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02/20/2012 - 2:37pm
Youkilis: Not thinking about contract year

FORT MYERS -- Kevin Youkilis is in the last guaranteed year of a four-year, $41.125 million deal he signed with the Red Sox before the 2009 season. The team holds a $13 million option for his services for the 2013 campaign.

That deal would represent a reasonable salary if Youkilis, 32, is once again healthy and returns to his place as one of the most productive hitters in the American League for last year. However, the option might give the Sox pause if Youkilis is once again unable to stay on the field (after suffering season-ending injuries that had him averaging 111 games in 2010-11) or suffers a performance decline.

Yet Youkilis says that his contract status for next season will not be on his mind as he gets ready for this year, his ninth as a member of the Red Sox. He does want to remain in the only organization for whom he's ever played for as long as he can, but Youkilis said that he will not dwell on his contract or earnings potential....

02/20/2012 - 1:53pm
Crawford on Henry: 'Wasn't happy about it'

FORT MYERS -- Carl Crawford acknowledged Monday morning in his first meeting with reporters in spring training that he was stunned and upset with the offseason comments from owner John Henry that he didn't want Crawford in Boston. The outfielder was subsequently signed to a seven-year, $142 million contract by then-general manager Theo Epstein before the 2011 season.

"I can't do nothing about what he said," Crawford said. "I can just go out and play. It was unfortunate that he feels that way but there's nothing for me to say to him but go out and play."

Crawford was asked if he were surprised that the owner would come out and publicly acknowedge those feelings. 

"I wasn't happy about it," Crawford said. "I was a little surprised to hear the comments, but like I said, it's unfortunate he feels that way. I just wish those words hadn't of come out."

For more from the team of Alex Speier, Rob...

02/20/2012 - 10:50am
Ex-Sox coach Page: Beckett 'worked hard'

Former Red Sox strength and conditioning coach Dave Page joined Dennis & Callahan Monday morning, one day after Red Sox pitchers reported to Fort Myers for the start of spring training.

Josh Beckett on Sunday acknowledged "lapses in judgment" late last season but insisted physical conditioning was not an issue for him and that he also said he didn't miss a single workout.

"That's true," Page said. "He came to see me every day in between starts."

Beckett gained weight last season, and Page said the pitcher addressed it.

"He was on the one that initiated that talk, and we brought it up with our training staff and our doctors, that this was something that he's concerned about, so it became a concern of ours," Page said. "We kept an eye on it for most of the year. He works hard. A lot of that gain may not have been solely fat.

"I can't say enough about Josh. We came through the...

02/20/2012 - 9:00am
Mashup: Lin accepts ESPN apology for slur

Following a racially insensitive Jeremy Lin headline that briefly appeared on ESPN's mobile website early Saturday morning, the media giant announced Sunday that it had fired the individual responsible. The network also suspended ESPNews anchor Max Bretos 30 days for using the phrase on air.

Following an off game by Lin, the site used the headline: "Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets."

Bretos apologized on Twitter, writing: My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community.

The phrase also apparently was used by Knicks play-by-play commentator Spero Dedes. A Madison Square Garden spokesman said the company was "evaluating" the situation.

Asked about the situation after leading the Knicks to a 104-97 victory over the Mavericks Sunday afternoon, Lin did not appear upset.

"ESPN had apologized,"...

02/19/2012 - 10:10pm
Duke's Rivers: 'Connected' with Doc this year

Duke freshman guard Austin Rivers led his team to a 75-50 win over Boston College Sunday night while his father was coaching the Celtics in Detroit.

While Doc Rivers could not be at Conte Forum for the game, Austin said the two have taken their relationship to a new level this season. In the offseason, Doc was considering quitting the C's in part because he wanted to be a bigger presence for his son.

“Actually, it’s amazing, I was less busy in high school but my relationship with my dad wasn’t as much,” Austin said. “We talked here and there. This year my schedule’s twice as busy in college but my relationship with my dad has gone above and beyond. I talk to him like every day now.”

Added Rivers: “Our relationship is really great right now. I think we’ve connected on a different level.”

Read more about what Austin had to say about his father in...

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