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LEADING OFF

March 05, 2012
March 05, 2012

Table of Contents
March 5, 2012

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
THE MARLINS
NFL DRAFT 2012
  • The combine kicked off two months of massive intrigue at football's most important position. Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Peyton Manning, Matt Flynn—quarterbacks stand front and center as the draft and free agency seasons begin

PRO BASKETBALL
PRO HOCKEY
SPECIAL REPORT
  • AFTER THREE STRAIGHT TRIPS TO THE FINAL FOUR, BEN HOWLAND'S BRUINS UNEXPECTEDLY BEGAN TO STRUGGLE. FORMER PLAYERS AND STAFF MEMBERS TELL A CAUTIONARY TALE OF HOW DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS AND MISTAKES IN JUDGMENT CAN SABOTAGE EVEN A STORIED PROGRAM

Departments

LEADING OFF

PHOTOPhotograph by Brad Barr/US PresswireTIME TO SOAK IN THE NATIONAL PASTIME The first full week of spring training brought heavy rains to the Nationals' Viera, Fla., camp but couldn't dampen the expectations of a club that should contend in the free-agent-fortified NL East (page 34). The Nats' six-year, $100 million extension of third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's contract last weekend only further whetted Washington's hopes that the franchise's 31-year postseason drought may soon be over.PHOTOPhotograph by David Goldman/APIS THIS A DAGGER WHICH I SEE BEFORE ME? Or so suggests the wary gaze of the Bard of Boston, 26-year-old righthander Daniel Bard, as he is set upon by the notoriously hungry Hub media on Feb. 21; Bard, who faltered during the Red Sox' historic final-month collapse, is attempting to make the switch from the bullpen to the rotation.PHOTOPhotograph by Jeff Roberson/APTHE STRIPPING DOWN OF THE NEW YORK METS IS NEVER-ENDING Fresh from one of the largest off-season payroll parings in MLB history, the Mets began sing, er, spring training on an interesting note. A depantsed Jeurys Familia was instructed to belt out the national anthem of his native Dominican Republic, one of several players who were similarly punished by a team strength and fitness coordinator for lack of effort.