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03/10/2012 - 7:27am
Making sense of the Red Sox bullpen puzzle

The versatility of Alfredo Aceves represents part of the challenge in the Red Sox' efforts to sort out their bullpen equation. (AP)FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It is, said Bobby Valentine, the most befuddling aspect of the Red Sox roster. There is no part of the team that has many question marks as the bullpen.

"I don’t know the whole grouping out there yet," said Valentine. "I think the most perplexing situation we have right now is that grouping. It’s compounded by the number of starters we have. It’s a very interesting situation, challenging situation, that is about ready to get sorted out in the first stages."

The Sox will, in all likelihood, carry seven relievers to open the season. It is possible that for the first few days of 2012, the team could have eight members of its bullpen given that the team won't...

03/10/2012 - 12:42am
Rondo: 'Not focused on trade talk'

As the Celtics prepared for an eight-game road trip that coincides with the March 15 trade deadline, Rajon Rondo said they weren't focused on the rumors.

"I don’t think anyone’s really worried about it, honestly. Whatever happens, happens," Rondo said after the Celtics' 104-86 win over Portland. "No one’s really focused on all the trade talk. We’ve done a pretty good job throughout this trade talk of just getting wins. We’re professionals. We’re an older team. Trades happen."

Kevin Garnett echoed the same refrain.

"It’s what it is. This is a business and we all know that," he said. "If you don’t then you better catch up. I haven't thought about [the deadline] until you just brought it up."

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


03/10/2012 - 12:13am
Blazers' McMillan: 'Unprofessional approach'

Blazers coach Nate McMillan questioned his players' desire to compete following a 106-84 loss to the Celtics Friday night in a game in which they trailed by 35 points at halftime.

“That's an unprofessional approach,” McMillan said. “There was no basketball being played out there tonight.”

As lopsided as the final score was, the game was actually much worse for the Blazers, who trailed by as many as 43 points. Portland was woeful on both ends of the court. Defensively, the Blazers allowed 65 first-half points while shooting 35 percent and committing 17 turnovers.

“We can try harder than that, we can play better than that,” McMillan said. “We pretty much allowed their team to jump on us and I don't think we responded.”

Forward Nic Batum was also upset after the game.

"Got to stop talking and act like a man and show some pride," Batum said.

For more Celtics news,...

03/09/2012 - 11:30pm
Pirates pummel Padilla as Sox lose

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Pirates jumped on right-hander Vicente Padilla for five hits (three doubles) and four runs in the top of the fifth inning as Pittsburgh beat the Red Sox, 7-4.

Starter Clay Buchholz (two runs, three innings) took the loss, but it was Padilla who was hit the hardest, with Pittsburgh doing damage against both his fastball and curve. Scheduled for three innings of work, Padilla ended up contributing just two frames, throwing 29 pitches (22 strikes).

The Sox received a pair of homers in the loss, both against left-handers, with David Ortiz and Darnell McDonald going deep. The Sox next play on Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.

For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.


03/09/2012 - 10:48pm
Blazing blowout: C's destroy Blazers

Two nights after getting blown out by 32 points in Philadelphia, the Celtics demolished the Blazers, 104-86, Friday night at TD Garden. The win, which featured a 43-point Boston lead in the second half, was the perfect set-up for Boston, which travels cross-country Saturday to take on Kobe Bryant and the Lakers Sunday afternoon at Staples Center. 

The biggest benefit of the blowout was the rest it provided Celtics' starters. Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett all played less than 30 minutes. All four came out late in the third quarter and didn't play at all in the fourth, with Pierce, Rondo and Allen playing just 26 minutes. Garnett finished with 10 points and eight rebounds in just 21 minutes.

Allen and Pierce were the shooting stars of the night, combining to make 15-of-25 from the field, including 6-of-12 from 3-point range, and both finished with 22 points to share the team lead in scoring. 

The game was tied...

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