It only took one conversation with a reporter for John Lackey to land in hot water.
Lackey, who will miss the entire 2012 season as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, had to issue an apology through the Red Sox after using the term "retarded" in an interview with the Boston Globe to describe last year's chicken-and-beer controversy.
"I apologize for my thoughtless choice of words that appeared in print earlier today," Lackey said in a statement released late Tuesday afternoon by the Red Sox. "I meant no harm, and I am sorry to all I offended."
Lackey's original quote: ""Guys having a beer after their start has been going on for the last 100 years. This is retarded. It's not like we were sitting up there doing it every night. It's not even close to what people think.''
The Red Sox made the demotion of Eduardo Rodriguez official on Tuesday, sending him to Pawtucket and recalling reliever Pat Light from Pawtucket.
Light was briefly with the Sox earlier this year, allowing two runs in one inning during a game in Atlanta in April. He has 2.05 ERA in 26 1/3 innings with the PawSox, with 13 walks and 32 strikeouts, and hasn't allowed a run in 12 innings, dating back to May 21.
Peter Abraham on the fate of John Farrell, whose team has a 9-15 record for the month of June.
Al Horford will reportedly have a long list of suitors when NBA free agency opens on July 1, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. The Celtics are one of eight teams expected to pursue Horford, a list that also includes the Hawks, Lakers, Rockets, Magic, Pistons, Wizards, and Nets.
Stein adds that, in addition to wanting to re-sign Horford, the Hawks are “trying to wedge their way into the Kevin Durant sweepstakes.”
Zach Lowe reported in February that Durant had interest in playing with Horford next season. They entered the league together in 2007 and have remained friends. If that’s true, it’s good news for the Celtics. They are the only team on the list of eight teams that can sign both Durant and Horford to max contracts without moving a single piece to make it work.
A few other teams, like the Hawks and Magic, would have to sacrifice talent to free up the necessary cap space. No reports have indicated Durant has interest in Atlanta anyway, only that they want a shot at him. Who doesn't?
If Stein’s report is accurate, the Celtics will probably look to pair Durant and Horford together as part of their pitch to the superstar.
Horford would solve Boston’s rim protection issues, and provide some spacing. And Durant would…well, you know the deal: he’s a Hall of Famer in the prime of his career.
Kevin O’Connor can be followed on Twitter: @KevinOConnorNBA