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12/02/2011 - 3:34pm
Cashman issues challenge to Valentine

Yankees GM Brian Cashman would like to see new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine match him in a daredevil feat.

Cashman, who on Sunday will rappel down the side of a building in Stamford, Conn., as part of the city's "Heights of Lights" festival -- something that he will be doing for the second straight year -- suggested that he would like to see Stamford native Valentine join him in the undertaking next year.

“I publicly challenge Bobby Valentine to join me on the building,” Cashman told reporters on Friday while engaged in a practice run down a building in Stamford's Landmark Square. “Landmark Square, first week of December. Be there. 2012.”

Cashman, who knows Valentine well from his time as manager of the New York Mets...

12/02/2011 - 1:34pm
Celtics open NBA season on Christmas

The NBA made it official: The Celtics will open the season on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks at noon. It will be the first NBA game of the 2011-12 season and will be broadcast on TNT.

Full schedules aren't expected to be announced until next week. Here's the rest of the Christmas slate:

Miami at Dallas (ABC), 2:30 p.m.

Chicago at Lakers (ABC), 5 p.m.

Orlando at Oklahoma City (ESPN), 8 p.m.

Clippers at Golden State (ESPN), 10:30 p.m.

For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.

 

 

 


12/02/2011 - 1:34pm
Only Vollmer, Spikes miss Pats practice

FOXBORO -- All but two players were accounted for as the Patriots practice in sweats and shells on Friday inside Gillette Stadium. Sebastian Vollmer (foot/back) and Brandon Spikes (knee) were not spotted as the team continued preparations for the Colts this Sunday in Foxboro. 

Spikes attended the walkthrough on Wednesday but missed the next two days as he continues treatment for his right knee, injured in the Nov. 6 loss to the Giants. Vollmer has missed practice all week after suffering an ankle injury in last Sunday's win in Philadelphia. 

Coach Bill Belichick said safety Patrick Chung and other injured players like Devin McCourty continue to "make progress" but stopped short of commiting to their return this Sunday against Indianapolis. 

For more, visit the Patriots team page at weei.com/patriots and the blog It Is What It Is...

12/02/2011 - 12:30pm
Belichick: 'I love Bobby'

FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick didn't mention whether or not he got comp meals at his Connecticut restaurant, but he did speak very fondly of Bobby Valentine on Friday, one day after the 61-year-old was introduced at Fenway as the 45th manager in Red Sox history.

"When I was in New York, Bobby was in New York with the Mets," Belichick said. "Love Bobby, great guy, great baseball guy. Love to talk to him, he's got a lot of energy. Don't get me wrong, I love Terry [Francona], but Bobby, I had a great relationship with Bobby in New York, went to several Mets games. Watched Keyshawn [Johnson] throw out the opening pitch and all that. Bobby is a wonderful guy. I look forward to catching up with him and seeing him here."

Belichick was in New York as Jets defensive coordinator from 1997 through 1999, paralleling Valentine's tenure as manager of the Mets. Valentine stayed in New York longer as his final season as Mets skipper came in 2002....

12/02/2011 - 9:31am
Sox talked to Bell before deal with Marlins

According a major league source, the Red Sox did show interest in closer Heath Bell, engaging in conversations with the reliever's representatives prior to Bell's reported agreement with the Miami Marlins.

The 34-year-old Bell, who is close friends with Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, has agreed to a three-year deal with the Marlins that would be worth $9 million per season with a vesting option for a fourth year. It is being reported that Bell will be in Miami to take his physical Friday.

According to the source, the Red Sox weren't prepared to match Miami's commitment to Bell partly due to concerns over a perceived dip in stuff -- his strikeout rate per nine innings dropped from 11.1 in 2010 to 7.3 in '11 -- and the fact the reliever's success has come while pitching home games in pitching-friendly Petco Park. (It...

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