One-on-one with Theo: 'Sox can make a run'

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One-on-one with Theo: 'Sox can make a run'

Theo Epstein's in Chicago, but that doesn't mean he's not keeping an eye on his old team.

And he's not as down on the Red Sox as many people here.

"April was difficult," he told CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam in a one-on-one interview at Wrigley Field on Friday. "It almost seemed like a continuation of last September, and it was really hard. But they did a great job battling through. The Sox suffered a lot of critical injuries and still managed to fight their way back to .500."

And now?

"I think they're in a position in the A.L. East where once they get their guys healthy, they can make a real run at it," he said. "I think stabilizing the starting rotation's been a key for them. Having Clay Buchholz bounce back from his tough start and getting on track, and having Felix Doubront emerge, has been huge for them. And if they can have the other starters step up, they're going to be in a really good position when they get healthy."

On other issues, Epstein said the following:

On the aftermath of last September's collapse: "When that happens, it's important to be honest about it and step back and learn from it. And from what I can tell, everybody has. It was nobody's proudest moment, but what's important is what happens next."

On what he'll remember of his time in Boston: "When I look back on it, I feel lucky to have been a part of a group of people that helped change the organization for the better. Had a lot of success in scouting and player development and maybe changed the way people thought of Red Sox teams . . . I feel like we left the organization better than we found it. Obviously did some things that are historic in nature, and enjoyed ourselves. It wasn't perfect, but it was really good. We set a really high standard that, in the end, proved to be impossible to live up to all the time. Proud of the group of people that were involved in helping make all that happen."

On Cubs manager Dale Sveum, who also interviewed for the Red Sox job last offseason: "Dale's done a great job. It's been difficult circumstances. We haven't given him the '27 Yankees, exactly, to work with. Despite a lot of the losses, he's maintained a really even-keeled nature, set a really high standard for his expectations for the players. He's one of those rare managers who can pull off being really well-liked by the players, but also respected."

Reports: Celtics engaged on Porzinigis trade talks but asking price is 'massive'

Reports: Celtics engaged on Porzinigis trade talks but asking price is 'massive'

In the hours leading up to the draft, the Knicks continue to talk to teams - including the Celtics - about a trade for Kristaps Porzingis but are seeking a "massive" return, according to multiple reports. 

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo's The Vertical reports that the Celtics are among several teams so far unwilling to meet the Knicks' price.

Knicks president Phil Jackson is said to covet Kansas forward Josh Jackson in the draft, who many have speculated the Celtics could take with the No. 3 pick. CSN Celtics Insider Sherrod Blakely, on the Toucher and Rich this morning, proposed a potential C's package of tonight's No. 3 pick, next year's Brooklyn pick, Jae Crowder and Jaylen Brown as a potential haul for Porzingis. 

http://www.csnne.com/video/would-monster-haul-celtics-get-kristaps-porzingis

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe termed what New York is seeking as "massive" and Marc Stein of ESPN reports the Celtics "remain in pursuit."

Frank Isola of The New York Daily News says it's "the moon and two Brooklyn picks," i.e. the haul Blakely proposed - this year's No. 3 and the 2018 first-round pick from the Nets that the Celtics own from the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett deal, Brown and Crowder. Also, the Celtics taking on the remaining two years (at $18 million per) of Joakim Noah's contract from the Knicks could factor into the deal.

Patriots WR Malcolm Mitchell gets a new deal . . . with Scholastic Books

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Patriots WR Malcolm Mitchell gets a new deal . . . with Scholastic Books

Second-year Patriots receiver Malcolm Mitchell already had a children's book published before he was drafted last year. Now he has a three-book deal with children's book publisher Scholastic. 

The three books will include a newly-illustrated edition of his self-published first crack at the children's book genre, "The Magician Hat," according to the Associated Press. That will come out in May of next year and be followed up by two more original works. 

Mitchell has been a children's literacy advocate since before joining the Patriots. That he joined a reading club -- made up mostly of women twice his age or more -- was quickly seized upon by multiple media outlets in the build-up to last year's draft as one of the feel-good stories in that year's class of prospects. 

Mitchell has founded a youth literacy initiative called Read With Malcolm, and he's the Patriots "Summer Reading Ambassador," encouraging young students to read as much as possible during the summer months. He hosted reading rallies across New England that began in Roxbury, Mass. back in March and finished up last week at The Hall at Patriot Place.