Suggs figures to bring the sizzle


Suggs figures to bring the sizzle

No player in the NFL combines the ability to run his mouth and the ability to back it up like Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.

The self-proclaimed "T-Sizzle" from "Ball So Hard University" is a legitimate NFL Defensive Player of the Year hopeful after his 15-sack season.

And one of his favorite talking points in recent years has been Tom Brady.Suggs believesBrady gets extra protection from officials because he's an NFL golden child. And Suggs thinks Brady's kind of a baby.

The genesis of this belief came in 2009 when Brady just back from a knee injury that cost him the 2008 season had a stumbling Suggs take a dive at his repaired knee.

Brady as the video linked above shows was immediately demanding a flag and seemed to get one on request from referee Ron Winter.

After losing a tight one in New England that day, Suggs and Ray Lewis railed about Brady getting preferential treatment. The play and their reaction spawned a week of cluck-clucking about Brady demanding flags and quarterbacks being overprotected.

Last October, the Patriots beat the Ravens 23-20 in New England. Brady and Suggs jawed during the game.

What did they talk about? "He was trying to tell me how to bag a Hollywood actress, Suggs said. "He said, If you want to get a Hollywood actress, take my seminar on Saturday. . . . He was going over the Dow and the economy and politics. He doesnt really talk football that much.

Suggs also said after that game the Patriots better hope they don't see Baltimore again. To which Brady shot back, "Well, he had his chance so maybe if he gets another chance he can try to back those words up. We play those guys a lot and theyve only beat us once . . . they talk a lot for only beating us once in nine years.

Another sideswipe came from Suggs in December when he said he left Brady off his Pro Bowl roster. And then, last January on SIRIUS, Suggs again circled back to Brady saying, "Man, this guys got the world. Hes winning Super Bowls and dating supermodels. It dont get much better than that . . . rules made for him. He gets to tell the referee when to throw the flag."

Suggs said after Sunday's win over the Texans that the Patriots are a pretty team. The Ravens are ugly.

For more on Suggs read this terrific feature by ESPN's Elizabeth Merrill. She's one of the best feature writers out there.

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Pedroia (knee) out of lineup again after leaving game early Thursday

Dustin Pedroia is out of the lineup again tonight after leaving the Red Sox game Thursday night with knee pain in the fifth inning.

Josh Rutledge will start at second base as the Sox open a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park.  

The weather and sloppy field conditions were a factor in John Farrell deciding to get Pedroia out of the game Thursday and conditions haven’t improved significantly Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on that knee in October. It's the same leg that was hurt when Manny Machado slid into Pedroia at second base in April, the slide that sparked the plunking war between the Orioles and Red Sox.

The full lineups: 

Jean Segura SS
Guillermo Heredia CF
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Danny Valencia 1B
Taylor Motter LF
Ben Gamel RF
Mike Zunino C

Yovanni Gallardo RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Andrew Benintendi LF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Josh Rutledge 2B
Jackie Bradley Jr CF
Christian Vazquez C
Deven Marrero 3B

Eduardo Rodriguez LHP


Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

WALTHAM, Mass. – No matter how an NBA team’s season ends, change is inevitable.
And while there’s no doubt that the Celtics are on the right track in terms of their ascension in the NBA, it's too soon to tell how many players on the Celtics’ 15-man roster that Danny Ainge, the president of basketball operations, will bring back next season.


“One thing I do know. He’ll make the best decisions for the team and if players don’t end up being back here, I wish the best for them,” said Avery Bradley.  “Those are my brothers. We all had a special year. I appreciate everything, all the time I had with them. I’d love for all those guys to be back. We’ll see.”
And with Boston coming off its first trip to the Eastern Conference finals since 2012, adding just any player won’t cut it.
The Celtics’ mindset now isn’t just to improve, but get good enough to where they can better compete with the likes of Cleveland, which just ended the Celtics’ season with a Game 5 thumping.
The most significant move made by the Celtics last offseason was the signing of Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract.
Like most of his Boston teammates this season, Horford is eager to see what changes are in store this summer.
“We just have to wait and see,” Horford said. “We had such a good year. A lot of positive things. It’ll be interesting to see what Danny, the organization feels is going to be the next step.”
Multiple league sources have told in recent weeks that the Celtics are focused on landing an All-Star caliber talent in the frontcourt.
That makes sense when you consider how guard-dominant the Celtics were this season and how that had a negative impact on the team’s rebounding and, to a lesser degree, their defense as a whole.
Gordon Hayward has emerged as a target, but all indications – for now at least – point toward him returning to Utah.
The Celtics may pursue Los Angeles Clippers big man Blake Griffin. Although like Hayward, he too is expected to re-sign with his current team for a max contract (for Griffin that would be five years, $175 million).
While trades are certainly in the cards for Boston, at this point the Celtics seem more inclined to improve their overall talent base via the draft and free agency.
“It’s always a good thing when you have the opportunity to add value to your team and don’t have to change your team too much,” said Celtics’ reserve Gerald Green, who will be a free agent this summer. “I’m going to be very interested to see what they do as far as building a team. We’re in a good place right now as far as being where we want to be organization-wise. I feel like we’re one or two steps away from actually being at the Finals. I think Danny has some things to think about, but I’m sure he’s going to do the job. I’ve seen Danny go to work in these situations. He always makes the team better. I’m pretty sure he’s got something planned that, at the end of the day, is going to make this organization better.”
Indeed, the Celtics could very well strengthen their position for next season by simply locking up some of their core players who may hit the free agent market soon.
Boston may look to work out an extension with Isaiah Thomas before the start of this season. Because if he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, he will be poised to command a salary that in year one would be worth more than the entire four-year, $27 million deal he signed with Phoenix in 2014.
“Boston’s changed my career, changed my life,” Thomas said. “I would love to be here long-term and win championships here. But as you guys know, it’s a business and anything can happen. I know that and understand that. But I would love to be here. This has been everything to me. This city, this organization … it’s been good.”