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12/26/2012 - 1:53pm
Red Sox finalize Hanrahan trade

The Red Sox on Wednesday announced that they have completed a trade with the Pirates for two-time All-Star closer Joel Hanrahan. The Sox also receive second baseman Brock Holt while sending right-handed reliever Mark Melancon, right-hander Stolmy Pimentel, infielder Ivan De Jesus and first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands to Pittsburgh.

Hanrahan, 31, was fifth in the National League with 36 saves (out of 40 chances) in 2012. He had a 2.72 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a .187 batting average and recording a WHIP of 1.274. He did not allow an inherited runner to score all season. He is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.

Holt, 24, hit .292/.329/.354 in 24 games in 2012, his first in the majors.

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


12/26/2012 - 1:30pm
Belichick: Gronk 'not ready yet'

FOXBORO -- Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday that the medical staff will dictate whether Rob Gronkowski plays this week in the regular season finale against the Dolphins this weekend at Gillette Stadium. Heading into Wednesday's walk-through indoors at the Dana-Farber Field House, Belichick said Gronkowski wasn't ready yet.  

"We'll see how he is," Belichick said. "He did more last week than the week before and we'll see where he's at [Wednesday and Thursday] when we go out [to practice], we'll see what he can do. We'll take it day-to-day, we'll make decisions day-to-day based on where he's at. He's moving along [but] not ready yet. We'll take it day-to-day and see how it goes."

Gronkowski broke his left forearm on Nov. 18 against the Colts and had surgery the next day. He was expected to miss 4-6 weeks and has missed five games so far with the injury. 

"I think those are decisions...

12/26/2012 - 9:01am
Mashup: Homecoming for mourning McHale

Rockets coach (and Celtics legend) Kevin McHale is set to make an emotional return to Minneapolis on Wednesday night. McHale, a Minnesota native who spent 16 years working for the Timberwolves as a TV analyst, executive and coach, raised his children in the area. This is his first visit to Target Center since the Nov. 24 death of his 23-year-old daughter, Sasha, from lupus. McHale's wife and four remaining children will attend the game as well.

Following Tuesday night's victory over the Bulls, the Rockets are 6-3 since McHale returned to the team for a Dec. 8 game against the Mavericks. That includes a Dec. 14 victory over the Celtics, after which former Timberwolves star Kevin Garnett gave McHale a long embrace.

"Everywhere we go, somebody comes up to him to give him a big hug," Rockets assistant coach J.B. Bickerstaff told the Pioneer Press newspaper in Minnesota. "Over the last 33 years or so, his touch has been felt all...

12/25/2012 - 3:38pm
Christmas spirit: C's beat Nets in rematch

Rajon Rondo had 19 points while Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green had big contributions off the bench as the Celtics beat the Nets, 93-76, in a Christmas Day encounter at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The rookie Sullinger matched a career high with 16 points while Green had 15 points to help the Celtics get their four-game road trip off on a winning note and get over the .500 mark against at 14-13 on the season. 

The two teams were involved in an altercation that resulted in a two-game suspension of Rondo for shoving Kris Humphries on Nov. 28 at TD Garden. Humphries did not play with a mild abdominal strain. Rondo had six rebounds, five assists and three steals as the Celtics tied the Nets for second place in the Atlantic Division behind the Knicks. 

The only significant altercation between the two teams came early in the fourth quarter when Gerald Wallace tugged at the pants and jersey of Kevin Garnett. The Celtics forward swiped at Wallace'...

12/25/2012 - 9:00am
Mashup: Inspirational return for Colts coach

Colts coach Chuck Pagano, recovering from a battle with leukemia, returned to the team Monday for the first time since taking an indefinite leave on Oct. 1. Pagano will prepare his 10-5 team for Sunday's regular-season finale against the conference-leading Texans.

"I feel great," he said. "My weight is back. My energy is back and again, it's just a blessing to be back here."

An emotional Pagano said Monday ranks as the second-best day of his life, behind only his wedding, and he thanked assistant Bruce Arians for leading the team to a playoff berth.

"When I asked for Bruce to take over, I asked for him to kick some you-know-what and to do great," Pagano said. "Damn, Bruce, you had to go and win nine games? Tough act to follow. Tough act to follow. Best in the history of the NFL. That's what I have to come back to."

Said team owner Jim Irsay: "I know Chuck is ready for this challenge...

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