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.

The Grady Little era officially

The Grady Little era officially came to an end yesterday afternoon with Theo Epstein and Larry Lucchino sent out to face the ravenous wolves who comprised the writers in attendance. To their credit, they, especially Theo, handled themselves quite well. Dan Shaughnessy was among them, and his article today has him all mixed up. He insists:

but no matter what they say, this goes down as the first instance of a Red Sox manager getting the ax for a single decision in a single game.

So he says it’s all because of game seven, and there is no other reason that management declined to bring him back. But just a couple paragraphs later he gives an example from the during the season that he says shows that Grady didn’t have the backing of ownership, and later still in the article he notes another thing said by Grady and says:

It was a telling remark, proof that in the end, the job overwhelmed the nice guy/cotton farmer from North Carolina.

So the manager was clearly overwhelmed in the job, but they all want him back. Makes sense. If Grady didn’t have the backing of ownership earlier in the season, then how was the decision to not bring him back stem from one game? The rest of the article is comprised of lying out the impossible standards that the Red Sox have set in what they’re looking for in the manager. Howard Bryant has a pay column showing how game seven really had nothing to do with yesterday. Grady wasn’t coming back, and John W. Henry was certain of that months ago. Michael Holley comes to pretty much the same conclusion. Gerry Callahan says that all that game seven did was to make things a whole lot easier for the Red Sox to part ways with Grady. He says:

The Sox expect to be in the playoffs again next year and the year after that. Grady says he'll be there to haunt them, but the Sox' owners can live with that. They saw him manage in a big game in October. Nothing can be as frightening as that.

Michael Silverman says it was philosophical differences that led to Grady’s downfall within the organization. Sean McAdam looks at the whole situation and provides likely the best top to bottom account of the situation. Jeff Jacobs feels the Red Sox were being disingenuous during this process, and particularly Theo for saying even Grady won game seven he wouldn’t have likely been brought back. Jacobs calls that remark “baloney”. Tony Massarotti says that there is a split in the Red Sox organization and that the two guys who faced the music yesterday were actually Grady’s biggest boosters in the Red Sox offices. Lenny Megliola says that John W. Henry was never in Grady’s corner. Steven Krasner notes a few of Grady’s decisions that led to his downfall. The Herald looks at the reaction to Grady’s unemployment among the players and the league. Trot Nixon was among those speaking out. Alex Speier examines Grady’s dismissal and tenure here. Paul Doyle affirms that Henry had doubts about Little for quite some time. Krasner notes that some of Grady’s best work was done off of the diamond. Bill Reynolds says Grady was just a scapegoat for everyone else’s failures. David Heuschkel looks at the praise being thrown at Grady while the team declined to bring him back. Jim Donaldson continues his relentless quest to outdo Buddy Thomas. He says:

...the Boston Stat Geeks, a.k.a. the Bambino-cursed Red Sox, announced yesterday they were dumping their Old Salty Dog Baseball Traditionalist of a manager, Grady Little.

It just goes downhill from there. Perhaps someone should remind him that the “Old Salty Dog” way of doing things around here hasn’t worked. That being said, Steve Buckley’s column in the Herald was pretty actually pretty enjoyable. Or was it just because it immediately followed that bit by Donaldson? Buckley looks at the dignified, classy way Theo handled things yesterday, even if the decision wasn’t his to let Grady go.

Jeff Horrigan looks at the qualities the Sox will be looking for in the next manager, and some of the candidates. Gordon Edes says the search could take some time. Weeks, if not months. Tony Massarotti says that Grady won’t be out of work very long. Sean McAdam examines the field of candidates. Nick Cafardo has Tommy Lasorda weigh in on who should be the next manager. John Wallach looks at the work Theo has ahead of him. Hohler’s notebook looks at some personnel related business the Sox will need to take care of fairly soon.

Pretty much solid “B’s” with a couple “C’s” is what Kevin Mannix comes up with for the Patriots report card this week. Michael Smith says this Patriots defense is moving up among the best in the league. Mike Reiss says Romeo Crennel is getting attention for what his defense is doing. Tom Curran looks at the Patriots success in close games. Christopher Price looks at the productivity of Kevin Faulk. Rich Thompson looks at Faulk as a major component of the running game. Christopher Young looks at the NFL at the halfway point. Karen Guregian wonders who the Patriot MVP at the midway point is. Michael Parente looks at an up-and-down October for the Pats. Up with a 4-0 record, but paying a price with all the injuries. Alan Greenberg looks at the formula the Patriots have used for success this year. The Herald notebook looks at Kenyatta Jones, movin’ on. Smith’s notebook looks at the Pats ability to win close games. Curran’s notebook looks at the tough choices the Patriots will have to make as players return from injury. Reiss’ notebook looks at the flexibility that Eugene Wilson at safety affords the Patriots.

Starting tomorrow, the Celtics portion of the links will be hosted over at the Fox Sports New England webpage. They bring you the games, and now they will bring you the Celtics links each morning. I’ll be putting them together for the page. All other links (Red Sox, Patriots, etc) will remain on this page. More details to follow. Hope to see you over there. Jackie MacMullan looks at Danny Ainge’s rise as a player, coach and now director of basketball operations for the Celtics. Throughout his life, he’s always been one who is not afraid to speak up, and be a straight shooter. Steve Bulpett looks at the questions that face the Celtics as the season begins. Shira Springer gives us her Celtics preview. Bill Griffith looks at the NBA TV and Radio crews gearing up for another season. Peter May says the Lakers could be in for a long season. Jerry Trecker looks at the NBA getting a much needed boost this season. Springer also looks at the Celtics depth chart. Springer’s notebook looks at the overhaul done to the starting five of the Celtics. Bulpett’s notebook also looks at the starting lineup.

Bye-Bye Grady. If you think

Bye-Bye Grady. If you think the talk will slow down now that he won’t be returning, just think of the weeks of speculation we now have to look forward to as to who the next manager will be.

But one last note here…just how bad was Grady’s game seven managing? Heck, even Butch Hobson would’ve taken Pedro out before the eighth inning started.

Monday means another edition of Thoughts from Kent Thaler.

The Patriots get to the

The Patriots get to the midpoint of the season at 6-2. Who is the first media member to point out that the last time the team started 6-2, they finished 2-6 and out of the playoffs? Of course, Pete Carroll was the coach and Drew Bledsoe the QB at that time. Things are likely different this time around. Game stories for yesterday’s 9-3 Patriots win are filed by Michael Smith, Tom Curran, Michael Felger, Christopher Price and Alan Greenberg. As far as the columnists go, Ron Borges loves the players on this team. The toughness and grit they show are something he can appreciate. Kevin Mannix says a win like yesterday is one of the essentials in any team’s quest for the playoffs and championships. Bob Ryan wasn’t entertained by yesterdays game, but he recognizes the importance of each win. Jim Donaldson says there is never anything boring about winning, even you don’t look good doing it. Lenny Megliola says while the win wasn’t pretty, defense coaches love games like yesterday. Dan Pires says the old Patriots defense has finally returned. Mike Reiss has a Cleveland player showing respect for Belichick and the Patriot defense. Michael Parente says statistics lie when it comes to this Patriot team.

Daniel Graham showed some of his potential yesterday in breaking through with a career game. Nick Cafardo, Karen Guregian, Michael Parente, Paul Kenyon Tim Weisberg and Alan Greenberg look at the seven catch, 110 yard performance from the second year tight end. Mike Vrabel, in his first game back since breaking his right arm, was a huge disruptive force on defense, racking up three sacks. Carolyn Thornton and Michael O’Connor have a look at the effort of the Patriots linebacker. Kevin Faulk was another big contributor, Ian M. Clark, Tony Chamberlain, Rich Thompson and Paul Kenyon have more on the 96-yard performance by Faulk. O’Connor looks at the day of Adam Vinatieri, who had three field goals. Thornton also has a look at the Pats kicker, who had some difficulty with footing on the field. No, not because the Evil Belichick had a dispute with the Michael Vick of groundskeepers, but because there was an MLS soccer game on the field on Saturday. Christopher Price looks at the optimism surrounding this team and the inevitable comparisons to the 2001 team. Mannix has Christian Fauria expressing disappointment in his team’s offense. Hector Longo looks at the emergence of Richard Seymour as a team leader. Jim Baker looks at a pair of chop-block calls on the Patriots offensive linemen. Michael Smith looks at the release of Kenyatta Jones. Steve Buckley has a pay column looking at the Patriots hoping to ease the pain of the Red Sox end to the season. Michael Gee’s pay column is a look at the injuries suffered by the Browns yesterday, while George Kimball has a pay column on Ty Law, hobbled by his injury, but able to keep up with the speedy Kevin Johnson on the Brown’s last play of the game and intercept the ball, sealing the win for the Patriots.

Felger’s notebook looks at the release of Jones. The Standard-Times notebook also looks at Jones and a number of other items. Parente’s notebook also looks at the release of Jones. Smith’s notebook looks at the importance of Special Teams field position in the game. Curran’s notebook looks at a very good game by Ken Walter.

The Grady watch continues. Can we just get a resolution here? Even some of the media guys are tiring of talking about it on the air. Not all, just some. Bob Hohler says the end for Little may come as soon as today. Michael Silverman says Jerry Remy is on the list of candidates to replace Little. Steven Krasner looks at the sudden turn of events for Little over the last two weeks. Tony Massarotti, to the bitter end in Grady’s corner, thinks the Sox will have a hard time finding anyone to manage for them after the shoddy way they treated Little. Silverman also says letting Grady go will be a severe mistake. Gordon Edes looks at possible candidates to be Grady’s replacement. John Tomase looks at who will likely stay and go among the players. I liked Ed Cossette’s edition of Bambino’s Curse today, which takes aim at the media siding with Grady and making the Red Sox organization out to be some…dare we say, evil entity in this whole scenario. Don’t be misled by the title of his site, Cossette doesn’t believe in a Curse, he uses his site and writing to treat the subject tongue in cheek, and oftentimes to dismiss the idea altogether.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at four young players that have Bruins fans excited. Stephen Harris also looks at the Bruins young players.

Shira Springer takes a look at the reading and work Paul Pierce is doing to establish himself as a leader. Steve Bulpett looks at the fast friendship between Eric Williams and Raef LaFrentz, which goes back to their Denver days and a shared injury. Bulpett’s notebook looks at the green picking up the fourth year option on Kedrick Brown.

John Molori returns with a Media Blitz article on the Grady Little overkill on the airwaves.

ABC has Chargers/Dolphins (from Phoenix) at 9:00.

Bob Ryan leads us off

Bob Ryan leads us off today with one of the periodic ” Emptying Out the Desk Drawer of the Sports Mind” columns. He opens with the only way he can conceive of that Grady Little could come back next year. Full page ads in the Globe and Herald, signed by all his players, endorsing him. I’m not sure even that would fly. Michael Silverman says it appears certain that the Sox will not pick up Grady’s option, with an official announcement coming as soon as Monday. Kevin Gray looks at Grady’s preemptive strike and some possible replacements. Michael Holley says that knowing he was gone gave Grady the courage to speak out as he did. David Heuschkel and Sean McAdam also look at the fate of Grady after his having spoken out to the Boston Globe. Lenny Megliola looks at the waiting game we’re all playing when it comes to Grady and the Sox. (Warning: Aaron Boone references contained within that article.) Steve Buckley looks at Mo Vaughn, who appears to be preparing for retirement.

Bruins return from the West coast and drop a disappointing 2-0 decision to the Hurricanes. One of those “first game back from the long road trip” struggles that seems to apply to all sports, or is it just a myth? Some statistician will have to research that. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell recaps the loss. Stephen Harris looks at the B’s falling into the “trap game”. James Murphy and Joe McDonald round out the game coverage. Steve Conroy looks at the Hurricanes snapping a streak of 16 games without a win at the expense of the Bruins. Kevin Paul Dupont tells us the Bruins are going to need more than just a fast start to convince their skeptics. Karen Guregian writes the same article. Douglas Flynn says maybe it would’ve just been better for the Bruins to stay on the road. Joe Gordon looks at the first loss of the year for Andrew Raycroft. Harris’ notebook looks at Sergei Zinovjev. McDonald’s notebook looks at the Bruins goalie tandem. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook reports on an early return for Rob Zamuner.

Last night on the Globe Sports Plus, Bob Lobel, Bob Ryan and Nick Cafardo were gushing over Bill Belichick. Cafardo had as much praise for the Patriots coach as I’ve ever seen him. He called him “incredible” and they talked about how technically advanced over everyone else in the league he must be. They said the impressive thing with that is that he is able to then communicate that to the players. Cafardo did say however, that he feared that the Patriots were peaking too soon and that the rookies would soon hit the infamous rookie “wall”. If you missed “Ask Nick” yesterday, it is a must read. To steal a phrase, the UCF is off the charts. At one point he calls the departed Dennis Brolin “the Michael Vick of groundskeepers.” He’s sure to mention that it was a dispute with Belichick that led to such a talented guy leaving the organization. Michael Felger looks at the Patriots paying a price – literally – for their hard hitting style of play. Michael Smith looks at Ty Law, eager to get back on the field after discovering that his post playing career is not going to be as a coach. Alan Greenberg has a mini-feature on Eugene Wilson, who isn’t your average rookie. Joe Haggerty looks at second year receiver Deion Branch. Tom Curran takes a look at some misleading statistics. Ian M. Clark looks at who the Browns will start at QB this Sunday. Christopher Price examines the Patriots home field advantage. Michael S. Rosenwald has an update on the Kenyatta Jones arrest. Perhaps a little more information in there than I needed to know. Felger’s notebook looks at Ty Law shedding his cast. Smith’s notebook has more on Kenyatta Jones’ place on the team. Curran’s notebook looks at the production of Deion Branch.

All afternoon on 1510 the Zone Ryen Rusillo was pumping a trade rumor he had from a source. The trade would’ve sent Eric Williams and Tony Battie to the Rockets for Eddie Griffin, Cuttino Mobley and Bostjan Nachbar. The trade quickly made the rounds on the Internet and was reported on radio stations as far West as San Francisco. Rusillo initially said the trade had a 75% chance of happening, but before his show ended in the early evening, he had backed off a bit, saying that the trade would not happen last night, but still had a “good chance” of being made. Shira Springer has an article looking at Vin Baker being named a starter for opening night, and what the rest of the starting lineup might be. At the end of the article, she mentions the above rumor, and Danny Ainge is quoted as saying that the rumor was “100 percent make-believe.” The Rockets also denied the rumor, through the agent for Williams. Steve Bulpett says that without Antoine Walker, the Celtics are looking to become a much more balanced team. Bulpett’s notebook also knocks down the trade rumor, marking it as a casualty of the so-called information age. One of his points against it is that he says the numbers will not work. RealGM however, says that the numbers work out just fine. Christopher Price says the Celtics are coming together nicely, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Bill Griffith looks at Bob Neumeier, prepping for the Breeder’s Cup. Jim Baker (Who I hear is close to accepting a buyout from the Herald.) has a pay column today looking at the same event.

The post-Antoine era began last

The post-Antoine era began last night at the Fleetcenter. As some thought, it was a rout. But the Celtics were the ones on the winning side of the scoreboard. Steve Bulpett was one of those who believed the Green might be in for a long night. Instead, he notes, the Celtics looked the best they have all preseason. Raef LaFrentz made his debut for the Celtics yesterday, and Shira Springer looks at his game and what he brings to the team. Carolyn Thornton also has a look at the Celtics’ newest big man. Christopher Price also has a look at the Celtic debut of LaFrentz. Lenny Megliola examines the new look Celtics, mostly through the eyes of Eric Williams, who himself may not be around a whole lot longer. Mark Murphy takes a look at last night’s pasting of the Timberwolves. Peter May says that Ainge likely isn’t done trading, and Tony Battie is rumored to be a guy who they’re shopping around the league. Rob Bradford takes a look at Jiri Welsch and wonders if the 6-7 guard was meant to end up here in Boston all along. Michael Muldoon also has a look at Welsch, who is only the second Czech to play in the NBA. Bulpett talks with Kevin McHale about the moves being made by his former Celtics teammate, and the TWolves executive thinks the trade makes a lot of sense for the Celtics. Thornton’s notebook says that Paul Pierce is more than capable of stepping into an even more expanded leadership role. Murphy’s notebook looks at the first game in green for LaFrentz.

Mike Reiss takes a look at the contributions of first round pick Ty Warren. He also compares Warren’s stats to those of the other defensive lineman taken in the first round and he’s right up there with any of them. Alan Greenberg looks at the Patriots huge improvement in playing against the run. One of the reasons cited is the revamped secondary. Michael Felger looks at the success the Patriots are having in throwing the long ball. Glen Farley has an interesting piece on the bond between Adam Vinatieri and handicapped kicking coach Doug Blevins. (Article is likely replaced by noon.) Michael Smith has a look at the “madman” style of play from Rodney Harrison. Tom Curran and Michael Parente each ponder who is going to be the Browns quarterback on Sunday to face the Patriots. Christopher Price says that the Patriots will be prepared for either quarterback. Erin Walsh reports on the arrest of Kenyatta Jones on Monday night. Mac Daniel & Michael S. Rosenwald have a more extensive account of the incident. Parente’s notebook also reports on Jones. Felger’s notebook says that the Jones incident might’ve resulted from “horseplay” and also that when reporters went to Jones’ condo, they were greeted by J.R. Redmond. He also reports an injury to Roman Phifer that might be worse than just day-to-day. Smith’s notebook looks at a BC reunion on Sunday at Gillette.

Sean McAdam has a source telling him that Grady Little will not be back as the Red Sox manager. Gordon Edes talks with Grady, who says he isn’t sure he wants to come back and manage this team. No shock there. This is the best for all involved. Grady knows that. He doesn’t get fired, and the Red Sox can hire someone else. Bill Reynolds says all season Grady was the fall guy, and he’ll take the fall now, especially from this ownership group that “is supersensitive to fan sentiment”. John Tomase reports on another Padres assistant being added to the Red Sox scouting staff.

Steve Conroy looks at the cautiously optimistic Bruins as they return from their West coast swing. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell gives us five reasons that the Bruins find themselves atop the Northeast division. Stephen Harris looks at the leadership of Joe Thornton.

Feel free to avert your eyes from these last two linked columns. Stan Grossfeld, who has done a bang-up job composing feature articles at the Globe, submits one today on Bill Buckner. Sure, he may be at peace, but why not let Red Sox fans be in peace as well? We don’t really want to read another story on the guy, no matter how well written. The last column is just here for sheer morbid car-wreck gawking value. Yup, Buddy Thomas strikes again. He’s got this new, original idea, this thought that maybe there is a curse surrounding the Red Sox, and that it involves Babe Ruth. It’s a little sad, but I think Buddy might’ve actually tried to put some work in on this one.

The analysis of the Antoine

The analysis of the Antoine Walker trade continues. Steve Bulpett compares Antoine to Roger Clemens, and thinks he will be revitalized by a change of venue. Peter May says to judge this trade from the Celtics point of view requires a long term vision. Tim Weisberg says the trade leaves a big hole with the loss of Walker, but other holes are filled by it. Mark Murphy looks at an expanded role for Vin Baker, possibly even a starting spot. Michael Muldoon looks at the trade and says Ainge got as much as he could for Walker, who divided allegiances like no other player in town. Shira Springer looks at the delay in getting Raef LaFrentz onto the practice court. Carolyn Thornton also looks at the debut delayed for LaFrentz. Murphy writes about Red Auerbach signing off on the deal. Mike Fine looks back at Walker and Ainge has more moves up his sleeve. (That link will likely be to another article by noon, as the Patriot Ledger recycles links each day.) Bulpett also looks at Jiri Welsch, who choose to wear # 44, and got some advice from Ainge on wearing that number. Bulpett looks at Ainge dealing with the negative reaction to the trade locally and around the league. Murphy’s notebook looks at Jim O’Brien getting a little testy at practice yesterday. Springer’s notebook also looks at Welsch wearing the number 44.

Michael Felger in his Patriots Insider looks at the Patriots youth movement, the job Bill Parcells has done with Dallas and Terry Glenn, and at the officials in the Patriots/Dolphins game on Sunday, who seemed rather confused at times. Dan Pires looks at how Richard Seymour has become a favorite of coach Bill Belichick. Nick Cafardo looks at the two Bills, Parcells and Belichick, and how they’re finally enjoying success apart from each other. A nice, positive article, but I don’t know if we can “finally say” they are good without each other too. The season is still pretty early on both sides. When both Belichick (Browns) and Parcells (Patriots) led their teams to a playoff matchup in 1994, could it be said then that both enjoyed success without each other? How you define success? One good season? A playoff berth? Super Bowl title? In any event, it’s a positive article about Belichick from Cafardo. There isn’t even a single mention of Tom Donahoe, either. John Altavilla has a look at the job done by Parcells in Dallas. Michael Parente has a look at Richard Seymour, who is still enjoying beating the Dolphins in Miami. Glen Farley welcomes back fans who have been wrapped in the Sox. (Another article that is likely gone by noon) Christopher Price looks at Boston as a target of the AFL.

The Bruins West coast swing came to and end last night with a 4-1 win over a stacked Avalanche team. Steve Conroy and Nancy Marrapese-Burrell look at the huge win. Conroy’s notebook looks at Joe Thornton’s three assist night. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook looks at the contributions of Ian Moran on defense.

I’ve pledged no World Series Articles for this space, but I have point out a just inane article by Sean McAdam. He’s trying to point out the irony that Carl Pavano is starting for the Marlins tonight in the World Series. The insinuation is clear that is the Red Sox might’ve been better off just hanging onto Pavano, with him they just might be in the World Series, since Pedro hasn’t been able to deliver them there. Never mind that Pavano was an injury-plagued disappointment in Montreal, or that he was 12-13 with a 4.30 E.R.A for the Marlins this year. McAdam further tries to stretch his irony by saying:

Finally, last year, he was dealt with two others to Florida. In exchange, the Expos received Cliff Floyd, who weeks later, would be sent on to Boston for the second half of last season. Still another player included in the deal to Montreal was infielder Wilton Guerrero, who, in another lifetime, was traded by Duquette from Montreal to Los Angeles for Martinez. Just one more Six Degrees of Baseball Separation moment.

Sorry, Sean. Guerrero was never traded for Pedro. That was Delino Deshields. Guerrero was part of a separate Dodgers/Expos trade, one involving among others, Carlos Perez and Mark Grudzielanek.

In his Boston Uncommon pay column, Howard Bryant first gives us a history lesson, pointing out managers who have been fired after winning 97 & 99 games. (Charlie Dressen of the Dodgers and Yogi Berra of the Yankees, respectively) The point is, there is precedent for a manger to be fired after winning a lot of games, no matter what beat writers will tell you. Bryant also weighs in on the Dennis & Callahan flap, with some harsh words for the station and his Herald colleague, Gerry Callahan. He recalls a Callahan article from Sunday in which Gerry said that one bad decision, “a gaffe of epic proportions, an unforgivable error in judgment: by Grady Little will be something that Little wear like a tattoo on his forehead forever. Bryant says:

Whatever tattoo Callahan now wears is much worse than that of Little, whose error was having too much faith in a Hall of Fame pitcher. Callahan's warrior mark is a living reminder of the attitudes that have made Boston such a difficult, divisive place to live, and people should remember this when deciding to listen or appear on their show.

He ends that section of his column by thanking Dennis and Callahan for revealing where they stand.

Mike Giardi introduces a new term into his vocabulary: “Gradied”.

FSNE has Celtics/Timberwolves preseason action at 7:00.

The news came down early

The news came down early yesterday morning and it was similar to hearing that the Patriots had released Lawyer Milloy. “The Celtics traded Antoine Walker?” Shock was the initial first reaction. In some ways the moves were similar. Both were captains and acknowledged leaders of their teams. Both are known for their tireless work in the community. Both were cast aside because the team didn’t think they were worth the money that they wanted and were making. The only difference is the Celtics were able to get at least a little something in exchange for Walker. The early returns have Patriots coach Bill Belichick looking good with his move to jettison Milloy. Lets hope Danny Ainge looks good in the future as well. It’s no secret that I was fond of Antoine. I like his competitiveness, his versatility, the leadership he brought to a young team. I like that he never wilted in Boston. He was a guy who could take the heat of playing here and went through some tough times. Now he’s off to Dallas. Bob Ryan seems happy that Ainge was able to find a taker for Antoine, a player that he just could never quite warm up to. Steve Bulpett says Antoine’s days here were numbered as soon as Ainge took over the operations of the team. Shira Springer has quotes from Antoine and Ainge on the deal, Walker wasn’t too surprised, and seems almost relieved, while Ainge notes that Antoine had too big a grasp on the franchise for a player of his skills. Jackie MacMullan looks at what the Celtics got in the deal, noting the strengths of LaFrentz’s game and saying that Jiri Welsch could be the key to the deal and a real player in time. Gerry Callahan in a pay column somehow uses the trade of Walker in an analogy to show that Grady Little should be fired. He says Ainge had the guts to remove his star for the good of the team, and if Grady had done that, the Sox would still be playing. Peter May says that this move shows that Ainge and the Celtics mean business. Lenny Megliola feels that as the least, the Celtics will be more interesting this season. He has some pretty warm words for Walker in the article. Jerry Trecker looks at the trade for the Courant. Carolyn Thornton looks at the trade for the ProJo. Craig N. Liadis notes that Antoine’s last game as a Celtics was played in Manchester and was typical Antoine…”Run-ins with refs. Dismal shooting. Decent, yet unspectacular production.” Bulpett says that Antoine did not fit into the master plan developed by Ainge. Michael Gee isn’t sold on the trade, noting that:

O'Brien's best hope is that the trade is a wash. The GM who made the trade admitted it could be "a step back.'' The Celts' slogan about aiming for championship No. 17 sounds even sillier than it did when Walker was still co-captain.

Ainge is a smart man. The only possible explanation for making this particular deal for Walker is if Ainge concluded he had no chance to sign Antoine to a long-term contract extension, and decided to cut his losses.

Bill Reynolds says the deal really shouldn’t be much of a surprise, considering Ainge’s clear feelings on Antoine’s style of play. Mark Murphy looks at Raef LaFrentz, who will be reunited with college teammate Paul Pierce. Mark Cuban says LaFrentz could immediately become the second best center in the East. Thornton looks at the players involved in the trade. Springer looks at what the deal means for Paul Pierce and the rest of the Celtics. Jim Baker gets reaction from Tommy Heinsohn and Mike Gorman on the deal, but of whom were surprised, but understand why the deal was made. Scott Souza gets quotes on the deal from a number of people around the Celtics. Jon Wallach likes the trade. Zach Rocha is worshipping Danny Ainge for simply getting Antoine out of town. Bulpett looks at how Paul Pierce will be affected by not having his running mate on the floor with him.

(many of the following articles require a free registration) In Dallas, Eddie Sefko looks at the potent offensive force that is now the Mavericks with the addition of Walker. Kevin Sherrington says the Mavs absolutely fleeced the Celtics in this deal. Art Garcia says the Mavs couldn’t pass this up. Sefko also looks at the Trades impact on all involved. David Aldridge of ESPN calls this a steal for the Mavs as well. Chris Broussard of the NY Times feels this deal is “severely lopsided in Dallas’s favor” until we see how Welsch develops. Hoopsword says Christmas came early for the Mavericks this year.

Bill Reynolds remembers Ernie Calverley, Rhode Island’s first basketball superstar, and a former Celtic.

Kevin Mannix hands out his Patriots report card. He starts it off by praising Tom Brady for living for big moments. Ron Borges has praise for the Patriots, noting that this team is likely going to get better. Kevin McNamara says the defensive scheme of hawking to the ball has fit this personnel very well. Alan Greenberg looks at the team still riding high after the win Sunday. Christopher Price looks at a happy Monday for the team. Mike Reiss looks at the impressive job done by the entire coaching staff thus far. Michael Smith looks at how the Patriots continue to defy the odds in this crazy season. Tom Curran takes Charlie Weis to task for questionable playcalling on Sunday. Smith’s notebook has Belichick not commenting on the coin toss controversy. Rich Thompson’s notebook looks at how the Patriots have meetings to figure out how to get turnovers from the other team. McNamara’s notebook looks at Richard Seymour enjoying the win over Miami. Reiss’ notebook has an injury update on Ty Law.

Tony Massarotti says the Red Sox should make a run at Andy Pettitte in the offseason. Michael Holley and Jeff Horrigan say that Joe Torre is backing Grady Little. Of course he is. If you were Joe Torre, wouldn’t you want Little managing against you again next year?

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell and Steve Conroy examine the Bruins West coast road trip.

Bill Griffith looks at the return of Dennis and Callahan.