Ventrone talks about roster yo-yoing

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Ventrone talks about roster yo-yoing

FOXBORO -- Death, taxes, and Ross Ventrone transactions.

The Patriots' safety has been involved in 21 transactions since signing with the Patriots as a rookie free agent. He's been cut by the team six times since August. Each time has been soon followed up with his activation to the practice squad.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on Friday that he is proud of the way Ventrone has responded each and every time he's cut and then brought right back on board.

"He's handled it great," said Belichick. "We've had other guys along with him that have been on or off the practice squad, or from the practice squad to the roster. But probably none more than him. He might lead the league in transactions. He's got to be right up there.

"But he's handled it great. We have a good line of communication and understanding."

As for how Ventrone feels? Well, he's just happy to always be called back.

"To be bounced around like that, it is pretty unique," said Ventrone on Friday. "But week-to-week, I just look at it as hopefully I'm going to play. I'm going to prepare like I'm going to play."

Ventrone has appeared in five games this season and has recorded one tackle. In order to keep him on his toes, and make sure he's ready to be activated to the 53-man roster when needed, Belichick surprises him sometimes at practice.

"Look, in the end, either you play in a game or don't," said Belichick. "That's what it comes down to. So you get prepared to play every week. If the coaches give you the opportunity to play, you play. If the coaches don't, then as a player, you can take what you learned that week, and get ready for this week. And he's don't a great job of that, outstanding.

"He's been ready when we've called him up a couple times. Sometimes, we had a feeling that we were going to be doing that. But other times, it's really been kind of a last-minute thing. And he's always been well-prepared and ready to go. We throw him in there when he kind of least expects it in practice, and he's prepared."

He's prepared because, regardless of how many times he's been cut and then brought back in, Ventrone prepares just as much as anyone else on the team.

"Every week, whatever my role is that week, I have to plan like I'm going to be playing the whole game," said Ventrone. "One injury away from going in. So I just plan and prepare like I'm going to be playing the whole game. I get into the game plan and everything, and study up just as much as anybody else."

Of course, whenever Ventrone is cut, there's no guarantee that he'll be available to the Patriots. He has to clear waivers first.

It's a risk that Belichick continues to take, knowing full well that someone could claim him. It just hasn't happened yet.

And as the weeks go by, and the transactions continue to include his name, Ventrone continues to become more and more of a Patriot, as evident on Friday in front of his locker, when asked if he ever thinks of what his football career would be like if he was claimed by another team.

"I'm just worried about the Chiefs right now," said Ventrone.

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: 

MARINERS
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

RED SOX
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.

MORE CELTICS

 
“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 CSNNE.com 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.”