Marcus Thornton (Geoff Burke/USA Today Sports)

On Thursday the Celtics completed a three-team trade with Brooklyn and Cleveland that is expected to have much larger implications in free agency and the rest of the offseason. In the deal, Boston received shooting guard Marcus Thornton from the Nets and center Tyler Zeller, along with a future first-round draft pick, from the Cavaliers, while giving up only a future conditional second-rounder to Cleveland.

Thornton, who like current Celtics power forward Brandon Bass was the SEC Player of the Year at LSU, was a second-round pick in 2009 and was named to the All-Rookie second team with New Orleans. The Nets acquired him from Sacramento at last season’s trade deadline, and he averaged 12.3 points in 26 regular-season games for Brooklyn, but his playing time dipped considerably in the playoffs. Continue reading Celtics Acquire Thornton, Zeller, Now Expected to Pursue Love »

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Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com

In a NESN interview on Tuesday, Red Sox GM Ben Cherington admitted, “At some point, we may need to be realistic and focus on helping the 2015 team.” That time is now. It is time for all of us to be realistic. They aren’t closing the gap. The Sox have struggled all year, and the nail in the coffin of the 2014 season has been the abysmal home stand that will likely become worse tonight when they face White Sox ace, Chris Sale.

Continue reading Red Sox DFA A.J. Pierzynski: Sign of Things to Come »

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Brady unanimous top 5 choice for CBS writers, opposingviews.com

Naming 100 players in the NFL could be a daunting task for some, but most everyone would agree that ranking the 100 best players is a difficult task for anyone. Any list that tries to rank the best players in a sport will likely meet with contention and debate but at the same time people love lists. They are simple, easy to read, and most importantly they get the competitive and analytical juices flowing.

Two people could have very different takes on what it means to be a top player which is likely why when two CBSSports.com writers compiled recent lists, there were a disparate number of Patriots on each. Pete Prisco included four current Patriots while his colleague Pat Kirwan was able to squeeze in six from New England. Continue reading Several Different Patriots Crack Top 100 Lists »

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The Red Sox need to let Xander Bogaerts work through his slump in the major leagues. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

In the first game of the doubleheader with the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, Xander Bogaerts booted a routine ground ball at third base that cost the Red Sox two runs, and he went 0-4 at the plate with three strikeouts. The game may have been the low point of the year for the 21-year-old shortstop turned third baseman, though the team bailed him out on this occasion with a walk-off victory.

Since June 2 when Stephen Drew became the full-time shortstop, Bogaerts’ batting average has dropped from .300 to below .250, which includes a slide that had him hitless over 27 at bats. His place in the batting order has dropped all the way to ninth, and an anonymous Yankees pitcher was even cited as saying that the projected superstar can’t handle the slider. Continue reading Time in Big Leagues will Heal Slumping Xander Bogaerts »

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The signs point towards Koji Uehara joining Jon Lester as the only Red Sox in the 2014 All-Star Game next week. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The announcement of the rosters for the 2014 All-Star Game included just one member of the Red Sox–pitcher Jon Lester. In recent years, usually a group of Boston players would make the trip, including regulars like David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia. Yet after fans and players gave their opinions on who will get to make the trip to Minnesota next week, Ortiz along with other Sox candidates such as Koji Uehara and Brock Holt were nowhere to be found.

Offensive struggles, competition keep Ortiz off roster

After finally getting the Red Sox to bite on a two-year contract, Ortiz has put up his worst numbers at the plate since 2009 when it seemed like his career was over. While there’s no doubt he remains the most dangerous hitter in the Sox lineup with an impressive 19 home runs before the break, Big Papi has been hitting closer to .250 than .300 for the majority of the year.

Additionally, the competition in the American League at the designated hitter position actually exists this season. Nelson Cruz has played DH in about half of his games this year for Baltimore and made the roster as a starter and earned his position on the team from the fan vote, even after recently dealing with his PED suspension.

The American League has four potential backup first basemen; Jose Abreu, Edwin Encarnacion, Victor Martinez, and Brandon Moss. Of the bunch, Moss’s numbers are most comparable with Ortiz, but at the end of the day the 2014 season has belonged to Oakland, and they will be well-represented at the game with six All-Stars. Ortiz would be the first to admit that he doesn’t belong in this mix of players, and will probably benefit from a few days off for a change.

Uehara will be first alternate roster option

Closer Koji Uehara seemed like a serious candidate for the All-Star Game, and he is the first option to replace a pitcher who is injured or ineligible to pitch, so he’s certain to end up joining the roster eventually. The 39-year old has been close to flawless in 41.2 innings this season, striking out 52 batters while walking just six and maintaining a 1.30 ERA.

When comparing Uehara to the other right-handed relievers elected, it does seem like he should have been initially chosen. Kansas City Royals reliever Greg Holland has been terrific but less effective than the automatic Uehara, who deserved his spot on the roster, especially since the Royals are already represented with both Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon attending.

Unproven Holt doesn’t belong in Minnesota

As for Brock Holt, the super utility rookie extraordinaire has played unbelievable on both sides of the ball this season, by making the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the batting order relatively painless and by playing nearly every position in the field. While his numbers are crawling back down to Earth, only playing in 55 games to this point in the season prevents Holt from being realistically considered, especially given how little his great play has impacted the success of the Red Sox.

Ultimately, the Red Sox are going nowhere in 2014. The bridge is in full effect as the team and the media focuses more on the upcoming Jon Lester free agency than the actual standings. It is unusual for the Red Sox to be out of a playoff race before the All-Star Break, especially for the defending World Series champions, but the future remains bright and it’s fair to expect multiple All-Stars from this promising franchise in the years to come.

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Andrew Rector

A 26-year-old man is suing Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees, and ESPN New York for character defamation after cameras caught him slumped over, sleeping on April 13th 2014, at Yankee Stadium as the Bronx Bombers faced off against the Boston Red Sox.

Andrew Rector is seeking $10 million in the suit he filed in Bronx County Supreme Court. He says that ESPN commentators Dan Shulman and John Kruk made fun of him, calling him “fatty, unintelligent and stupid.” Continue reading Sleepy Yankees Fan Sues MLB, ESPN for Defamation »

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1. Cliff Notes:

* Beautiful weekend – 4th of July a celebration of the greatest country known to man
* Patriots camp around the corner
* Can golf be any more boring without Tiger
* Wimbledon proved yet again that the server has too much an advantage with the rackets built as they are

2. World Cup:

* If Brazil loses – Colombian Juan Camilo Zuniga is going to receive more death threats than JFK got
* My Germany over Argentina prediction is alive
* Dan Shaughnessy said it Saturday in the paper – USA won one of four games and is being celebrated as the nations greatest team (he asked – “which one was Eruzione”)
* The elimination round is not as good as teams are playing not to lose Continue reading Connelly’s Top Ten: Back To Work We Go »

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