Crawford unhappy with Henry's remarks


Crawford unhappy with Henry's remarks

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Last October, Red Sox principal owner John Henry made the surprisingly public admission that he was never in favor of signing free agent Carl Crawford to his landmark seven-year, 142 million deal.

Predictably, Crawford wasn't happy to hear those remarks.

"I can't do nothing about what he said,'' said Crawford Monday after reporting to spring training. "I can just go out and play. It was unfortunate that he feels that way, but there's nothing for me to say to him but go out and play.

"I wasn't happy about it. I was a little surprised to hear the comments. Like I said, it's unfortunate he feels that way. I just wish that those words hadn't have come up.''

Crawford, who struggled mightily in his first season with the Red Sox, was asked if he intended to talk to Henry and clear the air.

"If he wants to meet with me,'' said Crawford of Henry, "I'm sure we'll have that meeting. I'm not too sure about that. I don't know what kind of plans he has or whether he wants to me or anything like that.''

On the other hand, Crawford said he didn't have any issues with new manager Bobby Valentine, who made some critical remarks on ESPN about the outfielder's approach at the plate.

"That's his job to do stuff like that on TV,'' said Crawford. "I kind of understand how that goes. I'm playing for him as a manager and I'm pretty sure he doesn't feel like that way. It's just stuff you have to say when you're on TV, so me and Bobby have no hard feelings.

"We both share a common goal and that's to help the Red Sox win.''

ESPN’s Mortensen: Deflategate coverage led to death threats


ESPN’s Mortensen: Deflategate coverage led to death threats

In an expansive profile on The, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen says he and his wife were subjected to death threats because of Mortensen’s Deflategate coverage.

After the Patriots’ AFC Championship Game victory in January 2015, Mortensen tweeted information he said he received from a source that has long since been proven incorrect. The info - that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs in the game were underinflated by 2 pounds - remained uncorrected on Twitter and in an story for more than six months.  

The controversy over Mortensen’s reporting drew the ire of Patriots fans, many of whom blamed the tweet and his story for fanning the flames of what eventually led to a four-game suspension for Tom Brady and a $1 million fine and loss of draft picks for the Patriots. 

Mortensen, who has subsequently undergone treatment for cancer, told The Ringer’s Bryan Curtis that the threats led him to tell his wife Micki that he didn’t want her traveling with him from their home in Arkansas to Bristol, Connecticut when he did studio work for ESPN. 

“What bothered me is we’re in an era where if your wife goes onto social media, she basically reads that they want you to die,” Mortensen said. “Even after I got cancer, I got some death wishes.”

More from the Ringer story:

“My job is to protect her,” he said. When Mort himself came to Bristol, he behaved like someone who was living under a public threat. He went straight from the ESPN studio to his home, avoiding restaurants and rarely appearing in public.

Mortensen said after his initial tweet, a second source, with whom he had a better relationship, told him to used a broader description of the footballs, i.e. call them “significantly underinflated.”  Mortensen now acknowledges that information should have given him pause.

“That should have raised the journalist in me to a higher level,” he told the Ringer. “I’ve got to ask some more questions here. What are we talking about, 2 pounds under? But, no, I got to get on TV.”

Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls


Pregame Number: Perimeter pain for the Bulls

Tonight’s pregame number is 133. That’s the total number of made 3-point field goals made last season by the players starting for the Bulls tonight. Whatever the Bulls reasons for signing Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade were this offseason, floor spacing was not one of them.

Wade’s career mark of 28.4 percent from distance is the third-worst percentage among active players with 600+ career attempts, while Rondo’s 28.9 career 3-pt FG% is seventh worst. And, for what it’s worth, the new-look Bulls shot 31.8 percent from beyond the arc (21st in the NBA) this preseason, while hitting 7.7 3-pointers per game. 

Despite allowing 15 3’s last night vs the Nets, perimeter defense should once again be a strength for the Celtics. Last season, the Celtics were fourth in the NBA with an opponent 3-pt FG% of 33.6. They were 38-15 when holding opponents to eight or fewer 3’s. 

With the NBA continuing to trend towards more 3-point shooting, it will be interesting to see how Fred Hoiberg’s offense looks this season, and especially tonight vs the Celtics.