And then there was One(ish)

688878.jpg

And then there was One(ish)

With the recent retirements of Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield, there are technically only two players remaining from the legendary 2004 Red Sox: Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz.

But as far as I'm concerned, there's really only one.

First of all, because it's far more fun and dramatic to look back and say: "Wooow, there's only ONE guy left from that team How did we get here?"

And second, because while Youkilis might have two rings, he was barely visible during that historic 2004 run. He had only two post season at-bats, and none after the ALDS. He was as much of a factor as Johnny Pesky.

Yes, he was on that team. But was he really part of it?

Do you have even one Kevin Youkilis memory from that 2004 season?

Actually, I do. And since I've spent the first part of this post blasting young Youk for no good reason. Let's give a quick tribute to the highlight of his rookie year

May 15, 2004: Kevin Youkilis makes his Major League debut, and blasts a fourth inning fastball (courtesy of Pat Hentgen) over the left field wall for his first career home run.

As the ball lands in the stands, Youk rounds the bases and jogs into the dugout, where he finds Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

No one will even look at him, never mind deliver a high five or trademark slap on the ass.

It was the old school silent treatment!

Eventually, Youk had no choice but to walk down and take a seat by himself on the end of the bench, as his teammates went about their business like nothing even happened.

A few seconds later, the team broke character, and offered up some love, but even if it was brief, the moment and the gesture were so memorable. It's something I'll always remember about Youk, no matter how old he gets or how many times he marries.

But I'll never remember him as a serious player on that 2004 team. And now, it's hard to believe that there's now only one guy left. It's weird, cool and depressing all at the same.

Honestly, how did we get here?

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

tiger-woods-041015.jpg

Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

Tiger Woods, recovering from his fourth back surgery in the last three years, was arrested on DUI charges Monday morning in Jupiter, Fla.

Woods, 41, is the winner of 79 PGA tournaments in his career (including 14 majors). He was stopped this morning at around 3 a.m. and booked at 7:18 a.m. He was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m.

Physical problems have plagued Woods in recent years, but he said last week "unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again." However, he will need months to recover from his most recent surgery.

Get the latest on this story from golfchannel.com

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

BOSTON –  Terry Rozier was having a rough stretch where his minutes were limited and when he did play, he didn’t play particularly well.
 
Among the voices in his ear offering words of encouragement was Avery Bradley who knows all too well what Rozier was going through.
 
For all his time as a Celtic, Bradley has let his work on the floor do the talking for him.
 
But as the most tenured Celtic on the roster, his leadership has to be about more than just getting the job done, but servicing as a vocal leader as well.
 
For a player whose growth from one year to the next has been a constant, being a more vocal leader has been the one dynamic of his game that has improved the most during this past season.
 
And it is that kind of leadership that will carry into the summer what is a pivotal offseason for both Bradley and this Celtics franchise which was eliminated by Cleveland in the Conference finals, the first time the Celtics got that deep in the playoffs since 2012.
 
He is entering the final year of the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in 2014. And it comes at a time when his fellow Tacoma, Wash. native and backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas will likely hit free agency where he’s expected to command a max or near-max contract that would pay him an annual salary in the neighborhood of $30 million.
 
At this point in time, Bradley isn’t giving too much thought to his impending contract status.
 
Instead, he’s more consumed by finding ways to improve his overall game and in doing so, help guide the Celtics to what has to be their focus for next season – a trip to the NBA Finals.
 
While Celtics players have said their focus has always been on advancing as far into the playoffs as possible, it wasn’t until this past season did they actually provide hope and promise that Banner 18 may be closer than you think.
 
It was an emotional time for the Celtics, dealing with the unexpected death of Chyna Thomas, the younger sister of Isaiah Thomas, just hours before Boston’s first playoff game this season.
 
And then there were injuries such as Thomas’ right hip strain that ended his postseason by halftime of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland.
 
But through that pain, we saw the emergence of Bradley in a light we have seldom seen him in as a Celtic.
 
We have seen him play well in the past, but it wasn’t until Thomas’ injury did we see Bradley showcase even more elements of his game that had been overlooked.
 
One of the constant knocks on Bradley has been his ball-handling.
 
And yet there were a number of occasions following Thomas’ playoff-ending injury, where Bradley attacked defenders off the dribble and finished with lay-ups and an occasional dunk in transition.
 
Among players who appeared in at least 12 playoff games this year, only Washington’s John Wall (7.9), Cleveland’s LeBron James (6.8) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (5.2) averaged more points in transition than Bradley (4.7).
 
Bradley recognized the team needed him to be more assertive, do things that forced him to be more front-and-center which is part of his evolution in Boston as a leader on this team.
 
“It’s weird but players like Al (Horford) definitely helped me get out of my shell and pushed me this year to be more of a vocal leader,” Bradley said.
 
And that talent combined with Bradley doing what he does every offseason – come back significantly better in some facet of his game – speaks to how he’s steadily growing into being a leader whose actions as well as his words are impactful.