Beckett, Gonzalez comment on Red Sox departure

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Beckett, Gonzalez comment on Red Sox departure

Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Nick Punto fielded questions inside their new home stadium moments after their first game together as members of the Dodgers. Though Los Angeles beat the Marlins, 8-2, the players spoke about their time back in Boston.

Less than 24 hours earlier, the players were still officially members of the Red Sox. Then, on Saturday morning, the blockbuster 9-player deal with the Dodgers was made official.

"I had an awesome time in Boston. I had some tough times. There are some great people there," Beckett said, via ESPNBoston.com. "For me, I think it was time to move on and start this new chapter."

When pressed to go into more detail on why it was the right time to move on, Beckett wouldn't.

"I don't know," he said. "I think it was time for both sides. I don't really have a reason."

Beckett did admit that all the players involved in the trade could have done a better job while with the Red Sox.

"We were very talented. We should've played better," Beckett said. "That's what I told Red Sox GM Ben Cherington. I don't think he wants to trade away everybody. I just think we made it impossible for him not to do that by not playing well and I'm as big a part of that as anybody. I know that that's not what they wanted to do. They wanted Adrian to stay and they wanted me to stay. They wanted Nick to stay and they wanted Carl Crawford to stay. But we just didn't do our jobs."

Gonzalez said that since last September, the Red Sox just couldn't put everything together at the same time.

"It was working pretty well until last September and then, when the hitters hit, we gave up runs; and when the pitchers pitched, we didn't hit," he said. "I don't know. It kind of went on from there. We made a lot of errors. We've said it all along, the players have, we just didn't play good baseball.

"Then all these other things came out. They were zero reason why we lost. But then this year we just couldn't put it together."

According to reports, a text message had been sent from Gonzalez's phone last month that precipitated a meeting with team ownership during which players reportedly tried to have manager Bobby Valentine fired. Gonzalez didn't explicitly mention those reports, but he did express disappointment with how things played out while he was with the Red Sox.

"Last year everybody was telling me about taking more of a leadership role at the end of the year," Gonzalez said. "This year I tried to be a little more outspoken. But whenever you say certain things or do certain things, they can fire back the wrong way.

"Everything I ever did was for the sake of winning and I think everybody in the clubhouse knows that. The way things were spun is unfortunate, but I guess, looking back, there are a couple things; well, one thing, that I shouldn't have done."

Lance Stephenson goes back at Isaiah Thomas for recruiting Paul George on Instagram

Lance Stephenson goes back at Isaiah Thomas for recruiting Paul George on Instagram

Isaiah Thomas keeps recruiting players on Instagram. It was only a matter of time before somebody got pissed. 

Thomas, who on Wednesday commented on a photo of the disbanding Clippers telling Blake Griffin to come to Boston, was up to his old tricks again later in the day. With Paul George almost a certainty to be dealt this offseason, Lance Stephenson posted a picture of he and George pleading with him to stay in Indiana. Thomas wasn't exactly polite in his comment, leading to a back-and-forth.

"Blasted" might be a stretch, but the Celtics did indeed go 3-0 against the Pacers last season, though none of the wins were by large margins. George dropped 37 points on the Celtics in Boston's 109-100 win on March 22. 

MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

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MLB ump saves woman attempting to jump from Pittsburgh bridge

PITTSBURGH -- John Tumpane can't explain why he approached the woman as she hopped over the railing of the Roberto Clemente Bridge on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman told Tumpane she just wanted to get a better view of the Allegheny River below. The look on her face and the tone of her voice suggested otherwise to Tumpane, a major league baseball umpire in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays.

So the 34-year-old Tumpane reached for the woman even as she urged him to let her go.

"It was just pure instinct," Tumpane said . "You hear kind of stories of this all the time, different scenarios, people aiding and situation where I was lucky enough to be there to help and try to think of everything I could do, hanging on to her. At times she wanted to go the other way. I was like, 'not on my watch, please.' We were just hanging on."

And saving a life.

Tumpane secured one of her arms. A bystander walked up and grabbed the other while another -- Mike Weinman, an employee for the Rays -- clutched her legs and pinned them to the railing while Tumpane mouthed to someone in the crowd to call 911.

What followed were chaotic moments of panic, fear and ultimately, grace.

"I couldn't tell you how long we were waiting for everyone else to get in place," Tumpane said. 'Obviously another power comes into be when you're hanging on and you know what the alternative is of you letting go and not having other people to help you."

Tumpane, Weinman and the third volunteer clung to the unidentified woman until emergency responders arrived. A police boat raced up the river to the iconic yellow bridge named for the Pirates Hall of Famer who died on Dec. 31, 1972, when a plane making humanitarian deliveries to earthquake victims in Nicaragua crashed. Now, 45 years later a crowd thrust together by fate brought a complete stranger back from the brink. Together.

"Once they were able to secure her, we were able to talk her back to help us out and we got her back on this side," Tumpane said. "After that I went up to her, she said, 'You'll just forget me after this' and I said, 'No, I'll never forget you.' This was an unbelievable day and I'm glad to say she can have another day with us and I'm glad I was in the right place at the right time."

Tumpane, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, got into umpiring as a teenager, made his major-league debut in 2012 and received his full-time MLB commission in 2016, stressed he's no hero.

"I just happened to be there," he said. "I think I've been a caring person in my life. I saw somebody in need, and it looked like a situation to obviously insert myself and help out."

The aftermath was a bit surreal. After the woman was taken away, Tumpane called his wife, his arms still shaking.

"Not too many times you call your wife and say you helped save somebody's life," he said. "A really special moment."

One that stayed with him even as he prepared to call balls and strikes behind home plate Wednesday night. During breaks in the action his eyes would drift to the bridge just a few hundred feet behind the center field wall at PNC Park.

"It's also hard when you stand back behind home plate and look and you see the bridge in the distance, In between innings and whatnot, just thinking of how things could have maybe been," he said. "Glad it was this way."

Tumpane has no experience in crisis management or suicide prevention. He's spent 16 years living the nomadic life of an umpire. Asked what was going through his head while he tried to coax the woman back to safety, Tumpane just shrugged his shoulders. How do you explain the unexplainable?

"I happened to be in the right spot at the right time," he said. "Tried to be as comforting as I could and talk her through it. Thankfully that was the outcome."