Bruins

Cherington: Gomes has "opportunity to play a lot"

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Cherington: Gomes has "opportunity to play a lot"

BOSTON On Saturday, the Red Sox officially announced the signing of outfielder Jonny Gomes to a two-year, 10 million contract. Gomes, 32, appeared in 99 games for the As last season, batting .262 with 18 home runs, 47 RBI, a .377 on-base percentage, and .491 slugging percentage.  He appeared in 39 games (25 starts) in left field, three in right field, and served as the designated hitter in 53.  He will primarily play left field for the Sox. 

I see him playing a lot of left field, said general manger Ben Cherington. We think his bat fits well in the lineup, in the ballpark. Did a lot of work on him and hes developed a really good reputation as a leader in the clubhouse,  a guy that can mentor young players and make an influence. He plays with an edge. Hes used to the AL East. So just thought it would be a good fit all the way around.
 
Asked if Gomes will be an everyday player, Cherington replied:
 
We expect him to play a lot. Exactly how many at-bats that ends up being, thats up to manager John Farrell and I guess up to Jonny to some degree and how he performs. But hell have an opportunity to play a lot. We see him as an important part of the team and the lineup.
 
In 31 career games at Fenway Park, Gomes, a right-handed hitter, has hit .262 with three home runs, seven RBI, a .354 OBP, and .429 SLG. He hit .2991126.413.561 in 196 plate appearances against left-handed hitters in 2012, .209721.324.391 against righties.
 
Hes had opportunities where he has handled right-handers pretty well, Cherington said. We think the ballpark is a good fit for him. Hes a grinder. Hes an intense competitor. So well see . I think theres, match-ups arent always about left -right. Sometimes theres certain pitchers that a guys a good fit with and others who they arent. So those things are up to John and the staff to figure out. But Jonnys a guy who we just felt fits well on a number of fronts, from a personality standpoint from an ability standpoint into what were trying to do.
 
Asked if the acquisition of Gomes means the team needs just one outfielder now to complement Gomes in left and Jacoby Ellsbury in center, Cherington replied:
 
Well, we certainly need one. I wouldnt rule out more than that. But wed like to add another outfielder, and after that well see whats  available.
 
Whether that will be strictly a right fielder remains to be seen.
 
Weve always felt its important in Fenway to have not just somebody to play right field, but somebody, two guys that could handle center or right, Cherington said. I think our best teams have had that in the past. And its easier said than done but that would be optimal to have that kind of a lineup.

 Because Gomes profiles similarly to Cody Ross, Cherington was asked what effect Gomes acquisition might have on the teams interest in Ross.
 
We talked a fair amount with Ross before we came to an agreement with Gomes, Cherington said. And were still talking. So I dont want to comment on the exact nature of the talks. But were trying to put the best team together, one that works, and a roster that works. Were still talking to Cody along with several other guys.

The communication with Ross has been consistent. Ive talked to him, Ive talked to his agent several times. Were keeping the door open to dialogue. Im sure hes talking to other teams as well. Well keep talking and see where things end up.

Bruins will play Blackhawks in 2019 NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame

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Bruins will play Blackhawks in 2019 NHL Winter Classic at Notre Dame

The Bruins will once again be taking things outdoors and participating in their third Winter Classic in franchise history, but for the first time they won’t be hosting the NHL’s centerpiece event. The B’s announced on Saturday afternoon that they’ll be facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2019 Winter Classic that will be played at iconic Notre Dame Stadium. Both the Bruins and Blackhawks aren’t exactly strangers to the outdoor showcase, and per usual the Black and Gold are happy to be part of a big deal event for the league.

“The Boston Bruins are excited to be playing in the 2019 Bridgestone Winter Classic against another storied Original Six franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks,” said Bruins President Cam Neely, in a press release. “The rich history of Notre Dame Stadium is well documented, and our team looks forward to playing at such an iconic venue. We hope that by participating in these large scale and unique NHL events we can bring Bruins fans new hockey experiences, and that we can use these opportunities to help grow our great game and attract new fans.”

There will be some natural storylines for the game including the rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final participants, and a return to Notre Dame for Fighting Irish forward Anders Bjork after playing three seasons in South Bend. The Bruins/Blackhawks Winter Classic matchup was first reported by Barstool Sports almost two weeks ago, but it wasn’t until Saturday that any of the officials involved were ready to confirm the game.

The Bruins will be in their third Winter Classic after hosting the Jan. 1 outdoor game at Fenway Park in 2010 in an overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers, and at Gillette Stadium in 2016 in a blowout loss to the Montreal Canadiens.  It is a league-most fourth Winter Classic appearance for the Blackhawks, who hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in 2009, took on the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park in 2015, and most recently played the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium in 2017.

Stevens: Celtics haven't played well enough to make streak 'valid'

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Stevens: Celtics haven't played well enough to make streak 'valid'

You know who else - besides Charles Barkley - isn't impressed by the Celtics' 14-game winning streak?

Their coach. 

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At the shootaround in Atlanta before the Celtics attempt to make it 15 in a row tonight against the Hawks, Brad Stevens told reporters, including ESPN's Chris Forsberg, that his team hasn't played well enough to make the streak "valid." 

“We haven’t played well enough to consider this win streak to be valid in my opinion,” Stevens said."We’ve figured out ways to win games. We gotta play a lot better.”

The Celtics have come back from double-digit deficits a number of times in the streak. Stevens said they're fortunate those rallies have kept the streak going.  

"We've got to be better, and we know that," Stevens said. "We can't get so caught up in the results of all these games and ride that emotion. We've been fortunate to win a lot of the games in this streak, including Thursday night [92-88 over the defending champion Golden State Warriors]. If we dig ourselves a 17-point hole every other game, it's not going to be as much fun as we've had recently."