Bailey: 'I'm ready to roll'


Bailey: 'I'm ready to roll'

FORT MYERS, Fla. Andrew Bailey followed starter Clay Buchholz to the mound in Wednesdays Triple-A game against a Rays squad.

Bailey went 1 23 innings, facing seven batters, giving up one run on two hits, with no walks and two strikeouts. He threw 26 pitches, 21 for strikes.

Pitching coach Bob McClure was pleased with Baileys outing.

Once he got the ball down he was fine, McClure said. Im starting to see the ball jump out of his hand better too. Were starting to see it on all of them but we go slow with the back of the bullpen. You always go slow with them and then you increase it as you get close.

It felt good, Bailey said. Trying to work on commanding the fastball. Getting to that point in camp where you try and place yourself in the situation youre going to be in during the season. So its nice to get out there and have that one-plus where you sit down and get back up. Thats kind of why came in today and threw today, was to be able to do that. And I have a couple more before Opening Day.

It was the first time this spring Bailey had pitched more than one inning.

Thats something for me that Ive done a lot in my career but that first ones always a little tougher to bounce back from, Bailey said. So it was good that it was, even if it was in a minor league game, it was still nice to get it done and get it out there. Sometimes thats tougher than a back to back for me.

Bailey, who was delayed at the start of spring training because of a strained lat suffered while doing the vertical leap in his physical, believes hes gotten in sufficient work to be ready for the start of the season. This was his seventh outing, spanning 7 23 innings. He got in his only back-to-back appearances so far on Saturday and Sunday.

Ill probably go two out of three days and then probably have the two days off, in Washington, D.C. and the off day Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, he said. And then be ready for Opening Day. So well probably do a game, off, game, and then the two days off and then Opening Day.

Im ready to roll. Looking forward to it.

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

The Celtics didn’t know when they traded a late first-round pick and Marcus Thornton for Isaiah Thomas that they were getting their next star player, but that 2015 trade deadline move has proven to be a pleasant surprise. 

Appearing on Felger and Mazz Friday, Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said that he sees Thomas, who will be a free agent after next season, in the team’s longterm plans. 

“Every one of these seasons is different. It’s like a movie and you have a cast of characters and the cast changes a little bit every season,” Grousbeck said. “We’d love to have Isaiah here for a long, long time. He’s a phenomenal player and he loves being here.” 

The Celtics stand a strong chance of picking first overall in June’s draft since they own Brooklyn’s first-round pick. Asked whether Thomas’ status would prevent the team from taking a point guard (which the draft’s two prospects play), Grousbeck said the team doesn’t need to decide that now, but suggested it wouldn’t.

“Especially if it’s a very high pick in the draft, you’ve got to draft the best player,” Grousbeck said. “You probably wouldn’t draft for fit as much as just you see if there’s a transformational player that you can have for 10 or 15 years there. If you see a guy like that, you’ve got to make everything else work, I would think.” 

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade


It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.