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02/27/2012 - 10:29am
Francona: Sox' beer ban 'a PR move'

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona on Monday weighed in on the team's decision to ban alcohol in the clubhouse following reports of pitchers drinking during games last season.

"I think it's a PR move," Francona said during an appearance on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning." "I think if a guy wants a beer, he can probably get one. You know, it's kind of the old rule. ... If your coach in football says no hard liquor on the plane -- I mean, you serve beer and wine -- somebody's going to sneak liquor on the plane. If you furnish a little bit, it almost keeps it to a minimum."

Added Francona: "I don't think it's a surprise that they put this in effect, or the fact that they announced it. It's probably more of a PR move just because, you know, the Red Sox took such a beating at the end of the year."

Francona implied that had he remained at the helm of the team, the situation might have...

02/27/2012 - 9:31am
Youkilis ends D&C boycott: 'It's a new year'

Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis surprised Dennis & Callahan Monday morning by ending his boycott of the show and stopping by for a visit at spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.

Youkilis had not spoken with D&C for a couple of years after he took offense to some comments the hosts made.

Said Youkilis: "There's things in the past that were said, and not agreeable on a lot of things. … I'm moving past a lot of things. It's a new year and it's going to be a great year. So, why rehash on all that other stuff?"

The hosts were convinced that they offended Youkilis with their comment that he had "married up" in a previous relationship, but Youkilis said that wasn't the line that put him over the edge.

"There was stuff that was said off the air that we talked about, and it was portrayed in a different light," he said. "The one that got me upset was the charity comment. There was a charity...

02/27/2012 - 8:12am
Mashup: Kobe breaks nose at All-Star Game

Kevin Durant scored 34 points and was the MVP of the All-Star Game as the West held off the East in Orlando Sunday night, 152-149, but the lasting image was that of Kobe Bryant suffering a nasal fracture after a hard foul from Dwyane Wade in the third quarter.

Bryant, who scored 27 points to become the All-Star Game's career leader in points with 271 (passing Michael Jordan), finished the game after wiping away some blood. He skipped the postgame press conference after reportedly experiencing headaches and is expected to see a specialist.

The game almost turned into a blowout, but the East rallied from an 18-point deficit to make it an exciting finish. With a chance for the East to tie in the final seconds, LeBron James' pass was picked off by Blake Griffin. "Definitely wish I could have that one back," said James, who scored 36 points to lead the East while Wade recorded a triple-double.

For the Celtics, Paul Pierce played 11...

02/27/2012 - 1:47am
Beckett: No apology 'for being distracted'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, in a lengthy interview with WEEI.com, said that he was distracted in the final month of last season while contemplating the imminent birth of his first child, but he won't apologize for that fact.

"I'm not going apologize for being distracted," Beckett said. "It's not going to happen."

Indeed, Beckett -- coming off a year in which he went 13-7 with a career-best 2.89 ERA -- said that as much as he cares about his profession as a pitcher, his family does come before baseball at this point in his life.

"I almost think people want me to think the other way around and I think that's absolutely absurd. To ask a man to care more about a Major League Baseball game -- and I know it's a Major League Baseball game -- than he does about what's going on with his wife, who's due any minute," said Beckett. "If somebody reads this or somebody thinks I'm wrong, they...

02/26/2012 - 4:57pm
Ellsbury: 'Wish I would've won' MVP

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Speaking publicly to the Boston media for the first time since Detroit's Justin Verlander narrowly edged him out for the 2011 American League MVP, Jacoby Ellsbury said Sunday that he admits he was a little disappointed that the best year of his career so far didn't result in winning the award. 

"Well, we're playing against the best competition in the world," Ellsbury said. "Obviously, I did everything I could, left it all on the field last year. When I found out about the results, I was happy for Justin Verlander but at the same time, being as competitive as I am, I wish I would've won. I bet if you ask all those other guys, they would say the same thing, too. That's how I look at it, we're playing against the best players in the world, definitely held my head high and finished second."

Ellsbury hinted that that award might be one of the goals he's setting for himself this season as he looks to follow up...

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