WEEI » This Just In
07/10/2011 - 9:42pm
Middlebrooks: 'One phone call' from bigs

PHOENIX -- A pair of Red Sox prospects from Double-A Portland took part in the All-Star Futures Game at Chase Field on Sunday. Outfielder Chih-Hsieh Chiang went 0-for-3 with a walk (and a rocket that turned into a groundout to short), while third baseman Will Middlebrooks went 1-for-2 with a single.

Middlebrooks, who is hitting .315 with a .359 OBP, .498 slugging mark and .857 OPS along with nine homers and 43 RBIs in 63 games this year in Portland, suggested that the opportunity to participate in the event represented a significant milestone in his push towards the majors.

"I just try to use it as a steppingstone. This is something in the journey. We’re close. All of us are close. Most of us are Double-A, Triple-A guys. You’re one phone call away. You’ve got to be ready," Middlebrooks said. "You never know [when you can be called up]. I’m trying to stay healthy, play good baseball. That’s all I can...

07/10/2011 - 7:51pm
Pierce dealing at World Series of Poker


Celtics captain Paul Pierce might be locked out of the NBA, but that hasn't stopped him from trying to make a little money on the side -- at the World Series of Poker's main event.

Pierce outlasted 2003 WSOP main event champion Chris Moneymaker and hundreds of others on Day 1 and will enter the second day of play on Monday with an estimated $63,750 in chips, according to an report. More than 2,500 poker players anted up the $10,000 buy-in fee.

Asked why he entered the Texas Hold 'Em tournament in Las Vegas, Pierce told "The [$8 million] prize. Who wouldn't want to try and win that?" He is slated to earn $15.3 million from the Celtics if and when the 2011-12 NBA season commences.

Pierce reportedly sported his 2008 NBA championship ring, green shoes, green and white socks, a hat with his No. 34 logo on the back and a pair of large headphones. He also received a six-hour massage while sitting...

07/10/2011 - 7:12pm
Tito: 'That's where somebody gets hurt'

Red Sox manager Terry Francona indicated the worst pitch of the day wasn't even a pitch that hit anyone. After Sunday's 8-6 Red Sox win over the Orioles, Francona said he had no problem with Kevin Youkilis getting hit on a changeup. But the manager was very concerned about the pitch that didn't hit David Ortiz in the sixth, a pitch from Mike Gonzalez that was a foot behind the Red Sox slugger.

"I wasn’t mad,” Francona said of the Jeremy Guthrie changeup that hit Youkilis, drawing a warning from home plate umpire Marty Foster to both benches. “Nobody was mad. Youk got hit with a changeup. I was very surprised.”

Francona said it appeared clear that Guthrie wasn’t trying to hit Youkilis with runners on first and second and one out in the fourth. That set the stage for Francona and Kyle Weiland — making his big league debut — getting ejected when Weiland hit Vladimir Guerrero on the right hand in the fifth...

07/10/2011 - 6:53pm
Varitek: O's 'can literally kiss my rear end'

Tired of listening to Baltimore's young players complain about the discrepancy in payrolls as the main reason for the big difference between the Red Sox and Orioles in the standings, Red Sox captain Jason Varitek finally decided to set the record straight following Sunday's 8-6 win that completed a four-game series sweep heading into the All-Star break. 

"We have some youth, too. So they can literally kiss my rear end," Varitek said when asked if he thought other teams like the Orioles were jealous of the Red Sox and their massive financial resources.

To Varitek's point, the Red Sox started 24-year-old Kyle Weiland Sunday in his major league debut. Weiland is the same age as Josh Reddick, who has assumed a regular spot in left field in the absence of the injured Carl Crawford. 

Kevin Gregg, who instigated Friday's brawl with David Ortiz, said after that game the Orioles won't be "intimidated" by the Red Sox and...

07/10/2011 - 5:00pm
Clean sweep: Sox top Birds for 6th straight

Marco Scutaro, Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis homered in a four-run second inning as the Red Sox wiped out an early 6-2 deficit and came back to beat the Orioles, 8-6, and complete a four-game sweep of the lowly Birds at Fenway Park. Five Red Sox batters, including Pedroia, had two hits on the afternoon, with Pedroia scoring three times. 

After a perfect first inning to begin his big league career, 24-year-old Red Sox righty Kyle Weiland was roughed up for six runs in the second inning, including a two-run homer from Derrek Lee. Weiland worked into the fifth inning but was ejected after hitting Vladimir Guerrero on the right hand with an inside fastball. Alfredo Aceves (4-1) pitched out of the fifth-inning jam that had runners on first and third and none out and earned the win. Aceves now is 18-2 in his big league career. 

The ejection, along with that of manager Terry Francona, was automatic since home plate umpire Marty Foster ruled...

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