Red Sox to stick with Bailey as closer

Posted by Robert Burgess April 30, 2013 04:11 PM

The Red Sox will stick with Andrew Bailey as closer for now, despite the return of former closer Joel Hanrahan from the disabled list.

According to Globe sports writer Pete Abraham, manager John Farrell spoke to both relief pitchers about the decision.

"The one thing Joel is, he's honest with himself, and he understands what's going on here," Farrell told MLB Network Radio earlier today. "When he's healthy, he's going to make us a better team."

Hanrahan struggled - going 0-1 with three saves and an 11.57 ERA - before a stint on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, while Bailey has thrived in the role earning five saves.

Globe national baseball writer Nick Cafardo said via Twitter that the team wants to ease Hanrahan back without disrupting what seems to be working for the time being.

But with Bailey's injury history (he appeared in just 19 games for the Red Sox in 2012), Hanrahan may have another chance to close games later this season.

Hanrahan made rehab appearances for Pawtucket on April 26 and 28 and allowed two runs in his two innings of work. He is available to pitch tonight.

The Red Sox optioned Daniel Bard to Portland to make roster space for Hanrahan.

Jason Collins says he's received outpouring of love and support

Posted by Staff April 30, 2013 08:26 AM




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Jason Collins, the 34-year-old NBA player who has come out as the first openly gay male professional athlete from a major sports league, said he struggled for years with his decision to reveal himself to the world.

"When you keep telling yourself a lie, at some point you buy your own cover story," Collins told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in an interview aired on Tuesday. "I knew that I tried everything in the book as far as trying to convince myself to live the life I should."

Collins first revealed that he was gay to his aunt. He said she told him that she already knew that he was gay.

"She had her suspicions about me but she was extremely supportive," said Collins. "I guess she's good at reading people."

Collins said that since coming out, he has received an outpouring of love and support. He hopes that his teammates and the NBA will be equally supportive in the decision he's made.

"I'm expecting support because that's what I would give to my teammates," he said. "A team is like a family, the NBA is like a brotherhood. I'm looking at it like we all support each other on and off the court. I hope that every player makes decisions that lead to their own happiness, no matter what that happiness is in life."

Collins also said why he thinks his twin brother and fellow NBA player, Jarron, never knew that he was gay.

"I'm really good at playing it straight," Collins joked. "But he's been incredibly supportive as well... I've always been protective of my little brother, who is close to 7 feet, but now he's sort of taken on that role of protecting me."

NBA players, others react to news of Jason Collins coming out

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 29, 2013 12:05 PM

NBA veteran Jason Collins, who split his time between the Celtics and Wizards this season, admitted he was gay in an interview with Sports Illustrated. Here is some reaction from around the league and elsewhere.

-- Guard Baron Davis (last played for the Knicks in 2012):

-- Lakers guard Kobe Bryant:

-- Lakers guard Steve Nash:

-- Former president Bill Clinton:

Here is President Clinton's full statement.

-- NBA commissioner David Stern released a statement, which read in part:

-- The Red Sox praised Collins for his courage and made him an offer:

-- The Celtics didn't have media availability Monday, but coach Doc Rivers released a statement:

“I am extremely happy and proud of Jason Collins," Rivers said. "He’s a pro’s pro. He is the consummate professional and he is one of my favorite “team” players I have ever coached. If you have learned anything from Jackie Robinson, it is that teammates are always the first to accept. It will be society who has to learn tolerance. One of my favorite sayings is, I am who I am, are whom we are, can be what I want to be its not up to you, it’s just me being me."

-- The Washington Wizards, Collins' most recent team:

NBA veteran Jason Collins: 'I'm gay'

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 29, 2013 11:11 AM

collinsgay.jpgJason Collins (right) played for the Celtics and Wizards this season.

Jason Collins, a 12-year NBA veteran who played in 32 games for the Celtics this season, came out as gay to Sports Illustrated. He is the first active male athlete in one of the big four American professional sports (basketball, baseball, football, and hockey) to do so.

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"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," said Collins. "I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."

Collins has played for six NBA teams in his career. The Celtics traded him to the Washington Wizards earlier this season in exchange for guard Jordan Crawford. Collins averaged 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds for the Celtics, starting in seven games.

Collins cited the recent NBA lockout, the Boston Marathon bombings and Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy, his old college roommate, as some of the reasons he decided to make the announcement now:

I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just marched in Boston's 2012 Gay Pride Parade. I'm seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn't even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator. If I'd been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, "Me, too."

Congressman Kennedy today released the following statement in support of Collins:

“For as long as I've known Jason Collins he has been defined by three things: his passion for the sport he loves, his unwavering integrity, and the biggest heart you will ever find. Without question or hesitation, he gives everything he's got to those of us lucky enough to be in his life. I'm proud to stand with him today and proud to call him a friend.”

NBA commissioner David Stern also commented, via Twitter.

“As [NBA deputy commissioner] Adam Silver and I said to Jason, we have known the Collins family since Jason and Jarron joined the NBA in 2001 and they have been exemplary members of the NBA family. Jason has been a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career and we are proud he has assumed the leadership mantle on this very important issue," he said.

David Ortiz getting divorce, seeks privacy

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff April 29, 2013 10:11 AM

Red Sox DH David Ortiz, who has been hitting everything in sight since returning from the disabled list, revealed Sunday that he's been dealing with a personal issue off the field: He and his wife Tiffany are getting a divorce.

While sharing the news with WEEI.com and MLB.com, Ortiz stressed that he wants the public to treat his personal life as a private matter unrelated to his responsibilities on the field.

“I’m going to separate things,” Ortiz told WEEI.com and MLB.com. “Whatever is happening to me off the field is happening, but I try not to confuse that and bring that into my job. I know how to separate things. Personal life matters, and hopefully everybody respects that.”

Ortiz and his wife of nine years, Tiffany, have three children -- daughters Jessica and Alexandra, and son D'Angelo, who is a fixture in Fort Myers in February and at Fenway Park during the summer.

"There are some situations in life that work out for a period of time and at some point they don’t work out anymore and you have to move on," Ortiz went on to say. "I’m moving on. She’s moving on. Hopefully everybody respects that."

Tim Tebow released by New York Jets

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff April 29, 2013 08:13 AM
The New York Jets have released quarterback Tim Tebow, the team announced Monday.

Looking to add more punch to their passing game during last week's NFL Draft, the Jets grabbed West Virginia QB Geno Smith in the second round.

The Jets acquired Tebow, and the mania that surrounds him, via a trade with the Denver Broncos last season, but it appears he general manager John Idzik wants to go in a different direction beyond starting quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Tebow, who was expected to bring a multifaceted attack to the Jets from the QB position, was ineffective running the football, gaining just 102 yards on 32 carries for the season. As a passer, Tebow struggled in limited opportunities with just 39 yards gained through the air for the season.

Report: Joe Andruzzi to announce Patriots' first pick

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 25, 2013 04:30 PM

Three-time Patriots Super Bowl champion and all-around hero Joe Andruzzi is expected to announce New England's first pick Thursday night during the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall, according to the Herald's Karen Guregian.

Andruzzi tweeted Thursday afternoon that he was looking forward to being back in his home of New York City. Andruzzi was among the people helping out at last week's Boston Marathon tragedy. His three brothers, all New York firefighters, were among the first responders on 9/11.

After the bombings at the Marathon finish line, Andruzzi was seen carrying a victim to safety, but he told the Globe's Greg Bedard the next day, "I am definitely not a hero. I am just a bystander, and that led to my help.

"Many heroes that I look upon are people like my three brothers that are running into burning buildings when others are running out. Explosions are going off, and they are driving their cars down Boylston [Street] right into the heart of the scene. They are the people that don't care about their safety and are worried for other people's safety and survival.”

Leaked: New uniforms for Dolphins, Jaguars, Vikings

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 23, 2013 03:50 PM

New uniforms for the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Minnesota Vikings leaked onto the internet Tuesday.

You'll notice a logo change for the Jaguars and a diminished use of orange for the Dolphins. The Vikings meanwhile seem to be stripped of their yellowish-gold trim.

Take a look.

Boston women's basketball team changes name after Boston Marathon tragedy

Posted by Staff April 23, 2013 10:02 AM
The Boston Bombers, a Boston-based semi-pro women's basketball team, announced that they will change the team name following the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, according to a report on Gawker.

The team is part of the Women's Blue Chip League and will also change its logo, a black and red bomb with basketball grooves.

The team will announce a new name this week. The team has already deactivated its Facebook page and Twitter account, and will no longer be using its original website, BostonBombersBasketball.com.

"Our fans were not happy with the name," a team spokesperson told Gawker.

Sports organizations plan support efforts for Boston tragedy victims

Posted by Staff April 19, 2013 12:13 PM
Several sports organizations are holding or supporting charity efforts for the Boston Marathon bombing victims.

Here's a brief review:

Boston Strong T.jpegThe Boston Cannons Major League Lacrosse team will host a benefit scrimmage on Saturday, April 20 at Harvard at 6 p.m. against the CroART Lacrosse All-Star Team to raise money for the One Fund. The teams are asking for a $10 donation from each person at the door. Each team will donate $20 a player prior to the scrimmage. Finally, auctions will take place at the game and will continue online throughout the following week.

The Cannons will also sell t-shirts with "Boston Strong" on them and all of the proceeds will go the The One Fund.

The UMass football team will give Boston Marathon runners a chance to "cross the finish line" Saturday at halftime of their annual Spring Game at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst. Runners will be able to take a lap around the field, cross a finish line that will be set up at the 50-yard line and will be presented a gift on behalf of the UMass football program. Runners are encouraged to register by emailing the football program's administrative assistant Joanne Chauvin at jchauvin@admin.umass.edu.

The game is at 4 p.m., and admission and parking is free.

The Boston Bruins are selling raffle tickets for a variety of giveaways, with all proceeds going to The One Fund. During their game against the Penguins Friday (if played), both teams will auction their game-worn jerseys adorned with special patches (Bruins will have yellow/blue ribbons, Penguins will wear "617" area code patches). Bidding will start Monday at the NHL's website.

Raffle tickets for a special drawing to win the jersey of Jaromir Jagr and Evgeni Malkin will be $5 each and can be purchased here.

The Bruins will also raffle sweaters during their game against the Panthers on Saturday, April 21, and when they play the Lightning on Thursday, April 25. Tickets will be sold at their foundation table on Floor 4, Loge 4 at TD Garden.

The New England Professional Golf Association will hold its first Pro-Am tournament of the year on Monday at the Thorny Lea Golf Course in Brockton and will donate $10 to the One Fund for every birdie made throughout the day by all participants. The organization will also distribute runners' bibs to each team in the tournament to be displayed on their golf carts to show support. The New England PGA is also organizing a "One Fund Weekend" and will ask golfers throughout New England to donate a minimum of $1 to the fund.

B Strong logo added to Green Monster

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff April 18, 2013 02:49 PM

The Red Sox play their first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings on Friday, and have added a B Strong logo to the Green Monster.

A photo was posted to the Red Sox' official Twitter account.

Another shot of the wall, from farther away, was posted to the team's Instagram page.

How to get the Boston Strong logos

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff April 17, 2013 08:50 AM

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The Boston Strong logo featuring the "B" logo of the Boston Red Sox is available on Major League Baseball's web site, and the ribbon version seen at Wednesday's Bruins game is available on the Bruins' web site.

Many have changed their Facebook or Twitter avatars to the logo following the Boston Marathon bombings. Two Red Sox versions have been made available.

The Red Sox players posed for a photo with the Boston Strong logo in their clubhouse prior to playing the Indians on Tuesday night.

BostonStrongRibbon.jpgThe ribbon version was projected onto the TD Garden ice at Wednesday night's Bruins game. The Bruins have also made a Boston Strong logo featuring the team's spoked-B available for download.

The New England Revolution are showing their support of the victims of the tragedy by including their team's logo in a Boston Strong picture that appeared on the team's Instagram.

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Srinivasa Balemarthy has made it even easy for you to change your avatar using his app. Follow this link to get the code for your website or social media page.

Watch: Yankees play Sweet Caroline as tribute to Boston Marathon bombing victims

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff April 17, 2013 07:26 AM



The Yankees set aside their rivalry with the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, first putting a sign on Yankee Stadium with both teams' logos and a unity message, and later playing "Sweet Caroline," the Fenway Park anthem, during their game.

The gestures were a tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday.

The move won the approval of fans across the nation, including the song's writer, Neil Diamond.

Many Major League Baseball teams followed suit, including the Cubs, A's, Braves, and Marlins. The Indians, who hosted the Red Sox, also played the song.

Security at major sporting events: Where do we go from here?

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 16, 2013 02:00 PM

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Stadiums are no place for stragglers. At TD Garden, every bag is checked prior to entry. A reporter wearing his credential the wrong way at a Celtics game is kindly asked to flip it over. In the bowels and press box of Gillette Stadium, there are security guards stationed what seems every 15 feet.

Security is a high priority at sporting events across the country, but following Monday's deadly Boston Marathon bombings, the natural question is whether or not enough is being done. How will attending, covering, and participating in sporting events change going forward?

It's both devastating and poignant that one of the most notable photographs of deceased 8-year-old Martin Richard shows the young fan at a Bruins game, donning a B's cap. Just as they are for many of us, sports were an escape for Richard. In addition to rooting on the Bruins, he played hockey and baseball. One of his coaches for both sports told me Richard had attended his first two Little League practices in the last couple of weeks. Sports were something that gave him joy.

Balancing joy with player, fan, and staff safety at sporting events is going to be a challenge going forward. It's a situation local teams are grappling with in the immediate aftermath of the bombings. The Celtics canceled their game Tuesday night but said it was not for security reasons. The Bruins postponed their game Monday night but will go on as scheduled against the Sabres Wednesday. The atmosphere is bound to be electric, particularly during the national anthem. If there's one town who knows how to come together in the face of adversity it's Boston. Security will be beefed up Wednesday night, but how long will it last? How long should it?

The Red Sox' most recent home game ended hours before the tragedy, and the team is already trying to alleviate fans' fears before the next game at Fenway Park vs. the Royals Friday night.

“Fan safety has been and will continue to be of paramount importance," said Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino. "The club's security personnel will continue to work vigorously with Major League Baseball security, and federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities to maintain and reinforce the high level of security already in place at Fenway Park.”

Large gatherings of people are bound to be scary. The only time I felt I was in any kind of personal danger in seven years of covering the Celtics was after the team lost to the Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals in 2010. With cars being lit on fire outside Staples Center in Los Angeles, police locked reporters in. We were allowed to leave several hours later, escorted to a media bus after the chaos settled down. Friends who covered the Bruins' victory over the Canucks in Vancouver in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals and the ensuing riots report feeling a similar unease.

The Boston Athletic Association released a statement Tuesday that it is already looking ahead to the 118th running of the race next year. On next year's marathon security, Boston police commissioner Ed Davis said, "It requires we don't turn these events into a police state." But just how that race will look for runners and spectators is unclear. There's no way to fully secure a 26.2-mile course. We'll gain clues from the London Marathon this weekend, and from the Knicks-Celtics series starting Saturday at Madison Square Garden. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't a little nervous covering a game involving a Boston team so soon after the bombings at the world's most famous arena.

There's a security guard who works the same hallway at every Celtics game, and each time I've passed him for the last seven years, he asks me to show him my credential. Each time you enter Miami's American Airlines Arena to cover a Heat game, you must put your bag on the floor for inspection by bomb-sniffing dogs. These are annoyances many of us have gotten used to. Now, we have to ask ourselves whether they're nearly enough.

Sports Illustrated's Boston Marathon cover

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 16, 2013 12:07 PM

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This week's edition of Sports Illustrated puts Monday's Boston Marathon bombings front and center. The cover photo is from the Globe's John Tlumacki.

Chicago Tribune sports front makes classy gesture to city of Boston

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 16, 2013 09:55 AM

The Chicago Tribune lead sports page was a classy gesture to the city of Boston today, remarking upon Monday's tragic bombings at the Marathon finish line.

Here is what the Tribune wrote:

"We are like you. We know that sports are often the ties that hold us together, that give us a way to talk about the things we care about when other words fail. We know sports can be fun — even in losing. Boys, do we know. We know that anybody who says it doesn't matter whether the Cubs or Sox are in the World Series so long as it's a Chicago team isn't truly a fan of either team. We know. But on Monday, we were reminded again how fragile it all can be. The explosions and injuries and death at a world-class sporting event such as the Boston Marathon makes us heartsick. As much as it is anathema for a Chicago fan to root for any other town — especially Beantown and all of its championship rings — here we are. Hang in there, Boston."

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Thoughts from Boston athletes

Posted by Robert Burgess April 15, 2013 06:58 PM

Here are some reactions from Boston athletes on the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.


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Report: Alex Rodriguez bought PED clinic documents

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff April 12, 2013 05:52 PM
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez bought documents from a former employee of a clinic suspected of providing performance-enhancing drugs to Major League Baseball players and intended to destroy them, The New York Times reported Friday.

According to the Times, MLB investigators found evidence that an A-Rod representative bought Biogenesis medical records that could link the clinic to the distribution of PEDs to MLB players.

A Rodriguez spokesman denied the accusation. In January, Rodriguez was one of several players connected to PED use via Biogenesis in a report by the Miami New Times.

Report: Patriots re-sign WR Julian Edelman

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 10, 2013 11:58 AM

The Patriots have re-signed wide receiver Julian Edelman to a 1-year contract, according to multiple reports.

Edelman, a four-year veteran, visited with the New York Giants earlier this month but apparently decided to return to New England. He was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL draft out of Kent State, where he played quarterback. He's had 69 receptions for 714 yards and four touchdowns in his career, along with 72 punt returns for 943 yards and three touchdowns.

His deal was first reported by USA Today's Mike Garafolo.

Joe Nathan's 300th save ends with controversy

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff April 9, 2013 09:04 AM

It’s safe to say Rangers closer Joe Nathan will never forget the night he “earned” career save No. 300.

With the tying run on first, and the Rangers leading the Rays, 5-4, in the top of the ninth Monday night, Nathan threw a 3-2 pitch to Ben Zobrist that appeared low and away for ball 4. Not according to home plate umpire Marty Foster, who called strike three. Ballgame.

Even Nathan seemed shocked by the outcome, as you can clearly see him mouthing “wow” as he walked off the mound.

Understandably, Rays manager Joe Maddon was livid over the call, and took to Twitter later in the evening.

Lost in all the hoopla; Nathan is now tied with Jason Isringhausen and Bruce Sutter for 22nd on the all-time saves list.

Report: Patriots sign DL Tommy Kelly

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff April 8, 2013 03:56 PM

The Patriots have agreed to a two-year contract with defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, according to a report by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.

Kelly, 32, is a nine-year veteran who played his entire career with the Oakland Raiders before being released March 27. He started all 16 games last year, compiling 45 tackles and a sack. He has 289 career tackles and 34 sacks, along with 16 passes defensed.

Report: Gronkowski needs more surgery

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff April 7, 2013 08:46 AM
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski may still have an infection in the area where he had surgery to repair a broken arm, the Boston Herald reported Sunday.

The development could jeopardize Gronkowski's availability at the start of the season. According to the report, Gronkowski will require surgery to replace a metal plate in his left arm, which he broke in November and broke again in the playoffs in January. However, if doctors discover that an infection remains, the procedure may not be able to be completed in one session and that could push his recovery time beyond the start of the season in September.

Gronkowski has had three surgeries on his forearm since first breaking it in November vs. the Colts, two to repair the fractures and a third because an infection developed. The Herald reported Gronkowski is nearing the end of six-week cycle of antibiotics to treat the infection, but doctors will not be certain the infection is healed until they operate to remove the metal plate.

Gronkowski recently appeared on several ESPN programs and said his recovery was going well.

"Right now I'm just rehabbing, getting muscles around it stronger, get everything re-activated because it shuts down a little bit when it's healing. Just rehabbing and when trainers give me 'good to go', hopefully in the next couple of weeks, hopefully as soon as possible so I can get rolling again, get back in the weight room, get back on the field and do what I love doing, running around catching some balls," he said on March 27.

Report: AD Tim Pernetti out at Rutgers

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff April 5, 2013 10:03 AM
Tim Pernetti is out as athletic director at Rutgers, according to an ESPN report Friday.

It is the latest fallout from a scandal in which basketball coach Mike Rice was videotaped abusing players in practice.

Pernetti dismissed Rice on Wednesday after a videotape aired showing the coach shoving, grabbing and throwing balls at players, and using gay slurs during practice. The tape was made available to Pernetti in November by a former university employee, but after an investigation, and with the approval of the new university president, Pernetti only chose to suspend Rice.

The coach was forced to miss three games, was fined $75,000 and ordered to attend anger management classes. The Scarlet Knights went 3-0 in his absence, and he returned in time for Big East play.

A New Jersey native who played tight end for the Scarlet Knights, the 42-year-old Pernetti had witnessed the athletic department’s push toward respectability with a close eye and was viewed as the right man to push it even further.

Material from an Associated Press report was included in this story.


Stevie Johnson wants the North Koreans to bomb Foxborough

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 4, 2013 12:48 PM

Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson is something of a jokester. Known for his creative touchdown dances, Johnson pushed the envelope further with a recent joke on Twitter. Johnson took the opportunity to riff on a somewhat precarious situation with North Korea Wednesday night.

The tweet garnered more than 2,900 re-tweets, though most people didn't take it seriously. I especially like one of the responses on Johnson's Twitter feed that read "Tom Brady would survive because he's TOM BRADY". In an inevitable public relations backpedal, Johnson later apologized, sort of, for the tweet.

Red Sox to hold city-wide promotion on Thursday

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff April 3, 2013 05:21 PM

#MeetYourSox FYI You're looking for these player cutouts! on Twitpic


The Red Sox will hold a city-wide promotion on Thursday and give away tickets and memorabilia at locations around Boston.

The "Big-Head Blitz" will feature cardboard cutouts of the faces of each Red Sox player on the 25-man roster placed in "high traffic locations" throughout Boston, including the State House, Boston Common, and Post Office Square. Red Sox marketing staff will be at each location holding prize giveaways.

Clues to the exact locations will be distributed through the @redsox Twitter account.

The promotion, which runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., is similar to last year's balloon blitz.

Watch: Bubba Watson drives a hovercraft golf cart

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 3, 2013 12:35 PM

It's been a long time since anyone added an innovation to the standard golf cart, but the cart being driven by Bubba Watson in a recent promotional video would certainly change that. Footage of the 34-year-old golfer riding around in a hovercraft golf cart has caused quite a stir if only because, if the cart is real, it's pretty damn cool.

In the video, Watson is shown driving the cart across the fairway, through a water hazard, and more. The cart has a footprint "33 times lighter than the human foot," the craft's designer says, meaning it won't tear up the course. While probably not an affordable innovation, it's a pretty sweet one.

Watch: Bob Costas raps some Ludacris lyrics

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff April 3, 2013 10:45 AM

Bob Costas waited 10 years to tell us he was cool. The usually staid announcer dropped some Ludacris lyrics during an MLB Network broadcast Tuesday night. Costas repeated some lyrics from the song Hip Hop Quotables," a track from Ludacris' 2003 album, Chicken-n-Beer, which mentions Costas directly.

Rutgers fires basketball coach Mike Rice

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff April 3, 2013 10:15 AM

Rutgers University has fired basketball coach Mike Rice this morning, one day after a videotape aired on ESPN showing him shoving, grabbing, and throwing balls at players in practice and using gay slurs.

The videotape prompted scores of outraged social media comments as well as sharp criticism from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

With mounting criticism on a state and national level, Rutgers decided to take action on Wednesday, relieving Rice of his duties after three largely unsuccessful seasons at the Big East school. There will be a national search to replace him.

Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti was given a copy of the video in November. After hiring independent investigators to analyze the tape, he suspended Rice for three games and fined him $50,000.

In an interview with New York sports radio station WFAN on Tuesday, Pernetti said university president Robert Barchi also viewed the tape last fall and agreed with the punishment. But ESPN’s broadcast prompted an outcry, led by the governor.

‘‘Governor Christie saw the video today for the first time and he is obviously deeply disturbed by the conduct displayed and strongly condemns this behavior,’’ spokesman Michael Drewniak said.

Even LeBron James of the Miami Heat weighed in with a tweet: ‘‘If my son played for Rutgers or a coach like that he would have some real explaining to do and I’m still gone whoop on him afterwards! C’mon.’’

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Allston teacher will go the extra mile in Sahara Desert ultramarathon

Posted by Staff April 2, 2013 11:31 AM
Liz Byron will run what has been called the hardest footrace in the world, the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, as part of her promise to raise $50,000 for new laptops for the Gardner Pilot Academy in Allston.

A 29-year-old special education teacher, Byron signed up for the race in 2009 while she was working in various schools. Once she received confirmation that she would be a registered participant, she began to raise money for her cause, Run For Laptops, providing up-to-date technology for the students at GPA.

Byron said she wanted the most challenging race she could find. The 155-miler requires runners to carry all of their necessities with them during the duration of the race, and only provides them with three gallons of water a day. Byron said she hopes the students will take something away from her dedication to her training and the grueling 6-day race through the desert.

"I hope they [the students] realize how much I care, how much all of their teachers care, because we care about them more than they will ever know and that's why I do what I do."

Bobby Valentine keeps taking shots at Boston

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff April 1, 2013 09:47 AM
It's a brand new season, but it's the same old Bobby Valentine.

Valentine, who steered the Red Sox to a 69-93 last place finish in 2012, took yet more parting shots at the Boston media in a 'Sunday Q&A' session with the New York Post's Steve Serby.

“All the Boston [media] ever wanted to do is prove that they were a tougher media than New York,” Valentine said. “And I don’t paint everyone with the same brush — I think some of those guys are absolutely terrific people. And a good group of ‘em are absolute horses asses who are unprofessional, lazy and should not be in the business up here, in my opinion.

“I had one guy never talk to me the whole year because he said to me he didn’t like the answer I gave him in spring training. He covered my team the whole year! I think the New York media knows more about baseball and is more professional.”

This morning on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan radio program, co-host Kirk Minehan said he had it on good authority that the reporter who never spoke to Valentine was CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam.

The newly appointed athletic director at Sacred Heart University didn't back down when when Serby asked if he regretted his comments about former Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis not being "as physically or emotionally into the game" at the beginning of last season.

“I think that they were absolutely heartfelt at the time, and they were totally blown out of proportion, and reacted to improperly by the outside world,” Valentine said.

Will this be the last we hear from Valentine on his experience in Boston? Definitely not, as the controversial former Sox skipper is writing a book that is scheduled to be released in 2014.

The book will include a section on Valentine’s one year as manager in Boston, but will mostly be a book about leadership.

Since being fired by the Red Sox last October, Valentine has, among other endeavors, accepted a position as a radio host, will be working for SportsNet New York as an analyst for the Mets' pre- and postgame shows, he's worked on a new movie that will be released by his film production company, and has accepted the position as AD at Sacred Heart.

Boston.com's predictions for 2013 baseball season

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff April 1, 2013 08:00 AM

A new baseball season is here, so it's time to chime in with predictions from the Boston.com sports staff.

Steve Silva
World Series I'd like to see:
Indians vs. Cubs (a.k.a. Tito vs. Theo)
World Series I think we'll see: Blue Jays over Reds
ALCS prediction: Blue Jays over Tigers
NLCS prediction: Reds over Nationals
Red Sox in or out of playoffs? Out

Gary Dzen
World Series I'd like to see:
Nationals vs. Orioles
World Series I think we'll see: Angels over Nationals
ALCS prediction: Angels over Tigers
NLCS prediction: Nationals over Cardinals
Red Sox in or out of playoffs? Out

Chad Finn
World Series I'd like to see:
Red Sox vs. Dodgers
World Series I think we'll see: Nationals over Angels
ALCS prediction: Angels over Tigers
NLCS prediction: Nationals over Reds
Red Sox in or out of the playoffs? Out

Zuri Berry
World Series I'd like to see:
Red Sox vs. Giants
World Series I think we'll see: Giants over Angels
ALCS prediction: Angels over Rangers
NLCS prediction: Giants over Phillies
Red Sox in or out of the playoffs? In

Matt Pepin
World Series I'd like to see:
Angels vs. Dodgers
World Series I think we'll see: Tigers over Nationals
ALCS prediction: Tigers over Royals
NLCS prediction: Nationals over Giants
Red Sox in or out of playoffs? Out

Eric Wilbur
World Series I'd like to see:
Pirates vs. Rays
World Series I think we'll see: Nationals over Angels
ALCS prediction: Angels over Blue Jays
NLCS prediction: Nationals over Cardinals
Red Sox in or out of playoffs? In

Bobb Burgess
World Series I'd like to see:
Red Sox vs. Dodgers
World Series I think we'll see: Nationals over Angels
ALCS prediction: Angels over Tigers
NLCS prediction: Nationals over Giants
Red Sox in or out of playoffs: In

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