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12/02/2011 - 3:56pm
McCourty: Hope shoulder 'feels best' Sunday

FOXBORO -- In an indication that he might be ready to return to game action on Sunday, Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty said Friday that he has been able to make significant progress in healing his injured right shoulder. McCourty, who reportedly separated the shoulder when teammate Sterling Moore drilled him in the second quarter of the Jets game Nov. 13, took off the ice wrap following practice Friday and discussed his progress with reporters for several minutes. 

"Just out there in practice, trying to do everything I can in practice and I think that's the biggest test, seeing what I can do and how much I can just be who I am as a player and play," McCourty said. 

"It feels a lot better. It's getting better and I'm hoping that each day that when I wake up I move it around and it feels better than it did the day before."

As for playing Sunday? "That's when I hope it feels best by," McCourty said...

12/02/2011 - 3:56pm
Rondo's agent: Trade rumors 'disturbing'

Bill Duffy, the agent for Rajon Rondo, told the Boston Herald that the rumors of a possible deal involving the Celtics point guard have been challenging for Rondo to hear.

“It’s just disturbing,” said Duffy. “It’s disturbing for everybody. It’s disturbing for me. It’s disturbing for him, because it makes one think, ‘Where do I stand in this relationship?’ Particularly because he’s a darn good player, and this is a very successful franchise, and he’s one of the key players on the franchise.”

Duffy said that he talked to Celtics GM Danny Ainge about the reports. He emerged from those conversations reassured that the Celtics still see Rondo as a part of their future. 

“I’m told that he’s their guy,” Duffy told...

12/02/2011 - 3:09pm
Magadan to return as Red Sox hitting coach

Dave Magadan confirmed to WEEI.com that he will return to the Red Sox as their hitting coach in 2012. Magadan, who has been the Sox' hitting coach since 2007, received a call from new manager Bobby Valentine late Friday morning offering him to stay on in the job. 

"I think we have a really good thing going," Magadan said from his Tampa-area home. "For the first time since I've been there, last year we finished near the top of almost every category. It was good to get a vote of confidence from the front office, and Bobby concurring with the way they felt."

The Red Sox led the American League in runs per game (5.40), were second in average (.280), first in OBP (.349), first in slugging percentage (.461) and first in OPS (.810) in 2011. Indeed, in Magadan's five years as hitting coach, the Sox rank in the top two teams in the majors in all five of those categories.

"I think in the back of my mind I always felt...

12/02/2011 - 2:39pm
Cherington: 'I've spoken with' Beckett

Speaking on the Mut & Merloni show, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said that he has talked to Josh Beckett on more than one occasion this offseason and remains optimistic the pitcher will be in a good mindset heading into the 2012 season.

"I've spoken with Josh at least a couple of times since the season ended," Cherington said. "I really have a great deal of respect for Josh. He's carried us at certain points during his time with the Red Sox. When he's on the mound I trust him, and we have a good chance to win that game when he's out there. You guys know he has a lot of pride, he's competitive. I don't believe anyone should be judged on one moment. We should be judge people by the body of work in a sort of larger picture, and through that lens Josh has been an incredible player for us, an incredible pitcher for us, an incredible part of our team for a long time. We've achieved things at a team in large part because of his...

12/02/2011 - 2:38pm
Cherington: 'Don't think' Sveum was a fit

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, during an appearance on the Mut & Merloni show, said that while former Brewers hitting coach and new Cubs manager Dale Sveum emerged as an early front-runner in the Sox' managerial search, he did not believe that in the end the former Sox third base coach would have represented the right fit for the Sox. Cherington suggested that experience did become a separating factor, to the point where Bobby Valentine (armed with 15 seasons of experience as a big league manager in the majors and seven more in Japan's NPB) was hired over Gene Lamont, a veteran of eight seasons as a manager with the White Sox and Pirates.

"I don’t think [Sveum would have been hired at the end of the process]," said Cherington. "I think the way this evolved, as we got deeper into the process, this was a learning experience for me. This was the first time I’ve run a managerial search process. I was involved in a much...

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