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04/04/2012 - 3:01pm
Bobby V to Schilling: 'Don't make stuff up'

Bobby Valentine made his first of what will be a weekly appearance on The Big Show on Wednesday. Valentine was first asked about his decision to also appear in a weekly spot on ESPN Radio in New York and if he thought it was a potential distraction in the clubhouse.

"I hope not, it's for fans all over," Valentine said. "We have fans in New York, obviously, that don't hear this show unless they have the internet. What do you think I should be worried about?"

With Andrew Bailey possibly out for four months with upcoming thumb surgery, Valentine announced earlier Wednesday that Alfredo Aceves will start the season as the club's closer. Valentine was asked how he arrived at the decision to have Aceves handle the ninth-inning duties.

"By taking consensus of the coaching staff and talking to some of the players," Valentine said. "This is a guy who can go out there and has what it takes to get the...

04/04/2012 - 2:38pm
Cherington: No regrets on Bailey trade

DETROIT -- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington's team suffered an undeniable setback on the doorstep of the season with the news that slated closer Andrew Bailey will be lost for at least the first half of the season due to surgery on his right thumb. That said, the Sox GM said he had no regrets about the decision to let Jonathan Papelbon leave via free agency and to acquire Bailey in a trade this winter.

Though it was somewhat jarring for the club to face the prospect of Bailey beginning his first year with the Sox on the DL (after Papelbon had never landed on the DL in his six-plus years with the Sox), Cherington brushed off the notion that he might have buyer's remorse.

"No. None at all," said Cherington. "This is an acute injury because he fell covering first base and landed on his thumb funny. It’s a tough break for him. It’s a tough break for the team. These things happen in baseball. You just get up the next day and move...

04/04/2012 - 2:19pm
Patriots announce preseason schedule

The Patriots announced their 2012 preseason schedule on Wednesday. The Patriots will have home games the first two weeks, hosting the Saints Week 1 and the Eagles Week 2. The Eagles game will be played on Aug. 20 at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots travel to Florida for Week 3 to take on the Buccaneers and the final preseason game in Week 4 is a Super Bowl rematch with the Giants at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. It is the eighth straight season the Patriots and Giants will play each other in the preseason finale.

Dates for the games between the Saints, Bucs and Giants will be announced at a future date.

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.


04/04/2012 - 1:17pm
Valentine: No restrictions for Beckett

DETROIT -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that, after Josh Beckett sought medical examinations in both San Antonio and Cleveland for the discomfort in his right thumb, the right-hander is set to pitch without any restrictions.

"The nature of the injury is that it’s really not much of an injury, I would think, because he’s been cleared to pitch and compete and I haven’t been told about any limitations he might have," said Valentine.

Beckett had a 0.95 ERA and .117 batting average against during spring training while pitching with occasional discomfort in his thumb. He is coming off a season in which he went 13-7 with a career-best 2.89 ERA. Beckett will start the second game of the Sox' season on Saturday; he is then scheduled to pitch in the Sox' home opener on Friday, April 13.

For complete Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
 


04/04/2012 - 12:59pm
Red Sox tab Aceves as closer

DETROIT -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said that, with Andrew Bailey sidelined for the first half of the season due to surgery on his right thumb, Alfredo Aceves will serve as the Sox' closer at the start of the season. Mark Melancon will be the alternate closer on days when Aceves is not available.

"He loves competition. I think he's one of the better competitors that I've seen," Valentine said of Aceves. "I could be wrong. I haven't seen him up close and personal in battle, but I believe that he's a very good competitor, to say nothing of a very good pitcher."

Valentine said that the decision was made based on what he saw this spring in the pitchers, as well as based on the familiarity of the American League. The Sox skipper added that he would "of course" be open to using Aceves for saves of more than three outs "if necessary."

With Bailey out, the Sox will open the year with 13 pitchers on the...

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