Monday, March 17, 2008

It Ain't Easy Being Green

Happy St. Pat's Day. Haven't posted for a while, so thought I'd do a little around the horn update on the four pro teams in town.

RED SOX: Josh Beckett and his ailing back are getting better, but the ace (wisely, it says here) will not be making the trek to Japan with his teammates. Instead, the Opening Day starter on March 25 against the A's will be Daisuke Matsuzaka (whose wife delivered their second child early) and Jon Lester will throw Game 2. It's a week from tomorrow, kids.

In other Sox news, the team cut the cord with Doug Mirabelli last week, opting to keep Kevin Cash around instead for less money and a similar pathetic batting average. Jason Varitek was none too pleased, but something tells me he'll get over it. The lasting memory of Dougie will always be his celebrated police escort to Fenway in May 2006 right before a Tim Wakefield start against the Yankees. That was also the night, incidentally, that Johnny Damon returned to Boston in pinstripes. Don't cry for Dougie, though - the man should kiss the ground every day for how long he's lasted with so little.

It's been pretty tranquil in Fort Myers otherwise. Something tells me the Dynamic Duo is going to be in full force this year - with Big Papi feeling healthy after knee surgery and Manny playing for another four-year contract.

CELTICS: Lucky the Leprechaun's team encounters its toughest four-game stretch of the season beginning tonight, with road games against the iron of the West: San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and that team from the Old Wild West, New Orleans. The Rockets have incredibly won 22 straight ballgames, including 10 since Yao Ming's season-ending injury. These games should be fun - and they're a good measuring stick to see what the C's postseason chances might be. Ray Allen (ankle) will be a game-time decision tonight.

PATRIOTS: All's quiet on the Foxborough front. Every other couple days, a Spygate story pops up, they're getting closer to a deal, blah, blah, blah. This thing's going to die a slow, painful (for ESPN) death, and I can't wait to see how the mainstream sports media handles it. Been thinking some about Coach Bill, and how a guy is defined by the types of friends he has. Bill's got some pretty slimy pals - starting with Nick Saban and Tony La Russa, who's currently hosting BB at Cardinals camp in Jupiter, Florida.

BRUINS: As expected, the UCLA Bruins will be the first seed in the West Region of the NCAA men's tournament, which begins in all its glory this week. No update available on the Brown University (RI) Bruins.

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