Tito: Banning beer a 'P.R. move' Bobby V.: How is it P.R.?

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Tito: Banning beer a 'P.R. move' Bobby V.: How is it P.R.?

Appearing on ESPN Radio's Mike and Mike in the Morning, former Red Sox manager Terry Francona called the Red Sox banning of alcohol in the clubhouse a PR move.

"I think if a guy wants a beer, he can probably get one, said Francona. "I don't think it's a surprise that they put this in effect, or the fact they announced it. It's probably more of a PR move just because the Red Sox took such a beating at the end of the year."

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine announced the new policy Saturday afternoon, receiving support from Red Sox DH David Ortiz.

"We're not here to drink," said Ortiz. "We're here to play baseball. It ain't a bar."

Celtics chasing down every opportunity Cavs will give them

Celtics chasing down every opportunity Cavs will give them

CLEVELAND -- Marcus Smart sat at his locker stall late Sunday night, soaking in the moment for all it was worth. 

The Celtics were just minutes removed from one of the biggest playoff upsets ever, knocking off Cleveland, 111-108, a game that Boston began the night as a 16.5-point underdog.
 
Smart’s play had a lot to do with the win as he scored a career-high 27 points which included a career-best seven made 3-pointers.
 
But this win was about more than Smart having the game of his life.
 
It was about opportunity, an unspoken rallying cry that has galvanized this Celtics team through what has been a season in which they defied the odds and naysayers time and time again.
 
Boston was supposed to be pretty good this season, but no one predicted they would finish with the best record in the Eastern Conference.
 
Isaiah Thomas had a breakout season in 2015-16, but few anticipated he would be even better a year later while putting up numbers that rank among the greatest single seasons in the storied franchise’s illustrious history.
 
Thomas goes down with a right hip injury that will keep him out of the remainder of the playoffs, and the Celtics hit the road while trailing the defending champion Cavaliers 2-0. 
 
So what do the Celtics do? Oh, not much. They just come up with the most epic playoff comeback win ever against a LeBron James-led team.
 
You can dissect what happened Sunday night all you want, but in the end, it came down to one thing: opportunity.
 
Which is why Boston’s Game 3 win was so sweet and for those of us who have followed the ups and downs of this team this season, it was the Celtics once again making the most of their opportunity to shock the world.
 
Look no further than Smart, a gritty physical defender whose shot-making isn’t exactly top-10 worthy.
 
No, I’m not talking about top 10 in the NBA. I’m talking top 10 on his team.
 
And yet there he was, delivering his usual strong play defensively while channeling his inner Isaiah Thomas to get big-time buckets in the second half which included 11 points during a 26-10 run to close out the third and bring Boston within 87-82 going into the fourth.
 
With the surge came more opportunities for other Celtics like Kelly Olynyk who gets the superstar treatment in Cleveland with more boos than any other Boston player (They have not forgotten about that Olynyk-Kevin Love incident a couple years ago, apparently).
 
Olynyk soaked in the boos while coming off the bench to splash the Cavs defense for 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting.
 
“Keep fighting, keep fighting,” Olynyk told me when I asked him about what Game 3’s win says about this team. “You can knock us down but we’ll keep getting back up. That’s what we did out there.”
 
Opportunity.
  
Boston had its moment on Sunday night, reminding us just how tough-minded a bunch they can be when they are boxed in a corner and left with two choices: fight or face inevitable elimination.
 
Because had they lost Game 3, they would have been down 3-0 in the series which is a series deficit no team has ever climbed their way out from under to move on to the next round.
 
Fortunately for them, that’s no longer an option.
 
Instead, they have a chance to even this series up and regain home court advantage if they can win Game 4 which much like Game 3, seems a long shot.
 
They don’t care.
 
It has never been about being the favorite or underdog. It’s about the opportunity, something the Celtics gave themselves with Sunday’s win.

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Monday, May 22: Senators all out of playoff magic?

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling like we’ll be getting a Pittsburgh/Nashville Stanley Cup Final, which I suppose would be the best possible outcome at this point.

*You hear the name and it just gets you angry all over again if you grew up watching the Bruins. Ulf Samuelsson is in the running for an assistant coaching job with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to a report.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Chris Johnston says it appears that the time is running out on a Cinderella season for the Ottawa Senators.

*A taste of winning at the world championships with Team Sweden could fuel Alex Edler’s desire for a change from the rebuilding Vancouver Canucks.

*Interesting piece on a former can’t miss goaltending prospect with the Nashville Predators that ended up totally missing, and what he’s been up to in life since then.

*Guy Boucher explains to Pro Hockey Talk why he kept changing goaltenders in the Game 5 blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

*Don Cherry explains that he hates afternoon hockey during his Coach’s Corner from Hockey Night in Canada in the Game 5 blowout between the Penguins and Predators.

*A good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Alex Prewitt on the Nashville Predators, and the evolution of the franchise into a team on the verge of a Stanley Cup Final appearance.

*For something completely different: What a win by the Boston Celtics in Game 3 in Cleveland, and quite an interesting, fired up interview with Al Horford afterward.