Ohlendorf hoping for the chance to start


Ohlendorf hoping for the chance to start

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- As if there weren't already enough contenders for the back end of the starting rotation, the Red Sox added one more Thursday morning: righthander Ross Ohlendorf, who signed a minor league deal with an invitation to big league camp.

Ohlendorf, 29, spent the last four seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2009-2010 combined, he compiled a 3.98 ERA over 285 innings before struggling last season, going 1-3 with a 8.15 ERA as he battled shoulder concerns.

He had a "a lot" of offers over the winter, but chose the Red Sox for two primary reasons.

"I feel that, even though there's a lot of really good pitchers here, there's an opportunity for me here,'' said Ohlendorf. "And I feel like there's a real good opportunity to be on a really good team. That was something that really important to me.

"I felt like I wanted to go somewhere where I had a chance to win a World Series. It kind of came down to the fact that I thought this was the best opportunity. There have been a couple of injuries here (to starters such Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey).''

Ohlendorf has pitched in both relief and in the rotation (64 career starts; 31 relief appearances), but here, his focus will be as a starter -- at least initially.

"They've told me I'll be a starter from the beginning,'' said Ohlendorf, "but the bullpen will always be a possibility. I prefer starting. If they think the bullpen is a better fit, I'm certainly happy to what they want. But I would prefer to start.''

He attributed his poor season to shoulder problems.

"It was mainly getting hurt,'' said Ohlendorf, who made two starts at the beginning of the season, then went to the DL and didn't pitch for Pittsburgh again until August. "Early in the season, I was maybe overthrowing and trying to do too much. Then, over the season, I missed too much time. When I came back, I feel like I had one really good start, but never really got in a groove.''

Ohlendorf said he has no physical restrictions this spring.

Celtics late rally falls short, Bulls hold on to win, 105-99


Celtics late rally falls short, Bulls hold on to win, 105-99

It was only 24 hours earlier that the Boston Celtics learned a valuable lesson about what can potentially happen if you let up on an opponent too soon.

The Chicago Bulls made the same mistake on Thursday as the Celtics wiped out a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter and made it a one-possession game for the last couple of minutes.

But like Boston did against the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night, the Bulls managed to fend off a late rally by Boston in handing the Celtics a 105-99 loss.

Boston had multiple opportunities to tie the game or take the lead in the fourth, only to consistently come up short.

Their last shot came with less than a minute to play and Boston trailing 101-99.

Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown had the ball and seemingly had a mismatch with Nikola Mirotic guarding him.

Brown dribbled into the lane, spun away from Mirotic and left his feet and landed without anyone to pass to.

It would prove to be a critical turnover as Dwyane Wade came down afterwards and drained a 3-pointer, his fourth of the night, to make it a 104-99 game with 26.3 seconds to play.

That would be the Celtics’ last chance at a victory.

The Celtics trailed by as many as 15 points, but made it a game courtesy of a slew of baskets by Isaiah Thomas.

He finished with 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting.

As well as Thomas shot from the field, he’ll most remember this game for the shots he didn’t make; his free throws specifically.

A career 86 percent free throw shooter, Thomas was just 2-for-6 from the line on Thursday.

Boston (1-1) also got a strong game from Avery Bradley who had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.

The Bulls, playing their season opener with a newly-formed Big Three of prodigal son Dwyane Wade, ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo and All-Star Jimmy Butler, didn’t waste any time establishing control of the game.

Chicago opened the game with an 8-2 run and led by as many as 15 points. Boston had moments in which it cut into Chicago’s lead, but the Bulls’ control of the game remained strong throughout the night.

Things got a bit chippy in the second quarter when Jae Crowder was called for an offensive foul against Jimmy Butler, a good friend of his as well as a former teammate at Marquette.

After Butler hit the ground, he used his legs to tie up Crowder who fell to the floor afterwards. Crowder then forcefully put the ball in Butler’s chest.

That led to some back and forth trash talk between Isaiah Thomas and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

Officials reviewed the play and called all four players – Crowder, Thomas, Butler and Rondo – were called for a technical foul.

Tempers cooled down afterwards for both teams as the Chicago Bulls continued to stay red-hot from 3-point range.

The Bulls were especially impressive in the first half when they were 7-for-13 on 3s.

And leading the 3-point barrage was Wade who rarely looked to score beyond the 3-point line a year ago. He would finish with 22 points which included a trio of 4-pointers which was the first time he made that many 3s since the 2012-2013 season when he played for the Miami Heat.

Chicago’s top scorer was Butler who had 24 points and seven rebounds.

Chicago Bulls sign former Boston Celtics guard R.J. Hunter


Chicago Bulls sign former Boston Celtics guard R.J. Hunter

Minutes before they opened their regular season Thursday against the Celtics, the Bulls announced the signing of shooting guard R.J. Hunter.

Click here to view the compete story on CSNChicago.com