flying back for Sunday’s game. Steve Bulpett worries that this series is uncomfortably resembling last year’s Eastern Conference Finals series against the Nets. His notebook has Jim O’Brien saying that the C’s will probably have to win at Conseco again to win this series, since “the league’s new, larger, and less personal arenas” tend to minimize home court advantage. Dan Shaughnessy reveals there may be trouble lurking with the C’s lease at the FleetCenter. He has this quote from Harry Sinden: “I’m sure they read the lease before they spent 360 million bucks. Maybe not though.” Ouch. Grousbeck counters that they read the lease, but the previous Gaston regime had not, since they didn’t know the exact date of the lease’s expiration. Kevin McNamara wonders what could have been had Pitino been able to trade for Jermaine O’Neal back in 2000. Christopher Price has O’Brien exclaiming that he doesn’t “think either team gives two hoots about the physical play” in this series, saying that’s just playoff basketball. Bob Schron has a more in-depth look at the series, citing the “Doug Collins” rule that this series has now begun (once each team has won a game in a series). I always thought the Collins rule was that a series really starts once a road team wins a game…

Tom Curran says Victor Green may be headed to the Saints. Nick Cafardo has the story of the Bengals reaching an agreement “in principal” with QB Carson Palmer. Michael Smith says BC’s Brian St. Pierre just hopes his name will be called. Smith also says be happy the Pats don’t have the problem facing several teams in this year’s draft, that of finding the right quarterback. Cafardo’s notebook writes that talks are on-going between the Pats and the Bears about trade possibilities. Michael Felger wonders if those trade talks have been blown out of proportion. Kevin Mannix speculates about just how high a pick McGahee will be, and has Raven head coach Brian Billick predicting “someone will take a flier on him.” Michael O’Connor talks with a few doctors about athletes returning from ACL injuries.

NESN has Sox-Rangers in an afternoon matinee (2 PM). Tonight, an NBA triple-header features an early 6PM game, as Pacers-Celtics comes to the FleetCenter, followed by Bucks-Nets at 8:30 and Lakers-T’Wolves at 11 on TNT. ESPN2 has the opening game of the Tampa Bay Lightning-NJ Devils series at 7.

Bob Hohler reports on the

Bob Hohler reports on the Sox returning to their winning ways with Pedro on the mound. His notebook says Everett is quite happy to be out of the Hub, directing a shot at the media when he says, “They never hear the truth in Boston.” Tony Massarotti offers his view of “The Truth.” He also wonders out loud whether Pedro’s hurt, and, since he’s not talking, in true Boston sports media fashion, says, “guess we’ll just have to speculate.” Jeff Horrigan writes that only Pedro could go 7 innings and give up only 3 hits and 1 unearned run and have people worried. He has Tony Cloninger complaining a bit about the “real tight strike zone” in there. His notebook includes this Totally Misleading Stat (by his own admission): the Sox are 6-1 in one-run games. Steven Krasner writes that the bottom line is that the Sox won last night. His notebook also talks about Everett and the “peace of mind” he’s enjoying these days in the Lone Star State. David Heuschkel worries about Pedro’s “uncharacteristic” outing and worries about his season-high pitch count.

Peter May discusses the growing hostilities between the Pacers and Celtics, noting that “what you’re getting is basic, simple, competitive dislike for the guy in your way.” Basically, playoff basketball. Shira Springer cites a whole bunch of statistics, but doesn’t say much that’s meaningful otherwise. Mark Murphy has the C’s looking forward to returning to the confines of the FleetCenter and the “rowdy” fans.

Michael Smith talks about draft prospect Carl Morris. He also previews receivers available in the draft. Ron Borges has excerpts from an interview with his favorite NFL genius. The interview will be aired on NESN after tonight’s Red Sox-Rangers game, and should be available on their website later tonight. Nick Cafardo discusses draft prospect Willis McGahee’s “dog and pony show” yesterday, and discusses several possible trade scenarios for the Pats. Michael Felger and Kevin Mannix preview offensive line prospects. Alan Greenberg worries about the Pats’ previous “faulty choices in recent years” as they approach this weekend’s draft. Mike Reiss writes that Damien Woody is ready for next season.

Douglas Flynn can’t remember the last time there were three Game 7’s in the NHL playoffs in one night, but is quite certain it happened before the remote control was invented (actually, it was 1996, but who’s counting). He laments the “good ol’ days” when Game 7s were regularly played at the Garden, and says none will be played at the FleetCenter any time soon. With more from the gloom-and-doom department, James Murphy wonders if unrestricted free agent-to-be Don Sweeney has played his last game for the Bruins.

Bill Griffith reports on Levan Reid’s departure from Fox 25, and gets Butch Stearns’ reaction. Reid will be giving up his part-time radio gig, and is making his final “Big Show” appearance this afternoon. Lenny Megliola has Kevin Winter gushing about his dream job on the Zone’s morning show.

NESN has the Red Sox continuing their series against the Rangers at 8. For hoops fans, TNT has a double header of Game 2’s, with Sixers-Hornets at 7, followed by Blazers/Mavs at 9:30.

Tough day in Boston for

Tough day in Boston for sports. First, the Sox break their winning streak, and then the C’s fall behind early in Indy and are never able to get over the hump, as the Pacers were the front runners all game. Coverage of the game on NBA TV made me feel like it was the 90s all over again, as “Snapper” Jones helped call the game, and they even had the NBC music going to time outs (weird). Bob Ryan says we should be happy the C’s managed a split. Shira Springer submits her game summary and writes about the physical play in the series. Her notebook reveals that Battie’s flagrant Type 2 from Game 1 stands, and gets his reaction. Steve Bulpett has the game recap for the Herald, and quotes Walker’s key to Games 3 and 4 is to “not get down 18 points.” (good idea) Bulpett and Ryan both chat with I-can’t-get-enough-of-this-game O’Brien, who says he “enjoys watching other coaches having their own anxiety attacks.” Bulpett’s notebook also has some news on the progress of Vin Baker’s rehab. Mark Murphy finds out that Reggie Miller is quite [expletive deleted] superstitious. Dan Hickling notes that Conseco Fieldhouse was noticeably short of a sellout.

Gordon Edes covers yesterday’s Sox loss, and notes that The Committee’s streak of 13 1/3 innings of not allowing a run (don’t blame me) came to an end. Dan Shaughnessy talks about one unique advantage of the Monster seats on Patriots Day. Mark Blaudschun says John Burkett was hoping for a better day yesterday (no kidding). Edes’ notebook previews a Sox showdown against streaking ex-teammate Carl Everett. Michael Silverman tries his hand at poetry (he should quit while he’s ahead). Alex Speier covers the game for Boston Metro. Kevin Gray writes, “What a difference a homestand can make.” Bill Reynolds says it’s too early to tell how this season will play out for the Sox. Joe Sullivan believes Nomar is the best Red Sox player in his lifetime.

Nick Cafardo weighs in on NFL draft prospects Jordan Gross and BC’s own Dan Koppen. Kevin Mannix previews defensive backs while Michael Felger looks at cornerbacks. Tom Curran looks at Kentucky’s DeWayne Robertson in this weekend’s draft.

Bill Griffith gets an up-close view of the Marathon. Jon Couture logs his Patriots Day entry. Again, check here for more coverage of the Marathon.

NESN has the Sox opening their series against the Rangers in Texas at 8. TNT has Bucks-Nets Game 2 at 7, followed by Lakers-T’Wolves at 9:30. The ESPN family has a “triple header” of Game 7’s for those NHL fanatics out there: ESPN has Toronto-Philadelphia at 7 followed by Minnesota-Colorado at 10, while ESPN2 has St. Louis-Vancouver at 10:30.

Well, the streak was short-lived.

Well, the streak was short-lived. The Sox lost 11-6 earlier today. If you want to get your minds on some football, Peter King has a chat with draft prospect Willis McGahee, and talks about the possibility of the Pats trading down, picking up “even more ammo” and still end up with him (if they want him).

Interesting debate on the tagboard earlier about whether you catch the games on FSNE or on the national feed (e.g. ESPN). Could be worse, you could have neither option, as the Indy Star reveals is the case for Pacers fans this evening. Of course, there’s always NBA TV. Speaking of which, a bit of news to those who might follow this website but not live in the immediate FSNE-served area and might rely on digital cable (and League Pass) to follow the C’s. Because TNT and ESPN are busy showing other games, the Celtics-Pacers game is scheduled for NBA TV, which up until this weekend was not available to digital cable customers due to a licensing fee dispute between the NBA and cable TV operators (see Marc Stein’s article a few weeks back about this outrage). However, I received an email over the weekend indicating that the NBA has reached a tentative agreement with a couple of major cable operators (including Comcast) to add NBA TV to the digital cable lineup on a “free preview basis,” starting yesterday, and ending two weeks from today, May 5. According to a Comcast executive I spoke with today, this is a limited-time only thing, and is not guaranteed to be in place next season. In addition, this is available to all digital cable customers in Comcast-served markets, not just those who subscribed to League Pass. At least those customers will not miss any playoff games now though.

Gordon Edes recaps yesterday’s amazing

Gordon Edes recaps yesterday’s amazing come-from-behind victory, making it seven in a row for the Sox. His notebook notes that umpire Dale Scott did not write Manny up for the “incidental contact” on Saturday, and also mentions Ramirez being on the radar of the MLB fashion police. Michael Vega says Ramiro Mendoza “didn’t hear the boos,” but still managed to turn the crowd to his side before leaving the game. Mark Blaudschun says that on the seventh day, Nomar shall rest, so he will sit out today’s game. Michael Silverman uses a similar biblical reference, starting with the opening line, “and on the seventh day, the Red Sox won again.” David Heuschkel recaps the comeback rally of the Sox, their 6th of the year. Sean McAdam says the Toronto bullpen “laid an egg.” His notebook asks “what bullpen problems?” and notes that the CBC has compiled a scoreless streak of 13 1/3 innings. Ooops. The kiss of death by mentioning it, isn’t it? You know, the feeling you got watching Pierce at the line against the Pacers on Saturday, and hoping that one of the ESPN announcers doesn’t jinx it by saying “he hasn’t missed one yet!” Good thing, it didn’t happen.

Michael Smith provides a draft preview at the linebacker position, and discusses Georgia linebacker Boss Bailey in particular. Michael Felger and Kevin Mannix focus similarly on the linebackers available in the draft.

Bob Ryan commits a bit of heresy and says, “Paul Pierce may be the greatest pure scorer the Celtics ever have had,” later going on to certify him as a “Licensed Professional Scorer.” Shira Springer writes that “there are no surprises with the Celtics,” and there’s no surprises in her article either, listing the keys to the series (pretty much serving as O’Brien’s administrative assistant here) as “stopping Indiana in transition, stopping Ron Artest in post-up situations, and continuing to limit Jermaine O’Neal.” She forgot to mention the only way they’ll win games is if they outscore the Pacers. Her notebook says Battie is still waiting to hear from the league office whether his flagrant foul will be downgraded from a type 1 from a type 2 (which earned him an automatic ejection early in Game 1). Steve Bulpett previews tonight’s Game 2. His notebook tells of the consequences of Battie’s flagrant 2 (cost him $1000, unless it’s downgraded, and another flagrant 2 earns him an automatic one game suspension). Mark Murphy says the Pacers might knock him to the floor, but “they’re not going to keep me down.” He also writes about Erick Strickland being a “good soldier” in his reduced role for the Pacers.

Check out Metro West for full coverage of the Marathon.

The Sox look to make it 8 in a row today. Catch the action on NESN, which has the annual Patriots Day game from Fenway this morning at 11. FSNE has Game 2 between the Celtics and Pacers tonight at 8:30 (nationally on NBA TV), TNT has a double-header of Suns-Spurs at 8 followed by Jazz-Kings at 10:30. ESPN2 has Game 6, Flyers at Maple Leafs at 7, and ESPN has Game 6, Colorado Avalanche trying to close out the Minnesota Wild at 7:30.

No Sunday night shows this

No Sunday night shows this week. I’m going to be leaving early in the morning and will be gone until Friday, most likely without access to a computer. But those of you who need your daily fix of links, fear not, I’ve recruited someone to fill in and provide links for you here. He probably won’t get them on-line as early as I do, but he’s going to shoot for midmornings. Don’t be too hard on him, I think he’ll do a good job. See you all on Friday. (No, I’m not going on some posh job interview…I wish.)

Bruce

No guest columns submitted, so

No guest columns submitted, so I’ll go with a short mailbag. Most of these aren’t questions, but instead viewpoints of readers. I’ll give a few comments to each one.

Eric writes about Dan Shaughnessy’s 4/18 Bruins column:

This is the last graf of his Bruins column. With only minor tweaking (substitute 'columnist' for 'franchise' and 'Shaughnessy' for 'Bruins.'), it is also his retirement ode.

"In the bombastic and competitive New England sports market, nothing endangers a pro franchise more than the threat of irrelevancy. The Bruins need to reverse their fortunes before the time comes when nobody cares about them anymore."

Good observation, Eric. I don’t think Dan or others like him make this connection. Sometimes I think some of these guys live in a vacuum. Next in is Len, who has a comment about Roy Williams:

I don't know if you've been following the Roy Williams saga. It's one of the best stories of the year. Many in Kansas were all over him calling him a traitor. Even a former player (Pollard) went down that path. Williams did a stand up thing in attending the end of season banquet and got a standing ovation. How many people would have had the guts to do this? Roy Williams has acted with nothing but class. Nobody will notice it. Pitino quit during a road trip in Florida. Parcells had his bags packed before the Super Bowl and avoided the team flight. Williams proved to be a standup guy. Of course, now some in Kansas believe he is trying to get his recruits to follow him to UNC. Nobody's perfect.

Some more good points. We’re still waiting for that final press conference from Pitino. There were even mumblings about the NCAA Tournament committee being hesitant to send Pitino’s Louisville squad to Boston for the early rounds. Give me a break. Parcells did come back for a press conference (the now famous “shopping for the groceries” bit was in that one, I think.) Chris wants to talk a little hockey:

Agree with you on Jackie M..having her cover hockey is not a good use of her talents..I am a huge Bruins fan, and as any hockey fan or someone who has played knows, it is more of a team game than baseball or hockey, as she compares Joe Thornton to Pedro/Nomar Pierce/Walker. I wonder if she blames Brady for lack of TD's when there are no OL or WR's? .

In other print rubbish Buckley today announces that O'Connell's move to coach is 'gutsy'. Gutsy with a 4 year contract that Jacobs will never fire him? Isn't this the same writer who slammed Dan D for being too heavy handed as GM of the Sox and led the pack to run him out of town(so he likes to think)? What a fool, he solidifies his place as #1 buffoon in the media.

I personally feel the Boston media has let O'Connell off the hook for what he has done(player moves/trade and making himself coach). Imagine Theo, Dan D, or a Kraft/Pioli/Wallace moving himself from GM to coach? In this town they would be lambasted. It seems as if they are all afraid to slam the Bruins mgmnt as they should be, I can't understand it other than apathy. It is too bad, because this is a great hockey town, Bruins aside, look at the Beanpot and Hockey East sellouts around NE.

There was some criticism this week. Shaughnessy in the above mentioned column went after O’Connell pretty good. Otherwise though, the media seems to want to blame Joe Thornton rather than the Bruins front office. As you say, hockey is more a team game, and it isn’t quite fair to put the blame on him as an individual. You didn’t see the Bruins making any adjustments for how the Devils were blanketing Jumbo Joe. Chris also makes a good point about O’Connell and his contract. Can anyone see a scenario in which Jeremy Jacobs would eat multiple years on a GM contract?

A couple of links sent in by readers this week. This first one is a few years old, but a good read anyway. After Dale Earnhardt’s death in Daytona, Gerry Callahan wrote a column about it. That column incensed NASCAR fans to the point he received some death threats. This article written on a NASCAR website is an example of the anger generated by Gerry.

Those NASCAR fans are an angry group. You probably heard this story talked about this week, of the fanatic who sent a half a million emails to the FOX network to protest Fox25’s showing of a Red Sox game instead of a NASCAR race. The guy was from Billerica. I thought people up here didn’t care about Nascar.

Turn out the lights…the party’s

Turn out the lights…the party’s over. Not that it was much of a party, anyway. Bruins eliminated. I did not watch a second of the game. Seems like a pretty good decision. Stephen Harris wraps up the game and the series, he quotes Dan McGillis, who says it’s hard to believe the season is over. I know you’re new to the team, Dan, but you might be in the minority here. Kevin Paul Dupont focuses on the Bruins failure to get any pressure on the Devils, not even coming close to mounting an offensive attack. He concludes:

They once owned the town as the Big, Bad Bruins. Now they are just Bad, with a capital spoked-B. You know the rest of the drill. Training camp opens at Wilmington, Mass., in September, when the great circle of strife begins anew.

Gee, I can hardly wait. (Wonder if I’ll have a job by then?) Dan Hickling says the Bruins came to play like there was no tomorrow. Which there wasn’t. I wonder if this is how it went in the Globe offices last night: “So Shaughnessy, do you want to write about Pedro silencing the worriers and shutting out the D-Rays, or do you prefer the Bruins getting eliminated and taking advantage of the misery of their fans?” “Oh, I’ll take the misery, please, sir.” Yes, I know, the topics were likely determined ahead of time, but it’s interesting that he’s always has to chase the story of misery, isn’t it? He focuses on Mike O’Connell, comparing him to Dan Duquette and taking him to task for his players work ethic. Not too bad of a hatchet job, I guess. Not undeserved, either. Frank Dell’Apa looks at the struggles of Glenn Murray, battling the flu, having along with all his fellow forwards, a terrible series with the Devils. Karen Guregian says Murray, along with Joe Thornton deserves criticism for disappearing in this series. Steve Conroy looks at some costly penalties from last night. Elliot Denman looks at John Madden hounding and haunting the Bruins once again. Karen Guregian assesses the predictable finish to this mediocre season for the Bruins. Steve Conroy looks at Jeff Hackett openly considering retirement. No mention of that in Dupont’s notebook, where he thinks Hackett is a good bet to return and perhaps share the time with Andrew Raycroft. Harris’ notebook looks at Joe Thornton, taking his lumps. Hickling’s notebook looks at the roller coaster season and other team notes.

Thank goodness. I was dreading the hysteria that John Dennis and Glenn Ordway were trying to drum up yesterday on WEEI by saying everytime Pedro has a bad outing it means he’s hurt. Pedro had two shutouts last night, that of the Devil Rays and another of the media after the game. His silence and the cold are the two biggest topics from last night in almost all stories. Bob Hohler looks at the game last night, two biggest items were Pedro and the cold. Steven Krasner looks at Pedro letting his performance do the talking for him. Jeff Horrigan says finding motivation was easy for Pedro last night. Tom Yantz wraps up the game last night as Pedro Hot, Tampa Cold. Alex Speier says that “it was obvious to one and all that the Dominican sheriff ruled the roost. ” Saturday never happened. Gordon Edes looks at the determination and intensity displayed without words by Pedro. Tony Massarotti says someone like Pedro is usually only silent when they want to be heard the most. Whoa. Pretty deep there, Mazz. Kevin Gray says other than the cold, all was as it should be last night. Paul Kenyon focuses on how the cold affected the hitters last night. Nick Cafardo catches up with Doug Mirabelli, finally getting his first hits of the season. Michael Gee’s pay column is also focused on Pedro, his efficiency last night, his silence and notes:

There is no better way for an athlete to draw attention to himself than refusing to speak in public. All of a sudden, Martinez turned a routinely excellent win into a cause celebre, as he had to know would happen.

Hohler’s notebook looks at Brandon Lyon, closer of the moment. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Tony Cloninger finding some flaws in Mendoza’s delivery and hopefully helping in correcting them. Krasner’s notebook says that Alan Embree will attempt to throw today for the first time since going on the DL.

Shira Springer gives Jim O’Brien a full body massage. This is almost like a infomercial for the Celtics coach. As you likely know, I’m torn on O’Brien. He’s got his good points…he’s great with the players, they play hard for him, they respect him, they play tough defense most of the time. But the downside to O’Brien is the offense. He’s limited in what he can do, given the players he has, but the team too often lives or dies on whether the threes are dropping. Last year’s playoffs saw that change a little bit, I’m hoping for more of the same this year. He needs an offensive assistant, to go with Harter on the defense. He needs to be better at developing young players. Bob Schron has perhaps the best Celtics/Pacers preview, noting the two teams facing each other goes all the way back to the Pacers’ ABA days. He looks at the matchups and closes with 7 questions that will determine the fate of the seven game series. Mark Murphy also looks at the matchup with the Pacers, noting that the Celtics face a big disadvantage on the boards. Carolyn Thornton notes that outside of Celtics camp, not many people are optimistic about the C’s chances, but the team is confident. Gerry Callahan has a strategy for beating the Pacers. Taunt Isiah. He recalls an incident in the Shaws summer league, where former BC star Mickey Curley chanted “CBA, CBA” over and over, in reference to Thomas running the league into the ground. Isiah was so bothered he charged into the stands. He suggests the Pacers are emotionally fragile, and Thomas may have lost his grip on his team. Playing mind games with the Pacers and Thomas might be effective. Jerry Trecker previews the NBA playoffs, and lists Jim O’Brien as the coach on the hot seat. Springer’s notebook looks at the Celtics playoff experience. Murphy’s notebook looks at the Pacers talking, the Celtics trying to toughen up JR Bremer for the playoffs and Erick Strickland remembering last year.

Michael Felger looks at WR prospect Kelley Washington. He notes that Washington is the potential draftee that the Patriots have spent the most time with. Nick Cafardo reports on Tom Brady feeling well enough to participate in the “Quarterback Challenge” competition, and has some assorted other notes, including draft notes and word from Antowain Smith’s agent that the running back had back problems much of last year. Michael Parente looks at whether the Patriots might move up into the top five of the draft, and the factors that go into making that decision. Someone on the board yesterday wondered if Hector Longo was Ron Borges’ intern. I thought that was pretty funny. In this article Longo looks at the Patriots need to add an impact player. Again, he’s pretty critical of the team, he compares their player acquisition strategy to that of Dan Duquette, (five nickels for a quarter) again says they should’ve signed David Boston, a player with off field troubles that the team wants no part of, and says the Dolphins and Bills have made impact moves while the Patriots haven’t. The Dolphins impact moves he lists are signing Zach Thomas long term and bringing in 34 year old Junior Seau. He even says “That’s impact”. No mention of Rosevelt Colvin or Rodney Harrison.

Jim Baker recycles some Bill Walton and Danny Ainge Celtic criticisms for his column today, which is mainly focused on the NBA playoffs. In The Week That Was, I’m looking at playoff hockey, Red Sox talk and Bill Lee’s book.

UPN38 has Red Sox/Blue Jays at 7:00. ESPN has Capitals/Lightning at 7:00. ESPN2 has Blues/Canucks at 9:00. TBS has Phillies/Braves at 7:30.

Mike Fine writes a pretty

Mike Fine writes a pretty grim article on the Celtics playoff chances and future. He comes pretty darn close to knocking Jim O’Brien as well. Jim Fenton recalls Celtics playoff villains of the past, (Rodman, Laimbeer, Chuck Person, Ralph Sampson) and wonders if we’ll have a new one in the next couple weeks in Ron Artest. Jeff Thomas looks at the season ending victory last night. Gary Fitz has more on the Celtics gearing up for the playoffs.

Del Jones says to enjoy last night’s victory while you can, because with that bullpen, there may not be many nights where things are that smooth. Garry Brown looks at a couple of Sox slumps coming to an end. Alan Greenwood looks at the late inning magic last night. Greenwood’s notebook looks at Grady getting a little tired of the negative media.

David Pevear says no, Belichick “was not being Ari Fleischer. He probably really just does not know” who is going to be available to him the draft. Eric McHugh looks at the Patriots and their draft options. Chris Kennedy takes a further look at the choices facing the Pats. Tom King says they’re doing a pretty good job of keeping their thoughts to themselves.

Mike Loftus says the Devils may be the ones asking questions now.

After sitting up all night

After sitting up all night anxiously wondering what the scribes would have to complain about last night, I tear open the papers to find…nothing. Well, there’s always something. Gordon Edes seems to be grumbling beneath it all about all the different lineups Grady Little is putting out there. Even when it works, as it did last night with the previously frigid Ortiz and Giambi both getting big hits last night. Jeff Horrigan writes about the Sox being like the weather yesterday, extremes of hot and cold. Horrigan and Sean McAdam also think these early season comeback games may reap benefits later in the season. David Heuschkel writes that it all came together for the Sox last night. The pen, the bats, the defense, it was all there. After seemingly months of writing about indoor track, golf, and women’s college sports, (perhaps at his choosing, you never know) Bob Ryan returns to weigh in on a major league team. He witnessed a save last night and needed to go out have a drink to celebrate the first career save of young Brandon Lyon. Tony Massarotti has more on Lyon and continues to push forth his own theory that there is no commitment to CBC, the Sox are just using that as an excuse until a real closer emerges from the pack. I don’t think that’s the case, but what do I know? Why would they put themselves in ridicule and be accused of trying to “reinvent the game” if they are really just trying to find a traditional closer? Kevin McNamara completes the trilogy of Brandon Lyon articles. Mike Shalin has a couple of sidebar articles, with one on David Ortiz and the other on Jeremy Giambi. Edes also teases a one-on-one interview with Lou Piniella which will air on the Globe SportsPlus tonight. Ah, the Globe found something negative to report on, yup those Monster seats are dangerous. Surprised Shaughnessy didn’t write on this today. Edes’ notebook reports on a fan taken off on a stretcher after taking a ball in the face before the game. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Jason Shiell, fresh up from Triple-A to replace Howry. McAdam’s notebook has more on Shiell. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at the work being done with Mendoza to try to correct his struggles.

With the Bruins on tonight, the Red Sox get bumped once again to ATT3. This isn’t good news for Sox fans in the Nashua area, who I hear are unable to get the games when they’re moved to ATT3, since that channel is used for another purpose in that area. The second largest city in NH, less than an hour from Boston, and they can’t watch these games.

Jim O’Brien did give Walker and Pierce some rest last night, a wise move. The Pistons were doing the same, not even playing starter Cliff Robinson. They’ll play the Pacers, not the Sixers after all. Steve Bulpett writes about the game and a fresh start for the Celtics. Shira Springer looks at Antoine, staying in the locker room long after his teammates had departed, to watch the end of the Nets/Pacers game to see where the Celts would be going for the first round. He then weighs in on Indiana. Mark Murphy has a similar piece for the Herald. Carolyn Thornton recaps the game, and looks ahead to the Pacers. Christopher Price wraps up the game for the Metro. Jon Paul Morosi looks at the grizzled veterans on the end of the Celtic bench who hope to add experience to the Celtics playoff run. Peter May weighs in on the retirement of MJ. Price also looks at ironman Eric Williams, who played all 82 games. In Springer’s notebook, Williams is hoping that durability can get him a contract extension. Bulpett’s notebook looks a nice 125K bonus Tony Battie got last night for the Celtics winning # 44.

Is it possible to have a press conference, but not say anything? That’s what those who attended the Patriots predraft conference yesterday are wondering. Michael Smith seems to admit to an almost grudging respect for Bill Belichick’s ability to not tip his hand in which direction they’re going for the draft next weekend. Detective Michael Felger attempts to piece together the clues dropped by Belichick in an effort to figure out what direction the team is going. Michael Parente looks at the plethora of draft picks and wonders what the Patriots might do with them, be it actually using them on players, or wheeling them about in trades. He also looks at the temptation that is Willis MaGahee. For more on MaGahee, Mike Reiss looks at whether he is worth the risk, and goes over many of the other points brought out yesterday. Tom Curran writes that getting Belichick to say who they’re looking to take is as difficult as opening a new CD. Alan Greenberg also reports on the goings on in Foxboro yesterday. Christopher Price and Ian Clark also weigh in on the conference.

The media seems pretty divided on their opinion of Tebucky Jones. Hector Longo criticizes Belichick and the Patriots for going against their stated desire to get younger on defense and trading away a “budding superstar” in Tebucky, “for gridiron flotsam and jetsam” in draft picks. All in all, a pretty scathing piece by Longo. Of course, no one is surprised to read Nick Cafardo taking the same tact. He says Tebucky wanted to be traded two years ago, before the Super Bowl season, when the Pats disrespected him by platooning him with Matt Stevens. He admits it is all about the money. He wanted to get paid. On the other hand, Mark Farinella says America is great, because “where else could a team turn a flawed player like Tebucky Jones into three draft choices?” So either Tebucky is a “budding superstar” who was let go for nothing, or a “flawed player” and the Patriots were shrewd in getting as much as they did for him. Time will tell which is the right version.

Today’s Hockey articles are brought to you by the Masters of the Obvious. Kevin Paul Dupont looks ahead to tonight’s Bruins/Devils game 5. Expect the unexpected, he says. Stephen Harris says the Bruins chances tonight are much higher if they can score the first goal. (interesting theory there) Karen Guregian says to expect a much tougher Martin Brodeur tonight. (ya think?) Mark Blaudschun says the Bruins know that the odds are still stacked against them. (seriously?) Elliot Denman says Pat Burns and the Devils will be ready for anything the Bruins throw at them. (no kidding…) Bill Reynolds says Boston is no longer a hockey town. (Um, no, not since Orr retired… 25 years ago…) Dupont’s notebook updates us on Samsonov’s sore wrist.

NESN has Bruins/Devils at 7:00. ATT3 has Red Sox/Devil Rays at 6:00. ESPN2 has Oilers/Stars at 7:30.