Bruins

Giants make a decision on Melky Cabrera's future

814388.jpg

Giants make a decision on Melky Cabrera's future

From Comcast SportsNetSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants have informed Melky Cabrera's agent they won't bring the suspended outfielder back at any point this postseason.Manager Bruce Bochy made the announcement before Thursday's series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Francisco's final regular-season home game."We have decided not to send Melky on a rehab assignment because we do not intend to add him to any playoff roster," Bochy said. "We had to make this decision early because Melky would have to start rehabbing in Arizona. We have decided to develop our roster from our current group of players. They've done a terrific job during the critical part of the season. We have informed Melky's agent and they understand. I just like the way this club has played down the stretch and moved on. So we're going to move forward without Melky."Bochy said the NL West champion Giants will go into the best-of-five divisional series with the current roster. Cabrera's suspension takes him through the first five games of the playoffs, so he would have been eligible in the NL championship series if San Francisco advanced."While I am disappointed that I won't have the chance to join my team in the playoffs, I wish my teammates the best in the postseason and I'll be rooting hard for them to bring another world championship to San Francisco!" Cabrera said in a statement through his representatives.The All-Star game MVP, batting an NL-leading .346, was suspended Aug. 15 for a positive testosterone text. Last Friday, Cabrera asked to be removed from contention for the NL batting crown, saying he had no wish to win a tainted title.Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum appreciated that the team made a decision well in advance of the playoffs so everyone could stay focused on the next step, avoiding a potential distraction."I'm not saying that he's not somebody that when he's doing what he's doing that we could use," Lincecum said after a 7-3 win against Arizona. "I'm not saying we wouldn't appreciate the addition, but we've got something good right now. I'm not sure, but that would probably bring some controversy with it as well."Hall of Famer Wade Boggs feels Cabrera made the right decision about taking himself out of the race for the batting title."I'm glad that he stood up and said that he didn't deserve it, number one, because he cheated to get to that point," Boggs said in a phone interview. "I would have thought Major League Baseball would have stepped in before that and sort of disqualified him on that fact. But he's a stand-up guy, and as far as (public relations) concerns, it's was pretty good for his corner, for him to do something like that."Bochy was asked whether anything happening that could change in the team's thinking regarding Cabrera if there was a significant injury or other unforeseen circumstance."I can't say I can right now," Bochy said. "We've made this decision and that's where we're at right now. I'm not going to get into anything that's hypothetical. We have a number of outfielders. ... We have a big roster here. They've all done a good job and stepped up when we needed them. We're going to have a 25-man roster from the guys you can see here right now."Cabrera was batting .346 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs in his first season with San Francisco and is five hits shy of 1,000 in his big league career. He is set to become a free agent after the season.Bochy said he would talk to his players about the decision either later Thursday or Friday. Players weren't consulted beforehand, Bochy said of what was an organizational decision."Melky understands," Bochy said. "I think it's in the best interest of this club if you look how we've played and all we've been through. These guys have really done a great job. They're the reason why we're in this situation. They've earned this and we're going to go with the 25 guys we have here."Outfielder Gregor Blanco said he spoke to Cabrera this week, but didn't talk business. He still supports Cabrera as a teammate and friend, but also understands the Giants' stance on this one."That's their decision. We can't do anything about it," said Blanco, who has picked up a bulk of the playing time in Cabrera's left field spot. "As a group, we've done a great job, and we have to continue to do it. We can't think about Melky."

Morning Skate: Cheers for Boyle as he returns to practice with Devils

cp-morning-skate.jpg

Morning Skate: Cheers for Boyle as he returns to practice with Devils

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while determined to go see Foo Fighters at Fenway Park this time around. 
 
-- In the great news department, Hingham native Brian Boyle hears cheers at practice as he returns to work for the New Jersey Devils after his cancer diagnosis. Boyle might be wearing a Devils uniform, but he knows he has all of Boston in his corner along with many, many other corners of the hockey world. 

-- There is no panic with the Maple Leafs over the slow start for Mitch Marner, who has been dropped to the fourth line in the early going.
 
-- Wellesley native Chris Wagner is beginning to get recognized for his big hits and physical play with the Anaheim Ducks

-- Senators prospect and Massachusetts native Joey Daccord makes an unbelievable game-saving stop for his college team. 

-- For something completely different: Greg Nicotero talks about the Walking Dead premiere, and a character thought dead that might actually still be alive.
 

'Forgotten man' David Harris plays key role in win over Falcons

david_harris.png

'Forgotten man' David Harris plays key role in win over Falcons

For the first six weeks of the season, Patriots veteran linebacker David Harris was little more than an insurance policy.

At $1.25 million guaranteed this season, he was one of the pricer policies on the team, but his playing time told the story of where he stood on Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia's depth chart. His seven total defensive snaps slotted him in behind Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and Dont'a Hightower among off-the-ball 'backers. 

So when Harris saw 19 snaps -- making three tackles in the process -- against the Falcons and their speedy offensive weapons on Sunday night, it caught our attention. Here are a few of the elements that came into play, leading to Harris' increase in playing time. 

1) Injuries to other Patriots linebackers created an opening for Harris. Roberts was announced as inactive prior to kickoff due to an ankle injury. Later in the night, Hightower suffered a shoulder injury that knocked him from action. That left Van Noy, Harris and Marquis Flowers as the team's linebackers in uniform. Harris got the nod over Flowers, who's primarily a special-teamer.

2) Falcons personnel called for the Patriots to use their base defense at times. The game opened with the Falcons going with a two-back set, encouraging Belichick to go with bigger personnel. The Patriots didn't have to stick with their regular group because the Falcons used primarily one-back sets over the course of the night, But even with Hightower healthy and available, what happened early in the game proved that there were certain packages that called for Harris to be on the field. He saw one early, picking up his first start as a member of the Patriots. 

3) The work Harris has put in during practices and off the field allowed the Patriots coaching staff to trust him when he was called upon. Belichick has lauded Harris all season for his professionalism, and on Monday morning he continued to heap praise on the 33-year-old. "As always, I think David works hard and is very well prepared and did all of the right things that we would want him to do from an assignment standpoint," Belichick said. "He gave us some good plays, was in on a few plays. Again, handled the communication in the front well. We’ll see if we can build on it. We’ve got a lot of good play from a number of guys and he’s certainly part of that group."