Rivers: Son Austin undecided on going pro

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Rivers: Son Austin undecided on going pro

PHILADELPHIA According to published reports, Duke freshman Austin Rivers is leaving Duke after just one season.

But his father, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, said his son has not made a decision on whether to turn pro.

"I heard the reports," Doc Rivers said. "But he hasn't decided yet."

Doc Rivers added that one day his son is leaning one way with his decision, and another day he's leaning in the opposite direction.

Players have until April 10 to make a decision, which is why Doc Rivers expects his son to make a decision "soon."

The whole situation is unique, to say the least.

Rivers is a father first, but he's also an NBA head coach whose livelihood depends in part on the C's front office adding quality players like his son Austin, one of the most heralded freshman in the country this past season.

From Doc Rivers' perspective, the worst thing that can come out of all this is that his son returns to Duke University.

"It's good that he has choices," Doc Rivers said. "We'll see. It'll be soon."

The decision Austin made on choosing Duke was a difficult one, one in which his father was involved.

As far as Austin's decision on playing in the NBA, Doc Rivers said his involvement is no greater or less than it was when it came time to choose a college.

"All you can, with all your kids or any kid in this situation, give them as much input as you can," Doc Rivers said. "And you try to let them make the decision. They have to make it; you can't make it for them."

Austin Rivers is projected to go somewhere around the middle of the first round, which could potentially have him available when it's time for the Celtics to make their first round selection.

"That would be interesting; that would be very interesting," Rivers said. "I don't think I'm legally allowed to say it until he makes a decision. Otherwise I'd get fined for talking about my son."

Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins

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Three things we learned from the Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Twins

Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox’ 11-9 loss to the Minnesota Twins . . .

1) David Price isn’t having fun

Boston’s $217 million-dollar arm had another rough outing -- this time against a team that already has 60 losses.

Those are the team’s he’s supposed to dominate.

“It’s been terrible,” Price said on how his season has gone following the loss. “Just awful.”

Price’s mistakes have often been credited to mechanical mishaps this year. Farrell mentioned that following his start in New York, Price spent time working on getting more of a downhill trajectory on his pitches.

But Price doesn’t think his issue is physical.

So it must be mental -- but he doesn’t feel that’s the case either.

“Honestly I don’t think it’s either one of those,” Price said when asked which he thought was a factor. “It’s me going out there and making pitches. “

But when it comes down to the barebones, pitching -- much like anything else -- is a physical and mental act.

So when he says it’s neither, that’s almost impossible. It could be both, but it has to be one.

His mind could be racing out on the mound from a manifestation of the issues he’s had throughout the season.

Or it could just be that his fastball isn’t changing planes consistently, like Farrell mentioned.

Both could be possible too, but it takes a certain type of physical approach and mental approach to pitch -- and Price needs to figure out which one is the issue, or how to address both. 

2) Sandy Leon might be coming back to Earth

Over his last five games, Boston’s new leading catcher is hitting .176 (3-for-17), dropping his average to .395.

A couple things have to be understood. His average is still impressive. In the five games prior to this dry spell, Leon went 7-for-19 (.368) But -- much like Jackie Bradley Jr. -- Leon hasn’t been known for his offensive output throughout his career. So dry spells are always tests of how he can respond to adversity and make necessary adjustments quickly.

Furthermore, if he’s not so much falling into a funk as opposed to becoming the real Sandy Leon -- what is Boston getting?

Is his run going to be remembered as an exciting run that lasted much longer than anyone expected? Or if he going to show he’s a legitimate hitter that can hit at least -.260 to .280 with a little pop from the bottom of the line-up?

What’s more, if he turns back into the Sandy Leon he’s been throughout his career, the Red Sox will have an interesting dilemma on how to handle the catching situation once again.

3) Heath Hembree has lost the momentum he gained after being called up.

Following Saturday’s contest, the right-hander was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after an outing where he went 1/3 of an inning, giving up a run on three hits -- and allowing some inherited runners to score.

Hembree at one point was the savior of the bullpen, stretching his arm out over three innings at a time to bail out the scuffling Red Sox starting rotation that abused it’s bullpen.

His ERA is still only 2.41 -- and this has been the most he’s ever pitched that big league level -- but the Red Sox have seen a change in him since the All-Star break.

Which makes sense, given that hitters have seven hits and two walks against him in his 1.1 innings of work -- spanning four games since the break.

“He’s not confident pitcher right now,” John Farrell said about Hembree before announcing his demotion. “As good as Heath has been for the vast majority of this year -- and really in the whole first half -- the four times out since the break have been the other side of that.”

Joe Kelly will be the pitcher to replace Hembree and Farrell hopes to be able to stretch him out over multiple innings at a time, as well.