Doubront's new approach helps him earn W


Doubront's new approach helps him earn W

FORT MYERS, Fla. Last season wasnt an easy one for left-hander Felix Doubront. Although he made 11 big league appearances with no decisions and a 6.10 ERA, he battled injuries for almost the whole year, including spring training, and spent most of the season with Triple-A Pawtucket.

"A lot better," Doubront said of how he feels now compared to a year ago. "My off-season was the most important to me. I worked hard to get rid of the injuries from the past. I worked more on my legs and shoulder. I feel a lot different, my body feels probably more light and less pressure on my arm, and my legs are strong now."

Doubront earned the win, as the Red Sox beat Boston College, 6-3, completing a sweep of Saturdays doubleheader. He went two scoreless innings, allowing a hit with a strikeout.

"It seemed like he had his legs underneath him and threw all his pitches really well," said manager Bobby Valentine. "It seems like he's probably a little ahead of the other pitchers with his command and stuff right now. He's actually looked that way since he's been here."

Doubront has been working with pitching coach Bob McClure on a change to his delivery, making him land more on the front of his foot.

"My delivery today was awesome," he said. "I worked hard in my bullpens. I feel normal. The first time with the new delivery was a little bit hard to me because it was something I didn't do it before. So, tonight I feel like it's pretty good, my delivery and when I released the ball. I feel good."

Doubront, a contender for the rotation, said he feels confident in his abilities, and wants to prove it to Valentine.

"I got a lot of confidence," he said. "And I feel pretty much ready to be in Boston and a starter with the team. That's what I worked on to show the manager, that I want to be there."

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins celebrates joining Patriots with 'Ballers' spoof

Andrew Hawkins' situation isn't far off from a character in HBO's "Ballers." And he played into those connections with a video on Twitter.

The slot receiver, who signed with the Patriots on Wednesday, shares some similarities with the fictional football player Rickey Jerret, a veteran receiver who wades through interest from a number of teams, including New England, during free agency. Because of those similarities, Hawkins spoofed on a scene from "Ballers" where Jerret works out with Patriots receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola. Hawkins imposes his face over Jerret's.

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

The Coyotes have hired former player Craig Cunningham as a pro scout, keeping the 26-year-old in hockey after a cardiac episode ended his playing career this season. 

Drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Cunningham played 34 games for Boston over parts of two seasons before he was waived and claimed by Arizona. He totaled 19 games for the Coyotes, but served as captain of the Tucson Roadrunners, the team’s AHL affiliate. 

Cunningham was hospitalized after he collapsed during pregame warmups on Nov. 19. He was kept alive by continual CPR, but had his lower left leg amputated the next months due to an infection from the episode. 

Known as a high-character player who was popular with his teammates, Cunningham’s transition to scouting lets him further his career after a scary break. 

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes," Cunningham said in a statement released by the team. "I'm very grateful to John Chayka, Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I've received over the past year. I'm looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

Said Chayka, the team’s general manager: ”We're thrilled to have Craig join our hockey operations department as a pro scout. Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game. We're confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club."