Sheed Ejected, Celtics Fall To 76ers

76ers Snap Boston’s 11-Game Winning Streak

The Philadelphia 76ers snapped an 12-game losing streak earlier this week and on Friday snapped the Boston Celtics 11-game winning streak with a 98-97 victory over the C’s at the Garden.

The Celtics had control of the game for the first two quarters before the Sixers jumped back into the contest with a 30-point third quarter and outscored the C’s by 12 points in the second half to steal away the victory.  Rasheed Wallace was ejected for the first time this season, and as a Celtic, for arguing a foul call by an official.  It was his 30th ejection of his NBA career.

Four of the Celtics five losses this season have transpired on Fridays on the Garden parquet. The C’s have two more home games left against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers before they hit the road for a mini four-game road trip.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Winter Classic Buzz Starting To Heat Up

Hockey Set To Come To Fenway

The game is set, the ice is cold, and the rink is built.  Its almost time for hockey at Fenway Park.

With two weeks left before the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers square off in the third annual Winter Classic, attention to the outdoor event is growing.  Even with the Boston Red Sox hogging the headlines for the past week along the Charles River, the Bruins still find themselves as the number one topic of discussion on the streets of Yawkey Way and inside the walls of Fenway.

With the Green Monster lurking in the background, the ice and rink has been placed across the infield and outfield of Fenway, opening up opportunities for former Bruins and current Red Sox alike– to take a test skate on the ice surface.

Bruin legends Bobby Orr, Cam Neely, and Ray Borque laced up the skates to test out the “First Skate at Fenway” alongside Red Sox captain, Jason Varitek, on Friday.  

The Bruins (16-10-6) look to snap a two-game losing streak with a game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday in a matchup of two Orignal Six teams, as the Black and Gold may be looking for a little good will and luck from the old-timers skate at Fenway.  The B’s have seven more games until the highly anticipated Winter Classic.

(AP Photo) (AP Photo) 

Brady To Moss, Still The Unstoppable Toss

Media Frenzy Focused On Randy Moss

With key figures of the New England Patriots organization coming to the defense of their beleaguered star wideout, should we really be paying that much attention to the play, or lack their of, of Randy Moss?

After all, Brady to Moss is still the unstoppable toss.  Right?

Well, one Wes Welker may have something to say about that, as No.83 has benefited more than anyone else from having Moss line up on the opposite side of him in New England.  Sure, Moss may look like he is doggin’ it or quitting on routes, but with other teams gameplans geared to stopping Moss and the deep ball, its alright for our “prima-dona” of a wide receiver to pout every once and a while.

Its obvious that Moss hasn’t put up the type of numbers that New Englanders are accustomed to from No. 81 in the past five games but don’t quit on the 32-year-old.  

Because he hasn’t quit on you.  Not quite yet.  

He has 9 TD’s to go along with 1,074 yards receiving yards this season and despite his one-catch, 16-yard performance last week, there is reason to believe that Moss will turn it around.  Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and now Bob Kraft have all come to the aid of Moss and his fragile psyche and there’s optimism in Patriots camp that the University of Marshall grad will turn it up in the Patriots remaining three games against the Bills, Jaguars, and Texans.      

You can’t expect the most popular kid at school not to sit and pout for the rest of the day after being called out by the teacher infront of all his classmates.  Moss will get over his little tiff with Big Bad Bill and move his attention to outplaying Terrell Owens and the Buffalo Bills.

If he doesn’t, he can be assured his days in New England, along with Adalius Thomas, are numbered.  

What’s Next For The Red Sox?

A Busy Few Days In Boston, But Questions Still Remain

With the John Lackey and Mike Cameron signings made official today, what does the future hold in store for the remainder of the off-season?  

Well, due to the surprise of both the Lackey and Cameron signings, nobody can know for sure what’s left in the cards for Theo Epstein and the 2010 Red Sox. However, even if the two signings were from out of “left-field”, they do indicate what direction the Sox seem to be going in and what moves are left to be made.

The holes left on the 2010 roster seem to be at third (or first) base and in the bullpen.  But don’t get caught lulling yourself to sleep on your general manger, folks, something bigger may be in the works from the Wonder Boy.  

With a slow beginning to the off-season, many Sox fans were wondering if in Theo, they really should trust.  

Well you should. 

He has, after-all, brought you two World Series rings under his watch while building a sound and fundamental organization from the bottom-up.  Sure, he comes with his pits and downfalls (cough, shortstop) but don’t underestimate the 35-year-old GM and his plans.

In the plans could be a power hitter that the Sawks seem to desperately be missing (although, open for interpretation). Could it be Adrian Gonzalez?  According to ESPNboston.com, the price may be a little too steep for Theo’s liking, but with the resources to make such a deal, the likelihood of it ever happening increases with the signings of both Lackey and Cameron.

The Red Sox now have the insurance to kiss either Clay Buchholz or Jacoby Ellsbury good-bye, if that’s the price it takes to get a high-caliber player like Gonzalez.  

It will come down to whether or not Epstein wants to sacrifice a couple of cheap years with Ellsbury and Buchholz, in exchange for an relatively cheap elite all-star like Gonzalez, or taking his chances with the likes of Adrian Beltre, Nick Johnson, or Casey Kotchman.

So with a whirlwind of an off-season seemingly flying towards a holding pattern for the Boston Red Sox, don’t underestimate the ability and prowess of a man with a plan—In Theo we trust.  

Sox to intro Cameron & Lackey Today

The Red Sox announced they will hold two press conferences Wednesday at
Fenway Park, to introduce starting pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Mike
Cameron to Boston. Cameron will be welcomed at 11:30 a.m., and Lackey at 1:30
p.m., according to Sox officials.

Lackey is expected to sign a five-year deal worth $82.5 million, with Cameron
signing a two-year deal worth $15.5 million.

Cameron was expected to take a physical Tuesday night before the deal could
be finalized.

The addition of Cameron to play left field — coupled with the Lackey signing
— would make all but official Jason Bay’s departure from Boston.-ESPN Boston

Celtics Refuse To Fizzle, Win 11th Straight

Boston Holds Onto Victory Over Grizzles

Maybe all the Boston Celtics needed was some time to get away from the Garden’s parquet in order to figure things.  The C’s looked out of sorts earlier on in the season as they stumbled after their fast start but have started to figure things out recently on their current road trip by winning eight straight games on the road as they sit at 12-1 away from the Garden this season.

With eight of its last nine games on the road, the C’s have turned up the heat in the Eastern Conference, securing themselves top spot in the division while managing to take control of the best record in all of basketball.

On Monday night, it was more of the same for Boston as the C’s held on for a 110-105 victory over the Memphis Grizzles to extend its winning streak to 11 straight.

Paul Pierce scored 19 points, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen added 18 of their own as Allen’s 3-pionter with 17.5 seconds left, sealed the deal for Boston, marking a perfect way for the Green Team to cap off its road trip.

Boston heads home for a tilt with the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday as the C’s welcome back familiar foe, Allen Iverson.  Doc Rivers will look to have an answer for one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers in hopes of building on his teams current success and winning streak.

( Getty Images) ( Getty Images)

Surprising Day From The Red Sox

Boston Inks Two Free Agents Out Of The Blue

Oh, what a way to spend the Holiday Season.  Yesterdays signings were an early Christmas, Hanukah, and Festivus (sorry Yankee fans, this Seinfeld reference belongs to Boston today) present for Red Sox nation.

Although the boys in the clubhouse (most notably Terry Francona and Dustin Pedroia) love their game of cribbage, Theo Epstein responded to Brian Cashman’s– Granderson chess move — with a move of his own.

Check.  Take that Yankees.

No, no, no, Epstein is too young to be playing an old man’s game like chess and not that naive to have to respond to the Yankees move.  No, no, he was playing a game of poker. We must applaud him for keeping his hand very close to the chest, revealing it to no media members or friends, and in the midst of it all, calling out Joe Urbon’s bluff with a royal flush full of Lackey’s and Cameron’s on Monday.  Yes, Urbon, Jason Bay’s agent, must be feeling a little flush on Tuesday, knowing that he “moved on” and moved his agent out of Boston.

Also, lest not forget that Red Sox Nation must be feeling a little like royalty too, today, knowing that Epstein and company bolstered its rotation and lineup with the signings of John Lackey and Mike Cameron.

Lackey, drawing comparisons to Boston’s own ace, Josh Beckett, helps solidify the Red Sox rotation in 2010 and Cameron brings 3-gold-glove awards and some pop to Boston while giving them the opportunity to move Clay Buchholz (and hey, why not Jacoby Ellsbury too?) to the San Diego Padres for one Adrian Gonzalez.  

The luxury the Lackey and Cameron signings give the Red Sox cannot be overlooked.  Boston significantly upgraded its pitching, defense, and clubhouse presence with the signing of these two veterans while also affording them the option of moving some “major league ready talent” to acquire a big, middle-of-the-order, bat in exchange.

Whether Epstein and the Sox do make another big move, will have to be seen.  But for now, Santa’s sleigh full of presents have landed on Yawkey Way just in time for the Holidays (no, not Matt or Roy) but a little premature for Christmas.

But hey, that’s just how Red Sox nation likes it.  Right?   

The Newest Member Of The Boston Red Sox: John Lackey

Boston Inks Lackey To Reported Five-Year Pact

The Boston Red Sox have reached a tentative agreement with John Lackey on a five-year contract worth a little more than A.J. Burnett’s $82.5 million contract he signed with the New York Yankees last off-season.

Lackey was in Boston for a physical exam this afternoon and although specific details are not yet available, it is believe both sides have struck an agreement on a deal that will place Lackey in Boston’s starting rotation for five years to come.

It’s reported that Lackey turned down a $72 million offer from the Los Angeles Angels earlier this offseason to test the market and the Red Sox, who have kept their interest under the radar until now, swept in to sign the 31-year-old.  

With the negotiations of free agent Jason Bay hitting a snag, the Sox have diverted their attention to Lackey and other reports have them linked with Mike Cameron on a two-year deal that will make the 36-year-old Cameron Boston’s left-fielder next season.  With a hefty investment in Lackey, it would make sense for Theo Epstein and company to keep a lower profile (and budget) with their left-field hole.

The Red Sox starting lineup and rotation for the 2010 season could very well be set in the next few days with the signings of Lackey and Cameron since Mike Lowell’s thumb injury may be forcing him back to Boston, thus re-inserting him back in the third-base hole (although if this happened, the Sox would probably explore other ways of trading Lowell).  

However, don’t be surprised if the ball keeps rolling for Epstein as the Lackey signing could be a precursor for more things to come the Red Sox way.  

Breaking News: HALLADAY, LEE REPORTEDLY DEALT

Per SI’s Jon Heyman: A three-way trade has been agreed to that would send Roy Halladay to the Phillies, Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners, with Toronto’s compensation unknown.
Much more on this HUGE development coming! (If Heyman’s sources are correct, this deal is monumental.)

Patriots Claw Their Way Past Panthers

New England Snaps Two-Game Losing Streak

The New England Patriots went into Sunday’s matchup with the Carolina Panthers, playing their worst football since 2002– losers in three of their previous four games, and in dire need of a victory.

If it weren’t for Wes Welker, the Patriots may be looking at a three-way tie atop the AFC East. But with a 10-catch, 105 yard performance, his fifth consecutive 100-yard performance, Welker led the struggling New England Patriots past the Carolina Panthers with a 20-10 win at Gillette Stadium.

Welker’s 105 receptions on the season is the most receptions ever for a player in his first 11 games of a season.  The Patriots (8-5) avoided a serious setback at Foxborough as the Pats took on a struggling Panthers squad, playing without injured quarterback Jake Delhomme.  New England struggled early on to take advantage of backup Matt Moore’s mistakes and their own mistakes had them in a hole late in the second quarter.  They trailed 7-0 late in the second quarter before a Kevin Faulk touchdown-run knotted things up before half-time.

Luckily for the Patriots and Benjamin Watson, the Panthers could never string enough good plays together as Watson put the Patriots up for good with a TD reception in the third quarter.  Two 40+ yard field-goals in the fourth quarter from Stephen Gostkowski wrapped the game up for Bill Belichick.  Belichick’s win, however, wasn’t with controversy as Carolina corner-back Chris Gamble called out Randy Moss for his play on Sunday, stating that Moss was “dogging it” and giving up on his routes.

It was discouraging words, even from an opponent, for Belichick and company as the team thought it was removed from a week of turmoil and distraction as Belichick sent four players, including Moss, home early from team facilities on Wednesday because the players showed up late for morning meetings.  

Even with the Moss distraction and benching of Adalius Thomas, the Patriots are in control of their own destiny as the Pats head to Buffalo next Sunday to take on the Bills (5-8) at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Due, in large part, to the play of Mr. Wes Welker.

(Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Lackey On His Way To Boston?

Red Sox Would Make  A Splash With Acquisition 

With the current Jason Bay negotiations fading fast into the likes of “moving on”, the Boston Red Sox have moved their attention to starting pitching and in particular, John Lackey.

Lackey traveled to Boston for a physical exam on Monday and although an official agreement has yet to be announced, all indications point to the 31-year-old signing with Boston.  Lackey, 102-71 record in eight seasons with a 3.81 ERA, is the most-talented pitcher on the free agent market.

With a starting rotation seemingly already set as is, the addition of Lackey would bolster Boston’s rotation  into the best in all of baseball, surpassing that of the Yankees and Phillies.  Lackey would join Josh Beckett, Jon Lester at the top of the rotation with Clay Buchholz, Daisuake Matsuzaka, and Tim Wakefield left to fill out the final two spots.

Although the move would leave presumably six starters for five spots, Theo Epstein and the Boston Red Sox believe in organizational depth at the pitching position and wouldn’t be opposed to having a plethora of arms for a few spots. However, don’t underestimate the ripple effect this move could have on the Red Sox.

If the Sox do indeed ink Lackey, it could be a sign for things to come as Epstein may be more inclined to move uber-prospect Clay Buchholz in a deal landing Boston a middle-of-the-order bat or even the likes of Roy Halladay (although that would be a stretch).

Diverting their attention away from the Bay negotiations, the Red Sox have seemingly set their sights to improving their rotation with a power-arm like John Lackey.  Could this mean the Sox are out of the running on a expensive left-fielder?  Or are John Henry’s pockets not stripped for cash like many thought?

The pieces are starting to fall into place for the 2010 Boston Red Sox, and although the signing of Lackey isn’t official and the numbers for the contract have yet to be released, a playing of the hand that is dealt to them (cough, Bay), seems not to be the manner in which Epstein and company are going to play.  They would much rather make their own luck by folding and starting over again.

Or bluffing.    

Breaking News: Sox May Have Landed Lackey

AOL FanCast is reporting that the Red Sox are finalizing a physical with FA RHP John Lackey. If so, this is a huge acquisition for Boston.
This story is yet to be confirmed by any other sources and should not be taken as fact just yet. However, it does give reason for excitement is this story is proven to be true.
More on this story as it develops.