Big Ticket to Contention?

What a day yesterday was. Tailor-made for both sports radio and the internet, with plenty of talk, speculation and anger, both about the Red Sox, but more so about the Celtics and their pursuit of relevance.

Although the trade still isn’t complete, it seems a foregone conclusion that Kevin Garnett will be wearing Celtic green next season. Shira Springer says that the deal is complete in principle, the only thing remaining to be worked out is Garnett’s contract. Mark Murphy says that talks had slowed a little last night as there are “many details” yet to be resolved before this trade can be made official. Desmond Conner says that the Celtics appear to have landed the one big piece they needed to become a true contender.

Jackie MacMullan is back on board the Celtics bandwagon, gushing over what Garnett can bring the Celtics and how it could change everything for this franchise. Gerry Callahan weighs in, and he notes that just as things had hit rock bottom a couple of months ago, all of a sudden, the Celtics are now back to being contenders with this deal. Bill Simmons weighs in on the trade, and after the jokes about Kevin McHale helping out his old team, makes some good points about the trade and what the Celtics are now capable of. Scott Souza says that this trade is going to define Danny Ainge’s tenure here on Boston. Tim Weisberg says that the Celtics have sacrificed their future, but it all just might be worth it, if Garnett is their ticket back to a championship level.

Steve Bulpett says that ultimately, winning will be the only true way to judge this deal. Kevin Henkin says that somewhere, Red Auerbach is smiling his approval of this deal. Kevin McNamara says that at long last, the Celtics are ready to roll again. Carol Robidoux asks fans if this move is enough to make them care about the Celtics again. Chad Finn also weighs in with his thoughts on the deal.

Red Sox
Gordon Edes reports that a potential deal for White Sox outfielder Jermaine Dye is still a possibility before this afternoon’s trading deadline. Jeff Horrigan says that the Red Sox are pushing to acquire both Dye and Texas reliever Eric Gagne. Sean McAdam says that as of last night, the Red Sox were stonewalled in their efforts to make a deal to improve their club. Garry Brown says that the Red Sox appear to be tinkering more than working on a blockbuster. Alex Speier says that a big deal seems unlikely for the Red Sox today.

Rob Bradford looks at the impact that trading away prospects can have, especially when you factor in all the investment that the club has put into the minor leaguers. Jeff Goldberg has the Red Sox reluctant to part with any of their top prospects today to acquire veteran help for the stretch run. Paul Jarvey says that it seems unlikely that the Red Sox will make a deal today. Joe Haggerty has Manny Ramirez back in the swing of things at the plate. Speier also looks at the ultimate trade deadline deal, 10 Years After the fact. Hint: Heathcliff Slocumb was involved.

Amalie Benjamin’s notebook has Manny Ramirez being named the American League Player of the Week. Horrigan’s notebook has more on Manny’s honor, as well as plans for a Bobby Doerr day at Fenway this Thursday – 60 years after the original Bobby Doerr day.

Patriots
Mike Reiss and David Heuschkel report on cornerback Chad Scott being lost for the season after being placed on Injured Reserve with a knee injury. Albert Breer has the Patriots players working on their on-field communication. Mark Farinella says that Tedy Bruschi still has plenty left in the tank. Eric McHugh has Tom Brady looking and feeling great as he approaches 30.

John Tomase looks at second year kicker Stephen Gostkowski going about his business in camp this year without the spotlight – quite a change from last year when he was attempting to replace Adam Vinatieri. Carolyn Thornton has Gostkowski refusing to take things easy in camp just because he doesn’t have any competition. Chris Price has veterans giving rookies advice on how to survive training camp.

Steve Buckley looks at Wes Welker fighting the same challenge as Dustin Pedroia…having to overcome people saying he’s too small. Jennifer Toland has Randall Gay looking to stay healthy and step up his role, especially with the loss of Scott. Shalise Manza Young has another Patriots defensive back, Eugene Wilson, also looking to stay healthy this season and get back to his Super Bowl form. Dan Pires has Jabar Gaffney looking to prove himself and stick with the Patriots for a second season. Buckley also has James Sanders looking forward to his hard work paying off with a bigger role this season.

Charles Robinson on Yahoo! Sports has a must-read story on the connection between Bill Belichick and Bill Walsh, the former 49er head coach who passed away yesterday. Nick Cafardo writes about Walsh’s love of baseball and other sports besides football. Christopher Price says that Walsh paved the way for Belichick in the NFL. Ian O’Connor lists the ways that Belichick and Eric Mangini don’t measure up to Walsh, saying that he was much more than just a “scheme-spewing drone.”

Tomase’s notebook has more on Scott being placed on IR. The Globe notebook has more on Gostkowski. Toland’s notebook has Belichick speaking on Walsh. Pires’s notebook has more on Scott being finished for the season. Farinella’s notebook looks at the challenges of holding training camp sessions in the practice bubble.