Kuroda to remain in Majors; Red Sox a real option?

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Kuroda to remain in Majors; Red Sox a real option?

When you really think about it, not a lot has changed when it comes to the Red Sox' pitching rotation.

Consider it addition by subtraction that John Lackey won't be around. As of now, same goes for Tim Wakefield.

Josh Beckett will be back, as will Jon Lester -- both hopefully able to look down and see their cleats. Clay Buchholz was dealt an unfortunate injury, and if healthy, could be a superb third starter. Could.

And the Daniel Bard experiment is yet to get underway.

But who's going to round it out? Aaron Cook? We can only be so lucky...

Now, news surfaces that former Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda isn't heading back to Japan after all.

NPB Tracker, which is a website dedicated to "baseball in Japan and around the world", reports that multiple Japanese media outlets report that Kuroda has informed the Hiroshima Carp that he is now planning on pitching in the Majors in 2012.

To sum up 20 different reports: There's an outside chance Kuroda could land with the Sox.

He'll decide on a MLB team in the next couple of days, and the Sox, among a few other teams including the Yankees, have expressed interest.

Kuroda is 41-46 in his four-year career with the Dodgers, posting a career 1.19 WHIP and 3.45 ERA while striking out 523 batters in 699 innings.

Last season, Kuroda went 13-16 in 32 games (202 IP) with a 1.21 ERA and 3.07 ERA.

The kicker? He wants 13 million per year, reportedly, over one or two years.

13 million, Hiroki? That's almost one billion Japanese Yen. So unnecessary.

Are the Sox willing to increase their salary in the range of 13M for this guy? They've forked over a lot more money for other Japanese pitchers in the past with, um, mixed results ("Dude, he throws a Gyroball!"), but the need to improve pitching is still there.

The Sox have also been reportedly interested in the Cubs' Matt Garza and free agent Roy Oswalt.

Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad

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Patriots bolster receiver depth by adding Brown to practice squad

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have added some receiver depth to their locker room by signing Da'Ron Brown to their practice squad. 

Brown, 25, was a seventh-round pick of the Chiefs in 2015 and spent his rookie season on the Kansas City practice squad. At Northern Illinois, the 6-foot, 199-pounder caught 155 passes in four years, accumulating 2,295 yards and scoring 19 touchdowns. He also rushed for two scores in his career. As a senior in 2014, he caught 68 passes for 1,065 yards. 

With the signing, the Patriots have filled out their practice squad. The team has had an opening on its 10-man unit since the Colts signed away receiver Devin Street for their 53-man roster.

With just four receivers on the Patriots roster, not including special teams ace Matthew Slater, they've loaded up on receiver depth through their practice squad with Brown, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White.

Tuesday, Sept. 27: Jumbo Joe energizes Team Canada

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Tuesday, Sept. 27: Jumbo Joe energizes Team Canada

Here are the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while wondering exactly what “semi-exact” means.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Josh Cooper has a piece on Jumbo Joe Thornton bringing an ageless energy to Team Canada.

*If you’re wondering where former B’s farmhand goaltender Jeremy Smith ended up, he’s now with the Colorado Avalanche.

*The Hockey News believes that the Bruins will be back in the playoffs this season after a two-year absence.

*While I appreciate the Hockey News linking to my work, I feel like it’s a key piece of info that I’m the Bruins Insider for CSN New England and not NESN.

*Is Team Europe coach Ralph Krueger the man with the plan to defeat a Team Canada juggernaut in the World Cup of Hockey.

*Dustin Byfuglien had an interesting take on the World Cup after flaming out with Team USA: “It is what it is. I didn’t really enjoy it.”

*For something completely different: this is not your father’s Converse, but it’s a sleek look that the kids are gonna love.