Cherington: We feel good about where we are

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Cherington: We feel good about where we are

BOSTON While Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington has said he is comfortable with the status of the team, if an opportunity to improve the squad presents itself he will look into it.

If spring training started tomorrow, wed feel good about where we are and ready to put the team together, he said. We think we have a lot of options to fill out the pitching staff. There will be competition certainly in camp in the bullpen and in the rotation. I think we have some options. We had some options, internal options.

"We feel like were going to have enough depth in the position player side to figure out whatever we need to do there and perhaps protect against Carl Crawford who underwent surgery on his left wrist on Tuesday, not quite being ready on Opening Day. Well see on that note.

That said, spring training doesnt start tomorrow. So we have our eyes open if theres ways to improve the team between now and Feb. 19, I think is the report date. Well do that. Or after the 19th. We feel pretty good about where were at right now.

Cherington expects strong seasons from both Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz.

Yeah, theyve both had really good off-seasons, he said. Our new pitching coach Bob McClure has been in touch with both as is the medical staff. Its been a really good offseason for both. We dont expect any issues with either of them going into camp . . . Really good year.

Asked how the 2012 teams is better than that of last season, Cherington replied:

There were a couple things that were themes for us this offseason. Number one was that we didnt feel like we needed fundamental change. This was a team that was on pace to win a lot of games and make the playoffs. And then we had a really tough September. Multiple reasons for that. Certainly it gets back to the team on the field and how they played. But we didnt feel like we needed wholesale changes. We feel like we needed to add depth in areas we could.

"We lost a closer, we replaced a closer. We had the best DH in the game and that guy is back on the team. So the job never ends. Were protecting our depth and protecting the team. We just didnt feel like we needed wholesale changes. That said, we do feel like we have better depth in some areas. We will have better depth in some areas in spring training, going into the season than we did at times last year. Some of that is just sort of the natural maturation of our own players that have been here. Some of that will come in the form of players weve acquired.

Cherington said if an opportunity to add a player to improve the team arose, while also potentially putting the team over the luxury tax threshold, he believes ownership would be willing to allow him to do so.

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe

The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.

“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”

Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.

Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.

“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want.