Red Sox get lefthander Craig Breslow

Posted by Robert Burgess July 31, 2012 03:04 PM

The Red Sox have traded Matt Albers and Scott Podsednik for lefthanded pitcher Craig Breslow. The details of the deal were reported by Arizona Diamondbacks beat writer for FOXSportsArizona.com, Jack Magruder. Globe national baseball reporter Nick Cafardo reported earlier the Red Sox were close to acquiring Breslow.


The reliever has pitched in 40 games and has a 2.70 ERA. He's averaging almost a strikeout per inning.

Ryan Sweeney expected to be out of Sox lineup for eight weeks

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff July 31, 2012 12:12 PM

The Globe's Nick Cafardo reports via Twitter that Red Sox outfielder Ryan Sweeney is expected to miss at least eight weeks after injuring his left throwing hand by punching a door in the Red Sox dugout after Tigers second baseman Omar Infante made a diving stab to rob him of a hit in the bottom of the eighth inning of last night's game.

“I just came down, walked down the stairs, and kind of punched the door a little bit,’’ said a forlorn Sweeney in the clubhouse. “I’ve done [it] before, but maybe not to this extent.’’

Sweeney injured the outside knuckle on his left pinkie and was unable to return to the game. “I just couldn’t throw the ball, so they had to put Cody in,’’ he said.

Asked last night if he felt as though he fractured it, Sweeney said, “I don’t know. I’ve never broken my hand before, so I don’t know what that feels like. I know it hurts a little bit right now.’’

Ryan Kalish will likely replace Sweeney on the Red Sox roster.

We'll have more in Boston.com's Extra Bases blog shortly.

Tim Thomas writes Facebook post in support of Chick-fil-A

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff July 26, 2012 05:32 PM
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who has said he is taking a year off from hockey, had something to say about the recent Chick-fil-A controversy.

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy has made public comments against gay marriage. The controversy gained traction in Boston after mayor Thomas M. Menino, citing his support of gay marriage, vowed to block Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in the city.

Thomas released a statement about Chick-fil-A on his Facebook page:

I stand with Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A is privately owned by the Cathy family. The company president, Dan Cathy, drew the wrath of gay rights advocates and supporters when he made recent statements that some have alleged are anti-gay.

Cathy told Baptist Press that the company was unapologetically in favor of traditional marriage.

“Guilty as charged,” he said. “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”

In a separate interview on the Ken Coleman Show — Cathy suggested that the nation could face God’s wrath over the redefinition of marriage.

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” Cathy said. “I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we would have the audacity to try to redefine what marriage is all about.”

Revolution to host first-ever boxing match at Gillette Stadium

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff July 25, 2012 01:51 PM

The New England Revolution are finding new and interesting ways to draw fans to the club's soccer matches.

The latest bid to get fans into Gillette Stadium seats is a boxing match doubled up with the team's Aug. 12 game against the Montreal Impact. It'll be the first-ever boxing match at Gillette Stadium and will feature Revolution fan Danny O'Connor in the main event.

O'Connor's opponent will be announced later.

The three-card boxing event will begin immediately after the soccer match, around 9 p.m.

"We're excited to host the first-ever professional boxing match at Gillette Stadium and even more excited to have proud Revs fan and Framingham's own Danny O'Connor headlining the card,” said Revolution President Brian Bilello in a press release. “This will be a unique event that will add value for our fans. We think we’ll convert some boxing fans to Revolution soccer and vice versa."

O'Connor is 17-1 and was an alternate for the 2008 US Olympic boxing team. He's managed by Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys.

Boston Police officer and former New England Golden Gloves champion Bill Traft is also fighting. He'll take on John Downey, a mixed martial arts fighter out of Hull. The boxers for the third fight will be determined later.

Tickets will become available Friday via Ticketmaster. Ringside seats will be on the grass and cost $100. The ring will be located in the south end zone. Premium seats will be $60 and general admission near the ring will be $40, all including the Revs game.

Revs season ticket holders are being encouraged to stay to watch the fights.

1912 Red Sox World Series trophy on auction block

Posted by Leonard Neslin July 25, 2012 12:00 PM
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Photo courtesy Heritage Auctions

Robert Fraser is giving up his favorite living room decoration – the 1912 Red Sox World Series trophy – but it wasn't easy for auction houses to convince him to let it go.

"I was heartbroken," Fraser said. "I loved having it on display in my living room."

Fraser, 52, is expected to be compensated handsomely when it will be auctioned at the National Sports Collectors Convention Aug. 2 in Baltimore. The current bid, via Heritage Auctions, is $90,000.

But Fraser, who said he paid Bruce Garland a $74,000 finder's fee, including commission, for the trophy in 2007, said it could sell for up to 10 times what he paid.

"All you need is a few people," Fraser said.

Heritage Auctions estimates the 14-inch silver trophy will sell for at least $300,000.

According to Fraser, Garland bought the trophy from the family of Jake Stahl, the manager of the 1912 Sox.

Another trophy that was produced in 1912 went to Jimmy McAleer, the team's then co-owner. That trophy has never been located, according to Heritage Auction's Chris Ivy, and could have been melted during the Great Depression.

"It's a one-of-a-kind item," Ivy said. "It's a priceless item."

Asked if the Red Sox would get involved in the bidding, Ivy responded, "I'd be surprised if they didn't."

The Red Sox have a replica of the trophy on display in Fenway Park. The Red Sox defeated the New York Giants four games to three in the 1912 World Series.

"I think Robert's timing is phenomenal," Ivy said. "The fact that this is 2012, 100 years from Fenway's opening."

This piece is on the cover of Heritage Auction's Platinum Night catalog.

The trophy was also the subject of a resolved dispute in New Jersey. A judge said that vintage baseball memorabilia collector/dealer Peter Nash had acted "in bad faith" and has no legal claim to the trophy.

Fraser is an agent for Terrie O'Connor Realtors in Saddle River, NJ.

Ichiro to Yankees

Posted by Robert Burgess July 23, 2012 06:22 PM

The Boston Globe's Pete Abraham and Nick Cafardo are reporting that Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki has been traded to the Yankees.

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Abraham also said via Tweet: "Ichiro is not Ichiro any more. But he can probably be 85 percent of himself for 3 months. Nice trade by Cashman."

Reports indicated Yankees general manager gave up prospects for Suzuki, who is a former MVP and 10-time All-Star, but has struggled this summer and is a free agent at the end of the season.

Also from Abraham, "Smart move by Seattle. Frees them of having to invest further in Ichiro's decline."

The New York Post reports the Yankees sent minor league pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Fahrquar to Seattle for the 38-year-old Suzuki, who is hitting .261 this year.

Penn State fined $60 million, gets 4-year postseason ban

Posted by Leonard Neslin July 23, 2012 09:30 AM





NCAA president Mark Emmert announced the "corrective and punitive" sanctions for the Penn State football program on Monday morning. They are as follows:

  1. Penn State will be fined $60 million, with the funds to be used to supply an endowment that serves the victims of child abuse and to prevent future occurrences.
  2. Penn State will be banned from bowl games or postseason play for four years.
  3. Football scholarships reduced from 25 to 15 for four years.
  4. All wins from 1998 to 2011 are vacated.
  5. Penn State will serve a five-year probationary period.
  6. The NCAA will initiate an investigation on individuals involved in this case.

Addressing the "death penalty," which would have halted Penn State football entirely, Emmert said it was not the appropriate sanction for this situation. The sanctions come in the wake of a child sex scandal and subsequent coverup that involved former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and several high-ranking officials in the athletic department, including late football coach Joe Paterno.

"We concluded that our sanctions needed to reflect our goals of cultural change," Emmert said. "The sanctions we have crafted are more focused and practical than that blanket penalty."

On Sunday, Penn State President Rodney Erickson ordered the removal of the Joe Paterno statue in front of Beaver Stadium. It was "a source of division and an obstacle to healing," Erickson said.


CBS: NCAA source says 'unprecedented' penalties coming to Penn State

Posted by Staff July 22, 2012 09:35 AM
CBS News is reporting that the NCAA will impose penalties on both the Penn State University football team and on the school itself.

According to CBS, a high-ranking NCAA source calls the upcoming penalties "unprecedented."

Also today, Penn State took down a statue of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in the wake of an investigative report that found he and other school administrators concealed sex abuse claims against retired coach Jerry Sandusky.

Celtics trade for Courtney Lee

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 19, 2012 05:01 PM

The Globe's Gary Washburn has confirmed a report by Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears that the Celtics have acquired guard/forward Courtney Lee from the Rockets in a sign-and-trade deal.

The Celtics gave up JaJuan Johnson, whom they picked in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Lee, who is 6-5, has played four seasons in the NBA with the Magic (2008-09), Nets (2009-10) and Rockets (2010-12).

Washburn will have more on the story in the Celtics blog shortly.

Tom Brady gets only passing mention in Michigan football history book

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 19, 2012 11:27 AM

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A handsome coffee-table sized, hardcover book that tells the rich history of football at the University of Michigan will be available Aug. 1.

A certain Hall of Fame-bound quarterback, however, who has gone on to marry the world’s most famous supermodel and graced the cover of hundreds of national magazines, is mentioned on exactly one page, in a few small paragraphs, with no photo.

“How can that be?” Pats fans have asked me when I’ve mentioned the book, for which I led the production. They seem insulted that Tom Brady isn’t featured in a book that chronicles the history of the program where he was a quarterback from 1997 to 2000.

“Well,” I answer, “Because Brady isn’t that important in Michigan football history.”

Sorry, it’s true.

Brady backed up quarterback Brian Griese during the 1997 national championship season, and he was locked in constant battle for the starter position with Drew Henson his senior year. He never had the time to shine in the spotlight of college football, which is largely why he didn’t get drafted until the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft.

His only mention in the book, “Michigan Football: A History of the Nation’s Winningest Program,” is on the 2000 Orange Bowl page when Michigan beat Alabama in overtime 35-34. “Not surprisingly, it was Tom Brady, the senior leader who fought tooth–and-nail just to earn the starting job, who delivered the win,” the story says.

Stephanie Steinberg was the 2011 editor in chief of The Michigan Daily. Email her at Stephanie.Steinberg@globe.com or follow her on Twitter.


About the book: “Michigan Football: A History of the Nation’s Winningest Program” contains stories and photos of the University of Michigan football team that were printed in The Michigan Daily, the school newspaper, from 1890 to 2012. The soft cover is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The hard cover will be sold on michigandaily.com/store starting Aug. 1. Visit the book's web site.

Report: Red Sox gauging interest for Carl Crawford

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff July 18, 2012 01:22 PM

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Jim Rogash/Getty Images


The Red Sox are reportedly looking at shipping out left fielder Carl Crawford, despite the difficulty of moving his hefty contract, according to FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal.

According to Rosenthal's report, the Red Sox reached out to the Miami Marlins and the Los Angeles Dodgers. However Rosenthal's story has conflicting sources on whether discussions actually took place.

The Red Sox, sources said, reached out to both the Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers, though another source said that no discussions took place with the Dodgers. The Marlins, historically open to any possibility, would at least consider the concept, sources said.

“There’s nothing going on with Carl,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. “He’s our left fielder and we’re glad to have him back in our lineup.”

Crawford returned on Monday after missing the first 89 games of the season with wrist, elbow and groin injures. He's in the second year of his $142 million contract, which would make any move difficult.

Plane tows banner threatening Paterno statue

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 17, 2012 04:07 PM

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Reuters


An airplane was photographed flying above Penn State University today towing a banner with a message regarding the Joe Paterno statue outside the school's football stadium.

The statue of Paterno, the late football coach whose involvement in covering up the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal at the school was detailed by the Freeh Report last week, has been the subject of much debate. Paterno was the school's football coach for 46 years, but he was fired in November.

No reports have emerged detailing who was responsible for the airplane with the message.

Police arrest Massachusetts woman accused of stalking Theo Epstein

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff July 17, 2012 09:55 AM

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A 44-year-old Massachusetts woman was arrested near former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein's Lakeview, Chicago home Monday and charged with two counts of felony stalking, police told the Chicago Tribune.

Kathleen Kearney of Canton was arrested about two blocks from Epstein's home, telling police she was "inviting Mr. Epstein to go to church." Police brought Kearney to the home so Epstein could identify her as the person who had been warned about stalking the five-bedroom home. Kearney admitted to police that she had been watching the house.

Concerns over a stalker seem to have followed Epstein from Boston to Chicago, where he is now the Cubs' team president. Peter Gammons wrote in an MLB.com article last year that "there often was an unmarked Brookline police cruiser at the end of his street because of a stalker and concerns about the family privacy."

Kearney is expected to appear in court later today, according to the Tribune.

Kevin Youkilis writes letter to Red Sox Nation

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 15, 2012 01:09 PM
Former Red Sox player Kevin Youkilis, who will return to Fenway Park on Monday with the Chicago White Sox, addressed Red Sox Nation via a letter submitted to ESPNBoston.

He thanks the team for the opportunities he was given and those who supported him, and singles out the Red Sox ownership team, former manager Terry Francona, his family, and supporters of his charity before addressing Red Sox fans as follows:

And, last but no means least, to all the Red Sox Nation, the home of the most dedicated and knowledgeable fans in baseball, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. That final game at Fenway was the most emotional day of my life on the baseball field. It could not have been scripted any better. And to all those kids out there in Red Sox Nation, I can give you my Dad’s advice. “Life is like a throw to first base, always aim high.”

I love you all, and thanks,

Kevin Youkilis

You can read his full letter on ESPNBoston.

Bobby Valentine introduces controversial baseball film in Brookline

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff July 12, 2012 08:31 AM
Bobby Valentine has been no stranger to controversy in his first season as Red Sox manager. And the trend continued during the All-Star break with the opening of Ballplayer: Pelotero, a controversial new documentary executive produced by the Red Sox skipper.

Valentine was at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline Wednesday night to introduce the film at an advance screening of the documentary that is focused on 16-year-old baseball players, or peloteros, in the Dominican Republic vying for a handful of professional baseball contracts.

"That little island, half that little island, come some of the most fabulous baseball players to ever walk the earth including some who are with us right here at Fenway Park," Valentine said on why he enjoys the film so much. "Probably the one you know the most is David Ortiz, the one you know the least is a young No. 77 [Pedro Ciriaco] ... who happens to be from San Pedro de Macoris, where you will see the streets that he rode his bicycle on, where you will see the parks that he learned to play baseball in, where you will see the academy where he ran around trying to get the opportunity to be at Fenway Park where he is right now, five years later."

The film sheds light on some of the most pressing issues surrounding the export of Dominican baseball players to the US, including age and identity fraud and exploitation, and looks at instances of coercion and other improprieties in the process. As the Globe reported Tuesday, one scene depicts a Pittsburgh Pirates scout pressuring a 16-year-old and his family to sign immediately, under the threat of an investigation into his age.

At its core, however, Ballplayer: Pelotero is a story about two gifted prospects, shortstops Miguel Angel Sanó and Jean Carlos Batista, doing their best to navigate a flawed system with the hopes, fears, and burdens of their entire families riding on their success or failure.

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has complained to the Red Sox about concerns MLB has with the documentary.

The league is displeased with the film’s allegations of corruption and coercion in the signing process for young prospects from the Dominican Republic. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said in an e-mail to the Globe that the league “had a conversation with the Red Sox about the inaccuracies and misrepresentations that were in the documentary,” but did not elaborate on what they were.

''I expressed our concerns to Red Sox ownership and that was it. What they did from there is up to them,'' Selig said Tuesday. ''There were a lot of things that were inaccurate.''

MLB says many of the issues with the recruiting of Dominican amateur players have been rectified since 2009, the period covered by the film.

''It doesn't really reflect what's happened in recent years in the Dominican,'' said Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president of economics and league affairs, in a statement.

''There are not a lot of headlines that are going to come out of this, but that somebody has a problem with something that Bobby Valentine did, probably a pretty big headline that would come out of it,'' players' union head Michael Weiner said. ''More seriously, I don't think it's Bobby's involvement. When you expose the kinds of practices ... it's not an easy thing for MLB to see, and I know that it's not a complimentary treatment of some of the facets of the way MLB has handled it down there.''

The film's co-directors, Jon Paley, Ross Finkel and Trevor Martin, issued a statement defending their work.

''It is frustrating to hear commissioner Selig state that our film is inaccurate,'' they said. ''We stand by what we documented in 'Ballplayer: Pelotero' and would welcome the opportunity to showcase the documentary to Mr. Selig so he can specifically address what he feels is inaccurate.''

Valentine was originally scheduled to take part in Q&A with the audience immediately following the screening, but that appearance was cancelled on Wednesday. The Sox manager introduced the film, but left before the Q&A session.

Before Valentine exited the stage at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, he did address Red Sox fans in the audience with the rally cry: "And let's go Sox, second half!"

Baseball: Pelotero opens at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline for a full run on Friday.

For more background on the film, check out the Globe story: Valentine film delivers heat.

Material from The Associated Press and The Boston Globe was used in this report.

Robert Kraft shows off acting chops in audition tape

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff July 11, 2012 07:59 AM

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft was first seen with lady friend Ricki Noel Lander at Game 6 of the Celtics' Eastern Conference Finals game vs. the Heat. Kraft helps Lander with an audition tape dug up by Barstool Sports. The tape was available for viewing Wednesday morning but was pulled due to copyright issues in the afternoon.

Barstool's Jerry Thornton told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich show this morning that the provider of the tape told him it was an audition tape for an upcoming Vince Vaughn movie called "The Intern" or "The Internship." Kraft was playing the part of Owen Wilson. Thornton would not reveal the source of the tape.

Mayor's Cup cycling event returns to Boston

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 10, 2012 06:55 PM

The TD Bank Mayor's Cup cycling event will be held in Boston Sept. 22 and 23.

The event features pro and amateur races on a criterium circuit around City Hall Plaza and Government Center, as well as Faneuil Hall and the Old State House.

For more details, check out the Boston Cycling Celebration web site.

Tom Brady's acting out again in video for candy company

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff July 10, 2012 11:57 AM

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is honing his acting skills yet again, this time in a new commercial for Unreal Brands, a local healthy candy company.

In the ad, shot at a CVS pharmacy on June 7, customers are told they will get free candy if they can win a 30-second staring contest with a mystery person behind a black curtain by keeping their eyes open without blinking. When the curtain in opened, it's Tom Brady staring back at them.

"Tom... Tom Brady, oh my God," the first shocked shopper says when Brady is revealed sitting across the table.

"Who are you, you look familiar?” one woman asks Brady, to which he replies, "Really?"

"It's Tom Brady or somebody, who is he?" another woman who obviously isn't a Patriots fan asks.

Eventually one of the shoppers beats Brady at the blinking game.

“This is harder than I thought. Oh, my god,” Brady says. “It’s like the Super Bowl of staring contests.”

Brady is later "arrested" by a police officer for giving out candy to kids.

"I didn't know giving out candy to kids is illegal," Brady says in the last scene of the sendup for the product.

Rob Gronkowski makes cover of ESPN's 'body issue'

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff July 10, 2012 09:49 AM

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Photos by Peggy Sirota, ESPN The Magazine

Call it The Full Gronkowski.

The extremely scantily-clad Patriots tight end, wearing only Hulk hands and a grimace, made the cover of ESPN The Magazine's "body issue" that will hit newsstands on Friday.

The fourth annual special issue is billed by ESPN as a "celebration of the athletic form" and will feature 27 world-class athletes. In addition to Gronkowski, the issue also includes Blue Jays home run hitter Jose Bautista, US women's national soccer team forward Abby Wambach, and New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler.

All 27 athletes posed nude for the issue's signature Bodies We Want photo portfolio.

300gronk.jpgThe full lineup includes:

• Carlos Bocanegra (soccer)
• Daniela Hantuchova (WTA)
• Rob Gronkowski (NFL)
• Abby Wambach (soccer)
• Tyson Chandler (NBA)
• Candace Parker (WNBA)
• Maurice Jones-Drew (NFL)
• Jose Bautista (MLB)
• Brad Richards (NHL)
• Maya Gabiera (surfing)
• Ronda Rousey (MMA)
• Mike Smith (jockey)
• Tim Morehouse (fencing)
• Walter Dix (track)
• Danell Leyva (gymnastics)
• Suzann Pettersen (LPGA)
• Ashton Eaton (decathlon)
• Carmelita Jeter (track)
• Anna Tunnicliffe (sailing)
• Oksana Masters (paralympic rowing)

USA volleyball team:

• Destinee Hooker
• Stacy Sykora
• Alisha Glass
• Cynthia Barboza
• Megan Hodge
• Nellie Spicer
• Heather Bown

It's a becoming a big week for Gronkowski. Last night in Buffalo he won a celebrity home run derby contest. And this morning, he's a cover boy.

Rob Gronkowski goes deep, wins celebrity home run derby in Buffalo

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff July 10, 2012 09:01 AM


The Red Sox could use a guy like Rob Gronkowski.

The big Patriots tight end won a celebrity home run derby last night at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, NY, with one long blast reportedly landing nearly 400 feet from home plate.

Gronkowski, a nearby Williamsville, NY, native, beat out Buffalo Bills CEO Russ Brandon, who was a hall of fame baseball player at St. John Fisher, to win the celebrity derby.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Gronkowski hit 12 home runs over two rounds at the event. In the final round, Gronkowski hit eight over the fence while Brandon finished with seven.

Other participants in the celebrity home run derby included Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta, Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, and actor Nick Bakay.

The event preceded the Triple-A home run derby event taking place in Buffalo as part of the minor league baseball All-Star festivities. For the celebrity derby, a shorter fence was placed midway through the outfield.

More video of Gronkowski belting homers follows from WIVB TV in Buffalo:

Gronkowski wins celebrity home run derby

Report: Celtics interested in Courtney Lee

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 8, 2012 06:01 PM

Celtics coach Doc Rivers met with free agent Courtney Lee as the team begins to examine its options for replacing Ray Allen, according to an ESPN report.

According to a report by Marc Stein, the Celtics are a "serious suitor" for Lee, but would have to work a sign-and-trade deal with Houston to acquire him.

Lee, a guard/forward who averaged 11.4 points for the Rockets last season, has played four seasons in the NBA since being drafted out of Western Kentucky by the Magic. He was the 22d pick in the 2008 draft.

Allen decided Friday to join the defending NBA champion Miami Heat.

Report: Allen torn between Heat and Celtics

Posted by Robert Burgess July 6, 2012 07:17 PM

Ray Allen is torn between playing for the Heat or Celtics next season, sources tell ESPN.com. ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst writes that Allen left a meeting with Heat officials Thursday night without accepting or declining Miami's offer.

The Associated Press had previously reported the Celtics have offered Allen, the NBA’s 3-point field goal leader, a $12 million, two-year deal. The Heat — who have ousted Boston from the past two NBA postseasons — can only offer Allen the mini mid-level exception, which would pay about $3 million this coming year.

Report: Jason Kidd to join Knicks

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff July 5, 2012 06:06 PM

Jason Kidd is leaving the Mavericks and signing with the Knicks, sources tell ESPN.com's Marc Stein. Kidd will reportedly sign a three-year deal worth about $9 million. The Knicks are also trying to bring back point guard Jeremy Lin.

David Ortiz expresses concern with contract again

Posted by Leonard Neslin July 5, 2012 08:56 AM
It's no secret Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz has griped about the one-year contract he accepted in the offseason. Before Wednesday's game, in which Ortiz slugged his 400th career home run, he told USA Today's Jorge Ortiz in an extensive Spanish-language interview that he feels "humiliated" and "embarrassed" about his contract situation.

The Red Sox' designated hitter hit .309 with 29 homers and 96 RBIs last season, but the newly positioned Sox general manager, Ben Cherington, didn't offer him a multi-year deal. Instead, he offered Ortiz arbitration. They agreed to a one-year, $14.575 million deal, a $2.025 million raise from the year before.

"It was humiliating," Ortiz said. "There's no reason a guy like me should go through that. ... And yet they don't hesitate to sign other guys. It was embarrassing."

Ortiz, who is in his 10th year with the Red Sox, was the team's only All-Star Game selection this year. He's hitting .302 with 22 home runs and 55 RBIs.

Cherington said in an e-mail to USA Today the Red Sox would not look to start negotiations on an extension during the season.

Deron Williams chooses Nets

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff July 3, 2012 07:47 PM

Point guard Deron Williams is staying in New Jersey. Williams posted on Twitter this evening that he's choosing the Nets as his destination in free agency. He will sign a five-year, $100 million contract extension with the team.

Boston athletes nominated for Espy Awards

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 3, 2012 01:07 PM
It's a light year for Boston in terms of nominations for ESPN's annual awards program, the Espys.

The awards show, which helps fill the void in the major sports calendar in July, will air July 11 at 9 p.m.

Here's a look at the categories in which Boston has an entry.

Best Breakthrough Athlete: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and former Harvard basketball player Jeremy Lin, who is now on the Knicks, were both nominated. They are up against Kentucky basketball player and NBA draft top pick Anthony Davis, Baylor QB and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III, and women's soccer player Alex Morgan.

Best NFL Player: Gronkowski is facing stiff competition -- Saints QB Drew Brees, Lions WR Calvin Johnson, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Ravens LB Terrell Suggs.

Best NBA Player: Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is among six nominees. The others are Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, Thunder forward Kevin Durant, Heat forward LeBron James, Timberwolves forward/center Kevin Love, and Spurs guard Tony Parker.

Boston plays a role in one other category, although not in a good way. The drama of the final night of the Major League Baseball season, on which the Red Sox completed their historic collapse with a loss to the Orioles, is one of four nominees for "Best Moment." The others are Derek Jeter's 3,000th-hit, Tim Tebow's sudden-death playoff touchdown pass, and Bubba Watson's Masters victory.

Watch the grass grow at BC's Alumni Stadium

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 3, 2012 12:48 PM

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The time period right around Major League Baseball's All-Star break is traditionally one of the slowest of the year in sports.

A newspaper once called the day after the All-Star Game "The most boring day in sports."

To that, we offer this option: Thanks to the folks at AstroTurf, you can literally watch the grass grow at Boston College's Alumni Field. AstroTurf is being installed there, and the company has a live camera set up to record all the action.

Better hurry, though. Project completion date is July 13.

We've expanded The Buzz from a page of Red Sox trade talk and reports to a full-blown blog filled with news from around the web, viral videos, and commentary from the Boston.com sports producers.

The main contributors to The Buzz are:

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