By Tom E. CurranFOXBORO - Since the beginning of training camp, the Patriots have toldabout 50 players they couldn't play for them this year. The last cut is the hardest cut, though. The veterans who've been embraced after championships. The rookies whose life perspective is still forming.The guys who see it cming and the ones who are shocked by the news. Bill Belichick broke it to many on Friday and Saturday. Sunday, he spoke eloquently about the difficulty of making those moves. "It's the hardest part of the job to take players that have played for you, won for you, and players that have been here since the spring, the whole offseason, done everything we asked them to do, worked hard, sweated, been banged up, kept going out there, kept playing, kept trying to do everything they could to make the team, to do everything we asked them to do, to do it with a team-first attitude and fashion. To tell those players that they can't be part of the team, that's very difficult," Belichick said. "On the other hand, we all know when we get into this business that that's the way it's gonna be."There's a fair amount of hand-wringing by fans and media when cuts come. This guy should have been cut sooner. That guy was disrespected. And maybe the player feels that way too. But if he's realistic and pragmatic,even if he's done dirty, he knew when he signed on that it could end with hurt. "As Jerry Glanville said, 'Not for long,' " Belichick noted, citing the famed NFL Films quote Glanville uttered to official Jim Daopoulos when Glanville coached the Falcons. "A lot of coaches, including myself have been through that. A lot of players have been through that. It's a production business and there's not too many of us that have been in the game very long and not experienced that in some form or fashion. It's part of the business."But it's not a real happy day as a head coach to give that news to any player," Belichick added. "You're affecting somebody's life and somebody's career. Somebody that's worked hard and given everything they can to earn a spot on your team. It's disappointing for them and it's not fun to deliver that news."
BOSTON - Hanley Ramirez and Sandy Leon hit two-run homers and the Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-4 on Friday to cap a night in which David Ortiz's number became the latest retired at Fenway Park.
It was the 250th career home run for Ramirez, a good friend of Ortiz who was also born in the Dominican Republic. Leon finished with three hits and four RBIs.
The homers helped provide a nice cushion for Rick Porcello (4-9), who gave up four runs and struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings to earn the victory. It was the 13th straight start Porcello has gone at least six innings.
Alex Meyer (3-4) allowed five runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Los Angeles scored three runs in the seventh, but cooled off after Porcello left.
Boston got out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, scoring on an RBI double by Xander Bogaerts and then getting two more runs off wild pitches by Meyer.
Ramirez gave Porcello a 5-1 lead in the fourth with his two-run shot to right field.
This could serve as a needed confidence boost for Porcello, who had been 0-4 with a 7.92 ERA in his previous five starts, allowing 47 hits and 27 earned runs.
He had command of his pitches early, holding the Angels scoreless until the fourth, when a catching error by Leon at home allowed Albert Pujols to cross the plate.
TORONTO - Drew Moor scored early and Sebastian Giovinco struck late and Toronto FC overcame a tight schedule turnaround to beat the New England Revolution 2-0 on Friday night.
Toronto was coming off a 1-1 tie Wednesday night in Montreal in the first leg of the Canadian Championship final. The Revs had been off since a 2-1 home loss to Chicago on Saturday.
Moor's 11th-minute goal looked to be enough, with Toronto goalkeeper Alex Bono preserving the win with a save on Teal Bunbury's header in the 88th minute. But Giovinco added an insurance goal deep into stoppage time, bringing down a high ball before beating a defender and banging a left-footed shot home for his 50th goal in MLS regular-season and playoff action.
MLS leading Toronto (10-2-5) has won seven straight at home. New England (5-7-5) is 0-6-3 on the road.