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04/05/2012 - 12:09pm
Phillips: Valentine takes pressure off players

Former Mets general manager Steve Phillips was a guest of the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday. Phillips discussed what it is like to work with Bobby Valentine as the team's manager and talked about how Valentine will do in Boston.

Phillips and Valentine worked together from 1997 to 2002 but had a difficult relationship in which their feuds frequently spilled out into the public arena through the media.

Despite their past personal issues, however, Phillips said he enjoys watching Valentine from afar and believes Valentine could be successful in Boston.

"To know that you are going to do something and say something that is going to create a controversy and people are going to attack you, yet you still believe it's the right thing to do, to have those sorts of strengths of your convictions, that's Bobby Valentine," Phillips said. "He knows that he's out of the box in some of the things that he does, and he's still willing to...

04/05/2012 - 10:34am
Bradley replaces Allen in starting lineup

For the first time since the 2003 season and for only the fourth time in his career, Ray Allen was not in the starting lineup for a game he was healthy enough to play. The Celtics made the switch to Avery Bradley for their game against the Bulls on Thursday.

The Celtics are 10-1 without Allen this season and are coming off a five-game winning streak that saw Bradley excel in the backcourt playing alongside Rajon Rondo. Allen started in his return from an ankle injury on Wednesday, but both he and Bradley played more than 30 minutes.

For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.


04/05/2012 - 10:21am
Cherington: No promises to Bard

Appearing on the Dennis and Callahan Show Thursday morning, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said no guarantees had ever been made to Daniel Bard regarding having a spot in the starting rotation, prior to the season over after the injury sustained to closer Andrew Bailey.

"We didn't promise him anything at any point, and still haven't promised him anything other than he's starting Game 5," Cherington said. "What happened in our conversations over the winter, and ultimately those conversations did include Daniel but at first it was with the staff and with Bobby and the front office. … Every organization in baseball, certainly ours included, is looking for young, controllable starting pitching. The best way to acquire that is through the draft, and international signings, and drafting, and we've had some success doing that with [...

04/05/2012 - 9:29am
Lineup: Ortiz cleaning up vs. Verlander

DETROIT -- The Red Sox will feature a largely familiar lineup as they prepare to open the 2012 season against the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander. Jacoby Ellsbury will return to his familiar leadoff spot, followed by Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez. David Ortiz will bat cleanup behind Gonzalez, as the Sox feature back-to-back left-handed hitters, with Kevin Youkilis in the fifth spot.

Both Ortiz and Youkilis have solid career marks against Verlander. Youkilis is 6-for-20 (.300 average, .900 OPS) with two homers against the reigning Cy Young/MVP, while Ortiz is 5-for-18 (.278, .381 OBP, 1.048 OPS) with a pair of homers against him.

The left-handed Ryan Sweeney will bat sixth, with Cody Ross seventh for the group that will try to mount enough offense to back Jon Lester.

RED SOX LINEUP

Ellsbury, CF
Pedroia, 2B
Gonzalez, 1B
Ortiz, DH
Youkilis, 3B
Sweeney, RF
Ross, LF
Saltalamacchia, C...

04/05/2012 - 9:16am
Tape: Saints DC offered bounties this year

The night before a Saints-49ers playoff game in January, since-suspended New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams instructed his players to inflict physical punishment on San Francisco players, and according to a documentary filmmaker who was present, intimated that he would pay for a hard hit on 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.

Williams brought up the name of wide receiver Michael Crabtree, hinting about a severe knee injury, and told his players to "put a lick on" receiver Kyle Williams in an effort to “find out” if he was still suffering from the effects of a late-December concussion. He also repeatedly used the phrase "Kill the head," and compared San Francisco running back Frank Gore as the "head" of the 49ers' offense. Williams then ramped things up.

“We’ve got to do everything in the world to make sure we kill Frank Gore’s head,” Williams told the players. “We want...

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