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05/02/2012 - 4:10pm
Patriots 'shocked, saddened' by Seau's death

The Patriots issued a statement Wednesday afternoon regarding the death of linebacker Junior Seau, who played in New England from 2006 to 2009.

“We were shocked to hear of the initial reports regarding Junior Seau earlier today and are deeply saddened by the news of his death. We were fortunate to have had Junior join the Patriots in 2006 and are thankful for his many contributions to the team over the next four years. He had a legendary NFL career and his unrivaled passion for the game quickly made him a fan favorite here in New England. This is a sad day for the entire Patriots organization, our coaches and his many Patriots teammates. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to his family and his many friends who will mourn this loss.”

Seau was a 12-time Pro Bowler and veteran of 20 NFL seasons, including four with the Patriots. He originally joined the Patriots on Aug. 6, 2006 and played through 2007 before having two...

05/02/2012 - 4:08pm
Middlebrooks in lineup for Sox, batting 8th

Will Middlebrooks will make his major-league debut for the Red Sox on Wednesday, batting eighth and playing third base against the A's at Fenway Park.  Middlebrooks is batting .333 with nine homers, 27 RBI and a .677 slugging percentage for Triple-A Pawtucket this season. 

The status of Kevin Youkilis (back) remains unknown. Bobby Valentine told WEEI on Wednesday that no decision has been made regarding a potential DL stint for Youkilis. 

LINEUP

Aviles, SS

Sweeney, RF

Pedroia, 2B

Gonzalez, 1B

Ortiz, DH

Ross, LF

Saltalamacchia, C

Middlebrooks, 3B

Byrd, CF

Bard -- SP

For more Red Sox news visit weei.com/redsox.


05/02/2012 - 2:23pm
Ex-Patriot linebacker Seau dead at 43

Former Patriots linebacker Junior Seau was found dead of an apparent suicide in his San Diego-area home Wednesday, police have confirmed. 

Seau, a 10-time All-Pro and 12-time Pro Bowl selection, played for his hometown Chargers from 1990-2002 before joining the Dolphins for three seasons. He signed with the Patriots in 2006 and played four seasons in New England, although he signed well into the season in 2008 and '09.

Seau, 43, was involved in an incident in 2010 when his Cadillac Escalade drove off a highway in Carlsbad, Calif., and down a 30-foot coastal bluff shortly after he was arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend at his home (although he was never charged). Police said Seau had fallen asleep at the wheel.

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.


05/02/2012 - 1:04pm
Olney: Sox 'aware' of trade interest in Youk

ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney made his weekly appearance with the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday to talk about Red Sox news involving Kevin Youkilis, Aaron Cook and Oil Can Boyd.

Third baseman Will Middlebrooks has been tearing it up in the minors, but until the Sox decide what to do with the injury-plagued Youkilis, Middlebrooks might have trouble finding enough at-bats in Boston. Olney was asked what the market would look like if the Red Sox considered trading Youkilis.

"They have been exploring it, I think in the past. I'm not saying that they're aggressively there looking to dump his contract, but I think they're aware of potential interest," Olney said. "And I can tell you this for a fact: There are teams -- and I've spoken with evaluators of other teams -- as soon as Youkilis leaves the Red Sox, whether it's as a free agent at the end of this year or if they're willing to eat a lot of the money in this year's deal,...

05/02/2012 - 12:45pm
Beckett (lat) skipped, Cook starts Saturday

Josh Beckett will miss his next start on Saturday against the Orioles and righthander Aaron Cook will be promoted and take his place in the Red Sox rotation, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine announced before Wednesday's game. 

"Aaron Cook was retained by us. There was a question if we keep him, what do we do with him. And so what we're going to do is keep him, start him on Saturday, that will be in Josh's spot. Josh is just going to miss that one start, just to play it safe on the fact that he threw more pitches than he normally throws. And he had some right lat stiffness, tightness."

Beckett matched a career high by throwing 126 pitches on Sunday in a 4-1 loss to the White Sox. 

"There's a reason for everything and Aaron Cook gets a start and Josh gets more than just one day extra," Valentine said. "It's the next-day stiffness that was a little more than normal."

Valentine insisted he believes...

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