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McGair: Weiland, Spears to join Sox in Toronto; Wilson making adjustments on the fly

September 4, 2011

By BRENDAN McGAIR

A wrap up of Pawtucket's 4-3 win over Rochester on Sunday night ...

PAWTUCKET – As the fireworks drummed away at McCoy Stadium on Sunday, two PawSox players were busy shoving their belongings into bags, as infielder Nate Spears and Kyle Weiland will join the Red Sox in Toronto on Monday.

McGair: Thoughts on Ricky Ledo canceling press conference

August 30, 2011

Everyone should breath a major sigh of relief that basketball wunderkind Ricky Ledo will not verbalize his choice of college at a Providence bar, which appeared to be the plan as recently as this past weekend.

McGair: Gammell leaving A.D. post at St. Raphael

August 23, 2011

Tuesday morning saw word come down that Bruce Gammell is leaving his athletic director post at St. Raphael Academy. The news comes just one day after the official start of fall practice for sports besides football.
Gammell was at the helm when SRA capped off an undefeated varsity football season with a Division I championship in 2007. Last winter saw St. Raphael capture the boys’ basketball state championship under the 16-team open tournament format that was introduced for the 2010-11 season.

Mason Williams update; Millwood deserves shot

July 31, 2011

By TERRY NAU
Former Pawtucket resident Mason Williams, a 2010 fourth-round draft pick of the New York Yankees, is hitting .338 for Staten Island this summer.
ESPN.com baseball analyst Keith Law said some favorable things about Williams -- son of former Patriots wide receiver Derwin Williams -- on his weekly chat. Here's a link. Go down to 12:36 p.m. and a question from Jared.
http://espn.go.com/sportsnation/chat/_/id/39485/mlb-insider-keith-law

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McGair: Clearing up the mystery behind the R.I. high school baseball playoffs

May 25, 2011

No matter how teams fare on Wednesday, they will return to action on Thursday. Such clarification was learned Wednesday afternoon, just a few hours before the opening round of the double-elimination, four-team regional tournaments were scheduled to get underway.
Here’s how the playoff schedule shakes down from Wednesday until the conclusion of the first round:

Thursday: Winners play at higher seed; loser play at higher seed.

Friday: Team that won 2 games is off. Teams remaining play at higher seed.

Saturday: Team that is undefeated is home team vs. Team with 1 loss.

McGair: Brackets and pairings for high school baseball playoffs set

May 24, 2011

The brackets for the first round of Division I & II tournaments – the format being double elimination spread over four four-team subdivisions – were released Monday night. The Blackstone Valley is represented with three teams in Div. I – Lincoln, St. Raphael, East Providence – and three from Div. II – Woonsocket, Tolman, North Smithfield.
It should be noted that East Providence was awarded the 16th and final seed in Division I, which saw the Townies along with Cumberland, Mount St. Charles, Toll Gate all finish the regular season at 7-10.

McGair: PC Friars to face South Carolina as part of Big East/SEC Challenge

May 19, 2011

PROVIDENCE - We won't know the complete rundown of the 2011-12 Providence College men's basketball schedule until later this summer, but it was revealed Thursday that PC will travel to South Carolina on Thursday, Dec. 1 as part of the first-ever Big East/SEC Challenge. This ESPN-driven event will be shown on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

McGair: Kalish leaves Thursday's game

April 21, 2011

PAWTUCKET -- Ryan Kalish's all-out style resulted in the outfielder leaving Thursday's game with an apparent elbow injury. Playing center field, Kalish dove to take a base hit away from Syracuse's Michael Aubrey in the top of the second inning. The injury seemed to occur when Kalish's right elbow hit the turf just as he made the catch.
Kalish stayed on the ground for several seconds as every PawSox player ran out to the outfield to see what the extent of the injury was. He walked off the field under the assistance of PawSox trainer Jon Jochim, holding his elbow.

McGair: Felix Doubront to join PawSox' starting rotation

April 20, 2011

PAWTUCKET – Felix Doubront is returning to his pitching roots. After serving as a left-handed option in Boston’s bullpen for a week-plus, Doubront will now serve as a member of Pawtucket’s starting rotation.
“He’s going to start games,” confirmed Mike Hazen, the Red Sox’ vice president of player development. “He’ll probably be on a shortened pitch count to start, but we’ll build him up from there. He’ll start the games.”

McGair: Albers aces final test

April 19, 2011

PAWTUCKET -- Matt Albers tossed two scoreless innings in relief for the PawSox Tuesday night, tossing 27 pitches (17 for strikes). The reliever pitched the sixth and seventh innings, allowing one hit while striking out one.
Albers, currently on the DL with a strained lat muscle, is expected to be reinstated by Boston on Thursday, which is the first day he's eligible to come off the disabled list.

McGair: Matt Albers looks sharp in relief outing with PawSox

April 17, 2011

PAWTUCKET - Matt Albers looked sharp in the first of two scheduled relief appearances Sunday for the Pawtucket Red Sox. The righthander pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning, needing just 11 pitches (eight) strikes to set down the heart of the Buffalo Bisons' offense.
Albers threw exclusively fastballs that generally resided in the 93 miles per hour range, according to the McCoy Stadium radar gun. He topped out at 94 mph. His outs came via groundout to third, a fly to center that Ryan Kalish made a nice diving play coming in and a swinging strikeout on a changeup.

McGair: Kris Johnson, Tony Pena Jr. join PawSox' pitching staff

April 9, 2011

PAWTUCKET – The Boston Red Sox weren’t the only affiliate to shake up its pitching staff on Friday. The PawSox made two moves, activating Kris Johnson and Tony Pena Jr. Both pitchers were in extended spring training.
Johnson will be placed in Pawtucket’s starting rotation and is expected to make his first start next Tuesday in Buffalo. Johnson (9-26 in two seasons with Pawtucket) takes the spot of Alfredo Aceves, who was summoned to Boston on Friday. Pena Jr. takes the place of reliever Randy Williams, who Pawtucket placed on the disabled list with shoulder soreness.

McGair: Could Larry Brown be the answer to PC's coaching situation?

March 17, 2011

As we finish filling out our brackets – thankfully there are some pools that have chosen to ignore the “First Four” – we do so keeping an eye on Providence College’s ongoing search for the next men’s basketball coach. Some names make sense; others leave a lot to be desired.
With rumor mill in full regale, we present the case for one Larry Brown. No, this isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem.

PC expected to part ways with Davis, Army on Sunday

March 10, 2011

A resolution regarding the status of men’s basketball head coach Keno Davis and men’s hockey coach Tim Army is expected to come as quickly as this Sunday, when the school is targeting to announce that Davis and Army will not be retained.

Cumby matmen second after semifinals

February 27, 2011

Cumberland High is 40 points behind Warwick Veterans after Saturday's semifinals. The Clippers were badly hurt by the injury default of Shai Lariviere in Friday night's second round. Shai hurt an ankle in practice on Monday, toughed out one victory on Friday, then defaulted. The two-time state champ and one-time New England champ finished with an unofficial career record of 147-10.
Twin brother Shoneil pinned his way into the finals at 125 pounds. Cumberland also has Cody Beaudette (103), Erik Travers (130) and Tom Lacroix (189) in tonight's finals. Starting time is 7:30 p.m.

McGair: Boggs to be inducted into International League Hall of Fame

January 25, 2011

Some baseball news on this snowy day, courtesy of the PawSox and the International League:

The International League announced Tuesday, Jan. 25, that Steve Balboni, Wade Boggs, and Cal Ripken, Jr., will be inducted into the circuit's Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2011. All three players starred in the International League during the early 1980's, and they now comprise the first Class elected to the IL Hall by a vote of current Hall of Fame members, along with longtime executives, broadcasters, and members of the media.

TN's Tidbits: Iggles vs. Puritans in the Super Bowl?

December 19, 2010

Let's see. The Eagles beat the Giants 38-31 today after trailing 31-10 in the third quarter. DeSean Jackson did his Muhammad Ali impersonation, begging the Giants' punter to keep the ball in-bounds with 14 seconds left, and then he ran 65 yards for the winning touchdown. He is the greatest (kick returner).

Jackson is a very modern player with enormous talent. Nobody makes more big plays in the open field than this guy. He was a bit of a troubled student-athlete in college at California and fell to the second round, where the Eagles took a chance on him.

TN's Tidbits: Of fathers and sons

December 14, 2010

Tolman High and the Pawtucket Boys & Girls Club conducted their annual Tip-Off hoop tournaments last week. Tolman hosted the James Donaldson Memorial Tournament while the Boys & Girls Club offered up the Dennis M. Lynch, Jr. Memorial event.

I got to spend a little time with the sons of both Pawtucket hoop legends. Fellow sports writer Jim Donaldson watched his alma mater edge Shea in the championship game on Friday night. We talked about regular sports stuff like Cam Newton and the Heisman Trophy, and then about Jim's long association with the Tolman High gymnasium.

TN's Tidbits: The rich get richer

December 9, 2010

In this era of baseball free agency, championships are sometimes won in the offseason.
The Red Sox certainly made themselves the team to beat in the American League when they got Carl Crawford to agree on a 7-year contract worth a reported $142 million late Wednesday night. Crawford will take his physical in Boston on Friday and sign the contract soon after.
GM Theo Epstein can now focus on signing one more strong arm for his bullpen and then take it easy.

TN's Tidbits: Woonsocket was the better team today

December 5, 2010

CRANSTON -- Some thoughts on Woonsocket's 28-14 victory over Tolman in Sunday's Division II Super Bowl:
Woonsocket just had too many weapons, too many ways to win the game, than Tolman did. The Villa Novans had a big size advantage in the middle of both lines, they had way more seniors than Tolman in their starting lineup, and they had a better game plan.

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