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03/21/2011 - 3:49pm
Aces high: Halladay, Phils beat Lester, Sox

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jon Lester was dominant for five innings but came unraveled in the sixth as the Phillies beat the Red Sox, 4-1, Monday afternoon at Bright House Field in Clearwater. The game was a match-up of aces as Lester opposed Philadelphia's Roy Halladay. 

 

Lester didn't allow a hit until Halladay laced a clean single to right-center with two outs in the fifth. Until that point, Lester had fanned five and walked two. He allowed a run in the third without the benefit of a hit when his throwing error on Halladay's sacrifice attempt sailed wide of second base. Halladay threw three hitless innings before David Ortiz's one-out single in the fourth. Halladay pitched into the eighth for Philadelphia while Lester allowed five hits, four runs, three earned over 5 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out six while throwing 98 pitches, 56 for strikes. 

 

The Red Sox tied the game in the fifth when Drew Sutton's...

03/21/2011 - 2:52pm
Belichick criticizes kickoff proposal

Bill Belichick -- in New Orleans for the annual NFL owners' meetings -- said Monday that he is not a fan of the NFL Competition Committee's new kickoff proposal, which would move the kickoffs to the 35-yard line.

 

"It's a pretty complicated proposal," Belichick told Mike Reiss of ESPN. "I don't like the idea of eliminating the kickoff [return] from the game. I think it's one of the most exciting plays in football. It looks like the Competition Committee is trying to eliminate that play. I don't know if that's really good for the game." 

 

Player safety, according to the Competition Committee, is a key factor in the proposed kickoff move. Belichick seemed skeptical when asked if he thought player safety was the reason for the proposed adjustment.

 

"The...

03/21/2011 - 1:07pm
Broussard on M&M: C's lack 'toughness'

ESPN columnist Chris Broussard joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday afternoon to talk about the Celtics and topics of interest around the NBA.

 

The C's play the Knicks Monday night in New York. Broussard said despite the initial excitement over the addition of Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks aren't a threat to knock off one of the East's elite. And that was before the reported locker room discord that is swirling around the team during its recent struggles (five losses in the last seven games).

 

"They clearly have talent and should be dangerous," Broussard said. "They don't look that way right now. Even when they were looking good, I would never have picked them to win their first-round series over those top teams. But I did think they had maybe a puncher's chance and could make it interesting. I still will say they could make it interesting if they get it together, but right now they don't look like they're...

03/21/2011 - 12:34pm
Marchand: Cooke should be 'taught a lesson'
By: DJ Bean

WILMINGTON -- With Penguins forward Matt Cooke striking again Sunday with an elbow to the head of Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, the Bruins dressing room seemed intentionally silent on the matter at Monday's practice. B's forward Brad Marchand, however, did not hold back when asked about the play, which figures to be earn Cooke a suspension after Monday's hearing. 

 

"Yeah, I saw it," said Marchand, who is coming off a two-game suspension for a blindside elbow. "I think that it's about time he gets — he's got to be taught a lesson. He's doing that stuff left, right, and center. I expect that he'll probably get a bunch of games, but he's got to be taught a lesson. You can't be running around doing that stuff all the time. He's going to seriously hurt someone again. Look at [Marc Savard], and now McDonagh. He could have easily hurt him."

 

Asked if he felt Cooke, who has been suspended...

03/21/2011 - 12:01pm
Felix Doubront: 'I felt 100 percent today'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With the Red Sox playing the Phillies in Clearwater Monday afternoon, relief pitchers Bobby Jenks and Felix Doubront remained behind at City of Palms Park to throw in a simulated game. Both participants came out of the outings optimistic, with Jenks throwing 17 pitches in his one-inning stint, and Doubront finishing at 30 pitches for two frames.

 

The morning session was more notable for Doubront, who hadn't faced any sort of game action this spring after having to be shut down for two weeks due to a sore left elbow. He had thrown 25 pitches in the bullpen Friday, but Monday marked the first time he had gone up against hitters. (In this case, minor leaguers Nick Robinson and Ronald Bermudez served as the opposition.)

 

"I felt 100 percent today," Doubront said. "There were just a couple of things I have to fix."

 

Doubront explained that he threw 10 breaking balls,...

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