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04/06/2012 - 3:56pm
Bailey: Injury a 'freak thing -- it stinks'

DETROIT -- Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey, in a conference call to discuss the right thumb injury and subsequent surgery that will keep him out for the first half of the 2012 season, expressed his frustration with what he described as a "freak injury." Bailey said that he thought nothing of it when he had a minor collision and subsequent fall in a game against the Pirates on March 21.

However, over the coming days, he felt pain building in his thumb to the point where he couldn't grip the ball for a long toss session after a 1 2/3 innings minor league appearance on March 28. He also started feeling pain and weakness in ordinary day-to-day activities such as when he held a shampoo bottle.

"I had trouble gripping the baseball and there was a lot of pain involved," said Bailey. "That’s when I was really like, OK, we’ve got to get on top of this thing. It was obviously too late by then."

Bailey said that...

04/06/2012 - 2:10pm
Boychuk, McQuaid miss Bruins practice
By: DJ Bean

 Bruins defensemen Johnny Boychuk and Adam McQuaid both missed Friday's practice at TD Garden. All other players with the exception of Nathan Horton and Tuukka Rask were present. 

B's coach Claude Julien said both Boychuk and McQuaid remain day-to-day. Boychuk has a mild sprained knee and McQuaid left Thursday's game after feeling discomfort around his swollen eye. 

"We're being overcautious right now," Julien said, adding that the Bruins are being careful to "head into the playoffs as healthy as we can be."

As for Horton (concussion) and Rask (abdomen strain/groin strain), Julien said Horton is still not close to returning but that Rask could join the team in practice next week. 

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.


04/06/2012 - 10:17am
Ference on D&C: NHL diving 'embarrassing'

Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, as the B's prepare to begin defense of their Stanley Cup championship when the playoffs start next week.

Ference was asked about the difference in the team's mindset this spring as opposed to 2011.

"Probably the biggest difference is we don't have the weight of that Philly series on us," Ference said, referring to the collapse in 2010 when the B's were eliminated after squandering a 3-0 series lead in the conference semifinals. "I think we were carrying around some of that baggage last year, and I think it showed in the first couple of games when we lost against Montreal. But I think everybody feels good. I don't think we're [at the point where] so many of the guys are kind of heading into the unknown as they were last year. The first time you kind of go through a long [playoff] run, you really don't know what to expect. If...

04/06/2012 - 9:16am
Leiter on D&C: Let Valentine 'do his thing'

MLB Network analyst Al Leiter, who played five seasons for Bobby Valentine, joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning and weighed in on the Red Sox' situation.

Leiter was a pitcher on Valentine's Mets teams from 1998 through 2002, and he insisted he had no issues with his manager.

"Bobby let me pitch," Leiter said. "He knew I was prepared. He knew that I was mentally and physically prepared to execute a pitch. He left me alone. It really wasn't a bother. … Guys in the clubhouse that are bothered by somebody like Bobby, who has a personality that's going to say things at times, yeah, you have a problem with him. But as long as he doesn't direct it at you specifically, doesn't call you out in the media, who cares? Let him do his thing."

Leiter said he played for some memorable managers during his 19-year major league career, but Valentine stands out.

"I learned things from Bobby that no other...

04/06/2012 - 8:06am
Mashup: Gov. calls UConn ban 'outrageous'

The NCAA on Thursday denied the UConn men's basketball team's final appeal of its ban from the 2013 NCAA tournament due to its failure to meet recently instituted academic standards. UConn argued that it has shown improvement over the past two seasons, but the NCAA wouldn't budge.

The school said it's hoping the rule will be changed in time for it to submit more recent test scores.

"While we as a university and coaching staff clearly should have done a better job academically with our men's basketball student-athletes in the past, the changes we have implemented have already had a significant impact and have helped us achieve the success we expect in the classroom," coach Jim Calhoun said in a statement. "We will continue to strive to maintain that success as we move forward."

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy called the NCAA's rejection "absolutely outrageous."

"It's as if they've decided to get UConn,...

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