No time to panic

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No time to panic

Click the link below. Go ahead, click it:
http:www.overthemonster.com2012492934916on-daniel-bard-and-panic-moves-r...
If those first two paragraphs -- written by Brendan O'Toole of overthemonster.com -- don't make you stop and think about the rush to make Daniel Bard the closer, nothing well.
Granted, neither Alfredo Aceves nor Mark Melancon is as prized as prospect as Dustin Pedroia was in 2007 -- they're not prized prospects at all, in fact -- but pulling the plug on a plan of action after three games? What's the appropriate metaphor? Chicken running around with its head cut off? Dog chasing its tail?
(And that's not even mentioning, as O'Toole stresses, that there's a secondary shock to such a move: It prevents the Sox from finding out about Bard as a starter, which was the point of the shift in the first place.)
No one who watched over the weekend can have any faith in Aceves or Melancon today, and the Sox may indeed be forced to adjust their end-of-game plans. Not after three games, though. And not with Bard, at least not now.

Gronkowski healthy enough to participate during Patriots OTA practice

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Gronkowski healthy enough to participate during Patriots OTA practice

There's one where he makes a one-handed catch and celebrates with his arms outstretched as he glides into the end zone. There's another where he leaves his feet to go up and over safety Devin McCourty to come down with a pass. 

Judging by some of the pictures that have surfaced on Patriots.com of Rob Gronkowski participating in an OTA practice earlier this week, the All-Pro tight end seems to be feeling pretty good. 

Gronkowski, who agreed to an incentive-laden contract restructure for the upcoming season, is returning to action after undergoing season-ending back surgery last year so there was some question as to just how prepared he'd be to participate in practices this spring and summer. 

Again, judging by the photos, the answer is he's ready to ready to run routes on air and make contested catches against defenders.

Reporters will have an opportunity to watch the team practice on Thursday, the first workout open to members of the media, which will allow us to judge Gronkowski's mobility and his level of participation more fully.

Another takeaway from the photos on the team website is that Gronkowski was not required to wear a non-contact jersey during the session. Contact is not allowed during this phase of the offseason training program, but players returning from injury (and quarterbacks) will still wear red jerseys to inform their teammates they're not to be touched. For instance, Jonathan Freeny, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve about a month into last season, donned a red non-contact jersey in one image.