From Comcast SportsNetSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- San Francisco Giants first base coach Roberto Kelly sustained a concussion Saturday after getting hit in the back of the head when Buster Posey's ball struck him while he was standing near second base during batting practice.But Kelly was still expected to be on the field for Game 1 of the NL championship series on Sunday as long as he gets cleared by team doctors.He was taken to a hospital for tests and later released, with athletic trainer Dave Groeschner saying in a text, "doing better, going home.""We'll let the doctors see him tomorrow," Groeschner said.Kelly walked off the field with assistance and was placed on a stretcher to leave the ballpark. The NL West champion Giants were holding a workout at AT&T Park a day before opening the series against the St. Louis Cardinals.Posey said he didn't see what happened."I saw him on the ground like everybody else, I didn't see it hit him," Posey said. "Anytime somebody gets hit in the head you're worried for them. He seemed to be doing all right. He was cognizant and answering questions. I think any time with a head injury, it is scary because you just can't take anything for granted with that, and you have to be really, really careful."The frightening moment came just more than a month after Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy took a line drive to the right side of his head on a ball from the Angels' Erick Aybar on Sept. 5. McCarthy, Oakland's opening day starter, sustained an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture on the play and underwent two hours of surgery.The 48-year-old Kelly has been the Giants' first base coach since 2008. He played 14 seasons in the majors for eight teams and was a career .290 hitter with 124 home runs and 585 RBIs. The outfielder spent his longest stint with the New York Yankees, from 1987-92 and again to finish his career in 2000.He also played for the Reds, Braves, Expos, Dodgers, Twins, Mariners and Rangers.Kelly was a two-time All-Star and played in 1,337 career games.Before being promoted to his current position, Kelly managed in the Giants' organization at Class-A Augusta for three seasons from 2005-07. He has an emphasis in baserunning and outfield defense.
BRIGHTON, MASS -- It didn’t take last season’s embarrassing Winter Classic result to figure out something has been missing from the storied, legendary Bruins-Canadiens rivalry over the last few years.
The last traces of the latest, great incarnation of the B’s-Habs rivalry were clearly still there a couple of seasons ago when the two hockey clubs met in the second round of the playoffs. After falling short the last few times the teams met in the postseason, Boston was summarily dismissed by Montreal in Game 7 on their own home ice during that series. The following season the B’s simply had so many of their own players struggling to put out a consistent effort, so the games against the Habs didn’t really register highly on the importance scale, and last season both Boston and Montreal suffered through subpar seasons that saw them each fall short of the playoffs.
Since the second round loss to the Habs in the 2013-14 playoffs, the Bruins are 2-7 while being outscored by a 31-18 margin in nine regular season meetings over the last two seasons in an incredibly one-sided chapter in the two teams’ shared history. The real lack of competitiveness has been a noticeable lack of deep emotion or ill will on the ice between the two hockey clubs, and that is very different from the recent past when signature players like Milan Lucic, P.K. Subban and Shawn Thornton were card-carrying members of healthy hate that regularly spilled out on the ice between the two rival NHL organizations.
Instead it will probably be new blood that breathes glorious, hard-edged life into the history between the two Original Six teams, and new personalities like David Backes, Shea Weber and Andrew Shaw are likely to do just that. Certainly the Canadiens wanted to be much more difficult to play against in recruiting players like Shaw and Weber, and, their presence along with the offensively explosive Alex Radulov, could make it a tough matchup for the Black and Gold.
Either way, the Bruins are curious to see what the matchup looks like this season with the electric P.K. Subban removed from the mix as one of the classic Habs villain-type characters from a Boston perspective.
“It’s always fun to play Montreal at home, or in Montreal. This will be our second time counting the preseason, and our first time at the Garden. It’s going to be pretty cool,” said David Krejci. “When you say any NHL team there are a few names that pop out for that team, and [P.K. Subban] was definitely one of them [for Montreal]. But P.K. is gone, and now it’s Shea Weber. So it’s going to be a little different, but he’s a hell of a player as well so it isn’t going to be any easier.
“It’s a big game. It’s a division game. We don’t want to take any game lightly within the 82 games because you don’t know what can happen at the end. When those games against [Montreal] are done you always feel like you’ve played two games, and not just one. It’s high intensity, and it’s obviously a rivalry that you get up for.”
As Bruins head coach Claude Julien would say it, things are a bit too civilized between the two enemy teams when thinking back to the days of Georges Laraque chasing Milan Lucic around the ice challenging him a fight on the Bell Centre ice, or the awful epoch in B’s-Habs history when Zdeno Chara clobbered Max Pacioretty with a dangerous, injury-inducing hit into the stanchion area.
Nobody is looking for players to get hurt on borderline plays when the two teams suit up on Saturday night, but something to introduce a new chapter into the Boston-Montreal rivalry would be a good thing for both teams, a good thing for the fans and a potentially great thing for an NHL that prides itself on good, old-fashioned rivalries.
“We need to make sure that we’re ready to play [on Saturday]. I like the way that we’ve played so far, and except for Toronto we’ve managed to compete with all of the teams that we’ve played against,” said Julien. “I don’t know if it’s going to stay that way, but I’m going to use the word that [the rivalry] has been more civilized for the last few years. There hasn’t been as much of the sideshow as there has been [in the past].
“I think there’s still a lot of hatred between the two organizations when they meet, but I think the way the game is trending, and how costly that penalties can be in a game, both teams are a little cautious in that way. I still think there is great intensity and both teams get up for the games, so hopefully that happens tomorrow, and the fans get to see a good game.”
One thing that should ensure a good, familiar showdown with plenty of hard-hitting and honest-to-goodness rivalry-like behavior: both the Canadiens and Bruins are off to strong starts at the top of the Atlantic Division in the first couple of weeks this season, and there are some new faces that are undoubtedly going to want to announce their presence for these Bruins-Habs tilts with authority.
Let’s hope this happens because last season’s Bruins-Habs games needed a pair of jumper cables and 1.21 jigowatts of electricity to shock them back into their elevated level of intensity, and that’s when hockey is served best after all.
Jay Heaps joins Brad Feldman to discuss the team’s 2-1 loss to the Fire.