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12/02/2011 - 11:30am
Belichick: 'I love Bobby'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick didn't mention whether or not he got comp meals at his Connecticut restaurant, but he did speak very fondly of Bobby Valentine on Friday, one day after the 61-year-old was introduced at Fenway as the 45th manager in Red Sox history.

"When I was in New York, Bobby was in New York with the Mets," Belichick said. "Love Bobby, great guy, great baseball guy. Love to talk to him, he's got a lot of energy. Don't get me wrong, I love Terry [Francona], but Bobby, I had a great relationship with Bobby in New York, went to several Mets games. Watched Keyshawn [Johnson] throw out the opening pitch and all that. Bobby is a wonderful guy. I look forward to catching up with him and seeing him here."

Belichick was in New York as Jets defensive coordinator from 1997 through 1999, paralleling Valentine's tenure as manager of the Mets. Valentine stayed in New York longer as his final season as Mets skipper came in 2002....

12/02/2011 - 8:31am
Sox talked to Bell before deal with Marlins

According a major league source, the Red Sox did show interest in closer Heath Bell, engaging in conversations with the reliever's representatives prior to Bell's reported agreement with the Miami Marlins.

The 34-year-old Bell, who is close friends with Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, has agreed to a three-year deal with the Marlins that would be worth $9 million per season with a vesting option for a fourth year. It is being reported that Bell will be in Miami to take his physical Friday.

According to the source, the Red Sox weren't prepared to match Miami's commitment to Bell partly due to concerns over a perceived dip in stuff -- his strikeout rate per nine innings dropped from 11.1 in 2010 to 7.3 in '11 -- and the fact the reliever's success has come while pitching home games in pitching-friendly Petco Park. (It...

12/02/2011 - 8:16am
Mashup: Raiders LB arrested on gun charge

Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain was arrested Thursday after allegedly firing a gun during a fight Wednesday night in Decatur, Ala., his hometown. McCain, 22, is accused of holding a gun next to a man's head and, after the man begged McClain not to shoot him, firing it by his ear. He faces charges of assault, menacing, reckless endangerment and firing a gun inside city limits. The alleged victim also said McClain punched him in the face, as did one of McClain's friends. He told police he went to the hospital with a broken nose, swollen eye and concussion.

This is the second incident for McClain in his hometown this year. In January, McClain called police and said he had been shot at while driving down a city street, causing $5,000 worth of damage to his vehicle. He also faces a lawsuit from a 2008 incident in which he allegedly assaulted a University of Alabama student.

Raiders coach Hue Jackson said McClain was in Alabama for the funeral of his...

12/02/2011 - 7:28am
Francona: 'Someone cut my legs out'

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona, in a long-scheduled appearance on The Big Show, said that the Boston Globe story suggesting that his ability to manage had been undermined by the use of prescription pain medications made him feel "terrible." He suggested that he had been happy to take responsibility for the organization's collapse on the way out the door, only to be caught off guard when he was hammered by allegations of personal conduct that Francona said were untrue.

Francona said that he was under the impression, after talking with reporter Bob Hohler the night before the story ran, that he had corrected the record and that there would be no suggestion that he had an issue with pain medications. And so, he was surprised when reading the story to see that such suggestions remained.

"When I hung up with Bob, I was under the impression that he understood. I could have gotten him to talk to [Dr. Larry Ronan, a Red Sox...

12/01/2011 - 8:14pm
Valentine: 'I would have taken one [year]'

Speaking after his introductory press conference at Fenway Park, new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine admitted that he would have settled for even less than deal -- two years with two team options -- than he settled on with the team.

"I think my response was about 20 minutes, and there was no counter offer," Valentine said. "I was very comfortable. Let it be known I would have taken one [year]."

Valentine said he received an email from Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington while the 61-year-old was in Japan, at 8:37 a.m. Tuesday morning (Eastern Standard Time). It was at that point, Valentine explained, that he actually started believing securing the job would be a possibility.

"I wouldn't let myself believe it until Ben sent me an email saying, 'I'm going to send you an email,'" Valentine said. "And I said, 'It's real.'"

Asked about the duration of his contract, and how it signals a "win...

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