Blog en Rodney Harrison brings the attitude: Darrelle Revis is ‘best cornerback on the planet’ <!--paging_filter--><p><iframe width="600" height="360" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>FOXBORO &#8212; <a href="" class="r_lapi">Rodney Harrison</a> has never been one to hold back. Friday night certainly was no different as he told some out-of-school stories minutes after <a href="" class="r_lapi">Ty Law</a> was formally inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in at Patriot Place. </p> <p>Then, just like his playing days, the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Sunday Night Football</a> analyst began to drop the hammer. </p> <p>Harrison said he loves the fact that the cornerbacks are playing an aggressive brand of physical football, especially at the line of scrimmage. </p> <p>&#8220;That&#8217;s perfect,&#8221; She began. &#8220;You&#8217;re supposed to hate those receivers. Every time, you&#8217;re supposed choke them to death, get them at the line of scrimmages. It think that&#8217;s what I think <a href="" class="r_lapi">Darrelle Revis</a> will bring. Whether he&#8217;s an outspoken guy, lead by example. He&#8217;s going to choke you at the line of scrimmage. He can play left, he can play right. All this talk about <a href="" class="r_lapi">Patrick Peterson</a>, Richard Sherman, who&#8217;s the best cornerback? The best cornerback on the planet is right here in New England, and he will prove it this year.&#8221; </p> <p>Then Harrison laid into the defensive backs of the last several seasons and blamed them for the Patriots falling short of a fourth <a href="" class="r_lapi">Super Bowl</a> title. </p> <p>&#8220;The last how many years since I&#8217;ve been retired, six years, I&#8217;ve been very disappointed quite frankly,&#8221; Harrison said. &#8220;I take pride in this Patriot team and what <a href="" class="r_lapi">Bill Belichick</a> believes in. To see the type of guys that were on that stage and not have that same type of production, it hurt my heart to have to criticize this secondary on Sunday night. It hurt my heart. </p> <p>&#8220;But at the same time, there has to be a certain level of accountability. You get to the point where you realize that, yes it&#8217;s nice to score points on offense but you need defense and you need guys that aren&#8217;t afraid to jam guys and play man-to-man coverage and hit you in the mouth and I think that&#8217;s what Browner and Revis gives you.</p> <p><span id="more-68525"></span></p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s attitude. It&#8217;s about being excited about playing football. You have an opportunity to play for the greatest organization on the planet. How can you not come out here and get it done? It&#8217;s not good enough to win a playoff game, it&#8217;s not good enough to make it to the AFC championship game. It&#8217;s time to win a <a href="" class="r_lapi">Super Bowl</a> and everybody has to be held accountable.&#8221;</p> <p>With Browner, the Patriots have another physical defensive back who plays aggressively, and Harrison said that&#8217;s exactly what has been missing in the secondary. Now with all the pieces in place on his defense, it&#8217;s definitely <a href="" class="r_lapi">Super Bowl</a> or bust for <a href="" class="r_lapi">the Pats</a>. </p> <p>&#8220;That&#8217;s it. <a href="" class="r_lapi">Bill Belichick</a>, he doesn&#8217;t go into a season say, &#8216;Hey, this is a successful season if we win 12 games.&#8217; No. It&#8217;s about getting to the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Super Bowl</a> and winning,&#8221; Harrison said. </p> <p>As for the question of leadership and whether there&#8217;s enough to last the whole season, Harrison is optimistic that Belichick has brought in enough of the right attitude to make it work. </p> <p>&#8220;You can&#8217;t be a leader if you don&#8217;t have an attitude,&#8221; he said. &#8220;You&#8217;ve got to have an attitude. You have to have some pride about yourself. You have to understand how important it is to show and do things right on an every day basis and hold yourself accountable as well as teammates. </p> <p>&#8220;We weren&#8217;t afraid to get in guys&#8217; faces and say, &#8216;Hey man, you&#8217;re slacking.&#8217; Your professional pride, you get in a guy&#8217;s face, he&#8217;s going to step it up or he&#8217;s going to be replaced. And that&#8217;s what I miss. I go back to the word accountability. And that&#8217;s what I expect from this team. You&#8217;ve got <a href="" class="r_lapi">Tom Brady</a>. You have the opportunity to play with one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play this game. How can you not get pumped up?</p> <p>&#8220;My old friend <a href="" class="r_lapi">Junior Seau</a> used to say, &#8216;I get paid to practice. I play the games for free.&#8217; How can you not get excited about coming in the stadium and playing in front of 70, 80-thousand people, and get excited? It&#8217;s just crazy. When these young players finally walk away from the game, they&#8217;ll finally realize what it meant to be a Patriot.</p> <p>&#8220;On Sundays, we just showed up because we felt like we outworked everyone, we out-prepared, we outlifted, we ran. We ate better. We did everything. We were smarter. That&#8217;s where you win, out on the practice field, out in the meetings. These young players have to understand that.&#8221;</p> Blog patriots Other Sat, 02 Aug 2014 05:00:05 +0000 491651 at Mike Petraglia, Chris Price on Ty Law, Rodney Harrison and Patriots attitude <!--paging_filter--><p><iframe width="600" height="360" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>FOXBORO &#8212;;s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price size up former Patriots <a href="" class="r_lapi">Ty Law</a> and <a href="" class="r_lapi">Rodney Harrison</a>, their Patriots&#8217; attitude and how it might work with <a href="" class="r_lapi">Darrelle Revis</a> as the Patriots held an in-stadium training camp practice Friday night at <a href="" class="r_lapi">Gillette Stadium</a>. </p> Blog patriots Other Sat, 02 Aug 2014 03:50:00 +0000 491526 at David Ross appears headed to disabled list after likely tearing plantar fascia <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_57730" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-57730" src="" alt="David Ross" width="150" height="248" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a class="r_lapi" href="">David Ross</a></p></div> <p>According to team sources, it is believed <a href="" class="r_lapi">David Ross</a> has ruptured the plantar fascia in his right foot. The injury, which occurred while the catcher was running to first base on a sixth-inning ground out, will most likely land the catcher on the 15-day disabled list.</p> <p>The rupture is actually a positive development for Ross, who has been dealing with plantar fasciitis for some time. (He believed the injury cropped up after over-compensating for an ankle injury suffered in mid-May.) The only way for the injury to heal is for the tendon to rupture, a reality Ross was introduced when experiencing the injury in 2007.</p> <p>The healing process for such an injury can vary from days to weeks</p> <p>After the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a>&#8216; 4-3 win over <a class="r_lapi" href="">the Yankees</a>, manager <a class="r_lapi" href="">John Farrell</a> was non-committal regarding the injury.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;€™ll evaluate him tomorrow. Looks like he&#8217;€™s got some pain in that plantar fascia tendon,&#8221; Farrell said. &#8220;We&#8217;€™ll take a look at him tomorrow to make any determination at that point.&#8221;</p> <p>Ross said after aggravating the injury July 22 that he was hoping such an occurrence would take place at some point as to start the healing process.</p> <p>&#8216;€œIn the offseason I ruptured it and that&#8217;€™€s what they do when they do surgery, they just go in and cut it,&#8217;€ he said after that game in Toronto. &#8216;€œSo I ruptured it and it hasn&#8217;€™t been a problem since. I was running today with the intent of letting that thing blow out. It would feel a lot better if it would.&#8217;€</p> <p>Dan Butler, who is on the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a>&#8216;€™ 40-man roster, was pulled from the Pawtucket Red Sox&#8217;€™ game Friday night. It is likely that the 27-year-old will replace Ross on the active roster.</p> <p>Butler has never played in the major leagues, having compiled a .222 batting average, and .637 OPS with four home runs in 75 games.</p> Blog red sox Other Sat, 02 Aug 2014 03:44:51 +0000 491541 at Darrelle Revis not in ‘competition’ with Tom Brady in camp <!--paging_filter--><p>FOXBORO &#8212; <a href="" class="r_lapi">Darrelle Revis</a> didn&#8217;t get a chance to continue his mastery of <a href="" class="r_lapi">Tom Brady</a> Friday night at the in-stadium training camp practice for fans. It was a night for <a href="" class="r_lapi">Ryan Mallett</a> and Jimmy Garoppolo to get most of the reps while the starters focused primarily on individual drills and up-tempo walk-throughs. </p> <p>Still, Revis smiled and laughed when asked about the significance so far of his outstanding play in camp against Brady, including a pick-six on Thursday. </p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;€™ll tell you what, it&#8217;€™s not because I&#8217;m his teammate &#8216;€“ I played against him a number of years when I was in New York &#8216;€“ he&#8217;€™s one of the best to ever play,&#8221; Revis said. &#8220;You can see it even in practice by going against him every day. He&#8217;€™s a hard worker and he brings the best out of you. It&#8217;€™s awesome, man. </p> <p>&#8220;Going back and forth &#8216;€“ I&#8217;m not going to call it a competition. We&#8217;€™re teammates, we&#8217;€™re just trying to get each other better and we&#8217;€™re trying to work hard together. Sometimes he gets a play. It goes back and forth. The good thing about it is it&#8217;€™s great competition and the only thing we can do is look at it as getting each other better and just going out there and working hard.&#8221;</p> <p>Revis won&#8217;t have to worry about picking off Brady next week as he and his defensive teammates will be going up against RGIII and the new-look Jay Gruden-led Redskins in Richmond, Va. starting early Monday morning. </p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;€™ve been doing that all camp, it&#8217;€™s nothing new,&#8221; Revis said of going against a different team. &#8220;We&#8217;€™re just going against another team, getting ready for them and getting prepared, just [going] out there and [doing] our jobs.&#8221;</p> <p>Revis was also humbled to be called the &#8220;greatest cornerback on the plantet&#8221; by <a href="" class="r_lapi">Rodney Harrison</a>, who added that Revis is going to prove that this season with the Patriots. </p> <p><span id="more-68520"></span></p> <p>&#8220;I don&#8217;€™t even have words for it man,&#8221; Revis said of the praise. &#8220;I respect those guys so much, growing up watching them. Watching Ty, and learning from Ty, seeing Rodney play as well. You forgot <a href="" class="r_lapi">Troy Brown</a>, he played in the nickel as well. It&#8217;€™s great man, I&#8217;€™m just trying to play the best ball I can and play at a high level. That&#8217;€™s why I love to play this game &#8216;€“ to play at a high level and compete.&#8221;</p> <p>And lead. Harrison said that Revis won&#8217;t need to always be vocal because he leads with his work on and off the field. </p> <p>&#8220;Lead by example,&#8221; Revis said of his style. &#8220;I think we&#8217;€™ve got a great group of veteran guys on this team. This is my first year on this team and I&#8217;€™m just trying to come in and make sure I&#8217;€™m getting accepted by everyone. One thing I&#8217;€™m trying to do is lead by example. I think that&#8217;€™s what every leader is doing on this team, just trying to lead by example and go out there and work hard and prepare and get ready for this upcoming season.&#8221;</p> <p>Here is the rest of Revis from Friday night: </p> <p><strong>Q: How was it being out here on the new turf inside the stadium with the fans around you?</strong></p> <p>DR: It&#8217;€™s awesome man, it&#8217;€™s good for us to get our work in but it&#8217;€™s also to give the fans a show out here and come out here so they can see us practice. It&#8217;€™s awesome man, they are having fun with it and we are trying to have fun with it but also get work in. </p> <p><strong>Q: Is there extra pressure on you to see these guys here tonight and see all the success they&#8217;€™ve had?</strong></p> <p>DR: There&#8217;€™s always pressure for us as NFL players about going out and just playing every Sunday. Those guys are legends. They&#8217;€™re definitely legends. I respect all of those guys. I think one thing, as you look at it is, is you just try to enjoy this moment. Guys got honored today and you just enjoy their success and what they did and just go from there. You don&#8217;€™t really want to try to compare even the teams together. I mean, they had great teams when they played. The only thing we can control as a team right now is to finish up training camp strong and get ready and get prepared for the year.</p> <p><strong>Q: One thing Rodney Harrison and <a href="" class="r_lapi">Ty Law</a> both mentioned is that <a href="" class="r_lapi">Bill Belichick</a> won&#8217;€™t pigeonhole you. They both said you can do a lot of different things and Bill will allow you to do different things. Have you already started to see that here in training camp and go to him and say &#8216;€˜I&#8217;€™d like to do this and this&#8217;€™ or &#8216;€˜This fits my game&#8217;€™?</strong></p> <p>DR: You know, Coach Belichick is very open about football. It&#8217;€™s football talk. He&#8217;€™s very open about it. You can go to him about anything. You can ask him about anything. We&#8217;€™re just trying to get ready. We&#8217;€™re just trying to get ready and get prepared. Anything that&#8217;€™s best for the team, that&#8217;€™s the best position that&#8217;€™s going to put us in a position to win. That&#8217;€™s all we try to do: football talk. We talk all the time about what&#8217;€™s the best position for the team for us to win.</p> Blog patriots Other Sat, 02 Aug 2014 03:42:15 +0000 491531 at Bill Belichick welcomes back an ‘awesome’ group of DBs, looks forward to ‘competitive’ camp continuing <!--paging_filter--><p><iframe width="600" height="360" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>FOXBORO &#8212; The way <a href="" class="r_lapi">Bill Belichick</a> spoke after Friday night&#8217;s in-stadium practice, he was half-tempted to ask <a href="" class="r_lapi">Ty Law</a>, <a href="" class="r_lapi">Rodney Harrison</a>, Otis Smith and Lawyer Milloy to suit up and join his current Patriot team on the field. </p> <p>Certainly, that foursome has the competitive desire and attitude if not the youth and talent left to go out for one more practice. That&#8217;s why Belichick spent a good portion of the practice over the sideline chatting up all four, including Milloy, whom he infamously jettisoned before the 2003 opener in Buffalo. </p> <p>All four were in town together of course to pay tribute to Law, who became the latest Patriot inducted into the team&#8217;s hall of fame Friday night. </p> <p>&#8220;It was a good group here tonight, it really was,&#8221; Belichick said. &#8220;It was awesome to see those guys. It&#8217;€™s a pretty good secondary standing over there with Ty and Otis at the corner, Rodney and Lawyer at safety and then we&#8217;€™ve got <a href="" class="r_lapi">Troy Brown</a> could be our nickel back. That was an awesome group of guys, plus a bunch of other ones but that&#8217;€™s an awesome group of guys. </p> <p>&#8220;So deserving for Ty. He was a great player here and I had the opportunity to coach Ty when I coached the secondary in &#8216;€™96 and really met with him every day, coached him every day. He and Lawyer are special players to come back. Ty played great obviously when I was head coach in those championship years. It&#8217;€™s good see him and well deserved for his recognition. He&#8217;€™s truly one of the great Patriot players and a champion.&#8221;</p> <p>They&#8217;€™re obviously done but can they provide leadership just by example from what they did as past Patriots?</p> <p>&#8220;Well, I think we&#8217;€™re all proud of the tradition of this team in the past &#8216;€“ the coaches, the players, all of us that were involved with it,&#8221; Belichick said. &#8220;I think that&#8217;€™s always something you want to be proud of and sustain but it&#8217;€™s really up to this team to be this team. We&#8217;€™ll see what we can do.&#8221;</p> <p>Belichick said rookie running back and punt returner Roy Finch will be evaluated after having to leave practice midway through after suffering an apparent lower body injury. The Boston Herald reports that the injury was a knee but is not believed to be serious. </p> <p>The Patriots will have a players&#8217; day off on Saturday before traveling to Richmond, Va. on Sunday. The Patriots will practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday against the Redskins before opening their preseason next Thursday night at <a href="" class="r_lapi">FedEx Field</a> in Landover, Md. against the Redskins. </p> <p><span id="more-68517"></span></p> <p>Here are some other Belichick takeaways from Friday night: </p> <p>BB: Always nice to be out tonight with the fans of Foxborough and our season ticket holders. [There'€™s] a lot of energy in the stadium. I think everybody enjoys the environment. It&#8217;€™s good for us &#8216;€“ first time on the new turf so it&#8217;€™s good for us to get out here and experience the field, the stadium, the kicking game, under the lights, the way it&#8217;€™s going to be in preseason and so forth. I think it was a good night for us tonight. We&#8217;€™re looking forward to heading down to Washington [and] competing against the Redskins next week. I think it will be a good opportunity for us so hopefully we&#8217;€™re ready for it.</p> <p><strong>Q: Talking about joint practices, you&#8217;€™ve done that before. What&#8217;€™s the value for you to work against another team?</strong></p> <p>BB: Just getting a different look, looking at different schemes, different players, different matchups. Hopefully it will help our evaluation of our team.</p> <p><strong>Q: Are you concerned about any risks? Players on different teams go at it, it gets competitive. I know you&#8217;€™ve had situations before where potential injuries occur.</strong></p> <p>BB: We&#8217;€™re only putting 11 of our guys out there now, instead of 22.</p> <p><strong>Q: It looked like a conscious effort to get <a href="" class="r_lapi">Ryan Mallett</a> and Jimmy Garoppolo some more work tonight. How do you think they responded?</strong></p> <p>BB: It&#8217;€™s training camp so everybody has some good and some they&#8217;€™d like to have back. That&#8217;€™s part of the process &#8216;€“ just trying to learn and improve and keep working at it. We&#8217;€™ll find out a lot next week, where we&#8217;€™re at.</p> <p><strong>Q: Brandon Browner got into it with a couple people at practice the other day. Do you like to see that intensity?</strong></p> <p>BB: Football is a competitive game.</p> <p><strong>Q: Can you talk about the challenges Washington will give your defense in practice?</strong></p> <p>BB: Obviously we&#8217;€™re not game planning for them or anything. We&#8217;€™ll just go down there, do what we do and they&#8217;€™ll do what they do and we&#8217;€™ll kind of figure it out as we go. It will be a good experience for us to work against Coach [Jay] Gruden&#8217;€™s offense, Coach [Jim] Haslett&#8217;€™s defense and see some different matchups. We&#8217;€™ve seen our guys go against our guys a lot and now we&#8217;€™ll get to see them go against somebody else. I think we&#8217;€™re all looking forward to it. I think it will be a helpful evaluation for our team.</p> <p><strong>Q: How is the chemistry of your secondary coming together after adding established veterans like <a href="" class="r_lapi">Darrelle Revis</a> and Brandon Browner?</strong></p> <p>BB: Everything is a work in progress. We&#8217;€™re just a week into training camp. We&#8217;€™ll see how it all plays out. Those guys have all worked hard. They seem to work well together but we haven&#8217;€™t played anybody yet. We haven&#8217;€™t done it under pressure. We&#8217;€™ll see how it all comes together.</p> <p><strong>Q: Do you sense it&#8217;€™s been more competitive with the defensive backs against your passing game at this point?</strong></p> <p>BB: It&#8217;€™s always competitive. It&#8217;€™s training camp.</p> <p><strong>Q: Any different from the past?</strong></p> <p>BB: It&#8217;€™s been competitive in the past and I&#8217;€™d say it&#8217;€™s been competitive this year.</p> Blog patriots Other Sat, 02 Aug 2014 03:18:30 +0000 491516 at Closing Time: New-look Red Sox take win over Yankees <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_76044" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-medium wp-image-76044" src="" alt="Yoenis Cespedes didn't play Friday night, but he was around to watch the Red Sox beat the Yankees. (AP)" width="300" height="212" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Yoenis Cespedes didn&#8217;t play Friday night, but he was around to watch the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> beat <a href="" class="r_lapi">the Yankees</a>. (AP)</p></div> <p>Not a bad start for the new-look <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a>.</p> <p>Just one day after dealing five players on the major league roster in four deadline moves, the Sox began their new direction with a 4-3 win over <a class="r_lapi" href="">the Yankees</a> Friday night in the opener of their three-game series at <a class="r_lapi" href="">Fenway Park</a>.</p> <p>The <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a> welcomed a pair of new faces in <strong>Allen Craig</strong>, who was acquired from St. Louis in a trade for <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">John Lackey</a></strong>, and starting pitcher <strong>Anthony Ranaudo</strong>, who was called up to the majors from Triple-A Pawtucket in the wake of trading <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Jon Lester</a> </strong>and Lackey.</p> <p>Craig contributed a double in a what was a relatively lively offensive effort. The Sox&#8217; four runs were their most in a game since last Friday in Tampa Bay, which is saying much considering they scored just six runs combined in a three-game series against the Blue Jays this week. Eight different players reached base safely in the nine-hit effort.</p> <p>The offensive effort wasn&#8217;t nearly as strong as Ranaudo&#8217;s work on the mound, however. The 24-year-old allowed two runs on four hits over six innings for his first big league win. His only notable mistake came in the fourth inning when <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Carlos Beltran</a> </strong>drove a 1-0 pitch into the bullpen for a solo home run.</p> <p><strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Dustin Pedroia</a> </strong>led the Sox offensively with two hits and two RBIs.</p> <p>The win improves the Sox&#8217; record to 49-60 for the season.</p> <p><strong>WHAT WENT RIGHT</strong><span id="more-76021"></span></p> <p>&#8211; It was a more than ideal debut for two Red Sox newcomers Friday night. Ranaudo&#8217;s effort was most impressive. The rookie held <a class="r_lapi" href="">the Yankees</a> to four hits and avoided any high pressure situations. New York had more than one base runner on at a time just once for the game, and failed to score in that situation. Ranaudo was, however, hurt by some command issues. He allowed four walks, struck out one and threw just 53 of his 91 pitches for strikes.</p> <p>Craig got his first hit since July 22 after going 1-for-4? Friday with a double to left in the third. Craig was part of a logjam in the Cardinals&#8217; outfield this season, limiting his playing time while trying to battle career-worst struggles. His four at-bats Friday were his most in a game since July 13.</p> <p>&#8211; If the Sox are going to improve offensively, they&#8217;ll need more run production from the top of the order. Friday was a good start. Hitters one through three &#8211; <strong>Brock Holt</strong>, Pedroia<strong> </strong>and <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">David Ortiz</a> </strong>&#8211; combined for four hits, three RBIs and a pair of runs. They were especially key in the Sox&#8217; two-run third inning. Holt led off the frame with a triple to the right field corner, then scored on a ground-rule double by Pedroia to dead center. Ortiz singled to right to score Pedroia and give the Sox something they haven&#8217;t had much this season: an early two-run lead.</p> <p>The triple was a nice boost for Holt, who had just three hits in his last 29 at-bats prior to that plate appearance. The super utility player also broke a four-game strikeout streak. Pedroia, on the other hand, continues to roll. His two-hit effort marked his third multi-hit game and his fifth in the last seven.</p> <p>&#8211; On Wednesday, the left side of the Sox&#8217; infield included Bogaerts at third base and <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Stephen Drew</a> </strong>at shortstop. On Friday, <strong>Will Middlebrooks </strong>was at third for his first major league game in over two months and Bogaerts made his long-awaited return to short. The results were solid both on the field and at the plate. Bogaerts went 1-for-4 with a single and Middlebrooks doubled and scored a run.</p> <p>Bogaerts made a nice diving stop on a <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Jacoby Ellsbury</a></strong> grounder heading to center field, but the speedy Ellsbury beat out the throw for an infield single. The play ultimately counts as a base hit, but the effort was one worth noting as Bogaerts tries to show he can handle a full-time shortstop role.</p> <p>&#8211; Also making his mark in the field Friday night was <strong>Mookie Betts</strong>, who made an impressive over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track in center to rob Ellbury of extra bases. Betts is still new to playing a major league outfield after being forced to switch from his original second base spot, so the catch is sure to give the 21-year-old some confidence as he continues to learn his new position.</p> <p><strong>WHAT WENT WRONG</strong></p> <p>&#8211; <strong>Junichi Tazawa</strong> was hit hard in what was nearly a costly eighth inning for the Red Sox. <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Derek Jeter</a></strong> led off the inning with a first-pitch solo shot over the Wall in left field. Tazawa would&#8217;ve given up a potential triple to deep center to Ellsbury one batter later if it weren&#8217;t for Betts&#8217; leaping heroics. <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Mark Teixeira</a> </strong>followed with a ground-rule double and Tazawa walked <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Brian McCann</a></strong> with two outs and Teixeira on third before escaping trouble by forcing <strong>Chase Headley </strong>to ground out.</p> <p>&#8211; The Red Sox have found themselves on the wrong side of challenges pretty regularly this season. Friday was no different. Ellsbury<strong> </strong>was initially called out on a stolen base attempt in the top of the sixth inning. But after a challenge by Yankees&#8217; manager <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Joe Girardi</a></strong>, the umpires ruled that Ellsbury slid underneath Bogaerts and into second before he could apply the tag. Beltran drove the outfielder in two batters later to score the Yankees&#8217; second run.</p> <p>&#8211; <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">David Ross</a> </strong>left the game after the sixth inning due to what was described as right foot plantar fasciitis recurrence. Ross was hobbling to first while running out a ground ball he hit to third. The catcher was immediately replaced by <strong>Christian Vazquez </strong>the following inning.</p> Blog red sox Other Sat, 02 Aug 2014 02:13:16 +0000 491461 at Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes introduced in Oakland <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_76040" style="width: 310px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-medium wp-image-76040" src="" alt="Jon Lester, Jonny Gomes were introduced in Oakland Friday. (AP)" width="300" height="177" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="" class="r_lapi">Jon Lester</a>, Jonny Gomes were introduced in Oakland Friday. (AP)</p></div> <p>Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes were welcomed to Oakland, Friday afternoon. Once at the podium, there were few surprises.</p> <p>Here is what Lester and Gomes had to say to the assembled media at the O.Co Coliseum:</p> <p><strong>LESTER</strong></p> <p><strong>Initial reaction trade?</strong></p> <p>I think excitement. Obviously leaving Boston after being there for so long is difficult, but I&#8217;€™m excited to be here, going from a team that hasn&#8217;€™t done so well this year to the team with the best record in baseball is exciting. Fortunately I have a few faces here that I recognize and know well, so it should make the transition pretty smooth.</p> <p><strong>Being part of Oakland rotation</strong></p> <p>It looks great. I&#8217;€™ve got to see a few of these guys from the other side pitch against us in the past, and they&#8217;€™ve done really well, and obviously their numbers speak for themselves. Hopefully I can just fill my spot and do my job and give some innings and give these guys a chance to swing the bat and score some runs.</p> <p><strong>What last few days were like</strong></p> <p>The anxiety of it, not knowing where you&#8217;€™re going to be &#8216;€¦ having a family makes it difficult. When you leave someplace you call home for eight years, that made it harder. But, like I said, I&#8217;€™m happy to be here and happy to be a part of this, and hopefully I can contribute.</p> <p><strong>Thoughts on A&#8217;s from afar</strong></p> <p>Full of energy. They play the game the right way. Obviously their pitching staff has always been strong. It&#8217;€™ll be fun to be a part of. They&#8217;€™ve got a lot of young guys that have already been around awhile, so the youth and the energy is still there. It&#8217;€™s exciting to be a part of it and see it from the other dugout now.</p> <p><strong>Pressure of winning</strong></p> <p>I wouldn&#8217;€™t say pressure. These guys have been in the playoffs before, they&#8217;€™ve made runs before, it&#8217;€™s not going to be anything new to a lot of these guys here. Hopefully with adding us, we can maybe just add a little bit more experience the further side of it, going deeper, and help out as best we can as those situations once we get there. But I wouldn&#8217;€™t say pressure. I think these guys here expect to go the playoffs every year now. It&#8217;€™s a good atmosphere to have when you have the clubhouse in the same direction, having the same goal.</p> <p><strong>Difference in pitching in new park</strong></p> <p>Obviously having the Monster 300 feet away isn&#8217;€™t exactly great for pitching, but it&#8217;€™s a lot more foul territory, bigger in gaps, it&#8217;€™s going to be fun to see what those doubles that scrape the wall are fly balls to left. It&#8217;€™ll be nice to see that instead of the cheap doubles. We&#8217;€™ll see. I&#8217;€™ll just pitch my style and see what happens.</p> <p><strong>Importance of relationship with Oakland pitching coach Curt Young</strong></p> <p>Huge. That&#8217;€™ll definitely make the transition a little bit easier. You go through a lot of ups and downs, a lot of trials and errors, stuff you get into in bullpens, during a game, and he knows how I am as a competitor and a person. That makes a transition for me as a pitcher, and our catchers, defense, a little bit easier. You don&#8217;€™t have to learn someone all over again. He knows that from a full season, so it&#8217;€™ll make it a lot easier on me and hopefully on the team.</p> <p><strong>Relationship with <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a></strong></p> <p>Any time you negotiate with a team and it doesn&#8217;€™t go the way everyone wants it, there&#8217;€™s always a little bit of disappointment, but that&#8217;€™s not to say the effort wasn&#8217;€™t there on both sides to get something done. But my time in Boston will be something I always remember and cherish, from 2002 to yesterday. I&#8217;€™ve got nothing but great things to say about the organization, the way they treated me, treated my family through the good times and bad times. We&#8217;€™ll see where that relationship goes later on, but right now I&#8217;€™m an A and I&#8217;€™m going to go out and perform for these guys and do the best I can to bring the championship here.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><span id="more-76038"></span></p> <p><strong>GOMES</strong></p> <p><strong>On Lester</strong></p> <p>Lester knows, you create a different bond of guys when you go through a season that takes you into the playoffs. Like last year with the Sox and the year before here. Little biased from my end, growing up in the area, being an A&#8217;€™s fan. I always thought it was unique coming here. I went from A&#8217;€™s pajamas to an A&#8217;€™s uniform in about 22 years. I put a lot of work into the young guys, physically, mentally &#8212; like a proud father watching these guys take off, see six A&#8217;€™s in the All-Star Game, that was pretty cool. So I of course kept tabs on individual guys, as well as the organization.</p> <p><strong>On returning to Oakland</strong></p> <p>When I left here, it was one of the most unique things, being a part of it. To get standing ovation from the crowd and even get your opponents, the Tigers, to top their caps, you really realize how magical that season was. The effort that went into what we accomplished. I was fortunate enough to have that lifelong goal to get that <a href="" class="r_lapi">World Series</a> ring. I thought I was hungry to get that World Series ring. Now that I have it, I&#8217;€™ve become starving for it. It really sinks home to that&#8217;€™s what we play for. It&#8217;€™s not the contract, it&#8217;€™s not the fancy cleats, this and that. It&#8217;€™s separating yourself, being a World champion. The history of Fenway is pretty awesome, obviously, but you come here and look up to the three-time World champs, one of two teams to do that, the history of winning is here. There are some alum here that expect a title out of this organization.</p> <p><strong>More thoughts on Lester</strong></p> <p>Not only is this guy well-decorated and climbing the totem pole of the left-handers in the game and left-handers in the postseason, that&#8217;€™s what you guys get to see. You guys don&#8217;€™t get to see the work ethic, what goes into his success, what goes into his championship pedigree, something I didn&#8217;€™t know on the other side. It truly is a breath of fresh air to know the best pitcher on the team is also the hardest-working guy on the team. We both realized early on in our career why we play 162. 162 is just the appetizer for what this game&#8217;€™s all about. This is a pretty big piece to add to a ballclub. I&#8217;€™ve been blessed and lucky to have behind him. I can&#8217;€™t think of a better guy to toe the rubber in a big situation.</p> <p><strong>Walk back in and treat it like you never left?</strong></p> <p>These guys have done an unbelievable job this year and last year without me. I hope I did have a little bit of an impact on their career to get here, some of the guys. But I&#8217;€™m not here to mix things up, be the new sheriff in town. I&#8217;€™m just here to add on to what this team has done to this point. I&#8217;€™m just coming in all business right now. There were six of them at the All-Star Game. I haven&#8217;€™t been to one. These little guys are trumping me. I&#8217;€™m just going to come in, be Jonny Gomes and be ready when Bob Melvin calls on me.</p> Blog red sox Other Sat, 02 Aug 2014 01:40:11 +0000 491396 at Allen Craig hoping to turn page, start new chapter with Red Sox <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_75990" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="" rel="attachment wp-att-75990"><img class="size-full wp-image-75990" src="" alt="Allen Craig" width="150" height="218" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Allen Craig</p></div> <p>The 2014 has certainly not gone the way that <strong>Allen Craig</strong> wanted it to go. After having his offseason cut short due to the <a class="r_lapi" href="">World Series</a> and rehabbing an ankle injury, Craig has struggled at the plate to the tune of a .236 batting average, .291 on-base percentage, seven home runs and 44 RBIs. After finishing 21st in the <a class="r_lapi" href="">National League</a> Most Valuable Player balloting in 2013, Craig has certainly fallen back in terms of offensive production.</p> <p>The trade to the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a>, in a way, represents a clean slate for the outfielder to start fresh. <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> manager <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">John Farrell</a></strong> says that right now, the focus for the team is to get Craig firmly supplanted in Boston and comfortable in his new surroundings.</p> <p>&#8220;<span style="color: #000000">I&#8217;ve had a chance to talk to Allen a little bit today and we haven&#8217;t really started to dig in to get his feedback,&#8221; Farrell said. &#8220;Today has been about&#8230; </span>just getting him settled in a little bit. We&#8217;ll get to know what he&#8217;s been dealing with a little bit more specifically as his at-bats are witnesses here. We&#8217;re clearly excited to have him.&#8221;</p> <p>Craig said he was surprised to hear that he had been treaded because he hadn&#8217;t heard very many rumors.</p> <p>&#8220;<span style="color: #000000">I was surprised. As the day went on, I started to get really excited about where I was going to go,&#8221; Craig said. &#8220;I think it&#8217;s still sinking in, being in the clubhouse and seeing a lot of faces and putting names to faces and that type of stuff. I&#8217;m looking forward to getting down there and playing ball.&#8221;</span></p> <p>The struggles that Craig has endured this season have been part of a big learning process for the 30-year-old.</p> <p>&#8220;<span style="color: #000000">Making adjustments and figuring out pitchers are going to do to you. I feel like I learned a lot from the first half of my season and I&#8217;m ready to look forward,&#8221; Craig said. &#8220;The first half of was frustrating. Ups and downs, but this is part of the learning curve of this game. It&#8217;d be nice to go out there and be great every single night, but sometimes you need to learn and I definitely learned.&#8221;</span></p> <p>Craig does not consider his shortened offseason as an excuse for his struggles.</p> <p>&#8220;I never like to use anything as an excuse,&#8221; Craig said. &#8220;My offseason was cut short because we played in the <a href="" class="r_lapi">World Series</a> and it was long. In that regard, my offseason was a little bit shorter, but I was healthy going into this year and I&#8217;m healthy now and that&#8217;s something that I&#8217;ve put in the past and I feel good and ready to go.&#8221;</p> <p>For Craig, coming back to <a class="r_lapi" href="">Fenway Park</a> brings back memories of playing in the <a href="" class="r_lapi">World Series</a> for the Cardinals. The outfielder says playing at Fenway for the first time during the World Series was an incredibly positive experience.</p> <p>&#8220;<span style="color: #000000">I loved the atmosphere. It was a great experience for me and I&#8217;m happy to be back,&#8221; Craig said. &#8220;It&#8217;s cool to be on this side of the clubhouse and get to know the guys on this side.&#8221;</span></p> <p>Craig, who says he will contribute offense to the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> lineup, has not thought through about how hitting in <a href="" class="r_lapi">Fenway Park</a> will benefit him.</p> <p>&#8220;<span style="color: #000000">I&#8217;m just excited to be a part of this organization and get to know these guys,&#8221; Craig said. &#8220;Obviously, the tradition here is rich and winning the World Series last year and I&#8217;m just here to do my part and contribute to a good team.&#8221;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Blog red sox Other Sat, 02 Aug 2014 01:06:48 +0000 491391 at Friday night practice notes: Backup QBs in spotlight <!--paging_filter--><p>FOXBORO &#8212; The Patriots wrapped up their annual in-stadium practice session Friday evening on front of a sizable crowd Foxboro residents, season ticketholders and those who ended up sticking around after the <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Ty Law</a></strong> Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The workout ran for roughly 90 minutes, and was held in full pads &#8212; it was the eighth camp session of the summer for the Patriots, the sixth one in full pads, and the final workout before the team heads for Richmond and joint practices with the Redskins next week in the days leading up to the preseason opener.</p> <p>Here are a few quick notes:</p> <p>&#8211; The following players were not in pads with the rest of their teammates for the session: wide receiver <strong>Aaron Dobson</strong>, defensive back <strong>Jemea Thomas</strong>, running back <strong>Tyler Gaffney</strong>, linebacker <strong>Cameron Gordon</strong>, linebacker <strong>Deontae Skinner</strong>, tight end <strong>Michael Hoomanawanui</strong>, offensive lineman <strong>Chris Martin</strong>, defensive lineman <strong>Dominique Easley</strong> and wide receiver <strong>Jeremy Gallon</strong>.</p> <p>&#8211; A large part of the evening session was given over to the backup quarterbacks, with <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Ryan Mallett</a></strong> and <strong>Jimmy Garoppolo</strong> getting the bulk of the work. Maybe it was just because the news broke earlier in the day <a href="" target="_blank">the Patriots had kicked the tires on veteran quarterback</a> <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Brady Quinn</a></strong>, but it was interesting to see <a href="" class="r_lapi">Tom Brady</a>&#8216;s two backups get so much work in what really amounted to a high-profile practice session.</p> <p>&#8211; In 7-on-7s near the start of the workouts, Garoppolo got the majority of reps, and was up and down. <strong>Malcolm Butler</strong> had a nice pass breakup on a ball from Garoppolo meant for <strong>Derrick Johnson</strong>. On the next play,. he failed to connect with <strong>D.J. Williams</strong>. On the third attempt, he made a nice connection on a comeback route along the sidelines for his pal <strong>Brian Tyms</strong>, and followed that up with a sharp looking pass to <strong>Roy Finch</strong>.</p> <p>&#8211; In 11-on-11s midway through practice, Finch caught a nice little dump off from Mallett, but went crashing out of bounds, careening into a handful of players. He collided with Davis on the sidelines, and both of them stayed down for a stretch. Davis was eventually helped to his feet, but Finch stayed down for an extended stretch before being helped to his feet, and then, leaving for the locker room. In the same series of 11-on-11s, <strong>Logan Ryan</strong> picked off Mallett, and the backup quarterback also overthrew Johnson.</p> <p>&#8211; In the next 11-on-11 session &#8212; after a brief break for kick return an kick coverage work &#8212; Mallett looked efficient working the backup offense down the field, making a good connection with <strong>Wilson Van Hooser</strong>. (It was interesting to see rookie tackle <strong>Cameron Fleming</strong> working as right tackle with what appeared to be the No. 2 unit.) Garoppolo followed that up with an uneven performance &#8212; on one play, the pocket broke down and he scrambled away before overthrowing <strong>Asa Watson</strong>. Garoppolo ended the session by overthrowing running back <strong>Stephen Houston</strong>. After that, it was mostly handoffs. An uneven performance for the backup QBs, and Garoppolo in particular.</p> <p>&#8211; No contact in the 11-on-11s for <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Rob Gronkowski</a></strong>, but he continues to look good in his routes, running and cutting and not looking constricted in the drill work.</p> <p>&#8211; As has been the case since he returned to the field, <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Matthew Slater</a></strong> was running with the wide receivers in the drills. In year&#8217;s past &#8212; if memory serves &#8212; Slater has also spent time working out with the defensive backs as well. In that same vein, fullback <strong>James Develin</strong> continues to work with the tight ends as opposed to the rest of the backs.</p> <p>&#8211; When it comes to Slater, he and <strong>Kanorris Davis</strong> were probably the two hardest working guys on the field through the first part of the session. Under the guidance of special teams coach <strong>Scotty O&#8217;Brien</strong>, the two were running sideline-to-sideline, looking like they were working on gunning/coverage work. Davis is an intriguing prospect &#8212; he spent some time on the active roster and the practice squad over the last year plus, and distinguished himself as someone who isn&#8217;t afraid to throw his body around with near reckless abandoned. (Fans may remember <strong>Brandon McGowan</strong> with the same approach a few years ago &#8212; Davis has the same sort of playing style.)</p> <p>&#8211; <strong>Travis Hawkins</strong>, <strong>Josh Boyce</strong> and Slater appeared to get the majority of work in kick return drills. Hawkins, who returned kicks as a collegian at Delaware, displayed a nice field awareness, and didn&#8217;t appear overwhelmed by the spotlight. If he&#8217;s able to continue on the same track that he&#8217;s been on over the course of the summer, he could figure into the mix as a possible backup kick returner.</p> <p>&#8211; It appeared that <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Bill Belichick</a></strong> spent the majority of the session on the sidelines talking with Law and <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">Rodney Harrison</a></strong>.</p> Blog patriots Other Sat, 02 Aug 2014 00:30:14 +0000 491331 at Ty Law gives thanks during an emotional hall of fame speech at Patriot Place <!--paging_filter--><p><iframe width="600" height="360" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>After a 32-minute acceptance speech and a 10-minute roasting that included the reunion of Patriots secondary from the early 2000s, <a href="" class="r_lapi">Ty Law</a> gave a little something back to the Patriots, namely owner Robert Kraft. </p> <p>Every Patriots fan recalls Law leading the dance parties in the parades after each of the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Super Bowl</a> wins. Law wanted to go back to the future Friday night after his induction speech and celebrate in a way only Ty Law can, a dance. He gave the Patriots owner a new pair of kicks and the party was underway. </p> Blog patriots Other Sat, 02 Aug 2014 00:08:23 +0000 491326 at Stephen Drew caught off guard by end-of-deadline trade to visiting Yankees <!--paging_filter--><p>It was 3:50 p.m. Thursday, just 10 minutes before <a class="r_lapi" href="">Major League Baseball</a>&#8216;s trade deadline, and <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Stephen Drew</a></strong>&#8216;s phone had been quiet all day.</p> <div id="attachment_57743" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-57743" src="" alt="Stephen Drew" width="150" height="232" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="" class="r_lapi">Stephen Drew</a></p></div> <p>The shortstop was simply enjoying his off day. He brought his two kids to teammate <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Jon Lester</a></strong>&#8216;s home while the pitcher was out attending a birthday party and was outside enjoying the summer weather while the kids were playing. At this point, the thought of being traded so late seemed improbable.</p> <p>&#8220;To be honest, I wasn&#8217;t even monitoring it,&#8221; he said.</p> <p>About five minutes later, Drew received a call. He had been traded to <a class="r_lapi" href="">the Yankees</a> for infielder <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Kelly Johnson</a></strong>. Drew was soon on his way to <a class="r_lapi" href="">Fenway Park</a> to clean out his locker.</p> <p>Fortunately for Drew, <a href="" class="r_lapi">the Yankees</a> were coming to Boston Friday to begin a three-game series at Fenway. So his travels consisted of nothing more than moving his stuff from the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a>&#8216; clubhouse over to the visitor clubhouse on the other end of the park.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;It&#8217;s definitely different, over there just playing a game and then an off day and then the moves,&#8221; Drew said. &#8220;It comes with the business though. We all know that as players, we know that as our job.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;It is different walking across from the guys you were just playing with a day ago. Was over there with them, now I&#8217;m over here. I&#8217;m excited, it&#8217;s going to be a new challenge and I&#8217;m looking forward to it.&#8221;</p> <p class="p1">Drew was a contributing member of the Sox&#8217; 2013 <a class="r_lapi" href="">World Series</a> championship team, but wasn&#8217;t brought re-signed by the team until early May to add infield depth while rookie <b>Xander Bogaerts </b>was still acclimating to playing shortstop in the big leagues. <span id="more-76011"></span></p> <p class="p1">The move ultimately failed. Drew was liability at the plate, hitting .176/.255/.328 in 40 games. Meanwhile, the Sox were slipping into the AL East stellar and Bogaerts appeared negatively affected by the move back to third.</p> <p class="p1">But Drew joins the Yankees hoping for a fresh start. He has new teammates to meet, a new No. 33 Yankees jersey and a new position to play at second base.</p> <p class="p1">Most importantly for Drew, he goes from a last-place team to a club just 3 1/2 games out of a wild card spot entering Friday.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;Over there was definitely not expected,&#8221; Drew said. &#8220;It&#8217;s something over there everybody wishes that you could&#8217;ve turned around and started over in spring training, but that&#8217;s the way this game is. It&#8217;s definitely something that &#8212; it&#8217;s been kind of crazy that two months that I had when I was there.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;I&#8217;m just trying to move past that now and looking forward to being here with the Yankees and help this organization the best I can. We&#8217;re still in a race so it&#8217;s fun for me.&#8221;</p> <p class="p1">As for his new position, Drew said it&#8217;ll be worth moving from shortstop to second in order to play alongside <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Derek Jeter</a></strong>, who he said he idolized growing up.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;I&#8217;m just going to take this opportunity and run with it and looking forward to playing beside a future Hall of Famer with Jeter,&#8221; Drew said.</p> <p class="p1">He said of playing second base: &#8220;I think it&#8217;s just getting acclimated to it, just playing there every day and learning that position as much as I can as fast as I can.&#8221;</p> <p class="p1">The trade reunites Drew with former teammate <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Jacoby Ellsbury</a></strong>, whom Drew playing with on the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> last season. Ellsbury, who signed a seven-year, $153 million contract with the Yankees in the offseason, texted Drew after he heard the news to offer any advice he can give.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;He was a teammate last year,&#8221; Ellsbury said of Drew. &#8220;Obviously we won it all so you&#8217;re close with those guys. He&#8217;s a very good player and a good friend of mine.&#8221;</p> <p class="p1">Drew spoke fondly of his time with the Red Sox before leaving the clubhouse to embark on his first batting practice with the Yankees.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;My time with Boston, there&#8217;s nothing negative about it,&#8221; he said. &#8220;This is just the nature of how baseball works and the memories I have over there, last year winning a <a href="" class="r_lapi">World Series</a> and being a big part of that, it&#8217;s huge and I&#8217;m thankful for the opportunity I got over there last year and coming in and playing short for them and doing well.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;Playing over there with [<strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Dustin Pedroia</a></strong>], he&#8217;ll be a Hall of Fame second baseman over there as well so to play with two Hall of Famers is pretty neat for me.&#8221;</p> Blog red sox Other Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:59:15 +0000 491306 at Yoenis Cespedes on trade: ‘I feel very happy… to share a part of my career with the Red Sox’ <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_76013" style="width: 341px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href="" rel="attachment wp-att-76013"><img class="wp-image-76013" src="" alt="Yoenis Cespedes" width="331" height="442" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text">Yoenis Cespedes hopes to provide pop to the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a> lineup. (Joon Lee/</p></div> <p>The legend of <strong>Yoenis Cespedes</strong> is already larger than life. Cespedes, built more like an NFL fullback rather than an outfielder, makes throws from the outfield reminiscent of a bullets slicing through air and has won back-to-back Home Run Derbies.</p> <p>Cespedes has even been the subject of an internet viral video, one created by his agent that showcased the outfielder&#8217;s ability to hit baseball a mile, dance with his family and cook a whole pig over a roasting fire.</p> <p>But when Cespedes heard about the trade, he was partaking in activity that non-pig roasting, non-home run hitting mortals do on a daily basis.</p> <p>&#8220;<span style="color: #000000">I was sleeping when the news came through,&#8221; Cespedes said through a translator. &#8220;It caught me by surprise. There is a saying that only God knows why things happen.&#8221;</span></p> <p>The outfielder is currently hitting .256/.303/.464 with 17 home runs, 67 RBIs with 26 doubles and 62 runs scored. Manager <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">John Farrell</a></strong> said that Cespedes will play right field for the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a> moving forward, a spot unoccupied currently due to <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Shane Victorino</a></strong>&#8216;s latest stint on the disabled list. Cespedes said that he has some experience playing the position from his time in Cuba. The acquisition of Cespedes filled the need for a power-hitting outfielder with a major league ready talent.</p> <p>&#8220;W<span style="color: #000000">e&#8217;ve been very clear internally the need to improve and upgrade our offense was a goal,&#8221; Farrell said. &#8220;We&#8217;ve been able to do that through these trades. To be able to bring in a middle of the order, All-Star caliber bat from a contending team, it&#8217;s not typical. I think as this deal came about, it became unique in its own right and our ability to lengthen out the lineup with he and Allen Craig gives us that depth that has been lacking throughout the course of the season.&#8221;</span></p> <p>Cespedes, who is eligible to become a free agent after the 2015 season, said that he will be able to provide pop to the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a> lineup. How much pop, however, is unknown.</p> <p>&#8220;<span style="color: #000000">I know I have some power,&#8221; Cespedes said. &#8220;I can&#8217;t predict the amount of home runs I&#8217;m going to hit because when I&#8217;m there, I&#8217;m not looking to hit a home run, I&#8217;m just looking to make hard contract.&#8221;</span></p> <p>Cespedes feels that he has become a better player since arriving in America and will continue to improve as time rolls on.</p> <p>&#8220;<span style="color: #000000">I&#8217;ve been getting better and better,&#8221; Cespedes said. &#8220;Incrementally, just like anything, I can get better every day, just like anything else.&#8221;</span></p> <p>Cespedes, who defected from Cuba in summer of 2011 and signed with the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Oakland Athletics</a> before the 2012 season, is happy to call Boston his latest home.</p> <p>&#8220;<b style="color: #000000"></b><span style="color: #000000">I feel very happy to be able to share a part of my career with the <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a>,&#8221; Cespedes said. &#8220;In Cuba, I wasn&#8217;t able to watch too many <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a> games or any major league games for that matter, but the legend of <a class="r_lapi" href="">Fenway Park</a> precedes itself and I&#8217;m very excited to be here.&#8221;</span></p> Blog red sox Other Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:43:02 +0000 491311 at Jacoby Ellsbury: Jon Lester trade proves unpredictability of baseball business <!--paging_filter--><p>As baseball players, <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Jon Lester</a> </strong>and <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Jacoby Ellsbury</a> </strong>don&#8217;t have much in common. The way they&#8217;re built and their position on the field couldn&#8217;t make that more obvious.</p> <div id="attachment_75992" style="width: 160px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="size-full wp-image-75992" src="" alt="Jacoby Ellsbury" width="150" height="215" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="" class="r_lapi">Jacoby Ellsbury</a></p></div> <p>The former is a big, powerful starting pitcher known for his humble demeanor and his sneaky, game-changing ability on the mound. The latter is a speedy outfielder better known for his athleticism in the field and his threat on the base paths.</p> <p>However, one thing both players have in common, as of Thursday morning, is that they&#8217;re both former <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a>.</p> <p>Ellsbury left Boston via free agency in the offseason after signing with <a class="r_lapi" href="">the Yankees</a> on a seven-year, $153 million contract, a number unmatched by the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a>. Lester, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, was traded to Oakland at the deadline after contract negotiations failed to come to fruition.</p> <p>Ellsbury, in Boston Friday for <a href="" class="r_lapi">the Yankees</a>&#8216; three-game set at <a class="r_lapi" href="">Fenway Park</a>, came up through the Sox&#8217; minor league system with Lester and won a pair of <a class="r_lapi" href="">World Series</a> titles with him.</p> <p>While some may have been surprised to see Lester go, Ellsbury said he wasn&#8217;t sure what to expect given the business of baseball.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;It&#8217;s hard to say,&#8221; Ellsbury said. &#8220;You come up through the minor league system and that&#8217;s really all you know. Like I&#8217;ve said numerous times, I enjoyed my time in Boston and I think Lester has said the same thing but you just never know. You never know how it&#8217;s going to go. I wish him the best. Hopefully things work out how he wants it too.&#8221;</p> <p class="p1">The Lester trade was one of just four deals made by the Sox by Thursday&#8217;s 4 p.m. deadline. The deals represented a shift in focus for the last-place Sox, who appear to be rebuilding for next season.<span id="more-76009"></span></p> <p class="p1">The Yankees, however, are still in the hunt. New York is five games back in the AL East and 3 1/2 games out of the wild card entering Friday. If the money wasn&#8217;t enough justification for Ellsbury, the chance to win consistently appears to be an added incentive.</p> <p class="p1">Ellsbury, however, said he isn&#8217;t focused on what his former team is up to.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;You can&#8217;t really pay attention too much to what they&#8217;re doing,&#8221; he said. &#8220;You have to focus on the task at hand and that&#8217;s over here, trying to get where we want to go. We&#8217;re competing. We&#8217;re trying to get in the playoffs, grinding, trying to do everything we can to win.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;What I talked about when I came back was the opportunity to win every year. Once you get a taste of that <a href="" class="r_lapi">World Series</a> you want to experience it each and every year. Hopefully we&#8217;re stepping in the right direction.&#8221;</p> <p class="p1">Ellsbury is more than halfway through his first season with the rival Yankees. He&#8217;s already made his return to Fenway and faced the Sox numerous times. He said he doesn&#8217;t see much difference with the way the two organizations are run.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;At the end of the day it&#8217;s baseball,&#8221; he said. &#8220;You&#8217;ve got to go out there and compete, you&#8217;ve got to go out there and perform at a high level. Obviously both markets expect to win, which I appreciate. I appreciate that expectation that the fan base expects you to win going out there each and every night.</p> <p class="p1">&#8220;This is a first-class organization, but I&#8217;m happy I spent my seven years in Boston. Two World Series, definitely appreciative of my time over there, them drafting me, going through the minor league system. Nothing but good memories.&#8221;</p> Blog red sox Other Fri, 01 Aug 2014 23:34:29 +0000 491251 at Eagles CB Cary Williams: Patriots ‘are cheaters’ <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Cary Williams</strong> doesn&#8217;t like the Patriots.</p> <p>The Eagles cornerback dropped a &#8220;Spygate&#8221; reference when speaking with the Philadelphia media on Friday, adding that he believes there is no benefit to the upcoming joint practices between the Patriots and Eagles.</p> <p>&#8220;They are cheaters,&#8221; <a href="" target="_blank">he said</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;I give them all the credit in the world, but one fact remains: They haven&#8217;€™t won a <a class="r_lapi" href="">Super Bowl</a> since they got caught,&#8221; Williams said, referencing the video scandal that engulfed the Patriots in 2007.</p> <p>Williams was kicked out of the joint practices that were held between the Patriots and Eagles last season in a flap involving wide receiver <strong>Aaron Dobson</strong>. Williams said there&#8217;s no need for Philadelphia to have joint sessions with New England, scheduled to take place in Foxboro from Aug. 12-14.</p> <p>&#8220;To me, it&#8217;€™s not benefiting us, because they&#8217;€™ve already proven who they are,&#8221; said Williams, who also professed a distaste for the Steelers. &#8220;That&#8217;€™s their history. I don&#8217;€™t like them, not only because of that. I just don&#8217;€™t like them.&#8221;</p> <p>For more Patriots news, check out <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p> Blog patriots Other Fri, 01 Aug 2014 22:05:11 +0000 491196 at John Farrell: ‘We’re not in a development phase … Where we are is unacceptable’ <!--paging_filter--><div id="attachment_70389" style="width: 410px" class="wp-caption alignright"><a href=""><img class="wp-image-70389" src="" alt="John Farrell said that the Red Sox will not place player development over winning going forward. (AP)" width="400" height="222" /></a><p class="wp-caption-text"><a href="" class="r_lapi">John Farrell</a> said that the <a href="" class="r_lapi">Red Sox</a> will not place player development over winning going forward. (AP)</p></div> <p>A dispirited <a class="r_lapi" href="">Red Sox</a> team left <a class="r_lapi" href="">Fenway Park</a> on Wednesday. The team had just lost its third straight game to the Blue Jays. Trade winds whirled around a team that had lost eight of nine games to fall to 48-60, on pace for a 72-90 record that itself seemed like a potentially ambitious mark.</p> <p>But on Friday, with the Sox having brought back veteran components (<strong>Yoenis Cespedes</strong>, <strong>Allen Craig</strong>, <strong>Joe Kelly</strong>) while dealing away key veterans (<strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">Jon Lester</a></strong>, <strong><a href="" class="r_lapi">John Lackey</a>, Andrew</strong> <strong>Miller, <a href="" class="r_lapi">Stephen Drew</a></strong>), <strong>John Farrell</strong> suggested that the Sox were not going to be content to go through the motions while hoping that young players familiarize themselves with the big league setting over the duration of the season. <span id="more-76004"></span></p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s important to note that we&#8217;re not in a development phase. With the players we&#8217;ve been able to bring back, this isn&#8217;t a prospect-laden situation where now it&#8217;s getting exposure for young players. We&#8217;ve added established major-league players. Our intent, our goal every night is to go out and win,&#8221; said Sox manager <strong><a class="r_lapi" href="">John Farrell</a></strong>. &#8220;More than anything, where we are in the standings (12 1/2 games out, last place in the division) is unacceptable. That&#8217;s why changes were made. <span id="yui_3_16_0_1_1406771287758_264994" dir="ltr">This shouldn&#8217;€™t be seen as a chance to ease in. I don&#8217;€™t think that&#8217;€™s what the Red Sox are about. It&#8217;€™s still an approach and expectation that we share that our focus is a daily thing and that winning the game that night is important.</span></p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;ve met with every veteran guy leading up to the trading deadline. They&#8217;re well aware of what was to take place, and I think there&#8217;s an injection of enthusiasm with the players we&#8217;ve been able to bring back,&#8221; added Farrell. &#8220;So many times, when you hear of frontline players being traded, you&#8217;re anticipating prospects in return. We&#8217;ve been able to get established players, and that&#8217;s been a welcome sight in our clubhouse.&#8221;</p> Blog red sox Other Fri, 01 Aug 2014 22:00:12 +0000 491181 at