Calm Before the Storm

Mike Reiss has an exhaustive mailbag to kick off the Patriots offseason. He looks ahead to free agency, including listing out some players that he thinks that the Patriots might be interested in. According to Reiss, the plan is to make the mailbag a monthly feature during the offseason, a nice development for Patriots fans. Albert Breer reports on Mass native Mike Sherman accepting an assistant coach position with the Houston Texans.

Gordon Edes takes an interesting look at the Red Sox this morning, with a number of topics explored. Does Curt Schilling have a chance of pitching 200 innings and winning 20 games? How do Coco Crisp and Josh Beckett compare to Johnny Damon and Roger Clemens at similar ages? How is the infield defense? The bullpen? Tony Massarotti says that with all the chaos in the Red Sox front office this offseason, we’re really going to have no idea who to blame if things fall apart. Joe McDonald has a look at Dustin Pedroia, who worked extra hard in the offseason to give himself the best shot possible at cracking the major league lineup this year. Chris Snow’s notebook looks at Mike Timlin getting the call to work out of the bullpen for the US in the World Baseball Classic. Michael Silverman’s notebook looks at the Lowell Spinners’ campaign to get sports teams across the country with the name Yankees to change their names.

Steve Bulpett reports on Wally Szczerbiak’s sore knee, which could keep him out of tonight’s game with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Shira Springer has more on the balky knee of Szczerbiak. Scott Souza looks at the Celtics again getting great shooting, and hoping that it translates into more wins. Bulpett’s notebook has Danny Ainge saying that he doesn’t anticipate any more trades before the trading deadline. He also speaks a little bit about why Marcus Banks and Ricky Davis were traded.

Kevin Paul Dupont looks at Wayne Gretzky sticking to his story about not being involved in the NHL gambling scandal, despite being constantly asked about it. Mike Loftus has a look at Bruins coach Mike Sullivan settling into his role as US assistant coach.

You can get your Olympic coverage from the Globe Olympic Section, the Herald Olympic Section, as well as in the New York Sports Pages and Bay Area Sports Pages.

Chad Finn weighs in on Roger Clemens, and promises more soon. Bill Simmons rates the NBA from worst to first.

FSN has Celtics/Cavs at 7:30. ESPN has Georgia Tech/North Carolina at 7:00 and Wizards/Mavs at 9:00. ESPN2 has Cincinnati/Syracuse at 7:30 and Oklahoma/Colorado at 9:30. NESN has Maine/Vermont at 7:00.

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