Red Sox willing to add payroll to improve pitching


Red Sox willing to add payroll to improve pitching

After Andrew Bailey went down with a thumb injury, the Red Sox bullpen doesn't look quite as strong as it should be as the 2012 season begins.

The Red Sox pitching shuffle has found Daniel Bard and Felix Doubront in the rotation and Alfredo Aceves closing out games for the team.

If these moves don't work out for the Red Sox, they could have an option to fall back on. According to the Boston Globe, Larry Lucchino revealed that the team would be willing to increase the team's payroll to improve the pitching staff.

Our goal is to field a team with more homegrown players, fewer free agents, and to have a more manageable payroll down the road." said Lucchino. "But if youre asking about this year, we understand that each year has to be taken on its own and this year our payroll is going to be, Id hate to make a guess, but itll be well over the 178 million dollar threshold.

Its important to us to get under the threshold when we can, depending on when the circumstances will allow us to do so, Lucchino added. Our first and fundamental obligation to our fans, the first and fundamental obligation of ownership, is to field a team thats worthy of the fans support. I think our track record over the past 10 years demonstrates that we honor that obligation and we will continue to honor that obligation.

If the Red Sox were to add some pitching depth one name that comes to mind is starter Roy Oswalt, whom the Red Sox were connected to during the offseason. The veteran right hander is eyeing a midseason return, and his signing would also bolster the bullpen as Bard or Doubront would lose their spot in the rotation.

Celtics miss an opportunity in first half with LeBron in foul trouble

Celtics miss an opportunity in first half with LeBron in foul trouble

CLEVELAND – There are 240 minutes of play in an NBA game, but Boston’s 112-99 Game 4 loss to Cleveland came down to seven (six minutes and 46 seconds to be precise).

That would be the amount of time left in the second quarter that LeBron James spent on the bench with four personal fouls (a first for him in the first half of an NBA playoff game ever) and Boston ahead by 10 points.

Boston could not have asked for a better scenario than that, especially considering how well they had played up to that point in the game and again, knowing that James wasn’t about to set foot back on the court until the third quarter.

But here’s the problem.

Boston’s 10-point lead when James left with four fouls.

Halftime rolled around and Boston’s lead was still at just 10 points.

Celtics players agreed that not finding a way to increase their lead with James out was among the more pivotal stretches of play in Game 4.

“They did a really good job of not letting it (the 10-point lead) get out of control while he was on the bench,” Boston’s Marcus Smart told “Every time we scored, they came back and scored.  They answered back with everything we answered.”

While many will point to that stretch as a time when the Celtics failed to make the necessary adjustments to increase their chances of winning, it wasn’t as if the Cavs are a one-man team.

“They still have two All-Stars out on the court,” said Boston’s head coach Brad Stevens, referring to Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. “With the best player in the world they go to unreal, but they’re still a pretty darned good team when those guys are out there.”

Irving had a playoff career-high 42 points which included him scoring 12 of Cleveland’s 14 points in the final 6:46 of the second with James on the bench.

“He’s one of the best point guards in the NBA, and you know, you can tell he puts in a lot of work in his game, a lot of respect from myself, my teammates,” said Avery Bradley. “We have to do a better job at defending him as a unit, trying to make everything hard on him. He definitely got a great rhythm going tonight, and I felt like we had a chance to make it harder on him.”

James still finished with a strong stat line for the night – 34 points, six assists, five rebounds and a blocked shot.

As good as he was on the court, the Celtics have to be kicking themselves for not doing more with the time James on the bench in the second quarter which in hindsight, was among the bigger factors in them now returning home facing elimination as opposed to being tied at two games apiece in this series.

“What are you going to do?” said Cleveland’s Kevin Love. “You have to continue to fight through it. At halftime, we were down 10. We made some adjustments on the defensive end and we just fought; we needed to. They got everything out of us tonight in that second half, but we played more inspired basketball as well.”