Red Sox

All They Want For Christmas

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All They Want For Christmas

It's a miserable day in Boston, but I've got some good news.

Or maybe we should just call it goodish, depending on your religion andor how little you can stand your family:

Christmas is officially one week away.

But with all the holiday goodness, comes a sense of urgency. The realization that you only have a week to do your holiday shopping. Only a week to follow through on your pre-holiday diethunger strike. ONLY A WEEK TO WRITE ALL YOUR HOLIDAY THEMED BLOG POSTS.

So I won't waste anymore time.

For the last month or so, I've been compiling holiday wish lists from various athletes and other sports personalities in the city. The question was simple: "What do you want for Christmas?" And here are the answers (which please don't anyone take seriously)

All I want for Christmas is . . .

Tom Brady: "Protection. In the name of winning ring No. 4, and preventing baby No. 4."

Rajon Rondo: "Thinking about asking for a spaceship . . . . . . Nah, I don't know. No one ever gets me anything good anyway."

Tyler Seguin: "My 21st birthday, so I can finally get a drink in this city."

David Ortiz: "Papi doesn't ask for much, man. But I think it's time to talk about another extension."

Bill Belichick: "Welllll, what I really want is . . . Yeah, right. We'll worry about the holidays when we get there. For now, I'm just focused on Jacksonville. I know they haven't won many games, but that's a competitive team down there. And if we play like we did in the first half on Sunday, we'll lose every time we play."

Kevin Garnett: "Listen. All I can tell you is that building team chemistry is just like unwrapping a present, man. I don't know if any of y'all have REALLY unwrapped a present before. But if so, you know what I'm talking about. It's like you're unwrapping and unwrapping and getting closer and closer, and then you get to the end and it's like, 'Damn, look what I got here.' Now you just want to use it and play with it. You just want to have fun. You know what I mean? Also, as for your question: I'd like a new loofa for the shower. Period point blank."

Tim Thomas: "I want to buy the world a Coke, and furnish it a firm understanding of the immediate dangers that are threatening our way of life. (Thomas' statement has been translated from Morse Code.)

Larry Lucchino: "I want the same thing that any self-respecting Red Sox fan wants a renewable Red Sox Nation membership card and the 2013 Bikini Wally calendar."

Rob Gronkowski: "Just want to get healthy and everything. And by everything I mean stuff."

Jeremy Jacobs: "I object to this question. Not as a Jewish man, but as someone who doesn't believe that people should be happy. Ever."

Alfredo Aceves: "Three live scorpions. Two slices of bread. One bottle of Tabasco sauce."

Wes Welker: "Hmm . . . how about a contract? Nah. Haha. Just kidding. No, but seriously. So are you saying that Grinch Belichick hasn't canceled Christmas yet? Haaaah. Just kidding again."

John Henry: "Hi, Rich: Thanks for reaching out. Thought it might be easier if I just responded via e-mail. To answer your question: The only thing on my mind is an English League Championship! Cheers, JWH"

(Five minutes later)

"rich, hey this is john again. totally thought you were with the british press. i meant to say world series. WORLD SERIES. please don't print that first one. please. you want headphones? you want three years39m? come on, i'll give you anything!"

Danny Ainge: "I don't really want to commit to a present yet, but let me just say that I'm looking at this thing from every angle, and there are a ton of possibilities that I'd be more than happy with. But for now I think I'll just keep my options open."

Tony Massarotti: "You know, I thought about this today. And you know what I think? In and of itself, here's the thing about the concept of presents. It just sucks! Am I right? To put another way, as a matter of fact, IT JUST SUCKS!"

Stevan Ridley: "I just want what's best for the team."

Shane Vereen: "I just want what's best for the team."

Aaron Hernandez: "I just want what's best for the team."

OK, no more Patriots.

John Lackey: "Errr. Lackey want pizza."

OK, no more anyone.

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

HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

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HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball’s steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall’s board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.

Read the full text of Morgan's letter here. 

“Steroid users don’t belong here,” Morgan wrote. “What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”

Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.

About 430 ballots are being sent to voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, and a player needs at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Writers who had not been covering the game for more than a decade were eliminated from the rolls in 2015, creating a younger electorate that has shown more willingness to vote for players tainted by accusations of steroid use. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each received a majority of votes for the first time in 2017 in their fifth year on the ballot.

Morgan said he isn’t speaking for every Hall of Famer, but many of them feel the same way that he does.

“Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in,” Morgan wrote. “Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right.”

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July. They were joined by former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, who were voted in by a veterans committee.

Some baseball writers said the election of Selig, who presided over the steroids era, influenced their view of whether tainted stars should gain entry to the Hall.

Morgan praised BBWAA voters and acknowledged they are facing a “tricky issue,” but he also warned some Hall of Famers might not make the trip to Cooperstown if steroid users are elected.

“The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too,” he wrote. “The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.”

© 2017 by The Associated Press

Ray Allen tells court he was 'catfished'

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Ray Allen tells court he was 'catfished'

ORLANDO, Fla. — Retired NBA star Ray Allen said he is a victim of “catfishing,” and has asked a court to throw out a case where he is accused of stalking someone he met online.

Allen filed an emergency motion in Orange County, Florida, on Tuesday, one day after Bryant Coleman told the court he is being stalked by the 10-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion.

Allen said Coleman is the one who is stalking.

“Coleman pretended to be a number of attractive women interested in Ray Allen,” read the motion filed on Allen’s behalf. “Ray believed he was speaking with these women and communicated with them.”

Attorney David Oscar Markus released a statement saying Allen took legal action in an effort to put an end to threats against him and his family, and that Allen was the victim “of an online scheme to extract money and embarrass him by someone who appears to be troubled.”

In the filing, Allen said Coleman threatened to reveal details of their conversations, and that the sides eventually struck a deal to keep everything private. Allen said that deal has been violated and that Coleman has continued to harass him and his family through several social-media accounts.

“He posted about Ray’s wife, Ray’s children, Ray’s dog, Ray’s homes, Ray’s wife’s restaurant, and numerous other personal items,” read the motion. “Coleman not only posted about these things, he would actually post while physically located inside Ray’s wife’s restaurant in Orlando. And he would make sure they knew it, tagging Ray and his wife on those posts.”

Allen asked the court to stop Coleman from “cyber-stalking.” It was not clear if Coleman has an attorney, and a working phone number for him could not be found.

“Ray regrets ever engaging with this person online and is thankful they never met in person,” Markus said. “This experience has negatively impacted Ray, and he hopes that others might use his mistake to learn the dangers of communicating online with strangers.”

Allen is the NBA’s all-time leader in 3-pointers made. He starred in college at UConn and won championships with the Celtics in 2008 and Miami in 2013, the second title coming after he made one of the most dramatic shots in playoff history — a game-tying 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left in regulation of Game 6 of The Finals against San Antonio, a game that the Heat would win in overtime to extend the series to a seventh game.

Allen also played for Milwaukee and Seattle, and last appeared in the league in 2014. He and his family have lived in the Miami area since.

© 2017 by The Associated Press