Valentine happy with Sox' performance

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Valentine happy with Sox' performance

FORT MYERS, Fla. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was pleased with his team's performance in the first game of the college double-header, as the Sox pummeled Northeastern, 25-0.

"Discount the competition, but it's better to do good than to do bad," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.

"I was pleased, obviously. How can you not be pleased?"

Indeed. In addition to the 25 runs, the Sox banged out 23 hits at least one by every batter in the lineup with five home runs.

Cody Ross led the home run barrage with two a solo shot to lead off the second inning, for the first home run at the Sox' new spring training home, and a grand slam in the fourth. Ross went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and five RBI.

Ryan Sweeney went 4-for-5 with three runs scored, five RBI, and a three-run homer to right in the sixth. Before the game, Valentine said Sweeney had the potential to add power at the plate.

"Red Sox batting coach Dave Magadans been working with Ryan on getting a little rhythm at the plate rather than being still and he checked that," Valentine said. "He had a little more of that rhythm to it. The last at-bat when he hit the home run, he was tired. There's no doubt. And in order to get something out of it, he had to kick it up another gear, and he had more rhythm and it was a great swing. They said the left-handed stroke that he possesses was displayed today and then he also showed a little power at the end. I thought that was a good little confidence builder for Ryan."

Valentine also pointed out Darnell McDonald, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, and Will Middlebrooks, who went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI, as having good games.

The Sox host BC in the nightcap.

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

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“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”