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07/16/2012 - 4:53pm
Sullinger, Joseph lead C's past Hawks

LAS VEGAS -- It doesn't matter where the Celtics' summer league team plays, they keep racking up impressive wins. After winning four of five games in Orlando, the C's touched down on the strip and took the Hawks apart, 87-69.

Jared Sullinger scored 14 points to go with seven rebounds, but it was an all-around team effort as five different players scored in double figures. Fellow rookie Kris Joseph also scored 14 and Dionte Christmas added 11 points, five rebounds and two assists. Jonathan Gibson also had 11 off the bench and Jamar Smith added 10 points.

Fab Melo had his best stretch of summer league with seven points and four rebounds in the first half and E'Twaun Moore was once again steady with nine points and two assists. The one negative was the play of JaJuan Johnson, who missed two shots in 17 nondescript minutes. He finally broke free for a dunk late in the fourth quarter, but Johnson's summer has not produced the breakthrough he and the...

07/16/2012 - 4:43pm
Youk: 'There's no Bobby V vs. Kevin Youkilis'

Before Monday's four-game series opener against his former team, Kevin Youkilis spent nearly 17 minutes answering questions about his return to Boston after being traded to the White Sox on June 24. He took the high road when asked about his strained relationship with Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, refusing to acknowledge publicly any tension between the two. 

"I don't understand why [there's speculation of] a big rift," said Youkilis. "I'm just here to play baseball, and things will happen and that's all it is, just going out and playing the ballgame. There's no Bobby V. vs. Kevin Youkilis or vice versa, it's about Chicago White Sox vs. Boston Red Sox and just playing baseball."

But Youkilis also acknowledged that he is more relaxed playing in Chicago, where the White Sox are leading the AL Central with a 49-39 mark.

"We have like four beat writers that follow us and one time they didn't ask me a...

07/16/2012 - 4:38pm
Valentine: Pedroia 'truly feels great'

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that second baseman Dustin Pedroia appears to be in line to come off the disabled list on Thursday, the first day when he is eligible to do so. Of perhaps greater note than the fact that Pedroia is ready to return, however, is the fact that he might be a different performer than the one who went on the DL on July 6 (retroactive to July 4).

Pedroia was off to an outstanding start this year, hitting .321/.385/.529/.913 with five homers and 18 extra-base hits through the first 33 games of the year. However, from that point forward, he struggled with the torn adductor muscle in his thumb, and even though it healed completely, he hit just .218/.276/.291/.567 before landing on the disabled list with a second and unrelated thumb injury.

Now, however, it appears that the second baseman may be ready to return to the form that has characterized much of his career as one of the top second basemen in the game, at...

07/16/2012 - 4:19pm
Report: Sox aggressively pursuing Dempster
By: DJ Bean

According to ESPN's Buster Olney (via twitter), the Red Sox are pursuing Cubs right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster. Olney notes that the Sox are "aggressive" in their pursuit. 

In 14 starts this season, Dempster is 5-3 with a 1.86 earned run average over 92 innings with 25 walks and 75 strikeouts. Dempster has thrown 200 or more innings in each of the last four seasons since being converted to a starter, though he has spent time on the disabled list this season with a shoulder injury. 

One thing that could make negotiations difficult, Olney notes, is that Cubs president Theo Epstein is very familiar with Boston's farm system from his days as Red Sox general manager. 

For more on the Red Sox, visit weei.com/redsox


07/16/2012 - 3:27pm
Crawford: 'I'm a big part of the puzzle'

Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford, on the cusp of his return to the Red Sox after missing the first half of the season while recovering first from offseason wrist surgery and then from an elbow strain, expressed excitement to finally be ready for big league action. He suggested that he has been surprised at how good he's felt at the plate in his rehab assignment, though he wasn't sure how that would translate to the field given the amount of time he's been out.

"It isn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I think I’m a little further along than I might personally have thought," said Crawford. "It’s going to take a little time, or might. At the same time, I might jump right back in and do OK."

Crawford suggested that, unlike a year ago, he was at peace with his situation in Boston, in the second season of a seven-year, $142 million deal.

"It’s the Red Sox. They’re one of the best...

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