Red Sox decide to go with 13 pitchers


Red Sox decide to go with 13 pitchers

DETROIT -- The Red Sox settled on their final 25-man roster Wednesday, a day before the season opens.
The Sox opted to begin the year with a 13-man pitching staff featuring five starters (Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront) and an eight-man bullpen (Alfredo Aceves, Mark Melancon, Matt Albers, Franklin Morales, Michael Bowden, Vicente Padilla, Justin Thomas and Scott Atchison).
"Just in case,'' said manager Bobby Valentine of the 13-man staff. "Obviously, what we're doing here without Andrew Bailey has not been totally planned for. So we're going to try to protect other members of the bullpen as we iron out this entire situation. I don't expect to be 13 for the entire season - or possibly, even by the homestand (which begins April 13).
"But it could be.''The 13-man staff leaves the Sox with just three bench players (Kelly Shoppach, Nick Punto and Darnell McDonald) in addition to the starting nine of catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, seconed baseman Dustin Pedroia, shortstop Mike Aviles, third baseman Kevin Youkilis, DH David Ortiz and outfielders Ryan Sweeney, Jacoby Ellsbury and Cody Ross.
The Sox will have to make some additional roster moves since Padilla, Thomas and Atchison were all on minor league deals with invites to major-league spring training.
The most likely move will involve putting some injured players (Daisuke Matsuzaka, Rich Hill) on the 60-day disabled list.

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady can be his own worst critic. That's why last week, after beating the Texans in the Divisional Round to move on to the AFC title game, he wasn't thrilled. He didn't play up to his standards. The offense struggled at points. He wore his frustration like a five o'clock shadow.

Winning is not everything for Brady, most weeks. He has an idea of how he should perform, how the Patriots offense should perform, and when those ideals aren't met, he's generally displeased. 


On Sunday, after beating up on the Steelers, 36-17, that wasn't the case. It was a sound performance, but it wasn't perfect. It was explosive at times, but it shined a light on areas where the Patriots will need to continue to improve. 

Despite its imperfections, Sunday was no time to brood about plays missed or lessons learned the hard way. Screw it, Brady seemed to say. They were going to the Super Bowl. It was OK to smile.  

"It was a good day," Brady said. "I mean, we're going to the Super Bowl, man. [Expletive], you've got to be happy now."

The Super Bowl berth is the ninth in franchise history -- more than any other club -- and the seventh with Brady and coach Bill Belichick. By throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-42 passing, Brady tied Joe Montana for the most postseason games (nine) with three touchdown passes. 

Brady will also claim the record for Super Bowls played when he and the Patriots head to Houston. And if they win, he'll tie Charles Haley for most Super Bowl wins for a player (five).

Those are lofty numbers made even more significant, perhaps, due to the fact that Brady wasn't allowed to start this season as his team's quarterback. He was asked during Sunday's postgame press conference if it was personally satisfying to get back to the Super Bowl despite having to serve a four-game suspension due to Deflategate.

"Well, that's because of the hard work of a lot of people from my coaches to my teammates to our families that support us," he said. "It takes a lot of people, a lot of hard work and a lot of effort over the course of many months. This didn't start at 6:40 tonight.

"This thing started in April. It really started before that in free-agency when we were picking up guys like [Chris] Hogan and drafting guys like Malcolm Mitchell and guy who were in rehab like [LeGarrette Blount] and [Dion Lewis] and [James Develin] and Nate [Solder]. It's a lot of hard work. There are only two teams left standing, and I'm happy we're one of them."

They're going to the Super Bowl. He has to be happy now.