According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the Baltimore Orioles have signed shortstop Cale Iorg to a minor league contract. Iorg, who is the son of former major leaguer Garth Iorg, will report to AA Bowie after being released by the Detroit Tigers at the end of spring training.
The Canadian-born infielder was drafted in the sixth round (211th overall) of the 2007 draft by the Tigers, and spent six years in the organization, reaching AAA Toledo in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Following the 2008 season, Iorg was ranked as the third best prospect in the Tigers system, but offensive struggles and injuries have hampered his career to this point. He is still known as an excellent fielder, and will provide the Orioles with organizational depth at the Double-A level.
Iorg suited up for Team Canada in this year’s World Baseball Classic, posting a 1-for-11 line in the tournament. Following Canada’s elimination, the 27-year old returned to Tigers camp until he was told that he was traded to the Orioles at the end of camp. For unknown reasons, that deal fell through, and the Tigers decided to release Iorg, making him a free agent. After a couple of weeks of free agency, the Orioles reached out to confirm that they still had interest, and the sides agreed to a deal.
For the latest MLB news and rumors, follow Chris Cotillo on Twitter @TradeDeadliner.
You can find Cale Iorg on Twitter @EuSouCI.
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Boston Globe Celtics, MCCA will discuss application for All-Star Game - Gary Washburn looks into the possibility of an NBA All-Star game in Boston in the near future.
Boston Herald For Randolph,it's no big deal - Steve Bulpett examines the emergence of Shavlik Randolph as a contributor off of the bench.
CSNNE Wilcox, Randolph stepping up for Celtics - A. Sherrod Blakely discusses what the backup centers have added to the team lately.
ESPN Boston Bloody good play for Shav - Chris Forsberg gives his take on Randolph's recent success as well. New first unit in focus - Sunday's game marked the debut of what will likely be the playoff starting five.
CBS Boston Paul Pierce wins second Red Auerbach Award - It was announced before Sunday evening's game.
Celtics Hub In praise of Brandon Bass - The power forward has had a difficult season, but has shined lately.
Celtics Blog Nobody wants the Celtics in the 1st round - Like the Captain said, they'll be a very difficult matchup.
Huffington Post (AP) Basketball Hall Of Fame Class Of 2013 Includes Rick Pitino, Bernard King, Gary Payton, Jerry Tarkanian - Two former Celtics are headed to Springfield.
Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan
The ailing Carolina Hurricanes visited North Station on Monday night and this would be a prime opportunity for Boston to regain some of their confidence. Wearing their all black alternates, the Bruins took to the ice welcoming back Alternate captain Chris Kelly, who was making his return from a broken tibia.
The first half of the opening frame did not start well for the B's, as Carolina dominated play and out shot the Bruins heavily. Despite being outplayed, at the 10:00 minute mark, the Bruins somehow saw themselves up 2-0.
Rich Peverley would get the scoring started when he gathered his own shot for a nice wrap-around goal, beating Justin Peters just 3:51 in. It would take the Bruins just over 4 minutes to tally their second goal. Brad Marchand would score his first of two on the night as he cleaned up some garbage in front of Peters. The goal would mark the end of Peter's night, as he gave up 2 goals on 4 shots.
Brad Marchand would net his second at 17:20. Jaromir Jagr and Dennis Seidenberg would each get an assist on the play, the second of the evening for each player. Despite the Bruins starting to control play in the second half of the period, the Bruins went into the room out shot 18-9. They were opportunistic, worked hard, won some good battles, and were rewarded with a 3-0 advantage.
The B's picked up in the second where they had left off, coming out with effort and intensity. A nice pinch along the boards by Andrew Ference would be rewarded when a Dennis Seidenberg wrister went off his back side and in at 3:57. This was Seidenberg's first 3 point game since he was playing for Carolina, 4 years and 1 day prior.
Jordan Caron would score his first of the season on a back hander at 10:29, again a clean up goal that was a product of grit and effort. This period was a solid 20 effort from the black and gold. There was a good pace and Tuukka continued his stellar play, making a few key saves. The 'canes got their share of chances, each team registering 12 shots in the period. Carolina still held a significant advantage in shots on the night, entering the 3rd they were up 30-21.
You could tell when the third started that Bruins were feeling a little too comfortable. They continued the theme of being out shot, but it was the lack of crisp play or a sense of urgency that was worrisome. Luckily, Tuukka continued to stand on his head.
The Bruins should have gotten a wake up call when a weird play where the puck went straight up in the air and landed on Rask was almost a goal. A review confirmed the call on the ice, no goal. Then, 22 seconds later, the 'canes would continue to battle and get on the board when Patrick Dwyer found an opening five hole. Just :45 later, Drayson Bowman would cash in for the second goal of the night, beating Tuukka Rask. The play continued back and forth until at 16:46 Nathan Horton would put the Bruins back up by four goals.
Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand looked like they were creating some chemistry, and Jagr tried on three different shifts to set up "the little ball of hate" for the hat trick. There was no doubt it was Tuukka Rask who was the first star, but it was nice to see the Bruins finally open up a six-pack on someone, even if it was the lowly Hurricanes. The negative was that they allowed 42 shots on the night, beating the previous high this season faced by Rask. The Bruins power-play went 0-2, again looking improved at times with Jagr on the ice, and sometimes looking pretty bad.
Next up for the Bruins will be a clash with the point needy New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night. The Devils are currently 2 points out of a playoff spot, and will be looking to get back in at the expense of the B's. Expect another tight game, low scoring, with a lot of stellar defensive zone play. Puck drops at 7:30.
Until next time, Let's Go Black and Gold!!
National Championship Preview
Well folks we finally have gotten through March and the madness and what a tournament it’s been. We have seen many storylines ranging from Florida Gulf Coast aka Dunk City beat the likes of Georgetown and San Diego St and Wichita St a 9 seed made it to the Final Four by upsetting Gonzaga and Ohio St. This is why every year millions of people fill out a bracket for the greatest tournament in sports for the pure madness of upsets, buzzer beaters, game changing performances and just the plain history of the game.
The day is finally here after 3 unbelievable weeks of college basketball putting everyone on the edge of their seats. The National Championship what every college player dreams of winning as a kid puts the last two teams remaining in the tournament the Louisville Cardinals and the Michigan Wolverines. So many story lines surrounding this year’s national championship game whether it be the 20 year anniversary of the Fab Five including Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and Ray Jackson. This year’s team for Michigan is quite similar to that team with the youth of Trey Burke, Glen Robinson III, Nik Stauskas and Mitch McGary. They might not have had the hype of 4 High School McDonalds All Americans but they are definitely proving their value when it counts.
We transition to the Louisville storylines with Rick Pitino getting elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame today and having the chance to be the first coach to win 2 national titles with two different teams. This magical run started with blowing out their first three opponents and pitting them in an elite eight matchup against Duke. In that game one of the most gruesome injuries happened to backup guard Kevin Ware and he has been Louisville’s inspiration to get them that elusive National Championship. In turn, in the interviews Kevin Ware had post injury we have seen such a bright young man with a heavy heart and is truly an inspiring story
Trey Burke PG Peyton Siva PG
Nik Stauskas SG Russ Smith SG
Tim Hardaway SF Wayne Blackshear SF
Glen Robinson III PF Chane Behanan PF
Mitch McGary C Gorgui Dieng C
Keys to the Game
Will Michigan be able to handle the Louisville Press? So far the Louisville Press has been tantalizing on team’s offenses and has had them coast into the Final Four. Wichita St. had great success for the first 35 minutes of their National Semifinal game but crumbled down the stretch. I believe Michigan will be able to handle the press but they will have at least 10 turnovers.
Will Louisville’s Guards stay out of Foul Trouble? In relation to the first key to the game with the style they play Louisville’s guards are at risk for early game fouls with the amount of pressure they put on opponents. Since Kevin Ware’s injury they have lost depth at the guard position and they are going to have to count on Luke Hancock and surprise walk on Tim Henderson. My estimation is that the Louisville guards will stay out of foul trouble. Hancock should have a decent game off the bench with 10 points to give the starters a rest during points of the game.
Louisville’s Free Throw Shooting: Louisville’s two big men down low struggle from the free throw line. Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanen both are around 50% free-throw shooters so if it’s a close game late this may play a pivotal role in the outcome. Should be interesting to see what the strategy is for Michigan is late in the game.
Overall Prediction: Michigan wins 76-68 over Louisville with the upset in front of the members of the Fab Five. Trey Burke is the player of the game with 25 points and 8 assists.
For the latest info on NCCAB and MLB stay here at CLNSRadio.com or follow me on Twitter @RobBestWiller.
Former Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.
Pitino enters the Hall primarily on his stellar work as a coach at the collegiate level with Boston University, Providence College, University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville. He leads the Cardinals into tonight’s NCAA Championship Game against the University of Michigan. Pitino has one NCAA championship (1996 Kentucky Wildcats) and tonight marks his third appearance in the Championship Game (along with his seventh appearance in the Final Four). It was an unlikely Final Four run with the upstart Providence College Friars in 1987 that earned Pitino a shot at the NBA.
The New York Knicks hired Pitino as Head Coach in 1987 and he led them to two consecutive playoff appearances including a trip to the second round in 1989. Pitino used that performance as a springboard to land an even higher profile position; Head Coach of the Kentucky Wildcats. After eight seasons in the Bluegrass State, the Boston Celtics lured him back to the NBA to turn around the storied franchise.
Over three plus seasons, Pitino submitted a less-than-Hall-worthy performance as Team President and Head Coach of the Celtics. During his tenure, he managed to enrage or alienate virtually everyone associated from the franchise – from legendary franchise patriarch Red Auerbach all the way down to a majority of the fan base – through a series of impetuous personnel transactions and curious coaching decisions. He resigned his position with the Celtics in January of 2001 after posting a 102-144 record.
Another name with brief ties to the Celtics joins Pitino as part of the Hall’s Class of 2013. Former Seattle Supersonics point guard Gary Payton spent the 2004-2005 season with the Celtics during the twilight of an outstanding 17-year NBA career.
Former NCAA coaches Jerry Tarkanian, Guy Lewis, and Silvia Hatchell along with former NBA player Bernard King and former NCAA and WNBA star Dawn Staley round out the class that will be inducted on September 8th in Springfield.
After being designated for assignment last week by the Boston Red Sox, first baseman Mauro Gomez was claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. He was assigned to Triple-A Buffalo to begin the 2013 season.
Gomez was one of many position players vying for a backup role behind Mike Napoli this season along with Lyle Overbay, Mark Hamilton, Daniel Nava and Mike Carp but was a long shot to win a spot due to his lack of versatility. Both Nava and Carp ended up beating out Gomez, Overbay and Hamilton for the final two bench spots.
Last season, he put together solid campaign for Triple-A Pawtucket hitting .310 24 HR 74 RBI in only 100 games with the Pawsox. Gomez also posted an incredible .522 slugging percentage along the way. When he made his major league debut with Boston at the age of 27 in 2012, he hit .275 2 HR 17 RBI in 37 games. At Fenway Park, Gomez hit .300 2 HR 10 RBIs in 20 games.
There were questions if he could become a capable defensive player in the major leagues, which concerned some Red Sox front office officials. If Gomez wasn't’t claimed by any other MLB team, he would have likely spent the season with Pawtucket. Gomez’s new team the Buffalo Bisons won’t visit McCoy Stadium until June 13-16.
Follow our CLNS Red Sox coverage on Twitter all season long here: https://twitter.com/clnsredsox
As the Red Sox win their first game of the 2013 season at Fenway Park, here's a quick look at how the Sox have opened up their 2013 campaign:April 1: Red Sox opened the 2013 season in New York against their long time rival, the New York Yankees. Jon Lester toed the slab for the Sox and labored through 5.1 innings, throwing 96 pitches while surrendering 5 hits and 2 earned runs. Lester also struck out 7 and walked just 2.With the bats the Red Sox came out with guns blazing against Yankees ace, CC Sabathia. In the second inning, Jose Iglesias, Shane Victorino, and Dustin Pedroia all grabbed RBI's as the Red Sox jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back. The second inning also saw highly touted Red Sox prospect, Jackie Bradley Jr draw a walk in his major league debut. Bradley would also notch his first major league RBI on a ground out in the 7th. Sox would go on to score in the 9th on a pair of singles by Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino. The Sox pen also flexed its muscle in the season opener; Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey, Junichi Tazawa, and Joel Hanrahan threw a combined 4 innings of one hit ball, striking out 3 and walking 2. Red Sox: 8, Yankees:2 April 3: After a normal day off after opening day, the Red Sox went right back to work against the Yankees. Clay Buchholz was opposed by Yankees right hander, Hiroki Kuroda. For the Sox, Buchholz tossed 7 innings allowing 6 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run, while striking out 4 Yankees and throwing 96 pitches. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Kuroda didn't have the success that Buchholz did. Similar to the opener against Sabathia, the Sox jumped on Kuroda early. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Daniel Nava collected their first RBI of the season in the first and second innings, respectively. The Sox would go on to score 4 runs in the 3rd inning on three singles by Shane Victorino, Jackie Bradley Jr, and Jacoby Ellsbury.However things did get a little hairy in the 8th inning. Sox lefty Andrew Miller entered the game and hit the first batter he faced and retired the next. Sox manager, John Farrell brought in Alfredo Aceves who promptly allowed a single to Kevin Youkilis, retired travis Hafner on a ground ball, and then served up a 3-run home run to Vernon Wells. But fortunately Aceves was able to stop the bleeding in the 8th. Joel Hanrahan pitched the 9th and recorded his first save of the year and his first save in a Red Sox uniform. Red Sox: 7, Yankees: 4 April 4: The Red Sox had visions of an opening series sweep in their minds on Wednesday. The Sox sent out newcomer Ryan Dempster, while the Yankees called upon the lefty veteran, Andy Pettitte. For the Red Sox fans who are unfamiliar with Ryan Dempster, this was not a good introductory outing. Dempster, who is usually and innings eater, labored through 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits while walking 4 an striking out 8. On the flip side, it seemed like the Yankees turned back the clocks to the mid-90's. New York's veteran starter Andy Pettitte stymied the Sox offense over 8 innings, allowing 1 run on 8 hits. In the ninth, it was enter sandman as Mariano Rivera came on and eventually shut the door, sealing the win for NY and salvaging the final game of the series. The Sox only runs came in the 7th and 9th. Jackie Bradley Jr doubled in a run off Andy Pettitte and Will Middlebrooks grabbed his first RBI of 2013 on a ground out against Mariano Rivera. Yankees: 4, Red Sox: 2 Series 2: @Blue Jays April 5: Red Sox traveled North of the boarder to play their second series of the 2013 campaign against the Toronto Blue Jays. Game 1 of the series saw Felix Doubront get his first start of the year, while Toronto countered with Josh Johnson. It was a bit of a back and forth battle for most of the game. Red Sox scored early on a Jacoby Ellsbury RBI single but the Blue Jays answered back and tied the game on a Mark DeRosa sac fly. The see saw continued to teeter back and forth; Pedro Ciriaco drove in Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli homered. But for the Blue Jays, Mark DeRosa and Jose Reyes homered and tied the game at four in the seventh. But the very next inning Mike Napoli broke the tie again, driving in Jonny Gomes on an RBI ground out. Will Middlebrooks added an insurance run in the 9th with a home run and the Sox beat the jays 6-4.On the mound, the Sox got a decent start from Felix Doubront. The MLB sophomore surrendered 9 hits over 5 innings but was able to keep the damage to just 3 runs. Once again the Sox pen played an integral role in the victory. Koji Uehara pitched a clean 6th, Junichi Tazawa allowed a run on a home run by Reyes, Bailey set up and Hanrahan closed down shop in the 8th an 9th respectively. Red Sox: 6, Blue Jays: 4 April 6: Game two in Toronto saw John Lackey take the hill for the Red Sox for the first time in over a year. The big righty lasted only 4.1 innings before he appeared to re-injure his throwing arm. The mishap occurred after Lackey released a pitch to Jose Reyes, he immediately grabbed his bicep and grimaced in pain before exiting the game. Initial exams and later reports confirmed that Lackey only had a "mild bicep strain", meaning that it looked at lot worse than it was. To add insult to injury the Sox bats were non existent against Jays starter, JA Happ. The 30 year old blanked the sox through 5.1 innings, striking out 6 and only allowing 1 hit. The Jays bullpen followed suit as Steve Delabar, Aaron Loup, and Sergio Santo's combined to throw 3.2 innings allowing just one hit. The Jays, on the other hand, put up runs on a two run home run by JP Arencibia, and a three run tatter by Colby Rasmus. Blue Jays: 5, Red Sox: 0 April 7: In the third and final game at the Rogers Center, the Sox were looking to grab their second consecutive series victory. Boston threw their ace, Jon Lester while Toronto countered with the 2012 Cy Young award winner, RA Dickey. It didn't take long for things to get way out of hand in this one. The Sox hung a 5 spot on the score board in the first thanks to RBI hits by Pedroia and Napoli, as well as Will Middlebrooks first of an eventual 3 home runs; Middlebrooks would homer again in the 5th and 7th innings as well. Also joining the home run party was Mike Napoli, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Daniel Nava. The Sox scored 8 times off Dickey before he exited the game after pitching just 4.2 innings. The Blue Jays then called upon Dave Bush to stop the bleeding and save the pen. However Bush allowed 5 runs on 5 hits, 4 of which were home runs, over 3 innings of work. With all the run support immediately inherited, Jon Lester was given a walk in the park. Lester took advantage of this opportunity and threw 7 shut out innings, surrendering just 5 hits, striking out 6, and not allowing any walks. Clayton Mortensen pitched the final 2 innings in shut out fashion. Red Sox: 13, Blue Jays: 0
It's playoff season for fantasy hockey players! Aside from the always anticipated draft, playoffs are the next best thing since white, crustless, sliced bread. It's that time of the year where many managers are happy to be in the running to either win their share of dollars, or the always important bragging rights. On the other hand, it's also that time of year where most fantasy hockey players aren't even involved in since their team(s) have been eliminated. For the managers still vying for a fantasy championship, a key pick up this week can be the reason for fantasy euphoria, or fantasy misery. I will be highlighting some names of those players who are probably available on your waiver wire, in which will help your chances at a fantasy championship.
C- Marcus Johansson (WSH)- Johansson was mentioned last week in my week 11 waiver wire section, and his name is on the rise. If you were smart enough to grab him last week, you were surely happy with his 5A and +5 rating. He will continue to see his fair share on the top line alongside OV and Backstrom who are both hotter than Tim Thomas after a shoot out loss. With three games this week for Johansson and the Caps, he will be a nice assist in your fantasy journey.
RW- Jakob Silfverberg (OTT)- You may not have noticed who is scoring for the Sens lately, mainly because they have had injuries to their top players, but the young trio of Silfverberg-Zibanejad- and newly acquired Conacher have been the wheel for the Sens. Silfverberg has not gone back to back games without registering a point since March 6th.
C- Mika Zibanejad (OTT)- Zibanejad is turning in to exactly what the Senators thought he could do when they drafted him 6th overall back in 2011. Zibanejad has been excellent of late with 11 points in his last 12 games. The Sens won't be playing against tough defensive teams this week as they will be visiting TB, NJ, and Philly. Expect the top line for the Sens to keep this team alive.
C- Frans Nielsen (NYI)- Nielsen has caught lightning in a bottle. This streaky Isles forward has 23 points on the year and 12 points in his last 15 games, while he is currently riding a 4 game point streak. Nielsen and the Isles have finally found some secondary production behind the Moulson and Tavares combo. Nielsen is a nice add in deeper leagues but has a couple tough opponents this week as the Isles will face off against Philly, Boston, and the Rangers.
LW- Brandon Saad (CHI)- Saad is playing on one of the top teams in the NHL in a high octane offense where his name can be easily forgotten with the rest. Saad has been enjoying his coming out party as he has 20 points in his last 19 games. His name is still not as popular as it should be, but when times are tight like this in playoff season, it's always important to stick with the hot hand.
RW- Ryan Callahan (NYR)- I usually don't post waiver wire additions who are owned in more than 50% of the leagues, but Callahan is my exception. Callahan is currently owned in less than 60% of Yahoo! leagues, he has 3 good match ups this week as the Rangers take on TOR twice and one game against the Islanders. If he is available in your league, he is a must own.
D- Jay Bouwmeester (STL)- The Blues traded a good amount of value to acquire Bouwmeester from the Flames, but the Blues are quite happy with their early rewards. Bouwmeester has been playing over 23 minutes a game and has 2 assists in the 3 games since being traded. The Blues play 4 times this week which is a major boost to his value, pick him up before it's too late.
D- Matt Carle (TB)- He is owned in half of the leagues on Yahoo! so he may not be available, but if you are struggling with your D and his name is on the wire, he is your guy. He currently has a 5 game point streak, where Carle has totalled 1G and 6A. The Lightning have 4 games on tap this week so expect nice numbers for your playoff match.
G- Brian Elliott (STL)- After the first month of the season, I would have never believed that I would be in the situation to say that Elliott could be gold for your fantasy playoff match up, but it's true. With 4 games this week, expect Elliott to get at least 2 starts with a Blues team that is on a roll.
G- Ben Bishop (TB)- I believe that the Sens and the Lightning made a fantastic hockey trade that filled some voids. Bishop adds another young big goaltender to compete with Lindback (who is on the IR) and who hasn't performed up to par this year for the Bolts. Bishop had a wonderful 45 save shut out in his first game as a Bolt. He will likely get most if not all of the starts if the Bolts can get hot. With 4 games this week, he will be a nice pick up.
Patrick surprises many at Martinsville
With all odds against her Sunday afternoon, Danica Patrick rebounded from an early spin with Ken Schrader, to finish 12th at Martinsville. She had to start from 42nd, due to an engine change that was made by the team on Saturday.
She slowly, but surely worked her way up through the field, recovering from the spin, and from going two laps down. This came as a surprise to many, due to the diffuculty of the track. It was the first time ever she had been on the track this weekend, having three practice sessions and her qualifying run prior to the actual race.
She entered the top 20 towards the end of the event, and was involved in a small brush-up with Dale Earnhardt Jr and Brian Vickers on lap 467. A shove from behind by Vickers, sent Patrick up into Junior, sending him spinning in turn three. Dale later said that he knew it wasn't Danica's fault, that he could tell someone shoved her into him.
During a late race caution with eight laps to go, she stayed out, and restarted inside the top 15 where she never left. She wound up crossing the line in 12th, leading the drivers in the Stewart-Hass team.
She later said, "It was just nice to have a good weekend after having so many that weren't good since Daytona." She went on to say, "I don't mind this place at all. Let's come back."
Patrick sits 26th in the points after six races this season. Her next attempt to improve that will be this Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway.
The Patriots have reached an agreement on a 2 year deal with former Raiders DT Tommy Kelly according to Ian Rapoport. Kelly was released by the Raiders on March 27th.
The Patriots are back at it, bolstering their defensive line with another veteran in Kelly. The 6-foot-6 , 325 pound defensive tackle struggled last year in Oakland recording only one sack, and six quarterback hits. Overall, he has 34 career sacks in his 9 year career.
Bill Belichick loves adding depth to his defensive line around this time of the year, so it should come as no surprise that Kelly has jumped aboard the Patriots ship. His versatility in the 3-4 and 4-3 makes him more valuable for a team like New England.
Kelly was a Pro Bowl alternate just two seasons ago, so the hope is that the Patriots can squeeze out all of the gas left in his tank.
The Miami Heat sit comfortable atop the NBA Power Rankings as the first team to 60 wins and they remain in the drivers seat for the #1 overall seed for the playoffs. Find out where your team falls below!
Reasoning1 Miami Heat 60-16 LeBron James has posted a 31.56 PER so far this season. His second best total (2008-2009, James put up a 31.7 PER) and a number Michael Jordan only eclipsed twice. He's been better than last season. Just plain wow. 2 Oklahoma City Thunder 56-21 A mid-week win over the Spurs gives OKC the inside track for the top-seed in the Western Conference. 3 San Antonio Spurs 57-20 Another Division title is in the books. Now about that home-court advantage for the West. Thanks to the Knicks -- who might take a lesson about not taking a major win streak into the playoffs from last years' Spurs team -- San Antonio is one game ahead of the Thunder in the loss-column. Still, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli must be healthy for them to advance. 4 New York Knicks 50-26 The Knicks are scorching hot and Carmelo Anthony is so hot, he might turn into lava. That was a terrible joke. What's not terrible is how Anthony leads the NBA in scoring at just over 28.4. PPG and became the first (and only other) Knick since Bernard King to score 40+ points in three straight games. 5 Denver Nuggets 53-24 Losing Danillo Gallinari to a season-ending ACL tear is awful news. Not sure how Denver overcomes his loss in the playoffs. 6 L.A. Clippers 51-26 The Clippers clinched their first division title in franchise history and subsequently knocked the Lakers back out of the playoffs for the time being. 7 Memphis Grizzlies 52-25 When the game slows down for the playoffs, there isn't a front court I'd rather have than Zach Randolph (15.4 PPG + 11.2 RPG) and Marc Gasol (14.3 PPG + 7.7 RPG). 8 Indiana Pacers 48-29 The Central Division is theirs and though they've been playing good basketball. Resting up in the 3-seed isn't necessarily a bad idea right now, sitting 2.5 games behind the Knicks. 9 Golden State Warriors 44-33 The all-important race to avoid the Spurs and Thunder is heating up! I really want to see what Golden State can do in the playoffs behind Stephen Curry. From Elias: Stephen Curry scored 18 points on an off-shooting night, but his 15 assists contributed to the Warriors' 111-107 win at Phoenix. It was on February 27 that Curry scored 54 points in a game at New York, so he's now only the second player in Warriors' history -- and remember, this is one of only three franchises, along with the Knicks and the Celtics, that trace their histories back to the NBA's first season, in 1946-47 -- to have a game of 50-plus points and one of 15-plus assists in the same season. Rick Barry had highs of 64 points and 16 assists in the 1973-74 season. 10 Houston Rockets 43-34 Will they score 106.2 PPG (tops in the NBA) in the playoffs? Absolutely not. Will it be fun to watch them try to? Absolutely. 11 Brooklyn Nets 44-32 Because their 7-footer doesn't rebound, Reggie Evans domination on the boards has been critical for the Nets. From Elias: Reggie Evans collected 20 rebounds in the Nets' 105-96 victory over the Bobcats, marking the eighth game this season in which he has produced that many rebounds. That's as many 20-rebound games as the combined total of the next two players on that list: Dwight Howard and Wilson Chandler have each produced four games of 20-plus rebounds. 12 Chicago Bulls 42-34 Derrick Rose might return for the playoffs. The defense is as stingy as ever, but the offense has been abysmal all season long. Chicago is the lowest scoring team in the NBA at 92.7 PPG. 13 Utah Jazz 41-37 Utah has turned it on at just the right time and remain a win ahead of the Lakers for the final spot in the West. Reached five wins in a row -- a season best -- earlier in the week. 14 Atlanta Hawks 42-36 Another team backing into the playoffs. A favorable four-game stretch (as the Knicks will have most likely wrapped up the 2-seed by game #82 for Atlanta) could build some momentum. Probably won't matter if they face Indiana or New York. 15 Boston Celtics 40-37 Kevin Garnett returned after missing eight games to an ankle injury. The offense looked great in his return against a very, very good Wizards defense. They've got a fighter's chance. As CSNNE's Jessicao Camerato tweeted last night, KG is ready for the postseason with guys who have each other's backs. "I know who's willing to fight, who's not going to lay down. I'd take a bunch of fighters over some skill people any day." 16 L.A. Lakers 40-37 Best stat of the season: Dwight Howard has missed more free throws in 2012-2013 than Steve Nash has...in his entire 17-year career. 17 Dallas Mavericks 38-39 Too little, too late. 2.5 games behind Utah with just five left. Yes, Dallas is every bit as good right now, but it simply took too long to round into proper form. Another year of Dirk Nowitzki's prime gone. You can argue that he's not in his prime, but had the Mavericks gotten into the postseason, he could've carried them. How many more years will he be able to do that. One? 18 Milwaukee Bucks 37-39 First time in the playoffs in three seasons. Still the only playoff team with a losing record. I'd be surprised if they don't lose to the Heat by double digits in four straight games. 19 Washington Wizards 29-48 Now 24-20 since John Wall returned and they are the 5th-most efficient defense according to John Hollinger's ratings. In his last 10 games, Wall has averaged 25.6 PPG (on 44.6% shooting), 8 APG, 5.5 RPG. 20 Portland Trail Blazers 33-44 The wheels have come off in Portland and the lack of a bench finally caught up to this team. 21 Phiadelphia 76ers 31-45 Will he stay or will he go? It was a major risk bringing in Andrew Bynum. He hasn't suited up and though I think it would be rude to bounce after a team showed this much faith in you (especially if you're the one piece they need to contend in the weaker conference), I don't necessarily blame him after seeing what his soon-to-be-former teammates have done. 22 Minnesota Timberwolves 29-47 Congratulations to Rick Adelman who became the eighth coach to win 1,000 games in NBA history. 23 Toronto Raptors 29-48 After Rudy Gay started off his Raptors tenure so strong (one 20+-point game after another), he's come back down to Earth. Rudy Gay endured one of the poorest shooting nights of his career on Saturday against the Bucks. He finished the game just 1-of-10 from the field. It's the third time in his career he's made just 1 shot or less on at least 10 attempts from the field. It is however, the second time it's happened since joining the Raptors mid-season. 24 New Orleans Hornets 27-50 Is Eric Gordon on the move? He might not be the future but at this point, his trade value has been greatly diminished. 25 Sacramento Kings 27-50 Through all the mess this season, the Kings are averaging 99.9 PPG, 10th best in the NBA. The reason for their poor record; Sacramento allows 104.7 PPG, worst in the NBA. 26 Detroit Pistons 26-52 Not much to smile about but Detroit ended an 18-game losing streak to Chicago. 27 Cleveland Cavaliers 24-52 Tristan Thompson had a massive game to lead the Cavs over the Celtics. He set career highs in points (29) and rebounds (17). From Elias: Tristan Thompson scored 29 points and pulled down 17 rebounds in the Cavaliers' win at Boston. He was the first player in more than a decade to reach each of those statistical levels in a regular-season game against the Celtics. The last man to do that had been Shaquille O'Neal, who totaled 48 points and 20 rebounds for the Lakers in a win over the Celtics at Staples Center in March 2003. 28 Charlotte Bobcats 18-59 Call me crazy, but I think Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has been as good as advertised. He was an extremely versatile player in a relatively weak draft. I think he was worth the #2 pick in some ways. 29 Orlando Magic 19-59 From Elias: Tobias Harris scored 30 points to go along with 11 rebounds, three steals and three blocks in the Magic's win over the Wizards. Harris, at age 20, was the youngest NBA player to produce a 30/10 (points/rebounds) game with at least three steals and three or more blocks sinceLeBron James did that when he was 19 years old in November 2004. 30 Phoenix Suns 23-54 Nine losses in a row and a ton of holes to fix this off-season.
Fans were expecting a big game from returner Kevin Garnett, but instead were treated to a 20-point performance by Brandon Bass.
Doc Rivers got to finally take a look at what he hopes will be the Celtics' starting line-up come playoff-time and Shavlik Randolph and Chris Wilcox provided a nice spark off the bench with a combined 21 points and 12 rebounds on 8-9 FG.
Jared Weiss and Evans Clinch welcome Mass Live's Jay King to break down tonight's action.
Once the pomp and circumstance of the Red Sox’ home opener is completed on Monday afternoon, there is a game to be played between the local nine and the defending AL Wild Card Champion Baltimore Orioles. The matinee is the first of a three-game set that will set the tone for what is likely to be a competitive season series between the two division rivals.
After series wins in New York and Toronto that were punctuated by a 13-0 throbbing of the Blue Jays on Sunday, the (4-2) Sox head back to Fenway to begin a six-game homestand that will kick off a stretch in which seventeen of the team’s next twenty games will be played at Fenway Park. While playing in front of the Fenway faithful is always advantageous for Red Sox teams, this year’s crew includes nine newcomers who will find the comfort zone of playing at home especially beneficial.
The Orioles have gotten off to a bit of a rocky start in 2013, and head into Fenway with a (3-3) record after dropping two at home to the hapless Minnesota Twins. Led by strong starts by Adam Jones (.538/0 HR/7 RBI) and the red-hot Chris Davis (.455/4 HR/17 RBI), the Orioles are expected to score plenty this season, but their starting pitching will likely be a recurring problem throughout the season. With no clear ace in the rotation, it will surprise many if Baltimore can repeat its surprising 2012 season and get back to the playoffs.
In the first game of the set, RHP Clay Buchholz, who was excellent in his first start against the Yankees, will face LHP Wei-Yin Chen, who took a no-decision in his first outing in Tampa Bay. After an unusual off-day on Tuesday, the teams will be back at it on Wednesday night, as Ryan Dempster makes his Red Sox home debut against RHP Jake Arrieta, who also took a no-decision in his first appearance. The series wraps up on Thursday night, as lefty Felix Doubront will take the mound against young righty Chris Tillman, who struggled mightily in his first outing of the season.
Storylines to Watch:
Red Sox starters going deeper in games: In their first starts, both Dempster and Doubront did not make it out of the sixth inning, which caused the strong Red Sox bullpen to eat many innings on the first road trip. The team hopes that both starters will be able to go deeper in games as the season progresses.
Stephen Drew coming back from injury: Red Sox’s shortstop Stephen Drew will likely be ready to make his Sox debut on either Wednesday or Thursday, which would likely mean hot-hitting shortstop Jose Iglesias would be sent down to Pawtucket. Iglesias, who leads the team in batting average at a .529 clip, has been the biggest surprise out of the gate for the Red Sox, but will likely be sent down regardless of his performance.
Early struggles ending: Three Red Sox starters are below the Mendoza line as the team heads back to Fenway, with catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia hitting at .188, first baseman Mike Napoli at .179, and rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. at .143. Because Saltalamacchia and Napoli have historically hit better at Fenway, expect them to break out of their early season slumps this week. As for Bradley, he will continue to see major league pitching for the first time and learn from his early-season mistakes in an effort to be offensively productive on this homestand.
Mauro Gomez DFA situation: First baseman Mauro Gomez, who was designated for assignment last Sunday, will know his fate by Wednesday at the latest. The long-time minor leaguer will be claimed off waivers or traded to another team, released, or outrighted to AAA Pawtucket. With the Miami Marlins in dire need of a first baseman, Gomez could be a fit there. The most likely case is that Gomez passes through waivers and is outrighted by the Red Sox early this week.
How serious is the Lackey injury? After an MRI on his injured right arm, John Lackey will know more about his near future as the week progresses. While the team downplayed the injury and attributed it to the biceps area, fears are still present that the surgically-repaired elbow may be affected, in which case a more serious treatment program would be put in place. Lackey would be slated to pitch Friday against Tampa Bay, but the off-day allows the Sox to skip his spot in the rotation and go with a four-man crew if he only needs a week to rest. Spot starter options include minor league lefty Chris Hernandez, knuckleballer Steven Wright, or Alfredo Aceves, who has been the weakest member of the team’s bullpen to this point. According to John Tomase of the Boston Herald, promoting Aceves to the rotation is the most likely scenario.
Red Sox Interested in Aaron Harang: Another potential Lackey replacement is right-handed starter Aaron Harang, who began the season with the Dodgers but was traded to the Rockies on Saturday. The Rockies immediately designated Harang for assignment, and are looking to trade him within the next ten days. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Red Sox are interested in trading for the veteran, along with the Astros and Twins. While the Sox may just be doing due diligence, the preliminary interest in Harang may indicate that the team is continually looking for pitching depth in fear of a severe injury to Lackey.
Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 0", Weight: 185 lb.
Born: November 21, 1992 in Land O Lakes, Florida, US (Age 20)
High School: Land O'Lakes HS (Land O'Lakes, FL)
Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 17th round of the 2010 MLB June Amateur Draft from Land O'Lakes HS (Land O'Lakes, FL).
Minor League Service Time (01/2013): 1 year
1) How did you make the decision to go to the pros rather than play college baseball?
Getting drafted was always a goal of mine. When it happened I knew right away, yes this is what I want.
2) In 2012 you seemed to struggle a bit, how do you plan to rebound?
Yes, I struggled a bit but if you were to ask me what's my best year I would say last years. I've learned a lot and it was the first time I think I've felt with struggling. I'm excited about this year. I feel last year made me stronger, smarter and more prepared for what a full season has to come.
3) What was it like in high-school to get scouted by major league teams and how did you deal with the pressure?
It was honestly a great feeling. I went from getting barely any notice my junior year to multiple scouts every game. It definitely was a confidence booster. Ask any guy who had scouts at their games and they will say the same. It felt good to be doing things that make you noticeable by MLB scouts.
4) What was your favorite team and player growing up?
Growing up it was the NY Mets. My uncle had season tickets and took me to a lot of games. My favorite player was tough. It was between Mike piazza and Pedro Martinez, which was awesome to get the chance to meet him this spring.
5) What does your arsenal of pitches consist of?
I throw a 4-seam, 2-seam, circle change and a slider.
6) What has been your favorite minor league moment so far?
My favorite minor league moment would definitely have to be getting my first win in pro ball.
7) Lastly what other sports did you play growing up?
Growing up I played hockey and football. Football was my main sport. Around 11 I decided I wanted to play travel ball which forced me to take a season off from football and from than on baseball was my love.
It’s been a pleasure having the chance to interview you. Hopefully we’ll see you with Red Sox soon.
Stay here at CLNSRadio.com or follow me on Twitter @RobBestWiller,
Celtics 107, Wizards 96
Boston Globe With Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce back, now is the time for the Celtics to hit playoff stride - Gary Washburn looks into what the team must do in the next 10 days to prepare for the playoffs.
Boston Herald Kevin Garnett makes everything better - Steve Bulpett discusses Garnett's instrumental value. Jason Collins warmly welcomed back to Garden - Tom Layman notes the kind reception given to the C's former center.
WEEI Paul Pierce on Kevin Garnett: 'We're not going anywhere without Kevin's presence' - Mike Petraglia shares what the Captain had to say about his fellow Hall of Fame teammate.
NESN Brandon Bass May Be Biggest Beneficiary of Return of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce to Celtics - Ben Watanabe explains.
CSNNE Bass thinks less to contribute more - Jessica Camerato suggests a simple explanation for Brandon Bass' early season struggles, which appear to be over. Bradley does work on Wall - A. Sherrod Blakely is very impressed with the defense Avery Bradley played on Wizards star guard John Wall.
ESPN Boston Kevin Garnett makes all the difference - Chris Forberg agrees on the indispensability of KG. Postgame: Crawford quiet vs. old friends - Jordan Crawford had just 6 points against his former club.
Celtics Hub Celtics Wizards Grades - Garnett, Bass, and the Head Coach all receive high marks.
Celtics Blog Celtics bigs stepping up big lately - Bass, Wilcox, and Randolph have all been contributing.
Follow Mark on twitter @LucidSportsFan
The Celtics beat the Washington Wizards in a game that featured the return of Paul Pierce (who sat the last game due to an ankle injury) and Kevin Garnett, who hadn’t played since March 8. However, it was Brandon Bass that stole the show, scoring 20 points and grabbing six rebounds.
Kevin Garnett said it felt good to be back, but was all-praise to Bass, Wilcox and Randolph (who finished the game with a combined 21 points and 12 rebounds on 8-9 shooting).
Brandon Bass talked about his big night, said it is a lot easier to play with Garnett and reassured the media he has no problem playing power forward or center.
Doc Rivers was thankful to see Brendon Bass stepping up and even more thankful to see Garnett back on the floor.
Paul Pierce, who received the Red Auerbach trophy prior to the game, was also glad to see Garnett in uniform again.
Chris Wilcox contributed with 13 points (a season-high) and five rebounds, and was yet another Celtic to rejoice at Garnett’s presence.
Avery Bradley went a different direction and talked about the bench’s influence on the Celtics. Tonight, they contributed with 42 points.
Bradley, Green, Pierce, Bass and Garnett. That was the Celtics' starting line-up vs. the Wizards, the first time Doc and the fans got to see what we hope is the starting line-up for the playoffs. It worked tonight, as they beat the Wizards 107-96.
Despite Garnett and Pierce's comeback, though, the Celtics counted on good performances by Chris Wilcox,Shavlik Randolph and especially Brandon Bass, who finished the game with 20 points and 6 rebounds.
Jared Weiss of CLNS Radio recaps the game in Three at the Buzzer.
BOSTON – In Kevin Garnett's long awaited return to the court, the Celtics hold a slender lead over the Wizards at 56-52. Brandon Bass has eight points and five rebounds (two offensive), but Pierce is ice cold at 2-for-9 from the field.
Garnett scorwed a pair of baskets and grabbed two rebounds, looking a little off with his shot. However, Garnett moved well and landed from rebounds comfortably. His passing made an immediate impact on the game and the difference in the Celtics' ball movement with him on the floor was immediately apparent.
John Wall, not surprisingly, was the star of the first half, scoring 10 points along with 6 assists. Wall carved up the Celtics defense with ease and nailed three jumpers from the elbow.
Trevor Ariza and Martell Webster spread the floor well, each going 2-for-4 from deep.
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