First Official Day of Spring (training)

Dice-K Speaks!

On the eve of the official start to Red Sox spring training, the $103 million dollar man, Japanese ace Daisuke Matsuzaka addressed the media for his thoughts on the newest and biggest chapter of his life. Tony Massarotti says based on his comments during the press conference, we’re going to like this guy. Amalie Benjamin notes that Matsuzaka showed a sly sense of humor and “an engaging personality that hardly required an understanding of Japanese.” Jeff Horrigan also took note of the comedic side of the pitcher. Steven Krasner says that if Matsuzaka’s performance on the mound matches his winning the personality, the Red Sox will indeed have found themselves an ace. Jeff Goldberg says Matsuzaka showed the poise that made him a winner in Japan.

Rob Bradford has a peek at how Matsuzaka mania is affecting everyone down in Fort Myers. Dan Shaughnessy gives his impression of the Daisuke press conference. Lowell Sun sportswriters Rick Harrison and Barry Scanlon square off on whether Matsuzaka will live up to the hype. Alan Greenwood says that the notion that the Red Sox have a top rotation is based more on wishes than reality right now. Gordon Edes has a look at the crew responsible for packing, driving and unpacking the spring training truck. Joe Haggerty says prospects might play a large role with the 2007 Red Sox. Massarotti has a few quick observations on the Red Sox deal with Funai Electric.

Benjamin’s notebook has Kevin Youkilis offering his thoughts on the team this year. Horrigan’s notebook has Youkilis finding a bright side to all the media coverage.

Bruins

Frank Dell’Apa and Steve Conroy report on the Bruins 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders, kicking off the longest road trip of the season.

Conroy’s notebook says backup goaltender Hannu Toivonen should get a chance to play sometime on this trip. Dell’Apa’s notebook looks at the storm causing the Bruins some troubles in getting into New York.

Celtics

Steve Bulpett talks to Dee Brown, who offers his thoughts on Gerald Green, as well as taking some time to remember his 1991 slam dunk title. Christopher L Gasper has the young Celtics displaying some bravado after finally winning a game. Steve Buckley examines why the Celtics have become lovable losers in a sports town that is “famous for its biting media and a demanding customer base.”

NASCAR

David Exum and Michael Vega report on a contrite Michael Waltrip apologizing for the scandal around the suspension of two of his team members for cheating.

Susan Bickelhaupt looks at NASCAR coverage moving into a different gear.

Exum’s notebook and Vega’s notebook have Jeff Gordon as the latest driver being dinged for rules violations.

Misc

David Scott is getting ready to head to Fort Myers in his latest edition of Scott’s Shots.

Ron Borges has boxing notes in the Globe.

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