Favorite Yankees Lay An Egg In Game 1 Against Phillies

Cliff Lee & Phillies Stifle Yanks 

For all the money that the New York Yankees doled out in the offseason to sign the likes of C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and Mark Teixeira, the big free agents weren’t money for the Yankees on Wednesday night as the Bronx Bombers fell 6-1 to the Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium.

The World Series favorite New York Yankees sent C.C. Sabathia to the mound but Sabathia and the Yanks were outdueled by Cliff Lee, Chase Utley and the Philadelphia Phillies as Lee’s complete-game shut down the bats of the Bronx Bombers.

Lee struck out 10 Yankees and improved to 3-0 with an 0.54 ERA this postseason as Utley’s two-solo home runs helped set the pace for the Phillies offense who scored two runs in the last two innings to help cap off Game 1.  

The defending World Champions will send Pedro Martinez to the mound on Thursday night against A.J. Burnett of New York as Martinez will look to show the Yanks and their fans, whether or not he can be there daddy in Game 2 instead of vice a versa like times in the past.

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Celtics Blow Out Bobcats In Home Opener

Boston Returns To Parquet In Grand Fashion

After defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the season-opener last night, the Boston Celtics were back to their old (and new) tricks on Wednesday night as the C’s stifled the Charlotte Bobcats with a 92-59 victory at the TD Banknorth Garden.  

A night characterized by the return of Kevin Garnett to the Garden parquet and sub-sequentially the return of the Celtics premier defense, the C’s led throughout on the heels of Garnett’s 10 point, seven rebound performance.  The starters were able to rest most of the second half as Rajon Rondo registered his second consecutive double-double with 10 points and 11 assists as Ray Allen, the only starter to play in the fourth quarter, scored 18 points,and Shelden Williams grabbed nine rebounds on the night.

Boston held the Bobcats under twenty points in each of every quarter and outscored Charlotte 50 to 28 in the second half to seal the Cats’ fate.  The C’s host the Chicago Bulls on Friday as the Green Team looks to remain perfect in 2009-10.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

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BC Eagles Tamed By Irish

Notre Dame Escapes With A Victory At South Bend

With six straight victories over Notre Dame, the Boston College Eagles will optimistic heading into Saturday’s match up with the Irish at South Bend.  Unfortunately for the Eagles, their bid for a seven consecutive win fell short as Notre Dame defeated BC by the final of 20-16.

Dave Shinskie’s last minute efforts came up empty when Brian Smith of ND picked off Shinskie’s pass with just over a minute and a half left in the fourth quarter.  Shinskie had a rough day at the helm for BC, throwing for 279 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.  

The Irish also stuffed the Eagles rushing attack, holding Montel Harris to only 38 yards on 22 carries after Harris’ record-breaking game last week.  Casey Clausen was impressive for Charlie Weis’ squad with a 26-for-39 performance, throwing for 246 yards and two scores.

Boston College (5-3) now falls to 0-3 on the road this season and the Eagles fly home to take on Central Michigan next week in Chestnut Hill.    

 

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Padres Sign Jed Hoyer As General Manager

Red Sox Lose Assistant GM To San Diego

The San Diego Padres have hired Jed Hoyer, the Boston Red Sox assistant to the general manger, after firing long-time GM Kevin Towers at the end of the season.  

Hoyer along with Ben Cherrington took over as co-general managers when Theo Epstein temporarily resigned from his post as general manager of the Red Sox in 2006.  Ironically, Towers may replace Hoyer as Epstein’s assistant or find another position with the Red Sox since Towers tutored Epstein in San Diego before Theo’s days in Boston.

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Pats In A Pickle At Wideout

New England Needs Wide Receivers To Step Up and Step In

Much like the starting pitching of the Boston Red Sox in 2009, the Patriots wide receiving core seemed to have stacked talent from front to back with depth up the ying-yang.

Well that depth has decimated in the first six weeks of the NFL season, and now the Patriots may be forced to rely upon special team specialist Sam Aiken and rookie Brandon Tate.  With the recent release of Joey Galloway and arm injury to Julian Edelman, the Patriots lack depth at the wide receiver position.  They let Jabar Gaffney and Kelley Washington walk away after last season and cut wideout Greg Lewis at the end of the preseason.

So now, there is the University of North Carolina standout Brandon Tate next in line for the Patriots.  And they need him to step up.  Even with Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and three pass-catching tight ends, the Patriots could use a dynamic returner and receiver like Tate.  If the rookie can catch onto the playbook better than Galloway and show his speed while running routes, Tate could stick on, especially with No. 12 at the helm.

But if Tate doesn’t step up in London or the next couple of weeks, practice squad standouts Terrence Nunn and Isiah Stanback could be quick to try and step in and step up.  The intriguing member of this bunch is Stanback who is a quarterback on the practice squad but much like Edelman, could be converted into a wide receiver as he appeared in eight games for the Cowboys as wide receiver in 2008.   

But for now, its time to just wait and see.  It may, however, be an important time for the progression of the New England Patriots and their young receiving corps.

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Wake And See

Boston Knuckleballer Has Surgery, Expected Back In 2010

The longest tenured Boston Red Sox will be back for another reason, assuming that Tim Wakefield’s back surgery went well on Wednesday. The 43-year-old had surgery on Wednesday to repair a herniated disk in his back and called the surgery a success as Wakefield is set to resume regular training in about four to six weeks. 

If all things go well, the Sox will place Wakefield as their No. 5 spot in the starting rotation in 2010 behind Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuake Matsuzaka, and Clay Buchholz.  However, things could change if Theo Epstein and the Sox decide to make a splash in the starting pitching free agent pool this offseason.

Returning for his 16th season, Wakefield is slated to make $4 million as the Sox hold the option on the 43-year-old.  

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Bruins Hit Hard With Injury Bug

B’s Lose Another Key Player Due To Injury

First it was Milan Lucic.  Now its Marc Savard.  The Boston Bruins have lost their leading goal scorer to injury reserve as the Boston forward has a broken left foot.

It will take about four to six weeks for Savard to heal and be back with the B’s.  Savard played in all 82 games for the Black and Gold last season and lead the team with seven points in seven games.  

The Bruins recalled forward Trent Whitfield from Providence to take Savard’s spot on the roster.

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Bruins Acquire Some Much Needed Help

B’s Send Chuck Kobasew To Minnesota

There is no secret that the Boston Bruins have yet to live up to their lofty 2009 expectations. So in their first effort to shake things up, the Bruins sent right winger Chuck Kobasew to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Craig Weller and Alexander Fallstrom.

The B’s also obtained the rights to the Wild’s second-round pick in the 2011 NHL draft.  The Bruins recalled three players from Providence in accordance with the move.  

It’s about time the Bruins turn things around as it won’t get any easier for the Black and Gold with Milan Lucic out for an extended period of time. 

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Pats Cut Galloway, Re-Sign Banta-Cain

Busy Few Days For Bill Belichick’s Squad

The New England Patriots have cut ties with veteran wide receiver Joey Galloway on Tuesday after the wide out has been inactive for New England’s past three games.  

In response to the release of Galloway, the Patriots re-signed Tully Banta-Cain, one day after releasing the seven-year linebacker.  Banta-Cain’s re-signing will allow him and the Patriots to work out a new contract extension to keep the linebacker in New England for more years to come.  

The Joey Galloway experiment didn’t work out for Bill Belichick and the Patriots as Galloway never could get on the same page as Tom Brady and the New England offense.  The Pats recently extended the contract of special teams captain and No. 3 wide receiver Sam Aiken, so it looks like they have faith in Aiken and rookie Julian Edelmen.  

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Patriots Release Banta-Cain In Surprising Move

Could The Door Still Be Open For Banta-Cain?

Insert Junior Seau. Release Tully Banta Cain?  The New England Patriots have surprisingly released linebacker Tully Banta-Cain after signing 40-year-old Junior Seau last week.

Banta-Cain, a former seventh-round pick of the Patriots and seven-year veteran, started two games for New England this season and registered a total of 13 tackles.  The University of California graduate had three tackles in New England’s 59-0 beating of the Tennesse Titans on Sunday, but the 29-year-old now finds himself unemployed as of Monday.  

He also has three sacks on the year for the Patriots but may be the odd man out with the signing of Seau and emergence of Pierre Woods and Gary Guyton.  Bill Belichick and the Patriots also surprisingly de-activated Adalius Thomas on Sunday, even with New England transforming to more of a 3-4 scheme on defense.  

A return to the Patriots is not out of the question for Banta-Cain as the Pats have shown their admiration of Banta-Cain for many years and this move could just be temporarily.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)    

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Bad News Bears For Bruins

Bruins Loss Lucic To Injury

The Boston Bruins will be without winger Milan Lucic for about four to six weeks after Lucic had surgery to repair an injured right index finger.

The 21-year-old Lucic suffered an injury to his index finger on Friday in Dallas and will be forced to miss at least 10 games as the aggressive winger who had gotten off to a slow start in 2009, much like the rest of his Bruins teammates, was placed on long-term injured reserve on Sunday.

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Uconn Family Mourning Death Of Beloved Cornerback

Huskies CB Jasper Howard Dies After Stabbing

The University of Connecticut is mourning the death of 20-year-old Jasper Howard who, along with another student, was stabbed during a fight early Sunday morning, the night after the Huskies defeated the Louisville Cardinals in its annual homecoming game.

Jasper Howard, who was an expectant father and exceptional cornerback for a talented Huskies squad, died after a fire alarm went off in the Student Union of the Storrs campus late Satruday evening forcing students to evacuate the building which was hosting an on-campus dance.

The death of Howard, better known as Jazz by his friends and family, is the first homicide at the university in more than 30 years according to Uconn Police Major Ronald Blicher. Howard had a carer-high 11 tackles on Saturday against the Cardinals and forced a key fumble in the third quarter propeling Uconn to a 38-25 victory.  

As a Uconn student, I am very shocked and saddened by the news of Jasper Howard’s death. Just seeing him out on the playing field yesterday, to now hearing that he had passed away earlier this morning sends chills up and down my body.  I send my prayers to the Howard family and plan on remembering Jazz at the next Uconn football game, among many other students and fans, by wearing the number six over my clothing in memory of our beloved classmate and friend.  RIP Jasper Howard.   

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