Beckett, Sox blow away Tampa Bay, 12-2

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Beckett, Sox blow away Tampa Bay, 12-2

BOSTON -- If you're a glass-is-half-empty type, the shoulder injury to Jacoby Ellsbury is what you're going to take away from Opening Day at Fenway Park.
The glass-is-half-full types, however, will remember Josh Beckett.
Beckett bounced all the way back from his dismal start last Saturday in Detroit with a dominant eight-inning performance against the Rays, limiting Tampa Bay to five hits and one run as he pitched Boston to a 12-2 victory Friday afternoon. He retired 21 of the last 24 batters he faced and received a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 37,032 -- some of whom had booed him during pregame introductions -- when he left the field in the eighth.
It wasn't all sunshine at Fenway, though, as Ellsbury suffered what appeared to be a potentially serious shoulder injury in a second-base collision and had to leave the game in the bottom of the fourth. There was no immediate word on his condition, or how look he'll be sidelined.
The Sox fell behind 1-0 in the second when Ben Zobrist singled and came all the way around to score on a double into the left-field corner by Jeff Keppinger. But Beckett was dominant after that, shutting down the Rays on two hits the rest of the way.
He was given all the runs he would need in the third, when the Sox bled Rays ace David Price out of the game with a protracted rally that drove his pitch count into the 80s.
It began when Kelly Shoppach was hit by a pitch, and Ellsbury followed with a double to left that put runners on second and third. A walk to Dustin Pedroia loaded the bases.
Adrian Gonzalez then singled to left, scoring Shoppach and tying the game at 1-1. A sacrifice fly to right by Kevin Youkilis put the Sox ahead, 2-1 (and moved Ellsbury to third in the process), and David Ortiz beat Tampa Bay's overshift with a squib single to third base that scored Ellsbury and made it 3-1.
A walk to Darnell McDonald loaded the bases, but the Rays turned the hardest-hit ball of the inning -- a sharp grounder up the middle by Cody Ross -- into an inning-ending double play.
That was all for Price, however, who had thrown 83 pitches through three, and the Sox touched his replacement, Burke Badenhop, for another run of the game in the fourth. With one out Shoppach doubled, and he rode home on a single to center by Ellsbury.
The Sox blew it open with eight runs in the eighth, as a two-run double by Shoppach (3-for-4, 3 runs scored, 2 RBI, 2 doubles, first career stolen base), a two-run single by Ryan Sweeney, another two-run single by Youkilis, an RBI double by Ortiz and a sacrifice fly by Ross made it 12-1.
Ben Zobrist homered for the Rays in the ninth off Mark Melacon.
Elsbury suffered his shoulder injury after his RBI single, when shortstop Reid Brignac fell on his right shoulder as he slid into second in an attempt to break up a double play. He walked off the field with his right arm immobilized, and the Red Sox said later he was being evaluated.

Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

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Tiger Woods arrested for DUI in Jupiter, Florida

Tiger Woods, recovering from his fourth back surgery in the last three years, was arrested on DUI charges Monday morning in Jupiter, Fla.

Woods, 41, is the winner of 79 PGA tournaments in his career (including 14 majors). He was stopped this morning at around 3 a.m. and booked at 7:18 a.m. He was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m.

Physical problems have plagued Woods in recent years, but he said last week "unequivocally, I want to play professional golf again." However, he will need months to recover from his most recent surgery.

Get the latest on this story from golfchannel.com

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

BOSTON –  Terry Rozier was having a rough stretch where his minutes were limited and when he did play, he didn’t play particularly well.
 
Among the voices in his ear offering words of encouragement was Avery Bradley who knows all too well what Rozier was going through.
 
For all his time as a Celtic, Bradley has let his work on the floor do the talking for him.
 
But as the most tenured Celtic on the roster, his leadership has to be about more than just getting the job done, but servicing as a vocal leader as well.
 
For a player whose growth from one year to the next has been a constant, being a more vocal leader has been the one dynamic of his game that has improved the most during this past season.
 
And it is that kind of leadership that will carry into the summer what is a pivotal offseason for both Bradley and this Celtics franchise which was eliminated by Cleveland in the Conference finals, the first time the Celtics got that deep in the playoffs since 2012.
 
He is entering the final year of the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in 2014. And it comes at a time when his fellow Tacoma, Wash. native and backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas will likely hit free agency where he’s expected to command a max or near-max contract that would pay him an annual salary in the neighborhood of $30 million.
 
At this point in time, Bradley isn’t giving too much thought to his impending contract status.
 
Instead, he’s more consumed by finding ways to improve his overall game and in doing so, help guide the Celtics to what has to be their focus for next season – a trip to the NBA Finals.
 
While Celtics players have said their focus has always been on advancing as far into the playoffs as possible, it wasn’t until this past season did they actually provide hope and promise that Banner 18 may be closer than you think.
 
It was an emotional time for the Celtics, dealing with the unexpected death of Chyna Thomas, the younger sister of Isaiah Thomas, just hours before Boston’s first playoff game this season.
 
And then there were injuries such as Thomas’ right hip strain that ended his postseason by halftime of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland.
 
But through that pain, we saw the emergence of Bradley in a light we have seldom seen him in as a Celtic.
 
We have seen him play well in the past, but it wasn’t until Thomas’ injury did we see Bradley showcase even more elements of his game that had been overlooked.
 
One of the constant knocks on Bradley has been his ball-handling.
 
And yet there were a number of occasions following Thomas’ playoff-ending injury, where Bradley attacked defenders off the dribble and finished with lay-ups and an occasional dunk in transition.
 
Among players who appeared in at least 12 playoff games this year, only Washington’s John Wall (7.9), Cleveland’s LeBron James (6.8) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (5.2) averaged more points in transition than Bradley (4.7).
 
Bradley recognized the team needed him to be more assertive, do things that forced him to be more front-and-center which is part of his evolution in Boston as a leader on this team.
 
“It’s weird but players like Al (Horford) definitely helped me get out of my shell and pushed me this year to be more of a vocal leader,” Bradley said.
 
And that talent combined with Bradley doing what he does every offseason – come back significantly better in some facet of his game – speaks to how he’s steadily growing into being a leader whose actions as well as his words are impactful.