Bailey excited to pitch in Fenway

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Bailey excited to pitch in Fenway

New Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey made it perfectly clear on WEEI this morning that he is ready for the challenge of pitching in the big market in Boston.

"My dream is to play in a big city, a big market, and close out ballgames," said Bailey. "And that's clearly going to happen. I'm excited about that . . . I'm excited about that because instead of the Red Sox fans cheering against me when I'm out there, they're going to be cheering for me."

The former rookie of the year also expressed his excitement of pitching of Yawkey way. He doesn't seem all that concerned about having the Green Monster in left field.

"I'm looking forward to it. I know you've got the wall out there, but I'm a guy that lives on the outside part of the plate, for the most part. Especially with lefties, cutters in, you're really not going to do too much out to left with that." added Bailey. "Righties, everything's going away from them. So, it's going to be hard to hook it. I like to live on that side of the plate. We'll see how it goes. I'm an aggressive type of guy, don't like to walk guys, don't like to give them the freebies."

The 27-year-old is also ready for the task of replacing Jonathan Papelbon. Bailey spoke very highly of the former Red Sox closer, even saying he is hopes his Red Sox career can stack up to the time that Papelbon spent in Boston.

"Jonathan Papelbon's definitely one of the best in the game, And I know a lot of Boston Red Sox fans are going to miss him." said the new Sox closer, "He's been a staple there for a number of years now. The only thing I can say is I hope when my time's up as a Red Sox, when I retire or whatever happens, I hope the guy following me gets those same questions: What are you going to do to follow up Andrew Bailey? Hopefully I'll have the same type of resume as Papelbon."

Kevin Durant's future a mystery as OKC collapses

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Kevin Durant's future a mystery as OKC collapses

OAKLAND, Calif. - As Stephen Curry dribbled out the clock in a raucous Oracle Arena, Kevin Durant could only stand and watch.

The Golden State Warriors are heading back to the NBA Finals, while Durant's future in Oklahoma City is much less certain.

Two nights after blowing an opportunity to close out the defending champion Warriors at home, the Thunder got sent home for the summer when they lost Game 7 of the Western Conference finals 96-88 on Monday night.

Instead of becoming known as the team that knocked off the Warriors after their record-setting 73-win regular season, the Thunder will be remembered for a playoff collapse. They became just the 10th NBA team to lose a playoff series after taking a 3-1 lead and now head into an uncertain offseason with Durant eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

If he does leave the only franchise he has played for in his nine-year career, he will do it having failed to deliver the championship to Oklahoma City. The closest the Thunder have gotten in Durant's tenure was when they lost the NBA Finals in five games to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in 2012.

They then lost in the second round the next season, in the conference finals in 2014 to San Antonio before missing the playoffs entirely because of an injury to Durant last year.

But under first-year coach Billy Donovan, Oklahoma City earned the third seed in the top-heavy Western Conference this season and then upset 67-win San Antonio in the second round. The Thunder followed that by winning three of the first four games against the Warriors, with a pair of lopsided wins at home.

But after losing Game 5 on the road, the Thunder blew an opportunity to eliminate the Warriors at home on Saturday night. Oklahoma City led by seven points with less than five minutes remaining but made only one basket and committed six turnovers down the stretch of a 108-101 loss that could haunt the franchise for years.

The Thunder responded on the road in Game 7 by taking a 13-point lead in the second quarter. But once Curry and Klay Thompson started hitting Oklahoma City with a flurry of 3-pointers, the Thunder had no answer. The Splash Brothers combined for 13 3-pointers as Golden State outscored Oklahoma City by 30 points from behind the line.

Oklahoma City's stars were no match. Russell Westbrook missed 14 of 21 from the field and shot just 36.8 percent in the three potential clinchers. Durant finished with 27 points but took only 10 shots in the first three quarters.

Durant did score seven straight points to cut an 11-point deficit to four with 1:40 remaining. But Serge Ibaka then fouled Curry on a 3-pointer with the shot clock running down, allowing Golden State to build the lead back to seven.

Durant then missed two shots and could only stare blankly when Curry ended Oklahoma City's season with a 3-pointer with 26.8 seconds left. Now the Thunder can only hope it doesn't end Durant's tenure in Oklahoma City as well.