Sox still in talks, but preparing for arbitration hearings

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Sox still in talks, but preparing for arbitration hearings

BOSTON -- Salary arbitration hearings are set to begin Tuesday in Florida and run for the next three weeks. The Red Sox have two unsigned players -- David Ortiz and Alfredo Aceves -- threatening to end their 10-year streak of avoiding arbitration hearings.

General manager Ben Cherington wouldn't reveal when the players' hearing are scheduled.

"I'd prefer not to make them public," said Cherington, "but we're preparing for them."

Ortiz filed a request for 16.5 million, with the Red Sox filing at 12.65 million. Aceves, meanwhile, filed at 1.6 million, with the Red Sox countering at 950,000.

"I wouldn't want to handicap (the odds of avoiding a hearing)," said Cherington. "We're just going to prepare for the cases. We'll continue to talk right up to the hearing. We'll see what happens. But as soon as you exchange (figures), you have to be prepared to go to a hearing. That's what we're doing."

The Sox and Ortiz are almost 4 million apart -- arbitrators must pick one number or the other, with no middle ground -- but Cherington said the should the Sox go to a hearing and lose, it wouldn't necessarily affecttheir budget.

"I don't think significantly, no," he said. "If you go to a hearing, there's a chance you win and a chance you lose and it changes your payroll to some degree. To that extend, it can affect things a little bit, but Iwouldn't say it's significant."

Rasheed Wallace shows KG his amazing Doc Rivers impression

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Rasheed Wallace shows KG his amazing Doc Rivers impression

By Dane Carbaugh, NBCSports.com Pro Basketball Talk

Rasheed Wallace is a man of many talents. Playing basketball. Getting ejected. Helping the disenfranchised. Throwing towels. He’s a Renaissance man, really.

Oh, and apparently he does a spot-on Doc Rivers impersonation.

During a segment on Kevin Garnett’s “Area 21” TV show, Wallace not only brought attention to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, but was able to emulate the Los Angeles Clippers coach strikingly well. It came while Wallace was breaking down Rivers recent explosion and ejection from a game against the Brooklyn Nets, an outburst for which he was fined $15,000.

From the Area 21 Twitter page:

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Friday, Dec. 2: Toews vs. Matthews

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading, while everybody in New England is in mourning over the latest Gronk booboo. 

*A pretty neat sharpshooting video with Jonathan Toews and that young whippersnapper Auston Matthews squaring off against each other. 

*Craig Custance looks a little deeper into the situation with the Florida Panthers and how things are stabilizing after the rough firing of Gerard Gallant last week. 

*Now. let’s get to the real important stuff: the San Jose Sharks website has put together their Movember rankings for the player’s mustaches. 

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Bruce Garrioch says that the plans for an outdoor game in Ottawa are again back on the NHL’s agenda. 

*Erik Erlendsson has put together a “Lightning Insider” website where you can find all the latest news about the Tampa Bay franchise. Check it out. 

*As guys such as Anton Khudobin prove when they’re thrust into the starting spot, backup goalies matter in today’s NHL. 

*For something completely different: a mash-up of Kylo Ren and “Girls” from the mad mind of Adam Driver is exactly just that.