Ravens flock to Flacco's defense

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Ravens flock to Flacco's defense

On Monday, Ravens safety Ed Reed made some impolitic remarks about quarterback Ed Reed.
"I think Joe was kind of rattled a little bit by that defense, Reed said. "I think a couple times he needed to get rid of the ball. I dont know how much of the play calling, he could have made audibles or anything like that, checks or whatnot, man, but it just didnt look like he had a hold on the offense, you know, of times past. You know, it was just kind of like they was telling him what to do, throw the ball or get it here, you know, get it to certain guys. And he cant play like that."
On Wednesday, the Ravens assembled to put the toothpaste back in the tube.Ravens coach John Harbaugh went first, saying of Reed, "Heand I had a chance to have a conversation. And I had a chance to talk to some of the other guys about it and I understand where we are. Were getting ready for Sunday.Asked if the timing could have been better, Harbaugh said, I understand where Eds heart is. All of our guys, when they say things and you get a chance to talk about it Were together all the time. We know each other. We understand where each other is coming from. Im sure there are some things he would have like to have said a little better.
"If you look at the whole context and hear the tone of his voice and the message he was trying to communicate, its a good message. But obviously, things could have been said differently. The way you read them and stuff like that, Im sure hes not really happy about that.Flacco acknowledged he was initially put off by the comments, saying,"When I first saw it, I was like, Whats going on? Like I said, we talked about it. We are a team around here. Its not really that big of an issue. I dont really take things that bad. It is Ed. It is what it is.

He spoke to Reed.Flacco also was aware that both Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis defended him. That's something that - because of Flacco's inconsistency - happens often.

"I wish those guys didnt have to come to my defense on all kinds of things," Flacco admitted. "I dont really think they have to. The way things are talked about, it just makes it that someone has to come out and say something. Terrell, all along, knows how to go out there and stick up for all of us.

Lewis was particularly impassioned in his defense of Flacco.

"There is no one player that makes the team great.," said the 36-year-old future Hall of Famer."It takes a team effort. For Joe, who came in here and did what hes done for us Ive told people from Day One when I first saw that kid throw the football, I said, That kid is special, You watch all of these guys who went in the top, first draft picks, and they arent even in football anymore. Youre talking about a guy who came into this league, has been to the playoffs all four years and has given his team the opportunity to win games.
"Joe doesnt play defense. So, when we gave up touchdowns on defense, that wasnt Joes fault. When people beat us on defense or scheme something against us, thats not Joes fault. The times that Pittsburgh was scrambling and made a big play on us, that wasnt Joes fault. So, a lot of things that people always try to put on the quarterback, I understand that, but it isnt about that. Its about the Baltimore Ravens. We are a complete team. We go into games and we win as a team, we lose as a team.

Said Suggs, I dont have to stick up for Joe. His reputation speaks for itself. I just say what people seem to forget sometimes. Thats all that its about. I aint even going to get into that anymore.
Flacco attempts to seem bemused by the whole situation but - given his comments this season about not getting credit -thereis a level on which the questions seem to bother him.

Will a Super Bowl championship back off the critcism?

"I dont care," he said. "I will be wearing a ring, and we will be holding a trophy. The perception probably wont change, but it does not really matter.

Thursday's lineups: Red Sox vs. Braves

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Thursday's lineups: Red Sox vs. Braves

BOSTON -- The Red Sox and Braves play the finale of their home-and-home, four-game series tonight . . . to the Sox' dismay, no doubt.

Boston has won the first three games by a combined score of 21-8, extending its overall winning streak to four. The Sox have also won five of their last six, and six of their last eight, as they've closed to within a half-game of the first-place Orioles in the A.L. East. In addition, they now hold one of the two A.L. wild-card positions.

The lineups:

BRAVES:
Nick Markakis RF
Daniel Castro 3B
Adonis Garcia DH
Freddie Freeman 1B
A.J. Pierzynski C
Jeff Francoeur LF
Jace Peterson 2B
Erick Aybar SS
Mallex Smith CF
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Jhoulys Chacin P

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young LF
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Christian Vazquez C
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Clay Buchholz P

Wyc Grousbeck: Celtics season ticket renewals at 98% for next season

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Wyc Grousbeck: Celtics season ticket renewals at 98% for next season

Celtics Managing Partner and CEO Wyc Grousbeck talks with Toucher & Rich about the 98% renewals on season tickets for next year, and how that is unheard of.

Thursday, April 28: Who are the lottery picks?

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Thursday, April 28: Who are the lottery picks?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while giving a thumbs up to “The Good Dinosaur” as quality family viewing.

*TSN Hockey Buddha Bob McKenzie breaks down the players available in the NHL draft lottery and what kind of names teams like the Boston Bruins should expect to be available with the first 14 picks.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski talks about the World of Cup ads with the ESPN creative people that made them happen. They used the word jarring in something of a positive fashion to describe them. I would use the word “not funny” for Reg Carling, the fictional character created for the ads. If they were trying to feature the personality of NHL players in those ads, I think they missed the mark. It’s not really a big deal in the final scheme of things, but it doesn’t make for a good first step in drawing hockey fans back to the four letter network.  

*Good luck to Cam Tucker, a hockey writer based out of Vancouver that appears to have been one of the latest to be downsized in our industry.

*Dennis Bernstein has some thoughts, facts, analysis and theories surrounding the Los Angeles Kings, who have a long time to think about their first-round exit from the playoffs.

*Bruce Garrioch has some info on Ottawa’s long range plan to move to a needed downtown arena and that being the blueprint for most other Canadian cities.

*Tracey Myers has a dilemma for the Blackhawks: Andrew Shaw wants to stay, but the question is whether the Blackhawks can afford him?

*PHT writer James O’Brien has Bruce Boudreau lamenting the tough Game 7 loss for the Anaheim Ducks to the Nashville Predators. The loss may cost Boudreau his job, and will see a lot of new blood in the West with Chicago, Los Angeles and Anaheim now all out of the postseason.

*For something completely different: how can you say “no” to a tour of the world’s most magnificent treehouses.