Signed, Sealed and Delivered

Gordon Edes has a good look into the final 48 hours of the negotiations, including the point on Wednesday when Epstein and Lucchino were getting ready to head to the airport, seemingly without Matsuzaka. Edes also looks at some of the details of the contract, which includes a number of side benefits. Michael Silverman concurs that these negotiations really did go right down to the wire, with the Red Sox ready to leave California without the star pitcher. One of the incentives included in the contract was a no-trade clause, something that the Red Sox have said they do not give out, but created a special conditional clause for future contracts to meet if they are seeking a no-trade.

Jeff Goldberg describes yesterday’s press conference as an event befitting a pop icon. Jeff Horrigan has a look at the press conference/coronation yesterday at Fenway Park. Joe McDonald has more on the phenom touring Fenway Park for the first time. Jeff Jacobs says that if the press conference is any indication, then we’re in for a wild year at Fenway. Lenny Megliola had a few dilemmas facing him as he prepared to cover the Matsuzaka welcome. Jon Couture has a look at the Red Sox rolling out the welcome “mat.”

John Powers gives us a profile of Matsuzaka, how he is viewed in Japan and what is in store for him here in the US. Art Martone looks at Red Sox nation expanding into Japan. Jackie MacMullan notes that the biggest adjustment for Matsuzaka is likely to be cultural. She also notes the struggles that the interpreter seemed to have yesterday in correctly translating between the pitcher and the media. David Borges reports on the “Monster” reaching his long time goal of being a Major League pitcher. Paul Jarvey has more on the signing of a “National Treasure.” Joe Haggerty has more on Daisuke’s Day.

Alex Speier looks at the $103 million gamble the Red Sox have just taken. Karen Guregian examines what Matsuzaka is going to add to an already good looking Red Sox starting rotation. Jon Couture says that D-Mat has all the makings of an ace for the Red Sox. Guregian has a look at Craig Shipley, who really kick-started the Red Sox pursuit of Matsuzaka. Speier has more on the changes in store for Matsuzaka.

Jesse Noyes notes that the Red Sox are going to need to make room for the swarm of Japanese media this summer at Fenway Park. Raja Mishra looks at some of the Japanese media who will be staying in Boston to cover Matsuzaka full time.

Even before the Red Sox gave Matsuzaka number 18, (which he had always worn in Japan) Johnny Damon had something to say about the Red Sox and how happy he is in New York.

Horrigan’s notebook says that this is the start of a big relationship between the Red Sox and Japanese baseball.

Patriots

John Tomase talks to Tedy Bruschi on a number of topics, as the Patriots linebacker weighs in on Tom Brady’s comments from the other day, his wrist, Terry Francona, and a number of other items.

Amalie Benjamin has Mike Wright ready to fill the gap left by Vince Wilfork this weekend. Shalise Manza Young has more on Wright as the undrafted second year lineman from Cincinnati prepares for an increased role. Alan Greenberg has more on the Patriots preparing to play without Wilfork for the first time since he became the starter. Rich Garven has James Sanders making improvements in his play since stepping in as a starter at safety.

Albert Breer has a quick look at the Denver-style offense that Gary Kubiak and the Texans bring to town. Michael Parente looks at David Carr finally getting some love…but from the Patriots. Bill Barnwell has a look at Carr on the Patriots Game Day. Ian Clark looks at the Patriots hoping to bounce back strong this weekend against Houston. Dan Pires has Brady’s message getting through to his teammates.

Susan Bickelhaupt has FOX defending their sixth listed (out of six) broadcast team of Matt Vasgersian and J.C. Pearson, who called the Patriots/Lions game two weeks ago.

Tomase’s notebook has Bill Belichick standing by Brady’s comments from the other day. Benjamin’s notebook has Bruschi speaking about his wrist and the adjustments he’s had to make this season playing with it. Garven’s notebook has more on Wright prepping to step in for Wilfork. Eric McHugh’s notebook has Rodney Harrison inching closer to duty. Parente’s notebook has Jabar Gaffney getting a different view of things with the Patriots after four seasons with the Texans. Young’s notebook has Belichick backing the comments made by his quarterback earlier in the week.

Other

Mark Murphy and Steve Bulpett report that the Celtics are falling out of the Allen Iverson sweepstakes and may have never really been in them. Shira Springer says that you can attribute the Celtics three game winning streak to defense.

Fluto Shinzawa and Stephen Harris report on the Bruins 5-3 win over the Devils last night.

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