Beckett not sure if he will pitch again

Posted by Robert Burgess May 31, 2013 04:56 PM

Former Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett is unsure whether he will ever pitch again.

Beckett, whom Boston traded to the Dodgers late last season, has been on the disabled list since May 15 with a groin injury. According to the Los Angeles Times, he has felt numbness in his pitching hand for about a month, and when asked if he thought the injury might be career-ending, he voiced concerns.

"Any time something like that happens to your arm or you start losing feeling and stuff … you think about it for sure," Beckett told the Times. "I don't really want to think like that right now. I want to think about figuring out a way to deal with this."

Beckett, 33, is expecting to have results of an MRI Monday that will be examined by a nerve specialist.

"I'm concerned," he said. "I've never dealt with anything like this for this amount of time. We'll just have to see what happens there."

Beckett is 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA this season and is signed through the 2014 season.

Sochi Winter Olympics medals unveiled

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff May 30, 2013 10:25 AM

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Associated Press


The organizing committee for the next Winter Olympics, which will be held in Sochi, Russia, in February, unveiled its medal designs Thursday.

Images were released via Twitter.

The committee also tweeted an explanation of the design.

Rangers fire coach John Tortorella

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff May 29, 2013 01:10 PM
The Rangers have fired coach John Tortorella, the Concord native who led them to the Eastern Conference final in 2012 and a second-round loss to the Bruins in 2013.

Reaction? There was plenty:

Rain delays tonight's Red Sox game

Posted by Robert Burgess May 24, 2013 07:20 PM

The start of tonight's Red Sox-Indians game has been pushed back to 7:50 p.m. because of rain.

Globe sports reporter Pete Abraham had said the Red Sox believed they would get the game in based on the forecast.

Tonight's game will be Jose Iglesias' major league debut at third base. Look here for more on today's roster shake up.

Watch: Amazing finish at Indy race

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff May 24, 2013 06:49 PM

The Indy Lights series ran a race today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the finish was as close as they get. What at first appeared to be a two-car duel turned into a three-car battle, and then a fourth surged into the mix on the final lap.

Watch the dramatic finish in the video above.

Peter Dempsey's margin of victory was 0.0026 of a second, according to the Indianapolis Star. There was 0.0443 between first place and fourth, and the cars were traveling approximately 185 m.p.h.

Watch: Cincinnati baseball team's postgame pranks go viral

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff May 24, 2013 11:06 AM

The Cincinnati baseball team didn't have a winning season, but the players have won a pretty good measure of fame now that the season is over.

A collection of video bombs orchestrated by the players while their teammates were conducting postgame interviews has been posted to YouTube and is gaining notice across the web.

The stunts include classics like the Gatorade shower and pie in the face to more choreographed moves like a swimmer, shoulder-jousting, and a royal entourage.

(H/T to David Z. for pointing this out to Boston.com)

Travis Pastrana bringing Nitro Circus action sports show to Boston

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff May 22, 2013 12:29 PM

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X Games star and NASCAR driver Travis Pastrana will bring his Nitro Circus Live action sports show to TD Garden in January.

The show, which features motocross, BMX and skateboard performers, will be held Jan. 5. Tickets go on sale Friday at Ticketmaster, the TD Garden box office, or by calling 800-745-3000.

“This tour is the biggest and most audacious action sports production ever staged,” Pastrana said in an event press release. “This is truly an exciting, adrenaline-charged, live action sports show featuring an insane group of athletes who push each other to new extremes every single show.”

Terry Francona discusses coming back to Boston to compete against Red Sox

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff May 22, 2013 10:30 AM

Terry Francona will be back in Boston Thursday when his Cleveland Indians begin a four-game series against the Red Sox.

The Indians manager – (how weird is it to say that?) – will be returning to Boston for the first time as a competitor after working the past year as a broadcaster for ESPN. He had spent the prior eight years to his stint in the booth as the Red Sox' manager, winning two World Series championships before unceremoniously departing in 2011.

Francona joined the Dennis & Callahan Show on WEEI Wednesday morning to talk about what it means to return to Boston and compete against his old team.

"It was probably healthy the way it worked out, having a year in between," he said. "It was probably healthy in a lot of aspects. I had probably lost some perspective. I mean, eight years in Boston – I think I've been pretty honest about it – it's one of the most awesome jobs you can ever have. But it's difficult and it wears on you. And sometimes when it wears on you, some of your warts start showing. Maybe it's the stubbornness or losing patience. And that's not healthy either. So having a year to kind of reflect and just recharge and actually miss the game was actually good for me."

Francona was asked which job was more difficult, managing the Indians or the Red Sox.

"Probably depends on what day you ask me. I mean the job in Boston is one of the most difficult jobs – and like I've said I've been pretty honest – it's one of the most awesome jobs. But it entails a lot. You have a lot of people coming at you from a lot of directions. And then you have the players that you want to protect so they can go play the game. And you probably have to do that a little bit more in a place like Boston."

Of course, Francona's book with Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy was a topic of discussion. The hosts were interested whether or not since the release of the book, "Francona: the Red Sox Years," he had spoke with Red Sox ownership in its aftermath.

"I haven't talked to 'em. I was kind of disappointed because I was expecting to talk to them. That was kind of where some of my frustrations came from. So, you know what, it kinda just is what it is, using the Bill Belichick term. I haven't been in touch with them. I was disappointed. I wouldn't have scripted the ending in Boston the way I did.

"Saying that, as time moves on, the Red Sox are in a really good place right now. They got a very good manager, they got to feel good about things. I'm thrilled with where I'm at. It allows you to kind of look back and remember the some of the good times as opposed to some of the things that hurt, a little easier."

Kyle Love: Patriots treat veterans like rookies

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff May 21, 2013 02:44 PM

Former Patriots defensive lineman Kyle Love, released by New England last week and picked up by the Jacksonville Jaguars, discussed his former team with the Florida Times-Union Monday. Love, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, said the disease runs in his family and that it did not result in significant weight loss.

“My mom and dad both have it, so I was bound to get it,” he said. “It’s not like I lost 30 pounds."

Love defended the shape he was in when he arrived to New England's offseason workouts. He said his release didn't surprise him.

“That’s how they run their business up there," he said. "Veteran guys who have been there for years and put in a lot of work get treated like rookies."

You can read more of the interview on the newspaper's website.

Kevin Durant donates $1 million to tornado relief

Posted by Staff May 21, 2013 12:35 PM
Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant has donated $1 million to the Red Cross for relief efforts following the deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma, according to Royce Young of CBS Sports.

Durant has also used his Twitter account to spread awareness of the destruction and help raise more money for the Red Cross.

So far, the death toll in Oklahoma is 24, including 9 children, after being revised from 51 by the medical examiner's office in Moore, Okla. It is expected to climb.

Pedro Martinez says 2004 Red Sox took shots of Mama Juana, not Jack Daniels

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff May 20, 2013 11:48 AM

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The story of the 2004 Red Sox taking shots of Jack Daniels during the 2004 ALCS vs. the Yankees has become legendary. The story goes that the Sox took shots of the whiskey before Game 6 of the series and, because it worked, continued the tradition through a four-game sweep of the World Series.

"It was one of those group team things, like shaving our heads last year," Millar said. "What we had was one small Gatorade cup, with a little Jack Daniels in it. We passed it around and everyone symbolically drank out of the same cup, because we are a team. It wasn't as if guys were drunk. Can you imagine Trot Nixon or Jason Varitek or Mike Timlin actually sipping alcohol before a game? No way."

220px-Mamajuana.jpgThe Jack Daniels story has stuck, but former Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez put a wrinkle in it over the weekend, telling Sports on Earth that the drink of choice for his team of "Idiots" was not Jack Daniels but rather a Dominican drink called Mama Juana. That drink is made by allowing alcohol to soak in a bottle of tree bark and herbs.

“We took a shot of Mama Juana every single game, before the game,” Martinez said in an interview before a legends game in Rochester, N.Y. “We call it Mama Juana -- it’s made of roots, with latin rum.”

Martinez's story differs from the one Millar told in 2004. According to Martinez, the team began taking shots of Mama Juana before Game 4, when Ellis Burks, who was not on the roster, decided to try some. After the team's thrilling 12-inning win, the Sox kept it up.

“Everybody took a little bit from the top of the shot after we won the first game,” Martinez said in the interview. “Somebody did it before the game — it was Ellis Burks who wasn’t on the roster at the time who took the first shot. And then Millar jumped in. And then Johnny Damon jumped in. And everybody started jumping in, so we did it as a team unity to actually keep the same tradition going for the team. So we had to do it for the four games we beat the Yankees.

“It wouldn’t get you drunk because it was just a little sip. But we did it.”

The 41-year-old Martinez is now a special assistant to Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, mentoring young pitchers within the organization.

Watch: Dwyane Wade attends a high school prom

Posted by Staff May 20, 2013 09:06 AM

After eliminating the Chicago Bulls from the playoffs last Wednesday night, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade had Friday night off and spent it making a high school senior's dreams come true.

Archbishop Coleman Carroll student Nicole Muxo made a YouTube video asking Wade to be her date to prom. When she received no response, Muxo accepted another invitation. The night of the prom, surrounded by tipped-off media, Wade called Muxo to wish her a good night without telling her he was outside and about to surprise her.

Wade and the media frenzy were allowed into the prom, where he surprised Muxo with flowers. He stayed for about 45 minutes.

Wade told the Miami media that he admired Muxo's persistence when she asked him to attend school events on multiple occasions.

“She continued to keep going for it — no matter how many times I said I am going to be busy,” Wade said.

Muxo said she never expected Wade to show up.

“I’m going to remember it forever,” Muxo said. “This was the highlight of my senior year.”

Later that night, Wade tweeted about his time at the prom.

Watch: Providence Bruins don't go down without a fight

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff May 19, 2013 09:58 AM



The Providence Bruins lost Game 5 of their AHL playoff series to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Penguins, 4-0, and took out their frustrations by instigating a pair of third-period brawls.

The first began with a pileup in front of the Penguins' goal, and Providence's Graham Mink, who was ejected, fell on top of Penguins goalie Brad Theissen and began pummeling him when he was down on the ice. (The incident begins at 6:50 of the video above)

The second came after Providence goalie Niklas Svedberg took down Paul Thompson with a slash to the back of the leg after a late goal. (Begins at 8:07 mark of video)

The P-Bruins lead the series 3-2 with Game 6 Monday in Providence.

Report: Gronk might need back surgery

Posted by Robert Burgess May 17, 2013 03:59 PM

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski may need back surgery, according to a report in USA Today.

Just as the news was getting better on Rob Gronkowsi's arm, there's word his back is once again acting up and could require surgery as well.

The New England Patriots' tight end recently underwent an MRI on his back to check on a disc issue he had dating back to last season, a person informed of Gronkowski's medical status told USA TODAY Sports.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the Patriots' policy of not publicly detailing injuries, said the issue is with a different disc than the one that needed to be shaved down in via surgery 2009 and that a final decision on whether surgery will be required has not yet been made.

ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that Gronkowski's back issue is minor, according to a source.

Gronkowski is expected next week, according to the Boston Globe, to have another surgical procedure on his injured and previously infected left forearm, this time replacing a metal plate.

Johnny Football throws a one-of-a-kind first pitch

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff May 17, 2013 01:05 PM

Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was down in San Diego to work with quarterback coach George Whitfield Jr. He took the time to take in a Padres game, where he whacked a home run in batting practice before proceeding to throw a rather unique ceremonial first pitch.

Manziel dropped back on the mound, and rolled out to his left before throwing the baseball across his body to Mark Kotsay. See it here.

Kotsay, in a show of gamesmanship, caught the ball behind his back.

Watch: Girl reunited with father at Red Sox-Rays game

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff May 17, 2013 11:01 AM

Prior to the start of the Red Sox and Rays game Thursday night, a young girl was given the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at Tropicana Field, unaware of the surprise that was in store for her.

Alyana Adams, 9, didn't know who she was throwing the first pitch to, expecting the masked man in a Rays uniform to probably be catcher Jose Molina. But it turned out to be her father, Lt. Col. William Adams, who had been deployed in Afghanistan.

The Rays and the United Services Organization set up the surprise reunion, bringing Adams back to town Monday, holed up in a hotel ahead of his Thursday night surprise, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune.

Before the ceremonial pitch, the video screen blared with a message from Alyana's father, telling her "remember, take a deep breath, focus and have fun, baby. Daddy loves you."

Of course, she was shocked to see her father instead of Molina. Dana Adams, her mother, was shocked too. It was a heartfelt moment.

Watch: Heidi Watney talks Red Sox

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff May 16, 2013 02:26 PM

MLB Network's Heidi Watney joined Chris Gasper and Adam Kaufman on Boston Sports Live today to discuss the Red Sox.

Listen to her interview below.

Watney appears on MLB Network's "Quick Pitch" program weekdays at 1 a.m. Tonight, that will air shortly after the network's broadcast of a showdown between the Tigers and Rangers, which features a pitching matchup of Justin Verlander vs. Yu Darvish. Find MLB Network on your TV using FindMLBNetwork.com.

Leafs' Lupul's sullen tweet speaks volumes

Posted by Staff May 14, 2013 12:33 PM

Toronto Maple Leafs left winger Joffrey Lupul said a lot about last night's loss to the Bruins on Twitter this morning.

In less than 15 minutes, the message was retweeted just under 1,000 times and favorited over 2,900 times.

Werner calls out media, Globe, Shaughnessy for Ortiz column

Posted by Robert Burgess May 10, 2013 03:28 PM

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner took to RedSox.com this afternoon to defend slugger David Ortiz and to criticize Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy for asking questions about performance-enhancing drugs.

Werner called the question of whether Ortiz had been using drugs to enhance his performance "false, inflammatory and without real basis."

He went on to write that while baseball had improved itself, including instituting tougher drug testing policies, the media, in his mind, has work to do to not tarnish "the public's enjoyment and appreciation for exploits well done."

"Should we not speak out and insist upon solid journalistic standards and not stand by complacently and silently, lamenting their erosion?" Werner wrote on the team's website. "Those who publicly ask questions must take responsibility for their words."

Earlier this week, Shaughnessy wrote a column recounting a conversation he had with Ortiz about the designated hitter's hot start to the season and what he thinks about suspicions of performance-enhancing drugs.

"They had the right, but was it right?" Werner wrote of the Globe publishing the column. "We're in a new media world, and fact-less accusations stick. In today's media world, the question -- even if it's false, inflammatory and without real basis -- can become the story."

Brian McGrory, editor of The Globe, said, "Dan Shaughnessy did what good columnists do. He gave voice to the questions that were on the minds of many people."

"Rather than fling accusations from afar, Shaughnessy went right to the source, respectfully posing a series of questions to David Ortiz, face-to-face, and receiving thoughtful answers in return," McGrory said. "The insightful responses, quoted at length, gave readers a logical explanation to Ortiz's torrid start this season. The job of a journalist is to ask these hard questions, and then give a good airing and proper context to the answers. Dan Shaughnessy did exactly that."

Werner went on to invoke Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, and Tim Wakefield in defense of the 37-year-old Ortiz, who was hitting .353 through 17 games this season.

"Does this mean that whenever an athlete -- particularly a Dominican athlete -- does something exceptional, we have to assume he cheated?" asked Werner.

"I know it's an uncomfortable and awkward topic. It's not fun for me either," Shaughnessy said on Boston Sports Live, adding that Ortiz failed a drug test in 2003. "Some people are uncomfortable that the questions are asked. I'm not. That's our job."

Report: Buchholz may have used sunscreen on arm to doctor ball

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff May 8, 2013 02:13 PM

A report by Yahoo! Sports claims Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz was likely using sunscreen mixed with rosin on his forearm to get a better grip on the ball, which led to accusations that he was throwing a spitter against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Toronto broadcasters Dirk Hayhurst and Jack Morris claimed Buchholz was "loading the ball" during his May 1 start against the Blue Jays in Toronto. But as Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan reports, he was actually using something that is quite prevalent in the sport.

"Two veteran pitchers and one source close to the Red Sox told Yahoo! Sports that about 90 percent of major league pitchers use some form of spray-on sunscreen – almost always BullFrog brand – that when combined with powdered rosin gives them a far superior grip on the ball.

Passan also reports:

While Buchholz declined comment through a Red Sox spokesman Wednesday, one source close to the Red Sox confirmed the team's pitchers almost all rely on sunscreen for better grip on finicky balls, particularly in cold, bad weather.

Read the story.

Boston Strong night held at Gwinnett Braves game in Georgia

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff May 8, 2013 07:27 AM
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Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who played at Boston College, threw out the first pitch at Boston Strong Night at a Gwinnett Braves minor-league game Tuesday in Georgia.(Associated Press photo)

Boston sports stars Jason Varitek, Matt Ryan, Rodney Harrison, and Dee Brown helped the Gwinnett Braves and Pawtucket Red Sox celebrate a Boston Strong Night on Tuesday at Gwinnett's stadium in Lawrenceville, Ga.

All four have connections to both Boston and Georgia, and they threw out the first pitches at Coolray Field. A portion of ticket sales went to One Fund Boston, and a silent auction was held.

"I have two homes in my heart, one here and one there," said Varitek, the former Red Sox catcher who is now a special assistant with the team, in a story on the Gwinnett Braves' website. "Boston will always be a big part of me. But I think everyone feels a connection to Boston now and wants to do what they can to show it. What happened was a hit to the whole country."

Varitek played college baseball at Georgia Tech. Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback, played college football at Boston College. Harrison played for the Patriots, and Brown for the Celtics.

"I feel fortunate to be able to be take part in something like this," Ryan told MLB.com. "Boston is obviously a town that is very important to me and my wife, having gone to college up there. I'm happy to help any way I can."

All of the players wore throwback Boston Braves hats, the Fenway Park anthem "Sweet Caroline" was played, Boston Strong logos were painted behind the plate, and players walked to the plate to the music of Boston bands like Aerosmith, Dropkick Murphys and New Kids on the Block.

Gwinnett's general manager, North Johnson, scheduled the event for a night when Pawtucket would be the guest.

"I'm thankful that we could do our little part," Johnson told MLB.com. "The bombing didn't affect just Boston, it affected all of us."

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Deutsche Bank Championship tickets on sale Wednesday

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff May 7, 2013 01:32 PM

Tickets for the Deutsche Bank Championship PGA Tour event at TPC Boston will go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m.

The Deutsche Bank Championship, one of the PGA Tour's playoff events, will be held on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, at the Norton course. Tickets will be sold online at the tournament website, by phone at 800-594-8499, and at Golfsmith locations in Massachusetts.

Rory McIlroy is the defending champion.

Watch: Tom Brady reacts to horse winning Kentucky Derby

Posted by Staff May 6, 2013 11:33 AM

Tom Brady has three Super Bowl rings, but when jockey Joel Rosario rode Orb to victory in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, Brady's reaction was nothing short of championship-winning ecstasy.

Wes Welker and Teddy Bruschi can also be seen giving the Patriot quarterback (very large) congratulatory hugs.

Brady reportedly bet $4,700 on Orb to win, which meant he walked away from the Derby around $25,000 richer.

Globe writer defends Carmelo Anthony MVP vote

Posted by Staff May 6, 2013 07:22 AM






Boston Globe NBA reporter Gary Washburn was the only writer to cast a first-place vote for Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony in the NBA most valuable player balloting.

The other 120 first-place votes were cast for the Heat's LeBron James, who won the award for the fourth time.

Washburn explained his decision in his On Basketball column today.

On James vs. Anthony:

... My vote had more to do with Anthony and less to do with the dominance of LeBron. If you were to take Anthony off the Knicks, they are a lottery team. James plays with two other All-Stars, the league's all-time 3-point leader, a defensive stalwart, and a fearless point guard. The Heat are loaded.
If Lebron was taken away from the Heat, they still would be a fifth or sixth seed. He is the best player of this generation, a multifaceted superstar with the physical prowess of Adonis, but I chose to reward a player who has lifted his team to new heights.

Anthony's impact on the Knicks:

...This isn't the Best Player in the Game award, it's the Most Valuable Player award, and I think what Anthony accomplished this season was worthy of my vote. He led the Knicks to their first division title in 19 years. That's a long time. Anthony led the league in scoring average and basically carried an old Knicks team to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Amar'e Stoudemire missed most of the season with knee issues, Raymond Felton missed six weeks, and Tyson Chandler dealt with nagging injuries, leaving Anthony, J.R. Smith, and a bunch of lottery picks from the mid-1990s to win 54 games and beat the Miami Heat three times.

Naturally, Twitter had many things to say about the situation.

The view from New York, Toronto

Posted by Staff May 2, 2013 10:02 AM

Boston sports had an all-around successful night Wednesday as the Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox were all able to take down New York and Toronto (twice), respectively. Here's a round-up of what the media in those two cities are saying today.

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NEW YORK POST


Mark Berman says the Knicks got a little too cocky for their own good:

In nothing short of a choke, the Knicks allowed the Celtics to keep their season alive and take Game 5 last night in a 92-86 shocker at the Garden, staving off the anticipated Boston “funeral.”

Once ready to sweep the Celtics, the Knicks cling to a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series which is headed back to Boston tomorrow, echoing memories of 2004 when the Red Sox rallied from a 3-0 deficit to shock the Yankees.

No NBA team has recovered from a 3-0 series deficit.

The Knicks got too full of themselves in the past few days, and it cost them. Smith bragged the series would be over if he had not been suspended Sunday. And following the lead of Kenyon Martin, all Knicks players had black jackets and black slacks hanging in their lockers before last night’s potential Game 5 closeout, anticipating the demise of the Celtics’ season. Embarrassingly, they were forced to wear their all-black garb afterward.

“We were going to a funeral, but it looks like we got buried,’’ said J.R. Smith, who said he won’t wear black to a game anytime soon. “We got humbled.’’

Fred Kerber compares Celtics to 2004 Red Sox:

“I seen it. It was tremendous,” Celtics sharpshooter Jason Terry said about the Red Sox fabled comeback. “Papi is a neighbor. I’m very familiar with what they did and the history they made. Is it a motivating factor for us? It helps, but that alone is not going to win the series.”

No, but the Celtics are at least halfway home. After their 92-86 victory over the Knicks in Game 5 at the Garden last night, the Celtics, down 0-3 a few days ago, have made the series 3-2 with Game 6 set for Boston on Friday.

“We’re still down so our mentality has to be all out,” said Kevin Garnett, who followed up a pair of monster 17-rebound games with 18 rebounds last night while playing 39 minutes. “We’re down 3-2. The next game we lose is it. I don’t know what everybody is talking about with getting comfortable, feeling good. We’re down 3-2. It’s not like we evened it up and are going back home.”

Mike Vaccaro says Knicks will have to save their not-so-classy 'funeral' suits:

Back in the Knicks’ locker room, a string of black suits was hung with care in the players’ stalls. This could simply have been a fashion statement, a sartorial expression of unity. Except it came with a purpose: The Knicks weren’t here simply to deliver a knockout punch, but a message.

These were their funeral outfits.

Yes. That’s as galling as it sounds, especially given the events in Boston 17 days ago. Nice. Very classy.

This is a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff series in 13 years or a title in 40, a team that has yet to win THIS playoff series even as the players allowed their minds to drift forward to Atlanta, to Indiana, even to Miami. And they were preparing a Viking funeral for the Celtics before actually, you know, eliminating them.

Amazing. Just amazing.


NEW YORK TIMES


Howard Beck tells how all-black outfits backfired in game run-down:

The theme proved ill-conceived, perhaps in poor taste and absolutely poorly timed, as the Knicks stumbled through another four quarters Wednesday night, allowing the Celtics — undeniably old, but hardly lifeless — to take a 92-86 victory, extending this first-round series once again.

After starting the week with a sweep in sight, the Knicks are clinging to a 3-2 lead and heading back to Boston for Game 6 on Friday.

“We’re good; we’re good,” Carmelo Anthony said, despite the sudden shift in momentum. He added, “Mentally, we’re in a great place.”

TORONTO SUN

Steve Simmons calls Maple Leafs "cheap playoff pretenders":

If Boston didn't take the better of them physically, the Leafs players were jumpy, rushed the puck, and turned it over regularly.

The Bruins often looked to be on the power play at even strength.

And it was clear from the first minute of play that part of Boston's strategy was to challenge the Leafs defence wide--they did so and controlled the puck throughout the night.

Kostka, in particular, had a terrible playoff debut, circumstantially and not.

He was on the ice for Boston's first four goals.

His status no doubt will be discussed over the next two days.

It wasn't a whole lot better-- and possibly worse--up front.

Phil Kessel, again, was nowhere to be found, didn't win any battles, didn't ever get his speed going.


Steve Buffery describes Maple Leaf "ugly" loss period by period:

Sadly, after Wednesday’s sub-par performance, “the very winnable” quote will be thrown in Kadri’s face (wrongly). In fact, it started on Twitter before the game was even over and will be one of the storylines on Thursday ... I’ve noticed every newspaper and sports network has listed numerous “keys to victory” for the Leafs — the Phil Kessel line rising above Zdeno Chara, secondary scoring, James Reimer, etc.

At last count, there were 479 keys to victory for the Leafs. Apparently none were realized on Game 1.


Bob Elliot talks Blue Jays' beating from the Red Sox:

Mark Buehrle made his sixth start for the Jays and was roughed up for a fourth time in a 10-1 shellacking by the Boston Red Sox before 21,094 fans at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday night.

The Jays managed two hits in seven innings against Clay Buchholz. Until Brett Lawrie’s run-scoring triple with one out in the eighth, the largest cheer was Buehrle’s 1-0 pitch in the first — a ball — to David Ortiz.

There wasn’t anything to root about for Toronto fans.

“Buchholz never gave us a thing,” said Jays manager John Gibbons, displeased over the fact Melky Cabrera lined a ball into the right field corner and was thrown out at second trailing by a wide margin.

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