DETROIT -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that, with Andrew Bailey sidelined for the first half of the season due to surgery on his right thumb, Alfredo Aceves will serve as the Sox' closer at the start of the season. Mark Melancon will be the alternate closer on days when Aceves is not available.
"He loves competition. I think he's one of the better competitors that I've seen," Valentine said of Aceves. "I could be wrong. I haven't seen him up close and personal in battle, but I believe that he's a very good competitor, to say nothing of a very good pitcher."
Valentine said that the decision was made based on what he saw this spring in the pitchers, as well as based on the familiarity of the American League. The Sox skipper added that he would "of course" be open to using Aceves for saves of more than three outs "if necessary."
With Bailey out, the Sox will open the year with 13 pitchers on the...
WILMINGTON - Tim Thomas, Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara all stayed out on the ice for extra work after Wednesday's practice, and all three players will join Johnny Boychuk in staying behind when the team travels to Ottawa for Thursday's game against the Senators. Of the four players, all but Boychuk will simply be given the game off for rest.
Boychuk left Tuesday night's loss to the Penguins in the third period with a leg injury, but Claude Julien offered no update on the status of the defenseman aside from the fact that he won't be making the trip.
Thursday's game will be the first this season in which Bergeron has not played, and it will leave Chris Kelly as the only Bruin to play in each contest. It will be Thomas' second straight scratch as the team aims to keep the reigning Conn Smythe winner fresh for the playoffs.
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
ESPN baseball reporter Buter Olney made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday and talked about the Red Sox' closing situation and Bobby Valentine's first spring training with Boston.
With Andrew Bailey out 3-4 months, Olney predicts Daniel Bard will head back to the bullpen at some point.
"I think eventually that's the way they're going to go," Olney said. "Because let's face it, given their assets that they have on hand, the easiest solution in the back end of the bullpen if Mark Melancon doesn't grab this by the throat would be to put Bard in that role. I can't see them having [Alfredo] Aceves as their closer the whole year. I just don't see it, for a couple of reasons. One, he hasn't done that in the past. And two, I just think that he's so valuable as a guy you can move around to do different jobs. He obviously did that very well for them last year.
"So, the easiest solution is to call up a guy...
WILMINGTON -- In an encouraging sign, Bruins forward Nathan Horton and goaltender Tuukka Rask skated for 40 minutes with strength and conditioning coach John Whitesides prior to Wednesday's practice at Ristuccia Arena. Neither player was on the ice as the team began practice Wednesday.
"Tuukka's been skating for a few days, and he's coming around," coach Claude Julien said after Wednesday's practice. "We hope to have him with us soon, at least in practice.
"With Nathan, it's just going out there -- nothing more than just skating and trying to get a feel of how things are. Nothing more than that. He's not close to joining us as we speak. Still keeping our fingers crossed that it's going in the right direction."
Horton has been out since Jan. 22, when he suffered his second concussion in seven months. He tried skating in February but had a setback and was shut back down. Wednesday marks the first...
NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy made his first weekly appearance of the 2012 season Wednesday morning on Dennis & Callahan, one day before the Sox open the regular season with a game against the Tigers in Detroit.
The big news this week is the thumb injury to Andrew Bailey that will require surgery and knock the closer out of action for 3-4 months. It's expected that the Sox will go with Alfredo Aceves or Mark Melancon to finish games, although they have converted setup man Daniel Bard in the rotation.
"I've got a feeling [Aceves] can get the job done," Remy said. "Last year, to me, was probably the most valuable pitcher on the team. I think he's got the stuff to be able to get the job done. He certainly has the mentality to get the job done. The problem is the catchers do have to catch him. They never know what he's going to throw. He throws whatever he wants. So, that could be an issue, too, come late in the game. I have...
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.
Danny Picard recaps the Red Sox 5-3 win over the Blue Jays.
Who is to blame for the Red Sox 10-9 loss to the Blue Jays? Danny points the finger.
Tim talks with Red Sox manager John Farrell before the Red Sox game against the Blue Jays. John talks about Clay Buchholz move to the bullpen and adjustments he expects him to have to make going from the starter to the bullpen.
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.
Mike Mutnansky, Butch Stearns, and Jon Meterparel discuss the absence of Malcolm Butler at last week's OTAs and replay a sound byte of Butler from May 21st on WEEI not wanting to discuss his contract. Is Malcolm Butler headed for a contract dispute, and how valuable is he?
Mike Mutnansky, Jon Meterparel and Butch Stearns discuss the Celtics and their level of interest in Kevin Durant after Oklahoma City's losses in games five and six; also what should the Celtics do with the third pick in the draft coming up in June?
Jon Meterparel handles Kirk Minhane's Headlines segment with sound from Robert Kraft at a Jewish University's commencement speech, Julian Edelman screaming 'Free Brady', and Johnny Depp in trouble with his ex Amanda Heard
With Malcolm Butler, Dont'a Hightower and Jamie Collins all emerging as stars, it's time for the Patriots to decide who they need to make a priority. Giardi and Bradford give their take on who should be the first to resign.
Giardi and Bradford debate why kids are more into the NBA and will be watching the Golden State vs. OKC game 7 tonight, and why no young fans will watch a neutral baseball game.
Mike Giardi and rob Bradford were in on Memorial Day and Bradford had a problem with how Mut, Meter and Butch took his comments out of context on the morning show. Also, Giardi and Bradford talk about what it would take to get Kevin Durant in Boston.
Laroy Streat keeps setting fire to the airways and talks people singing his Freestyle Fridays to him when they see him on the street! Catch our guy every friday via final drive! He's must listen radio!
We end the week with the best in sound Laroy Streat continues to set fire to the airways with his music.
The guys talk Red Sox pitching and the problems that could arise with Buchholz struggles.
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.
Mike and Rob discuss how OTAs are not the forum to make decisions on the future of the team and how fans on Twitter can't accept that. They also get into the contract situations for Malcolm Butler and Dont'a Hightower.More from this show
Deflategate rage explodes on the guys. They argue whether Brady is dragging it out or he should defend his innocence and the callers get in on the action.More from this show