Box Score Bank: Tampa Tip Off


Box Score Bank: Tampa Tip Off

Tomorrow afternoon, the Tampa Bay Rays come to Fenway for the first time this season.

But do you remember when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays came to Fenway for the first time ever?

I didn't. So I looked it up. And present it to you as today's Box Score Bank.

June 12, 1998 . . .

Bill Clinton was in his fifth year as president of the United States. The Boy is Mine by Brandy and Monica was No. 1 on the charts. Deep Impact was No. 1 at the Box Office. Bobby Valetine was in his third season as manager of the Mets. Rays starter Matt Moore was in his eighth year of life.

And over at Fenway, the Red Sox were hosting Tampa for the first time, all-time.

Final Score: Red Sox 5, Devil Rays 1

Tim Wakefield got the start for Boston, and the knuckle ball was working. Wake gave up one run over 6.2 innings, and even though he only had three strike outs, one of them did come against Fred McGriff. (Although, I should mention that McGriff was 65 years old at the time.)

But the highlight of the Tampa roster was non other than Wade Boggs, who was in his first of two seasons down south. The 40-year-old Boggs finished the day 2-4 and knocked in the Devil Ray's lone RBI. He followed it up with two buckets of chicken and five cases of beer.

Future Red Sox great Rolando Arrojo was on the mound for Tampa, and was pretty impressive. He struck out nine and gave up only two runs over seven innings, but his replacement Jim Mecir wasn't nearly effective in the eighth. He gave up three runs in one-third of an inning including RBI doubles from Nomar and Troy O'Leary to ensure the Tampa loss.

Wouldn't mind a little deja vu tomorrow.

And now that I mention it, Wake might actually be an upgrade on Beckett.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Beyond the numbers: The dual threat of Avery Bradley


Beyond the numbers: The dual threat of Avery Bradley

BOSTON – Another year, another season in which Avery Bradley plans to showcase a new and improved skill that will benefit the Boston Celtics.
But with each improved skill, Bradley moves just that much closer to being an all-around, two-way talent that creates problems for teams at both ends of the floor.
We all know about Bradley’s defense, which was good enough to land him a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive first team last season. He also gets props for steadily improving his game offensively in some area every summer, but defenses might have their hands full more than ever with Bradley.
According to NBA stats guru Dick Lipe, the 6-foot-2 Bradley was the only guard in the NBA last season to shoot better than 70 percent in the restricted area among players who took a minimum of 200 field goal attempts.
He is among a list that includes Los Angeles Clippers big men DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin; Miami’s Hassan Whiteside; current teammate and former Atlanta Hawk Al Horford; San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge; Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Atlanta big man Dwight Howard.
But if you’re thinking about keeping him away from that part of the floor, Bradley also made the 3-point shot a bigger part of his offensive game last season; as in, 40 percent of his shots came from beyond the 3-point line.

Having that kind of diversity makes him a difficult player to get a clear read on how to defend. And because of that, it may open things up even more so for his teammates.
Bradley can shoot from the perimeter; he can score close to the rim. His ball-handling skills have improved in the offseason to where it no longer looks as though it’s a major weakness.
And he defends at a level few players in the league can match.
Collectively it makes Bradley one of the many challenges awaiting teams whenever they face the Celtics, a player who is poised to showcase his diverse set of skills beginning tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. 

Wednesday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/injury report: Same names for Pats


Wednesday's Patriots-Bills practice participation/injury report: Same names for Pats

FOXBORO -- When Dion Lewis wasn't spotted at Wednesday's practice, we had to make it clear when we mentioned his absence: He had only, as far as we knew, missed the start of practice. Though unlikely, there's always the chance a player emerges from the locker room once practice has started and goes through the remaining periods of the workout. 

Now that we have the injury report for Wednesday, we know that wasn't the case for Lewis. He did not show up on the report as a limited participant, meaning he didn't participate at all. 

There were no surprises on Wednesday's injury report, with nine players listed as limited, including tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle), linebacker Jamie Collins (hip) and receiver Julian Edelman (foot).

For the Bills, running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) did not participate. Bills coach Rex Ryan explained on Wednesday that McCoy aggravated his hamstring injury against the Dolphins on Sunday, but he did not rule him out for the Patriots game this coming weekend.

Wednesday's practice participation/injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Bills game:


TE Martellus Bennett (ankle)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Jamie Collins (hip)
WR Julian Edelman (foot)
DL Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder)
LB Shea McClellin (concussion)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring)
LB Elandon Roberts (ankle)
DL Vincent Valentine (back)


LB Lorenzo Alexander (non-injury related)
LB Zach Brown (illness)
DT Corbin Bryan (shoulder)
TE Charles Clay (knee)
TE Cordy Glenn (ankle)
WR Marquise Goodwin (concussion)
RB LeSean McCoy (hamstring)
LB Lerentee McCray (knee)
DT Adolphus Washington (illness)
S Aaron Williams (neck)

DT Marcell Dareus (hamstring)
RB Mike Gillislee (foot)
T Seantreal Henderson (back)
LB Jerry Hughes (hand)
G John Miller (shoulder)
WR Robert Woods (foot)