Is Moore ready to step in for Celtics?


Is Moore ready to step in for Celtics?

With Rajon Rondo suspended for tonight's game, and Ray Allen down for the count with his sore anklesomewhat terrifying OCD, Doc Rivers doesn't have very many options in the back court.

Avery Bradley and Mickael Pietrus will get the start, with Keyon Dooling getting some run at the point, Sasha Pavlovic playing a few minutes at the two-spot and Paul Pierce chipping in as a point forward of sorts. In other words, it won't be pretty.

However, there is one wild card: E'twaun Moore.

Last week, in light of Allen's injury and not realizing he'd be without Rondo, Rivers hinted that he'd be willing to go with Moore (who averaged only 8.7 minutes a night in the regular season) at some point in the playoffs. And he appeared confident that Moore would play well.

ETwaun, who no one talks about, hes going to play in the playoffs somewhere and help us in a game," Rivers said.

So maybe tonight will be that "somewhere" for this somewhat anonymous second-rounder to rise from the ashes and give Boston a lift. Or maybe he'll never take off his warm ups. Either way, it's times like this when you wish that Rivers was a little more lenient and open to using his younger players in the regular season.

Between injuries and the general craziness of the schedule, there were plenty of times when Rivers could have snuck in a few (or more) extra minutes for E'Twaun Moore, made him comfortable playing with this teammates, and more importantly, made those teammates more comfortable playing with him.

Instead, and as usual, the rookie road the bench. Moore played more than 20 minutes in a game only five times, and two of those were the second- and third-to-last games of the season, when no one else was out there. He played more than 10 minutes in a game only 13 times.

Tonight, he could be out there with everything on the line.

Let's hope he's ready.

Rich can be reached at Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment


Belichick takes some heat for 'earthquake' comment

Bill Belichick sounded less than enthused about traveling to Mexico to play a game. And his line about being "fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there," didn't exactly sit well with some folks south of the border.


“Personally, I wouldn’t be in any big rush to do it again,” Belichick said on his weekly appearance on WEEI's "Dale and Holley with Keefe" show Monday. “Players did a great job dealing with all the challenges that we had to deal with. I think we’re fortunate there was no volcano eruptions, earthquakes or anything else while we were down there. I mean you have two NFL franchises in an area that I don’t know how stable the geological plates that were below us [were], but nothing happened so that was good.”

Pancho Vera of ESPN Mexico took exception to Belichick's comment on Twitter, which, translated, called out the "ignorance of the genius of the NFL." More than 200 people were killed after a quake centered near Mexico City struck in September. 

Other Twitter users said, using Belichick's reasoning, they wondered if they'd be fortunate not to be killed or wounded in a mass shooting if they were to travel to the US:

Translated, the tweets read "I also have luck in Las Vegas I was not in a shooting" and "But you are right, I apply the same when I go to the U.S. and say I was fortunate I was not in some crazy shootout." 

HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall


HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball’s steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall’s board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.

Read the full text of Morgan's letter here. 

“Steroid users don’t belong here,” Morgan wrote. “What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”

Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.

About 430 ballots are being sent to voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, and a player needs at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Writers who had not been covering the game for more than a decade were eliminated from the rolls in 2015, creating a younger electorate that has shown more willingness to vote for players tainted by accusations of steroid use. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each received a majority of votes for the first time in 2017 in their fifth year on the ballot.

Morgan said he isn’t speaking for every Hall of Famer, but many of them feel the same way that he does.

“Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in,” Morgan wrote. “Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right.”

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July. They were joined by former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, who were voted in by a veterans committee.

Some baseball writers said the election of Selig, who presided over the steroids era, influenced their view of whether tainted stars should gain entry to the Hall.

Morgan praised BBWAA voters and acknowledged they are facing a “tricky issue,” but he also warned some Hall of Famers might not make the trip to Cooperstown if steroid users are elected.

“The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too,” he wrote. “The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.”

© 2017 by The Associated Press