Good morning, T.J. Donegan of bostonsportz.com here. Bruce is still away so I’ll handle your morning links once again. Sorry for the delay, internet has been screwy down here in our nation’s capital today. These things happen. It’s a slow news day all around, today, but on with the show.
All in all not the biggest day yesterday with all the teams having a much-needed day off, with both the Celtics and Bruins looking pretty haggard after a rough weekend.
Everybody’s favorite Gerry Calahan leads us off today, saying the idea the Celtics should just ease off the gas and let Cleveland win the East is foolish. Got to agree with him there. Frank Dell’apa says these “wounded Celtics” have to press on, even if it means starting inexperienced guys. Never like to see your team described as “wounded.”
ESPN’s Outside the Lines had a great story yesterday about Duke guard Nolan Smith, son of former Celtic Derek Smith, and how his father’s death has affected him. Phenomenal read, this one.
That’s about it for C’s news today. Wasn’t kidding when I said it was slow. Check Celticslinks.com to catch up if you missed anything from yesterday.
The Bruins take on the Blue Jackets tonight. FoxSports.com has the AP’s preview of the game. Mick Colageo for the Inside Bruins blog says the Blue Jackets game presents new motivation for a team that, after a hot start, is just 15-10-5 to start the new year.
Steve Conroy of the Herald talks about the struggles of Blake Wheeler over the last few games, as the rookie has gone pointless.
Jon Lester is expected to put pen to paper on a $30 million extension that could lock him up until 2014 today. Despite the impending payday for the young lefty, Adam Kilgore says it’s all business from Lester right now as he gets ready for the new season. Ron Borges took the stonewalling by Lester as a personal affront to the intelligence of all baseball fans and compares him to the bumbling German guards from Hogan’s heroes. Nice, Ron. Nice.
Dan Barbarisi of the Projo looks at two of the Sox’ new relievers, Wes Littleton and Ramon Ramirez, and ruminates on their chances of making the roster. Chaz Scoggins compares the starting rotation the Sox have built to the one the Yankees have purchased this offseason and says the Sox are winning that arms race.
Brian Macpherson looks at Clay Buchholz and his attitude heading into what could be a career-defining spring for the young man. The AP talks about Jon Lester’s new contract as well, saying he’s rounding into form as the spring wears on, but isn’t signed yet, despite what Yahoo Sports is reporting, and doesn’t know what the timetable is.
Mark Tomase checks in on Kevin Youkilis to see how he’s performing at the WBC. His verdict: Youk rules the world.
Maureen Mullen for the Worcester Telegram Gazette talks about Jeff Bailey, the I-league’s MVP last seaason in Pawtucket and his attempt to break into the big club this Spring.
Adam Kilgore’s notebook says Mike Lowell will get a start as a DH in a spring training game today, a welcome break from just rehab.
New England Patriots
Scott Benson at Patriots Daily is participating in a mock draft and has his selections up.
Mark Farinella looks at New England closing in on signing cornerback Shawn Springs. Springs has a running “rivalry” with Terrell Owens, and has matched his career moves, division for division, according to Pro Football Talk. He’s also a veteran cornerback who can come into New England and shore up a unit sorely lacking in depth.
Karen Guregian has K Gostkowski looking to stay in New England this fall.
ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski says Randy Moss provides the “roadmap” for the Terrell Owens experiment in Buffalo. Except that he doesn’t have a Hall of Fame quarterback. or a Hall of Fame coach. or an established defense….and it’s Buffalo.
One 19-inch snowstorm and he’ll retire just to get warm.
The Register-Herald catches up with Troy Brown, who is enjoying his newfound freedom in retirement. Also catching up with Patriots Alums, Josh McDaniels says he brought in safety Renaldo Hill because he was just so damn tough to gameplan for while Josh was here in New England.
The league’s preparing for what could determine it’s short-term future this weekend as the NFLPA will meet to elect their new Executive Director who will replace the late Gene Upshaw. It’s been a matter of some debate as one of the candidates was eliminated and then un-eliminated when player reps complained and another, Troy Vincent, is under possible FBI (Update: just NFLPA investigation, not sure why I thought it was FBI, but my mistake) investigation.
If the NFLPA doesn’t hire a strong leader that can unite them, Sports Business Journal says, they could get steamrolled by the owners when the new CBA talks begin soon which might lead to a work stoppage in two years.
And not a Patriots story here, but a goodie nonetheless, from the Athens Banner-Herald talking about Falcons fullback Jason Snelling and his fight against Epilepsy. Definitely worth a look.
That’ll do it for me today. Hopefully some big news will break or we’ll all spend the day refreshing the same pages at work watching the clock tick by slower and slower. Clemens may be in trouble, as they reportedly found PEDs on the stuff Brian McNamee gave them, so that’s a start.