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.