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04/16/2010 - 2:13pm
Varitek catching Beckett; Pedroia hits 3rd

With Jacoby Ellsbury (ribs) and Mike Cameron (kidney stone) out of the lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, the Red Sox feature a dramatically altered lineup complexion for the series opener. That alteration is amplified by the fact that Josh Beckett, for the second straight start, will be paired with catcher Jason Varitek.

 

With Victor Martinez out, Dustin Pedroia will bat third (his first start in the No. 3 slot since Sept. 25, 2008), with J.D. Drew batting second. Bill Hall is currently in the lineup in center field, batting ninth. With Cameron's late scratch on Thursday, Hall made his first start in center since 2007, though he was already in the lineup against Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano. His presence in the lineup against Rays right-hander Wade Davis, on the other hand, reflects necessity, as Hall has the lowest average (.178) and OBP (.251) in the majors against right-handers (min. 400 at-bats) since the start of 2008...

04/16/2010 - 12:46pm
Dolphins trade Ginn to 49ers

According to multiple reports, the Miami Dolphins, on the heels of acquiring wide receiver Brandon Marshall from the Broncos, sent receiver/kick returner Ted Ginn to the San Francisco 49ers for a fifth-round draft choice. A 25-year-old speedster, Ginn returned two kicks for touchdowns in a game against the Jets last season. In two games against the Patriots in 2009, Ginn returned eight kicks for 204 yards and caught three passes for 41 yards.


04/16/2010 - 12:32pm
Neely on D&H: B's will focus on positive

Bruins vice president Cam Neely made an appearance on the Dale & Holley show Friday afternoon and discussed the Bruins' performance in Game 1 of their playoff series against the Sabres. Neely said the Bruins want to get more traffic in front of Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, but it isn't due to a lack of effort by his team. "I don't think that the last 10 or so games there's been an issue with effort or desire," Neely said.

 

Despite Thursday's loss and the inability of the Bruins' to convert on more than one of their 39 shots, Neely said the team will focus on the positives. "I think you have to be as positive as possible," Neely said. "You've got to look at it like, 'We had 38 shots on net. It's going to come, it's going to come. As opposed to saying, 'We had [39] shots on net and we only had one [goal].' I think you have to keep as positive a mindset as possible when you're a player."

 

Added...

04/16/2010 - 12:01pm
Cop in Roethlisberger case quits

One day before the police department documents in the Ben Roethlisberger case were made public, the officer who took the first report from the woman who accused Roethlisberger of sexual assault resigned. Sgt. Jerry Blash, the only officer who interviewed the Steelers quarterback, admitted in an interview with investigators that he made some derogatory comments about the accuser to other officers.

 

Photos have surfaced online of Roethlisberger smiling alongside Blash, and Milledgeville (Ga.) police Chief Woodrow Blue said the photos were taken in the hours before the allegation was made.

 

Also revealed in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reports released Thursday was the fact investigators wanted to talk with a woman about a separate incident reportedly involving Roethlisberger, but the women declined to talk.

 

For more on that story,...

04/16/2010 - 11:13am
Finley on D&H: C's overconfidence 'a disease'

New Celtic Michael Finley joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about the playoffs, which the C's open Saturday by hosting the Miami Heat. Finley said the Celtics need to work on their mental preparation. "Confidence is never a problem with this team," he said. "That's something I learned since I've been here and from afar. It's just a matter of keeping that confidence to a professional level, meaning that you can be confident, but it's a disease to be overconfident. I think that's what's happened in some of the games since I've been here. We go into the game not respecting our opponent as much as should, and as a result we were losing some of those games.

 

"Coming into the playoffs, I don't think respecting our opponent is going to be a problem, because each opponent that we face is a worthy, playoff- and championship-contending team," he added. "We've got to come in with the right mindset...

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