BOSTON For Kevin Youkilis, the final month of the Red Sox season, was painful.No surprise, given his season was cut short by injury, while his team went 7-20 in September, bringing to fruition the worst collapse in baseball history.It was painful, literally and figuratively, I think, said the Sox third baseman Thursday night, before a charity event for his Youks Kids organization.But the good thing is thats the past and you can correct it. You cant correct injuries and stuff like that now. That happened. You cant worry about that. What I got to worry about now, and all my teammates have to worry about, is just going out and coming together and playing hard . . . I think thats the whole thing, coming together in spring training and just working on the same goal, winning a World Series. Every guys just got to take care of themselves, and just get themselves better each and every day.While much has been said and written about the need to change the culture in the Sox clubhouse, Youkilis acknowledged the attitude permeating the team for most of the season was less than desirable.I definitely didnt think we had the best vibe in the clubhouse, he said. It was very different, and it was noticeable early. But when you win, winning heals all the wounds. But we definitely didn't have the right attitude in a lot of ways . . . Sometimes it just snowballed out of control.We were worrying about things that we shouldn't have been worrying about and not playing the game of baseball. So I think this year, with the coaching staff that's coming back, they saw things too that we can change. We're going to all can sit down and talk about it and basically, play the game. Thats the whole key, is just playing the game and not worrying about other stuff and the media hype and things that are going on. Because if you get up to going crazy with that stuff, it's going to eat you all up. But if you just play the game, not worry, not read what's put out there, everything that's said, it handles itself."Youkilis was caught off guard from some of the fallout that resulted from the teams epic collapse.I was surprised more along the public things that were said and people coming up with stories and no sources, stuff like that, he said. That kind of hurt me the most. But thats stuff you cant control. And it kind of seemed like it was a witch hunt. What player is doing this, what player did that wrong. Were a team. We lose as a team and we all failed. There wasnt one player that didnt fail because we lost, and we all failed. So were going to make a difference this year and that difference is going to be winning. And were going to go out there and win and hopefully start out winning a lot earlier this year. Last year was a little tough at the beginning.Of the teams offseason moves, the one that has surprised him the most was the trade of shortstop Marco Scutaro to Colorado.I was surprised and disappointed personally abut Marco getting traded but thats more of a personal issue to me because hes right next to me at my locker, Youkilis said. But on the other end too one of the positives one of my really close friends, Nick Punto we got. So kind of mixed emotions there, and he might be the starting shortstop or Mike Aviles. But I think we got a great team. And its kind of great that were not counted to be the team thats going to win 120 games. So I think its kind of fun to watch these other teams with Albert Pujols going to Anaheim and now Prince Fielder going to Detroit and all the hype. So if we can keep the hype off us and just keep the hype on winning ballgames during the year, thats going to be the good hype.Youkilis said he has met with the Sox medical staff and is fully recovered from the sports hernia surgery that cut his season short."I'm doing great, feeling good," He said. Ive met with all the medical staff here, the new medical staff, its very cool to meet a lot of new people, were definitely going in the right direction, Ive been cleared to do. For the past two weeks, I've felt great, my whole body. Little things here and there, that this time of year, you have to get going and ramp it up. So I've started to ramp up as much as I can, and I feel great, healthy, lifting with no restrictions.My rehab was pretty much over when I left Boston. There was little things I had to do, and I continue to do, and I keep continuing to do, like core activities because when you have a sports hernia, you got to make sure . . . Definitely doing that.
The Patriots pulled off a rare deal with a rival on Tuesday.
According to ESPN, they've sent tight end A.J. Derby to the Broncos in exchange for a fifth-round pick.
Derby played in 33 offensive snaps over four games this season for the Patriots. A sixth-round draft choice in 2015 out of Arkansas, Derby spent most of his rookie season on injured reserve.
One of the stars of the preseason for the Patriots, Derby caught 15 passes for 189 yards in four exhibition games. A former college quarterback for Iowa and Arkansas, Derby was named a practice player of the week by the Patriots when they were hurting for healthy signal-callers early in the season during Tom Brady's suspension.
The deal leaves the Patriots somewhat thin at the tight end position. They now have now true tight ends behind Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. They do, however, have fullback James Develin, who meets with tight ends on a daily basis. On the practice squad, the Patriots have another fullback in Glenn Gronkowski.
In Denver, Derby will compete with tight ends Virgil Green, Jeff Heuerman and John Phillips for time.
WALTHAM, Mass. -- The Boston Celtics will be a bit shorthanded for the first few games of the season with Marcus Smart being out with a left ankle sprain injury.
The Celtics were holding out slim hope that it would heal in time for tomorrow’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.
Smart confirmed a CSNNE.com report shortly after the injury on October 19 that it would likely be at least a couple weeks before he returned to action.
Following Tuesday’s practice, one in which Smart watched from the sidelines, he gave an update on his ankle injury which occurred in the Celtics’ last preseason game, a 121-96 loss to the New York Knicks.
“A couple weeks, that’s the projection (of a return) they gave me,” Smart said. “They want to make sure we can limit this from happening again.”
Smart said the two-week timetable began from the time of his injury, which means it’s likely that he will miss the Celtics’ first four games of the season.
That’s a much rosier timetable than the left ankle sprain injury Smart suffered as a rookie which kept him sidelined for several weeks afterwards.
“It shouldn’t be too long,” Smart said. “Better safe than sorry.”
His absence will certainly have an impact on a Celtics defense that ranked among the NBA’s best a year ago, and has only gotten stronger with the addition of Al Horford.
But the Celtics have been a "next man up" team for since Stevens has been the head coach. With Smart out, that’s not going to change.
“That’ll be a great opportunity for someone else to step up in his place,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.
Boston guard Isaiah Thomas echoed similar thoughts.
“When somebody’s hurt, the next man has to step up,” Thomas said. “Guys have to take advantage of these opportunities.”
And for Smart, it’ll mean displaying his leadership skills from the sideline.
He’s totally comfortable taking on that role right now.
For his teammates, it might take a little bit of getting used to. Smart has been very loquacious on the Celtics sideline since suffering the injury.
“These last four days, he has been yelling … I told him to shut up a few times,” quipped Isaiah Thomas. “That’s just him, especially when he’s not playing. He’s very vocal.”
Terry Rozier, the likely benefactor in terms of minutes played due to Smart’s injury, agreed.
“He’s been sitting right there in that seat,” said Rozier, adding, “and he hasn’t shut up yet. It’s good; you’re going to need a guy like that who is going to talk to you. It’s like a guy, he says things … it’s like he’s been in the league 10 years. He knows his stuff.”
Smart’s knowledge bank includes understanding that his current injury will probably happen again at some point. The key isn’t dealing with the injury, but how you move forward from it.
“This isn’t my first ankle sprain and I know it won’t be my last,” Smart said. “I just have to let it heal on its own and let your body do what it does.”