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03/22/2010 - 8:50pm
Mauer: I wish Victor 'the best'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Using the same pen he signed his first professional contract, Joe Mauer signed on the dotted line at the Minnesota Twins minor league complex Monday for a record $184 million dollar contract extension through 2018. He will make $23 million a season in the fourth-richest contract ever awarded a player.

 

"One of the things we did in this process was check with the Players Association and see what they feel about it," said Mauer, who said he's aware of Victor Martinez's final year of his current contract in Boston. "It really comes down to everybody's individual's cases and in my case, I really wanted to stay in Minnesota and I really feel comfortable here. I wish Victor and everybody else out there the best in their decisions but they have to do what is right for them. I really felt this was the right situation for me." For more, visit the Full Count...

03/22/2010 - 5:30pm
Belichick: No change in workload

Bill Belichick, in Orlando for the NFL owners meeting, told ESPN.com that he does not anticapte an increase in his coaching workload in 2010 despite the departure of defensive coordinator Dean Pees.

 

"I'm not going to take on more workload," Belichick said. "It just might be distributed a little differently. That's the way it's been in the past. My workload hasn't changed in the last 10 years. It's been distributed differently, from year to year, or even within a year, within different timeframes of the year -- between personnel and football, or offense, defense and special teams as it relates just to football."

 

The Patriots coach told ESPN.com that he will lead the defensive meeting room in 2010, a responsibility held by Pees last season. 

 

Belichick also weighed in on the...

03/22/2010 - 4:57pm
Pats get four extra draft picks

The Patriots were granted four compensatory draft picks Monday afternoon at the NFL Meetings. Based on its free agent movement from last offseason, New England received three extra seventh-round picks and one extra sixth-round selection. The Patriots now have 12 picks in next month's draft. For more Patriots news, check out our football blog, It Is What It Is.
 


03/22/2010 - 4:42pm
Home run heaven: Rays outslug Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Evan Longoria and former Red Sox catcher Kelly Shoppach each belted a pair of home runs as the Tampa Bay Rays outlasted the Red Sox, 11-9, at City of Palms Park on Monday afternoon. The Rays hit a total of seven home runs in the game, including two off starter and loser Boof Bonser and three of Junichi Tazawa with a strong wind blowing out to right all afternoon. Bonser, battling for a roster spot, allowed six hits and five runs, while walking two, striking out two in two-plus innings.

 

Trailing 11-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Red Sox rallied with their minor leaguers. Second baseman Ray Chang belted a three-run homer for the Red Sox in the seventh. The Sox added two in the eighth and three more in the ninth and had the winning run at the plate as the game ended.

 

The Red Sox also dropped a game across the state as the St. Louis rallied for seven runs in the eighth for a 13-8 win at...

03/22/2010 - 3:43pm
Lackey continues sharp spring

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox starter John Lackey, in his fourth start of the spring, threw five innings in a minor league camp game. Facing an array of Sox minor leaguers (mostly from the Double A and Triple A ranks), Lackey allowed one run on three hits while striking out six and walking none. He still has yet to give up a walk this spring, though he did permit his first run on a homer to left by minor leaguer Daniel Nava.

 

"Got one out of the way," Lackey joked.

 

Lackey threw 68 pitches, 46 strikes. He said that his buildup this spring has been more gradual than in previous years, but that he wanted to scale back his spring workload somewhat after having started each of the last two seasons on the disabled list.He incorporated more sliders than he had to this point of the spring, and was able to use the pitch to record a couple of his punchouts.

 

"I was more happy with my breaking stuff...

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