Sox Get It Done

I confess.

I got caught up in the whole “last minute negotiations” and “track the plane” hype from yesterday. I don’t feel good about it, especially when I realize that no matter how the negotiations went early THIS was the ending that was scripted. It’s the Red Sox. It’s also Scott Boras. Both parties love the drama. The down-to-wire contract talks followed by a cross country flight and race to Mass General for the physical and eventual contract signing were just all too predictable. Yup, quite a number of people said this was going to go right down to the last minute, and they were right. We shouldn’t have expected anything less.

David Scott has a roundup of all the Daisuke Matsuzaka coverage from yesterday, a day he says changed the way that the Boston sports media reports news and how they will do so going forward. Scott also reported yesterday that ESPN’s Dave O’Brien is the favorite to replace Jerry Trupiano in the Red Sox radio booth.

Gordon Edes says that the sides are just awaiting the results of the physical. Jeff Horrigan and Michael Silverman report however, that the contract was signed at the hospital after Matsuzaka passed the physical. Jeff Goldberg says that with no leverage, Boras was forced to take a deal much more in line with what the Red Sox initially offered. Alex Speier takes a look at a busy day around the Red Sox yesterday. David Borges says that the Red Sox won this round with Boras.

Nick Cafardo says that the Red Sox won this round with Boras, and talks to former major leaguer Mike Pagliarulo, who runs an international scouting service these days. Gotta laugh though, Nick simply cannot make it through an article without bringing up the subject of a possible Roger Clemens return to Boston. Tony Massarotti is pleased that the Red Sox front office is no longer fighting each other, but is instead taking on the baseball world and knocking out the likes of Scott Boras. He too works in a possible Clemens return. Joe McDonald says that the deal could be a watershed moment for the Sox. Paul Doyle says that this deal will give the Red Sox much greater exposure in the far East which could pay dividends down the road. Jon Couture looks at the Sox getting their man. In the end it boiled down to two things…the Red Sox wanted Matsuzaka to pitch for them, and he really wanted to pitch in America. Joe Haggerty looks at the legend of Matsuzaka in Japan.

How long ago do you think Dan Shaughnessy typed up this “Open letter to Daisuke Matsuzaka” advising him on what to do and not do in Boston? It’s actually not as bad as I feared, but this is Shaughnessy we’re talking about. Steve Buckley says that we won’t know is Matsuzaka is worth it until we see if the guy can actually pitch. Old man Bill Reynolds is sick of hearing about money all the time with modern day athletes such as Matsuzaka. Lenny Megliola says now we get to see if Matsuzaka can live up to all the hype that has been generated around him the last two months. Karen Guregian has a look at the stakeout that members of the Japanese media were on yesterday awaiting the news of a deal. At least one of them says that the people of Japan were not pleased with Scott Boras.

Bob Duffy has a look at Julio Lugo, who was introduced at Fenway Park yesterday. He received, I trust, a kinder reception than he got on WEEI yesterday morning. Guregian says David Ortiz is a big fan of Lugo and showed it by crashing the press conference yesterday. Joe McDonald has Lugo overjoyed to be playing in front of the Boston fans this season. Mike Fine has Gabe Kapler convinced he made the right choice in retiring as a player and becoming a minor league manager.

There’s plenty of coverage of the Matsuzaka deal in the New York Sports Pages as well.

The Herald notebook reports on Doug Mirabelli returning to the Red Sox for another season as Tim Wakefield’s catcher. Goldberg’s notebook has more on Lugo and Mirabelli.

Patriots

Amidst the Matsuzaka insanity, the Patriots continue to get ready for this weekend’s matchup with the Texans. Yesterday Tom Brady called out his teammates, saying that they need to listen to the coaches more and work harder. John Tomase has a looks at the measures taken by Brady and the rest of the team in an effort to turn things around. Mike Reiss has more on Brady calling for his team to have better focus on what they’re being told to do. Mark Farinella also reports on the quarterback calling out his teammates. Shalise Manza Young says that depending on how the rest of the season goes, yesterday could prove to be a big day in the 2006 season for the Patriots. Alan Greenberg has the team needing to be more consistent on offense. Tom King has more on Brady’s message to his team.

Albert Breer says that covert ops, such as stealing calls at the line, is nothing new in the NFL. Rich Garven has Brady rebutting the claim that the Dolphins’ stealing signals resulted in the loss for the Patriots. Christopher Price has Brady calling the notion a “crock of you-know-what.” Michael Parente has Bill Belichick sending the message that no one’s job is safe at this time of the year. Eric McHugh has a report card from the Miami game. Glen Farley writes that it is time for the Patriots to be making up their playoff plans.

Reiss’ notebook reports on the Patriots bringing in veteran tight end OJ Santiago with the uncertain status of Benjamin Watson. Tomase’s notebook says that Vince Wilfork is unlikely to play this Sunday. Young’s notebook has more on the Patriots tweaking the end of their roster. Garven’s notebook has more on Brady’s comments aimed at his teammates. Parente’s notebook has the Patriots dismissing the notion that Miami had an edge in last weeks game gained by the play calls. Farinella’s notebook has more on that same topic.

Celtics

The Celtics finished off a three game road sweep of Atlantic Division foes New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia last night with a 101-81 win over the Iverson-less Sixers.

Shira Springer looks at the Celtics extending their winning streak to three with the 20 point over the 76ers. Mark Murphy notes that only Iverson in a Celtics uniform could’ve filled the Wachovia Center last night, as the small crowd was quiet and the Celtics took control.

Jackie MacMullan is no fan of the Celtics acquiring Allen Iverson, but she admits that the possibility is still there and alive, mostly because the Celtics possess the three things the Sixers are seeking – an expiring contract, young talent and a first round draft pick. Murphy says that the Celtics and other clubs are still seeking an Answer to Iverson’s trade demand.

You can get coverage of the game and keep up with the Iverson rumors on the Philly.com sports page.

Springer’s notebook has Danny Ainge saying that a deal would be unlikely. Murphy’s notebook has Tony Allen and Gerald Green doing a good job defensively on Kyle Korver.

Bruins/Misc

Fluto Shinzawa looks at the Devils top checking line, which presents problems for the Bruins. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins are preaching patience against the Devils. Harris also has Phil Kessel’s youth hockey coach, former US Olympian Bob Suter offer support to the Bruins rookie and his family.

Buddy Thomas says there are just a lot of things about sports that just don’t make any sense. It’s perhaps one of Buddy’s better efforts.

NESN has Bruins/Devils at 7:00. TNT has Magic/Bobcats at 7:15 and Spurs/Hornets at 9:30. NFL Network has Seahawks/49ers at 8:00.