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06/14/2012 - 12:30pm
Sveum: Cubs 'accountable for everything'

CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who was a second-round candidate for the Red Sox' managerial vacancy this offseason, discussed the efforts to build a winning culture at a time when his team has the worst record in baseball. The 48-year-old, who is currently in his first full-time role as a big league manager, discussed why he has held players -- even stars like shortstop Starlin Castro -- publicly accountable (in no uncertain terms) when they have had on-field lapses.

“You’re building something to where [lapses are] not acceptable. You’re accountable for everything you do. Even talking to the media after you do a blunder, that’s part of your job, to be accountable after a game when things don’t go well,” said Sveum. “You’re just trying to build that whole thing where preparation is everything, playing the game the right way is everything. If you don’t want to do that, then we’ll get somebody...

06/14/2012 - 12:08pm
'Bittersweet' Belichick ends minicamp early

FOXBORO -- Before giving the Patriots the day off from the final scheduled minicamp practice, Bill Belichick admitted Thursday that receiving the AFC championship rings on Wednesday was not the ideal feeling.

"Bittersweet," he said, before adding, "whatever it was last year, it was. So, it's time to move on."

Belichick brought the players together on the upper practice field outside Gillette on Thursday afternoon, before addressing them and informing them they were free to go.

Deion Branch said the bonus break was “a shocker,” adding he could recall similar situations “way back in the old days.”

“It’s good,” Branch said. “It’s been great. We’ve had a great offseason. We did a lot of good things. There’s a lot of things we have to work on when we come back for training camp. We’re looking forward to it.”

The players and coaches are...

06/14/2012 - 12:08pm
Report: No progress in talks with Welker

According to a report on ESPNBoston.com, the Patriots and Wes Welker have made "no meaningful progress" in talks regarding a long-term contract for the Pro Bowl receiver.

A source indicated to ESPNBoston.com that it was believed there might be a chance the Patriots would focus on locking up Welker after inking tight end Rob Gronkowski to a six-year, $54 million deal last week, but to date that hasn't been the case.

Welker will make $9.5 million this season after signing his franchise tender on May 15. Welker and the Patriots can negotiate a long-term deal until July 16, which is the deadline to sign franchised players to multiyear deals.

For more Patriots news visit weei.com/patriots.

 


06/14/2012 - 10:51am
Cherington: 'Nothing going on' with Youk

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington was a guest of the Mut & Merloni show on Wednesday. Cherington was asked about the recent trade rumors surrounding Kevin Youkilis. Several reports have the Pirates and Dodgers among teams interested in Youkilis, who is batting .219 this season for the Sox. Cherington acknowledged the emergence of Will Middlebrooks and the contractual status of Youkilis makes for a "perfect storm" of trade talk but denied that the club is intent on moving the veteran infielder.

"The reality is that there's nothing going on," Cherington said. "We've talked to several teams about several things, and teams have called to check in on Youk. That was a while back, probably right before he went on his rehab assignment. Right now we're focused on getting Kevin going, he's an important part of the team and we know that when he's clicking and feeling good he makes our lineup very tough to pitch to."

To...

06/14/2012 - 9:43am
Theo: 'I blame myself' for free agent failures

Former Red Sox general manager and current Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein joined the Dennis & Callahan show on Thursday. 

Epstein spoke to several media outlets -- including Alex Speier of WEEI.com, who profiled Epstein on Thursday -- about a "monster" that was created by the success of the Sox and the massive expectations that followed. Epstein was asked if, later on in his tenure as GM, there was pressure from ownership to make major free-agent signings to satisfy the fan base.

"There are no villains here, it's the reality," Epstein said. "The reality of what happens in a big market, especially when you have incredible performance on the field as well as off the field. Things get bigger and bigger and I was always concerned about it getting too...

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