David Ortiz arrived in camp yesterday, and Big Papi was the center of attention, as usual. Amalie Benjamin has the slugger receiving a truck from the Red Sox owners as a gift for the new season, and then holding court on the state of the Red Sox. Jeff Goldberg notes that Ortiz’s salary is now a huge bargain for the Red Sox. Jeff Horrigan has more on the truck given to Ortiz as a gesture from the owners as to how much they appreciate the slugger.Stephen Krasner has more on Ortiz being handed a truck as a breakfast treat.
Gordon Edes and Jeff Horrigan look at the report that Manny Ramirez is scheduled to appear at a classic car auction in Atlantic City on Saturday. Manny’s agent says he will not be there, the organizer of the event says Manny told him he will be there at noon. Smart move by the organizer of the event to attach Manny’s name to the event. Because it is Manny, and everything he does here is scrutinized and talked about ad nauseum, the show is getting a ton of free publicity, and even if Manny doesn’t show up, the local papers will likely send a reporter to the auction. It couldn’t be a better setup if the guy had planned it all out. Maybe if the Red Sox lured Manny into camp with a classic car, he’d be here by now. They gave Papi a truck after all….
Tony Massarotti notes that the way that the market played out this offseason, Manny might be here beyond next season as his option years will fall in line with what other sluggers might be getting. Steven Krasner says that the words “Manny” and “accountability” don’t fit well together. Goldberg has more on Manny’s scheduled appearance at the auto event.
Dan Shaughnessy and Gerry Callahan once again share a topic, this time it is new Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew. Shaughnessy opens with a thinly veiled shot at Curt Schilling, but both columns look at how the laid back Drew seems unfazed by the attention his signing in the offseason brought. Maureen Mullen looks at how Drew has a couple of fences to mend, but is also eager to prove himself to the Boston fans. Horrigan says Drew wasn’t sweating out the seven week delay in his contract.
David Scott made it to Fort Myers in time for the Big Papi press conference and will be in camp the next few days, providing afternoon updates on the Scott’s Shots blog. Rob Bradford looks at how Mike Lowell turned to boxing as part of his offseason conditioning program. David Borges (now with the New Haven Register) has a look at Jeff Natale, the reigning Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year, but also known as the guy who took a Curt Schilling fastball off the head in an intrasquad game last spring.
Benjamin’s notebook has Drew looking forward to the series against the Diamondbacks in June, when he’ll be able to play against his younger brother, Stephen. Horrigan’s notebook has Ortiz supportive of the Red Sox reaching to Japan for talent. Krasner’s notebook has Drew defending his even-keeled approach on the field.
The Celtics once again put forth a spirited effort, but they didn’t have enough to hang with the Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns in the end, falling 118-108. Paul Pierce had 24 points, while Al Jefferson had 23 points and 17 rebounds for the Celtics, who fell to 0-2 on their West coast trip.
Steve Bulpett says that the outcome was never worthy of doubt, but the Celtics still had their moments in this one. Nick Cafardo says that the Celtics showed that they can stay with a team like the Suns, but they’re far from being able to put away a team like that.
Bulpett’s notebook says that the trade winds aren’t even a breeze around the Celtics as we get closer to today’s NBA trading deadline. Cafardo’s notebook has Wally Szczerbiak seeing a specialist in Los Angeles for his balky ankle, to see if there is some structural damage there that is causing the repeated sprains.
Steve Conroy looks at three things that have helped turn the Bruins around in the three weeks since the 7-1 embarrassment against the Sabres. He cites : 1. The additions of Jeremy Reich and Brandon Bochenski. 2. The Brad Stuart-Primeau trade. and 3. The emergence of a balanced attack. Fluto Shinzawa looks at whether Peter Chiarelli might have more trades up his sleeve.
Mike Reiss reports that Patriots rookie Chad Jackson suffered a torn ACL in the AFC title game. This is a costly setback for the receiver, who the teams needs to have make a big jump in his second season. John Tomase says that this might be the year that the Patriots go for a linebacker in the draft. Bill Reynolds says that Tom Brady’s image has only taken a minor hit.
If you missed the post below this one, from yesterday afternoon, you might want to check it out.