Celtics

Desperate Phillies trade for new centerfielder

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Desperate Phillies trade for new centerfielder

From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The Phillies filled their biggest need right before the winter meetings ended, acquiring center fielder Ben Revere from the Minnesota Twins for right-handers Vance Worley and Trevor May on Thursday.The 24-year-old Revere is expected to be Philadelphia's answer in center. He batted .294 with 40 stolen bases in 124 games last season."Ben is an outstanding, young, controllable center fielder who fits nicely with our club," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said.The Phillies were seeking an everyday center fielder after trading two-time All-Star Shane Victorino last July. They pursued free agents B.J. Upton and Angel Pagan before turning to the trade route. Upton left Tampa Bay for a 75 million, five-year deal with Atlanta. Pagan got a 40 million, four-year deal to stay in San Francisco.Michael Bourn and Josh Hamilton drew Philadelphia's interest. Both All-Stars are still free agents and expected to command significant contracts.Desperate to improve their pitching, the Twins have traded two center fielders in a week. They sent Denard Span to Washington for minor league right-hander Alex Meyer. Before acquiring Worley, left-hander Scott Diamond was Minnesota's only starter assured of a spot in the 2013 rotation.Darin Mastroianni is expected to get a chance to start in center for the Twins He hit .252 in 163 at-bats last season. Aaron Hicks, the team's first-round draft pick in 2008, could be the long-term solution. Hicks finished the season in Double-A, hitting .286 with 13 homers, 61 RBIs, 11 triples, 32 steals and a .384 on-base percentage in 129 games for the New Britain Rock Cats. Prospect Joe Benson also will be in the mix after an injury-ruined season in the minors."They had a lot of interest in a center fielder, and they had some pitching they were willing to give up," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said.Ryan acknowledged trading both Span and Revere was "a risk." But he said Benson, Hicks and Mastroianni are all "pure center fielders" who are capable of handling the defensive part of the job."We don't know quite yet about whether they're ready offensively, but we're going to find out," Ryan said.In many ways, Revere is a younger, cheaper version of Bourn, who was drafted by Philadelphia and traded to Houston for Brad Lidge before the 2008 season when the Phillies won the World Series.Both are speedy, small and left-handed hitters. Revere is listed at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, two inches shorter and 10 pounds lighter than Bourn.Bourn had a .261 average, .325 on-base percentage, 61 extra-base hits and stole 102 bases in his first two full seasons -- both with the Astros. Revere had a .281 average, .322 on-base percentage, 33 extra-base hits and 74 steals in his first two full seasons. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is bat control. Bourn struck out 251 times to only 100 for Revere.A former first-round pick by the Twins, Revere is a .278 career hitter with 64 RBIs in his two-plus seasons with Minnesota. He has zero home runs in the majors in 989 at-bats and only five in 2,573 professional at-bats.Revere hit .314 against left-handed pitchers last year, had 37 infield hits and six triples. His eight outfield assists led the Twins. Revere made 126 career starts in center field, 84 in right field and 19 in left field.Worley was 6-9 with a 4.20 ERA last year after going 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA as a rookie in 2011, helping the Phillies win their fifth straight NL East title. He had elbow surgery in September, but is expected to be ready for spring training.Worley became a fan favorite his first season in Philadelphia. He stood out as much for his quirky look -- he had a Mohawk haircut and wears glasses -- as he did for his strong performance on the mound that helped him finish third in NL Rookie of the Year voting.Worley had a 5.80 ERA in his last 11 starts before he went on the disabled list. The Phillies now will likely look for another starter in free agency or through a trade. They still have Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee as the top three. Kyle Kendrick and Tyler Cloyd finished last season in the rotation.May was 10-13 with a 4.87 ERA at Double-A Reading. He was Philadelphia's top prospect before his so-so season.The Phillies finished 81-81 in 2012, ending their string of postseason appearances at five. They still have to fill several needs, including another starting outfielder and a third baseman.

Celtics won't be broken by Hayward's injury

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Celtics won't be broken by Hayward's injury

BOSTON -- These are tough, heart-tugging times for the Boston Celtics, who are less than 24 hours removed from the gruesome left-ankle injury suffered by Gordon Hayward in the first quarter of their 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday.
 
Hayward is scheduled to have surgery today, and potentially could be out for the entire season.
 
As much as their hearts go out to Hayward and his family, the Celtics know they can’t spend too much time sulking. The nature of this business won’t allow them, evident by the fact the C's step back on the floor tonight to host the Milwaukee Bucks.
 
“You hurt for him,” said coach Brad Stevens. “He’s put in a lot of great work. I thought he had his most comfortable week as far as feeling like he was going to play really well. It’s a tough, tough deal but I guess that’s part of it, the risk of injury. I really feel for him.”
 
But in the same breath, Stevens is a realist.
 
He's been in the league long enough to know that grieving for a lost player won’t help that player in the short-term. Or the team, for that matter.

MORE ON GORDON HAYWARD

 
The best way the Celtics can help Hayward is to continue to compete in his absence.
 
We saw that in last night’s loss to the Cavaliers.
 
When Hayward was carted off the floor, the Celtics were ahead, 12-9. The lead disappeared and was eventually replaced by an 18-point deficit, only for Boston to chip away and eventually go ahead in the fourth quarter.
 
But down the stretch, too much LeBron James and Kevin Love would prove to be too much for the Celtics to overcome.
 
While the loss was disappointing, it gave the team some insight into how to fight on now that one of its main guys will be out for a significant amount of time.
 
We saw Jaylen Brown emerge from being a second-year pro on the rise into a matchup problem who dropped a career-high 25 points on the Cavs.
 
And Jayson Tatum reminded us all that he’s a teenager in age only, finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. The last rookie to tally a double-double for the Celtics in his opening night debut was Larry Bird in 1979, who had an identical 14-point, 10-rebound line.


 
But Bird didn’t have to play most of that game with one of the then top-three Celtics out for all but the game’s first five minutes.
 
When it comes to adversity, NBA players don’t have the luxury to pick which ones to handle and which ones to pass on. They either step up to the challenge or be consumed by it.
 
Under Stevens, Door Number One is the only option under consideration.
 
And since Stevens has been in Boston, his players have risen to the challenge.
 
That doesn’t mean they'll win every game, but they've shown the ability to at least be competitive. And in defeat, they'll refuse to use injury as an excuse.
 
That means younger players like Brown and Tatum will assume a larger role at both ends of the floor if Boston is to make it through these tough times relatively unscathed.
 
Veterans like Al Horford and Marcus Smart will be leaned upon more heavily to be leaders, both on and off the floor.
 
And Stevens, considered by many to be one of the better coaches in the NBA, will once again be tasked with making on-the-fly adjustments with his lineup and rotations under less-than-ideal conditions.
 
Nobody hurts more than Stevens when it comes to Hayward’s injury. Remember, he's known him longer than anyone associated with the Celtics, having recruited Hayward to play for Butler. It was the platform that launched both of their NBA careers.
 
Which is why the way he approaches not having Hayward is the example for all his players to follow.
 
Shortly after the loss to the Cavs, Stevens was asked about moving on while handling the emotional dynamics of losing Hayward for an extended period of time.
 
“We’ll be ready to play [tonight],” Stevens said with a heightened level of seriousness in his voice that spoke to how important it was to him and his players that they came out and performed at their best on Tuesday against Cleveland.

And that's the blueprint required for them going forward if they hope to be successful in handling adversity as it comes their way.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

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.