Celtics

Ex-MLB pitcher murdered in his home

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Ex-MLB pitcher murdered in his home

From Comcast SportsNetSANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -- Former major league pitcher Pascual Perez, who had a troubled 11-season career that included two suspensions for drug use, was killed at his home in the Dominican Republic in an apparent robbery, police said Thursday.Perez, who last played in the majors for the New York Yankees in 1991, was found with a severe head wound in a town west of the capital, Santo Domingo, and there was evidence at the scene to suggest that whoever killed him had been searching for money, said Joel Valdemiro, a prosecutor who is involved in the investigation.No one was in custody and authorities did not reveal whether they had any suspects. Police said there were several assailants and that the house in the town of San Gregrorio de Nigua appeared to have been ransacked."It's an act of criminality, unfortunately," Valdemiro said, adding that there is evidence the killing might have been premeditated.Perez's brother Carlos, a former left-handed pitcher for the Dodgers who spent six years in the majors, confirmed his death.Perez's ex-wife Maritza Montero found his body about 8:30 a.m. Thursday and investigators said he appeared to have been slain about eight hours earlier.The precise cause of death has not been determined but officials said Perez, who had suffered severe kidney problems in recent years, had a fractured skull from blows to the head.Melido Perez, mayor of San Gregorio de Nigua and a right-hander with nine professional seasons, including four with the Yankees, mourned his brother's death."It is horrible what is happening in this country," he said. "You're not even safe at home."Perez, 55, played 11 seasons of in the majors and compiled a lifetime record of 67-68 with the Braves, Pirates, Expos and Yankees. But he was in and out of trouble for much of his career."We were shocked to hear the news of Pascual Perez' death earlier today," said Braves president John Schuerholz in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during the aftermath of this tragic event. Pascual left his mark with the Braves organization and will always be remembered fondly by Braves fans."Perez pitched for Atlanta from 1982-85. He was 15-8 in 1983 and 14-8 in 1984.The right-hander was first signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in January 1976 as an amateur free agent, according to Baseball-Reference.com, an online sports information site.His career was a rocky one.In 1982, Perez helped Atlanta win the National League West title with a 4-4 record. But in August of that season he missed a start because, as he later explained, he missed a highway exit sign and spent almost two hours circling Atlanta Stadium.While playing for the Braves, he was suspended in April 1984 following his arrest in January of that year in the Dominican Republic on charges of cocaine possession.He spent two months in drug rehabilitation in 1989 while with the Expos, after failing to complete rehab programs twice before, and avoided a suspension only by agreeing to accept a minimum one-year suspension if he tested positive for cocaine again.In March 1992, the commissioner's office suspended him after a failed test the day he arrived for spring training with the Yankees. At the time, he was entering the final season of a three-year, 5.7 million contract. He never returned to major league baseball.

Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

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Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

While being away from home isn’t uncommon for the Patriots - just think about all those Super Bowl trips - Tom Brady believes each excursion takes on it’s own feel, it’s own flavor and - eventually - it’s own meaning.

Back in 2014, the Pats went from playing in Green Bay and losing to the Packers straight to San Diego for a week on the West Coast prior to a rousing victory over the Chargers. That week, many players said in the aftermath, helped propel the team to great heights,.  You’ll recall, that season ended in grand fashion, a triumph in Super Bowl 49 over Seattle, at the time - and maybe still - the greatest Super Bowl ever played.

“I think all these experiences are pretty unique,” Brady said Friday from Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy. “That was a very unique experience. This is different.”

Brady spoke about the number of stops the Pats have and will have to make on this trip - from Denver to Colorado Springs then on to Mexico City Saturday before a Sunday night return to Foxboro and their own beds for the first time in 10 nights.

“When you’re on the road like this, there’s less to do,” he said. “You know my family is not here, my kids aren’t here. There’s nobody telling me what I did wrong in the house. It’s just being at home and now it’s being here and trying to figure out a way to win a game.”

Brady quickly smoothed over any possible ill-will at home - why make Gisele mad? - smiling and saying “I didn’t mean that so I’ll take it back.”

Kidding aside, the 40-year old signal caller seemed pleased with the work the Patriots have put in during this long trip. A week of team-bonding can’t be a bad thing, especially for a group that seems to be hitting it’s stride both on and off the field. There’s the five wins in a row and also a locker room that has a better understanding of one another than it did during the first month of the season. But Brady is not ready to make any grand proclamations. That just wouldn’t be his style.

“I think it’s still work in progress,” he said of team chemistry. “You look at still adding a player like Marty (Bennett) last week. Things are always changing and evolving. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re doing well and after 8 or 9 weeks, you start to figure those things out. Now we have to work hard at those things, try to really own them, and use them going forward to try and win the most important games. We have a lot of important games coming up, starting with this one. Hopefully we can play our best football going forward.”

Brady said he’s been fired up for this game with the Raiders south of the border ever since the schedule was released all those months ago.

“I’ve never been to Mexico City,” he said. “It’s been a game you kind of look forward to. We’re playing against a really good football team in a pretty cool environment. It will be very memorable. I think everyone is excited.”