Archive - Sports Article
May 20th, 2012
In the short time Rakim Sanders has spent as an NBA hopeful, the Pawtucket native has learned an invaluable lesson â when opportunity knocks, itâs best to jump all in.
Fresh off spending the weekend at a draft combine in East Rutherford, N.J., at which representatives from all 30 teams were in attendance, Sanders now embarks on a vagabond tour of NBA cities scattered across the country.
EAST PROVIDENCE â Nine-year-old Andrew Smyth of East Greenwich stared down at X Games' nine-time BMX medalist Kevin Robinson autographing his white T-shirt in heavy blue ink. When the elder had finished, he flashed a grin at his mom, Stacey.
The boy had never before met Robinson, and couldn't believe his good fortune when the 40-year-old athlete and East Providence native posed with him for a photo.
Robinson immediately hugged Stacey and thanked her for attending his second annual âRide with K-Rob/Family Fun Festival,â held at Rose Larisa Park on Riverside's tip Sunday afternoon.
PAWTUCKET â The regional and national tournaments are all a thing of the past. So is the points scoring system that heâs had to worry about every time heâs fought, as well as the headgear that heâs had to strap on for 130 amateur fights, 119 of which he won.
The next time Toka Kahn-Clary steps in the ring, the Manfredoâs Gym fighter will do so as a professional. His name and his pro fights will be etched forever on boxrec.com, and yes, he will be fattening his wallet with some extra greens.
LINCOLN --- With a 5-0 shutout against the Smithfield Sentinels Friday, the Lincoln Lions improved their record to 14-0 and clinched the Northern Division.
Including yesterdayâs game, the Lions have only played in five games that were decided by five or fewer runs, one of which came against Smithfield on April 4. During that game, Lincoln came away with a 3-2 win.
Coach Dick Ryan thought that the grit his squad showed against a Smithfield team that always gives Lincoln a close match was a good sign.
WOONSOCKET --- These past two weeks have certainly belonged to Cumberland, and that was evident on Friday afternoon in its Division I-North showdown against Mount St. Charles.
The Clippers took over second place and grabbed their fifth win in their last seven outings with a solid performance that saw the visitors claim the early momentum with five runs in the first two innings, play steady defense, and ride the solid pitching of Caylin Legare to a 6-3 victory that put a damper on the Mountiesâ âSenior Dayâ festivities.
PAWTUCKET â This did not resemble your typical second-place vs. third-place battle.
In fact, Thursday afternoonâs Division III showdown between Davies and Shea resembled a mismatch between a team battling for the division lead and a team saddled with a losing record and no hopes of grabbing a playoff spot.
The Patriots collected 12 hits and took full advantage of a season-high 12 walks and eight errors by the Raiders, and the end result was a stunning 15-1 rout before a large gathering at Max Read Field that was halted after five innings by the mercy rule.
CUMBERLAND â Just before Cumberland High hosted St. Raphael Academy in a critical Division I-North tilt on Thursday afternoon, the two squads stood on their respective baselines and watched Sue Lanctot, a Cumberland resident and two-time breast cancer survivor, throw out the first pitch.
The touching moment drew a hefty round of applause, and for good reason: The contest had been set up weeks ago to benefit the American Cancer Society. Both players and coaches had purchased special, blue-and-white âStrike Out Cancerâ caps to wear, at $15 each.
CUMBERLAND â The last time Cumberland enjoyed a season as magical as the one the Clippers have put together so far this spring, its current members were learning the sport in middle school, and its head coach, Scott Carpenter, was savoring his retirement from coaching after a long, successful run as the Clippersâ hockey coach.
PAWTUCKET â It was about lunchtime Tuesday when Tolman High senior Andrew Larson sat in his English class, discussing with teacher Kevin Kavanaugh the âins and outsâ of preparing for portfolio reviews.
âWe were talking about the interview process, being interviewed by people who judge our portfolios, which we need to graduate, and he brought up the newspaper,â Larson explained. âHe also brought up sports in general, and what we'd say to a reporter, like, after a win. He told me to remain calm, listen to every question carefully and try to respond âŠ well, intelligently.â
Generally, Tim Wakefieldâs 19-year MLB odyssey is broken down into two separate and distinctive parts. There was the Wakefield of Pittsburgh Pirates fame, the hotshot knuckleball specialist who helped guide the franchise to the brink of the 1992 World Series.
Weâre just past the quarter mark of the PawSoxâs season. Such a distinction comes with a few observations that have made an impression upon this particular observer âŠ
If the Red Sox knew a month ago what they know at the present time, perhaps they wouldnât have been so quick to move Alex Wilson from the rotation to the bullpen.
CUMBERLAND â If thereâs any good news for Cumberland High, it will return to Division I-North action beginning Wednesday afternoon, when head coach Marty Crowleyâs crew hosts La Salle Academy at 3:45.
The bad: The Clippers closed their D-I crossover slate Monday afternoon with a 5-0 loss to North Kingstown at Tucker Field, as Skippersâ junior righty Taylor Butler yielded just five hits and two walks while whiffing eight in her complete-game outing.
PAWTUCKET -- Alex Hassan opened the season a dismal 0-for-17 at the plate before he broke out of the slump with a 3-for-4 outing at Rochester on April 13.
Slow but sure, his confidence increased, and that was more than obvious on Sunday afternoon.
Hassan finished 3-for-3 with a double, homer, sacrifice fly, two RBI and three runs scored to pace the Pawtucket Red Soxâ 5-4 come-from-behind triumph over the Clippers before 5,516 fans at McCoy Stadium.
PAWTUCKET -- The way Lars Anderson figures it, versatility is the key to getting back to the Boston Red Sox.
Thatâs why the Pawtucket Red Sox first baseman called Mike Hazen, now Bostonâs Vice President and Assistant General Manager, last November and asked that he be considered for an outfield position.
Given Adrian Gonzalezâ contract with Boston, he figured, âWhy not?
âHe told me he thought it was a good idea, and that he would talk to the powers-that-be,â Anderson, 24, said in the clubhouse prior to Pawtucketâs tilt against the Columbus Clippers on Sunday morning.
PAWTUCKET â Despite posting downright gaudy numbers in his shortlived Red Sox stint, Clayton Mortensen was farmed out to Pawtucket because of one simple yet often overlooked factoid.
He still has minor-league options remaining.
Guys like Mortensen, they perform a service akin to a security blanket. To the big-league teams, to have a player with options still on the table, creates the kind of roster flexibility that can prove most handy.
PAWTUCKET â Just as head coach Frank Laliberte had envisioned, Tolman High cinched an elementary 6-1 Division II-North victory over arch rival Shea at Slater Park's Mike Kenny Courts on Friday afternoon.
For that, he was both excited and relieved. Over the previous 10 days, the Tigers had lost four straight, including two tight, 4-3 crossover decisions to II-South foes Pilgrim and Chariho, and Laliberte really wanted his guys to get off the schneid.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) â Los Angeles Angels catcher Chris Iannetta will be out six to eight weeks because of an injury to his right wrist.
Without specifying the exact injury, the Angels announced Thursday that Iannetta will undergo surgery Friday.
Iannetta has been playing with the injury since getting hit by a pitch during his first at-bat May 2. He stayed in the game and caught Jered Weaver's no-hitter against Minnesota.
Before his injury, Iannetta had been a solid addition to the Angels' lineup since arriving in an offseason trade with Colorado.
PAWTUCKET â Mauro Gomez ended his slump in a big way on Thursday afternoon.
The veteran first baseman delivered a two-out, two-run double into the right-field corner in the bottom of the eighth inning to erase a one-run deficit and lift the Pawtucket Red Sox to a 6-5 victory over the Rochester Red Wings in the finale of their four-game series at McCoy Stadium
Gomez, who was an International League All-Star with the Gwinnett Braves last year, came into this contest with just four hits in his last 45 at-bats, two of them coming in Wednesday nightâs 5-2 win over the Red Wings.
PAWTUCKET â For Justin Thomas, the near month he spent as member of Bostonâs bullpen was merely a case of guilt by association.
Even though the 28-year-old lefthander was relegated to afterthought status â while with the Red Sox, Thomas allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings prior to getting farmed out to Pawtucket on April 27 â he was still part of a unit that became known as the land of diminished returns. No matter which reliever BoSox manager Bobby Valentine summoned, disaster seemed to follow.
PAWTUCKET â Through all the early-season struggles he endured, Alex Hassan never once thought about reinventing the wheel, i.e. tweaking his batting stance or adjusting his hands on the bat, the kind of wholesale changes that no doubt creep into a playerâs mind whenever things arenât going well.