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03/31/2011 - 11:00am
Red Sox Opening Day lineup: Drew sits

Terry Francona revealed his Opening Day lineup Thursday, slotting in Mike Cameron to play right field in the place of J.D. Drew. The batting order against Texas lefty C.J. Wilson will be as follows: Jacoby Ellsbury CF, Dustin Pedroia 2B, Carl Crawford LF, Kevin Youkilis 3B, Adrian Gonzalez 1B, David Ortiz DH, Mike Cameron RF, Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, Marco Scutaro SS, Jon Lester P.

Francona cited throughout spring training how he might heavily weight the importance of putting additional right-handed bats in the lineup against Wilson. Cameron has only faced the Texas lefty three times, striking out twice, while Drew is 1-for-6 against Wilson. Last season, Wilson held left-handed batters to a .144 batting average and .400 OPS, allowing just five extra-base hits (all doubles).

Speaking to reporters during the team's workout in Houston, Francona said, "This won't be a platoon. J.D. knows that."

Few Red Sox hitter have had any success...

03/31/2011 - 10:46am
Shaq shut down after recent walk-through

According to Jackie MacMullan of ESPN.com, one of Shaquille O'Neal first attempts at returning to action went poorly. MacMullan reports that during a recent walk-through that was supposed to be the first step in returning to action for the first time since Feb. 1, O'Neal injured Achilles tendon inflamed to the point where he was forced to immediately get a cortisone shot while then being put in a walking boot to immobilize the injury.

When asked by MacMullan if the trade of Kendrick Perkins would be considered a bust if neither one of the O'Neal's -- Shaquille or Jermaine -- could return to help the Celtics in the playoffs Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said, "I don't think so. We believe we will have both Shaq and J.O. back. Now if they don't, and Krstic can't play at the high level he was performing at when he arrived,...

03/31/2011 - 8:52am
Sox trade minor leaguer Bell to Indians

The Red Sox have traded minor league outfielder Bubba Bell to the Indians for cash. Cleveland assigned Bell to Triple-A Columbus.

The 28-year-old was the Red Sox' 39th-round pick in 2005, going on to a combined 26 home runs in '07 in stints at Single-A Lancaster and Double-A Portland. He won the California League MVP for his work in Lancaster, where he also hit .370 before being promoted to the Sea Dogs. Bell played '10 in Pawtucket, hitting .293 with six homers in 104 game, being named an International League All-Star.

To see Bell's profile on SoxProspects.com, click here. PawSox radio announcer Dan Hoard was first to report the trade.


03/31/2011 - 7:50am
Mashup: Ex-ref attacks Dominique Wilkins

NBA legend (and one-time Celtic) Dominique Wilkins, a Hawks vice president and television analyst, was attacked by a fan after the Hawks' victory over the Magic on Wednesday night. According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the attacker was former NBA and college basketball referee Rashan Michel, who was arrested and charged with simple battery. Michel told police Wilkins owed him money for suits purchased several years ago from a clothing store Michel had owned.

Elsewhere in the news, Isiah Thomas is spouting off again, claiming only his height kept him from being better than Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan; Auburn football coach Gene Chizik responded angrily to accusations of pay for play by former Tigers; and Major League Baseball wants to determine the cause for a 24 percent drop in baseball participation by kids aged 7-17 over the previous decade.

Read about all those stories, plus check out videos, trivia and more, at...

03/31/2011 - 12:31am
Beckett picks it up a notch in Sox win

Josh Beckett turned in his best start of the exhibition season Wednesday night in Houston, allowing just one hit over five innings in the Red Sox' 10-0 win over the Astros.

The only blemishes on Beckett's line came when he hit his second batter of the game, Angel Sanchez, and Brett Wallace led off the fifth inning with an infield single. Between the two baserunners the Sox' righty retired 11 straight Astros. Beckett, who lowered his spring ERA to 5.33, threw 61 pitches before giving way to Dennys Reyes.

Beckett will make his 2011 debut Tuesday in the series-opener against the Indians in Cleveland.

Reyes, Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon all pitched one scoreless inning apiece, with Reyes and Bard each allowing one hit, and Papelbon executing a flawless frame which included a strikeout.

Leading the Red Sox' offensive charge, which managed five runs in the first inning off of Houston starter Nelson Figueroa, was Jacoby Ellsbury and...

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