Atchison hoping to make roster last-minute

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Atchison hoping to make roster last-minute

FORT MYERS, Fla. Scott Atchison figures theres little more he could have done this spring and he still wasn't a lock for the major league roster. But now, because of injury, he may get his chance.

With the news that Andrew Bailey may need surgery, Atchison is among those competing for the open roster spot.

The right-hander appeared in eight Grapefruit League games (plus a B game on March 7), spanning 12 23 innings, posting a 2.84 ERA and an opponents batting average of .250, with nine strikeouts and two walks.

I feel like I had a good spring, Atchison said. Im healthy, and Im the same guy Ive been for the last two years. So I got no complaints. I feel like Ive put everything I could out there, and its up to them now.

Atchison, who turned 36 on March 29, is entering his third season in the Red Sox organization. Theres a comfort level hes achieved over the past two seasons.

Im familiar with the teammates, familiar with the place, he said. I feel like Ive, over the last two years during the regular season, I built up a lot of confidence in myself in knowing that I can pitch in the big leagues and I think just having that confidence when I step on the mound makes it easier for me to get done what I want to get done.

Atchison knows its not just his spring performance that will be considered when it comes to decision time. He has appeared in 60 games, spanning 90 13 innings, over the past two seasons for the Sox, posting a record of 3-3 with a 4.08 ERA.

In 2011, he was a frequent traveler on the Boston-Pawtucket shuttle, giving him six separate stints with the Red Sox. In 17 combined appearances (all in relief), he threw 30 13 innings, posting a record of 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA. Between Boston and Pawtucket, he pitched a total of 91 23 innings over 53 appearances with a 2.85 ERA.

With a new manager and pitching coach, in Bobby Valentine and Bob McClure, respectively, Atchison wanted to make a good impression. Being healthy at the start of the spring helped. He wasnt sure until his second bullpen session this spring if that would be the case.

It was in his final outing last season, in the first game of a doubleheader in Yankee Stadium on Sept. 25, that Atchison felt something.

Initially, he thought it was just a groin strain. But, returning home after the season, after attempting rehab and therapy, there was no improvement.

So Atchison had hernia surgery the first week of December, putting him on schedule to start his throwing program in early January as he normally does. But, it wasnt until he got on a mound for his first bullpen session in early February that he would really test it.

The first bullpen I was kind of like I dont know. There was still some tightness, he said. The second bullpen I threw the first three or four pitches and I was like well I dont feel anything this is great.

From there, to be honest, I havent thought about it much since. The groin part after the surgery was still a little tight. But its loosened up great now. I feel 100 percent, I dont even worry about it when Im out there pitching, which is where you want to get to with any surgery. Its not in the back of your mind so youre not compensating or not throwing with everything you have. I dont feel that. So about the second bullpen early February I really felt like, Its fixed, alright no problem.

But Atchison is out of options for the first time this season. He was designated for assignment over the winter, taking him off the 40-man roster. If he is the pick of Valentine and McClure to joinm the bullpen, he would have to be added back. Hes not concerned about his option situation, though, just as he wasnt in the last two seasons.

I havent worried about it, he said. I hope that it eliminates maybe some of the ease of sending me up and down all the time. But, in turn, two years ago having an option helped me make the team out of spring. Last year having an option probably hurt me making the team out of spring. So I think it can go either way with it sometimes.

But as far as for me I dont really worry about it. Theres not much I can do. It is the situation Im in now. Hopefully if I make the team and something has to happen, maybe Im not the first guy in that time to go down because I dont have the option, whereas in the past it was pretty much everybody could see the writing on the wall a week in advance. So, helpfully, it changes that.

Atchison hadnt been told anything beyond packing for the trip to Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon to play the Nationals in an exhibition game. From there, he could be going to Pawtucket, or he could stay with the major league team for Opening Day in Detroit on Thursday and then on to Toronto.

Valentine has said he didnt anticipate any decisions before Tuesdays game.

But Atchison is packed for the whole trip, and hopefully thats what Im there for, he said.

There is some anxiety in not knowing, but Atchison is not focused on that.

When Im here at the park I dont worry about it too much, he said. Especially when we get going with the day and the workout and everything. You just forget about it and go about your business and do what you need to do that day to get ready.

Id be lying if I said I never thought about it. How can you not? Thats my livelihood. But if Im on the mound and doing my stuff, thats the farthest thing from my mind.

Morning Skate: Another setback for Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick

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Morning Skate: Another setback for Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering what Melissa McCarthy is going to do now that Spicey is gone.

*The debut for Philadelphia Flyers top pick Nolan Patrick has been scratched due to “an infection in his face.” Boy, this kid can’t get healthy, can he?

*Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill is 100 percent sure that the Winged Wheels will be making a return to the playoffs this season.

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough has hope returning to the city of Houston that they might get an NHL franchise one of these days.

*Travis Yost delves into shooting percentage and some of the nuances when properly trying to break it down statistically.

*There are new season ticket charges for Habs fans in Montreal, and boy are they pissed off about it. Feels like the kind of thing that could push them to riot in the streets or flood 911 emergency lines if the Canadiens aren’t too careful about it.

*Young Blues defenseman Colton Parayko signs a five-year deal with St. Louis to avoid salary arbitration while the D-man taken exactly one pick before him by the Bruins in the draft, Matt Grzelcyk, is going to be hard-pressed to move past the AHL level this season.

*For something completely different: What would Ivan Drago have been doing with his life after his showdown with Rocky in Mother Russia?

 

 

Bean: Nobody should ever compare Love Actually to the Warriors

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Bean: Nobody should ever compare Love Actually to the Warriors

I’ve never met Jemele Hill. I think she and Michael Smith are great and I completely respect her bravery in voicing the unpopular (but correct) opinion that “Bad and Boujee” is good, but not great. This isn’t about Jemele Hill. It’s about a question she asked and an attempt to answer it. 

Hell no it is not. Know why? Because the Warriors are awesome. Know what’s not awesome? Love Actually. 

All that these two things share is that they’re both loaded with stars. The Warriors have Steph, Draymond, Klay and Durant. Love Actually has Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Billy Bob Thornton, a child who kind of looks like Satan, etc. They’re both loaded. 

Yet the Warriors won and there is no debating their greatness. There is absolutely debating Love Actually’s greatness, since it isn’t great.  

It’s at this point that I should disclose that Pete Blackburn and I had a collective two-hour meltdown about all the reasons why Love Actually is terrible. There were lots. That’s why it took two hours. 

Here are some things about the Warriors:

- They won their second NBA title in three years. 

- They went 16-1 in the postseason. 

- Steph Curry made 56 more three-pointers than anyone else in the playoffs.  

- They led the NBA with 115.9 points per game. 

Here are some things about Love Actually:  

- The movie starts with a weird 9/11 reference. 

- Casual homophobia is rampant. 

- A widower gets mocked for his sexual inactivity very recently after his damn wife died. 

- The movie likely birthed thousands of eating disorders. 

- A guy decides to cross his best friend and make a run at that guy’s wife just so he can break it off immediately. The much coveted lose-lose-lose to ensure a weird life for everyone. 

- Somebody whose job it is to be a people person sexually harasses every woman in his office. 

- The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has a woman fired because he wants to have sex with her. 

- The writer whose wife cheats on him storyline is literally the most boring thing in the history of the world. It makes The Steps of Knowledge in “Legends of the Hidden Temple” look like “Mad Max: Fury Road.” 

So no, Jemele Hill, “Love Actually” is not the Golden State Warriors of romantic comedies. Know what is? “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” That movie also has a loaded cast (and a better one, at that) with outstanding execution. 

Steph Curry is Cal. Six teams passed on him, but he made them rue the day. Draymond Green is Jacob, as he pulls a lot of stunts but he’s as lovable as lovable gets. Kevin Durant is David Lindhagen: He’s got his detractors, but he’s what makes the team the best. 

Love Actually stinks.