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04/02/2012 - 10:26am
Beckett expects to make first start

Josh Beckett said via text message that he expects to make his April 7 start against the Tigers, writing when asked if it was fair to say he would making his start in Detroit despite a reported thumb injury, "As far as I know." He also reported the thumb was "fine."

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine also downplayed the injury when meeting with the media Monday morning, reporting that the starter threw 100 pitches in the bullpen Sunday and saying he "totally" expects Beckett to make the Saturday start.

"He's had a little situation that he's taking care of today, just for peace of mind," Valentine told reporters. "He's having someone look at it, just for peace of mind. ... It seemed like everything was fine."

Earlier Monday morning, pitcher Alfredo Aceves told the media he had been asked to be ready to start the second game of the regular season if Beckett wasn't ready. A team spokesperson...

04/02/2012 - 9:36am
Aceves says he may fill in for injured Beckett

Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves told reporters in Fort Myers that, one day after the announcement that he would open the year in the bullpen, he was told by Sox manager Bobby Valentine that he might be necessary as a rotation fill-in for Josh Beckett to start the season. The reason, according to Aceves, was that the scheduled second starter in the Sox rotation is dealing with a thumb injury. Aceves said that he was told to be ready, if Beckett is not available, for the possibility of filling in for the right-hander's first two starts of the season, which would come in the second game of the season (April 7) and then in the Sox' home opener on April 13.

Beckett, a team official told reporters, will travel to San Antonio to have his thumb examined before joining the Sox in Detroit for the season-opening series against the Tigers. The right-hander had sailed through his spring schedule, with a 0.95 ERA in five Grapefruit League starts and a .117 batting...

04/02/2012 - 8:26am
Bard on D&C: No issues with Valentine

Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard joined the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning, one day after officially being named as the team's No. 5 starter.

Bard received the news Sunday morning that he had earned a spot in the rotation, and he said the feeling was "a little bit of relief. I tried not to worry about it too much these last couple of weeks, just try to focus on what I can control and going out there and trying to compete every five days, showing them that I'm capable of going deep in games. The rest of it was in their hands."

Last week, former Red Sox pitcher and current ESPN analyst Curt Schilling appeared on WEEI and criticized Bobby Valentine, saying that some Sox players had told him that they weren't happy with the new manager's style.

"I don't know who Schill talked to," Bard said. "I'm not saying he didn't talk to anyone, but it wasn't me is all I know. I didn't speak to him. But no, I haven't gotten...

04/02/2012 - 6:59am
Mashup: Flyers respond to 'gutless' Penguins

The Flyers overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Penguins, 6-4, Sunday in Pittsburgh, but the talk after the game was about a brawl that began when Pens winger Joe Vitale crushed Danny Briere at mid-ice with just over a minute remaining.

While the players on the ice fought, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette climbed up on the dasher to scream at Penguins bench boss Dan Bylsma. Pittsburgh assistant coach Tony Granato climbed up on the boards to defend his coach and was ejected along with Laviolette.

After the game, Laviolette criticized Bylsma for putting his enforcers on the ice at the end of the game. "Those guys hadn't played in 12 minutes," Laviolette said. "It was a gutless move by their coach."

Read more about that story and others, plus check out videos, trivia and more, at ...

04/01/2012 - 9:12pm
LeBron: On defense, Bradley 'one of the best'

He wasn't ready to go as far as calling Avery Bradley The Dwyane Wade Stopper, but Heat superstar LeBron James had high praise for the sophomore guard after the Celtics' 91-72 victory Sunday.

"He's a really good young player," James said. "I think defensively he's one of the best that we've seen as far as baseline to baseline. He's really good at that."

Bradley held Wade to 15 points on just 6-for-17 shooting. Meanwhile, starting in place of the injured Ray Allen (ankle), he scored 13 points on 5-for-10 field goals -- four of which came within two feet of the rim. The Celtics improved to 11-4 in Bradley's 15 starts (4-0 over the last four games).

"He gives them another attack off the dribble, and he does a great job of cutting," James said. "When [Rajon] Rondo penetrates or Paul [Pierce] penetrates, he does a great job of cutting and getting easy ones, so he brings a dynamic to their team that they use and...

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