Just clearing my mind of a few things before I begin an early morning trek into a slightly powdery Boston:

1) The good folks in Cleveland [home of The Drew Carey Show] are apparently considering rejecting Guillermo Mota, pregnant with concerns over his shoulder. [As Chris Snow writes in today's Globe "it's become readily apparent that the Sox, in the Beckett deal, took on two pitchers with arm concerns."] Word is that the deal will now have to be “restructured,” which could mean names like Manny Delcarmen or Hazel Mae get tossed around. I would ask that as negotiations continue, Theo and The Wonder Twins heed the sage advice of Kenny Rogers [the singer, not the a-hole] and “know when to walk away, know when to run.” Again, this is what happens when the entire free world knows you need a centerfielder.

2) It’s been a while since we heard from Schilling [and in Schilling terms, that means roughly eight hours], so it’s good to read a few Curt quotes in today’s Sox Notebook in the Herald. One of the things I’m looking forward to in 2006 is that Schilling can only get better. Actually, he could get worse. But somehow, I just don’t see that. Here’s a guy whose ego rides shotgun with him down route 109, and frequently runs up larger breakfast tabs than his entire extended family. I don’t think he wants the 2005 season to be his legacy, and I’ve got a good feeling that ego’s gonna push him to at least match his 2004 record. And if you think Schill-dog hasn’t spent the off-season replacing his bum ankle with stainless steel robot parts… well, you just don’t know the man.

3) Dear NESN peeps: Clearly you guys understand where your bread is buttered. We know this, because of all the Red Sox programming you slavish upon us. During the season, in addition to the games, we get the post-game, the post-post-game, the game replays and the weekly recap shows. In the offseason, we get classic game replays, Red Sox This Week, Red Sox This Month, Red Sox Round-Up and Cooking with Rich Gedman. This is an embarrassment of riches for fellas like me, and I appreciate it. That said, I feel you have committed a most egregious error in taking Kelly the Ball Girl — whose popularity around Fenway is rivaled only by that of Manny and the folks selling beer — and putting her in a Bruins show. Dudes! What were you thinking? With this town’s insatiable appetite for Red Sox minutiae and hot chicks, you could have launched the single greatest program since Tom Larson’s All-Nude Playhouse, following Kelly as she romps on the field after hours, interviews the peanut guy, and shows us the right way to oil a pitching machine [not a euphemism! I really want to know!]. Instead, we get Ms. Barons cavorting with the likes of Hannu Toivonen and Travis Green, and a little chunk of our hearts just breaks off and drifts away. I can only hope that this is some sort of trial run, a way of grooming Kelly for the inevitable Sox show, and I’ll be looking forward to said show this spring. F–kers. [Also, a quick read through Kelly's profile on the NESN homepage reveals that her favorite article of clothing is "My BU sweatshirt and my old Mighty Ducks T-Shirt." Excuse me while I swoon.]