Ross has good swing for Fenway replica

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Ross has good swing for Fenway replica

FORT MYERS, Fla. It's been said Cody Ross has the perfect swing for Fenway Park a righthanded hitter strong enough to pull the ball, with an uppercut swing.

It will be another month before Ross can put that theory to the test the Sox' home opener isn't until April 13 but if Saturday is any indication, there's something to that theory.

Getting his first game swings at JetBlue Park, which is modeled after Fenway, Ross hit two homers over The Wall in left, including a grand slam.

"Obviously, any time you swing the bat well whether it's Little League or if it's against college pitching or major league pitching it feels good," said Ross after the Sox blanked Northeastern 25-0. "I like it. It plays a lot better to my swing than a lot of parks that I've played in.

"But it's something you can't get too concerned about. You have to stay with your game and try to hit the ball wherever they pitch it. Today, they left a couple out over the plate."

"He got a couple of balls up," said manager Bobby Valentine, "and was able to elevate them and hit the high fly ball like he does. We've all seen that swing before in post-season, haven't we, in the Giants' march (to the World Series in 2010). He's got that swing and I think it will play at Fenway."

Ross spent his last five seasons with either Pro Player Park (or Dolphin Stadium) in Miami or AT&T Park in San Francisco as his home ballpark. Both are spacious; neither is helpful to hitters.

Fenway, of course, can be very inviting for hitters.

"I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about (how I'd do in more of a hitter's park)," he said. "Any hitter who claims to have some power wants to hit in a hitter's ballpark. It just so happens that Fenway fits well for righthanded swings."

"But I try not to think about it too much. You can get yourself into a lot of trouble thinking about that wall the whole time. I'll take what I got today and try to get better."

Regardless of the environment, Ross has a checklist of things he wants to do at the plate this season: stay balanced, keep his hands back and not get out in front of pitches.

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

Ainge: Winning more important than All-Star bids

BOSTON -- When it comes to NBA awards and accolades, players in contention often try to play it cool when asked about whether they are deserving.
 
And then there’s Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, who gives a definitive response whenever the question about whether he should be an All-Star starter is raised.
 
We’ll find out later today if Thomas will in fact be named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team when the East and West starters are announced. 
 
“It’s a little bit refreshing in that he is open about it,” Danny Ainge said on 98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show this morning. “But every player wants to be acknowledged by their fan base, by other players in the league, coaches. You come into the league and as a young player you want to earn the respect of your peers and then you want to get paid and then you want to be an All-Star; maybe that’s the wrong order; and then nothing more important than winning.
 
Ainge added, “Isaiah is having a great year. He’s talked a lot about it. At some point in his career, he’ll talk about the most important thing and that’s winning championships.”
 
Ainge pointed to when Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were all Celtics, there was no mistaking that winning came before anything else.
 
But where those guys were in their careers in terms of individual achievements and just age, were major factors in their focus being so deeply rooted in winning.
 
“Along the way they all want to win, but when you get to the point where Paul, Ray and KG were in their 30s, they didn’t care about any of that other stuff because they had it all, already,” Ainge said. “They had multiple All-Star games, they had big contracts, winning became the only thing that mattered.”
 
In other Celtics-related news, Ainge said that there’s no timetable for when Avery Bradley (right Achilles strain) will return to the floor. He has missed five of the last six games with the injury which includes last night’s loss to the New York Knicks which was a game in which the 6-foot-2 Bradley was a last-minute scratch from the lineup

Edelman says 'there was no maliciousness' to his Steelers comments

Edelman says 'there was no maliciousness' to his Steelers comments

It's funny how during a week like this one, a singularly ridiculous act -- such as Antonio Brown's live stream of the Steelers postgame locker room celebration last weekend -- can lead to a series of brush fires that pop up only to be peed on and put out. 

That was the case yesterday as a comment Julian Edelman made to WEEI earlier this week about Brown's Facebook Live video was spun as a sort of vicious burn directed at the Steelers franchise. 

"That's how that team is run," Edelman said, a comment that read as a more serious indictment than it actually sounded. "I personally don't think that would be something that would happen in our locker room, but hey, whatever. Some people like red and some people like blue. Some people like tulips and some people like roses. Whatever."

That led to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being asked about Edelman's comments, and defending the honor of the Rooney family, during a press conference on Wednesday.

"I don’t think I need to speak much," Roethlisberger said. "We’ve got our trophies out there. I’ve got owners that I think are the best in the business. They’re family to us, and I’m sure if he talked to his owner, he would say the same thing about the Rooneys. Anybody in here in the football world or the regular world that owns the Rooneys knows what they stand for. It’s a blessing to call them a family."

And on and on it went. Later in the day, Edelman was asked about his comments during a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters.

So just in case you're keeping score, a Steelers player streamed a video of coach Mike Tomlin calling the Patriots "a-holes," which prompted a response from Edelman. That response prompted a response from Roethlisberger, whose response to the response then led to a response to the response to the response from Edelman.

Got it?

"Yeah, I mean I think it was taken out of context," Edelman said. "I have nothing but respect for the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’re an unbelievable franchise. It starts from the top with the Rooney Family, Coach Tomlin, I think they just mis[interpreted] – I mean, I don’t know, I may have said it, but I think more of that was that it’s not the way we would do it here. That’s just how that goes. There was no maliciousness about it, but it’s whatever. That’s what the media does, try to make stories."