Why no Delonte?


Why no Delonte?

Tuesday afternoon at practice, Paul Pierce asked a question that many Celtics fans have wondered since the start of the season:

What happened with Delonte West?

"I thought he'd definitely be back," Pierce said of his former teammate, who returns to the Garden with the Mavericks tomorrow night. "It's hard to develop chemistry when you bring in a lot of new faces, each and every year."

In response, let me just say this: The decision to bring back West had to have been 100 unrelated to basketball. I can't claim to know what it was although it's fair to assume it had something to do with the well-known baggage that comes with having West in the locker room but all that being said, it couldn't have been about basketball.


Here's the logic: Delonte West can do everything that Keyon Dooling can on a basketball court only better.

The Celtics are paying Dooling 2,160,000 this season. Dallas is playing West 1,180,000. Not to mention, Delonte's was familiar with the system, had the respect of his teammates and, I repeat, is a MUCH better player.

Again, this couldn't have been about basketball. Or if it was, not bringing back Delonte West was one of the stupidest decisions of Danny Ainge's tenure.

Of course, there's an argument to be about injuries. I know that West has hard a time staying healthy over his career, and especially last year. But tell me something, if the Celtics were so concerned with bringing in players who they were convinced would be available for the long haul, would they have brought back Marquis Daniels? Nope. At the end of the day, they thought Marquis could help, so they re-signed him.

At the same time, they HAD to have known Delonte West could help. Can you imagine how much he'd help this second unit right now? But no, the Celtics weren't interested. And there had to be a reason and we have to assume it was a good one. But it had nothing to do with basketball.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

Pedroia returns to lineup as Sox look to extend winning streak to six

After leaving Thursday night's game in the fifth inning and missing Friday night's game, Dustin Pedroia is back in the Red Sox lineup Saturday as they look to extend their winning streak to six in a 4:05 game against the Seattle Mariners.

Pedroia felt pain his left knee Thursday night and was taken out of the game by manager John Farrell as a precaution. The rainy conditions and wet field were also factors in keeping the second baseman out Thursday and Friday. 

Pedroia (.288, two homers, 21 RBI) had surgery on the 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 various confrontations between the Orioles and Red Sox.

Left-hander Brian Johnson (1-0, 7.20 ERA) was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to make his second start of the season for Boston and right-handed reliever Ben Taylor was optioned to the PawSox. Right-hander Rob Whalen, 23,  comes up from Triple-A Tacoma to make his first start of the season for the Mariners. 

The lineups:

Jean Segura SS
Danny Valencia 1B
Robinson Canó 2B
Nelson Cruz DH
Kyle Seager 3B
Taylor Motter LF
Guillermo Heredia RF
Mike Zunino C
Jarrod Dyson CF
Rob Whalen RHP

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Andrew Benintendi LF
Hanley Ramirez DH
Mitch Moreland 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Sandy Leon C
Deven Marrero 3B
Brian Johnson LHP