Beckett Dominates Opener

The Red Sox were a rousing success in their 2007 home opener, rolling to a 14-3 win over the Seattle Mariners yesterday afternoon at Fenway Park.

Gordon Edes has a look at an afternoon in which pretty much everything went the Red Sox way. Jeff Horrigan has a look at an ideal opening day for the Red Sox, despite the chilly weather. Sean McAdam says that all you need to know about the home opener is that the Red Sox batted Doug Mirabelli for David Ortiz…in the sixth inning. Jeff Goldberg has Josh Beckett looking like an ace on opening day. Garry Brown has the Red Sox opening their home schedule with a rout. Phil O’Neill has Josh Beckett and the Red Sox feeling right at home yesterday.

Dan Shaughnessy looks at an opening day that had a little bit of everything, except a close game. Tony Massarotti looks at the tremendous advantage that the Red Sox have had at Fenway Park since 2003. He also comes right out and states as a fact that Manny Ramirez “committed baseball’s answer to insurance fraud (he faked an injury).” I would ask Tony to offer some proof of this cold hard fact. Of course, Tony also believes and repeats what he reads in the Inside Track, so take all that this guy says with a grain of salt. It’s easy to make such a statement, but much harder to actually be able to prove it – either way. I suspect Massarotti threw it in there just to get the column noticed, because it has nothing to do with the rest of the text. Guess what? It worked.

Jackie MacMullan reports on a dominant performance from Josh Beckett yesterday. Steve Buckley has Beckett feasting on the Mariners yesterday. Steven Krasner says that for Beckett, a better mix on his pitches was the key to his success. Jeff Jacobs says that Beckett was a rock on a wild opening day. Art Davidson says that the early signs from Beckett are very good. Jon Couture says that mixing in the changeups and curveballs made Beckett so effective yesterday.

John Tomase has J.D. Drew giving Red Sox fans a chance to like him right away, with a home run in his first Fenway game as a member of the Red Sox. Joe McDonald has more on Drew proving to be an instant hit at Fenway. Amalie Benjamin looks at a strong home debut for Julio Lugo, who as the leadoff man, reached base four times. Rich Thompson has more on Lugo, who wants to justify his contract to the Fenway fans.

Michael Vega has Jason Varitek showing some life at the plate with a 3 hit, 3 RBI performance. Mark Murphy has more on Varitek coming alive in his first home game of 2007. McDonald also takes a look at Varitek getting back into the swing of things yesterday. Alex Speier has more on Varitek coming alive for the opener.

Sean McAdam looks at the bad blood between Brendan Donnelly and Jose Guillen which bubbled to the surface again yesterday. Tomase reports on the Donnelly-Guillen feud, which escalated yesterday after Guillen struck out on three pitches. Cafardo has more on the ill-will between the ex-Angels. Thompson has the Mariners still trying to thaw out and shake the rust off from their weekend snow job in Cleveland.

Murphy has members of the ’67 team reliving their memories of that year yesterday at Fenway. Scott MacKay says that even with all the changes at Fenway, your grandfather would still recognize the place. Bill Reynolds reminds us that the ’67 team sowed the seeds for Red Sox nation as we now know it. Paul Doyle has more on the 1967 club coming back together for yesterday’s opener. Kevin Gray says that it was a day for dreams at Fenway.

Nick Cafardo looks ahead to the main event tonight, as Daisuke Matsuzaka faces Ichiro Suzuki for the first time in six years, and the first time ever in the American major leagues. Michael Silverman also reports on this historic matchup, which will be eagerly watched by millions in Japan.

Steve Buckley notes that tonight will be one of the few times in which the second home game is more eagerly anticipated than the home opener.

Edes’ notebook looks at the success that the Red Sox have had in recent years in containing Ichiro. Horrigan’s notebook has Mike Timlin getting activated prior to the game, and glad to be a part of opening day. The Projo notebook says that there is plenty of hype already for tonight’s Dice-K/Ichiro matchup. The Courant notebook has more on the hatred between Guillen and Donnelly. O’Neill’s notebook has more on the buzz for tonight’s game and Fenway debut of Matsuzaka. Couture’s notebook has more on tonight.

Celtics

Gerald Green had a career high 33 points last night, and Leon Powe added 19, but it wasn’t enough as the Celtics dropped another one, this time to Tyronn Lue and the Atlanta Hawks by the score of 104-96 at Philips Arena.

Christopher L. Gasper notes that Paul Pierce once again sat this one out, and that the Celtics are coming to the time when a decision needs to be made about shutting Pierce down for the rest of the season (5 games) or not. Steve Bulpett has Doc Rivers saying that the Celtics still got something out of the game, as they were able to see what things would look like with Green as a go-to guy throughout the game. Green went scoreless down the stretch of the game, but seems to have been taught the lesson of needing to take the ball to the hoop in clutch time.

Peter May has a look at Kevin Durant declaring for the NBA draft, noting that one way or another, green is in the future for the freshman star. Jessica Camerato notes that the Celtics are winning by losing these games. Also on Hoopsworld, Joel Brigham says that Pau Gasol for Paul Pierce would be an ideal trade for both teams.