Report: Red Sox in contact with Adam LaRoche


Report: Red Sox in contact with Adam LaRoche

The Red Sox have gone downright Belichickian in clamping down on information about their deal, or non-deal, with Mike Napoli, but some light may be peeping through the iron curtain.

Ken Rosenthal of -- working off initial reports from the Boston-based Jen Royle -- says the Red Sox have reopened negotiations with free agent first baseman Adam LaRoche. That could indicate the Sox are backing away from Napoli, whose three-year, 39 million agreement with the team was put in jeopardy when the Sox became concerned with an issue that arose during his physical. (Numerous reports indicates it's a hip problem.) Or they could be attempting to pressure Napoli into agreeing to a restructured deal.

LaRoche is a more unattractive target than Napoli for two reasons:

1. He's two years older (33 to 31), and

2. Because his old team, the Nationals, made him a qualifying offer, he would cost the Sox a draft pick as compensation. Napoli wasn't given an offer by the Rangers, and thus carries no compensation price tag. In fact, none of the free agents signed this offseason by the Sox required compensation.

But LaRoche is out there and the Red Sox still need a first baseman.

Rosenthal reports LaRoche -- who is seeking a three-year contract; Washington is unwilling to give him that a long a deal -- is seen "more as a possible alternative to Napoli than as a primary target, sources say". But the very fact that they've contacted him could indicate that talks with Napoli are bogged down and the agreement is in jeopardy.

Bradley supporting Olynyk as he returns from shoulder surgery


Bradley supporting Olynyk as he returns from shoulder surgery

WALTHAM, Mass. – Avery Bradley had just returned to the Boston Celtics lineup after having had surgery on both shoulders, eager to put his injury-riddled days in the past.

Then-Celtics assistant coach Tyronn Lue had suffered a similar shoulder injury a decade earlier in 2003, so he knew all too well what Bradley was going through.

“I remember Tyronn Lue took me to the side and said, ‘you’re going to struggle,’” Bradley recalled. “When he said it to me, I was like, ‘what is he talking about?’”

The words of Lue, now the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, were indeed prophetic. And now that current Celtics big man Kelly Olynyk is back to practicing after having surgery on his right shoulder, Bradley plans to be there for Olynyk the way Lue was there for him.

Bradley, who missed the first 30 games of the 2012-2013 season recovering from the injury, recalls struggling with his shot for the first couple of weeks.  

His first game back was Jan. 2, 2013. For the next two weeks, Bradley shot 40.6 percent from the field (28-for-69) and 28.6 percent (8-for-28) on 3s, both below his career averages in those respective categories.

Bradley is hopeful Olynyk doesn’t struggle as much as he did upon his return to the lineup from shoulder surgery.

But just in case, Olynyk knows he has a teammate who literally knows what he’s going through right now in trying to get back on the floor and play good basketball.

“It’s our job as his teammates to help keep him confident in himself,” Bradley said. “I told him, ‘you’re going to have your days when you come in and you might make shots. Then you’ll have your week where you don’t make a shot.’ You just have to stay confident.”

But Bradley admits it’s a lot easier said than done, especially when you’ve had success shooting the ball and now all of a sudden the shots that you normally make in your sleep keep you up at night wondering why they no longer going in.

“It just happens. The muscle memory, you have to get it back,” Bradley said. “It’s just reps; that’s what it took. It took like maybe a good month before my shot felt good again. It’ll probably be the same for Kelly; hopefully not. If it is, I’ll be there to make sure he’s positive and knowing it’s a process and he has to continue to get shots up.”

But there’s more to returning to the game when healthy.

While the body may be ready to go, the mind more often than not hasn’t totally cleansed itself of the injury.

“It’s still in the back of your mind, thinking it’s going to happen again,” Bradley said. “You may not want to drive it to the basket as much or box out the same way or be aggressive. But like I said, we have to give him that confidence and he has to do his work as well, staying in the weight room, making sure he’s strong. We’re here to help.”

And no one is offering the consistent assistance that Bradley has to his injured teammate.

“I’ve taken him to the side like five times already and I told him, ‘I’m here bro. Whatever you need,’” Bradley said. “I’m just happy that he’s back."