Evans finding rebounding success with Nets


Evans finding rebounding success with Nets

BOSTON Reggie Evans attacks the game of basketball with the kind of ferocious intensity you often find on the football field.
Growing up in a football-rich environment in Florida, Evans once had visions of gridiron grandeur.
But as a youth, Evans never had a chance because he was too heavy for his age group to play youth football.
"I was very frustrated," Evans said. "I used to have a friend, one of my home boys Nut-nut. He was bigger than me. More wide, more heavier than me. And he used to make it. And I didn't. I used to run with a garbage bag over me, try and sweat it out."
When that didn't work, Evans decided to stick to basketball.
And since then, the 6-foot-8 forward has been throwing his weight around, and is among the many reasons why the Brooklyn Nets have emerged as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference this season.
You talk about impact players off the bench?
Evans is averaging a team-best 8.5 rebounds per game for the Nets despite playing just 18 minutes a night, the kind of production that should garner Sixth Man of the Year consideration if he can maintain that level of play throughout the season.
"He reminds me of a young Dennis Rodman," former Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal said on TNT after the Nets defeated the New York Knicks in overtime on Monday. "He gets every rebound, doesn't want to shoot and doesn't want to score."
Getting to the root of Evans' rebounding success isn't easy. That's because on so many levels, what he does can't be quantified by X's and O's.
"Nobody is going to confuse him with being a great player," said one Eastern Conference scout. "But he has one skill, rebounding, and he does as good as anyone in the league."
Actually, Evans is the league's best rebounder with his rebounds per 48 minutes rate of 22.1. The only other player with 20 or more per 48 minutes Cleveland's Anderson Varejao.
Although Evans did average a double-double in junior college as well as at Iowa, it was clear early on that his greatest impact at this level would be on the boards.
In Seattle (now Oklahoma City), Evans said this point was driven home to him by then-Sonics (now they're called the Thunder) coach Nate McMillan.
"He was telling me what he needed me to do for the team and we got scorers and stuff," Evans told CSNNE.com. "I averaged a double-double in college, but coach said, 'I just need you to do this. If you listen to me, you won't have anything to worry about.'"
McMillan pointed to the fact that despite him not being a go-to guy during his playing career or a big-time scorer, he still managed to have his jersey hung in the rafters.
"So I listened to my coach," Evans said. "He was talking to me and looking at me eye-to-eye and I felt it was real. I followed his direction and I didn't change at all."
And the Nets aren't looking for him to change, either.
He provides them with the kind of physical play and muscle that when you look at teams with deep playoff run aspirations, most if not all possess a player or two with that skill.
"Reggie's a big part of what we're trying to do here," Nets guard Jerry Stackhouse told CSNNE.com recently. "For us to have the kind of success I know we're capable of, it's going to take all of us."

White Sox suspend Sale for five days for uniform incident


White Sox suspend Sale for five days for uniform incident

The Chicago White Sox have suspended ace left-hander Chris Sale for five days "for violating team rules, for insubordination and for destroying team equipment" after Sale reportedly cut up his and his teammates jerseys before his scheduled start on Saturday.

Sale, the subject of trade rumors with several teams, including the Red Sox, was sent home Saturday after he reportedly objected to the throwback uniforms the team was set to wear and cut his and others in the White Sox clubhouse. 

The team said the suspension began Saturday and will continue through Wednesday. He was also fined an undisclosed amount and placed on Major League Baseball's suspended list.

"While we all appreciate Chris' talent and passion, there is a correct way and an incorrect way to express concerns about team rules and organization expectations," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a team statement announcing the suspension.

Sale, the All-Star Game starter for the American League, is 14-3 with a 3.18 ERA. 

Price says fans shouldn’t expect results he’s produced this season

Price says fans shouldn’t expect results he’s produced this season

BOSTON -- David Price made it clear following the Red Sox' 11-9 loss that he wasn’t just upset with his five-run, 11-hit, 5 2/3-inning outing Saturday night, he’s upset with his whole season, calling his performance “terrible” and “just awful.”

Furthermore, when he was asked if his problems were more mental or physical, he tried to explain how it was neither.

“Honestly I don’t think it’s either one of those,” Price said. “It’s me going out there and making pitches.”

That’s a phrase he’s leaning on quite a bit this year -- going out there and making pitches.

And a day after the rough start, he’s still sticking with that story.

“That’s what it is,” Price said. “What does my velocity say up there? Velocity’s just fine, right? Okay. Then that’s just what it is, I gotta go out there and make pitches. I’m not doing that -- that’s the bottom line.”

Price (9-7, 4.51 ERA) addressed that physically he feels good by noting that his velocity is back to normal, topping out at 95 mph Saturday.

So then his mental game comes into question -- but he’s taken steps to block out anything that might inhibit that.

“I don’t even remember the last time I’ve been on Twitter,” Price said.

Well, his last tweet was three days ago, but he hasn’t tweeted about his pitching in nine days.

So, he’s made adjustments to what he does on and off the field.

But in the end, Price said social media doesn’t even cross his mind when he toes up the rubber.

“Yeah, it’s completely different, but I don’t think about that whenever I’m out there,” Price said. “[I’m thinking about] making that next pitch and getting that next out.”

So, there could be a gray area Price is in right now where he can’t find consistent success. It may not boil down to just mental or physical.

Regardless if that’s the case or not, Price still wants Red Sox fans to know this is not what to expect from him.

“What I have been. That’s what they should expect,” he said.


Sunday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: No Ortiz, Betts


Sunday's Red Sox-Twins lineups: No Ortiz, Betts

David Ortiz is out of the starting lineup on Sunday, as is Mookie Betts, as the Red Sox conclude their four-game series with the Twins at Fenway Park looking for a split with last-place Minnesota.

It's a scheduled day off for Ortiz and Betts is still bothered by right knee swelling and soreness that led him to miss the game Saturday (an 11-9 Red Sox loss) and come out of the game in the fifth inning Friday.

Hanley Ramirez takes Ortiz's spot a DH and Travis Shaw moves to first base. Rick Porcello (12-2, 3.47 ERA) looks to extend his Fenway winning streak to 10 (he's 9-0 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 home starts this season). Left-hander Tommy Millone (3-2, 4.71) starts for the Twins.

The lineups:

Eduardo Nunez SS
Joe Mauer 1B
Miguel Sano 3B
Brian Dozier 2B
Max Kepler RF
Kennys Vargas DH
Eddie Rosario LF
Juan Centeno C
Byron Buxton CF
Tommy Millone LHP
Brock Holt LF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Aaron Hill 3B
Travis Shaw 1B
Bryce Brentz RF
Ryan Hanigan C
Rick Porcello, SP