Matsuzaka thinks return will be earlier than expected

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Matsuzaka thinks return will be earlier than expected

FORT MYERS, Fla. Daisuke Matsuzaka, sporting an auburn-ish, shaggy do, his right shoulder and arm wrapped in a large ice pack, talked about his recovery from Tommy John surgery in June.

Im still far from my goal, where I want to be, he said. So Im just taking it day by day and do what I can each day. But Ive been told by the trainers that my rehab is going well. So Im happy about that.

I try not to set a particular date for myself but the trainers have mentioned an approximate data they have mentioned they expect me to make a return. But having said that I want to come back at a 100 percent and I dont want to rush things. I want to make sure my bodys right when I come back, but I also would like to come back as early as possible.

When might that date be?

Id rather not say but its probably earlier than what you guys have in mind.

Matsuzaka, who is entering the final year of his six-year, 52 million contract, has not always been comfortable in his tenure with the Sox. Perhaps having Bobby Valentine, who managed for seven seasons in Japan, at the helm for the Sox could help Matsuzaka.

In Japan I only knew him as the opposing teams manager, Matsuzaka said. So I look forward to getting to know him as a person in spring training. And I had the opportunity to speak with him at length yesterday and he had looked up everything for my career since I came to the majors and we had a very good conversation.

Asked if the conversation was in Japanese, Matsuzaka replied:

There was more Japanese than I had expected and I was very impressed with his Japanese.

Their conversation included Valentines comments as an ESPN analyst when he was critical of the Sox handling of the Japanese pitcher.

He spoke his side of his opinion., which I thought were very insightful and I also told him my thoughts on that and I think were on the same page, Matsuzaka said. We can move forward now.

Matsuzaka and Valentine played catch at the start of Tuesdays workout, a first for Matsuzaka.

It was my first time playing catch with my manager since becoming a professional, he said. So I was very nervous at the beginning.

First impressions of the Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Rangers

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First impressions of the Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Rangers

BOSTON -- First impressions of the Boston Red Sox’ 8-7 win over the Texas Rangers:

Boston’s offense is always in striking distance.

The Red Sox had an uphill battle from the get-go thanks to David Price’s tough outing.

But somehow they took advantage of Texas’ equally bad pitching—that just happened to be more spread out than Boston’s bad pitching.

If Jackie Bradley Jr. doesn’t earn a walk, or Sandy Leon doesn’t fight tooth and nail for a two-out double in the ninth, that Mookie Betts homerun can’t happen.

The Red Sox need another long outing from Steven Wright.

Obviously they’d prefer a strong performance -- but the knuckler may need to bite the bullet if he’s off Saturday night.

Boston’s bullpen has been used and abused of late, and needs some rest following the Chicago series and a 2.1 inning outing from Price.

Price continues to struggle against the Rangers in his career.

Even when he was able to walk out of the first with just the one run after a bases loaded double play, but couldn’t clamp down with two outs.

The biggest reason he struggled wasn’t his velocity—although it seemed down most of the night—but his location. He left a lot of pitches up in the zone and Texas is not the team you can do that with.

Although Price was bound to have a rough start, this start went worse than anyone could’ve anticipated. To say this was a bad start is putting it nicely.

Texas gave him a nice wake-up call. He still has room to grow.

Matt Barnes had a solid performance.

It wasn’t his best, but given the situation, he did well. First off, the Rangers are a very hot team and swing early in the count. Barnes left the ball up time after times, but only surrendered the one run.

Additionally, he entered the game far earlier than he’s used to -- in the midst of a blowout where his team was on the wrong end. That’s not an easy thing to walk into for a reliever, especially one who’s used to pitching late in tight ballgames.

He gave Boston a chance when the offense started to gain momentum.

Hanley Ramirez’s power continues to show.

Although he’s not hitting at the rate he did to start the year, Ramirez laced another homer against the Rangers Friday night.

This homerun may have been his most impressive, coming on a 1-2 slider away, driving it to straightaway center -- the deepest part of the ballpark.

Boston just saw what they look like when they almost blow games.

All season the talk around the league has been how explosive the Red Sox lineup is.

Well, the Rangers offense is right there with them. The league’s hottest team didn’t waist any time scoring, and had 15 hits before Boston pitching recorded an out in the fifth inning.

Although the Red Sox outslugged Texas late, they saw what a potent offense outside the AL East can do -- and how bad pitching can undo all of that.

Nick Friar can be followed on Twitter: @ngfriar

Bruins select center Trent Frederic with 29th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

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Bruins select center Trent Frederic with 29th pick in 2016 NHL Draft

The Boston Bruins selected U.S. National Development center Trent Frederic with 29th pick in 2016 NHL Draft.

More to come...

Photo via Joe Haggerty

Charlie McAvoy tweeted he hates the Bruins 'so much' in 2013

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Charlie McAvoy tweeted he hates the Bruins 'so much' in 2013

Tweet hunters dug up an old message from a Charlie McAvoy proclaiming his hatred for the Boston Bruins. McAvoy, of course, was drafted 14th by the Bruins in the 2016 NHL Draft.

The tweet read, "I hate the bruins so much" before it was quickly deleted.

I'm sure this will go over well for Bruins fans, even though you really can't blame McAvoy. He was just 15 at the time and a fan of the Rangers, who went down 3-0 in the playoffs against the Bruins.

As fans, we can all relate to that feeling.