Death of a Thanksgiving tradition

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Death of a Thanksgiving tradition

When you're talking about the Celtics, the word "tradition" shouldn't be used lightly. So maybe it's not right to call "Thanksgiving Eve at the Garden" a tradition.

But either way, here's a brief history: From 2003-2006, the Celtics were on the road for four straight "Wednesdays before Thanksgiving." But in 2007, with KG, Ray Allen and Gabe Pruitt on board, they hosted the Warriors. In 2008, it was the Warriors again. In 2009, the Sixers were in town. Last year, it was the Nets.

In summation: Every year since the Big 3 (vol.2) came together, we've had basketball in Boston on the eve of Thanksgiving.

In addition: It became one of the coolest nights of the Celtics season.

There was always so much buzz around the Garden on those Wednesday nights. So many transplanted fans in town to see the Celtics for (in many cases) the first and last time all year. So many people who were genuinely, extraordinarily excited to be live at the Garden. And the excitement was contagious. I couldn't wait to get there (even if it meant a few awkward conversation with random people from high school. "Hey!" "Oh, hey!" "How's everything?" "Good good. And you?" "Good uhh, and you?").

It didn't matter who they were playing (and as you saw above, the competition was never that good). It didn't matter how well they were playing (although they went 4-0. See: crappy competition.). Bottom line: That game was amazing. It was a party. Everyone from around the country, in town to celebrate the team.

It was a Celtics family reunion.

And it should have been tonight: Raptor at Celtics, 7:30 pm.

I'll be at home watching re-runs of Seinfeld.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Quotes, notes and stars: Betts belts three home runs

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Quotes, notes and stars: Betts belts three home runs

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Orioles.

 

QUOTES

"If he has a boy, he ought to make him Mookie after tonight's outing.'' - John Farrell on Jackie Bradley Jr., who left the team for a paternity leave after Mookie Betts slugged three homers.

"I know each day that I've got it. I wake up, I know I have it. I come to the field, I know I have it.'' - Xander Bogaerts on his ongoing hitting streak.

"He's probably one of the few guys, every time I see him hit, I think he's going to hit a homer. He's just that presence that he has in the batter's box.'' - Bogaerts on Betts.

"This is probably my best night; first time I've ever done that.'' - Betts, when asked where the game ranks individually for him in his career.

"I wanted to locate the heater good, not force it too much, don't try to throw hard - just try to throw strikes.'' - Eduardo Rodriguez on his season debut.

 

NOTES:

* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 24 games, second-longest in baseball this season.

* Bogaerts has hit safely in 36-of-38 games at a .399 clip with 33 runs scored and 23 driven in.

* Eduardo Rodriguez two runs or fewer in each of his three career starts at Camden Yards.

* The Sox had back-to-back homers (Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia) for the first time this season.

* Mookie Betts had a three-homer game for the first time in his career.

* Betts became the first Red Sox player to homer three times in the same game since Will Middlebrooks did so on April 7, 2013.

* The last time the Sox began a game with back-to-back homers was July 27, 2011 when Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedroia did so.

* The Red Sox scored multiple runs in the first inning for the 20th time in 51 games.

* David Ortiz extended his own hit streak to eight games.

 

STARS:

1) Mookie Betts

Betts belted three homers -- one to left, one to center and one to right -- for the first time in his career and also contributed a brilliant diving catch in right in the seventh inning.

2) Eduardo Rodriguez

Rodriguez made his season debut and allowed two runs on six hits through six innings and didn't issue a single walk while fanning three.

3) Chris Young

Getting a rare start in center, Young made a spectacular catch to likely rob Manny Machado of a two-run homer, while drawing a walk and adding a single and a run scored.