Report: MLB ready to ban A-Rod for life

Posted by Robert Burgess July 31, 2013 07:15 PM

According to a report on USAToday.com, Major League Baseball is preparing to ban Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez from the sport for life.

The actions stem from an MLB investigation into Biogenesis, a Miami clinic that allegedly provided performance enhancing drugs to some 20 major league ballplayers.

The unnamed sources told USA Today that the announcement is expected to come on Thursday or Friday on Rodriguez and another eight players will be suspended.

Rodriguez's lawyer told ESPN today that the player would appeal any discipline from Major League Baseball.

"If MLB does indeed ban A-Rod for life," Globe writer Peter Abraham Tweeted, "there will be more dancing in the Yankees front office than a Broadway show.

New York owes Rodriguez $100 million through 2017.

The other players in the group are expected to accept suspensions of about 50 games each. Multiple media organizations have reported that MLB is seeking for Rodriguez to accept disciplinary action of a suspension from 150 games.

NBC Sports reported that unless Rodriguez settles with Major League Baseball, he will be given a lifetime suspension.

"Just how harsh the penalty will be, by all accounts, depends largely on whether Rodriguez is willing to make a deal," wrote Associated Press columnist Tim Dahlberg.

Former Red Sox player George Scott dies

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 29, 2013 01:05 PM

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The Red Sox paid tribute to George Scott before Monday's game with a moment of silence. (Jim Davis photo)

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George Scott (second from left) had two stints with the Red Sox in the 1960s and 70s. (Associated Press photo)

Former Red Sox slugger George Scott passed away on Sunday at age 69, the Red Sox have confirmed.

Scott, known as "Boomer," was signed by the Red Sox as an amateur free agent in 1962 and made his major league debut with the Red Sox in 1966. He played eight seasons and part of another for the Red Sox, from 1966 to 1971 and again from 1977 to 1979.

He also played for Milwaukee, Kansas City and the New York Yankees.

“In losing George Scott, we have lost one of the most talented, colorful, and popular players in our history,” said Dick Bresciani, the Red Sox’ vice president emeritus and team historian in a statement released by the team. “He had great power and agility, with a large personality and a large physical stature. He could light up a clubhouse with his smile, his laugh, and his humor—and he was the best defensive first baseman I have ever seen. We will miss him, and we send our condolences to his family.”

Scott had 271 career home runs and was an eight-time Gold Glove winner at first base. He led the American League in home runs in 1975 with 36, and was selected as an All-Star three times.

He was from Greenville, Miss.

He won his first Gold Glove and finished 10th in MVP voting as a member of the Red Sox’ Impossible Dream team in 1967 when the team lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Scott is a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame, and was inducted in 2006.

The Red Sox held a moment of silence in Scott's memory, and posted a tribute video online.
Globe Red Sox reporter Peter Abraham contributed to this report

Revolution players Sene, Bengtson to scoop ice cream for One Fund charity

Posted by Staff July 25, 2013 10:36 AM

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New England Revolution players Saer Sene and Jerry Bengtson will be taking a break from the pitch on Aug. 15 and instead test out their ice cream scooping skills, volunteering at a charity event to benefit The One Fund Boston.

The event, which will take place at Ben & Jerry’s on Newbury Street in Boston, has been dubbed “Sene and Jerry’s,” with the two soccer stars working behind the counter from 4 to 6 p.m.

One hundred percent of all tips and 50 percent of the total sales from those two hours will be given to The One Fund, which was established following the Boston Marathon bombings to benefit those most affected by the tragic events of April 15.

The Revs girls, as well as the Revolution’s mascot Slide, will also be in attendance, handing out Revolution gear to fans and giving fans a sneak peak at Sene’s limited-edition bobblehead, which the Revs will be giving away at their Aug. 25 match against Philadelphia.

For more information, visit revolutionsoccer.net.

Mass. natives Guerin, Curley headline '13 US Hockey HOF class

Posted by Staff July 25, 2013 09:40 AM

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The US Hockey Hall of Fame announced their Class of 2013 Thursday morning, headlined by Massachusetts’ natives Bill Guerin and Cindy Curley.

Guerin and Curley are joined in the class by Peter Karmanos, Jr., Ron Mason, and Doug Weight; all five will be inducted to the Hall, located in Eveleth, Minn., later this year, the details of which are to be announced later this summer.

“This is an extraordinary class that each have contributed in a remarkable fashion to the advancement of our sport,” said USA Hockey President Ron DeGregorio. “It's a truly remarkable collection of individuals, all so very deserving of earning the pinnacle of accomplishment in hockey in the U.S.”

Guerin, a native of Worcester and Wilbraham, played 18 years in the NHL from 1991-2010 with eight different teams, winning the Stanley Cup in 1995 with the New Jersey Devils, and again in 2009 with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The former Boston College star was a four time NHL All-Star, was named MVP of the 2001 All-Star Game, and scored 429 goals and 427 assists over 1,263 games in his NHL career.

Guerin’s playing career also included stops with the Edmonton Oilers, Boston Bruins, Dallas Stars, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, and New York Islanders. He earned NHL Second Team All-Star recognition for the 2001-02 season when he scored 41 goals and 25 assists with the Bruins.

Internationally, Guerin played for the US in seven major tournaments, including the 1998, 2002, and 2006 Winter Olympics, helping the US to a silver medal in 2002. He also won a gold medal with the US at the 1996 World Cup of Hockey.

Curley, a native of Hudson and star hockey player at Providence College, was instrumental in the early days of US Women’s hockey, playing in the inaugural IIHF Women’s World Championships in 1990, where she scored 11 goals and 12 assists in five games for the US. She also played on the 1992 and 1994 World Championships teams, as well as the 1995 IIHF Women’s Pacific Rim Championship.

Since retiring from her playing career, Curley served as an athletic director of the USA Hockey Board of Directors from 1995-2006; as a member of the organization's youth council from 1999-2006; on the legal council from 2005-07; on the girls/women's section from 2000-05; and on the safety and protective equipment committee from 2001-07.

Curley was also a member of the US Olympic Athlete Advisory Committee from 2005-2008. She was inducted into the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame in 2002, as well as inducted into the Providence College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.

Marist findings on fans' views on PED use come day after Braun suspended

Posted by Staff July 23, 2013 12:53 PM

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After the Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun was suspended for the rest of the 2013 season, and with reports that there are other major MLB names that could be handed suspensions in the near future, it would appear that the “Steroid Era” in baseball has not come to an end.

Biogenesis, a former Miami-based anti-aging clinic, has been implicated in providing performance-enhancing drugs to several major league ballplayers, including Braun, Alex Rodriguez, Bartolo Colon, and Nelson Cruz, among others.

A recent Marist College survey of fans’ beliefs on PED use in baseball provided some insight on how the public is reacting to this issue. The survey was conducted prior to the announcement that Braun, the 2011 NL MVP, had been suspended for the remainder of the 2013 season.

“This study speaks to the power of sports hero worship in America,” said Dr. Keith Strudler, Director of the Marist College Center for Sports Communication. “We love our athletes dearly, even irrationally, and defend them often beyond a reasonable doubt. But when they betray us, we seem to punish them with equal vigor, keeping them out of the Hall of Fame. In some ways, sports hero worship and PEDs in this country is like a bad marriage.”

The survey was taken over three days from July 15 to July 18, surveying 1,204 adults age 18 and older by telephone, 574 of whom identified themselves as baseball fans. The margin of error for the survey 2.8 percentage points. That margin of error increases for those who identified themselves as baseball fans to 4.1 percentage points.

The results found that 61 percent of the fans surveyed said that it is not right for MLB to suspend players who have not tested positive for PEDs, but are connected to the Biogenesis clinic, and 28 percent believe it is right for MLB to suspend them, while 11 percent are unsure.

“Sports fans are very loyal to their favorite athletes, and for most, it would take true hard evidence to change their perceptions of these athletes,” Strudler said. “Circumstantial evidence, no matter how strong, probably isn't going to convince most fans.”

In the case of Braun, few people who classified themselves as baseball fans have been following the situation closely. Of the fans surveyed, 13 percent said that they have heard a great deal of information about the case, 11 percent said that they have heard a good amount, 26 percent said they have heard a little, and 50 percent said they have heard nothing.

Another issue that has come up in recent years is whether to allow players who have been implicated in PED scandals to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Seventy-eight percent of fans surveyed said they believed players who used PEDs should not be eligible for the Hall of Fame, while 18 percent think they should be allowed in, and four percent are unsure.

One statistic that Marist researchers found is that people in the younger generation are more forgiving than older ones. For fans aged 45 and younger, 24 percent think that steroid use should not keep players from the Hall of Fame, while only 13 percent of those aged older than 45 believe steroid users should be allowed in.

Peter Laviolette named assistant coach for US hockey team

Posted by Staff July 23, 2013 09:15 AM

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Philadelphia Flyers head coach and Franklin, Mass., native Peter Laviolette will serve as an assistant coach of the US men’s hockey team for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

Dan Bylsma, head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, will serve as head coach for the US team, while his Pittsburgh assistant Tony Granato and Columbus head coach Todd Richards will join Laviolette as assistants on the U.S. squad.

Laviolette has coached the Flyers since 2009-10, and led Philadelphia to the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. He was the head coach of the Carolina Hurricanes from 2003 to 2009 and won the 2006 Stanley Cup, and he was the runner-up for the Jack Adams Trophy for NHL coach of the year that same season. Laviolette was the head coach of the US men’s hockey team at the 2006 Winter Olympics, as well as head coach of the US at the 2004 and 2005 IIHF World Championships. He also played on Olympic teams himself in 1988 and 1994.

Prior to being named a head coach in the NHL, Laviolette served as head coach of the Bruins’ AHL-affiliate Providence Bruins for two seasons in 1998-99 and 1999-00. He won the P-Bruins’ first Calder Cup championship in 1999 and was named that season’s AHL coach of the year. Laviolette played 11 seasons of professional hockey after playing four seasons in college at Westfield State.

Read USA Hockey’s full release here.

Ryan Braun suspended by MLB

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 22, 2013 05:41 PM
Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has been suspended without pay by Major League Baseball for the rest of the season, MLB announced on Monday.

MLB's announcement said the suspension was for violating the league's joint drug prevention and treatment program.

"I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions," Braun said in a statement released by the league via Twitter. "I wish to apologize to ... all of the baseball fans especially those in Milwaukee, the great Brewers organization, and my teammates."

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, Braun is making $8.5 million this season and the suspension will cost him about $3.4 million.

Braun was accused of failing a drug test in 2011, but he vehemently denied using performance-enhancing drugs and avoided suspension when an appeal panel ruled in his favor.

Braun won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2011.

"We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions," said MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred. "We all agree that it is in the best interests of the game to resolve this matter. When Ryan returns, we look forward to him making positive contributions to Major League Baseball, both on and off the field."

Watch: British Open final round highlights

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 21, 2013 03:44 PM

Watch a recap of the action in the final round of the 2013 British Open, won by Phil Mickelson with a dramatic final-round surge.

Another interesting way to review Mickelson's victory was posted by the website of Mickelson's hometown newspaper in San Diego by writer Matthew T. Hall, who collected reaction and imagery from social media in an entertaining post.

Red Sox delay today's game

Posted by Robert Burgess July 20, 2013 03:54 PM

The Red Sox have announced that today's game against the Yankees will not start as scheduled at 4:05 p.m. Instead the first pitch will be at 4:25 p.m.

Derek Lowe says he's pitched his last game

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff July 18, 2013 09:26 AM

Former Red Sox righthander Derek Lowe has decided he has thrown his last pitch in Major League Baseball, calling it quits after 17 years.

Just don't call it a retirement.

The 40-year-old pitched in nine games for the Texas Rangers this season before being cut May 23.

"I'm officially no longer going to play the game," Lowe told USA Today. "It's still enjoyable, but the role I was having wasn't fulfilling."

Lowe spent eight seasons with the Red Sox, winning a World Series title in 2004 as part of the team's starting rotation. He won three series-clinching games in the team's postseason run that ended the franchise's 86-year title drought. He churned out a Cy Young-worthy season in 2002 for the Sox, finishing third in voting after piling up 21 wins and 8 losses. It was the best season for the two-time all-star.

In his 17 seasons, he was 176-157 with a 4.03 ERA.

Lowe told USA Today: "Like I told my dad, I'll never retire. If you're not playing, it's completely self-explanatory. I'm not going to go to the Hall of Fame, so I don't feel like I need to have a retirement speech. But I was able to play 17 years on some pretty cool teams and win a World Series. So, everyone's got to stop playing at some point, and this is my time."

Rob Gronkowski nearly walks out on CBS interview when subject turns to Aaron Hernandez

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff July 17, 2013 01:46 PM

Not talking about controversial topics? That's the Patriot Way.

And it's the way Rob Gronkowski handled a question about Aaron Hernandez in an interview that aired on CBS This Morning. The Patriots tight end, in New York with his brothers and his father to promote the newly-published book "Growing Up Gronk," wanted nothing to do with any questions about Hernandez, the former Patriots tight end who is currently in jail after being charged with murder.

“Next question,” Gronkowski replied when asked by CBS newsman Don Dahler about the Hernandez saga. “I learned that from (agent) Drew Rosenhaus.”

When asked how he felt when hearing the news about his former teammate, Gronkowski answered with another “next question.”

Then when Dahler shifted the Hernandez inquiry to Rob’s father, Gord, who also said he wouldn’t comment, Rob stood up and nearly walked out of the interview, but sat back down when Dahler changed the subject.

Why watch the ESPYs? Here are the Boston connections

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 17, 2013 12:52 PM

There's not a whole lot of rooting interests for Boston sports fans on the ESPY Awards tonight (9 p.m., ESPN), but the Boston finalists in two categories certainly have a strong case to win.

The Bruins' epic comeback win against the Maple Leafs in Game 7 of their NHL playoff series is one of three finalists for Best Game. The others are the Heat-Spurs Game 6 in the NBA Finals, and the Ravens-Broncos AFC divisional playoff game.

The Bruins rallied from a 4-1 deficit, tying the game in the final minute and a half, then winning in overtime en route to an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Aly Raisman, the gold-medal winning Olympic gymnast from Needham, is a finalist for Best Female US Olympian along with fellow gymnast Gabby Douglas and swimmer Missy Franklin. The US women's gymnastics team is also up for the best team award.

One award previously announced was the Jimmy V Perseverance Award, which will go to Boston Marathon fixtures Dick and Rick Hoyt, a.k.a. Team Hoyt.

A few other awards have connections to Boston or New England:

Best Female Action Sports Athlete: Vermont's Kelly Clark (snowboarding) is a finalist along with skateboarder Leticia Bufoni, surfer Stephanie Gilmore, and motocross rider Laia Sanz.

Best Coach/Manager: UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma is a finalist alongside former Colts interim coach Bruce Arians, Duke lacrosse's John Danowski, Louisville coach and former Celtics coach Rick Pitino, and the Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra.

Best Fighter: UFC's Jon Jones, the brother of Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones, is competing with boxing's Canelo Alvarez, Danny Garcia and Floyd Mayweather Jr., and MMA's Anderon Silva.

Best WNBA Player: The Connecticut Sun's Tina Charles is up against Tamika Catchings, Angel McCoughtry, Candace Parker, and Lindsay Whalen.

Online fan voting for the awards ends at 9 p.m., when the awards show begins.

Paul Pierce thanks Boston on Instagram

Posted by Staff July 16, 2013 04:01 PM
Paul Pierce officially joined the Brooklyn Nets last Friday, but it looks like part of his heart might still be in Boston. The former Celtics forward set up a new Instagram account today and has already posted more than 30 photos in just an hour with the message "#ThankYouBoston" on each image.

Here are some of Pierce's posts:

Bruins accepting applications for 2013-14 Ice Girls

Posted by Staff July 16, 2013 02:02 PM

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A fan posed with the Bruins Ice Girls prior to Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final series of the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

The Bruins announced that they are officially accepting applications for the team's 2013-14 Ice Girls squad.

On top of taking part in many different promotions and events in the Boston community, the Ice Girls work appearances for all Bruins’ home games for the 2013-14 season. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Applications are available at bostonbruins.com/icegirls and are due at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. Auditions for the girls selected will take place the week of Aug. 26, with the exact schedule still to be determined.

The Bruins are looking for women with charisma, personality, energy, poise and a physically fit appearance for the part-time job.

12th Annual “The Tradition” to take place Sept. 17 at TD Garden

Posted by Staff July 16, 2013 09:48 AM

BOSTON – The Sports Museums’ 2013 “The Tradition” ceremony will be held on Sept. 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the TD Garden.

The event, which since 2002 has been an annual fundraising event for The Sports Museum, is a gathering of the Boston sports community and will honor several prominent figures in Boston sports history, including Jack Nicklaus, Doug Flutie, Carlton Fisk, the Boston Celtics Ownership Group, Derek Sanderson, Aly Raisman, and Vince Wilfork.

The Sports Museum, a non-profit educational institution that preserves and showcases the history of sports in new England, will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of Francis Ouimet’s U.S. Open victory in Brookline, and will be honoring Nicklaus with a Lifetime Achievement award for his career of accomplishments.

Flutie, the local college football and NFL star, will also be honored. The Natick-native won the Heisman trophy as quarterback of Boston College, played 12 seasons in the NFL, and made the Pro Bowl in 1998.

Fisk, anchor of the resurgent Red Sox teams of the 1970s who won the 1975 AL Pennant, will also be a Tradition honoree for his accomplishments in Boston, including his now-famous game-winning home run over the Green Monster in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.

After leading the rebuild of basketball tradition and Celtic Pride in Boston, that included a 2008 NBA Championship, the Boston Celtics Ownership Group of Wyc Grousbeck, Irv Grosubeck, Steve Pagliuca, and Bob Epstein will receive an honor as well.

Bruins legend Sanderson will be another honoree of the event. The always colorful Sanderson was a major part of the “big, bad” Bruins teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s that won two Stanley Cup Championships in three seasons and brought winning hockey back to Boston.

Needham-native Raisman, who won two gold medals with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team, will round out the honorees, along with Patriots’ defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who will be the inaugural recipient of the Community Service Award given to a current Boston athlete for all of his or her charitable work in the community.

Tickets for the event cost $300 for reserved seating and $200 for general admission. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.sportsmuseum.org.

New Hampshire teen to serve as honorary 'coach' of A's vs. Red Sox

Posted by Staff July 12, 2013 01:53 PM

BOSTON – When outfielder Josh Reddick was traded from the Red Sox to the Oakland Athletics in the winter of 2011 in a deal that landed pitcher Andrew Bailey, among others, the utility outfielder brought more than just his talents to the Bay Area.

He brought the following of New Hampshire’s Janelle James, and Reddick’s solid play that has made him a starter in Oakland helped keep high the spirits of a 17-year-old cancer survivor.

Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which has helped grant the wishes of more than 226,000 children in the U.S. since 1983, Janelle’s dream of meeting her favorite player again will become a reality, as she is scheduled to serve as an honorary coach for the A’s on Saturday, as well as deliver the team’s lineup card before their matchup with the Red Sox..

Four years ago, at age 13, Janelle was diagnosed with leukemia, a form of blood cancer that makes a person’s bone marrow produce abnormal white blood cells. These abnormal cells do not perform the functions of normal white blood cells, grow faster, don’t stop growing when they should, and over time can crowd out normal blood cells.

“It has definitely been more of a challenge; it was very difficult going through all the treatments and chemo [therapy],” said Janelle. “It was more difficult getting my driver’s license, going to prom, doing what I guess you’d call the ‘normal teenager’ things.”

After Janelle’s diagnosis, members of her neighborhood in Derry, N.H., started a bone marrow drive to try and find a match for her. When no match could be found, Janelle underwent a stem cell transplant. That transplant was successful and her leukemia is now in remission.

Since first meeting Reddick a couple years ago, Janelle has been a big fan of the outfielder, who hit .248 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs in 143 games with the Red Sox from 2008 through 2010. After he was traded to Oakland in the winter of 2011, Janelle decided to keep following Reddick, as he made his way from Fenway Park to the Oakland Coliseum. Reddick has since become a full-time starter in Oakland, winning a Gold Glove en route to helping the A’s win the AL West division title in 2012.

“I first met [Reddick] in March of 2011: a bunch of kids from the Jimmy Fund got to meet the Red Sox,” she said. “We didn't talk much, it was more of a ‘Hi, how are you’ and he bent down and took a picture with me.”

“Each year, Make-A-Wish New Hampshire grants nearly 80 life-changing wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions,” said Bill Smith of Smith Phillips Strategic Communications, a Wish parent himself. “These wish experiences can be pivot points in the course of a child¹s treatment, making them feel better and in some cases, even helping them get better. A wish-come-true strengthens families, provides moments of happiness and inspiration, and helps create strong community bonds.”

Since arriving in Oakland on Thursday, Janelle and her mother, Lisa, have been taking in the city and seeing some of the sites in the Bay Area, including the Chabot Space & Science Center.

“I have always loved science and the Make-A-Wish Foundation asked me what else I wanted to do with my time here, so I said I wanted to go [to Chabot] too,” she said.

Now that she has the chance to meet her favorite player and serve as the A’s honorary coach on Saturday, Janelle is ready to fully take in the experience, and isn't feeling any pregame jitters.

“I’m not really nervous at all [about being the A’s honorary manager]; I am very excited to go there meet all my favorite players [on the A’s] and talk with them; Coco Crisp is another one of my favorites that I followed over here from the Red Sox,” she said. “I wasn't able to follow baseball as much as I wanted when I was really sick, but I have been able to follow baseball more in the past few years since I have gotten better.”

Report: Patriots DB Alfonzo Dennard arrested

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 11, 2013 07:46 AM
Patriots defensive back Alfonzo Dennard was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence in Nebraska early Thursday morning, according to a report on Omaha.com.

Dennard was stopped about 2 a.m. in Lincoln, Neb., the report said. He was alone, and apparently refused a chemical test. Lincoln police told Omaha.com Dennard was spotted straddling a lane line before he was stopped.

Dennard is on two years probation, must serve a 30-day jail sentence in 2014, and perform community service following his conviction on a felony assault charge stemming from a dispute outside a Lincoln bar in 2012. Dennard was convicted of assaulting a police officer during the April 21, 2012 incident.

Bruins give Rask eight-year deal

Posted by Robert Burgess July 10, 2013 05:08 PM

Here is the press release from the Bruins:

Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed goaltender Tuukka Rask to an eight-year contract through the 2020-21 season. Rask’s salary is worth an annual cap figure of $7 million.

In 36 regular season games in 2013, Rask compiled a 19-10-5 record with a GAA of 2.00 and a .929 save percentage with five shutouts. The B’s netminder finished the season tied for fourth in the NHL in wins (19), tied for first in shutouts (five), third in save percentage (.929) and tied for fourth in goals against (1.96).

During the 2013 postseason, Rask led the NHL in save percentage (.940), tied for first in shutouts (three) and finished fourth in GAA (1.88) in 22 games. Rask set a club record for home playoff shutout streak at 193:16, spanning from game four of the Conference Final to game three of the Cup Final.

In 2011-12, Rask appeared in 23 games, recording an 11-8-3 record with a 2.05 GAA and a save percentage of .929. In 2009-10, Rask set a career high in wins (22) and led the NHL with a 1.97 GAA and .931 save percentage, becoming the first Bruins goaltender to have a GAA below 2.00 since 1998-99. His 1.97 GAA that season, was the lowest by any Bruins goaltender since 1938-39 season.

In 138 NHL games, all of which have come with the Bruins, Rask has compiled a 66-45-16 record with 16 shutouts, a .927 save percentage and a 2.15 goals against average. The 26-year-old has appeared in 35 postseason games for the Bruins, amassing a 21-14 record, while posting a 2.15 GAA and a .930 save percentage with three shutouts.

Prior to joining Boston, Rask spent the majority of two seasons with the Providence Bruins (AHL) from 2007 – 2009, amassing a record of 60-33-6 with a 2.42 GAA and .910 save percentage. In his rookie season with Providence in 2007-08, Rask finished the season tied for fifth in wins (27) and the following year was tied for second (33).

The native of Tampere, Finland. was drafted in the first round (21st overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins acquired Rask from the Maple Leafs in exchange for Andrew Raycroft on June 24, 2006.

Sydney Leroux of Boston Breakers featured in ESPN's Body Issue

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 9, 2013 03:59 PM

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Peter Hapak


Soccer player Sydney Leroux, who plays for the Boston Breakers and the US women's national team, is one of 20 athletes featured in ESPN The Magazine's fifth annual Body Issue, which comes out Friday.

Leroux is featured on one of eight special covers for the issue.

The other athletes featured: Carly Booth (golf), Swin Cash (WNBA), Vernon Davis (NFL), Marlen Esparza, (boxing), Kenneth Faried (NBA), Courtney Force (motorsports), Tarah Gieger (motoX), Matt Harvey (MLB), Elena Hight (snowboarding), John Isner (tennis), Colin Kaepernick (NFL), Joffrey Lupul (NHL), Gary Player (golf), Agnieszka Radwanska (tennis), Giancarlo Stanton (MLB), Miesha Tate (MMA), John Wall (NBA), Kerri Walsh Jennings (volleyball), and Chris Sharma and Daila Ojeda (rock climbing).

ESPN has provided Boston.com with a sneak peak at some of the photos. To see more, check out the Body Issue website.

2013 MLB All-Star Game rosters

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 6, 2013 07:14 PM
Three Red Sox players have been named to the American League All-Star team, and a fourth is a nominee in the "Final Vote" that will add one more player to the roster.

David Ortiz will be the starter at designated hitter after receiving more than six million fan votes, which was fifth-highest in the AL. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia and pitcher Clay Buchholz were also named to the AL roster via the player vote, a combination of players, managers, and coaches.

Reliever Koji Uehara is one of five AL nominees in the "Final Vote," which runs until July 11 at 4 p.m.

Here are the full rosters for the MLB All-Star Game, which will be held July 16 at CitiField in New York:

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Starters
C: Joe Mauer, Twins
1B: Chris Davis, Orioles
2B: Robinson Cano, Yankees
SS: J.J. Hardy, Orioles
3B: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
OF: Mike Trout, Angels
OF: Adam Jones, Orioles
OF: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox

Pitchers
RHP: Clay Buchholz-x, Red Sox
LHP: Brett Cecil, Blue Jays
RHP: Bartolo Colon-y, A's
RHP: Jesse Crain-x, White Sox
RHP: Yu Darvish, Rangers
RHP: Felix Hernandez, Mariners
RHP: Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
RHP: Justin Masterson, Indians
RHP: Joe Nathan, Rangers
LHP: Glen Perkins-y, Twins
RHP: Mariano Rivera, Yankees
LHP: Chris Sale, White Sox
RHP: Max Scherzer, Tigers
RHP: Justin Verlander, Tigers

Reserves
C: Jason Castro, Astros
C: Salvador Perez, Royals
1B: Prince Fielder, Tigers
2B: Jason Kipnis, Indians
2B: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
2B: Ben Zobrist, Rays
SS: Jhonny Peralta: Tigers
3B: Manny Machado, Orioles
OF: Nelson Cruz, Rangers
OF: Alex Gordon, Royals
OF: Torii Hunter, Tigers
DH: Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Starters
C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B: Joey Votto, Reds
2B: Brandon Phillips, Reds
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
3B: David Wright, Mets
OF: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
OF: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
OF: Bryce Harper, Nationals

Pitchers
LHP: Madison Bumgarner, Giants
LHP: Aroldis Chapman, Reds
LHP: Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks
RHP: Jose Fernandez, Marlins
RHP: Jason Grilli, Pirates
RHP: Matt Harvey, Mets
LHP: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
RHP: Craig Kimbrel, Braves
LHP: Cliff Lee, Phillies
LHP: Jeff Locke, Pirates
RHP: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
LHP: Travis Wood, Cubs
RHP: Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals

Reserves
C: Buster Posey, Giants
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
1B: Allen Craig, Cardinals
2B: Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
2B: Marco Scutaro, Giants
SS: Everth Cabrera, Padres
SS: Jean Segura, Brewers
3B: Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
OF: Domonic Brown, Phillies
OF: Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
OF: Carlos Gomez, Brewers
OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

x-injury replacement; y-chosen on player ballot/injured

One player will be added to each roster through the "Final Vote." Fans can choose one of five nominees in each league. For the American League, it's Detroit's Joaquin Benoit, Toronto's Steve Delabar, New York's David Robertson, Texas' Tanner Scheppers, and Boston's Koji Uehara. In the National League, it's Washington's Ian Desmond, Atlanta's Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles' Adrian Gonzalez, San Francisco's Hunter Pence, and Los Angeles' Yasiel Puig.

Urban Meyer responds to reports about Aaron Hernandez

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 6, 2013 11:25 AM
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer, who was Aaron Hernandez's coach at the University of Florida from 2007 to 2009, has responded to reports about how Hernandez was treated at Florida that have surfaced since the former Patriots player was accused of murdering Odin Lloyd in June.

“Prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim,” Meyer told The Columbus Dispatch via text message. “Relating or blaming these serious charges to the University of Florida, myself or our staff is wrong and irresponsible.”

Several reports have indicated Hernandez was involved in incidents ranging from disputes and altercations to failed drug tests. The Boston Globe was first to report Hernandez failed drug tests multiple times at Florida and that caused his stock to drop prior to the 2010 NFL Draft, when he was chosen by the Patriots in the fourth round.

“I just received an email from a friend where there is an accusation of multiple failed drug tests by Hernandez covered up by University of Florida or the coaching staff. This is absolutely not true,” Meyer said. “Hernandez was held to the same drug testing policy as every other player.”

Meyer also said Florida officials tried to assist Hernandez, who entered college when he was 17.

“He was an athlete at Florida 4 -7 yrs ago and there are some comments being made that are not correct,” Meyer texted to the Dispatch. “Our staff, myself and our families worked very hard to mentor and guide him.”

Bruins trade Seguin to Stars

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 4, 2013 02:15 PM

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The Bruins sent forward Tyler Seguin to Dallas in exchange for Loui Eriksson as part of a multi-player deal on Thursday, the team confirmed.

The deal, first reported by TSN's Darren Dreger, sends Seguin, Rich Peverley and minor-leaguer Ryan Button to Dallas in exchange for Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was critical of Seguin after the season, saying he needed to "become more of a professional." Seguin, 21, had only one goal in the postseason despite the Bruins playing until Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. He had 16 goals and 16 assists in the regular season.

Seguin has been with the Bruins since he was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2010 entry draft. He signed a contract extension that is due to begin next season that will pay him $34.5 million over six years.

Eriksson, one of Dallas' alternate captains, is a 6-2 left wing from Sweden who had 12 goals and 17 assists in the regular season. Eriksson, 27, has three years left on his contract at $4.25 million per year, according to TSN.


Rangers sign Manny Ramirez

Posted by Gary Dzen, Boston.com Staff July 3, 2013 04:46 PM

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The Texas Rangers have signed former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract, the team has announced.

Ramirez last played for the EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League. The 41-year-old hit .352 with 8 home runs, 23 walks, and 21 strikeouts in 206 plate appearances.

One of the greatest hitters in Red Sox history, Ramirez has not played in the major leagues since 2011, when he appeared in five games for the Rays before being suspended 100 games for failing a second drug test. Ramirez signed with the Oakland Athletics and played 17 games with their minor league affiliate before requesting his release.

New Hampshire's Ted King disqualified at Tour de France

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 3, 2013 03:46 PM

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New Hampshire native and bike racer Ted King was disqualified from the Tour de France on Tuesday after missing the time cut by seven seconds in the Stage 4 team time trial.

King was racing with a separated shoulder and had fallen behind his Cannondale teammates in the first kilometer of the 25k course. He was unable to hold the aerodynamic tuck position due to the injury, yet averaged more than 28 mph on his own riding a road bike with clip-on aero bars.

King sustained the injury in a crash at the chaotic end of Stage 1 on the French island of Corsica. On Saturday, minutes before the peloton was to arrive at the finish in a bunch sprint, a team bus was allowed to drive under the finish line timing bridge and became stuck.

Race officials contacted the teams by radio and told them the finish would be moved up the course. Officials soon after moved the finish back to the original location after the bus was dislodged, but it was too late. Surprised and confused, many of the teams scrambled to reposition themselves for the sprint, a number of accidents ensued, and King went down along with his teammate and many other racers.

On Sunday's and Monday's mountainous road stages, King finished with the "grupetto," a smaller group of mostly sprinters that dangles well behind the main pack (the "peloton") and works together to finish just under the time cut.

King's fans petitioned race officials on Twitter (#LetTedRide) to allow him to continue racing, but he was not allowed to start in Stage 5 in Cagnes-sur-Mer on Wednesday.

"It's been an emotional roller coaster for the last four days and especially the past 12 hours, they've been sickening," King told CyclingNews.com on Wednesday, after race judges refused to allow him to start Stage 5.

This was the King's first Tour de France.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified where King was from.

Ben Affleck to present Team Hoyt with award at ESPYs

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff July 2, 2013 06:43 PM
Boston native and actor Ben Affleck will present Dick and Rick Hoyt, the father and son team that has been a fixture at the Boston Marathon, with the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at the ESPYs July 17.

Team Hoyt has been participating in the Boston Marathon and other endurance events for more than 30 years. Dick, 73, pushes his son Rick, 51, in a special wheelchair. Rick has cerebral palsy. ESPN previously announced they would be the recipients of this year's Jimmy V Award.

The Jimmy V Perseverance Award is given in honor of Jim Valvano, the late coach of North Carolina State famous for his impassioned speech about never giving up at the 1993 ESPYs as he battled cancer.

Basketball star LeBron James will present the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs to Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts.

Tim Tebow once tried to break up bar brawl involving Aaron Hernandez

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff July 2, 2013 01:31 PM


File under: Opposite worlds collide.

According to a report in the Orlando Sentinel, newly signed Patriots backup QB Tim Tebow once tried to break up a "violent" bar fight between former Pats tight end Aaron Hernandez and a bouncer at a Gainesville, Fla. bar.

Tebow and Hernandez were teammates at the University of Florida when the 2007 incident took place.

Hernandez, then a 17-year-old freshman, allegedly punched the bouncer in the head and broke his ear drum. After Hernandez reportedly fled the bar after the brawl, which stemmed from a dispute over a bar bill, the police questioned Tebow when they arrived on the scene.

From the Sentinel report:

When the officer could not find Hernandez immediately following the incident, he interviewed Tebow and Shaun Young.

“Tebow stated that he witnessed the dispute,” the officer wrote. “… Tebow stated that he went over to try to help resolve the conflict.”

Tebow went on to say he urged Hernandez to leave peacefully and tried to make arrangements to pay the bill.

Two hours later, another officer found Hernandez and spoke with him about the incident. Tebow was present during the interview.

The officer wrote Hernandez did not appear to be intoxicated and was, “very polite and professional.”

Hernandez told the officer both he and Tebow had already called then-UF football coach Urban Meyer and informed him about the incident.

The Wall Street Journal obtained a copy of the 2007 police report on Monday.

In other Hernandez news, TMZ reports today that Hernandez was involved in a domestic incident with his fiancee in Hermosa Beach, Calif. in June 2012.

According to the TMZ report, when police arrived, Hernandez' fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, said she was OK and didn't want to press charges.

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