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06/24/2010 - 3:59pm
Ricciardi: Papelbon's fastball not the same

ESPN baseball analyst J.P. Ricciardi, formerly the general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, discussed the struggles of Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon in his weekly visit to The Big Show. After his blown save and loss to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, Papelbon has allowed a career-high six homers, and his ERA (3.76) represents a career high, while his strikeouts per nine innings (7.6) are at a career low.

 

Ricciardi said that Papelbon, who has converted 16 of 18 save opportunities this year, remains one of the game's best. At the same time, he suggested that the right-hander's fastball is not as overpowering as it had been in the past.

 

"Let’s face it. He’s still one of the premier closers in the game. I just think his fastball might be a little shorter than it was in the past. Guys might be getting some better swings off him," said Ricciardi. "I don’t see the fastball being what...

06/24/2010 - 3:46pm
Patriots cut RB Paschall

The New England Patriots released running back Pat Paschall Thursday afternoon. Paschall, 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of North Dakota State on April 29. For more Patriots news, check out our football blog, It Is What It Is.


06/24/2010 - 3:25pm
Boychuk eager to become top four defender
By: DJ Bean

In re-signing Johnny Boychuk, the Bruins kept some stability on their defense just two days after shipping Dennis Wideman off to the Panthers. Speaking with the media, Boychuk, who stepped up to play alongside Zdeno Chara in the playoffs, is excited for a bigger role with the defense next season.

 

"When they moved Dennis, obviously it maybe makes an opening for me to maybe jump into the top four and play little more minutes than being a five or six guy," Boychuk said. "When they moved him, it kind of just maybe sent a message to me saying 'You'd better be ready to be a top four guy.' And even if I'm not, I want to play like I am." 

 

Boychuk, who said he was "still kind of shell-shocked" by the Bruins' Game 7 loss to the Flyers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, said returning to the core of players and coaches in Boston was his top priority as he was set to hit unrestricted free agency...

06/24/2010 - 2:57pm
Bruins confirm Boychuk extension

MARINA DEL RAY, Calif. - The Bruins have confirmed that they have re-signed defenseman Johnny Boychuk to a two-year contract extenstion. GM Peter Chiarelli announced the deal while meeting with reporters prior to Friday's NHL draft in Los Angeles.

 

Boychuk was a healthy scratch for the Bruins during much of the early season, but emerged as one of the team's most steady contributors late in the season and during the playoffs. 

 

“He made great strides this year,” said Chiarelli. “He was patient before he got into the lineup, he learned our system, he’s got a dimensional shot, he competes, he’s got size, but the biggest thing that I saw was that he improved from being the defenseman of the year in the [AHL] to being maybe our seventh [defenseman] to start [while] patiently waiting to learn along the way. We have a very good defensive system and Johnny has picked it up and showed improvement...

06/24/2010 - 12:46pm
Lowell expected to go on disabled list

Red Sox corner infielder Mike Lowell is expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list (right hip) prior to tonight's game against the Colorado Rockies. The move would clear a roster spot for pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is scheduled to start in Denver on Thursday night. Prior to his game-ending, pinch-hitting appearance on Tuesday night, Lowell had not appeared in a game in nine days.

 

Lowell is hitting .213 this year with a .308 OBP, .350 slugging mark and .658 OPS. Since May 16, he is 2-for-27 (.074) and has made just six starts.


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