Manny Ramirez showing up on time to camp is the top story in the papers this morning, and him speaking to the media on his arrival is an even bigger one.
Steve Buckley has Ramirez happy, upbeat and wanting to stay in Boston for the rest of his career. Jeff Goldberg has Manny stating that he wants to be here for the next two years, but that he’ll leave that decision to the Red Sox. Amalie Benjamin says Manny didn’t stick around for long yesterday, but it was enough just that he was there at all. Buckley add that the Red Sox are in an ideal position to be able to deal with Manny and dictate whether he remains here and stays productive for the next two seasons. Rob Bradford says that Manny’s arrival made Theo Epstein a happy GM.
Sean McAdam notes that as is the case with players, only certain managers can thrive in Boston. Terry Francona has certainly proved that he can not only survive, but be wildly successful. Rob Bradford examines how keeping a journal has made a huge difference for Josh Beckett. Garry Brown says that the future is now for Jacoby Ellsbury. Joe Haggerty has a Q&A session with new Sox reliever Danny Kolb, who recalls his first trip to Fenway Park.
McAdam’s notebook has more on Manny’s acceptance of his situation with the option years. Bradford’s notebook revisits a winter of discontent for Alex Cora. Gordon Edes’ notebook has more on Kolb trying a win a job with the Red Sox. Goldberg’s notebook has Epstein addressing the Coco Crisp situation.
The Patriots did not tag Randy Moss with the franchise designation yesterday, leaving some to speculate that the team is close to an extension with the record setting receiver. Karen Guregian says that no tag means that the two sides likely have a verbal agreement. (The Patriots can’t officially sign him until the new league year starts at the end of next week.) Mike Reiss also has a look at the situation for the two sides. David Heuschkel and Shalise Manza Young each also speculate that the absence of the tag could mean a long term deal between the sides in in the works.
John Tomase has quotes from around the league at the NFL combine on camera-gate. Young also has quotes from that event, including comments from the infamous NFL Competition Committee on the matter. Tomase also reports on the Patriots adding Dom Capers to their coaching staff. Over on Patriots Daily, Scott Benson also speculates as to the significance of the addition of a veteran NFL defensive mind to the coaching staff.
Capers, as you might recall, was a candidate for the head coaching job with the Patriots before Bill Belichick was hired. There was talk of a Tom Donahoe/Capers GM/Head Coach combination, a situation that then-Patriots beat man Nick Cafardo was strongly in favor of.
Reiss’s notebook has more on Capers, noting that the addition could free of Belichick to work more elsewhere with his club. The Herald notebook has the Patriots declining the option on Donte Stallworth’s contract, making him free to sign elsewhere.
Shinzawa has Richard Zednik speaking for the first time since his gruesome injury. Harris’ notebook has GM Peter Chiarelli mum on any possible deal for Atlanta’s Marian Hossa. Shinzawa’s notebook has more on Chiarelli’s options at the trade deadline.
The Celtics are in Phoenix tonight to take on the Suns and their new acquisition, Shaquille O’Neal, who made his debut with the club earlier this week. After giving up 243 points over the last two games, Marc J. Spears and Steve Bulpett have the Celtics looking to get back to what got them the league’s best record – defense. On the BSMW Full Court Press, Shirley Coshatt says that defensive guru Tom Thibodeau needs to stick around beyond this season for what he has brought to the Celtics.
Spears’ notebook has the Celtics believing that the addition of O’Neal makes the Suns more imposing. Bulpett’s notebook looks at a quite trade deadline day for Danny Ainge. Jeff Howe has more on the deadline passing with no deals for the Celtics.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell chats with new channel 7 sports reporter/anchor Julie Donaldson.