Report: Napoli holding out for fourth year from Red Sox

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Report: Napoli holding out for fourth year from Red Sox

Having just signed one right-handed bat, the Red Sox reportedly are negotiating for another.

According to a Tweet by former major league GM Jim Bowden -- who now works for ESPN - the Sox are in contract talks with free agent catcherfirst baseman Mike Napoli, who just completed his second season with the Rangers after spending the first five years of his career with the Angels.

The holdup, reports Bowden, is the length of the contract. The Red Sox apparently are offering three years and Napoli, who turned 31 on Halloween, is looking for a four-year deal. Bowden says the Mariners may be willing to offer a fourth year to Napoli, which could force the Red Sox' hand.

Napoli earned 9.4 million last year, so his price tag won't be cheap. Even though his batting average dropped nearly 100 points in 2012 -- from .320 to .227 -- he still hit 24 homers, extending his streak of consecutive seasons with 20 or more homers to five. And while he's only played 19 career games at Fenway Park, he's hit .306 there (19-for-62) with 8 homers, 22 RBI, a .397 on-base percentage, a .710 slugging percentage and a 1.107 OPS.

Draymond Green tells Paul Pierce he doesn't get a farewell tour; Pierce says Warrior blew a 3-1 lead

Draymond Green tells Paul Pierce he doesn't get a farewell tour; Pierce says Warrior blew a 3-1 lead

Draymond Green isn’t exactly known as being the most respectful competitor, so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he spent the early minutes of last night’s game against the Clippers telling Paul Pierce he isn’t a legend. 

Pierce, who will retire at the end of the season, was not in the game at the time, but Green called to him from the court, telling him nobody would give him a farewell tour. 

“Chasing that farewell tour. They don’t love you like that,” Green said. “You can’t get that farewell tour. They don’t love you like that.” 

Green then said something else that was tough to hear through the broadcast before adding, “You thought you was Kobe?”

After the game, Pierce responded on Twitter, going to the easiest and most obvious insult available. As Chris Rock once said, “If I’m driving, and someone crashes into me with one leg, I’m gonna talk about the leg.”

Gronkowski says he has 'no doubt' he'll be ready for start of next season

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Gronkowski says he has 'no doubt' he'll be ready for start of next season

When it comes to projecting Rob Gronkowski's health, it's been best to steer clear of absolutes. There have been too many injuries, too many surgeries, to predict exactly how he'll feel months in advance. 

Still, in speaking with ESPN's Cari Champion recently, he said he had "no doubt" he'll be ready for Week 1 of the 2017 regular season. 

"Yes, for sure," he replied when asked if he expected to be good to go. 

Gronkowski also fielded a question about his long-term future in the sit-down. Lately it's been his coach Bill Belichick and his quarterback Tom  Brady who receiver all the life-after-football queries, but Gronkowski, 27, was asked how much longer he'd like to play. 

"I’m not really sure," he said. "I mean, I still love playing the game, and as of right now, I want to play as long as I possibly could play. My mindset is to keep on going."

Gronkowski landed on season-ending injured reserve in December after undergoing a procedure on his back -- his third back surgery since 2009. He's had nine reported surgeries -- including procedures on his knee, forearm and ankle -- since his final year at the University of Arizona.