FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima have been able to contact some, but not all, of their relatives in Japan in the aftermath of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that have hit the country. Matsuzaka said that his parents are fine, but he still awaits word on his grandmother, who resides in the prefecture of Aomori in northern Japan.
“It was definitely shocking waking up and hearing the news. But just receiving an e-mail and reading it, I wasn’t able to take in exactly what it was," Matsuzaka said. "But once I turned on the television and saw what was going on, it was quite shocking and very scary to see that.”
Okajima's parents, who reside inland in Kyoto, are also safe, but the reliever expressed concern about wife's family, which resides in the Kanto region, closer to the east coast of Japan.
"It’s not a...
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, in defending suspended center Dwight Howard, on Monday criticized the NBA and David Stern, saying the commissioner doesn't "tolerate other people's opinion or free speech or anything." Stern fired back Thursday, saying he would talk to the team's owners about the coach's comments and that he does not expect Van Gundy to criticize him again. "I have a feeling that some modicum of self-restraint will cause Stan and the team for which he works to rein in his aberrant behavior," Stern said.
Added Stern: "It didn't bother me personally. I see somebody whose team isn't performing, whose star player was suspended, who seems to be fraying. ... Whatever the pressures are that Stan is feeling, that he fell to whatever position he's in to say something like this, it made me sad."
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Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty was very upset when he learned that the NHL decided against suspending Zdeno Chara, but he made sure Thursday night that people knew he is not in favor of a criminal investigation.
"I sincerely appreciate all of the support that I have received since my injury," Pacioretty said in a statement. "I was disappointed that the NHL did not suspend Zdeno Chara. However, I have no desire for him to be prosecuted legally. I feel that the incident, as ugly as it was, was part of a hockey game.
"I understand that this is not my decision. I have respect and admiration for the authorities in Quebec. I simply wanted to make my opinion clear."
Following Thursday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Sabres, Zdeno Chara said he was relieved to be back playing and appreciated the words earlier in the day from Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty that the Bruins captain shouldn't be prosecuted for the hit during Tuesday's game in Montreal.
"It's obviously a nice gesture," Chara said. "It's something that, for sure, shouldn't go that far. It's something, like I said, very unfortuante. I keep repeating that. You feel bad about it. You don't want to see anybody get hurt and especially, in that case, upper body, and most likely, neck and head."
Word came on Thursday that Montreal authorities plan an investigation to determine whether criminal charges should be brought against Chara, whose hit into the turnbuckle at center ice gave Pacioretty a severe concussion and fractured a vertebrae in his back.
"We all feel bad about...
Former Bruin Brad Boyes took a pass from former Boston College star Nathan Gerbe and scored on a sprawling Tim Thomas with 1:16 left in overtime to lead the Sabres to a 4-3 win over the Bruins Thursday night at TD Garden. The Bruins have lost three straight after a season-best seven-game win streak.
Playing his first game since his hit on Max Pacioretty Tuesday in Montreal, Zdeno Chara received support from the sellout TD Garden crowd as he skated his first shift 30 seconds in to chants of "Chara, Chara, Chara." He also delivered a big hit later in the first period on Jason Pominville, which led to a break out and a chance for Nathan Horton.
But Chara and the Bruins fought the Sabres and the referees whistle all night as they were called for seven penalties that led to a pair of Buffalo power play goals. After Gregory Campbell gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead just 2:18 into the third, Mark Recchi and...
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