WEEI » This Just In
03/15/2011 - 4:08pm
Daisuke delivers as Sox beat Tigers

Daisuke Matsuzaka quieted some of the concerns about his spring by delivering five shutout innings against the Tigers. He showed good life on his fastball, which touched 93 mph on the scoreboard in Lakeland, while allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out five. In the process, he lowered his spring ERA from 11.42 to 7.24.


The Red Sox collected just three hits against the Tigers (and starter Justin Verlander), though that proved a sufficient output to garner a 2-1 victory in extra innings. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a solo homer in the third inning, and Darnell McDonald added a solo shot in the top of the 10th.


Former Sox catcher Victor Martinez, now serving primarily as the designated hitter for the Tigers, was 1-for-2 with a single and walk in three plate appearances.


For more Red Sox coverage, visit

03/15/2011 - 3:34pm
NFLPA: We're not asking for draft boycott
By: DJ Bean

Hoping to "set the record straight," NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah took to Twitter on Tuesday to touch on a recent report that top prospects might boycott the NFL Draft. 


"The NFLPA is not asking anyone to 'boycott' anything," Atallah tweeted. "NFL Draft in particular.


"The NFL Draft is special. Players and their families will be in NYC. It just maybe different. We will provide details when we can."


ESPN had reported Monday that 17 top prospects had been told by the NFLPA to choose against showing up to the draft.


For more on the lockout and the Patriots, visit

03/15/2011 - 2:37pm
Francona: Bard 'best weapon you can have'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona, after reiterating that there is no question that Jonathan Papelbon remains his closer, told reporters in Lakeland prior to his team's game against the Tigers that set-up man Daniel Bard may well be the most valuable pitcher in the bullpen. The ability to use him in different situations and innings -- and for varying durations -- makes him an incredibly meaningful contributor.


"Bard for me is the best weapon you can have. Not having to pigeon hole him is a huge weapon. He can come in in the seventh and get an out. He can pitch the eighth," said Francona. "He won’t be doing that forever because he’s too good – he’s going to be a closer – but for now he’s a huge weapon for us. We kind of did it with Pap that one year. That’s why when we got [Billy] Wagner that one year [in 2009], our bullpen got so much better. Because we got a guy...

03/15/2011 - 10:45am
Source: V-Mart deal would have limited Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. – According to a team source, the Red Sox would have had the resources to pursue either Adrian Gonzalez or Carl Crawford, but not both, had Victor Martinez re-signed with the club in the offseason.


The Sox made a pair of offers to Martinez, one for three years and $36 million, another for four years and $42 million. The catcher eventually signed a four-year, $50 million contract with the Tigers. 



The two draft picks that the Sox received as compensation for Martinez (a Type A free agent) signing with the Tigers as well as the two the team netted for the departure of Adrian Beltre to the Rangers were also a critical component of the club's offseason calculus.


Without the picks, the Sox might have been reluctant to part with the prospect package they shipped to San Diego for Gonzalez and, for that matter, to sacrifice its own first-round pick for Crawford...

03/15/2011 - 7:54am
Mashup: Barkley calls Knicks 'disgrace'

TNT analyst Charles Barkley went off on the Knicks Monday, calling ownership a "disgrace" for raising ticket prices and then putting a damper on fans' excitement over the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony by saying, "In the history of all basketball, they may be the worst defensive team ever."


Meanwhile, Barkley wasn't himself during his appearance on CBS' NCAA selection show Sunday, bringing up the question of if the network is trying to tone down the act that made him so popular on NBA broadcasts.


Read more about those stories and others, plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Tuesday's Morning Mashup.

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