NY papers were the first

NY papers were the first to pick up on the Manny story Wednesday night, and now this morning, Kevin Kiernan has word that the Manny move was an effort to start the first steps in a chain that would bring Alex Rodriguez to the Red Sox. He says with Manny’s salary dumped, the Red Sox would then swing a three-way trade that would send Nomar to the West coast and ARod to the Sox. The Sox would also sign look to sign Bartolo Colon as a free agent. Those would be some blockbuster moves, indeed. If it could be pulled off, I think I might forget my fondness for Manny fairly quickly. Those bold moves would seem to be at odds with what Howard Bryant writes this morning in a pay column, where he says John Henry is vowing to end the era economic excess in baseball salaries.

Oh Manny. We’ll know sometime before 2:00 today if he remains property of the Red Sox. In the meantime, those headline writers continue to drive you nuts. We know Manny doesn’t want to be here. But the headline to Michael Silverman’s article screams: Bronx tale: Agent: Ramirez wants to play for Yankees, inside, the quotes are much softer, and Silverman says:

Ramirez did speak about his fondness for the Yankees in a televised interview this summer, but preliminary research failed to discover consistent and frequent mentions of a lifelong desire to become a Yankee.

Bob Hohler looks at this drama and what the Sox might be trying to accomplish with it all. David Ortiz is quoted extensively in that piece and speaks of Manny’s unhappiness and frequent stated desires to be traded. Ortiz also feels that with the money Manny is making, he should be able to take the heat a little better. Kevin Millar also speaks in that piece. Sean McAdam says that only the Orioles show even a little interest in Ramirez, and even that is a long shot. Dom Amore and David Heuschkel say that the Yankees are not going to help out the Sox in ridding themselves of Manny’s contract. Lenny Megliola says the Red Sox just can’t get out of the headlines. He also says they did not want this to leak out. Gordon Edes looks at the gamble by the Sox, and has Manny’s agent telling Ortiz to mind his own business. Dan Shaughnessy also has to weigh in, and actually it’s not a terrible piece by Dan. (How’s that for a backhanded compliment?) He applauds the move, but doesn’t think Manny is going anywhere. Bill Reynolds says that all of Manny’s positives are outweighed by the negative. Tony Massarotti says the move is all about financial flexibility. No kidding. Kevin Gray says this move gives us a glimpse inside the Red Sox plans for the future. Steve Buckley has a pay column saying if the Sox end up stuck with Manny, they should take off the kid gloves and “treat him like the bad signing that he is”. Michael Gee doesn’t understand the move. That’s his pay column. David Heuschkel looks at a busy offseason coming up for Theo.

Elsewhere, Grady is going to get a look-see from the Orioles. Gordon Edes and Michael Silverman report.

Michael Felger says that Bill Belichick has put a moratorium in his locker room on talk of the Broncos’ cheap cut-blocking techniques. Tom Curran looks at how the Patriots will plan to stop the Bronco offense. Michael Smith notes that one of the trademarks of the Pats this year has been strong play in the first half. Alan Greenberg looks at Danny Kanell, going from coaching high school to starting on Monday Night Football. Michael Parente also looks at Kanell. Joe Haggerty looks at Patriots rookie center Dan Koppen. Eric McHugh looks at the secondary that almost was for the Broncos, which would’ve included Rodney Harrison and Tyrone Poole. Ian M. Clark has a look at Poole. Christopher Price looks at Ken Walter. Smith’s notebook looks at Eugene Wilson’s play at safety. Parente’s notebook has Belichick admiring the Bronco receivers. Felger’s notebook has more from Belichick on Rod Smith. Curran’s notebook has still more Belichick praise for the Broncos.

Get your Celtics links at Fox Sports Net New England.

Bill Griffith catches up with Jerry Remy, who is wary of his name being floated as a managerial candidate.

I ran out of time this morning, and thus no Bruins links. Sorry. Did you really want to read about a 1-0 OT loss anyway?

The Celtics look impressive in

The Celtics look impressive in their opening night. Get your Celtics links at Fox Sports Net New England.

The Red Sox continue to shake things up, this time with a move that is bold and shocking. They’ve placed Manny Ramirez on irrevocable waivers, meaning any team can have him for his salary if they claim him anytime before midnight tomorrow. I am shocked and chagrined. As much as Sean McAdam disagreed with the move to not bring back Grady Little, you know he approves of this move just as much. Michael Silverman also reports on this move by the Sox. Jack Curry of the NY Times was actually one of the first to break this story. Art Martone of the Providence Journal picked up on the story and reported in on the Sons of Sam Horn board last night. As many of you know, Manny is a favorite of mine. When he comes to the plate, I have to stop whatever I’m doing and watch him. The protection he brings to the others in the lineup is unparalleled, just look at what David Ortiz has done in the past with the Twins and then this season hitting behind Manny. While his salary is ridiculously high, I want him on the team. Apparently the Red Sox don’t. I’ll trust in Theo, just as I trusted in Bill Belichick when he cut Lawyer Milloy and I’ll trust Danny Ainge for having traded Antoine Walker. It is curious to me however, that the move is announced the very same day they raised ticket prices for the ninth straight year, as reported by Bob Hohler. Attempt to dump your highest paid player and also raise ticket prices…not a good 1-2 message for the fans on the same day. Yesterday Ramirez won another Silver Slugger award and was also named the second best player in all of Major League Baseball, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Mike Reiss gives us a day in the life of a New England Patriot player. Tom Curran says the Patriots should win in Denver Monday night. Not hope to win, should win. Michael Felger looks at the Patriot preparation for Denver third string QB turned starter Danny Kanell, who in the last first years has played minor league baseball, Arena League football and coaching high school football. Michael Smith says the Broncos will be a challenge no matter how many injuries they have. Clinton Portis is one guy the Patriots have to stop. Michael Parente takes a look at the Broncos second year running back. Alan Greenberg looks at the reunion of former Boston College centers that will take place in Denver on Monday night. Christopher Price says the Patriots hope to finally break through in Denver. Reiss’ notebook has a look at a possible reason for the Patriots recent offensive woes. Parente’s notebook takes a similar view. Felger’s notebook looks at Belichick doing all he can to make sure there is no letdown on Monday night. Smith’s notebook takes a look at how Rodney Harrison passed up his first choice, the Broncos, to come to the Patriots. Curran’s notebook looks at Tom Brady hoping to erase bad memories of this first trip to Denver to play the Broncos.

Lawyer Milloy. Antoine Walker. Manny Ramirez (?) and PJ Stock. (!) Another legend of Boston sports is headed out of town. Of course, Stock doesn’t have the talent of the first three, he’s someone who certainly caught the attention and hearts of Bruins fans. The B’s shipped him out of town yesterday, moving him to the Flyers’ top minor league club. Kevin Paul Dupont looks at the transaction. Steve Conroy looks at the play of Nick Boynton. Conroy’s notebook looks at the Stock trade.

Michael Vega and Mike Shalin look at Jim Calhoun and UConn holding hard feelings against Boston College.

Alan Lupo is tired of sports riots on the campus of UNH. Bob Halloran wants to see more celebrations in sports. (Not riots though.)

NESN has Bruins/Canadiens at 7:00. TNT has Nuggets/Rockets at 8:00 and Cavs/Suns at 10:30. ESPN has BYU/Boise State college football at 7:30.

Opening night for the Celtics,

Opening night for the Celtics, and as announced yesterday, you can get all your Celtic links over at Fox Sports Net New England’s website, they will usually be published no later than 9:00 AM. As today is the first day, there may be a slight delay.

Having finished their first offseason move in not renewing the contract of Grady Little, the Sox have a lot of other work to be done. Bob Hohler lights the hot stove with a number of team related business matters that must be addressed. Michael Silverman reports that the search for the new manager will initially be a three horse race. Terry Francona, Glenn Hoffman and Bud Black are the candidates, and the Sox are keeping an eye on what happens in Oakland. David Heuschkel says the Sox will take their time making this decision. Howard Bryant’s Boston Uncommon pay column today makes sure there is no doubt remaining that John Henry was unhappy with the performance of Grady Little throughout the season. He says:

This is dangerous territory, but Henry and his lieutenants banked a season's worth of Little's mistakes to make a case not to renew him -- the braintrust is still fuming over the June, Jim Thome game in Philadelphia -- but in doing so also inflated the Red Sox' abilities as a club. Little was not a great game manager, but neither were these Red Sox anything more than a very good, but flawed team in a league full of them.

Steve Buckley has a pay column in which Rick Burleson throws his name into the ring for the job of Red Sox manager. Rob Bradford talks with the only person ever to fire Grady Little. No it is not Theo Epstein, or Larry Lucchino or John Henry. Nick Cafardo looks at the release of two veteran scouts by the Red Sox.

The Bruins pick up another road win, with Felix Potvin notching a shutout. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell, Stephen Harris and Dan Hickling have the highlights from Montreal. James Murphy looks at the Bruins keeping level heads during this fast start, a good idea considering what happened last year. Rookie Patrice Bergeron had one of the Bruins goals last night, in front of his hometown. He is the major topic of Harris’ notebook. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at Sergei Zinovjev. Hickling’s notebook has more on Bergeron.

Michael Felger’s Patriots Insider gives the nod to Rodney Harrison as the team’s first half MVP. He also looks at the highlights from a memorable (for those who were watching) first eight games to the season. He adds by looking at the status of eight former Patriots who are playing elsewhere. Nick Cafardo is on the positive juice, turning around the notion that the Patriots appear to be struggling to score touchdowns and instead looks at the progress made by the offensive line. Eric McHugh has a Patriots midseason report card. (likely only available until noon.) Mike Giardi is on board with this Patriots squad. Michael Parente looks at the next opponent for the Patriots, the Broncos, who are struggling after Jake Plummer injured himself. Jonathan Comey ranks the Pats fourth in his NFL power rankings. Mike Reiss takes a look at former BC coach Jack Bicknell, who is moving on to another NFL Europe coaching job after spending 11 years in Barcelona. Parente’s notebook says the Patriots are in no hurry to fill Kenyatta Jones’ roster slot.

Jim Donaldson wants LeBron James to fall on his face. Peter May looks at the mess that is the Lakers.

FSNE has Celtics/Heat at 7:00. ESPN has Magic/Knicks at 8:00 and Cavs/Kings at 10:30. ESPN2 has Blues/Red Wings at 7:30.