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04/21/2010 - 12:47pm
Francona: Too early to 'bail on our strategy'

Red Sox manager Terry Francona joined the Dale & Holley show Wednesday to talk about the team's slow start, pinch-hitting for David Ortiz and the team's problem with opposing base stealers. Asked about possible lineup changes, such as moving Victor Martinez from catcher to designated hitter and sitting David Ortiz, Francona said it's too early to press the panic button.

 

"The way we set our team up in the winter, I don't think we can just bail on our strategy a couple of weeks into the season," he said. "I know it's been a tough week. It's been a tough week all the way around. Not much has gone right. Now, [Jason] Varitek will catch tonight. But that doesn't mean that we're going to rework our whole situation. One move affects another. Rather than bail on our plans, I think we've got to work our way through it. As a staff, [coaches] on the field, we're trying to do a little bit better job of getting guys ready to...

04/21/2010 - 12:12pm
Varitek to catch Beckett on Wednesday

Red Sox manager Terry Francona, in his weekly visit on the Dale & Holley Show, said that Jason Varitek will be the starting catcher for Josh Beckett on Wednesday. That will mark three straight Beckett starts in which Varitek has been behind the plate. Beckett has a 3.74 ERA in 107 games working with Varitek, and a 7.71 ERA (albeit in just four games) with Martinez behind the plate.

 

Varitek entered Tuesday's game as a defensive replacement for Victor Martinez, who was lifted for a pinch-runner. He contributed a double and a walk, and is now hitting .429 with three homers, two doubles and a 1.681 OPS in 15 plate appearances.

 

Francona also said that Darnell McDonald will likely get the start in center field against Rangers left-hander Matt Harrison, and Mike Lowell will serve as the designated hitter.


04/21/2010 - 11:54am
Julien preaches caution with Savard

One day after Marc Savard passed a neuro-psych evaluation and was cleared to practice with the Bruins, coach Claude Julien addressed the media Wednesday morning and tempered any enthusiasm about the center returning for the Sabres series.

 

"I don't really have the answers on how far away," Julien said. "He has been out for six weeks. He hasn't been able to exercise or do anything. When you bring a guy back in the playoffs you have to make sure, for his sake number one, that he's ready to jump in, and he has got to be in shape to keep up with that pace. The other part is that passing that test that he can start skating and doing different things but he still has to go through different kinds of tests. He hasn't taken any contact yet. You know, for me to stand here and predict that he will be back at this stage would be unrealistic."

 

For more Bruins news, visit the ...

04/21/2010 - 11:44am
Vanek participates in Sabres' morning skate

Sabres leading scorer Thomas Vanek, who missed Game 3 against the Bruins with a lower-body injury, participated in Buffalo's morning skate on Wednesday before Game 4 at TD Garden. Vanek was injured in Game 2 after taking a slash to his right leg by Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk and has been seen wearing a boot on his left leg. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff has not given any indication as to Vanek's condition or availability since the injury, and Vanek told reporters yesterday that he would try to make an appearance in Game 4 but he does not know for sure.

 

For more on the Bruins-Sabres series, visit the Big Bad Blog.


04/21/2010 - 11:13am
Report: Ex-Patriot Dillon busted for DUI

Former Patriots running back Corey Dillon was arrested early Wednesday morning in California for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to TMZ.com. Dillon was reportedly pulled over by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies just before 4 a.m. Wednesday near Malibu, and as of late Wednesday morning, was still in custody.

Dillon spent three seasons (2004-2006) with the Patriots, rushing for 3,180 yards and 37 touchdowns. He set a franchise record, rushing for 1,635 yards in 2004. A four-time Pro Bowler, Dillon was a second-round pick (43rd overall) of the Bengals out of the University of Washington in 1997. In all, Dillon rushed for 11,241 yards and 82 touchdowns during a 10-year career that included stops in Cincinnati and New England.

For more football news, check out our blog, It Is What It Is.


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