The more things change...

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The more things change...

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

Went to my first Celtics game last night since January 10.

The core crew was there -- Ray Ray, P-Twice, KG, Ray-jhonRah-jhon Rondo -- but, aside from Glen Davis (WHO SHOULD NEVER TAKE THAT SHOT AGAIN), the supporting cast looked a lot different.

When the Rockets visited Boston two months ago the box score included Nate Robinson, Jermaine O'Neal, Luke Harangody, Marquis Daniels, Von Wafer, Semih Erden (DNP) and Shaquille O'Neal.

None of those guys played for the Green Team last night, in thanks to trades or old age.

Wednesday's Celtics loss included Jeff Green (Georgetown Hoya -- I am not over it), Delonte West (He get his donuts yet?), Troy Murphy, Avery Bradley (DNP vs. Houston) and Sasha Pavlovic. I've had time to get used to all the transactions, but to realize the difference in my two game nights was jarring.

Maybe that's why I was so relieved that other things about the Celtics experience hadn't changed.

A GUY BEHIND ME SCREAMS STUFF ALL GAME
It's always some middle-aged dude who gets to escape the fam for one night a year to hang out with his other don't-get-out-much buddies: Goatee, glasses, button down shirt. You know.

Broski would have done Tommy Heinsohn proud with his ripping on the refs last night. "Hey! HEY. TRY CALLING ONE ON NUMBER 50 FOR A CHANGE. YOU'RE TERRIBLE. WHAT GAME YOU WATCHING?"

He also raised his voice at Tony Allen and Leon Powe whenever the former Celtics touched the ball, hollering 'TRAITOOOOOOOR!" Funny, considering that Powe wanted to come back and TA said "I'm a Celtic. Unfortunately, I'm wearing a Grizzlies uniform now," after the game. Minor details that Screaming Goatee Guy can't be bothered with. He had like, four beers! Oh, man, the wife's gonna be pissed, but he doesn't care-- nuh-uh! Tonight he's his own man. His own, loud man.

A KID THINKS HE WON'T SURVIVE THE MBTA
I was underground at North Station waiting in the crowd to go through the gate when I overheard a dad comforting his young son.

"You're not going to die!" The dad reassured his eight-year old.

"I'm going to get SMOOSHED!" The kid wailed, overlooking the mob of drunk basketball fans with dinner plate-sized eyes.

He didn't get smooshed as far as I know. But I didn't actually see them get on the train because a gate malfunction caused me to get held back for a solid 10 minutes and miss a few trains; BS, but typical.

So the kid is actually pretty perceptive. Even at eight, he was able to recognize that the T is the Electric Passenger Railway of Evil. It may not smoosh actual people that often, but it crushes souls on the daily.
TANGER IS STILL CHEERING FOR THE GREEN TEAM

Ayy! Gar-Bear made it on the jumbotron! And that's a nice Paul Pierce jersey no matter what Felger says.

Krejci, Krug aim to be ready for Bruins opening night

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Krejci, Krug aim to be ready for Bruins opening night

BRIGHTON – Only two Bruins players spoke to the media following the team’s first informal captain’s practice at the new Warrior Ice Arena facility, and it happened to be the two key players coming back from offseason surgery.

Torey Krug had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder shortly after last season was over, and David Krejci had hip surgery to take care of a lower body issue that had bothered him for each of the last two seasons. Both were on the ice on Monday morning along with John-Michael Liles, Adam McQuaid, Frank Vatrano and Noel Acciari, though Krejci hopped off the ice 15 minutes into the session once the skating drills started to ramp up.

Similarly, Krug wasn’t taking any one-timers or winding up for slap shots while working with the puck during drills amidst a six month recovery window that’s expected to carry over into October. Both said that playing on opening night was their goal at this point still weeks ahead of NHL training camp, but a decision should be forthcoming for Krejci when it comes to the World Cup of Hockey. It didn’t sound like the playmaking pivot was going to end up competing for Team Czech Republic in the tournament, but Krejci isn't shutting the door just yet.

“It’s another day closer. I did a little bit more stuff today and I’m obviously already on the ice, so I’m kind of getting there. This injury takes time, but I like where I’m at right now,” said Krejci, who originally hurt the left hip in the final preseason game prior to the 2014-15 seasons. “Every day is a step closer. I’m excited for tomorrow. If you asked me a long time ago [about the World Cup] then I would have said ‘yes’, but right now I just want to get to 100 percent.

“If I’m ready then that would be awesome, but if not then I have to do what I have to do to be 100 percent. I’m in contact with the national team coach, and we talk pretty every week. They’re asking about my updates, so they know what’s going on. I’m sure they have some backup plan if it’s not going to work out. We’ll see what happens.”

It’s not quite as cut-and-dry with Krug, who will start slowly going into training camp while ramping up to being ready as quickly as possible. Similar to Krejci, the shoulder injury was something Krug played with pretty much all of last season while scoring a career-low four goals in 81 games. The 25-year-old D-man wasn’t using the bum right shoulder as an excuse, but said he’s looking forward to feeling good as new again as soon as possible.

“When you miss the playoffs it’s a long summer, but I was very fortunate going through the shoulder surgery that I had a lot of time to recover,” said Krug, who averaged a career-high 21:37 of ice time last season. “Hopefully I’ll be good to go for the first game. I didn’t know what to expect, but from a medical standpoint they tell me that [I’m ahead of schedule]. I’d never been through a surgery or anything like this, but I feel good.

“It’s probably a harder road, but I’m in good hands and they tell me I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m not even using my shoulder shooting the puck. I’m taking it slow and day-by-day with plenty of time still leading up to camp. It’s probably going to be a play it by ear situation [to start camp]. They said six month, so camp would be about five months. So I doubt I’ll be taking part in the physical aspect of it [to start camp]. We’ll see how it goes.”

The bad news is that Krejci and Krug had to go through surgery at all last spring, but it sounds like both aren’t going to miss much, if any, time at all for the B’s once the regular season winds up. 

Patriots waive Stork after trade with Redskins falls through

Patriots waive Stork after trade with Redskins falls through

It's been a wild week for Bryan Stork. 

On Wednesday, news broke that Stork had been informed of his release. Then before that move became official, the Patriots and Redskins worked out a trade to send the third-year center to Washington. After that, indications were that Stork was retiring, and the Redskins were unsure as to whether or not he would even report.  He eventually decided to report, but ended up failing his physical, voiding the trade. 

Monday, Stork was returned to the Patriots, but the team has announced that they've waived the veteran center.

More to come...

 

After strong bullpen session, Koji Uehara could be back by Labor Day

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After strong bullpen session, Koji Uehara could be back by Labor Day

BOSTON - For a bullpen that could use all the help it can get right now, there's the prospect that Koji Uehara could rejoin the Red Sox on Labor Day.

Uehara, who's been out since July 20 with a strained pectoral muscle, threw a bullpen Monday at Fenway that impressed John Farrell.

"He came out of today's work session in good fashion,'' said Farrell. "It was 25 pitches to hitters with good intensity to both his fastball and split. It's been impressive to see how he's handled the volume, and now, three times on the mound, the intensity to his bullpens and BP.''

Next up for Uehara will be a bullpen session Wednesday morning, followed by a live batting practice session Saturday in Oakland.

Since both Pawtucket's and Portland's seasons are over on Labor Day, Uehara won't have the option of going on a rehab assignment to face hitters before being activated.

But the Sox believe that he can build arm strength through these side sessions and BP sessions -- enough so that he could return to the active roster soon.

"We'll re-assess where is after Sunday,'' said Farrell, "and I wouldn't rule out activation [after that]. What we've done with Koji is just review how he feels after each session and we'll take it from there.''

Uehara, 41, is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA, and while he's had a propensity for giving up homers (eight in just 36 innings), he had been throwing better before being injured.

And given the performance of the bullpen in general and the recent poor showings from Matt Barnes, the Sox would welcome Uehara back as soon as he's ready.

"The one thing that Koji has proven to us,'' noted Farrell, "is that, even with limited spring training work [in the past], he's been a very effective pitcher for us and obviously, he has a chance to make a very positive impact once he does return.''

Uehara's progress since late July has been a pleasant surprise for the Sox, who feared at the time of the injury that he might be done for the season.     

"To his credit,'' said Farrell, "he's worked his tail off and advanced fairly rapidly and he's withstanding the intensity that he's put into [the work]. A healthy Koji certainly adds to our bullpen.