DETROIT -- The Red Sox will feature a largely familiar lineup as they prepare to open the 2012 season against the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander. Jacoby Ellsbury will return to his familiar leadoff spot, followed by Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez. David Ortiz will bat cleanup behind Gonzalez, as the Sox feature back-to-back left-handed hitters, with Kevin Youkilis in the fifth spot.
Both Ortiz and Youkilis have solid career marks against Verlander. Youkilis is 6-for-20 (.300 average, .900 OPS) with two homers against the reigning Cy Young/MVP, while Ortiz is 5-for-18 (.278, .381 OBP, 1.048 OPS) with a pair of homers against him.
The left-handed Ryan Sweeney will bat sixth, with Cody Ross seventh for the group that will try to mount enough offense to back Jon Lester.
RED SOX LINEUP
The night before a Saints-49ers playoff game in January, since-suspended New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams instructed his players to inflict physical punishment on San Francisco players, and according to a documentary filmmaker who was present, intimated that he would pay for a hard hit on 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.
Williams brought up the name of wide receiver Michael Crabtree, hinting about a severe knee injury, and told his players to "put a lick on" receiver Kyle Williams in an effort to “find out” if he was still suffering from the effects of a late-December concussion. He also repeatedly used the phrase "Kill the head," and compared San Francisco running back Frank Gore as the "head" of the 49ers' offense. Williams then ramped things up.
“We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore’s head,” Williams told the players. “We want...
Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, known to Patriots fans as the player who caused major injuries to Tom Brady, Wes Welker and, this past season, Rob Gronkowski, is not happy with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's attempts to make the sport less dangerous.
"It’s getting out of hand," Pollard told Houston radio station KILT. "This is not powderpuff football, this is not flag football. This is a violent sport. And it’s a fun sport -- we all love playing this game. And we’re blessed by God to even go out there and display our talent to the world, but at the same time you can’t sit there and say, ‘We want guts, we want glory, we want heart.’ You can’t give a player heart but at the end of the day you tell him, “Well, hold on, but be careful when you go to make that hit.’ We wear helmets and shoulder pads. That means you’re supposed to go knock somebody around. We ain’t wearing flags....
Count Spurs coach Gregg Popovich as a fan of second-year Celtics guard Avery Bradley, who scored a game-high 19 points in their 87-86 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday.
“He’s a pain in the ass,” Popovich said. “I mean, the game starts and you know what he’s going to do. He’s going to cut from the corner to the bucket and lay it in. He’s going to cut diagonally from the top. You’ve got to give him credit. He knows his role and he does it very, very well. He killed us all night long.”
Bradley also played his usual lock-down defense, limiting Spurs' star Manu Ginobli to five points on just six shots. With Ray Allen's return from an injured ankle, Bradley returned to the bench, but coach Doc Rivers said he'll continue to play big minutes for the Celtics.
“It’s what I tried to tell you guys before the game,” Rivers said. “Start him or not, he’s going to play the...
Paul Pierce was making no excuses for taking the inbounds pass from Rajon Rondo and using the last 7.9 seconds of regulation before missing what would've been the game-winning shot against the Spurs Wednesday night at TD Garden. Instead, the shot - a jumper from the free throw line extended - clanged off the rim and left the Celtics thinking of what might have been in an 87-86 loss to the Spurs.
"This type of stuff is not really scripted," Pierce said. "You don't have an idea of what's going to happen in those types of situations. You get in those pressure situations and sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. But the thing is, I'm not going to second-guess my decision. I thought I got a great shot, created some space right there at the free throw line. It's just some days they fall, some days they don't."
Pierce was guarded by Tim Duncan after the Spurs made a switch that left their big man guarding a shooter...
Dale, Michael and Jerry dig into the details of this draft for the Patriots with ESPN's Mike Reiss.
Giardi and Price discuss the Tom Brady appeal getting overturned and Roger Goodell's victory tour. The guys can't believe the victory lap and some of his behavior. The more you listen to him, the more frustrating his behavior becomes.
Giardi and Price break down how the teams in the AFC East altered their futures after the NFL Draft weekend.
Jeff Goodman calls Mike and Rob to drop a ton of knowledge on the upcoming NBA Draft and some of the names available. Sorry fans - he doesn't see Kevin Durant or any big-named free agents coming to Boston and thinks they'll end up making the third pick this season. He also says that there is NO WAY he would trade next year's Brooklyn pick because the draft will be very deep. He discusses the chances of trading with Philly for Okafor, why he like Kris Dunn so much and much more.
Brad Stevens makes his first appearance on the Dale and Holley with Thornton show. We discuss the Atlanta series and what went wrong, and where the Celtics go from here.
Ian Thomsen of NBA.com joined Sam Packard and Jared Weiss to discuss the next moves for Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics with the NBA Draft Lottery rapidly approaching. They discussed the crazy ending to Game 2 of Thunder vs Spurs and picked the player they would build their pretend new franchise around.
Mut recaps the Sox 8-2 loss to the Rockies.
Joe and Tim are joined by the man of the hour, Wade Boggs, on the night where the Red Sox retired his number 26. Wade talks about his career in baseball and how it feels to have his number retired.
Joe and Tim are joined by Red Sox legend and baseball Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski about his time with the Red Sox and his thoughts on the 2016 team.
DJ and Pete continue to assess the season that was for the Bruins and look toward the future for the franchise and how they can improve.
DJ and Pete are together for the final Sunday Skate of the season. They get into their overall thoughts on the season, the Bruins keeping Claude Julien on as head coach and the end-of-season press conferences last week. They discuss the rebuild process, what the Bruins need and how they can obtain it. Plenty of callers have their own theories and opinions on all of these topics as well.
Butch is joined by two-thirds of the Sunday Skate show in DJ and Pete. The guys discuss the problems with Bruins including leadership and grit, who should stay and who should go and if Claude is to blame.
The guys go to battle with a caller who claims to be a Worcester attorney that would like to defend the role judge Andrew Mandell had in letting Jorge Zambrano back on the streets shortly before he killed a police officer.
Gary Tanguay, Gerry Callahan, and Kirk Minihane discuss the intel from TurtleBoySports.com which describes awkward judicial relationships between an Uxbridge judge, his daughter Ashley Losapio, and Losapio's boyfriend Giancarlo Zambrano, twin brother of cop killer Jorge Zambrano
A report says that late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle exaggerated his accomplishments during the Iraq War. Does it affect hero status for one of Gerry's all-time favorite people?
The guys discuss the absolute thrashing the Cleveland Cavaliers handed the Toronto Raptors last night.
Ted Olson, joins the guys to talk about how he and Tom Brady plan to attack the latest court ruling.
Glenn, Lou and Christian start the show by talking about the Red Sox retiring Wade Boggs' number. They also touch on the brief filed by the Patriots yesterday.
We discuss Wade Boggs, his attitude, legacy and decision to wear his NY Yankees ring on the night the Red Sox honored the 1986 team.
We discuss OMF"s interview with Ted Olson, the Amicus brief filed by the Patriots, and whether or not fans are sick of this fight and just want it to end, or if fighting to the bitter end is the right choice.
Inspired by Wade Boggs, we look at him and four other guys who's value wasn't realized until they were long gone.
Jerry is joined by Graig Murphy to talk stand up comedy. Until Graig pretty much hijacks the podcast to tell his side of the "Big Show Unfiltered" story.
Ben and Russ preview the Champions League Final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Who we want to win, who we think will win, and why. We also talk about our wishes for the USMNT.
The Dennis and Callahan malcontent is joined by former WEEI personality Pete Sheppard to talk about his past involvement with the station and his current gig in New Hampshire. You'll be glad to hear Pete hasn't changed one bit.
Ken Laird and Paul Chartier are officially the new producers of the Dennis and Callahan Show as Lucy Burdge bails out of the race, perhaps due to money concerns.More from this show
The producer search is over now that Paul and Ken have accepted the job. With their new found job security, they are free to bitch about working three A-holes, the Lucy charade, and the process behind getting the gig.More from this show