Moss, Samuel Updates

It’s a busy day for the Patriots blogs today, with multiple updates being published throughout the morning.

John Tomase explores why a new deal for Randy Moss has not been announced as of yet.

Here is his third possible reason for no deal:

3. The sides are merely negotiating. Technically, they weren’t allowed to talk about a new deal until this morning, so maybe this is just taking some time. We shall see.

Tomase is incorrect here. The Patriots and Moss could do all the talking and negotiating they wanted to do prior to today. They just couldn’t sign a new deal until the new league year began. He was their player, so they certainly had the right to talk to him about contractual matters, but they couldn’t sign anything until today.

Whether they get a new deal done or not remains to be seen, but they had the ability to talk to him all along. So have speculated that the Patriots haven’t announced the deal because they don’t want people to accuse them of “cheating” again for working on a new deal prior to today. That theory doesn’t hold water either. There was nothing to prevent the Patriots and Moss from working on a new deal, and even drawing up all the papers to have ready to sign at 12:01am today if that is what they wanted to do.

Speaking of Tomase, Patsfans.com isn’t pleased with him, and they’ve removed the Herald headlines from their website in protest.

It sure looks like Asante Samuel is headed to Philadelphia, but I thought he wanted a $100 million dollar deal…

Meanwhile, Donte’ Stallworth is going to visit with the Cleveland Browns.

Bruins Win Again, Bruschi Sticking Around

David Scott says that the latest round of cutbacks at the Boston Globe is bound to impact the sports section.

Bruins

The Bruins are suddenly red-hot, having won five games in a row, including last night’s 5-1 rout of the revamped Pittsburgh Penguins at the Garden.

Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins doing all the little things needed for the victory. Steve Conroy has the Bruins enjoying another walk in the park against a talented opponent. Douglas Flynn notes that last night was more than just two teams competing, it was “two divergent philosophies at odds.” Bud Barth has Marco Sturm getting the Bruins going early last night.

Kevin Paul Dupont says that no move was the right move for Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins at the deadline. Stephen Harris agrees that standing pat was likely the Bruins best move. Dupont also has rookie Milan Lucic getting his punches in during last night’s win.

Shinzawa’s notebook has Sturm coming on strong, including two first-period goals last night. Conroy’s notebook has newly acquired Marian Hossa spraining an MCL in his debut with the Penguins. Barth’s notebook has the Penguins getting a boost from the trade deadline while the Bruins did nothing.

Patriots

NFL Free Agency started at midnight last night, and there is already activity to report. However, there is also some non-activity in Randy Moss’ status, which comes as a bit of a surprise. Christopher L. Gasper reports that after midnight last night, he spoke with Moss’ agent, who would not comment on negotiations and did not indicate if a deal was close between his client and the Patriots. Gasper also reports on Randall Gay heading to free agency, where he is expected to be the third best cornerback on the market. John Tomase says that all signs still point to a Moss return to New England for next season. Mark Farinella has the Patriots already keeping busy in the opening hours of free agency.

Mike Reiss has Tedy Bruschi returning to the Patriots, agreeing on a new multi-year deal with the team. Karen Guregian also reports on the return of Bruschi, and also has Kelley Washington agreeing to a new contract to remain with the Patriots as well. David Heuschkel has more on the return of Bruschi, and also reports that Kevin Faulk passed a drug test following his being charged with possession earlier this week, so he will not have to participate in the NFL’s substance abuse program.

Celtics

Sam Cassell got his buyout from the Clippers, and all signs seem to point to the veteran point guard joining the Celtics early next week, provided he clears waivers. Marc J. Spears has Cassell talking as if he is already with the Celtics. Mark Murphy’s notebook has the Celtics waiting through the weekend for Cassell.

Spears also writes about the Celtics easing newly signed P.J. Brown into the mix slowly. Scott Souza says that a hard sell helped the Celtics land Brown. After seeing them go at each other in practice everyday, Doc Rivers has recently been playing Leon Powe and Glen Davis together in games, and they’ve been as tough on the opposition as they are on each other. Mark Murphy has the story.

The Globe also has a piece this morning by Don Aucoin, who talks with long-time season ticket holders about the team finally returning to glory.

Red Sox

Gerry Callahan says that having Josh Beckett at the top of their rotation gives the Red Sox a huge edge heading into the season. Rob Duca says that Beckett is a modern-day Larry Bird with a baseball with the way that he treats each and every game. Jeff Goldberg has Beckett starting off strong with his performance against BC yesterday.

Rob Bradford has David Ortiz coming into the season with two simple goals, stay healthy, and stay with the Red Sox for the rest of his career. Joe Haggerty has a healthy and happy Big Papi ready to tackle ’08. Garry Brown says that Bartolo Colon could prove to be a heavyweight signing for the Sox. Sean McAdam has things just getting worse and worse for Roger Clemens.

Dan Shaughnessy has the Red Sox taking on Boston College and Northeastern yesterday in a scene faintly reminiscent of the 1992 US basketball dream team. Michael Silverman has the Red Sox teaching the college kids a few lessons. Amalie Benjamin has a look at another highly-regarded Red Sox pitching prospect, Michael Bowden, who spent much of the offseason eating – at the Red Sox direction.

Jim Donaldson says that Manny Ramirez was wrong to skip the trip to Washington. Silverman has a look back at the Red Sox visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center/ He also has a few Sox still recovering from the Sidecar ride they went on while in Washington. (photos here) Goldberg has also has more on the Sox wild ride in Washington. Bradford has Julio Lugo hoping to increase his power numbers this season.

Benjamin’s notebook has Beckett making short work of the Eagles in his spring debut. The Herald notebook has the Red Sox coaches adjusting to wearing a helmet in the coaching boxes. McAdam’s notebook has Beckett just trying to be consistent. Duca’s notebook has more on the wild ride in D.C. for some of the Sox.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has the Sox getting ready for another big broadcast year on NESN.

Tell Me You Didn’t See This Coming…

Have I ever mentioned how much I despise the mixing of sports and politics? Can anyone seriously believe that Manny Ramirez had any political motivations for not appearing at the White House yesterday? Yet WEEI has (predictably) spent almost the whole day talking about it. I guess it’s the low-hanging fruit.

Dale & Holley did have some good interviews with Leon Powe and Jacoby Ellsbury though.

Dan Kennedy got a copy of the email sent to Boston Globe employees letting them know that 60 Globe employees and 20 from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette will have their positions cut within the next week.

Jason Whitlock feels that losing Randy Moss would sink the Patriots much worse than Matt Walsh can.

Don Banks has his latest mock draft, where he projects the Patriots trading the #7 pick.

Kevin Cullen writes about the madness that has become Red Sox spring training.

Bill Simmons talks about Sam Cassell potentially coming to the Celtics in his latest basketball mailbag.

Stan McNeal was impressed with the Celtics defense against Cleveland last night.

Steve Jones says that the Celtics bench will determine how far they go in the playoffs.

Mike Kahn says that buyouts of players like Sam Cassell aren’t fair.

I’ve got just one question: Who are these Bruins?

Cam Neely did a chat on Boston.com.

Celtics Don’t Bow To King James

The Celtics returned home last night, and returned to their dominating style of play, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers by the score of 92-87. The game wasn’t as close as the score would seem to indicate, as Boston was in charge throughout.

Marc J. Spears has the Celtics coming out with the needed energy despite just coming off a grueling West coast road trip. Mark Murphy has the Celtics able trot “Boogie Fever Gino” onto the Jumbotron for the first time in weeks last night. Jeff Howe notes that there were homecomings all around last night. Bill Doyle has the Celtics beating a LeBron-led Cavs team for the first time in…well, quite a while. Jessica Camerato had a live blog of the game last night.

Tony Massarotti notes that the Celtics will be going for a championship for the first time in a generation this spring, and they know they have things they need to tune up to get there. Jackie MacMullan writes about how LeBron James had absolutely killed the Celtics every time he had played them, and that his new supporting cast is much better than the old version of the Cavs. Bill Burt talks to ex-Celtics Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak for their thoughts on their old team and new. Camerato also has a look at the Return of Celtic Pride to Boston. Murphy reports on the Celtics bringing in P.J. Brown to add depth to the frontcourt for the stretch run.

Spears’ notebook has more on the signing of Brown, who should lend some much needed size and defense to the Celtics frontcourt. Murphy’s notebook has Ray Allen continuing his hot shooting since the All Star break, and checks in with West and Szczerbiak. Doyle’s notebook has more on the pickup of Brown.

Red Sox

With the veterans at the White House, pitching prospect Justin Masterson was the star of the show in Red Sox camp yesterday. Amalie Benjamin has a feature on the soon-to-be 23 year-old, who appears to charm everyone he encounters and has a limitless future ahead of him. Maureen Mullen also has a piece on Masterson, and he is also featured in Rob Bradford’s notebook as he gets the start against Northeastern tonight in a split-squad game. Masterson is also the focus of Jeff Goldberg’s notebook.

Steve Buckley says that the Red Sox visit to the White House is spoiled by the steroid scandal. John E. Mulligan has more on the Red Sox trip to the White House. Massarotti says that Roger Clemens has no shame and has proven himself a phony. Nick Cafardo has Congress launching an inquiry into whether Clemens committed perjury in his testimony earlier this month. Jeff Jacobs says that Clemens can’t throw a fastball at the feds’ head as he would’ve during his playing career. Buckley has John Kerry weighing in on Clemens and the Patriots.

Rob Bradford has a look at Jason Varitek using the offseason to make his swings from each side of the plate appear like mirror images of each other. Michael Silverman has a look at prospect David Aardsma and his sister Amanda, who could each be rising stars in different fields. Rob Duca has Jonathan Papelbon happing with his role and looking forward to another World Series with the Red Sox. Silverman also has Freddy Garcia paying a visit to Red Sox camp to get checked out.

Benjamin’s notebook has Bartolo Colon looking at pitching in a game as early as March 9th, and impressing Terry Francona with his arm. Sean McAdam’s notebook has Colon ready to pitch. Duca’s notebook has Colon ready to do whatever it takes to get ready for the season.

Bruins/Patriots/Misc

Stephen Harris has Phil Kessel unfazed with all the attention his name drew at the trading deadline. Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins preparing to face the Penguins and the player they couldn’t get at the deadline, Marian Hossa, at the Garden tonight.

Karen Guregian has Ty Law open to a return to the Patriots, and she has a number of other player updates. Christopher L. Gasper has a look at former St. John’s Prep star Jonathan Goff, who made quite an impression on scouts at the combine.

Buddy Thomas is hearing those voices again.

APSE Honors Local Writers, Papers

Yesterday I had noted the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and Hall of Fame honorees, today we’ll mention the Associated Press Sports Editors awards for both writers and sections.

Of local interest, section winners included the Lewiston Sun Journal; the New Bedford Standard Times; the Nashua Telegraph ; the Worcester Telegram-Gazette; the New Haven Register; the Portland Press Herald; and the Boston Globe.

Writing winners included Tim O’Sullivan (Concord Monitor), Mick Colageo (New Bedford Standard Times), Chris Carlson (Berkshire Eagle), Dave D’Onofrio (Concord Monitor), David Brown (New Bedford Standard Times), Chip Malafronte (New Haven Register), Dave Solomon (New Haven Register), Shawn Courchesne (Hartford Courant), Jeff Jacobs (Hartford Courant), Dan Shaughnessy, and project teams at both the Courant and the Globe.

Bruins Stand Pat, Pats Brewin’ Changes

The Bruins failed to make a trade prior to yesterday NHL trading deadline, choosing to stand pat with the roster that they currently have. Last night, Tim Thomas and the B’s scored a 4-0 shutout over the Ottawa Senators – a team they seem to own.

Fluto Shinzawa says that Boston “dominated a thoroughly disinterested Ottawa club” at the Garden last night. Bud Barth says that the close-knit Bruins were happy that their GM believed in them, and it showed on the ice last night. Steve Conroy has the Bruins tying their longest winning streak of the season, with their fourth straight victory. Douglas Flynn has the Bruins being able to carry their momentum from their recently completed road trip over to this game.

Mick Colageo has GM Peter Chiarelli showing faith in his club by standing pat at the trading deadline, whether it pays off for him remains to be seen. Stephen Harris declares that Chiarelli showed “wisdom and courage” by standing pat and refusing to include any of his young players in a deal and choosing instead to show faith in his current roster to make it to the playoffs.

Shinzawa’s notebook has a look at Chiarelli’s failed efforts to land Marian Hossa from Atlanta. Barth’s notebook says that Chiarelli putting his future in the hands of some unproven youngsters is a risky thing for his job. Conroy’s notebook says that a little rest appears to have gone a long way for Thomas in being able to record the shutout last night. Flynn’s notebook has Chiarelli showing confidence in his team by keeping them together for the stretch run.

Red Sox

Rob Bradford has Daisuke Matsuzaka working on yet another pitch to add to his arsenal, a two-seam fastball. Jeff Goldberg says that Matsuzaka is more relaxed and comfortable this spring, and it shows. Comparing him to Drew Bledsoe, Bill Burt declares that Coco Crisp can’t handle the pressure of playing in Boston and should be traded to somewhere where they don’t care quite as much about baseball. Gordon Edes has a look at former Harvard third baseman Zak Farkes, who is trying to make the transformation to a catcher in the Red Sox minor leagues. The article begins with an account of a tradition that Jason Varitek and Doug Mirabelli have of taking all the catchers in the organization out to dinner during spring training. Sean McAdam notes that depending on whether Crisp of Jacoby Ellsbury wins the starting job, the lineup could look much different from one scenario to the other.

Rob Duca says that Bartolo Colon would do well to try and follow the example and advice of Luis Tiant, who had a great career with the Red Sox after many thought he was washed up.
 Michael Silverman has the World Champs set to visit the White House and Walter Reed Army Hospital today. Bradford has Clay Buchholz impressing the veteran hitters during batting practice yesterday. Silverman notes that with Curt Schilling out, the health of Tim Wakefield becomes a much more important thing. Joe Haggerty has more on a mechanical change for Dice-K.

Bradford’s notebook has the Sox ready to take things slow with Colon. Edes’ notebook has Colon needing to deal with some weight and conditioning issues before he is ready to pitch to batters. McAdam’s notebook has more on Colon’s arrival to camp yesterday. Duca’s notebook has the Red Sox veterans set to hit Washington today to meet with the President. Goldberg’s notebook has more on the first glimpse of Colon in Boston colors.

Celtics

Marc J. Spears reports that there has been a “snag” in the buyout of Sam Cassell – owner Donald Sterling’s wallet.

Peter May looks at what the possible addition of Cassell to the Celtics could mean for Boston’s title hopes. Steve Bulpett has the Celtics hoping to keep the momentum going from the last two games of the road trip. Mike Szostak however, says that the road trip punctured Celts’ aura of invincibility.

The BSMW Full Court Press beats Dan Shaughnessy to the punch and compares Boston to the other cities in the NBA Eastern playoff hunt.

Patriots

Mike Reiss looks at yesterday’s release of Rosevelt Colvin by the Patriots in what appears to be a salary cap related move. Karen Guregian says that concerns over Colvin’s health also contributed to his release. She has a few other Patriots personnel notes and updates. David Heuschkel also has a report on the release of Colvin.

Christopher L. Gasper and Jessica Heslam report on Kevin Faulk being cited for marijuana possession at a rap concert in Louisiana.

Sean Jensen of AOL sports reports that two NFL sources claim that Randy Moss has a multi-year deal in place to remain with the Patriots.

Media Assists NFL Tampering

Quick thought – Almost every NFL reporter out there has been writing or talking the last two weeks about which team is interested in which free agent, and which player is likely to end up at one of a couple of teams. Isn’t this just enabling tamperers? You can assume there are plenty of league memos out there about tampering. It’s pretty transparent when the ones spreading these types of rumors are the same ones who are also crying about cheating scandals and following the rules, when in reality they are fine with it…as long as they understand it and benefit from it.

This piece: If everyone’s doing it, free-agent tampering is OK from ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas tells us that the tampering certainly goes on.

The media gets used in this process by reporting rumors and interest from both players and teams, and is quite happy to oblige with this.

You could make the argument that gaining an illegal advantage on acquiring players is a little more egregious than illegally obtaining information that is perfectly legal to have in other ways.

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Mike Florio has the latest “scuttlebutt” on the “Spygate II” scandal with Matt Walsh.

I’m reluctant to post that link, as I’ve avoided linked to all of Florio’s stuff that goes the other way. In fact, Florio has tried to play a tricky game here, spreading rumor and innuendo involving the Patriots situation with as much (or more) gusto than anyone out there, while at the same time making comments such as the following:

But the sense we’re getting is that many in the media are hoping for this to become a story of cheating and scandal and cover-ups and suspensions and forfeits.

“Many in the media?” Does he include himself in that?

That’s not to say that Florio doesn’t sometimes provide interesting information or sources. This Sport Magazine archive piece about spying in the 1960′s NFL was a great read.

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A couple of WEEI items:

If you’ve listened to WEEI in the last week, you’ve heard that Dennis & Callahan producer Steve Ciaccio has been blogging from spring training. You actually have to navigate the WEEI web site a bit to find it, but here’s the link if you’re looking for it:

38 Glitches: Ciaccio’s Spring Training Blog

Talkers Magazine has its list of the 100 Most Important talk Radio Hosts in America. At #91 is this guy:

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The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and Hall of Fame will name The Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan as Sportswriter of Year on May 3-5, 2008, in Salisbury, N.C.

Here are the state winners for New England:

Massachusetts
Sportscaster – Mike Lynch, WCVB
Sportswriter – Dan Shaughnessy, The Boston Globe

New Hampshire
Sportscaster – Jim Jeannotte, UNH Sports Network
Sportswriter – Allen Lessels, The Union Leader

Rhode Island
Sportscaster – Steve Hyder, Pawtucket Red Sox
Sportswriter – Joe McDonald, Providence Journal

Connecticut
Sportscaster – Kevin Nathan, WVIT-TV
Sportswriter – Mike DiMauro, The Day (London)

Maine
Sportscaster – Dale Duff, WZON
Sportswriter – Ernie Clark, Bangor Daily News

Vermont
Sportscaster – George Commo, Vermont Broadcast Sports & Jack Healey, WYSB
Sportswriter – Mike Donoghue, The Burlington Free Press

Congratulations to all!

Celtics Head Home – Cassell to Follow?

The Celtics ended their five game Western road trip on a high note, as they routed a totally uninspired Clippers team, 104-76 in Los Angeles. The win made the Celtics 2-3 on the trip and now they head home to take on the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers tomorrow night at the Garden.

Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics were more than good enough against a total disinterested Clippers club. Peter May notes that this one had a “distinct air of inevitability” right from the outset. Out in Los Angeles, Jonathan Abrams has a club looking like the “Celtics of yesteryear, in all their mystique,” handing the Clippers their worst loss of the season. Joe Stevens says that this one seemed to be over before it even began. Art Thompson III has the Clippers with no answers for the Celtics.

Bulpett has the Celtics still looking to add to their backcourt, but Brent Barry doesn’t appear to be walking through that door, and Sam Cassell’s buyout is progressing slowly. Abrams has Cassell confirming that buyout talks with Clippers are taking place. Stevens notes that Cassell will need to be waived before midnight Eastern time tomorrow in order to play in the postseason for another team, as he has to be off the Clippers roster by midnight Friday and NBA waivers take 48 hours to clear.

May’s notebook though, reports that sources say that the Clippers will announce today that they are buying out Cassell’s contract, and that the Celtics, Nuggets and Mavericks are all prepared to make him an offer once he clears waivers. Bulpett’s notebook has the Celtics feeling pretty good about their position in the East.

Red Sox

There’s quite a difference in the lead baseball columns between the papers this morning after a fairly slow day at Red Sox camp yesterday: Gordon Edes tells the story of Kevin Davis, a Navy fighter pilot and huge Red Sox fan, who got to see his biggest dream get fulfilled up close. Jeff Goldberg has the Red Sox set to visit the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington as part of their trip to the White House tomorrow. Meanwhile, Gerry Callahan grouses that the Red Sox are World Champions, and appear that they might be even better now, but asserts that they’re boring, and he wants more storylines and controversy in camp.

Rob Bradford has the Red Sox believing that Bartolo Colon is worth taking a gamble on. Sean McAdam has Theo Epstein characterizing the signing as low-risk, potentially high reward.

Bradford has Bruce Hurst happy to rejoin the Red Sox as a special instructor, 20 years after he last pitched for the club. Bradford also has Hurst revealing that his regrets started immediately once he signed with the San Diego Padres and left Boston and the Red Sox. Rob Duca has more on Hurst, and his rejoining Red Sox nation after 20 years away.

Michael Silverman says that there is virtually no trade market for Coco Crisp right now. Joe Haggerty has Manny Delcarmen looking to get down to business after a winter of heavy workouts. Silverman also has the Red Sox’ Hall of Fame Class of 2008, which was announced yesterday.

Amalie Benjamin‘s notebook has more on Colon, as well as Hurst. Silverman’s notebook has Jed Lowrie having a mishap in a rundown drill yesterday. McAdam’s notebook has more on the Hall of Fame class and on Hurst. Duca’s notebook has more on the low risk signing of Colon. Goldberg’s notebook also has a look at the signing of Colon, and the return of Hurst.

Bruins

Kevin Paul Dupont has Patrice Bergeron talking about his second skate in two days yesterday. Steve Conroy also has the Bruins star feeling his way through his efforts to return to the team. Bergeron was a guest of the Dale & Holley program on WEEI yesterday…

Dupont’s notebook has Peter Chiarelli expecting to stand pat at today’s NHL trading deadline. Conroy’s notebook also has a look at what figures to be a quiet day for the Bruins.

Misc

Mike Reiss has Eugene Wilson and the Patriots set to part ways after five seasons. Bob Halloran tells us that the Patriots won’t be as good next season, and that their window of opportunity could be closing.

Bob Ryan gushes over how fortunate we are to be watching Tiger Woods right now. He says even Cole Porter might be at a loss for words to describe him.

David Scott reports that 890 ESPN Boston might not be long for this market, as signs point to its imminent demise.

Comcast SportsNet HD Growing Pains

If you watched the Celtics broadcasts from Phoenix on Friday night and last night from Portland on Comcast SportsNet HD, you likely noticed that the game wasn’t actually in HD. In talking with a CSN representative today, the explanation was given that apparently while the network is able to broadcast each game in High Definition, they were not able to find a production truck in those cities that had the necessary equipment to get the HD signals out. As the person noted, it’s part of the price to pay for switching to full HD coverage in the middle of a season. This type of equipment, especially on the road, usually needs to be arranged for well in advance.

Tonight’s game in Los Angeles against the Clippers will be in full HD.

Celts Blaze Their Way Back

After trailing by 17 points at one point in the first half, the Celtics finally got their act together last night, and stormed back for a 112-102 win over the Portland Trailblazers last night. Paul Pierce had 30 points to lead the way for the Celtics.

On Oscar night, Steve Bulpett has the Celtics starring in their own version of “Atonement” up in Portland. Peter May says that the Celtics big guys and their defense finally showed up for a game on this West coast road trip. Check the coverage and reaction from Portland on the game in the OregonLive Blazers Blog.

Michael Wilbon in the Washington Post this morning says that despite their recent struggles, the Celtics are still ahead of the curve in the East. in Portland, Geoffrey C. Arnold has a look at how native son (From Eugene, OR) Danny Ainge finally got the Celtics turned around. Bill Doyle looks at the second round proving successful for the Celtics. Tim Weisberg says that the recent losses are reason for concern, but not worry.

May’s notebook has a look at some names that the Celtics might be considering this week as they attempt to bulk up their bench for the stretch run. Bulpett’s notebook has Pierce and Ray Allen shooting a combined 19-22 last night, bouncing back nicely after their 5-25 showing in Phoenix.

Red Sox

Theo Epstein got his manager locked up for at least the next three years yesterday, as Terry Francona and the Red Sox agreed on a contract extension that will keep the manager here through the 2011 season, with a couple of option years after that. Amalie Benjamin and Gordon Edes report on the new deal for the skipper, which places him in the upper echelon of the managerial salary scale. Rob Bradford says that in these negotiations, Francona had the leverage, and it paid off handsomely for him. Sean McAdam says that Francona and the Red Sox are a perfect fit for each other, and has reaction from several players on the new deal for their boss. Joe Haggerty says that Francona can now put his focus back on baseball. Jeff Goldberg has Epstein offering high praise for his skipper with the extension now done. Rob Duca says that it was only a matter of time before this extension got done.

Michael Silverman examines the different routes that top prospects Clay Buchholz and Joba Chamberlain have taken in their development by the organizations to which they belong. Michael Levenson examines the difficulty of obtaining Red Sox spring training tickets, which are the highest priced in the majors. Silverman has several of the Red Sox pitchers, including Josh Beckett, getting their first batting practice of spring training yesterday and looking pretty impressive. Bradford has a brief report on the Red Sox agreeing to terms on a minor league make-good deal with Bartolo Colon.

Bradford’s notebook has a look at Jon Lester, who is projected as the Red Sox #3 starter, with no limitations placed on his workload this spring. Edes’ notebook has the Red Sox not making the announcement on Colon until he can pass a physical. McAdam’s notebook has more on the contingent deal for Colon, who would give the Red Sox some insurance if Curt Schilling can’t come back. Goldberg’s notebook also reports on the minor deal for Colon. Duca’s notebook has player reaction to Francona’s extension.

Bruins

Fluto Shinzawa says that the Bruins might do well to take a chemistry lesson from the Anaheim Ducks of last season. Stephen Harris has Peter Chiarelli working the phones furiously prior to tomorrow’s NHL trading deadline. Mick Colageo says that the Bruins need to determine whether Phil Kessel is a trading chip or a building block. Shinzawa has Patrice Bergeron taking a 10-minute skate yesterday, while Harris also reports on Bergeron’s return to the ice.

Patriots

Karen Guregian has former Patriot Ted Johnson insisting that his quote about getting a sheet of the opponent’s audibles an hour before each game was taken out of context and that to attach it to the spygate scandal would be irresponsible. He says he never saw evidence of illegal videotaping during his time here. Mike Reiss and Christopher L. Gasper report that the Jets Jonathan Vilma has permission from the Jets to seek a trade to any team in the NFL…except of course, the Patriots.

John Tomase examines Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan and the possibility that he could be the first pick in the NFL draft this season. He looks over what scouts like about him, and what reservations they have.

Shalise Manza Young has the Patriots looking to bolster their defense this offseason. Rich Garven has number of Patriots notes, leading off with the fact that even Bill Polian wants spygate to go away. Douglas Flynn says that the Patriots offensive backfield is one area where the team shouldn’t have to do much shopping this offseason.

Guregian’s notebook has BC safety Jamie Silva as a big fan of the Patriots Rodney Harrison.