Valentine on Schilling criticism: Consider the source

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Valentine on Schilling criticism: Consider the source

FORT MYERS, Fla. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has not been shy in his comments about manager Bobby Valentine.

On ESPN Radio Schilling recently said Valentine and the Sox were an oil-and-water mix.

This is 100 percent my opinion based on having been down this path before with different people, Schilling recently said on WEEI. I just dont think this is the right fit.

I dont believe he was the right guy to hire, Schilling went on to say. Im not doing the hiring. So, it doesnt matter. But Im giving opinion.

Schilling has also been critical of how Daniel Bards transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation was handled. Bard was named to the rotation on Sunday, as the Sox No. 5 starter. He made six Grapefruit League appearances, including five starts, with an appearance in a B game on March 1. Bard led the staff this spring in innings pitched, with 24 23, and strikeouts, with 18.

Those are just a few of Schillings recent comments. Asked after Mondays Grapefruit League finale, a 4-2 win over the Nationals, about Schillings comments, Valentine replied:

I just consider the source.

The Red Sox finished the spring season with a record of 15-11-4. Valentine said he was happy with how the spring -- his first as a major league manager since 2002 with the Mets -- progressed.

I didnt think Id last this long so its kind of a pleasant surprise for me, Valentine joked. It was great. Me personally, I enjoyed it. We played the way I thought we would. Got a lot of work done. So, Im ready to leave Florida, and I think the guys are too.

The Sox left immediately after Monday's game for Tuesday's exhibition against the Nationals in Washington, D.C.

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

The Celtics didn’t know when they traded a late first-round pick and Marcus Thornton for Isaiah Thomas that they were getting their next star player, but that 2015 trade deadline move has proven to be a pleasant surprise. 

Appearing on Felger and Mazz Friday, Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said that he sees Thomas, who will be a free agent after next season, in the team’s longterm plans. 

“Every one of these seasons is different. It’s like a movie and you have a cast of characters and the cast changes a little bit every season,” Grousbeck said. “We’d love to have Isaiah here for a long, long time. He’s a phenomenal player and he loves being here.” 

The Celtics stand a strong chance of picking first overall in June’s draft since they own Brooklyn’s first-round pick. Asked whether Thomas’ status would prevent the team from taking a point guard (which the draft’s two prospects play), Grousbeck said the team doesn’t need to decide that now, but suggested it wouldn’t.

“Especially if it’s a very high pick in the draft, you’ve got to draft the best player,” Grousbeck said. “You probably wouldn’t draft for fit as much as just you see if there’s a transformational player that you can have for 10 or 15 years there. If you see a guy like that, you’ve got to make everything else work, I would think.” 

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

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It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.