Hall of Famer speaks out on steroid users

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Hall of Famer speaks out on steroid users

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Barry Larkin wants to keep baseball's most exclusive club clean.Inducted into the Hall of Fame last summer after a 19-year career with the Cincinnati Reds, Larkin told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday that players who cheat shouldn't receive baseball's highest individual honor."I think if you cheated, no, you don't deserve it because I know how difficult it was for me to get there and how difficult it was for me just to compete on an everyday basis," Larkin said. "I think if you cheated I think you made a decision and I don't think you belong."Larkin was in New York to sign items that will be auctioned off as part of Steiner Sports' 25th anniversary. All the proceeds of the online auction will go to charities that are supporting families affected by Superstorm Sandy.The 1995 NL MVP was speaking about a month ahead of the voting results for next year's Hall class. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are all up for selection for the first time.Ultimately, Larkin thinks the players who used performance enhancers will be kept out of Cooperstown just as Pete Rose has been denied admission because he is banned for life for gambling on the sport."I look at what has happened with Pete Rose. Pete Rose is not a Hall of Fame player, banned from baseball. But if you go up to the Hall of Fame all of his records, his bats, everything in is represented in the Hall of Fame -- 4,256 (hits)," Larkin said. "I see a very similar thing happening with guys that are associated with or been accused of using steroids. I think they will recognize their accomplishments but I don't think those players will be admitted to the Hall of Fame."Larkin spent nearly his entire career playing in the Steroids Era. And he doesn't want to jump to conclusions about the stars he played against. The three-time Gold Glove shortstop would like to see baseball offer definitive guidance on who has done performance enhancers and who has not before admonishing them."There can't be this hearsay. If you can prove it, then that's what it is," said Larkin, who will manage Brazil in March's World Baseball Classic. "If you can't prove it you're innocent until proven guilty."These days, the 12-time All-Star discusses the dangers of steroid use with many of the young players he helps support through his Barry Larkin Charitable Foundation.With a team in New Jersey, the Jersey City Reds, and two more on the way, one in Orlando -- where he currently lives -- and another in his hometown of Cincinnati, Larkin has ample opportunity to dissuade young athletes from using illegal substances."We talk about not cheating, we talk about shortcuts," Larkin said. "These kids are impressionable. They're very aware."

Patriots address OL depth with Joe Thuney

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Patriots address OL depth with Joe Thuney

The selection of Joe Thuney with the 78th overall pick means the Patriots hit a need position at offensive tackle.

Thuney played tackle on right and left side and, while he’s small relative to the Patriots mountainous starting tackles (6-5, 295 pounds), he will likely have a redshirt year to get used to the pro game. That’s what happened with left tackle Nate Solder when he was drafted in 2011 and Matt Light was still manning left tackle.

With Vollmer getting closer to the end, Thuney could conceivably play on the edge but he also has the versatility to play all five offensive line spots. The Patriots don’t need him at all five. They are two deep at center with Bryan Stork and David Andrews, seem set at guard with Tre Jackson, Josh Kline and Shaq Mason.

The depth behind Solder and Vollmer is where the concern is. Marcus Cannon hasn’t developed any consistency and Cameron Fleming is entering his third season but remains nothing to get excited about. L’Adrian Waddle was an in-season pickup the Patriots re-signed but he’s in the same boat as the other two. Keavon Martin and Chris Barker are end of the roster guys.

Thuney’s got a huge brain. He earned his degree in three years and is working on another in international studies with a minor in Spanish. While he’s seen as an aggressive, lunch pail guy with good feet but a little bit of body stiffness and no natural position, he’s got a lot of the traits the Patriots adore in terms of smarts, aggressiveness, versatility and coachability.

Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

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Quotes, notes, and stars: "No sign" of Ortiz slowing down

Quotes, notes, and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 win over the Yankees.

QUOTES:

* "He gathered himself and got a little rhythm as the night went along.'' - John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "That's a rarity for Betances to leave his breaking ball up like he did. Once David saw it up, he attacked.'' - Farrell on David Ortiz's game-winning homer.

* "There's no sign of him slowing down. Tonight is a prime example of it. Key moment, big hit when we need it. There's a long resume there and it's continuing to build.'' - Farrell on Ortiz's ability to deliver in the clutch.

* "There were some mechanical adjustments that I made. I came out a little erratic, trying to do too much, maybe focusing too much. But as game went on, I kind of got into a rhythm.'' - Owens on his start.

* "I saw him throw a lot of breaking pitches to Mookie. The one they hit stayed up a little longer than usual. He's the kind of pitcher that, if you go up there looking for everything he's got, you're done.'' - Ortiz on his game-winning homer off Dellin Betances.

NOTES:

* Over his career, David Ortiz has hit 29 go-ahead homers from the eighth inning on.

* Ortiz has eight homers in his last 24 games against the Yankees.

* The win was the first this season for the Red Sox in a game in which they were tied or trailing after seven innings.

* The Red Sox have won five of their last six and seven of their last 10.

* The Yankees have been limited to three runs or fewer in their last six games.

* In 21 games, the Yankees have faced 10 lefty starters; in 22 games, the Red Sox have faced two.

* Masahiro Tanaka has issued just one walk in his last three starts.

STARS:

1) David Ortiz

With one swing of the bat, Ortiz untied a 2-2 game in the bottom of the eighth with a game-winning two-run homer.

2) Jackie Bradley Jr.

Bradley's penchant for delivering a big hit continued as he rapped a two-run double to left in the seventh to erase a 2-0 Yankee lead.

3) Masahiro Tanaka

He shut the Red Sox for six innings before allowing three hits and two runs in the seventh.

2016 NFL Draft: Patriots select QB Jacoby Brissett

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2016 NFL Draft: Patriots select QB Jacoby Brissett

The New England Patriots selected N.C. State quarterback Jacoby Brissett with the No. 91 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.

It sure looks like the Patriots are looking to get support at quarterback incase Tom Brady is suspended.