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01/14/2012 - 1:39pm
Valentine says he has talked to Crawford

Speaking at the New Stars for Young Stars event at Jillian's -- which was presented by the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine confirmed that he has talked to outfielder Carl Crawford. The phone conversation took place with both Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington and Crawford's agent, Brian Peters, on the line, according to Valentine.

"I finally got that call into Carl," the manager said. "Carl sounded great.

"He seemed very determined. He seemed very understanding of the fact that things got spinning a little fast for him last year in a new environment. He seemed to be determined to correct that."

Valentine had first mentioned that he was having difficulty arranging a meeting with Crawford while talking at the winter meetings in early December. He did, however,...

01/14/2012 - 1:10am
Doc: 'I'd rather have [adversity] now'

Attempting to put a positive spin on his team's second three-game losing streak of the season, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said his team's success will hinge on how they react to a 4-6 start to a shortened 66-game season. The Celtics were ice cold again on Friday night in the first half and couldn't completely recover from a 19-point halftime deficit, losing to the 11-2 Bulls, 88-79, at TD Garden. 

“It’s been frustrating, it’s been frustrating," Rivers admitted. "But listen, I’d rather have it now. You’re going to go through adversity or stuff; I’d rather have it right now. Like I told our guys, I said, ‘If you get through this, it’ll make you a hell of a basketball team.’ And I always use the word ‘if’ because you have to. You have to fight through it. And I love what I saw in the second half.

"My question to them: Why, why did it take so long? You know? It...

01/13/2012 - 11:32pm
Out of gas: Rose stops rally, C's lose

Reigning league MVP Derrick Rose scored 25 points and stopped a Celtics rally by himself as the Bulls beat Boston, 88-79, Friday night at TD Garden, handing the Celtics their third straight loss. Luol Deng added 21 points and hauled in 16 rebounds as the Bulls improved to an NBA-best 11-2 while the Celtics fell to 4-6. Rajon Rondo fell just three rebounds shy of a triple-double with 14 points, 11 assists and seven assists. 

The Celtics were manhandled again on the glass, outrebounded, 46-34, and outscored, 24-14, in second-chance points. 

In a troubling trend, the Celtics were overwhelmed to start the game. The Celtics were ice cold in the first half, making just five of their first 26 shots, falling behind, 52-33 at the half. The Celtics shot just 13-of-39 from the field in the first 24 minutes. Boston has managed just 25, 41 and 33 points in the first half of their last three games, all coming at home. 

As he has all season...

01/13/2012 - 10:39pm
Red Sox avoid arbitration with Sweeney

According to the Associated Press, the newly-acquired outfielder Ryan Sweeney has agreed to one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Red Sox, avoiding arbitration. 

Sweeney, who was acquired from Oakland in the Red Sox' trade for Andrew Bailey, was arbitration-eligible for the second time. The 26-year-old is coming off a '11 season in which he hit .265 with a .687 OPS in 108 games with the A's. A left-handed hitter, Sweeney is expected to receiving significant time in right field for the Red Sox in '12.

The Sox still have eight players who are arbitration-eligible -- David Ortiz, Daniel Bard, Jacoby Ellsbury, Alfredo Aceves, Mike Aviles, Andrew Bailey, Andrew Miller, Frankin Morales, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The organization hasn't gone through an arbitration hearing with a player since 2002.

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.

 


01/13/2012 - 10:06pm
Reports: Yankees lock up Pineda, Kuroda

According to multiple reports the Yankees bolstered their starting rotation through two separate moves, acquiring Seattle right-hander Michael Pineda and free agent righty Hiroki Kuroda.

The 22-year-old Pineda was acquired via a trade for the Yankees' top prospect, catcher/designated hitter Jesus Montero. Also going to New York was right-handed pitcher Hector Noesi, while Single-A hurler Jose Campos was sent along with Pineda to the Yanks. It is the second time Seattle attempted to trade for Montero, who was slated to be the centerpiece of a July, 2010 trade which would have sent pitcher Cliff Lee to New York. The Mariners backed out at the last minute, instead choosing to accept Texas' offer of first baseman Justin Smoak.

Pineda, who is still one year away from arbitration, is considered one of the top young starting pitchers in the American League, having made the AL All-Star team in 2011 after beginning his rookie season 8-6 with a 3.03 ERA. The...

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