No All-Star Game, no problem for Garnett


No All-Star Game, no problem for Garnett

BOSTON For the first time in more than a decade, the NBA All-Star Game will be a Kevin Garnett-less event.

The 14-time All-star was not among the 12 players selected by fans and coaches to participate in the Feb. 26 game in Orlando.

While all-star weekend will certainly be different without Garnett there, you won't find him complaining about not getting an invite.

"The All-star Game is for the privileged," Garnett said. "All the first timers, I'm proud for them to get the opportunity to go and experience the all-star festivities. Lord knows I've had enough."

Garnett has been named to either the Eastern or Western Conference all-star team every year since 1997, with the lone exception being 1999 when there was no all-star game because of the lockout-shortened season.

Despite his recent run of strong play, Garnett knows all too well his best days in the NBA are a thing of the past now.

On a nightly basis, Garnett is challenged to live up to the reputation as one of the finest all-around players to ever step foot inside an NBA arena.

To play at such a high level, night-in and night-out, takes its toll over time. All that physical pounding on the body, and the mental warfare that goes every night, can wear down anyone - even Garnett who in terms of mental toughness, is among the best of his generation.

That's why there is no sorrow, anger or sadness on Garnett's part with the fans and coaches not picking him to be an All-Star.

In fact, you'd think Garnett was actually looking forward to that weekend which, for the first time in more than a decade, will include no games or practices.

"I actually get to take a little vacation and see what that's like," Garnett said. "And actually rest these bones a little bit."

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner


Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.