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01/13/2012 - 5:04pm
Report: Red Sox to invite Varitek to camp

The Boston Red Sox have invited catcher Jason Varitek to Spring Training but as a non-roster player, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Heyman writes that Varitek seems likely to either accept the invitation or retire. Boston already has catchers Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach under contract, along with Ryan Lavarnway who is expected to start the season in Pawtucket.

Last season Varitek batted .221 in 68 games and posted a .300 on-base percentage. The former Red Sox captain has spent his entire major league career in Boston since being traded by the Seattle Mariners, along with Derek Lowe, in exchange for Heathcliff Slocumb.

For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.


01/13/2012 - 3:06pm
Pats list Chung (knee), 12 more questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots listed 13 players as limited and questionable Friday for their AFC Divisionable Playoff against Tim Tebow and the Broncos Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots held their final walkthrough on Friday. Patrick Chung, who returned in Week 17 against the Bills after a long bout with a foot injury, suddenly reappeared as limited on Friday with a knee issue, after full participation on Thursday.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was removed from the Patriots injury report on Thursday and was again not listed on Friday, an indication that his left shoulder will not be a factor come Saturday night. 

The Broncos listed wide receiver Eric Decker (knee) and long snapper Lonie Paxton (personal) as out for Saturday's game. Safety Brian Dawkins (neck) is doubtful. Here is the full report from the Patriots:

Limited Participation
CB Kyle Arrington (foot) Questionable
OL Marcus...

01/13/2012 - 12:38pm
King on M&M: 'Zero problem' with McDaniels

Sports Illustrated NFL columnist Peter King made his weekly call to the Mut & Merloni show Friday and weighed in on the Josh McDaniels situation. King said he has "zero problem" with the Patriots hiring the former Broncos coach, although he understands why some people are concerned.

"It's happened in football before," King said. "It just hasn't happened to the absolute ridiculously bizarre -- it's almost like the Jets and the Patriots sometimes where it seemed for a couple of years that every time something happened in that rivalry, it raised the stakes of the rivalry a little bit more.

"Look, in an ideal world, I'm sure Roger Goodell would not want the former coach of the Denver Broncos going to the Patriots the week they play them in the playoffs. But the fact is, there's nothing on the books that legislates against it. And I doubt that it's going to have a very big competitive advantage or disadvantage in...

01/13/2012 - 11:49am
Evans: Mangini 'screwed our team' in '05

NFL Network analyst and former Patriots fullback Heath Evans joined the Mut & Merloni show Friday morning to analyze Saturday's Patriots-Broncos matchup, and one of the topics of discussion was the addition of Josh McDaniels to the Patriots staff to help the team make a smooth transition from outgoing offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien. Evans compared the situation to the 2005 Patriots, and he revealed some information about Eric Mangini's acrimonious departure from New England that led to Bill Belichick holding a longstanding grudge.

"Let me backtrack back to '05," Evans said. "In '05 Belichick gives Mangini permission to go interview with the Jets. He comes back -- basically, we all knew he was getting that job -- and spends the week recruiting front office staff and players to go with him. Not really doing his job. We go to Denver, lay an egg [in] Round 2 of the playoffs."

Added Evans: "The bottom line is people...

01/13/2012 - 9:39am
Ference on D&C: Subban needs to 'man up'

During his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning, Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference talked about the incident Thursday night in which he pounced on Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban following Subban's elbow to David Krejci's head. Ference dropped his gloves and dragged a turtling Subban along the ice before both were sent to the penalty box.

Asked if Subban embarrassed himself, Ference said: "I wasn't that surprised. I think it's more embarrassing he was fighting his own teammates in practice [referrring to a Jan. 2 incident in which Subban clashed with Tomas Plekanec]. I don't know. It was a hit to Krejci's head. I'm the smallest defenseman on our team, so I think he pulled a pretty good card on that one. But I guess he still didn't want to fight."

Ference said most players would be expected to engage in that situation. "Well, yeah, that's what you'd normally expect," he said. "But like I...

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