On Max Pacioretty: The turnbuckle talks

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On Max Pacioretty: The turnbuckle talks

By The Bell Centre Turnbuckle
As told to Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

I haven't slept for two days.

I'm sick.

The pain isn't the problem; I've been hit before. It's the flashbacks I can't handle.

Everything moving so fast... Chara's hulking frame bearing down on Max... Max's head just... I don't know... it was like time stopped when we collided. To me, Max fell to the ice in slow motion. He looked like a dead leaf broken off of a Maple in October, floating down, discarded.

Why the hell do I even exist?

I'm "the only thing that keeps the boys from hurting each other on the bench."That's what they told me when I first got to Montreal. But what now?

A severe concussion. Fractured vertebrae.

Patches wouldn't be hurt if I wasn't there.

Maybe Zdeno Chara did want to put Max over the boards. I was there for that January 8 game and saw their little shoving match. Bruins v. Canadiens is one of the fiercest rivalries in sports and I expect that tempers will flare. But you can't tell me that Chara hoped Max's head would smack into of me

Oh, God.

I could change. I want to change.

Padding just isn't enough. I could get a makeover to look like Edmonton.

Or Detroit.

Things look a little different there, but it doesn't change the game. If anything, it helps. Guys have enough to worry about, flying around out there on the ice at 35-40 mph, without having me in the way. If guys want to break each other's faces on the bench, fine, that's a choice. But broken vertebrae? Nobody chose that outcome.

And the thing that really kills me? This has happened before.

Remember Ryan Smyth? I know everybody in Colorado, and when he got checked into the home turnbuckle by Jack Johnson, my buddy was distraught. He went through the same identity crisis that I'm dealing with. I tried to reach out on Tuesday night after the Bruins game, but he never responded. He totally shut down after Smyth got hurt.

That was two years ago.

I don't want to be like that. I don't want to hurt anybody else.

Nobody from either side is happy about what happened to Patches, because if the physicality of the game changes then we all lose. Wasting resources on a police investigation into Chara's hit is ridiculous. The guilty party is here; it's me. I'm coming forward and I want to get involved in the NHL's new initiatives to make the game we love safer for the guys who play it.

That's something we can all agree on, right?

McAdam: Doesn't take long for second-guessing of Farrell to resume

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McAdam: Doesn't take long for second-guessing of Farrell to resume

Three takeaways from the Red Sox' 6-4 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday night . . . 

1) Long relief may be short for the Red Sox in the postseason

The news that Drew Pomeranz won't start Thursday and is dealing with forearm soreness was ominous -- to say the least. While the Sox aren't concerned enough to order up an MRI for the lefty, it seems a fair bet that he won't pitch again this season. Pomeranz wasn't going to crack the postseason rotation and would likely have been relegated to relief duty. Now, even that seems a stretch.

Add that development to the continued absence of Steven Wright and the Red Sox are missing 40 percent of their rotation from late July and early August.

Healthy, both would have been stretched-out and available to provide multiple innings in the postseason.

Of course, most teams would prefer to not have to rely on long men in the postseason, since their very appearance in a game would signifiy that a starter got knocked out early.

When that happens, however, it's nice to have experienced, dependable arms to cover innings and not impact the bullpen's high-leverage pitchers.

Now, in such a scenario, the Sox will likely have to turn to either Robbie Ross Jr. or Heath Hembree.

2) Is Aaron Hill heating up?

In the month of September, Hill has posted a line of .381/.409/.571. On Tuesday night, he blasted a pinch-hit homer.

Admittedly, that's a relatively small sample size. But Hill has had better at-bats of late, especially against lefties.

It's doubtful that he'll take over third base -- now or in the postseason -- full-time, since John Farrell has two left-handed hitting options, with Travis Shaw and Brock Holt. Shaw certainly more power and has shown the ability to go on hot streaks at the plate.

But Hill is a veteran player, albeit one with little postseason experience (11 at-bats in the Division Series for Arizona in 2011) for a 12-year veteran.

And one other benefit: Hill is a .373 career hitter as a pinch-hitter, making him a valuable part off the bench in games started by either Holt or Shaw.

3) One loss is all it took for the second-guessing to resurface

The Sox had won 11 straight before Tuesday's loss, which quickly re-introduced criticism of Farrell.

Starter David Price had given up four runs through six innings, but the Sox rallied for two runs off Tommy Layne in the seventh to tie things at 4-4.

At 76 pitches, Price went back out for the seventh and promptly yielded a two-run homer to Tyler Austin, giving the Yanks another two-run lead.

Price hadn't been sharp in the first six. With expanded rosters, plenty of available relievers and a rested bullpen after a day off Monday, why stick with Price?

Offered Farrell: "You go with a right-hander they’re going to go with [Mark] Teixeira and [Brian] McCann with that right-field porch,” Farrell said. “Wanted to keep the (right-handed hitters) in the ballgame, (but Price) mislocated over the plate.”

Patriots re-sign DT Anthony Johnson to practice squad

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Patriots re-sign DT Anthony Johnson to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have re-signed defensive tackle Anthony Johnson to their practice squad, the team announced. 

Johnson, 23, made the Patriots out of training camp after putting together an impressive preseason in which he recorded five quarterback pressures and was in on two sacks. In two regular-season games, he played 43 snaps as an interior pass-rusher, registering one quarterback hit and one hurry. He was inactive for New England's Week 2 game against the Dolphins. 

The 6-foot-2, 295-pounder was released earlier this week in order to clear room for free-agent defensive lineman John Hughes to be added to the roster. Hughes checks in at 6-2, 320 pounds and would serve more as a space-eating defensive tackle than Johnson, who was used as more of a penetrating pass-rusher. 

In order to make room for Johnson on the practice squad, the Patriots released offensive lineman Ian Silberman.