Repko starting in centerfield for Red Sox


Repko starting in centerfield for Red Sox

BOSTON Outfielder Jason Repko would have gotten the call after Jacoby Ellsbury was hurt in Fridays game against the Rays at Fenway Park. But, Repko was nursing an ailment of his own and had not played for Triple-A Pawtucket since April 7. So, the Red Sox called up Che-Hsuan Lin, allowing Repko to test his left leg, which he injured sliding, in Saturdays game in Buffalo.

Repko came through that game fine. He was in the home team clubhouse at Fenway Park Sunday morning and is in the Red Sox lineup, batting ninth, playing center field.

Im excited, Repko said. Im excited to do whatever I can to contribute and help the team win.

Repko, who turned 31 in December, was a first-round pick of the Dodgers in 1999. Although he has played parts of six seasons with the Dodgers and Twins, this will be his first game at Fenway Park.

Actually Ive never played here before so spring training with the replica Fenway Park was good for me, even though its not exactly the same wall just to get an idea of what its like, he said. So spring training and getting out there today and working balls off the wall before the game will be a good thing.

Repko appeared in 27 spring training games at all three outfield positions, including 14 appearances in center, seven in left, and six in right. Manager Bobby Valentine said the move to bring up Repko (along with Nate Spears, with Lin going back to Pawtucket and right-hander Michael Bowden designated for assignment, to make room on the 40-man) was to improve the roster flexibility.

What we did is try to balance out the bench a little better and give us a little more versatility as were moving forward, Valentine said. Brought up a very versatile left-handed hitter, Nate Spears, and good defensive right-handed hitter in Jason Repko.

Repko joined the Sox as a minor league free agent in January. He wasnt sure if or when he would get the call from Pawtucket, but was glad it came earlier than later.

Honestly, I dont think about that at that time, he said. I just play my game and if it happens, just be ready for it.

Im ready. Ive been playing in Triple A. So Im ready to get in there and help contribute.

Just to get out there and play strong defense and do the little thing in the game that might help the team win, bunt some guys over. Like is said, do the little things.

Asked if he was nervous for his first game with his new team, Repko, a career .226 hitter, replied:

Excited, a little anxious, yeah. But ready.

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”