Red Sox Mourn The Death Of Blake Swihart's Adopted Younger Brother, Ex-College Football Player Romell Jordan
Tragedy struck the Red Sox this morning, as word quickly spread that a certain player was going through a family emergency:
Some people anticipated that it was Blake Swihart at the heart of the matter, since his name had been scratched out of the Sox's lineup for one of their two games this afternoon.
Unfortunately, those people were right, as the team did indeed announce it was Swihart who suffered the loss of his 23-year-old brother, Romell Jordan:
Jordan was taken in by the Swihart family while in high school, and went on to play college football as a running back for the University of New Mexico Lobos during the 2014, 2015, and 2017 seasons.
Manager Alex Cora met addressed the media before any details came out, saying it was going to be "a tough day" for the team.
As expected, Swihart has left the team to be with his family during this difficult time.
Rest in peace, Romell!
Point Streak Reaches 14 Games For Bruins As They Beat Sharks 4-1, Chara Pummels Evander Kane In Third Period
The Bruins remained red-hot last night, as they beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 at TD Garden for their 10th win in 14 games. In that stretch, they've recorded a point in every game, not having lost in regulation since January 19.
David Krejci (15th), Charlie McAvoy (5th), Jake DeBrusk (20th), and Brad Marchand (25th) scored for the Bruins in that order; Krejci's came in the first period while the other three came in the second.
Marchand recorded two assists and now has 49 on the season, currently 10th in the NHL and two shy of his career-high which he set last season.
Newly-acquired Marcus Johansson made his Bruins debut and played well, recording 14:49 of ice-time with one assist, two shots, and a plus-one.
Things got particularly nasty in the third period. Less than four minutes in, Zdeno Chara layed a big hit on Evander Kane in a battle for the puck along the boards, knocking him to the ice. Upset with the lack of a call, an outraged Kane got up and jumped Chara, knocking him to the ice while throwing a couple cheap shots in the process.
In short, Chara wasn't having it. Watch:
Kane will be sure to think twice next time before going after the 6'9'' monster. You're not gonna see a fight more one-sided than that! Even at 42 (almost), Chara's still got it! Just the second fight of the season for the big fella.
Make no mistake, there was nothing wrong with Chara's hit. Kane was lunging forward, his body was in an off position. That's what's gonna happen! Normal hockey play, happens all the time. Not Chara's fault he has seven inches on Kane. It also wasn't an "elbow" like some people are saying (despite Chara getting two minutes for elbowing for some reason). All the momentum came from the shoulder. See?
Clean! And the league decided rather quickly that it was, because Chara will not face any disciplinary action:
Kane, additionally, received a 10-minute misconduct and two-minute instigator on the play, finishing the game with a season-high 31 penalty minutes.
I posted my own version of the tilt to Twitter, which developed the biggest reaction I've gotten on any post so far:
Love seeing Big Z drop the gloves. Doesn't happen much, but it's always a treat when he does!
With the win, the Bruins improved to 37-17-9, three points ahead of the third-place Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division; San Jose fell to 37-19-8 (second in Pacific Division) with the loss.
Up next for the Bruins will be the NHL's very best, the Tampa Bay Lightning, whose 100 points (48-11-4) are currently 13 more than the second-closest team (Flames).
Boston has dropped their lone game against the Lightning this season, a 3-2 loss on December 6.
Last night was another frustrating one for the Celtics (37-24), as the second-place Toronto Raptors (45-17) blew them out 118-95 at Scotiabank Arena.
The loss was Boston's third in a row and fifth in seven games.
An 18-0 second quarter run by the Raptors pretty much decided the game, as Toronto outscored Boston 36-13 in those 12 minutes to take a 66-45 lead at halftime.
Marcus Morris led the Celtics with 17 points, while Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum recorded 11 each.
Robert Williams appeared in his second game all month, recording eight points and four rebounds. His 20 minutes were the most since December 19 and third-highest all season.
Guerschon Yabusele played five minutes, the 18th time this season he's played at least that many in a game. He also notched five points for the fourth time this season, which is the second-most he's scored (nine on November 11).
Pascal Siakam and Kawhi Leonard paced the Raptors with 25 and 21 points, respectively.
Just another bad night for the Celtics. The fourth loss out of the last five which has been a complete embarrassment. A bit ironic that the only loss where they did in fact play a good game was the one against the Bucks, the best team in the NBA. But that's just the type of season it's been for Celtics. A roller coaster of unpredictability. You just never know.
Gonna have to agree here:
Well, the good news is that the Celtics are returning home for three games, starting tonight against the Trail Blazers, followed by the Wizards on Friday and the Rockets on Sunday... before having to play on the road for four straight games.
21 games left until the playoffs. Time to figure things out!
The Red Sox's official Grapefruit League schedule kicked off on Saturday against the New York Yankees, as Boston won 8-5 against their AL East rivals.
Third baseman Michael Chavis, Boston's highest-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, ripped his first homer of the spring in the third inning, a two-out, three-run oppo-shot to give the Sox a 6-3 lead:
Chavis decided that one game-winning dinger wasn't enough, as the very next day, the 23-year-old once again stepped up with two men on base and two outs, this time in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins:
Way to go down and get it! WITH elevation, and plenty of it!
That swing put the Red Sox up 7-5, as they went on to tack on an additional run in their 8-5 win.
Love to see it! Chavis immediately making an impact. It's only spring but who cares? You see the type of power he has. An oppo-line drive off a righty, a towering bomb to left off a lefty on a bad pitch! Love to see it. Should only expect more dingers out of Chavis this spring.
Following over a week without a game due to All-Star Weekend, the Celtics returned to the court with road matches on Thursday and Saturday, losing 98-97 to the Milwaukee Bucks and 126-116 to the Chicago Bulls, respectively.
No shame in losing by one point to the Bucks, especially on the road. Milwaukee was 43-14 entering that one for the NBA's best record, so you knew they'd most likely win. You also have to be a bit happy that it was Kyrie Irving taking the potential game-winning shot, even though it didn't go in. That's who you want taking the final shot, no repeat of last time.
But losing by double digits to the Bulls, who were 15-44 entering the game? The same team who suffered their worst loss in franchise history to the Celtics earlier this season? LOL! ZERO excuses for that one!
I was only able to watch bits and pieces (including the ending) of the Bucks game, but zero of the Bulls game. That one was for the best, judging by how angry fans were on Twitter. People acted like the season was legitimately over at that point. Does anyone blame them? I mean cmon, it's the BULLS!
Irving balled out on Saturday with team-highs of 41 minutes, 37 points, and 10 assists, which was about it. No other Celtic recorded more than five assists, and only four other players reached double-digit points, none of whom made it to 20.
Following the game, Irving maintained a positive outlook approaching the playoffs:
Words like that from Irving should make any fan feel better.
"I still don't see anybody beating us in seven games ... Because I'm here."
That's awesome. You gotta love a confident Irving. The playoffs aren't for another seven weeks almost. But he's giving the fans a reason to hope. A reason to be optimistic, despite some incredibly woeful defeats lately.
The Celtics have 22 games to go before the playoffs. Time for some fine tuning of this team. Time to get everyone ready. And time for Brad Stevens to work out the rotation issues he's been having.
Getting the one or two seed in the East is an unrealistic possibility at this point. Kiss that goodbye. The Celtics are looking at three, four, or five. Right now, they're the fifth seed at 37-23, currently 6.5 games up on the Brooklyn Nets. So honestly, it doesn't matter much. Three, four, or five. Right now, they're three games behind the three-seed Indiana Pacers.
Plenty of times for the Celtics to work things out, rest guys if needed, and fully prepare for hopefully a solid playoff run. And if Irving's confident, then I'm confident.
Bruins Notes: Team Goes 4-0-1 On Road Trip, Signs Lee Stempniak, Trades For Devils' Marcus Johansson At Deadline
After defeating the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks, the Bruins completed their five-game road trip with a 3-2 shootout win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday, and 2-1 shootout loss against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
David Backes game up with the game-winner at Vegas:
An extremely successful road trip for the Bruins. Nine out of a possible ten points. And you can't even be upset with the loss to the Blues, because St. Louis had won 11 of 12 games coming into that one.
Coach Bruce Cassidy was happy with the way his team played during the trip:
Recently acquired Charlie Coyle made his Bruins debut on Saturday, logging 16:36 of ice-time with a minus-1 and no shots on goal.
In other team news, Boston signed free agent and former Bruin Lee Stempniak to a one-year, $650,000 contract yesterday.
Stempniak, 36, is a 13-year NHL veteran. He was a trade deadline acquisition for the Bruins during the 2015-16 season, tallying three goals and seven assists for 10 points in 19 games. Throughout this season, the right winger has been a presence at Bruins practices on a tryout basis, with the hopes of being signed to an NHL contract eventually.
Finally, right at today's 3 pm ET trade deadline, the Bruins traded for Marcus Johansson of the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and 2020 fourth-round pick.
Johansson, 28, has 12 goals and 15 assists in 48 games this season with a minus-15. It comes as no surprise to Bruins fans that Johansson has a history with Brad Marchand; Johansson missed the final 35 games (and five playoff games) of last season after suffering a concussion after receiving an elbow to the head from Marchand, who received a five-game suspension.
The good news is that it seems that the two forwards' unfortunate history with each other won't be a problem going forward:
Obviously, not the "splash" that Bruins fans were looking for at the deadline, but a decent acquisition nonetheless.
In other minor news, the Bruins assigned forwards Karson Kuhlman and Peter Cehlarik to AHL Providence today.
The Bruins' (36-17-9) next game is tomorrow night at home against the Sharks (37-18-8), who'll look for some revenge following their recent 6-5 shootout loss to Boston.
Red Sox Shut Out Northeastern 6-0 In First Exhibition Game Of Spring, No. 3 Prospect Bobby Dalbec Goes Deep
Red Sox baseball officially returned to JetBlue Park yesterday as the champs shut out the Northeastern Huskies 6-0, in a game that ended following the conclusion of the top of the seventh.
Boston's starting lineup looked like this:
SS, Tzu-Wei Lin
C, Blake Swihart
DH, Christian Vazquez
3B, Bobby Dalbec
1B, Sam Travis
2B, Chad De La Guerra
CF, Tate Matheny
RF, Cole Sturgeon
LF, Jagger Rusconi
With Mike Shawaryn as the starting pitcher.
Pretty par for the course for the first exhibition game of the year, which always seems to be against Northeastern or another college team. Only a few recognizable names, many unfamiliar ones.
One of those unfamiliar names that people should know, if not already, is Bobby Dalbec. He's 23, ranked the third best prospect in the Red Sox organization, and coming off a 2018 season in the minors that saw him hit .257/.361/.558 with 32 home runs and 109 RBIs in 455 at-bats combined between single and double-A.
Yesterday, in his first at-bat of the spring, Dalbec stepped up leading off the bottom of the second:
That's a big-time dinger right there. It doesn't even matter that he was facing a college pitcher. That home run shows you the type of power Dalbec has. A nice level swing, towering blast to dead center. It doesn't get prettier than that. Plus, it was all the Sox needed yesterday.
Dalbec, who's 6'4'' and 225 pounds, was taken by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB draft.
In the days leading up to Super Bowl LIII, Patriots safety Devin McCourty didn't rule out the possibility of retirement following New England's eventual 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
"I heard you say you may retire if you win [the Super Bowl]," the reported asked.
"I don't know for sure, man," McCourty responded. "But I do look at it, you know, if we can win this game, winning with my brother (Jason), I don't know what else I can do that'll top that, so, I'm just trying to make sure I enjoy this season, and enjoy these last couple days with these guys."
Turns out, Pats fans have nothing to worry about.
On Thursday, McCourty went on the Sports Spectrum Podcast, confirming he will indeed be back for his 10th NFL season, all with New England.
“I think once you get a chance to step away for a couple weeks now, you’re like, ‘Yeah, man, I still do want to be around these other young guys that come in,'” McCourty said.
McCourty, 31, recorded a career-high 23 assisted tackles for the Patriots in 2018, playing in all 16 regular season games for the sixth time in nine years.
Late this morning, news quickly spread that Patriots owner Robert Kraft had been charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution at the Orchards of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, located in Palm Beach County.
CBS4 Miami was the first to break the shocking news.
Kraft, 77, is one of 25 individuals to be charged with soliciting sex at the Southern Florida spa, where two women were arrested earlier this week. The charges result from a months-long police investigation into prostitution and human trafficking at at least eight spas in the West Palm Beach area.
Law enforcement officials confirmed they have video evidence of Kraft receiving sexual favors.
“We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further,” a spokesperson for Kraft said in a statement.
Like any fan, my first thought was: Whoa. It spread like wildfire today once the news broke. And you can see why. Kraft is a multi-billionaire, owner of the Patriots, friends with Donald Trump. He's kind of a big deal. And people love a good ol' sex story involving big names. Busy day for journalists no doubt.
ESPN's Adam Schefter appeared on SportsCenter today and said that Kraft isn't the biggest name linked to the story.
"I'm also told that Robert Kraft is not the biggest name involved down there in South Florida," Schefter said.
According to CBS Boston, Kraft could face up to a year in jail, fines/probation, or discipline from the NFL under the league's personal conduct policy due to the charges against him.
As most people have already heard, long-time Red Sox writer Nick Cafardo passed away yesterday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida due to an embolism. He was 62.
Cafardo was known for his warm personality and was well-liked by everyone who was fortunate enough to work with him.
Several of Cafardo's colleagues payed their respects on Twitter:
Cafardo joined The Boston Globe in 1989 and remained a fixture with the company ever since, while also regularly appearing on Red Sox pre and post-game shows on NESN.
“Nick was one of the best people to ever walk through our doors — generous with his time and insights, immensely knowledgeable, deeply devoted to the Globe,’’ the Boston Globe’s editor, Brian McGrory, said. “He had a view of the Red Sox and the game on a national scale that is virtually unrivaled.
“For those reasons, he was one of our most read writers, constantly attracting followers near and far, his weekly baseball notes column being destination reading for tens of thousands of people.’’
Red Sox Twitter issued a statement on Cafardo's passing:
As someone who's followed Boston sports for many years, I can tell you that the city is losing a true professional. Cafardo was the type of sports journalist that all aspiring ones should take note of and try to be like. You knew you could count on him to get it right, which he did consistently. There was no one like Cafardo when it came to perfecting his craft.
Boston won't be the same without you, Nick. Rest in peace!