Ortiz: 'I was real depressed'

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Ortiz: 'I was real depressed'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- David Ortiz arrived in Red Sox camp Wednesday morning, giving the team a full complement of players three days before the first full-squad workout scheduled for Saturday.

After hugs, handshakes, and quintessential-Ortiz off-color greetings for players, staff, and media, Ortiz met with reporters for nearly a half-hour, touching on a plethora of subjects, including the horrific end of last season and the possibility that Ortiz would not return this year.

Asked if that would have been a difficult ending to his legacy with the Red Sox after winning two World Sereis, being a seven-time All-Star, finishing in the top five in MVP voting five times, setting the team single-season home run record Ortiz replied:

I didnt think about it because I think I did my job last year. I would have thought about that if things had gone down the way they did. My year wasnt bad last year. I was really upset because the way we finished and all the opportunities we had through the season and to just be behind by one game. All the chances we had for the season and winning games and those games walking away from us. I just didnt blame one game. I didnt blame everything on one game but the history of the whole season and everything coming down to one game. Everybody was focusing on one game but there were a lot of games we let go during the season.

We should have been on top 10 games and not being away from the playoffs because of the one game. Because like sometimes youre playing teams like Baltimore who were packing to go home. So youre playing with a lot of pressure and theyre not playing with any. And you wind up getting beat because of that. You want to be perfect in everything you do so you can win that one game and it doesnt work that way. Ive been saying that for years.

On the other hand you have a lot of opportunities to win ballgames and for any reason that doesnt happen and then you have to face the situation. I think after the season last year I was real depressed. I was so ready to go to the playoffs and it didnt happen. I remember at one point in the season I said this is the best ballclub Ive ever been on. So when youre playing that good in July and August, me personally, in my mind I was in the playoffs. Having the drop that we had, and moving forward to the end of the season when you know youre running out of chances, that wears you out.

I was like having all this stress and all the pressure that we have to win to go to the playoffs, thats pressure you have to bring to the table. After all, it was like, man, it was very disappointing. At one point I was like, Lets move on and theres nothing you can do about this year. Youve got to pull yourself together and do damage the next year.

Texas Hold'em: Noel would interest Celts, but Mavs probably won't let him go

Texas Hold'em: Noel would interest Celts, but Mavs probably won't let him go

The Celtics' two main targets in free agency are expected to be Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin. But what if neither signs here . . . or what if the C's have other plans? This week, we'll look at some of  'The Other Guys' who might interest the Celtics: TODAY: Dallas' Nerlens Noel.

BOSTON -- When the Celtics had trade talks with Philadelphia last season, it was no secret they had their eyes set on Nerlens Noel.
 
The 23-year-old has shown tremendous potential as an elite, rim-protecting big man.

THE OTHER GUYS: POTENTIAL CELTIC FREE-AGENT TARGETS


The Dallas Mavericks saw those same qualities, which is why they engineered a trade for him last season despite knowing he would be a restricted free agent this summer.
 
And while he would certainly be the kind of player Boston would absolutely love to add to the mix, seeing the Mavericks go in a different direction seems highly unlikely.
 
But until he signs with the Mavericks or any other team, the Celtics can’t be totally discounted as a possibility if they strike out on Gordon Hayward and Blake Griffin.
 
WE LIKE HIM BECAUSE . . .
 
His proven body of work and his potential. Noel has shown flashes of being a decent player offensively, but he’s going to get paid handsomely this summer because of his defense and rebounding.
 
According to Basketball-reference.com, Noel has been among the NBA’s top 10 in defensive box plus/minus two of his three NBA seasons.
 
During the 2014-15 season, his defensive plus/minus was +4.5 (fourth in the NBA) and the following season it was +3.4 (eighth in the NBA).
 
And while his upside is viewed primarily through a defensive prism, his presence on the floor seemed to provide a much-needed jolt to the Mavericks offensively.
 
In his 22 games with Dallas, he averaged 8.5 points and 6.8 rebounds with a solid offensive rating of 106.1.
 
NOT CRAZY ABOUT . . .
 
You love Noel’s length and athleticism, but you wish he would add some weight to withstand the physical rigors of playing primarily in the post. In an ideal world, Noel will add another 10-15 pounds, which would put him weight-wise similar to another standout Maverick from a few years back, Tyson Chandler. But Noel’s narrow shoulders and pogo-stick thick legs will likely result in his current 228-pound frame not changing much in the near future. He will still be a factor defensively, but there will be nights when stronger, more physical centers will give him problems. Fortunately for him and the Mavericks, big men whose strength is well, their strength, are becoming scarce in this new age of position-less basketball in the NBA.
 
IN CONCLUSION . . .
 
Noel would look really good in a Celtics uniform, but there’s little to no chance the Mavericks allow him to get away. They've made it clear that re-signing the 6-foot-11 big man is their top priority. And short of Kevin Durant or Stephen Curry saying they want to become a Maverick, it’s highly unlikely Dallas will change course.
 
PRICE TAG
 
Four-year, $106.4 million. That’s the most a team outside of Dallas can offer the soon-to-be restricted free agent. Noel knows the Mavericks won’t hesitate to offer him a max contract, which would give him more guaranteed years (five), better raises (eight percent versus five percent) and a total package of $143.55 million, which is more than $37 million beyond what other teams like the Celtics can offer.
 
Again, something would have to go unexpectedly wrong for Noel to wind up on any roster other than the Mavericks.

Bruins sign restricted free agent Acciari to two-year deal

Bruins sign restricted free agent Acciari to two-year deal

The Bruins have locked up a potential fourth-line piece for next season at a bargain basement price.

The B's signed Rhode Island native and Providence College alum Noel Acciari, a restricted free agent, to a two-year deal worth $1.45 million, a contract that breaks down to a very affordable $725,000 cap hit for each of the next two seasons. The 5-foot-11, 205-pound bowling ball of a forward finished with two goals and five points in 29 games for the Bruins last season, and has appeared in 48 games at the NHL level over the last two seasons in Boston. It was also encouraging that Acciari seemed to be tapping a bit more into his offense toward the end of the season, and was building some confidence for whatever modest offense he’ll end up bringing to the NHL table once he’s reached his potential ceiling as a player.

Clearly the two-year, one-way deal portends that Acciari, 25, will be counted on as a high energy, hard-hitting fourth-line player who does a good job of aggravating opponents while playing at full tilt. The real question is whether his body can hold up with his maximum effort style of playing, and whether he can avoid serious injuries with some of the car-crash level of violence he puts in his hitting.

Acciari has battled several different injuries over the last couple of seasons, but managed to be healthy enough to log time in the playoffs for both Boston and the P-Bruins.

Either way it’s a low-risk, affordable contract for the Bruins for a young player who, if healthy, will be a large piece on their fourth line as a diligent worker and excellent teammate. So that’s a good proactive signing for Don Sweeney as he continues to work on a more complicated contract for a higher profile player like David Pastrnak.