Monday Links and Weekend Highlights

John Molori reported over the weekend that 7NBC is about to hire Larry Ridley, who is currently working for WSVN in southern Florida, to fill their full time sports anchor opening.

John Tomase writes that with a playoff berth all but assured for the Patriots, they’ve got five major areas to work on between now and the start of the playoffs. Mike Reiss talks to a number of national NFL experts about how the Patriots have looked thus far, and what their potential is for the rest of the season. Alan Greenberg has a look at Asante Samuel, whose work and film study continue to pay off for the 25-year-old cornerback in the form of interceptions and better tackling this season. Ron Chimelis says that Monday Night Football just isn’t the same now that it doesn’t have the “premier” game each week.

Yesterday, Ian Clark pondered just what we have in the 4-1 Patriots. Michael Parente says that chemistry is a big part of the Patriots success thus far this season. Hector Longo had a piece on Salem, N.H., native Nicholas Krippendor, whose job these days is trying to make sure that the Patriots become China’s team. Bill Reynolds had a look at how Lawrence Taylor was really responsible for the evolution of the left tackle position in the NFL.

Shira Springer has Doc Rivers looking to trim the number of injuries he has on his team, as well as cutting the roster down a little bit to clear some room. Steve Bulpett has Rivers saying that Delonte West will be used mostly as a “2″ guard this season. The BSMW Full Court Press is back in operation for another season, under a new steward. I’d like to thank Jon Duke for his work in the past on the page (He’ll still be a contributor, but has moved onto another opportunity.) and welcome Mike Martin aboard as the new editor of the site. We hope to have the first edition of a Celtics roundtable discussion posted sometime today on the site.

Mike Fine had a piece on Gerald Green, who spent much of his summer in various basketball camps, trying to improve his game. Peter May had Rivers saying that Green might not yet be ready for prime time minutes. Bulpett’s NBA notes had a look at Larry Bird, who has his hands full trying to deal with Pacer Stephen Jackson and the rest of his club. May’s Basketball Notes also looked at the Pacers, but at former Celtic Orien Greene, whom the Pacers are very impressed with. In a couple quick looks at the Luke Jackson trade from Saturday, May said Danny Ainge has always been a Jackson fan, while Bulpett noted that the trade will save the Celtics some money.

Bob Ryan enjoyed the Mets’ sixth inning explosion last night. Michael Silverman has the A’s once again missing out on postseason magic.

Tony Massarotti’s Baseball Notes has us preparing for another offseason arms race. Dan Shaughnessy had a look at the Tigers once again being among the elite teams in baseball. Nick Cafardo’s Baseball Notes looked at what 2007 might hold for Barry Bonds in terms of where the slugger might play what should be his last season in baseball. The Orioles were mentioned as a possibility.

Sunday’s Globe notebook reported on the firing of Steve Lyons by FOX after Friday night’s game in which the former Red Sox infielder “made made what the network deemed insensitive racial remarks” on the air during the telecast. Michael Hiestand and Richard Sandomir have more on the Lyons firing, with the former article including reaction from Lyons who feels he was not given a chance to explain himself to Fox executives.

Fluto Shinzawa reports on the struggling Bruins trying to shake things up early in the season and find combinations that are going to work. Karen Guregian says that the Bruins have not followed their stated plan to be a team that is tough to play against for 60 minutes. Douglas Flynn had the Providence Bruins being built this year more as a breeding ground for future stars rather than a stash of veteran NHL retreads. Kevin Paul Dupont’s Hockey Notes had some early impressions of the young season. He notes that this “new and improved” Bruins club looks an awful lot like last year’s edition thus far.

Versus has Lightning/Hurricanes at 7:00. FOX has Mets/Cardinals at 8:00. ESPN has Bears/Cardinals at 8:30.