Celtics

Red Sox, Ortiz reach last-minute settlement

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Red Sox, Ortiz reach last-minute settlement

The Red Sox' decade-long record of avoiding salary arbitration hearings with their players is in intact -- barely.

Hours before the Red Sox were set to go to their first hearing since 2002 (when they beat pitcher Rolando Arrojo), the Red Sox settled with designated hitter David Ortiz Monday morning.

Ortiz and the Sox agreed to a one-year deal worth 14.575 million, the exact midpoint between their two filings. Ortiz had requested 16.5 million, with the Sox countering at 12.65 million, a gulf of nearly 4 million.

The Red Sox' filing surprised some, given that it provided Ortiz, who had the fourth-highest OPS in the American League last year, with a modest 150,000 raise. (Given that Ortiz earned 150,000 in incentives on top of his 12.5 million base salary in 2011, the argument could be made that the Sox weren't offering a raise of any sort.)

Had the case gone to a hearing, a panel of arbitrators would have been forced to choose either one figure or the other, with no room for compromise.

Most settlements, like the one reached Monday, use the mid-point of the two salaries as a settlement figure.

It's unknown what the settlement does to the Red Sox' budget process. Had the Sox gone to the hearing and lost, the nearly 4 million gap between their filing and Ortiz's would have been substantial. Thanks to the settlement, the increase is less than 2 million more, likely giving them at least some flexibility as they continue to search for more starting pitching.

Boston is nominally still involved with free agent Roy Oswalt, for instance, though the two sides have been unable to close a deal.

The Sox had nine players eligible for salary arbitration this off-season, the highest number for the franchise in a number of years. The club avoided hearings in all nine.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics streak comes to an end

0:41 - Tom Giles, Kayce Smith, and DJ Bean discuss the Celtics 16-game winning streak being snapped by the Miami Heat.

6:05 - Tom Curran and Mike Giardi talk about Tom Brady missing practice due to an Achilles injury and Randy Moss’ chances to make the Hall of Fame.

11:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the mental and physical fatigue that the streak had on the Celtics and if there is a sense of relief that the streak is over.  

16:11 - With it being the 5th anniversary of the Butt Fumble, we compare it to other embarrassing sports moments in history. 

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

Little things prove costly for Celtics as streak comes to an end

When you reflect upon Boston’s 16-game winning streak which came to an end with Miami’s 104-98 win on Wednesday, there were moments in just about every game that played a major factor in their success.

So it was only fitting that in the Miami loss, it would be a whole lot of little things that ultimately brought the fourth-longest winning streak in franchise history to a screeching halt.

  • Al Horford missed a pair of free throws.
  • Marcus Smart split a pair that had he made both, would have tied the game up in the fourth quarter.
  • Jayson Tatum had his only turnover of the game, in the fourth.
  • Terry Rozier had a rebound that he could not corral and bounced off his hands out of bounds.

And that doesn’t even factor in the missed open shots and unforced turnovers that collectively played a major role in Boston’s winning streak being a thing of the past now.

“I turned it over, we missed some free throws . . . we had some unfortunate things happen,” Tatum told reporters following the loss.

MORE:

Even with the loss, the Celtics (16-3) still boast the best record in the NBA.

Kyrie Irving has elevated his all-around play to a level to where he’s legitimately in the conversation as a league MVP candidate.

Jayson Tatum has established himself as one of the league’s top rookies from his draft class.

“As you could see, they kept hitting us, hitting us, until we were knocked out,” Irving said. “They deserved that win tonight.”

Disappointed with the loss, but it was not at all surprising to head coach Brad Stevens who has been raising concerns about his team’s attention to detail for the past few games and sensed it would catch up to them sooner or later.

“I told you, we’re not as good as the 16-game win streak,” Stevens said. “But we do have a lot of resolve. I can’t say enough about our guy’s will to come back. It’s incredible we were able to erase that lead that quickly and give ourselves a chance.”

Indeed, the Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit to come within a single point in the fourth quarter. But unlike previous games, Boston couldn’t find a path to victory.

“We’re just going to continue to learn and continue to get better,” Irving said. “It’s the same things echoed when we were winning. Just continue to get better and understand, there’s still a lot for us to accomplish going forward.

He added, “It was a good streak, and it’s finally come to an end.”

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