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05/04/2011 - 2:25pm
Francona on Big Show: Youk ready to return

Red Sox manager Terry Francona made his weekly appearance on The Big Show Wednesday afternoon. The Red Sox have closed to within one game of .500 as they send Josh Beckett to the mound Wednesday night vs. the Angels, but Francona said he's trying to avoid putting pressure on the players to overcome their disastrous start as quickly as possible.

"I try not to look at, 'OK what are you doing in April? What are you doing in May?' Those are artificial deadlines," he said. "What our record is is what our record is. But it does feel better to be playing better baseball."

Third baseman Kevin Youkilis is slated to return to action after missing Tuesday night's game due to sickness. "Youk said he feels OK," Francona announced. "He was scuffling last night, though."

Beckett has not pitched since last Wednesday in Baltimore. Francona said the extra rest stems from a long and tiring outing in Anaheim two weeks ago...

05/04/2011 - 11:46am
Gammons on M&M: Albers might surprise

Peter Gammons made his weekly appearance on the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday to discuss the Red Sox' resurgence. Gammons said Sunday's win over the Mariners, when Tim Wakefield stepped in for Clay Buchholz and pitched a strong game, might prove to be the game that got the Sox in gear.

"I think the mental hurdle of having to go to Tim Wakefield, have him step up big, and winning a game started by Felix Hernandez, I think that gave them a little sigh of relief," Gammons said.

Jacoby Ellsbury has been on a tear of late and looks very comfortable in the leadoff spot. "I'm still a believer that there's a lot there that we haven't seen with him being a greater player," Gammons said. "Because I think he can bunt. I don't think he's ever going to be a guy who gets 100 walks, but he can get that on-base percentage up higher.

"When he gets on base, everybody on the field moves. That dash home from second base...

05/04/2011 - 11:14am
Legler on M&M: C's 'just not athletic enough'

ESPN NBA analyst Tim Legler joined the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday to talk about the Celtics' struggles in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The C's trail the Heat 2-0 as the series heads to Boston for Game 3 Saturday.

"I think the problem ultimately for the Celtics is going to be that they don't have home court," Legler said. "I think they're going to derive a lot of energy coming home. With the change in venue and the couple of days off they're going to have right now is going to do them a world of good. I think they're going to energize themselves. I think they're going to get their competitive edge back up again and realize: 'Look, we're not going out like this.' And when they get home, you're going to see a much better effort.

"Having said that, they can win two games in Boston, I don't think there's any question about it. But then you're turning it into a best two out of three, but two of those games being in Miami,...

05/04/2011 - 10:42am
No update on McQuaid, Hnidy ready to go
By: DJ Bean

Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was not on the ice for Boston's morning skate Wednesday at TD Garden, a sign that he could be out of the lineup for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals vs. the Flyers. McQuaid left the game in the first period Monday with a sprained neck suffered while trying to hit Flyers forward Mike Richards. 

Coach Claude Julien would not offer an update on McQuaid's status, but in the seemingly likely event that the rookie does not play, veteran Shane Hnidy would take his spot. 

"Same as yesterday," Julien said of McQuaid's status. "Day-to-day. Nothing more to report on Adam's situation. I know Shane Hnidy is a guy ready to play, and he's certainly a possibility in our lineup tonight."

Hnidy has played in one game this postseason, filling in for an ill Zdeno Chara in Game 2 of the quarterfinals vs. the Canadiens. Hnidy played 4:13 in that contest. After the morning skate, he said he is...

05/04/2011 - 8:56am
Recchi on D&C: 'I've got lots left in the tank'

Bruins forward Mark Recchi checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning, hours before the B's host the Flyers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Bruins have a 2-0 lead as the series moves to Boston. A year ago, the B's led the Flyers 3-0 in the series before losing in seven games. Recchi said the Bruins have not avoided discussing last year. "We know that. We'll talk about it. There's no question we'll address it," Recchi said. "We'll get ready. Our thing is: Hey, focus on what we do. Don't focus on the big picture, focus on tonight. Focus on what we do as a team. Don't focus so much on them and what's going on on the outside, what people are saying, what people are talking about. Get in our bubble and let's get ready for tonight."

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said after Game 2 that the pressure is on the Bruins now because they are expected to win. Recchi isn't buying it. "The pressure...

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