McDonald eyeing Opening Day spot


McDonald eyeing Opening Day spot

SARASOTA, Fla. Darnell McDonald continues to crush Grapefruit League pitchers. He went 3-for-3 with a run scored against the Orioles in Friday afternoons 6-5 loss, raising his spring training average to .500. Although his three hits Friday were all singles, he entered the game with an OPS of 1.452.

Hes a hitting machine, flat-out hitting machine, said manager Bobby Valentine. Whats he hitting, .700? It seems it. Is it .500? Ive never seen anybody hit that high. Thats why it seems like .700, I guess. Hes swinging and the balls finding holes or jumping off his bat and hitting off walls.

Hes swinging really well. I liked his second at-bat, where he had the base hit to right field. Thats a good sign. Other than that on all of his hits have been pulled. He hit the hanging curveball, hit the fastball, hit a little cutter. Hit a lot of pitches.

I think that he knows that theres a potential opening day, and theres some spots open and some room. He wasnt happy with last year. Hes proving that he belongs on this team. I like everything I see.

McDonald hit fourth against the Os, playing centerfield. Hes also played 25 innings in left and three in right this spring.

Kraft on possible Patriots reunion with Revis: 'I would love it'

Kraft on possible Patriots reunion with Revis: 'I would love it'

It was reported last week that multiple NFL executives are convinced that Darrelle Revis will return to the New England Patriots next season.

Talking with the New York Daily News, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he’d be open to a reunion with the 31-year-old cornerback.

“I would love it,” Kraft said. “Speaking for myself, if he wanted to come back, he’s a great competitor, I’d welcome him if he wanted to come.”

Asked if the team has had discussions with Revis, Kraft said “ask my boy,” in reference to coach Bill Belichick.

Revis spent the 2014 season with the Patriots, helping them win Super Bowl XLIX. He bolted back to the New York Jets the next season, signing a five-year, $70 million contract ($39 million guaranteed).

The Jets released Revis earlier this month after the incident in Pittsburgh. A judge dismissed the charges.

Kraft says intention is not to trade Butler: 'We hope he's with us'

Kraft says intention is not to trade Butler: 'We hope he's with us'

PHOENIX -- The idea that Malcolm Butler could be traded by the Patriots before the start of the 2017 season has been floated for weeks. But if Robert Kraft had his way, he'd like for the hero of Super Bowl XLIX to stick around. 

At the Biltmore hotel on Day 2 of the league's annual meetings, Kraft was asked if he anticipated having Butler back in New England for next season.

"I sure hope so," he said. "We have [a first-round tender] out to him, and I know he has the ability to go out in the market and get someone to sign him, and then we either match it or get the first-round draft pick.

"I'm rooting, I hope, he's with us and signs his offer sheet and plays for us. I have a great affection for him. He was part of probably the greatest play in the history of our team, but there are a lot of people involved in that."

The Patriots can't trade any player who isn't under contract, and they can't talk about a trade for a player not on their roster. Therefore, even if the Patriots hoped to deal Butler and get something in return for the Pro Bowl-caliber corner before he hits unrestricted free agency in 2018, it's not something that the owner of the team would be at liberty to discuss with dozens of microphones in front of his face. 

The tender offer of $3.91 million for one season is still out there for Butler. He could sign it and play in New England. He could sign it and be traded. For now, Kraft says he's hoping for the former -- and insists that the Patriots didn't have designs on the latter all along.

"I don't want to, in any way, take away from his rights [as a restricted free agent]," he said, adding, "I want to be clear. I hope he's with us."