Sox Looking Closer

David Scott enters his last day of spring training blogging, and hopes to have another post or two today before heading home.

Gordon Edes has a piece on Sox closer candidate Joel Pineiro, who finished with the worst ERA in the AL last season, but the Red Sox think he can be very effective in short stints out of the bullpen. Jeff Horrigan looks at Manny Delcarmen, who may not be a serious candidate for the closer role, but is someone the Red Sox have high hopes for. Steve Krasner has an article on Dustin Pedroia, who is being handed the keys to the Red Sox second base position at the age of 23. Joe Haggerty has the Red Sox feeling their way towards finding a closer.

Dan Shaughnessy submits a solid piece on another bullpen candidate for the Red Sox, former Angel Brendan Donnelly. Steve Buckley looks at the Red Sox trio of pitchers over the age of 40, each of whom is vital to the success of the club this season. Jeff Goldberg has Jonathan Papelbon eager to begin his stint as a starting pitcher for the Red Sox.

Buckley also has Kevin Youkilis proclaiming his willingness to play anywhere on the field that the Red Sox would need to put him. Jeff Howe has David Murphy doing what he can to try and stick the Red Sox this season out of camp. Horrigan has a quick note on Mike Timlin’s sister, who is starting a 2000 mile walk to benefit ALS research.

Edes’ notebook has Luis Tiant not confident that he’ll get a call from the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee tomorrow after their vote. Horrigan’s notebook has Daisuke Matsuzaka headed back to the mound today for a session of batting practice that will include David Ortiz. Krasner’s notebook has Timlin starting to feel the effects of age.

Patriots

John Tomase has the Patriots heading to free agency with money to spend, but attempting to keep their salary cap philosophy the same. Albert Breer follows up his analysis of the Patriots offense yesterday with a breakdown of the Patriots defense today, noting that a lack of speed at linebacker and depth in the secondary lead to problems when the Patriots face a balance offense. Tomase’s notebook has signs seeming to point to Troy Brown calling it a career.

Celtics

Steve Bulpett notes that while Paul Pierce is back for the Celtics, he’s still a ways away from being himself, and that has translated to a 1-6 record for the team since he returned. Shira Springer has the Celtics unable to find any answers, and notes that the only good news is that every day the season is closer to the end.

Tim Weisberg’s Free Throws column looks at the NBA least eventful trade deadline since 1995, and has a few other NBA notes.

Bruins

Fluto Shinzawa notes that despite a rough start and ending, the Bruins recent road trip can be labeled a success. Stephen Harris says that the Bruins must now focus on taking care of things are home. Mike Dunshee has a look at an up and down weekend for the Bruins on the BSMW Power Play blog.

Mick Colageo’s Rick Rap column has the league watching out for “predatory” hits.

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