Rivers: Celtics 'close' with multiple free agents


Rivers: Celtics 'close' with multiple free agents

ATLANTA With each passing day, the Boston Celtics' need for another big man only grows.

Well there's help on the way. But here's the catch: The Celtics still don't know who it will be.

C's coach Doc Rivers told reporters following Monday morning's shoot-around that the C's were "close" with a couple of free agents.

In a later interview with CSNNE.com, he said Boston was hoping to have added a player "today," adding that the C's expect to have another big man on board no later than Friday, which is the waiver deadline for playoff eligibility.

Rivers also told CSNNE.com that the hold up right now is that there are a couple players that the C's have interest in that are buy-out candidates that could become available soon.

"You want to wait for that," Rivers said. "You don't want to sign a guy and then another guy (you're interested in) buys out. It's a game of chicken, but it's hurting us. We literally need a body. We just need, anybody."

Rivers would not say who the players were that the C's were waiting to see would become available, but the two buy-out candidates that are on the Celtics' radar are Chris Kaman of the New Orleans Hornets, and Dallas Mavericks forward Lamar Odom.

The Hornets have indicated that they have no plans on buying out Kaman, but they would not totally shut the door on the idea, either.

"Everything is always a possibility," Hornets general manager Dell Demps, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I mean there's no reason to say I'm certain, 100 percent sure. There's always a possibility. I never want to say never. But our intention is to keep Chris."

As for Odom, the Mavericks have repeatedly said they have no plans on buying out Odom, even as reports continue to surface about Odom seeking a buy-out.

If neither one of those players become available, Boston's pool of big man targets include former Celtic Chris Johnson and Ronny Turiaf who was recently waived by Denver when he was acquired as part of a trade from Washington.

Boston may tap into the D-League as well, which includes veterans such as Dan Gadzuric who is averaging 8.8 points and 10 rebounds for the Texas Legends who are coached by longtime NBA veteran coach Del Harris.

Regardless of who they acquire, the newest Celtic's arrival can't get here soon enough as Boston's frontcourt depth continues to take one hit after another.

Rookie center Greg Stiemsma is dealing with a right foot injury that kept him out of the team's morning shoot-around.

"I don't know how much he can give us," Rivers said. "But he's going to play."

And the same can be expected of whoever the Celtics add to their roster.

When it comes to fitting them into the C's system, Rivers isn't worried.

"No one has practice anyway" he said. "We have a chance to practice on Wednesday. We're going to take tomorrow off. Right now, we probably won't (practice Wednesday) because we don't have enough bodies. We'll see."

First impressions of the Red Sox' 11-9 loss to the Twins


First impressions of the Red Sox' 11-9 loss to the Twins

BOSTON -- First impressions of the Boston Red Sox 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins:

David Price was once again disappointing.

Minnesota is a team opposing pitchers should long to face.

Their No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters all have averages below .250 with average to below average home run totals.

The only hitter who poses and all-around legitimate threat is Eduardo Nunez, who would probably bat seventh in Boston’s lineup.

While there were other factors at play, Price once again left the ball up in the zone too much. That’s a big problem when nature’s playing a factor in the game.

Either way, with the Twins in town, Price has to be better.

Saturday marked the second time of the season where Sandy Leon registered back-to-back hitless performances.

The previous pair came back on June 29th and July 2nd with a layoff between the two contests.

In his last five contests, Leon is 3-for-17. His power numbers are also down in that stretch, with only two extra-base hits that came on the same night.

It could be a small rough patch given Leon was 7-for-19 with a home run and a double (in separate contests) in the five games preceding this dry spell.

Either ay it’s something to watch as Leon plays more and more.

The wind played a factor in the high-run total.

The second hit of the ball game seemed like a medium-depth fly to right, and nearly carried out of the ballpark.

Michael Martinez was twisting and turning on fly balls changing direction all night -- and there’s evidence it wasn’t just him.

David Ortiz reached on a pop up that Nunez went after, which never left the infield.

Trash and dust were flying everywhere in the first inning. While that intensity didn’t maintain all night, it was definitely an issue players had to consider throughout the game.

The bullpen mop-up crew couldn’t get the job done.

While some of the hits in the five-run seventh were luck, Clay Buchholz and Tommy Layne flat out couldn’t get the job done against a rough lineup.

Neither is a terribly great option -- so the Red Sox might want to reconsider using either one in those situations.

Even Heath Hembree couldn’t put together a decent night. Someone has to stop the bleeding when things get out of control.

The Red Sox pitchers can’t keep throwing away nine-run performances.

With Friday night serving as evidence, the offense will not always have great nights.

So when they do, the pitch has to be decent -- but they couldn’t even do that Saturday.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar

Je-Vaughn Watson scores late, Revs beat Fire 1-0

Je-Vaughn Watson scores late, Revs beat Fire 1-0

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Je-Vaughn Watson scored on a header in the 85th minute and the New England Revolution beat the Chicago Fire 1-0 on Saturday night.

The Revolution (6-7-8) had a flurry of attempts leading up to the goal and Fire (4-10-5) goalkeeper Sean Johnson made three saves in the 2 minutes prior.

But Johnson came off his line to defend Chris Tierney's corner and failed to clear it with his outstretched hand while Watson connected and sent the header into the empty net.

Bobby Shuttleworth earned his fifth shutout of the season for New England.

Could Chris Sale's altercation open the door to get him at a lower cost?

Could Chris Sale's altercation open the door to get him at a lower cost?

Chris Sale -- this year’s American league starting pitcher in the All-Star game -- was a late scratch and sent home before his scheduled Saturday start.

This of course comes after the White Sox have begun to listen to offers for their bonafide ace -- including the Red Sox.

Preceding the game, the White Sox released a statement from senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn explaining that Sale’s removal was “due to a clubhouse incident before the game.”

After ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported the altercation was with staff from the front office and had nothing to do with his teammates, there was another report that the issue pertained to the throwback uniforms the White Sox planned to wear for Saturday’s game.

Fox’s Ken Rosenthal has additionally been told the issue “was bigger than that.” 

Sale is a huge addition to any starting rotation -- never mind the Red Sox staff.

His stats are without a doubt impressive. An All-Star every season since 2012 thanks to his career 2.95 ERA and 10.1 K/9 -- this year posting a 3.18 ERA and 8.7 K/9.

But numbers can be deceiving -- especially with players playing for a small market club. That’s not the case with Sale though. While the White Sox haven’t contended in the postseason with the lefty, there’s no denying that Chicago isn’t a small market by any means.

The jump from Chicago to Boston is nothing compared to players coming from places like Miami or Atlanta -- or San Diego. So Sale presents a good fit in terms of approach -- in addition to having good stuff.

The incident makes Sale come across as a prima donna, the fact that the issue went past the uniforms shows there could be a deeper issue at hand -- and not so much an indictment of his mental make-up.

Additionally, this altercation could open the door to get Sale at a lower value. If it was that bad that he was sent home, it could take a lot more than a stern talk and hand shakes to resolve the issue, giving interested teams a much better chance to obtain the Cy Young candidate.

However, if the Red Sox do manage to strike a deal with the White Sox, they’d be wise to throw someone else on throwback nights.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar