Red Sox

Ex-MLB pitcher Pascual Perez killed in apparent robbery

929939.jpg

Ex-MLB pitcher Pascual Perez killed in apparent robbery

Police in the Dominican Republic say former major league pitcher Pascual Perez has been killed in his home during an apparent robbery.

Martinez tells Red Sox he would DH, but others want him as outfielder

Martinez tells Red Sox he would DH, but others want him as outfielder

Free agent slugger J.D. Martinez has told the Red Sox he would DH and play the outfield for them, a baseball source said Friday.  The flipside: teams are offering Martinez a full-time outfield job, and he enjoys playing the outfield.

Martinez, the best bat available via free agency, visited with teams at the winter meetings this week.

Michael Silverman of the Herald wrote Friday that Martinez has been telling teams he prefers to play the outfield, and suggested the Sox will have to pay a bit more to land Martinez.

MORE:

“Martinez remains open to being a DH so his preference to play defense regularly does not eliminate the Red Sox from signing Martinez,” Silverman wrote. “It does, however, put them in a position of having to make an aggressive offer that would distance themselves from competing offers where teams can present a corner outfield position. 

“Just what defines aggressive is something only Martinez and his agent Scott Boras will ultimately determine.”

The market could start to move a bit now, although that doesn’t mean anything is necessarily imminent. Another baseball source on Friday night noted that the market has started to thaw with Carlos Santana off the board. He agreed to a three-year, $60 million deal with the Phillies.

The Red Sox made an offer for Santana, but the offer made clear that Santana was not their primary choice. In other words, it wasn't close to what Santana ended up with.

A scenario in which Jackie Bradley Jr. is traded to make room for Martinez in the outfield seems reasonable, even if the Red Sox and Boras, who represents Bradley, have both downplayed that possibility.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Second-quarter struggles doom Celtics in 107-95 loss to Jazz

Second-quarter struggles doom Celtics in 107-95 loss to Jazz

BOSTON – It’s going to come. It always seems to come, sooner or later.

The run, whether it’s fueled by the Boston Celtics’ scoring or their defense, is on its way, right?

Not tonight.

After falling behind in the second quarter, the Celtics were never able to muster up enough plays at either end of the floor to regain control of the game, ultimately resulting in a 107-95 loss to the Utah Jazz.

The Celtics (24-7) still have the best record in the East, but they are trending in the wrong direction now with losses in two of their last three games and three of the last five.

Meanwhile, Utah (14-15) snapped a four-game losing streak in addition to nine straight defeats to the Celtics.

Kyrie Irving was brilliant again, scoring 33 points. Al Horford had a nice game for Boston with 21 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Other than those two, the Celtics didn’t get much production.

Meanwhile, the Jazz were led by Ricky Rubio’s 22 points. And rookie Donovan Mitchell had a near double-double with 17 points and nine assists with six rebounds. Rodney Hood provided a nice spark off the Jazz bench with 17 points.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, whose team was down 101-86 with about two minutes to play, sent four players – Shane Larkin, Abdel Nader, Guerschon Yabusele and Semi Ojeleye – to the scorer’s table, clearing looking ahead to Saturday’s game at Memphis.

Sluggish play through most of the second quarter put Boston in come-from-behind mode, which is a place they are familiar with this season. 

But the third quarter burst they’re used to getting, just wasn’t there early on as Boston’s seven-point deficit to start the third soon ballooned to a 16-point hole that Boston struggled to climb their way out of.

Irving was scoring consistently once again, but he had very little help other than Horford.

And the Celtics’ defense was never able to slow down Utah’s red-hot shooters who finished the game connecting on 48.3 percent of their shots.

The usually reliable Jayson Tatum had a rough game, missing all four of his shots from the field through three quarters of play without a single point to his name. His first points didn’t come until a pair of free throws with 9:32 to play. He had seven points, but missed five of his six shots from the field.

After a relatively close first quarter which ended with the Celtics ahead 26-21, points were few and far between for both teams through most of the second quarter. Nearly eight minutes of the quarter was in the books and the Celtics only had two made field goals in the quarter, the second of which was made by Jaylen Brown which cut Utah’s lead to 35-32 with 4:06 to play.

Boston’s struggles in the quarter continued with the Jazz pulling ahead by as many as 10 points (46-36) after a 3-pointer by Hood.

However, Irving’s 3-pointer moments later would be the final points of the half which ended with Utah on top 46-39.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE