Patriots

20 Under 25 Rankings: #1 - Mookie Betts

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20 Under 25 Rankings: #1 - Mookie Betts

TURNS 25: OCTOBER 7, 2017
FINAL RATING: 9.1

Mookie Betts has the ability to not only be the face of the Boston Red Sox franchise, but maybe the face of Boston sports when Tom Brady retires -- assuming Brady calls it quits before Betts.

Through 355 games with the Sox, Betts is hitting .304 with 54 home runs, 96 doubles and 208 RBI. Plus, he’s scored 248 times and has as many stolen bases as homers.

It first seemed like Boston’s right fielder would be a leadoff hitter, but he showed in 2016 that he’s much more than that. In the process, he earned himself a starting spot in the All-Star Game and finished as the A.L. MVP runner-up in the process. 

Betts finished second in the A.L. in runs (122), hits (214) and average (.318). He also knocked in the fourth-most runs (113) and was tied for third in doubles (42). All this while launching 31 home runs (t-19th) and stealing 26 bags (sixth), too.

Betts’ quick hands give him room for error at the plate and strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers. All signs point to him becoming one of the all-time greats in Boston’s -- and that’s without delving into his game-changing ability on defense.

Gronkowski will not run in the Kentucky Derby

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Gronkowski will not run in the Kentucky Derby

There was more breaking Patriots news this afternoon.

This time it was related to Gronkowski, and a health scare.

But it wasn't the Gronkowski that plays for the New England Patriots.

So it is unfortunately confirmed that Rob Gronkowski's horse will not be competing in the Kentucky Derby.

The 3-year-old colt named after Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski had a “minor setback,’’ according to trainer Jeremy Noseda when he spoke to The Racing Post.

Gronkowski was unbeaten in starts, earning his place in the Kentucky Derby field.

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Marcus Smart upgrade to questionable for Game 5

Marcus Smart upgrade to questionable for Game 5

BOSTON –  Once considered a long shot to return by Game 7 of Boston’s first-round series with the Milwaukee Bucks, Marcus Smart may be on the floor as soon as Tuesday night's Game 5 matchup.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said there was no update on Smart following the team’s practice on Monday, but the team has since upgraded Smart's status to “questionable” for Game 5 – the first time he has been listed as anything other than “out” since he had his right thumb surgically repaired last month.

In the past couple of weeks, Smart has increased his workload and made it clear that he was inching closer to getting back on the floor possibly ahead of schedule. 

Prior to Boston’s Game 4 loss, Smart discussed his potential return. 

“I feel ready, I feel strong enough to get back out there,” Smart said at the time. “I’m just waiting for the OK.”

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It appears his most recent visit to the doctor went as planned with Smart now likely cleared to practice – and with that clearance, available to play. 

The return of Smart would be a huge plus for a Celtics team that has struggled mightily in this first-round series against Milwaukee from a defensive standpoint. 

During the regular season, Boston had a league-best defensive rating of 101.5. But against the Bucks, Boston’s defense has slipped to second-to-last among playoff teams which has heavily factored into the series now being tied at two games apiece. 

You can count Boston's Jaylen Brown among the Celtics eager to get Smart back into the fold. 

“When he gets in there he changes the whole game on defense,” Brown said. “He’s definitely missed so when he comes back that’ll make a lot of our jobs a whole lot easier.”

Stevens had similar sentiments about Smart. 

“Marcus is one of our most reliable players for the last four years,” Stevens said. “No question Marcus as been a huge part of us.”

Smart has appeared in 54 games for the Celtics this season, averaging 10.2 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds while playing 29.9 minutes per game.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE