From Comcast SportsNetLAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- Brandon Marshall wishes he would have just stayed quiet. So he'll chalk up this spat with Warren Sapp as a learning experience.The Chicago Bears receiver apologized for retaliating with some harsh comments after being called a "retard" -- even though he wasn't backing off what he said."I really meant everything I said, but I think it would have helped (Sapp) more if I would have kept it private," Marshall said Thursday. "I apologize to Warren Sapp for saying that publicly. Like I said, I meant everything I said, but where I'm at in my life, you know, I need to learn from that and keep that privately."Marshall has acknowledged receiving treatment for borderline personality disorder and anger management, and after Sapp called him a "retard" in a radio interview, he didn't hold back.He said in an online video posted Monday that he couldn't discuss finances with Sapp "because he filed for bankruptcy" or marriage "because he filed for divorce." He also said in the video on that he couldn't speak to him about becoming a father some day because "he's not active in his children's life," and he posted on Twitter later that day that Sapp apparently challenged him to a fight.On Thursday, Marshall said he had exchanged emails with Sapp, an NFL Network analyst, before posting the video and that it didn't go well. All that stemmed from an interview with the syndicated "The Dan Patrick Show" in which Sapp ripped today's players in general for not respecting the past and teed off on Marshall in particular for "talking about Shannon Sharpe" for apparently not realizing this: "He's the first 100-catch receiver (tight end) back to back, retard."It appeared he actually confused Shannon Sharpe with his brother Sterling, an NFL Network analyst who had questioned Marshall's effort in the Dolphins' loss to the New York Jets a year ago. Marshall responded at the time, saying the commentators need to stop worrying about stuff they know nothing about.But the spat was just the latest round of drama for a player who just can't seem to avoid it. Marshall came to Chicago with a checkered history and found himself in the headlines when a woman accused him of punching her in the face at a New York City nightclub. His attorney said that was not true, and nothing ever came of the incident.Now, this."Some people say I have the talent to do that job when I'm maybe done, but it will be really tough for me because I know that when it is all said and done, I wasn't perfect," Marshall said. "I didn't play perfect football. You definitely have to criticize and give constructive criticism, but when you criticize guys like you've never made mistakes before, it just puts you in a bad position. I wish there was another way to do it. I know there is another way to do it, but would expect a lot from guys that have played the game before and understand how tough it is mentally and physically week in and week out. So like I said, we definitely need to use our words, whether you are a football player or not, to uplift and not to destroy because our tone is so powerful."
It’s more than a year into the Cam Neely/Don Sweeney partnership running hockey operations for the Boston Bruins, and it’s still incredibly difficult to decipher what their master plan is for turning around the downtrodden franchise.
The Bruins are badly in need of something special to sell to their fan base, and a four-year contract for Kevan Miller is most definitely not “It.”
The latest chapter in the sagging saga of the Black and Gold is the aforementioned four-year, $10 million contract extension for Kevan Miller signed on Tuesday with little clear reason for the urgency to get something done with the soon-to-be 29-year-old defenseman. There’s no doubt the Bruins will say Miller could have pulled that kind of contract offer had he gone to the open market, and Sweeney should have let him walk –and let another team overpay for him -- had that happened.
One also can’t blame the hard-working, no-nonsense Miller for being pumped about the contract that fell into his lap.
“It’s the team I started with, whether it was in Providence and then back to Boston, the organization I started with. I couldn’t be happier with how things have gone,” said Miller. “That was one of the big key factors of me making my decision is I really love the city. I love the fans. Like I said in my statement, we have the best fans in the league and they’re great to play for. The whole experience so far has just been great. I’m looking forward to four more years of that for sure.”
The immediate negatives are there for Miller after signing the deal: he’s been injury-prone throughout his NHL career, he really hasn’t proven he can be consistently effective against the other team’s best players and he does very little to solve Boston’s puck-moving problems.
There’s a lot of redundancy with Adam McQuaid on a number of different fronts when it comes to Miller and an alarming lack of proven puck-moving defenseman in general beyond Krug at the top of the B’s priority list.
If the undrafted former UVM standout can hold it together as a top-4 defenseman then the Bruins will have decent value for a limited player in Miller, but he could just as quickly, and perhaps even more quickly, develop into another overpaid member of the B’s if he settles into the bottom-pairing role that seems to be his NHL future.
The deal leaves the Bruins with Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Miller and Adam McQuaid as the four defensemen signed through the next two seasons, and features a pair of bottom-pairing D-men in Miller and McQuaid taking up a combined $5.25 million in salary cap space over the next three seasons. That means the Bruins have to move somebody from their aforementioned quarter of signed blueliners, and the Miller contract already has the Bruins backed into a corner before Don Sweeney and Co. even line up their other moves.
That’s the exact same problem that cropped up at the draft in Florida last summer when Sweeney executed a flurry of eyebrow-raising moves to ship Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic out, and then failed to execute when trying to move up for Noah Hanifin as Hamilton’s replacement. It would be an epic Black and Gold trainwreck if Sweeney makes the same mistake two years in a row in failing to land the big move, but it would be of Boston’s own doing.
It’s Roster-Building 101 in the NHL that a team takes care of their big ticket items first during the season, and then moves on to the complimentary and secondary pieces that backfill the roster. Sweeney is doing just the opposite here after tying up $2.5 million per year on Miller, and doing so before he’s even secured a top pairing defenseman or top line right wing on their summer shopping list.
It’s the same kind of thing departed GM Peter Chiarelli did for years in Boston after winning the Stanley Cup, and the very issue that Cam Neely, Charlie Jacobs and Jeremy Jacobs threw their old GM under the bus for during last month’s end-of-season press conference. The multi-year contracts for Jimmy Hayes, McQuaid and Miller over the last two seasons are overly generous deals with too much term for limited players easily replaced by young, cheap players on entry level deals.
There's really no difference between them, and the contracts of Chris Kelly and Dennis Seidenberg that were previously cited so consistently as cap-busting deals.
It also leaves the Bruins in a tough position with restricted free agent Torey Krug, who they’re going to have to now pay double what they gave to Miller ($5 million per season) if they hope to actually re-sign last year’s No. 2 defenseman. The bigger problem: retaining all these back end players after the B's finished 19th in the league in defense last season is asking, or more accurately begging, for more of the same problems that pushed Boston out of the playoff picture two years running.
It’s too bad the Miller contract has drawn a firestorm of Bruins criticism this week: the rugged blueiner is a good, tough competitor that’s developed into a responsible young leader on the team, and he can make opponents pay a physical price when healthy.
Miller has also been an impressive plus-55 over his three NHL seasons in Boston while at least becoming respectable in the offensive zone, and posted a career-best five goals and 18 points with the B’s last season.
This example of contractual largesse to a low-ceiling player in Miller, however, is exactly the kind of thing that landed the Bruins in cap jail in the first place, and also the very thing Neely and Jacobs claimed they were getting away from after firing Chiarelli a little over a year ago.
It sure feels like it’s the same old gaffes over and over again rather than some fancy new Black and Gold plan to reinvigorate things on Causeway Street, doesn’t it?
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox' 8-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Boston Red Sox' 8-3 win over Colorado Rockies:
"This is a very good fastball-hitting team and his ability to change speeds tonight was very (impressive).'' - John Farrell on David Price.
"Their preparation, their understanding of what their daily routine is. They come ready to play every single night. They come ready to play every single night. They're ready every single night when that first pitch is thrown.'' - Farrell on the team's explosiveness in the first inning.
"This game is a learning process and these kids work extremely hard every day. They want to be good. It's fun to watch.'' - David Ortiz on the core of young players and their success.
"As the game went on, I got stronger and that's good. I still want to be able to finish games better than I have my last couple of outings.'' - David Price.
* Jackie Bradley Jr's hitting streak was extended to 28 games with a second-inning double.
* Xander Bogaerts extended his own hitting streak to 17 games when he doubled in the first
* The Red Sox saw their team streak of 22 straight games with at least one home run snapped.
* Dustin Pedroia posted his fourth straight multi-hit interleague game.
* David Ortiz (four RBI) has 13 multi-RBI games.
* The Red Sox are 12-2 in their last 14 home games
* David Price crossed the 1,500 inning threshold for his career, one of 11 active pitchers to reach that mark.
* Christian Vazquez delivered his first career triple.
1) David Ortiz
Ortiz slapped a single through the shortstop hole for two quick runs in the first, then added a two-run double in the fourth for a four RBI night.
2) Dustin Pedroia
Pedroia helped set the table at the top of the batting order, reaching base four times (three hits, one walk) while scoring two runs.
3) David Price
He took the early 2-0 (and 4-1) lead and ran with it, attacking the Rockies lineup and completing seven strong innings.