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12/14/2011 - 12:37am
Source: Sox haven't offered Varitek contract

According to a major league source, the Red Sox have yet to make a contract offer to free agent catcher Jason Varitek. 

Varitek's future with the Red Sox was put in doubt Tuesday when the team signed catcher Kelly Shoppach to a one-year, $1.35 million deal (which, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, could reach as $1.75 million with incentives). With the presence of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, rookie Ryan Lavarnway, and Shoppach, the Sox' catching position would appear to be set, although a source said that the team and Varitek's agent, Scott Boras, would continue to talk about a potential fit.

The 39-year-old Varitek, who was not offered arbitration by the Red Sox, played in 68 games in 2011, hitting .221 with a .723 OPS. He has played his entire major league career with the Red Sox, having been dealt from the Seattle organization in 1997.

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

12/13/2011 - 9:25pm
Kings of their domain: B's beat LA

Responding to a call from his coach to be a "good brat," not a "bad brat," Brad Marchand scored twice off faceoff wins from Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask stopped all 41 shots, as the Bruins won their first game without captain Zdeno Chara, 3-0, over the Kings Tuesday night at TD Garden. It was Rask's ninth career shutout and first this season. He was outstanding in the third, stopping 20 shots, three more than he had to save in his last shutout last March 1 at Ottawa.

For Marchand, it was a positive response to his $2,500 fine on Monday for slewfooting Matt Niskanen of the Penguins on Dec. 5 in Pittsburgh, a move that prompted coach Claude Julien to say Tuesday morning that he wanted to see the "good brat" style of play. The Bruins winger scored his first goal of the month and his first since Nov. 30, a stretch of five games. 

Steve Kampfer was called upon to fill the roster spot of Chara, who suffered a...

12/13/2011 - 3:15pm
Rondo on M&M: Trade talk isn't a concern

Celtics guard Rajon Rondo was a guest of Mut and Merloni on Tuesday. The Boston Herald had a report Tuesday that detailed an incident between Games 2 and 3 of the Miami series last season that included Rondo using harsh language and then throwing a bottle at a screen during a team video session.

"It was a heated meeting, obviously a lot of emotion inside the locker room," Rondo said. "We all wanted to win, we were down 0-2. Just, some things happened in those last 10 minutes of the meeting. We’re here now, though."

Rondo has been the subject of much trade talk recently, with an anonymous NBA GM telling the Herald in the same report that Danny Ainge has "offered [Rondo] around the league." 

"I haven’t talked to them at all about the trade," Rondo said. "I...

12/13/2011 - 1:28pm
Ray Allen: 'I feel very rushed'

WALTHAM -- With training camps opening around the league and roster uncertainty tearing apart would-be trades of superstars, several veterans on the Celtics echoed a sentiment among many in the NBA that the league is rushing its players toward the start of the season. 

"I feel very rushed," Ray Allen said at the team's media day on Tuesday. "I can't say I've been particularly happy with the way things have transpired over the last two or three weeks but I think everybody is in the situation where we just have to do the best with what we have and we have to adjust to the situation at hand and it's a challenge for all of us and we're all going through it. 

"There's nothing more you can do about it but prepare yourself physically and mentally. Young guys, carry them along with us. For the veteran guys, we have to be ready for difficulties and great challenges."

Captain Paul Pierce pointed toward the league's...

12/13/2011 - 1:02pm
O'Brien on flap: 'Just two competitive guys'

Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien spoke publicly Tuesday for the first time since his sideline spat with quarterback Tom Brady, and said both of them are over it and have moved in to concentrate on this week’s opponent, the Broncos.

“I heard from my mom, [to] watch my language,” he said with a laugh. “It (was) just two competitive guys that want the best for the team. We’ve moved on to Denver and are getting ready for Denver now.”

Asked about the exchange, O’Brien talked about communication between players and coaches.

“When you walk in the door here and you work with Bill Belichick, you’re going to learn how to coach and you’re going to learn how to play,” he said. “That’s one of the things we pride ourselves on here, both coaches and players looking to improve every day and communicate with each other day. Sometimes communication...

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