Morning sports update: Brian Cashman made a Star Wars reference describing the Yankees’ free agent priorities

The Yankees executive paraphrased Emperor Palpatine while discussing Bryce Harper.

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Yankees general manager Brian Cashman referenced Star Wars discussing Bryce Harper. –CHANG W. LEE

The Celtics defeated the Wizards in overtime on Wednesday night to extend the team’s winning streak to seven games. Kyrie Irving scored the final 12 points as Boston won, 130-125. The Hawks visit TD Garden on Friday.

The Bruins play on Friday as well, paying the Penguins a visit in Pittsburgh (7 p.m.), while the Patriots will be there on Sunday for an important matchup against the Steelers (4:25 p.m.)

Brian Cashman cites the “Death Star” while discussing Yankees’ intentions: Apparently, the longtime Red Sox perception of the Yankees as the “Evil Empire” has taken hold with Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.


Speaking during the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Cashman delivered a memorable Star Wars reference of his own when talking about free agent Bryce Harper.

“If something doesn’t make sense today, it doesn’t mean it won’t make sense tomorrow,” Cashman noted. “All I can keep telling you is, you know where my current focuses are, but at the same time we’re a fully operational Death Star.”

The reference was to a quote from a fictional character, Emperor Palpatine, in the movie “Empire Strikes Back.”

Harper, a versatile 26-year-old outfielder who hits for power, is one of the marquee free agents of the offseason. Cashman said earlier this week that the Yankees have outfield depth and aren’t interested in playing Harper at first base. This was news to Harper’s agent, Scott Boras.

“I’ve never heard the Yankees say that,” said Boras. “It might be that they say things to [reporters]. I don’t know. I wasn’t there.”

Boras also tried to explain the Yankees’ wait-it-out strategy with an analogy.

“When the nurse walks into the room with the thermometer, the issue is not what the thermometer says that day,” Boras explained. “The issue is, what’s the health of the patient when they’re ready to leave the hospital?”


“They’re not ready to leave the hospital yet,” Boras said, in apparent reference to the Yankees.

Cashman’s response to Boras was anything but definitive.

“I don’t have any reaction other than to say that we try to promote [that] we are a progressive, open-minded operation, that every day is different and that we are prepared to pivot and react at any moment.”

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Terry Rozier typified the Celtics’ early season struggles. Now he’s an example of how they’re working past it: When the talent-laden Celtics struggled through the first part of the season, it puzzled many experts who had picked Boston to win the Eastern Conference. Yet amid a seven-game winning streak, it’s now clear that the team has resolved some of its early issues. No one exemplifies this more than Terry Rozier, who has been asked to come off the bench with Kyrie Irving back in the lineup.

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“I was going through some stuff at the start of the season,” Rozier told Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports. “But something changed two or three weeks ago, and I’m feeling good about where I’m at.”

The main change that Rozier cites: “My attitude.”

This was a Wednesday night report on what Craig Kimbrel’s agent is seeking to get in free agency:

Colin Cowherd had a scorching hot take about Bill Belichick and Tom Brady:

Daily highlight: Jayson Tatum with the crossover, followed by a dunk: