Final loss still eats at Lavarnway

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Final loss still eats at Lavarnway

Ryan Lavarnway had some great beginnings with the Red Sox.
He was called up to Boston on Aug. 18 and made his first big-league start that night in Kansas City as the designated hitter. Later, he started the final two games of the season, in Baltimore, at catcher with both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jason Varitek banged up. In the first of those two games, an 8-7 Sox win, Lavarnway went 2-for-4 with four RBI, recording his first two career home runs, while throwing out Adam Jones trying to steal third base.But the ending . . .
In that final game, a crushing loss that eliminated the Sox from the postseason and capped a brutal September, very little went right . . . including Lavarnways 0-for-5, leaving-nine-runners-on-base performance. Batting behind Adrian Gonzalez, Lavarnway ended three innings after the Orioles intentionally walked Gonzalez to get to him.
Its been tough for Lavarnway to sit on that game for nearly four months.It was heartbreaking because I wanted it as bad as anyone else, he said. But I look at that and deem it in the month that we had. I just try to learn from it so we never have to feel like that again.Theres definitely a feeling of business unfinished that I have in the pit of my stomach and I think a lot of the players do, and I think we just want to go back this year. Obviously I wasnt around for the five months that they were the best team in baseball, but we want to go and prove that thats really the group that we are and that last month was really a fluke.

Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days

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Patriots represented at Stanford, Utah, Missouri pro days

The Patriots had a busy day of gathering intel on Thursday. A very busy day. 

While Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia represented the Patriots at Ohio State and Notre Dame, respectively, the team had other representatives at high-profile pro days around the country including Stanford, Missouri and Utah. 

Here are a few of the players the Patriots were able to get a better look at . . . 

Stanford: The Patriots have shown plenty of interest in players coming from David Shaw's program in the past (Cameron Fleming, Jordan Richards), and they'll undoubtedly appreciate the talents brought to the table by two of the school's projected first-rounders in Solomon Thomas and Christian McCaffrey. Thomas is a powerful 6-foot-3, 273-pound defensive lineman who can play just about anywhere up front. McCaffrey, meanwhile, is one of the most athletic running backs in this year's class. He worked out as a receiver on Thursday and could fill a multitude of roles as a pro, whether it's as a back, a slot receiver or a kick-returner. The Patriots would need to trade back into the first round to have a prayer at landing either player. 

Utah: The Utes have a handful of draftable offensive linemen and one who is expected to come off the board in the first round. Garrett Bolles, who lit up the combine, might be the top tackle available -- and there are those who believe he's just starting to tap into his potential. Isaac Asiata is a monster guard (6-3, 323, 34-inch arms) who put up more bench-press reps than any other offensive lineman at this year's combine, and center JJ Dielman is an intriguing later-round option. One of the quickest risers in the pre-draft process? Marcus Williams, who is an eye-popping athlete. He was top-five for those at his position at the combine in the vertical, broad jump and three-cone drill, and he looks like a ready-made NFL free safety. The Patriots are pretty well stocked at that spot, but if they're picking at the bottom of the first round and going with the best player available, they may very well think that's Williams. 

Missouri: Defensive players were in focus for scouts and coaches at the Tigers pro day, and Charles Harris was the headliner. One of the most impressive players within a very deep class of edge defenders, the 6-3, 253-pounder appears to have the quickness and burst to give NFL tackles fits. One of Harris' teammates up front, Josh Augusta, ran a pretty ridiculous 40-yard dash Thursday, clocking in just a shade under five seconds. Ridiculous, why? Because he's a defensive tackle who wighed 390 pounds during the season. That's moving. Augusta dropped down to 347 after being diagnosed with a thyroid issue in January and is looking to get to 335. Corner Aarion Penton can competes well for the football, but his size (5-9, 177) may scare teams off until late in the draft. 

Haggerty: Bruins show signs of 'nosedive out of playoffs'

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Haggerty: Bruins show signs of 'nosedive out of playoffs'

Joe Haggerty breaks down the Boston Bruins 6-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning and discusses their playoff chances slipping away.