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05/25/2012 - 3:35pm
Gonzalez back to first, Middlebrooks sitting
By: DJ Bean

Adrian Gonzalez will return to first base and Will Middlebrooks will sit as the Red Sox open a three-game set against the Rays. Gonzalez, who has played right field in four of the last five games, moving back to first means that Kevin Youkilis will return to third base while Marlon Byrd will man right field for the Sox. 

The Red Sox, currently at 22-22 and last place in the AL East, have the opportunity to improve their record to better than .500 for the first time this season. They have been at .500 four times. The lineup is as follows: 

1. Mike Aviles, SS

2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B

3. David Ortiz, DH

4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B

5. Kevin Youkilis, 3B

6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C

7. Daniel Nava, LF

8. Marlon Byrd, RF

9. Scott Podsednik, CF

SP -- Jon Lester

For more on the Red Sox, visit weei.com/redsox.


05/25/2012 - 1:46pm
Rondo: 'We haven't done it yet, but we will'

WALTHAM -- As the Celtics gathered for practice prior to Saturday's Game 7 against the 76ers, they appeared loose, relaxed and confident. Despite losing guard Avery Bradley to shoulder surgery, coach Doc Rivers talked about how resilient his team has been.

Asked about their resiliency, Rajon Rondo said, "We haven’t got it done yet, but we will tomorrow. I think it’s our mindset. It’s our focus and our intentions coming into the game. We’re going to make sacrifices and make plays."

This isn't the first time Rondo has made somewhat bold statements. After the Celtics beat Atlanta in Game 2 when he was suspended, Rondo said that it felt like they had won the series already.

Rondo was also asked about the notion: as Rondo goes, so go the Celtics, to which he replied in his deadpan manner, "Oh man, that’s a lot of pressure. I’ve heard it before, I don’t know if it’s true. We’re...

05/25/2012 - 12:39pm
Bradley has surgery, out for playoffs

WALTHAM -- Celtics coach Doc Rivers announced at Friday morning's practice that Avery Bradley had surgery Friday on his ailing left shoulder and is out for the playoffs. 

"Avery Bradley is having surgery today so he's out for the playoffs," Rivers said. "That's that. When a player goes down, that's disappointing, and especially with what Avery has given us this year. His growth this year has been terrific and it's been great. He's become a very valuable piece to our basketball team. His ability to guard the best [opposing] guard at [point or shooting guard] has really taken so much pressure off Rondo, in particular. And not having him means that Rondo now has to go back to that role and run the team, and that's hard, that's hard to do, unfortunately and especially against the team we're playing that has two guards that attack. 

"Rondo doesn't have a lot of breaks. But that's the way it is. We've been a team all year...

05/25/2012 - 11:30am
Dooling returns to Celtics practice

WALTHAM -- Already without Avery Bradley, the Celtics practiced on Friday without backup guard Keyon Dooling, who was out sick. Dooling returned to the team Saturday morning for its shootaround before Game 7 with the Sixers. The team worked on half-court set as per usual with no conditioning drills. Before the shootaround, the team also watched film. 

With Bradley out and Ray Allen nursing two sore ankles, Dooling figures to see more playing time in Saturday night's decisive game. In another positive sign, Greg Stiemsma took part on Saturday, a day after Doc Rivers said the backup center's feet were "feeling better." During Game 6 in Philadelphia, Rivers said that Stiemsma asked out of the game because he was in pain. 

"He couldn't play in the second half the other night," Doc Rivers said on Friday. "Funny, I put him and he walks up and says, 'I can't go.' I thought he was walking up to go in. But he feels better...

05/25/2012 - 10:22am
Beckett: 'I get paid to get outs'

Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett acknowledges his velocity has dipped a bit this year, but the 32-year-old said it isn't fair to treat him like he's 49-year-old junkballer Jamie Moyer.

“It seems like that’s what it is because every start I have got to answer questions about my velocity. I don’t know. I thought I get paid to get outs,” Beckett said. “I don’t feel like I’m out there throwing eighty-[expletive]-five mph. But it seems like that’s all I get credit for. I’m at 91-93 now instead of 94-96. It’s really, what, three miles an hour?”

Beckett's season has been tainted by two disastrous outings and an off-field golfing controversy. But his six other outings were all quality starts (six-plus innings, three or fewer earned runs), ranking him sixth in the American League in percentage of quality starts.

Beckett joked about recent criticism of his weight, noting that his body...

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