Watch four-year-old Darla Holloway's amazing rendition of 'God Bless America' at Fenway Park

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff August 27, 2013 10:29 PM


Now that's a performance worthy of all-day discussion.

Darla Holloway, a 4-year-old girl battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia, belted out an unforgettable rendition of "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch of the Red Sox-Orioles game at Fenway Park Tuesday night.

Darla was also part of the Jimmy Fund chorus that sang the National Anthem. Her performance was in conjunction with the WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon taking place Tuesday and Wednesday. So far, more than $1 million has been raised.

Watch Darla sing at Fenway in the NESN video above.

Darla Holloway

Magazine article says Hernandez was heavy user of angel dust

Posted by John Carney August 27, 2013 08:31 PM

Rolling Stone magazine delves into the troubling saga of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in its upcoming issue.

Among what it terms “revelations” in an article by contributing editor Paul Solotaroff is that Hernandez “was a heavy user of angel dust, and had become so paranoid over the last year that he carried a gun wherever he went.”

The magazine also asserts that Patriots coach Bill Belichick had become so infuriated with Hernandez missing practices and demonstrating other thuggish behavior that he “was one misstep from being cut.”

The article is titled “The Gangster in the Huddle."

Hernandez has been charged with first-degree murder in the killing of a former acquaintance, Odin Lloyd.

Report: Lamar Odom heavy into drugs

Posted by Zuri Berry, Boston.com Staff August 25, 2013 01:25 PM

NBA veteran Lamar Odom reportedly has a crack cocaine problem, according to TMZ, which has affected the 14-year player's personal and presumably professional life.

The celebrity site reports that Odom went to a rehab facility last year because of his drug use and was able to clean up his act during the 2012-13 NBA season, in which he played for the Los Angeles Clippers. But after the season was over, he began using again.

TMZ reports his wife, reality TV celebrity Khloe Kardashian, tried to hold an intervention, which Odom rebuffed, before throwing him out of their home days ago.

Read TMZ's report.

Daisuke Matsuzaka signs with Mets

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff August 22, 2013 06:28 PM

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who spent six seasons with the Red Sox, has signed with the New York Mets, ESPN reported.

Matsuzaka had been released by the Indians after a less-than-stellar season at Cleveland's Triple A affiliate. He went 5-8 in 19 starts and had an ERA of 3.92.

The Mets, who were among the teams that lost a bidding war to the Red Sox when Matsuzaka first entered Major League Baseball before the 2007 season, plan to start Matsuzaka Friday vs. the Tigers, ESPN reported.

Matsuzaka went 50-37 and had a 4.52 ERA for the Red Sox. In his final season, he went 1-7 after returning from Tommy John surgery.

Watch: Doug Mientkiewicz involved in minor-league brawl

Posted by Staff August 19, 2013 01:59 PM


Former Red Sox first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, a member of the 2004 World Series championship team, was involved in a benches-clearing brawl Saturday during a Single A minor league game, according to the News-Press out of Fort Myers, Fla.

Mientkiewicz, 39, is the manager of the Fort Myers Miracle, a Single A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, and his team was playing the Bradenton Marauders, affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates, when Mientkiewicz stormed out of the dugout in the fourth inning and locked arms with Bradenton manager Frank Kremblas, who had allegedly been yelling for Mientkiewicz to come out after one of the Bradenton players was buzzed with a high pitch by a Fort Myers pitcher.

Both benches cleared as players were attempting to pull the two managers off one another. Twins general manager Terry Ryan said he would leave it to the Florida State League to discipline Mientkiewicz, according to the New-Press’ David Dorsey.

Bradenton went on to beat Fort Myers, 3-2, in 12 innings. Mientkiewicz declined to comment after the game. Mientkiewicz will continue to manage the Miracle as his case is reviewed by the Florida State League.

Read more from News-Press reporter David Dorsey's article here. Video is from the News-Press.

Report: Another supposed Hernandez jail letter emerges

Posted by Staff August 19, 2013 12:35 PM

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After several supposed jailhouse letters from former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez surfaced over the past few weeks, there is speculation that another letter from Hernandez has been leaked.

Radar Online reported Monday it obtained another letter that it says was written by Hernandez to a fan. In it, he says one of his biggest fears is having his nine-month old daughter grow up without a father.

“She said daddy (for the) first time or should I say “Da Da” and (I) had to hear it from jail,” Radar Online says he states in the letter.

Radar Online says that an exclusive copy of the letter was given to it by Collin Imm, a fan whom Hernandez has been reportedly writing back and forth with while awaiting trial on a murder charge.

The letter is reported to be two pages long, and in it Hernandez maintains his innocence, stating “I’m a great dude…Don’t believe all the negative publicity.”

Hernandez was arrested on June 26 and charged with first degree murder after Lloyd’s body was found in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough on June 17. He will appear in court on Thursday for his probable cause hearing.

Read Radar Online's full story here.

Mike Tyson talks about return to boxing as promoter, impacting young fighters

Posted by Staff August 19, 2013 11:04 AM

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Mike Tyson is set to make his return to boxing Friday, although don't expect to see any haymakers from the former heavyweight champion.

Instead of trading blows, the 47-year-old legend will be sitting ringside as the promoter and president of Iron Mike Productions, which will hold its first event live on ESPN's "Friday Night Fights" at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.

Billed as "Tyson is Back," the card will be headlined by a title fight between IBF junior lightweight champion Argenis Mendez and contender Arash Usmanee.

In his fighting days, Tyson was notorious for his controversies inside and outside the ring. Now, he hopes to use his new position to postively influence younger fighters and keep them from the pitfalls he experienced.

"I’m not in no position to stop nobody from hurting themselves.” Tyson told Boston.com during a media conference call. "The only thing I can do is tell them what I endured."

FULL ENTRY

Jerry Remy issues statement regarding Waltham murder

Posted by Robert Burgess August 17, 2013 03:50 PM

Jerry Remy, the NESN broadcaster for Red Sox games, issued a statement regarding the murder of a young woman in Waltham this week and his son's alleged involvement.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to Jenn Martel and her family," Remy said via Twitter in his first public statement since the incident. "Words cannot describe my wife's and my grief."

Remy's son, Jared, 34, is facing charges that he murdered his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, 27, on Thursday at the couple's Waltham residence, while their 4-year-old daughter was present.

"Son or not, I am at a loss for words articulating my disgust and remorse over this senseless and tragic act," Jerry Remy stated.

Dennis Eckersley, a studio analyst, is filling in for Remy during this weekend's series. There was no mention of the reason Remy was absent during last night's opener. Eckersley is also scheduled to broadcast next week's road games against the Giants and Dodgers.

NESN did not say who would join play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo after Eckersley's stint or when Remy would return. While some fans have been supportive of Remy's eventual return, others commented that they found it hard to imagine how the former Red Sox second baseman could come back to the booth.

UFC Fight Night 26 results: Sonnen submits 'Shogun' in first round

Posted by Staff August 17, 2013 01:35 PM

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The UFC's first show of the newly created Fox Sports 1 channel was filled with huge wins and big surprises as the promotion took over the TD Garden on Saturday night.

In the night's main event battle, former top contender Chael Sonnen shocked the MMA world by submitting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and fomer champ Mauricio "Shogun" Rua via guillotine choke with just 13 seconds remaining in the opening frame. The impressive win also earned Sonnen Submission of the Night honors.

"I'm not going to say I'm a better fighter than Shogun," Sonnen said at the post-fight press conference. "I just beat him."

FULL ENTRY

Jerry Remy out of broadcast booth for a week

Posted by Robert Burgess August 16, 2013 05:25 PM

Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy will be out of the NESN television booth through Aug. 25.

Remy's son, Jared, 34, is facing charges that he murdered his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, 27, on Thursday night at the couple's Waltham residence.

NESN, which broadcasts Red Sox games, announced today that Dennis Eckersley, a studio analyst, will fill in for Remy during this weekend's series with the Yankees and next week's game against the Giants and Dodgers.

NESN did not say who would join play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo after Eckersley's stint or when Remy would return.

A staffer posted to Jerry Remy's twitter account this morning acknowledging the news regarding Remy's son: "It's difficult to comment after the news this AM. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Martel family."

Red Sox manager John Farrell shared similar sentiments this afternoon.

"Our thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with the Martell family," Gordon Edes of ESPN.com reported Farrell saying. "Other than that, that's all I'm going to say.''

Selig stands by A-Rod suspension as new leak report hounds Yankees slugger

Posted by Staff August 16, 2013 10:42 AM

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It was reported on Friday that '60 Minutes' has learned that members of Alex Rodriguez’s inner circle are responsible for leaking information in February that implicated suspended Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun, as well as Rodriguez’s Yankee teammate Francisco Cervelli, in the Biogenesis scandal that has resulted in suspensions of a dozen MLB players.

'60 Minutes' reports that the leak came days after the Miami New Times published documents that detailed Rodriguez’s drug use.

Meanwhile, MLB commissioner Bud Selig stands by his decision to suspend Rodriguez 211 games and believes he made the right decision in the length of Rodriguez’s suspension, the longest drug-related ban in MLB history. Rodriguez has formally appealed the suspension.

“It was not difficult for me at all,’’ Selig said. ‘‘I spent many, many hours thinking about it, trying to be fair, trying to be logical and rational. I wouldn’t second-guess a thing at all. I thought it was eminently fair.’’

Members of Rodriguez’s camp have been critical of the commissioner since his ruling was announced in early August, but Selig is not worrying about what is being said about his decision.

‘‘I can’t control what people are saying,’’ Selig said. ‘‘I have a job to do, and that’s protecting the integrity of the game and enforcing it, and that’s what I'm going to do. The public role in this thing — it is what it is and I accept that. I have no concerns about it.’’

‘‘There are times you'd like it not to be this, but that’s just the way life works out,’’ he added. ‘‘We made a commitment. I made a commitment to a lot of people ... that we would do everything we can to clean up this sport. We have and we will. To be where we are today I think is remarkable.’’

Braun was suspended 65 games in July for his role in the Biogenesis scandal. Cervelli was suspended 50 games along with 11 other players that include All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, and Everth Cabrera.

Information from CBS News and the Associated Press was included in this report.

UFC Fight Night 26 weigh-ins from TD Garden

Posted by Staff August 16, 2013 10:22 AM

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All 26 fighters are on weight and ready to rock the show at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 26 card at TD Garden.

The official weigh-ins for the event, which will be broadcast live on the new Fox Sports 1 channel, were held at the Garden Friday.

FULL ENTRY

UFC president Dana White visits Boston Sports Live leading up to 'Shogun vs. Sonnen'

Posted by Staff August 13, 2013 01:50 PM

UFC president Dana White visited with "Boston Sports Live" Tuesday to talk all things UFC and preview Saturday’s fight card as the most prestigious MMA league returns to Boston this weekend.

The UFC is planning a series of events, beginning Tuesday, to lead up to Fight Night 26, the first UFC event in Boston in three years.

“This is an important city to me," said White. "I love this place, I spent many years here, I have a lot of friends and family here, I am happy to be back.

"You think about where we started, we weren't allowed on pay-per-view, and now the fact that we are on Fox and have a deal with Fox, that they’re launching their new sports network with the UFC, means a lot to me.”

The main event on Saturday's card, which will mark the debut of the Fox Sports 1 network, is Mauricio “Shogun” Rua taking on Chael Sonnen. Rua will be fighting for the first time since his December 2012 loss to Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson, while Sonnen is looking to bounce back from back-to-back TKOs at the hands of Anderson Silva and Jon “Bones” Jones.

Rua, a 31-year-old Brazilian, comes into the fight with a record of 21-7-0, including 10 TKOs in his last 22 fights. Sonnen, a 36-year-old American, holds a record of 28-13-1.

“One of the things that makes this such a fun fight is they’re both aggressive fighters, they are both going to move forward with completely different styles,” White said. “In no way shape or form is Chael going to want to stand up too long with Shogun.

"Shogun’s muay thai is nasty and he has been working with Freddie Roach on punching [and] increasing his punching power, which is scary because the guy hit like a truck before, and now Freddie Roach says he hits even harder. So Chael is going to want to get in there, he’s gonna want to take him down and rough him up on the ground and win the fight there.”

White also spoke about a bill in the works in Congress that could ban people under 18 from attending events such as UFC fights without adult supervision.

“It’s ridiculous," said White. "This is a sporting event, just like any other sporting event.

"You see what goes on there at the Red Sox-Yankees games, the things that are said in front of children, the fights that break out in front of kids, and that’s real violence. That’s two people fighting because one guy has one jersey on and another has another jersey on.

“When you come to a UFC event, there is no atmosphere like that at all. I’d like someone to tell me where there is more sportsmanship displayed than in the UFC. These guys go in there and fight each other, and after they are hugging and congratulating each other whether they win or lose.

“It’s these politicians who try to jump up on a soap box and act like they’re doing something. You’re not helping society by saying that someone 18 and under can’t go to a sporting event. These politicians are becoming worse and worse at the things that they try to battle and the things that they try to do.”

On Tuesday, the first event counting down to Fight Night 26 takes place when Irish featherweight Conor McGregor holds an open-to-the-public workout at Peter Welch’s Gym in South Boston at 3 p.m. McGregor will be taking on Max Holloway in a preliminary bout Saturday.

“[McGregor] is the man in Ireland, he is the new big thing coming out of Ireland,” White said. “This kid has got a great personality, and I love his mentality about fighting: He likes to come in and he likes to finish people.”

On Wednesday, the UFC will hold open workouts at TD Garden from 1-3 p.m. At 7 p.m., there will be a charity dinner to benefit the Shawn Thornton Foundation featuring White, UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin, and an appearance by UFC Octagon Girls.

The Fight Night press conference, featuring all of the premier fighters, with White hosting, will be Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Wang Theater.

The official weigh-ins will be Friday at TD Garden at approximately 4 p.m.

Other bouts on the card include Travis Browne vs. Alistair Overeem; Iuri Alcantara vs. Urijah Faber; Matt Brown vs. Mike Pyle; Uriah Hall vs. John Howard; and Michael “The Menace” Johnson vs. Joe Lauzon.

'The Truth and KG' wins in a photo finish at Saratoga

Posted by Staff August 13, 2013 11:20 AM


Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett may be done winning basketball games for the Boston Celtics, but it appears their namesakes’ are still coming through in the clutch.

The former Celtics greats’ nicknames were combined and given to a race horse that competed at Saratoga on Monday, Aug. 12. And just as Pierce and Garnett came through for the Celtics for many years, The Truth and KG came through with a photo finish victory, wearing green silks and No. 5 no less.

With 7-2 odds in Race 7 on Monday, The Truth and KG started off the race in second place, not far back from Bernie the Maestro (5-2) who got out to an early lead. Race-favorite Hello Lover, at 6-5 odds, fell back at the beginning but was able to make up ground heading into the final stretch.

Bernie the Maestro and The Truth and KG were neck and neck heading down the straightaway, with Hello Lover closing fast from the outside. It looked like Bernie the Maestro was going to take the race halfway into the final quarter mile, but The Truth and KG surged back to catch Bernie the Maestro.

Hello Lover could not make up the ground he lost at the beginning of the race, falling just short of an epic comeback. The initial finish was too close to call, and photo review showed that The Truth and KG just crossed the line about a nose before Bernie the Maestro and a head before Hello Lover.

The Truth and KG went through the quarter mile in 22.8 seconds, through the half mile in 45.07, hit the three quarters mark in 1:09.13, and finished in 1:22.26, an incredible 13.13 second last quarter mile.

Link to full video: http://boston.barstoolsports.com/random-thoughts/the-truth-and-kg-just-doing-what-they-do-at-saratoga/

Big Papi and the little baby

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff August 9, 2013 07:52 AM


File under: Star-Spangled Baby.

David Ortiz took the baby of some Red Sox fans into his arms for a photo opportunity before the start of the national anthem Thursday night in Kansas City.

Once the anthem started playing, Big Papi decided to keep the baby in his arms for the duration of the song.

Watch the video above for the festivities.

David Ortiz holds a fan's baby before Thursday's game

David Ortiz holds a fan's baby before Thursday's game against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. (AP)

Royalty For Life wins Hambletonian

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff August 3, 2013 03:06 PM

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Royalty For Life led wire-to-wire to win the 88th Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack. (Dan Heary/Special to Boston.com)


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Royalty For Life, born and raised in Massachusetts and trained by Norfolk's George Ducharme, won harness racing's biggest event on Saturday, going wire-to-wire in the Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Driven by Brian Sears, Royalty For Life started along the rail in the Hambletonian final, gained the lead by the first turn and expanded the lead in the homestretch to claim the $500,000 top prize.

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For driver Brian Sears (left), it was his second Hambletonian victory. Trainer George Ducharme won his first title. (Dan Heary photo)

“Words can’t describe what this means to me, I never ever thought that I’d be at this spot being a little guy from Massachusetts training a bunch of homebreds and the fact it turned out to be like this is just amazing," Ducharme said.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman made the presentation of the trophy to one of Royalty For Life's owners, Al Ross of South Dartmouth, Mass.

"I’m accepting this on behalf of the Boston Red Sox,” Ross quipped.

Royalty For Life finished three and a quarter lengths ahead of Smilin Eli.

"He had the better horse. I felt like I got all I could get," said Smilin Eli driver Tim Tetrick.

Royalty For Life advanced to the final of the 88th Hambletonian after running away with the first elimination race Saturday.

Royalty For Life was born at Courtlin Farm in Belchertown, Mass.

Pictures: 2013 Hambletonian

Aaron Hernandez claims innocence in letter from jail

Posted by Matt Pepin, Boston.com Staff August 1, 2013 05:07 PM
The website TMZ has published a letter it claims was written by former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in response to a letter he received in jail.

"I know everything happens for a reason and I know 'God' has a plan for me and something good will come out of this," the hand-written letter reads. "The world just makes things out of false accusations and it will all die down, especially when they say not guilty and all the people that turned on me will feel like crap."

According to TMZ, the letter was provided by a man named Karl who says he was in the same jail 15 years ago and wanted to provide some encouragement.

"I'm humbled by this already and this will change me forever. At least I'll know my true supporters. Thanks for being one of them!" the letter also reads.

Hernandez is being held at the Bristol County House of Correction while he awaits trial on a murder charge in connection with the death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd.

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