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WEEI » This Just In
10/31/2011 - 9:35pm
Cherington: Scutaro enters camp as starter

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said Monday that he expects Marco Scutaro to enter spring training as the team's starting shortstop after the Sox chose to pick up the 36-year-old's $6 million team option for 2012.

"He finished the year as the starter, so I would see him going into spring training as the starter," Cherington said following the media access to managerial candidate Pete Mackanin, who represented the team's first interview for its vacant managers job. "We have some depth at that position with [Mike] Aviles and [Jed] Lowrie and [Jose] Iglesias coming in behind them, so we felt like going into spring training with a surplus in that area was an advantage to us -- and this offseason, having a surplus in that area is an advantage to us, too."

Cherington explained the reasoning behind picking up Scutaro's option, citing the shortstop's performance in '11, along with how he would be positioned in the free agent...

10/31/2011 - 9:15pm
Deadline for Theo compensation looming

Following the media access to managerial candidate Pete Mackanin, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said that there was nothing to report regarding any agreement on the compensation coming back from the Cubs in exchange for former Sox GM Theo Epstein.

Commissioner Bud Selig had stated during the World Series if the organizations couldn't come to agreement on compensation by Nov. 1 then he would step in and mediate. According to Cherington, that scenario is a very real possibility.

"We've always felt like that was a possibility," Cherington said. "As I think I mentioned in the (introductory) press conference, it's a difficult deal to work out. It's hard to quantify the value of Theo Epstein. I have an idea of it, and Theo doesn't think he's worth as much as I do. We haven't been able to bridge that gap yet. It's possible we could. Both sides are comfortable with that outcome if it works out that way."

When asked how...

10/31/2011 - 4:50pm
Belichick: Bodden release right for team
By: DJ Bean

Patriots Bill Belichick joined The Big Show Monday at Gillette Stadium, discussing the team's 25-17 loss to the Steelers and his decision to release veteran cornerback Leigh Bodden last week. 

Perhaps the most scrutinized play of Sunday's loss was the team's onside kick with 2:35 remaining. The Patriots still had three timeouts and were trailing by six, but the Pats went for the onside kick and did not see it travel the required 10 yards. 

"We worked on the play a lot in practice," Belichick said. "Really, it's looked good and I thought we had a good chance to get the ball. Unfortunately, it didn't work very well in the game. That wasn't the way we wanted it to go, but that was just one of those things where it just didn't happen the way we hoped it would. 

"If we would have made the stops defensively and not given up that initial first down, we would have gotten the ball back with a lot more time than we...

10/31/2011 - 3:27pm
Wilfork: Bodden's release didn't impact Pats

Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, in his weekly interview on The Big Show, said that the absence of released cornerback Leigh Bodden was not to blame for New England's poor defensive performance in a 25-17 loss to the Steelers on Sunday.

"Absolutely not. Absolutely not," Wilfork said of whether Bodden's release on Friday affected the defensive effort. "Coach is always making decisions that is best for the team and the organization. ... Everybody is focused on going out and doing our job. We didn't do it well, of course, but at the same time, I think we prepared well. We just didn't execute the way we wanted to."

Wilfork suggested that he believes the Patriots have the potential to be an elite defense, even as he cautioned that the unit must improve. However, he suggested that the team failed too often in third-and-long situations, at times when "we had them right where we wanted to." 

The lineman...

10/31/2011 - 2:53pm
Sox decline options on Wheeler, Atchison

The Red Sox announced that they were declining their contract options on two right-handed relievers, Dan Wheeler and Scott Atchsion.

Wheeler, 33, is now a free agent. He went 2-2 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.115 WHIP, along with 7.1 strikeouts and 1.5 walks per nine innings. While he struggled early, he was one of the Sox' most effective relievers from mid-May through early-September, with a 1.53 ERA over a span of more than three months. However, a forearm injury (from which Wheeler has now recovered) in September prevented him from being an effective contributor down the stretch, as the Sox' bullpen collapsed.

Wheeler is a Type B free agent, meaning that if the Sox offer him salary arbitration and he declines in order to sign with another team, the Sox would be in line for a draft pick in the sandwich round. That status likely played into the Sox' decision to decline his option.

Atchison, meanwhile, spent the year shuttling between Boston and...

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