Sox Zap Rays, Pierce Opts Out

BreakingSource: Rivers staying – Steve Bulpett reports.

Apologies on the tardiness, an early-morning work emergency kept me away from here thus far. I see that you guys have been busy in the comment section under the previous post, however…

David Ortiz hit a three-run blast off Rays starter James Shields to get things started for the Red Sox offense as they powered to an 8-5 win over Tampa last night at Fenway Park. Check out RedSoxLinks.com for ALL the coverage.

The bigger story this morning involved Celtics captain Paul Pierce, who has opted out of the final year of his contract and will be a free agent when the period opens tonight at midnight.

Here’s a fast five-ish links for the afternoon:

Danny Ainge: We’re still negotiating with Paul Pierce – Mark Murpy has Danny Ainge trying to get something done with Pierce.

Despite opt-out, expect Pierce to stay – A. Sherrod Blakely expects Pierce to stay right here. Ian Thomsen of SI was on WEEI today and said that Dallas might make a push for Pierce if he is available.

Free agent frenzy – In an article posted later in the morning, Paul Flannery looks at realistic FA options for the Celtics.

The Truth? Pierce decision may be a blessing – Tony Massarotti thinks Pierce opting out is a good thing for the Celtics. Masserotti and Michael Felger have been talking for weeks about the probability of Pierce opting out, well before it was being discussed by many others.

Keep up with everything Celtics on the team dashboard at CelticsLinks.com.

Epstein keeping a healthy outlook – Joe McDonald says that the Red Sox GM isn’t fazed by the rash of injuries to his club.

Sports Radio Morning Show Poll

The latest ratings show that Dennis & Callahan are facing their biggest challenge yet in the ratings from 98.5 FM’s Toucher and Rich.

What show are you listening to for sports talk in the AM?

{democracy:90}

Big Week For The Future Of The Boston Celtics

The first dominoes have yet to fall, but this is a huge few days for the future of the Boston Celtics. In some form or another, we’ll find out the immediate future of Paul Pierce, Doc Rivers and Ray Allen.

Here’s your top ten articles this morning:

Hey Danny Ainge, time to be bold – Gerry Callahan tells the Celtics executive that should Pierce choose to opt out of his contract, the Celtics should let him walk and go pursue a younger option.

 Rivers’ future headlines busy week – Chris Forsberg looks at the four items that we need to keep an eye on with the Celtics.

Free agent preview: Small forwards and shooting guards – Rich Levine looks at some of the wing players that will be available on the market.

A good ‘weather’ report – Peter Abraham looks at how the Red Sox weathered an early storm this season, and are now comfortable as a unit.

Drew needs to earn his $14M for ailing Sox – Bill Ballou says that the Red Sox need J.D. Drew more than ever right now.

How Adrian Beltre helped to change the baseball landscape – Alex Speier looks at the Red Sox third baseman’s spot in MLB history.

Martinez is headed to DL – Abraham’s notebook says that the Red Sox catcher is expected to avoid surgery, but will need a stint on the disabled list.

Bo knows – Stan Grossfeld has a feature on Mike Greenwell’s son, Bo, and his dream to someday play the same Fenway Park outfield that his dad played.

Boston Bruins do well to re-sign Mark Recchi, but should think twice if they’re considering trading Marc Savard – Mike Loftus wonders why the Bruins seem eager to trade Marc Savard.

Reese is key man at the table for Patriots – Christopher Price looks at why July is Floyd Reese’s month with the Patriots.

Idle thought: When you saw the highlights of the heated Evan Longoria/B.J. Upton exchange in the Tampa Rays dugout last weeekend, did you immediately think of how Dennis & Callahan would easily get a week’s worth of shows from that incident, and which side they would take?

Idle thought # 2: I’ve enjoyed the segments I’ve heard today and yesterday of Damon Amendolara and Jon Wallach in the mornings filling in for Toucher & Rich (who I generally enjoy as well).