Does it matter who breaks the news?


Does it matter who breaks the news?

So far today, we've been handed two pretty big pieces of Red Sox related news:

1. Alfredo Aceves has been told to be ready to start the second game of the season, in the event that Josh Beckett's thumb injury proves worse than expected.

2. Andrew Bailey has a thumb injury of his own, and won't be ready for Opening Day. In the meantime, Mark Melancon will fill the void.

Pretty unfortunate on both counts, eh?

Even if Beckett turns out to be OK, and Bailey is ready to roll at 100 percent in a week or so, you never want this kind of news on the week of Opening Day; not about anyone on your team, never mind your injury-prone closer and controversial No. 2 starter.

But for some folks in town, the news itself isn't quite as big as how the news was broken:



Aceves is the one who told reporters about Beckett; Melancon is the man who broke the news about Bailey, and apparently this is a sign of big problems. It means that Bobby V. doesn't have control. That the inmates are running the asylum. That

I don't know. And honestly I don't care.

Do you really care how this news gets broken?

I mean, it's one thing if Aceves pulled a reporter aside and says, "Hey, I just wanted you to know that Josh Beckett is dealing with a degenerative thumb issue. There's actually a good chance it's going to fall off and have to be replaced by a tiny wooden stump. Dude's career is probably over."

OK, fine. In that case, everyone should freak out. That's probably something the team should release itself. But the fact that Aceves tells the Herald that he was told to be ready, after Beckett had already left the team to get checked out in San Antonio? That Melancon talked about Bailey after there had already been wild speculation that he was hurt?

If you ask me, there are far more important storylines to focus on. For instance, what's up with Sox pitcher and their thumbs? Someone needs to launch an investigation

Or maybe we can just ask Alfredo Aceves.

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Celtics hold off Heat fourth-quarter rally for 112-108 win

Celtics hold off Heat fourth-quarter rally for 112-108 win

BOSTON –  As the final 10 or so games for playoff-bound teams like the Boston Celtics were poked and prodded to see who would have the toughest go of things down the stretch, the Celtics were deemed to have the easiest go of things.

Somebody forgot to tell their foes because it seems every night the Celtics are in a down-to-the-wire battle that’s not decided until the final minute or so of play.

And Sunday’s game against the Miami Heat was no exception with the Celtics managing to outlast the Heat for a 112-108 win. 

A 3-pointer by Jae Crowder put the Celtics ahead 102-101, which was soon followed by a pair of Isaiah Thomas free throws and a Thomas lay-up which made it a 106-101 game.

Miami's James Johnson scored four straight to make it a one-point game (106-105) with a minute to play. 

But Boston managed to maintain their lead for the remainder of the game as both teams exchanged free throws and defensive stops before the Heat simply ran out of time.

Boston (48-26) has now won four in a row and and eight of its last 10. 

In addition, Sunday's victory matched the team's win total from a year ago, with eight games to play. 

And maybe most important, Boston has now set itself up to at a minimum have home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a really strong shot at finishing with the top overall record in the East and with it, home court advantage throughout every round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. 

Both teams swapped one defensive stop for another, a free throw here with a few made baskets sprinkled in for good measure.

And with 4:50 to play, the score was tied at 99 following an Isaiah Thomas lay-up.

Boston went on a 7-2 run capped off by a driving lay-up by Thomas that made it 106-101.

But the Heat responded with a James Johnson dunk followed by a pair of free throws by Johnson which made it a 106-105 game with 1:23 to play.

Boston countered with – who else? – Isaiah Thomas whose driving lay-up which was set up by a Marcus Smart offensive rebound, gave the Celtics a 108-105 lead with 60 seconds to play when Miami called a time-out.

Thomas led all scorers with 30 points while Horford once again flirted with a triple-double, finishing with seven points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. 

This game being so close down the stretch wasn’t all that surprising when you consider it was a relatively close game most of the night.

Trailing 58-53 at the half, the Celtics knew that changes had to be made in order for them to regain control.

It didn’t take long to see that the Celtics’ plan of attack in the second half was to do just that … attack!

They were more aggressive offensively with their drives and ball movement.

Defensively, their close-outs were tighter, rotations more crisp.

Within minutes, the Celtics had the game tied up on an Amir Johnson basket and 3-pointer from Jae Crowder.

Boston began to get some separation behind a 9-2 run that gave them a 79-73 lead, and closed the quarter off by scoring six of the last eight points to lead 85-75 going into the fourth.

NCAA TOURNAMENT: Maye hits late jumper to lift North Carolina to Final Four


NCAA TOURNAMENT: Maye hits late jumper to lift North Carolina to Final Four

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Luke Maye hit a jumper with 0.3 seconds left, and top-seeded North Carolina held off Kentucky 75-73 to earn the Tar Heels' second straight trip to the Final Four and 20th all-time in Sunday's showdown of college basketball's elite in the South Regional.

The Tar Heels (31-7) will play Midwest champ Oregon on Saturday in Phoenix in the national semifinal.

North Carolina took control with a 12-0 run within the final 5 minutes. Kentucky's freshmen De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk hit three quick 3s, the last two by Monk and his second with 7.2 seconds left tied it up at 73.

Theo Pinson brought the ball down, passed back to Maye. The sophomore from Huntersville, North Carolina, knocked it down for the win with his feet on the 3-point line.

The Wildcats had one last chance, but Derek Willis' inbound pass went out of bounds on the far end.

Kentucky (32-6) will miss out on the Final Four for the second straight year.