Celtics

Clemens on his Hall of Fame snub

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Clemens on his Hall of Fame snub

From Comcast SportsNetKISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- Roger Clemens said little publicly in the immediate aftermath of the Hall of Fame vote.Over a month later, he's willing to share his thoughts -- but the 354-game winner is not about to start a lobbying campaign."I'm not going to lose any sleep over it," Clemens said. "If those guys feel I deserve to be there, then I deserve to be there. If they feel I don't, then that's OK too."Clemens was at spring training Monday as a special instructor for the Houston Astros, and he spoke for a bit with the team's pitchers about his mental approach to the game. Later, he watched some of the Astros throw live batting practice.The 50-year-old Clemens seemed relaxed after a turbulent year. Clemens was acquitted in 2012 on charges he obstructed and lied to Congress in denying he used performance-enhancing drugs to extend his career. Last month, Clemens fell short of the necessary votes to make the Hall of Fame. Superlative stats weren't enough to offset suspicions of PED use."I've had a great time when I've gone to Cooperstown," Clemens said. "I know a lot of people that work over there, too. If you're around my groups of people, and the same thing when I go to the cities I've played in, the people have been nothing but great down on the streets to me."When Clemens met with reporters Monday, he began by handing out a written statement about the death of country star Mindy McCready, who made headlines in April 2008 when she claimed a longtime relationship with Clemens. Published reports at the time said she met the pitcher at a Florida karaoke bar when she was 15 and he was 28 and married. Clemens has denied the relationship.Authorities said McCready died Sunday at her home in Heber Springs, Ark., of an apparent suicide."Yes, that is sad news," Clemens' statement said. "I had heard over time that she was trying to get peace and direction in her life. The few times that I had met her and her manageragent they were extremely nice."The Astros are moving to the American League this year after losing 213 games in two seasons. Clemens said if he were a player, he'd be excited because of all the job openings available on the roster.He met with pitchers for about a half-hour before Monday's workout."I tried to fire them up and tell them that we're not just a newcomer to the league," Clemens said. "Hopefully we got the attention of a few of them."New manager Bo Porter was happy to have Clemens around."He had a good powwow with all the pitchers and catchers this morning," Porter said. "Like I told those guys, when you're able to receive that type of tutelage and advice from someone who's been through the battles, understands what it takes, he's done it at a high level, it's an asset."Left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who made 16 starts for the Astros as a rookie last year, is among many Houston pitchers still trying to prove himself. He said he'd met Clemens before -- he played in the minor leagues with Clemens' son.When Clemens showed up at camp, Keuchel was ready to listen."A 350-game winner? I'm all ears," Keuchel said. "He talked about knowing your own game and what you're capable of doing in the game, and you don't need a pitching coach to come out. You're a big leaguer for a reason. You're there because you can throw the ball where you want to, and just because you make a bad pitch doesn't mean you can't make an adjustment the next pitch."Clemens says spring training has changed a lot since he was beginning his big league career. Players now arrive a bit more ready to push themselves."I watched some of the guys turning the ball loose yesterday, and I worry that they're coming out of the gate to impress people pretty hard, and you can get tendinitis pretty easy," Clemens said. "But I know I did that when I was 21."Another difference Clemens noticed? It seems like fewer players are smokers now.That led to a brief discussion between Clemens and reporters about fitness and nutrition in baseball -- and a comment from Clemens that at least tangentially referenced the sport's drug testing program."You guys can go to GNC and take stuff, and we can't -- to keep your health or muscle, or whatever you want to do. You've just got to be careful with it, because they can change the ingredients in it. You have to be aware of it," Clemens said. "I know you guys write about it, but there's a scroll from here to the field over there of names you can't even spell, that we can't -- you've just got to be careful."NOTES:Porter said RHP Bud Norris will be away from camp for a bit following the death of his grandmother. He's expected to leave Tuesday and be back Thursday. Norris is slated to pitch Sunday against the New York Mets.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.

4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.

9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season. 

13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

CLEVELAND – Jayson Tatum has seen plenty of games featuring Cleveland’s LeBron James.

And in the Boston Celtics’ preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup, the 19-year-old rookie had seen plenty of James on film.

But facing him, up close and personal, was something entirely different.

“He’s way bigger than I thought,” Tatum said. “He’s way better than I imagined. That’s the reason why he is who he is.”

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James’ play was among the key factors in Cleveland handing Boston a 102-99 loss on Tuesday night.

But Tatum showed he too has some big-time potential by finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds which included some nifty drives to the basket as well as showing the ability to hold his own on the glass in terms of rebounding the basketball.

The last Celtics rookie to post a double-double on opening night?

That was Larry Bird back in 1980, helping the Celtics to a 114-106 win over the Houston Rockets.

What’s even crazier?

Bird had 14 points and 10 rebounds in that Rockets game, too.

Tatum’s solid performance didn’t seem in the making in the first half when Tatum had missed all five of his shot attempts while tallying just two points.

But as the Celtics mounted their comeback, Tatum’s play was a key to the team’s improved play.

“Just being more relaxed” was how Tatum described his improved play in the second half.

Tatum added, “first half, I think I was nervous and anxious. And then the game slowed down for me. That helped out a lot.”

And the Celtics will need even more from Tatum going forward after Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

There was plenty of room for him to improve upon following Tuesday’s game.

But for the most part, head coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw from the rookie.

“Jayson was pretty good,” Stevens said. “He did a pretty good job for a first game. That’s pretty hard to do, to be thrown into this environment, first game and play that well.”

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