Cherington on Varitek


Cherington on Varitek

FORT MYERS, Fla. Will Tim Wakefield be joined in retirement by Jason Varitek?

With pitchers and catchers reporting Sunday, the Red Sox are still not sure if Varitek, who was offered a minor league contract with an invitation to big league camp, will be among them. But general manager Ben Cherington is leaning against that.

I dont have anything to report, Cherington said after Wakefields retirement ceremony Friday. Report date for pitchers and catchers is on Sunday. Im not expecting any additions to the roster at this point. I dont have anything to report.

Because I dont expect any additions, I guess I expect that he wont be here on Sunday. But thats something, again, that weve agreed with Jason to continue to talk to him and let him make that decision. And he needs to make that on his own, and I respect that.

Cherington, who said there is not a hard deadline on Variteks offer, has been in touch with the catcher and more recently his agent, Scott Boras.

The Sox have tried to respect the uniqueness of the situations for both Varitek and Wakefield, and what they have meant to the organization over their lengthy careers and tenures with the team 17 seasons for Wakefield, 15 for Varitek -- allowing them extra latitude in making their decisions.

Varitek appeared in 68 games for the Sox last season, batting .221 with 11 home runs, 36 RBI, a .300 on-base percentage, and .423 slugging percentage. But in nine games in September, he hit just .077 (2-for-26) with a home run, four RBI, and 11 strikeouts, well off his monthly high last season when he hit .333 (15-for-45) in May with two home runs, seven RBI, and 12 strikeouts.

We told Varitek that there was an opportunity to come to camp and gave him, as we did with Tim, gave him as much of the landscape as we could, Cherington said. In terms of what that would mean, again unique situation, to put that in the players court and not normally what wed do. But in these two particular cases we felt that there was merit to doing it that way because of what they meant to the team.

The Sox currently have Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach, Ryan Lavarnway, and Luis Exposito on the 40-man roster, with Dan Butler and Max St. Pierre in camp as non-roster invitees.

HEISMAN: Lousiville's Lamar Jackson wins College Football's highest award


HEISMAN: Lousiville's Lamar Jackson wins College Football's highest award

NEW YORK -- Lamar Jackson leapt over a loaded field of Heisman Trophy contenders early in the season and by the time he slowed down nobody could catch him.

The sensational sophomore quarterback became the first Louisville player to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, beating out preseason favorite Deshaun Watson of Clemson despite some late-season struggles.

Baker Mayfield finished third and Oklahoma teammate and fellow finalist Dede Westbrook was fourth. Michigan's Jabrill Peppers was fifth.

For more clicke here . . .

Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs


Bruins lose third straight with 4-1 loss to Leafs

BOSTON -- The Bruins’ season has gone in extreme swings both up and down thus far through the first couple of months, and that was the case as they lost their third game in a row to the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

The Bruins couldn’t only scratch for one goal despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by a 32-20 margin, and fell by a disappointing 4-1 score to the young and talented Toronto club at TD Garden.

The Bruins never enjoyed a lead in the game against the Leafs, and were flirting with danger after failing to score in the first period despite out-shooting Toronto by an 11-2 margin in the game’s opening 20 minutes. Instead it was a David Pastrnak neutral zone turnover in the second period that was picked off by William Nylander, and ended with Auston Matthews firing a rocket over Tuukka Rask for his 12th goal of the season.

Toronto extended the lead with five minutes to go in the period when Zach Hyman tipped a wobbly Jake Gardiner point shot past Rask, and made it three games in a row that the Bruins have dug themselves a considerable hole. Brad Marchand got one goal back at the end of the second period on a nice hustle play as he sealed off Frederik Anderson’s clearing attempt and then stuffed the puck past the Leafs goalie on a second chance bid.

That’s the way the score remained until the third period when the Bruins couldn’t convert on a couple of offensive chances -- included a bang-bang shorthanded bid for Austin Czarnik in front of the net -- and then James van Riemsdyk scored in front as a Toronto power play expired. That was the backbreaker for a Black and Gold bunch that continues to scrap for goals, and has now scored two goals or less in 20 of their 20 games this season.

Connor Brown added an empty netter in the final two minutes of the game to truly put it out of reach for the Bruins.