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01/16/2012 - 5:22pm
Welker expected Super Bowl 'every year'

FOXBORO -- Wes Welker went to the Super Bowl in his first year with the Patriots. He hasn't been back since. The experience in between, including overcoming an ACL tear before the '09 playoffs, has taught him not to take the journey to football's biggest stage for granted.

"After that ’07 year, I thought we’d be going to the Super Bowl just about every year," Welker said Monday. "That’s just not the way it works. It’s hard to get to a position like this. You definitely have to take full advantage of this and not take it for granted."

Of course, the Patriots went 16-0 in the regular season and beat the Jaguars and Chargers on their way to Super Bowl XLII, where they fell to the Giants.

"It’s always tough when your team is out there playing and you’re not able to, especially in the playoffs. I had such a good year that year, and wanting to be out there to help my team, I’m just...

01/16/2012 - 3:04pm
Harvard 24th in coaches poll, still out of AP

Harvard's 2-0 week did little to impress nationwide media, as the Crimson remained out of the AP Top 25 that was announced Monday. Harvard is the sixth team of those on the outside, with 22 total votes. That places them well behind No. 25 Kansas State (102 votes).

The nation's Division 1 coaches were more appreciate of Harvard's 15-2 record, as the Crimson moved up one spot to No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.

Following an uninspiring 70-61 victory over Monmouth on Tuesday, the Crimson blew out George Washington on Saturday, 69-48, jumping out to a 20-point halftime lead and never looking back.

The Crimson also got a boost with Florida State's rout of No. 3 North Carolina on Saturday. Harvard beat FSU in November, so the Seminoles' success helps Harvard's strength of schedule, a key factor in determining NCAA seedings in March. The Crimson's RPI ranking is 50.

Syracuse, cruising along with a 19-0 record, remains No. 1. The...

01/16/2012 - 2:02pm
Source: Red Sox agree to deal with Padilla

According to a major league source, the Red Sox have agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Vicente Padilla that includes an invitation to big league spring training. If he makes the big league team, Padilla would receive a prorated base salary of $1.5 million. Peter Gammons of MLB Network and NESN (via twitter) was the first to report the deal.

The 34-year-old appears to fit the mold of a potential buy-low option of a pitcher coming off of an injury with a chance to compete for a back-of-the-rotation job. Padilla had been talking with several teams, including the Red Sox, this winter, as he pitched in Nicaragua while working his way back from season-ending surgery to fuse vertebrae in his neck. In that winter league, he was 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA, 13 strikeouts and one walk in 16 innings.

“He’s healthy and he’s throwing...

01/16/2012 - 1:52pm
Perkins: 'You can't break up that bond'

Kendrick Perkins said he wasn't looking forward to his return to the Garden to play the Celtics. Perkins doesn't have animosity toward the team and in fact still talks with many of the players and coach Doc Rivers regularly.

"In a way I’ve been dreading it," Perkins said after Oklahoma City went through shootaround Monday. "After I got traded for some reason it wasn’t like I had bad thoughts for them. I didn’t want them to struggle. I was still cheering them on, watching them on TV. If they did something good I was texting all the guys and if they did something bad I was texting them like, 'What are y’all doing?' I was still pulling for them and I found that strange. It’s just the love that I have for the whole organization, I’m talking from the training staff on down."

His new teammates have been giving him a hard time about calling out screens for Rajon Rondo or setting them for Ray Allen,...

01/16/2012 - 1:45pm
Dooling, Wilcox out for Celtics

Keyon Dooling (knee) and Chris Wilcox (hamstring) are both out for the Celtics in their game against the Thunder on Monday and they may not be ready for Wednesday's game against Toronto. This is the third game that Dooling has missed, but he said that he's feeling better than he has recently. Neither player wanted to put a timetable on a return.

"I’ll be back ready to play whenever I’m healthy," said Wilcox who is out for the second straight game. "I don’t really have a date on it right now, just whenever I feel like I’m healthy, back to 100 percent, that’s when I’m going." 

While they are out of the lineup, expect to see more of rookies E'Twaun Moore and possibly JaJuan Johnson, as well. Celtics coach Doc Rivers said that Moore has earned some time and he's been impressed with Johnson's approach.

"He’s done everything required. Both of those Purdue guys, I don’t...

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